Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Essex Happenings 12.21.11


Town of West Newbury to Study Land Purchase

Even in a most uncertain economy the Board of Selectmen in the Town of West Newbury have formed a citizen committee to look into the potential purchase of a property that the Town holds an option to purchase. The group would also offer options for how the community might use the Sullivan property if the decision to exercise the option were made. The property would be purchased with open space funding if deemed reasonable.


Topsfield, MA - December 13, 2011 -
A convoy of eight tractor-trailers loaded with 90,000 wreaths traveling from the Worcester Wreath Company in Harrison, Maine, made a stop at the Topsfield Fairgrounds on Monday, December 5th for presentations and a lunch on their trip to Arlington National Cemetery. Escorted by Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts State Police and the Patriot Guard Raiders, the convoy also included a bus full of Gold Star mothers.

The local America Legion, led by Dick Cullinan, local veterans’ affairs officer, organized the event and approached Topsfield Fair as a venue for the local ceremony.

Greeting the convoy were Executive Board members of the Topsfield Fair, including President Bruce Potter, William Clark, Richard Bonanno, and Peter Gibney, along with General Manager Jim O’Brien. President Potter presented a check for $1,500 to the group as a donation in recognition of their efforts. The Topsfield Fair graciously provided a generous lunch for all who attended.

Other communities were also presented with a wreath for special recognition of soldiers and veterans. Veterans service officers, veterans groups, and members of the Beverly Civil Air Patrol also turned out to greet the convoy.

Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit corporation, plans to sponsor 325,000 wreaths at c ceremonies nationwide, including the placement of 90,000 at the Arlington Cemetery.

According to Karen Worcester, the organization’s executive director and co-founder and wife of Morrill Worcester, the mission of the group is to put the recognition of our military in the minds of young people.

There were more that two hundred veterans and bystanders to greet the convoy at the Main Gate of Topsfield Fairgrounds, where a giant flag was hung between the extended ladders of the Topsfield and Hamilton fire department ladder trucks.

This is the first of the annual visits to Topsfield Fairgrounds by the convoy from Wreaths Across America.

Salem to Open Stores Late on Fridays Until Christmas

The downtown Salem Main Streets Program is offering a shopping night in Salem’s
downtown on Friday evenings. Over fifty businesses will be open and the
downtown is decorated for the holiday. A visit to the seaport community will be a
great way to celebrate the holiday season in a community that has decorated
windows in the downtown and will be celebrating the holiday in an old time
community fashion.
2011 Christmas Shopping Season Coming to an End

As we quickly approach the Christmas holiday now just a few days away, the rush to complete the shopping experience for some has reached the frenzied stage. This year because the Christmas holiday falls on a Sunday, there are two so called Super Saturday shopping days set up in the last week before the holiday. Black Friday that occurred on the day after Thanksgiving 2011 was a very positive start to what looks like a reasonably decent financial season for area retailers. Now with two Saturday shopping days in the final week of the retail season, the year could end on a very high note. A good retail holiday season could be a strong boost to move the regional economy and help the many retailers who count on this season to help insure a successful economic experience for area shipping establishments. The results of this season and more particularly the final days will be carefully motored and the results could be a barometer for the year ahead.
So for those of you who consider yourself end of the season holiday shoppers, this is your time and we hope that you enjoy the experience of a final holiday sprint.

Boston Professional Sports
Boston Professional sports continue to flourish as we approach the end of 2011. The Bruins have certainly come a long way back from the slow start that they had in the season’s first weeks. The month on November and the first half of December has been most positive and the convincing win on Saturday over the Flyers brought the team from last place in the Eastern conference to first in the conference in just one day short of seven weeks time. Quite a journey.

The New England Patriots have also been on a mini run after the last several weeks and headed to Denver for the showdown with Tim Tebow, the “Mile High Messiah” on a five-week winning streak. In the end they won rather handily and won the AFC EAST title for the 9th time in the last eleven years. GB Packers who were chasing the Pats consecutive win streak were beaten on Sunday, so that record remains in the hands of the Pats.

The only team that seems to have some question marks as the NBA lockout ends and a new shortened season is about to begin is the Boston Celtics. The Boston Celtics might have some issues with a time shortened season, as with an older roster playing several games in a contracted period of time might be a disadvantage to a older roster. In addition, in an attempt to strengthen their roster they shopped one of their younger stars around in trade talks without finding any takers. Time will tell if that has a negative or positive impact on the upcoming season. The Green team that has won so many championships seems to have been dealt another blow when a recent signing that they were counting on to help the cause seems to have developed a medical heart condition that will put him out for the entire season, but it appears that Jeff Green’s career is likely not to be in jeopardy after a soon to be conducted heart operation and at the very least, that is good news for a team that has had its share of terrible medical news over the years that has certainly impacted their performance. Even the boys of summer have made a couple of recent moves, but it is likely that there may be more moves in the future.

Holiday Concert a Wonderful Success

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been reporting often about a scheduled concert at St. Richard’s church that was provided for the enjoyment of the residents of Danvers and a valuable charitable endeavor. The event was held last weekend and the attendance at the event presented by the North Shore Philharmonic was sensational and a great deal of credit is due the sponsors and the organizing committee particularly the event co-chairs, John Call and Gary DeStefano. If the event were to be judged by the amount of the contributions to the Danvers People to People Food Pantry then it was an overwhelming success. The 650 people in the church that afternoon contributed almost 6000 pound of food that became the largest single contribution ever provided to the pantry, and they now face the holiday season and the harsh winter months with full shelves. The event was so successful that an event is already planned for next December and the hope is that the concert will become an annual holiday standard for many years to come.

Winter Solstice Celebration

I wanted to offer some information that might be of interest to some of you. On Wednesday evening, December 21, 2011 the observation of the shortest day of the year will be observed at Endicott Park in Danvers at 6:00 pm. The history of the shortest day and the longest night of the year will be presented by Endicott Park Rangers. Participation at the event is without charge, but a reservation and additional information can be obtained by calling 978 777 0001 or by contacting the Danvers Recreation Department at This certainly appears to be a most unusual event and might be most entertaining and informative.

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