Ron Gilson Writes- Development is Fort Solution, Not Problem

From Ron Gilson’s “The Gloucester I Love”


FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Development is Fort Solution, Not Problem

Finally, "Sam" Parisi, a Commercial Street resident, is speaking out.

A Fort waterfront property owner, businessman, and former fisherman, Parisi, is telling it like it is (Letters, the Times, June 28), and in a few short paragraphs to the Times, Parisi lays out the dire plight of his industry and the neighborhood he resides in.

The day after his 1960 G.H.S. graduation he was on the deck of his family’s dragger, F/V St. Rosalie. He brings to the table eight generations of Parisi family involvement in the fishing industry.

In my lifetime, the Parisi’s have built, skippered, invested, and crewed at least a dozen large commercial vessels. They have owned several waterfront properties, hired hundreds of fellow crewmen, and landed millions of pounds of fish over these years. "Sam", his brother "Mike" and their wives, continue to eke out a living on the waterfront while our own federal government commit felonies, break into our fish auction, and routinely fine and regulate our harbor out of existence….that’s the reality.

Entering Commercial Street and the Fort area, we are greeted with a "For Lease" sign on the upper floor of the Chamber of Commerce building. Across the street is a new wharf and building, for years begging for a tenant. The Birdseye plant and acreage cries out for development. The Amero property (formerly Cape Ann Fisheries) languishes, while the former Producer’s wharf property is now owned by the city for $78,000 in back taxes, and is reduced to storing lobster traps, for free!

Parisi’s property offers 33,000 square feet of class A building space but only 20% is rented! Because of increasingly more stringent government regulations, Parisi has lost three of his four tenants years ago and they haven’t been replaced. Contrary to frequent activist "spin", business investors are not lining up for Parisi’s waterfront space, even at a reduced rate!

In 1964, "Tony" Parco and partner "Ed" McCollum opened Ocean Crest Seafood. At the Open House festivities, I counted no less than 32 floral tributes sent by fishing vessel owners, soon to be their suppliers.

Now, all those boats are gone and have not been replaced. The founder’s siblings labor on. The company has reinvented itself. They have representatives sitting daily at the fish auction and have established a successful fertilizer division, Neptune’s Harvest. They continue streamlining their operation. Yet Ocean Crest Seafood survives while struggling with diminished product availability as more and more fish is processed out of town and away from the local waterfront.

Next door at Cape Pond Ice Co., management has rewritten its business plan. Their boat customers are few, they now market bagged ice cubes, create specialty ice products, and actively promote and sell Perfect Storm inspired "T" shirts, etc. The ice company has reinvented itself with new products and creative merchandising. They, too, are hanging on!

The Fort business community has changed. Companies once totally water dependent are now only water related!

Finally, "Sam" Parisi, a Commercial Street resident, is speaking out.

A Fort waterfront property owner, businessman, and former fisherman, Parisi, is telling it like it is (Letters, the Times, June 28). And in a few short paragraphs to the Times, Parisi lays out the dire plight of his industry and the neighborhood he resides in.

To read the rest visit his blog-

The Gloucester I Love Written By Ron Gilson

or his Gloucester Daily Times Opinion story

Thanks Jo-Ann Castano For Nominating Us For Boston’s Most Valuable Blog

Jo-Ann Castano- the godmother of Gloucester community internet wrote me a note this morning to tell me that she nominated GMG as the Most Valuable Boston Blog.

She nominated us here-

It’s quite an honor just to be mentioned by someone I respect as much as Jo-Ann after everything she has done for our community.


Thanks Jo!

Laura Harrington Launches Where’s Alice Bliss Social Media Campaign Through GMG

Did you know that Gloucester resident Laura Harrington’s Book “Alice Bliss” received a 4 star People’s Pick recommendation from People Magazine?
Laura writes on her blog-
Where’s Alice Bliss? launches Friday 7.29.2011 Help us send Alice Bliss around the world

This summer I’m inviting book bloggers from across the United States and the globe to participate in an exciting, new international adventure: Where’s Alice Bliss? Please join us and help send Alice Bliss around the world. What Is Where’s Alice Bliss? Where’s Alice Bliss? is a campaign to send copies of the novel Alice Bliss to as many countries and U.S. states as possible. Through, copies of Alice Bliss will be registered and tracked as they travel around the world, passing from one reader to the next. Your bookcrossing ID (BCID) allows you to follow your book wherever it goes. It’s like a passport enabling your book to travel the world without getting lost. Once your book is registered, you will leave it in a public place with a…

Click here for the rest of Laura Harrington’s post
Also here is our first interview when Alice Bliss was released-

Terry Weber Reports- Dining at Duckworth Bistro

Enjoyed my first dinner at Duckworth’s Bistro this week, and it lived up to its reputation. In fact, after tasting one bite of the food, I completely forgot to take pictures of the appetizers before I completely devoured them (see picture of the remains of the mushroom soup). Believe me, I would have licked the plates if I didn’t think my dinner partner would be appalled :).

