Friday, October 28, 2011

Essex Happenings October 28 2011

Essex Happenings October 29, 2011

Essex Heritage Conducts Annual Fall Meeting

Last Tuesday morning at the majestic Crane Estate in Ipswich, Essex Heritage held its fall annual meeting. The meeting, as always, was well attended and the leadership of the Commission provided comprehensive recaps of the activities and mission of Essex Heritage. The Commission is indebted to the Trustees of Reservations for their generosity for providing the location for the meeting. The weather that day was sensational and the trip out to the Crane Estate early that morning was like passing through a video of the perfect New England fall landscape. We witnessed sunlight from the sunrise peeking through the trees, mist and fog enveloping the marshes and a generally peaceful feel of New England at the start of another day. My wife and I came upon a young deer and his mother who were feeding along the side of the road as we climbed the road to the mansion The pair of deer added to the peaceful feeling of the scene as they never moved from their task as we passed.

We certainly appreciate the generosity and the help of the Trustees of Reservations who were our host for the meeting. The meeting brought the term of the presidency of Kevin Tierney to an end and introduced our newest President Richard Yagjian to a wonderful beginning. In a later posting to Essex Happenings, I will offer additional thoughts on the issues covered at the meeting, but for now, I will only comment on the awards provided.

I was pleased that I was once again offered the opportunity to participate in the meeting and made several presentations regarding the loss of two iconic figures from this region who passed away since our last meeting in the spring. I offer my thanks to Emily Levin for the research and the compilation of the material that I was able to present and provide in this report.

Harriet Webster accomplished many deeds in her life especially in the City of Gloucester where she lived for the past 41 years. I believe that she is best remembered for her extraordinary accomplishments as the Executive Director of the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center. She started with the fledging organization in 2002 and was the moving force behind expanding the programs and facilities at the center. Harriet, along with her board of directors, guided the transformation of this old industrial site on the harbor into a vibrant hands-on learning and exhibit facility. Today more than 3,000 school students visit the Maritime Center every year to learn about the maritime heritage and science of this region.

Joseph E. Garland was a journalist, sailor, community activist, and prolific author, and was once described by John Updike as “the definitive historian of the North Shore”. Joe published 24 books – many focused on the history of Gloucester and this region. He championed many local causes including the library, the Cape Ann Museum, the public schools, building of the Schooner Thomas E. Lannon and the restoration of the Schooner Adventure, and wrote fiercely against war, concessions to commercialism and development that threatened Gloucester's uniqueness and authenticity.

Harriet Webster and Joe Garland who played a role in the development of this region, and will be greatly missed.

I was also pleased to be able to present the Essex Heritage Special Recognition Award and the Pioneers in Partnership Awards that were presented to the following.

The Essex Heritage Special Recognition Award was presented to Doug Law of the National Park Service.

Three years ago when Essex Heritage approached the National Park Service with the idea of hiring local youth to work at the park, Doug stepped up and helped us create what has become an exemplary summer jobs program.

For the past three summers, teens from Salem and Lynn have been hired by Essex Heritage and by the National Park to work at the two park units in Salem and Saugus.

Doug’s oversight and careful management provided the youth with experiences that as one of the students, Daniel said “taught me responsibility, appreciation for the city and its history, and opened up new doors to my future.”

This August, Doug received The National Park Service’s prestigious Appleman-Judd-Lewis Award, and I am very pleased to also recognize him on behalf of Essex Heritage for his commitment and leadership in developing this program.

Each year the Essex National Heritage Commission presents a number of Pioneer in Partnership awards to individuals and organizations who exemplify the Commission’s spirit of collaboration. The award recognizes those who build partnerships with others to preserve and celebrate the historic, cultural and natural resources of Essex County. This year four awards were presented to the following

Wayne Eisenhauer of Historic Danvers received an award not only for his years of volunteer work with the Danvers Historical Society but also for his newest initiative on the Life and Legacy of Governor John Endicott.

Working with Governor Endicott’s descendents, Essex Heritage and Massachusetts General/North Shore Medical Center, Wayne helped to coordinate an extraordinary evening last April at the Medical Center in Danvers. The event focused on Endicott’s legacy and the Endicott pear tree – the oldest cultivated fruit tree in North America. Wayne followed that achievement by partnering with Endicott College in Beverly to host an exhibit on Governor Endicott, presented as part of Trails & Sails 2011.

Even more significant than these accomplishments, Wayne has helped to launch a new collaborative effort between Massachusetts General/North Shore Medical Center and the historic and natural resources represented by Essex Heritage and Danvers Historical. Starting with a lecture series on health and history, this partnership will help us work together to promote healthy living through better utilization of the natural and historic resources in the Heritage Area.

Amy Glowacki is the National Park Service Park Ranger and Youth Programs Coordinator at Lowell National Historical Park. was recognized because of the remarkable job she did last summer with the “Youth Journey on the High Seas”.

Last August the National Park Service sailed the tall ship Friendship to New York City to participate in a five-day youth summit. While the idea to take the ship to NYC had been in discussion for some time, the permission and funds to make the journey came together only about 5 weeks before the departure date.

It fell to Amy to organize and prepare the college-age National Park Service interns for their journey, and it was Amy who coordinated with her counterparts from Baltimore and New York City to ensure that the hundred plus young people who met in New York City had an unforgettable (and safe) experience aboard Friendship and in the city.

Amy’s enthusiasm and energy were infectious. She passed the ultimate shipmate’s test by remaining cheerful and upbeat despite the rough waters of Buzzards Bay and the even rougher seas in Massachusetts Bay.

Amy made the experience wonderful for the youth aboard and in New York City. Thank you.

A companion award was made to the NPS Professional and Volunteer Crew of tall ship Friendship of Salem and to the ship’s acting captain Jeremy Bum gin.
The park staff and the more than 60 volunteers who help to maintain and sail this one-of-a-kind tall ship always do a remarkable job, but we especially want to bring your attention to the skill and team work they exercised in sailing Friendship for the first time to New York City last August.

Not only was this trip to the furthest port that Friendship has sailed, but they encountered some of the most challenging weather of the summer – from thunderstorms to rain and high seas. The crew, under the careful leadership of Captain Jeremy, safely sailed the ship to NYC and back.

They are now planning an even longer journey for next summer – when they hope to take Friendship to Baltimore to join in the commemoration of the War of 1812. We wish them all the best for this trip. We are always delighted when Friendship sails to other ports, as she is a wonderful ambassador for the National Park Service and the Essex National Heritage Area – and she truly makes maritime history come alive!

The final award was presented to the Committee to Save the Lower Green and Essex County Greenbelt Association. They are receiving a Pioneer in Partnership award for their work to save the historic farm land adjacent to the Lower Green in Newbury.

