Soaring high overhead, our Mr. Swan is looking healthy at the onset of winter. Thanks to the care he received from his friends over the summer, it appears as though his foot is in much better shape. Keep on rockin’ Mr. Swan!



June, 2011: African Elephants

Thank you Kim Smith for posting the BBC videos of African elephants. They brought to mind Barbara’s and my trip to Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana in 2011. Of all the wildlife we were privileged to see and study, the elephants were the most endearing and fascinating. Their numbers were plentiful and we had ample opportunity to observe herd life, family structure and bonding within the herd and learn about the elephant habitat. These amazing animals must be among the most intelligent, compassionate and loving in all creation.

In the few short years since our visit, the number of African elephants in the wild has decreased dramatically,(about 6% in Zimbabwe) due largely to habitat destruction and ivory poaching.Despite that, legal hunting of elephants is permitted in many African countries. While it may be true that well managed hunting can serve to conserve habitat and strengthen the herds, some countries, and Zimbabwe in particular, have failed to demonstrate a commitment to that goal. Instead, the hefty fees collected from trophy hunters have been diverted from conservation efforts to unrelated purposes.

That’s why, in 2014,in an effort to discourage Americans from engaging in elephant trophy hunting in parts of Africa, President Obama banned the import into the U.S. of elephant body parts from animals killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia.
President Trump has now reversed that order, thereby creating incentives for the trophy hunting of these magnificent creatures and accelerating the decline of African elephants which have been on the Endangered Species list since 1979.

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All photos © Marty Luster 2011

President Trump, in a tweet, has reversed the order that allowed animal trophies from Zimbabwe to be brought into the US, pending further study. This is a temporary measure, but it allows time to have a public discussion about this issue.


Cape Ann Brewing hosts music festival/beer release party – Saturday Nov. 18th 1pm-7pm (Rain or Shine!)


Cape Ann Brewing Company/The Pub at Cape Ann Brewing hosts the Cape Ann Forge Series Release Party this Saturday, Nov 18, from 1-7pm at 44 Whittemore St in Gloucester. Try the new brew for the first time! Beer garden, outdoor bbq, live music with local acts such as Sasquatch, Heavy Necker, Labor In Vain, Kate and the Nouveau Groove, plus Dr. Bones’ Circus of Marvels. Chill on the river for only $10 at the door! Who could ask for more?

Forge Series Flyer.jpg

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Survey says…feedback and ongoing outreach by Gloucester’s Open Space & Recreation Committee

Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken and Gloucester’s Open Space & Recreation Committee held a forum within the community center of the Maplewood Apartments complex on Thursday November 16th. The committee is working on the next Open Space plan for the city. (The prior one covering 2011-2017 has expired.) There was a brief presentation, results to the summer survey, and continued requests for suggestions and ideas. Gathering input will help prioritize possible Open Space & Recreation goals. Along with the important and detailed feedback already gathered from outreach, additional suggestions or wishes were given ‘open space’ 🙂 and welcomed at this little meeting.  A woman who works with Backyard Growers mentioned a garden of a different scale, with fruit trees and strawberry patches to walk through, engendering audible oos and ahhs and one request to add it “Right there!” Others dreamed of lights/safety at Burnham’s, Kayak storage and assistance, and drainage mitigation at Magnolia Fields.  Councilor Gilman took notes on the comments, and related one idea about a dedicated camping site.

You can check out the results to the survey (litter, dogs, and topics you care about are likely all in there) on the City’s website: (link coming) The presentation will tour. Look for upcoming dates and give thanks to this hardworking committee of volunteers, staff, and partners that advocate for open space and recreation. Committee members Patti Amaral, Heidi Wakeman, and Chair John McElhenny were there along with City staff  from community development and housing.


photos: arriving to the community center, well before the meeting commenced, setting up in progress

Cape Ann Animal Aid Shopping Fair

The Shopping Fair is this Sunday! We’re so excited! Please, help spread the word by inviting your friends and sharing this event page. Be sure to check out the online parties and don’t miss this great event featuring 15 vendors, shelter tours, and a lot of super cute shelter animals!


