Sunday, March 24, 2013

Essex Happenings….March 22, 2013

Essex Heritage Events and Activities

Sunday, April 7, 2013 • 1:00 - 3:00pm     
Featured Partner Event Essex County Greenbelt Association Presents:Vernal Pond Exploration at Tompson Street Reservation, Gloucester

Join the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team to explore the mysteries of vernal pools at Greenbelt's Tompson Street Reservation.  Search for early signs of spring, learn the call of the wood frog and more.  Boots are recommended. Click here to learn more about this event and to get driving directions.

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

Sunday, April 14, 2013 • 1:00 - 3:00pm   
Featured Partner Event Essex County Greenbelt Association Presents:Greenscaping Workshop at The Cox Reservation82 Eastern Avenue, Essex, MA 01929

Put Nature to Work in Your Yard!  Barbara Warren from the North Shore Greenscapes Coalition will share greenscaping techniques to create a beautiful healthy yard the natural way.  Curt Dragon of Earth Landscape will demonstrate tips on composting.  Bring your garden soil and test it for pH, and plant a butterfly garden on the property.  Click here to learn more about this event and to get driving directions.

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

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 • 7:00pm     
Featured Partner Event The House of the Seven Gables Presents:Seven Lectures at The Seven Gables: Jim McAllister115 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970

“Architecture & Preservation in Salem 1900-2000” Salem’s own local historian & journalist will give a lively account of many of the sites of historic significance in Salem over the past century.

Reservations recommended. Essex Heritage and Seven Gables Members $10; Non-Members $15. Please email or call The House of the Seven Gables at 978-744-0991 ext. 104 to reserve your seats.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 • 1:00 - 3:00pm   
Featured Partner Event Essex County Greenbelt Association Presents:Earth Day Celebration at Batchelders Landing, Rowley

Anne Giblin, PhD will share her research on sea level change in Plum Island Sound followed by a clean up of Batchelder’s Landing and Rowley salt marshes. Click here to learn more about this event and to get driving directions.

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

Sunday, April 28, 2013 • 1:00 - 3:00pm   
Featured Partner Event Essex County Greenbelt Association Presents:What's This Tree? at The Cox Reservation82 Eastern Avenue, Essex, MA 01929

Forester Mike Simmons will guide you on a walk through the Cox Reservation showing you how to recognize trees by their needles, bark, twigs, buds, and leaves.  Bring your mobile device and use the free electronic field guide leafsnap. Click here to learn more about this event and to get driving directions.

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

Regional Events

Pain and Suffering on Plum Island
It is a most difficult time for homeowners on Plum Island in West Newbury.  The many residents of that community have been waiting through a series of storms both in winter and summer over the last several years to see if their homes will survive.   Each of the storms did a little more damage to the homes and their supporting foundations that front the water.   Each succeeding recent storm did a little more to erode the beach in front of those homes.  This last storm that dropped a foot of snow on the area and the accompanying wind has proved to be the final straw for these homes as three of them have been destroyed by the owners and local officials before the houses collapsed into the Atlantic.   The feeling is that there may be over thirty houses in peril over the entire island.

Massachusetts Senator Bruce Tarr has been very visible on the island and promises to help the homeowners find a solution to this dilemma before most of the waterfront houses are destroyed by the storms or the hand of a private contractors.  I hope a solution to this problem can be found before that community is devastated.   The present owners are seeking a legal solution to preserve their assets

Salem Partnership Annual Meeting
The Salem Partnership, the very successful community organization that works closely with the City of Salem, has scheduled its annual meeting on April 3, 2013 at Marsh Hall on the Central Campus of Salem State University.   I have been associated with this group since its inception and continue to be most interested in their accomplishments.  If you need more information or want to attend this meeting contact the Partnership at 978 742 8100.

Salem Five Annual Meeting
Since my retirement from the Salem Five Bank in 1999, I have attended their annual business meetings held in the bank rooms on the first Tuesday each April.   At this meeting the very valuable and financially healthy financial institution conducts an annual business meeting where President and CEO Joseph Gibbons provides an update on the health of the bank and its continuing role in the numerous communities in this region where they serve.   I continue to be a Corporator of the bank and look forward each year to receiving an update of their activities.   This meeting focuses completely on business and in May a social meeting is held where a speaker of local interest is presented to attendees by bank officials.

Rebuilding Fishing Shack in Gloucester
We have recently heard about a unique community project that is rebuilding and renovating an old fish shack in Lanes Cove in the small community of Lanesville.   The old facility is in a location that more than likely housed a similar building on the current location about in the year 1775. The present building before the renovation may go back as far back as 1880.  It is a wonderful project established by the community that brought a number of volunteer laborers together in a project to save a valuable community asset.  We mentioned volunteer laborers, and a substantial portion of the needed material has also been donated.   It is a eclectic group of volunteers that have gathered to develop a common band with a sensational effort to save a most important community asset.

The project is not unlike a project in Danvers when it is obvious that a local project can be the single event that can bring together a group of volunteers that are all focused with a high level of enthusiasm on a very important community project.   The only difference between the two communities is that the Lanesville effort and the North Danvers project, Swamp Walk, is that one is an old property worth savings and the other is a new asset that was created when nothing existed before the effort.

These are two sensational projects at the opposite ends of a sensational region.  The two projects are wonderful examples of how to bring broad and varied communities with its residents together towards a common goal.

