EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 7, 2013

Editorial: Some cheers, some jeers for recent newsmakers

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — CHEERS to Paige Welch, a Hampstead student who excels at tennis despite having lost part of an arm in a boating accident.

Paige, 17, a Pinkerton Academy student, received the coach’s award in tennis for her determination and effort. Coach Gerry Rosado said Paige is the hardest working player on the team.

“If even half of my players had the work effort that she had, we’d win the state championship every year,” Rosado told reporter Alex Lippa.

Paige was kayaking in Trinidad with her mother, Racquel, and her cousin Lance Aqui in August 2009. A motor boat driven by an impaired driver struck their kayak. Mother and cousin were seriously injured but Paige’s injuries were the worst. Her left arm had been severed and she lost a significant amount of blood.

Paige spent a month in Children’s Hospital in Boston then several months more at home recuperating. She has had to learn new ways to do many things.

“After a couple weeks in the hospital, I was able to tie my shoe,” Paige said. “I had learned how to do things differently.”

Paige is naturally right-handed and had played tennis previously, so she thought she’d give the sport a try. Her mother knew she would do fine.

“Even before the accident, she was very ambitious and strong willed,” Welch said. “I knew that no matter how long it took, she would figure out a way to do what she wanted to. If it was football, I might have had a different story.”

Paige plans to study Spanish and Arabic in college. She is applying to Dartmouth, Northeastern and Georgetown. Her courage and determination will serve her well in college and life beyond.

We wish her the best.

CHEERS to Tyler Kimball of Haverhill for caring enough about his city to run a sticker campaign for mayor. No sitting mayor, however successful or popular, should waltz back into office unchallenged. When no opponent emerged to challenge Mayor James Fiorentini, Kimball, a Haverhill firefighter and farmer, launched his write-in campaign.

Kimball was ultimately unsuccessful; sticker candidates have a host of obstacles to overcome. But Kimball wants to keep his hand in city politics and has a number of ideas he thinks would benefit the community. Some of these have more merit than others.

One of Kimball’s idea is that Haverhill could make money trapping and selling eels from the Merrimack River. Eel fanciers pay upwards of $3 per pound for their meat, which could yield the city $2,000 a day, Kimball said.

While that might be a viable venture for a private entrepreneur, we’re pretty sure a public entity such as the city should steer clear of the eel trade. Imagine the red tape and bureaucracy that would be necessary, perhaps even requiring the appointment of an “Eel Czar” to oversee it all.

But Kimball is spot on with his campaign call for the city’s children to learn more about agriculture. It’s important for kids to learn where their food comes from and what goes into producing it. Kimball delivered 2,400 pumpkins from his family farm to city schools, in the hope that children would take them home, cook them in pies or breads, and preserve the seeds for next season.

Kimball said he plans to run again for mayor in two years, this time with his name on the ballot.

He is welcome to do so. In politics, it’s the more the merrier.