Friday, May 30, 2008

Peabody apartment complex fire : Implications for Salem

One building at the Jefferson apartment complex on Bridge St. being re-sided.

Imagine this: A developer comes in and proposes their new luxury apartment complex. It'll be full, they say, of "cool, dynamic, up-and-coming people." It'll have granite countertops, the best appliances, a home theatre, a "business center" for busy executives and etc.

The project is permitted and built, people move in, and in the meantime the complex owner sells their buildings to another party.

Then something bad happens.

That happened yesterday in Peabody, when Building #8 at The Highlands at Dearborn burned down.

Quoting from the News ("Tony Complex Has Troubled History"):

PEABODY — Fairfield Residential, a Texas-based developer, bought the land to build a sprawling apartment complex overlooking Route 128 and Interstate 95 in 2004.

Roughly a year later, the city issued Fairfield its first building permit in connection with a planned 446-unit development. As part of its deal with the city, Fairfield agreed to pay Peabody $1.1 million in lieu of renting 65 of its apartments at rates below market value and considered "affordable" in the eyes of the state.

Ownership of the development changed hands last September when Fairfield Residential sold it to the Denver-based Simpson Property Group for $124.6 million. Simpson changed the development's name to The Highlands at Dearborn.

That's almost exactly how it played out at one development in Salem. As you may recall, if you're a regular reader, the Usovicz administration sought out a developer for the old Parker Brothers property, and in 1999, chose JPI, a Texas-based developer, to build luxury apartments on the site, on Bridge St., straddling the bypass road. It's now known as the Jefferson at Salem Station.

A few years ago, JPI sold the Jefferson to Lincoln Properties. Like the Highlands, the Jefferson has luxury accouterments:

  • Clubhouse facility with Great Room and Coffee Bar
  • Resort-style Swimming Pool and Spa with surrounding BBQ grills
  • Minutes away from Route 95, 128, 114 and 1.
  • Media room with plush theater seating and Surround Sound
  • State-of-the-Art, 24-hour Fitness Facility with Cardio, Aerobic and Strength Training Centers
  • 24-Hour Business and Conference Facility with Computers and High-Speed Internet Access
  • Jogging Trail with Water Viewing Platforms
  • Steps Away from the Salem MBTA Train Station

But like the Highlands, the Jefferson has had its problems. Shortly after construction, one building on the Howard St. side sunk into the ground. As you can see from the picture on top of the blog post, another building had to be re-sided. Twice.

JPI perhaps saw the top of the market when they sold the Jefferson; So too did Fairfield.

Unfortunately, and bitterly, for residents at the Fairfield, problems remained. This "problem" left 700 residents homeless, and those in Building #8 wiped out.

According to Peabody Fire Marshal Stephen Coan, the Highlands was built to code. That only means it passed inspection.

Not that it was well built.

The high speed and quick spread of that blaze makes me wonder what corners were cut in that building to make the numbers work for Fairfield.

One expects this kind of thing to happen to tenements or housing projects for the poor (you know, "them") but these are "luxury" apartments for the (say it again!) "cool, hip, affluent, up-and-coming people."

What will happen on a summer evening when the bypass road is choked with traffic and someone in building #6 fires up his grill too close to the siding and lights the building on fire?

Or a wiring problem in the dead of winter at 3 AM, unnoticed by anyone until the fire's already fully involved?

Peabody City Councilor Jim Liacos spoke out against the Highlands because it was too dense. That's not the problem. There are numerous apartment complexes across Salem, including my own, that have weathered the years without incident.

But they were built to last.

The Jefferson and the Highlands were built for quick profits.

Someone forgot to tell that to the 700 residents of the Highlands yesterday. One hopes the Jefferson's residents won't have to experience what happened in Peabody yesterday.

UPDATE:  My scenario of a BBQ grill causing a fire at the Jefferson was much too close to the truth:  The fire at the Highlands was caused by a lit cigarette igniting some mulch.

Fire Chief Steve Pasdon said last night that a joint investigation by city and state officials "determined the cause of the fire to be the careless disposal of smoking material in the mulch, a cigarette butt." He called the blaze an accident.

Pasdon said the fire ignited in the mulch next to Building 8 of the Highlands at Dearborn apartment complex near Route 1. It then traveled up the side of the building and apparently hit a natural gas line, intensifying the blaze. Building 8 was destroyed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Courthouse complex and Newton High School

Courthouse Road Construction 009, originally uploaded by dmoisan.

