Thursday, April 28, 2011


Essex Heritage Coastal Scenic Byway Update

At the spring meeting of Essex Heritage in Rockport a general report on the planning process for the Scenic Byway was provided, and it was clear from that report that the planning for activities along the trail will be a continuing process and from time to time exhibits would be scheduled at venues along the length of the byway. The planned exhibitions will be designed to bring attention to the Byway and will be of interests to residents in the region as well as to visitors. We will continue to bring attention to opportunities and two such announcements follow.

Gold Coast Exhibit
A new exhibit at Endicott College highlights several of the prominent late 19th century Boston families who helped turn Beverly into an important summer resort. For more information, go here.

Plum Island Airport Exhibit
Check out this online exhibition about the history of Plum Island Airport located on the byway in Newbury. The exhibition was created for Historic New England by a graduate student. Find out more.

Essex Heritage Hero Award Dinner, May 19, 2011.

Plans are shaping up for our 2011 Heritage Hero Award Dinner - an event you do not want to miss! Join us as we celebrate the achievements of our inspiring 2011 Essex Heritage Heroes: Dr. Wayne Burton, Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and Mr. Wayne Marquis. Brian Cranney will serve as Master of Ceremonies for this fun-filled evening. All proceeds will benefit Essex Heritage programs that preserve and promote the historical, cultural, and natural resources in the 34 cities and towns of Essex County. Tickets are now available online! There is still time to be a sponsor! The advertising deadline is May 4th! Find out more about sponsorship opportunities here (pdf).

Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor: Danversbank; Banner Sponsors: Eastern Bank, Salem Five, and Saugusbank; Lead Sponsor: North Shore Community College, as well as our table sponsors: The Hawthorne Hotel, Hunts Photo & Video, Peabody Essex Museum and The Provident Bank.

The planning process for this annual highlight event in the Essex Heritage region is now in the home stretch and all the remains is to fill the ballroom at the Danversport Yacht Club on April 21, 2011 to honor these three regional leaders. Tickets and tables are now available at Essex Heritage, and can be purchased by contacting Deb Payson at Act Today. This is an event you will not want to miss.

St. john’s Prep to Name the Latest Distinguished Alumni at the 2011 Graduation Services.

At the graduation services on May 22, 2011, St. John’s Prep will award the annual distinguished alumni award to Attorney Jude Curtis’77. Attorney Curtis will be the twentieth Prep alumni member to receive this award. He presently serves as the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for Price Waterhouse Coopers in New York. I report this award, as Jude is an old friend, who I served with on the Board of Trustees at the Prep. He succeeded me on the Board as Chairman of the Development Committee. He later became the first alumni to serve as Chairman of the Board at the Prep. Jude was part of a large Salem family that came from modest circumstances and in time left a wonderful legacy at the Prep. He became a champion for the strategy to be certain that the Danvers Catholic School stayed affordable for all with an enhanced endowment to help provide financial aid. Jude lived for many years in Essex County while he served in a similar professional capacity for the John Hancock Co. It will be good to welcome Jude to this select group of Prep Alumni at graduation next month.

Consolidated Effort to Create a Regional 911 Center Taking Shape

Preliminary discussions have been held between the Communities of Salem, Danvers and Marblehead about the possible formation of a regional consolidation between the three local governments to form a shared police dispatch center. The plan is in the very early stage of development but it is clear that these kinds of associations must be considered if services will continue to be offered effectively and costs contained. The Town of Danvers considered joining a larger consortium of communities that will be headquartered in Middleton, but passed due to questions of costs associated with that effort. The discussions are still in the preliminary stage, but the leadership of these three communities has long ago come to the conclusion that consolidations in many areas may be a valuable strategy for all local communities to pursue if they hope to continue affordable resident services

Home Therapy Ending and Out Patient to Begin

On a personal note, I want to report that another phase of my rehabilitation from the leg amputation is complete. For the last month, I have received therapeutic services in my home. That phase of therapy is now complete, and starting on Thursday, I will begin phase three of my rehabilitation at the Out Patient Department at Spaulding of the North Shore in Salem. The folks who provided the help were most professional, and also most helpful. On the final day of home therapy my home PT therapist had me up and walking a few tentative steps on crutches which is the next step in my progression.