Commonwealth Grant offered to Salem Through SSU
The University in Salem has received a $128,000 grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to work with both residents of the City of Salem and the teachers in that city to improve English speaking and writing skills this summer.  The teachers from the community and the University will work together on this program.  One of the principal goals of the summer institute will be to improve the language instructional teaching skills of the community’s Teachers.

Town of Danvers Announces Updated Web Site on Rail Trail
The Town of Danvers has announced that the information provided to the residents of this region and the “look” of the Rail Trail Web site at has been improved and updated.   The web site was prepared two years ago by the Rail Trails volunteer web master Mark Jones, and the senior planner from the community, Kate Day.  They encourage a visit to the site to review the changes.

City of Beverly Holds Electronic Recycling day Scheduled
The Boy Scouts operating in the Garden City have scheduled a Recycling day for used electronics on March 23rd.  The event will be held at Immanuel Church at 140 Bridge Street from 10 AM  until 4. PM .  Television Sets, Computers, Radios. Microwaves, Air Conditioners and other items will be collected.  For additional information call 978-922-2012

News from Danvers Bipeds
This information is provided as this group, along with the Town of Danvers, has been most instrumental in seeing the conversion of the Rail Trail to a sensational recreational asset in the Town of Danvers.   This effort is an integral part of the mission of Essex Heritage to see the re-use of land on abandoned railroad rights to be  converted to a more active present use.


·         March 11, 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.


·         March 16, 2013, 1:30 - March walk - Looking for the Green - Most everyone is eager to see signs of green at this time of the year.  This months the Bi-Peds will lead a walk around the Sandy Point section of Danvers.  Wear your Irish Green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  Park at Popes Landing, 8 Harbor St D`anvers, MA 01923.


·         May Annual Meeting - The exact date is not yet decided but it will probably be similar to last year which was a pot luck supper at the home of the Barrys on Riding Club Road.  Last year it proved to be the most enjoyable meeting of the year.



February’s Trail Lovers Stroll - It was a beautiful day for getting out the cross country skis or the snow shoes which is what a few folks did as they made their way from the Indoor Sports Arena to Lowell St. and back.  Upon returning they were treated to homemade Valentine cookies and beverage.



Check Out the Recently Updated Danvers Rail Trail Web Site For Updates, News, and How You Can Donate to the Danvers Rail Trail. Visit



Medical, Senior and Disability Matters

The following information was provided by Mary Mansfield the head of COPAA, the Amputee support Group sponsored by Cornell O & P Company in this region designed to bring a focus on amputee issues.  As a member of that support group, and as a present amputee, I am committed to providing topical information and to work on action steps that could benefit amputees in this region.   The legislation outlined in this report that exists in Indiana and is being considered in Kentucky could be most positive if adopted by the Massachusetts Legislature.


Recently Stephanie Decker on “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer!”  was chosen as her “Person of the Week.”  Stephanie has been working with other advocates in Kentucky, including Paducah Area Amputees in Action support group leader, and Amputee Coalition lead advocate, Terri Ross, on passing Insurance Fairness for Amputees in Kentucky.


Stephanie has brought attention to the need for Insurance Fairness for Amputees by discussing the fact that even though she’s originally from Kentucky, she was glad that she lived in Indiana where she was able to have access to adequate and affordable prosthetic care through her insurance because of Indiana’s Insurance Fairness for Amputees law. It passed in 2008. Bringing attention to the arbitrary caps and restrictions placed on prosthetic devices raised concerns for legislators on both sides of the aisle in Kentucky.


As a result, last week, the Kentucky House voted to pass the Insurance Fairness for Amputees bill (HB 376), by a vote of 82-7!  This week HB 376 is currently in the Kentucky Senate and Stephanie and other amputee advocates throughout Kentucky are bringing awareness to legislators and asking the Kentucky Senate to pass this bill before the legislative session ends.


The presentation on of the story is likely to include a reference and link to the Amputee Coalition’s web page for more information.

Dan Ignaszewski | Director of Government Relations

Amputee Coalition

Phone:  (703) 330-1699 Ext. 7102

Cell: (202) 742-1885E-mail:

 Washington, D.C. Headquarters:  9303 Center Street, Suite 100, Manassas, VA 20110


People in the News


Development Staff Added in Gloucester

The City of Gloucester has named Thomas Gillette Executive Director of the Economic Development and Industrialization Corporation and Thomas Daniel the new Community Development Director of the Cape Ann Community by Mayor Carolyn Kirk.  The moves have been made to enhance the community development process in Gloucester


Marblehead names new Hugh School Principal

The Town of Marblehead has named Layne Millington as the new principal of the High School.  He previously served as the Principal of neighboring and competing Swampscott High School.


Personal observations


St. Richard’s 50th Anniversary

This local initiative could be reported as either a regional event or a senior disability issue, but because the current events has had such a personal and powerful impact on my wife and me that I have decided to consider the matter a personal observation.


The parish where my wife and I have worshipped almost from the time we first moved to the Town of Danvers is currently celebrating the establishment of the parish and the building of St. Richard’s church fifty years ago.  Cardinal Richard Cushing, then the Leader of the Boston Archdiocese of Boston, decided that another parish was needed in the fast growing rural Town of Danvers.


