EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

October 7, 2012

Don't Print That

‘I feel a little like Clint Eastwood that we’re going to be debating an empty chair.’

Republican Richard Tisei, after Congressman John Tierney, D-Salem, running for re-election in the 6th Congressional district, did not show up for a recent TV debate, while other challengers did. Producers of the show placed a microphone on what would have been Tierney’s seat. Tisei was referring to Eastwood’s appearance at the Republican National Convention, during which he “debated’’ President Obama without the president there.

Like pulling teeth

Salem School Board members spoke about the possibility of closing the Haigh School and redistricting at their meeting Thursday after receiving a report saying the district is seeing declining student enrollment.

Board members, including Bernard Campbell, agreed redistricting could be a difficult issue for residents.

“No one likes redistricting,” he said. “It’s like going to the dentist to get teeth pulled.”

A tough crowd

“There are a lot of Italians here, and a lot of Sicilians who think they’re Italians,” Joe Bevilacqua said poking the audience of a Columbus Day roast in Methuen Friday.

Bevilacqua is chairman of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce and a Haverhill School Committee member. After the chuckles and grousing died down, he noted that he has heritage from both Italians and Sicilians.

Another verbal barb

North Andover Town Moderator Mark DiSalvo was also at the Methuen Columbus Day roast, and did a little teasing himself.

He joked about Methuen Mayor Stephen Zanni moving from Lawrence to Methuen years ago.

“I told Steve that you can’t be mayor of Lawrence or a representative in this district, and I’m the Italian-American in North Andover,’’ DiSalvo said.

“He said, ‘Well, then I’ll have to move to Methuen.’’’

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