Friday, September 30, 2011

Essex Happenings September 30, 2011

Essex Happenings September 30, 2011

The National Park Service and Essex National Heritage Commission Announce the Premiere of Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence

A New Interpretive Film at the National Park Service Visitor Center in Salem

The Essex National Heritage Commission, in partnership with the National Park Service, will premiere Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence, on Tuesday, October 4 at 7:00 pm at the National Park Service Salem Visitor Center at 2 New Liberty Street, Salem. Reservations are required.

The Opening Night will begin at 7:00pm with refreshments and a brief presentation followed by a 7:30pm showing. Scholars, the director and many others involved in the making of the film will be on hand for questions and a discussion. For reservations contact Essex Heritage at 978-740-0444 or at,

The film about the 1692 Salem Witch Trials is based on the most recent scholarly research of the causes, events and aftermath of these famous trials. Award-winning director Tom Phillips, in association with Professor Benjamin C. Ray of the University of Virginia, wrote and directed this film, which draws on a reexamination of nearly 1,000 manuscript records and published material associated with the witchcraft trials of 1692. The movie reveals newly found documents and research which shed new light on the trials, with reenactors speaking the documented words of the accusers and victims, and analysis by scholars who have studied the trials for many years.

“This film, offers many new insights into a story that has been told and retold for hundreds of years. The history of these infamous trials is one of the most frequently asked questions by visitors at the National Park Service Visitor Center in Salem,” said Annie C. Harris, Executive Director of the Essex National Heritage Commission. “When we were offered the opportunity to re-examine this period of history with the benefit of the latest scholarship, we jumped at the chance.”

“While many visitors know of the trials, few know the history of the events that cost the lives of twenty innocent victims,” said Rita Hennessy, acting Superintendent of the Salem and Saugus National Historic Sites. “This historically accurate interpretation of the Salem witch trials will be a centerpiece at our Visitor Center in Salem.”

This film was shot on location at Massachusetts sites associated with the events of 1692, including the Rebecca Nurse Homestead and the Parris Parsonage foundation in Danvers and the Corwin House (Witch House) in Salem.

After the premier showing, the film will be shown four times daily (11.00, noon, 1:00, and 2:00) at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center in Salem, These showings are expected to be a visitor favorite during the month of October and all through the year.

Essex Heritage Photo Contest Deadline Fast Approaching!

2010 Grand Prize Winner "Full Sails At Sea" 
by Rod Parker
Photographers get snapping! All photographers are invited to submit images that capture the essence of the Essex National Heritage Area to Essex Heritage's 2011 Photo Contest. All submissions are due by October 1, 2011. Any photograph captured between October 1, 2010 and October 1, 2011, and assigned to one of four contest categories is eligible to win. The 2011 Photo Contest categories are: "People & Places," "Urban Landscapes," "Experiencing the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway" and "GreenSpaces."

Sponsored by the Essex National Heritage Commission and Hunt's Photo & Video, the 2011 Essex Heritage Photo Contest will award 13 prizes to 13 individual photographers! Award winning photographs are exhibited for one year at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center in Salem, Mass.

Learn more about the 2011 Essex Heritage Photo Contest and download an entry form here.

Salem Free Bike Share Program is in place and operating now.

As we discussed a couple of weeks ago, the City of Salem and Salem State University has started a free of charge bike sharing program for both visitors and residents. The program is free and bikes can be obtained at a downtown location at the historic Hawthorne Hotel or at the school at the campus police station on Loring Avenue. Access to the bikes can be obtained by offering a credit card that will not be charged and a valid ID card. Bike programs are springing up in many communities, but most have charges associated with the program, but the one in Salem is free of any charges, This is a program designed to help move people around the city and at the same time get a few vehicles off the roads.

Bike programs are proliferating in this part of the country, but the one in Salem is most unusual. The local daily paper in Salem recently offered an editorial opinion about bike safety, so it is becoming most clear that bike programs that help move people efficiently and economically are here to stay and should be managed to obtain that most benefit from the programs.

I am pleased to be providing remarks about my relationship with Spaulding Hospital after a Golf Tournament at Salem Country Club next week.

Next Monday evening, I am pleased to have been offered the opportunity to provide some after dinner remarks about my recovery at a golf tournament to support the work of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem. I am pleased to have this opportunity, because I received wonderful care at that facility, and am pleased to offer my observations about the care that was provided.

City of Salem Announces Winners of Green Company Competition

The City of Salem recently presented awards in their recent green contest at a ceremony at Old Town Hall. The Winners selected were picked from a group of fifty participating companies based on the size of the business focusing on the number of employees. The winners included the Picklepot for a single employee or owner, Ben and Jerry’s, North Shore Community Development Coalition for businesses, and Salem State University based on the number of employees
The awards were presented to all of the winning organizations by Salem’s Mayor Driscoll. All of the winners received a window sticker for display, designating their achievement, and should all be congratulated for their commitment. to the concept of the preservation of energy.

Danvers Committee on Diversity to offer Series of Free Movies on three Thursday evenings at Library.

Starting on October 6, 2011 and continuing for the following two weeks the Town managed committee will offer free films in the Gordon Room at the library at 7;00 p.m. The films will focus on discrimination issues, and the films will be followed by a discussion about that issue. It is expected that the film presentations and the subsequent discussions will prove to a wonderful opportunity to continue ongoing conversations about discriminations in that community.

Peabody Artsworks Community Arts Center Seeking Artists

Several weeks ago, in this space we noted the opening of an arts center in Peabody, managed by Northeast Arc, which provides services to residents from around the region with developmental and physical disabilities. The new facility that features a gallery for local artists as well as for people served by ARC is now sending out a call for artists that might like to have their work exhibited at one of eight to ten exhibitions scheduled for this year. The first of these exhibitions is scheduled to be held next month. For more information on this program and to begin the process of participating in one of these exhibitions contact Director Merritt Kirkpatrick at or call her at 978-531-0666.

Marblehead Chamber to Hold Annual Meeting and Announce Awards

The Marblehead Chamber recently held its annual meeting at the Landing restaurant. At the meeting they are expected to name their 2011 community awards winners. . When those awards are announced we will certainly provide the names of the winners to you.

Professional Sports in Boston

The last week or so in the City of Boston, sports have not been kind. The Patriots suffered a recent upset at the hands of the Buffalo Bills after an long winning streak against that team and then last night around midnight the cruelest loss of all took place. The home team baseball team suffered the worst collapse of all time as they capped off the worst September in baseball history by losing the final game of the 2011 season, thus missing the playoffs. Using the life goes on theme, tonight the first Bruins game of the season appears on TV, as they try to fill the void after the Red Sox loss.

