Friday, April 26, 2013

Essex Happenings 4.26.13

Essex Heritage Events

Essex Heritage Annual Meeting in Haverhill
Some items that follow were taken from an Essex Heritage press release:
April 11, 2013 (Salem, MA) – The Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage) welcomed over 150 community and business leaders from around Essex County to its Annual Spring Meeting held at Winnekenni Castle in Haverhill earlier this spring. The business portion of the session focused on the success of regional partnerships, the need for ongoing preservation and sustainability and ongoing efforts to promote the region through collaborative events. Members elected new members to the Commission and announced the recipients of the 2013 Partnership Grant Awards.

Attendees were welcomed by Mayor of Haverhill James Fiorentini who thanked attendees for joining Essex Heritage at the Annual Meeting and remarked upon his efforts to promote parks, trails and sustain historic resources. Thomas J. Sullivan, Esq., Vice President of Development, Winnekenni Foundation and City Councilor of Haverhill and also a newly appointed Commissioner of Essex Heritage gave a brief history of Winnekenni Castle and welcomed Essex Heritage members and friends to the Castle. Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives also welcomed the group to Haverhill and spoke on the importance of tourism to the regional economy mentioning the “gems right here in the City of Haverhill” as examples of regional assets.

Essex Heritage is supported by a 150 member Board of Commissioners who live and/or work within the area and who serve as representatives of the communities, businesses, community organizations, educational institutions and historic, cultural and natural resources of the region. The following eight new individuals were nominated to be added to the Commission and will serve as Commissioners for a three-year term:
• Thomas Alexander, Alexander & Femino, Beverly
• Tim Coco, Coco & Co., Haverhill
• Lawrence Morse, Lawrence B. Morse & Associates, Danvers
•   Beth Anne Bower, Salem State University, Salem
•   Thomas J. Sullivan, Attorney at Law, Haverhill
•   Timothy Felter, Newburyport Five Cent Savings Bank, Newburyport
•   Michael Spanos, Business Systems Consultants, Beverly
•   Kristin Zampell Noon, Wenham Museum, Wenham

Essex Heritage President Richard Yagjian of Hunts Photo and Video presided over the meeting and provided a report on Commission activities from his perspective.   The Audit Report for the previous fiscal year was also offered  for approval by Treasurer John Meserve the CEO of Merrimack Savings Bank. 
Ms. Annie Harris the Chief Executive Officer of Essex Heritage provided a State of the Union Address to the meeting.

An introduction by CEO Harris of Ms. Joanne Patton as the honoree for the annual Heritage Hero Award for 2013 to the Commissioners and other guests at the annual meeting was a highlight of the event.     Ms. Patton and her entire family will be recognized this fall at Willowdale for their commitment to the military support of this country and her personal interest in the improvements and the preservation to many aspects of the valuable assets of this region.

Ms. Harris concluded the morning’s business thanking Winnekenni Castle Foundation for their hospitality and encouraging attendees to join the Essex Heritage membership program.

2013 Essex Heritage Partnership Grant Program Recipients
At the Annual Essex Heritage Meeting Director of Heritage Development William Steelman announced grants to the following recipients of the 2013 Partnership Grant awards. Over the next year ten nonprofit organizations will be working to implement a diverse range of educational, interpretive, and preservation projects.

The Essex Heritage’s Partnership Grant Program is a matching grant program created to foster and support the stewardship activities of municipalities and organizations that share its mission to preserve and promote the historic, cultural and natural resources of the Essex National Heritage Area.  Impacting many in the region, the 12-year old program has provided more than $1.5 million in grants to its network of visitor centers.  Essex Heritage has awarded more than $1.8 million in support of the region’s nationally significant heritage. The award winners are as follows:

·         Andover Historical Society: Weaving together the threads of fashion, industry, clothing construction and local history, “Behind the Seams Exhibition: Stories of Clothing, 1790-1920” will draw from the historical society's 3,400-piece costume collection to present stories about social customs, economics, and style preferences in Andover and beyond.

·         Danvers Alarm List Company: The nonprofit steward of the Rebecca Nurse Homestead will create a new permanent exhibit featuring some of the 5,000 artifacts unearthed on the grounds by archaeology field school participants. The artifacts, such stone points, glassware, buttons, buckles, medicine bottles, nails, ceramics and smoking pipes, will help visitors learn about the everyday lives of those who inhabited the area from the pre-historic Native American era through the early 20th century.

·         Essex Historical Society & Shipbuilding Museum: In a novel strategic initiative to expand public access to an understanding of its core interpretive programming, the shipbuilding museum will feature free seasonal exhibits “re-presenting” four key, long term programs and one-day events focused on the Essex’s history (boats, gravestones, canines at sea) and coastal ecology (river and marsh).

·         Rocks Village Memorial Association in Haverhill: With the goal of sustaining the 1840 Rocks Village Hand Tub House (fire station) as an educational resource and community activity center, the association will engage a qualified contractor to restore the roof of the city-owned historic building. The hand tub house is located on the banks of the Merrimack River in the Rocks Village section of Haverhill’s East Parish.

·         Ipswich River Watershed Association: With the goal of introducing audiences to recreational paddling as well as the watershed’s remarkable natural and cultural resources, the association will produce an updated map and guide to the Ipswich River. The river, a source of drinking water for 330,000 residents and businesses, is widely recognized as one of the premier canoeing and kayaking destinations in the state and is one of the most utilized recreational resources in Essex County.

·         Friends of Lawrence Heritage State Park: Recognized as the work of an important American folk artist, Ralph Fasanella’s paintings of the 1912 Bread & Roses Strike are among the most famous images of American labor history, and helped to put Lawrence and the strike on the world map.  Presented at the Lawrence Heritage State Park visitor center, the exhibition of Fasanella’s artworks and related activities will introduce a newer, predominantly Latino audience to the widespread impact of his vision.