The service was sweet–Colleen our waitress was genuinely friendly, gracious and made our meal even better. About our meal, we shared a couple of appetizers: Creamy Mushroom Soup, Caesar Salad and Zucchini Fritters. The mushroom soup was a deep grey which I was not accustomed to, but it was the best mushroom soup I’ve ever had with a rich, earthy flavor. Jackie said her steak was perfectly cooked and delicious. The leg of lamb I had for an entree was tender, cooked exactly as I requested, and came with the freshest tasting mix of Lima and green beans.

Speaking of the beans, Colleen explained their great taste by telling us the beans came from a local Gloucester farm. Duckworth’s buys many of their ingredients at local farms including the Beacon Street Farm in Gloucester; Green Meadows Farm in Hamilton, and of course their lobsters are from Captain Joe & Sons. It was a great first time dining experience! We would have had dessert but we were too stuffed!

chef ken duckworthChef Rich Mandelbaumlamb and local beansmushroom soupsirloin

Joey adds-
It should be noted that Terry took these photos in the very low light conditions of the kitchen at Duckworth’s with the camera I recommended- The Canon Powershot s95. No flash and very natural looking photos! Excellent Terry!

The Most Honest Fisherman I Know Tells It Like It Is…. Again

Right before our eyes

By dougmaxfield

For some bizarre reason, I have been trying to get a little more involved with fisheries management as of  late.  Nothing crazy, just making some noise regarding topics I know very little about.  Par for the course.

Last night I took part in a conference call to brainstorm about how we should combat consolidation issues created by sector management.  Naturally, folks on the council looking to consume allocation think that the issue of consolidation is a myth.  They claim that the industry is over-capitalized and therefore not making any money.  I’m still waiting for an accurate account of revenues in the day boat fishery to be released; a before and after snapshot of profits.  One that would account for all of the smaller operations that aren’t fishing at all anymore.  Having seen one very well-respected young fisherman sell out recently; and hearing through the grape-vine that several other key players in the Gloucester day boat fleet are planning on  doing the same I’ve got a feeling that the program has benefited exactly who NOAA wanted it to benefit.  Don’t get me wrong: this is not a pity party for those choosing to sell out.  They will be paid huge for their allocations and will be just fine.  No shame in that…they’ve earned it.

Click here for the rest

Jewels of July TONIGHT!

Friday July 29

6 to 8 pm

28 + 30 Main Street in Rockport

Stop by on a beautiful July evening and preview the summer collection of artist Renata Fryshara’s necklaces and paintings. You can sip sangria and visit with friends on the patio between the Renata’s two galleries: one featuring her jewelry and the other featuring her paintings & drawings.

Renata Fryshara is an international artist whose work has been featured in shows around the world and whose necklaces have been sold at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and in various galleries.

BLOCK PARTY BULLETIN – Update for Your Party!

POSTER SUBMISSION DEADLINE, AUGUST 1 – The entry deadline for the new Downtown Gloucester Block Party poster is next Monday! Win dinner for two at Alchemy or Latitude 43 – your choice! Submit here for viewing and voting: The winner will be announced on Good Morning Gloucester.
Guidelines: Posters should be any medium, 8 ½” X 11” for duplication purposes and contain the following information arranged as artists like:
·    Downtown Gloucester Block Party
·    Third Saturday of the Month
·    August 20  September 17
·    6 to 11 pm
·    Include: “Free” “Outdoor Dining”, “Music and Entertainment” “Fun for All Ages” – or some arrangement of these (quotes not needed). Give us your own ideas too.

STREET PERFOMERS NEEDED! Artistic Director, Valerie Marcley is delighted that so many performers have applied for inclusion in the August 20th Block Party. “The Steering Committee and I picture the street filled with entertainers. The stages are booked. We need acts that can stroll the street and entertain. Buskers, magicians, acoustic music, comedians, jugglers – you name it. I bet there are plenty of creative people in town that audiences would cheer! If you’ve got a street act, please email”

THE ELUSIVE VOLUNTEER – The Block party had a few wonderful volunteers who helped beyond what was expected. We need more of you! Do a shift at the Info Table, sell raffle tickets or stage manage. All easy tasks, short shifts and time to enjoy the party yourself. Clean-up was not difficult, but we can use your help at the end of the night when the Main Street turns back into a tidy, dynamic business district. Vendors are also sought – sell your product, promote your business, inform audiences of your service.

RAFFLE – The 50/50 raffle funds the Block Party and the winner receives half the money raised. We need more sales to support the series. Some businesses have agreed to pre-party sales to help us. If you have any ideas to sell raffle tickets, or want to sell during the party, please contact:

SPONSORS – While we’re begging – would you or your business like to be a sponsor of the Downtown Gloucester Block Party series? For your generosity you would be included in promotional and publicity materials. Or you may remain anonymous. Email us at the given yahoo link and we’ll discuss your involvement.

