Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Essex Happenings August 30 2011

Essex Happenings Corrections

In the last posting I noted three subjects for review and never added information on those issues. In this posting, I corrected that mistake and provided information about the House of Seven Gables, Commercial Real Estate in Salem, and the Topsfield Fair in this posting.

Essex Heritage Trails and SAILS weekends to be offered at the end of this month.

Two weekends of FREE Exploration of this regions sensational resources will be offered by Essex Heritage on the last two weekends in September
It is certainly not too early for you to plan your journey and to learn of the special features of this tenth anniversary event. VISIT www.essexheritage.org for more information and become a member of Essex Heritage and receive a free brochure to help your planning. The following information can be found on the web site as well, but is printed here for your advance planning

Join ENHC for the 10th anniversary of TRAILS & SAILS: Two Weekend of Walks & Water! The Essex National Heritage Commission and our partners have organized the LARGEST EVER collection of unique and exciting experiences throughout Essex County, Mass. to celebrate.

Celebrate with us! We’ve created a Passport to TRAILS & SAILS. Bring your Passport as you explore the Heritage Area through unique events that will expose you to the area’s cultural, historic and natural resources. Using your Passport, we challenge you to attend 10 or more events. (Passports are available in the printed guide and online once you log in). Find out more about the Passport to TRAILS & SAILS.
Get Started: Use the printed guide or online event listing to plot your course to adventure!
Log in: Logging in will allow you to:

1. Create your own customized itinerary to bookmark your favorite events.
2. Receive email notifications if there is a change to an event on your itinerary.
3. Make a reservation for events marked "Reservations Required." (Reservations will be available on September 9 at 9AM.)
4. Download and print your Passport to TRAILS & SAILS.
Search the online event listing to plan your weekend of FREE adventures and view the most up to date event information. Search TRAILS & SAILS events by date, time, community, event title or description. 

On-the-go? Use your mobile device to access the TRAILS & SAILS mobile website, event listing and your itinerary.
VISIT TD Bank and Eastern Bank locations in Essex County to pick up a brochure. Before you go, we recommend that you call ahead to check hours and to confirm that guides are still available. Purchase a guide online and it will be mailed directly to you.
• Essex Heritage Members will receive a printed guide in the mail in September. Become a member!
A limited number of printed guides will be available at no cost at Essex National Heritage Area Regional Visitor Centers

Main Street in Peabody Corridor Presentation Provides Room for Discussion.

The city of Peabody held a public meeting this past week to provide an update on the Main Street Realignment Program that will suggest changes in design of the Main Street project from Peabody Square to Howley Street. The planned improvements will include considerations for pedestrian safety as well as general streetscape improvements. To help correct these deficiencies, this project will also address the level of traffic in this corridor and will present alternatives to correct these issues. One of the primary recommendations called for a reduction in the number of travel lanes, and the issue seemed to be the most controversial. The many alternatives that were presented to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety certainly raised a number of concerns by the numerous Peabody residents who attended the presentation. I am certain that over the next several weeks even more information will be provided and the public will have ample opportunities to offer observations on the plan. Since the initial public hearing there has been some observations that the plan does not go far enough, as the plan should consider reviewing traffic issues from Peabody Square all the way to Salem, at the intersection of Boston and Bridge Street.

The City of Peabody is also awaiting final plans on the design of culverts that will be installed in the future in the square area to mitigate the recurring flooding that from time to time inundates the Peabody square area. That project also has Salem ramifications and hopefully and before the plan is finalized, the two communities will meet to discuss common issues. The hurricane we are anticipating that will strike this area on the weekend could prove to be a difficult one relative to downtown flooding.

Commercial Real Estate Market in Downtown Salem Continues to be Active

It certainly appears that the commercial real estate market in the City of Salem is alive and well. In recent days almost every property that comes on the market gets purchased pretty quickly. With all of the positive developments in Salem’s downtown with the new courthouse initiatives and the changes that are being made almost daily on the waterfront, plus the impact that Salem State University has had on the city is at least partially responsible for the recent increase in activity.

The most recent transaction focused on the sale of the Eastern Bank building on Washington Street. The information on that transaction is incomplet and it is not clear if the branch of Eastern Bank will remain open or will close. The branch that was originally opened almost 200 years ago in the downtown as the Salem Savings Bank has been a integral part of the Salem financial scene. When I began a banking career at Salem Five in 1961 at least for those last 50 years that bank has been a force in the downtown of the City of Salem. I know that Eastern Bank has several other banking locations in the city, but not having them in the downtown would be a los Lets hope that the bank keeps that branch active and two century tradition continues uninterrupted.

Several Local Communities in the Region Considering Changes in Trash Collection

Several local communities are now considering plans that might substantially impact rubbish collection programs. The focus of the new thinking is to “Pay as you Throw”. This process will hopefully move more household trash opportunities to generate more recycling and reduce the costs of household rubbish collection, thus the costs to the local community. One of my sons who lives in a western suburb, participates in a program like the one outlined here, and in his community the program seems to work reasonably well.

Topsfield Fair Opening Just a Month away

One of the traditional and most well attended regional events, the Topsfield Fair is about to begin again. The 113th edition of the oldest agricultural fairs in the country will open on September 30, 2011 and will run through the Columbus Day holiday weekend. As the event gets closer we will provide additional information that annually draws thousand of residents from this area to both a wonderful celebration of the agricultural heritage of this region and entertainment for all.


The house of SEVEN gables in Salem will hold a fundraising event and award presentation at their Turner Street location. The event will be used to raise funds to support their various charitable endeavors. There will be an auction and refreshments served plus an annual prestigious award will be announced. For more information or to purchase tickets for the event contact the House of Seven Gables at www. 7.gables.org

Food Pantry Needs

I am certain that there are needs at every food pantry in the region, but it is very clear that due the unusual homeless situation in Danvers it has extreme ramifications. Any financial or food contributions to the People to People Food Pantry in Danvers would be both much needed and appreciated.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Essex Happenings August 26 2011