I have for a number of years served on the Parish Council and the Finance Committee of the Parish.  My participation was a result of my wife’s urging that I should do more for our parish church. When the parish decided to form a committee to prepare a series of celebrations to commemorate the establishment of the Parish five decades ago, my wife Marge and I both offered our services to assist the work of that group as they outlined a celebration.  After a short time, the Chair of the Celebration requested that my wife and I were asked if we would consider being named Honorary Chairmen of the Celebration.   We accepted the honor, and at the start of the celebration process volunteered two New England Patriots tickets to be used as a raffle prize  in the opening month of the celebration to help raise funds for the development of an activities program.  That contribution added $700 to the “kitty” for the celebrations.    Marge also volunteered to help create a raffle prize with numerous chances to win over the duration of a month.  I agreed to serve on a planning committee that was designed to prepare a plan to generate financial gifts to be used to develop projects that would commemorate the celebration.


The general committee, chaired by Betsy Geheb planned a series of events to be held in the church hall in the basement of the church over the anniversary year to bring the parishioners together, and we have been active in developing and offering events over the last several months.


On Saturday, March 9, 2013 the General Committee organized a St. Patrick’s day dinner that included entertainment.   The chairman of the Irish event was Mary Roach and she encouraged my wife and I to attend the event.  Up to this event, we had not attended any of the social events as the church basement in the Church Hall was only accessible by a pair of steep stairways.  and the effort to get down to that hall is almost impossible for me without assistance.  One of the potential projects likely to be undertaken as part of the Anniversary Events is to make the Church Hall accessible to the the many parishioners that wish to participate in future events, and that project is being investigated and hopefully a plan will be developed.


At the Irish dinner event we agreed to attend and were assisted down to church stairs with substantial help by a pair by two young affable and strong employees from Lyon’s Ambulance Company of Danvers.   Those two young men accomplished their task and on Saturday evening we participated in our first event in the church hall during the celebration.   The event was a huge success with over 200 in attendance and the dinner and entertainment was excellent with a catered meal, a Celtic Band from St. John’s Preparatory School and a troupe of Irish step dancers from the City of Boston performing.    The evening also included a raffle of a number of donated gift baskets.


The highlight of the night for Marge and I was the recognition of our participation as Honorary Chairmen with a number of general committee members making very complimentary remarks about our participation.  The high point of those remarks was rue reading of a letter from the Pastor of the Church.  Church Pastor Reverend Bruce Flanagan who was on vacation, but offered his thoughts in a pre- prepared letter.  All that happened that evening was a pleasant sunrise and an honor for Marge and I was truly much appreciated.  We were also presented with a generous gift basket for our help. 



Just before we posted this material, the College of Cardinals voting in Rome named a new Pope to lead the 2.1 billion members of the Catholic Church.  Pope Francis 1 a Jesuit priest from Argentina is being thought of as a most positive, humble man and a Pope that cares for the poor and the marginalized who will effectively lead the world’s Catholics. 


Happy Easter Holiday

We certainly hope that the up-coming holiday will be a pleasant one for you and your family.   As the Easter holiday is very early this year, celebrated at the end of the month of March, I think it likely that the Easter Parade with its annual showing of holiday finery will be postponed at least until the weather becomes a bit more spring like.   There will be time to dress up a bit as the weather improves.












Essex Happenings March 15, 2013

Essex Heritage Events and Activities


Essex Heritage Corporate Membership Program

We have recently received a most generous contribution to the Essex Heritage Corporate Membership Program from the world famous Salem organization, the Peabody Essex Museum.  We are indebted to this institution for their participation and support.   The museum is one of the primary reasons why the City of Salem is in the middle of a renaissance.   When the Peabody-Essex Museum made the decision to remain in Salem and add a world class addition to their two centuries old museum, this was a major turning point for the city.  This singular decision followed then by the expansion of the Southern Essex County Court District redevelopment , the growth of Salem State University campus, the harbor front plans and downtown residential growth has had an important bearing on where the city stands today.

We once again thank Peabody-Essex Museum for both their commitment of support to Essex Heritage for today and for their long time commitment to the City of Salem.


Annual Spring Meeting

Essex Heritage’s Annual Spring Meeting is  Winnekenni Castle in Haverhill on Wednesday, April 10, 2013

8:00 AM: Continental Breakfast Reception8:30 - 10:00 AM: Business Meeting

We hope you will be able to join us! RSVP at 978-740-0444.


Sunday, March 24, 2013 • 1:00 - 3:00pm

Featured Partner Event -Essex County Greenbelt Association Presents:Signs of Rebirth at the Willowdale Meadow,Ipswich Road, Topsfield, MA 01983

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.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013 • 7:00pm     

Featured Partner Event -The House of the Seven Gables Presents:Seven Lectures at The Seven Gables: Jim McAllister, 115 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970

“Architecture & Preservation in Salem 1900-2000” Salem’s own local historian & journalist will give a lively account of many of the sites of historic significance in Salem over the past century.

Reservations recommended. Essex Heritage and Seven Gables Members $10; Non-Members $15. Please email or call The House of the Seven Gables at 978-744-0991 ext. 104 to reserve your seats.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013 • 7:00pm      

Featured Partner Event -The House of the Seven Gables Presents:Seven Lectures at The Seven Gables: Paranormal Salem, 115 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970

Join Kimberly Bizjak for an evening to explore the paranormal side of Salem's history. Kimberly is the owner of Paranormal Salem, a researched-based paranormal society and tour company. She also teaches Paranormal Studies at NSCC. You'll learn the history and theory of ghost hunting, debunking, and equipment. She'll share her spooky findings in Salem, and maybe find some more during the lecture!

