Thursday, May 9, 2013

Essex Happenings 5-3-13

Essex Heritage Activities and Events

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.
Reservations required. This event is free, but please register online to attend.

Saturday, June 1, 2013 • 8am - 12pm
Essex Heritage Photo Safari featuring Tamron At The Cox Reservation
82 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. Go to  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
Come and 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 Reservation
82 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.
Go to  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 Laroche
115 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.

Heritage Hero Event
In a recent posting, I noted the presentation of Joanne Patton at the Essex Heritage Annual Meeting.  Since I was not able to be in attendance that morning, I sent Joanne a congratulatory message and she has responded and both messages are presented as follows:

My note to Joanne:
I want you to know how pleased I am that you have agreed to be honored as the Essex Heritage Hero for 2013.  I am sorry that I was not able to be at the recent Essex Heritage Annual meeting in Haverhill when you were introduced and the Heritage Hero honor was discussed.  We were a little concerned with getting into the building where the meeting was held in my wheelchair that morning.  In any event, your choice is an excellent one and I am particularly pleased that you are following me on the list of award winners.   I look forward to seeing you soon when I can congratulate you personally.   What you and your family have done for this region is extraordinary and the honor is so well deserved.     Congratulations once again.  Tom Leonard
Joanne’s reply:
Dear Tom.  What a lovely, gracious message! You must know that this is pretty overwhelming especially for me, following Tom Leonard! I am thankful to be sharing the honor with my more worthy Patton relatives and certainly will look forward to having you meet some of them next fall.  All the best to a really special friend and community member – you!  Gratefully, Joanne

Regional News

Salem State University Looks to the Future
Substantial information on the opportunities being evaluated by Salem State University, a major community educational facility that has a continuing impact on this region and its residents, are presented as follows.   Some of the material was obtained from a report offered recently in the Salem News, authored by Tom Dalton.  The University has long been a partner of Essex Heritage and its many programs. They have representation on the Essex Heritage Board of Trustees with the University President and there are other members of the leadership team at the University on the Board of Commissioners.

In the future, Salem State University could look substantially   different than it does today.  The University is looking at various options through the use of a consulting firm.  They considered the possibility of acquiring Rainbow Terrace, the 136-apartment public housing complex located between the University’s central and main campuses. The University is also considering building three parking garages — one at the O’Keefe Sports Center and two others on college campuses along Loring Avenue.  The University is also planning to develop the Weir property, the old industrial site in Salem on Loring Avenue across from the Salem State campus that was acquired three years ago.

Salem State is certainly planning to build more residence halls, but how many would depend on future demand and student acceptances.  All of those possibilities were laid out recently when consultants hired by the state and the University leadership presented a “campus master vision” through 2040 at a meeting of the Salem State University Neighborhood Advisory Committee. The most controversial “opportunity site” was Rainbow Terrace, which has provided housing for low-income residents and veterans for decades but sits right between Salem State’s two main campuses. That would be a really powerful campus environment, said Sasaki Associates Inc. of Watertown, the planning consultants. They noted, however, that acquiring the Salem housing site would require substantial planning and working with the City of Salem and the neighborhood.
The University has stressed that Salem State has no current plans to acquire Rainbow Terrace and only asked the consultant to explore all possible expansion sites far into the future and to outline possible expansion possibilities. The Consultants came back to them and said ‘Rainbow Terrace is an opportunity  “That’s where we are now.  It’s an opportunity.” The consultants said they are not recommending acquiring Rainbow Terrace, or any other nearby property, just pointing out options for the university to consider.

As for plans for more residence halls, Salem State currently is working on plans for a dorm to house 300-350 students. The two tentative sites for that building are the campus police station on the central campus and the parking lot next to Peabody Hall.  The housing plans for the campus the dorm plans don’t stop there. The college repeatedly has said its goal is to build enough housing for 50 percent of its undergraduate students.  At the present time, almost 2,000 students live on campus and the plan is to increase that number to 3,500, which could mean the development of several more buildings.

Another “opportunity site” is across the street from the University at the 4-acre Weir site, which currently is used for offices, shipping and receiving, and storing books for the new library. It was described as a site with strong potential for larger buildings with multiple uses.

The consultants also noted that Salem State is approaching its parking limits that will offer expansion possibilities.

