Wednesday, March 23, 2011



Twice each year Essex Heritage conducts a regional meeting to provide updates on activities in this region. The Commission moves the meeting around the region to offer the meetings in venues not normally open to the public. The Spring 2011 is no exception, as the meeting will be held in the new Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA. The invitation and details follows. To confirm a reservation at the meeting, contact Emily Levin at 978 740 0444 or at

The Essex National Heritage Commission
invites you to attend its

Annual Spring Meeting
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Shalin Liu Performance Center
37 Main Street Rockport, MA 01966
Click here for Directions & Parking Information

8:00 AM - Continental Breakfast Reception
8:30 - 10:00 AM - Business Meeting

The agenda features the introduction of new Essex Heritage Commissioners and updates on Essex Heritage programs and activities, with a focus on the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway initiative.

U.S. Congressman John F. Tierney will announce the introduction of new legislation pertaining to the Salem Maritime National Historical Site.

We hope you will be able to join us at Rockport Music's Shalin Liu Performance Center, a new and unique state-of-the-art concert hall in downtown Rockport featuring direct ocean views and unmatched panoramas of the coastline!

The process of looking at congressional redistricting is beginning to take shape with recommendations due later this year. This year it is already ordained that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will lose one of its Congressional seats due to a loss of population shifting from the Northeast. The State Legislature has named a committee to begin to study this matter and make an ultimate reccomendation. The leadership has named Senator Tarr and Representatives John Keenan and Brad Hill from this region to the panel. The North Shore Alliance for Economic Development, under the direction of Executive Director Bill Luster, has adopted this issue as one of their most primary
initiatives for 2011 because of its importance to the region. The Alliance formed last year, through the efforts of Salem State University, the North Shore Community College and other regional business interests, realizing the importance of keeping this region intact with a congressional representative. The Alliance has formed a committee to manage and follow developments relative to this issue. It is expected that the committee co-chairs to be named will be the last two Congressmen to serve the sixth congressional district prior to the present incumbent John Tierney. The co-chairs will be Michael Harrington and Peter Torkildsen.

The local election scene is heating up early. Former City Councilor and State Representative Michael Cahill has decided to challenge Mayor Bill Scanlon for the corner office at City Hall in Beverly and former mayoral Chief of Staff Sean Fitzgerald will enter the Peabody race to succeed retiring Mayor Michael Bonfanti. Speaking of Mayor Bonfanti, we continue to applaud his efforts to push City and school consolidations in Peabody even though he is not planning to stand for re-election. He continues to do the right thing even though his term of office is almost over. Hopefully he can have an positive impact on that issue and the result will be a part of his long-term legacy.

We are pleased to report that some local schools are doing well in the high school winter tournaments. Marblehead won the division three-state hockey title and is on a track to c My favorite high school, Saint John’s Prep in Danvers is to be congratulated for winning the State basketball title in basketball and finishing runner up in hockey. We also offer our congratulations to the girls from St. Mary’s in Lynn and Andover for their titles.

Essex Heritage is pleased to announce that Brian” Bear” Cranney has agreed to be the Master of Ceremonies at the annual Essex Heritage Hero Dinner at the Danversport Yacht Club on April
MAY 19, 2011. For those of you who know Brian, you can be certain that he will be an excellent Master of Ceremonies blending humor with his wonderful knowledge of the region and its assets. We are truly pleased that Brian has joined the dinner leadership team that includes Danvers banker, Kevin Bottomley who is serving as Honorary Chairman of the Dinner, along with many other regional business leaders. Brian Cranney has roots in both Salem and Danvers and has worked with all three of the honorees. He will certainly be able to provide his personal perspective relative to all three of our honorees and his presentation style is most witty and at times a bit irreverent. Brian will certainly keep the evening moving and in addition to honoring Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, Danvers Town Manager Wayne Marquis, and North Shore Community College President Dr. Wayne Burton he will also from time to time take their measure and bring them back to earth. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the evening and tickets will be on sale soon and tables of 8 will be available. Anyone who wants some additional information about the evening please contact Essex National Heritage Commission at 978-740-0444 or contact Emily Levin at Emily at

A couple of weeks ago, there was an interesting item in a local paper that indicated that we are running out of cemetery space in Essex County. I suspect that this is a result of the building boom of several years ago and the inability of local communities to allocate funds to acquire more space for this purpose. In the long run this is a matter that will affect many of us and will demand attention.

An important joint meeting was held last week in Danvers regarding the rail trail project. The Rail Trail Advisory Committee provided an update for the Selectmen and brought them up to date on the progress of the project including the work being done without a charge to the town by the Iron Horse Preservation Society. It is clear that there is still much to accomplish before the trail can be officially opened to the public, but much progress has been made and more is scheduled for Spring 2011. The Selectmen had several questions and comments concerning safety and concerns of abutters. Those issues will also need to be addressed before an opening can be announced

As a member of the Danvers Finance Committee the first announcements of the Town budget is always important to me. Town Manager Marquis made the initial announcement last week and as in the past the budget was most lean and efficient. The increase for the general government budget was particularly lean as the overall increase was less than 2 percent. The increase in the school portion of the budget was a little higher, and even with the increase it is projected that several positions, across the system, will be cut to keep the budget manageable. This will certainly be another interesting year for the FINCOM, but we can be certain that the Administration has carefully considered all potential increases.

We were very pleased to see that the City of Gloucester has launched a new tourist based web site. Several years ago the city cut funds for the promotion of tourism in that community and it is good to see them back promoting tourism again. The city has much to gain from increased tourist traffic and this is a positive step. The site can be accessed at The site will promote weekly community events and sites to visit in Town.

No comments:

Post a Comment