Is there anything worse when you’re dining out and…

Is there anything worse when you’re dining out and the person you are eating with doesn’t say please or thank you to the wait staff?

Like when the waitperson asks what you would like to eat and the person you’re dining with says “I’m gonna have the split pea soup.”  Not “I’d like the split pea soup please.”  Not “May I please have the split pea soup. “  But “I’ll have the split pea soup.”

  Like the wait person is a filthy animal not worthy of a please or thank you.

Makes me want to crawl under a table.

I see it more with old curmudgeonly types.

Just the worst.

Backyard Growers Program Surpasses Fundraising Goal!

Hey Joey – We rocked our fundraiser – could you post this on your blog? Thanks! Lara

Backyard Growers Program SURPASSES FUNDRAISING GOAL! Reaching $8,196!

We launched our campaign on May 15th with the goal of raising $7,500 in 30 days. On May 26th—just 12 days later!—we surpassed our goal at $8,196! 100 people donating $8,196 in 12 days! That comes out to an average of $683 per day!

That’s a lot of excitement and commitment around school gardens in Gloucester!

And why have we been so successful? Because of YOU! Here are some of the awesome people who have donated to our campaign—We have:

  • A zillion moms, dads and grandparents from every elementary school in the district! Thanks Stephanie O’Neil of West Parish and Melissa Gillis of Veterans’ and Marty & Michelle DelVecchio of East Gloucester just to name a few.
  • Community leaders like Julie LaFontaine of The Open Door and J Harrison of The Food Project.
  • Gloucester folk who believe in our work!—thanks Carol & Hugo Burnham, Carol Ackerman, and Mari Martin to name a few.
  • The Beeman School PTO, who has seen school gardens in action and know it’s a fabulous investment!
  • Civic-minded restaurant owners like Mark McDonough of Alchemy and Latitude 43 and Ken & Nicole Duckworth of Duckworth’s Bistrot.
  • Backyard Growers Program alumni like Phoebe Potts, Jane Cunningham, and Ann Olson.
  • Backyard Growers Program volunteer garden mentors, Chip Norton, Ann Lasman, and Suzanne Gosselin, who not only give their time, but support our fundraising campaign as well.

Some special thank yous to:

  • Douglas Orre of Rockport for his very generous matching dollar donation to our campaign.
  • All of my friends and family far and wide who believe in this work and who want to make it happen for Gloucester even though they don’t live here.
  • Nikki Bogin, our very own Cape Ann Farmers’ Market manager.
  • Jim Dowd, for all his time as my on-line-fundraising-coach-extraordinaire.
  • Stevens Brosnihan, for putting up with his wife throughout this fundraising campaign.
  • Willa and Beatrix Brosnihan for being the fabulous stars of our fundraising video.

The campaign is still open! It is still possible to make a donation! Anything we receive now helps us offset our costs, add bells and whistles to our original plans, and build upon the future sustainability of school gardens in Gloucester. What will we do with more funding?

  • Buy harvest totes and salad spinners for each school for our district-wide salad day.
  • Provide our FoodCorps Service Member with her very own supply budget for the after school program at Veterans’ School.
  • Truck in some fresh, gorgeous compost to top-off all the garden beds in the fall, and purchase next year’s seeds.
  • Create new, fabulous partnerships in the community.

Support us today! Click here to visit our fundraising video and campaign page!

Thank you!
-Lara Lepionka

Video- Making Mast Hoops for Schooner Adventure at C. B. Fisk.

Greg Bover submits-

Dear Joey,

Perhaps our readers would be interested in the video Joanne Souza shot of making mast hoops for Schooner Adventure at C. B. Fisk.

Geoff Deckebach, Bill Holmes and I started by sawing strips of ash 10 feet long, 1-1/8” thick and 1-3/4” wide, tapered at both ends. We steamed them for about an hour and a half and then went ahead as shown to make the two foot diameter hoops. These hoops go around the masts, about 20 on each one. The new sails will be tied on to the rings, or “bent on” as we schoonerheads say, and that allows them to be raised or lowered.

We are one step closer to actually sailing Adventure for the first time in almost two decades. It is a privilege and an honor for me to be able to help with the effort to return this icon of Gloucester to the sea.