The Lower Green is a significant heritage landscape on the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. Three years ago, the Committee to Save the Lower Green was formed and advocated for by local preservation groups. Several acres of pastureland next to the Newbury Lower Green were slated for a housing sub-division, and the historic view – essentially unchanged since the 17th century - would be altered forever. The Committee to Save the Lower Green organized and brought together hundreds of private citizens, businesses, charitable foundations, and local, state, and federal organizations to support their case. The volunteer group also sought and gained the help of the Essex County Greenbelt Association. Together, this October, they reached their goal – an amazing $500,000 to permanently protect the 4-acre Newman Farm Meadow in Newbury.

Their successful campaign to preserve the rural character of the Newbury Lower Green is a testament to the people of this region and their dedication to preserving our historic past.

St John’s Prep Homecoming

On a beautiful fall afternoon this past weekend, the private, century old all boys school in Danvers celebrated homecoming weekend with a soccer win against Andover and a football win over Somerville. The day was completed with a luncheon with several of my former classmates. All in all, a special day and it was great to gather together again even if is only for a single day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Essex Happenings October 25 2011

Essex Happenings, October 25, 2011

News from Two of Essex Heritage’s Foremost Education Partners

In the last couple of weeks, I have read two very interesting stories about activities and news being made at two of the most active Essex Heritage education partners. The two partners were the two community colleges in this region. The news that I want to comment on is above and beyond recent indications that the student population at both North Shore Community College and Northern Essex Community College have reached new highs. The first story concerned a new building that is nearing completion at the North Shore Community College where I am pleased to serve on the board that helps raise financial support for the institution. The college supports campuses in both Danvers and Lynn. The big news announced recently concerned a new innovative building being constructed on the Danvers campus. The new $31 million Health Sciences and student services building has just been dedicated and the building is a state of the art first ever State zero energy project constructed by the Commonwealth. The new building is equipped with numerous solar panels and a green roof top garden that includes plantings that will promote insulation and help to gather rainwater that will help fulfill toilet needs. In addition 500 feet below the building are sixty geothermal wells that are part of an energy efficient heating and cooling system. In every room in the building light sensors have been installed that will automatically turn lights off or down when natural lighting is sufficient. The educational experience for the students in the medical and health program will be equally as efficient as for the first time all of the health related college programs will be offered under a single roof. The college has even constructed systems that if the energy needs for the heath building are exceeded by the energy efficient systems, excess energy can be diverted to other campus facilities. The college has even thought past campus needs and if unused energy is created after the college needs are fulfilled, an arrangement has been constructed to sell the excess energy to the Town of Danvers Electric Company. Energy efficient classrooms and labs along with water coolers that allow for bottle filling have been added. The College has also created a green team of faculty and staff that will work to educate students and the public on sustainable initiatives. There is one more project still scheduled for the campus and a parking garage to help handle the ever increasing student population will be constructed in the future.

In the northern section of the county, Northern Essex Community College that operates two campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence had a recent sensational announcement of their own. The college has announced that a federal grant in the amount of $2.7 million over a five year term has been received. The funding that the grant will provide will be used to expand student services on the inner city Lawrence campus. The funding that is part of a larger national effort will be used to expand educational opportunities and achievement for Hispanic students that make up a major percentage of the population of the Lawrence campus. The college expects to use the grant to enhance services already being provided at the one stop career planning and advising center and to increase services to be launched at the student center. These new enhancements will bring a greater focus on programs offered at the urban campus in downtown Lawrence. The college is also about to begin construction on a new Health and Technology Building that will be built on a site in the downtown acquired from the City this past June. The new facility is expected to be ready for use in the fall of 2013. The grant will allow for a small increase in staff that focuses on the needs of the growing minority population of the College.

It is certainly clear that the two Community Colleges in this region are playing an important role in the process of educating low to middle income students and the students that are graduating from these two institutions each year will be an important resource for employers in this region well into the future.

Vanity Plates for Baby Boomers Proposed

I recently heard a reference to the following concept on a TV news report and searched for relevant information on the Internet in an article prepared by the METRO-WEST DAILY NEWS IN 2011.

If the concept as outlined below were to become a reality, it would certainly be a wonderful boost for local Councils on Aging and since for the most part, most of those organizations are normally under-funded, the revenue produced could be put to good use in local communities. I am not sure what the chances of passage of this proposal might be, but as a member of a local Council on Aging board, this information is presented in the hope that the concept might become a reality

Baby on board? How about baby boomer on board?
It may be taboo to ask people of a certain vintage how old they are, but legislation pending on Beacon Hill would give baby boomers the option of telling the world they aren’t spring chickens by putting up the money for a special license plate.
Exactly what the baby boomer plate would depict or say is unknown. The design will be selected through a contest judged by a five-person panel appointed by the state’s secretary of elder affairs.
That assumes that the Legislature goes along with the idea, and the governor signs it into law.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Sarah Peake, D-Provincetown, would allow the Registry of Motor Vehicles to issue a Baby Boom Generation license plate and distribute the revenue to a special fund for local councils on aging.
A completely unscientific sampling of people walking near the State House on Wednesday found mixed interest in the plate.
“That’s a great idea,” said Robert Zaykon, a financial planner from Newton. “I very well might do it. They have Red Sox and Cape Cod plates. Why not have the boomers?”
Colin Blair, a state researcher from Arlington, said he would not buy the boomer plate, especially to display his age.
“They can tell it’s not a teenager driving,” said Blair, who has a Right Whale Environmental plate. “Why would anyone want to be identified?”
Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964.
The plate would cost at least $30, in addition to the regular registration fee of $90 for two years. All special license plates now sold by the Registry cost an extra $40, except the Olympic Spirit and Cape Cod plates, which are $50.
The Executive Office of Elder Affairs would distribute proceeds to the councils on aging in direct proportion to the number of plates registered within each council’s jurisdiction. The money could be used for salaries, health screening and volunteer development, according to the bill.
Maureen Firnrohr, a medical office secretary from Marshfield, had her doubts about this and other aspects of the plates, saying she wouldn’t pay the extra money.
“A lot of government money never really reaches the towns,” she said. “It would be nice if the money goes to where it’s intended.”
Copyright 2011 The MetroWest Daily News. Some rights reserved

Town of Danvers Change Rubbish Collection Rules

The news that we see almost every day in local newspapers clearly points out that some of the most difficult decisions that have to be made by community leadership is the disposal of rubbish and the cost of that disposal. It has long been known that every day consumers purchasing more and more products the marketing sources are packaging in a manner that makes disposal difficult. In addition, the cost of securing and developing sites where this material can be disposed of is also becoming most problematic. With those conditions in place, one can easily see why so many local communities are charging the way they collect refuse and the resident charges associated with that collection.

The latest community to address this issue is the Town of Danvers. That community will now limit the amount of rubbish that can be collected at a residence each week and will also refuse to pick up any rubbish at all unless there is a collection of re-cycled material also at the curb each week. By increasing the amount of re-cycled material will hopefully cut down on the regular rubbish to be collected and therefore reduce costs to the Town. That plan will workas in the condominium project where I live and serve on the management board we instituted a voluntary re-cycle program, that has produced some revenue and has certainly reduced the cost of our rubbish collection program.

