Thursday, May 9, 2013

Essex Happenings 5-10-13

Essex Heritage Events and Activities

Upcoming Events

Essex Heritage Photo Safari featuring Tamron
Saturday, June 1, 2013 • 8am - 12pm
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 or 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 - Essex County Greenbelt Association Presents 24th Annual Art in the Barn Weekend -  Featured Partner Event 
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.
Click here to learn more about this event

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 • 7:00pm - Featured Partner Event
The House of the Seven Gables Presents:Seven Lectures at The Seven Gables: Giles Laroche115 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970
Salem’s noted children’s author and illustrator will delight the audience (young and old) with demo of his art form, discussion and reading of his latest book “If You Lived Here - Houses of the World.
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.

Regional Matters

Mayor Bill Scanlon Accomplishments
In my last posting in this BLOG, I reported on the decision of Mayor Bill Scanlon to retire from public service.   That decision is an important one for this region and I want to reiterate on that decision in a little more detail.   I have known Bill for a number of years ever since I spent a very enjoyable year coaching his son Bart on a youth hockey in the Town of Danvers.  Bill will be missed as the Chief Executive of the City of Beverly.  He has been a great leader of that community and has stabilized the financial condition in the city.   He has been a great advocate of community cooperation and has cooperated whenever a regional effort that could make the Garden City into a more efficient entity and worked diligently to reduce costs by working collectively with other communities in the region.   Bill has been an early and most committed member of this regional community whenever the work of Essex Heritage was being considered.   The wonderful collection of businesses that now populate the property that came to Beverly to restore and update the United Shoe Machinery complex now known as the Cummings Center would not have been possible without the forward thinking and vision that Bill Scanlon exhibited.   That facility has brought a new energy and vitality to the North Shore community that he managed through nine terms in office.   He has also worked for a number of years with the Commonwealth on the creation of a traffic interchange in the North Shore Music Theater area.  This improvement seems poised to be developed and will open another tract of land that will certainly improve economic conditions in the community that he has led for two decades in the near term.  Bill will be missed, but one only must observe his achievements to measure his value to the City of Beverly.

Strong Local support For Bombing Victims
Since the bombs exploded in Boston 10 days ago the city, the region has mobilized in support of those impacted.  In a recent edition of the Salem News I saw three large ad setups indicating that three members of the Essex Heritage Corporate membership team, C. P. Berry Homes in Topsfield, North Shore Bank headquartered in Danvers and Institution for Savings in Newburyport produced ads indicating their support of the One Fund and by their participation urging individual support.  I suspect that there are other participating Essex Heritage Corporate members that have also supported these efforts as well.

There is another contributor to the effort that focused its support particularly directed towards the family of Martin Richard the young boy killed by one of the bombs.  Young Martin’s dad Bill grew up in Salem.   E. W. Hobbs who offers popcorn, ice cream and candy kisses from their iconic location at the Salem Willows held a fundraiser on a recent Saturday when all of the proceeds from the sale of the world renowned popcorn sold that totaled over $14, 850.00 was contributed to the Salem Five Fund for the family. 

Since the time that I was a youth in Salem, during three of the summers when I was in high school in the early 1950’s at St. John’s Prep I worked preparing popcorn and scooping ice cream at that location.    Ever since that time spring does not officially begin until I can enjoy my first box of popcorn from Hobbs’s.  The time this year has passed, but we needed a refill and went to the willows to purchase a bag for our home.    We were unaware of the effort of Charlie Hobbs to raise funds and were turned away by the unbelievable, incredible line that was purchasing bags, boxes or vouchers for popcorn.   My wife did not stand in the line and for that we are sorry.  Congratulations to the folks at Hobbs Emporium that sold over one thousand bags or vouchers for future pickup for their sensational effort for a most worthy cause.

Salem State University Honored for Community Service
Salem State University, its leadership, student and staff has been identified and recognized for its commitment to volunteerism, service learning and most importantly community involvement.  The university has been named to the 2013 President’s Community Service Honor Roll that recognizes the university nationally.  Some of the community programs identified their involvement with students from the Ford School in Lynn and commitments to local community service organizations like the Salem Partnership, regional groups like the Essex Heritage and North Shore Chamber of Commerce.