Essex Heritage Nominating Committee to Meet Soon

As we have done in the past, we want to offer an invitation to anyone who reads this presentation to let us know if you believe that you have a skill that would make you a candidate to be a commissioner at Essex Heritage. If you have an interest in serving please let us know at www,, and we will review your qualifications and possibly present your name to our Nominating Committee for consideration.

A Cape Cod issue to Consider

Although this presentation primarily reports on Essex County activities, occasionally, I will provide information from other parts of the State. At the present time, there is a gathering of the endangered right whales feeding off the coast of Cape Cod. From some reports there are about 200 of these mammoths of the sea just off the coast. This may be a once in a lifetime sight, and they are so close to the coast, that they can be seen from the beaches on the upper Cape.

Monday, April 25, 2011


National Park Service Study

Essex Heritage is happy to report that Congressman John Tierney has filed a bill (HR 1500) to authorize a proposed study to examine the benefits to the region of expanding the reach of the National Park Service. We are confidant that this legislation that the Congressman has originated could be valuable to this region in recent issues of the Salem News, the local paper indicated that it was generally in favor of the study, but needed more information. Then in a subsequent issue of the paper, Annie Harris, The Executive Director of Essex Heritage provided a thoughtful response to the need for more information. We certainly hope that you had a chance to read that response, but in case you did not, I will attempt to briefly summarize the recent response.

Ms. Harris provided some excellent examples of education programs now offered to the youth of this region, through our partnership with the NPS, and how an expansion of the NPS presence could dramatically increase the availability of those kinds of programs to even more young people in more local communities. Her response also clearly pointed out the successes that have occurred with the revitalization in the City of Lowell, and the programs associated with the Boston Harbor Islands, that would not have been without the expansion of the reach of the National Park Service in those locations.

We feel that the same kind of success that took place elsewhere can happen in this region with the authorizing legislation that Congressman Tierney has proposed. But above all else, the most important revelation made was that if a study is authorized and we certainly hope that it will be authorized, that there will be substantial opportunities for the public and local elected officials to attend public hearings to air concerns or offer even more positive recommendations on how the study could be even more effective and constructive in planning for the future. Essex Heritage is very pleased that the Congressman that represents this region sees the benefits of authorizing a study on this matter, as it could be very valuable to the entire region and we thank him for his efforts. We are particularly pleased to be participating in the preliminary planning for this effort with our senior partner in so many other ventures in this region, the National Park Service. If anyone wants more information about these plans please contact

Boston Bike Share Program Bears Watching

As an organization that has taken a particular interest in bike travel, the announcement by the City of Boston that was highlighted in recent media stories is certainly most interesting. Their intention calls for the purchase 600 bikes that soon will be available at electronic kiosks in that city on a shared basis is an important move in these days of sky-high gas pricing and increasing traffic congestion. There is some indication that the program is open to expansion plans in adjacent communities. We can only hope that the plan works well, and that this program could expand to this region.

Salem Pedestrian Mall

For several months the administration of the City of Salem has been holding public hearings seeking information on the Pedestrian Mall and how it could be better used. A plan was recently released that would allow some vehicular traffic during certain times of the year. The plan would also address how the mall would be used, and would develop strategies to enhance its use particularly in the good weather months, when visitation in Salem is at a high point. Funding to complete the improvements will be an issue, and the city is continuing to explore all funding options. The mall in its present configuration has more than likely run its course, and it is certainly time to approach the long discussed mall with a new view.

Dangerous Salem Intersection Addressed

The Intersection of Congress and Derby Streets and Hawthorne Boulevard has recently had a traffic signal added to help control the heavy flow of traffic at that location. That intersection has always been a dangerous one, as much local and tourist related traffic heading for the National Park site and the Salem Ferry terminal nuts pass tough the intersection. Hopefully the lights that will become operational in the next couple of days, will help sort out traffic at this previously identified dangerous intersection and improve traffic flow on its way to these heavily visited locations.