Essex Heritage Quarterly Meeting Conducted in Danvers

At the end of last week, the Board of Trustees of Essex Heritage gathered to elect new Trustees and a leadership team for 2012-2013. In addition, the board heard reports from Executive Director, Annie Harris, outgoing Board President Kevin Tierney and Committee Chairs. Two new Trustees, Bill Howard CEO of Beverly Cooperative Bank, and David LaFlamme, CEO of North Shore Bank were elected and welcomed to the Board. In addition, two superlative Trustees, Kay Ellis of the Schooner Thomas E. Lannon, and Joseph Milano of the Union Oyster House in Boston have reached the end of their terms were named Trustee Emeritii. Heading the leadership team for 2012 for a two-year term will be President Elect Richard Yagjian, COO of Hunts Photo and Video. In addition to Rich, David Hildt, Executive Director of Adelante Youth Center in Lawrence and Jack Good Ist Vice President of People’s United Bank in Danvers and Bridgeport. CT. were elected Vice Presidents. The financial team elected were John Meserve, CEO of Merrimac Savings Bank as Treasurer and Sean Flynn of Commonwealth Financial Network as Assistant Treasurer. Fred Winthrop former Executive Director of the Trustees of Preservation was named clerk and he will be be assisted by Paul McGinley Principal/Partner of Preservation Planning & Development Director of McGinley, Kaslow & Associates will be the Assistant Clerk. Elected Trustee at Large was John Farmer, Senior Vice President and Director of Managed Assets of Eastern Bank. Retiring President Kevin Tierney, CEO of Saugus Bank will continue to serve the Commission as he has done for the last two years as the Immediate Past President and Tom Leonard was elected to another term as President Emeritus. The soon to be filled position of NPS Superintendent of the Salem and Saugus sites will also serve on the leadership team. Reports on Development Activities, The Border to Boston Rail Trail, the Essex Heritage Scenic Byway, Activities connected to the work at Baker’s Island were presented. A report was also provided relative to the process of re-districting currently underway. A brochure was provided that outlines the tenth Anniversary Trails and Sails Event during the last two weekends in September. The event this year will feature participation by over 130 regional organizations and there will be over 300 individual events.

Unique Auction in Southern New Hampshire

A bridge just north of our region and one that is very visible to visitors to Portsmouth or Kittery is being put up for auction and this may be one of the most unusual auctions that I have ever seen advertised. Because of federal regulations, the Memorial Bridge that has spanned the Piscataqua River that carries US Route 1 between Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine, built in 1923 has now been closed since last month to motor vehicles until a replacement bridge is completed in 2014. The bridge is closed to motor vehicles due to the deteriorating condition of the current bridge, but is still open to bikes and pedestrians. Bike riders are required to walk their bikes across the bridge because of the open grate decking on the present bridge. The bridge is part of the East Coast Greenway. The bridge can still be opened enough to allow large commercial boats to pass into the harbor. Now that the bridge is formally closed, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation is required to put the bridge on the auction block. The bridge can be purchased with a bid on the entire bridge, the center lift that allows maritime traffic to pass under the bridge or either the NH or the Maine end of the bridge. Bidding will start at $1 and state funding is available to assist with the removal of the sections acquired. The bridge has been placed on the auction block to comply with Federal regulations and to insure the Federal Funding is available for the new bridge.

Charity Golf Event Scheduled at Salem Country Club to Benefit Spaulding Hospital North

I am aware that I have recently promoted a number of Charity Golf Events in this space, and certainly do not want to overdue reporting on these events, but I have recently been made aware of an event that I believe is important to let you know about. On October 3, 2011, the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Cambridge & Spaulding North Shore will present the Liberty Mutual Invitational at the prestigious Salem Country Club in Peabody. One of the Primary beneficiaries of this event will be the Hospital in Salem and all of their programs. The event will be held as a great chance to use your golf skills on what is generally considered one the finest tests of golf in eastern Massachusetts, if not all of New England. The event will provide both lunch and dinner and wall include all of the usual contests, gifts and an auction that will include some wonderful opportunities to acquire a number of wonderful offerings. The cost of a registration for this premier event is only $2000 for a foursome and there are also various sponsorship opportunities that are also available to help promote your organization. I am pleased that, I have been asked to provide some remarks after dinner that evening. I will, as a grateful patient, who received special care at the Salem facility in late 2010 into 2011. will point out the special kind of care I received and what it meant to my recuperation.

To sign up for this event or to obtain more information contact Amanda Almedia @ Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Development office, 235 Nashua Street. Boston, Mass. 02114. She can be reached at alalmeida@partners.org or at 617-573-2922. This Is a Event that deserves your consideration, as the beneficiary is so important to this region.

Update on Sail Salem Program and what the Recent gift will Mean

Just a short time ago, I noted the city of Salem had received a donation to a maritime education program offered in that community. I wanted to follow up that report with more information on this successful program. The gift of the 34 foot power boat was provided as the donor, Thomas Brown of Gloucester and formally of Marblehead wants to be certain that boating stays affordable, particularly for youth. The Sail Salem Program was organized in the summer of 2008 to offer sailing lessons to children in the city. Youth pay $1 for these lessons. The program operated out on Winter Island in Salem, also offers adult sailing lessons at a cost of $225 each that is used to underwrite the youth programs, offered out of the winter Island location. The donated power boat will be used in the future to help high schools and colleges run racing regattas. In general this has been a most successful program that works to introduce sailing and the ocean to the youth of that community.

Main Street Peabody Corridor Report Due this Week.

The city will be holding a Public meeting this week to provide an update on the Main Street Realignment Program that will suggest changes in design of the main Street project from Peabody square to Howley Street. The planned improvements will include considerations for pedestrian safety as well as general streetscape improvements. To help correct these deficiencies,, this project will also address the level of traffic in this corridor and will present alternatives to correct these issues. The many Alternatives that were presented to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety certainly raised a number of concerns by the numerous Peabody residents who attended the presentation. I am certain that over the next several weeks even ore information will be provided and the public will have ample opportunities to offer observation on the plan.

The city of Peabody is also awaiting final plans on the design of culverts that will be installed in the future in the square area to mitigate the recurring flooding that from time to time inundates the Peabody square area.

Much Needed Affordable Housing in Danvers

Under normal circumstances, affordable housing is not an issue covered in these postings, and this matter is not covered generally as part of the Essex Heritage mission, but the need in this area has always been an important personal issue for me. In my previous career as a banker, I was involved in a number of projects that added affordable housing stock to this region. Making this issue even more important to me, is that the housing project that I want to address is in the Community where I live, seemed to make it worth discussing. Kavanaugh Advisory Group has been granted approval by the Danvers Planning Board to construct ninety one, two and three bedroom units on a site of vacant land located at 121 Conifer Hill Drive, Danvers. The one remaining step that needs to be accomplished before construction could be begin in the spring of 2012 is the issuance of a tax credit approval for project developers. It is clear that at least in this community additional affordable housing is needed and this project will help alienate that deficiency.

