Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Essex Happenings 12.21

Essex Heritage Events and Activities

Essex Costal Byway Guide

I have received an incredibly comprehensive Guide Book prepared by local Journalist, Joel Brown, a resident of Newburyport.  The work is complete with substantial information on the 85 mile journey developed by Essex Heritage along with the thirteen communities. The Byway is from Lynn along the coast north to Newburyport.  The work contains complete descriptions of all the historic, cultural and natural resources that make up the Coastal Byway.   In addition to a description of the various resources along the byway that is presented in chapter formats divided by each individual community with the exception of Plum Island.   In addition to the descriptive narrative, the author has included information germane to the individual communities. The Guide Book can be found and purchased in local bookstores in communities along the Byway or go to www.essexbywayguide.com  or www.amazon.co.  It is an excellent companion to any trip planned along the byway.  In the guide, the author provides a listing of Visitor Centers, a bibliography of appropriate related books and even offers a treatise on visiting and enjoying the Byway by Train or Bike or by water.

Essex Heritage Announces the 2012 People’s Choice Awards - the best events of 2012 as voted on by participants:
This fall, thousands of people took to the byways, waterways and trails of the Essex National Heritage Area during the last two weekends of September to participate in the 11th annual TRAILS & SAILS: Two Weekends of Walks and Water.

Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage) and its partners organized over 200 free and unique events designed to showcase the historic, cultural and natural resources of the Heritage Area. Over 100 event hosts opened their doors and scheduled more than 200 events to connect people to the special places and organizations that comprise the Essex National Heritage Area. While event tallies continue to trickle in, over 3,000 participants have been recorded at events extending throughout the 34 cities and towns of Essex County.

Trails & Sails 2012: People’s Choice Awards
Essex Heritage is very grateful to the hundreds of organizations, event leaders and businesses that opened their doors and created experiences that continue to thrill and delight residents and visitors alike. Based on participant feedback Essex Heritage will present "People’s Choice Awards" to the top ten events that received the most votes from participants. The 2012 “People’s Choice Awards” go to:
1.         Old Ipswich Rum Tour & Tasting hosted by Turkey Shore Distilleries, Ipswich
2.         1812 Privateer FAME: Go Sail, hosted by the Schooner Fame, Salem
3.         Newburyport's Historic Powder House open house hosted by the Newburyport Preservation Trust, Newburyport
4.         Sea Level Rise at Crane Beach, hosted by The Great Marsh Coalition, Ipswich
5.         Historic Ice House Tours hosted by Cape Pond Ice Company, Gloucester
6.         Appleton Farmstead Tour hosted by The Trustees of Reservations, Ipswich
7.         Winter Island tour hosted by Friends of Winter Island, Salem
8.         Learn to Kayak with REI hosted by REI Outdoor School, Newburyport
9.         A Working Winery Experience hosted by Mill River Winery, Rowley
10.       Rowing the Jolly Boat hosted by the National Park Service, Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Participant Challenge Prize Winners
Essex Heritage is also grateful to REI for generously donating two Novara hybrid bikes to the TRAILS & SAILS 2012 Participant Challenge. This year, Essex Heritage and our partners challenged TRAILS & SAILS participants to attend as many unique events as possible over the two Trails & Sails weekends in order to be entered to win one of two from REI! We are now pleased to announce the two winners of the participant challenge. Congratulations to:
•          Heather A. of Peabody
•          Rick M. of Salem

TRAILS & SAILS: Two Weekends of Walks & Water is Essex Heritage’s premier partnership activity. The free event expands cultural tourism by bringing new audiences to dozens of historic sites and open spaces, and stimulating new business in the local economy. Held in late September, residents and visitors alike experience the region’s best from a wide array of events – guided walks, on-water tours, open houses – organized by the front line stewards of the Area’s historic, cultural and natural resources. Since 2002, over 36,059 people have attended TRAILS & SAILS events. Visit www.trailsandsails.org  to learn more. Essex Heritage has great appreciation for TD Bank and Eastern Bank for their long-time sponsorship commitment that keeps TRAILS & SAILS a free public outreach celebration. TRAILS & SAILS 2012: Two Weekends of Walks & Water was presented by TD Bank and Eastern Bank with additional support from other local sponsors.

Essex Heritage Partnerships
Speaking Trails and Sails, the following presentation points out a community that participated in that Festival and even though the event is completed, Ipswich can be a great place to visit.

Visit to the Town of Ipswich

Now that the Tenth Edition of Essex Heritage’s Trails and Sails is completed it is time for me to once again provide readers with a profile or two on locations around this sensational region that are certainly worthy of a description that might encourage you to visit that community.   I have never had the good fortune to live in the Town of Ipswich, but regardless of having lived in three other of the thirty-four communities in the Essex Heritage region, Ipswich appears to me to be a wonderful place to reside where opportunities to enjoy the region abound.   Salem, Peabody and Danvers where I have lived in my lifetime have all been most welcoming places to live that all provide a wide variety of wonderful resources to enjoy and visit, but the Town of Ipswich is a treasure chest of great locations to visit and enjoy.  

