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Author Archives: baldbil

A Veteran Speaks of Dismay, Agony, And Living

Dying Is Easy, It’s The Living That’s Hard By One Representing Many It sits on the coffee table just waiting for me to use it. Black, cold steel, compact and efficient, it is clean, oiled, and ready to serve  its one purpose. A small box sits alongside holding the second part of this simple and very personal equation. I sit on my small couch taking long pulls from a 42-ounce bottle of Milwaukee’s Best Ice, a very cheap bottle of “premium” beer that features a high alcohol content. It has been fortified by two nips of Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka which ...

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Election Eve Thoughts – We Are Better Than This

Despite Differences We Must Be One Salem By William Legault   Tomorrow we go to the polls. This has been an fascinating, contentious, and frequently ugly political year. 20 candidates all stood on the ballot during the September preliminary election. Initially we had five announced mayoral hopefuls. Two of them never actually followed through by turning in nomination papers. One tried, but started too late and was, in his own words, “caught off guard by this sanctuary city thing.” Another one initially pulled nomination papers to run in a ward councillor race, but then had a change of heart. So ...

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A Question For The Ward 6 City Council Candidates

Two Candidates – One Question     The question we presented was; “Traffic on the North Street overpass has become a regular bottleneck both entering and leaving the City. Do you have any ideas on how to address the problem over the long term?” Nadine Natasi-Hanscom –  Smart Growth And  Independent Traffic Studies As a former member of the Salem Planning Board, I can tell you that there is no quick fix to this problem. Salem needs to have a comprehensive traffic study. While Salem has had many traffic studies done, they have all been funded by developers for their ...

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A Question For The Ward 5 City Council Candidates

Two Candidates – One Question   The question that we asked was: “With the Canal Street project including the flood mitigation due to wrap up next year, what do you see as the next major improvement to be addressed in Ward 5?” Polly Wilbert – We Need A Comprehensive Ward Assessment Project/Plan The next big project in Ward 5 will not be what it should be:  a comprehensive assessment of the ward and a block-by-block plan for undertaking long neglected city maintenance.  While we have had replacement of some sidewalks and paving of streets, what we need is a transparent, ...

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A Different Parents Perspective on Salem Schools – Rebuttal

This rebuttal was submitted in response to a Salem Muckraker view on the schools posted last week supporting Mayor Driscoll’s stewardship the Salem Schools System. Turnover Of Teachers, Principals And Plans A Problem By Lisa Anglin Our children’s education should be the number one priority in this city but it is not.
 As a parent of two children who were students in the Salem Public School system, I would like to address some very serious issues that I dealt with over the years. 
Both of my children received individualized education plans (IEPs) from kindergarten through high school. IEPs insure that children ...

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SCHOOL COMMITTEE PART 2 – Questions For Candidates

Campbell and Cruz Answer Our School Question   Today we feature the answers to our Salem schools question as provided by School Committee candidates Amanda Campbell and Manny Cruz.  There are four challengers for the three open seats.  We posted the answers provided by Ana Nuncio and Andrea French on Monday. The question is. “Salem currently has multiple charter schools, including one that is not within the Salem Schools System.  Is this the right way to use funding for our children, or is there ar better way to create opportunities for our students?”   Amanda Campbell – Per Pupil Spending, ...

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SCHOOL COMMITTEE – Questions For Candidates

Nuncio and French Answer Our Schools Question Today and tomorrow we feature the answers that the four candidates for Salem School Committee provided to our question. There are four challengers for three open seats. No incumbents are running.  Ana Nuncio and Andrea French are featured today.  Tomorrow we will feature Manny Cruz and Amanda Campbell. The question is. “Salem currently has multiple charter schools, including one that is not with the Salem School System. Is this the right way to use funding for our children, or is there a better way to create opportunities for our students?”   Ana Nuncio ...

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Two Parents In Defense of Salem Schools

Our Schools Are Innovative, Engaged, and Personally Invested In Our Children By Jen and Chris Bednar   While in an election year it may be more fashionable to point to one’s dissatisfactions rather than those things which one finds commendable, we would like to take a moment to express how fortunate we feel that two (soon to be three) of our children have the opportunity to participate in the Salem Public School system. When we first moved to Salem, we heard a lot about the “poor performance” and “disorganization” of an ostensibly “failing” school district. Our concerns ran deep, but ...

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A Question For The Ward 3 City Council Candidates

Two Candidates – One Question Lovely and Peterson On The Commercial/Residential Balance PHOTO – Aerial view of Salem Hospital and Highland Avenue c. 1920   We asked both of the Ward 3 City Council candidates that the same question.  It is is greatly appreciated that both incumbent Stephen Lovely and challenger Lisa Peterson agreed to answer us. The question is. “Ward 3 features quite a bit of commercial properties, especially along Highland Avenue and parts of Boston Street and Jefferson Avenue.  Mixed in are lots of residential areas that are impacted daily  by traffic and other residual effects that result ...

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A Tale Of Sailor Bill In the Moonlight

  The Pale Skinny Moons Of Sailor Bill A Salem legend Endures By S. D. Legend Photo credit: Jim McAllister Not so long ago, in a Salem only the old-timers remember, our downtown streets were inhabited by a few very colorful characters. One of them was an entertaining fellow who was known by a few monikers. His most well known name was probably Sailor Bill, but to many he was known also as SeaBee, or simply as Red. My memories put him somewhere around 60-years old in the late 1970’s. His beard and hair were a mix of bright reddish-orange and ...

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