The last decade has been a golden one as far as professional sports were concerned in this area, starting with the Patriots Super Bowl win in 2001 and concluding with the Stanley Cup win by the Bruins this year. Let’s hope that this latest loss is not the first link in a new down sports cycle for the City. If I had to bet on a city that might replace Boston as title city, I would be watching Detroit, and they are certainly long overdue for some level of success and have experienced a resurgence of a couple of their sports teams.


Friday, September 23, 2011

eEssex Happenings 9.23.11

City of Salem Designated as a runner Friendly Community

The City of Salem has received the important designation as a Runner Friendly Community. The designation is provided by the Road Runners Club of America. The Club awards the designation only to municipalities that meet certain criteria including having the infrastructure, government support and community backing for running. In the application for the designation the city pointed to the extraordinary work of the Salem’s Park and Recreation & Community Services Department. The wicked Running Club and other organizations create races for the Community. The Park and Recreation Department has always been a sensational asset for the city for as long as I can remember. Even in the days of my youth when I was growing up in Salem, the programs offered were broad and varied and offered to both youth and adults. Not long ago, to improve efficiency, the city combined the Recreation Department with the Senior Center and the current Director, Doug Bollen should be complimented for his efforts to continue to provide services to all ages in the City of Salem. The director has created a great relationship with organizations across the city, including working with the Boys and Girls Club where some of the proceeds from programs are provided to help that program that assist underserved youth in the community. As you can see from a review of the schedule there are many beneficiaries in the city from the proceeds of these efforts.

I recently received a message from Director Bollen that outlined a road race schedule for 2012, and the schedule follows. It is provided as the program has such wide acceptance in the region that it seems helpful to expose the schedule in this BLOG.

Salem Park, Recreation & Community Road Race Series 2012
**Salem is a an RRCA designated Runner Friendly Community
A twist is being added to the 5th Annual Salem Race Series in 2012!

There will be eight racing events offered, and two levels of finishers:
Competitor: Complete 6 of 8 races and receive a running cap with the race series logo
Finisher: Complete all 8 races and receive a running jacket with race series logo.

The Salem Race Series gives runners a chance to experience a wide variety of seasonal events, from the chill of January to the heat of August, from a one mile run to a half-marathon, from a flat course to a cross-country run- with even a snowshoe event added for 2012. All races start and finish in Salem and support City of Salem Recreation programs for all ages, as well as other local charities, so your hard work will not only be rewarded, but will supplement continuing programs such as this in the future.

The 2012 race series includes:

1) Sunday, January 1: Frosty Four New Years Day Race 10 a.m. 4 mile, relatively flat course, some rolling hills. In partnership with the Wicked Running Club; a portion of proceeds support youth scholarships.

2) Saturday, January 7: 3rd Annual Olde Salem Greens Snow Shoe Race 5k snowshoe run through Olde Salem Greens Golf Course, a portion of proceeds to Salem Woods.

3) Sunday, March 25: 5k
Cross-Country Run at Olde Salem Greens 9 a.m. 5k, hilly and challenging course. A portion of proceeds will benefit Salem High School Cross Country team.

4) Friday, July 13: Miles Over the Moon 8 p.m. 4 mile, flat course through the historic district of Salem. A portion of proceeds support local high school track programs.

5) Friday, August 17: The Derby Street Mile 7 p.m. One mile, flat and fast course; great family run. A portion of proceeds benefit Salem Youth Basketball.

6) Saturday, September 22: Wicked Half Marathon 8 a.m. 13.1 mile loop through Salem and Marblehead. Offered In partnership with B & S Fitness.

7) Saturday, October 27: Run with the Devil 8 a.m. 6.66 miles through Salem, starting at Salem Willows Park. Offered In partnership with B&S Fitness.

8) Thursday, November 22: Wild Turkey 5 Mile Run 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, fairly flat course along scenic waterfront route. A portion of the proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem.

Thank you for your past interest in the Salem Race Series, and I hope this year’s changes bring even more runners into the streets of Salem to experience all this great city has to offer!
Doug Bollen, Salem Race Series Director

Red Sox Star Dustin Pedroia A Big Hit at the boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem

The event held last week at The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem that featured a visit to the club by Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia was both a social and financial success. The Sox star was a big hit with the club members and his easy going style with the young boys and girls will make him one of the favorite visitors of all time. The adults that provided a generous donation to assist the club and its operation enjoyed the opportunity to visit with one of the most popular Boston athletes of the present day. The entire event that was most popular with the club members was also a financial success for the club, and was made possible through the support of Salem Five Bank, and President and CEO Joseph M. Gibbons who uses Pedroia as a spokesperson. Their generosity for this event and other support offered to the club is greatly appreciated. Joe serves on the club’s Board, and regularly provides advice and council on important club matters.

Wonderful Opportunity Provided for Youngsters with Disabilities.

I received the following information recently and wanted to pass it along to anyone with an interest. I am particularly interested in issues relative to disabilities and this program is even more important because it is focused on young people. Spaulding Rehabilitation in conjunction with the New England Revolution will be holding a soccer clinic for youth with disabilities on September 27, 2012 at Gillette Stadium. There are eligibility requirements as no one is eligible unless they are under the age of 18 and to learn of those other requirements and to register for this special event, visit

New Section of Essex Heritage Web Site Created

I have provided new information and a link to a new section of the Essex Heritage web site that can be found at that will regularly provide current information on a timely basis. The Commission web site has always been extremely topical and with regular visits to the site, it will help you stay informed on a number of current issues that could have an impact on the entire region. Visit the site often, and take a regular review of this new section. The LINK to this new informative section of the Essex Heritage web site is provided below.

Danvers Swampwalk Invitation

Fri, Sat, Sun, Sept 23, 24, 25, 8AM-3PM.

Just a reminder that it's this weekend we start the new Phase II section of SwampWalk.
We will be starting further down the Rail Trail & working our way toward a few islands & the completed Phase I section.
Drop by with a power drill, or just drop by for a visit.
Lunch always provide to anyone joining in to help, even if part of the day.

"Have you done the SwampWalk yet?":

Back to Golf and I am Very Pleased

Over the last couple of weeks, I also took advantage of an adaptive sports program that was most important to me. A ”Getting Back in the Swing’ program was offered by Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital on Cape Cod. The program was a three -session event that was offered at Holly Ridge Golf Course in Sandwich, Mass. The three instructive sessions helped to acclimate me to what playing golf with a prosthetic leg would be like. Those sessions were followed by a visit to the golf course to tee it up for real. We were accompanied that day by several therapists who carefully guarded all of us that participated. My wife Marge drove me around in a golf cart that day and acted as a most efficient caddie for me. That event was held on a grey but reasonably warm day in late September 2011. We played until dark that afternoon and managed to get seven holes played before it became too dark to see well. When my leg was taken in the hospital, one of my primary identified goals was to get back onto the golf course. I had high hopes that I could accomplish this goal sometime during 2012, but the task was accomplished well in advance of my expectations on September 20, 2011. I not only got back on the course, but did better than I ever anticipated I would do. Holly Ridge is a Par 3 track, but in only seven holes. I scored one par and a couple of bogies and hit the ball better than I ever expected that I would. I am elated with the results and most appreciative of the efforts of everyone connected with the Spaulding Hospital program run by Cape Adventures who manages the adaptive sports programs offered by the Cape Hospital. A major goal achieved and I am most pleased.

