In the last couple of days, I noted with interest several local news stories that have come to my attention that will clearly have impact on this region. The stories are varied and have impact on different sections of the region, but all the issues are worth noting.
Rockport’s Motif # 1
After several months of planning and working together with many community interests, the famous Motif #1 in Rockport, that is one of the most photographed sites in this region will soon be lit every evening from dusk until midnight starting this December.. The consortium that made this happen is broad based and was led by Peter Beacham, Chairman of the Town’s Economic Development Commission. Congratulations are in order from Essex Heritage to all who played a role in bringing this idea to a successful conclusion. A local architect, Jack Campbell provide his services, the Rockport Rotary Club provided funding, National Grid provided the fixtures and the Historic Commission, the Planning Board and the Public Works Department all participated to the planning for the project that will certainly shine a positive light on one of the most recognizable icons in this entire region. This is a wonderful example of the kind of cooperation that is possible when a consortium that has the best interests of a community can come together to accomplish a goal.
Danvers Light Plant to Participate in a Pilot Energy Project
The municipal owned power company in Danvers is one of six community owned power companies that will participate in an energy efficiency project in eastern Massachusetts. The project that will begin soon will use technology produced by a Gloucester based company and will allow real time energy monitoring with internet based tools that will guide consumers and businesses towards deeper and more sustainable energy savings. The Danvers Light Plant will soon install wireless energy monitors in fifty test homes and some businesses in the Town and will run the programs for a year to measure results. It is hoped that this project will be a forerunner of more things to come as power use is monitored to help lower costs and achieve more efficiency. This project when coupled with the planned installation of smart meters across the entire Town is a most positive step for the utility.
Ipswich is an Example of How Smart Growth Planning can be Most Effective
Congratulations to the Town of Ipswich for being a community that clearly knows how to make planning work to their advantage. Over the last decade the Town has used its resources wisely to acquire land and preserve other parcels with zoning changes that will help preserve the character of the Town for future generations. The Town Government has used the investment of Town funds to leverage even more federal, state and private funds to insure that the Town is developed in a smart measured way. The municipal leadership of the community should be recognized for a wonderful achievement and a most successful strategy.
Region Loses a Religious Leader
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has announced the retirement of the Regional Bishop for this region, Bishop Francis X. Irwin. The retirement will leave a void in this area, as Bishop Irwin has been a fixture in the region for many years. I have known the Bishop from his days as the head of Catholic Charities in the area, and during recent years when he had an office at Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody and a residence at St. Mary’s Rectory in Danvers. Just recently Bishop Irwin presided over and provided a wonderful and fitting eulogy at the funeral of my good friend and mentor Brother Bill Drinan, C.F.X. the former Headmaster of St. John’s Preparatory School. Bishop Irwin will be missed by many in the region.
Planned Giving Initiatives
I suppose that in our lifetimes we are all asked at one time or another to consider a gift to a worthy cause. I have been connected to St. John’s Preparatory School for longer than I would like to admit, and have provided support for many programs that benefit so many who attend that school today. I am proud to be the co-chairman along with my good friend and long time associate, Paul Hennessey of the Planned Giving Committee of that school’s Institutional Advancement office, and welcome helping out in that phase of the school’s advancement efforts. They have been reasonably successful in attracting planned gifts to support the school, and I am proud of my commitment to that work and encourage all who might have an interest in learning more about support of that level to contact the school directly.
We have tried to learn from the best at Essex Heritage as we attempt to let residents of the region and friends of the Commission know of opportunities to provide a planned gift to this initiative. The work of St. John’s Preparatory School in this area is a model for us to emulate, Essex Heritage is starting to address these matters in small initial steps and have the capability to accept a planned gift if someone had such a desire to offer the region that kind of support. If anyone needed any information about a planned gift and how it might impact Essex Heritage please contact either me, or Mary Williamson at our office for more details.
New Commissioners Elected at Essex Heritage Annual Meeting
At the recent annual meeting the Commission elected a number of new commissioners. The first of these new members are;
Ms. Sheila Fields, Beverly Chamber of Commerce
Ms. Susan Goganian, Beverly Historical Society
Mr. Jack Good, Beverly National Bank
Mr. Glen Mairo, Essex Harmony
Mr. Caleb powers, Action Business Coaching
Ms. Dianne Seely, TD Bank
Ms Cathleen Wardley, Boston Marriott Hotel, Peabody
Ms. Joanne Scott, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem
We are pleased to add these new Commissions and welcome them to Essex Heritage. We are certain that in their place of work, their home community or their sphere of influence that they will become advocates and ambassadors for the mission of Essex Heritage.
As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts at www.essexheritage.org. Thanks. Tom Leonard