Friday, November 16, 2012

ESSEX HAPPENINGS….November 16. 2012


Essex Heritage Membership
Make Trails & Sails Last All Year Long! As a member of Essex Heritage you will have many opportunities to connect to resources in this region. In September Trails & Sails offers hundreds of opportunities to explore the region, but membership makes the fun last all year long. Your connections to place foster stewardship enriching both your life and ensuring the longevity of the natural, historic and cultural treasures here in Essex County, MA. Enjoy Essex Heritage event as well as featured partner events. Both offer special Essex Heritage membership rates to attend, just let them know you are a member! Join us and experience the best of the region throughout the year!

Essex Heritage Annual Fall Meeting in Peabody
I reported in this blog last week that the Annual Fall meeting of Essex Heritage was held on November 8, 2012, at the Historic Smith Barn in Peabody, after it was postponed last month due to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.  The weather was still inclement as we were in the middle of a late fall nor’easter storm.    In light of a continuing period of adjustment with a new prosthetic leg, the storm and unexpected snow on the ground, I decided to pass on attendance at this public meeting.   Marge and I were advised that this was a good decision as the conditions around the location of the meeting were not acceptable for a man operating on an artificial leg.  

The meeting progressed as planned and attendance was excellent with over one hundred in attendance,  and the meeting included many local elected officials, both past and present. Considering the earlier postponement of the meeting and the weather conditions that morning of the rescheduled meeting everything was well received and presented.

The meeting and its agenda was directed by current Essex Heritage President Rich Yagjian of Hunts Photo and Video of Melrose who provided information on a number of very effective programs being offered.   An all-inclusive presentation on the state of the Heritage Area was provided to all in attendance by Essex Heritage Executive Director Annie Harris.   The commission was addressed by recently re-elected Congressman John F. Tierney. 

Over the most recent period several new local businesses have joined the Corporate Support Program and the names of those participants were displayed to thank them for their ongoing support.  The companies can also be found on the Essex Heritage Web Site at   

National Park Service Superintendent, Michael Quijano-West, head of Salem and Saugus NHS also addressed the meeting.  He reported on the ongoing programs that Essex Heritage and the National Park Service are working on together.

At the meeting a number of new Essex Heritage Commissioners were voted onto the commission:
  • ·         Alan Berry, C.P. Berry Homes - English Commons at Topsfield
  • ·         Claudia Chuber, Peabody Essex Museum
  • ·         Phil Conway, Brodeur Funeral Home
  • ·         Patrick DeIulis, DeIulis Brothers Construction
  • ·         Tom Gould, Treadwell’s Ice Cream
  • ·         Richard Hydren, Rowley Chamber Of Commerce
  • ·         Mark Leonard, Eastern Bank
  • ·         James Rudolph, Rudolph Friedmann, LLP
  • ·         Julie Saviano, Andover Endodontics, Inc.
  • ·         Rosario Ubiera-Minaya, Salem Education Foundation

I want to note that the new Commissioner Mark Leonard, from Eastern Bank, is my son.    I am very pleased that my family will continue to have representation with Essex Heritage if, for any reason, I have to end my connection with the Commission.


City of Peabody to Combine Human Resource Function for the City and the School District
We continue to monitor and applaud activities and consolidations that might result in real savings for the management of our local communities.   Mayor Ted Bettencourt is about to merge two positions in the City of Peabody that on the surface certainly seems to be a great attempt to save funds.   The City will merge the current positions of Director of Human Resources for the City and the School District into a single position that could result in a an annual savings of between $70 and $85,000.  Congratulations Mayor on your initiative!

Danvers Swamp Walk Nears Completion
All of the work that needs to be done on the Danvers Swamp Walk in Danvers is nearly complete.  A wooden walkway has been built over a forty-seven acre marshland off Locust Street in the northern section of town.  Recently, a team of volunteers completed the final 1421 ft. section of the walkway.  This project is a wonderful addition to the recreational assets of the Town of Danvers as the facility connects with the recently completed the Rail Trail.    The walk will also be used as an education tool for the Danvers schools.   This walkway a wonderful addition to the resources of the community now and for future generations.

Newburyport Seeks Food Donations
There is a concerted effort being mounted in Newburyport by Matter Communications to bring awareness to the Salvation Army’s Thanksgiving Food Drive.  To help those in need, especially at this time of the year, is important.   The company maintains an office in the Tannery facility and is dedicating a lot of effort to see that this drive is successful.  There will be specially labeled bins at stores throughout the Tannery complex where items can be deposited.   The suggested items being sought are food store certificates and other traditional Thanksgiving foods.  The collection process will be run until 11/16 and the company has strong hopes that collections will exceed what was collected last year.    I am pleased to see that collections like the one in Newburyport are spreading as the needs in food pantries all over the region are critical.  The People to People Food Pantry in Danvers are the beneficiary of efforts from all over the community, but there is always more that can be done

Topsfield Library to Offer On-Line Course
The Topsfield Library is now offering on-line courses that enable residents of the community to complete course for school credit at their own pace.   This a wonderful resource offered by this community facility, and I am certain that this effort will be appreciated.

Salem Partnership
In 2012, the Old Town Hall in Salem is getting good use.   In an earlier blog posting, I told you of the use of that facility for the Salem Winter Farmers Market through the end of the year.  Now the Salem Partnership will hold its annual holiday party for members at this location.