Ipswich’s Crane Beach Boardwalk Open
The Boardwalk that is owned and maintained by the Town of Ipswich that operates on Crane Beach owned by the Trustees of Reservations has been repaired. The winter storm did substantial damage as it did to other waterfront properties along the county waterfront that were impacted during the winter of 2013.   The boardwalk has been opened since early last month, and completed ahead of schedule.  The Town received quotes from contractors that were deemed too expensive.  The work was then undertaken by Town Departments, and the costs incurred by doing the work in that manner was less than using a private contractor and money was saved for the community in the process.

TV Awards in Beverly
The City of Beverly, students and teachers recently received awards from the Alliance for Community Media for work done towards an educational programing produced at the school.   This work was presented at an Annual Community Video Festival.   These awards are considered most important and the work produced provides a wonderful training field for students.

Speaker Group in North Andover Seeks Help
The North Andover annual speaker series is seeking volunteers to help them plan the three or four annual presentations made in that community. In addition to an expansion of the group that manages the series of speakers at this time to better reflect its mission the group is changing the name of the group to the North Andover Parents Resource Network.  The volunteers being sought, as part of the name change and planning process, will provide the opportunity to complete researching topics, speakers, scheduling and organizing events.  If anyone is interested in joining this effort and participating in work of the new organization contact Brenda Reeve, one of the founders of the program at 978-685-6068.

City of Salem to Offer Financial Literacy Program
The City of Salem will soon unveil a program that will assist high school students in that city to gain insights about managing personal finances.  The cost of this program is being covered by a recent State grant in the amount of $13,700. Salem was one of eleven high schools in ten gateway cities. The funds were awarded to test financial literacy programs in the chosen schools during the 2013 and 2014 school years. It is expected that this program supported by a number of financial institutions in that community will produce a more aware population among its students

Town Meetings Planned Across the Region
In numerous communities around the region, annual Town meetings are being scheduled and held to approve budgets, consider warrant articles and to approve other important matters to be brought before residents. There are elections for Selectpersons being contested in many of the same municipalities.

Danvers Historical Society Seeks Designer Support
As a result of continuing to utilize the iconic property known as Glen Magna Farms as a “beacon” for The Danvers Historical Society, that organization has decided that they will seek design firms to redecorate and restore the Historic and Iconic Endicott Mansion at Glen Magna Farms. This will be using the updated mansion to help celebrate fifty years of stewardship with a Designers Showcase at the Mansion among other events.   The Society has sent a substantial number of invitations to designers, both local and national to seek interest in their participation in a designer’s showcase scheduled for December 1 through December 15, 2013 at the mansion.  The plans are to offer a refurbished and designed space in the historic mansion by architectural design firms to provide the public from this region the opportunity to view the property as it once was “laid out”.   In addition to the designer showcase that will be similar to other such presentations in numerous locations across the country, a Preview Gala will be held on November 30th to allow a first look at the work of the chosen designer.  The proceeds from this effort will be used to enhance the preservation mission of the Society including the enhancements of numerous properties that help to explain and bring a focus on the long and storied history of the Town of Danvers.

The Show House is being planned and offered for viewing as the top item on "Upcoming Events" on the American Society of Interior Designers' website!   Their posting follows:
Join us in celebrating four major upcoming Anniversaries: in December, the 50th anniversary of saving Glen Magna Farms and the Endicott Mansion, and in 2014, the Society's 125th Anniversary, the 100th anniversary of the saving of the 1754 Page House and the 200th Anniversary of the Ingersoll Farm transformation into Glen Magna Farms, one of America's first country estates by Salem Maritime Merchant Joseph Peabody, one of the richest  men in America.

Clipper Trial Website in Newburyport Launched
The City of Newburyport has created a new web site to support the most active and heavily used Clipper City Rail Trail.  The Trail opened several years ago.  The city has recently created and is planning to open a website to assist users of the facility to understand this important community asset   When the trail was first put in place, Essex Heritage was a substantial cooperating contributor and used the many resources of Essex Heritage to promote the opening and operation of the new Trail.   Bill Steelman, The Director of Heritage Development has been a valuable contributor to both the mission of Essex Heritage and the Trail in Newburyport.   The web site will be available shortly heritage at .   The site will offer a welcome video designed to help tourists, day-trippers and students discover Newburyport’s rich history.   It will also offer a historical time-line, one dozen self-directed history tours that will describe one hundred and twenty five points of interest, and two hundred historical images.  For more information on this valuable community recreational project contact Ghlee Wordworth at or at 978-462-2010.   This trail and the proposed informational and directional website is a classic example of the types of community projects embraced, endorsed and supported by the Essex Heritage as the project highlights the recreational uses, and the preservation and reuse of regional open space.

