EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 11, 2012

Editorial: Some cheers, some jeers for recent newsmakers

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — CHEERS to those who participate in the annual “Walk for Hunger.” Your effort enabled Project Bread, the state’s leading anti-hunger organization, to award $226,650 in grants to emergency food programs in the northeastern part of the state, including the Bread and Roses Soup Kitchen in Lawrence. The funds were raised by the 44th annual Walk for Hunger.

The grants support programs such as food pantries, schools, farms, food banks, food salvage programs, and other community organizations providing hunger relief. More than 43,000 supporters walked to raise money to help the hungry. More than 430 food programs received grants in 125 communities across the state. Other regional organizations receiving grants include Our Neighbor’s Table in Amesbury, Beverly Bootstraps Community Services and Open Pantry of Greater Lowell.

The efforts of walkers and donors to Project Bread are making a difference by providing food to those in need right here in our communities. Well done to all involved.

JEERS to those who would turn our cemeteries into drug dens. Cemeteries are meant to peaceful places of repose for the dead, places where the bereaved may spend time with the memories of their departed loved ones. Sadly, they are becoming all-too-convenient locations for drug users to get their fix.

Lawrence police Officer Chad R. Lawlor was assigned to the Special Operations Division recently when he noticed a Ford pickup truck with a bent New Hampshire license tag, dangling by just a screw, leave the parking lot of the CVS on Broadway. The officer said he also observed the driver holding a hypodermic needle in his left hand as he was holding the steering wheel. Lawlor and Detective David Moynihan followed the truck in their unmarked cruiser down Haverhill Street and then into St. Mary’s Cemetery on Barker Street.

After arresting the two men in the truck, police say they found several needles on the seat of the pickup truck. They also seized several empty baggies with what they believed had heroin residue in them.

Crime is everywhere, even in public places meant for peace and contemplation. Well done, Lawrence Police, on the arrest.

CHEERS to parents and alumni of St. Michael School in North Andover, who chipped in to fund a new fine arts center at the parochial school.

Storage space in the basement was converted to two new classrooms, one for art, the other for music instruction. Parents, alumni and other supporters of the parochial school provided most of the $440,000 cost, Principal Susan Gosselin told reporter Paul Tennant.

Students “will learn a lot more” in a more “professional” environment, she said.

The school formally dedicated the center recently, with the Rev. John Delaney, former pastor of St. Michael Church, blessing the classrooms with holy water.

“God is good,” Delaney said, and the parish and school community provided the money to make it all happen. “Family support and strong faith,” he said, were the assets that made the effort succeed.

Two grants of $2,000 each, from the Pringle Foundation and the Catherine McCarthy Trust, helped pay for the fine arts center, Gosselin said. The rest of the $440,000 needed came from parents and other benefactors who believe in Catholic education, she said.

“It’s incredible,” Tara Kelly, a St. Michael School Board member who led the fundraising effort, told Tennant. “We are fortunate to have a school community that believes in the arts and is incredibly generous.”

Congratulations to all on a job well done.