Friday, October 26, 2012

Essex Happenings...October 19, 2012


Beaches, Parks, Wildlife Reservations & Farms in the Essex National Heritage Area
Even though the 2012 Offering of Essex Heritage’s Trails and Sails is over for this year this is truly the most pleasant time of the year to explore the region we call home. The event that Essex Heritage and their wonderful partners offered during the 11th Annual Trails and Sails may be over until next fall, but the opportunities to enjoy and savor the region is still available for the next several weeks. This season of the year is such a wonderful time to visit and enjoy the spectacular sites in this region. The days are usually warm and when the sun is shining. The farms, parks, reservations and even the area beaches of the region are great locations to visit.  I have taken the liberty of reprinting lists of the best natural locations in this region from the Essex Heritage web site.  I hope that you review the list of the following locations and make plans to visit some of those locations over the weeks ahead.  For more information, the Essex Heritage web site where so much valuable information is outlined can be found at

Ward ReservationThe Ward Reservation represents the union of more than forty separate parcels of former farm and pasture land whose stone walls, when combined, total more than seventeen miles long.

Hale FarmBuilt in 1695, the farm was home to many generations of the Hale family.

Endicott Park is a beautiful one hundred and sixty five acre handicapped accessible park that provides a myriad of recreation and leisure time programs and activities ranging from picnicking and exercising to gardening.

Glen Magna Farms & EstateJoseph Peabody purchased the farm during the War of 1812 and he and his family transformed it into a sprawling estate featuring several lush gardens.

Rebecca Nurse HomesteadThe site features 27 acres of fields, pasture and woods and is a good representation of New England life during the colonial period.

Choate IslandProtected and overseen by The Trustees of Reservations, people can now cruise to Choate Island, also known as Hog Island, to view the Crane Wildlife refuge and historic Choate Farm and experience an abundance nature, sightseeing and bird watching.

Crane Wildlife RefugeThe Refuge is a patchwork of coastal and island habitats that includes a portion of Castle Neck and seven islands in the Essex River Estuary (Choate, Long, Dean, Dilly, Pine, Patterson, and Round).

Stavros ReservationWhile most of Stavros Reservation protects more than fifty acres of salt marsh, its most popular feature is White's Hill, a coastal drumlin that offers panoramic views of Crane Beach, the Crane Wildlife Refuge (Choate Island), and Halibut Point.

Ravenswood ParkLong treasured by residents of Gloucester and neighboring towns, Ravenswood Park offers a tranquil wooded setting for walking, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing along almost ten miles of trails and carriage paths.

Stage Fort Park and Welcoming CenterThe Welcoming center is officially designated as an ENHC Visitor Center; here visitors can find a wealth of information about Gloucester and the surrounding area.

Tattersall FarmThe 150-acre farm offers 19th century plantings, working hayfields, rolling meadows and wooded paths for walking, jogging and cross-country skiing.

Appleton FarmsEstablished in 1638, the farm offers such recreational activities as picnicking, horseback riding, bird watching, cross-country skiing and hiking.

Crane Beach & Castle HillComprising more than 2,000 acres, the estate is open to the public year round for outdoor study, leisure and recreation.

Greenwood FarmLocated on a peninsula on the Ipswich River Estuary, Greenwood Farm comprises pastures, meadow, woodlands, salt marsh, and three tidal islands: Diamond Stage, Widow's, and Homestead.

Hamlin ReservationHamlin Reservation's gently rolling fields and marsh meadows - today home to bobolinks and small mammals - were once active farmland.

Lynn WoodsEnjoy hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, bird watching and picnicking in the summertime and cross-country skiing in the winter through the 2,200 acres.

Agassiz RockBig and Little Agassiz Rocks are dramatic examples of giant boulders plucked from bedrock and carried far away by the last glacier.

Coolidge ReservationPart of historic Coolidge Point, the Coolidge Reservation is named for the prominent family who came to own the peninsula. The diverse woodland features a mix of oak and pine with numerous wildflowers and ferns, and is home to an array of birds and other wildlife, including fishers and fox.

