In Defense of The Waterways Board

I respect our City Council, respect our Mayor and respect our Harbormaster.

The editorial in the Gloucester Daily Times asking to scrap the Waterways Board is not a good idea.

Let me explain why.  City Councils have elections every 2 years.  City Councilors come and go and while they mostly have our best interests in mind they just don’t have the history and knowledge of the rules and regulations and past grudges and what works on the waterfront like people that derive their income from it.

There are people like Tony Gross who have worked on the waterfront most of his life.  He also sits on the School Committee and knows processes.  Tony knows from dealing with people on the waterfront all his life who the players are and what regulations are in place that have restricted progress and also the ones that have insured stability.

Not having a Waterways board and handing over all the decisions to people who don’t have long terms relationships with the harbor is just crazy.

If some people have their feelings hurt because a cockamamie idea to have the public finance a floating marina which will have to be maintained with public dollars then good riddance.   If people can’t see that a floating marina in the middle of the harbor would  compete with existing waterfront properties who would love to be able to finance the transient dockage needs and finance it with private dollars (read not public dollars) and maintain the private docks with private dollars then good riddance as well.

If there is a problem with perceived lack of progress maybe, just MAYBE the PROCESS OF GETTING THINGS APPROVED MIGHT BE LOOKED AT AND STREAMLINED.

How about writing an editorial calling for the elimination of layers upon layers of bureaucracy and allowing the waterfront some relief from antiquated Designated Port Area (DPA) zoning regulations in a time when our fleet has hyper-consolidated and we read daily in the Paper Richard Gaines’ articles about cutbacks, the latest calling for yet another 70 plus percent reduction in landings.

Yes there needs to be more transient dockage but those needs can be filled with the many empty piling fields around the harbor which if the zoning was changed would allow for the private waterfront sector to pay for these needs being built and maintained instead of always looking for government handouts to get things done.

So calling for the Waterways Board to be disbanded is no solution.  We need people who have intimate knowledge of the port and its history to help guide and inform the Council as to what is going on.

No City Councilor could ever be expected to understand what is really going on in the waterfront and all the rules and zoning that is hindering responsible development because their livelihoods don’t depend on it like many of the members of a good Waterways Board filled with Fishermen, Recreational Marina Owners, Lawyers who understand waterfront zoning, Marine Construction Company Owners,  and Waterfront Tourism People.

What you don’t need on the Waterways Board are commies who think that the government should pay for everything and look at private waterfront development as if it was the devil because god forbid someone might make money.

The fishermen should have places to tie their boats and they do.  With the drastic consolidation of the fleet the upland portions of these properties should have relief from the archaic zoning of the DPA so these properties can be reinvigorated with private (read not public) dollars so they could pay more money to the City in taxes.   Everyone wins.

I may not agree with the Waterways Board 100% of the time but realistically you never could expect to.  However with a Waterways Board filled with people that derive their income from the waterfront and have intimate knowledge of it you will be FAR better served than letting a bunch of commie bureaucrats that only are looking for the public sector and public dollar projects to get things done instead of the people who control the purse strings and have to risk their own capital.

Big Mike’s Bikes Getting Bigger New Shop In The Works!

Hey Joey!
Good news! After months of cramped quarters overstuffed with bikes, we moved into the space directly next door that was Miguel’s and before that, Enterprise Car Rental. So our address and everything is staying the same. How easy is that? We’re going to have 3 times our original space. Now we’ll have far more space for used bikes on display, and we can carry a more varied range of accessories and even basic bicycle repair classes. We’re also going to start stocking used sporting goods like ice skates, roller skates, hiking backpacks, etc – why go all the way to Wenham or even Reading for a pair of used ice skates? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Here’s some pictures of the space coming together.
Look at all this empty space! I could’ve set up a roller rink.
Here’s the new repair station. Now we can double our output.

