Feb 122017
 

The conversation has begun. Are you a part of it? Do you want to be? Mayor Kim Driscoll, in her State of the City address last month, announced a community visioning process known as Imagine Salem. All Salem residents and community members are invited to join the Imagine Salem community conversation to prepare a road map to what they want the community to look like in 2026—the year that Salem celebrates its 400th anniversary.

The dialogue will be framed around housing, jobs, and transportation with themes of equity and inclusiveness woven throughout the topics. The vision will serve as a guide for future decisions.

“Salem has seen tremendous investment and growth over the past ten years,” said Mayor Driscoll. “New residents are joining longtime families in calling Salem home. Brownfields are being transformed, the waterfront is coming alive, and downtown has become a vibrant destination for the region. We’ve made important investments in our infrastructure, and our local economy is robust. Now the question is what kind of city do we want to be in ten years? How do we make sure our city is best positioned to continue our prosperity? From schools to housing and transportation to employment, let’s set some expectations for ourselves and then work to get them done.”

What can you do now?

  • Visit the website (www.imaginesalem.org).
  • Take a brief online survey.
  • Like Imagine Salem on Facebook.
  • Share a photo on Instagram.
  • Attend the citywide meeting on March 8 (6:30 PM Salem High School).
  • Come to a small get-together for coffee and conversation.

Those interested in doing more are invited to host a small group conversation. The conversation could be over a cup of coffee, at a book club, or a Sunday lunch with the family — however you typically meet with your friends, family, or social groups.

The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) will provide you with the tools you need to facilitate a fun and engaging conversation about the future of Salem. Contact the DPCD (imaginesalem@salem.com, 978-619-5685) for more information.

“The people of Salem are what make this City great,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Our community’s vision should reflect their lives and experiences, and advance our collective hopes and dreams. I urge everyone to join the Imagine Salem conversation. I hope you will participate in as many ways as possible. Your contributions will help shape the vision for Salem’s future.”

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Jan 032017
 

Understandably, we’ve taken a little break. It’s been a busy last few months in Salem Ma. Halloween season was filled with creatures and creativity. That was followed by the Winter Holiday season, culminating with our double New Year’s Eve party extravaganza of LAUNCH and LAUNCH… Light It Up! And we could not have done any of these projects without a great showing of community support in the form of volunteers.

In February, it will be Salem’s So Sweet. In March, it will be the Salem Film Fest. In June, it will be the Salem Arts Festival. And so on. Whether these are Salem Main Street events or not, volunteers drive the projects from start to finish.

And that’s not just in Salem.

The annual “Volunteering and Civic Life in America” report, released by the Corporation for National & Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship, substantiates that service to others is a priority for millions of Americans.

In fact for 2013 the report found that 62.6 million adults volunteered through an organization. They put in almost 7.7 billion hours which translated to around $173 billion, based on an estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour.

Time well spent.

And we just wanted to take this moment to thank you all again for giving of your time and experience to projects that benefit the Salem Ma community.

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Aug 232016
 

Sam invitesReflections are how we “see” ourselves. A mirror, a pool of water, the eyes of a loved one. But how does a city such as Salem see its reflection? In the comments of visitors.

To test this point, we found this favorable review of Salem, as seen through the eyes of an Australian traveler. (Thanks to a posting on Destination Salem’s Facebook page back in June).

Linda Bentley from Sydney, Australia is a well-known traveler/reviewer with her own website The Packed Bag and it was interesting to observe the things she wanted to see and did see. Was it the historical, the hysteria, or the hysterical items that called to her?

The blog was simply called USA – Massachusetts: Salem

Potential long stay and short term day trip visitors can look at her blog as a summation of things to do and see in Salem the year round.

But we can use it as a mirror to determine if we are communicating what we want to the outside world. What do you think? Did she share an engaging, inviting, diverse “message”  about Salem, MA?

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Feb 282016
 

Define a Film Festival? Pictures, performers, people and passion. Now in its 9th year, the Salem Film Fest presents all that and more, running March 3-10. The “and more?” As in previous years, filmmakers are expected to be present for more than half of the screenings, providing audiences with a unique opportunity to learn more about the documentary filmmaking process.

 

Here is a full list of the films along with trailers.

What more could founders filmmaker Joe Cultrera (Hand of God), local businessman Paul Van Ness (CinemaSalem, Van Ness Creative), Executive Director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce Rinus Oosthoek and others from the community ask for? How about a growth rate of 15-25% each year?

SFFLogo_2016BIGRun and operated entirely by volunteers, the week-long festival has become not only a community-wide event, but also one of New England’s largest documentary film festivals, with screenings at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum and the National Park Service Salem Visitor Center. Plus, there are filmmaker parties and music events held at venues throughout downtown.

Well-told stories with strong technical elements and interesting visual approaches are what you will find at the 2016 Salem Film Fest. Yes, you could say it is a big deal. We think so. Check out the entire schedule, then mark your calendars. And definitely come to Salem, see the world.

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Feb 142016
 

On a brisk, minus degree feel-like day as we’re having, the options on activities could be limited. While there are still plenty of things to do and see in Salem, if you don’t want to go outside, but still wish to be in a “Salem state of mind” then may we suggest voting for 2016 BONS Readers’ Choice Awards (which began February 1st and ends May 1st).

BONS 2016

Winners will be listed in the annual BONS issue of Northshore Magazine (to be distributed in July), alongside Editors’ Choice for the same categories. But, note, online voting is for Readers’ Choice only; Northshore editors and the BONS committee select Editors’ Choice BONS winners separately from the Readers’ Choice winners.

The top vote recipients in the survey and eligible write-in nominees from 2015 voting are used to populate the drop-down menus. This is your opportunity to share with others why you frequent – may we say “haunt” – restaurants as well as general and specialty small businesses in Salem.

If you’ve never voted or haven’t recently, a few things of which to be aware:

  • Previously, regional or national chains were allowed to qualify as nominees. But beginning in 2015, that privilege was restricted to only local organizations and locally owned franchises
  • Traded votes for services or discounts is cause for disqualification. In other words, retailers are not allowed to produce a marketing mailer, website ad, social media post, etc., that offers a discount or free service with proof of a vote.
  • Businesses with multiple locations are to be recognized by the specific location. For example, if a business has locations in Salem, Peabody, and Andover, each location will have its own nomination.

Votes are tallied by the amount of unique votes each business receives. You are not allowed to vote for the same subcategory more than once; to ensure that all votes for each category are unique, their system requires a verifiable email address for each vote.

This year, more than a dozen new sub-categories, including Cookies and Distillery, and an entirely new category: Mingle have been added. Check them out.

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