Cape Wind Project Clears Federal Permit Issues

On a recent visit to Massachusetts, Secretary of the Interior Salazar indicated that the Cape Wind project has cleared all its Federal permit issues and work to construct 139 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound could begin as early as this fall. The project that will be one of the largest clean energy projects in the country will go a long way towards providing efficient renewable energy to thousands of Cape Cod homes and businesses

Essex Heritage Corporate Supporters

One of the most positive accomplishments of the Essex Heritage Commission in 2011 is the creation and work of the Development Committee chaired by Charlie Cullen of the Provident Bank in Amesbury. The work of the committee was supported in the first part of the year by Mary Williamson, and is now supported by Deb Payson. As a part of both the Committee and the support staff, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to all concerned in the effort. I want to particularly say thank you to the many wonderful supporters whose names follow who have agreed to become Corporate Sponsors

FY 2011 Corporate Members

- Andover Endodontics, Inc., Corporate Benefactor - Julie Saviano
- Atlantic Hospitality Group LLC, Corporate Sustainer – Wayne Capolupo
- Beverly Cooperative Bank, Corporate Sustainer - William Howard
- Capstone Communities LLC, Corporate Supporter Jason Korb
- Crosby's Markets, Inc., Corporate Sustainer James Crosby
- Cummings Properties, LLC, Corporate Supporter Stephen Drohosky
- Danversbank, Corporate Sustainer – Kevin Bottomley
- Endicott College, Corporate Supporter - Richard Wylie
- Friends Of Camp Denison, Inc., Supporter Circle – Robert Apprich
- Geller Micro Analytical Lab, Inc., Corporate Benefactor - Joseph Geller
- Georgetown Savings Bank, Corporate Sustainer - Robert Balletto
- Granite Savings Bank, Corporate Benefactor - Norman Seppala
- Haverhill Bank, Corporate Sustainer ($1000) - Thomas Mortimer
- The Hawthorne Hotel, Corporate Sustainer - Juli Lederhaus
- Institution For Savings, Corporate Sustainer – Michael Jones
- Merrimac Savings Bank , Corporate - John Meserve
- Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, Corporate Supporter - Richard Eaton
- North Shore Bank, Corporate Sustainer – David LaFlamme
- Pentucket Bank, Corporate Sustainer - Scott Cote
- The Provident Bank, Corporate Sustainer – Charlie Cullen
- Rockport National Bank, Corporate Supporter - Peter Anderson
- Salem Five Charitable Foundation, Corporate Sustainer – Joe Gibbons
- St. John's Preparatory School, Corporate - Edward Hardiman
- Saugusbank, Corporate Sustainer – Kevin Tierney
- Weston & Sampson, Corporate Supporter – Bob Goober
- Wire 4 Hire, Inc., Corporate Supporter – Bruce Whear

Easter Sunday

The weather certainly cooperated on Sunday, and everyone that wanted to show off spring clothing in the Easter Parade had the chance to do so. We hope you all had a wonderful Easter.

Professional Sports

If you are a fan of professional sports in Boston, it doesn’t get much better than the last couple of days. The Red Sox swept a series in LA. The Celtics moved into the next round of the playoffs, but for me the most amazing results were three straight wins (Two on foreign ice and two in Sudden Death overtime) by the Bruins over the long time adversaries from north of the border, the Montreal Canadians,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Handicapped Placard Application Processing

Well in advance of my leaving the hospital after my recent illness, which included a high amputation of my left leg, we made arrangements to have the medical staff sign the required documents for me to apply for a handicapped placard to make parking more accessible when we were home from the hospital. My wife brought the signed application to the Mass RMV office at the Liberty Tree Mall where she was advised that the application was now processed at a Quincy RMV location, and that they would forward the application to that office and we would receive a placard in three weeks time. After waiting for five weeks and having several difficult experiences having to park a long way from an intended location, and since five weeks had passed since we were advised that our application would be processed in three weeks, we decided to try to contact the RMV to learn of our status. I tried calling and never was able to make a contact with a live person, as I was put on hold for what seemed like a longer than normal wait time. After disconnecting the phone, I considered an e-mail contact, but I found the RMV web site difficult to navigate with a lot of advertising clutter on the web site. I abandoned that idea as well and decided to seek help from my local State Representative. I called Representative Ted Speliotis and his office responded immediately. I was connected to Representative Speliotis Legislative Assistant Bill Bates who immediately took control of my issue, which included a visit to my home to pick up a copy of my application to the RMV. Bill made contact with the proper people at RMV and in a matter of days my credentials were in my hand. I am particularly indebted to Representative Speliotis and Bill Bates, who also serves on our local Danvers School Committee, for their prompt and efficient service, We are pleased that the RMV was able to accommodate my request. My case should not have been a difficult one to process as my medical condition with an amputated leg should have been easy to process. It would seem to me that handicapped placard processing should take some priority at the RMV, and be processed promptly as those credentials can be critical to someone with a disability and could make their entering back into the world on non handicapped individuals that much more seamless. Thanks again to Representative Speliotis and Bill Bates for their attention to my request.