We have a lot of stuff to put away, but we’re open in the new spot on Tuesday!
Big Mike’s Bikes

Eastern Point Shows Sign of Spring and Mayhem

eastern point winter walk

I went for a walk out Eastern Point today with my friend Melissa.  Along the way we saw a definite sign of spring – these crocus, jonquils, daffodils (? – not sure which they are, what do you say Kim?) popping their shoots out of the snow, then melting ice on Niles Pond with a flock of gulls looking like a crowd at water’s edge on the beach on a hot summer day.  Then we got to the lighthouse and encountered these unexpected wild waves crashing over the Dog Bar and out behind the lighthouse.  Finally, some of the damage left behind by Nemo to the back of the garage at the lighthouse.  Had a very nice visit with Emma Jane, who together with her husband and dog, have enjoyed (not so much) a wild winter so far living at the lighthouse.  Hi Emma, I know you read GMG, so thanks for allowing us to shoot, and shoot the breeze, very nice to meet you. 

E.J. Lefavour

Niles Pond or Brace Cove

Niles Pond Brace Cove ©Kim Smith 2013

An embarrassment of riches ~ Whether dawn or dusk, when standing on the footpath between Niles Pond and Brace Cove, sometimes I can’t decide which direction to point my camera. When that happens I focus the video camera in one direction and turn and face the opposite direction with the still camera.

Niles Pond Brace Cove -2 ©Kim Smith 2013

This batch of photos was taken on a chilly afternoon in early January, looking first toward the pond, and then heading down to the beach at Brace Cove after a wedge of eight Mute Swans flew overhead and landed in the cove.

Niles Pond swans ©Kim Smith 2013

The bevy was comprised of six cygnets and parents. The bill of the adult Mute Swan is vivid red-orange whereas the cygnet’s  bill ranges in shades from dark gray through muted browns. A black knob at the base of the cob’s (male) bill bulges prominently during mating season; the rest of the year it is often difficult to distinguish pen from cob. Anyone who has ever encountered a hissing, snarling, gnarling, and whistling Mute Swan wonders why they are called mute. Mute Swans lack the vocal trumpeting when compared to other members of the genus. The most beautiful sound the Mute Swan makes is the vibrant throbbing of their wingbeats in flight. I believe this sound is unique to Mute Swans. Click photos to view larger.

Niles Pond Brace Cove Swans -4  ©Kim Smith 2013

Niles Pond Brace Cove swans -5 ©Kim Smith 2013

Eight Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) at Brace Cove, Gloucester

P&V’s LOL #14: Don’t curse across generations

All the fuss last week on GMG over offensive language and the controversy surrounding the language in Django Unchained, makes it perfect timing for this new Law of Life (LOL for short).  For some reason, that I’m not sure I understand, cursing seems to be taken as more offensive by people outside your generation.  Here’s an illustration.

Many years ago, when our eldest son was about 5, he told us that the two-year-old sister of one of his friends knew his name, his friend’s name and all the swears.

“Really?” remarks Vickie.  “What are all the swears?”  It’s an early Summer morning and she hasn’t had much coffee.
“Oh, I can’t say them.”
“I’ll give your grace.”
“Yup.  You can say them.”
“OK … fuck and shit.”
“That’s not all the swears.”  These words escape before Vickie’s coffee deprived brain can retrieve them.
“Well, what are all the swears?”  The little one’s eyes widen.
“Oh, I can’t say them.”
“I’ll give you grace!”

This is where I step in and explain that you just can’t swear across generations.  Parents swear with their friends and nobody seems to care.  Kids do the same.  But kids can’t swear   when parents are within earshot — and parents can’t swear when kids are within earshot.  Probably the worst thing you can do, I explain, is cross TWO generations and swear when your grandparents are within earshot.

Here’s a funny music video tribute to one of my favorite Sci-fi writers by a slightly bookish, but sexy comedian who isn’t afraid of swearing across many generations.  WARNING: Don’t show this to your kids or your mother-in-law!

