December 1996

12-31-96 -- School Committee denies third reading of Magee's plan to stiffen academic requirements of the public schools; two D's or one F would disqualify students for after school activities. He was alone in favoring it. Devaux stated, "Our standards are strict enough."

12-30-96 -- Address changes required for new E911 system are causing tempers to flare. No one wants their address to change, but there are duplicate streets, duplicate and confusing numbers... something's got to give. (left) But the work on the new center in the Police Station is looking good.

12-30-96 -- (right) The Rec & Park is putting the steel on their new building.

12-29-96 -- Warrant deadlines for May Town Meeting are at the end of the month. Tucker's Wharf rebidding time table is on schedule. Is The USS Constitution coming to Marblehead? July 4, 1997 is the target date, but there is doubt about her sailing ability and whether Marblehead is a destination or not. Should be.

12-28-96 -- Is the historic General Glover House going to close? Some say yes, some say no. Probably not yet.

12-27-96 -- Marblehead's BIG DIG is over. Thank goodness.

12-26-96 -- Saal's Pond is going to cost $$$$ to correct. But it WAS in the plans.

12-25-96 -- Teacher says Marblehead is 15 to 20 years behind in PE. (Roger Day)

12-25-96 -- METCO is 30 years old in Marblehead.
(Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunities)

12-24-96 -- Residents should shovel sidewalks. It's safer for children, Selectmen say.
12-27-96 -- Salem News: YMCA Announces programming: Holiday Vacation Happenings, call 631-0870 for details.

Recreeation Department Promises Full Schedule: Winter vacation scheduling is full and exciting call 631-3350 for details.

12-26-96 -- Harry Kemelman dies. Marblehead resident and author of the famous Rabbi Small mystery series died at home of renal failure. Born in Boston, a graduate of Boston University and holder of a Masters Degree from Harvard, Mr. Kemelman moved to Marblehead in 1951. His first book was entitled "The Building of a Temple," and after many of his short stories appeared in the Ellery Queen Mystery magazine, he was urged to combine his knowledge of small town Jewish communities with his mystery skills and the series that made him rich and famous was born. More than 7 million of books are in print and in over 17 languages.
12-25-96 -- Amid the quiet cold of Marblehead in December, Christian families from all segments of Town, settled in to celebrate, each in their own way, the birth of Jesus Christ. The weather is very cold, and icy. For further Christmas celebrations on the internet see: Christmas.com or Northpole.com

12-20-96 --
New Web Page On Marblehead Discovered!

It's all about Marblehead Neck and The Lighthouse. It was created by Jeremy D'Entremont and it is really great! Great pictures, accurate history and it's part of a much larger site about lighthouses. Go there now and enoy. (But come back right away!)

12-18-96 -- Pond Street Residents Advocate And Prevail To Secede With New "Pond Lane" Addresses, Some Question About Renumbering Remains

In a somewhat unusual move residents of a Marblehead street, Pond Street, who live on the section from Redd's Pond to Orne Street have requested that Selectmen changed the name of their portion of the street to Pond Lane. Connie Cooney, presenter of a petition signed by every resident of the new lane, stated that historian Betty Hunt had commented that this portion of the street was once referred to as "Pond Lane."

Selectmen voted 4-1 to support the petition (Conly opposed). Selectman Conly in his opposition stated that he wanted to consult with public safety officials about the potential confusion with Pond Street and, as reported in the Daily Evening Item, "I'm not excited about changing names of streets." He stated that one could "go down a list" of streets that could go back to their original names.

(12-13-96) -- The Salem Evening News Goes Online....http://www.salemnews.com!
It's not completely working perfectly, but it's there! And a great addition to local news on the net. For a list of other local news links see the bottom of this page.

(12-11-96 ref. The Salem Evening News, Lynn Item)--
Tucker's Wharf Construction After Initial Bidder Selection,
Is Rebid Due To A Technicality

A portion of the seawall to be reconstructed.

Despite the good intentions of everyone involved the selected bidder, North Shore Marine, miscalculated a vital part of the application process and submitted a bond check in the wrong amount amount. "$300," according to Bill Conly, Selectman. All bids were rejected, some because the bidders lacked the necessary experience for tidal contruction, some because they exceeded Town Meeting's approriation, and the selected bidder because of it failure to follow the prescribed procedure.

A very aggressive rebid schedule was established by the Board of Selectmen, culminating with new bids selected by January 15. One member of the Board felt the schedule was unrealistic but with a watchdog committee of the Town Adminstrator, Town Planner and Town Engineer the vote sailed through. The Town Administrator cautioned Board Members to remember that the elements of the process that the Town controls can be guaranteed, but those elements that the Town does not control, i.e., the review by the Harbors & Waters Board's engineer which last time took months, cannot be guaranteed.

Here is the schedule, so you can keep your eye on it too...
12-17-96: Notice posted with Town Clerk
12-17 to 23-96: Ad appears in newspapers
12-18-96: Plans and specs available
1-8-97: Bids due and reopened
1-8 to 14-97: Bids reviewed by architect
1-8 to 14-97: Bids reviewed by counsel
1-15-97: Award made by Board of Selectmen

(12-10-96 Rueters) -- When Exactly Does The Millennium Begin?

According to researchers at the Royal Greenwich Observatory in Cambridge, England, when the ball drops in Times Square on the evening of December 31, 1999 and millions of people all around the world jump in the air, hug each other, and drink to the new millennium, they will be actually jumping the gun by exactly one year and a day.

The actual start of the new millennium is January 1, 2001, not 2000. The celebration should be for the last year of the old millennium according to the Observatory, that incidentally no longer is the world's keeper of time (Greenwich Mean) since being replaced by 150 atomic clocks around the world, the end.