Trails and Sails were once again a spectacular success and visitation to over two hundred locations available in the two weekends of free visitation.   There was a broad array of Historic, Cultural and Natural Resources that can be found across this part of the country    Essex Heritage has devoted a vast amount of time and energy in the past decade pointing out and organizing those resources in Essex County to present them in a collaborative effort. Trails and Sails can last all year as the numerous resources that have cooperatively organized can be enjoyed at most any time of the year.   I believe that the four unique seasons of the year that we are blessed with in New England is one of the reasons why the resources within the boundaries of Essex Heritage are so enjoyable.   It is fact that many of the locations that are close to or enjoy proximity to the Ocean that are so attractive in the summer season, can be enjoyed and embraced just as completely on a cold harsh winter day.

Speaking of winter, there may never be a better time to visit and enjoy the architecture of the region as right now as the holiday season is upon us and the chill of winter is here. Visit the Town of Ipswich now to view the largest collection of First Period homes anywhere in this country.   The homes are most attractive now, as the community has developed a strategy of first period home illumination.   The numerous homes of that period can be enjoyed by visitors and residents alike who have seen owners of these homes light up their properties for the holiday season.   The homes have been illuminated with flood and spotlights and individual window treatments.  Make it a point to visit the community of Ipswich during this holiday season.   You will be pleased that you took the time for this visit.   I want to spend a little time now to point out the many historic, cultural and natural resources of this friendly and special community.

Inside the community geographic limits there are several active farms that have both farm stands and active tours of the facilities.   One of the largest and most active farms is Green Meadows farm owned and operated by the Patton family.   In a previous segment on places to visit I prepared a comprehensive article on that location, so a simple mention is enough for this profile, but definitely put the farm on your “must visit” list.   In addition, there are several additional agricultural locations worth exploring.     The Russell Farm, and its crop of apples are certainly worth a visit.  

The biggest landowner and a major force in the community and the rest of the State are The Trustees of Reservations.  Staying with the farming theme, they own and operate Appleton Farms just off Route 1 in town.   At that location, in addition to having an opportunity to visit the oldest working farm in New England, visitors can take tours and hikes.  One can experience a visit to a farm stand where organically grown produce and milk produced by the cows on the site can be purchased.   In addition to the farm, the Trustees offer and operate one of the most recognizable properties in the State where this architectural gem can be both viewed and enjoyed - The Crane Estate and the Great House that dominates the property is open for visitors and guided tours.   Adjacent to the farm, regardless of the time of the year, visitors can visit the well-known Crane’s Beach can be viewed either in the serenity of summer or during the ferocity of the Atlantic Ocean as the winter arrives.

The community is a location where a visitor can spend the day or a longer period of time, touring historic homes or by joining a walking tour, or by visiting the community regional Visitor Center connected by an arrangement with Essex Heritage, but no matter where you look or visit you will be pleasantly pleased.  This is a wonderful way to enjoy trails and sails all through the year.

Regional Events

Salem Partnership Holiday Party
The Salem Partnership, that was formed several years ago to assist the City of Salem in their development, recently gathered at the Old Town Hall in Salem to celebrate the Holiday.   The event was well attended by many of the past and present members of the Partnership, and after being unable to attend in the last couple of years, it was great to be with so many friends and associates.  It was most enjoyable to be with that group of advocates that has meant so much to that community and will always remain special to me as a result of the fact, that I was born in Salem and worked in that community at Salem Five Bank for nearly four decades.

Zoning Issue Regarding Medical Marijuana
Communities all over this region are reacting to the recent change that will allow Medical Marijuana to be sold on a retail basis.   Several communities are trying to legislate where this product can be sold, and others seem to be waiting to learn if the Commonwealth issues regulations.   We will try to keep you posted on this matter in the future,

Danvers to Hold Annual Diversity Dinner in January
The annual awards dinner will honor several people and provide Drum Major Awards next month.    We will report later on all of the winners and how to obtain tickets but for now, let me congratulate all of the recipients.  The one name that jumped off the page was the husband and wife team that together help to manage Brother’s in Danvers, Kyriakos and Patricia  Andrinopoulas.

The Boys and Girls Club Director has asked that I print the following appeal from a supporter:
Thanks for the great work you do at the Boys and Girls Club of Salem, making a significant, positive, and permanent difference in the community. We were happy to honor and support your work with a Cinema Salem Grant a few years back.

Cinema Salem raises money for new digital equipment
Since we opened Cinema Salem, we've felt that a movie theater can also make a positive contribution to the community as well, even if it's less dramatic. We enjoy being part of the network of people and organizations that enhance the public conversation and the cultural richness of the North Shore.

Because our industry is changing, Cinema Salem needs to convert to digital projection in 2013, and we've launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds. You can read all about it here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1960547513/save-cinemasalem .   The response so far has been very encouraging, but because Kickstarter has an "all or nothing" policy, we need to reach our goal in order to receive any money at all.