Wednesdays at the Rhumb Line with Fly Amero ~ Special guest Bill Gleason

Surf & Turf Specials!
Wednesdays Only!Hello everyone!
Wednesday, February 27th
Special Guest: BILL GLEASON!
bill gleason
photo by J.S.
Blues guitar takes center stage at the Rhumb Line this week
with the great Bill Gleason.  Don’t miss it! ~ Fly
Dinner with Fly Amero: 8 – 11pm
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
Dave Trooper’s Kitchen…
Surf & Turf Dinner –  $11.95 (while they last)
Tenderloin Tips with Grilled Garlic Shrimp!
Prepared fresh weekly by “Troop”… always good!
Coming soon…
Charlee Bianchini

Chick & Ellen

T-Max (of the Noise)

Elaine O’Rourke

Looking forward…
…to seeing you there!  🙂 ~ Fly

Purim Celebration at Temple Ahavat Achim

Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman, a story recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther (Megillat Esther).” – Wikipedia

Here on GMG, I saw an invitation to Temple Ahavat Achim’s Purim celebration, and decided to attend! I’ve already been to their Hanukkah celebration and two of the Cafe Shalom events, and it’s always been interesting and enjoyable. This was no different!

If you want to make sense of these photos, I recommend you read about Purim on Wikipedia or some other source. In brief, they read and partially reenact the book of Esther (using noisemakers to blot out the name of Haman), accompanied by alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) beverages, traditional pastries called hamanashen, and the wearing of costumes.  It’s a fun mixture of ritual and lighthearted fun. Cape Ann Brewery contributed some delicious pomegranate beer!  Here are some shots I took.

Click here for a complete full-size slideshow:


and/or scroll down for a few highlights:



Fr. Matthew Green

Meet The Trainer: Peg Harmony

If you would like to train with Peg her contact info is below. For more information about joining the Manchester Athletic Club and training with Peg call 978-526-8900.



Peg Harmony

Area of training expertise:

Functional Training

Why workout?:

To feel better about yourself both physically AND mentally.  To help you deal with and relieve stress whether it be personal or work related.

Favorite exercise:

Kettlebell Swings

Favorite easy to cook recipe:

Broiled scallops with sweet lime sauce 

Serves 4


    4 tablespoons honey
    2 tablespoons lime juice
    1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
    1 pound bay or sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
    2 teaspoons grated lime peel
    1 lime, cut into 4 wedges


Preheat the broiler. Position the rack 4 inches from the heat source. Cover a broiler pan or cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spray generously with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice and oil. Add the scallops and toss gently to coat with the honey mixture.

Arrange the scallops in a single layer on the prepared broiler pan or baking sheet. Broil until opaque throughout when tested with a tip of a knife, about 5 minutes. Turn the scallops over and broil for another minute.

Divide the scallops onto 4 warmed plates. Pour any juices from the broiler pan or baking sheet over the scallops. Sprinkle with grated lime peel and serve with a lime wedge.

Seafood. Jupiter Florida from Mike Parisi

Hey Joe,
Here I am in beautiful Jupiter,Fl. at the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant.  Now you would think you could have some nice locale seafood,not a chance, everything they serve for shrimp is farm raised.  All the fish imported too. 

I can’t believe that we have to work so hard to find locale caught seafood,caught by American fishermen.  I understand that we now as a nation import over 90 percent of our seafood.  I can not believe our country stands by with our locale fishermen tied to the dock,over regulated,managed by bad science while our people eat imported seafood.  I hope the recent cod quota proposal of 77% does not happen.Save out American Fishermen
Mike Parisi


GMG Photo Safari Scheduled For Saturday March 2nd, 2013

Meet at Rocky Neck Causeway Parking Lot at 9AM. 

Informal meet and greet.

Go off in groups or individually to shoot.

Go home.

Edit photos.

Submit them to

Joey C creates an online album of the photos.

We post the album on the blog. 

People meet people, get inspired, create friendships, everyone wins.


Who’s In?