Friday, October 21, 2011

essex Happenings October 21 2011

Essex Happenings…October 22, 2012

Salem Witch Trial Film Invitation

Very Early this month, Essex Heritage expanded its partnership and continuing relationship with the National Park Service and introduced a new film that explores the infamous Salem Witch Trials. The film called "Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence” is now showing four times a day at the NPS Regional Visitor Center in Salem. The film is shown each day, seven days a week at 11:00, Noon, 1:00 and 2:00. The film, during the Halloween season is already drawing big crowds who are praising the scholarly approach and the entertainment value of the production. Now in what can only be thought of as an additional value, Essex Heritage is offering a film viewing and educational symposium with many of the educators who helped create this scholarly approach to this important phase of Salem’s long history. The following information provides more details on the film presentation, discussion scheduled for November 3, 2011, and provides a mechanism to reserve your seat, an event that will certainly fill up quickly. ACT NOW and reserve your space.

Thursday, November 3, 7:00 PM
Film Viewing & Symposium with Scholars

National Park Service Visitor Center Auditorium
2 New Liberty Street
Salem, MA 01970

The Essex National Heritage Commission, in partnership with the National Park Service, invites you to attend a special viewing and symposium with the scholars of the new interpretive film, "Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence." 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. The movie reveals newly found documents and research which sheds 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.

The film will be followed by a lively discussion and questions & answer session with the prominent witch trial scholars featured in the film, moderated by National Park Service historian, Dr. Emily Murphy. Light refreshments will be served in the lobby. Tickets for this exclusive event are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Essex Heritage members $12/Non-members $15. RSVP here!

The renowned witch trial scholars at the symposium include:
• Mary Beth Norton of Cornell University, the author of In the Devil's Snare;
• Benjamin C. Ray of the University of Virginia who has written extensively on the religious aspects of the trials and maintains the Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription website;

• Emerson (Tad) Baker of Salem State University who has recently published The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England;
• Margo Burns who is the Director of the Language Center at St Paul's School and an associate editor and project manager of Bernard Rosenthal's book Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt, a comprehensive compendium of nearly a thousand documents from the trials; and
• Richard Trask, historian and archivist, Town of Danvers (formerly Salem Village).

North Shore Elder Services has provided the following information on an interactive networking session scheduled for November 3, 2011. To be added to the invitation to this session contact the Network at

The North Shore Community Health Network is sponsoring an interactive fall networking session focused on North Shore Health Issues on Thursday, November 3, 2011 at the Peabody Marriott, 8A Centennial Drive, Peabody, MA. Special focus will be on needs of elders, housing, and those of low-income populations. All welcome.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Patient-Family Advisory Council

I am pleased to be a member of the Spaulding Hospital North Shore Patient Family Advisory Council and I recently participated in a meeting where a DRAFT service standards statement was presented for discussion. The program that is currently being developed by the senior leadership staff at the hospital will in time be presented to all hospital staff for implementation. The program that will demonstrate the Hospital’s strength through service will be a wonderful addition to the way that patients will be served. The standards will focus on a number of criteria that include issues like teamwork, respect, excellence, notice patient needs, greet, talk and help. It is certain that when the new standards are put in place that the beneficiaries will continue to be the patients at the Salem facility.

City of Peabody Continues to Develop Plans to Alleviate Flooding

Even though Peabody Mayor Bonfanti is fast approaching the end of his final term as the chief executive of that community he is continuing to seek solutions for the flooding issues that have plagued the community in recent years. The Mayor is in the process of developing a $15 million dollar plan to divert the frequent flood waters that from time to time have inundated the downtown of the Leather City. The plan, that will include a major investment, with the anticipation that the substantial borrowings will be repaid by seeking grants. The focus of the plan will be to install 1000 ft culvert under the central business district that would move the vast amount of the flood waters into the North River and then into Salem Harbor. The plan seems to have some universal support and will intimately be implemented by the next Mayor of the City after the November election. We will continue to observe the progress of this new initiative and report on continuing planning progress.

North Andover Close to Naming New Town Manager

It is expected that by the time this item appears in print that the northern Essex County community will have a new Town Manager. The process, that began when the incumbent manager headed north to Portland Maine, and a call for candidates produced well over a dozen applicants. That list is now been pared down to a finalist and the Board of Selectmen selected Andrew Maylor as the new Town Manager this week. Maylor is a know commodity as he presently serves as the town Administrator of the Town of Swampscott and has had other assignments in communities in this region I am sure that the community will be pleased to have this process over and to finally have a new leader in place. Unfortunately the town of Swampscott will now have to institute a hiring process to make up for their loss.

Gloucester Mayor to Offer Series of Public Meetings

Mayor on Carolyn Kirk has scheduled a series of four public meetings to update the residents of that community on municipal matters. By the time this item goes to print two of the meetings will already have been held, but two meetings are still on tap. The meetings that have been called State of the City meetings will be held on October 25th at the Lanesville Community Center. The final session is scheduled for November 5th in a proposed community center at 60 Wonson Street in the Rocky Neck section of Gloucester. The Mayor is anxious to speak with large groups of residents and to listen to their concerns. Both meetings are scheduled for 6:30 pm

Sounds of the Holiday’s Concert

The Christmas season is still way too far away to begin to provide lots of details, but we want to at the least ask you to get a date on your calendar for a planned Holiday Concert scheduled for December 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm at St. Richard’s church on Forest Street in Danvers, The concert will feature holiday music offered by the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert will be free of any charges except that entrance will be permitted with a substantial donation of non-perishable food that will be provided to the People to People Food Pantry in Danvers. The pantry is in dire need of contributions due to the incredible demands of the large population of homeless families being currently housed in Danvers motels. Your attendance at the concert and a substantial donation of food would be a great way to begin the traditional season of giving. The concert is not limited to parishioners of the Danvers church and will be open to all North Shore residents.

Two Personal Notes

New England Patriots Game

Last Sunday, I was able to attend, for the first time this year, a Patriots game in Foxborough. I converted my tickets to a handicapped section and the Pats have a most positive policy relative to people with disabilities. The experience was a good one. I enjoyed the game although the team’s play was a little sloppy, but they did get a win over a quality opponent. I was not able to stay until the end, so I missed the 32nd 4th period comeback in Tom Brady’s career. The team provides elevator access to my seats, but there are many patrons above my location who also have access to the elevators, so I escaped before the crowd.

Death of a Friend

I learned today of the death of Elizabeth (Betty) Hull formally of Marblehead, who passed away in the Naples Florida area earlier this month. She was pre-deceased by her husband Charlie who I worked with for a number of years at Salem Five. When Iwas first hired by the bank in 1960, it was Charlie who first taught me the banking ropes. Betty worked for many years in Salem as a legal secretary and her death is another link in an old chain broken. Rest in peace, Betty

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Essex Happenings October 18 2011

Essex Happenings 10/18/11

Important Fall Essex Heritage Meeting

The Essex National Heritage Commission
Invites You to Attend the

Annual Fall Meeting
Tuesday, October 25,2011
The Great House, Castle Hill on the Crane Estate
290 Argilla Road, Ipswich, MA 01938.
Click here for driving directions.