·         Lawrence History Center: The story of Lawrence is one of immigration and few historical collections document the story of new immigrants better than that of Alice O'Connor (1887-1968). A single woman born and raised in Lawrence, Miss O’Conner dedicated her life to improving the lives of working families in the city and beyond. The archival processing project involves digitizing Miss O’Connor’s diaries, photographs and professional work into a searchable database that can be accessed by researchers, students and teachers of all ages.

·         Nahant Preservation Trust: A source of regional pride, the town-owned Nahant Lifesaving Station was built in 1900 and is one of a few surviving buildings designed to house ocean rescue crews. The project entails the creation of an interpretive plan for exterior wayside signage and an interior exhibition that will help educate the thousands of beach goers and event attendees about the station and community’s unique role in the regions maritime history.

·         Thacher Island Association in Rockport: Drawing upon its experience with the twin lighthouses on Thacher Island, the association will undertake the early stage stabilization of the historically significant Straitsmouth Island Light located off the coast of Rockport.  Built in 1898 and owned by the Town of Rockport, the lighthouse has been a watch list of endangered lighthouses since 1990. The project entails major structural steel and brickwork.

·         Essex County Greenbelt Association: Due in part to the stewardship efforts of Essex County Greenbelt, ospreys have expanded their presence in Essex County and become a dramatic expression of the regions natural heritage. The grant will help Greenbelt expanded its interpretative program through the fabrication and installation informational kiosks at three osprey viewing sites where the public can learn about the bird's history, habitat and behaviors.

Medical, Seniors and Disability Matters

Executive Summary Provided by Lahey Health
Beverly Hospital in Beverly, Massachusetts and Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Massachusetts are two of the North Shores leading health care facilities and are dedicated to meeting the healthcare needs of those living in North Shore and Cape Ann communities. The hospitals are part of Lahey Health System, Inc. (LHS), a vertically and horizontally integrated network of hospitals, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, health and social service agencies, and community-based primary care and specialty care.  LHS is recognized for the care and services it provides to residents throughout the North Shore and Cape Ann area and is committed to ensuring that a full continuum of high-quality, coordinated health and human services available to those who live in its primary and secondary service areas.  The hospitals in close partnership with its affiliates, other health-related service organizations, and the community at large strive to develop programs and services that address community need and improve the areas overall health status.

To support this commitment, LHS hired John Snow, Inc. (JSI), a nationally recognized public health consulting firm to conduct a comprehensive community health needs assessment for the communities on the North Shore / Cape Ann and particularly those that are part of Addison Gilbert and Beverly Hospitals primary service area. The overall goals of the assessment were to identify the major health care needs, service gaps, barriers to access, and health priorities for those living in the region.  As part of the assessment, JSI compiled quantitative and qualitative information from a broad array of sources which will be discussed in more detail below. By informing and motivating the communities involved in the assessment, LHS is eager to build collaborative relationships, leverage existing community resources and encourage community dialogue.  Ultimately, the purpose of the assessment was to facilitate the development of short and long-term strategic plans to guide the health investments for the North Shore and Cape Ann communities.

North Shore Elder Services
NSES provides a radio show on Radio Show on North Shore 104.9 FM. The most recent interviews with Dana Hersey on The Retirement Radio Show are now available on Dropbox.
Topics include:
•         Over the Rainbow Coalition
•         Safety Modifications
•         Needy Meds
•         Carroll Center for the Blind
•         Volunteers
•         Nutrition Program

Dozens of Blast Victims Lose Limbs through Amputation
We have heard of a number of amputations that have taken place since the Patriot’s Day bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon, a heinous act of senseless violence.  Amid this tragic event,  there is one positive aspect comes to my mind.  Because of the numerous funds that have been established to help the victims, it seems likely to me that this will allow them to receive state of the art prosthetic limbs.  There have been substantial gains in the development of artificial limbs due in part to progress in this field because of the US participation in recent war actions.  With the potential of substantial additional assets to assist the victims, the people that have been impacted by the recent bombing should be able to receive the most current and effective artificial limbs without concern for the costs of such implements.  

The healing service offered recently at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross was most moving and the presentations made most of us proud to be both an American and a Bostonian.  I found the presentations most personal and they were particularly personal to me who has previously lost a limb and have found a way to continue to find a way to ‘Finish the Race”.

Regional Matters
The Salem Partnership recently held an Annual Meeting at Salem State University.  I was unable to attend the meeting and was most pleased to recently receive a message about the meeting.  The Partnership is an excellent example of how a local organization made up of the leadership of the business community in Salem and the Municipal Government can work together to achieve common goals.  I am unhappy that I was not able to attend the meeting and as a former President continue to follow the work of the Partnership and wish the Partnership well.   Here is a report on the 26th Annual Meeting of the Salem Partnership:
A huge thank you to all who attended the 26th annual meeting of The Salem Partnership. 75 members and guests enjoyed seeing the beautiful new Marsh hall on Central Campus at Salem State University. Many commented on the excellent presentation by historian, Jim McAllister. Jim provided insight into economic development in Salem during the 20th Century. For some, this was all new, for others, a trip down memory lane. As reported by President Meservey and me, all goes well with the Partnership, thanks to you, our loyal members.

Early Reports on Wind Turbines Performance in Gloucester Positive                                                                           
The two large wind turbines erected by the City of Gloucester in Blackburn Industrial Park have shown much early success in a report offered by Mayor Kirk in a presentation before municipal residents.  The report presented indicated that the results for the first quarter of 2013 and projections for the first year appear to be on schedule and the city feels most comfortable that the early projections expect to be attained and are most positive.    There are still doubters of every such wind turbine projects where ever they are erected.  Residents are concerned with the size of the turbines, the noise and shadows created by the fast moving paddles, but the concept of providing a renewable, clean resource seems to be a good one wherever they are erected.   The elected officials and the community leadership in the City of Gloucester should be commended for their efforts to be forward thinking.  I expect that there are other communities in this region that are following the Gloucester project carefully to before decisions are made about other similar community project.