Quality of Life Survey

Essex Heritage is pleased that our partner, Salem State University has organized phase 2 of the Quality of Life Survey that they agreed to implement for the benefit of Essex Heritage. The survey is anonymous and we would certainly appreciate it if you would consider providing us with your opinions. The survey can be found by accessing the joint quality of life survey at thanks

Essex Heritage Hero Awards Dinner

Plans are shaping up for our 2011 Heritage Hero Award Dinner - an event you do not want to miss! Join us as we celebrate the achievements of our inspiring 2011 Essex Heritage Heroes: Dr. Wayne Burton, Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and Mr. Wayne Marquis. Brian Cranney will serve as Master of Ceremonies for this fun-filled evening. 

All proceeds will benefit Essex Heritage programs that preserve and promote the historical, cultural, and natural resources in the 34 cities and towns of Essex County. Tickets are now available online! There is still time to sponsor! The advertising deadline is April 22! Find out more about sponsorship opportunities here (pdf).

Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor: Danversbank; Banner Sponsors: Eastern Bank, Salem Five, and Saugusbank; Lead Sponsor: North Shore Community College, as well as our table sponsors: The Hawthorne Hotel, Hunts Photo & Video, Peabody Essex Museum and The Provident Bank.

Superintendent Trap Recognized!

Patricia Trap, Superintendent of the Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sites, was selected as the 2011 Northeast Region's Superintendent of the Year for Natural Resource Stewardship. Her role in integrating natural resource stewardship and science into the planning and operations of Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site reflects her ability to include others in efforts to protect park resources, and her talent for instilling a shared vision amongst her National Park Service staff. Her leadership was instrumental in the Saugus Iron Works Turning Basin waterfront and tidal marsh restoration project, which was completed in 2010.

Danvers council on Aging Reception for Volunteers

On Sunday morning, April 17, 2011, the management of the DCOA hosted a reception at the Senior Center for volunteers who have provided service throughout the last year. The event billed as a Champagne Jazz Brunch was a wonderful success and was very well attended as over 140 seniors were in attendance. The food was wonderful, the entertainment was pleasant and the conversations interesting. Thank you to the Town for their thoughtfulness that will likely be rewarded by another year of committed volunteerism that will help keep the Danvers Senior Center, one of the most vibrant and active centers in the region. The level of volunteerism is high in the Town of Danvers, and the recognition of that commitment is part of the reason why support is so high.


It is too early to speak in detail about an event that is being planned by the St. Richard’s Church Parish Council. We do want those folks, who attend that church, to save the date of December 11, 2011 for a special one of a kind event that is being planned to help celebrate the Year of the Family. More information will follow in the future.

More Good News for County Seaport Communities

Last week, the Seaport Advisory Council chaired by Lt. Governor Murray met in Gloucester to consider applications from four coastal communities and the four applications were all approved. The city of Newburyport received $1.98 million in funding to complete repairs to the seawall that is such an important feature of the waterfront. Salem received a grant of $632, 654 that will help complete the new pier that will continue to be the location of the Salem ferry, will also receive cruise ships and will host fishing vessels. Gloucester received a grant of $700,000 to help complete the 1.2-mile harbor walk along the City’s working waterfront. The round of grants were completed with a $1.39 million to improve infrastructure on the waterfront project east of the Veterans Bridge. The periodic grants that this year totaled $4.7 million has been a boon to the economy of this region. The region is indebted to the state for this economic stimulus.