Crowninshield IslandThis modest coastal island features a variety of marine ecosystems, including several tidal pools, a small sandy beach, a field, a salt marsh, and a wooded hilltop. From a jagged granite promontory, visitors can take in views of Fort Sewall, Gerry Island, Marblehead Light, and Marblehead Harbor.

Fort SewallFirst established in 1644, this fort was used as a defensive breastwork for more than 200 years. Now a public park.

Old Town HillThousands of years ago, a large and beautiful salt marsh crossed by tidal creeks was created in the lowlands and valleys surrounding the glacial drumlin known as Old Town Hill.

Spencer-Peirce-Little FarmBuilt at the end of the 17th Century to impress visitors, today the house reveals three centuries of construction technologies and building stabilization.

Joppa Flats Education Center and Wildlife SanctuaryThe Joppa Flats Education Center is located at the gateway to one of the country’s most productive, year-round, wildlife viewing areas—the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and the Plum Island estuary. Highlights for visitors are the many species of birds that utilize the area’s extensive salt marshes, mudflats, rivers, bays, and coastal waters.

Maudslay State ParkGardens, trails, fishing, bird watching, cycling, picnicking, skiing, snowshoeing, outdoor concerts and performances.

Parker River National Wildlife RefugeThe 4600-plus acre refuge offers recreational and educational adventures such as wildlife observation, hunting, fishing and shell fishing.

North Andover
Harold Parker State ForestProvides summer hiking, winter cross-country skiing, picnic area and campground.

Stevens-Coolidge PlaceFormerly known as Ashdale Farm, the Stevens-Coolidge Place was the summer home of John Gardner Coolidge and Helen Stevens-Coolidge from 1914 to 1962. Gardens open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset.

Ward ReservationThe Ward Reservation represents the union of more than forty separate parcels of former farm and pasture land whose stone walls, when combined, total more than seventeen miles long.

Weir HillWeir Hill (pronounced "wire hill") is a double drumlin that rises 305 feet and includes more than a mile of shoreline on Lake Cochichewick.

Brooksby FarmAn 8 1/2-acre working farm with orchards, animals, trails and a farm stand.

Halibut Point State Park70-acre park located at the northern tip of Cape Ann features a rocky shoreline ideal for picnicking and tide pooling.

Thacher IslandThis National Historic Landmark off the coast of Rockport boasts twin lighthouses 45' tall. Accessible by small boats and kayaks.

Misery IslandsMisery Islands offer coastal views, rolling rocky terrain, diverse wildlife habitats, and interesting ruins that recall the Islands' past as an exclusive resort and summer colony.

National Park Service Regional Visitor CenterLocated in the old Salem Armory building, the ENHC Visitor Center offers information on Salem and the surrounding area and also features maps, exhibits, dioramas, movies and a gift shop.

Salisbury Beach State ReservationFive miles of accessible white sandy beaches.

Breakheart Reservation640-acre park boasts scenic views of Boston, 2 freshwater lakes, birding and more.

Fisherman’s BeachSwampscott beach with public swimming during the summer months.

Ipswich River Wildlife SanctuaryMassachusetts Audubon's largest sanctuary, this property covers 2,800 acres of diverse habitats, including fields, vernal pools, forests, swamps, islands, eskers, and eight miles of the Ipswich River.

Essex Heritage Semi-Annual Meeting.
I am aware that in the past several postings to this BLOG I have reported on and offered an invitation to the upcoming Essex Heritage Semi-Annual Meeting that is scheduled in Peabody.  The meetings are held twice each year and are offered to provide information to the residents of this region. The meetings are also offered across the region in locations not usually available to residents of the region.  The Invitation for the October 30, 2012 meeting follows and is once again presented due to the value of the gatherings to the region.  

The Essex National Heritage Commission
Invites You to Attend its Annual Fall Meeting on Tuesday, October 30, 2012,The Smith Barn at Brooksby Farm38 Felton Street Peabody, MA 01960, 8:00 AM: Continental Breakfast Reception8:30 - 10:00 AM: Business Meeting.  Participate in this free, valuable networking opportunity that will further connect you with the work of Essex Heritage and our partners.

A special thanks to The Peabody Historical Society for hosting the Annual Fall Meeting.
To RSVP to the Annual Fall Meeting you may call Jill at 978-740-0444.

