Electricity Update #6 Energy Saving Ideas

Energy Saving Ideas

From Next Step:

What’s the tip that gets the most “wow” response from homeowners?
There’s one that always gets people. Throwing a dry towel in with your wet clothes to reduce drying time. People will seriously gawk at that. I hear a lot of “What? No way!” It really does help your clothes dry faster. When you run a dryer you spend about 50 cents for every hour, so if you cut that down the savings add up.

Seven Ways to Curb Winter Utility Costs While You’re Away

Ready for a winter vacation? If you’re spending your holidays abroad, take 15 minutes before you head out the door to complete these easy energy-saving to-do’s. You might save enough to buy yourself a massage après-ski. Plus, you’ll be more relaxed knowing your home is hibernating safely while you’re away.

  1. Turn down your thermostat. Depending on your home’s insulation, you can set your thermostats lower than usual. We recommend keeping it at a steady 55 degrees while you’re away, cutting your heating bill significantly. (Do keep in mind the hazards of frozen pipes.) Programmable thermostats, which may be installed at no cost during a home energy evaluation, will let you keep the heat low through your vacation but warm things up just in time for your return.If you’ll be away for an extended period, consider turning off the water, draining the pipes and setting the thermostat even lower — but talk to a plumber first.
  2. And your hot water heater (or put it in vacation mode). If your water heater is older than its warranty period, and especially if it’s showing signs of age such as leaks or rust, consider replacing it now to avoid the catastrophe of a ruptured tank while you’re away. Look for an Energy Star® model to save on the substantial cost of hot water, year-round.
  3. Lower and close all your window treatments such as blinds, curtains and drapes, to hold heat in the house. You should also make sure to lock your windows as that will help further eliminate drafts with a tight seal. While you’re considering windows, be sure that they can hold up to the winter chill – double- or triple-pane ones are best.
  4. Add insulation and air sealing. If your home has cracks or gaps that let in drafts, or if your insulation is lacking, there’s no better time to have the structure sealed and give it a warm blanket. You’ll reduce your heating (and cooling) bills year-round, and you’re more likely to avoid freezing pipes; this is especially important if you’ve turned down the thermostats.
  5. Use light timers. If you leave lights on to discourage burglars, put them on timers rather than having them consume electricity 24 hours a day. Save even more power by swapping out your bulbs to high-efficiency bulbs such as CFLs and LEDs, available at low- or no-cost during a home energy evaluation.
  6. Unplug everything you can or put your electronics on smart power strips. These power strips will both turn off your DVR when your TV is off and eliminate electricity leaks from equipment when it’s not in use.
  7. Close the damper on your fireplace, if you have one. When you return from vacation, get in the habit of doing this after each fire, as soon as the ashes are completely cold.

If you want to take advantage of awesome programs available to you right now for zero out of pocket then watch the video and sign up for your own energy efficiency assessment and get a ton of free lightbulbs, power strips, electronic thermostats that will turn down the heat at night or while you’re at work automatically, and efficient showerheads.


My mom got-

Over thirty free lightbulbs that use 10 watts vs 65 watts, free energy efficient shower heads, power strips and a whole report detailing more steps she can take to save even more.  If you are planning to insulate your house and put in more efficient heating systems there’s even more free stuff  and zero percent financing for more intense things.

Easy Holiday Decorating ~ Shell Night Light

Shell Night Light ©Kim Smith 2014What to do with that extra strand of lights? After draping the lights around our newly gilded mirror, the ten or so little white lights remaining on the strand were stuffed into a large shell. It looks so fun and glowy at night!

Shell Night Light -2 ©Kim Smith 2014 copy

Thank You Frankie Ciaramitaro for the Terrific Christmas Tree Disposal Bag Tip!

Cosmos Black Cat ©Kim Smith 2014Thank you Frankie–our cat Cosmos loves it too! The tree skirt was removed for only a moment to shake off the pine needles and look who claimed it for his own. Of all the least luxurious and uncomfy spots in which to take a cat nap!

When setting up the tree, open wide the ginormous tree-sized bag and place it under the tree stand. When it’s time to bring the tree to curbside, lift the tree off the stand and simply pull up the sides of the bag, preventing the usual pine needle mess.

Christmas tree disposal bags are available locally at Wolf Hill Home and Garden Center.

Rockport is Open Tonight 4-9PM!!!!

Joey already posted but here are four ladies you can meet tonight if you get yourself down to the east end of this island. Where? Rockport! At night! They will not roll up the sidewalks until 9PM!