Two Incumbent Selection were re-elected in Andover
Paul Salafia and Alex Vispoli were elected to the position of Selectmen in the Town of Andover. There was one other candidate for the position, but they finished in third place.  Essex Heritage is pleased to work with the Town of Andover, the Historical Society and other organizations in that community interested in the preservation of historical, cultural and natural resources in this region.  As you can see in the report on the recent awards, a grant has been made this year in Andover to the Historical Society.   Just recently we were pleased that one of the premier meeting locations in that town, The Andover Country Club, became a member of our Corporate Membership Program.  If anyone is seeking a location to hold a business meeting in the northern part of this county, contact the Andover Country Club to learn if they can fulfill your needs.

Plum Island Residents Seeking Help
A coalition of homeowners in the Plum Island area that has seen many properties severely damaged by a long succession of storms has banded together to seek governmental help.  A representative group of homeowners recently gathered to make a presentation to both Federal and State resources seeking both short and long-term programs to assist their efforts to save both their homes and the beach in that community

DEEP to provide Teacher Awards in Danvers
The Danvers Educational Enrichment Partnership (DEEP) recently presented its annual 2013 grant awards to Danvers Teachers in the school system at a School Committee meeting at the Community’s Town Hall to support special projects.  The mission of DEEP is to enrich Danvers Public Schools’ educational process through a unique partnership comprised of schools, community volunteers and businesses.  One can directly enhance the Danvers school system’s curriculum by sharing your time and expertise on our executive committee or by supporting their work by becoming a member.

Northern Essex Community College Opens Camp Signup Period. 
Since we recently provided some detailed information about the North Shore Community College and a unique program they have created, it seems appropriate to provide information about an initiative of the Northern Essex Community College.  That school is currently seeking applications for a summer program offered on the Haverhill campus.  The program is named STEM Camp.  In addition to the usual fun and games of summer camp programs, the program offers an added emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.   The name STEM camp comes from the first letter of each of the identified disciplines.    For more information or to sign up for the camp contact Mary Shattuck at 978-659-1237 or visit

Newburyport Seeks Diversity Candidates  
The City of Newburyport has established a Commission for Diversity and Tolerance and is seeking nominations for its 18th Annual Peace Award. The Commission usually honors one man and one woman each year.  Nominations for the award must have been received by the end of last month.  Candidates for the award must be a Newburyport resident and have contributed to the mission of the organization.

News from Danvers Historical Society
I received the following listing of events at the Danvers Historical Society in April 2013:

Hello Members,
Happy Spring!!  It’s so nice to say Spring isn’t it?  There’s some wonderful programs being offered this month and you are all invited. 

Thursday April 18, Society Trustee Sharon Taskey presents “Americas First Ladies”. A fascinating inside look at  “the hardest unpaid job in the world”.  7 PM in Tapley Memorial Hall, 13 Page St.  Free to members, $5.00 not-yet members.  Bring along a friend to join to Society.  Light refreshments will be served following the program.  Parking on Page St. or in the Community Lot at the corner of Elm & Page Streets. Reservations appreciated.

Sunday April 28, Our Tea and History series continues at the Jeremiah Page House with special guest Capt. John Putnam.  Capt. Putnam will bring us all the details of last week ….. April 19, 1775.  1 PM and 3 PM seatings.  Confections and teas of the period will be served.  $20. p/p members, $25. p/p not-yet members. Call today, this popular series fills up quickly.

Sunday April 28, The Essex Harmony, our Artists-In-Residence, presents “Music in Times of War”, The American Revolution.  3 PM in Tapley Memorial Hall, 13 Page St. Free admission to all, reservations a must! Light refreshments following the concert.  Donations gladly accepted to help defray the costs of audio -visual equipment.

People in the News

Ron Supino Wins Community Council Special Award   
The Danvers Community Council has named their Citizen of the year and presented a special award to Ron Supino.  I am proud to call Ron a friend and totally endorse the decision of the Community Council.

Saint John’s Prep Names Basketball Coach
St John’s Prep has named Mark Dullea of Peabody the Varsity Basketball Coach at the Prep, where he served as the Assistant Coach and coached the Junior Varsity for the past five years.  He knows the system installed by his predecessor and the mission of the school.   He played college basketball at the University of New Hampshire and is a teacher in the Peabody School System. All of those issues made him the perfect candidate for the vacant position.

Personal Observations

Manchester By-The-Sea becomes the first Essex County Community to Ban Plastic Bag Usage
The Town of Manchester-By–The-Sea and the members of that Town Meeting recently followed a movement that is gaining traction across the State of Massachusetts and has voted to ban the use of plastic bags in establishments in that community.  The residents of the town sees this action as being most sympathetic to attempts to preserve the environment of the region.  This decision could have a long- term impact on the community and could be followed by other municipalities in the region.  They also became the second coastal community to adopt the ban following the Island of Nantucket two decades ago.  The proponents of the ban noted that bags that find there way to the ocean do great harm to water life.   There are a couple of other communities in the eastern part of the state, Cambridge and Concord that are also considering the ban.

Message from St John’s Prep about Marathon Madness
Dear Trustees Emeriti and Trustee Advisors,

Today we join you in prayer for those injured and killed in the explosions that took place in Boston yesterday. We remember their families, friends and the first responders and volunteers who tended to those in need. Yesterday, we posted a note of prayer and solidarity on the Prep Facebook page. Through that post we learned that a member of our freshman class was injured. When Dr. Crowley followed up on the post, we learned that David Yepez '16 was injured in the explosion, and that he will have surgery at Tufts-New England Medical Center this afternoon. Dr. Crowley has spoken with David's mom twice, and he will continue to be in contact with her. David's injuries are serious, but non-life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery.

As we journey through the next few days and weeks, please keep David, his family and friends and everyone else you know that has been impacted by the tragedy on Marathon Monday in Boston and keep them all in your thoughts and prayers. Let us also remember our call to always be people of peace and prayer.   

