On June 22 Essex will be holding its election for town positions.  There are ten candidates total, but only one slot—filling the vacancy made by Selectman Andrew Spinney—is an actual race, in which Guy Bradford is running against Peter Hoare.  Next week, a virtual “meet the candidate” session is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 3 that will offer the two candidates the opportunity to share why they’re running and what they hope to accomplish if elected.

The controversial owner of a car sales and automotive repair business on Eastern Avenue tried the patience of the Board of Selectmen on Monday when he was called to account for overstepping—three times in less than two years—the rules of his operating license. 

Next week, on Thursday, May 21, the owners of a proposed recreational cannabis retailer in Essex will  host last of two state-mandated community outreach meetings required in order to set up shop.  The public meeting will give BB Botanics an opportunity to share its final plans and field public questions about the dispensary and cultivation establishment planned for 242 John Wise Avenue. 

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

At a joint meeting Monday, the Essex Board of Selectmen and the Board of Health voted to lift emergency restrictions prohibiting seasonal residents from returning to Conomo Point following public health concerns from crowding at the popular and scenic area in light of COVID-19 precautions. Seasonal residents of Conomo Point whose re-occupancy was delayed may now move in for the summer, but the boards cautioned they should do so with common sense and safety in mind. 

In the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, there was a lot of town business and updates provided by Town Administrator Brendhan Zubricki.  The following is a summary notebook of the update.  There were two items addressed in the meeting that will have follow up here with dedicated articles—the initial draft of the town’s Economic Development Report and the draft of the Host Community Agreement (addressed here in this update as well.). Stay tuned next week here and in the newspaper.

Last week the Essex Board of Health and the Board of Selectmen had an emergency meeting by teleconference to restrict access to Conomo Point after a particularly beautiful weekend there drew record crowds.  In this time of COVID, however, it's the latest example of public safety officials who say it's a bad idea to put first responders in harm’s way to regulate social distancing compliance when they should be reserving their health, safety, resources and time for when it could really matter.

For those in Essex and families of neighboring towns, the Eagles Nest at the Essex Elementary School playground has been a gem knows far and wide for nearly 20 years.  Now the PTO and Playground Working Group is looking for you to contribute your ideas, memories and questions for what the community will do now that the structure is being decommissioned.  Share this five-minute survey with other friends of Eagles Nest, especially children!

With much of March focused on social distancing and “flattening the curve” a migratory pattern going back thousands of years began locally without much notice, as nesting pairs of ospreys returned to the region to do what they do, naturally.  The mighty species that was almost made extinct by DDT and the Essex County Greenbelt Association’s Osprey Program, which has provided nests and habitat to support and study the ospreys’ global migration for 35 years. 

In a letter to us, Marie Noelle wrote in to thank us for Kris McGinn Straub's article "Goodbye David Andrews" and sent in a great photo of David in Bruce Fortier's vintage truck.  

We received this essay by Jess Yurwitz at a time when many of us feel unsure as to how we can help those on the front lines of the Coronavirus outbreak. This personal account sheds light on the reality for those who are working daily, hands on, to care for those who are sick — and ways we too can act. 

Today the Town of Essex announced it would move to digital "remote participation" format for public participation in weekly board meetings.  Manchester-by-the-Sea is exploring the same strategy for managing regular town business during COVID-19 restrictions and the goal of "social distancing".  

Board of Selectmen’s Meeting of March 9, 2020

Report covers from February 22, 2020 to March 6, 2020

Items requiring Board vote or discussion are noted with an asterisk (*)

Bruce told me how he taught David to ride a bike, and how he would set David up working with a grinding wheel and polisher, both with a repetitive motion, which made David feel calm. I suspect that Bruce had worked out a number of ways to make David feel useful and at home. 

It was a jam-packed meeting of the Essex Division of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday morning at the Windward Grille.  This quiet, quarterly event always “delivers” because it brings together local government officials with local businesses, interested residents, public safety officials and Chamber executives.  Michele French, manager of BankGloucester’s Essex branch serves as “agenda keeper”.  Here’s a topline summary of what we learned.

On Tuesday, February 18, from 1 - 4:30 p.m. local students joined together to learn about the fascinating world of 3D modeling. Led by ToysInBox staff, Jessica and Yong, the children were given a basic background of the technology and where it is going in the future. 

The Essex Historical barn has been saved! It has served the community well since the late 1700s as a salt hay barn and as a residence for the prominent American architect, Eleanor Raymond, will continue to be useful, like an old reliable friend. Bravo!  Thank you donors one and all.

Last week at a joint meeting with the BOS, Essex Host Community Agreement Advisory Committee of residents and public safety officials to support negotiations for a state-required “Host Community Agreement” (HCA)  reported its progress and initial findings.  The need for clarity from BB Botanics, which is seeking to open a recreational cannabis dispensary in town, was the theme of the meeting.

Of the many extraordinary and wonderful things about Essex Elementary School, the Eagles Nest Playground is surely one of them.  Sadly this cherished structure must be decommissioned as its days of being a hearty and safe structure have ended.  

Larry Smith, Managing Director of Canter Brook, LLC, recently presented the Hamilton Affordable Housing Trust with $2,175,000 in conjunction with the Ribbon Cutting event for The Village at Canter Brook Farm’s model home on Thursday, February 13, 2020.