Friday, February 17, 2012

Essex Happenings 2.17.12


Congrats to Mike Wheeler

Congratulations to Michael Wheeler who was recently named the New President of Beverly Cooperative Bank. Mike will be replacing Bill Howard who has become chairman of the Board. Bill is also currently a member of the Board of Trustees and Essex Heritage. I have had a number of interactions with Mike Wheeler as he is a member of the Salem Rotary and served with me on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club. We are confidant that Mike will continue the tradition of community service set by his predecessor.

PEM Acquires downtown Salem property

The Peabody Essex Museum recently purchased several adjacent properties to the museum that will likely make their expansion easier. One of the properties is where Bernard’s Jewelers, one of the most traditional Salem retail establishments, is located. Because of their standing in the community it was nice to learn that they will stay in their present location as a tenant. In that way they can continue to serve their many Essex County customers into the future.

Unusually Heavy Snow in Europe

Much of Europe is suffering with extreme snowfalls and very cold temperatures. In some cases snow is over 5 feet deep and in places like Milan Italy, where temperatures have fallen at times to ten below zero. Even in Rome where it almost never snows, residents and visitors are both critical of the administrators for not attending to the snow more efficiently. In some of the areas where snow is more normal, the snow is so extreme, that avalanches have become a danger.

It is a bit strange as usually when it is unseasonable in that section of the world, the east cost of this country normally has matching weather, but at least through the first months of traditional winter our weather in New England has been anything but harsh.

Great to be Advancing my Health outdoors Again

In the months just before I left to continue my recuperation in Florida, I experienced a couple of medical issues that most certainly slowed down my progress. Since I have arrived here, I have been able to be outside virtually every day walking again on my prosthetic leg and gaining strength and balance. It is certainly pleasant to be able to accomplish my daily walk in shorts and tee shirts, without the concerns of winter conditions and not having to wear winter clothing.

Super Bowl Ad a Hit

One of the American auto manufacturers offered my favorite commercial during the recent super bowl. The commercial with a voice over by Hollywood superstar Clint Eastwood was most positive and offered a most optimistic vision for this country. Recently the ads have come under some fire as the concept that focused clearly on the automobiles being made in Detroit was substantially filmed in New Orleans and Los Angeles. Well I guess that it how the advertising industry works most of the time.

Boys and Girls Club Shamrock Sweepstakes

Once again, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem will host its annual Shamrock Sweepstakes, our largest fundraising event. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000. Raffle tickets are $100 each, and a group of people can share an entry

Also, we hope that you can join us at the event on Thursday, March 15 as it will be a rewarding experience.

More Boys and Girls Club News

Boys & Girls Club Re-opens at the Higgins Middle School in Peabody
Peabody, MA- February 8, 2012- The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem is pleased to announce the re-opening of its Peabody Unit, now called Night Hawks, at the Higgins Middle School starting Tuesday, March 6, 2012.
Powered by the Community is a service mark of the Club and Kelly Automotive Group is exemplifying that by donating $50 for every car it sells to Peabody residents over the next few months.
"At middle school age I had many friends that had nothing to do after school but hang out. I was lucky enough to have a job. It’s very important for kids to have a place to go after school with something productive to do." says Brian Kelly, President & CEO of Kelly Automotive Group.
The Kelly donation, as well as a contribution from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, re-energizes the program at the Higgins Middle School and will form the basis for seeking additional support from the Peabody community. According to Club President Trip Mason, “All donations from Peabody will be for Night Hawks, the Peabody Club. We are so happy to bring the Boys & Girls Club Mission back to life to benefit the students at the Higgins.”
According to Higgins Principal Todd Bucey, “Many of our students and their parents are excited about the Boys & Girls Club return to our school. The Club’s emphasis on educational programming and mentoring by caring adults makes it a good fit with our school district’s mission to prepare students to be life-long learners and critical thinkers.”
The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem, in operation since 1869, is the oldest Boys & Girls Club in Massachusetts and the second oldest in the country. Its Mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

Nursing Homes Hope To 'Fend Off' Deep Medicare Cuts With New Approach

The Nursing Home Industry has proposed an Alternative To Funding Cuts. The nursing home industry is attempting to fend off deep Medicare cuts by proposing its own ideas on ways to reduce out-of-control Medicare spending. The proposal comes as lawmakers are considering billions of dollars in cuts to the healthcare industry to pay for a temporary postponement of physician payment cuts scheduled for March 1. Instead of taking a $2 billion hit through the elimination of so-called "bad debt," the American Health Care Association is proposing to save at least that much money by making sure patients discharged from the hospital stay healthy (Pecquet, 1/30).
New Regional Dispatch Center in Middleton Names Director

There were some most positive recent developments concerning the regional dispatch center that will serve several local communities. The appointment of Thomas Dubas as director of the new regional 911 dispatch center in Middleton was a most positive step..
This project has had its share of critics, so it's essential that costs be kept under control and the results are what taxpayers expect. Success could spawn more such regional endeavors here on the North Shore, but failure would give skeptics ammunition to argue that the best services are those delivered by a single independent local community.
If Dubas' name is familiar, it's because he has served as a consultant to the six communities — Beverly, Wenham, Topsfield, Middleton, Essex and Amesbury — that have committed to having the regional center handle their emergency dispatch functions. The new service when operational will operate out of a facility on the grounds of the county correctional facility in Middleton and Dubas will report to Sheriff Frank G. Cousins and a committee representing member communities.
Dubas, was one of 65 candidates that applied for the job and four finalists interviewed by the search committee before the finalist was picked.
A former detective and police chief, the presented credentials appear to make him a most qualified candidate for the task at hand. The challenge is to prove that a regional dispatch center can be operated efficiently and at a lower cost than would be the case if each of the individual communities maintained their own facilities.
Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem Announces Fund Raising Project
WHAT 3rd Annual Shamrock Sweepstakes
WHEN Thursday, March 15, 2012
WHERE Boys & Girls Club – 13 Hawthorne Boulevard, Salem
Doors open at 6:30 pm - Drawing starts at 7:00 pm

Entrance to the event is $10 and may be paid at the door. This year’s event will include A Wee Taste of Salem, a prize raffle, free parking and fun.

For more info call (978) 744-0915 or go to
Danvers Rotary Makes Long Term commitment to Local School
Recently, the Danvers Rotary club provided a gift of $10,000 to the Danvers Educational Enrichment Partnership as the first installment of a gift that will total $50,000 over the next three years.
This generous contribution will help DEEP, an all-volunteer charity that raises money for the town's schools, meet a fundraising goal of $500,000 to outfit learning labs at Danvers High School with computers and white boards.
The Rotary gift will go specifically to the DECA Technology Laboratory, which supports business students
Ten labs are being built as part of $70 million in renovations at the high school and the money DEEP is raising will supplement the state's commitment to the project.
Danvers Rotary has 70 members and raised this initial donation partly through its endowment and partly with proceeds from a comedy night held in December, like a number of other Rotary clubs in this region, the Danvers club has been a most generous partner in many community projects in that community. The club membership spends an inordinate amount of their energies raising funds and they are always dedicated to a to excellent community based projects.

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