The Salem News has editorialized on the courthouse controversy:

"Despite all the public meetings and input from interested parties, DCAM has made no effort to balance the Court's needs with those of the City."
That's according to three members of the Federal Street Neighborhood Association unhappy with the design for the new J. Michael Ruane Judicial Center being built adjacent to the court complex in downtown Salem. They admit in their recent letter to the Division of Capital Asset Management that the state agency and its architect have allowed extensive opportunity for public comment on those plans. The problem: DCAM and architect Goody Clancy don't see things their way.

I don't like agreeing with the News, but they make a further interesting point. They compare the courthouse controversy to the storm brewing in Newton over the cost overruns to the high school, now estimated at $150 million, the most expensive school construction in the state.

Seth Mnookin wrote an excellent article in the Boston Globe Magazine this past Sunday, "What Are They Doing To My High School?" on the construction controversy, which, as the News notes, has more than a few parallels with Salem's courthouse complex.

Reading Mnookin, I can't help but think Newton has a lot of people who want to tell the city how to build its high school. There are a lot of white-collar people in Newton--and in Salem--who have no compunction about going outside their experience in making demands, er. "suggestions" to city officials:

Each new delay brought with it attendant price increases, which meant the very people complaining the loudest about the expense were contributing to its seemingly inexorable growth. Several Newton architects submitted new plans, convinced that they'd found a solution that would be cheaper, easier, and faster. Early in the process, Mark Sangiolo, a self-employed local architect, ridiculed the notion of needing "'school architects' under contract with the city" and disputed the notion that it wouldn't be safe to keep students at the existing Newton North while the building was undergoing renovations. After a study of his own, he concluded that the HVAC system was basically fine and the inability to wire the building could be solved by putting Apple AirPort Extremes every 100 feet.

Hold that thought.

I'm in IT.

Retrofitting a building like a high school for wireless networking is a job. A big one. The questions spill out of my brain: What will the AirPorts connect to? Are AirPorts meant to be connected together in bulk? (Answer: "No".) What IT network already exists? How do you connect to the AirPorts? What about access control? Does Sangiolo know that Apple's products are not designed for that use? Why 100 feet? Did he do an RF survey? (If he'd mentioned Cisco or Meru or Alcatel, all enterprise wireless vendors, I might take him more seriously.)

Sangiolo's not an IT person, and I don't think he's credible on his other points. Even our own, annoying, Ken Sawicki has a "courthouse plan" that he proposed when he filed suit against the state.

Mnookin continues:

"We have a number of very talented local architects in the city who submitted their own designs and said they could do it for $100 million," says an alderman who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the project. "But we can't just have people running up to City Hall and putting plans in front of us. This is no disrespect to them - we have a very talented, very educated, very knowledgeable population in the city of Newton - but we're working with professionals, and because other people don't like it doesn't mean it's not right."

You cannot design a high school--or a courthouse--by committee. Or by the loudest shouters at a public hearing.

And one last point from a Newton official:

"Look, I don't necessarily like how the whole thing has been handled," says School Committee member Marc Laredo. "The mayor should have dealt with this years ago. But it's ridiculous. There are still people trying to stop this thing. The train has left the station. The groundbreaking has already happened.
The school is being built. We need to move on."

I'm tired of the whole debate. I wish for a representative like Joyce Spilotis or Lori Erlich who would take advantage of this situation and have the complex moved to Danvers or Lynn. At least when I come back as a juror (and nothing more, one hopes) I will enter a functional building, not one crippled by overruns and delays. Even if I have to take a 20 minute train trip to get there.

The empty lot that was the east ramp to North St. can become the "Samuel McIntyre Vacant Lot", brought to you by the Federal Street Neighborhood Association.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Invisible "Otherclass" in Salem

Ian Welsh of Firedoglake writes about the invisible people on society, in Tunnels of the Underclass:

When I think of class issues I think of them in terms of corridors. In every gleaming office tower they are there, in every upscale marble, glass and steel mall—they are there. They are dark concrete, engrimed, lit by harsh fluorescence behind steel cages, streaked with the residue of years of waste. They are the corridors that the service staff use—the maintenance staff, the cleaners, the truck drivers, the blue collar guys who cart the heavy boxes and fixtures around. They are ugly and often they stink.


