Tuesday, April 16, 2013

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 sweber@7gables.org 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 ecga@ecga.org 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 ecga@ecga.org 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 www.haverhillchamber.com

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.

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