Friday, November 2, 2012

Essex Happenings...November 2, 2012


Salem Witch Hunt Film
In this fall season of the year, Salem with all of its Halloween trappings is a great place to visit even into the early days of November.   For the most part, the party revelers are gone, but the city still remains wonderful place to visit and the showing of the Essex Heritage presentation Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence as described below can be a most entertaining and informative way to spent a relaxing time. The presentation is provided several times a day at the National Park Service Visitor Center across from the world famous Peabody Museum and adjacent to the City Parking Garage.  Enter a date in your calendar to visit this most entertaining show.

Presented by Essex Heritage and the National Park Service, Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence features authentic dialogue and the latest research by renowned Salem Witch Trial scholars. Scenes depicted in the film were shot at actual locations associated with the Witch Trials of 1692.  The sites can still be visited today. Information on how to visit the sites is available at the main desk of the National Park Service Visitor Center in Salem, MA.
Salem and Essex County have a wealth of structures still standing that witnessed the period of the 1692 witchcraft trials. Download the guide to the sites used in Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence and experience 17th century New England.
Tickets & Movie TimesTickets available at theNational Park ServiceVisitor Center in Salem, MA2 New Liberty Street,
(978)-740-1650, Ticket PricesAdults: $5.00Child/Senior: $3.00: Film Shown Daily10:00 AM, 12:00 PM2:00 PM & 4:00 PM
The film is directed & produced by Tom Phillips; Executive Producer is Essex National Heritage Commission; Featuring Renowned Scholars: Margo Burns,Director of the Language CenterSt. Paul’s School; Dr. Mary Beth Norton,Professor of American HistoryCornell University; Dr. Emerson “Tad” Baker, Professor of HistorySalem State University, Dr. Benjamin Ray,Professor of Religious StudiesUniversity of Virginia; and Richard B. TraskHistorian and ArchivistDanvers Archival Center; with special thanks to NPS Park Historian Emily Murphy, PhD.


New Corporate Partners
Essex Heritage is pleased to announce that following corporations have the joined the Corporate Membership Program.   Their participation and support is important to the success of our primary mission to preserve, protect and promote the historical, cultural and natural resources of Essex County.  These organizations are wonderful examples of great Essex County resources.
·         North Shore Music Theatre:  Since 1955, NSMT has become one of the most attended theatres in New England with approximately 250,000 patrons annually. With a national and regional reputation for artistic achievement, NSMT has received numerous industry awards including Elliot Norton Awards, IRNE Awards, the Rosetta Le Noire Award from Actors’ Equity, and the Moss Hart Award. Under new ownership since 2010, NSMT continues to annually produce a musical subscription series and an annual production of A Christmas Carol along with celebrity concerts and children’s programming.

·         Salem Witch Museum: The facility located across the Salem Common from the Historic Hawthorne Hotel.  The three dimensional show takes visitors back in time to 1622 and is one the most visited venues in this historic community.  It is particularly busy during this time of the year. The Salem Witch Museum brings you back to Salem in 1692.  Experience the drama of history in life-size stage sets.

Up-coming Event with Featured Partner:  Danvers Archival Center Tour
Saturday, November 3:  As a resident of the Town of Danvers and an active member of the Danvers Historical Society I have been pleased to be at several presentations provided by Essex Heritage Commissioner and Town of Danvers Archivist Richard Trask and have found them all to be entertaining and informative.  Take advantage of this Essex Heritage event and register for this Behind the Scenes Tour of the Danvers Archival Center, Peabody Institute Library of Danvers, 15 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA 01923. 

The Archival Center houses a wonderful and diverse collection of materials that relate to the history of Salem Village and Danvers from the 17th century to the present, including many public, church, and private records related to the witchcraft trials and life in Salem Village. Learn about the significance of the Archival Center as our knowledgeable host spotlights some of the valuable and historically important materials that directly relate to our local, regional and national history. As seen in the film Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence, the tour will also highlight some of the Archival Center’s rarely seen items and artifacts. 

Reservations required. Essex Heritage Members $7; Non-Members $10. Please register online or call Essex Heritage at 978-740-0444 for questions and details. Event fees sustain the Essex Heritage Membership program and support partner sites.


