Friday, January 6, 2012

essex Happenings 1.6.12

Essex Happenings….1.6.12

The following information is provided to highlight Activities of the Danvers Historical Society

• We are pleased to announce the Winter Film Fair to be held at Talley Memorial Hall weekly during January and February. Member Dan Tremblay of Heritage Films will be showing the following films at 1 PM in Tapley Memorial Hall. Each film runs approximately 25 minutes and will start at 1 PM except for January 16. We do ask for a $5.00 donation to help defray the utilities costs. Light refreshments will be served.

• Weds. January 4, 2012 “Reminiscing at Glen Magna Farms”. Sam Thoron and Ann Thoron Hale, grandnephew and grand niece of our Louise Thoron Endicott (she bequeathed the Derby Summer House to the Society) reminisce as they walked the historic gardens and Endicott mansion house.

• Monday January 9, 2012 “The Underground Railroad and Colonial Christmas” 1 PM

• Monday January 16, 2012 “The Underground Railroad” 2 showings at 11:00 AM and 12:00 Noon

• Weds. January 18, 2012 “Salem Experience”

• Monday January 23, 2012 “Gloucestermen”. Early fishing off Cape Ann

• NEW PROGRAM STARTING Weds. January 25, 2012 at 1 PM “Danvers Memories” Tapley Memorial Hall.

• Members, we are forming an oral history club. We need your memories on tape. Dan Tremblay has offered to video as you recall those special memories of this wonderful town. Let’s get them on tape before they are lost forever. We’ll start this day with members over the age of 70, bring along a friend to join the Society. Light refreshments will be served. We would like this to turn into a monthly 1 PM meeting in Tapley Memorial Hall. Reservations please to 978.777.1666 or

The following material is provided by North Shore Elder Services and is presented for the general information of seniors and those with disabilities in this region.

Subject: Transportation Security Administration, TSA Cares, Toll-Free #

TSA Cares is now available and accepting calls. Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.

Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares or can e-mail

The hours of operation for the TSA Cares helpline are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. EST, excluding federal holidays.

After hours, travelers can find information about traveling with disabilities and medical needs on TSA?s website at:

When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance, either with information about screening that is relevant to the callers specific disability or medical condition, or the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA.

TSA recommends that passengers call approximately 72 hours ahead of travel so that TSA Cares has the opportunity to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager located at the airport when necessary.

Learn more at:

Difficulty Paying Medical Bills

Center For Studying Health System Change/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Medical Bill Problems Steady For U.S. Families, 2007-2010 -- This report, based on 2007 and 2010 household surveys, finds that the share of American families having difficulty paying their medical bills remained fairly stable during that time, despite the economic downturn. The researchers report that more than one in five people were in families that had difficulty meeting those obligations. They suggest that rate may not have increased during the recession because many people concerned about money declined to use health care services. Still, the proportion with medical bill-paying difficulty in 2010 was more than one-third higher than in a similar survey in 2003. The share of nonelderly respondents with medical billing problems "significantly" increased from 16.2 percent in 2003 to 22.4 percent in 2010. Despite federal entitlements like Medicare, the elderly (those 65 and older) faced "higher out-of-pocket spending" and those experiencing billing problems rose from 6.9 percent in 2003 to 10.3 percent in 2010 (Sommers and Cunningham, 12/23).

Medicare Spending Growth Slows, But 2011 A Profitable Year For Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare spending growth is slowing, even as enrollment rises, The Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, several large Medicare Advantage plans turned a mighty profit in 2011, despite the volatility of the larger economy.
The Washington Post: Medicare Spending Growth Rising Slower But Enrollment Will Rise, but in early 2010, the number crunchers at Medicare headquarters in Baltimore saw something surprising: a sharp drop in the volume of doctor visits and other outpatient services. Instead of growing at the usual 4 percent a year, the number of claims was suddenly climbing by less than 2 percent. ... Medicare spending per person is rising more slowly than spending in the private health sector. And, because of the cuts that were part of last year's Affordable Care Act, it is expected to mirror overall growth in the economy for much of the next decade, staying well below targets set by Congress (Montgomery, 12/22).
CNN Money: Medicare Passes On Big Profits To Insurers This has been a volatile year for the stock market. But one sector has been consistently earning a windfall for investors: health insurers that provide private Medicare plans to seniors. Among the top-performing Fortune 500 stocks of 2011, three — WellCare Health Plans, Humana, and Centene — were health insurers with a high proportion of Medicare Advantage enrollees. WellCare's share price has nearly doubled while Humana and Centene are up about 50 percent. UnitedHealth Group (UHC) and Aetna, each with significant shares of Medicare Advantage patients, also inked gains of more than 35 percent in 2011 (Farrell, 12/22).

