Monday, November 23, 2009

Northeast Harvest Newsletter, Regional Vocational Technical School Update, Friendship Back in Salem and New Celebrity Server Date Set

MONDAY, November 23, 2009

Northeast Harvest Newsletter

Essex Heritage is very pleased to be associated with a number of agricultural resources in this region so that through our efforts we can produce a monthly newsletter that focuses on farming activities in this region. Northeast Harvest is the result of collaboration between Essex Heritage, the Essex Agricultural Society, the Topsfield Fair, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and local farming resources in Essex and Middlesex County’s. This month’s communication focuses on the numerous Christmas Tree Farms in the region, and at this time of the year that certainly seems appropriate. This month’s newsletter provides some wonderful information on how to select a proper tree, and then how to care for one once it is up in your home. In addition to the specific information about agricultural crops the monthly communication focuses on a specific farmer from each of the two regions served, and provides some information to help identify how to access these resources. We certainly hope that you find this information helpful and we encourage you to sign up for the newsletter by contacting Essex Heritage at This is a wonderful relationship that gets stronger each month and that is important, as these resources are so critical to the long-term economic wellbeing of the region

Regional Vocational Technical High School Presentation

When a new Regional Vocational Technical High School was first proposed for this region, the Essex National Heritage Commission was one of the first regional organizations to offer an endorsement of the concept. It became very clear to the leadership of Essex Heritage that if there was a chance to have a new modern, spacious school replace the current facility that this would be a superb idea. Essex Heritage saw the possibility of a new facility that would offer substantially more opportunities for the young men and woman in this region as a wonderful option for this region. We saw more trained workers as a critical component of any regional economic recovery. We also viewed the opportunity to train more young people in the skills needed to continue to restore historic resources in this region as a most positive step. Essex Heritage offered its early endorsement of the new regional school concept and it now seems more and more likely that a new school will be built at a site in Danvers near the Middleton town line in the not too distant future.

At a recent meeting of the Salem Partnership at the Salem Five Bank Community Room, Danvers Town Manager, Wayne Marquis provided that group with an update on the progress of the approval process across the region for this project. Just before we provide the update to you, I want to take a moment to comment on the work of Wayne Marquis relative to this project. Wayne has been the Chairman of an Advisory Committee that has taken on the responsibility of managing the approval process for this regional effort. This effort has consumed a great deal of his time and energy and it appears that his effort is about to be fruitful. Through all of the time and commitment to this project, the Danvers Town Manager has also continued to take exceptional care for the fiscal and management concerns of his Town. These are difficult times for local communities with bad news on State cuts being delivered far too regularly. Through all of these trying times, Wayne Marquis has balanced his many responsibilities as he has had his hand on the many controls he manages without slippage. As a long time resident and volunteer in the Town of Danvers, I want to say thank you to Wayne Marquis for an exceptional job of keeping all of his Town and regional priorities properly balanced and focused on success.

The news that was delivered about the Regional Vocational Technical School at the Salem Partnership meeting was most positive. On the pervious night, the Peabody City Council agreed to join the consortium, and a similar vote is scheduled soon in both Beverly and Salem. It appears that this exceptional regional educational concept is getting closer and closer to becoming reality.

Friendship Returns to Salem

Early on Sunday afternoon, the Friendship made her return to the National Park site in Salem. The ship that Essex Heritage has long considered to be the flagship for this region returned after a long stay in Maine where she underwent extensive repairs. The ship was greeted by a large group of well wishers as she was steered back into her home port in Salem. She was missed during her time away, and several visits to both local and international ports had to be cancelled, and now maybe in 2010 she can once again take her place as the Flagship for the region. After her long stay away from the region it is nice to have her back, and after the repairs have been completed she is better than ever.

Celebrity Server at Brother’s Restaurant in Danvers

A week or so ago, because of a personal commitment, I was forced to cancel an appearance as a celebrity server at Brother’s in Danvers. That very popular restaurant and deli is celebrating its tenth anniversary in Danvers and is using that opportunity to offer some different and unusual programs to bring attention to its celebration. I am pleased that I have been able to reschedule my time behind the lunch counter with the affable and hard working owner, Kary Andrinopoulos to lunchtime on December 3, 2009. I will be standing next to Kary and offering him whatever support I can muster from about 12: 15 that day until about 1: 30. Please consider coming in to eat that day. I look forward to seeing the many friends of Brother’s and some of my friends and associates on that day, and I promised Karry to stay out of his way as best as I can during that lunch. I will have several of my associates at Essex Heritage with me that day, and we would welcome your comments and questions about our work.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts at Thanks. Tom Leonard

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