City of Gloucester Ready to Use Wind Power to their Great Advantage
In years gone past, the City of Gloucester used the wind as an asset as it helped move fishing vessels as they provided residents of that community and others in the region.  Now the Town plans to use the winds that move through that community to another but equally valuable service.   A company that operates in the Blackburn Industrial Park, Varian Semi Conductor Company and industrial partners are in the process of erecting a 2.5 megawatt wind turbine that will rise nearly 500 feet from the base to the paddles on the top of the turbine.  The cost of this investment is eight million dollars.   
By mid-December, it is expected that two additional turbines will be built in the same general area. This location is thought to be one of the finest locations in northern Massachusetts to utilize wind power. The location is in a wooded area close to Route 128 but away from residences and the general population.
The other two turbines that will be erected will be owned and operated directly to benefit the City of Gloucester.  The Mayor of the community applied to the federal government for a grant that was awarded, and when complete the two municipally owned turbines will produce enough energy to completely satisfy all of the present needs of the municipality in the future.    The reduction in electricity charges could amount to over $10 million over the next fifteen years. With those savings and the utilization of the power from those sources should allow the community to claim that they are one hundred percent powered by renewable energy for all of their energy needs including schools and other municipal buildings, streetlights and other needs.   There is an extra benefit to using wind power to serve the community rather than with fossil fuels as the environment will be substantially cleaner.   This could be a wonderful long-term asset for the community of Gloucester and give them a continuing leg up on comparable communities in this region.  Mayor Kirk looks like a real sear as she implements her plan.

Election Day 2012
A most highly contested election day is coming up quickly into our consciousness.  On November 6, 2012 all registered voters in this region will be asked to cast a vote in your local community for the candidates of your choice.   We encourage you to vote for the persons of your choice on Election Day.  We are most confident that whomever is chosen will work with the Essex National Heritage Area and together we will continue to move this initiative forward.

EBSCO to Improve Topsfield Park
EBSCO Publishing, working with officials from the Town of Topsfield, cleared a trail through the woods behind its Boston Road Office.  To help complete the project the Company last month purchased and installed exercise equipment and picnic tables adjacent to the trail.   This is a project that most certainly fits with the strategies of Essex Heritage which calls for the expansion of trails in this region.

Salem to Open Winter Farmers Market indoors in November
There are a number of Farmer’s markets that are most successful and one of the oldest and most accessed is the one offered in Salem adjacent to the Old Town Hall every Thursday. Now starting on November 1, 2012, Salem will start a second season inside on the first floor of the Old Town Hall.   This second season will operate on every Thursday except Thanksgiving Day for eight weeks through the end of November.   In Thanksgiving week the event will be held on Tuesday on the usual time schedule from 3 until 6.

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem
I participated recently in a Board Meeting by phone and there is much activity at the local club as the date when the club must vacate their present location continues to get closer.   Several outreach efforts concerning a future location are being pursued in a number of locations.  This effort will be most vital as finding a new location where we can operate in the near term is critical.  Additional time was spent on the need for continuing contributions for both ongoing operations and long-term capital needs meaning a new club headquarters.  The club has been blessed with some outside fundraising efforts generated by the 99 Restaurants in the region and Kelly Motor Group in Peabody.   In early November the club conducted a giant yard sale that was a success. Some time was spent speaking of the Road Race sponsored by the club on Thanksgiving morning.   This has become a major undertaking of the club and 700 plus contestants are expected that day.  If you wish to run or would be willing to help out as a volunteer that morning contact the club at or contact Director of Operations Doug Boland and 978 744-0915


Medicare's Open Enrollment Season Is Coming
It is that time of year again -- time to reassess whether your Medicare plan is working for you. Medicare's open enrollment period runs from October 15 to December 7.  During this period, you may enroll in a Medicare Part D plan or, if you currently have a plan, you may change plans. In addition, you can switch out of a Medicare Advantage (managed care) plan and return to traditional Medicare (Parts A and B), enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan from traditional Medicare, or change Medicare Advantage plans.  If you are in traditional Medicare, are happy there and don’t have or want a prescription drug plan, you don’t need to do anything. Beneficiaries can go to or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to make changes in their Medicare prescription drug and health plan coverage.
During the open enrollment period, you should review your current plan by looking at the costs and coverage for next year to determine if it is still the right plan for you. It is especially important to shop around for the best drug plan. The Washington Post is reporting that prescription drug plan premiums are expected to go up significantly. According to an analysis by Avalere Health, seven of the current top 10 prescription drug plans will have double-digit increases in premiums.
Remember that fraud perpetrators will inevitably use the Open Enrollment Period to try to gain access to individuals' personal financial information.  Medicare beneficiaries should never give their personal information out to anyone making unsolicited phone calls selling Medicare-related products or services or showing up on their doorstep uninvited.  If you think you've been a victim of fraud or identity theft, contact Medicare.  For more information on Medicare fraud, click here or here.
In addition, you can now get the same information found in the handbook "Medicare & You" online. Find out what’s new for the year, how Medicare works with your other insurance, get Medicare costs, and find out what Medicare covers. The handbook information on the Web is updated regularly, so it will always find the most up-to-date Medicare information.

