Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Essex Heritage Annual Appeal and Case Statement, Salem Partnership, Danvers High School Costruction, DHS Holiday Event, Happy Thanksgiving

Essex Happenings, Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Essex Heritage Annual Appeal

In the next week or so, many in the region will be receiving a letter from Essex Heritage that will seek support for our Annual Fund Appeal. We believe strongly that this organization supports and advocates for hundreds of historic, cultural and natural resources in this region. We have worked effectively over the last decade plus to be an organization that helps bind this region together. Collaboration and cooperation are two of the watch words for this regional initiative. Your support of the work of the Essex National Heritage Commission is always appreciated, and we ask again if you would consider offering your continuing financial support to our work. Look for the appeal that will arrive in your mail box soon or visit www.essexheritageorg for more information on how to support this mission. Just recently we have developed a case statement that we believe articulates why we exist and provides reasons why support might be offered. The case statement follows:

ENHC Case Statement

Many Histories, One Essex Heritage
Thousands of our nation’s most valuable historical and cultural sites exist here, in the 34 towns and cities of the Essex National Heritage Area. Collectively they define our region, enhance our quality of life, and tell the story of our nation.
Continued development, sprawl, traffic, neglect and decay, and lack of understanding and funding are problems that cross community boundaries and are beyond the reach of most municipal and local organizations. Essex Heritage is the only organization in this region that works to systematically protect and preserve Area heritage resources in a cohesive way. It’s ability to unify diverse community interests around common challenges, to propose and communicate solutions across town lines, is critical to preserving and protecting our unique past as well as our promising future.
Essex Heritage, the foremost advocate of the entire region’s irreplaceable historical, cultural and natural resources, is an organization that provides advice, guidance and technical support while working to build capacity for over 250 non-profit partners and 34 municipalities. It serves as a catalyst for collaboration between non-profits, establishing strategic partnerships that generate genuine impact. Essex Heritage also provides numerous opportunities through annual events and programs, to educate and inspire residents and visitors, to preserve, protects and appreciates our Area.
Essex Heritage has been working for 14 years so to ensure that the whole region remains strong and vibrant. Despite its measureable and visible success, federal funding available to the Essex National Heritage Area is decreasing, and more than ever, Essex Heritage needs the support of the communities it serves. This is a critical time to demonstrate your commitment to preserving, protecting, and interpreting our area’s unique heritage by giving your support to the collaborative work of Essex Heritage. Your help will guarantee that Essex Heritage’s important work continues.

Salem Partnership E Board

A week or so ago, I attended the monthly meeting of the Salem Partnership Executive Board. I am not able to spent as much of my time these days helping out in the work of the Salem Partnership, but the organization that has always done such wonderful work in the City of Salem will always be special to me, and I do try to stay abreast of their work. The recent meeting covered a number of long-term Salem Partnership issues and it was good to get “caught up”. The important regional superior court facility garage plans that are being developed by the MBTA are coming together, but not without some changes that are a result of budget constraints. The Partnership will continue to lobby for a garage that will satisfy numerous constituencies in Salem, but the political realities of the day, will likely result in some compromises.

Work on the important port project in Salem continues and the City made a wonderful choice by naming former Salem Partnership President and Chairman, Russ Vickers the new Port Project Manager. Russ has a comprehensive knowledge of the needs of the region from a maritime perspective and after selling his personal maritime interests, has some time to devote to helping guide this municipal project that certainly in the long run will have regional ramifications. Like all projects these days the wants and desires connected with the project far outstrip the current revenue expectations and Russ Vickers will be a good source to make recommendation on the allocations of these scarce resources. The City has demonstrated that given the proper conditions that visitors will come to the region by water, as in 2010 the Salem Ferry saw a marked increase in ridership as their passenger count for this past summer increased by 10,000 to a record 89,000 riders. The conditions that helped make that possible were a reduction in fares and one of the warmest summer periods in recent weather history in the region. The final item on the agenda that morning was the future of the Salem Pedestrian Mall. The city is planning a series of public meetings to receive input on how that long discussed traveled way through the center of the City’s down town could be upgraded.

Danvers Received Positive News on High School Bids

The Town of Danvers received wonderful news recently when the bids for the Danvers renovation and construction project were opened it was discovered that the estimates for construction and design had been established at a higher level than the bids received. The original estimates had the project set at almost $80 million and the bids came in $9 million lower than expected. The low bidder was just slightly lower than the contractor who had completed the work on the Holten-Richmond Middle School. The Town is hopeful of having a contract signed so that work might begin on the 157,000 sq ft of renovated space and the 92,000 sq ft of new construction before the end of November. That time table would put the completion of the project in the fall of 2013. This reduction in overall costs is certainly most positive as it will allow the town to complete this important and valuable project and to borrow less to bring the new High School on line.

Danvers Historical Society Holiday Event

On December 3, 2010 at the wonderfully decorated Endicott Mansion at Glen Magna Farms in Danvers the Danvers Historical Society will hold it annual “Holiday Soiree” to ring in the holidays. Tickets are still available and are priced at $65.00 per person for members and $85.00 for not-yet members. The event is always one of the highlight events in the region and reservations can be made by calling 978 777 1666 or at dhs@danvershistory.org. Music, dancing and refreshments will be served. Tickets are selling quickly so one must act now if this an event of interest to you.

Happy Thanksgiving Holiday

In just a couple of days, the most American of all Holidays, Thanksgiving will be celebrated. The day has always been one of my favorite days of the year, as at least for me, there is no shopping associated with the Holiday, and it is a time when family comes together to celebrate just being together. For some it is a morning filled with traditional High School football games and then home for dinner with family. This year’s dinners for some will be worked around a New England Patriots game that will appear on our television around noon. That team continues to perform well, and for many are exceeding expectations. All in all a great day for families, and from this family at Essex Heritage we wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving 2010.

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. You can also contact me directly if you wish information on the August 2011 Travel opportunity to the Northern National Parks. I am signed up for the trip, and I hope that you will consider joining me on that trip. Thank You. Tom Leonard

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