Last Chance to Enjoy Essex Heritage Trails and Sails this weekend

Don’t forget that this weekend is the final weekend for Essex Heritage’s Trails and Sails for 2011 Visit for more information

Monday, September 19, 2011

Essex Happenings September 19, 2011

Search for Town Manager in North Andover Nearing Completion

We have reported here in the past that the Town of North Andover have been searching for a replacement for the Manager who left that post to take a position in Portland, Maine. That search process has now been narrowed to a list of eight candidates from a original list of 63. The finalists will now be invited to a personal interview with the search committee. That group of candidates will be reduced to 4 to 6 individuals that will be offered an interview with the Selectmen.

Lynn Seeking to Add Commuter Ferry to Boston

The City of Lynn has been gathering funding, primarily from the Massachusetts Seaport Council and has advocated that the money will be used to attempt to institute a commuter ferry between that community and the center city in Boston. The effort has been embraced and pursued by the officials that represent the community and they will continue to advance this objective into the future. The ferry if created would run year round as opposed to the Salem and Winthrop ferries that are seasonally in nature. The Salem boat is usually quite full on many of its trip, but has seen some passenger reductions on mid-week runs. But in general has been very important to the tourist economy of that city that is off a bit from previous years.

For any of you who may have taken the trip from Salem to Boston on a pleasant weather day, quickly recognizes that the trip along the coast of Massachusetts can be a most enjoyable experience, not including the chance provided to visit the two exciting tourist dependant cities. Just in the last couple of days, the company that operates the Salem Ferry has announced that due to increased fuel costs and other escalating expenses and lower than expected rider ship that they will cut the days of operation of the ferry to the three weekend days rather than the seven day schedule that they had been offering The same pleasant opportunity and a commuter component will be provided to those riders that will take advantage of the proposed Lynn/Boston trip and the continuing expense levels would expect to also apply to the Lynn project, so there will be obstacles to overcome to make this program profitable. The proposed Lynn trip would depart from a Blossom Street dock in Lynn and would take 30 minutes to complete the trip to Boston. Parking for 300 hundred cars are expected to be provided in Lynn, and the City has high hopes for an active rider base and feels that the ferry could prove to be economically advantageous for merchants in the city. Only time will tell how the trip might work during the less than superior weather days that we experience here in new England during the period from November to April. This idea seems to have merit, and we will continue to monitor this project as plans develop and report on progress.

Preservation Battle Brewing in Salem

For the last several months an interesting discussion has been ongoing in Salem regarding the re-development of a property built over six decades ago as a Roman Catholic Church on Lafayette Street in Salem. The interesting church building on the site described as a cruciform design is being considered a site for the construction of 51 much-needed affordable housing units and other uses. There are several other buildings on the site that will be saved and re-used, but it appears that the church is not a candidate for any possible re-use. The debate in Salem is between numerous individuals and organizations that believe passionately that preservation is an important component of any successful real estate strategy for that centuries old community. The other side of the argument is raised by neighborhood activists from the Point neighborhood advocating for the housing that they contend will enhance the long term positive outlook for the neighborhood. It is also possible that housing might provide more benefits to the city through tax revenue and possibly the creation of some much needed construction jobs. I had a limited connection to the church as in my youth, my dad who helped me with a Sunday newspaper route, made that church our destination on most Sundays as the church offered a very early church service at 6:00 AM before we began to tend to the delivery of the newspapers. The current church was built to replace a previous facility that burned in the Salem fire in 1914, so it ha been a neighborhood fixture for decades.

Preservation Contracts signed on Marblehead

Speaking of local preservation issues, the Town of Marblehead recently signed contracts to have two important preservation projects in the seaside community. The City has awarded two municipal repair contracts. The Town will pay $24,500 for the Gun House restoration project and $17,736 to repair windows and the siding at the Town owned Marblehead Yacht Club.

World War II Vintage Military Aircraft Visit Beverly

Staying with the preservation theme three vintage aircraft that have been preserved for the last half century were available for inspection and flights over the last weekend at Beverly Airport. Two heavy bombers, a B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator that carried the day during the war in Europe and a P-51 mustang fighter plane provided a trip back in time for hundreds of visitors. On Saturday morning we took a cup of coffee over to a parking lot at the Cherry Hill Industrial Park with dozens of other airplane buffs and watched as these historic aircraft took off and landed as they provided 30-minute flights for paying customers. The funds raised on this 110 city tour that when added to funding provided by a national non profit foundation will hopefully keep these “Wings of Freedom” aircraft flying into the future. The aircraft are certainly worth the preservation effort, as they represent such an important part of the history of this country.

Rail Trail to Open in Haverhill

Rail Trail projects across the region continue to expand as a new trail has been dedicated and opened to the public last week in Haverhill. The current mile long trail is open to walkers, cyclists, joggers and other non motorized uses Funding for the trail came from a state grant, and officials in that Merrimac Valley Community have now begun to plan how the present trail can be expanded. It is very clear that if funding can be found, rail trails will continue to expand, as demand for these kinds of recreational assets are being expanded in many of the regions communities. Let’s hope that additional funding for projects all over this region could be expanded to bring more recreational opportunities to the region and its residents, if funding were made available to local communities.

Bob Curtis, and Wayne Marquis in Danvers….A Half Century of Leadership

Late last week, the Town of Danvers named the main loop road in Endicott Park after the former Town Manager Robert Curtis. It was with Bob Curtis’s leadership that the valuable park property was acquired by the Town and a large subdivision of homes was averted That decision was a most positive one as today, Endicott Park is a centerpiece for passive recreation in the Town of Danvers. The designation of the road in Bob’s name is well deserved and overdue. It has recently been noted that Bob Curtis served as Town Manager of Danvers for eighteen years and in addition to all of the wise decisions that he made during his time in charge, the best move of them all, may have been the hiring Wayne Marquis as his Assistant Manager. When Bob left town management to take over the leadership of the North Shore Economic Council, he passed the torch of town leadership to Wayne Marquis. The North Shore Economic Council did not work at that time as it was a bit ahead of its time, but it became the fore runner of today’s North Shore Alliance for Economic Development that is having an impact on the region in 2011. Believe it or not, that term of service has now reached thirty-two years. I would suspect that when you realize that Town of Danvers has had only two managers over the last half century, you can quickly see why the Town has been so well managed. Continuity has been the key to success. Bob Curtis should be commended for many actions in his career and the recent award is most justified.