 Signed: The Leadership of St John’s Preparatory School

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Essex Happenings…. 4/19/13

Essex Heritage Events

Upcoming Events 
Saturday, June 1, 2013 • 8am - 12pm
Photo Safari featuring Tamron at The Cox Reservation82 Eastern Avenue, Essex, MA 01929. Capture magnificent views of the Great Marsh, the Essex River, the back of Crane Beach, and Castle Hill and Choate Island from the Cox Reservation!  Reservations required. Click here for more information about the Photo Safari program & to register online.

Saturday, June 1, 2013 • 9:00am - 12:00pm

Featured Partner Event - Essex County Greenbelt Association Presents:Celebrate National Trails Day, Barrett Reservation, Middleton. Celebrate National Trails Day by helping to construct a new path through the woods at the Barrett Reservation, Middleton. Work boots and enthusiasm welcome! Stay tuned for more information and to get driving directions. Reservations required. This event is free, but please email or call Greenbelt at 978-768-7241 to register.

June 14 - 16, 2013
Featured Partner Event - Essex County Greenbelt Association Presents:24th Annual Art in the Barn Weekend at the Cox Reservation82 Eastern Avenue, Essex, MA 01929
Mark your calendars! Art in the Barn, an art show benefitting Essex County Greenbelt, will be held June 14-16 at the Allyn Cox Reservation in Essex. Enjoy this weekend long exhibition and sale! Proceeds benefit Greenbelt’s land conservation efforts. $5.00 one-time parking fee.

Information on the Merrimack River Trail
In support of its mission to preserve and enhance the region's historical, cultural and natural resources, Essex Heritage, in partnership with the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC), is providing leadership to a strategic planning initiative focused on developing the Merrimack River Trail, a long envisioned 50-mile multimodal recreational trail along the Merrimack River in Massachusetts. The project entails the engagement of trail advocates and municipal officials in the 17 Massachusetts communities that border the Merrimack River. An early stage reconnaissance planning study was completed in December 2011 with the support of a Recreational Trails Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.          

With the goal of promoting increased use of the Merrimack River Trail, the project partners seek to build upon prior efforts by adding and improving connections between existing sections of the 20 year-old trail. Tracing the river’s route, the trail will ultimately connect six cities and eleven towns from Tyngsborough to Newbury, effectively creating the backbone of a continuous, non-motorized, on- and off-road trail system.

Merrimack River Trail communities include Tyngsborough, Dracut, Chelmsford, Lowell, Tewksbury, Andover, Methuen, Lawrence, North Andover, Haverhill, Groveland, Merrimac, West Newbury, Amesbury, Newburyport, Salisbury, and Newbury.
Regional Events

Salem Five business Meeting
Early last week as a Corporator of the Salem Five, I attended the annual meeting of the Bank at their community room on the Essex Street Mall.   We were provided with a current update on the most recent business year and excellent presentations by the four most senior offices from the leadership team.   The bank had another very good year financially with the economic comeback of the national economy.  The stock market has improved and real estate values in some cases have been growing.  Joseph Gibbons, President and CEO of the bank, spoke of the continuing merger program with Stoneham Savings Bank and spoke at some length on the activity of the mortgage group at Salem Five.   I sat during the presentation with Donald Glass who was a contemporary of mine on the teller line at Salem Five in the 1960’s.  Don later became the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cooperative Bank League and now serves on the Bank’s Executive Committee.  We spoke after the meeting that the surplus of the bank that reflects the retained earnings since inception in 1855 now stands at over $330 million which is substantially higher than the overall size of the bank when we toiled as tellers in the early 1960’s    That metric certainly points out the success of this community bank that has been a wonderful contributor to the growth of this region.

The Bank’s Treasurer Ping Yin Chai presented a usual set of metrics that showed the bank well ahead of it completion and substantially ahead of stated banking norms.   He pointed out that Salem Five is now the fifth largest bank in the state.   While the standing is well stern of the number one banking institution Eastern Bank, it reminds me that Salem Five and Eastern Bank once stood just a couple of blocks away from one another in Salem and their mutual successes have certainly played a role in the growth of Salem.

Detailed presentations were provided to the Corporators by bank Senior officers Kim Meader and Bruce Potter who spoke of their overall responsibilities.   Mr. Meader spoke of the growth of commercial lending area.  Mr. Potter reviewed the methods used to insure that loans are paid back by borrowers.

It was announced that the annual social meeting would be held in May at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel.  At that event the speaker will be the noted motivational speaker and World War ll author, James Bradley who wrote the emotional best sellers “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Flyboys”, both books were wonderful tales of valor and life during the war.

City of Peabody Receives Great News From Commonwealth on School Building Project 
In these difficult times, The City of Peabody has received notification that the Commonwealth’s School Building Authority has agreed to provide over one half of the funds to the city for the addition they are planning next to the existing middle school.    The total cost of the project will exceed $88 million and the State has committed $43.6 million fund towards completion of that project.  Even with the Junior High Award, the city is not resting on its laurels.   They have got in line with the Commonwealth for Elementary School funding to make improvements at three schools in the city.
Unique Business Arrangement Benefits North Shore Community College
A unique arrangement which appears to be beneficial to both the local Community College and a company with leadership skills in this region has been formed.   North Shore Community College headed by President Wayne Burton, soon to be retired, has entered into an agreement with Higher Education Partners that when completed will save two programs that without the new space might have to be cancelled due to space constraints at Essex Agricultural School on the Danvers-Middleton line, where parts of the “Aggie” will have to be torn down to make room for the new Regional “Tech” School.   The two programs, that focus on Cosmetology and Culinary Arts, will be moved to Lynn and will, as a result of the agreement, operate in a three story office building in downtown Lynn that will benefit that community.    The unusual feature of this agreement is that the private company, Higher Education Partners, will provide the space in Lynn where the College also has a spacious campus and will bear all of the upfront costs in exchange for a percentage of the program revenue.  This is a most unusual arrangement and all of the players involved should be congratulated for ”thinking outside the box” to save the programs for the many students that will benefit from their efforts.
Higher Education Partners, that runs out on New Bedford, Massachusetts and Providence Rhode Island, is run by two gentlemen well known in this area.   They are Gerry Kavanaugh and Bill Luster who I have known professionally and worked with when the Salem Partnership was being developed.  At that time, they served as the City of Salem Planning Director and the Assistant Director and were instrumental in the success of that endeavor.

