Monday, January 24, 2011


It has been about seven weeks since I last made a posting on Essex Happenings. I have spent those past seven weeks in the hospital, and today on Monday, January 23, 2011 I’m now attempting to offer a new posting. During the last seven weeks, I have saved an enormous amount of material and I hope to sort through that today and try to pick some pertinent ones report on.

The first issue I’d like to comment on is my stay here at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem. The experience has been a good one, and the therapists and the medical staff here have been most helpful. I arrived here in Salem after having my leg removed at Beverly Hospital. From the very beginning of my stay here, I have received a wonderful level of help from the therapists at this hospital and I’m making great progress towards the time when I can leave here and go home. During the time that I have been here, I received a little bad news about a long-term Danvers friend and physician of mine, Dr. Thomas Lapine. Dr. Lapine passed away and after a long serious illness. Dr. Lapine was the ultimate professional and was there for every crisis my family experienced the last three decades and he will be sorely missed. I am very sorry that I will not be able to attend either the wake of the funeral of Dr. Lapine. I’m sure his family will understand that my wife Marjorie will stand in for the family at the wake this evening.

In the time that I have been away from the office, a substantial amount of progress has been made on the plans to bring visitors to Baker’s Island. The National Park Service has received a transportation grant which will allow them to seek to purchase a boat that would be able to bring between 12 and 18 visitors at a time to the island to carry on the orientation of what the maritime history meant to this region. A visit that starts at the Salem Maritime historic site followed by a visit to Baker’s Island would certainly tell a great story of what the maritime industry meant this area. We are going to be particularly careful to make certain that none of these excursions and the people who arrive at Baker’s Island will in any way disrupt the life of the people who live on the island and own property. We respect their rights and will do everything in our power to make certain that those rights are not violated. We don’t expect this program to begin in 2011 - more likely will be 2012 - but much planning was necessary before even beginning the experience so as plans develop we will try to keep all of you posted.

Over the past seven weeks there’s also been some changes in potential for municipal elections. We have learned that in Peabody Michael Bonfanti has decided not to stand for reelection. We at Essex Heritage certainly wish Michael all the very best in whatever he decides to do from this point forward. He has been a great friend of Essex Heritage and has always been there to assist us in anything we wanted to try to accomplish in this region.

At this point in time in the spring of 2011 it also appears as if Ms. Driscoll is readying herself for another run at the Mayor’s office in Salem and that is good news because the mayor has been a wonderful supporter of regionalism and she has long been a force in this region.

Mayor Bill Scanlon appears to have a challenger of his position as Mayor of Beverly. Bill is going to run again and that is also good news because like Ms. Driscoll, Mayor Scanlon has been a wonderful supporter and advocate for the work of Essex heritage.

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