It’s that squalor that underlies the worlds of both opulence and sterility - the opulence of the upper class, the sterility of the middle classes' office buildings. It’s those corridors that those who earn little more, and sometimes less, than minimum wage work out of. For Lord save the clean little people in their white shirts and ties, their buffed oxfords and their clean fingernails—Lord save them from seeing the people who do the work to keep their white walled world clean and running—the people who keep the air conditioning and heat on, the carpets clean and the light fixtures working.

The trolls come out at night as the offices empty. Scurrying out from their tunnels they are allowed to move through the offices once the daytime denizens are gone, not to be offended by the sight of those who sweat for a living or those who deal with dirt and garbage. And when the daytime denizens do see you, if you are one of those night time trolls—they don’t see you. Their eyes don’t track, they move right over you as if you were a piece of moving furniture—an appliance. Only if they need something will they reluctantly approach you—then, after they’ve gotten what they wanted, whacked the machinery, as it were, next time you run into them you usually find you’ve gone back to being an invisible appliance with whom eye contact is to be avoided at all costs. And you are paid in scraps, for your labor you receive a pittance compared to those whose fingernails are clean, whose work involves the strain of typing on a keyboard, attending meetings and picking up the phone.

That’s my second world. It’s a world I inhabit no longer, but it’s a world that haunts me, that I know exists alongside the antiseptic office world. Those corridor dwellers are the ones whose labor makes that new world possible—they are the trolls of the modern world, who come out at night, or who scurry through tunnels in the day, never to be seen by those whom their work helps. If seen, they must be ignored.

Salem has these people too. I prefer to call them the "otherclass", since we are a liberal city that gives much lip service to the "underclass".

So long as they're in another country.

Who are the otherclass in Salem?

Those in the Point, who do all the service jobs the rest of us can't afford to do. Those people who make your coffee at Dunkie's--you know who they are. Those "others" you see taking the 455 bus from Walgreens downtown.

The otherclass is in my old apartment building in Salem Common, something I've long written about.

Ian continues:

And so I listen to John Edwards and I marvel that he dares speak of the unspeakable, of the great fear—not just of the middle class, but of all Americans. For we choose not to look at that which we fear. It's not that we fear the working poor, or their humbler cousins, the broken, those who don't even have a bad job. It's that we fear that in them, we might see people like ourselves.

For, to feel secure, in our beautiful world, we must believe that there is something fundamental that makes us different from the poor and the broken. We must think, "ah, but I'm smarter", or "I work much harder", or, less gratifying but still good "I have a better education than them."

We must think, then, "I am more valuable than them, I am different, what happened to them could never happen to me! I'm different! I am!"

We cannot see them as humans like us. That many of them work hard, or worked hard when they were allowed to. That most are not stupid, and that many are no worse educated than we (and isn't that the easiest thing to fix anyway, as if everyone had a high school diploma, or a B.A. or a Ph.D there would be jobs for them all.)

I've found this to be so true, no less in Salem, whose elites show no lack of concern for Darfur and other places conveniently far away.

My example: I grew up in a French-Canadian household. Salem loves its French people--we even elected one as mayor, Jean Levesque! French-Canadian immigrants built much of modern Salem, a great generation and deservedly so. There are many Pelletiers, Gauthiers, LaPointes and Jodoins in Salem still and to this day Comcast carries a Montreal TV station on our cable.

The French-Canadians came down from the north around the turn of the century, probably by land through what is now Route 114, and settled in Salem. There was no Border Patrol in those days, so these folks just hitched the wagon and set out as one of many undocumented immigrants. They settled down in the Point where the mills were.

The French-Canadians--Catholics almost all--built St. Joseph's Church on Lafayette St., and built it anew when it was destroyed in the Salem Fire. The French stopped coming in shortly thereafter.

Over time, and several generations, the French families moved out to Jefferson Avenue, A new church, St. Anne's Church, was established. It also burned in the 1980's, and was likewise rebuilt. My family liked to joke to cabbies, cruelly, about the "border crossing" as they approached the Jefferson Ave. railroad bridge.

My mother's family was on Jefferson Ave., though she herself moved to Webb St. (where the Poles and Russians settled) where I grew up.

In the meantime, the Point became the home of a new generation of immigrants, mostly Hispanic.

In 2004, the Archdiocese of Boston closed St. Joseph's Church. A few years afterwards, Mayor Driscoll proposed building a combined senior/youth center on the site of the church.

Thus was born the ugliest idea in Salem.

Many seniors, egged on by activists, now believe that the Hispanics drove out the French and put the church out of business.

