Thursday, June 2, 2011


Essex Heritage Development Committee Meets to Review Heritage Hero Event and Other Issues.

The final financial results of the Heritage Hero events were most positive, and that will a great benefit for the programs we offer, The committee ales spent some time pre-planning for the 2012 event that is now established as the primary fund raising event for Essex Heritage. A date was also set for the Essex Heritage annual meeting, put October xx on your calendar, and as soon as we establish a location for the meeting we will publish that information. The group also spent some of the meeting discussing several ideas about an event to be scheduled to offer the thanks of Essex Heritage to the dozens of corporate partners that has joined our corporate membership program. The type and location of the event is still under discussion, but the date has been set for September 14, 2011. More information to come as plans are finalized.

Winter Island Plans

The City of Salem has completed the planning process as it moves to improve the Winter Island site that was for many years a Coast Guard base during the war years and then served to protect the boating public along the southern North Shore Coast as boating interests expanded in this region. The City, for many years, has been contemplating how the site could be used more effectively as a recreational asset for the residents of Salem. In the past there has been some use of the site by recreational vehicles and an occasional concert was staged on the site. The recently announced plans now call for the creation of a permanent amphitheatre and performance stage for concerts. The plans also call for the creation of a walkway around the site with benches and improved lighting. The city also intends to restore the historic fort on the site, and that could also be an attraction for visitors to the city. If the plans can be turned into reality there will be another wonderful venue in the coastal community where views of the Atlantic can be found.

Land Sale in Hamilton/Wenham Finalized

The Towns of Hamilton and Wenham, recently completed the purchase of over fifty acres of land from the Donovan Family trust. The purchase of the land that will be used to maintain open space and for recreational purposes was obtained after a Hamilton Town Meeting last fall approved spending $733,000 from the Town’s Community Preservation Act Fund. The land includes forested lands and fields used for multiple sports by the community’s recreational Department. There is even the possibility that the fields could be used in the future by the Hamilton-Wenham school department, if in the future freshman sports are reinstated by the school district. The Town was assisted in this transaction by The Essex County Greenbelt Association, an Essex County land conservation group, that helped to create the agreement between the Town that owns and manages the property, the Donovan family Trust, the Hamilton-Wenham Open Land Trust that holds a conservation restriction, and the Essex County Trails Association that will hold an easement on a recreational trail that runs through the property. This was a complicated transaction but was most certainly positive for the two communities, the region and the two land conservation organizations.

Congressman Tierney, Recognizes Small Business Week in Newburyport

Congressman John Tierney marked the importance of small businesses to the region, and the observance of small business week by vesting three businesses in the City of Newburyport. The Congressman helped cut a ribbon at a new operation at the Clean Tech Center in that community. He helped celebrate the opening of Muzzy Lane software that creates strategy games to teach history, science, language, heath, business and urban planning. The Clean Tech Center where the new software company is located is a 30,000 square foot complex in the city’s Lord Timothy Dexter Industrial Green that offers space to sustainable startups and prototype development and product manufacturing businesses. The Congressman used the visit to bring attention to small businesses as one of the primary drivers of new job creation, that are so critical to the economic health of communities like Newburyport and the other communities in this region.

FY 12 Fiscal Budget Hearing in Gloucester

Earlier this week the Gloucester City Council held a public hearing to discuss the budget that totals $87.6 million submitted for approval by Mayor Carolyn Kirk includes a provision to for cutting 76 full and part time positions from the City and School payrolls. The deadline for the approval of a new budget in July 1, 2011, the start of the new fiscal year. It is expected that the public hearing will be contentious as job cuts always attract the interest of the voters, but the Mayor must present a balanced budget to the Council for approval and with revenues lower than in the past, the job reduction action, is the step the Mayor has picked to produce the balanced budget required by law.
Both Salem and Peabody Searching for School Leadership

The two neighboring communities of Peabody and Salem are both in a search for a new superintendents to lead their respective school systems. Both communities will hold public hearing to allow for voter and parental input. The general call in Salem seems to be to find a leader who has Salem roots and will likely stay in the position long term. This year, the number of school leadership resignations has exacerbated by a change in the rules for retirements of school superintendents.

Boston Bruins to Open Stanley Cup Series in Canada

On Wednesday evening the Boston Bruins opened the final hockey series of this season against the Vancouver Canuks. The Boston entry lost a tough decision in the final minute of the first game, but the team is resilient and hopefully they can bounce back in game two on Saturday. The winner of this best of seven game series will claim the 2012 Stanley Cup, the oldest trophy competed for in North America. The Bruins are the Boston professional sports team that has been the longest without a championship. The last time they held the title was nearly four decades ago in 1972. The 1972 Bruins team that was led by Bobby Orr, captured the hearts of fans in the region with that win, began a period of youth hockey expansion and the building of many new rinks in this region. This present Bruins team can have A similar impact on the region by winning the cup this year. I have personally been a hockey fan since those wonderful days of Bobby Orr and the Big, Bad Bruins, and remain hopeful that the 2012 team can once again bring home a title to the region, as the Patriots, Celtics and Red Sox have already done this decade.

Tornadoes Destroy Communities in the Western Part of the State

The TV video and reports on the devastation in the communities west of Worcester are unbelievable. I do not suspect that there any readers of this effort that live in those areas, but regardless we all offer our thoughts and prayers in these difficult times. We can only hope that help is prompt and provides some level of relief in the very near term..

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