Friday, January 11, 2013

Essex Happenings...January 11, 2013

Essex Heritage Events and Activities

Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteers are key to the preservation, protection and enhancement of the nationally significant heritage resources of Essex County. Make a difference and support our community if any of you have specific needs contact us. If you need volunteers, please email us with news of your volunteer activities and we will help spread the word!

Essex Heritage Membership Program
Join Our Cause. Become an Essex Heritage Member!
There is little doubt that your support is most important to us.   Your membership can be just as  valuable to you as it is to us.   Becoming a member opens doors for you not usually open to residents of Essex County.  Consider becoming a member as a New Year’s gift to yourself.   You will be pleased all year long with that decision.

Your support matters!The Essex National Heritage Commission Membership program offers unique opportunities to explore this Heritage Area. Members are the first to hear about exciting events, receive discounts to attend these events and receive the quarterly invitation highlighting them. In turn, 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. Our power comes from the power of our supporters – people like you who commit to protecting our region and our resources. We can't do it without you! Thank you!

Questions? For more information, phone Essex Heritage at 978-740-0444.

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.

I have several requests for corporate memberships pending with companies and organizations in this region. We will keep all of you up to date on any new additions, as we certainly hope that you will offer your support to those businesses that support the Essex Heritage mission to preserve, protect and promote the HISTORIC, CULTURAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES OF ESSEX COUNTY.

It never hurts to provide information to you from our website at .   Very much like the area that we serve, our website noted above is a wonderful  place to explore.   Make a visit to the site and take some time to explore the treasure trove of great information provided, but there is a bit of data that I have excerpted about the region we serve as we have is printed  below:

Essex National Heritage Commission
Welcome to the Essex National Heritage Area, where past is present. Designated in 1996 by the U.S. Congress, the Essex National Heritage Area covers the 500 square miles of Eastern Massachusetts that lies north of Boston. It's not one location, but thousands of historical sites. Not a mile-long beach, but miles and miles of intact landscapes and glistening coastal areas. Not one story and tradition, but lifetimes of rich experiences that chronicle the history of our region and our nation.

As you explore our historic cities and towns and natural areas, you will hear the stories of the people and the land, historic seaports and New England town commons; industrial mills and pristine beaches; renowned museums and wildlife refuges; working farms and inviting natural trails - from the North Shore to the Merrimack River Valley, the stories of the Essex National Heritage Area are your stories. It's where beaches sing, mills hum, and your heritage whispers.
The ENHA is part of the Alliance of National Heritage Areas (ANHA). The Alliance of National Heritage Areas is a collaboration of the 49 congressionally designated heritage areas that represent stories of nationally significant and distinct aspects of America's heritage. For more information about the ANHA, please visit .

Regional Events

Volunteer Opportunities from Danvers Council on Aging
Happy New Year!!As the New Year begins I would like to focus on outreach for our seniors who are homebound. I am looking for a pool of people who would be interested in going to visit seniors, possibly do some errands, or maybe even just a weekly phone call. The winter can be very isolating for those with mobility issues and a friendly face is very much welcomed and appreciated.

On the same note if you know any seniors who would like a friendly visitor please let me know and I will keep them on the list until we find the right visitor. Thank you for checking on any neighbors who may be alone especially in the coming winter months.  We want to make sure everyone is safe and warm.
Become a Hospice Volunteer- Hospice Services of Massachusetts is looking for caring individuals that will volunteer to provide supportive care to hospice patients in our area. Training will be provided. Please contact Jo-Ann Richard @ 508-558-6545 or by email @ Thank YouCathy Andre-Volunteer Coordinator

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has suspended senior centers from hosting Senior Charlie Card sign-ups.  The Danvers Council on Aging will no longer be able to assist individuals with getting a Charlie Card. You may call the MBTA directly at 1-800-392-6100 to be instructed on how to obtain a new Charlie Card.

YWCA in Lawrence Receives Grant
The YWCA of Greater Lawrence has been awarded a Verizon Foundation Grant in the amount of $10,000 to provide education and training on domestic violence for first responders.   The event this has been scheduled for January at the YWCA facility.  The event is offered in partnership with Lawrence General Hospital and Greater Lawrence Family Health Center.  Topics to be covered in the seminal include teen dating concerns.   For more information on the seminars visit   This is a most valuable presentation as the support offered is beneficial to the residents of this community.

Salem News Continues to Offer Former Editor Nelson Benton’s Observations
It is still interesting to read the weekly observations of former Salem News Editorial Page Editor Nelson Benton.  Even in retirement, Nelson stays in touch with the happenings in the region and his weekly published column is still most entertaining.

