Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Local Florida Visit, Partnership Grant Deadline, Medical Seminar, Bruce Whear Joins Essex Heritage Board, and Danvers Town hall Re-Opens


Visit to Tarpon Springs

One day at the end of last week on a cool and windy day here in Florida we took a trip to an interesting town north of where we stay during this winter vacation. The trip was a pleasant drive up the coast through Clearwater and Dunedin into the community of Tarpon Springs. The community that we visited has had a wonderful history since the late 1800’s when the seaside town became a playground for many wealthy northerners. At that time the region was known as a health center and a destination for winter vacations, due in part to waters that were thought to have healing powers. Many wonderful home remain in Tarpon Springs from that period and those homes and a wonderful assortment of shops make up a historic District has many homes that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Tarpon Springs is best known as the “sponge capital of the world”, and sponge diving exhibitions and deep sea fishing trips and other boating excursions are available. For several blocks along a busy waterfront that looks like it has been transplanted from the Greek Islands, sponge boats and the strings of “harvested” sponges combine with Greek bakeries and restaurants to make the town a quaint and quirky place to spent a couple of pleasant hours. We certainly enjoyed our visit to this waterfront community and would recommend Tarpon Springs as a destination for others.

Partnership Grant Deadline on the Last day of this Month

My office has reminded me that while we have received some applications for the recently restored Essex Heritage Partnership Grant program, there are certainly more to follow. I want to take this time to point out that Essex heritage will be providing ten, $2,500.00 grants to help complete projects that help advance our mission. The final cutoff date for submissions for the Grant Program is February 28, 2010, and the applications must be submitted ON-LINE at www.essexheritage.org. Don’t get left out if you have a project that will qualify. More information on the criteria connected with the Grant process can also be found on the web site. Bill Steelman from our office has put together a wonderful team of experts who will be reviewing the applications, and they will be meeting in late March to review the applications. From that process a series of grants will be selected and later in Spring 2010 the award winners will be announced.

North Shore Medical Center Seminar

The evening before we left for Florida, we attended a seminar offered by the North Shore Medical Center at the Seaport Hotel in Salem. The program was offered by the hospital and its radiology department and was focused on a lay mans explanation of he many kinds of services offered by that department at the hospital. The program covered virtually every kind of scan that one might have during a lifetime. A history of how the X ray process was discovered and how that technology helped foster all of the other types of scans offered in today’s hospital. The presentations were accompanied by some marvelous descriptions complete with some very clear visuals that helped clear up any misconceptions about this technology. MRI, CT Scans, Ultrasounds and PET Scans were all explained and the program was certainly most informative. The hospital presented this lecture as part of a regular series that they provide to keep the people of this region up to date on all of the available advancing technology. The hospitality of the Salem Seaport Hotel was also most pleasant that evening.

Welcome to Bruce Whear

At the most recent Essex Heritage board meeting the Trustees elected Bruce Whear of Swampscott and Salem to a term on the Board. Essex Heritage is happy to welcome Bruce to the Board, and we know that he will be a wonderful addition. Bruce is the President and CEO of Wire For Hire in Salem, and as an electrical contractor will bring a connection to Essex Heritage from the many talented trades people who serve this region so well. I am truly sorry that I could not attend the meeting to personally welcome Bruce to the Board, but it will be a pleasure to work with him in the future to advance our mission in this region. I have had the good fortune to work with Bruce in the past at the Salem Rotary Club, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem, and the North Shore Community College, and always found him to a dedicated worker for all of the causes he has undertake, I expect no less in his new role with Essex Heritage.

Danvers Town Hall Opens Today at 1:00 pm

Later today at 1:00 the newly rehabilitated Danvers Town Hall will be reopened for business. Over this past holiday weekend all of the Town staff that had moved to the Dunn Wing at the High School have moved back and are ready once again to serve the residents of Danvers. Over the better part of the last year substantial work has been done to both restore the Town Hall and to update the facility. The Town Hall is the oldest publicly owned building in the Town of Danvers and certainly has much historic value to the community. Several years ago, the Danvers Town meeting body made a major rehabilitation commitment and the work to rebuild the historic structure has been accomplished under budget and on time. The work was delayed just a bit due to a fire in the attic of Town Hall, but the fire was controlled by the prompt action of the Fire Department and after an insurance claim was adjudicated, the work continued. A couple of years ago, under the Essex Heritage Partnership Grant Program a grant was provided to the Town to help with this rehabilitation, and we are happy that Essex Heritage has played a role in his project.

Olympic Games

I have always enjoyed the Olympics and this year’s version is no different. It is particularly pleasing to see some local Essex County participation in these games. Congratulations to Meghan Duggan from Danvers who scored two goals in the USA hockey win over China. We wish her well as the games continue.

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

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