Friday, November 18, 2011

Essex Happenings November 18. 2011

The following material was first published in the Essex Heritage newsletter and is reprinted here to provide an opportunity for you to offer support to this Regional Program. THANK YOU.

Essex Heritage Annual Appeal

2011 was another busy year for Essex Heritage, and we hope to continue our success and increase our impact in the coming year. Your support for our mission through the annual appeal enables us to partner with various organizations and visitor sites to preserve, promote and enhance the historic, cultural and natural resources of Essex County.

We are proud of our accomplishments! Some of our milestones this year include; progress along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway, successful youth engagement programs with the National Park Service, and the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Trails & Sails: Two Weekends of Walks and Water.

However, we cannot do it without your support. Our work is made possible by the generous support of organizations and individuals. Your commitment to support our annual appeal will make a positive impact in our community by allowing Essex Heritage to continue its important work. Please consider a donation. Thank you!

Medicare Spending and the Elderly

The material that follows was given to me by the Executive Director of North Shore Elder Services and I thought it was worth passing the information along to all of you.

Research based on the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care reports wide variations in Medicare spending per beneficiary across geographic areas, but with little apparent variation in the quality of care or health outcomes. Relying on this research, policy makers have considered proposals that would limit Medicare payments in high-cost areas or pay bonuses in low-cost areas. Using data from more than 17,000 elderly Medicare beneficiaries, Jack Hadley, Timothy Waidmann, Stephen Zuckerman, and Robert Berenson estimated the relationship between medical spending and health outcomes at the individual level. The study, published in Health Services Research, found a positive and statistically significant relationship between medical spending and improved health, measured in both the length of life and in an index incorporating overall health status and activity limitations. Their findings imply that across-the-board reductions in Medicare spending may result in poorer health for some beneficiaries, and that more careful identification of unnecessary spending is important.

Endicott College offers family program

I read a couple of weeks ago about a unique program being offered by one of our partners, Endicott College. The program named Keys to Degrees was created in 1987 by the President of the College, Richard Wylie who seems to have a penchant for originating programs for his school that seem a little unusual. President Wylie has had some wonderful success with the creation of a football program, that could be competing on a national stage later this fall in a NCAA tournament appearance, but back to the other unusual program on campus that provides single parents to live on campus in housing designed for families with their children. At the present time, Endicott College has eight single moms registered for classes daily, but the program allows them to live in family type family quarters with their children who this year range in age from 4 and one half months to four year old. The young women who make up the population of this program are most deserving of an opportunity that up to this point have been somewhat ignored. The program that was created by the college about a decade ago to fill a very serious and identified need has been successful and most appreciated by those that have found a way to participate. The families are even allowed to continue to live on campus during the summer weather while they are taking classes or working to earn some funding to keep their program on track. The college, its administration and President Wylie should be commended for reaching out to this segment of eligible college students and then providing continuing support to the single parents to help them in their pursuit of an education, while still providing an opportunity for them to nature their children.

Danvers Historical Society Lecture Program

One evening last week, the Danvers Historical Society kicked off a long continuing lecture series on a new location. The lecture was offered at the recently rehabilitated Tapley Hall on Page Street next to the headquarters of the Society. The hall was built in 1930 and was operated as a location to house and exhibit the Society’s large collection of historical collections. The facility was recently renovated, upgraded and opened to a concert by the resident choral group, Essex Harmony as part of the Essex Heritage Trails and Sails event in 2011. The renovations to the hall were accomplished with the help of a grant from Peoples United Bank in Danvers. The location is now handicapped accessible and is centrally located just off the Danvers Square section of the Town. The facility has had a ramp for the handicapped installed and access to the facility was reasonably easy to accomplish,
The first lecture offered was incredibly well received as Tapley Hall was filled to a standing room only capacity that evening. The hall was filled with both long-term society members and other residents of the town who were interested in the subject of the lecture. The presentation focused in the history of trains in the community and was well presented by long time Danvers resident and businessman Alden Goodnow. I have known Alden for many years and worked with his real estate firm during my days as a community banker several decades ago. I has always admired him as a businessman and now I also admire him as a historic lecturer as he shared his vast knowledge of the many lines that served Danvers from the mid 1800 until the last train made its final run in the mid 1950’s. He provided maps that highlighted routes though Danvers from Salem into Lawrence and provided photographs of the nine railroad stations that once existed and served the residents of Danvers. The first Society lecture was most successful and I look forward to more programs in this new and renovated venue. Congratulations to the Society on the start of a new series of lectures and thank you to Alden Goodnow for an auspicious start to a new set of interesting historically based talks.

Wind Turbine Vote in Ipswich Scheduled
The Proposal to build a second wind turbine on Town Farm Road in Ipswich that will require the approval of several town bodies faced its first test earlier this week at a special Town Meeting. At the meeting an article to authorize Selectmen to lease a parcel of Town owned land that has raised some controversy in the community will be debated. The Turbine if approved, would be the second turbine built in that location in the Town. The project like the first one would also be a partnership that would provide power for the community. This project is one of several in the region that we are following their progress as they could be economically beneficial, but will certainly alter the landscape of the region. More on this project and similar projects in Salem and Swampscott will be monitored and reported on in this space.

On Monday 11/14/11 the Voters of Ipswich at a special Town Meeting approved by a substantial margin a second wind turbine for that community as outlined above

Boston Professional Sports
It is astonishing to see how quickly the perceptions of success can change in a region relative to sports and how we feel about our representative sports teams has an impact on how we feel about out own lives. The defending Stanley Cup Champion Bruins regained their ”swagger” with a recent six game winning streak where they scored an amazing number of goals, while still playing Bruins defense. The Patriots put together a wonderful game plan and a personal effort to comfortably beat the New York J-E-T-S in a great team effort on Sunday evening. It appears that they proved at least for this year that regardless of what Rex Ryan has been preaching in New York, the AFC East in 2011 will still go through Foxboro, MA. There is one down note to report, as the NBA and the Celtics are still mired in a contentious labor dispute and there are serious concerns that there will be no professional basketball in this region this year. In addition to the lack of athletic participation, there are many businesses and soon to be unemployed or under employed workers in the Causeway Street section of Boston that will be hurt by the labor issues.

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