Thursday, September 10, 2009

9/11, Health Care, Regional Mayor's Presentations, Wenham Museum, Lawrence History Center

Friday, September 11, 2009

Today is the Eighth Anniversary of the Terrorist Attack in New York

For those that lost family and friends in the tragic attack on the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001 will forever commemorate this day as a day of remembrance and of mourning. May we always remember the losses suffered that day and forever remain vigilant to guard against similar actions in the future.

President Obama’s Call for Progress and Civility in the Health Care Debate

On Wednesday evening the President of the United States presented a passionate speech regarding his health care plan to a joint session of Congress. In his presentation he called for an end to bickering and made a call for a higher level of civility as the plan moves towards a final determination. One can only hope that those that represent all of us in Washington will heed that call, and continue these negotiation that can mean so much to so many Americans with a new sense of purpose and with an eye towards a debate that allows all points of view to be heard in a civil tone.

North Shore Chamber of Commerce Regional Leaders Breakfast

On Wednesday morning the North Shore Chamber of Commerce held their annual Regional Leadership breakfast with municipal CEO’s from this region. In attendance and presenting at the meeting were Mayor’s from Amesbury, Beverly, Gloucester, Lynn, Newburyport, Salem and the Town Manager from Danvers. The general theme of the meeting was upbeat even though economic conditions for local municipalities continue to be difficult. Cuts in State funding have been painful, and every one of the communities has had to make difficult cuts either in staffing or services, or both to balance the budgets of their communities. There was an underlying theme that was repeated time and again, and that is the need for more projects that rely on regional cooperation. It was also pointed out that in most cases the “devil is in the details” when it comes to regional cooperation. These municipal officials all agreed that on paper the regional ideas all seem to make wonderful sense, but when the task of implementing the activity sometime petty problems and staffing issues mar the process.

There were several specific issues raised during the meeting. The need to gain regional support by the sixteen communities that will make up the new merged Regional Technical High School that will be built in Danvers was foremost in the minds of many. Danvers Town Manager Marquis was praised for his leadership on this matter as was the North Shore Chamber of Commerce for their leadership and support, and it is anticipated that other communities follow the lead of Danvers and approve the merger as soon as possible. It should be noted that Essex Heritage was also one of the first regional organizations to offer an endorsement of the region Technical School concept.

The Mayor of Gloucester urged local business leaders to be aware of the infrastructure that supports the local communities. She pointed to that City’s recent water problem as an example of what can happen when aging facilities fail. She noted that across the entire region it will important in the future to consider facility upgrades. Salem’s Mayor Driscoll called on the business leaders in the region to help bring about changes in current laws that in many ways handcuff municipalities as they seek to make changes in the way municipal business is conducted that might adjust the control that the municipal unions have over that process.

Wenham Museum’s Annual Market Days

On Saturday, September 12, 2009, the Wenham Museum will once again host the 27th version of Market Days. This wonderful community event that takes over Wenham Center began in the early 1970’s and has grown over that time to the popular event that it has become today. On Saturday one can experience an end of summer arts and crafts fair that will feature over 50 exhibitors and when that feature of the fair is coupled with entertainment and a farmers market it makes for a special New England tradition. The event will run from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and the Wenham Museum will be the center piece of the event. Let’s hope that the weather cooperates and the crowds are large and enthusiastic. Wenham Museum is one of the many wonderful partners of the Essex Heritage National Commission and over the past decade they have hosted many wonderful events for us at that facility.

Lawrence History Center-Immigrant City Archives

On September 15, 2009 a new United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Center will officially open in Lawrence. On that day, the Lawrence History Center will be hosting the first ever Naturalization ceremony in Lawrence on that site and 16 new American citizens will be sworn in at that time. In addition to the “swearing in” ceremony, the founder and first director of the Lawrence History Center, Eartha Dengler will be honored by the Federal Government and will receive the Outstanding American Choice Award that day. This is a most prestigious award that has been granted in the past to Nobel Prize Winners, Fortune 500 CEO’s, Astronauts and Cabinet Officers. The award will be presented by Federal District Judge, Nancy Gertner and an audio message from President Obama will be presented. Congratulations to former Director, Dengler and to the Lawrence History Center.

As always we encourage your questions, comments and observations. I can be reached at or as 978 740 0444. Tom Leonard, President Emeritus.

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