8:00 AM: Continental Breakfast Reception
8:30-10:00 AM: Business Meeting

Join us for a morning of engagement at a National Historic Landmark! Participate in this FREE, valuable networking opportunity that will further connect you with the work of Essex Heritage and that of our partners.

The agenda will include updates on Essex Heritage activities and initiatives, an introduction to new Commissioners and the presentation of Essex Heritage's Pioneers in Partnership Awards.

IF You have an interest in attending this meeting contact Essex Heritage at or at 978 740 0444 to secure a reservation.

Salem Wind Turbine Group to Visit Hull

Today a group of local Salem officials led by Mayor Driscoll, along with several local proponents and opponents of the proposed wind turbine, that is being considered for the old U S Coast Guard base on Winter Island, embarked on a field trip on the Salem Ferry to view a similar in size turbine operating in the Town of Hull south of the City of Boston. The trip was designed to offer residents and opponents, who live near where the turbine might be located, to attend the trip as there will be ample opportunity to ask any questions that might be pertinent to this proposed project. The city has also made a frequently asked question and answer survey available on the city’s web site. In addition to the trip and the opportunity to visit the city website, the city is also planning a balloon test to simulate a turbine Saturday at the site. The city seems to handling this issue in a most open manner and encouraging questions, opinions and discussions of all kinds before a coming to a final decision on this issue

Second Wind Turbine in Ipswich Questioned

Continuing on the wind turbine theme, the good folks in Ipswich are currently engaged in a thought provoking public debate on the decision to authorize a second wind turbine for that community. They appear to be approaching this issue in a most comprehensive manner while they consider financial, environmental and other pertinent
concerns before reaching a conclusion. The Town and its leadership appear to be taking the right and proper approach to this issue and we hope that when they have completed their evaluation, if the decision to build a second turbine is positive, then they will move swiftly to add such an asset to the town and the region

Proposal on Power Station

A preliminary report was provided by a group of consultants recently relative to the possible re-use of the sixty-two acre site at the Power Station on Fort Avenue in Salem, owned by Dominion. The observations offered included the conversion of the site to a natural gas power station, a wind turbine and a solar panel “farm”, a deep water port with the capacity to handle cruise ships and some new light industrial uses. All of the proposals are very preliminary and a more complete proposal will be presented in about one months time. One issue that still needs additional consideration is the continuing need for the site to develop activities that would produce a level of income that would produce tax revenues comparable to the level of revenues currently being produced by the power station. There will certainly be more information to be released in the future on these issues.

Peabody Looking To Develop Efficient methods of Municipal Operations

The City of Peabody council will receive a report in the near term that they commissioned to look at the possible consolidation of city departments and other related initiatives to determine if efficiencies and cost savings might be possible. The study has been undertaken by Financial Advisory Associates of Buzzards Bay. The study included the school District and the municipal Electric Company. This study appears to be a positive approach to consolidation efforts and seems to be a worthy use of municipal funds. If the efforts provide positive recommendations that would impact municipal budgets in either the short or long term, then the efforts and the funds expended would be even more worthwhile. I would certainly hope that if there were positive recommendations that would be offered and the employees considered fairly that other local communities might review the findings to learn if these recommendations, best practices could be applied to other communities in this region.

Message from North Shore Elder Services regarding a special award

The following message was received from NSES regarding their Executive director, Paul Lanzikos

The North Shore Chamber of Commerce has just let us know that Executive Director Paul Lanzikos has been chosen as one of the top 5 Distinguished Leaders for this year! He will be recognized at the dinner at CoCo Keys on October 26th. I know that you will join me in congratulating Paul for receiving this prestigious award!

Danvers Archival Center on-line Annual Report

For those with an interest, the following e-mail from Dick Trask, the Town of Danvers Archivist has provided instructions on how to access an on-line version of the Danvers Archival Center’s Annual Report

Hi Folks:

For those of you who have been waiting with much anticipation, my
illustrated FY 2011 Danvers Archival Center Annual Report is now on-line
and ready for careful perusal.

Though the text is pretty dry, the illustrations are quite nice. Thanks
to Jen McGeorge of the Library Reference Department.

The report may be seen at Just click onto “Archives”
and hit the FY 2011 Report menu item.

Richard Trask, Archivist
Peabody Institute Library, Danvers Massachusetts
North of Boston Library Exchange

Town of Danvers Hazardous Waste Disposal Day

It must be the time of the year as another local community is providing a day when hazardous materials can be disposed of at the local transfer station. This session will be offered by the Town of Danvers at their facility on East Coast Road on October 22, 2011, That day, from 8:00 until noon many items such as art supplies, fertilizers, pool chemicals, photography chemicals, antifreeze, household cleaning supplies, oil bases paints, propane tanks, and other materials those items can be dropped off at the transfer station. Electronics picked up a curbside will be handled at a subsequent event at the Elm Street Parking lot in early November, \for more detailed information on this day that helps keep Our environment safe can be found at and click on the public works tab.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Essex Happenings October 14, 2011

Essex Happenings October 15, 2011

New Spaulding Web Site

The following item is reprinted today, as in the last posting to this BLOG, an incorrect web site address was provided. If you have any interest in viewing this video, please take a look.

Many of you who read this BLOG on a regular basis know that I have become an avid advocate for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital since they took such wonderful care of me and certainly impacted my recovery from a recent illness. The Hospital has recently developed and brought a new web site on line, and about a month ago, they filmed a video related to my illness and subsequent recovery. If any of you might have any interest in viewing the video it can be accessed at and the video can be found on the homepage of that site under the Media Center section under the section "About Us." The testimony that I provided in the video continues my strong endorsement of the hospital as a sensational, if not undervalued l resource in this region.

The video provides a little insight into the medical experience and provides a little preview of the book called BELIEVE, that I anticipate will be published before the end of this year.

Sensational Holiday Weekend Weather

The weather on the Columbus Day Holiday weekend was almost beyond description and was certainly responsible to a great degree for high levels of visitation all over this region. The crowds that visited all sections of New England were above any previous expectations.

I would anticipate that one of the biggest attractions In this region, The Topsfield Fair closed its run with record attendance in its final days when the weather was fabulous. We visited the fair earlier in the schedule and we were there when half of the parking lots were underwater from torrential downpours but all this changed in the final days of the fairs run. The weather in this part of America is usually quite nice in mid October as the summer’s humidity is gone and the feel of fall is in the air and the regions foliage is usually in full color. In 2011 the past weekend was a bit different as summers warmth was still in place all the way from northern New England to the shores of Cape Ann and Cape Cod. In Salem the Halloween season began even earlier than usual as crowds arrived to sample haunted houses and other October focused attractions. The National Park Service regional visitor center experienced record crowds for the first weekend in October. If the weather continues to cooperate, this could be a record setting year for the region. This could bode well for the recently produced Salem witch trials film called “Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence” that Essex Heritage has created in conjunction with the National Park Service. The new film that tells the witch trial story from a new perspective could be a heavily visited attraction this year and that fact could be most beneficial to the regional organization whose mission is to preserve and promote the historic, cultural and natural resources of Essex County. Proceeds from the film, that is historically correct, was created by a team with exceptional educational credentials will be used to further the mission of Essex Heritage and to support its many cooperative regional programs that benefit both residents and visitors. The film will be shown four times a day at 11:00, noon, 1:00 and 2:00 seven days a week. Having had the good fortune to view the premier showing, I can attest to the quality of the film and would encourage you to make a trip to Salem to view this new Salem attraction. Not only will you enjoy the film but you will be able to offer financial support to a regional organization that is working on educational and recreational projects that have great importance to the entire region.