Spaulding Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council

I was recently asked and have agreed to serve on a group that is focused on examining programs used at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital-North Shore and then being providing both advisory advocacy support to improve conditions and strengthen communication between and among the various constituencies that manager and use the hospital. The group is charged to have a dozen to 15 members serving for a one or two year term and at least half of the members must be patients. The council is staffed by hospital representatives and at my first meeting earlier this month, we heard reports about the patient discharge process and look at how that might be improved. This group is also charged with the public support of the council and the hospital. That will be an easy charge for me to embrace as the mission seems so clear and meaningful to me.

Sports in the Last Two Weeks,

The first two weeks of the NFL season have been entertaining and most enjoyable for the fans of the New England Patriots, and the Tom Brady, the leader of that team of off to an incredible start and is on a track to a record breaking year. Only time will tell if this pace can be maintained. On the other hand, the last two weeks have not been kind to The Red Sox. We can only hope that they will get their act together and get the act back in shape for the final two-week run until October.

Friday, September 16, 2011

essex Happenings September 16, 2011

Essex Heritage receives $275,000 Grant for Essex Coastal Scenic Byway Signage

Congressman Tierney and Senator Tarr Announce Grant to Benefit Regional Economy

September 2011 (Salem, MA) -- Congressman John F. Tierney and Senator Bruce Tarr announce that the Essex National Heritage Commission has received a $220,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration and $55,000 in matching funds from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for the installation of directional signs along the 85-mile Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. The comprehensive signage system will direct travelers to the byway from the region’s three principal arterial highways, and help guide visitors along the entire route.
The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway is a state-designated byway that traverses 13 communities on Boston’s North Shore from Lynn to Newburyport, including Lynn, Swampscott, Marblehead, Salem, Beverly, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, and Newburyport. The byway highlights the best of coastal New England – historic seaports, colonial era farms, the rocky shoreline, the Great Marsh and a wealth of significant architecture. In its leadership role as byway coordinator, Essex Heritage is working with community officials, business owners, and heritage site stewards to leverage the byway’s nationally significant heritage resources to generate economic and quality of life benefits for the entire region.“The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway connects neighboring coastal communities from Lynn to Newburyport, highlighting significant historical and cultural contributions and scenic beauty across the North Shore region. I am pleased that the Essex National Heritage Commission has been able to leverage state and federal funds to help improve the Byway. This will help further the byway’s ultimate goal of expanding the shared income opportunities of our region’s small businesses and local tourism industry,” said Congressman John Tierney.
“The communities located along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway are rich in history and culture, and the signage funded through this grant will help to promote the many hidden jewels and precious natural resources to be found along this 85-mile stretch to tourists and residents alike,” said Senator Bruce Tarr, who has supported the byway initiative since its inception. “The 13 cities and towns that comprise this byway have been working collectively to make this project a reality, and this same spirit of cooperation has extended to our state and federal governments, which are partnering in the funding of this exciting initiative.”
“We are thrilled with the support from Congressman Tierney and Senator Tarr, and the rest of our delegation, in our efforts to promote the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway,” said Annie C. Harris, Executive Director of the Essex National Heritage Commission. “The overall goal of the byway is to improve the region’s economy through coordinated marketing, heritage resources preservation, and infrastructure enhancements. With the ongoing support of our delegation, our sites, our Chambers of Commerce and local businesses the byway will continue to grow as a heritage resource with significant regional impact.”

Once in Awhile it Seems Appropriate to Provide Background Information on Essex Heritage

The Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage) is the non-
profit management entity for Essex National Heritage Area, one of forty-nine heritage partnership parks of the National Park Service. Working in collaboration with the National Park Service, Essex Heritage promotes public/private partnerships and develops and implements programs that enhance, preserve and encourage regional awareness of the unique historic, cultural and natural resources found within the Area. For more information, visit the website at or call (978) 740- 0444.

International Festival Scheduled for Sunday in Peabody

Plans have now been finalized for Peabody’s Twenty-Eighth Annual International Festival to be held on Sunday, September 18, 2011 from 11:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. in Peabody Square.
be routed around these areas throughout the day. Peabody Police Officers and Festival Volunteers will be at key locations in Peabody Square during There will be sixty-four (64) food and exhibit booths set up in the area of Peabody Square, featuring the food and art of Peabody’s many ethnic groups. There will also be continuous entertainment provided at two entertainment sites from 11:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m,.

At 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 18th, Lowell Street will be closed to traffic from Peabody Square to Lowell Street at Crowninshield Street. Chestnut Street will be closed from Lowell Street to Franklin Street. School and Sawyer Streets will both be closed to traffic. General traffic will the day to provide assistance, directions and answers to questions. The Courtesy Booth, located on Lowell Street across from Chestnut Street, will be staffed throughout the day with Festival Committee members and volunteers ready to assist the general public and to register invited guests
In case of rain, the Festival will be postponed until Sunday, September 25, 2011. Admission to the Festival is free of charge and the public is invited to attend.

A special ceremony will be held at the entertainment site located in Peabody Square at 2:30 p.m. It will feature words of welcome from Peabody Mayor Michael J. Bonfanti and International Festival Co-Chairs, Barry Osborne and Michael F. Zellen, and an introduction of the International Festival Committee Members and

Medical Leadership of Region Offers Observations at North Shore Chamber

Earlier this month, the North Shore Chamber of Commerce presented one of their well attended monthly breakfast forums and provided a wonderful cross section of North Shore Hospital officials who provided their thinking on the state of medicine in this region. I was unable to attend the session but from what I have learned about the session, the forum attendees received much current information about the state of the industry in this region. The panel included representatives from the recently announced merger partners at Lahey Clinic, Northeast Health Systems, the North Shore Medical Center and Boston Children’s North. The presenters all provided information on the rapidly increasing and escalating hospital costs and re-imbursement issues and how those matters effect costs. The presenters from Lahey Clinic and Northeast Health Systems provided background on their recently announced merger and how health care reform and rising costs helped move them towards that proposed merger.

Town of Ipswich to Consider Second Wind Turbine

It certainly seems clear that wind power will be a very important issue in this region over the near term. There are proposed turbines being considered in Salem and Swampscott and in a recent meeting in Ipswich, the erection of a second turbine was discussed at great length. Any decision on the second tower was delayed at least until land lease issues can be sorted out and some Ipswich residents wanted more information on the impact of turbine, before more time goes by to determine the impact on abutters to the current operation.

