SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

August 26, 2011

Peabody Essex Museum taking over the world

By Tom Dalton
Staff writer

SALEM — While nobody was looking, the Peabody Essex Museum has taken over the museum world.

Dan Monroe, the longtime executive director and CEO, was recently named president of the Association of Art Museum Directors.

That's a big deal in the museum world. If this were politics, that's like sitting in the big chair in the White House. On second thought, it's better because the members are heads of museums in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. So it's like being president and ambassador to Canada and Mexico all at once.

Josh Basseches, the PEM's deputy director, was recently elected president of the New England Museum Association. Think congressman.

And Lynda Hartigan, the chief curator, was elected to the board of trustees of the Association of Art Museum Curators. That's like being mayor of a big city.

"Having our top executives in national and international leadership roles at three influential organizations reflects PEM's prominence in the museum world," Samuel Byrne, co-chairman of the PEM board of trustees, said in the museum's magazine, Connections.

Yes, they're open

A few Eastern Bank customers were confused by our story about the sale of 125 Washington St., the Eastern Bank building.

Memo to bank customers: Eastern Bank was not sold. Eastern Bank is fine and dandy. In fact, Eastern Bank is not even moving its Washington Street office.

A local guy bought the building for nearly $2 million, and Eastern Bank, a tenant, will keep its branch office here and, hopefully, remain here forever.

Now calm down.

Pedey coming

Word is out that Dustin Pedroia is coming to town on Sept. 14 to help support the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem. Tickets to the fundraiser are $500 each, according to the Salem Rotary newsletter.

Before the evening festivities, Pedroia will meet with club members.

Salem Five bank, for whom the Red Sox star is a spokesman, helped arrange the visit.

Tierney visit

Congressman John Tierney was in town the other day to visit with kids working summer jobs at the North Shore Medical Center — and to draw attention to a part of the job crisis that gets little attention.

"The number of youths struggling to find jobs in our community is astonishing," Tierney said in a statement.

Shetland news

We hear that big-time criminal defense attorney Thomas Dreschler just took an office at Shetland Park.

Dreschler represented the Marblehead cop who was accused of making threats. A judge dismissed those charges this week.

He also represented one of the defendants in the high-profile case of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi.

Big tomato

The Salem Farmers' Market just gets better and better.

Were you at the tomato festival last week? It drew a big crowd.

In case you want to compare these prize tomatoes with the ones in your backyard, the biggest tomato in the festival weighed 1.42 pounds and was grown by Long Hill of West Newbury.

There was one local winner: Maitland Mountain Farm of Salem had the best slicing tomato.