Reservations recommended. Essex Heritage and Seven Gables Members $10; Non-Members $15. Please email or call The House of the Seven Gables at 978-744-0991 ext. 104 to reserve your seat,


Regional Event and Activities


Salem Partnership Activities

From everything I have heard, the theatrical performances in the play Love Letters at Salem Theater Company by two very well-known community activists was most exceptionally well done.  The work of both Patricia Zaido, the Salem Partnership’s Executive Director, and John Archer, the very active community philanthropist, local Beverly businessperson and Danvers resident, were very professional and entertaining.   I have been associated off and on for many years with both amateur thespians and even though I was not able to attend their performance, I am certain their performances were exceptional.

While on the subject of the Salem Partnership, they will be conducting their 26th anniversary annual meeting at Salem State University.  I have been associated with this community organization for all of its business life and continue to be impressed every year with their accomplishments.  The event will be held on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 5-7PM at Marsh Hall, Central Campus at Salem State University. The keynote speaker, Jim McAllister, Salem historian will speak on "Salem’s Evolving Economy in the 20th Century".   JIm is an accomplished author, historian and presenter and I am sure as always that Jim will be most entertaining.  Jim McAllister was Essex Heritage’s first Heritage Hero recipient in 2009.  If you are interested in attending, contact the Salem Partnership for ticket information.


Salem Ferry Contract

The City of Salem has entered into a one year contract with Boston Harbor Cruises to run the Salem Ferry with the 149 passenger ship owned by the City of Salem.   The contract provides four one-year renewals of this agreement which also allows for one year extensions in four subsequent years.  Service on the ferry is scheduled to begin during the last week of May.  It should be noted that the schedule is weather dependent, and at that time of the year, the weather conditions on the waters around Salem could have a bearing on the schedule.   The ferry has been a success as it provides a comfortable and enjoyable method of getting visitors to this region, the City of Salem and its numerous attractions.   It also is a wonderful way to enjoy the region and a round trip to Boston from Salem can be a pleasant experience.


People to People Food Pantry Needs

The important Danvers People to People Food Pantry is supported primarily by community donations and it recently put out a call for help. With dozens of homeless families living a transitory life in motels, the Food Pantry has indicated a need for wrapped candy and for help in organizing Easter baskets for the many children living in these motels.  I’ve hear that the State has a plan for the future to correct the motel housing issue in Danvers, and we can only hope they follow through with their plan.  At this time the residents of Danvers want to be neighbors and help the Pantry met their need for wrapped candy.   So as you shop for your children or grandkids, please think of buying an extra bag of candy for the Pantry to help them meet their goals.  Toys are okay but wrapped candy is the primary need.  Drop off the candy at the Pantry at 22 Sylvan Stet or if you have questions call the Pantry at 978-739-4188


Danvers Seeking State Approval to Rehabilitate Smith School

The Town of Danvers is preparing a plan to rehabilitate the Smith School in the St. John’s Prep area of town.   The school was built in the open classroom configuration in the early 1970s and it is being offered as a project to the State School Building Authority for the second year in a row.   The open classroom configuration was most favored at the time the school was designed, but today the way the school was designed makes it difficult to design education programs using today’s standards. 


The school was built on land donated to the community of Danvers by the neighboring St John’s Preparatory School and after moving to Danvers in 1973 it was one of the first schools that my two sons attended in the town.   The experience was a great one, and the openness of the space was most conducive to the education needs at that time.  In the almost forty years since the school was built, times have changed and the building needs to be redesigned.   Without the financial support provided by the Commonwealth, rehabilitation will be difficult and hopefully the plans presented to the State will be approved and a plan of construction can begin soon.


Full Agenda at Marblehead Town Meeting

The Marblehead Town Meeting will present a full agenda including forty articles at the Town Meeting scheduled for May 6, 2013 at the Middle School.  It looks like it could be a long evening.


One Contested Election Race in Andover

At the Town Election in Andover scheduled for March 26th, there will only be one contested race when three candidates run for the two Town Selectmen seats.


Early Bird Parking Tags Available in Ipswich

We know that it is only mid-March but it is never too early to make plans for the summer.   Parking programs at Cranes Beach are now available to early bird buyers and the prices will be raised soon.


Salem Point Residents Work on Goal Setting

The residents of the Point Neighborhood in Salem have been invited by the City to participate in a session to offer their opinions on the future of that neighborhood.  The session will offer residents the opportunity to create a vision statement on how the twenty-block area might be developed to promote growth and development.   The city is working closely with the Metropolitan Planning Council .  For more information contact the North Shore Community Development Coalition at 978-825-4016.


Spring Arrives on the Calendar

Spring is about to arrive at least on the calendar.    We still have not seen much warm weather yet, but I am sure it is coming.  We stayed in the region this winter and did not head for Florida where the usually warm spring weather has not yet arrived.   It is certainly nice to see sunsets later and later each day, but it is dark in the morning.


Medical, Senior and Disability Events


Gordon College Therapy

I am currently enjoying therapy sessions at Gordon College in Wenham.   In addition to walking on their wonderful indoor track, the gymnasium connected with the therapy program also has a comprehensive collection of exercise machines designed for people with handicaps.   I am using this equipment.  Along with the progress in improving my walking capabilities, the machines are beneficial to gaining muscle strength.  I have been very fortunate to have support from the therapists at Spaulding Hospital and now the people at Gordon College.


