Friday, August 3, 2012

Essex Happenings…. August 3, 2012
Essex Heritage Web Site
I have spent time recently reviewing the information that is presented on the Essex Heritage website.   It has been several months since I last took time exploring the commission website.   The site has a wealth of information on this region, and it is well worth the visit.  It has information on almost everything you need to know about the mission and the work of Essex Heritage.   There are sections that list the many accomplishments of the Commission, and there are sections about the 34 communities that comprise the Essex National Heritage Area.  There is also information about Essex Heritage’s many partners and they are listed by community with links to their websites. A listing of both the volunteer leadership and the staff of the commission can also be found.   The address for the Essex Heritage web site is     I encourage you to visit – you will be pleased that you did!

Essex Heritage Membership Program
The Essex National Heritage Membership program offers residents unique opportunities to explore this heritage area. Members are the first to hear about exciting events, receive discounts at these events and receive the quarterly invitation highlighting up-coming activities. Supporting Essex Heritage through our membership program means you embrace and champion our mission to preserve, promote and enhance the historic, cultural and natural resources of the Essex National Heritage Area. We can't do it without you! Thank you!
For questions regarding the Essex Heritage membership program call 978-740-0444 or review membership details here.Become a member
Thank you to our Corporate Members Essex Heritage is grateful for the generous support of our Corporate Members!Corporate Members enjoy unique visibility opportunities and privileges. Visit our Business Partnership Opportunities and Corporate Sponsors page to find out more. 

Along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway

Salem Sound to Boston Kayaking Guide
Enjoy this guide which details information about 35 North Shore access sites, along with suggested paddling trails. Check out the guide!

Beverly's North Shore Music Theatre's 2012 Season Continues
Enjoy this award-winning theatre, nestled in the heart of Beverly. Enjoy "Annie", "9 to 5 The Musical" and much more! For tickets.

Newburyport's Waterfront Movie Series
Enjoy your favorite movies along the waterfront in scenic Newburyport. For more information.

 Transportation Bond Bill Includes Funding Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
The recently enacted MA transportation bill includes the authorization for funds for the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway.  The funds  will go towards  the installation of signs and other improvements along the 85 mile route.  The actual money will only come as the governor approves specific projects, but it is good to see this important regional project included in the bill.  The state senators and representatives from the Essex National Heritage Area showed a lot of leadership and foresight by including the byway project.   The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway is a regional project managed and administered by Essex Heritage

Trails & Sails Update:

Thanks to new and returning event hosts, over 200 events have been scheduled for Trails & Sails 2012. You can also celebrate our region by volunteering at an event!

Trails & Sails is Essex Heritage's premier partnership event attracting over 4,000 people to events across Essex County, MA.  We are looking for volunteers for Trails & Sails. Come help distribute program guides, help hosts with check-in and provide general support to event leaders. All tasks offer flexibility in scheduling and consideration of any physical limitations.

If you're energetic and love history, culture and the great outdoors, then this is an excellent opportunity to give back to your community, support local preservation efforts and learn more about your Heritage Area

Please call 978-740-0444 to volunteer!

Plot your course to fun and adventure at

Heritage Area Volunteer Opportunities

Essex Heritage is pleased to highlight interesting and fun volunteer opportunities from around the Heritage Area. If you would like to share volunteer opportunities, please send them to us.

Gardeners Wanted!
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary
Mass Audubon, Topsfield
Join other gardening enthusiasts for small group meetings on Tuesday mornings April through October to work together in the gardens.
More volunteer opportunities are listed online here


The following profile has been prepared to provide information about  Essex Heritage Trails & Sails Partners, so that you can visit the site outlined and enjoy Trails & Sails without waiting for the two planned weekends.
Schooner Thomas E. Lannon

 One of the most treasured programs in Essex County that has played a regular role in Trails and Sails since its inception is the sailing ship Thomas E. Lannon.   It addition to participating in the annual two weekend fall festival, Ms. Kay Ellis the wife of the boat’s owner and captain has served for a full three terms on the Board of Directors of Essex Heritage.  I have known the Captain and principal owner of the ship since my days as a banker.   Even then, in 1997, I was involved in the development of the mission of Essex Heritage and had a strong interest in the role that the ocean played in the history of this region.   Tom visited me several years ago at Salem Five in my role as a community activist to measure my interest and expectations for his venture to build a sailing ship and offer it as an attraction in this region.   

