Friday, August 20, 2010

Essex Heritage Photo Contest, Friendship Sails, New Peabody Trail, Food Pantry Needs, Salem News Award, and North Shore Elders Picks Date for Event


Essex Heritage Photo Contest

If you go to the Essex Heritage web site at you will find information about the 2010 Essex Heritage Photo Contest. The rules and an entry form can be downloaded from the web site. This year the photos all must be taken within the boundaries of the Essex Heritage Area and must be submitted before October 1, 2010. The photos must depict the historic, natural or cultural resources that can be found in such abundance in the region. Photography is an important aspect of the work of Essex Heritage and the participation of the residents from this area at the Photo Safari’s sponsored by Hunts Photo and Video in Melrose is particularly gratifying as each event is usually sold out well in advance, so we know that we have many photo enthusiasts in the region. We look forward to receiving a wide range of photos from our members and friends and choosing winners this fall that will have their work displayed in the National Park Service Visitor Center in Salem.

Friendship Sails

We are most gratified to report that the Friendship Sails event from Salem to Gloucester is now SOLD OUT. There are still some tickets left for the trip on Sunday to observe the Gloucester Schooner races, but they will go fast, so you must act quickly.

Crisis Could Bring Possible Solution to Lawrence Fire issue

I understand that the communities that surround the City of Lawrence are set to meet or have already met to discuss how they can continue to provide support to the beleaguered fire department in that City. Since the cuts that were made in staffing in that city due in part to budget woes and the reduction of State aid the City of Lawrence has had to call on neighboring communities to assist them as they fight fires in the city. I am certain that many options are being considered, but when faced with a crisis sometimes it is wise to seek solutions that are somewhat beyond the norm. I certainly hope that those conducting this summit consider a regional solution to this problem. Now may be the perfect time to consider regionalizing at least some of the fire protection services in the northern most section of this county. I would hope that if a regional solution comes out of this crisis that other parts of this region would look to that solution as they address the continuing need to reduce costs across our entire region without reducing community services. This entire region should be seeking alternative opportunities to deal with the continuing costs of providing services to the residents of this region. Those alternatives clearly include seeking regional solutions. The elected officials of this region owe the residents in this area their best efforts to find a better way to provide continuing excellent services in our communities at a lower cos.

City of Peabody Announces Plans for Another Bike Trail

An announcement was made last week that the City of Peabody is working on a plan to extend additional recreational resources in that community. In the recent past the City opened a wonderful and active 4.6-mile bike and walking trail that begins near the Leahy Clinic medical facility at the North Shore Shopping Center and travels into West Peabody. Now the City of Peabody has begun to plan a second trail that would be 2.7 miles in length and would connect with the existing trail. The city is working with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on a ninety-nine year land lease that would, if approved by other city agencies give the City a second trail that would run north and south from Danvers to Lynnfield and would connect with the existing well used trail. The City Council and other city boards will have to provide approvals and support to see this trail become a reality, but the success of the first trail would seem to be a reason to continue to extend these kind of recreational activities. The City would look to the Iron Horse Conservation group that is providing support in other parts of this region to help implement this project.

Essex Heritage will continue to offer support to any community in the region who wishes to consult with us relative to projects like the one planned in Peabody. Essex Heritage has became a major player in the development of recreational rail trails in this region, and continues to use its collaborative influences to see more and more such activities expand in this region. Work on several trails in Danvers, Topsfield and in communities in the northern portion of the Essex Heritage Area continue to expand, and these recreational assets have long been a focal point for Essex Heritage. These efforts will continue into the future as the development of these trails certainly has a long-term impact on the enhancement of the quality of life in the region, and that clearly fits the mission of Essex Heritage.

Food Pantries across the Region need Support

I have been told that supplies in community food pantries are very low and need to be replenished in the near future if they are to continue providing these vital service to those in need. There are dozens of food pantries in our region and they collectively provide substantial resources to those in need. The summer is a particularly bad time, and we all get caught up in vacations, and now that the start of school is right around the corner our thoughts are elsewhere. Even though our minds are on other matters please give some thought to making cash contribution or stop into your neighborhood food pantry with some supplies. The volunteers that manage these community resources will be most thankful for your thoughtfulness.

Congratulations to The Salem News

We wish to offer our congratulations to the Salem News for the award that they recently received from the New England Associated Press News Executives Association. The award called the Thomas K. Brindley Award for Public Service was provided to the News and their staff for their coverage that triggered a State investigation that resulted in disciplinary action and calls for the removal or resignation of the Executive Director of the Essex Retirement Board. Their actions resulted in changes in that board and new leadership is now in place. The award was provided to the Salem News is in the category of Community Newspapers with circulation under forty thousand subscribers.

North Shore Elder Services Announces Date of “Give Thanks” Event

I have received notifications from the management team at North Shore Elder Services that the second annual “Give Thanks” event will be held at the Danversport Yacht Club on November 18, 2010. That date seems a long time away, but it is always a good idea to get information out early to get dates set in calendars. The event is a “friend raising” event that focuses on saying thank you to individuals and organizations that make life easier for area elders. This will be the second year that the event will be held, and it is expected to be bigger and better than the inaugural event in 2009.

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 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. Thank You. Tom Leonard

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