National Grid in Discussions with City of Salem over Power Line Replacement
The Utility has to replace two major transmission cables that run from the electric sub station near the Power Station to a new location on Canal Street in Salem.    An alternative plan was proposed and dismissed by National Grid that would place the cable beneath Salem Harbor.   They want to lay the cable through the Salem Common Neighborhood and then down Hawthorne Boulevard and ultimately to Canal Street.   A large group of neighbors gathered to voice their opinion and were very opposed to the plans proposed by National Grid.  I am reasonably certain that there will be additional negotiations between the Company and those impacted.  The work is scheduled to begin next year and to be finished the following year.  Some resolution must be addressed as the new cables are essential to the power grid that serves the community,

Medical, Senior and Disability Matters

News From North Shore Elder Services
The attached New York Times article, “For Modern Retirees, There’s No Place Like Home”, was published on March 12, 2013.

The concepts outlined in the following newspaper article provides support for the some of the present activities of North Shore Elder Services that is attempting to introduce the concept of “staying in your home” to the region with the mission of the Longevity Connection in two important aspects:  the role of technology in the home and the potential demand for the “village” model.  The Longevity Connection is one of the most current initiatives of North Shore Elder Services that could be very valuable to a number of seniors in this region.   Please review the following letter and if later more information is needed or if  you would like to discuss the concept in more detail a visit to The Longevity Connection at the 3rd floor headquarters of North Shore Elder Services at Sylvan Street in Danvers would be well worth the investment  of ones time as several programs are available for discussion.

For Modern Retirees, There’s No Place Like Home

INFLUENCED by long-term trends in housing design, communications technology, medical care and the expectations of the largest retiree generation in United States history, the outlines of the next era of American retirement are gaining clarity across the country.
In Parker, Colo., 18 miles south of Denver, retirees are proposing what they call a senior cohousing community in a downtown neighborhood. When completed, perhaps next year, it will have shared common spaces for activities and about 40 condominium-style apartments at affordable prices.

In Boston, retirees in 2002 established a nonprofit service organization to provide rides, grocery shopping, repairs and social events for members of the nation’s first urban village. Today, according to the Village-to-Village network, a national alliance of such groups, 100 other urban, suburban and rural villages — networks defined by more than geography — have formed nationwide. Members typically pay annual dues of $400 to $600, and some seek to recruit residents who have specific interests in art or music, a trend illustrated in Dustin Hoffman’s 2012 film “Quartet.”

The Parker and Boston projects reflect two of the most significant priorities that have consistently emerged in surveys of new retirees and adults who are approaching retirement: the desire to stay in one’s home as long as possible and the interest in living in big-city neighborhoods or suburban downtowns.  “We’re seeing the development of housing networks and social networks and service networks that provide the activities and support for many more people to lead the lives they want in their homes,” said Paul B. Kusserow, senior vice president and chief strategy and corporate development officer for Humana, the large Medicare insurance provider, which is based here.

Recognizing the strength of that trend, which is developing in an era of rising energy costs and static incomes, cities are building new neighborhood infrastructure — transit lines, public markets, parks and denser housing — that is accessible without driving.  Cincinnati and Grand Rapids, Mich., for instance, are among the dozens of small American cities that are building new rail and rapid bus transit lines that serve the growing number of young professionals, as well as middle-age and older residents moving to their downtowns. “Young people and old people are sharing some of the same values about neighborhood living,” said Armando Carbonell, chairman of planning and urban form at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a research group in Cambridge, Mass. “They share preferences in housing that are showing up in the market. It is a kind of living that is more central city, smaller units for smaller households.”

Software developers and engineers say they are making it easier for people to stay in their homes — urban or suburban — by inventing sensors, audio and visual equipment, and communications devices to provide care remotely. Much of the data, video and sound is accessible online, enabling instant contact with residents, and providing peace of mind for friends and family.  “In 20 years, many more people will stay in their homes who need help but don’t need to be in nursing care or assisted living,” said Casey Clements, the managing director of Rest Assured, which installs sensing and communications devices and assigns a trained staff member to provide what it calls telecare from its offices in Lafayette, Ind.

Founded in 2006 as a division of ResCare, based in Louisville and one of the nation’s largest in-home care providers, Rest Assured serves 600 clients in 16 states for an average cost of $1,100 a month, Mr. Clements said.  “Technology is changing in our favor,” he said. “Costs are coming down and these tools are already easy for clients to operate. We see many, many more people turning to this kind of system so that they can stay in their homes.”

The goal of remaining at home also has attracted the interest of builders. In 2011, the Lennar Corporation, one of the country’s largest builders, began offering floor plans for new multigenerational suburban houses in California and Arizona that incorporate separate living quarters. The first-floor apartments — which include small kitchens — initially could be used by a boomerang college student or an aging parent, and then by a live-in caregiver.

Master-planned retirement communities, which serve what the market calls “active independent adults,” are being built much closer to downtowns because customer surveys clearly indicate that buyers expect to continue working in their retirement years.  “With future baby boomers working part time, starting new businesses or new careers, it’s not surprising that they want to stay connected to their current community but still take advantage of an active lifestyle,” said Deborah Meyer, chief marketing officer for the PulteGroup, a national home builder based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Pulte is the parent company of Del Webb, which in 1960 founded Sun City near Phoenix, described as the country’s first large-scale, age-restricted retirement community.

Few places in the United States are studying the stages of aging, market trends and housing more intently than Louisville, a northern Kentucky city of 602,000 residents. In the last two decades a thriving “aging and wellness” sector developed here, with health professionals and business executives from leading companies in insurance, senior housing, medical devices, software and nursing care. It employs about 20,000 people, according to city figures.

