Tag Archives: Eye on Peabody

A tale of seeking out big fish rather than basic roast beef

24 Mar

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

There are a million stories in the naked city, and … this is just one of them.

In our tale, the Feds find half a million in cash from two safety deposit boxes, (let’s face it, that’s a lot of chicken kabob salads and roast beef sandwiches), causing them to arrest the owners of a local joint. But that might not be the most-interesting part of this tale.

144209.ME.1223.cadillac1.FO.jpgAfter all, this family’s deep legal troubles around obstruction of justice, and perhaps, a question over whether they paid their fair share to a little outfit called the IRS, is only of passing prurient interest.

In our tale, people start to wonder, as part of a potential sentencing deal cut with the Feds, if the accused will turn rat quicker than the time it takes to make a large Italian with hots and extra salami.

We take you back a few years, to a time when a family opens a second little sit down restaurant on the a posh side of the berg, and then comes before city solons to request that rules be amended so they can obtain a liquor license for their new establishment.

But when nearby neighbors strenuously oppose this liquor license pursuit, their elected representative does what all good elected officials do: He stands by the neighborhood, and fights to keep the restaurant from becoming a boozy cash bonanza.

Interestingly, several other solons, including one we’ll call “Vito,” are decidedly in favor of the restaurant getting a liquor license. Traditionally, it’s SOP for solons to defer to the wishes of an area’s representative on such hyper local neighborhood issues. But not in this case. With few exceptions, the diligent area solon — after saying he will 100% support the wishes of the neighbors — finds himself feeling like Custer at Little Big Horn. There are cries from his colleagues of “have a drink and relax. This family ain’t hurtin’ those whiny neighbors.”

A few months later – surprise, surprise – the local solon unexpectedly finds himself with an opponent (let’s call him Butch) for reelection in that fall’s election. Nothing to see here, of course, except for the fact that the incumbent’s opponent is openly supported by the family seeking the liquor license. One day, while having brewskies following a game at the local Little League diamond,Vito also encourages Butch to run. “There might be some nice little envelopes in it for ya,” Vito suggests.

Who knows. Maybe the moral of our little story is that spreading around thousands of undeclared Franklins, Hamiltons, Lincolns and Washingtons can be a good way to get powerful interests to see things your way. Wink. Wink.

Let’s also say that it usually never fails that those facing very serious Federal charges, and the potential for long jail sentences, often have their attorney seek leniency by telling law enforcement things to help them hook even bigger fish.

Sleep well on that last point, local politicos. And, of course, maybe former local politicos.

Until then, though …

I’ll finish this tale after I have a chicken kabob dinner, with feta and onions, and well-done steak fries.

Thanks to you, 1 year later, EOP blog is still standing

16 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

eyeResarch shows that the average lifespan of your average citizen blog is less than three months, and many burnout in the first couple of weeks. That’s why I’m proud to come to you today bragging about the “longevity” of Eye on Peabody.

Today marks our First Anniversary. Exactly one year ago today, I launched with this post.   Twelve months later, and following two city elections and special elections for State Senate, State Rep, and US Senate, we’re still standing while keeping you informed on the issues that matter most for our hometown of Peabody, MA.

We had a little bit of a sabbatical while I ran recently for Ward 5 Councilor, but our visitor statistics have bounced back up the past two weeks as we’ve gotten back into keeping you informed. Since our debut on Nov. 16th, 2012, we’ve had more than 62,000 page views, and more than 15,000 unique visitors. What that means is that more than 15K different people have viewed at least one page of EOP the past 12 months.

Thank you for visiting and reading. Considering that life happens, it’s not always easy to keep content coming your way, but I’ve enjoyed bringing you each and every post, and I’m committed to keeping it going.

So just for fun, here are some other details I’ll share.

What was our busiest day for visits? 

That would be Nov. 29, 2012 when we announced the tragic  passing of State Rep. Joyce Spilliotis. In tribute to our friend Joyce, more than 900 people read our coverage that day, including 600 who read this post, and many who left comments in tribute.

What was my favorite post of the year?

It was one that also made me feel great, and I published it on the night these kids came to my door.

