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

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