THE JULY PARTY – Block Party Organizers received wonderful, encouraging feedback and suggestions from audiences, the City, stores, restaurants and performers. All are considered to make your next party even more successful. We are grateful to all: the acts that gave their talent free to help continue the party series, businesses, the City and the establishing committee – all so cooperative and supportive. Thank again! See you August 20th at 6 pm!

Did You Know? (April Stanton Rocks Recycling)

some people say that young people today have no work ethic and are lazy?  Well I was blown away this morning when the Hiltz recycling truck pulled up and this cute, lean little slip of a girl named April Stanton bolted out to empty the recycling bins on Rocky Neck Ave.  She moves like lightning emptying the bins and does the route by herself, so is also driving that big honkin truck, maneuvering it like its a compact car.  Kudos to April and the amazing job she does.  Hiltz, you better appreciate what you’ve got there.

E.J. Lefavour

Art Haven Update

Happy almost August! We’ve been having fun making animals and tables out of paper mache, trying out graphic design with computer programs and designing websites for our artwork!

Here’s a quick update on our upcoming programs at Art Haven for Middle and High School students:

Sign up now!

UPCOMING Art Haven Visiting Artist Workshops!

           Photography Week II (August 1-5)

            Illustration (August 8-12)

Alexandra Daskalopoulos, our Art Haven photography teacher, will be leading students in a week long photography workshop next week. Whether you have taken a photo class with Alex before or if you are new to photography, Alex will help you explore this medium further!

Also, we are very excited to welcome Amy Rizzico to Art Haven as the visiting artist for Illustration the following week. She is a local artist on Cape Ann and has a portfolio which can be seen at: She is a "versatile artist with experience in design, illustration, painting and other media."  She has illustrated children’s books for other authors and for herself.  She has also used illustration for design projects in her professional career.

We are excited that so far we’ve had students commit to both weeks for the full day program in coordination with "The Annie," so we’ll also be writing and performing a play with the theme of "Murder on Rocky Neck!"

Photography Week I

Come learn more about photography, illustration and participate in the performing arts as well!

Classes are from 1-4, Monday through Friday and it’s $75/week.  For the full day program with the performing arts morning, the day runs from 9am to 4pm and the cost is $375 for the two-week session.

more information

Youth Open Studio

We also have Youth Open Studio happening throughout the summer on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 5:30-7. This is a great opportunity for students in grades 7-12 for continued exploration and self-guided long-term projects! This is offered at $60/ month or $10 to walk in.

more information

Teen Artist Guild

TAG students

For advanced students in grades  8-12, we have the Teen Artist Guild (TAG) youth entrepreneurship program. This is designed for students to create artwork and learn strategies for selling their artwork. Students  sell their work at the Farmer’s Market, in our gallery and at other venues. Please contact us for more details!

TAG program

Please let me know if you have any questions. I can be reached at Dawn Gadow, the Art Haven Executive Director, can be contacted at (978) 283-3888 or

Paper Mache and Graphic Design weeks were a success!

The Burnham’s Field Gardener Series- Kathy Hegarty of St. Ann School

The Burnham’s Field Gardener Series

Burnham’s Field is the largest green space in central Gloucester. There’s been a resurgence of pride in Burnham’s Field, including a new 20-plot garden. GoodMorningGloucester is running a series of video profiles of the Burnham’s Field Community Gardeners. Here are their stories.

By John McElhenny
Burnham’s Field Gardeners – Kathy Hegarty of St. Ann School

Kathy Hegarty is a 5th grade teacher at St. Ann School, across Pleasant Street from the Burnham’s Field Community Garden. St. Ann students have a plot in the garden, which they visit almost every day to see how their plants are doing and learn where the food they eat comes from. “A hundred children have had their hands in this dirt,” Hegarty says. “It’s really making quite an impression and developing some lifelong gardeners.”

St. Ann School students around their garden plot at the Burnham’s Field Community Garden.

Oh Joyous July! Kim Smith Is Excited!

Kim Smith Writes-

Dear Friends,

Have you noticed the sheer numbers of our winged friends? Returning this evening from a swim at 6:45, I bumped into three Monarchs nectaring and a Red-spotted Purple (all in pristine, newly emerged condition). Early evening is an unusually late time of day for butterflies on the wing, especially when skies are slightly overcast. This, after a day of observing and shooting numerous numbers of butterflies, caterpillars and hummingbirds–and never leaving our garden. I work for a bit, but then the garden calls and I’m out the door with both video and still cameras. If this fabulously warm weather keeps up, I think we are in for another banner year with the butterflies, and skippers too.

Currently, we have 22 Monarchs, in various stages of their development, residing in our kitchen, and seven Black Swallowtail caterpillars and chrysalids.

Great Spangled Fritillary nectaring at native Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)


Check out the rest of Kim’s Butterfly and caterpillar ramblings at her blog-

Kim Smith Designs