Before we go any further, let me outline a little history about the ship and its mission. 

Like lots of others before him, Tom Ellis had wanted to own a schooner for a good part of his life.  One day in the spring of 1996, Tom was invited to sail aboard the Ellida with   several Annisquam buddies. That sail was what did it for Tom.  He decided quickly that this was about the size boat he wanted (Ellida is 63 feet on deck). Having been around boats most of his life and having been in the construction business for years, Tom knew that he wanted to build a new boat.  He also knew that the only way he could afford to own such a vessel would be to make it a commercial venture. He had been working on his wife, Kay, for many years to try and get her to agree to build a schooner.  Kay ultimately realized that the tourists were coming to Cape Ann and this region in great numbers each summer and tourists are always looking for fun things to do while they're on vacation.  She too came to believe that there was potential for a successful venture with a wooden schooner boarding tourists and area region residents for sails around Gloucester harbor and beyond.
Tom and a crew cut the trees that would be used to build the boat by the Burnham Boat Yard in Essex on a local property owned by The Essex County Greenbelt Association. With a model of the ship to be built and planning complete, a keel was laid in late 1996 and the boat was officially launched in June 1997.   Her launch was followed by an inaugural sail the following month and now fourteen years later she is still boarding passengers in Gloucester, all through the summer and fall and showing those passengers that opt to sail with them, what sailing on a wooden sailing vessel is like.   
We have been blessed to have the “Lannon” participate in the Essex Heritage two-weekend fall festival every year and we encourage the residents and visitors of this region to take advantage of what can be a sensational adventure on a sail during this 2012 season.   Do not wait for Trails & Sails to plan a short ocean trip.
For more information or to make a reservation for a sail on the Thomas E. Lannon this year call 978) 281-6634 or visit .   You will be glad that you  made  the decision to be a sailor at least for a day.  The next month or so must be the best time of the year to enjoy this regional asset.
Town of Danvers to Receive Federal Bike Safety Grant
Through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Danvers Police Department will receive a $3,000 grant to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety.  
“There are many tools available to protect pedestrians and cyclists, including education, enforcement and outreach, and this grant provides much needed funding which will help us reduce pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities,” said Chief Neil Ouellette.
The Massachusetts Traffic Records Analysis Center (MassTRAC) said from 2006 to 2010, more than 1600 bicyclists and pedestrians were injured in crashes and 360 of those resulted in death.  Bicyclists and pedestrians are particularly vulnerable road users because unlike those in vehicles, there is nothing to protect them from the impact.  Over 70 percent of bicycle and pedestrian crashes involve an injury, compared to 25 percent for all motor vehicle crashes.
According to Sergeant Robert Bettencourt, the department will coordinate with the town's Rail Trail and the Downtown Improvement Committee, to find areas to concentrate on.
The grant In Danvers will fund a variety of law enforcement activities such as: targeted enforcement and decoy patrols, and the use of equipment like breakaway signs and crosswalk reflective tape.  A combination of techniques and devices will help departments analyze and crack down on both pedestrians and cyclists who put themselves in danger as well as drivers who do not share the road appropriately. 
The Danvers Police Department, in partnership with EOPSS, recognizes that traffic crashes are preventable, and is committed to using this grant to reduce the number of motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries relating to pedestrians and bicyclists in Danvers. "Any death or injury on our roadways is one too many."
Local departments also receiving grants include Lynn, Revere, and Woburn.  Awards ranged from $3,000 to $7,500 based on the population size of communities.   With the development of the Danvers Bike Path, finding ways to make bikes, motorized vehicles and pedestrian safety is a priority.