North Andover Closes in on Manager Selection.

In previous postings to Essex Happenings, I have provided information about the process that has been adopted by the Town of North Andover as they initiated a search for a new Town Manager to replace a former Manager who left to take a job as the City Manager of Portland, Maine. The job search has been reduced to the final four candidates and two of those candidates are from eastern Massachusetts with a finalist from both Swampscott and Belmont. The other two finalists are from out-of-state. The original list of candidates totaled over five-dozen applicants. The Town selectmen will make a choice soon.

Andover Citizen Group to Seek Special Town Meeting

In another initiative we have been following the citizens group that is seeking to build a youth center in Andover with a unique blend a private and public funds must now generate a public petition to call for a special Town Meeting to authorize this special partnership. Without the special meeting the previously raised private funds might be in jeopardy.

Gloucester Stadium to be Sponsored by New Balance Footwear

The city of Gloucester received some much needed good news when it was announced that the New Balance Corporation, that produces world class athletic shoes, would provide a sensational lift to that seaside community by providing a $500,000 grant to help upgrade the City’s football stadium and running track. Newell Field was first built right after this county’s great recession in 1936. The stands and the running track at the seventy-three year old facility will be replaced at a total cost of 3.5 million and the upgraded field will be renamed New Balance Track and Field at Newell Stadium. This is wonderful news for the “Fishermen” and we will all look forward to viewing the finished product.

The Association of Town Finance Committees will be conducting its annual educational meeting this month.

As a member of the Town of Danvers’s Finance Committee all members are always invited to attend the annual educational state wide seminar to stay abreast of new developments relative to municipal finance matters. I have attended this symposium in the past, but I am not able to fit the meeting into my busy schedule this year, but I wanted to print the meeting agenda to point out the depth of the program offered to local Finance Committee members across the commonwealth so that you can see how serious the local municipalities are to keep its volunteers current

Association of Town Finance Committees Annual Meeting, October 15, 2011
Tri County Regional Vocational Technical High School, Franklin Agenda

8:15-9:00 a.m. Registration, Breakfast, Networking

9:00-9:15 a.m. President’s Welcome, Kim Roy, Halifax Capital Planning Committee Business Meeting
School Foyer, Cafeteria Auditorium

9:15-10:15 a.m. State Fiscal & Legislative Update John Robertson, Deputy Legislative Director, MMA Pam Kocher, Director of Local Policy, Executive Office of Administration
on & Finance This opening session will be an overview of the following topics and will allow ample time for Q&A: •municipal health insurance reform •regionalization grant program •state’s economic trends, fiscal condition, revenue collections •supplemental fiscal 2012 local aid distribution due by October 31 • latest information regarding potential cuts to the federal government’s fiscal 2012 budget and the impact on state and local programs •impact of long-term federal fiscal issues and implications for states and localities, including bond ratings and key services

10:15-10:30 a.m. Break

10:30-noon Concurrent Workshops
1. New to the Finance Committee: Budgeting 101 Library This session will provide a good foundation for understanding the basics of municipal finance and budgeting. It will include a review of the timetable of the annual budget, developing a capital improvement plan, an overview of the tax recapitulation process and managing long- term debt. Hans Larsen, Wellesley Executive Director and former advisory committee member Tony Logalbo, Finance Director, Concord Moderator: Mary McBride, Billerica Finance Committee Vice Chair and ATFC Director

2. Collective Bargaining Basics Auditorium This session will give finance committee members an overview of this complicated process, touching on all of the basics including: laws and regulations, bargaining in good faith, and arbitration v. litigation.

Kate Fitzpatrick, Town Manager, Needham Kevin Feeley, Attorney, Feeley & Brown Moderator: Ira Miller, Sharon Finance Committee Chair and ATFC Director

New this year!3. Your Town’s Credit and Bond Rating Foyer This workshop is designed to be a primer on municipal capital planning and debt management for finance committees. It will touch upon debt management policies; setting appropriate levels of annual debt and cash capital spending; debt issuances and how they are structured; credit ratings and what ratings agencies look for when evaluating municipalities; and debt-related questions finance committees should be asking their municipal finance officials. Cinder McNerney, Managing Director, First Southwest Company and ATFC Past President Sandy Pooler, Finance Director, Amherst Moderator: Richard Creem, Needham Finance Committee and ATFC Director

Noon Luncheon

12:30 – 1:15 Speaker: Governor Michael Dukakis
1:30-3:00 p.m. Concurrent Workshops

1. Capital Budgeting
Developing and implementing a successful capital plan is on every finance committee’s wish list. Foskett will review his work on Arlington’s plan over the last 20 years, explaining how to get started and how to keep on track. Blake will highlight how DLS can assist communities in the process. This session is a must for anyone who wants to begin or further this kind of strategic planning in their town. Charlie Foskett, Arlington Capital Committee Chair and ATFC Past President Rick Kingsley, Bureau Chief, Data Management and Technical Services Division, Division of Local Services Moderator: Bruce Button, Concord Finance Committee and ATFC Director

2. Getting to Know Your Assessor Library Assessors have important information finance committees need for financial forecasting, for budget preparation, and for educating the voters about the impact of town meeting decisions on property tax bills. Improve your understanding of what assessors must do to insure that their communities are taxing fairly and equitably. This session will cover the basics of how properties are valued, how the tax rate is set, how new growth is calculated, how tax classification works, how exemptions and abatements are granted and how assessors use the overlay. Karen Rassias, Assessor, West Newbury Pam Davis, Assessor, Everett Moderator: Joanne Marden, Andover Finance Committee Chair and ATFC Vice President

3. Monitoring the Budget Auditorium This session will discuss the tools members can use to track revenues, expenses, and grants throughout the budget year to monitor for problems and assist committees in making educated decisions about the use of reserve fund transfers and special town meeting recommendations as well as gathering information on how the town's finances are functioning in preparation for the next budget cycle.
Marilyn Mathieu, Finance Director, Bellingham Paul Schaefer, Director of Finance and Operations, King Philip Regional School District Moderator: Jennifer Gonzalez, Holbrook Finance Committee and ATFC Vice President

99 Restaurants to Assist Salem Club

During the Month of October, the 99 Restaurants in Salem and Danvers are raising funds to assist the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem. Thanks to the folks who are offering this support to a wonderful organization that helps youth at risk at the Salem based club, where I am proud to serve as a board member.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Essex Happenings October 11, 2011

New Spaulding Web Site

Many of you who read this BLOG on a regular basis know that I have become an avid advocate for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital since they took such wonderful care of me and certainly impacted my recovery from a recent illness. The Hospital has recently developed and brought a new web site on line, and about a month ago, they filmed a video related to my illness and subsequent recovery. If any of you might have any interest in viewing the video it can be accessed at and the video can be found on the homepage of that site under the Media Center section under the section "About Us." The testimony that I provided in the video continues my strong ebdorsement of the hospital as a sensational, if not undervalued l resource in this region.

