Friday, January 25, 2013

Essex Happenings...January 25, 2013



Sunday, January 27, 2013 • 1:00 - 3:00pm   
Featured Partner Event Essex County Greenbelt Association Presents:Snowshoe/Hike the Warren-Weld WoodlandApple Street, Conomo Drive, Essex, MA 01929

Grab your gear and join Greenbelt and Manchester Essex Conservation Trust for an invigorating afternoon snowshoe excursion! Please be prepared, we will travel over moderately challenging terrain! Click here to learn more about this property!

Reservations required. This event is free, but please email or call Greenbelt at 978-768-7241 to register.

Saturday, February 2, 2013
10:00am - 11:30am  

The Museum of Printing800 Massachusetts AvenueNorth Andover, MA 01845

Discover strange stories, legends and tales of type! Dedicated to preserving the history of the graphic arts, graphic design, printing equipment and printing craftsmanship, The Museum of Printing holds the most extensive collection of materials and machines east of the Mississippi River.  Explore the museum and experience the evolution of printing from Gutenberg’s invention of movable type to your personal portable phone or tablet; advancements in printing and type technologies have been the predecessors to changes in civilizations. Industry expert and President of the Museum of Printing Frank Romano will share some of the strange typographic tales that he has collected in his travels around the world.  Join us to learn the history of type that your teacher never taught you and the type designs that we see every day.  Please note: The exhibit space at the Museum of Printing is handicap accessible but the lecture space on the 2nd floor is accessible via stairs only.

Reservations required. Essex Heritage & Museum of Printing Members $10; Non-Members $15 Please register online or call Essex Heritage at 978-740-0444 with questions or to confirm space is still available before sending checks to: Essex National Heritage Commission, 221 Essex Street, Suite 41 Salem, MA 01970.

Sunday, February 24, 2013 • 1:00 - 3:00pm 
Featured Partner Event Essex County Greenbelt Association Presents:Wildlife Tracking at the Arthur Ewell ReservationHaverhill Street, Rowley, MA 01969
Join wildlife-tracking expert Bob Metcalf and learn about the wildlife corridors or animal highways that exist all around us.

Reservations required. This event is free, but please email or call Greenbelt at 978-768-7241 to register.

Sunday, March 24, 2013 • 1:00 - 3:00pm     
Featured Partner Event Essex County Greenbelt Association Presents:Signs of Rebirth at the Willowdale MeadowMeeting Point TBD

Look for signs of the natural world’s rebirth as you tour the trails within Greenbelt’s Willowdale Meadow, Bradley Palmer State Park, and the Willowdale Mill Reservation.

Reservations required. This event is free, but please email or call Greenbelt at 978-768-7241 to register.

Regional News

Salem Partnership Monthly Meeting
On January 15, 2013 at the Salem Five Bank Community Room the Salem Partnership held its January 2013 Monthly Meeting.   The Salem Partnership has a special place in the History and the workings of Essex Heritage, as Essex Heritage was founded and created by the leadership of the Salem Partnership.

The Salem Partnership Education Initiative
Should Salem Schools have an Extended Day? 
Salem Schools are in the second year of its "Turnaround." What's happening?
Information on this and other ways to improve Salem Public Schools was presented on Thursday, January 24, 2012 at the Collins Middle School

with Co-Founders of The National Center on Time and Learning, Chris Gabrieli & Jennifer Davis

"SALEM PUBLIC SCHOOLS TURNAROUND UPDATE"  with Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and Superintendent of Schools Stephen Russell                                     .     

Educational research strongly supports the connection between additional time in school and the improved performance of student achievement. Chris Gabrieli, one of the nation's leading thinkers in education, has been at the forefront of the movement to rethink the school calendar. Chris co-authored a book with Warren Goldstein entitled "Time to Learn How a New School Schedule is Making Kids Smarter, Happier Parents and Safe Neighborhoods." Jennifer Davis has an extensive academic background and has held positions on federal, state and local levels focused on improving educational opportunities for children across the U.S. Both Chris and Jennifer advise state and district leaders on models for expanding school time in order to significantly improve student achievement and prepare students for success in college and the workforce. They were at the Collins Middle School and shared their successes and expertise with the Salem community.

In addition, Mayor Driscoll and Superintendent Russell provided an update on the second year of the "Turnaround" - a focus on teaching and learning, use of data, a new volunteer initiative, greater cultural expectations, and more.

Danvers Bi-Peds. 
This volunteer organization helps to manage the focus and operation of the Danvers Rail Trail.  They have worked with several local organizations and Essex Heritage has provided some funding to make the process more effective.  One of the primary Essex Heritage objectives has been the development of the various abandoned rail trails in this region through cohesive linked recreational assets for the region through the creation of the Border to Boston trail running from the New Hampshire Border to the capital City of the region.  The Danvers Trial expects to be a
segment of this regional trail.   The Bi-PEDS produces a monthly Newsletter and portions of that letter have been reproduced here as follows.