City of Gloucester Approves Second Cultural District
The City of Gloucester has announced that the Massachusetts Cultural District is making the fishing community the first community in the Commonwealth to have two designated cultural districts. Previously the Council had approved the Rocky Neck region of the community a cultural district.  According to the Massachusetts Cultural Council web site at these districts are attracting tourism, local artists and job opportunities.  In addition to the two Gloucester cultural districts, Cape Ann also has two other identified cultural districts in Rockport (downtown near Dock Square and the Essex River Cultural District in Essex.   These locations certainly add to the charm and allure of this region and are part of the reason Essex Heritage takes such great pride in promoting.  This region is a place for tourism visitation growth and the economic advantages to the Commonwealth, Cape Ann and the entire Essex National Heritage Area. 

Danvers Finance Committee Hearings Begin
Late in April hearings began by the Danvers Finance Committee to make adjustments or to offer approvals of the Danvers department budgets before they are presented to the Town Meeting for final approval.   In due course all of the administrative elements that make up the General Government budget and the spending plans of the Danvers School and the regional budget of the Technical and Agricultural School as it pertains to the apportionment attribute to Danvers was approved or adjusted.  The process is not without some measured and thoughtful questions on certain budgets.  This year there was an attempt to reduce the school district budget and to bring its total more in line with the level of increases in the general government budget.  Those two budgets were followed by detailed presentations by the Police and Fire Departments and the Public Works Departments.  Those presentations were followed by a number of Warrant articles that needed exposure.   In general the finance committee hearings were well run by the town leadership, Chairman Sweeney and the presentation of the deliberations as delivered to the Town Meeting appears to be ready.  

Danvers Swamp Walk
I recently received an e-mail from George Saluto who with his crew has accomplished so much with the Danvers Swamp Walk. The project is an excellent one and whatever we could do to help support their efforts would be most worthwhile.

Here is a brief update from George:
We have completed the Danvers-Wenham Swampwalk. We have raised about $40,000-but have depleted our piggy bank. Thanks in part for a grant from Essex Heritage, we have been able to fund three 'SwampWalk' directional signs on the Rail-Trail that bear the ENHA logo. We still have a final, unfinanced need for extensive interpretive signage.

Medical, Senior’s and Disability Matters

The following information was provided by the Cornell Orthotics and Prostheses Amputee Association (COPAA) Sent to Her Membership Concerning Bombing Disabilities.  I am happy and proud to be an active member of this group.

I want to bring you up to date on what we are doing as the COPAA and as a partner of the Amputee Coalition of America.  As I advised before, Director Rose Bissonnette has been asked by the ACA to be the Peer Visitor Facilitator for Massachusetts to coordinate visits to help the victims of the bombings last Monday who lost limbs. She contacted me Tuesday afternoon and she asked me to be one of those who might help.  I immediately brought you all up to date and I have tried to keep you all informed as we go along and as I hear from Rose.

First of all, I have had an outpouring of offers from many of you.  I do so appreciate how many have asked how they can help these latest victims of limb loss. I know we all feel helpless, but also we each share something with each of these folks. We want to reach out, to help, to tell our story and to let them know that there is hope after amputation. Many of us have gone on after our amputation to return to activities we did before we lost our limb. Many are as active if not more now. I know how important we feel to let others know that, and it is going to be helpful as time goes on even more.  Right now, of course, though, it's not about us, but about the victims and their story and the best thing we can do is be there for them, listen and help them with their first step in their journey.  That will be the first step that we need to take as we try to help these folks who have lost limbs so catastrophically and so tragically. Helping them find their way on their journey will be a delicate and sensitive task, but I think we have some pretty incredible members in our association and I know Rose will have others who will be just as incredible.  For most of us, we are giving these bombing victims more help and better information than any of us received when we lost our limbs. Be proud of the work we have done in our COPAA to get to that point!   

I want to thank all of you who responded and assure all of you that I have submitted a list of all who offered to help into Rose tonight. She will then sort through them, take the information sent to her, and notify us when we will be needed. It won't be right away, as this has been a traumatic event, which the victims need to deal with before anything else. Their road to recovery will begin once they get sent to rehabs or when they are settled in the hospital awaiting other medical issues to heal.  It might be next week or the week after or beyond.  That is when they will most need us. We will wait until the time is right, when some healing has started.  For some, the healing will require a lifetime.