Bike Safety Program Advances in Gloucester

Another community in this region has addressed bike riding and safety in that city, Gloucester has painted bike stencils on three busy roads in that community to make motorists more aware of the presence of cyclists on those roads, The roads that were identified as Main and Rogers Streets and Stacy Boulevard, where the famous Fisherman Statue looks out over the harbor The modest funding for this project was provided by States Man in Motion Program

Several Critical Issues to be Decided at Rockport Town Meeting

On September 12, 2011, the Town of Rockport will hold a Town Meeting. Rockport is one of the more important tourist destinations in this region, and issues like an increase in hotel-motel taxes, a change in a use regulations on public beaches and the authority to sell a property donated to the community for affordable housing are al important issues to be monitored.

Two Local Communities (Salem-Peabody) Come to Closure on New School Leadership Compensation

The communities of Peabody and Salem have each dome to agreement with new school leadership on contractual natters. In Salem, the contract was the highest ever committed to by that city, and in Peabody, that community hired the former Salem Superintendent, who that community stalked out of retirement.

Commercial Real Estate Market in Downtown Salem Continues to be Active

Salem’s House of Seven Gables Begins its Second Century of Operation with Award Celebration and Auction on September 18, 2011

Topsfield Fair Opening Just a Week away

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Essex HAPPENINGS August 23 2011

Town of Swampscott Considers Building Wind Turbine

There certainly appears to be a great deal of discussion about the building of community wind turbines in various locations around this region. Salem and Gloucester are holding meetings and gathering facts about the potential for such a project. Now the Town of Swampscott is considering a new energy efficient project on the site of the middle school that could supply the school with some of its energy needs. The project under consideration would see a 335 foot high, $3 million dollar tower and turbine built. The project is just in the very preliminary planning stage and could be many years before the project is built and performing. The town received a $75,000 grant from the Massachusetts Center for Clean Energy to complete a feasibility study. If built the project could provide up to 30 to 40% of the needed power for the middle school. The study that was completed by Meridian Associates of Beverly was very complete and included assessments on issue such as wind speed, shadows, permitting issues and financial considerations. The preliminary study was done without much public input or even awareness as at this time the project is in the exploratory stage. Now, before any additional forward action steps are undertaken, the public will have a chance to be heard in the neighborhoods that could be impacted and the rest of the Town will also have a chance to be heard. The potential for these projects on paper appear to have substantial merit until the impact on the public is considered. As time passes on these potential projects in both Swampscott and in Salem progress will be monitored and when more information is available I will try to bring that information to all of you.

City of Salem Accepts Two Gifts

I recently noted that the Salem Council on Aging recently received a $160,000 bequest from a long time Salem resident who believed that offering the proceeds from the sale of her Salem house for the benefit of seniors in the city was the best use for those proceeds upon her passing. The second gift was a $45,000 powerboat donated by a Gloucester man to the fledgling Sail Salem program. This is a program that is offering nautical instruction services to both adults and youth and is most important to a community that has such a wonderful maritime heritage, The City is currently seeking to expand this boating program by bringing Salem State University into the program. Both gifts to the City were unexpected and most appreciated.

Swamp Walk Invitation
The following invitation was received from the Development Team for this Project and I wanted to pass it along to all of you.

This is a cordial invitation to join us as we continue to have fun on the most interesting project happening in Danvers.
Join us on the Danvers Rail-Trail, Fri, Sat, Sun, Sept 23-25 from 8AM to 3PM for the build of a new section of SwampWalk.
Drop by to work the day (lunch provided) or at any time, if only for a short period, to observe, chat, or pitch in.
See us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Swampwalk-Rail-Trail-Danvers/16901782981871

As I have done from time to time, I want to offer some observations on disability issues.

New Disability (ADA) Regulations Passed

I continue to be most interested in issues that impact the handicapped. I was in the lobby of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, and noted a flyer that highlighted new regulations that had recently been passed regarding new ADA regulations. The changes that became effective last March focuses primarily on Service Animals. The new regulations better define service animals and limits the use to dogs only. Additionally, the dogs must be trained to do work or perform tasks that mitigate the effects of a disability on a person. If the dog is to be used purely for emotional support then they will not be considered service dogs. These changes are presented here as a service to those that might be impacted by these regulations.

Furor in New Hampshire over Hybrid vs. Handicapped Parking

The State of New Hampshire is in the process of expanding a state run liquor store in Nashua on a small congested site. In an attempt to satisfy many factions they created some special parking nearer to the store for energy efficient vehicles. That concept is positive, as the development of more such vehicles are essential to our economy, but in creating special parking for those vehicles the developers eliminated some parking close to the store for handicapped patrons. State official have indicated that the parking plan as now constituted is temporary and in the final configuration all interests will be satisfied. I certainly hope that no handicapped parking will be eliminated as most persons with disabilities need the designated parking to complete their needs

Danvers Herald Announces a New Editor

The most recent edition of the Danvers Herald carried a front Page story about the appointment of a new Editor for that Newspaper. Ms. Sam Trapani comes to the Danvers Herald from the Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle where she also served as the Editor. Ms. Trapani has a long- term relationship with the Town of Danvers as she graduated from Danvers High School in ’85 and worked in both travel and sales in Danvers before embarking on her journalism career. I am so pleased that the Herald has allowed me to provide a monthly column about the work of Essex Heritage to the paper for the last decade and certainly hope that the new Editor will allow me to continue to contribute to the paper going forward. Congratulations to Ms Trapani on her new assignment and in the future, we wish her all the best.

National Park Service Official in Salem Receives Prestigious Award

Congratulations to Salem National Maritime Site employee, Doug Law for being named the winner of the NPS Appleman-Judd-Lewis Award for excellence in Cultural Resource-Stewardship. The award was provided for the work accomplished by Doug Law Salem site for bringing disadvantaged youth to the Salem site and for teaching them job skills as they assisted in several historic resource preservation projects on the site. This prestigious award was presented to Doug by the National Park Service Director.