Information from the Director of North Shore Elder Services Paul Leanzikos that might be informative to some readers


Styrofoam Recycling Opportunity

Lifoam Industries, a styrofoam cooler manufacturer located in Peabody, plans to hold monthly styrofoam recycling collection events.  These Saturday (only!) collections will be done in conjunction with ReFoamIt (  They are free and open to the public.   For details on when future collections will be held and what is and isn't acceptable, please check ReFoamIt's website.  Lifoam cannot accept styrofoam on any other day than the monthly collection day.  The next collection event is scheduled for March 16, Lifoam Industries, Peabody, MA.   No Residency Requirement.

Lifoam is holding their second foam recycling event from 9-1.  Bring your clean EPS foam to 2 Fifth Street, Peabody, MA.  Lifoam is only able to accept foam during their recycling events.  Please do not ask to drop items off ahead of the event or send foam through the mail.  Also, please do not bring packing peanuts.  For more information about this collection, please contact Oscar Arevalo at 978-278-6215


SAVE THE DATE: for an important North Shore Elder Services Event.   This is an important event for NSES.

Wicked Funny Comedy Tour

Featuring some of New England’s funniest comedians            Saturday, April 27, 2013  8:00 p.m.            at the  North Shore Music Theater


Newburyport YWCA Addresses Housing

The Newburyport YWCA, one of the only YWCAs, in the region has begun work on the expansion of housing opportunities in their property, the Marjorie Lynn House on 11 Market Street, Newburyport.   This facility that has been owned by the YWCA for almost a decade, is used for affordable housing for homeless households in the community.  The YWCA received a grant in 2012 of $1.2 million to expand its affordable housing program that has been a dream of the many members of the board for a number of years.

The expansion being planned, when completed, will allow the facility to offer eight homeless units and two households where at least one member of the household is disabled.  At the present time the community has only six such units for low-income households.   This work is being applauded by community activists in the region for the YWCA’s effort in this matter.


People in the News


Local Publisher Named Regional Publisher

Congratulations to Karen Andreas who in addition to her role as Publisher of the Salem News has been named Regional Publisher of a series of are newspapers including the Eagle Tribune, Gloucester Times, The Daily News of Newburyport, and Andover Townsman.  She has served in a number of positions over the years with great distinction and will continue now to be an even greater force in the region in the time ahead.


Haverhill Nurse appointed to Northern Essex Community College Board

Mary Ellen Daley O’Brien, a case manager at Merrimack Valley Hospital, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of Northern Essex Community College by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.  She has a wonderful record of qualifications and has been honored for her many achievements in her home town of Haverhill and the region she serves. 


Local Danvers Residents to be Honored

We want to congratulate Town Manager Wayne Marquis, Myrna Fearer, and Jack Kelly on their awards to the DEEP Hall of Fame.  Congratulations also to Chris and Jim Mc Cann on their selection to the St. John’s Prep Hall of Honor and to Anna Bertinii who is being honored by St. Mary’s Elementary School in Beverly.   All seven of these folks are Danvers residents, and I consider all of them good friends as well as valued members of the Danvers Community.


Wilmington Woman to lead North of Boston Convention and Visitor Bureau

Ann Marie Casey who has been leading the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce will take over the leadership of the countywide tourist operation headquartered in Salisbury.    The non-profit organization receives private and state funding to promote tourism in Essex County.  The NBC&VB has long been associated with Essex Heritage, and we wish Ann Marie all the best as she assumes this new role.  We look forward to working with her.


Personal Observations


Salem Senior Center

The Salem City Council has a most important decision to make in the near term.   A decision to build a new much needed Senior center for the elder population in Salem will come before that group for an approval.  As a member of the Advisory Board of the Danvers Council on Aging that helps manage the sensational Danvers Senior Center on Stone Street in Danvers, I can attest what a spacious, well appointed facility with more than adequate parking can mean to a community.  I am aware of the need to find the required funds to build this new facility, and I hope that the community of Salem can allocate those required resources to provide a satisfactory facility to support the fast growing senior population of the City of Salem.


Dow Jones Average Attains New All Time Highs

In spite of all of the ongoing difficulties in Washington D C with the warring  factions in congress, the US stock market recently set a new high water mark for the Dow jones index.   In spite of Washington’s travails, other economic signals remain positive.  Interest rates remain lower than historic levels. Housing starts are high.  Home foreclosures are at the lowest level in years and that has a bearing on other associated businesses.  For a time the index and its current level is good for personal investments in IRA and 401 K holdings, but the real question is will the levels remain high or is there a correction coming in the future? The situation in Venezuela with the death of President Hugo Chavez and what might happen to that country’s oil exports bears watching. Venezuela is the fourth largest exporter of oil to our country, and political instability could be an issue.  Venezuela has also provided substantial oil to lower income families particularly here in the Northeast.  It will be important to follow the upheaval in that country following the death after a long battle with cancer by President Chaves.  In this country, job creation continues to remain a problem and the unemployment numbers are still higher than any of us would like to see.


Elected Officials Must Come Together

As we come nearer to another fiscal cliff with a potential government shutdown at the end of March, I grow ever more concerned with the political gridlock in Washington.   At the end of each recent election, we send a number of well-intentioned officials down to Washington D.C. with differing outlooks on how the government should be managed.  Each year, the differences in opinions and philosophy on how to run the government seem to grow further and further apart.  It certainly seems like it is time for these elected officials to learn how to compromise and come up with workable solutions to the plans to manage this country.  If they can’t accomplish that task, then it might be time to replace the people involved in the process.   We need to find a workable solution to the multitude of government management problems we are facing and if this can’t be accomplished by the people in place now then it might be time to send in new group of people to handle the process.

