Friday, August 26, 2011

Essex Happenings August 26 2011

Essex Heritage Quarterly Meeting Conducted in Danvers

At the end of last week, the Board of Trustees of Essex Heritage gathered to elect new Trustees and a leadership team for 2012-2013. In addition, the board heard reports from Executive Director, Annie Harris, outgoing Board President Kevin Tierney and Committee Chairs. Two new Trustees, Bill Howard CEO of Beverly Cooperative Bank, and David LaFlamme, CEO of North Shore Bank were elected and welcomed to the Board. In addition, two superlative Trustees, Kay Ellis of the Schooner Thomas E. Lannon, and Joseph Milano of the Union Oyster House in Boston have reached the end of their terms were named Trustee Emeritii. Heading the leadership team for 2012 for a two-year term will be President Elect Richard Yagjian, COO of Hunts Photo and Video. In addition to Rich, David Hildt, Executive Director of Adelante Youth Center in Lawrence and Jack Good Ist Vice President of People’s United Bank in Danvers and Bridgeport. CT. were elected Vice Presidents. The financial team elected were John Meserve, CEO of Merrimac Savings Bank as Treasurer and Sean Flynn of Commonwealth Financial Network as Assistant Treasurer. Fred Winthrop former Executive Director of the Trustees of Preservation was named clerk and he will be be assisted by Paul McGinley Principal/Partner of Preservation Planning & Development Director of McGinley, Kaslow & Associates will be the Assistant Clerk. Elected Trustee at Large was John Farmer, Senior Vice President and Director of Managed Assets of Eastern Bank. Retiring President Kevin Tierney, CEO of Saugus Bank will continue to serve the Commission as he has done for the last two years as the Immediate Past President and Tom Leonard was elected to another term as President Emeritus. The soon to be filled position of NPS Superintendent of the Salem and Saugus sites will also serve on the leadership team. Reports on Development Activities, The Border to Boston Rail Trail, the Essex Heritage Scenic Byway, Activities connected to the work at Baker’s Island were presented. A report was also provided relative to the process of re-districting currently underway. A brochure was provided that outlines the tenth Anniversary Trails and Sails Event during the last two weekends in September. The event this year will feature participation by over 130 regional organizations and there will be over 300 individual events.

Unique Auction in Southern New Hampshire

A bridge just north of our region and one that is very visible to visitors to Portsmouth or Kittery is being put up for auction and this may be one of the most unusual auctions that I have ever seen advertised. Because of federal regulations, the Memorial Bridge that has spanned the Piscataqua River that carries US Route 1 between Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine, built in 1923 has now been closed since last month to motor vehicles until a replacement bridge is completed in 2014. The bridge is closed to motor vehicles due to the deteriorating condition of the current bridge, but is still open to bikes and pedestrians. Bike riders are required to walk their bikes across the bridge because of the open grate decking on the present bridge. The bridge is part of the East Coast Greenway. The bridge can still be opened enough to allow large commercial boats to pass into the harbor. Now that the bridge is formally closed, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation is required to put the bridge on the auction block. The bridge can be purchased with a bid on the entire bridge, the center lift that allows maritime traffic to pass under the bridge or either the NH or the Maine end of the bridge. Bidding will start at $1 and state funding is available to assist with the removal of the sections acquired. The bridge has been placed on the auction block to comply with Federal regulations and to insure the Federal Funding is available for the new bridge.

Charity Golf Event Scheduled at Salem Country Club to Benefit Spaulding Hospital North

I am aware that I have recently promoted a number of Charity Golf Events in this space, and certainly do not want to overdue reporting on these events, but I have recently been made aware of an event that I believe is important to let you know about. On October 3, 2011, the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Cambridge & Spaulding North Shore will present the Liberty Mutual Invitational at the prestigious Salem Country Club in Peabody. One of the Primary beneficiaries of this event will be the Hospital in Salem and all of their programs. The event will be held as a great chance to use your golf skills on what is generally considered one the finest tests of golf in eastern Massachusetts, if not all of New England. The event will provide both lunch and dinner and wall include all of the usual contests, gifts and an auction that will include some wonderful opportunities to acquire a number of wonderful offerings. The cost of a registration for this premier event is only $2000 for a foursome and there are also various sponsorship opportunities that are also available to help promote your organization. I am pleased that, I have been asked to provide some remarks after dinner that evening. I will, as a grateful patient, who received special care at the Salem facility in late 2010 into 2011. will point out the special kind of care I received and what it meant to my recuperation.