The video provides a little insight into the medical experience and provides a little preview of the book called BELIEVE, that I anticipate will be published before the end of this year.

Recent Agreement between Health Network and a Regional Hospital group could have major Ramifications on how Health Care is provided in the future.

I recently received a message from Paul Lanzikos the Executive Director of North Shore Elder Services, where I serve on the board that included a recent column from the Boston Business Journal that outlined a recent development and the changes in medical insurance networks that most certainly could have an impact in how medical services particularly to small businesses are to be delivered in the future. I have included a copy of the column for your information as awareness of the world of medical health care should be important to all of us.

Medical shakeout looms: Closed network would create winners, losers among hospitals

Boston Business Journal by Julie M. Donnolly ,
Friday, September 23, 2011, 6:00am EDT

The partnership between Tufts Health Plan and Steward Health Care to offer a low-cost insurance option for businesses comes with strings attached for subscribers and delivers a blow to some prominent hospitals, particularly Children’s Hospital Boston and the Floating Hospital for Children.

The Tufts-Steward deal helps usher in the era of so-called limited networks, where patients are largely confined to an orbit of pre-selected health care providers. The new health plan proposal, geared towards small businesses, would limit subscribers to receiving care at Steward facilities, which will include 11 Massachusetts hospitals, among them St. Elizabeth’s in Brighton, if pending deals are approved. In cases where care cannot be delivered in the network, patients will be referred to the two downtown Partners HealthCare academic medical centers — Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In addition, all inpatient pediatric care will be provided by MGH for Children.

That’s bad news for two of the state’s highest profile care facilities for children. Children’s Hospital Boston and the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center are being frozen out of treating children covered under the new plan, a feature Children’s says may come with some risk.

“I’m concerned about the breadth and depth of expertise for children with complex conditions,” Children’s Hospital President Sandi Fenwick said. “Not to disparage MGH, but for many complex procedures there is a direct correlation between volume and outcomes.” Children’s had 13,232 discharges in 2009, versus 2,892 pediatric discharges at MGH, according to the state.

Fenwick said, for instance, Children’s performed 90 bone marrow transplants on children this year, versus just a handful at MGH.

Parents need to be educated about what a limited network would mean for their child’s care, Fenwick said, and that they could be hit with astronomical bills if their child suddenly developed a complex or rare condition and needed to be treated at Children’s.

Steward Hospitals will retain their clinical affiliations despite the new Tufts deal, Steward spokesman Chris Murphy said. Floating hospital pediatricians, for instance, staff Steward’s Morton Hospital in Taunton 24 hours a day, referring them to Floating when necessary. But for patients enrolled in Steward’s new limited network, called Steward Community Choice, referrals to Children’s or the Floating would be eliminated.

To smooth the flow of admissions to MGH for Children, members of the new plan will have access to Partners-affiliated pediatricians.

As a result, existing primary care relationships could be disrupted. For instance, large numbers of pediatricians near Quincy Hospital, which Steward is moving to buy, are affiliated with NECQA, Tufts Medical Center’s physician organization— not Partners or Steward.

Incoming Tufts Medical CEO Eric Beyer said in the long run his hospital is well-positioned to take advantage of limited networks. “We cannot be afraid of plans designed to help small businesses,” Beyer said. “If this plan is high quality and low cost and keeps care in the community, then it might be a reasonable option.”

However, it’s clear that some care previously being done in the community will move downtown, a trend generally associated with higher costs to the system. With Steward’s new insurance product, Partners HealthCare, has agreed to provide services at MGH and the Brigham at a lower negotiated rate to help the plan meet its goal of reducing small business premiums by 30 percent. Partners executives declined to give specifics on its rates.

Meanwhile, more closed networks loom. “We’re in preliminary discussions with half a dozen provider groups,” Tufts Health Plan CEO Jim Roosevelt said. They include Tufts Medical Center. Harrington Hospital in Southbridge might also form the core of a lower cost product in Central Massachusetts, Roosevelt said.

Gov. Deval Patrick has tasked insurers with coming up with limited or tiered networks (which assign different co-pays to different hospitals), at prices discounted by at least 12 percent from their existing small business insurance products. Tufts Health Plan filed its Steward limited network plan with the state Division of Insurance last week.

DOI spokesman Jason Lefferts said Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care have yet to file qualifying health plans but are expected to do so by the end of the year.

Important Salem Harbor Station Report to be released

Earlier this week the long awaited action plan that the city and Dominion have been working on was presented, A reuse plan for the power station on Fort Avenue in Salem, if it were to be closed as the company has indicated several options. The plan has been paid for with funding from the state, that provided the funds as the impact on the City due to the potential loss in tax revere might be devastating. Both parties have been participating in the planning process although in reality the city is just an interested party as the ownership of the site remains in the hands of Dominion. The proposed plan that was just exposed would call for re-development to be accomplished in phases and it is possible that there might be multiple uses on tap for the site, including a cruise ship port, marina and even a residential component. There even remains the possibility that another energy company might wish to continue the use as a power facility with an alternate source of energy like the natural gas pipeline that could be accessed.

Boxford Town Meeting Scheduled

The Town of Boxford has scheduled a special town meeting on October 22, 2012 to address school improvement issues, the purchase of land to be developed as a parking lot. The body will also consider moving the day for future meetings from Saturday back to Tuesday evenings.

North Shore Elder Services and are pleased to present:

We Give Thanks” 2011 Awards!

These awards emphasize the care and service others provide to older persons on the North Shore. The awards dinner is our opportunity to publicly thank those whose accomplishments and contributions best exemplify and advance the mission of North Shore Elder Services – Life. Made Easier. for elders.

Please join us for an uplifting and inspirational evening to applaud this year’s award recipients.

For information on how to purchase tickets for thid entertaining and rewarding evening contact North Shore Elder Services ar

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Essex Happenings October 7, 2011

Essex Happenings, October 7, 2011

The National Park Service and Essex National Heritage Commission Recently Announced the Premiere of Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence
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. Shortly after the premier showing that took place earlier this week, the film will be shown for four times a day, seven days a week at the National Park Service Visitor Center on New Liberty Street in Salem. Make plans during the Halloween season to bring your friends and family to the showing during the Halloween Season to learn the story behind the story of the Salem Witch Trials.

On Wednesday evening along with a full house of local residents and friends of Essex Heritage my wife and I attended the premier showing of the new film that I suspect will be a big hit during the Halloween period and into the winter season. The film was well done and well received by all in attendance. The facts presented were well researched that makes the effort worthy of the affiliation with the Park Service. The film was well performed and the presentation was excellent. The true test for me is always did I learn something from the presentation and was I entertained. The answer to both of those questions is an emphatic yes. I hope that during a visit to Salem you will consider adding a visit to this film on your agenda. You will be glad you took the time to view the presentation.