Free Stuff! Discounts! Hot women in bikinis!

Window shop these fine bikinis and think of warm days on the beach.
Window shop these fine bikinis and think of warm days on the beach.
Or maybe run into these two ladies window shopping on Dock Square.
Or maybe run into these two ladies window shopping on Dock Square.

Eastern Point Lit House Authors Night


Thanks to everyone who came out last night to our first Author’s Night! It was nice to meet so many new folks and to chat with some long-time friends.

If you couldn’t make it, don’t worry. We’ll be offering many events at The Lit House in the new year for you to enjoy.

We’d also like to congratulate our give-away winners:

Lit House Book Club Tickets: Ed Mowrey

Book Bundle: Christine Silverstein

Writer Bundle: Stephen Williams

Happiest of holidays to you and yours. Watch for emails announcing upcoming workshops, readings, and other events, or stop by the website (or the shop) to find out what’s new.

Ladies’ Night at Bodin Gallery

LadiesNight5299wmLadies’ Night on Main Street was less busy, but successful. As usual, the ladies were doing recon, and will come back later to buy. With a major push on my part, and help from Donna Ardizonni and Allen Sloane, we got the gallery presentable and decorated for the holidays. My helper Tiffany was key in provisioning the event. During the night,, my former PT from DenMar, Shelley came in. When I tried to thank her for all she and her colleagues had done for me, I choked up and teared up. Shortly thereafter, my OT from VNA came in, and the same thing happened. These people had a huge affect on my life, and I can’t thank them enough.

Two Days Left To Subscribe To the Podcast and Enter For A Chance At A Paulie Walnuts Framed Sketch

Podcast Subscriber Contest #3 Prize- Framed Sketch (your scene choice) by Paulie Walnuts to one of the first ten new subscribers to the GloucesterCast- Subscribe here for your chance to win


GloucesterCast 106 With Guests Donna Ardizzoni, Kim Smith, Toby Pett, Paulie Walnuts and Host Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 11/30/14


Everyone Poops

Hmmm.  See now, I always thought the concern was too much excess during the holidays.  Maybe the saying is, too much excretion during the holidays.

After all, Everyone Poops, right?

Even the snowmen and the reindeer, I suppose.

I’ve been known to go a bit overboard during the holidays.  Jingle our Elf  on the Shelf has gotten into a fair share of late night mayhem, carrot peels have been scattered by reindeer with poor at best eating etiquette, Santa’s cookies have been crumbled and dipped into his mug of milk for that “eaten on the run” kind of effect, letters to Santa have been “mailed”, videos from the Portable North Pole have been delivered, and reindeer food has been sprinkled on the lawn. Special reindeer bells have even been wrapped in boxes just like those that appear in the Polar Express and placed far back under the tree for the boys to find last.

Lies, deception, and holiday fun at its best.  All of that having been said, however, you won’t find me throwing around snowman or reindeer poop anytime soon….or feeding it to the kids.

“Ho! Ho! Ho!  Sorry the reindeer just had to go 

I’ll be singing this all week now.

“Dumpity, Dump, Dump,

Dumpity, Dump, Dump,

Look at Frosty go”



Peter Fortune- Annisquam

Hello Again Joey:  I have been scouring the internet for more relevant articles and photographs
for the listing on the Annisquam Village wooden bridge over Lobster Cove I wrote about previously :
http://bridgehunter.com/ma/essex/bh63113/http://bridgehunter.com/ma/essex/bh63113/ .
I did just come across and added to that site the wonderful 2013 article on Cape Ann, Gloucester and
The Village of Annisquam by Peter Fortune. I highly recommend checking it out for Cape Ann history
buffs and anyone who wants to understand SQUAM (starting on page 15). It is very enjoyable reading.
Download and read it at this link directly- http://www.fortunearchive.com/Boating/Top%20Cruising%20Spots/Cape%20Ann.pdf
Regards Bob Lindberg


Poll: Sclafaini’s Pizza- Corner Slice vs Side Slice vs Middle Slice

In the office at the dock and Jimmy Jaws shows up (jimmy Jaws got his name Jaws because he never shuts up).  He comes out with the statement- “$5 for 4 slices, best deal in town.”

I ask where he was talking about and he says Sclafanis.   Hard to argue with but what surprised me was the statement from Frank who says “Gotta go corner slices.”

To my thinking I’ve always gone with a side slice so you have a little crust edge to hold on to. When you go corner it’s like you get less cheese and sauce, no?  I never even contemplated going corner unless it was the last slice on the tray.