In any event, wind power will be a hotly debated issue in this region in the months ahead, and I will to my best to follow the various community debates and to keep you all posted as developments occur.

Local Peabody Attorney Named President Elect of Massachusetts Bar Association

Congratulations to Attorney Robert Holloway of MacLean, Holloway, Doherty. Ardiff & Morse PC of Peabody who has been designated as the President Elect of the Massachusetts Bar Association. During my many years in the banking world, it was widely acknowledged that Bob's reputation as a lawyer was at the absolutely highest level and that he was highly regarded by both his peers and his many clients. This designation comes as no surprise and is well deserved. At present time, I serve with Bob Holloway on the Board of the North Shore Elder Services and in that capacity, I find him to be a thoughtful and compassionate advocate for the elderly supported by the organization we jointly serve.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Essex Happenings September 13, 2011

Danvers Historic Society and Essex Heritage Trails and Sails Concert and Tapley Memorial Hall Dedication Scheduled

On Friday, September 23, 2011, the Danvers Historical Society and its resident Artist group, Essex Harmony will participate in one of the initial events in the Essex Heritage Trails and Sails events when they present a concert at Tapley Hall on Page Street in Danvers. The concert will also be the initial event to be presented in the rehabilitated Talley Hall facility. The event will be presented in the recently refurbished Tapley Memorial Hall, originally built in 1930 and is now used to house the extensive Historical Society collection of material that helps tell the story of the history of the Town of Danvers. The rehabilitation of the historic hall was accomplished with a grant from the former Danvers Savings Bank. To make a reservation for the concert contact Essex Heritage at www.essexheritage,org or contact the Society at 978-777-1666 or at The Danvers Historical Society dates back to 1889 when it was first founded to help preserve the heritage of that community.

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem needed to Purchase a Replacement Bus, and Received Substantial Community Support.

The Boys and Girls Club needs a bus to move club members from school each day to the club and during the summer when the camp is in operation the need for a bus is critical. I cannot remember when the club purchased the last bus that recently outlived its reliability and was brought to the place where old school buses go to live out their life. After a fairly exhaustive search a replacement bus was found and purchased. The need for the bus was so topical, that even if the club had to go into debt to acquire the bus that was what would have been necessary, but as the following e-mail that all board members received from the clubs Executive Director, Joanne Scott points out, we have received two wonderful community gifts to make the bus purchase possible without any of the attended debt. The message follows:

Dear Board Members:

I am thrilled to let you know that Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation has granted us $10,000 for our bus.

Between that donation and the $25,000 donation from the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the new bus (not including $4500 to get it running smoothly) has been paid for in full.


Thank You, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation and Ronald McDonald Charities for your generosity. I am not sure what we would do without the magnificent support The Boys and Girls Club receives from its numerous community partners.

Town of Essex Officials Cracking down on Parking Illegally in Handicapped Spaces.

We were pleased to see and we applaud the efforts of the Town of Essex to make a concerted effort to crack down on individuals who illegally park in spaces designated for the handicapped. The Town’s Police Chief noted that there have been a recent increase in the number of instances where able bodied drivers have been taking advantage of empty handicapped spaces to park “just for a moment” to run in to do an errand. The Chief indicated that this practice is not authorized and in the future, such actions will not be sanctioned and could receive both a costly citation and even have their cars towed at their cost. The town will be even tougher on those that abuse handicapped parking permits by using someone elses handicapped placard or by reproducing a phony credential. The Chief indicated that happens too often as well. Offenses such as these can expect to receive substantial fines, and can even lose handicapped parking privileges. In any event we are pleased to see the positive action being undertaken by the Town. We applaud their diligent actions in this matter. For those of us that have a legitimate right to use handicapped parking, that right can be most important. I hope other communities will follow the lead of Essex with even more determined enforcement of this regulation.

Local Observances of the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11

On this Sunday we will observe the anniversary of one of the darkest days in US history. The heinous acts that killed hundreds of innocent people in New York and Washington will be remembered in a number of local services. There will likely be events in almost every community in this region and I hope that you take a moment to remember those that lost their lives in that despicable act on that September morning a decade ago. The instigator of that attack in 2001 was taken down by a courageous action by U S Navy Seals, but the threat still remains and we must remain vigilant. I suspect that there will be civic and religious observances as well as some programs offered by local businesses that feel that an observance is appropriate. Danvers will be offering a round table discussion at the Peabody Essex Institute Library that will feature the Town Manager Marquis, Police Chief Ouellette and several educators from local colleges Endicott, Gordon College, and Northeastern University. That forum will be free but advance registration is required. To register, visit or call 978 774 0554. Salem will hold a memorial service at the central Fire Station that will include the dedication of a memorial, a prayer service and music by the High School band and a bagpiper.

For the last few years, I have attended a program at Brother’s Restaurant and Deli in Danvers that has always been moving and well attended. I hope that I will be able to attend that event again this year. I am also hoping to attend a memorial liturgy at the chapel at St. John’s Prep followed by a dedication in the school’s peace garden.

A Special Note on a Boys and Girls Club Event

It is not too late to make a reservation to attend a fundraising event at the club in Salem to visit with Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia, whose appearance is provided through the support of the Salem Five Bank. The event is a fundraising effort and tickets are priced at $500.00 each. The event will follow a meet and greet for the club members in advance of the fundraising event. For more information or to confirm a reservation contact the club at

Other Events Scheduled for Non-Profits in the Region that we hope you will consider supporting.

• North East ARC annual golf event scheduled for 9/26 at Myopia. For reservations contact
• American Red Cross of northeast Massachusetts at Turner Hill. For reservations contact
• The 24th Annual Walk for Hospice of the North Shore that starts and ends at St. John’s Prep in Danvers. For more information contact www.hns/

City of Gloucester Hazardous Waste Collection

On September 24, 2011, the City of Gloucester will allow residents of that seaside community to bring hazardous waste to the Department of Public Works. In this case, pre-registration is required and can be accomplished by calling 978-281-9785. Paints, chemical insecticides, gas and contaminated oils will be allowed to be disposed of on that date.

North Andover Police to Offer Free Smart Phone Application

It appears that everyone is taking advantage of technology. The North Andover Police Department has created a free application that can be downloaded by residents with either a I phone or an Android phone. With the application, residents will be able to check on police alerts, contact the department, offer crime tips, photos and offer complaints or commendations.