The confusion dates back almost 250 years with the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar, and arises from the transition from the years B.C. to A.D. by the venerable Bede, a seventeenth century theologian and historian who adopted Anno Domini to mark the calculation of the years from the birth of Jesus. Unfortunately, the sequence of years going back from B.C. to A.D. does not include the year "0." The sequence of years, researchers reported, runs 3 B.C., 2 B.C., 1 B.C., A.D. 1, and the thousandth year A.D. 1000. The first day of the second millennium was New Year's Day of A.D. 1001. "Thus," researchers from the Royal Greenwich Observatory stated, "it is clear that the third millenium will actually begin on January 1, 2001 A.D."

An additional controversy surrounding the start of new millennium, is where exactly will it begin? What is the exact spot? NorrisMcWhirter, co-founded of the Guinness Book of World Records has indicated that a farmer on Pitt Island, Ken Launauze, who owns the highest hill there, "will be the first terrestial, accessible and populated place to usher in the next 1,000 years." Pitts Island is one of the Catham Islands of New Zealand. Already, squads of camera and television equipment have been arranged to be present on Mr. Launauze's property. However, according to the Green Observatory calculations, Balleny Island in Antarctica, where the sun is below the horizon for less than one hour, will have the first sunrise in the year 2000. Caroline Island, part of the Republic of Kiribati in the South Pacific, will be second, and Pitt Island will actually be third.

Now you know.

(12-8-96) Glover's Regiment Marches Again.

1. Marching down from the Revolutionary training field near Abbot Hall.... 2. Turning onto Lee Street, heading towards Bank Square.... 3. At Lee & Washington, preparing a volley salute.... 4. Fire! 5. Traffic resumes as the Regiment disbands til the next time....

(12-6-96) 1996 Christmas Walk A Great Success

PAGE TWO...............
Marblehead_News-Digest Accepts Press Releases...But EMail Only
SPECIAL REPORT: Comparable Town Update: Property Values & Average Tax Bills
Boston Globe Lists Marblehead Among Last In The State To Go E911
1995 General Override Election Results
Boston Globe Rates Communities: Marblehead's Not Doing So Good!
1996 Election Results For Selectmen
Construction Chronicles: Recreation & Park's Community Center & E911 Center

Construction of the Recreation & Park and the Council On Aging's New "Community Center" Is Underway At Tent's Corner

Sometime within the next year, Marblehead's Recreation & Park Department and the Council On aging will move into a brand new building now under construction at Tent's corner. The building will expand the capabilities of both departments and after five attempts to find a new home, Recreation and Park personnel will finally be able to move out of the old firehouse on School Street.

The construction is causing a lot of dust and traffic congestion in and around Tent's Corner, but given the strong vote at Town Meeting in May 1995 and the overwhelming support of the voters at the Override Election later that year, whatever inconvenience is caused by this popular project, is more than worth it as Marblehead constructs the first new municipal building in many decades.

A Grand Opening is being planned for sometime in the early Spring of 1997, and it is hoped that the outside of the building will be finished before the snow flies this winter, so during the cold months the inside can be finished. But as the whole Town can see every day, things are off to a very good start.

Construction Begins On Marblehead's E911 Center
And Refurbished Police Department.
But An Old Tree Is Killed In The Process.

Site of the new E911 Center, formerly the dog officer's headquarters.

The famous oak tree shading the police department, now gone per special vote of the Board of Selectmen after being advised that it could not be saved.

The Police Headquarters without the oak tree.

The Boston Globe Lists 265 Towns Now Online With E911, Marblehead Is Not Among Them....
An enhanced 911 dispatch center

In an article on 6/29/96 The Boston Globe published a list of 265 towns and cities which have introduced the "enhanced 911" system for reporting police and fire emergencies. Six years after the state legislature called for this system, Marblehead is still among those towns which do not have the facilities to extend this protection to its residents.

To reduce by even a few seconds the response time to emegergencies can mean the difference between life and death, 911 emergency experts have stated for years.

The instrumentation behind an enhanced 911 service

The E911 system is a combination of telephone, computer, and information management systems. E911 is designed to help communities respond to critical situations with speed and efficiency. Users can dial 911 from any phone in the service area and be connected to a designated central service point called a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). As the 911 call is answered, the operator's screen displays the caller's phone number and address automatically. The operator can then dispatch help, conference-in emergency personnel, or transfer the call to the appropriate emergency response agency at the touch of a button. The hardware and software are modular, to allow communities to tailor their systems to meet future needs.

The system cuts down on potential confusion, allows assistance to be delivered even if the caller cannot speak or if the call is disconnected.

The "E" is a technical description of the new system, however, emergency callers should always dial 9-1-1, no "E." Also people in the emergency business always pronounce the service "nine-one-one," not "nine-eleven," because children hearing the "nine-eleven" number look for an 11 on the phone key pad.

Marblehead is in the midst of building a new dispatch center to be attached to the old Police Building, however delays due to over bids, or under funding, continue to plague the project. The project is continuing, however with plans to break ground sometime in the near future.

1996 Election Results For Selectmen



Boston Globe Rates Communities: Marblehead Scores Low In Taxes And In School Expenditures....
In a statistical survey of real estate and school information Marblehead's listings were as follows:
Pupil expenditure total: $5,567 / Rank: 41 of 351
SAT Score Average: 953 / Rank: 45 of 351
Dropout rate: 0.8% / Rank: 150 of 351
Median Home Price: $226,000 / Rank: 27 of 351
1996 Residential tax rate: $11.98/000 of assessed value. / Rank: 169 of 351
Source: Boston Globe

In summary, Marblehead spends less on students, has a lower SAT average, than towns of similar makeup, but has a much lower tax rate.

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