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 ecga@ecga.org 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.

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