Beverly Receives NEA Grant
This seems to be a good time for grants to our local communities.   The most recent grant is focused on Montserrat College of Art that in the past has worked with Essex Heritage on a brochure that helped promote the Essex Heritage Coastal Scenic By-way.  The College will now begin to work a partnership with the City of Beverly to create a downtown Arts and Cultural District.    The project will be underwritten by a National Endowment of the Arts grant in the amount of $75,000 from NEA.   The college was one of a very few award winners as they were one of only two in the Commonwealth and one of only eighty winners nation-wide.   The partnership that will be formed with the Beverly Main Streets program will also include some matching funds from the college.   This award will be important to the community and the region.   The college maintains active partnership arrangements with many organizations including the City of Beverly and the Essex Heritage Commission.

Beverly Approves Construction of Building
The planning Board in Beverly has approved the construction of a controversial new drug store on Dodge Street in the Garden City.   The final approval had been withheld in the past due to neighborhood and traffic concerns and a real concern for the preservation of a first period home on the site that was erected in 1815.  This home is one of a few remaining such properties in the city.   The concerns were real and several compromises were enacted that have most people satisfied and the planning board feels positively that the project is a good financial addition for the city.   Part of the compromise includes a substantial portion of the historic building will be saved and reused and that feature of the agreement pleases Essex Heritage.

Beverly Homecoming Festival to Begin
The annual Beverly Homecoming began on Friday August 4th with several events including a tennis tournament and will come to an end on Sunday August 12th with a concert and a fireworks display. There will be multiple events during the ten days.  To obtain a schedule of the many events see the local newspapers or visit 

Sail Salem Offering Classes This Summer
Sail Salem is a community sailing program for Salem residents.  It was started in 2008 as a program for youth 8 years old and up.   It has now expanded to include adults.  It has had 400 attendees this summer at the program’s Winter Island base of operations.  The program now has a fleet of two-dozen boats. For more information on the program visit

Listing of Important Salem State University Dates
Save the Dates! 
July 20-22 and July 27-28 Summer Theatre at Salem continues with Almost, Maine featuring theatre alumni. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. To purchase tickets or for more information please call 978.542.6290 or please visit

September 19, 2012 Friends of the School of Social WorkFall Professional Development Workshop 
September 20, 2012 Writer’s Series with Dr. Ann Taylor and Professor Kevin Carey of the SSU English Department 
October 12, 2012 Athletes Hall of Fame InductionOctober 13, 2012 Alumni Golf TournamentOctober 13, 2012 Celebration of Coaches and AthletesOctober 14, 2012 Alumni Athletics GamesOctober 14, 2012 Alumni Barbecue

Click here to visit the official page of Athletes Weekend October 13, 2012 Friends and Family Weekend

November 3, 2012 Friends of the School of Education and the School of Education are hosting the 6th Annual Best Practices Conference

June 7-9, 2013 Alumni Weekend 

For more information about these events please click here or email us at

In a continuing effort to keep this region informed about elderly affairs, we provide the following report provided to us by North Shore Elder Services of Danvers.

Later this summer the Aviv Center for Living (formerly known as the Jewish Rehabilitation Center for the Aged) will be initiating operations as a 144 bed nursing facility in Peabody.  Prior to this, the facility had been in operation in Swampscott (part of Greater Lynn Senior Services’ area) as a 180 bed facility.  The new site will become operational on or about September 1st and operation Lynn will cease at that same time.

Additionally, Cedar Glen Care and Rehabilitation Center is expanding its license capacity from 100 to 120 beds this summer when it begins operations in a new facility.  Both the new location and the old one were and will be located in Danvers.

North Shore Elder Services will soon be requesting additional federal funding in the FY 2013 for allocations for CSSM assessment activities as well as nursing facility ombudsman services in recognition of this added volume will soon have to be addressed by North Shore Elder Services personnel.

