Final Weekend of Trails and Sails a Success
The final weekend of the 2009 edition of Trails and Sails is finished. The event this year was blessed with 5 of the 6 days with very pleasant weather, and that fact added to the crowds that came to enjoy the events and the region. It is still a bit too early for us to report on final numbers, but all of the information that is in presently in hand points to a most successful event. We experienced over 1600 electronic registrants and anecdotal evidence indicates that attendance was up all over the region. There were multiple events that drew over one hundred participants and that in itself is something we had never experienced in the past. This year we made a conscious effort to produce more events and less paper. There were still some who were disappointed that we did not have a brochure to hand out, and we are exploring additional alternative to improve that process in the time ahead. Two of the busiest events were the “Making Hay while the Sun Shined” haystack building event on the marsh in Newbury developed by the Newbury 375 Anniversary Committee and a concert by Essex Harmony and a garden tour of Glen Magna Farms offered by the Danvers Historical Society. Both of these events drew large numbers of participants and were well received by those in attendance.
Several Regional Transportation Issues
In various newspaper reports, editorials and radio and TV reports I have heard of several transportation issues that will impact this region. The first two are associated with bridge repairs and one is very local and the other could impact fall travel to Cape Cod. Ii has been reported that the repair work on the Tobin Bridge that connects many of us from this region with the City of Boston is just about complete. That is good news for “In Town” commuters as with the repaving work on that span just about complete the morning and evening trip from Essex County to Boston will certainly be less stressful. The second bridge update is a little more distant, but with travel around the state so important and prevalent, the repairs to one of the two bridges that carry traffic on and off the cape is undergoing major repairs. Those repairs have closed one half of the lanes on the Sagamore Bridge, and will certainly slow your commute to and from Cape Cod if that were to be a destination for any of you this fall. There are some exceptions to the lane closures on the upcoming holiday weekend, but for the most part expect delays on that span.
Additional transportation information just recently released, contained both good and bad news for this region. A plan to expand rail service between Haverhill and Andover was announced and the building of a second rail in that area is great news for that part of the region. The second release from the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization recommends dropping several key regional transportation projects that are essential to this region. The recent release calls for curtailing both the Blue Line extension from Boston to Lynn and the widening of Route 128 from Peabody to Beverly. Both of those projects are critical to the economic success of this region and the political and business leadership of this region must rally collectively to overturn these two key decisions. The two transportation projects in question are essential and we must work together to get them “back on track”.
Visit to New York
As I noted in a recent entry to this musing, over this past weekend, I was part of a group from the Danvers Senior Center that traveled to New York for a Red Sox vs. Yankee baseball game. I am pleased to report that although the “Home Town Team” lost the game I viewed, and in fact lost all three games played in New York, the trip and the visit to the new stadium was a treat. The new Yankee Stadium has a Gillette Stadium feel to it, as even in the congestion of the Borough of Queens, the stadium is spacious, clean and welcoming. The concourses are wide and offer a vast array of wares and food for sale, the seats are sized properly and are comfortable and there is more than adequate leg room in the seating areas. The staff on duty at the stadium is courteous and helpful, and it was a most pleasant place to visit. There is a main entrance hall that is spectacular and should not be missed if any of you are planning a visit in the future. The seating capacity is lower than in the old stadium and the seats we had were about as high as one can be and still have a view, but the view was unobstructed. I am glad there was no jet plane flyover while we were there, as up where we were, we would have been ducking as the planes passed over. As several of my fellow travelers stated we were “just a few rows from heaven”.
One Sad Note to Report
As you may or not know, I have had a long and fruitful association with St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers. I have had a personal connection with the school that began in the late 1940’s and continues today. This morning I received some very sad news as I learned that a long time friend and associate at the school had passed away in his sleep. Brother William Drinan C.F.X., Headmaster Emeritus and the 14th Headmaster of St John’s from 1980 to 2001 was a most spiritual man and a resourceful leader during his many years serving as an educator both at the “Prep” and at other institutions. His term as headmaster paralleled the time that I spent on the Board of Trustees at the Prep and during that time I came to recognize his special talents to lead and his ability to take the “Prep” to new previously unattained levels. I am pleased that on Thursday evening at the St John’s Preparatory School’s annual Headmaster’s Reception at Willowdale Estate in Topsfield that my wife and I had the chance to sit and chat for some time with Brother Bill. The St, John’s Prep community has lost a wonderful leader and counselor and I have lost a wonderful friend. Requiem in Pace, Bother Bill.
As always your comments, questions and observations about our work and information in these postings are important to us. I can be contacted at email@example.com Thank you. Tom Leonard