Big Sports day in Boston

A world-class marathon with record breaking times, the Red Sox starting to find their way, and the Bruins possibly getting back into the series.

Tax Day in MA

Today is the final day to pay state taxes in Massachusetts. In light of that fact, I saw an interesting story yesterday that so clearly points out the need for tax reform legislation. The story noted that the top 400 earners in this country are now only paying a average of 17% on their earnings rather than an average of 36% paid a couple of decades ago. The story also pointed out that at this time nearly half of all us citizens pay no taxes at all.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Work on Danvers Swampwalk Continues

There are a committed group of volunteers in Danvers who are constructing an elevated walkway over a swamp in the northern section of the Town. The project will be a wonderful educational component when completed. I received an invitation from George Salute seeking additional support. His announcement follows:

You are cordially invited to join us for Phase II of our Swamp Walk project. Volunteers are always welcome.


I was very pleased to be able to attend the spring semi-annual meeting of ENHC held on April 12, 2011 in Rockport before the largest crowd ever to attend an Essex Heritage meeting. This is the first time I have been able to participate in an ENHC activity since my illness in December. I was most gratified with the welcome that I received from the numerous Trustees, Commissioners and Friends of Essex Heritage in attendance. President Kevin Tierney presided over the meeting and announced that the annual grant in my name, that has been given by Essex Heritage for several years, will be awarded this year to support our youngest community members. This year the award will be provided to six local elementary schools from Saugus and Lynn to Salem. The grant will provide education programs offered in conjunction with the National Park Service to 180 Students in grade 3 through 5. The programs will be offered at the two NPS Sites within the region.

Three new Commissioners were offered in nomination and elected to the Commission. They are; John Farmer from Eastern Bank and the Commission’s Development Committee, Peter Webber, Cape Ann Chamber and Susan Moulton, of Moulton Consulting. We welcomed all three new Commissioners and urge their continuing support for our mission.
We were very pleased that Congressman John Tierney took time out from his busy Washington schedule to join us. He announced that upon his return to Washington he is prepared to file legislation that would authorize a study to determine if the local NPS unit in Salem could be expanded to include some adjacent properties and islands in and around the Salem Sound region. There are no plans for this study to authorize the acquisition of any additional property, but would simply allow the NPS to offer even more support to communities and other entities within the Essex National Heritage region. The current mood in Washington is not particularly open to these kinds of plans, but we are confidant that the Congressman and the rest of our Washington delegation will do all in their power to get the study authorized.

NPS Superintendent Trapp and her staff presented a replica of a valuable fireplace artifact, that turned up in Saugus and thanked the Commission for its help in the preservation effort.

Executive Director Annie Harris provided some current information on plans around the tenth anniversary of ENHC signature event, Trails and Sails that will be celebrated on the final two weekends in September. This year there will be a passport included and prizes will be presented to the most active participants. She also provided information on the sailing schedule for the Friendship that includes two public sails set again for the Labor Day weekend.

The meeting ended with a comprehensive presentation by Director of Heritage Development, Bill Steelman of the ongoing work to create the 85-mile, 13 community ESSEX HERITAGE SCENIC BYWAY. This Byway will begin in Lynn and terminate in the picturesque community of Rockport, where we celebrated the region’s accomplishments at our recent annual meeting. The Byway will continue to be managed by the Commission, and efforts to increase funding are ongoing. Bill introduced and thanked a number of members of the Byway Steering Committee who were in attendance.

I would be remiss if I did not recognize the management of the Shalin Liu Concert Hall for opening up their spectacular facility for the Commissions use. Everyone who participated in our meeting most certainly are aware of what this magnificent venue can mean to this region. For additional information on this spectacular arts facility please visit their website at We once again thank Shalin Liu for their hospitality to Essex Heritage.

State still calculating Local Aid support

As in other recent years, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts annual budget is late in preparation and approval. The delay and the resulting late announcement of local aid, that will be provided to Essex County communities, makes the task of local budget planning most difficult. We will continue to monitor developments in this process, and will try to report on the impact to local communities. As a member of a local community Finance Committee, this late announcement makes the budgeting process that much more difficult.