North Shore Chamber
North Shore Chamber of Commerce presented its annual Medical Leaders Breakfast on this past week. Robert Norton and Dr. Howard Grant presented important information on the Affordable Health Act and how it will impact individuals, companies and their hospitals.  In the past, I have always attended this presentation and always found it to be one of the Chamber’s most informative sessions.  More information on the presentation follows:

The North Shore Chamber of Commerce Executive Breakfast Forum was held on Wednesday, January 9 at 7:15am and featured  a talk by Robert Norton, North Shore Medical Center and Dr. Howard Grant, Lahey Clinic on the impact of the Affordable Care Act and what lies ahead for North Shore Medical Center and Lahey Clinic for 2013. Taxes on Americans are set to increase in 2013 due to the Affordable Care Act. President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, putting in place comprehensive reforms in March of 2010. 

The new law contains tax provisions that are already in effect and more that will be implemented during the next several years, starting in January 2013.

Town of Topsfield to Open Food Pantry
The Town of Topsfield’s newest addition for Town residents is now open.  The new pantry will be open this month and residents that qualify can pick up food on the first and third Sunday’s of each month.   This is another addition to these kinds of resources around the region that are so critical.   There are locations open to residents of the communities like Danvers, Beverly, Salem, Ipswich, Gloucester and Newburyport and other Essex County locations that provide such services.  

From first hand experience, I can attest that all of these locations have needs for food products and your generosity directed to any of these local resources will be greatly appreciated.   After the Holiday season and a surge in donations, the New Year will bring a new need all over the region.  Please consider making a donation of food, cash or other resources.


City of Peabody Opens New Park
The City of Peabody has opened a new park in a location that once housed an abandoned leather factory.   The new park named East End Veterans Memorial Park is located on Walnut Street and will formally be opened with a ribbon cutting in the spring of 2013.   There will be substantial green space and a walking path.

Town of Danvers Modifies Winter Parking Rules
The Town of Danvers, like many others in the region, is modifying its winter parking rules.  In the future on street parking for more than one hour will only be in force when the DPW advises residents of an impending storm forecast for that evening.   This temporary program appears to be fairer as there are parts of this community where off street parking is scarce and parking when there is no advance warning of a forecast storm seems appropriate.   The Town will test this process to see how it works.
Where I reside is within the community of Danvers, but the roads in that complex are private rather than public, but we as an association have adopted much the same rules except our notification will come from management but will likely mirror the notices from the Town DPW.    Our ban helps with snow removal, but as a subsidiary benefit it is a safety factor as cars moved from the traveled ways allows for easier access by the fire department, ambulances and other emergency vehicles.

Five Dozen Guns Turned in at Haverhill
The City of Haverhill recently offered a gun “turn in” day for residents who had guns and ammunition that had in some cases been left to them.  Over four-dozen guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were turned in and destroyed.   This was a most successful event and provided a great service to City residents who both wanted to get rid of unwanted guns and wanted the safety of the city in the disposal process.

Town of Ipswich Library to Offer E-Readers
The Town of Ipswich Library has purchased several electronic readers with the help of the Friends of the Ipswich Library.  The Town will provide both kindles and Nooks, and downloads of both fiction and non-fiction titles are available.   There is little question that many readers who in the past only read paper books have now converted to this new method of electronic reading, which is the case with this reader.

City of Salem Opens Electric Car Charging Stations
In a clear move to be more in tune with technology and the emergence of electric powered automobiles, the City of Salem has installed eight charging stations in the two city garages.   Stations have been added in the Museum Place Garage and South Harbor Garage.   These are places where people who live or work in Salem park and leave their cars.   The stations will offer charges from one to six hours, and for the first year there will be no charge for the service. This is a continuing effort by the City of Salem to encourage the growth and development of electric car technology.

Town of Wenham Seeking Memorial Donations
The Committee to build a War Memorial on the “car barn “ lot on the corner of Arbor and Main Streets have announced they still seeking $75,000 to complete the memorial that will bear the names on the granite memorial of all veterans who entered the service from Wenham in all conflicts to date.   The Committee has already raised over $120,000 for the project and space will be saved on the memorial for future Wenham residents who enter the service   Donations that are tax deductible can be made to the Veterans War Memorial Committee and mail all donations to the Town

Medical, Seniors and Disability Matters
News From North Shore Elder Services
North Shore Elder Service is sponsoring My Life, My Health, a six-week series of evidenced-based workshops designed to empower individuals with chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, and anxiety to manage symptoms, improve quality of life, maintain independence and take charge of their lives.