I wonder if you would consider passing along this email to your colleagues and supporters at the Boys and Girls Club so that they're aware of this campaign.  Thanks for sharing this message, and thanks for the great work you do every day.

St. Richard’s Concert to Benefit the People to People Food Pantry
The event that St. Richard’s held on Sunday was a wonderful success and the church was completely full.  Over ten thousand pounds of food. up from 8,000 last year was collected for the People to People Food Pantry and all of the planners including those on the Parish Council should be complimented on their efforts    Due to some logistical problems, I was unable to attend, but it is wonderful that so many were entertained and such a worthwhile charity was the beneficiary.  It is expected that during the 50th Anniversary year at the Church in December 2013 another event will be scheduled.

Medical, Seniors, and Disability Issues

There is Current News Recently on the RIDE Offered by the MBTA
THE RIDE will be launching its new centralized In-Person Eligibility Assessment process on Monday, December 10, 2012.

Individuals whose new applications are pending have received letters informing them that they will need to go to THE RIDE Eligibility Center in Charlestown. Anyone who is currently on THE RIDE will receive a similar letter when they are up for renewal/review. All applications and screening will be done at the Charlestown Center. We are trying to obtain a copy of the letter sent to pending applicants and will forward it to you when we receive it.

For a PowerPoint about the In-Person Eligibility Assessment program, click on

For FAQs about the In-Person Eligibility Assessment, go to

Congratulations to the Management of Simon Malls

Congratulations to the leadership of the Simon Malls for their excellent efforts to create an experience for children in this region that are physically and mentally challenged to have a time with Santa Clause at many of their mall locations.

Resources for Aging
Resources for Aging, Inc. was founded in 1994 to fill a need in the community and across the United States. The goal was to empower the growing number of informal caregivers to be more effective and efficient in managing the care process. In 1998, the Caregiver Sourcebook was developed to meet that need.

Click hereto learn more. 

People in the News

Former state Senator Berry, Provides Farewell Speech
Happy Retirement wishes to former Senator Frederick Berry.  As a result of his recent departure from the Massachusetts Senate, he provided a fitting farewell speech to his former colleagues of the Massachusetts Senate.  Hopefully, Senator Berry will enjoy his retirement and he will remain as healthy as possible.   He served as a wonderful caring, energetic and successful legislator who provided superb services not just in his home town of Peabody, but throughout  his entire region

Personal Observations

Happy Holidays
Since this is the last posting to this Blog before the end of the year Holiday Season, I want to offer all of my readers and friends a Happy and Holy Holiday season regardless of whatever deity that you choose to worship.

Former NBA Basketball star Addresses One Thousand  Danvers High School Students
Recently, a large group of Danvers High School students had the good fortune to listen to a presentation on the dangers of drug addiction.  Chris Herron who played for the Celtics and was originally from New Bedford, Mass spoke the large group of students about his many years of addiction to drugs and painkillers.   His experiences have been difficult and it is his goal through these presentations that he makes all over the country is to alert today’s students of the dangers that they could face from drugs.  His life has been the subject of an ESPN film documentary and he has written a book and created a foundation to support his message about addiction.  His presentation was most timely and well received by the students.  It was sponsored by the Danvers Cares Prevention Coalition.

North of Boston Area Becomes “hot bed” for High Level Entertainment
Essex Heritage has long advocated that it is most concerned with the Preservation of the Historic, Cultural and Natural Resources of Essex County.  Through its many active programs it has done much to impact the Historic and Natural Resources of the region.  It is most pleasant to view the cultural activities of this region to see how many venues are coming to the table to provide entertainment of all kinds to the residents of this area.   There are superlative efforts ongoing in Beverly at the North Shore Music Theatre, in Lynn and Lowell organized and offered by the Communities in question and in Rockport at the wonderful Shalin Liu Performance Center.  Essex Heritage was fortunate enough to offer an Annual Meeting a couple of years ago at the Shalin Liu Performance Center.  The opportunities for residents of this region to enjoy the arts without a trip to Boston are plentiful.  It is a wonderful to be able to enjoy entertainment in our own back yard.    Tickets for events held in theses venues can be obtained locally.

Patriots vs. Texans
After a long week to ten-day preamble to the game, the two teams at the top of the AFC standings lined up on an unusually warm December evening to begin to settle seeding positions for the year end National Football League playoffs.  The game was played on Monday, December 10th at Gillette Stadium and the Patriots fashioned a spectacular, dominating win against the Texans.   But for four points, the Pats could be undefeated.   They seem now to be the favorite to represent the AFC in the title game.   They have another test next weekend against the San Francisco team again at Gillette Stadium.

National Hockey League Lock Out
The disappointments of the recent last days of negotiations on a new contract for the National Hockey League is still fresh in my mind and the thoughts of another season being cancelled is most negative in my thinking.   We are still personally hoping that a resolution of the issue can be worked out and we who love the game will see it played before the winter is over.  All games through 12/31 have now been cancelled and the two sides have another negotiation session planned.  If a resolution is not reached in the next few days, there will be no chance of getting a 48 game schedule in play and the entire season may be cancelled.

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