What’s your play when you go to Sclafani’s for a 9AM slice?



Note: no image of corner slice, just because, well IMO the star of the pizza is the sauce and cheese, to take away that critical pizza mass in exchange for crust just doesn’t make sense IMO.  You gotta be an all out crust fanatic to go corner.


Shop Rockport Tonight! Rockport Merchants- Tweet @Joey_C Your Promos For Inclusion

Any Rockport Merchants That Tweet Their Shop Rockport Promotions and Add @Joey_C (so I will be sure to see it) I’ll add to this post highlighting your deals for tonights big event.

Community Stuff 12/5/14

Gloucester Police Chief Sworn in as Vice President of Essex County Chiefs of Police Association

Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello was yesterday sworn in as the new Vice President of the Essex County Chiefs of Police Association

The Association, a round-table representing 35 Essex County police departments and about 100 associate members, meets monthly to discuss important policing and community issues. It also brings police departments together from across the county to support worthwhile causes, including the Jimmy Fund and Special Olympics Massachusetts.

“It is an honor to represent my fellow chiefs and members as Vice President of Essex County Chiefs,” Chief Campanello said. “Strong communication is one of our most valuable tools as police officers, and the Essex County Chiefs of Police Association helps ensure a constant flow of dialog among our nearly three dozen member departments.

Chief Campanello was sworn in at the December meeting yesterday with a new slate of officers including:

• President, Chief Robert Picariello (Marblehead)

• Vice President, Chief Campanello

• Treasurer, Chief Robert Barker (Rowley)

• Secretary, Chief Thomas Fowler (Salisbury)

The meeting was held at the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead. The chiefs were sworn in by Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett.


Chorus North Shore Advent Concert


During the Middle Street Walk on December 13, the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, 10 Church Street, will host a dramatic reading of Jay DiPrima’s one-act play “Mingling of Souls from Sorrow to Joy,” based on the lives and writings of Rev. John Murray and Judith Sargent Murray.
The production features DiPrima as John and Kimberlee Cloutier-Blazzard as Judith. Showtime is 1 p.m. and a donation of $5 is suggested. After the half-hour performance, guests can follow the actors to the Sargent House Museum for free music and refreshments.

Set in 1796, the play reveals how the Murrays’ establishment of the Independent Christian Church in Gloucester established Universalism in the United States and secured the legal separation of church and state. Playgoers will learn of the persecutions this minister from England faced during the war of independence and of his increasing struggles with physical debilitation. They will also hear about the difficulties Judith faced in her first marriage to Captain James Stevens, her near-death experience in delivering a stillborn, and her challenges as a writer and mother. Most important, the play celebrates the strong bonds of faith and love that held John and Judith together and the triumph of joy wrought from sorrow.

Playwright Jay DiPrima holds a doctorate in educational theatre from New York University. He has worked as a teacher, actor, director, and playwright for over 30 years. He has written and performed in numerous historical dramas for the Gloucester community including Beauport Anthology, a collection of dramatic monologues from Gloucester’s history. He has portrayed Rev. John White for the Cape Ann Museum, Fitz Henry Lane for O’Maley Middle School, and Henry David Thoreau for the Gloucester Lyceum and Gloucester Writer’s Center. Jay also serves as the director of youth ministry for St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Actor Kimberlee Cloutier-Blazzard appeared as Mrs. Augusta Bloomville in North Shore Folklore Theatre Company’s productions of Judith Sargent Murray’s play Virtue Triumphant. She has portrayed Judith for student teas, candlelight tours, and special events at Sargent House. She is development associate at Sargent House Museum, where she served as site manager. She is also editor of a scholarly e-journal and works as an independent scholar and freelancer. Cloutier-Blazzard holds a doctorate in art history from the University of Virginia and has taught at various colleges in the Boston area for fifteen years.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Gloucester Local Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

For more information, contact the church at 978 283-3410 or visit the church website at gloucesteruu.org.


Clean Gloucester and The One Hour at a Time Gang will be cleaning Wingaersheek Beach

When:                  Saturday, December 6, 2014

Time:                    8-9

Where:                 Wingaersheek Beach

See you there

Thank you and take care


Gloucester Area Astronomy Club Holiday Party, Friday December 12


It’s time for the annual Gloucester Area Astronomy Club holiday party. Come join us for eggnog and cookies and friends and the cosmos. Everyone is invited; there is never any cost.

To help us celebrate this year we’re lucky enough to have Elaine Kolaczkowski with a striking and colorful presentation on Henrietta Swan Leavitt, the astronomer who discovered a reliable way to measure the universe that is still in use a century later. 