This is a rare occurrence.  Almost all the changes in licensed nursing facility bed inventory during the past decade have been reductions of either licensed bed capacity or the closure of entire facilities.  At North Shore Elder Services, we have not experienced any such closures during this time.  In fact, the supply of licensed beds was even increased several years ago when Brooksby Village added to its nursing facility capacity through the transfer of licensed beds from another service area.

Governor Patrick Signs Bill To Improve Dementia Care

Workers who treat dementia patients will receive specialized training, and nursing home and dementia special care units will be subject to minimum care standards under a bill signed by Governor Deval Patrick on Sunday.  Sponsored by Rep. Alice Wolf and Sen. Marc Pacheco the new law will establish regulations to specify minimum safety and quality standards for dementia care units in long-term facilities, including guidelines for the physical design of the units that can allow for dementia-specific activities such as anti-wandering methods and a "therapeutic environment."

The Department of Public Health also must implement dementia-specific training for direct care workers, activity directors and supervisors in traditional nursing homes and special care units.

Salem State University Names New Chairperson of the Board
Salem State University has named Pamela Scott of Danvers as the new Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the University.  In her personal life, she serves as President and CEO of LVCC Inc. a consulting company that helps companies grow and prosper.   She has served many non-profits in the area during the last few years and brings a great deal of experience to her new role.  She has had previous experience with the United Way and Boys and Girls Clubs.    On the personal side, she has had several banking affiliations and is a graduate of the Amos Tuck Business School at Dartmouth.   We anticipate that she will be a very important asset of Salem State University and will help us continue the excellent partnership affiliation that Essex Heritage maintains with the University.

Eastern Banker Receives Important Award
Ms. Cynthia Merkle of Swampscott, an Executive Vice President of Eastern Bank and member of the Bank’s Management Committee, has been named one of Banker and Tradesmen Woman of FIRE for 2012.  The award recognizes the key female players in the local FIRE Community   FIRE stands for Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate sectors of business in this region.   Cynthia, whom I have know for a number of years, was a contemporary of mine in my banking past.  Eastern Bank has been a great supporter of Essex Heritage.  We congratulate Cynthia on this well-deserved award.

New England Patriots Unable to sign Wes Welker to a Long Term Contract.
From my perspective as a long-term Patriots fan, it is sad that the New England Patriots were not able to close a long-term agreement with a most prolific National Football League receiver, Wes Welker.   Welker will still be available to the Patriots for 2012 as they have secured his services for this year by naming him their franchise player for this year and for that service he will be extremely well compensated.   The big question going forward is will they be able - or even want - to lock him and have his valuable services in the future or do they believe that he is more a function of the system and can be replaced when this contract year has ended.
North Shore Music Theatre Visit
I was so impressed with the experience my wife and I when we attended a fundraising event for the North Shore Elder Services at the North Shore Music Theater earlier this year, that we decided to attend a couple of the 2012 performances at the popular regional theatre.   Late last month, we attended the opening night performance of the show Annie, and we were most impressed with the large audience that attended, with the excellent condition of the handicapped section in the theatre, and  with the high level of talent in the cast.   The show was uplifting, and we enjoyed the entire experience.  We also have tickets for another production, Guy’s & Doll’s later in the year.  We extend our congratulations to Bill Haney and his team.  NSMT has been a long time supporter of the work of Essex Heritage.  We certainly hope that NSMT continues to draw big crowds, and that their future shows are as entertaining as the one we viewed.    They are certainly a major contributor to the cultural experience of this region.

The Once Every Four Years Summer Olympic Event is Underway
The summer Olympics XXX are currently underway in London, England, and the United States athletes are doing well.   The games are most entertaining and exciting, but many of us are holding our collective breaths hoping that there is no incident that mars these two weeks.    Let’s hope that the competition and the fellowship that the games foster will not be spoiled by a group of people or individuals trying to make a political statement.

Local Little League and Babe Ruth Players Performs Well
Congratulations to all of the young men from the communities in this region that participated in the local Annual Little League run up to their world series in Pennsylvania and the various Babe Ruth Leagues.      This is the culmination for many of a season’s efforts and many young people that were most successful.

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