One Very Personal Note to conclude this posting

One night last week, just before our oldest grandson, Brendan Leonard headed off to college for his Freshman Year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, my wife and I took him, his father and sister to dinner that was both celebratory and a little sad as he would soon will be away from his family, but that is clearly an important part of the process of growing up. Earlier this summer Brendan spent a weekend at the college with his Father for an orientation session and confirmed that this was the right college for him. Then very early last Friday morning his mother Kelly and her husband Matt Newbegin left on the long drive down the Atlantic coast to deliver Brendan to Chapel Hill. We are all very proud of him as he leaves Danvers for the next segment in his life and we will all miss him very much until he arrives back home for the Thanksgiving Holiday. In his short but meaningful life, he has left his mark in Danvers and at St. John’s Prep. I have noted to anyone that will listen, in the last couple of days, that I can’t begin to fathom where the 18 years have gone since Brendan was born and has now grown to be a responsible young man. My advice now even more that ever before, is to enjoy your children and grandchildren while you have them close to you. I was so fortunate to have Brendan and my other three grandchildren close at hand during my recent illness. They were all a great comfort to have near during that trying time. Good Luck, Brendan as you become a Tar Heel and leave your days as a St. John’s Prep Eagle behind you for a time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Essex HAPPENINGS August 17 2011

City of Salem Offers Free Bike Share Program

Bike expansion programs continue to show up in this region. After the City of Salem recently announced the creation of designated bike lanes in that City, they have now developed a most innovative program that will allow some residents and visitors to this seaside community out of their cars and on to a bike. The big difference with this program and bike share programs introduced in large cities like Boston, Washington, London, and Melbourne is that the bikes in Salem will be free versus the $5 per day charge in Boston. The program in Salem will be free as the Salem program will begin on a small scale with a total of 30 bikes available when the program starts early in September. Mayor Driscoll in her announcement about the program indicated that if the program is successful she will find more funding to provide more bikes if the situation demands those additional bikes. The initial funding for the program that purchased the bikes was provided from a Green Programs grant in the amount of $30,000. The bikes that will be located in two spots in Salem will only require identification to obtain a bike. One station with 10 bikes will be located at Salem State university where 7700 undergraduates and 2400 graduate students can use the bikes to gain access to the downtown area. The second station will be located and managed by The Hawthorne Hotel and will be available there to both residents and visitors to the city. The bikes were designed for Salem and were provided and will be maintained by Salem Cycle in the city. This is a great step for the city and certainly enhances its reputation as a city that will welcome bikes and riders. Hopefully in the very near term we will see the benefits to the community and less downtown congestion. The administration of the City should be congratulated for its forward thinking restive to alternate transportation options.

Update on Project Sunshine in Danvers

The Town of Danvers continues to provide numerous resources to help support homeless families in the community. The Town with substantial help from numerous organizations and volunteers in town has organized a substantial program that at the present time is offering summer camping programs to the ever expanding number of families housed in Danvers's four motels. At the beginning of August the number of homeless families living in Danvers total 247 and there are presently 235 children in those 247 families. Of that group there are over 100 children between 5 and 18 that are the targets of Project Sunshine. The project includes substantial support from the Town Recreation Department, the Senior Center, the Food Pantry, The Danvers Diversity Committee and some youths from the school community. Neighboring communities have also pitched in to help as field trips to Marblehead, Ipswich, and visits to local beaches and a trip to Coco Key and Patriot Place has taken place. The Program has been supported by donations large and small from local businesses and two local banks, Eastern Bank and North Shore Bank made substantial contributions to support the program.

In a related story, the Town’s Board of Selectmen will be holding a special meeting on August 23rd to discuss the rapid rise in homeless population in that community. With the increase in that population up over 30% in just the last couple of months has moved the Danvers Selectmen to review the status of the motel population and the impact they will have on school costs starting early next month. Continuing efforts to learn what the State is planning to do to help will be explored. The meeting next week will begin at 6:30 at the Town Hall all interested organizations and persons impacted are invited to attend the meeting.

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem

The final program for Dustin Pedroia’s visit to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem is now in place. The visit is provided through the support of Salem Five Bank that uses the Red Sox star as a spokesperson. The popular baseball star will visit with club members for a period of time and that experience will be a treat for all that have the chance to meet one of Boston’s most popular athletes. After the club members have their meet and greet session, photos will be taken with the guest. There will be a social event at the club and that event will be limited to the first fifty folks to sign up. The event set for September 14, 2011 will begin at 6:00 pm and will include refreshments, pictures with the Red Sox star and an auction with Sox memorabilia available. The cost of attendance will be $500 and the donation will benefit the numerous programs of the club and will be considered a charitable deduction. To secure a reservation contact either Executive Director, Joanne Scott or Director of Development Chris Coleman at www.bgcgs.org.

In another club matter, the senior staff of the club are also working hand in hand with the City and its Police Chief, to seek solutions to some of the recent issues that surfaced in an adjacent Salem neighborhood. earlier this summer.

Using Leather in Art Program in Peabody

The artworks community arts center and it new Director has announced that it will be planning a new exhibit in October where participants will be asked to incorporate leather in their work. The Exhibit that will be open to all will be asked to recall the Communities rich history with leather products and will explore what can be accomplished with leather in the modern age.

Gloucester Turbine Height Discussed

Similar to the wind turbine project being considered at Winter Island in Salem, a project is also being considered by the planners in Gloucester. The height of the turbine is the variable in question, and while clean energy appears to be important to so many in the region, the impact of turbines on neighborhood concerns are also most important to residents.

Adaptive Bike Sports Program Re- scheduled

I have been fortunate to have been a participant in an interactive adaptive sports program offered by Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in conjunction with North East Passage. The program focused on hand cycling and was offered on the central campus of Salem State University. One of the sessions was canceled as it was originally scheduled on the Friday when the local temperature exceeded 100 degrees. The session is now scheduled for the last Friday in September and I look forward to completing the program on that date. It is a wonderfully exhilarating program for a Handicapped individual and next summer I am going to look into a similar program offered by Spaulding Cape Cod along the Cape Cod Canal once each week.

Digging Up Irish History

I noticed a news item this past week, that even though the connection was a bit vague relative to Essex County, it was interesting enough to me because of my Irish heritage that I thought that I would report it here. The connection between the City of Lowell and this region is also strong and seemed to have a reasonable connection.. There also is a large population of residents of Irish decent in this region that might also be interested in the story. An Archeology team led by researchers from the University of Lowell and Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland will travel later this month to conduct a dig in the home of an Irish immigrant to this country. The team has previously conducted a four-day dig on the grounds of St. Patrick’s church in Lowell on a site where the first wave of Irish immigrants to city settled. Next the team will travel to County Tyrone in Northern Ireland to dig on the former home site of Hugh Cumminsky who in 1822 led a large group of Irish immigrant laborers on a thirty-mile walk from Boston to Lowell seeking work on a Lowell canal project that was designed to provide water power for a future mill project. At the time Cumminski led the workers on the walk to Lowell he was a construction foreman on the Charlestown docks. I will try to follow this story and report ant conclusions reached as a result of the research.

Friday, August 12, 2011

EsSEX HAPPENINGS August 12 2011

Essex Heritage Partnership Grant Spotlight

Ipswich Kids Dig It!