A Portuguese Promise “Uma Promessa” For Innocence

IMG_2294A Promise to God.

Manuel and Maria DaSilva, made  a promise “uma promessa” for the innocence of children. They passed out sweet bread to all the parents with children under a certain age, after mass at Our Lady of Good Voyage.

The Portuguese Promise “Promessa”, is a tradition, I recall my mother making many, sometimes without any explanation, it was usually an act of charity.




Island Art & Hobby

colleen at island art and hobby

I love Don at Island Art & Hobby.  I stopped in recently looking for something he didn’t carry.  He immediately went onto his suppliers sites, found what I wanted and ordered it, so I can buy locally and at the same price I would have paid if I had ordered it online.  In addition to a great selection of art and hobby supplies, there is also something for the wee ones. 

Here is Colleen with some of her charming little students.  Colleen’s little ones classes are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:15 – 11:15 at Island Art & Hobby ($12).  If you have a budding little artist in your midst, bring them over and let Colleen nurture their creative side.  For more info, call 978-879-4511.

E.J. Lefavour

Niles Pond Ducklings

Niles Pond ©Kim Smith 2013

Late afternoon Monday while photographing around Niles Pond, I heard a soft rustling in the reeds nearby. I had been standing very still and was hoping it was the illusive muskrat who seems to be everywhere on the Pond, and nowhere when you have camera at the ready. Not Mr. Muskrat, but instead, Mama Mallard and her ducklings emerged.

Niles Pond ducklings ©Kim Smith 2013

Niles Pond ducklings -2 ©Kim Smith 2013Niles Pond Ducklings

It’s a rainy, two-show night in Gloucester

The way I look at it, a rainy night is perfect for music in one of Gloucester’s restaurants.  You’re not gonna fire up the grill.  Picnic on the beach?  Nope.  Dinner on the boat?  Fuggedaboutit.

Tonight you can catch two great shows.  Start at 7pm with local favorite John Rockwell featuring Dave Brown (one of the best guitarists alive today) at Alchemy (one of only 2 Gloucester restaurants with 4.5 stars on Yelp and Gloucester’s highest rated restaurant with music).

Then head over to Minglewood and rock out with Dennis Monagle, Ned Nugent and Mark Pelosi at 9pm.

Check out this video and you’ll know what I mean when I say rockin’

Wednesdays with Fly Amero ~ Special Guest: Charlee Bianchin 5.29.2013


Surf & Turf Specials!
Wednesdays Only!Hello everyone!
Wednesday, May 29th
After some fancy calendar footwork, I am happy to say this
week’s guest is the very talented and extremely charismatic
Charlee Bianchini.  It was pure magic for me, joining her on
stage for the first time way back in January.  You know you’re
gonna love it, so why not just be there?! ~ 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!
June 5: Toni Ann

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

Finding treasures in The Cave

It’s been a while since I stopped by The Cave, but the other day I received an unexpected cash gift, so I decided to treat myself to something special! Laura always has good things in stock, so I headed over to her Main Street store.

There was someone in front of me in line, and as always I was impressed overhearing (sorry!) Laura help them pick out just the right assortment of cheeses based on flavor, texture, etc.  I ended up buying a nice bag of delicacies, including cheeses:

Some were things I’ve tried before, like blueberry honey – fantastic! – and the clothbound cheddar, which is a favorite of mine.  I also got two new items: First, cheddar with caramelized onions, which made a perfect companion for dinner (pork baked with onions, potatoes, and other veggies). Then, “Sir Francis” Bacon Chocolate Peanut Brittle!  No kidding! Bacon, chocolate, and peanut butter all together. How much goodness can you pack into one package? I had a piece in the evening. It is an amazing combination, but not the sort of thing I’d eat a lot of at once, as the flavors are fairly intense. (That’s good, because it’s not cheap!) I recommend it as a gift for your baconoholic friends!  In general, The Cave is a great place to find fine cheeses and other specialty foods. Laura will help you to find something just right!