(If my mom were still here, she might point out that St. Anne's has been the center of French Catholicism in Salem for a long time, but that's an inconvenient point.)

The seniors and many activists, including some good friends of mine, complain about traffic and crime. They complained about being "mixed with kids".

After all, it's in the Point, and we know how the "Hispanics ruin Salem/the neighborhood" (a thought usually expressed in much cruder terms than I want in my blog.)

A few years ago, when the archdiocese nearly broke the lease on the Immaculate Conception school on Hawthorne Boulevard where the Salem Boys and Girls Club was located, the club explored moving to the old Fort Ave. fire station.

The Salem Willows neighborhood would have none of it. They suggested, "why don't you move to the Point?" The Boys and Girls Club is after all, for those other kids.

Some dear French friends of mine have even expressed the old, ugly "pull up the ladder" idea; their parents were "good" immigrants, while the people coming in now are "bad immigrants" and "illegals". (If my mother's parents and grandparents ever had entry papers, I never saw them...)

This is very sad, and not just for idealistic liberal reasons.

Many seniors are themselves invisible people. My friend Leo Jodoin became a loud activist for senior citizens. He likes to refer to them as the "forgotten people" and too often that is true.

I see seniors in my own building sliding down the slope at the end of their lives. I see people ignored, but a few times a year, as adult children make the trip in the elevator to grandma or grandpa.

To get in my building, you have to be middle-class at the most. If you're in my building, you had nowhere else to go. You don't have a house, or you couldn't keep your house. You're probably disabled, with another set of problems that keep you down. The only way out for most here, is a nursing home, or feet-first, and some of us fervently hope for the latter when they get up in the morning.

From personal experience, I know too well how far one can fall through misfortune, or simple aging.

Even seniors who own property are not immune. In an instant, they can become disabled and forced to move. They can be slowly forced out of their homes as property values ratchet up and greedy developers mentally subdivide their family homes in anticipation of expensive condos.

I, those in my building, and many Salem seniors are an "otherclass" ourselves.

We just don't admit it.

We like to pretend it's about crime or traffic or some such, but it isn't.

It's all about class.

We're a lot more like the "otherclass". We just don't want to admit it.

Now Teazie Goggin and the Senior Center Committee want a resort for our senior center next to Camp Naumkeag at the Willows away from any badness, or anything at all really (including MBTA access, of which there is none.)

It's probably easier for the Committee to go through the motions and pretend it's not about class.

But I know better.

I'm all for a new Senior Center, but I won't put up with racism or classism, and that's what the arguments are about.

I think we will find that the St. Joe's site was the best we could have done. I think the Willows site won't happen unless Teazie herself puts up the money.

The center will still be on Broad St., and I think that's where it should stay, as long as we keep pretending it's about traffic or crime.

Instead of about "those people".

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Jeannette Moisan's 400 Children


Jeannette Moisan and one of her charges.

Continuing my dedication to Jeannette from my last post:

Mom was an energetic foster parent for over 30 years.  In her later years, she had homemaking services provided her, as they are to many elderly who can no longer keep house.  Mom got mentioned in the newsletter of the home care agency:

Intercity Mini News

December 1985

Client Profile


On our first visit with Jeanette Moisan she spoke of being the foster mother to over four hundred children. As we visited in the welcome atmosphere of her home, she revealed her gentle manner as she spoke of her own family life and how she devel­oped a keen interest in helping others.

While still in her teens, she began helping to care for a neighbor's child and took over much of the care of her young­er sister. Jeanette was raised in a "plain, hard-working" family. Her mother took in boarders and Jeanette was well-adapted to helping out and getting along with others.

Jeanette later married and had two daughters of her own. Sadly, her younger daughter passed away from leukemia at the age of two and a half. At that time, doctors who knew of Jeanette's compassion recommended that she channel her love and attention beyond her own family toward others. It was at this time that the idea of caring for foster children came about.

Jeanette opened up her heart and her eleven room home. The influx of babies and children began. A nursery was set up to accommodate up to five babies at a time. Among the babies sent to "Nana" Moisan were the sick and handicapped. None were turned away.

Jeanette set about providing the home atmosphere on which children thrive. She reached out to those in need and offered them security and love to give them a good start. She recognized and respected each child's individuality and did her best to meet their physical and emotional needs with patience and understanding.