The Quote of the Decade:  "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America 's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."  Senator Barrack H. Obama, March 2006

The problem was recognized then and is still not solved now.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Essex Happenings March 7, 2013

Essex Heritage Events and Activities

Annual Spring Meeting - Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The Essex National Heritage Commission Invites You to Winnekenni Castle, 347 Kenoza Avenue, Haverhill, MA 01830
8:00 AM: Continental Breakfast Reception
8:30 - 10:00 AM: Business Meeting

Participate in this free, valuable networking opportunity that will further connect you with the work of Essex Heritage and our partners. Please RSVP by calling Debbie at 978-740-0444.
The 2013 grant recipients will be announced at the Annual Spring Meeting.

About Winnekenni Castle
Dr. James R. Nichols, a local physician and inventor, built the Castle in 1873-1875 as a summer home at this farm which he named Winnekenni. The idea for the original castle came from England. The Castle was sold to the city in 1895. In 1967, after a devastating fire destroyed the aging building, a group of citizens formed the Winnekenni Foundation, which is still in existence today. Its goal was to completely refurbish the interior of the building, and make it and its surrounding grounds available to the public for cultural and educational events.

Trails & Sails Update
September 20-22 & 27-29, 2013

Planning is underway to celebrate our region during the 12th annual Trails & Sails: Two Weekends of Walks and Water, September 20-22 & September 27-29, 2013!
            Event Hosts: Start planning now - event submission begins online in March.  Hosting a Trails & Sails event is a great way to build public awareness and audience for your cause, mission and organization! Please email Emily for more information about hosting an event or to add your organization to the Trails & Sails line-up!
            Participants: Can't wait until September? Become a member of Essex Heritage!  Members are invited to events throughout the year, and membership support helps keep Trails & Sails a FREE public outreach event. Learn more about membership.

Coming events
Featured Partner Event - Friday, March 15 from 7-9PM - Andover Historical Society presents:What’s it Worth Antiques Appraisal Eventat the Unitarian Universalist Congregation6 Locke Street, Andover, MA 01810
Back by popular demand, the Andover Historical Society will host “What’s it Worth” Appraisal event with Appraiser and Auctioneer and owner of Royka Gallery in Boston, Paul Royka.
“What’s It Worth?” is an open format appraisal event, which has become increasingly popular as appraisers have found that guests are just as curious about the treasures brought by other guests as they are about their own.  As guests enter they register their appraisal item, place it on tables at the front of the hall, and then take a seat in the audience.  Royka will examine and discuss each item on the tables, appraising up to 50 items during the event.  Royka is an entertaining and informative speaker whose goal is to teach the audience something new with each item he examines. Guests may bring one item to be appraised or come to listen and enjoy Royka’s entertaining and enlightening appraisals. Guests may bring items such as Fine art, Chinese art, Jewelry, Art Glass & Tiffany Studios.  Furniture may be brought in and pictures will suffice.  Firearms, coins, and stamps will not be appraised at this event.
Reservations required. Essex Heritage and Andover Historical Society Members $15; Non-Members $20. Call the Andover Historical Society 978-475-2236 to reserve your seats.

Featured Partner Event - Sunday, March 24, 2013 from 1:00 - 3:00pm - Essex County Greenbelt Association Presents:Signs of Rebirth at the Willowdale Meadow
on Ipswich Road, Topsfield, MA 01983
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. Go to Essex County Greenbelt Association’s website for more information.
Reservations are required. This event is free, but please email or call Greenbelt at 978-768-7241 to register.

Along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
The 85-mile coastal route from Lynn to Newburyport
            Watch the New Byway Video: Check out this three-minute video featuring byway images submitted to the Essex Heritage Photo Contest.

Walking Tours of Newburyport
Thoroughly researched and well presented, the Clipper Heritage Trail is a series of self-guided history tours of Newburyport that will fascinate visitors and residents alike.

Byway Guidebook Available
"Essex Coastal Byway Guide - History, Culture & Nature on the North Shore," makes exploring the 85-mile coastal route even easier. Written by Boston Globe correspondent Joel Brown, the guide showcases a broad array of the byway's historical, natural and cultural destinations. Organized by community, the book provides an insider's understanding of how to experience the best of coastal New

Essex Heritage Corporate Membership Program
As you may know, for the bulk of this year I have been actively working on the development of the Essex Heritage Corporate Membership Program.   I have made a number of contacts in Essex County and have been very successful in convincing a number of local Corporations to make financial commitments to assist Essex Heritage as we make a spirieted attempt to make up some of the deficiencies that have developed as a result of reducing governmental support to advance our mission to help preserve, protect and promote the Historic, Cultural and Natural Resources of this region. 
The support and commitments we have received has been most gratifying, and we are all incredibly thankful of that support.   To date we have over thirty county commitments as we urge you all to take notice of the organizations that have offered Essex Heritage valuable support.  We urge you to review that list and be aware of the group of corporations that have provided Essex Heritage with support.   To view a list of Essex Heritage supporters visit and look under the Give section there is a list of out business supporters there.   