Fr. Matthew Green



Harbortown Partners and Stakeholders Filled the Gorton’s Gallery Post From Fred Bodin and Catherine Ryan

It was a great event, with the usual speeches, and the big surprises were the winners of the temporary installations on the Harbor Walk. Here are a few photos from Mayor Kirk:


Catherine Ryan-

Good event.

City officials including Mayor, Jim Duggan, Sarah Garcia, councilors Melissa Cox and Joe Ciolino; other state dignitaries Anita Walker, Meri Jenkins – MCC; Bruce Tarr; Ann Margaret Ferrante

Co-chairs Judith Hoglander and Bob Whitmarsh

Press including GMG FredB and DavidC  who are also founding partners J

So many Harbortown partners and stakeholders filled the Gorton’s Gallery at the Maritime Gloucester (key cultural anchor asset and founding partner for CD) We have a happening cultural district!

Surprises included

· Gloucester Public High School teachers John Barry and Kurt Lichetenwald’s cool S.T.E.A.M. (science technology engineering, Arts and mathematics) classes featuring students’ hand made, engineered musical instruments.

Student David Puglisi came to the event and showcased his handmade plywood electric guitar see his youtube video!

Mr. Lichtenwald mentioned other students including  Sam Oliver who designed a ( Blue Man-esque) PVC percussion instrument, 6ft long that is at GHS on display;  she did the math calculations for every note.

· 2 sea chanty songs from founding partner and national historic landmark Schooner Adventure via their dedicated staff and volunteers!

Singers included Joanne Souza, Beth Welin, Barry O’Brien, Tim Perkins and Rose Sheehan

· Amazing jazz music from __________________ from Henry Allen Folklore and More (two young musicians—I have to get their names!!)

· food and spirits from Gloucester House, Topside Grill, Steering Committee, Cape Ann Brewery

· Mayor’s announcement of the three winners of the 2013 Gloucester HarborWalk Public Art Challenge

James Calderwood (Durham, NH) Fish Net(working title), street mural

Justin Desilva (Medford, MA), With Every Street There’s a Story (working title), 20 crosswalks

Bartek Konieczny (Abington, MA), Rope Arch (working title), sculpture

The 15 semifinalists’ proposals will be exhibited at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free in July 2013!

Community Stuff 5/29/13


Artisan Showcase and Sale June –14-16 benefits Greenbelt land conservation efforts

On June 14-16, paintings, sculpture, hand-crafted jewelry, and pottery will enliven every part of Greenbelt’s Cox Reservation, 82 Eastern Avenue in Essex, from the white farmhouse headquarters to the rustic barn, to the rolling grasslands and walkways overlooking the Essex River, as the annual Art in the Barn juried exhibition and sale returns for its 24th year.

The 130 artists include renown local artists Marty Morgan, Cynthia Curtis, Anne Cowman, Brad Storey and Beth Williams. Sale proceeds directly support Greenbelt’s land conservation efforts.

The opening reception, from 6-8:30 pm on Friday, June 14, will feature the music of Crazy Maggy, the famous Ipswich Ale Tapmobile, and tasty treats provided by the Flatbread Mobile Pizza Oven and Batch Ice Cream. Exhibition and sale hours are as follows: Friday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 pm and 6 – 8:30 pm; Saturday, June 15 from 10 am to 6 pm, and Sunday, June 16 from 10 am to 4 pm. The exhibition is free. Parking is $5 per vehicle for the whole weekend.

Relay for Life Cape Ann

The Relay For Life is a signature fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society. It is a grassroots community based event that takes place beginning at 6 p.m.on June 21-22, 2013 at O’Maley Middle School, 32 Cherry Hill Road, Gloucester. For more information about the event or to sign up as a team or make a donation, please visit the website at"

IDRC Race boat launch

Lend a hand this Sunday morning June 2nd, at 8:30 AM when we will launch the freshly painted race boats in preparation for the US Elimination races the following weekend.  We will meet at Eastern Ave Self Storage (bring a trailer if you have one) and load up the 4 race dories, then off to the HS boat ramp where we will meet Joe Novello who has volunteered to tow them back to the town landing.  I also need a volunteer to meet Joe at 8:30 at the town landing to rig up the 2 practice dories that we will remove from the water after a full year in.  Please let me know if you can make it as many hands make for light work!