Difficult Handicapped Parking Condition Noted at Salem MBTA Station

In a recent issue of the Salem Evening News and a subsequent editorial opinion in that newspaper provided substantial information about the ongoing abuse of handicapped parking opportunities at the City of Salem MBTA Railroad station. The recent story and later opinion indicated that commuters are using the spaces designated for drivers with handicaps as a spot to park when picking up disembarking riders from the very busy trains that pull into that station all day, every day. As someone who must now have access to parking as near to a destination as possible, it is clear that available handicapped parking is of critical importance to handicapped drivers or their handicapped passengers. I hope that the authorities in charge of the policing of those spaces will now become more diligent in assuring that the spaces so reserved are not abused. An occasional day of issuing costly parking tickets to violators might be a way to swiftly impact this problem and once again make the spaces available to the proper users. I certainly do not want to sound like a whining advocate for the handicapped, but as the weather changes in this region, as it certainly will as winter is not that far away, the need for handicapped spaces for folks with clear needs will become even more important to them at that time.

Danvers Educational Enrichment Partnership (DEEP) Offers Different Method to Raise Funds

The volunteer group that is made up primarily of parents of Danvers school children is busy raising additional funds to support educational programs in that Town. The group is involved in raising funds to create technology labs in the high school. On Sunday, they organized a three-mile fundraising walk for supporters. They have also now created a Sponsorship and seat naming opportunity in the Michael N. Armento Auditorium in the ongoing renovated High School. The Sponsorship options are priced at somewhat higher pricing and more than likely lend themselves to corporate sponsors, but the seat naming opportunities are much more reasonably priced. Small plagues will be attached to the backs of seats and this seems to be a wonderful way to recognize graduates of the school in both this and the next couple of years. For more information on this program and other DEEP endeavors visit their web site at

Volunteer Organizations in Andover Offers support to Build Youth Center

I recently learned of another very unusual volunteer group from Andover that is seeking to develop a partnership with the Town in the hopes of building a youth center on Town owned land adjacent to a muddle school. The feature in this partnership between the residents of the Town and the Town Administration is a promise that the resident group will commit to raise a substantial portion of the needed funds for the construction. The balance of the funding will be sought from the Town in the form of a special Town Meeting tax supported commitment from the taxpayers. The total cost of the project has been estimated at $4 million and the volunteer group has committed to raise 50% of those funds and are only seeking the other 50% of the total project cost from tax supported funding. The unusual twist in this project is that if the costs exceed the total estimate, the volunteer group will also be responsible for all excess costs past the budget of $ 4 million. The group has recently presented its proposal to the Town’s Board of Selectmen and will soon appear before the Town Finance Committee seeking a final approval for a special Town Meeting to consider the proposal. This is a concept that is worth following to learn of its final disposition as this idea could be a program that night spread to other local communities as projects, that have broad based public support are needed.

Northeast Harvest Newsletter

As we have done in the past, and to assure the broadest dissemination of the importance of the farming industry to this region, we want to reprint sections of the recent newsletter that focuses on these matters.

Harvest to Hand
Find Local-Buy Local

The mission of Harvest to Hand is to help promote "Buy Local" and a sustainable way of life for local agriculture across the United States. Consumers have easy access to fresh farm products, events and home-spun goods right at their fingertips through a FREE iPhone app. The app features farmers' markets, local festivals, locally made products, family-friendly farms, wineries and local eateries, and seasonal agritourism venues.


Whether you like picking out the perfect pumpkin or carving out a great design on a pumpkin or eating pumpkin pie, October is the month for you. Many of our farms offer pumpkin patches or ready for purchase. Click here for Pick-Your-Own farms in eastern Massachusetts. Below are a few interesting pumpkin facts:
• Pumpkins originated in Central America.
• Colonists sliced off pumpkin tops, removed the seeds, and filled the insides with milk, spices, and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie.
• Pumpkins are fruit.
• Pumpkins are 90 percent water.
• Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.
• Pumpkins are used to make soups, pies, and bread.
• Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to well over 1,000 pounds. The world record pumpkin weight is 1810.5 lbs in October of 2010 from Minnesota.
• Pumpkins seeds can be roasted as a snack.
• Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

Think Safety

With more farms generating electricity and dealing with clean-up from Hurricane Irene, there are more reasons to think "Safety". Safe Electricity urges farm operators, family members, and employees to beware of overhead power lines, to keep farm equipment safely away, and to know what to do if accidental contact is made with power lines. Safe Electricity urges all farm workers to visit Safe Electricity and watch the video.

Fall Festivals
at Smolak Farms

Much is happening at Smolak Farms in North Andover in October. There will be a Fall Harvest Festival on October 1st & 2nd, an Anniversary Weekend on October 8th, 9th, & 10th, a Pumpkin Festival on October 15th & 16th, and Trick or Treat Hayrides on the last two weekends of October. So no matter which weekend you choose, there will be an event at Smolak Farms. Click here for more information.

Fall Festivals
at Verrill Farm

Verrill Farm in Concord will host 3 festivals this October. On Sunday, October 2nd from 1-5pm, Verrill Farm will host HOEDOWN 2011 presented by how2heroes. The afternoon includes a pig roast, chef demos, music, hayrides, a dessert contest, and a prize for sporting the best hoedown duds! The 5th Annual Harvest Festival and Benefit for Emerson Hospital Pediatric Care will take place on Saturday, October 15th from 12 noon - 4 pm. Fields surrounding the farm stand will be transformed into an old fashioned fairground. Activities include games, music, food, a raffle and the seasonal search for the perfect pumpkin. On Saturday, October 22nd there will be the Concord Festival of Authors - Food 'n' Fiction. Local authors with a culinary bent will sign copies of their books and offer samples. For more information, click here.

Farm Fact

More than 40 agricultural fairs are held across the Commonwealth each year. From the Berkshires to Cape Cod, more than 3 million families, visitors, and residents visit Massachusetts agricultural fairs annually. Our fairs offer a wide array of exhibits that highlight the great diversity of Massachusetts' locally-grown agricultural products.

Incredibly Damaging Early Morning Storm Impacts North Shore

One of the most damaging rain events in recent years hit the North Shore earlier this week. In Danvers, it turns out that we were on the periphery of the main portion of the storm, but even so, I do not remember a rain storm of that severity for such a lengthy period of time. The amount of rain in such a short time was almost unprecedented. The damage done in local communities was severe, and houses, basements and automobiles particularly in Swampscott and Peabody were in many cases inundated. The situation in Swampscott seemed a bit unusual and we can only hope that the conditions that caused that serious a storm will not be recreated soon.

