CHEERS to the kids of St. Joseph School of Haverhill’s All Saints Parish and their principal, Carol Simone. First the kids. They were challenged to raise $100 or more in two weeks for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of the Rev. Dennis Nason, pastor of All Saints Pastor, who died of cancer in 2010 at age 71. The kids outdid themselves — collecting $909 in their homerooms. Then it was Principal Simone’s turn to deliver on her end of the bargain. She had promised to kiss a pig, and she did, if with a grimace. It wasn’t just any old pig, however. It was a Vietnamese potbellied pig named Kim, the pet of a teacher at the school. Both the principal and the pig wore green in honor of the occasion, St. Patrick’s Day. It was great fun, of course, but the kids also got a valuable lesson in generosity in aid of others.
JEERS to William Lantigua, the former mayor of Lawrence, who is clinging (bitterly?) to one last vestige of his four years in office — his Massachusetts vanity license plate, “MAYOR.” Let him have it; it’s a few more bucks in state coffers each year from a man who was known as a slow and reluctant payer when it came to things like campaign finance fines. The irony, of course, is that if Lantigua had demonstrated a lot less vanity and a little more humility in office, he might have kept not only the plate but also his other perks. In the end, we think, his former constituents are getting the better of the bargain.
CHEERS to state Rep. Michael Costello, who demonstrated a lot more class in office and in announcing his exit from the political stage. Costello, a Newburyport Democrat, has represented the 1st Essex District — encompassing Newburyport, Amesbury and Salisbury — for 12 years. He officially announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election when his term expires at the end of this year. “Harsh realities hit you after 12 years, with a couple young children entering high school and staring down the barrel of college tuitions,” he said. “I had to sit back and make decisions with my family as to ‘Hey, what’s the next chapter in life?’”