Of course, there are several other posts I’m proud of, but to choose between them would be like asking me which are my favorite children. So, I invite you to visit our archives and let me know which were your favorites.

Here’s to the start of another great year!

A message from the publisher

22 Mar

Dear readers,

It has been a busy month for me with work travel, and the process of beginning my campaign for Ward 5 City Councilor, so I apologize for not posting very often lately.

As my campaign goes into high gear, it’s likely I will be posting less frequently, but I will also try to keep up with it the best that I can. Since starting this blog back in November, we’ve had almost 50,000 site visits, and I’m honored that so many people have found the content here interesting enough to visit.

Going forward my goal is to continue to bring you the best in hometown news and commentary. I just might not be able to post as often because of my personal time constraints.

But with that I’d like to offer all of our readers the opportunity to write and post as well. If you are a candidate who would like to get your message out, please feel free to submit a candidate statement.

But you do not have to be a candidate. I will consider submissions from everyone. All you need to do is email me at racroce@comcast.net, and I’ll consider it for publication. The only thing I can’t do in the main content area is use anonymously written content.

Thanks again for reading.


Bob Croce, Publisher, Eye On Peabody

Peabody joins state program to help bring dilapidated homes up to code, and ensure safety

3 Jan

By Eye on Peabody
Responding to safety concerns about abandoned and dilapidated homes in some Peabody neighborhoods, Mayor Ted Bettencourt this week announced that the city would participate in the Abandoned Housing Initiative, sponsored by the Mass. Attorney General’s office.

The idea of the program is to help bring these neglected properties up to code. The Attorney General’s Abandoned Housing Initiative assigns blighted properties to court-appointed third party receivers. Those receivers assume full responsibility for bringing the property into compliance with state and city building code regulations.

Here are some of the details from a press release issued through the mayor’s office:

To join the program, the mayor directed the city’s Code Enforcement division to create an inventory of problem properties within the city.  Problem properties include those which have fallen into disrepair and for which there has been no response from the owner of record when the city sought repairs.  The city submitted a total of 12 properties to the AGO for possible inclusion in the program.

After conducting a title search on each property, the Attorney General’s office typically provides notice to all parties who may have an interest in title as to the conditions of their property and allows them to make the necessary repairs to avoid a receivership action.  If the parties in interest are unable/unwilling to make the necessary repairs at the property, the AG will petition the appropriate court to enforce the state sanitary code and for appointment of a receiver.

Benvenuti, benvenido, bemvindos, bienvenue, fáilte, and … welcome

16 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

They’ve come. They’ve gone. They’ve informed, enlightened, and even made people cringe. They’ve gone by different monikers. From a guy named Fred, to the Patriot, to Twisted Tanner, and just plain old “Keith.”

The Peabody blogosphere has been up, down, and all around. And now, a new player emerges.

Welcome to my world. Won’t you come on in?

I’ve been a keen observer of past blogs and bloggers here in Peabody, and I have to say that I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly along the way. But in my opinion, the one major missing element has always been a lack of accountability.

Although some of these bloggers past have certainly been entertaining, they haven’t exactly been forthcoming. Well, ladies, gentlemen, and kids of all ages, I’m here to tell you that it’s time throw away all of the masks.

Past bloggers, for reasons known to them only, have created these forums anonymously. In doing so they’ve created some colorful characters and alternative personalities.

But all of that is over. It’s through. I’m the guy behind the keyboard. I’m the one accountable for everything that’s written here, and I hope it’s something that lends more credibility to what I feel could be a very useful and effective forum of ideas, commentary, and … entertainment.

We definitely want to inform with this new blog venture. But come on, folks, let’s also not take ourselves too seriously.

I’m not Fred or the Patriot or the Tanner, or even the Outfront Guy. Welcome to the new Peabody blogosphere, where transparency rules.

Of course, you can still feel free to be anonymous, so let the characters return to post comments that I’m sure will be informative, make you think, and be zany all at the same time.

Welcome to my world. Let me know how I’m doing. Wake the neighbors. Tell the kids.

There’s new blog sheriff in town.