This past spring the Ipswich Museum used an Essex Heritage Partnership Grant to fund development of Dig It!, an after-school archaeology program. With assistance from a paid consultant, museum staff created a six-week curriculum focused on Ipswich's rich industrial history and its Bull Brook archaeological site, the latter being one of the most important Paleo-Indian sites in the northeast (and largest in Massachusetts). Twenty students participated in learning activities that included tabletop exhibits, walking tours, a simulated town meeting, and a visit to the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology in Andover. The museum hopes to offer Dig It! again next year.

Welcome Rita Hennessy!
Acting NPS Superintendent of the Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sites

The Essex National Heritage Commission welcomes Rita Hennessy as the Acting NPS Superintendent of the Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sites. In her first few weeks in Salem/Saugus, Rita has displayed a commitment to ensuring that the park service continues to engage young people in a great appreciation of our natural resources. She brings with her a deep understanding and support for partnerships.

Rita serves as Assistant Park Manager for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, where she has spent 14 of her 22 years with the National Park Service. Among her many accomplishments is the launch of the Trail To Every Classroom program in 2006 which has trained 275 teachers and engaged more than 15,000 students as they focus on conservation, civic participation and learning about healthy lifestyles. We look forward to working with and learning from Rita. Welcome!

Along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
The 85-mile coastal route from Lynn to Newburyport
New Coastal Byway Website Launched
Essex Heritage is pleased to announce the launch of a new website promoting visitation to the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. The new marketing tool will make it easier for residents and visitors alike to discover over 50 historic, cultural, and natural sites along the byway. Check it out at www.CoastalByway.org

Lynn Beach Summer Concerts
There is still time to enjoy the ocean views and music at the free waterfront concerts organized by the Friends of Lynn & Nahant Beach. Shows are held at Red Rock Park on Lynn Shore Drive. For more information click here.

Gold Coast Exhibit at Endicott College
Endicott College's popular exhibit "From Summer Estates to College Campus" is on display through December 16, 2011. Free and open to the public, the installation focuses on the former historic summer estates that now contribute to the college's seaside setting. Read more here.

Organic Gardening Program to be Offered in Newburyport

On the morning of August 19, 2011 starting at 9:00 am the Northeast Organic Farming Association will hold a half day session at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge for residents of the region with an interest in organic farming measures. The focus of the workshop will be problem solving and the development of practical skills. To register for the program that will have a cost of $75 visit www.nofsmass.org or call Kathy Litchfield at 413-773-3830 or contact her at kathy@nofamass.org. Walk-ins will also be welcome that morning.

Marblehead Chamber Offering a Mobile Application

Similar to other visitor oriented organizations, the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce has invested in the creation of a mobile web site application that is compatible with most smart phones. The site that can be found at www.marbleheadchamber.org also includes a quick response code. The code will allow certain users with cell phones with bar code readers and cameras to link quickly to other sites included on the chamber’s web site. This new technology seems to be moving fast and visitor oriented organizations needs to stay aware of these changes.

Wenham Museum to Hold Annual Rummage Sale

The collection phase of the annual Wenham Museum Fall Attic Treasures Sale is underway. This year the Fall edition of the thirty year old event will be held at the Museum on September 24 and 25, 2011. If patrons and friends of the Museum want to contribute small furniture, jewelry, china, silver, clean clothing, furs, bike or other items they can now bring donations to the museum. This twice a year event has become an important element of the fundraising work of the museum, as the funds raised benefit and support the educational programs and exhibits held at the site.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Web Site

I am particularly indebted to all of the people who make Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital the spectacular resource it was for me and many others both before and after my experience, As my way of saying thank you for the care and support that I received during my long stay in 2010, I agreed to provide an endorsement for their web site that focused on my experience at the Salem facility. The endorsement will be used on the hospital’s web site and we spent a good part of Wednesday afternoon filming a segment about my story at the Spaulding corporate facility in Boston. The segment was created and filmed by One on One Interactive from Charlestown, a sub contractor who was most professional. It took us about two hours to record what will be a two minute piece on the updated web site. In addition to recording my thoughts about the care I received, they also simulated some of the therapy I received from two of my most prominent therapists from Salem who impacted my success. Lori and Betsy joined me in Boston for the filming. The recording ended with filming outside the hospital along the Charles River, where I was able to demonstrate the progress I have made learning to walk again as Marge and I took in the sights along the river.

The DANVERS BI-PEDS are seeking opinions as they begin to develop goals for their future agenda.

I have taken the liberty of re-printing an excerpt from their most recent newsletter to give their wishes an even larger audience. I have also printed information about a planned event offered in conjunction with Essex Heritage’s Trails and Sails

Everyone has an opinion, we would like yours -
Danvers Bi-Peds is committed to safer biking and walking in Danvers, at least that is what our goal states. The question is - what exactly does that mean to the members and supporters?? As meeting dates for the coming year are being set up, what would you like to see on the agenda - items important to you that you are willing to work for and support in some way? They can be specific things, short term or long term, educational, fun or just business - as long as they pertain in some way to making biking and walking safer in Danvers. Please send your ideas to ibarry@danversbipeds.org or laura.cilley@post.harvard.edu.

September 24, 2011, Saturday, 10:00 - Danvers Bi-Peds will host an event for Trails and Sails Weekend. For all the details and complete list of fun, free events in Essex County, go to www.trailsandsails.org.

St John’s Prep Campus and Cronin Stadium to serve as Backdrop for Lacrosse Film

During the last week the St. John’s Prep campus in Danvers has served as a site for a film being shot in Danvers. The film, about a fictional team of native American Lacrosse players called the “Crooked Arrows”, will culminate with the filming of the game segment at Cronin field. The films producers have invited any students or families, who would like to appear as extras in game scene, to be at Cronin Stadium At 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 12. There will be no parking at the Prep. Parking at the Topsfield Fair Grounds with busing to the PREP. There will be prizes and refreshments at the filming.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

EsSEX HAPPENINGS August 9 2011

Current Information Provided on the Premier Essex Heritage Event that has become such a well attended event each fall.

Eastern Bank: A Presenting Sponsor of TRAILS & SAILS

Eastern Bank is a long term partner of hundreds of local organizations that improve the quality of life within communities across Eastern Massachusetts. On average, 10% of Eastern's net income is donated to charitable endeavors each year. Eastern has partnered with Essex Heritage since the very beginning of our Heritage Area and this year serves as a presenting sponsor for TRAILS & SAILS: Two Weekends of Walks and Water, celebrating 10 years. Essex Heritage works tirelessly to coordinate these two weekends of free events to showcase the best of the heritage area - a great example of how Essex Heritage promotes the quality of life across many communities. Read more.

TRAILS & SAILS Event Listing is LIVE!