January 12., 2013, 1:30 - Fourth Annual Chocolate Walk sponsored by the Danvers Bi-Peds. Ski or walk depending on the snow cover the northern portion of the Danvers Rail Trail from Wenham St. to the Swamp Walk . Meet at the Putnuamville School, 224 Locust St. Finish up with hot chocolate and chocolate treats. All, including leashed dogs, are welcome.  For more information, call (978) 777-4661 or go to

January 14, 2013, 7:00 -Danvers Bi-Peds regular monthly meeting, Carriage House at Endicott Park, 57 Forest St.-  All are welcome to attend and be a part of planning monthly walks, activities and efforts to make Danvers a safer place to bike and walk for all ages.  New ideas are always appreciated.

Parade of Trees Winner - The fourth annual Parade of Trees was deemed a success for the Danvers Historical Society and the Its My Heart organization.  There were 25 trees and wreaths donated by businesses, organizations, and individuals. For those who were lucky winners of trees, it was definitely a success.  The Bi-Peds tree was won my Robert and Nancie Tomaselli.  The tree was decorated with memberships to area organizations that promote exploring the great outdoors.  It also had a couple nature theme ornaments and birdseed bell donated by Bi-Peds members Lew and Marge Hathaway.  The tree made of pine cones by Ingrid Barry won the ‘Most Unique’ award.

Bi-Peds membership secretary Larry Tormey was the lucky winner of the tree donated by the Rail Trail Advisory Committee and Ingrid Barry won the Essex County Horticultural Organization tree. 
Santa Seen Strolling Along the Trail - December 15th found a group of adults and children strolling along the southern portion of the rail trail with Santa Claus.  Everyone, especially the children, seemed happy to see him.  Dan Curtis was no where to be found (unless he was hiding behind a certain beard!)

Rail Trail Bunny - Many things can be found along the rail trail from lost keys to left behind poop bags but occasionally more unusual things are found.  Some months ago Linda Matthews found a domestic bunny that appeared to have been left behind by someone.  She took it home and has been trying to find a permanent home for it ever since.  She is taking very good care of it but does not want to be a bunny owner.  It is a grey and black Lion head rabbit.  If you would like a cute little bunny please call (978) 774-4828.

Food Pantry Thank You - The Bi-Peds received a note from the Danvers Food Pantry thanking them for the $60 donation made possible by the generosity of folks who participated in the Bi-Peds November Turkey Hunt walk. 

 For Updates, News, and How You Can Donate to the Danvers Rail Trail, be sure to visit

Wind Power Plays a major Role in Gloucester

Wind has played a major role in the development of The City of Gloucester for many centuries as the fishing community used strong and frequent wind power to move the ships that brought the seaport to prominence as a fishing capital of this country.  Now through the leadership of the city’s mayor and its council, the City is once again becoming a leader using wind power to move the City once again. The City is clearly the most prominent municipality in the region when it comes to the development of alternative power sources.  The community has erected three wind turbines within the city and the new technology has once again harnessed the winds that blow across Cape Ann to produce renewable energy for the use of the City.   We will continue to watch this new technology and report on the benefits of the decisions made by the leadership of this famous port city and how the new sources of energy will be used to benefit the community and the region.

Sound Tests Planned for Salem
Continuing the wind turbine theme, The City of Salem is planning sound tests early this year on their turbine program planned for Winter Island.  Other than the second test the City has no other plans or public meetings scheduled to allow for residential comment on this project in early 2013.    Their remains local neighborhood opposition to his project that will be addressed at some time before the project goes forward.

Regional Dispatch and Communications Center Progressing in Middleton.
The regional emergency call center being built at the county jail property serving several local communities, including  the communities of Amesbury, Beverly. Essex, Middleton, Topsfield, Hamilton and Wenham is progressing and is expected to open in the Summer of 2013.   Several Other local communities have considered joining this regional effort and at this time have decided to continue to handle its emergency telephone calls locally.   I am certain that the value and the success of this regional effort will be monitored carefully by other local communities in the region not involved in the shared effort to see if there is a value in participation.

Town Census Underway in Danvers
The Town Clerk and the Town of Danvers are in the process of completing an annual census in the Town.  Residents that want to preserve voting, housing and veteran rights should complete the form that is being mailed late in January and return same to the Town Clerk.

City of Haverhill to Offer Skating
Like a number of other communities in the region, the City of Haverhill has prepared a small skating facility on the softball field at the rear of Haverhill Stadium   The rink will open at 2::00 pm and will conclude under the lights at 8:00 pm.  There will be no skates provided so skaters will have to provide their own equipment.   The facility will handle about twenty skaters and hay bales have been provided to accommodate viewing.