To sign up for this event or to obtain more information contact Amanda Almedia @ Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Development office, 235 Nashua Street. Boston, Mass. 02114. She can be reached at or at 617-573-2922. This Is a Event that deserves your consideration, as the beneficiary is so important to this region.

Update on Sail Salem Program and what the Recent gift will Mean

Just a short time ago, I noted the city of Salem had received a donation to a maritime education program offered in that community. I wanted to follow up that report with more information on this successful program. The gift of the 34 foot power boat was provided as the donor, Thomas Brown of Gloucester and formally of Marblehead wants to be certain that boating stays affordable, particularly for youth. The Sail Salem Program was organized in the summer of 2008 to offer sailing lessons to children in the city. Youth pay $1 for these lessons. The program operated out on Winter Island in Salem, also offers adult sailing lessons at a cost of $225 each that is used to underwrite the youth programs, offered out of the winter Island location. The donated power boat will be used in the future to help high schools and colleges run racing regattas. In general this has been a most successful program that works to introduce sailing and the ocean to the youth of that community.

Main Street Peabody Corridor Report Due this Week.

The city will be holding a Public meeting this week to provide an update on the Main Street Realignment Program that will suggest changes in design of the main Street project from Peabody square to Howley Street. The planned improvements will include considerations for pedestrian safety as well as general streetscape improvements. To help correct these deficiencies,, this project will also address the level of traffic in this corridor and will present alternatives to correct these issues. The many Alternatives that were presented to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety certainly raised a number of concerns by the numerous Peabody residents who attended the presentation. I am certain that over the next several weeks even ore information will be provided and the public will have ample opportunities to offer observation on the plan.

The city of Peabody is also awaiting final plans on the design of culverts that will be installed in the future in the square area to mitigate the recurring flooding that from time to time inundates the Peabody square area.

Much Needed Affordable Housing in Danvers

Under normal circumstances, affordable housing is not an issue covered in these postings, and this matter is not covered generally as part of the Essex Heritage mission, but the need in this area has always been an important personal issue for me. In my previous career as a banker, I was involved in a number of projects that added affordable housing stock to this region. Making this issue even more important to me, is that the housing project that I want to address is in the Community where I live, seemed to make it worth discussing. Kavanaugh Advisory Group has been granted approval by the Danvers Planning Board to construct ninety one, two and three bedroom units on a site of vacant land located at 121 Conifer Hill Drive, Danvers. The one remaining step that needs to be accomplished before construction could be begin in the spring of 2012 is the issuance of a tax credit approval for project developers. It is clear that at least in this community additional affordable housing is needed and this project will help alienate that deficiency.

Bike Safety Program Advances in Gloucester

Another community in this region has addressed bike riding and safety in that city, Gloucester has painted bike stencils on three busy roads in that community to make motorists more aware of the presence of cyclists on those roads, The roads that were identified as Main and Rogers Streets and Stacy Boulevard, where the famous Fisherman Statue looks out over the harbor The modest funding for this project was provided by States Man in Motion Program

Several Critical Issues to be Decided at Rockport Town Meeting

On September 12, 2011, the Town of Rockport will hold a Town Meeting. Rockport is one of the more important tourist destinations in this region, and issues like an increase in hotel-motel taxes, a change in a use regulations on public beaches and the authority to sell a property donated to the community for affordable housing are al important issues to be monitored.

Two Local Communities (Salem-Peabody) Come to Closure on New School Leadership Compensation

The communities of Peabody and Salem have each dome to agreement with new school leadership on contractual natters. In Salem, the contract was the highest ever committed to by that city, and in Peabody, that community hired the former Salem Superintendent, who that community stalked out of retirement.

Commercial Real Estate Market in Downtown Salem Continues to be Active

Salem’s House of Seven Gables Begins its Second Century of Operation with Award Celebration and Auction on September 18, 2011

Topsfield Fair Opening Just a Week away

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