Tom Duggan’s June 2014 Notebook


The Eagle Tribune is having really hard times these days. Last month they started charging their readers to access their news stories online, for somewhere in the neighborhood of $215 a year.

When I was first told, I thought it was a joke. After all, who would pay money to read yesterday’s Valley Patriot stories you can get for free on our Facebook page and on

But it gets better. Not only are they charging the few readers they have left to read their outdated material online, they are also charging their reporters and their staff. I couldn’t make that up if I tried. One Lawrence reporter told me that after he writes his story at work, if they don’t post it online right away, he can’t read it when he goes home.

Why does the Eagle Tribune’s parent company in Alabama (they are owned by a teacher’s union) need all this money all of a sudden?

Well, they have to fund junkets for their management team. Like the big trips they took via private jet to Massachusetts for the World Series. Someone had to pay for the high priced Boston hotel they stayed at, the five star restaurants they dined at, and the extra amenities that were part of the three day trip.

Mind you they had just laid off a ton of people just a few weeks before. In a way, you have to feel bad for the people who have been loyal to the Eagle Tribune over the years. It’s bad enough that they cut everyone’s hours, forced furloughs, and took away benefits, but on top of that they are squeezing every dime out of their employees as they can by making them pay for an online subscription to their own stories.

What the hell, their staff are a built in reader base, one of their few reader demographics left. And from my calculations that reader base is getting smaller and smaller.

BUT FEAR NOT my friends who are unfortunate enough to be working at the Eagle Tribune these days. Here’s a little tip. The Eagle Tribune’s parent company is so incompetent that they forgot to set up an on line access fee for mobile aps. And from what I hear most of the Eagle Tribune readers access their material on their mobile phones. Geniuses!

ANDOVER — Salim Tabit, a founding partner in the law firm Broadhurst Tabit LLP in Methuen, was recently named to the Salvation Army USA-Lawrence Advisory Board.

“The Salvation Army is an organization with a long and unparalleled history of community service, and I look forward to playing whatever small part I can to continue that commitment to service,” said Tabit.

The Salvation Army has been delivering services to the less fortunate in Massachusetts for more than 125 years. Some of the services offered by the Lawrence branch include senior programs, food and meal programs, rent and utility bill assistance, housing assistance, disaster assistance, and help with gifts and food during the holidays.

Tabit lives in Andover with his wife Dr. Jean Tabit, and their two daughters.

READING – AUSTIN PREP. – Teens make third-quarter honor roll

The following students have made the third-quarter honor roll at Austin Preparatory School in Reading: Dracut – Distinction: Kristen Behrakis, Alexis Nichols. Honors: Rebecca Lowe, Austin Nichols. Haverhill – Honors: Alexander Gilmore, Elijah Harris. Lawrence – Honors: Gabriela Acevedo, Nicole Bautista, Gabriela Duran, Alejandro Gonzalez, Emilyna Meas, Tuong Thai, Justin Tylus. Lowell – Honors: Hannah Farley, Julia Fraser. Methuen – Honors: Zachary Beeley, Adriana Farias, Catherine Flagg. North Andover – Distinction: Christopher Applegate YuJin Jeong. Honors: Elizabeth Boucher, Haley Norris, Jacob Norris, Molly O’Leary, Avani Patel, Shuruthe Raju, Madison Rieumont, Melissa Saindon, Anna Schiff, Jakob Wise, Maya Worden, Olivia Zdrojewski.

NECC Selfless Act Earns Tewksbury’s Cabral the NECC Outstanding Alumni Award

Somewhere, there is a woman recovering from life threatening aplastic anemia thanks to the bone marrow of Northern Essex Community College alumnus and baseball standout Manny Cabral of Tewksbury. His selfless act was acknowledged recently when he received the NECC Outstanding Alumni Award during the 52nd commencement ceremony.

The award is given annually to recognize a Northern Essex graduate who has achieved success in his or her career, is active in the community, and has given back to the college.

Cabral, was captain of the NECC Knights baseball team which he helped lead to state and regional championships as well as a trip to National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division World Series in Texas. While at NECC he was a Rawlings Gold Glove winner and was named the Division III Defensive Player of the Year.

A 2012 graduate, he was offered a Division I scholarship to Texas Southern University. The summer before he transferred to TSU he was notified that he was a possible bone marrow donor. It was later confirmed and over his 2012 holiday break he underwent a surgical procedure to remove bone marrow. The bone marrow transplant was a success.

During the summer of 2013 he played Futures Collegiate League Baseball (FCLB) for the Nashua Silver Knights Coach BJ Neverett. He had such a positive experience he decided to transfer to Daniel Webster College where Neverett is coach.

In presenting the award to Cabral, NECC Alumna and chairperson of the NECC Alumni Association, Susan Bonefant, said, “Beyond his strong athletic drive, this year’s recipient demonstrates a remarkable spirit of selfless compassion… He is the kind of person who serves as a constant inspiration and makes us all strive to lead by example.”