Much of the research and business models under development in Louisville focus on what some specialists call the outsourced wing of the retirement and health sector, where retirees rely on others providing services: assisted living, nursing care, hospitalization and rehabilitation.
The ideas being tested and deployed here encompass things like the colors of the paint, carpet and fabrics used in Signature Healthcare’s state-of-the-art nursing facilities, online-guided robots for remote doctor visits and high-definition communication systems in the Trilogy Health Service assisted-living centers here.

Such innovations are also applicable in many other settings, said John P. Reinhart, president and chief executive of InnovateLTC, a research and marketing group. Established with seed funding from the state, Signature Healthcare and the University of Louisville, InnovateLTC fosters marketing and collaboration among companies based here — the corporate hub of the nation’s largest cluster of service companies for the aging, with revenue exceeding $44 billion annually.
Nearly 42 million people in the United States are 65 or older, according to the Census Bureau. By 2050, one of every five Americans — 88.5 million people — will be 65 or older, according to a 2009 study by the Congressional Research Service. In 1950, 12.4 million Americans were 65 or older, or fewer than one in 12 American citizens.

“We already know that in a decade there won’t be enough caregivers to help the number of retirees that need support,” Mr. Reinhart said. “We’re finding other ways to interact and provide care. That involves new technology. It also involves new ways to organize ourselves in neighborhoods and new relationships with people to provide care. We are going to develop a new definition of who we consider family.”

The influence of Louisville’s wellness sector has permeated surprising corners of this city’s business community, like interior design. Douglas Riddle, a designer and president of Bittners, an upscale furnishings and custom-crafted furniture company founded here in 1854, has helped several clients “build a house they tell me they’re determined to be carried out of.”  Mr. Riddle counsels clients and their architects on incorporating wider doors, fabric patterns and colors that will not confuse people with memory loss and dementia, and even extra studs in bathroom walls for the day when handrails are needed.  “I have several clients who are physicians,” Mr. Riddle said. “I ask them questions about what to anticipate, and I’ve developed expertise in designing homes for people who really mean it when they say they won’t be leaving.”

For people who need more care, Louisville is thinking about that, too. One leading company in the aging sector here is Atria Senior Living, founded in 1998, which owns and manages 127 retiree or assisted-living communities.   

One of its newest centers is Atria on the Hudson in Ossining, N.Y., a community where residents in one- and two-bedroom units share so many places to meet and muse — cafes, a library, a theater, gardens — that the campus resembles a pedigree prep school.  Another Atria community is West 86, a luxury retiree residence on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that provides owners access to three restaurants, a spa, rooftop fitness center, a library and numerous cultural and social events.  “What we’ve done in both residences is respond to a need in the market that will only grow,” said Mark Alexander, Atria’s senior vice president for redevelopment.

Masonic Homes of Kentucky, based in Louisville, takes a more comprehensive approach. Its Continual Care Retirement Community mixes a multistory condominium for younger and active retirees with assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers on a campus close to the city’s center.  The idea is that active residents have easier access to the city’s arts and recreational institutions and will never have to move again as they age.
People in the News
Former Salem High School Winning Football Coach Named to Hall of Fame
After a period when his efforts and results were not recognized, Ken Perone, who is a personal acquaintance, was elected to the Hall of Fame at Salem High School along with other coaches and athletes.   Ken who is tied for the most wins in school history has been in sports limbo for the last two decades due to unusual circumstances.  In addition to his football wins, Perone has also been a most successful baseball coach at Salem State University.

Retiring North Shore Community College President to be Honored
Retiring President Wayne Burton will be honored for his work as President of North Shore Community College later this year in Ipswich on June 13th for his many achievements.  He is a winner of the Essex Heritage Hero Award a couple of years ago.   We will provide more details about his honor as we get closer to the date of his event.

General Observations
Medical Associations in this region Continues to Change
It seems as if it were just weeks ago when Beverly Hospital and Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester announced that they had become part of the Lahey Health System.  Now just a few weeks later Lahey is reported in local newspapers as being in talks with Beth Israel Hospital and their physicians group in Boston concerning the potential of a merger.  The CEO of Leahy indicated that exploring partnerships with other high quality health providers are fundamental to meeting the needs of our patients and controlling costs.    It is most clear that the medical industry continues to be in a constant state of flux.   It is likely that the challenge of partnerships is not over yet and when it is all said and done there will be just a couple of large well capitalized and talented professional labor pool heath organizations and Lahey expects to be one of those players and competing with organizations like Partners Health Care.

Cursive Writing Becoming a practice of the past in this Digital Age,
As an elementary student, I learned cursive writing and learned the Palmers Method of writing.   Now penmanship seems to be taking a back seat to computer keyboards.   The ability to use the keyboard on the computer today is important, but I believe that some attention still should be paid in learning how to write cursively.

Essex Happenings .. 4/12/13

Essex Heritage Events and Activities

FIRST AND FOREMOST…..Great news sent to Trustees about funding in an E mail from Annie Harris, Executive Director, Essex Heritage

I have very good news!  I am extremely pleased to inform you that the federal funding for the National Heritage Area program and the authority for the Essex National Heritage Commission to continue to receive these funds was made official last week when President Obama signed the Continuing Resolution for the Federal FY 13 Budget.

We are very grateful for the strong bi-partisan support of the National Heritage Areas program in the US Senate – including our newly elected Senator Elizabeth Warren.  We also owe Congressman John Tierney and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas great thanks as well.   They are members of the National Heritage Area Congressional Caucus and co-sponsors of new legislation that will create a permanent place for the National Heritage Areas within the National Park System.  It would be wonderful if this new legislation is adopted this session.

Thanks for your help and support – Annie

Up-coming Featured Partner Events
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 Batchelder’s 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.
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.

Saturday, May 18, 2013 • 9am - 2pm
Featured Partner Event - Essex County Trail Association Presents:Discover Hamilton Trail Walk Patton Park, South Hamilton.  Essex County Trail Association invites you to the grand re-opening celebration and trail walk for the Discover Hamilton Trail! The Discover Hamilton Trail was created in the 1990s as an 8-mile loop that would highlight the significant open spaces and natural features of Hamilton, including Harvard Forest, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation's Bradley Palmer State Park, The Trustees of Reservations' Appleton Farms Grass Rides and Essex County Greenbelt Association's Pingree Reservation. ECTA has been working with the Town of Hamilton and private landowners over the course of the last year to re-route the starting location and portions of the trail off of roadways to create a safer and more welcoming experience.