Final Plans Being prepared for North Shore Elder Services Fundraiser in Salem.

A wonderful, festive evening of fun and celebration is planned for the evening of April 28, when the North Shore Elder Services organization will celebrate its 35th Anniversary with an event titled “Studio 35”, to be held at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel in Salem. Tickets for this event are priced at $75 and reservations can be made at 978 624 2220.
Peabody Leather Museum Set to open new Online Exhibit.

The Peabody Leather Museum on Washington Street, that also doubles as one of the Essex Heritage Visitor Centers, is opening a new on-line exhibit this week that will focus on the history of the leather business in that city. On this new site amateur researchers can focus on where the leather businesses were located across time. The project was accomplished with the help of Salem State University and a grant from Mass. Humanities. For more information contact the museum directly.

Community Council Awards Dinner

We truly enjoyed a magical evening last night at the Danvers Community Council Awards Dinner where an old friend, Myrna Fearer, a local columnist, was named the Citizen of the Year. Myrna has been a friend to many and a promoter of all good causes including many Essex Heritage events. But all that said, the highlight of the evening for us, was the presentation of one of the three student Volunteer awards to our grandson Brendan Leonard for his work in the St. John’s Prep community. In his acceptance remarks, Brendan had some wonderful comments to say about observing the things that I have done in my life and then trying to emulate them as a volunteer. I was truly moved by his remarks, and thrilled that he has become a magnificant volunteer in his own right. It seems only appropriate that on Friday morning he is leaving with a group of fellow St. John’s Prep students for Grundy, Virginia, where he will participate in a week long experience to help repair homes for those less fortunate than himself. Congratulations on the award Brendan, and good luck this week in Virginia.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Congressman Tierney Introduces Bill in US Congress Regarding National Guard

At the annual celebration of the first muster of the National Guard on Salem Common, Congressman Tierney announced that he had filed a bill in the US Congress to designate Salem as the official birthplace of the National Guard. Every member of the Washington delegation has joined Congressman Tierney to support the legislation and the City of Salem and the region. The City and the State have previously issued their support with appropriate designations relative to this matter. The designation will add to the lure of Salem’s history, and may result in another reason for a visit to Salem and this area, and will help the already strong tourist appeal of the region as a whole.

Gloucester Continues to Improve the Visitor Experience

In a recent posting, I reported on the creation of a new visitor focused web site for the City of Gloucester. Now the City is developing an attractive and informative series of etched glass and pressed metal markers that will tell a story about Gloucester. Submissions for the walkway that will front the famous harbor are now being collected by the community and may include stories, photos, pictures, views, art or nature. When completed the new walk will certainly add to the visitor experience when visiting
the historic port city.

Commitment to disability Access

In the community briefing section of the Boston Globe North last week, a note appeared that indicated that the residents of the Town of Westford in nearby Middlesex County acted in a positive manner and voted an appropriation to add an elevator to make an current elementary school accessible to disabled students. The cost of the improvement will be expensive, but the voters certainly acted responsibly in this matter. I wonder how the school was originally built without the proper access available.

City of Salem Parking Plan Moves Forward

For a number of months the City of Salem has been holding pubic hearings on a new revolutionary downtown parking plan. The plan will call for the most desirous spaces nearest to the downtown to be priced at the highest level. Spaces furthest away will be priced lower for those willing to walk a bit further. Riley Plaza may be reconfigured to add more spaces, and some of the resident’s only spaces in the downtown may be eliminated until late in the day. There will be smart parking meters installed that will take credit or debit cards and a $25 per month pass for some spaces will be available for some downtown workers. All parking spaces will be for four hours, but charges for overtime parking will be dramatically increased encouraging turnover. For those occasional visitors to Salem, it will be wise to know of the new rules, but there will be better signage and increased educational outreach. The study concluded that there are sufficient spaces in town, to handle demand, and this new plan will hopefully work quite well when implemented, and properly managed. The cost of implementing this plan will be expensive and will be funded by seeking grants or borrowing, but in the long run it will produce more revenue than are being collected now. The plans as prepared will be presented to the City Council soon for approval, and if all goes well the plan could be rolled out in the fall before the avalanche of fall visitors arrive for Halloween. The process of gaining approval has always been problematic in Salem, but the plan appears to have some public support. In the recent media reports there was no mention of handicap parking issues, but I am certain that issue has been considered.