Medical, Seniors and Disabilities Issues

Salem Patient Advisory Committee at Spaulding Hospital
For the last two years, my wife and I have been participating members of the Spaulding Hospital, Salem Patient Advisory Committee that helps support the numerous patients with disabilities served by that hospital.  The next Patient Family Advisory Council meeting will be on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 5:30pm in the SNS Boardroom.  We believe that our commitment to this initiative that has been rewarding and has lent support to the present and future patients of that hospital comes to an end with this meeting.  I would expect that some of the victims of the recent Marathon bombing might find their way to this institution for rehabilitation in the weeks ahead.   The Advisory group has provided input in numerous areas and is a viable communications vehicle for the hospital management team.

People in the News

Beverly Mayor Chooses not to Run
Mayor William “Bill” Scanlon has decided to end his career as the Mayor of the Garden City.  After nine terms and almost two decades leading the City of Beverly, Bill leaves the office of Mayor and the City in much better shape than when he first took over the corner office.  Bill has been a long time  and wonderful supporter of Essex Heritage.  He has been a pleasure to work with in advancing the region.   His participation and cooperation in the area during his time in a leadership role has been enviable. His long time legacy in Beverly will be remembered and admired.

Danvers High School Baseball Coach Achieves a Milestone

Roger Day, having coached the Danvers Falcons for all but one year since 1987 reached his four hundredth win with a victory over longtime rival, the City of Gloucester bringing his 2013 record to eight wins and no loses.  During his time at the helm of Danvers Baseball he won a number of Northeastern Conference Titles and in 2001 captured a State Title in his division.   My two sons never played for Coach Day in Danvers, but they did participate in weekend clinics when they were Little Leaguers and they learned a great deal from those efforts.   His record will certainly last for a long time.

Personal Observations

Healing and Prayer Service
Keeping all political observations aside, I would offer that the presentation of the recent Boston prayer/healing service was a wonderful success and served as a great event for the City of Boston.  I was particularly impressed by the Mayor of Boston who, even with a very difficult medical condition, did a sensational job (even standing up on his booted foot) to deliver a positive presentation at the podium.     In addition to the Mayor, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick offered meaningful remarks.  Most genuine presentations and heartfelt reflections from members of the local clergy including Reverend Liz Walker and the host at the Cathedral, Cardinal Sean O’Malley were provided.  Representatives from various churches and denominations were presented by clergy and welcomed.  

The President of the United States Barack Obama provided an inspirational, and extremely personal speech that was delivered flawlessly.   Many have said that the President without the help of a teleprompter could not provide a worthy presentation, but he certainly proved all of those naysayers wrong as he appeared to be working from prepared notes only.   He is an accomplished and passionate orator and his presentation made me proud to be both an American and that I come from the Boston region.  He touched on many local matters and provided a charge to all watching that we continue to face up to the difficulties of this time and to continue to face and win the good race.  The President’s visit to the injured along with his wife was a wonderful personal touch and was most certainly appreciated by those recuperating from injuries that were visited.   The presentations at the TD Garden and Fenway Park were all presented with great skill and certainly helped to bring a City and a region together.

Crisis Ended
After a week of terror ended with a lockdown of the City of Boston and surrounding communities, the final suspect in the Marathon Bombing was tracked down and captured.   Despite the captured terrorist’s medical condition, there it is still uncertain how much information, if anything, he will be willing to provide and there is more still to be related concerning this tale.   But one thing we do know, it was an incredible and committed service that the local law enforcement groups provided to that end now is something of a vindication of the acts of the terrorists on the residents of this region.

National Football League to Conduct Annual Draft
This week the NFL will conduct its annual draft of college athletes    The local team, the New England Patriots as a result of its 2013 finish will draft late in the round and they as a result of previous transactions do not have as many choices as in the past.  We will follow this annual procurement of new talent as that is important to future successes.

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