Regional Events

Report on Activities in Salem and a Presentation at Salem Rotary By Mayor Driscoll
After several months away due to an illness without participating in a Salem Rotary Club meeting, I joined in a weekly meeting with my wife, as a guest, late in February to hear a presentation by Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem. She provided information relative to current activities in the City. 
It was very rewarding to rejoin the members of the club, many of who I have been a member with for a number of years.  It was good to be back with that group that has such a long and storied history of support for the Salem community and the entire region.   It was rewarding to be back to being a part of that group even if it was for just one meeting.  Getting to Salem at noon on a Tuesday takes a real effort by both Marge and I, but we are going to make a conscious effort if at all possible to get to a meeting each month.    Due to my age and the number of years that I have been a member, I have no specific attendance requirement, so I will try to be at meetings as much as is possible.  When the better weather arrives it may be a bit easier to get to Salem on a more regular basis.  To report on the Mayor’s thoughts relating to Salem, one of prime projects is the new gas fired power plant that is moving forward on Fort Avenue.  The group held a public meeting last month that was well attended and the plans to improve that section of the city is much anticipated.  A gateway center project planned on the site of an old Sylvania site will need a critical vote by the City Council.  That new facility has a new, much needed Senior Center as one of the primary uses of that proposed project.  The need is great for this use.  In February, the North Shore Elder Services Organization strongly endorsed that project and the fast growing segments of Salem seniors are hopeful that this project will soon be underway. The mayor provided current information on a number of residential projects that are under development.    She also presented update on the PEM,  MBTA Station and Pedestrian Mall up-grades. The announcements by the Mayor at the meeting were warmly received by the Rotary membership. The Mayor’s continuing good work on behalf of the Witch City was applauded by all at the meeting.
We concluded our visit to Salem with a pleasant meeting with the owner of the Historic Hawthorne Hotel that was featured in a recent segment of the popular WCVB Program, Chronicle.  Michael Harrington and I were classmates for a dozen years and we had much to discuss.

DEEP Names Three to Hall of Honor in Danvers
The Danvers Education Enrichment Program has named three new members to their Hall of Honor.  The three local people named were Wayne Marquis, the Danvers Town Manager; Jack Kelly who has been associated with high school and local sports and was a former educator; and Myrna Fearer is a former reporter from the Danvers Herald who has been a wonderful supporter of numerous community causes.   All three of these people have been wonderful supporters of community events and should all be complimented on their selection.   The dinner event that was held at the Danversport Yacht Club on March 7, 2013. supported the work of DEEP.  The educational initiatives of the DEEP organization were benefited by the proceeds of the dinner for the three highly regarded winners.  

Northern Essex Community College Seeks Summer Enrichment Students
Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill and other Northern Essex County Communities have created a two week bridge summer enrichment program for High School Seniors for a two week session scheduled for August 12 through August 23, 2012. The program is free of charge and is designed to make the transition from High School to College easier.  It is also designed to build a critical foundation prior to college.  To be eligible students must be a 2013 Latino High School Graduate with a grade point average of 3.5 or better and must be enrolled at Northern Essex Community College in the fall of 2013.  For additional information on the enrollment process or for other answers contact Gisele Nash or call 978-738-7418n0 Niurka Aybar at or call her at 978-738-7451. 
It is particularly interesting, connected to both that school and the other Community College in the region, North Shore Community College that just today, I heard a presentation on CNN produced by Georgetown University that earnings from an Associate Degree earned from a Community College could be at least as valuable as a four year Bachelor’s degree.  All of these rewards are earned at a lower cost.  The Principal is that the positions offered to Community College graduates may pay more money at least in the short run.   I have no more information on this matter than what is presented in this space.

Town of Marblehead to Offer Festival of Arts in July
A recent announcement by the Marblehead Arts Association noted that the annual Arts Festival will be held this July from 7.4 through 7.7.  The four-day event will have an addition this year as a outdoor film event will be added at Crocker Park.   In addition to the film event, the four-day event will feature live exhibits and performances such as kite flying, a model boat building workshop, sand sculptures and a horrible parade will be held. This event has become a highlight of the summer season in the yachting capital of Essex County and the entire region.

University of Lowell to Compete in Division One 
The chancellor (Former Massachusetts Congressman) of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell has made the decision to take all of its athletic programs at the University to compete at a higher level and allow the school to compete at the Division One level.    It is his opinion that athletic endeavors represents the “front door” of the University and will increase the visibility for the school.  Lowell currently competes in Men’s Ice Hockey at the D1 level, and soon all other sports will compete at that advanced level.   Good luck to the University and enjoy the increased level of competition.  This information is provided in this space as the University is a neighbor of Essex Heritage.  Over the years we have held several National Park Service events at the University.

Salem State University Lists Speaker Series Lecturers
Salem State University recently announced the list of speakers for this year’s Speaker series.  On April 7th the spring speaker will be Newark New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker presented at Lynn City Hall Auditorium.   The fall presenter on November 13th will be Award Winning Playwright and Author Tony Kushner, and the event is scheduled for the O’Keefe Facility on the University’s campus.

City of Peabody Approves Pay Hikes for Officials
The City Council has recently approved pay raises for the Mayor of the City, City Councilors and members of the School Committee.  This action was not without some unhappiness by residents as those pay raises also impact their retirement options.  This decision has created a great deal of discussion about the pay raise among residents of the community.  

Town of West Newbury Outraged by Power Outages
Residents of The Town of West Newbury are particularly upset over recent frequent power outages in that community.  The residents of the Town took out their displeasure on an official of National Grid who came to a recent Town Selectman’s meeting to speak about cable upgrades that National Grid wants to provide for the future benefit of both the company and the community.