The city of Peabody is working diligently to correct the drainage problem that from time to time causes parts of the City’s downtown to flood. Plans are being implemented to correct the deficiencies in 2012 that cause the flooding problems. Funds have been allocated and hopefully the already designed plans will be put into motion before another calamitous storm hits the region.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Essex Happenings October 4, 2011

Essex Happenings October 4, 2011

TRAILS & SAILS! For 2011 is over

Hopefully you were able to get out on one or both of the last two weekends and enjoyed some of the wonderful event offerings available during the 10th annual TRAILS & SAILS. The weather held up reasonably well and if for some reason you did not get to enough events, save the Essex Heritage brochure and visit the sites that participated all through the year. We are still gathering information on attendance and will report those numbers to you as soon as we collect all of the data from the dozens of participating sites.

Trails & Sails 2011 is generously sponsored by TD Bank and Eastern Bank with additional support from REI and regional sponsors:

It seems appropriate to provide you with pertinent information relative to three of our most important partners, who have new programs that might be on interest to you. The following information may be helpful and provide some valuable assistance to you,

North of Boston CVB Announces NEW Electronic Seafood App!

Got Seafood? There's an app for that!
The Seafood Trail application has arrived! If you own an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you can download the NEW Seafood Trail app from the Apple iTunes Store. Use the app to discover great seafood gems throughout the North of Boston region, find free events and activities, and enjoy reading about culinary experiences from the North Shore Dish blog. The Seafood Trail can also be accessed here.

Essex County Greenbelt Working to Close the Gap in Campaign to Save the Lower Green

Essex County Greenbelt, working in conjunction with local historic preservation advocates, is close to the finish line in a campaign to purchase and permanently protect a parcel of land abutting Newbury's historic Lower Green on High Road (Route 1A) in Newbury. This parcel is under imminent threat of development. In 2010, the Green and its surrounding pastoral landscape were listed as one of the state's 10 most threatened historic sites by Preservation Massachusetts.

Campaign Status

The Campaign is in its final weeks. The 18-month option agreement held by Greenbelt expires in late September, 2011. As of September 8, 2011 the campaign had raised nearly $445,000 toward the $500,000 goal. If successful in raising the funds to purchase the property, the land will be owned by Essex County Greenbelt, a regional land trust, which will open the property to the public, and manage it for its scenic and historic values. Read more about why conserving Newman Farm Meadow is so important...

The Salem Partnership, a classic public/private organization that helped to create and then supported the mission of Essex Heritage in its formative years has a number of active initiatives that it manages to help improve the economy of the host city and the region in general. One of the most important of those is the Creative Economy initiative that it has been fostered to support that community and this region. The recent announcement by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that they will provide much needed ongoing support to that effort, the recent press release that follows outlines that announcement.

Mass Secretary of Economic Development Greg Bialceki NAMES NEW Creative Economy Industry Director

Experienced leader charged with creating jobs, growing $1 billion industry BOSTON - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki today appointed Helena Fruscio, an experienced creative economy leader in Berkshire County, to the position of Creative Economy Industry Director for the Commonwealth. Fruscio will help advance the state's $1 billion creative economy industry, which currently employs over 100,000 Massachusetts workers, according to a New England Foundation for the Arts study.
"The creative economy is an economic engine for the Commonwealth and Helena has the necessary vision and experience to ensure this vital industry continues to grow and create jobs," said Secretary Bialecki. "We are fortunate to have her expertise and look forward to the progress she will make."

Downtown Peabody Traffic and Beautification Plan Well Received.

The consultants who have been retained to complete a new traffic plan complete with pedestrian safety measures have presented a “final” plan on their effort. The presentation was first provided to a group of interested residents and provided additional updates after their initial meeting last month. The plan will focus on the reduction of traffic lanes running through the Peabody Square area from four to two and will provide turning lanes that will benefit the merchants in this part of the region. There will also be improvements provided that will more clearly provide pedestrians with more opportunities to cross Main Street safely. The plans call for additional extensive landscaping and lighting improvements. At the same time that this traffic corridor plan is progressing, on a separate but complimentary track an additional plan is being prepared that will address the long-time flooding problems that have impacted that area for years. The two planning teams on the projects will work together to insure that the two programs are complimentary when construction issues that could case traffic concerns as the two plans progress in the future. These plans are long overdue and those who travel around the North Shore and at times move through the Peabody Square, Main Street area in Peabody are looking forward to an easier more attractive travel experience.

For all of the seniors that read this offering, I thought that I would reprint two items of interest that appeared in the Danvers Council on Aging monthly newsletter.
Town of Danvers Open House

On Thursday, October 13th the Town of Danvers will hold a Town Wide Open House from 4pm-7pm. The Danvers Senior Center will be highlighting various classes and activities available at our facility. Our Triad group will be distributing “Emergency Grab and Go Bags” in recognition of the upcoming 5 year anniversary of the Danversport Explosion. Freshly made Cider Donuts and Apple Cider from local Brooksby Farm will be provided. Come by and learn more about what the Danvers Senior Center has to offer you or a family member! We have ample parking at the site, so the Senior Center might be a place to start your tour, as a shuttle to other sites will be available.

Flu Shot Update

According to Peter Mirandi, Director of Public Health for the Town of Danvers, there is plenty of flu vaccine available; however, the State has yet to release the vaccine to Municipalities for the annual DCOA Flu Clinics servicing senior citizens. The council is recommending individuals see their primary care physicians for all of their health care needs, including flu shots. A second option available to you is your local pharmacies that are also authorized to vaccinate for the flu. Seniors with Medicare Part A & B should be able to receive the shot at no cost. Please call your local pharmacy for more information. Remember it is still early in the flu season. Stay tuned for updates as they become available to us on our website and in our next newsletter. Good advice that should be considered.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Golf Event

Earlier this week I was pleased to present some after dinner thoughts at this fundraising event for the hospital. My wife and I spent the evening at a most congenial table, that included Maureen Banks, the President of the Hospital and my old friend and hospital Trustee Stan Lukowski, former CEO of Eastern Bank, I was very pleased to receive several visits from participants after my remarks thanking me and wishing me well in the future. One of the highlights of the evening was an oral auction presided over by Chris Collins a TV sports anchor for New England Cable News who was most entertaining and kept the proceedings light hearted.

Finish with Some Sports Thoughts

It certainly appears that some body had to be “THROWN UNDER THE BUS” when the Red Sox baseball season ended abruptly last week, and Terry Francona became the sacrificial lamb. During his time in charge, he did an above average job considering the many pressures he was under. He will survive nicely in another big league position and will be better off away from the media and fan pressure in this city,

The New England Patriots came away on Sunday with an important win starting the season with three wins in four games with three of those games on the road. The defense is still suspect, and in the long run, might be the weak spot of this team. The noise and hype around here should start soon with the next game against the dreaded New York J-E-T-S. on next Sunday at home.

Sports of all kinds are important to me and late last week the undefeated Girls Field Hockey teams from Danvers and Beverly met in Beverly and the girls from the Garden City came away the win, by a score of 3-1. The loss was made a little easier for us as our granddaughter Kate Leonard scored the only goal for Danvers to avoid the shutout. The next time the two teams meet will be the second last game of the season and could have title ramifications