First Frost Lowers EEE Outdoor Dangers
Now that the region has experienced it is first below freezing evening and a killing frost, we have seen both good and bad news. The bad news is the end of the growing season in the region, but the good news is that the frost has been a positive as the Triple E danger from mosquitos has diminished.   This is good news for local school administrators that have adjusted outdoor events because of the dangers.

North Shore Elder services Annual Meeting
North Shore Elder Services presented its Annual Public Meeting on October 24th at the Double Tree Hotel in Danvers.  The meeting is held each year to provide updates on NSES as it interacts with the local communities in this region.  The keynote speaker at the meeting was State Representative Steven Walsh who represents Lynn in the legislature and is the Chairman of the Committee of Health Care Financing.   Representative Walsh, who has also worked closely with Essex Heritage on its mission, provided update on “What we can expect on the North Shore.” He spoke in some detail on the expected needs in information systems currently in use in the health system and how far that industry is behind other industries in improving information technology in the health arena.   He spoke of the need to streamline conditions and noted that we more than likely had too many beds being offered by community hospitals in this region.   He also took some questions from the audience that concerned both the drug lab in Framingham and noted that clearing up the problems that will exist as a result of the problems in the State’s drug testing laboratory and how much effort and financial resources will have to expended by the State to clear up the deficiencies exposed in that scandal.

The meeting was presided over by the incoming chairman of the Board of Trustees Joan Shea- Desmond who announced the members of the board and her officers.   I am pleased that I have been asked to be the clerk for another year.   Awards were provided to long-term employees and Trustees that were leaving the board
Executive Director Paul Lanzikos, who reviewed the activities of NSES during the past year, made a presentation to the group.   He   spoke of the work of NSES with the Over the Rainbow Group and advised that the subsidiary, The Longevity Connection, that provides services to seniors that want to remain in their present homes, wants to offer a tour of the facility and visitors can learn what is happening at the center at an open house, all day on December 5, 2012.   An open invitation was extended to all in attendance and other interested parties.   There will be people to answer questions and light refreshments will be served.
An overview of the “We Give Thanks” awards dinner on November 15, 2012 at Spinellis in Lynnfield was provided and tickets for the event are still available by contacting North Shore Elder Services at 978 624-2220.    I am most pleased that my wife Marge will be honored at this event as the caretaker of the year, for her work looking after me and aiding in my recovery.
A report was offered on the connection outstanding with the North Shore Music Theatre and two dates for events scheduled in 2013 were identified.   In 2012 a most successful fund raising event was held at the theatre, and next year two events on 4/27 and 10/12 will be offered to assist the work of North Shore Elder Services.


Manchester by the Sea Administrator to Retire
Town Administrator Wayne Melville announced his retirement effective January 4, 2013 from his position at Manchester-by-the Sea.  He has been in Manchester since 2006 and worked in this field since 1983.

Trustees of Reservations Presents Life Trustee Award
The nation’s oldest regional land trust, the Trustees of Reservations recently honored Andover resident Al French with a Life Trustee Award for his many years of commitment to the Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway Project.  French has announced his retirement as Chairman of the project.


Kelly Automotive Group Provides Help
We were pleased to learn that the Kelly Automotive Group has provided a most generous contribution of $25,000 to assure that a Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem project would continue at the Higgins Middle School in Peabody.   The Program that was started several years ago through the efforts of Greg Passeri, a teacher at the school and a former summer instructor at the Salem location, will now continue.   The program had to be curtailed in Peabody as funding at the Salem operation became difficult to commit because of a number of reasons.   Now thanks to the efforts of Brian Kelly the program in Peabody will continue to be offered.   Kelly gathered the money to offer the generous contribution by allocating $50 from the sale of every vehicle sold to Peabody residents to a fund to keep the program active.   Many thanks to the Kelly Automotive group for their commitment to the Higgins Middle School student who attend this valuable program offered by the Boys and Girls Club Of Greater Salem.

Hurricane Sandy Preparations
The local communication sources, government agencies, and the utility companies seemed to do an excellent job of preparing for the late October storm that went back and forth between a hurricane and a large tropical storm.   As this report is prepared, it appears that the storm will come inland somewhere on the mid-Atlantic coast and New England will be spared a direct impact from the large storm, but it is still early on Saturday morning and things can change and it more than likely it was positive that we took precautions early.   Most of the material put away was summer uses like boats, lawn ornaments and outside chairs etc., and it was time to get those things stored away anyway.

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