Friday, May 1, 2015


Featured Partner Event: Trail Work Day with Manchester Essex Conservation Trust (MECT) -May 2, 2015 Upper Pine Street/Pipeline Road WCA Trailhead, 375 Pine Street, Manchester, MA, 01944
Get dirty! Join MECT to help with maintenance and stewardship.

Featured Partner Event: Explore Wilderness Conservation Area - May 3, 2015 - Join the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust (MECT) to explore natural and historic highlights of the Wilderness Conservation Area. Meet at the WCA Gateway, Upper School Street, Manchester.

Heritage Hero Award Dinner 2015 - May 7, 2015 • Danversport Yacht Club, 161 Elliott Street, Danvers, MA, 01923 - Join Essex Heritage in honoring three incredibly deserving individuals who have changed the face of conservation in Essex County and beyond.  The honorees Al Creighton, Fred Winthrop and Ed Becker are being celebrated for their 50-year legacy of regional land conservation. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PROGRAMS OFFERED BY ESSEX HERITAGE ALL YEAR

Featured Partner Event: MECT Mother's Day Walk - May 10, 2015 • Anne's Woods, 375 Pine Street, Manchester, MA, 01944 - Celebrate Mother’s Day with the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust (MECT) and enjoy this walk to Anne’s Woods with Erika Sonder.

Featured Partner Event: Art in the Barn Weekend - June 12, 2015 to June 14, 2015 • Cox Reservation, Essex County Greenbelt Association, 82 Eastern Avenue, Essex, MA, 01929 -See art transform the Cox Reservation!

Park for Every Classroom 2015 Teacher Workshop - August 3, 2015 to August 7, 2015 • Salem Maritime National Historic Site, 160 Derby Street, Salem, MA, 01970. Apply now for summer 2015! Park for Every Classroom is a FREE professional development program for educators of all grade levels and disciplines.

The May 1, 2015 edition of Essex Happenings blog almost missed the first of the month deadline for the first time ever because this is such a busy spring season for me.  The early spring has been incredibly busy with annual meetings and my commitment to the Town of Danvers finance committee process.  The annual meeting schedule included a Salem Five Bank business meeting which was run by the new President Ping Yin Chai who was the COO before assuming the post from my long-time friend Joseph Gibbons.   There will be a social meeting at the historic Hawthorne Hotel in early May. The results offered by the bank leadership showed that the Bank’s result were most positive.  The second annual meeting was of Essex Heritage that was held very early in the morning in Lawrence.  That meeting was scheduled too early and too far from my home to allow for my participation. One meeting not yet scheduled is the annual meeting of the Salem Partnership.   I am a bit surprised that on the website, Patricia Zaido is not listed as the Executive Officer of that organization.   I have served that organization since its inception and I would not miss an event honoring Patricia. I must have missed a communication about changes.

In spite of a very busy and sometimes tiring schedule, my health and the use of my prosthetic leg remains most positive.  As the nicer weather arrives I am able to resume an outside walking program and the service of numerous community organizations continues with the incredible help of my wife Marge who drives me from meeting to meeting and then home again.

A large amount of my time in April was in the preparation and presentation for the Town of Danvers Finance Committee.  For a couple of weeks a great deal of time was spent reviewing the town’s annual budget,  This year the  new Town Manager and the assistant  manager  were well prepared and the schedule of presentation was well thought out.

In case you missed it, Mary Butler who previously served as an acting Captain on the Salem force, was named and recently sworn in as the Chief of the Salem Police Force replacing my friend Paul Tucker who now serves as  State Representative for Salem.  Chief Butler is the first female chief serving in Essex County.

There was good news in Salem from the Mayor as the Developers of the Gateway Center at the junction of Boston and Bridge Streets came to the decision to separate the long awaited Senior Center from the rest of the multi–use project. This will mean the planning for the Senior Center will begin immediately.   The plans along with the bidding and construction are going as planned.  The center could be ready for use by January 2016.  That may be an optimistic estimate, but the City has a large senior citizen population.  Of all the communities served by North Shore Elder Services, the Salem population will be most happy and the reward will be most well received.   The present Senior Center is old and is inadequate for the population served.