Mayor Lantina to Face Opponent in Lawrence
The present Mayor of Lawrence, in addition to a number of issues that focuses on his capacity as chief executive of that community, may also be facing an election bid from the same candidate that ran against him  for Mayor in the last election

Weather Permitting-Snowshoe Race in Peabody set for February
On February 10th, weather permitting the Peabody Recreation Committee is planning a five Kilometer snowshoe race at Brooksby Farms.   If my memory is correct a similar event was planned in the winter of 2012 and was cancelled due to a dramatic lack of snow and there is a very real possibility that the 2013 event may meet the same fate.

Mayor and school committee in Newburyport discuss time off
The Mayor of Newburyport and the School Committee have held discussions about a half-day policy when there are no formal classes for that community.  The mayor wanted to eliminate three of the scheduled ten days in the school schedule.  The discussions have been discontinued as the Teacher’s Union were strongly  against the Mayor’s initiative

City of Beverly Prepares for the money Raised by the Preservation Act
In last November’s election the city of Beverly enacted the Preservation Act where additional revenue from Real Estate will be collected for the benefit of preservation, affordable housing and recreational purposes.    A Community Preservation group is in the process of organization and the twelve person committee that will create the local program is being selected.   Mayor Scanlon has named three people to serve and the committee that organized the effort to create the action will name three members and the City Council will choose three members to serve.   If there are residents of the community who wish to serve, notify the City Council in writing.

Golden Anniversary of St; Richard’s Church in Danvers Program
Work on the planning of the year-long celebration to observe to founding of the Danvers Forest Street Church in 1962 is underway.   On this past Sunday the broad and energetic planning committee met to hear the current plans of the anniversary celebration.   My wife Marge and I are involved in the process as we have agreed to serve as the Honorary Chairpersons of the celebration.     I do not want to produce a voluminous report on this effort as the group responsible for publicity has produced several articles in local newspapers and has produced a “Flyer” of activities at the church each week and will distribute that material at all of the public services. But in the event that a reader of this work needs a reminder, I will continue to report on planned activities over the next several weeks.
•          January 13, 2013 Opening Event-including celebration of baptisms performed in 1962 and a celebratory mass and breakfast
•          January 14, 2013- information provided on a Mediterranean cruise scheduled for later in the year.
•          February 9, 2013   Family Italian Dinner
•          February 10, 2013 Marriage Celebration Mass
•          March 9, 2013 St. Patrick’s Dinner and Celtic Performance

Medical, Senior and Disability Matters
Face the Facts USA is a nonpartisan information resource from the Center for Innovative Media at The George Washington University.   Daily, it publishes selected interesting and pertinent facts regarding a particular topic.

Here are a few “fact pages” that have recently been published that I thought may be of interest to you.  Click on the associated URL.

Hospital Costs Over the Past Ten Years

Impact of Increased Longevity on Medicare

If you would like a free subscription to receive Face the Facts in a daily email, send an email to:


People in the News
Town Manager Michael Lombard’s three year contract with the Town of Hamilton expires in April 2013, and the board of Selectmen of the Town will hold a number of executive session meetings to determine if they want to offer him a second contract.

Wheeler named CEO of Beverly Coop Bank

Michael Wheeler of the Beverly Cooperative Bank has been named CEO, as well as President.  I have served with Mike on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club and at the Salem Rotary Club, and have found him to be most capable and thoughtful.   We wish him well.

Personal Observations

NHL Lock Out Over
After a very contentious period of negotiations the Lock Out instituted by the Owners of the National Hockey Franchises is over and in the next week or so a brief training camps will take place.   A 48 game abbreviated schedule will begin by January 19th.   The shortened schedule of games all to be played within the conference. This will eliminate substantial travel and the fact that the Boston Team has a retuning veteran roster should be a big advantage for the Bruins.   This new arrangement seems to benefit the owners rather than the players and it appears to me that we could have had a settlement much earlier than finally accomplished.   However, all of that said, I am most pleased that hockey at the professional level is back and look forward to an energetic sprint to the playoffs for all teams who will be contesting for the Stanley Cup.

National Football League Playoffs
The Wildcard Weekend and round two of playoff games are over and there were several surprises.  The Seattle team won in the first game and almost won again in round two and the favored Green Bay Packers were also eliminated by San Francisco.   

The Patriots played a rematch with Houston and the results were about the same, after a couple on anxious moments, as five  weeks ago.  There is now no chance that fans will witness the expected classic match up in the AFC Championship between two old foes, arguably two of the best Quarterbacks of all time-Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning.   This meeting will not take place as Manning was beaten by a stellar performance of the Baltimore Ravens that will now make their way to Foxboro next week to compete for the AFC Championship.  The NFL final Four are now set, as Atlanta will take on the 49’s and the Patriots will face the Ravens.

President Obama Announces two new Members of his National Security Team
The President will have to do some strong convincing if he hopes to have his nominees for Secretary of Defense and the Head of the Central Intelligence Agency approved. Former Republican Senator Hagel and a new Intelligence advisor as well as issues connected with gun control will be a battle for the President.

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