This Time of Year Great for Professional Sports Fans in Greater Boston

The period right after Labor Day is a great time of the year for local sports fans. The baseball season is in the home stretch and everywhere the debate is raging whether if the home team has enough to make the playoffs and if they do, will they have enough pitching to compete in October. The football team from Foxboro has a great deal to prove this year as with all of their success in the last decade, they are the professional franchise that has gone the longest in the region without a championship. The 2011 Patriots roster is being constructed even as we write this assessment and you need a scorecard to keep up with the changes in that final roster that Coach Bellichick is making hourly. The boys of winter are waiting in the wings and sharpening their skates, as training camp for the defending Stanley Cup champs begins in just weeks. The only franchise in a state of flux is the Celtics as they are locked out in a financial debate and that lock out seems bound for 2012 until a resolution is reached.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Essex Happenings September 9, 2011

Colleges in the Region Filled to Capacity

From all the reports we have heard, the five local colleges on the North Shore are bursting at the seems with new and returning students. Attendance is up for a number of reasons, not the least is which is the state of the economy. With jobs scarce and the economy weak many young folks are delaying a job search and staying in school until conditions are improved. There are also many older residents of the region, who have returned to school to improve their chances of future employment. Several of the local colleges are experiencing the highest enrollments of all time with Gordon College registering its largest freshman class ever and Montserrat College of Art noting that the first time ever they have a waiting list for admission. The two pubic colleges in the region, Salem State University and North Shore Community College have each seen moderate increases in enrollment. The Community College expects a ten percent increase in number of students from one year ago. In total the five local colleges will host over 18,000 students and the population is up substantially from one year ago. These increases bode well for the regions economy going forward. The students now living in this region will spend dollars to boost the economy and in the future could become part of our permanent work force.

Former Salem Police Chief to Sub as Chief at Salem State University

Speaking of local colleges, Salem State University made a sensational move when they hired former Salem Police Chief Bob St. Pierre as the interim Chief of the University Police Force. The former Salem Chief knows the University landscape as well as anyone in the region and has many long-term connections with Salem State. He will do a wonderful job in this temporary assignment, while the University seeks a permanent head of that important role. Former Chief St. Pierre is one of the most highly thought of police officials in this region and since his retirement from the Salem post he has stayed involved in local police work involved through several temporary assignment including one in the Town of Salisbury.

Northeast Harvest has produced its September Newsletter and because the Preservation of Farming is so important to Essex Heritage. Some Sections are reprinted here.

Calling all Animal Lovers - Farmers - Crafters - Artists Everywhere!

It's that time of year again - the Topsfield Fair! You may want to enter your goat, sheep, or may want to enter your best vegetables or fruits...OR...even a craft or your artwork. Or perhaps you just want to COME to the Fair. Whatever your interests may be, there is something for everyone. The Topsfield Fair dates are September 30th to October 10th. Click here for more information. And don't forget to buy your advance sale discount tickets - available online NOW!

Apples - Apples - Apples

Whether you like eating apples, apple pie, applesauce, apple cider donuts or tasting fresh apple cider, September is the month for you. Many of our farms offer Pick-Your-Own or ready for purchase. Click here for Pick-Your-Own farms in eastern Massachusetts. Below are a few interesting apple facts:
• The pilgrims planted the 1st US apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
• Apple trees take 4 - 5 years to produce their first fruit.
• It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.
• Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.
• Apples are a great source of fiber pectin - one apple has 5 grams of fiber.
• A medium apple is about 80 calories.
• Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.
• It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
• Apples are a member of the rose family.
• World's top apple producers are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy.

September Starts the Corn Maze Season

If you've never been to a corn maze, you don't know how much fun they are! There are 3 main types - daytime, which are perfect for families and small children - nighttime, which are the same as daytime but with flashlights...very popular with teenagers - and haunted, which usually begin in October and are definitely not for small children. The corn used is a variety that grows 8-9 feet tall and creates a thick, impenetrable maze. The pattern is usually only visible from the air, but on the ground it is a great maze. Ipswich's Marini Farm's theme is 'Let Freedom Ring' and Danvers' Connors Farm's theme is Salem Village-Headless Horseman. Both open on Saturday, September 10th. The maze at Kimball Farm in Haverhill is already open and their maze honors the Boston Bruins Champions! Please click on farm name for more details.

Farm Fact

The raising of cows for milk can be traced to the earliest domestication of animals. There are records of cows being milked in 9000 BC. In 1492, Christopher Columbus brought cattle to the West Indies to provide milk and meat for the settlers. Cows arrived at Jamestown in 1611 and Plymouth in 1624. In Massachusetts, town commons were used as community pastures for grazing.

We Want to Hear From YOU!

CONSUMERS - Tell us your interests.
FARMERS - Let us know what's happening at your farm. We will try to publish your events in our newsletters.
Please add as a reciprocal link on your farm website. THANK YOU

Recent Essex Heritage Partnership Grant Project Honored with Award upon Project Completion

North Parish Meeting House Wins 'Best in Show'
0 Comment
North Parish Unitarian Universalist Church has long been an iconic landmark in town. Now, it's being recognized on Beacon Hill for its handicap accessibility and style.
The church was recently honored at the State House for accessibility work done on its 175-year-old Meeting House. Menders, Torrey, and Spencer Inc., the Boston-based architectural firm that oversaw the church's renovation were presented with the William D. Smith Memorial Honor Award for their accessibility design.
“This building simply got better, in all aspects, after the renovation," the jurors said about their decision to honor North Parish. "The work done to make the place more accessible actually enhanced the overall design."
The annual award -- founded in memory of the late historic preservation advocate William D. Smith and issued by the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board and Boston Society of Architects -- honors architectural design that integrates accessibility with historic preservation.
Past projects earning the award include Harvard Divinity School, Park Street Church near the Boston Common and Boston's John Adams Courthouse.
The North Parish renovation worked with the church's existing historic entrances and created direct access to the sanctuary from the parking with sloped walkway as well as accessible front doors. The original steps were converted to a seating bench, steps were removed from the vestibule and wheelchair seating was created within historic box pew areas.
"All of this was accomplished using historically appropriate, local materials that retained the building’s character and contributed to its sustainable charter," the jurors' statement continued. "This is masterful work, and we called it the 'Best in Show.'”
This renovation came after extensive preservation work on the church's steeple and exterior. These projects were funded by contributions from the North Andover Community Preservation Act, a grant from Essex National Heritage Commission, fundraising within the congregation and an anonymous grant.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Essex Happenings September 6, 2011