For additional information contact Lindsey Mayo, director of NECC Alumni Relations at 978-556-3621 or

NORTH ANDOVER North Andover Resident Rides to End Alzheimer’s

Watertown, MA (Date) – Richard Mcllveen of North Andover, will bike 100 miles in the 2014 Ride to End Alzheimer’s Saturday, July 12. Beginning and ending in Fort Devens, MA the Ride provides a 2-mile family ride, 30-mile, 62-mile and 100-mile route reaching all the way from Western Massachusetts to Southern New Hampshire.

The Ride to End Alzheimer’s grew from a small, family-inspired event, formerly called Memory Ride to a cycling challenge attracting riders throughout New England and beyond. The event raises awareness and funds to support the Alzheimer’s Association’s research of treatments and eventually a cure for Alzheimer’s.

“Over the past 18 years, Ride to End Alzheimer’s has raised more than $3 million to fund critical Alzheimer’s research through the Alzheimer’s Association’s research grants program,” said James Wessler, CEO and President of the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire chapter. “We are grateful for the dedication of Richard, and all of those participating in the Ride for their commitment to finding a cure and raising awareness.”

The Alzheimer’s Association, with headquarters in Watertown, has regional offices in Springfield, Raynham, and Worcester, MA and Bedford and Lebanon, NH. The Alzheimer Association provides services and programs for those with Alzheimer’s, family and professional caregivers in the form of support groups, a 24/7 Helpline, care consultation, advocacy efforts, research funding and education programs.

IRS Accepting Applications for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Grants

Boston…The Internal Revenue Service today announced the opening of the 2015 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) grant application process.

The LITC grant program is a federal program administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS, led by National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson. The LITC program awards matching grants of up to $100,000 per year to qualifying organizations to develop, expand or maintain a low-income taxpayer clinic. The LITC program funds organizations to represent, advocate, and educate low income individuals who have a tax dispute with the IRS (i.e., a “controversy clinic”) and taxpayers who speak English as a second language (an “ESL clinic”). Although LITCs receive partial funding from the IRS, LITCs, their employees and their volunteers operate independently from the IRS. Examples of qualifying organizations include:

¨ Clinical programs at accredited law, business or accounting schools whose students represent low income taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS; and

¨ Organizations exempt from tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(a) that represent low income taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS or refer those taxpayers to qualified representatives, or that provide outreach and education for ESL taxpayers.

Three local organizations received grants this year and are currently running clinics. The Massachusetts Low Income Taxpayer Clinics are:

¨ Bentley College, Waltham, MA

¨ Greater Boston Legal Services, Inc., Boston, MA

¨ Springfield Partners for Community Action, Inc., Springfield, MA

Copies of the 2015 Grant Application Package and Guidelines, IRS Publication 3319, can be downloaded from or ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

The IRS is authorized to award a multi-year grant not to exceed three years. For a new clinic or a clinic applying for the first year of a three-year grant, the clinic must submit the application electronically at For an existing clinic requesting funding for the second or third year of a multi-year grant, the clinic must submit the application electronically All applicants must use the funding number of TREAS-GRANTS-052015-001 and applications must be submitted electronically by June 20, 2014.

Questions about the LITC Program or grant application process can be addressed to the LITC Program Office at 202-317-4700 (not a toll-free call) or by email at

More information about LITCs and the work they do to represent, educate, and advocate on behalf of low income taxpayers and a listing of 2014 funded programs is available in IRS Publication 5066, the LITC Program Report.


The Oliver Middle School Chess Club is pleased to recognize Esvin Ruiz at the Most Outstanding Chess Player. Diogene Pachano earned Most Improved Player honors and Alejandro Gonzalez was named Player of Distinguished Merit for the 2013 – 2014 academic year.

Kenneth Taveras was recognized with the prestigious Estephannie Estevez Memorial Blue & White Award for exemplary attitude, outstanding effort and unsurpassed support to the Chess Club during the 2013 – 2014 academic year.

Ms. Estevez served previously as the Lawrence High School Chess Club president and was very instrumental in the formation and success of the Chess Club at LHS. As a result, the Blue & White award is named in her honor. Ms. Estephannie Estevez attended the Arlington School and graduated from Lawrence High School and the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester.

The Oliver Middle School Chess Club is supported in part by a grant from the Lawrence Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, as well as Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, The Smeltzer Family, MFA LLP, Mr. James Coleman, The ACE Group, Div. 8 Ancient Order of Hibernians, Leadership Solutions, Lawrence Fire Fighters Local 146, The White Fund, Inc., Hayes Tavern and Margaret O’Connor, Realtor. Ms. Maureen Santiago serves as the faculty advisor for the chess club.