Where to go: Meet at Patton Park, behind the baseball field, at 9:00am for a brief celebration and thank-you to those involved with the creation of and recent improvements to the trail. We will then begin our trail walk, which includes a 1.2-mile walk through the Myopia Schooling Field and Harvard Forest to access the start of the 8-mile loop trail. Walkers are welcome to join the full 10 mile walk, or follow the trail halfway and be shuttled back to the start at Patton Park. The "halfway" point will be at the Topsfield Road footbridge to Bradley Palmer State Park. We should be at this point by about 11:30 am. Refreshments will be provided at the bridge. 10-mile walkers will continue on the loop trail and should finish at Patton Park at about 2:00 pm. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are allowed on all parts of the Discover Hamilton Trail. This event is free but reservations are recommended.,

Regional Events and Announcements

Salem Senior Center Receives Final Approval
We have learned that the City of Salem and its City Council have officially approved the siting and building of a new Senior Center in that community.   Congratulations to the numerous people and organizations that have weighed in to support this much needed facility.    The Mayor and the rest of the political leadership in Salem should be applauded for their perseverance in this matter.   This new facility will be a wonderful addition to the many services offered to residents in the Witch City.  North Shore Elder Services Board supported this initiative as it is so valuable to one of our member organizations.

Eight communities Cooperate on Regional Health Initiative Benefits from State Grant
Eight local communities including Salem, Beverly, Danvers, Peabody, Lynn, Marblehead, Swampscott and Nahant collectively have banded together to successfully apply for and win a grant from the Commonwealth in the amount of $325,000 to join together to study certain health issues collectively.  The first item to be collaboratively addressed is the focus on indoor air quality, smoke free housing and public awareness of asthma triggers.   While the health professionals from the eight communities will work collaboratively, they will retain their own individual boards of heath and local autonomy, but will work collectively on certain regional issues where more can be accomplished together than separately.   The grant will be stretched out over four years and will allow for both collaboration in the various programs and will allow for shared environmental health inspection services over the term of the agreement. The state grant was awarded as part of a program that is meant to encourage regional public health cooperation   It is not a merger of services, but is a way to build cooperative efforts within the group that could amount to expense savings in the future.

Easter Sunday Holiday Weather
After a cool and snowy weather in this region during the month of March 2013, the month ended on Easter weekend with weather that was definitely better than we have been experiencing.   It was particularly nice on Easter Sunday.  We had some sun until showers arrived late in the day.    Now we need an extended period of spring weather.

Haverhill Kids-Fest Seeking Participating Vendors
The Greater Haverhill Chamber is seeking vendors for a kids-fest event on May 5, 2013.  The event will be held on the upper deck of the Merrimack Parking Garage from 11 until 4.  Prior to the event there will be a parade. For more information contact the chamber at

Town of Danvers Finance Committee Opens Hearings
The Danvers Finance Committee will begin a series of investigatory meetings to review the Town Budget and Warrant Articles for the Town Meeting early this month.  I missed a great number of the meetings last year, but expect to turn that issue around in 2013.  I suspect that other communities in the region are beginning this process as well.

Gift Cards Offered For Guns Turned in North Andover
The Town of North Andover has unveiled a program used in other communities to reduce the number of unwanted firearms in their community.  The police offered gift cards in exchange for a turned in hand guns, rifles and BB guns. It is interesting that several people refused cards as they just wanted to get rid of a firearm.

City of Newburyport Girls Inc. Seeking Sponsors
Girls Inc. in the City of Newburyport is seeking sponsors for its annual Breaking the Glass Ceiling Luncheon scheduled for May 1, 2013.  If you have any interest in being a sponsor or attending the lunch, contact the club at 078-465-0999.

Medical, Senior and Disability Matters

Regional Health Assessments
The two hospital organizations (Lahey Health and North Shore Medical Center) that primarily provide medical services to this region have each prepared a comprehensive medical needs assessment.  While the presentations are too long to reprint in this BLOG, the reports can be provided by both organizations if requested from them.  I will reprint a small section of the Executive summary from the North Shore Medical Center and will offer the Lahey Health report in a later BLOG posting, The hospitals may also show the reports on the respective hospital web site.  The North Shore Medical Center report follows:

Introduction and Methods:  North Shore Medical Center (NSMC) is a multi-site health system and serves the region as a 414 bed community hospital system offering comprehensive acute care services to Lynn, Salem and surrounding communities through two campuses: NSMC Salem Hospital and NSMC Union Hospital in Lynn. With rising health care costs, the focus on reducing disparities, and the importance of providing innovative, cost-effective health services to the region, NSMC is engaging in a broad-based initiative to develop a new model of care. This model aims to address the changing needs of the region, build an infrastructure for coordinated care across the continuum of settings, and increase access to high-quality primary and specialty care across the region. To help guide NSMC’s future plans around primary and secondary care delivery and community outreach programming as well as meet the fiduciary obligations commensurate with NSMC’s tax-exempt status, NSMC is undertaking a community health assessment of its catchment area.  This assessment aims to provide a comprehensive health portrait of NSMC’s priority communities of Danvers, Lynn, Marblehead, Nahant, Peabody, Salem, and Swampscott and identify community needs and assets, pressing health issues, as well as gaps and potential opportunities for program and service delivery improvement and expansion. 28 interviews conducted with a diverse range of individuals—17 interviews with 33 external key informants and 11 interviews with 15 staff who work at NSMC. Focus groups were conducted 31 individuals representing different audiences, including youth, seniors, and low-income residents. External key informant interviewees represented a range of individuals including social service providers, religious leaders, organizational directors, staff from city and state government, and staff from community-based organizations and youth serving agencies, while internal NSMC staff interviews were conducted with staff from a range of departments, including case management, patient navigation, behavioral health, pediatrics, emergency, patient access, primary care, and obstetrics.

