Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Essex Happenings November 1. 2011

Essex Happenings November 1, 2011 or 11.1.11


For those of you that are into numbers today in 11.1.11, and later this month we will experience another day with a repetitive number when 11.11.11 shows up on the calendar

Social Security Announces 3.6 Percent Benefit Increase for 2012

For those of you who of the same vintage as I am, the following information provided to me by Paul Lanzikos, Executive Director of North Shore Elder Services will certainly be of interest to you and will become effective on 12.30.11.

Cost-of-Living Adjustment is First Since 2009

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 60 million Americans will increase 3.6 percent in 2012, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that nearly 55 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2012. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2011.

Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $110,100 from $106,800. Of the estimated 161 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2012, about 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Information about Medicare changes for 2012, when announced, will be available at www.Medicare.gov. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

Halloween Season comes to a Close

A week or so ago, early one Sunday morning my wife provided me with a tour of the downtown activities in downtown Salem, long ago called the Halloween Capital of the World. We were early in the day and while there were crowds walking through the array of vendors, it was nothing like what it would be on the final weekend of October. The city of Salem is expecting record crowds for the last weekend of the season. It is expected that the revelers will use all four days in this last weekend to sample the wares that the city has to offer. The weather is forecast to be both cold and early in the weekend some inclement weather is predicted, but I will bet that will not keep the crowds away, and the weekend will be a financial success for the city and the stores and the vendors that put so much into this season The city has a plan to deal with the crowds and the Police Chief, Paul Tucker and his force ate ready to put the plan into action.

If you plan to head to the Witch City for the festivities take some time to visit the National Park Service Center in the downtown and sample one of the city’s newest attraction. The Salem Witch Trials: Examine the Evidence, a joint venture film experience created by Essex Heritage and the National Park Service is shown four times a day at 11:00, Noon, 1:00, and 2:00 and I suspect that you will be glad you experienced the film.

More Information on Essex Heritage Annual Meeting

In my last post about the recent Essex Heritage Annual meeting, I reported on the awards distributed that morning. In addition there was much other business discussed at the event.

• President Kevin M. Tierney, the CEO of Saugus Bank completed his two-year term at this meeting. Kevin played a very important role over the last 24 months, as he along with the President before, Nancy Stager managed the long range planning process that set the present successful vision for ENHC. Thank you Kevin for your leadership.

• Richard Yagjian, the COO of Hunts Photo and Video, who created the ENHC Photo Safari sessions that is so popular with our members will take over the leadership role. Rich also made an announcement that made me most proud. It was announced that in the spring of 2012, that I will be the recipient of the 2012 Essex Heritage Hero Award.

• William Howard, CEO of Beverly Cooperative Bank and
• David LaFlamme, CEO of North Shore Bank were both confirmed as new Trustees.

• Kay Ellis of the Schooner Thomas Lannon and Joe Milano of the Union Oyster House were elected to the position of Trustee Emeritus.

• Eleven new Commissioners were named and their diversity and interest is a perfect match for the mission of Essex Heritage. The elected Commissioners are:

Jane Baugh, General Israel Putnam Chapter D.A.R., Danvers
David Beardsley, The Trustees Of Reservations, Ipswich
•Barbara Broudo, Endicott College, Beverly
Edward Grant, Grant Communications Consulting Group, Lynn
•Daryl A. Hellman, Eastern Bank, Board of Trustees, Rockport
•David King, North Shore Medical Center, Salem
•Kate Luchini, Lynn Museum & Historical Society, Lynn
Bob McIntosh, formerly of the National Park Service, Beverly
•Dominique McLean, REI, Reading
Elena Sierra, Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care, Danvers
•Scott Vandersall, TD Bank, Beverly

• There were also sixteen existing Commissioners there were also elected to another three year term. The names of those commissioners can be found on the Essex Heritage web site at www. Essexheritage.org

In a future posting, I will continue this report on a meeting that was most inspiring.

Salem State University and North Shore Community College agree on Partnership

Similar to other colleges in the region, Salem State University and North Shore Community College have announced a joint venture that will allow students from the Community College to take a course offered by the University at the Lynn campus of The Community College. Starting in January 2012 two courses will be offered and will be taught by University Professors and the credits earned in the late afternoon classes can be applied towards degrees at Salem State. It has been reported that each year several hundred Community College students transfer to the University to pursue additional educational opportunities and this new partnership will facilitate that process.

Signatures Needed for Special Meeting for Andover Youth Facilities Being Gathered

I have been reporting in recent posts, on effort by a group of Andover residents who are attempting to put together an interesting public-private partnership that would raise private capital to build a youth center in that town on land currently owned by The town and partially used as a school. The resident group has raised pledges that exceed the required financial commitment by the group, but still need approval of their proposed gift and the partnership at a Town meeting before they can consummate the unique relationship. In order to complete the deal, they will need the community to call a special town meeting to approve the concept and the group has been gathering the signatures needed to schedule the special meeting. This action must take place soon, as some of the people who made pledges might not remain in place if the Town doesn’t take action soon. It appears that the group is close to collecting the required signatures and the meeting to approve what appears to be a unique method to construct a public project that many in the community supports could be scheduled soon.. This is a concept that needs to be followed, as it could if successful, be copied in other communities.

Town of Newbury Sells Land on Plum Island

The Town of Newbury is in the process of selling six parcels of land on Plum Island to local residents for $700,000. The transaction will be completed within 6 to 9 months and the revenues will be taken into the general fund of the community.

Unusual Weather Continues to Plague the State

It appears that almost once each season, a major weather event hits this state. We have experienced hurricanes, tornadoes and now an unexpected October snowstorm. We feel particularly bad for the residents of this state who live in the western and central parts of the state who have been particularly hard hit.

Spaulding Hospital in Salem Opens its Doors to Treat Libyan Rebels

The hospital in Salem has provided space for 25 rebels that were injured during the recent rebellion in Libya. They will be treated in Salem for wounds, trauma and nerve damage. Another accomplishment achieved for the valuable Salem Rehabilitation hospital.

Karma for Boston Sports Teams Disappearing

First it was the Red Sox going 7 and 29 in September, then it was the Bruins earning a paltry 6 points in their first eleven games, now it is the Patriots ranking 32 of 32 teams in the NFL on defense. Has all of the good luck that hovered over the city for the last decade moved to another location?

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