Essex Heritage Corporate Supporters
View the following link to view Essex Heritage Corporate   Supporters that mean so much to the  work of the Commission at this time:


Traffic Safety Committee Formed in Newburyport
The City on Newburyport has established a Traffic Advisory Committee and Mayor Holiday is calling for volunteers to serve on that committee.   The charge of the Committee is to help City Leadership identify areas of traffic concerns and offer potential solutions.    Residents who wish to be considered for appointment are encouraged to send a letter outlining their qualifications and a resume to Lois Honegger at 

American Legion Post In Middleton Offered Jobs Fair
The local American Legion post in Middleton held a job fair on October 18th at the American Legion Post 227, 68 River Street for Active Duty military members of the National Guard, reserve components and spouses.  The event was free and open to Employers and job seekers from 1 until 4.  For additional information visit the Town of Middleton’s web site at

Town of Danvers opens new Auditorium in New High School
On the evening of October 10, 2012 the Town of Danvers opened its new performing arts auditorium with performances by the Marching Band, chorus and actors.  The school administration also used the occasion to recognize people who made donations to dedicate seats.   We provided a financial gift to support and name seats in the auditorium in the name of our Grand Daughter Katherine Leonard who will be a senior at the new facility next year.  This incident took care of a long-standing discussion we have held with Katherine about her name on a seating location.  She has long wanted to be added to a bench at St. John’s Prep that lists the four male members of the Leonard family who have graduated from that Danvers School location.

City of Salem has Bond Rating Upgraded
The Leadership of the City of Salem was pleasantly surprised when the Credit Rating agency, Standard and Poor’s increased the rating for new City obligations from A to A+.  This rating increase is the result of the stable employment picture and strong family incomes in the city.   The rating upgrade will certainly  impact any future long term borrowing projects by the Community.


COPAA Meeting in Beverly
Cornell Brother’s Prosthetics and Orthopedic Amputee Association (COPAA) is an organization that has been formed by this local medical support company to provide support to their clients in this and the Merrimack Valley area an opportunity to gather monthly to bring representatives of local resources to present issues to the group.  I have been a client since my leg amputation one and one half a year ago, and in addition to building my artificial leg, they also service many of my ongoing medical needs.  The Group has provided numerous valuable presentations to the members of the group.   The meetings are held  and support is provided by the staff in  the offices of Cornell Brothers at The Cummings Center in  Beverly. Closed circuit TV is provided to an element of the group that gathers monthly in Methuen.    This month. I agreed to serve as a “pinch hitter” Chairman as I filled in for Ms. Posie Mansfield who is unavailable for this month’s meeting that gathered at the Cornell Offices.  The presenter this month was Ms. Ruth Stone RN, the Clinical Coordinator at the Beverly Hospital Wound and Hyperbaric Medicine Center. She provided a broad outline of the activities of the Beverly Hospital Wound Center and outlined the damages that a wound can be to an amputee. 

An Invitation from North Shore Elder Services
Are you a family caregiver?  Do you provide care for a loved one with special needs, a disability, a chronic illness – your child, your spouse, your parent, your grandchild, your grandparent, another family member, or your friend?   Registration for the First Annual CARE Conference on November 2, 2012 is now open!!  Registration is online at Eventbrite -

Please forward this information to any and all family caregivers who may be interested in attending this FREE conference.  We have received very generous financial support from a number of programs and agencies in order to insure that family caregivers can attend at no cost.

For professionals and program staff only:  If you wish to attend this conference, please consider the following:  We request a $25 donation to the MLRC.  Bring a family caregiver with you or facilitate attendance of a family caregiver you work with.  You may be asked to assist with tasks the day of the conference (clean up, distribute handouts, etc.).

Sponsors to Date:  Platinum Sponsors – The Seven Hills Foundation; Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council;
Gold Sponsor:  Horace Mann Educational Associates –HMEA
Silver Sponsor:  Advocates Inc.

Please contact Joan Rafferty at with any questions.

We look forward to seeing you on November 2, 2012

A Second Announcement from North Shore Elder Services
Here is a terrific new website from the California Department of Insurance that helps seniors fight scams and avoid financial abuse.  It was unveiled just yesterday. The press release about it is below. Enjoy.