During our conversation Jeanette ex­hibited two sheets of poster board filled with photographs of the tiny faces of those she has cared for. She revealed satisfaction and pride in the work she has done and deserves the caring and recognition from those who have kept in touch from as far away as London.

Intercity Homemaker Jeanne Flynn is assigned for four hours a week. Through Jeanne, Intercity hopes to meet Jeanette's needs with the understanding she has of­fered to others.

Here are some of the 400 children:

Jeannette Moisan 400 Children Collage 1

Jeannette Moisan 400 Children Collage 2 Jeannette Moisan 400 Children Collage 3

Remembering Jeannette Moisan

I meant to write this on Mother's Day, but my late mom's birthday was May 25th.  She would have been 94 years old today.  My one-year blog anniversary also passed a few weeks ago, but it's only appropriate to mention it now.

I've written about my mom several times before, in Poverty, the disabled and personal responsibility, and The Salem Commission on Disabilities.  She died in Salem Hospital on the early morning of February 28th, 1994. 

I was devastated.  She was my dearest friend.  I miss her fiercely. 

Recently, I went through some old newspaper clippings, intending to scan them into the computer (I just got a new Epson scanner), and found an article about my mom that I'd been looking for for years.  I won't reproduce the whole thing (written 19 years ago, it's nowhere on line) but just the parts about Mom.  North Shore Sunday:

A Bitter Pill

Senior Citizens Find Their Access to Medications Limited Both Physically And Financially

By Mark Vogler

July 9th, 1989

Jeannette Moisan navigates across the sidewalk in her motorized wheelchair, checking the pavement for ruts or bumps that might jar the insides of her sensitive body. She keeps her eyes peeled for wayward motorists as she approaches the pedestrian crosswalk.

Even on a hot summer day, a roll through the streets of downtown Salem is an enjoyable journey for Moisan, who lost her ability to walk about nine years ago when she began suffering the pains of rheumatoid arthritis, a crippling disease that attacks the joints and leaves her arms and legs puffy.

A seven minute wheelchair ride might seem like a lot of trouble for a 75 year-old handicapped woman to put herself through just for the sake of buying medication from the local drug store. In addition to the condition, which causes her body to swell up so badly she can’t bend her fingers, she has heart problems and high blood pressure. She says she also suffers from angina, a disease of the throat or chest which is marked by painful choking spasms.

The CVS Pharmacy on Essex Street at Salem’s pedestrian mall, where she prefers to shop, could just as easily deliver drugs to her home. But the fiercely independent woman on wheels would rather do things her way.

“I love going out and looking around the stores just seeing what I need, like everyone else,” says Moisan, whose smiling face hides any sign of pain as she drives herself around town like a kid on a go-cart.

“I want to act as if I’m not sick, I can’t afford to have a car. So, this is my pleasure car. This is my good time,” she says.

But on any given day, Moisan’s pleasure trip can turn into a bittersweet experience, since her wheelchair can’t fit through the store entrance unless the two double doors are held store entrance unless the two doubled doors are held wide open for her. Sometimes it's a 15 to 20 minute wait. Sometimes no­body's available or willing to hold the doors open.

"I've gone to the drug store a couple of times, but had to turn around and come back because I couldn't get in. Sometimes, peo­ple just don't want to help and they just pass you by," says Moi­san, who personally opened the doors of her own home to more than 400 children during her life­time — abandoned children who lived with her while she worked for the state or various private charitable organizations as a fos­ter parent.

Opening the doors of North Shore pharmacies so they are ac­cessible to all wheelchaired cus­tomers has become Moisan's lat­est mission in life.

And, a photo:


Mom is the white-haired lady in the scooter.  Two passers-by helped her get into the CVS on Essex St. downtown.

Things are better at that particular CVS--it was remodeled a few years after her death;  it, and almost all other CVS stores in the area have automatic doors, as does Walgreens.

However, there are still many other  establishments that aren't accessible.  My optician--Banville Optical, on Lafayette St., the only optician in downtown Salem proper--is not accessible via wheelchair.  (One disabled resident, a regular attendee of our commission meetings, has filed a complaint with the state Architectural Access Board.  We wish her luck.)

What my mom did for me and the 400 other children in her care is unsurpassable.  She looms very large in my life.  The North Shore Sunday reporter called her "feisty".  She was that and then some.  She is of a generation in Salem that is going away.

I don't expect to be as feisty or as good as she was.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bypass Road Has A Date

Bypass Road Diary 027, originally uploaded by dmoisan.