Hospital Sale Could Result in Windfall for Local Communities.

If the reported sale of the Northeast Health System holdings in this region to one of the two for profit hospitals bidding for the hospital takes place as rumored, the Communities of Beverly, Danvers and Gloucester could receive a major windfall in increased real estate taxes collected from the new for profit entity. In these difficult financial times, the increased revenues would be well received in the three communities. I would not count the cash quite yet, as negotiations could take some time,

Danvers Motel Issues

Governor Patrick has prepared a budget and a plan for reforming the way homelessness is funded in the Commonwealth and presented it to the State Legislature. If that new plan is not adopted, the Town of Danvers could once again be negatively impacted. I n recent days the number of families living in Route 1 motels in Danvers is once again growing. The difficulty for Danvers is an increasing number of school services that it must provide to these new residents and other demands like the services provided by the local food pantry and other community council programs. I urge the local legislators to examine the Governors proposal and make the changes needed to satisfy their needs to protect the Town of Danvers from another unfunded mandate. During the last run-up of new families being relocated to the many motels in Town, the local government embraced the newly placed residents and welcomed them warmly, but financial times even now are more difficult, and if the population in the motels grows as quickly as suspected, some funding support from the Commonwealth will be required

Salem Five Annual Meeting

After a nearly four decade career at Salem Five that ended over a decade ago, it is a pleasure for me to remain as a corporator of the bank and to be able to attend the annual meeting each year to learn of continuing progress. The bank remains a most active community advocate, and provider of support for worthy causes. Salem Five bank is a wonderful supporter of the work of Essex Heritage, and is one of our proudest business partners along with a number of other local financial institutions. They are, along with others, as they have been in the past a supporter of the Heritage Hero event scheduled for May 19, 2011 in Danvers, where Essex Heritage will honor its three newest hero’s. As of the date of the recent meeting Salem Five is the 4th largest bank in the Commonwealth and are offering services in twenty–two locations around the region, with more branches planned. We as a region continue to be most fortunate as three of the top five banks in assets in the State are headquartered in Essex County with our friends from Eastern Bank at the top of the list of leaders. During the most recent business year the bank set a new record for mortgages closed in a single year as, $1.3 billion in residential loans were closed. Consolidated net income earned for the year was more than double from the previous year. This business performance allows the bank to continue to be a generous contributor to worthy causes around this region. In addition to making financial contributions to organizations in the area, the bank continues to offer the support of many of its executives who serve in volunteer roles at not-for-profits in the region it serves, starting with President Gibbons who serves on the board of the local Boys and Girls Club. Other bank executives like Ken Ellis and Kim Meader serve Essex Heritage and John Hall serves as Chairman of the North Shore Chamber.