Several years ago, a group of dedicated volunteers created a wonderful recreational asset for the Town of Danvers and the region.  The SwampWalk is located in the northern part of Danvers and directions can be found on their website.  I recently learned that as a result of the melting of the snow pack and a family of beavers, the project has had some problems.   I provide information sent to me by the chairman of this project George Saluto.
The bad news: SwampWalk is in worse condition this Spring than last Fall.
The good news: The SwampWalk volunteer crew is undaunted, incorporating professional help, & ready to take on the challenge.
The plan: We will both raise the walkway & lower the swamp...& enjoy the outdoors, as usual, doing it!
Your part:  if so incline to donate funds &/or standby to haul lumber, screw boards, or simply drop by while we are working & get a breath of fresh air while checking on our progress.
1.       We need to elevate more of the walkway than planned.
2.       We need more than $6,000 (TBD).
3.       We will be lowering the swamp within a few weeks.
4.       Then we will begin raising the walkway & continue as long as we have the funds for lumber & material.
5.       The Beverly/Salem Water Board is now a player (one of the dams is on their property).
Late last Fall, the northern section of SwampWalk saw 200’ under a few inches of water due to the beaver population raising their dams.If so inclined, Please help us bring SwampWalk back to life. Please make your tax deductible check out to ‘Town of Danvers-SwampWalk’ and send to: Kristan Farr, Town Hall, One Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA 01923.

I am particularly unhappy that the Spaulding Hospital Group has decided to close its Salem Location.  I spent over 100 days at that location after my leg amputation and learned how to walk again with the help of the dedicated therapy staff at that location.  I also used the support of staff in the out-patient area.   I am still using the services of the adaptive sports group and I am currently taking a Yoga course in Salem and am scheduled for a continuing session in the golf program.  All of that said, I believe that closing that location is an immense loss for Salem and the region.

Healthy Aging and Healthy Communities by Nora Super, Executive Director, White House Conference on Aging:  Last week, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee, and I hosted a listening session at the White House with experts in aging, housing, and health care to hear their ideas and insights about opportunities to help older adults remain healthy and active in their communities. 
Session participants urged us to break down the silos between housing, transportation, health care, and long-term services and supports.  They also shared wonderful examples of communities—such as Boston and Reno—who’ve come together to address these issues with a multifaceted, multidiscipline approach, recognizing that healthy aging takes place in communities where older adults can be active, find affordable and appropriate housing, and access needed health and social services.
Summer Barbecue:  I want to let you all know that our Annual Summer BBQ will be on Saturday, June 20 this year, at Winter Island Park, 50 Winter Park Road in Salem, MA . It is just before Salem Willows on the right. We will gather in the pavilion, which is at the end of the road after going through the entrance. There is ample parking, it is under cover so that in the event of rain, we won't have to worry about having to dodge the raindrops. There is a ramp for wheelchair access, and for the first time, we will have indoor bathrooms!  It will go from 11:30am to 2:30pm, the same as last year.
The cost is $10 per person, and if you can bring a dessert, a salad, a side or an appetizer, that would be great! Just let me know what you plan on bringing so that we can plan.
We are all looking forward to seeing you there! please rsvp to me or to Amanda. You can call my home phone at 978-468-3447 or call Amanda at 978-469-1481. This is one of our best events every year, and we want you all to come and enjoy the day. Getting together with old friends and new is only one feature to look forward to. Once again, we will have our friend, Roland Sullivan, do the spread, which will include, hot dogs, burgers, BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken, mac n cheese, and more.
Do plan on bringing the whole family! Enjoy the rest of your day!

TRIAD Corner: The Danvers TRIAD Council is a partnership which includes the Sheriff, District Attorney of Essex County, the Danvers Police and Fire Chiefs, the Council on Aging and supportive services, and seniors. Our Triad Council has produced our second program called “The Triad Corner” with Danvers Community Access Television (DCAT) to bring more awareness to the public about our Triad programs. The show was taped on February 25th and will air on DCAT every Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. from April 4th through May 30th. The show will also be available anytime in April and May on DCAT’s website: Click on the “Video on Demand” tab at the top of the Home Page. Then click on “Danvers Access Shows”. Then scroll down to “Triad Corner”, click and the show will start. You can also enlarge the screen by clicking on the two arrows on the right side of the bar at the bottom of the small screen. Lew Hathaway, Triad Chair, is the host for the show and his guest is Pam Parkinson, Director of the Danvers Council on Aging. “Home SAFE Home” is the topic for this show so you can learn more about how our Triad programs can help keep you safe in your home and Pam will provide more information on how the Social Seniors Supportive Adult Day program at the Danvers Senior Center can help provide a safe “home away from home” if the need should ever arise.
As many of you know I am a voracious reader and I just completed one of the most entertaining books in my recent reading past.  I would strongly recommend “The Girl From Boston” by Anita Diamant   The story focuses on a female Jewish immigrant who grows up in the North End of Boston and is impacted by a Settlement House that closely reminded me of a similar program at the House of Seven Gables that I used as a youth in Salem.  The story continued as she grew older and interacts with young men.  Ultimately she married, outlived her husband and bears several very successful children who, like herself, value education.  During several summers in her youth she attended a camp run by the settlement house for a week in an inn of sorts In Rockport Ma, and there are vivid descriptions of that part of Essex County that our friends from Cape Ann will relish.

The book was a joy to read, was very emotional in places and other offerings that she has written are on my future reading list.

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