As you know, this September 16-18 & 23-25 Essex County is celebrating the 10th anniversary of TRAILS & SAILS: Two Weekends of Walks & Water. Thanks to new and returning site hosts, over 150 events have been scheduled. Essex Heritage is pleased to announce that our 10th anniversary year TRAILS & SAILS event listing is now LIVE, online! Log in to take advantage of all online features; search events, plan your weekends and print your Passport to Trails


Like last year, you can access the mobile version of the TRAILS & SAILS website from your smart phone. The mobile site allows on-the-go participants easy access to up-to-the minute event information and google map directions. For more information visit www.trailsandsails.org.

Forum on Proposed Wind Turbine at Winter Island in Salem

The City of Salem held a recent public hearing that generated a substantial amount of interest both for and against the issue being debated. It certainly seems to be wise to consider such opportunities in these times when environmental concerns for both individuals and communities are in the news and worthy of consideration. From the action at the hearing, both the proponents and opponents will have to generate more information to support their positions at subsequent hearing that will be scheduled in the future.

Another “Green” Project Planned in Beverly

I am not sure of the timetable for a major solar installation planned at the historic former United Shoe Machinery facility on McKay Street in Beverly, but the roofs of the Cummings Center that now houses hundreds of businesses, professionals and medical operations important to the Garden City and the entire region will soon be covered with one of largest new solar installations anywhere in Essex County. The current owners of the properties are most environmentally conscious and see the solar installation as an equally positive economic decision.

Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox to Visit Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem

Through the generosity of the Management of the Salem Five, that has had a long time relationship and that has provided both advice and financial support to the Salem club whose mission is focused on creating a safe haven and an environment where the young men and women of Salem can learn, prosper and grow, has made another wonderful gesture to the downtown club The 160 year old Mutual Savings Bank has used the Red Sox star second baseman as a spokesman for a youth savings program at the bank, and has now offered a Pedroia appearance at the club as both a wonderful personal experience for the club membership and as a fundraising opportunity. As plans are developed about an event featuring the young sox star, we will certainly provide that information on this medium as well in other places. Pedroia who followed up an American League Rookie of the Year Award with an Most Valuable Player award and was the American league Player of the month for July will be an inspirational visitor to the club as his work ethic, hustle and perseverance are the skills that are being taught to members each day at the club.

Military Commemorative Coin Presented

From time to time, I intend to use this vehicle to provide interesting information even when it does not pertain to the preservation efforts in this region. Earlier this week, I received a visit from an old friend who was back in this region, where she was born and brought up for a Beverly High School reunion. Lt. Colonel Joanne Rose Ruggeri, USAF, NC is the sister of a dear friend of ours, Marie Norris. We have followed Joanne’s military career as a senior nurse and have always been proud of her service to our country. She had not been back in this region since my illness and wanted to visit to see how we were progressing from a health prospective. Joanne was last in this region after a assignment that took her to a base in Gardez, Afghanistan, about 50 miles from the Pakistan border for a one year assignment where she helped teach natives about health care issues. After returning to this country she was assigned as the commander of the medical unit at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She has since been transferred to the 90th medical operations group at Grand Forks Air Force base in North Dakota.

As she was leaving, Joanne presented me with a coin that she had created to celebrate her command. The history of military coins is interesting and she asked if I knew of the history. Since I did not, I looked up the history on the Internet and the results made me even prouder to have received the coin. We even exchanged salutes that is traditional, and that was the first time I had rendered a salute in a half century. The history of military coins follows, and I hope that it both educates and entertains you.

The tradition of the military coin is one of considerable question. Most people will give the credit to the United States Army Air Service which is another name for what is now the United States Air Force.
Although most non-military do not know the story of the military coin, the men and women who serve in the military, whether it in the field, on board a ship or flying through the skies in a military aircraft know the story very well.
These coins represent the heart and soul of the military. They are a token of not only the achievements they have accomplished but the ones of soldiers who served their country many years ago. The pride of being a part of the effort to keep their country free is reflected by this coin they carry.
The coins are normally embellished with a brightly colored design which is a tribute to the particular unit in which the soldier has served. When they are received from a superior officer the military coins are especially treasured. The meaning behind these coins is one that eludes explanation. You either know why they are carried or you do not.
One story goes that a rich Ivy Leaguer who joined as an air squadron pilot during World War I had bronze coins made with the insignia of the squadron in which he was a lieutenant. He gave them to the other pilots as a way to remember their time spent together in the military. They were rumored to have been quite expensive.
A pilot from the squadron receiving the coins put his in a small pouch that he wore around his neck for safekeeping. When his plane was so damaged during an air attack that he had to set it down behind enemy lines, he was captured. Managing to escape he made it to France, where he was in danger of being shot as a spy. He did not have his I.D. and no way to prove who he was. By showing the coin, he was easily identified as an American soldier.
Although this is anybody's guess as to the truth of the story, it may well have happened just that way. One thing is for certain. The military challenge coin is a symbol of something far larger than ourselves. This is the recognized object that sets apart the brave men and women who sacrifice and give their all to the country in which they were born in order to keep it free.
The special meaning the military coin will carry for all time is one of camaraderie for the soldiers as they make their way through an unfamiliar land to bring America the freedom she is based on and will continue to be based on. Although they may be made from nickel, brass, or bronze the representation of the coin is one that is never denied. It is the symbol of brotherhood in the true sense of the word.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1433754

Terrible loss of American forces In Afghanistan early this past Weekend

Nearly two dozen American special forces members were killed when a helicopter was brought down by enemy fire. The brave Americans were on the way to assist other forces that were pinned down in a fire fight. This is one of the worst loss of life since this war began. May the brave departed Heroes rest in peace.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Peabody Leatherworkers Museum Director Resigns Peabody-ENHC Visitor Center Open Only by Appointment

Ms. Merritt Kirkpatrick, the curator of the George Peabody House, and the Peabody Leatherworkers Museum that also serves as an affiliated Essex Heritage Visitor Center has resigned from that position. Ms. Kirkpatrick has taken a new position as the Director the new ARC-works Community Art Center that provides services to area residents with developmental and physical disabilities. That facility is located at 22 Foster Street and includes an art gallery with studio space in a recently converted and opened space building. We at Essex Heritage certainly offer our congratulations on her new appointment that will provide much needed services to the regions disabled. The resignation does cause some issues as the visitor center is now without a paid employee and appointments are now required of visitors who want to gain access to the facility. The appointments can be made by contacting the City of Peabody Community Development and Planning Office. We will continue to monitor this situation as we do not want visitors to the region disadvantaged.

