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April 20, 2013

Talk of the Times: Knowing the social host law

With school prom and graduation seasons approaching, so, too, is what has often become the teen party and celebration season.

And in keeping with their fight against rampant underage drinking, the Healthy Gloucester Collaborative, Gloucester Police Department, Gloucester Licensing Board and the Gloucester Council on Aging are planning a special forum for next Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Rose Baker Senior Center.

But the focus of this event won’t be geared toward teenagers, it will be aimed at their parents and others who might think it’s OK or even cool to allow kids to drink in your home.

Titled “Party’s At Your House,” the forum will spotlight Massachusetts’ social host law, which allows parents or other underage drinking party hosts to be charged criminally or to be held civilly liable for accidents or other teen actions that are seen as due to teens’ drinking in a hosts’s home.

The forum will feature Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, who has long been active in pushing for use of the social hoast law, and Attorney Richard P. Campbell.

Blodgett and Campbell have worked together to develop programs such as “Be a Parent, Not a Pal” in an effort to raise the awareness of parents, students, and educators about the social host law across the state. The forum is free and open to the public.

Remembering Mary

The late Mary (Calomo) D’Amico made a huge impact in her lifetime in Gloucester, which became clear at her funeral on Patriot’s Day Monday when family and friends filled St. Ann Church.

The Rev. John Kiley told the crowd that he was struck by the turnout, which reminded him of something once told to him that clearly was not the case with D’Amico. He said someone once told him that if you wanted a large funeral you had to die young.

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