The Bypass Road--as yet still unnamed for anyone--has a date:
August 12th.

The Salem News reports that the road is in "the home stretch". The intersection at St. Peter is taking shape; past that, the lighting on the north end of the road needs to be connected, the signals at the bridge itself are due, screening put up on the commuter rail fence, and the pedestrian path needs to be finished.

At the other end of Bridge St., not much to report; construction at the overpass ramps is continuing, but demolition hasn't yet started on the houses.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Enjoying the moment

Salem Commission on Disabilities Vice Chair Charlie Reardon and Mayor Driscoll enjoy the moment at the recent Access Monitor Training course at the PEM.

Access Monitor Training at the PEM

Andy LaPointe introduces Mayor Kim Driscoll at the recent Access Monitor training held at the Peabody Essex Museum.

The Salem Commission on Disabilities, along with the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, recently sponsored a two-day Access Monitor training course at the Peabody Essex Museum. Taught by the Massachusetts Office on Disability, the course is for building inspectors, advocates, people with disabilties and others to learn the rules and regulations for access to sidewalks, parking lots, entrances, restrooms and other architectural features for people with disabilities.

I went through the training last year in Beverly, and it was very comprehensive. There's a lot of legal information that we go through, but a good part of the training is hands-0n:

In the photo, our students are learning about the slope of a sidewalk, and the maximum permissible slope for a curb cut (5 degrees). The level on the sidewalk is a common digital level sold at Sears.

The other practical training, not shown here, involves restrooms. There's a bewildering number of dimensions and specifications for toilets and urinals, sinks and grab bars. When I took this training last year, I was crammed in a bathroom with 10 other people watching the instructor take measurements of all the various things in a bathroom which are invisible to us until we can't use them. It was probably just as well I didn't photograph this.

Community Access Monitors are volunteers who work with the Mass. Office on Disability, but do not represent the office. They get invitations to businesses, schools, offices and other establishments that serve the public, including people with disabilities. They are trained to evaluate these places and their accommodations for people with disabilities. They do not enforce the regulations--that is handled by the state Architectural Access Board. We on the Commission deal with the AAB on a regular basis, making the training that much more important to us.

We were delighted to represent Salem at this training session. Our Andy LaPointe did a great job arranging space with the Peabody Essex Museum; as Mayor Driscoll put it, our students experienced the best side of Salem for two days!

P.S. One of our commission members and a dear colleague of mine, Dave Martel, was recently honored with Advocate of the Year by the Independent Living Center , as presented by Congressman Tierney at the ILC's Legislative Breakfast last Friday. Give him a pat on the back, it's well deserved!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Construction update on Salem's Last Road

Bypass Road Diary 020, originally uploaded by dmoisan.

At 11:15 this morning on May 12th, the long-anticipated (to me) realignment of Bridge St. towards the new road has taken place. Unlike the Courthouse intersection, there was no notice from the city. Traffic will now move a short distance up the new roadway, seen to the left, and then jog back to Bridge St.

The short section of old Bridge St., seen to the right in the photo, will be closed permanently and made into a pedestrian walkway.

Note that the new traffic signals are turned on, while the old signal in front of the Jail is turned off. Around the time this picture was taken, 11:30 AM, the first red light of what is sure to be many red lights appeared on the new roadway.

I'm still concerned about the pedestrian signals on St. Peter St., and of the sidewalk access during construction of the pedestrian pathway that will now replace the St. Peter to Howard St. section of Bridge St., and I'm already making another round of inquiries about this.

It's nearly the end of the beginning for Salem's Last Road.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sunlight, PEM

PEM Cafe 1 027, originally uploaded by dmoisan.

Mid-morning at the Peabody Essex Museum. I'm still not sure if I like the new building, but there's no denying there is some excellent light in there.

I was there to take photos and video of the Access Monitor training that the Massachusetts Office on Disability offers. The Salem Commission on Disabilities and the North Shore and Cape Ann Independent Living Center sponsored this training. Thanks to Andy LaPointe and PEM for providing a nice spot to showcase Salem.

I'll talk more about the training later on.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Visit to Salem Jail

My video tour of the Salem Jail is complete. I've put an excerpt up on YouTube, as seen above. It will air on SATV Channel 3 in the next few weeks.

Thanks to Ron Mailionek and Dan Stanwood from the City, and thanks to my colleagues from the Salem Commission on Disabilities for their help, and to SATV for providing the equipment.