Spring 2010…As we move deeper into April, it does seem as if spring is really here and now that the terrible rains of March are behind us, we can look forward to nicer weather. I have been living in this area long enough to know that all of this could change in a heart beat and it is still possible that some less than normal spring weather might return, but for now we want to begin to look forward to some of the events that Essex Heritage has planned in the near term.
Heritage Hero Invitations in the Mail
The premier event that Essex Heritage, in partnership with the National Park Service, plans each year is the Heritage Hero award evening. This year the event will honor three wonderful contributors to the life of this region on May 20, 2010 at the Blue Ocean Music hall on the Beach in Salisbury. Tickets to this special event have recently been mailed to our list of “Essex Heritage Friends” and we hope that you will act on the invitation and make your reservations now for this spectacular regional event. If by some chance you did not receive an invitation and want to attend the event, please contact our office at 978 740 0444 or by e-mail at www.essexheritage,org. We are most grateful to a generous group of sponsors headed by the presenting sponsor, The Provident Bank of Amesbury and banner sponsors the Institution for Savings in Newburyport, the Newburyport Bank, and Blue Ocean Music hall, Seaglass Restaurant, the Salisbury Beach Partnership and the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce whose participation will certainly make the event a wonderful success.
Essex Heritage through its association with the National Park Service has long thought of the replica sailing ship Friendship, operated by the Park Service as one of the most recognizable symbols of this region. The ship, under the direction of Essex Heritage has made historic visits to Lynn and Newburyport and during those visits has exposed thousands of adults and youth to the maritime traditions of this region. This spring, in advance of the Friendship embarking on its first public sails over Labor Day weekend in September 2010, a series of sea trials will be held in Salem sound over the next several months. As of this date , the schedule for the trials are not yet set, but when they become more definite, we will certainly keep all of you informed. For those of you with access to the ocean along this spectacular coast line, I would suspect that observing those sea trials with the Friendship under sail will be a most memorable experience.
The purpose of the sea trails will be to insure that later this year; Friendship will be able to take the public on board for a series of sailing events. The one definite event is scheduled for Labor Day weekend, when the ship will sail from Salem to Gloucester with a crew and a group that will have the opportunity to purchase a spot on that sail. This will be the first time ever that the ship will be able to take on paying customers and the event will certainly be a milestone trip. Later on the weekend the ship will leave Gloucester for the return sail to Salem and along the way will observe the Schooner races off the historic port of Gloucester. This trip will also be available as a charter as well. If any who read this communication wants more information on these inaugural sails next September contact the Director of Marketing and Communication for Essex Heritage Mary Williamson at 978 740-0444 or at email@example.com
Rally at the Friendship
Late last week, we were pleased that dozens of friends of Essex Heritage including a group of children from the Phoenix School in Salem gathered at the Friendship to show support for our efforts to bring attention to proposed cuts in Federal funding for preservation projects like Essex Heritage. The supporters all carried signs indicating that they supported “Saving our Treasures”. Essex Heritage has forwarded the pictures that were taken that day to support a national effort to see preservation funding restored in the next Federal budget. We thank all that attended the rally that morning and thank them for their continuing support of the mission of Essex Heritage to protect, preserve and promote the historic, cultural and natural resources of this region.
Support for Essex Heritage Provided by Washington Congressional Delegation
We are particularly pleased to let you all know that Senator John Kerry has agreed to take the lead role in asking his Senate colleagues to provide increased funding in FY 2011 Federal Budget for the National Heritage Areas. We were recently informed that the senator will be the lead Democrat on a “Dear Colleague” letter addressed to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairwoman, and Senator Lamar Alexander, Ranking Member, of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. The letter requests that the Senate subcommittee double the line item for the National Heritage Areas – increasing the budget amount from $9m to $18m. His letter argues that the National Heritage Area Program is “an effective, high yield investment of federal funds.” This is the first time that Senator Kerry has taken the lead on funding issues for Essex Heritage and we are most pleased with his efforts.
In February, President Obama proposed FY11 budget cut the National Heritage Areas by fifty percent and zero funded several very popular and important Historic Preservation Programs – including Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America. On March 18, 2010, the House of Representatives sent a similar letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies. Congressman John Tierney was a signatory to this letter. We are delighted that Senator Kerry and Congressman John Tierney are supporting the effort to adequately fund the National Heritage Areas, and thank them for their continuing support.
Close Today with a Couple of Personal Notes
Along with the nicer weather we spoke about earlier, April also brings a pleasant time for area sports enthusiasts. Red Sox baseball has returned to Fenway Park, the Bruins and the Celtics are both gearing up for the end of season playoffs, and on the last weekend of this month the Patriots will choose a number of potential new stars in the annual NFL draft. We also want to congratulate all of the fans of Boston College as their hockey team won another NCAA “Frozen Four” National Championship. In addition to all of these athletic endeavors all across the region, our favorite athletes in the regional high schools are beginning to play baseball, lacrosse, softball, field hockey and runners are preparing for another season on the track. Good luck to all of them and enjoy the participation. For many of them it will likely be the last time that they play competitively and they should enjoy every minute of every practice and game. Their current participation is something that will be treasured fondly in the future, and will be remembered and discussed later in life when former teammates gather to reminisce.
As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts or any questions you may have at www.essexheritage.org. We are always striving to make Essex Heritage work as effectively as possible and your input and suggestions are always welcome. We can always provide more information and better communication, and one of the goals of these postings on Essex happenings is to provide that opportunity. Thanks You. Tom Leonard