Shawna Reeves, MSW
Long Term Care Advocate
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR)
650 Harrison Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA  94107
T: 415-974-5171
F: 415-777-2904

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER DAVE JONES LAUNCHES INNOVATIVE NEW SENIOR PROTECTION WEBSITE Site Better Serves Seniors, Family Members and Caregivers with Information About Preventing and Reporting Fraud, Abuse and Neglect

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today unveiled a new consumer protection tool for California seniors, who have traditionally been prime targets for con artists. The California Department of Insurance (CDI) is hosting a new Web site to educate seniors and their advocates and provide helpful information about how to avoid becoming victims of personal or financial abuse.

The Web site, called “Senior Gateway,” is important because seniors, including older veterans, are disproportionately at risk of being preyed upon financially and subjected to neglect and abuse. The Senior Gateway is sponsored by the Elder Financial Abuse Interagency Roundtable (E-FAIR), convened by CDI and includes representatives from many California agencies who share a common purpose of safeguarding the welfare of California’s seniors.

“The goal of this collaborative effort is to assemble, in one convenient location, valuable information not only for seniors, but their families and caregivers,” said Commissioner Jones. “This site will help California seniors find resources and solve problems, and will enable participating agencies to better serve this important segment of our population.”

The site offers seniors valuable tips and resources in the following areas, and more:
•         Avoiding and reporting abuse and neglect by in-home caregivers or in facilities; learn about different types of abuse and the warning signs;
•         Preventing and reporting financial fraud, abuse and scams targeting seniors;
•         Understanding health care, insurance, Medicare and long-term care; know what long-term care includes;
•         Locating services and programs available to assist older adults;
•         Knowing your rights before buying insurance; what seniors need to know about annuities;
•         Investing wisely and understanding the ins and outs of reverse mortgages

CDI’s partners in creating the Senior Gateway, include the Attorney General’s Office/Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse, California Commission on Aging, Department of Aging, Department of Consumer Affairs, Department of Corporations, Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Health Care Services, Department of Managed Health Care and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, with support from district attorneys in the following  counties: Fresno, Los Angeles, Monterey, Sacramento and San Mateo.

The Senior Gateway Web site includes information about governmental and nonprofit agency resources.


Dr. Wayne Burton, President of North Shore Community College and numerous Essex County and Southern New Hampshire Activities and a Trustee Emeritus of The Essex Heritage Commission was recently named the 2012  National Council for Marketing and Public Relations Pacesetter award presented annually to the Community College Chief Executive who has demonstrated a commitment to marketing  and communications.

Ms.  Nancy Huntington Stager, an Executive Vice President at Eastern Bank and a former President of the Essex Heritage Commission has been named chairperson for the North Shore Workforce Investment Board at a recent Board Meeting.  Essex Heritage has collaborated in the past with the Workforce Investment Board, and there is every expectation that Essex Heritage will continue to work closely with that organization in the future.


National Football League Injuries
As I am sure you know by now, I am a passionate football fan. This week produced a great win by the NE Patriots moving them to the head of their division.  The league is most competitive, but not without the treat of continuing injuries.  In Kansas City a former Patriot Quarterback was hit and it appeared that he received a head injury and was laying hurt and barley conscious on the field.   He has not been performing recently at the top of his game, and when he was hurt the fans in the stands were cheering as he lay on the field.

After the game and the poor performance of the “so called” fans, one of his offensive linemen, Eric Winston called out the way the fans reacted.  It was a great and courageous performance by a team mate., as  he reminded the fans that they can boo when ever they want  but cheering and applauding when a player is hurt is offensive

I can remember another experience when years ago,  I was at the stadium in Foxboro when another former Patriot Quarterback, Jim Plunkett was booed as he was injured badly. and carried off the field.  I was dismayed at that performance by the fans in Foxboro, that day as I was at the actions of the fans in Kansas City. It is certainly irresponsible to “put down” a player who is trying his best when he is injured.   As competitive as the league has become we should remain courteous and not demean a performance, particularly as a player lies hurt on the field

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