Getting Back in the Swing
As part of my overall rehabilitation from an amputation last year, I signed up for a adaptive golf sports program offered this fall by Spaulding, Cape Cod at Holly Ridge Golf Course in Sandwich. On Thursday, September 1, 2011, I participated in the first of these sessions, and was moderately pleased with the results. The instruction by golf professionals and the care and compassion shown by the Spaulding therapists was exceptional. Since day one of my recuperation getting back onto a golf course was one of my primary goals. Being back out in the open with friends and family is important to me and it will be very positive for my well-being. On day one of this program, I stood with some support from the staff of the program and hit about 100 balls with various clubs and was cautiously pleased with the level of success achieved. I believe that I was helped by the prosthetic leg I received earlier this month from the staff at Cornell Brothers in Beverly. I believe I had better support and balance from the new leg. There is still a way to go, before I can legitimately say that I am back on the golf course, but I now feel that my goal is attainable with more work and effort. I have three additional sessions scheduled and will continue to move towards the achievement of this personal goal with more ball striking, chipping, putting and standing on my own. The effort will culminate with a full round of golf later this month.
Provincetown Town Hall Restoration

The following article was reprinted from the National Trust for Historic Places Preservation Newsletter. I have included this reprint in the Essex Happening BLOG for two reasons. The first reason is due the nature of the restoration project in that is so close geographically to Essex Heritage operations and within easy visiting reach of our residents and more importantly because the architectural firm noted in the report is the firm where our Trustee and Assistant Clerk, Paul McGinley is one of the principals. Congratulations Paul on the project and the recent receipt from the Massachusetts Historic Commission’s 2011 Preservation Award.

In March 2008, local officials in Provincetown, Mass., received grim news about the state of the 1886 town hall. The building was so structurally compromised that assessors identified only two options: repair it by the end of the year or vacate it promptly.
It didn't take much to convince town officials to spring into action. This 284-year-old community on the tip of Cape Cod wears its history proudly. The Pilgrims sailed the Mayflower into Provincetown Harbor in 1620 and stayed for five weeks while drafting the Mayflower Compact. In the 19th century, Provincetown was a thriving maritime center, and a century later, the town became a magnet for writers, painters, and aspiring actors.
"Town Hall is the heartbeat of this historic town, and we needed to get it fixed," says Sharon Lynn, the town manager. So Provincetown officials voted unanimously to repair and upgrade the building, including the mechanical, electrical, and fire protection systems. But they didn't stop there. What started as a modest program to stabilize the 22,000-square-foot building quickly became a comprehensive restoration.
After employees relocated to a cluster of trailers on the outskirts of town, McGinley Kalsow & Associates architects began work on a two-year, $6.5 million effort. First they addressed exterior issues, repairing the roof and structural columns, as well as decades of water damage hidden behind clapboards. The original double-hung windows were also restored, and storm windows added to increase energy efficiency. A paint analysis conducted by Boston-based architectural conservator Sara Chase revealed that the building, which stands in a National Register-listed district, had once been painted in a distinctive color scheme.
"We told the town that it cost no more money to buy colored paint than white paint, and that made a huge difference in how the project was perceived," says Wendall Kalsow, a principal with McGinley Kalsow. "It was an immediate, dramatic change."
After the first phase of work was completed in 2009, crews moved inside, repairing ductwork and installing the building's first central air conditioning system. The ground floor, originally a police station, was completely overhauled, turning cramped quarters used primarily for storage into office space for the community development department. Crews scraped paint from the exposed brick walls and removed partitions from the original eight-by-six-foot jail cells while preserving bars and arched doorways.
With a $55,000 grant from the state's Preservation Projects Fund matched by the town, workers also restored what Kalsow calls the "frosting on the cake"—the auditorium, which had been closed to the public. Its elegant coffered ceiling, chandelier, and sconces had been removed in the 1950s, but other elements, such as wood pilasters and a fine balcony balustrade, remained intact.
Using a 1890s photo, Newstamp Lighting, a historic lighting fixtures company, re-created the chandelier and sconces, and carpenters from Green & Robinson, a contracting company specializing in historic preservation, restored the ceiling. The walls were then repainted in the Victorian color scheme revealed by paint analysis.
More than 700 people attended a reopening ceremony last November and applauded a restoration that has since won the prestigious 2011 Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award.
"We could have just made the necessary repairs and it would have been fine, but we knew really good preservation work could be done," Kalsow says. "Structural repairs are important, but they just don't mobilize the civic spirit very much."

Danvers Bi PEDS NEWS

For the broadest possible distribution of the BI-PEDS event schedule please see the following information.

September 12, 2011, Monday, 7:00 - Danvers Bi-Peds regular monthly meeting - will be held in the Carriage House at Endicott Park, 57 Forest St., Danvers. Charles Lincicum, Chairman of the Rail Trail Advisory Committee, will be present to lead an open discussion of where we are and where we would like to see the trail go. All are welcome to attend, participate in the discussion, help plan biking events, safer sidewalks, and fun group activities. Hope to see you there.
September 15, 2011, Thursday - Danvers Rail Trail Advisory Committee - 6:00P.M., in the Daniel J. Toomey Hearing Room, Town Hall, 1 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA. Meetings are open to the public.

September 18, 2011, Sunday - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Fourth Annual A Reason To Ride Bike-A-Thon In Danvers - The event begins at the Liberty Tree Mall. A Reason to Ride features a variety of activities the whole family can enjoy including a complimentary trike-a-thon for little kids, a Fuddruckers cookout at the finish line, raffles, music, a car show and much more. Registration for riders is $25 per child, $60 per adult, and $150 per family. For more information please visit, where you can register to ride, support a rider, start a team, or make a donation.

September 24, 2011, Saturday, 10:00 - Danvers Bi-Peds will host an event for Trails and Sails Weekend. Join us for a walk through the woods and along the Danvers Rail Trail to its northern end. The walk will culminate at the Swamp Walk, a boardwalk through the swamp to a look out platform. Return by the same route and be rewarded with a fresh peach upon return. Event capacity: 25. Walking will be on mixed terrain surface for a distance of about 2 miles total. Insect spray may helpful. Leashed dogs welcome.

For all the details and complete list of fun, free events in Essex County, go to (Don’t be afraid to sign in, the site is brimming with fun things to do.)

September 23 to 25, 2011, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm - George Saluto extends an invitation to anyone who wants to help with the construction of a new section of the Swampwalk. He says ‘ Drop by to work the day (lunch provided) or at any time, if only for a short period, to observe, chat, or pitch in.’ You can learn more on Facebook:

September 24, 2011 - The rail trail opening ceremony has been moved to sometime in spring, 2012

Labor Day Weekend and the Inevitable Change of Seasons

We certainly hope that you enjoyed the holiday that is considered by many to be the traditional end of the summer season. The holiday weekend and the days leading up to the holiday were summer like and I am certain that the economy of the region was aided by the wonderful weather. The eastern Massachusetts region was certainly benefited by the large crowds that attended the PGA golf playoff in Norton. The Red Sox continued to play to sell out crowds over the long weekend and College football began in several local venues. All of those events made the weekend most enjoyable and profitable for many.

