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. 

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