Henrietta forever changed the way we look at our place in the order of things, and you probably don’t know anything about her. After December 12 you’ll be telling the story to all your friends. 

Come in for a truly fascinating tale of professional astronomy, fame and ignominy, clouds and galaxies, a peculiar type of star that announces how far away it is with every blink, and the woman who figured it all out.

The festivities begin at 8:00 Friday December 12, at the Lanesville Community Center, 8 Vulcan Street Gloucester. You can look here for directions: http://gaac.us/contact/

What’s Happening at GHS 12/4/14

Naviance/Family Connection The Guidance Counselors visited all of the Freshman History Classes last week to register all students onto their Family Connection Account where they completed a Welcome Survey and learned to access this web based College and Career planning tool. All parents may register by contacting their students’ Guidance Counselor and obtaining your registration information. Counselors will be returning to the history classes in the spring to introduce the Personality Inventory which will assist all students in learning information about themselves and their learning styles.

The ASVAB test will be offered to all juniors and seniors on Friday December 5 at 7:30. The ASVAB is a multiple-aptitude battery that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success. If you would like to take part in this annual opportunity please stop by and sign up in the Guidance office


ASVAB Test, Friday December 5, 7:30, Guidance Office

Students Early Release, Tuesday December 9, for Teacher Professional Development Day

2nd Term Progress Reports sent home with students on Friday December 12.


News from the Gloucester Education Foundation: The Gloucester Education Foundation (GEF) is pleased to introduce a new way to recognize our district’s teachers, your student’s teaching team, and any staff member(s) whether it is a cafeteria worker, custodian, or guidance counselor.  This recognition program provides an opportunity for parents and others to honor individuals in the school community who have meaningfully impacted your child’s education. 
Please pick up a yellow flyer at the main office at GHS, which includes a form to get you started in time for the holidays.  Or, hit the link,
http://www.thinkthebest.org and click on “Honor a Teacher” and complete the prompts and process a secure debit/credit card payment or donation via Pay Pal.
All donations go directly to GEF, which drives innovation, encourages creativity, and expands student opportunities at your child’s school.  Your honored staff member receives a letter acknowledging your child’s gift. Donation amounts remain confidential and are tax deductible.  There is also a spot on the form to include a short message to your special teacher or staff member that is included in the body of the acknowledgement letter. 
The GEF Honor a Teacher Task Force is grateful to have so many dedicated staff members at Gloucester High School and this new program is one way of saying thanks for a job well done! 

The Rockport Christmas Tree Committee, now in its 116th year, is Rockport’s oldest ongoing tradition.
Started in the 1890’s by Rockport grocer Tim Sheehan, the custom of remembrance is carried on today. Members of the Rockport community 80 years of age and older, shut-ins, people with illnesses and others are remembered on Christmas Day with the delivery of a fruit basket and cookies. Residents of area senior housing, nursing homes and local hospitals receive a visit in the days before Christmas. Santa Claus himself visits residents of the Den Mar Nursing Home and presents each with a small basket of fruit and other goodies.
On Christmas morning in Dock Square, Santa arrives at 10:30 and gives all the town’s children a bag of goodies, in the tradition of the 1890’s.
Santa’s volunteer helpers will meet at Spiran Hall on Broadway at 7:00 PM on December 22 to pack the bags and baskets. On Christmas morning volunteers are welcome to meet at Spiran Hall at 9:00 AM to deliver baskets. Generations of Rockporters have participated, all you need is a willingness to help, and a smile.
The Committee needs your help to continue this tradition. We rely solely on volunteers and donations. Donations may be mailed to the Rockport Christmas Tree Committee, %Doreen Carter, 2 Mary Helen Way, Rockport, MA 01966 or dropped off at Institution for Savings in Rockport or Smith Ace Hardware & Lumber. Donations are tax deductible.
If you have a neighbor or friend who you feel should receive a basket, just let any committee member know, or leave a note with name and address at the Lumber desk at Smith Hardware and Lumber.
Committee members include Jay Smith, Dana (Buddy) Woods, Gary and Faye Anderson, Nikole Gale, Lisa Littlefield, Doreen Carter, Judy Harris, Mary Helen MacLeod, Linda Johnson, Janice Ramsden, April Beaton, Sally Frithsen, Ruth George, Andrea Ritchie, Wanda Visnick, Chris Murch, Judy Bogage, Mary-Kathryn and Jeff Gray, Darlene Trumbour, Pat Brown and John Thompson.