The plan is to pair a civilian amputee Peer Visitor with Veteran amputees from the military who have also volunteered to help.  Both will be with one patient to give two perspectives.

I will keep you all updated as I hear of more developments. So far they are reporting 14 amputations, with more anticipated in the coming days/weeks.

I am incredibly proud to represent this wonderful Association. I want to thank every one of you who have made an offer to help. I can assure you we are all being considered based on ACA criteria. The process will also include a CORI check, of course, and so a lot of paperwork will need to be done early.  If you volunteered you will probably hear from Rose directly, but she may contact me. I have forwarded all your contact information to her for her consideration.

Thank you to all who stepped up. To the rest of you, I hope you all are doing the best you can in your own daily lives. I will keep you all posted. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Also, you should know that not only am I keeping Keith Cornell up on what I know, but also he is in the loop with many others in his field. He is also very busy doing his part to help, and he is grateful as well to all of you who have volunteered.

Our sister group at Whittier in Haverhill, MA may see an increase in their patient load with Boston Marathon bombing victims. We send along to them our thoughts now as they gear up to prepare to take patients at some point along the way. As you may or may not know, Whittier is an excellent wound care facility as well as having Keith and his lab there on site. Needless to say, they also are a fantastic, multi-faceted hospital and rehab. Any patients who go there will receive the best of complete patient care.

Thank you all again and I am here for anyone who wishes to talk or has questions. For those who cannot volunteer to go in, please know that your thoughts and prayers for the victims and for those of us who are going in will be greatly appreciated as we find the right words for these difficult times.

May God Bless you all!  “Posie” Mansfield

Globe OP ED Article on Amputations in the Boston Globe Sunday Edition
In light of the Marathon bombing and the fact that over 250 were injured and 14 people are now amputees, The Boston Globe Sunday edition offered a most interesting and informative opinion piece that focused on a member of the Globe staff (Beverly Cronin) that has been an amputee since shortly after birth for forty-five years, but is a staunch advocate that she is not disabled.  She outlines in her opinion piece how important it is to maintain an inner strength and continue with life’s pursuits.   Her passion is for swimming where she has become competitive. Her story was inspiring and was well presented.   In light of the opening and movement of current patients to the new Spaulding Hospital Rehabilitation hospital on the waterfront in Charlestown made the column even more topical.

North Andover Speaker Series presented Information on Mental Health
On May 7th the North Andover speaker series presented a workshop for youth and teenagers on anxiety and depression.  The program outlined behavior patterns that precede depression.   The presentation was most timely and provided much current information on a persistent problem in many communities around the region.

People in the News

Former 8 year mayor and long time State Senator from Lynn “Chip” Clancy has received permission to bring a law suit in State courts against the City of Lynn for over $35,000 in salary and other benefits.  This event and that fight could make the election when he lost in a recount to the present Lynn CEO look tame by comparison.

Personal Observations

Area SAT Scores Released are Results considered
In late April 2013, The Boston Globe North released a list of average SAT score achieved by students registered in communities north of Boston.  The list included a number of communities outside the borders of Essex Heritage and the list provided no eye-opening revelations and the confirmations of the communities with elite educational opportunities produced no surprises.  The average scores in the vast majority of Essex Heritage communities averaged between 1500 and 1650, and the top communities averaged between 1550 and 1700.    One did not need to analyze those recent SAT scores to identify the elite communities as other factors are in play. There are several of those communities that have boasted of academic excellence over the years and they are easily identified.  There are a few communities that have been plagued by financial difficulties and have diverse populations of school age youth who are trying to learn and gain an understanding English.  The tests in these communities have resulted in slightly lower averages. The Commonwealth educational agencies have long attempted to help those communities.  There are clear choices that can be made if one is seeking a new community where they would like to live and have their offspring educated.
Primary Election Results for Open Senate Seat Complete
At the end of April,  the primary election for the Senate seat vacated by John Kerry, in his new role as Secretary of State, was completed and the two parties have candidates for the general election scheduled for June 25. 2013.   Regardless of party affiliations don’t forget to cast your vote in that special election between Ed Markey and Gabriel Gomez and that election should be most contested.     
On the local level a number of communities have scheduled town elections for selectpersons during the month of May and we urge voting in those contests as well as in many ways the volunteer leadership of the local communities will be chosen.

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