Town of Hamilton Establishes a Task Force to Consider gift of Patton Homestead

The Town of Hamilton is working towards the creation of a task force to study future uses for the property that the Patton family wishes to donate to the town. A vote on this matter will be put to residents at the Town Meetings in May. Any local residents interested in participating on the task force can volunteer by calling 978 468-5599.

Northern Essex Community College Poetry Contest

The college in the City of Haverhill has announced that it will once again offer a poetry contest that is open to Haverhill schools from K through 12. This 4th annual peace contest seeks original poems and artwork on the subject of Peace. The entries to this contest are due at the college by March 15, 2012 and the winners will have their work published in a book produced by the college and will participate in a public reading program. Entries to the contest can be sent to or mail entries to NECC Peace Poetry, 100 Elliott Street, spurk 317H, Haverhill, MA 01830

North Andover Produces list of Un-cashed Checks

The Town on North Andover has produced a list of almost three dozen checks that were issued by the Town government between September 7, 2007 and January 21, 2010. The checks that range in denomination from $5 to $ 4219 have been deemed abandoned and will be turned over to the state if not claimed. To view a list of the checks visit or call the Town Treasurer at 978-688-9550.

Several Communities Schedule Curbside Christmas Trees Pickup

The communities of Marblehead and Gloucester have scheduled curbside pickup for Christmas Trees. The Marblehead date is this week on normal trash pickup days and Gloucester has designated the week of 1/17 on the usual pick up days. In both cases, the trees must be free of lights and decorations and must not be in plastic bags.

Town of Essex to offer Conomo Point Informational Meeting

For those residents in the community of Essex that might have an interest in following the impending decision concerning ownership issues at Conomo Point, an informational meeting has been scheduled for January 17, 2012 by the board of Selectmen at the Essex Elementary School cafeteria a 7:00 pm. This meeting will include a presentation of the Comprehensive Statement offered by the Selectmen and a question and answer period will follow the formal presentations.

Interesting use of the Internet to Offer Holiday Greetings in 2011

I suspect that many organizations offered Holiday greetings in 2010 using lists of donors, an electronic greeting or a thank you wish, but in 2011 I witnessed an explosion of this method of both saying thank you and offering a holiday greeting. During the final two weeks of the year just ended, I received numerous offerings, from organizations as diverse as Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, North Shore Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, St. John’s Preparatory School, Bishop Fenwick High School, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem, the Rotary Club and our own Essex National Heritage Area and even some personal greetings from friends and business associates. All of the business driven messages were professionally prepared and were certainly appreciated by the recipients. In the just recent past, these greetings would have been offered through the use of surface mail, and so one can readily see why the United States Postal Service is finding it difficult to keep their financial affairs balanced. The Internet certainly allows organization to stay connected with their “friends’ through the use of these greetings, newsletters BLOGS and other communications and at the same time, helping to manage costs.

Visit to TD Garden

Since I was fitted for a prosthetic leg in March of last year, I have tried to tackle every opportunity that is presented to prove to myself that I could accomplish whatever task was needed. I have also attempted to do the things that I was doing before my leg was removed. Last night I made a visit to the TD Garden to watch the Bruins take on and handle the Calgary Flames quite easily. I am a long time Bruins fan as far back as the 1960’s, pre Bobby Orr, and the visit last night keep a very long streak alive on viewing a professional hockey game in Boston annually.

I now pay particular attention to how handicapped people are taken care of at public forums and I can say most unequivocally that the staff at the Boston sports arena were most attentive to those needs and were polite, professional and helpful. I want to thank my sister-in-law and her daughter-in–law who went to great lengths to make certain that my visit was both accessible and enjoyable. The locations provide at the Garden, like at Gillette are sensational with wonderful sight lines for the action. Now that I know that I can visit the TD Garden, I am looking forward to a future visit to watch the defending Stanley Cup champions from last year.

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