Saturday, July 16, 2011

Essex HAPPENINGS JULY 16, 2011

National Park Service Names Interim Salem/Saugus NP Superintendent

As we have written in the past in this space, we continue to offer our congratulations to Patty Trapp on the wonderful work she has done in this region and for the exceptional promotion she has received as the Deputy Director of the National Park Service mid -west region. Our loss here in Essex county will be the Park Service’s gain, as they will certainly benefit from Patty’s experience and work ethic in her new role. Earlier this week, many of Patty’s friends and associates held a going away party for her at the Salem site.

We have now been advised that the National Park Service has named Ms. Rita Hennessey interim Superintendent of the Salem and Saugus sites. Ms. Hennessy has recently been serving as the Assistant Park Manager of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail that stretches from Georgia to Maine. She will serve the two parks in the region, the Essex National Heritage Area and its Commission until a new Superintendent is named later this year. As ENHC moves to develop the Essex Heritage Scenic Byway through its 85-mile length. Ms. Hennessey’s previous experience could prove to be most helpful to the region even in the short term.

National Park System Action Plan for 2016
Advisory Board Planning Committee Update

The outlined work being done by this panel can be most advantageous to Essex Heritage and many of the other National Heritage Areas

On June 30, the NPS Advisory Board Planning Committee completed the first phase of its work. The committee submitted its preliminary recommendations to the full NPS Advisory Board. Once the Advisory Board approves these recommendations, the Planning Committee will delve into more specific and detailed recommendations. Essex Heritage Director, Annie Harris, who serves on the 15 member committee, reports that the National Heritage Area program is included in several sections of these recommendations. Director Harris is very pleased that the plan recognizes that the National Heritage Areas provide an excellent "model for effective community based resource conservation and stewardship in (both) urban and rural areas across the nation" and it proposes that the NHAs be further integrated into the National Park Service system.

NPS Director Jon Jarvis has specifically asked the Planning Committee for three early action items that he will announce this fall. Harris anticipates that the National Heritage Areas will be included as working examples of management practices and partnership tools that are important for the future of the Park Service.

The following recap of activities along the Coastal Byway are regularly provided in this space because of the importance of this project to the entire region.

Along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
The 85-mile coastal route from Lynn to Newburyport

The Byway and Cultural Districts
The byway communities of Lynn, Salem, Gloucester, and Newburyport are among those contemplating application to a state-wide cultural districts program. The new initiative is managed by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and shares the same economic and quality of life goals as the byway program. Read more.

Salem Enhances Byway Biking
The City of Salem recently began marking bike lanes and routes on portions of the city's byway alignment. Check it out.

Historic Maritime Business in Gloucester

Tucked away in the Rocky Neck portion of East Gloucester is a unique maritime service - the Gloucester Marine Railways, the oldest continuously operating marine railway in the country. Learn more here.

Danvers Historical Society Golf Tournament

For those of you, who like me, are enamored with the game of golf, the Danvers Historical Society is offering a great opportunity to both enjoy your game at a great local golf course and at the same time offer financial help to a wonderful cause that benefits an organization that us helping to preserve the heritage of this region. On August 1st at the recently restored Black Swan course, that until just recently was the private Georgetown Country Club, golfers tee off at 8:00 am that day with a shotgun start. The proceeds from the event will benefit the numerous programs and activities of the Historical Society, that help preserve many historical objects and important real estate in the Danvers community. Your entrance fee will be tax deductible and reservations for the event can be made by contacting the Danvers Historical Society at 978-774-1666. We thank Larry Raimondi and his active committee for all of their efforts to make certain that the event will be both a social and financial success.

Salem Five Announces Proposed Relationship with Stoneham Savings Bank

Salem Five Bank, one the largest independent banks in this region has entered into an agreement with Stoneham Savings Bank that calls for the two banks to operate as affiliated banks under the Salem Five Bancorp name for a three year period. It is expected that after the initial three years, the Stoneham bank will then be merged with and into Salem Five. This new arrangement between these two mutual Savings Banks that were originally charted within days over 150 years ago in 1855 is expected to be consumated sometime in the last quarter of this year when all appropriate corporate and regulatory authorizations are approved. At that time, and for the next period, the Stoneham bank will continue to operate as an independent bank until the three-year period expires. During that time frame the Stoneham Institution will continue to operate with its present management, all branches, all management and staff will remain in place. This policy is somewhat different from some of the recent actions relative to merger planning. When the merger is complete the combined resources of the new bank will exceed $3.1 billion in assets and will offer traditional banking services at nearly thirty banking locations from the North Shore into the lower Merrimack Valley. Salem Five along with other local banking institutions in this region have long provided support and guidance to Essex Heritage, and we expect that support to continue. Whenever I provide information about Salem Five in this space, I feel that it is appropriate that I disclose that I served that bank as an employee and an officer for four decades, and still serve as a corporator of the bank.

Danvers to Consider Airport Expansion

In a July meeting the Danvers Planning Board will consider an expansion project that might be considered positive relative to regional tourism, but will likely draw concerns from airport neighbors. The proposal calls for the approval of a project that would add a 7600 sq ft hanger that would also include an access road and an aircraft apron. I would expect that there might be some neighborhood opposition to this expansion effort, even though it might be thought as an enhancement in efforts to increase tourism in this region.

Student Transfer Program Established

The Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill and St Joseph’s College in Maine have joined together in an innovative program. This program that will allow students at the Community College to enroll in programs at the Maine College without ever leaving the Haverhill campus and is considered a forward thinking approach to education. This is a most innovative program and is part of a broader initiative that has linked the Community College with more than two-dozen public and private college and universities. With today’s education costs any program that offers more programs and keeps cost level is a wonderful effort.

Town of Danvers to provide proper handicapped access to Dr. Deering Stadium this Fall

With all of the construction and rehabilitation under way at the rebuilt Danvers High School, this past spring, we had a very difficult time gaining handicapped access to the stadium for the ladies lacrosse season. I am very pleased that after pointing out this deficiency, the Town and its Public Works Director, David Lane have responded quickly to my observations and have assured me that proper changes will be made in the access patterns before the fall athletic season. I am very pleased with the prompt response that I received to my observation and a continuing difficulty of access could have had serious ramifications for a number of handicapped residents of Danvers that wanted to attend an event at the High School.

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