The sessions will be held on six consecutive Wednesday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. starting January 23, 2013, in Longevity Connection Education Center at North Shore Elder Services, 152 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA.   There is no fee, but donations are gratefully accepted.  For more information, contact Janice Wyner, 978 539-8254, - Please share this information. Paul J. Lanzikos Executive Director North Shore Elder Services 152 Sylvan Street Danvers, MA 01923-3568 978/624-2245 978/624-2244 (TTY)
North Shore Elder Services Serving Danvers, Marblehead, Middleton, Peabody, Salem

Life. Made Easier.
Wicked Funny Comedy Tour
Starring America’s Got Talent Finalist Tom Cotter          
Saturday, April 27, 2013  8:00 p.m.            
North Shore Music Theatre

Adaptive Sports this winter for people with Disabilities Abound
I have recently received a newsletter from the Spaulding Adaptive sports group who are offering skiing and rock wall climbing.   The skiing is scheduled through January and the Rock Climbing programs are scheduled on Cape Cod, Boston and on the North Shore at the YMCA in Marblehead.  For more information on any of the Spaulding program contact Mary Pastore at   I have had the good fortune of participating with Spaulding on bike-riding and a golf program in the summer and endorse the work they accomplish with the disabled.  

No report on programs for the disabled would be complete without a comment on a program offered by Cornell O & P in Beverly.   That program, managed most effectively Ms. Posie Mansfield is also offering a skiing trip.  She can be accessed at posie_m@verizon and the work done by that group with the support of Cornell O & P   is also extraordinary.   I am pleased to be a participant in the COPPA group activities and they have presented monthly programs all designed to make life with a disability easier.   They have recently led me to Gordon College where in 2013 I hope to take advantage of their superb gymnasium for folks with disabilities

People in the News

The Schelns
Thanks to Herbert and Jan Scheln who have pledged $100,000 to the Beverly Children’s Learning Center   They did this gift locally rather than to make contributions to a large national group.     As a supporter of many strong local organizations, we all thank them for their generosity.

Local High School Coaches Attain Milestone Wins
St. John’s Prep Wrestling Coach Many Costa and the City of Peabody Girls Basketball coach Jane Heil have both achieved their 500th win in their respective sports the last couple of weeks.  Congratulations to both as it an important milestone in a coaching career

Skarmeas Named by Hospice of the North Shore
Lyn Skarmeas of Danvers has been named the Vice President of Business Development at Hospice of the North Shore & Greater Boston.   Prior to her employment with the Danvers non-profit care service she worked in the Massachusetts Non Profit home care and Hospice field for the last 18years.    Hospice of the North Shore & Greater Boston has done a spectacular job of taking care of the terminally ill of this region at the time of their death and Ms. Skarmeas will be charged with developing all forms of business development and will communicate with the community to enhance awareness of the Hospice mission.     Ms. Skarmeas lives in Danvers with her Husband Attorney Arthur who currently serves as Chairman of the Danvers School Committee.  I have known the family and Lyn for many years, and feel confident that she will continue to the good work of that local organization

Personal Observations

New England Patriots and the upcoming NFL Playoffs
The Indianapolis Colts had a most emotional win for their coach recently who is recovering from a season long bout with Leukemia and was back on the field last week after a long absence.   The win over the Houston Texans who after losing three of the last five games gave up the first place seed.  The Houston franchise  will now have to play on Wildcard Weekend next week.  The beneficiary of their generosity was the New England Patriots who with an impassive shut out win over the Miami team on a cold blustery day in Foxboro receives a week off.    This will provide many Patriot players the chance to rest and recuperate from season long injuries.  Their next opponent will be determined next week but it will come from series of three teams and decided on wins and losses on “Wildcard Weekend.  The 2012 season ended for the Patriots with twelve wins for the third consecutive season and in an excellent position for the playoffs.   

National Hockey League Lock Out
The final date when an agreement can be worked out between the owners and the players is coming up about as fast as the fiscal cliff came before us.   The 2013 season, if even offered, will present about a four-dozen game schedule. If there is any chance of that plan being offered, the first couple of weeks of the new-year represents the “drop dead” date for the settlement of the present disagreement.   The owners have presented an upgraded offer to the players late last year and there appears to be some hope of a possible settlement.  Now if we can get the Celtics past being a 500 team, and the Red Sox can complete some reasonable trades, we will have something to look forward to besides the Patriots.

Employment and housing numbers show Improvement
Even with the negative numbers that have shown up in the Christmas shopping numbers, the area has experienced positive up ticks in both employment and housing values.   The employment improvements are in the Education and the Medical Services area.  Housing prices showed the biggest improvement in over one year.  This is good news, and now since the two factions in the US Congress found a way to compromise, the economic outlook in the region might be improved and that would be good for the local economy,

Use of Electronics
I believe that I mentioned this change in communications last year at this time, but whatever I saw last year has dramatically increased from a year ago.   I have received an incredible number of holiday greetings and requests from local non-profit organizations for support in my electronic mailbox.  It is clear that more and more local organizations are using both e-mail and other social media to deliver messages.  It is no wonder that the US Post Office is experiencing lower volume and profits.

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