St Richard’s Church in Danvers to Celebrate Golden Anniversary during 2013
When we first moved to Danvers, after a very brief period of assessment, we picked St. Richard’s Church as the church where we would worship weekly.   We have been very active during these last 35 years and have been involved as a member of the Parish Council, as a lector at weekly services, and other participation.    The church was about fifteen years old when we arrived in Danvers and in 2013 the church will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary.   The Parish will celebrate its anniversary with a series of celebrations including a mass and a gala.   Marge and I are proud to have been asked to serve as Honorary Chairpersons of the yearlong event. We have begun our participation by contributing two tickets to a Patriot vs. Dolphins game. These tickets will be offered through a raffle to parishioners who sign up to volunteer as workers at the various events that have been planned.   The proceeds from the ticket raffle will help to underwrite various events.

Next month a concert will be performed by the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra on December 9, 2012.   The concert like the event last year is free and the only price of admission is a bag of non-perishable groceries   All of the food collected and it is a voluminous total is presented to the local Danvers People to People Food Pantry.   As more events are offered during the upcoming year, we will alert readers of this Blog.  

North Shore Music Theatre
One night this past week, Marge and I attended a performance of Guys and Dolls at the North Shore Music Theatre.  We expected it would be very good and it certainly was.   The acting was great and the music was wonderful.  The singing and dancing was exceptional.  We have seen the show performed before and this session was a good as we have seen.   This was our third trip to the NSMT this year, and all of them have been very pleasant experiences.

For a number of years we were season ticket holders at this superb community arts institution until the theater folded.  While we were visiting the theatre for this recent show, we made the decision to once again purchase season tickets for coming year.  Our decision was made because the present ownership team seem to have their “act together”.   The NSMT has a wonderful handicapped seating section and our new tickets are in that part of the theatre.  The playbill for the 2013 season appears to be most promising, and we are looking forward to viewing the shows we have purchased.


Director of North Shore Community Development Corporation Joins Rotary
Mickey Northcutt, the Executive Director of the North Shore Community Development Corporation, has become a new member of the Salem Rotary Club after speaking to the club about the possibility of Salem adopting the Community Preservation Act

Northeast Health CEO to resign
Mr. Ken Hanover the CEO of Northeast Health (Beverly Hospital) will resign from his position as a result of the merger agreement between Beverly Hospital and Leahy Clinic.   The present CEO of Leahy Clinic, Dr. Howard Grant, will become the CEO of the combined hospitals.


Election  2012
It is a couple of days after the 2012 Election and the results are most interesting.   President Obama #44 has won four more years leading this country.   I will leave it up to the mainstream media and political pundits to provide analysis of what this election may mean to all of us, but the President Obama has a major job in front of him, as he works to unite the country with the control of the two houses of Congress still split between Republicans and Democrats, at about the same level as before the election    The Massachusetts US Senate race produced a new player to represent the state, Elizabeth Warren, and  I suspect that the loser in that race, Scott Brown, will be heard from again in the future.  

In Danvers, where I reside, State Representative Ted Speliotis won re-election and will continue to represent our community for another two years.  In another local race, Joan Lovely, a City Councilor from Salem, won the State Senate race replacing the retiring State Senator Fred Berry.  Joan will represent Danvers as well as other communities in this region    In Salem and Beverly the Community Preservation Act was passed by the voters and it could have a very valuable impact on preservation, recreational and affordable housing projects in those two communities, similar to what has taken place in the City of Peabody.   

Boston Sports Museum Takes On Bullying Activities
The Boston Sports Museum that operates of the TD Garden is now taking on new challenges in addition to highlighting the people, the places and the events that help make up the sports history of this area.  The museum highlights the history of the sports icons and the games that they played and provides a wonderful venue to take us back in time to play the sports moments of the last several decades as we use the facility to refresh our memories of the better sports moments over the years.   Now in addition to those tasks that they have undertaken, they have identified an even more topical and hurtful topic to bring them current in today’s world of sport.  They have produced a film on the dangers of being a bully in today’s environment.  They expect to distribute this topical film to high school students around the region.  Using this new piece of media, they hope to awaken today’s young athlete on the damages that can be done to their contemporaries.   Good luck to them in their new effort.  It is long overdue and could have a measurable impact on the bulling issue.

Hockey Deliberations
As a hockey fan, it was good news to hear that the two sides have once again begun to talk about enduring the lockout.   There is still much to be accomplished before we can expect to see a conclusion to this issue.    The parties are at the very least talking which is a plus.

Thanksgiving Weekend
I certainly hope that the timing of the postings on this Blog does not preclude me from wishing you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving.   We are now in the middle of the long holiday weekend that helps us get together to celebrate the most American Holiday of the year.   If you gathered to attend one of the great community football events contested in this region at this time of the year, or participated in one of the many road races that are fast becoming holiday traditions in this region, we certainly hope that the holiday was a most pleasant one for you and family.  The local football events could be a thing of the past after his year as a new playoff system will be tried next year.

Annette’s Climb
The letter in the Salem News highlighted many of the wonderful gifts that have been made to local organizations that provide support to overcome violence against women.   The cause that was highlighted in the letter was Annette’s climb that was established a decade ago as a climb up Tuckerman’s Ravine to the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. 

I did not know Annette Soares very well, but her death was certainly a tragedy to her friends and particularly her family.   The family was a neighbor of mine when I first lived in Danvers and I coached hockey with her dad, John.    They have done a wonderful job of turning the untimely death of a family member into an event that honors the memory of their young daughter and at the same time has turned the event into a major fundraising event that benefits many organizations working to prevent similar events. The original organizers of the event and now the continuing group of volunteers pursuing the cause should be applauded for their efforts.  

The event started as a friendly hike to honor the memory of a local young lady from Danvers who was murdered by her boyfriend.   The event has now reached a milestone as $300,000 has been raised since the events inception.  Then the walk provided donations to charities in the region that provide support to organizations like HAWK in Salem and the Women in transition Program offered at the North Shore Community College that helps support programs that protect women from acts of violence.

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