Liquor Licenses Awarded in Danvers

In what might be a sign that the economy in the region is improving, the Town of Danvers, this week, provided three all alcoholic licenses to downtown restaurants from among six applicants. There was substantial interest in these licenses and in the most recent past that had not been the case, so it is possible that the increased activity could be a sign of better economic times. One of these licenses was recently reclaimed from a local bank, which had held the license as collateral for a loan and attempted to sell the license without success.

Salem Partnership Developing Documentary Film
The Salem Partnership, the public/private organization that was formed in 1986, by the city of Salem and the business community in Salem to help improve economic conditions in that city will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in 2012. To help bring attention to the numerous successes accomplished by this unusual partnership, the organization has embarked on the creation of a documentary offering that will highlight the last quarter of a century of accomplishments. Several contributors to the work of the Partnership will offer thoughts on their participation in the work of this unique business organization. The documentary film will be produced, directed and hosted by the current executive director of the Salem Partnership, Patricia Zaido, a former Salem State University Administrator. Earlier this week, I was pleased to be asked to participate in this project. I sat in front of the cameras of Salem Cable Access with the first President of the Partnership and the former CEO of Eastern Bank, Stan Lukowski and we spoke about the very earliest days of the Partnership, when we were the first two Presidents. The filming was accomplished for that session at the St. Joseph’s Social Club, part of the National Park Service on their Salem site on Derby Street. That club was part of an early effort by the Park Service and the Salem Partnership to expand the boundaries of the site and in addition to obtaining the St. Joseph’s property a small portion of waterfront land was acquired to square off the historic wharfs that would ultimately be restored. We spoke of that effort that went into that process and other early activities of the Partnership. I am pleased to still be allowed to serve on the executive committee of the Partnership, and applaud their continuing efforts to improve economic and social condition in Salem, with current projects like the J. Michael Ruane court facility and the wonderful work to improve the maritime opportunities in that city.

Northern Essex Community college works with Lawrence charter school on MCCAS

It appears that almost every time I offer a posting on Essex Happenings, I provide information about the work of Northern Essex Community College as they hope to develop a partnership to provide educational support to the region, particularly the economically challenged City of Lawrence. The college recently announced that they and the educational staff at the school are going to work over the next year with 6th graders from Lawrence Family Charter School, when those students spent one Friday each month at the College participating in activities designed to improve in the science and technology sections of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Testing System Tests, The work being done by 60 preteens in subjects like astronomy, measurement, introduction to engineering, and geology with hands on experiences should be provide a wonderful head start on the testing process.

Another example of educational Assistance in Newbury

Speaking of an educational institution offering community support, another great example is a cash contribution made to the Town of Newbury provided by The Governor’s Academy. The private school recently provided a $30,000 cash contribution to assist the community as they acquired a new much needed truck to be used by the Town’s Public Works Department and $2500 of the contribution was used by the Town to support the community library whose hours and services have been cut back due to budget constraints.

Extraordinary Needs at Regional Food Pantries

I am very pleased and proud that even with the extra challenges that my wife has undertaken to support my recovery, that she still has found continuing time for her volunteer work at the People to People Food Pantry in Danvers. I was fortunate enough on one evening this week to join the wonderful committed group of volunteers from that program at a social event and after some discussion with the leadership of that program, it is clear that there remains a very real need for support at food pantries all over this region . That support can be financial or it can be in the form of donated food products. We as a region have always respond to these needs during the end of the year holiday periods, but we sometimes forget that in the summer months the needs are just as great. In fact in Danvers, the numerous homeless families that have been relocated to the motels in that town has put extraordinary demands on that facility. Please consider supporting these organizations that exist and offer help in communities all over this region

NE Patriots Offer Season Ticket Holders Stadium Practice

On one night this week, for the first time ever, my wife and I, headed to Gillette Stadium to watch the in-stadium practice offered to season ticket holders and the residents of the Town of Foxborough. I have been a season ticket holder for more years than I want to admit, and the attendance at this annual event was astounding to me as 16,000 fans showed up to watch a simple practice. I traveled to the stadium, as due to my recent disability, I wanted to view the stadium and its facilities from a disabled persons perspective to learn if visits to a regular season game would be possible and will be comfortable. I was particularly pleased with what I found. After my illness, last winter, I contacted the Patriots and easily switched my tickets from a regular section in the stadium to a disabled section very close to where my original seats were located. That experience was pleasant, and the staff was most accommodating. The disabled sections are very spacious and not crowded and there are folding chairs in the sections that can be removed to make room for a wheelchair. The sight lines from theses section are quite good and access to the location is excellent. There are reasonably positive restroom facilities available and convenient elevator service to the proper level is provided to the disabled fans. We were able to park in a handicapped parking area that appeared to have a large number of available spaces, but only time will tell, if there are enough spaces for a regular season game that will produce three times as many fans. In general, I was very pleased with the experience last evening, and while I have taken certain organizations to task for their inattention to the needs of disabled persons. I would offer very high preliminary marks to the Patriots for their attention to this important matter.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


National Park Service Maritime Festival Reminder

I wanted to offer a reminder that this weekend at the Salem Maritime Historic Site, the Park Service is offering their annual Maritime Festival. The event begins with a concert on the site on Friday evening and continues over the weekend with activities for the entire family. If you stay around Salem on Sunday afternoon, you can see the Friendship off on an ambassadorial sail to New York City. Included in the crew will be several Salem youngsters who are working on the site this summer as junior Rangers.

Northeast Harvest Newsletter Provided by Essex Heritage

Each month in conjunction with several other agricultural organizations, Essex Heritage produces a newsletter that provides some most valuable information about agricultural activities in the region. The material provided each month is critical as the ENHC mission calls for the preservation of the natural resources of this region and our support of the valuable farming resources in Essex County through vehicles like the newsletter plays a role in that process. The following material was excerpted from the August edition of the letter. At the end of the provided excerpt, we have provided a WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU ACCESS POINT and ask for specific information to be outlined in future editions or to subscribe to the Northeast Harvest newsletter in the future, click on that access point.

Corn - Corn - Everywhere!

Sweet corn is a warm-season crop and one of the major vegetables grown in New England. It is an extremely popular crop for farm stands and farmers' markets. The average ear of corn has 800 kernels arranged in 16 rows. There is one piece of silk for each kernel. To select corn, look for bright green, moist husks. The silk should be stiff, dark and moist. Between the time of purchase and cooking, keep the corn moist and cool. Refrigerate it immediately to help the corn stay sweet. You can add a teaspoon of sugar for each quart of water used to cook corn that has not been used immediately. Be sure to use corn within 2-3 days. ENJOY THE SEASON - IT CAN SEEM MUCH TOO SHORT!