Now we can certainly expect the daylight hours will become a little shorter and the feel of fall will soon be upon us, but those days are generally some of the nicest days of the year. Essex Heritage has scheduled its two big weekends of Trails and Sails on the near term horizon and we hope that many of you will take advantage of the hundreds of free events that will be offered on the final two weekends of this month. For more information visit

Friday, September 2, 2011

Essex Happenings September 2, 2011

Hurricane (Tropical Storm) Irene “Damages” Region

It certainly appears that even with the substantial damage that was done to property on the south coast of both Massachusetts and Rhode Island and to many breached dams in the western half of Massachusetts, along with unprecedented and near catastrophic damage in New Hampshire and Vermont, where several iconic, historic wooden covered bridges were destroyed and then washed away in raging rivers, here on the North Shore we dodged the worst of the storm. We were likely the beneficiary of the weakening and downgrading of the hurricane to a tropical storm just at about the time the storm came ashore in Rhode Island. In Danvers we received a fair amount of strong wind and some moderate rain, but there were certainly sections of the State that received more wind and substantially more rain.

We never lost power at my house in Danvers, but across the state there are numerous communities with substantial outages as a result of the storm and damage is still being repaired. The power outages across the state are the most severe since Hurricane Bob in 1991 and in some cases, it may be days before all power is restored. There are exceptions to the local property loss experience as a dozen and a half boats slipped their moorings off Swampscott and ended up on the beach with many of those badly damaged. There will be a fair amount of work in the days ahead in that seaside community as the boat owners try to re-float their boats on high tides.

We have friends who checked our property on the Cape and save for some leaves and a few branches on the lawn we appeared to have “dodged a bullet” there as well. We were fortunate in the State as even with the property losses there was apparently only one loss of life in this State, when an electric company employee was electrocuted. It now appears that there may have been three or more deaths in Vermont. Up and down the Atlantic Coast there are nearly two dozen deaths in a half-dozen states from the Carolinas right up through the mid Atlantic states and into the metropolitan areas of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York

I am heading to the cape in mid week for the “Back in the Swing” recovery session sponsored by Spaulding Hospital, Cape Cod that I will participate in, as I try to get back on the golf course after my illness. That program will be offered through the support of CAPEable Adventures a Spaulding Adaptive sports affiliate at Holly Ridge golf course in Sandwich. At that time, I will have the chance to view the cape property first hand to learn if anything happened to that home, that needs additional attention. It is good that the weather for the week after the storm will be clear and pleasant, and that will allow an easier time for homeowners and community public works departments to complete the cleanup activities.

Second Annual Green Business Challenge Competition in Salem Underway

The second annual Green Salem Business Challenge is once again underway. This friendly competition and recognition program is a program where participating businesses pledge to do all that they can to reduce their environmental footprint, adopt green practices and to build awareness of green practices among their employees, customers, and the general public. Awards will be presented to businesses in each of four separate size classifications. Every business that takes part in the program will receive a participation window sticker and award winners will receive a separate award designation. Entries for the contest close today and an awards ceremony presided over but Mayor Kimberly Driscoll is already scheduled for September 15th at 4:00 pm at the Olde Town Hall in Salem

One More Limited Option for Commercial Flights from Portsmouth, NH

An announcement made over the weekend provided information about a new airline service that will soon be opening and operating out of the former Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, NH. The service will be offered by Streamline LLC and will offer limited trips to Atlantic City and Trenton, New Jersey, but if those locations of interest, the connections from the North Shore to Portsmouth are certainly handy and convienent. The price may be as competitive, but it will be worth checking, if those locations are of interest.

Danvers to Honor Long-time Volunteer

The Town of Danvers held a recognition ceremony at Town Hall earlier this week to honor and recognize four decades of community service by Ms. Patricia Toomey. The Selectmen will offer their congratulation as will the State Representative. Ms. Toomey who has been in ill health recently has served the town in many capacities over the last forty years. She has served as a Town Meeting member, and served on the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Balanced Growth Committee, Open Space Recreation Committee and a number of other community driven organizations. Her many years of committed service is much appreciated, by all she has impacted.

Newburyport, Newbury, West Newbury, and Merrimac, join together to Offer Hazardous Waste Collection

In the City of Newburyport, curbside rubbish collection will be delayed one day next week as on September 10, 2011, Newburyport will join in a regional effort with Newbury, West Newbury, and Merrimac will to host their annual household hazardous waste collection day. The event will be held rain or shine and materials from the residents of the four communities can be brought to the Newburyport Department of Public Works, 16 Perry Way. There are many conditions, types, and sizes of materials that will be considered and information on all of those conditions can be found on the City of Newburyport web site at This is wonderful example of how local communities can work together to accomplish regional initiatives under difficult conditions.

Local Schools to Open Soon

I do not have the dates and community schedules in hand, but between this week and next week schools will be opening all across the region. That will mean that drivers in all parts of this region, must take great care to be careful as children will be back crossing busy intersections in the early morning or late afternoon when lighting conditions might have an impact.

Bradford May Lose Post Office to Closing

In light of the financial difficulties being experienced by the United States Post Office, it was recently indicated that with the need to potentially close 32,000 post offices nationally, that the post office in Bradford, Ma may need to be closed. Without indicating which other local postal locations might have to close as part of this austerity effort, it seems likely that there may be other Essex County locations being considered for closure. In many cases, this may impact convenience but budget issues will prevail.

Andover to Offer Electric Plug in Capabilities

The Town of Andover is making the assumption that in the future, there will be enough electric powered cars being driven by community residents or visitors to the community that they are planning to add at least two charging stations in parking lots in that town. The community is seeking sponsors for the facilities who would receive credit for the installation and might also be involved in the maintenance of the charging station. This would seem to be a natural opportunity for a company who has committed to green technology. We also applaud the Town of Andover for their forward thinking in this critical area of future planning.

Cost of Busing for Homeless in Danvers a Burden

The costs of managing the busing of homeless students from their temporary motel housing in Danvers to their former community for school was the subject of substantial discussion at a recent Danvers special selectman’s meeting focused exclusively on the costs to the Town associated with the homeless issue in Danvers. The Board of Selectmen will continue to study alternatives to alleviate some of those costs. The options include ongoing discussions with State officials regarding possible re-imbursements to the Town for incurred costs.

Wind Turbines Discussions in Salem Accelerate

The two sides on the projected wind turbine project at Winter Island have ramped up their efforts both pro and con in recent weeks. This will be an important discussion about a most topical program and I am certain that the discussion will be carefully monitored by other communities that might soon enter into similar discussions. The future of renewable energy projects will become even more important in this region in the future and this project could be one that helps set the tone for the future of this technology.