Yesterday’s Annual Meeting outlined some remarkable results that showed how well the bank is performing in a difficult financial environment.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The local community volunteer organization that has devoted an extraordinary amount of energy to the development of the Rail Trail in Danvers is the Danvers BI-PEDS. Now with help of one of the most active clubs in town, the Kiwanis Club, has organized a trail cleanup day. That effort was first set for April Fools Day, but has now been set back one additional week until April 9, 2011. See the following announcement. The Rail Trail has generated substantial interest in town and is wonderful that the Kiwanis Club has offered their services to help with both clean up and beautification. Anyone else who wishes to help is certainly welcome that day,
Kate Day, Senior Planner for the town provided the following information. -
The Danvers Kiwanis is hosting a cleanup day for the Rail Trail as part of the group’s participation in their National Community Service Day on Saturday, April 9th. Coordinated by the Danvers Rail Trail Advisory Committee, the group will meet at 9 a.m. in the Hobart Street parking lot adjacent to the Rail Trail for instructions; work will continue until late morning. The Danvers Bi-Peds will provide refreshments and host a raffle as a thank you for Kiwanis volunteers. Bags will be supplied courtesy of the Kiwanis Club. Volunteers to kick off a trail beautification program, “Adopt-a-Planter”, will also plant several decorative barrels donated by Bill Clark with pansies. Volunteers should wear comfortable clothing and bring gloves. For more information about this and other Rail Trail volunteer opportunities, call Kate Day or Kristan Farr in the Planning Department at 777-0001 X 3029. NOTE: RESCHEDULED FROM APRIL 2 DUE TO WEATHER FORECAST FOR APRIL 1.
The Northeast Harvest monthly newsletter in collaboration among several agricultural organization and counties of Essex and Middlesex and the issue prepared for April is now available and signup for this publication can be accomplished by contacting Elizabeth Rankin at
Essex Heritage Spring Meeting in Rockport on April 12, 2011 is free of charge and open to the Public. Please join us that morning for light refreshments and updates on the Heritage Byway that will terminate in Rockport, and to hear a report from Congressman John Tierney on legislation relative to the National Park Service that he is planning to file. For a reservation contact Emily Levin at

Facilities and Conditions for Handicap access will be an important issue for me in the future.
I noticed a news story a week or so ago, that certainly caught my attention. The story focused on the inability at least for the short term, of the City of Peabody to offer handicap access to residents who wish to attend public hearings. The lack of access is hopefully very short term, as an elevator in City Hall is waiting for some repairs to be completed. Handicap access around the region will be an issue that I intend to pay some attention to in the future. As you may know, I recently had a leg amputated, and at least for the short term am spending some time in a wheelchair. I have been fitted with an artificial leg, and it is my intention to become much more mobile in the future, but access for people with handicaps will be an issue for me long term. Much has been accomplished in this area in recent years and the State of Massachusetts has been a leader in this initiative but there will always be improvements needed in this area. I am certain that the City of Peabody is doing everything in their power to remedy this hopefully short -term problem.


On April 6, 2011, the Danvers Finance Committee will begin a series of public hearings to consider the annual Town budget and make appropriate recommendations to the May Town Meeting. I have served for a number of years on this panel, and have always enjoyed the process of evaluating the annual budget and making recommendations to make the process more efficient. Unfortunately, the experience will be a little different. A couple of weeks ago, after a three month stay in area hospitals, I had a leg amputation and the fitting of a new artificial limb, I was discharged in late March and I am now receiving therapeutic services in my home. As a result of that commitment, for the early portion of the hearings, I will not be able to attend the meetings in person. I will be reduced to viewing the hearings on community TV, and will have to address any concerns that I might have in advance of the hearings. I remain certain that before the complete schedule of hearings are complete that I will be able to attend some portion of the hearings in person. I remain confident that the leadership of the town has done its usual efficient and effective job of preparing the town budget, and the Finance Committee process will be accomplished with its usual efficiency.

Danvers Community Council Announces Award Winners for 2011.

The Danvers Community Council, that support numerous charitable endeavors, has announced that its annual award dinner will be held at the Danversport Yacht Club on April 13, 2011. Tickets for the event can be purchased now at the Danvers YMCA. The highlight of the evening will be the presentations of the Citizen of the Year Award to Ms. Myrna Fearer the recently retired Community Editor of the Danvers Herald. It seems most appropriate that Myrna would receive this award from an organization involved in charity work in the Town as over the years in her role at the newspaper she has made a special effort to successfully promote events in the Town that needed to raise money to support their efforts.

My wife and I will be in attendance at the dinner to congratulate Myrna for her work over the many years we have known her. Myrna was responsible for me becoming a columnist for the Community Newspapers several years ago. We are certain that the evening will be most memorable for her as it was for me, when I received the same award several years ago. Our participation this year will be even more enjoyable as one of the three young people who will also receive awards for their volunteerism will be our oldest grandson, Brendan Leonard who will graduate from St. John’s Prep next month, and will then attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall of 2011. Also receiving awards that evening will be Danvers High School seniors Katie Dollard and Anna Blaikie. Also that evening Mr. Daniel Mackey will receive a special plaque for his service to the Danvers Food Pantry,