COPAA Board Organization
The support group COPAA (Cornell Orthopedics and Prosthetics Amputee Association) that I gain support from as a participant where I receive support information focused on people with disabilities is organizing formally and will soon be adopting by-laws and electing a Board of Directors. I have been asked to serve as a member of this prospective board when organized and have accepted that nomination.  The organization has recently received a number of community contributions to support their mission and they believe that a more formal organization is needed to insure transparency.

 North Shore Elder Services Comedy Event  
North Shore Elder Services is offering a local event to raise both funds and awareness to support the North Shore Elder Services mission of providing multiple and comprehensive services to Elder Adults at their Comedy Show at the North Shore Music Theatre.   Tickets are available at the North Shore Music Theatre.  SAVE THE DATE: Wicked Funny Comedy Tour, Featuring some of New England’s funniest comedians on Saturday, April 27, 2013  8:00 p.m. at the North Shore Music Theater, Dunham Road, Beverly. MA

People in the News

New Essex Tech Regional School Chooses Superintendent
The representatives of the School Committee of the new Essex Tech School in Middleton unanimously selected Mr. Daniel O’Connell, the current leader of the North Shore Technical School since 2004, to be superintendent of the new facility.  The new $133 million Essex Tech and the Essex Agricultural School is expected to open in the fall of 2014.  With the upcoming opening and merger, the newly named superintendent must oversee the integration of the two schools including creating a combined leadership team.   By his own calculations, Mr. Daniel O’Connell says that he has prepared a preliminary work plan containing 172 items that need attention in the short term.

Lahey Health names new operating room suite at Beverly Hospital after Benefactor.
Beverly Hospital names the new state of the art operating suite at the hospital after Michael Ruane, a Boston businessman, who has been a long-time benefactor of the hospital.

Local Political Newcomer wins State Representative Seat in Peabody
Youthful Republican candidate Leah Cole won a recent election by a narrow margin in a three person race in the City of Peabody to replace deceased representative Joyce Spiliotis in the State Representatives race.


Patriots Free Agency
As a new lower financial salary cap for the National Football League was established for 2013, the New England Patriots and the other league participants are making some moves.  Time will tell, but the Patriots might have suffered a big loss, when they failed to sign local fan favorite Wes Welker and lost him to Payton Manning and the Denver Bronco’s.   They picked up a slot receiver who may or may not replace Welker. They also have signed, still to be proven, wide receivers from Buffalo and Minnesota and a much needed kick returner.  It does appear now that they have not provided quarterback Tom Brady with much to work with the cadre of roster wide receivers at least in April.  They filled a need by signing a highly thought of older veteran to hold down one of the safety spots.  They signed a couple of their own veterans defensive backs Talib and Arrington and an offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer.  They lost a back-up offensive lineman.   They failed to sign anyone to bolster their pass rush, and I suspect that they may remedy that situation before the 2013 season begins either through additional free agency or the annual draft.   In general, I would give them at best right now a C plus for their efforts, but as with Wes Welker, only time and performances during the next season will produce a final grade for their off season work.

Possible Troubles across the Globe for the United States
It certainly is clear that with the difficulties in Syria and the war sounds coming out of North Korea and the ongoing nuclear fears emanating from Iran that our new Secretary of State John Kerry has his plate full.  The simulated Air Force bombing run using B-2 bombers that traveled non-stop and round trip from the Continental US over South Korea adjacent to the North Korean border could be a warning sign to the leadership of North Korea or could spur them to more bellicose actions.  Just recently the USA moved two warships closer to North Korea in the Pacific Ocean.   The South Koreans and its American Allies need to be conscious of North Korea and certainly do not want to do anything that would get them overly bellicose.  The North recently offered a re-declaration of war against South Korea and the USA has many American servicemen and women in possible danger in that part of the world. These hot spots around the world will have to be carefully monitored by the United States as the implications to this country could be tenuous.
Red Sox Open Season
On the first day of April, the Boston Red Sox opened their 2013 season in New York on a day that was nicer than anything we had seen in the previous thirty days.  The April roster was certainly not made up of people we will see every day in the future.  After a very unsuccessful season in 2012, several players started the year on the disabled list and a player, Daniel Bard, they were counting on to be a comeback player will start in Portland, Maine rather than Boston. The decision to add Jackie Bradley Jr. to the roster rather than assigning him to the minors was a last minute decision made on the day before the opener.  It is expected that the Sox will start natural center fielders in all three outfield positions. Oh by the way, after two straight seasons with 0 and 6 starts the Red Sox won their opener and at least after Opening Day plus one game, they are now 2 and 0 to start a new season

Bruins Make attempts to Strengthen Team for the Playoffs
As we close in on the end of the regular National Hockey League season, the Boston Hockey team is exploring all avenues to improve their team and improve chances in the playoffs.   They thought that they had made a most valuable deal with Calgary, but at the last moment Calgary changed direction and traded with Pittsburgh.   That deal made a Penguins team an even more difficult opponent for Boston but that may be impacted by a serious face and jaw injury incurred by their best player in the NHL, Sidney Crosby.   The Boston entry recently signed as aging super star, for some expected help.  It is possible that after a decade of unprecedented success that the tide in professional sports might be changing a bit at least as far as Boston Teams are concerned.  The talent and the teams that Boston has gathered in recent years may be evening out at the present time,

Hospital Patient and Youth Welfare in North Carolina
We were particularly pleased to learn that our grandson Brendan Leonard has been selected to play a leadership role as a Fundraising Projects Chairman in the very successful University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sponsored 24 hour Dance Marathon event.  That event for its patients and their parents in 2013 raised almost one half a million for the local hospital.  When Brendan Leonard ‘11 was a student at St. John’s Preparatory School, he received a number of awards for his leadership and was a student Community Service Award winner chosen by the Danvers Community Council in 2012.