Thursday, October 31, 2013
ESSEX HAPPENINGS NOVEMBER, 2013
I AM PARTICULARLY PLEASED TO BE PROVIDING A MONTHLY PRESENTATON OF ESSEX HAPPENING. I AM HAPPY TO BE ONCE AGAIN PROVIDING MY OPINIONS ON HAPPENINGS IN THIS REGION. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT MY THOUGHTS AS PRESENTED DO NOT REFLECT THE PRESENTATION OF AN EMPLOYEE OR A MANAGER OF ANY OF THE ORGANIZATIONS COMMENTED ON IN THESE REPORTS. I INTEND TO CONTINUE REPORTS ON THE SUCCESSES AND THE MISSION OF ESSEX HERITAGE THAT I HELPED TO CREATE AND LABORED AT FOR OVER TWO DECADES. I WILL HOWEVER REPORT ON OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WHERE I AM I ALSO INVOLVED AS A BOARD MEMBER.
HERITAGE HERO EVENT
Last month Essex Heritage faced a very pleasant problem with their annual Heritage Hero Event. The tribute scheduled to honor Joanne Patton and the federal, state and local commitments made by the entire Patton Family of Wenham was scheduled to be held at the Willowdale banquet facility in Topsfield. It had to be transferred to a more spacious local facility due to an overwhelming demand for tickets to the event. For the event, over 450 area participants have signed up to come to the new location at Danversport Yacht Club for the dinner to honor the famous military and philanthropic family from the center of this great region. In addition to the strong attendance, sponsorships are also quite high and that will be most beneficial for ENHC.
My Personal Tribute since I am unable to attend offered to the most admired Joanne Patton during her event:
I want to offer my heartiest congratulations on the presentation of the annual Heritage Hero Award to you and your entire family. The work and the importance of the Patton family to this region and to the entire country have been extraordinary for many decades. This award is a result of substantial discussion by the leadership of both Essex Heritage and the National Park Service. This is a wonderful reflection of the importance of the Patton Family and particularly you Joanne to the 35 communities that make up the Essex National Heritage Area. You have joined a most distinguished group of previous winners including past and present community Mayors and Managers, College Presidents and regional committed activists.
As a former much honored winner of this valued and prestigious award, I am incredibly disappointed that I cannot be with you this evening in spite of my almost three year old disability. We were planning to be at the event to share your excitement about being identified as an outstanding community leader, but a fractured ankle suffered by my wife Marge a couple of weeks ago made our presence and participation impossible and has rendered us house bound. Once again our congratulations on the most well deserved award as the Essex Heritage, National Park Service Heritage Hero for 2013.
I am particularly pleased to welcome you as a fellow Heritage Hero in this region that we know means so much to you and your family. Your participation as a valued business member of this region and your continuation as a committed activist of Essex County are welcomed. We look forward to visiting with you in the future as you continue your ongoing participation in the affairs of this spectacular section of this country that you love and have served so well.
Thomas M Leonard
Essex Heritage Commission
Election Results in the City of Boston
After a two decade period of leadership in the states capital city by Mayor Tom Menino, he is retiring due to health issues and has decided to step down from this role in 2013. A wide variety of a dozen candidates stepped forward to run in a special election to choose a successor CEO for Boston on the first Tuesday in November and the field was prospective mayors was reduced to two final candidates. City councilor John Connelly and State representative and labor advocate Martin Walsh were the winners of the run off election and will square off on the first Tuesday of this month. After two decades of leadership by an most committed Italian American, the Mayor’s post in the short term future will be held once again by a Boston Irishman.
More Local Election Results
Even with all of the troubles and innuendo that are flying around in the community of Lawrence, the incumbent Mayor of the City William Lantiqua topped the primary election in that community and will stand for re-election as the City of Lawrence Chief Executive in November 2013 against three others. If he wins that race, Mayor Lantiqua will confirm that he has as many lives as a cat.
More Walking Trails Open - in and around this region
In a previous edition of this presentation, I outlined many of the recreational assets in this region and their importance to both Essex Heritage and to me personally. I presented a number of locations that can be easily accessed and enjoyed. Following are a number of additional area recreational the assets both within Essex county and adjacent to this region.
The City of Gloucester’s Newell Stadium: Gloucester has unveiled a $5 million dollar rehabilitation of Newell Stadium in that coastal community. The New Balance Corporation contributed a fee for the naming right for a ten year period. The stadium seats 2,500 people and has many scholastic as well as recreational uses.
City of Medford Opens Walking Trail: Medford has completed a 1.7 mile walking trail called “Over the Mystic.” It has been open and is well signed.
Oceanfront Trail Opened in Revere: The City of Revere has invited residents and neighbors to use the new Beachmont Urban Trail. The two mile trail starts and ends at the N School and runs through the neighborhood and is well marked with signage. Some of the urban landscape runs along the ocean.