Medical, Senior and Disability Matters

News From North Shore Elders
LGBT Elders in an Ever Changing World Conference: The second annual LGBT Elders in an Ever Changing World Conference will be even better than last year’s!  We have added nine workshops for a total of twenty-one - organized around seven main topical themes. For registration and other information, visit:  Social work and nursing CEUs are available.

Unless Congress takes preventive action this week, automatic federal spending cuts will go into effect on March 1. For aging services programs, this "sequestration" means a 2% cut in Medicare reimbursement and 5.1% cuts in senior housing as well as home and community-based services funding. Medicaid would be unaffected, however, Massachusetts could also be losing hundreds of millions of federal dollars which will greatly impact the state's budget.  Read more from Leading Age.

Residential Care Facilities
After months of delays, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) has promulgated emergency regulations establishing rates for residential care facilities (rest homes)  effective January 1, 2013. As Leading Age Massachusetts has reported previously, the Governor had reduced the original appropriation of $1.4 million for increased rates by half as part of his 9C budget cuts. The remaining $700,000 appropriated for increased rates is being implemented in the following way:
•   For facilities with current rates less than $50.00, rates will be increased to $50.00 or by $3.25, whichever is greater
•   For facilities with current rates between $50.00 - $70.00, rates will be increased by $2.50
•   For facilities with current rates between $70.00 - $90.00, rates will be increased by $1.75
•   For facilities with current rates of $90.00 or more, rates will be increased by $1.00
In addition, the payment rate for January 2031 will include an annulization adjustment for the period from July 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012  will be an annulization adjustment.  Although the regulations have already gone into effect as emergency regulations, a public hearing on the regulations will be held on March 26th at 10:00 am a the Center for Health Information and Analysis (formerly Division of Health Care Finance and Policy), Two Boylston Street, 5th floor, Boston, 02116.  In addition, written testimony can be sent to EOHHS, c/o D. Briggs, 100 Hancock Street, 6th Floor, Quincy, MA 02171 by 5:00 pm on Friday April 5th.

News from Danvers Council on Aging
March 21 What Type of Investor are you? Learn how to maximize your retirement savings through proper tax strategy. Come to the Senior Center and enjoy some fresh coffee and pastries while learning about what type of investor you really are and how to make a better retirement for yourself. Robert J. Cryts, Financial Advisor at Cambridge Financial Services.

March 28 SMP Empowering Seniors to Prevent Healthcare Fraud. Healthcare errors cost billions of dollar annually. Become an educated healthcare consumer and protect yourself and your loved ones against Medicare fraud and deceptive marketing tactics.

Everyone welcome...Coffee and Doughnuts are served 10:30am-11:30am

The Danvers TRIAD Council is a partnership which includes the Sheriff and District Attorney of Essex County, the Danvers Police and Fire Chiefs, the Council on Aging and supportive services, and seniors.  As a senior citizen, criminals often target them because they think seniors are vulnerable but you need not believe that concept. Your own education and awareness can prevent these criminals from victimizing you. If you are contacted – by telephone, mail or e-mail – by someone claiming that you have won something and to collect, you need to verify account numbers or other personal information; or they need your help in transferring money or anything else that sounds too good to be true. HANG UP, DELETE or THROW AWAY such correspondence. No legitimate company verifies information in this way. Unless you have initiated contact, and you called, mailed or visited a company’s web site – DO NOT give out personal information. You may visit or call 1-888-382-1222 to reduce the number of calls to your house. Also, visit or 1-866-231-2255.
If you suspect you that you are the victim of a scam, contact the Danvers Police Department and the Attorney General’s Office at 617-727-2200.

People in the News

William Shute was recently named Interim Fire Chief in Newburyport   In this new role, he brings 30 years of experience to the new position.  He replaces the Existing Chief who is retiring after a thirty-four year career.

The Selectmen of the Town of Hamilton has extended the contract of the Town’s Manager Michael Lombardi.  He has been the Hamilton Town Manager since April 2010.

Personal Observations

Federal ‘Across the Board’ Cuts To Hurt the Area
Unless a deal is struck between the Administration and the Congress at the eleventh hour, the across the board cuts scheduled on March 1, 2013 will likely have a most negative impact on funding for education, research, defense and other administrative functions and will likely impact job losses. 

Winter Weather To Impact Region
As we move closer to March 2013, we do not seem to be getting any closer to Spring, but the calendar tells us that spring is only just weeks away.     February has been a most wintery month with records for snowfall being set all across the country.  All along the magnificent coastline of this state there are damages evident everywhere and Essex County has not been spared in the least.  There has been erosion of beaches from the North Shore to Cape Cod and the funding needed today to make the needed restorative corrections will be difficult to obtain.   In the Town of Rockport, roads were washed away and divesting damage was done to sea walls all over that community.     In Ipswich we have seen incredible pictures of what has happened to the beaches in that community and the work that is needed to restore the damages done to Plum Island and the homes close to the water will me a large difficult task.

Boston Professional Sports
The results of the local Boston Professional teams are both up and down.   The Celtics, after failing to make a big trading day transaction moved to just over 500 on their current western road trip.  The Bruins on the other hand are on a multi game winning streak and are near the top of the standings with fewer games played than most of their competitors.   This may come back to haunt them as their schedule will become much more difficult with games more frequently are scheduled in the future.   The local baseball team has started the spring by winning and losing about the same number of games and there appears to be hope for that pitching staff that was perceived to be a weakness.