August is Asian Long horned Beetle Awareness Month

The Asian longhorned beetle, discovered in Worcester, MA in August 2008, is an invasive pest of hardwood trees, including maple, birch and elm. The beetle is large in size with very long black and white antennae. The body is glossy black with irregular white spots. Adult beetles can be seen from late spring to fall. Most of the initial ALB infestations have been found by the public, not pest specialists. The spread of this pest would cause serious negative impacts to the maple sugaring, nursery, tourism and forest product industries, as well as to our state's forest, park and street trees. If you suspect any sighting, click here to contact Jennifer Forman at MDAR.

Massachusetts Tomato Contest

The 27th Annual Massachusetts Tomato Contest will be held at Boston's City Hall Plaza Farmers' Market on Monday, August 22nd from 9am to 12:30 pm. Tomatoes will be judged by a panel of experts on flavor, firmness/slicing quality, exterior color and shape. Farmers who want to submit entries can bring tomatoes to the Boston market between 9-10:15 am on August 22nd or drop their entries off with the registration form to a number of locations across the state on August 20th and 21st. This friendly contest is designed to increase consumer awareness of local agriculture. The contest is sponsored by the MDAR, New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and Mass Farmers Markets. For more information and registration form, click here.

Stir the Pot

The second annual Stir the Pot program aims to collect fresh fruits and vegetables for greater Newburyport families in need. Donations are welcome from all community members with gardens and shares in CSA's, or those who just see a great bargain at their local farm stand. All types of fresh fruits and vegetables may be dropped off from now until the fall at the YWCA Greater Newburyport Aquatic Center, 13 Market Street, on Monday through Thursday from 7 am to 7 pm. The YWCA will store the produce and oversee distribution to people and families in need. Fresh produce is an important tool in the fight against obesity and critical to leading healthier lives. The partnership between Stir the Pot and the YWCA ensures that local summer and fall harvests are shared among those who need them most. For more information, contact Jeff Bard or Ellis Davis.

Summer Tour - Boston!

The 2011 North American Strawberry Growers Association Summer Tour will be held out of the Boston area. Massachusetts has the highest sales of produce at the farm gate. The tour dates will be August 16th and the 17th. Our tour includes Marini's Farm in Ipswich, Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro, Verrill Farm in Concord, Wards Berry Farm in Sharon, Spring Rain Farm in East Taunton, Four Town Farm in Seekonk, and Foppenma's Farm in Northbridge. Each farm has unique features you'll want to explore. See the Summer Tour schedule for information and hotel reservations.

Corn & Tomato Festival

The Annual Corn & Tomato Festival will take place on Saturday, August 20th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at Verrill Farm in Concord. You can taste over 30 varieties of tomatoes and up to 8 varsities of corn. There will also be samples of dishes made in the farm stand kitchen. The cost is $8.50 for adults and $4.50 for children under 10. For more information visit Merrill Farm.

Nature Play Day
Free Discovery Days Event!

Come celebrate fun and creative outdoor play the old-fashioned way at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln on Saturday, August 6th from 10 am to 3 pm. Romp in the hay playground, test your skills on our natural obstacle course, and explore the Forest Discovery Trail. Naturalists will lead hands-on programs related to wildlife, farming, and the environment. And of course you're welcome to visit the farm animals, crop fields, and collection of native New England mammals and birds. Activities will occur rain or shine. To save time the day of the event please fill out this free admission ticket (only 1 ticket per household is needed) and bring it with you.

TV Diner Summer Farm
Food Fest at Smolak Farms!

NECN's "TV Diner," New England's #1 food and dining program, is bringing together some of greater Boston's best chefs and restaurants to the beautiful land of Smolak Farms in North Andover for the 1st annual TV Diner Summer Farm Food Fest. The date is Sunday, August 28th from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm. The festival will feature cooking demos and tastings, and activities will include live music, children's games, hayrides, contests and more. Tickets are $30 online for adults and $40 purchased at the door - children under 10 are free. For more information, click here.

We Want to Hear From YOU!

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

Thank you to Essex Heritage for allowing us to reprint the material provided.

North Shore Music Theatre/North Shore Elder Services Event Correction

In a recent posting to the Essex Happenings BLOG, I reported a date for a fundraising event at the Theatre that was erroneous. We provided a date for a presentation of the King and I, that if tickets are purchased at the NSMT box office using the promo code NSES, that would benefit the local charity. The correct date for that event is September 30, 2011.

Phoenix School in Salem Offers Late Summer Camp Program

One of the most progressive private K through 6 schools in the region operates in Salem. The Phoenix school was opened in 1981 and since that time the K-6 school, that is located very near the busy downtown in Salem, has been turning out graduates that continue to play a role in the future life of the City and the region. Back about a dozen or so years ago, I had the good fortune to spend a brief time on the Board of Directors of the school and in that brief exposure I learned of the vibrancy and the excellence of the school and the commitment to education offered by its administration. A decade ago, when the Salem Partnership took on the responsibility of raising the required public commitment of funds to insure the local match that had to be obtained to insure the promised federal funding to build the replica ship Friendship, the school and it administrators, students and parents came to the rescue and helped organize projects that made that task attainable. Now the school teams up each year with Essex Heritage to help insure the success of Trails and Sails the signature event of that organization. Each year the school assigns its students and their parents an assignment to monitor and report on an event. In that way, the students experience the history of this region first hand.

For your information, the following excerpt from the schools web site, that highlights some of the data and the information that went into the decision two decades ago to open the school.

“Don’t do it,” said a marketing team from Suffolk U. after evaluating the potential for opening a new school in Salem in 1981, but Barbara McFall and Betsye Sargent paid no attention and went ahead anyway. You may remember 1981 was a time much like today. Budget deficits, staff lay-offs, programs cuts were all having a serious impact on the Salem Public Schools. As employees of the Salem Public Schools, we were not willing to see the substance of the gifted and talented and magnet school programs decimated, so we left the system and founded The Phoenix Enrichment Center, now The Phoenix School. Truly rising from the ashes of an economic downturn, The Phoenix School continues to offer a vibrant, innovative educational opportunity in downtown Salem. Read the rest of the article…

I recently received an e-mail from the school that highlighted a summer program that they are offering to residents of this region who might be seeking a program to keep youngsters occupied before school reopens and at the same time offers on educational experience. The range of programs looked most interesting and since many of you are regularly seeking programs for your children while you are working and they are not in school, now at the end of this summer season, and regular achool is not yet in session, the programs offered include studies that includes programs for aspiring engineers and inventors, videographers, environmentalists, or even biologists I thought I would provide some brief information about their offerings.
There is too much information about the offerings to provide in this space, but if you need more information or wish to register call The Phoenix School in Salem soon at 978 741 0870