Bishop Fenwick High School Names New Principal
The Peabody Catholic co-educational High School where I spent some time as a Trustee recently named Brother Thomas Zoppo as its ninth Principal. Brother Zoppo is originally from this region and until just recently served as the President of a High School in Baltimore. He has replaced a sister of Notre Dame order that has led the school in recent years.
I certainly hope that during the first two weeks of last month that many of you had the opportunity to visit the world famous Topsfield Fair. The fall is the period of New England Country Fairs but none the offerings rivals the offering in Topsfield. The event is held near the geographic center of Essex County and is managed by Jim O’Brien and his staff. Essex Heritage is proud of the long and cooperative partnership between the two organizations. For my wife and I this event truly means the end of the summer season but due to an injury suffered by Marge we were unable to attend the 2013 edition of the Fair, but we are looking forward to next year as we renew our participation.
Even though the most American of all holidays has yet to be celebrated as this entry is being prepared, I want to offer all in this region, a most pleasant THANKSGING DAY. It is a day for family, football and pleasant times. With Marge now having more capacity to move around more easily and our oldest grandson, home from college in North Carolina, and the rest of our family home for dinner, all is good with our family, and we hope that the day will be as enjoyable for all of you as well.
Medical Changes in Danvers
The naming of the medical facilities in Danvers are changing names as the locations are so convenient. The Beverly Hospital facility on the old State Hospital site has changed names in keeping with the Beverly Hospital connection with the Lahey group.
On Endicott Street The Massachusetts General facility has opened an Urgent Care function that can be accessed during the day either by appointment or as a walk in. Both of these new name changes and functions took place during the recent month of October
We have heard that the Disney Company has changed the rules to allow handicapped move to the head of the line at their parks. There is more to that story, as unscrupulous families were compensating some with handicaps to be “USED” to move families with no need to the head of lines. They are continuing to “tinker” with their policy for families with a disabled party.
COPAA to Expand
The Cornell Orthotics and Prosthetics Amputee Association is being upgraded to encourage greater participation by the handicapped in this region that have amputee issues. The group is also creating a more efficient administrative structure and will be creating opportunities for corporate and personal contributions to support these efforts
Government Shut Down
Ill Advised and Shows Unwillingness of the Two Political Parties to Work To Achieve Success. For a most lengthy and unnecessary period last month, the two political parties in Washington were unable to come together to establish a working plan to keep this country “on track” and as a result hundreds of workers were furloughed and critical Federal Government services were discontinued. There are numerous reasons for this difficult discontinuance of services and I will not place blame on either political party but will simply urge all of the participants that can impact the resolution to sit together, act like responsible adults and craft a solution.
End of summer reading
In previous presentations I spoke of several books read this summer. All of the reading choices focused on a particular time of my life during World War ll where I had scant memories. In previous presentations I reported on books about the lives and the activities of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Both men played significant roles in the war effort and ultimately were Presidents of this Country. The final book was written by the famous historian William Manchester and completed a triumvirate of War hero books telling the tale of General of the Army Douglas Mac Arthur who was a most famous five star general and who most likely aspirated to the US Presidency but never completed that journey.
The life of Douglas Mac Arthur began as the son of a famous US General and recounted his journey through West Point where he began in 1899. The elder General Mac Arthur spent time in the American West and spent substantial time in the American managed Philippines. Later in the life of the second General, his life focused on even more attention on that chain of Islands.
I will not attempt to outline the exploits of the General as he managed and helped to win the war in the South Pacific, except to note the he was a sensational strategist and an inspirational leader. During an attack on Corregidor he escaped from the Philippines and moved his base of operations to Australia and then to fulfill a promise as part of his efforts he was driven from the Island chain but triumphantly returned to drive away the Japanese. He made the phrase “I have returned” famous.
After the end of hostilities and accepted Japan surrender on the battle ship Missouri, he was assigned to oversee the restructuring of the vanquished Japanese and was legendary in that role. When hostilities broke out in Korea, he was again brought back at war to manage that effort. He had numerous differences of opinions about how that war should be pursued and after several disagreements with the administration. He was recalled back to the USA from that position by President Truman. His return was triumphant and he was lauded with parades and great adulation in San Francisco, Washington and New York. He provided appearances before Congress and at West Point and made the comment “that old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” This became one of the most famous quotes of the war. He provided testimony to the US Senate and made a triumph tour to American cities. He died in 1964 in Walter Reed Army Hospital and lay in state in several locations. He is buried in Norfolk, Virginia and his burial location has become his final monument to his life.
The Red Sox are hopefully on the road towards participation in the World Series after a dramatic win in game two of he ALCS. The Patriots continue to surprise us with their performance. They authored a big wins in Atlanta and an improbable comeback against New Orleans, and they have positioned themselves in the League standings. The Bruins have begun playing for real and the Celtics start of the season cannot be far behind.
We are missing viewing the games of our two granddaughters. But we have seen a couple of tapes of their performances that have been very good. Kate in Danvers is on a goal scoring tear. High School sports of all kinds are winding down as we get closer to the end of November. Both girls are playing on teams that have already qualified for the State Playoffs.