Fish Tales – Road Trip Stories – Dec 1

Fish Tales Road Trip (2)And after you visit the Fisk Open House, head on over to Gloucester Stage for Fish Tales, the live story-telling program from the Gloucester Writers Center. This is the big yearly show that benefits these two great arts organizations. The Road Trip theme is sure to bring out some amazing true tales, all told by local folks you know. If you like NPR’s Moth Radio Hour, you’ll love Fish Tales.

Last year this show was completely sold out, buy your tickets early.

Fisk Open House, Friday December 1st

147 model portrait

You are cordially invited to join us at our Gloucester workshop to celebrate the creation of a new pipe organ. Come see and hear Opus 147 and learn about the craft of organbuilding.

Friday, December 1
4 pm – 8 pm

21 Kondelin Road

Cape Ann Industrial Park

OPUS 147

for the


3 manuals
61 stops, 55 independent voices, 73 ranks
(scale model 1:16 shown)

Dear Friends,

This one is so big it’s in sections all around the shop. I hope you will come, and feel free to bring along anyone you think might be interested. Please note that the event will be on a Friday afternoon and evening this time.


2017 Essex Trails & Sails People’s Choice Award winners announced

Emily Levin from Essex National Heritage shares the results of September Trails & Sails People’s Choice Awards. The top five include a repeat winner from Gloucester, MA.

Levin also has some professional news. After nine years, she’ll be moving from Essex National Heritage to Historic New England. Congratulations on your new job!

Emilyl Levin formerly Essex National Heritage then Historic New England IMG_20170405_183134.jpg

About Essex National Heritage


The Essex National Heritage Trails & Sails 2017 “People’s Choice Awards”

Continue reading “2017 Essex Trails & Sails People’s Choice Award winners announced”

BREAKING #GloucesterMA: Passing the legacy– an historic Folly Cove Acorn printing press for the outstanding art department at O’Maley Middle School

Thanks to Mayor Romeo Theken, teacher Brett Dunton, Principal Lucey, and the extreme generosity of Manship Artists Residency & Studios (MARS) under the direction of Rebecca Reynolds, the O’Maley Innovation Middle School ramped up in a powerful fashion with an amazing and enviable addition to the art department:

a rare loan of a Folly Cove Acorn fine art printing press for the art room!

Acorn printing presses were used by Gloucester’s legendary Folly Cove guild of artisans, most notably Virginia Lee Burton, an internationally renowned artist, children’s picture book author-illustrator, dancer, teacher and Folly Cove co-founder. O’Maley students study Gloucester, printmaking, and the history of Folly Cove artists through a myriad of units in each grade and subject, often in partnership with Cape Ann Museum, local artists and other community partners. And now, to have this pedigree press, … Wow! Enjoy some photographs from Brett Dunton from the exciting installation day.


teachers Brett Dunton and Ashley Doke with 8th grade students admiring the newly installed famous Acorn press O’Maley Innovation Middle School, Gloucester MA

teachers Brett Dunton and Ashley Doke with 8th grade students admiring the newly installed famous Acorn press O'Maley Innovation Middle School, Gloucester MA

The O’Maley press is one of the last actual Folly Cove presses remaining on Cape Ann. It was owned and used by Elizabeth (Libby) Holoran and Isabel Natti, eventually taking up Holloran’s floor space in the Sarah Elizabeth Store which she opened in 1974. Superstar sculptor, Paul Manship, was Isabel Natti’s grandfather. Aino Natti, Natti’s uncle, was one of the Folly Cove co-founders and the original owner of this particular press. Acorn printing presses were fabricated and distributed by companies like the Adams Brothers in Boston circa 1830-1870. The name “Acorn” comes from the cut away which resembles the shape of an acorn; the presses are RARE and beautiful. One is on view at the Cape Ann Museum.

Mayor Romeo Theken was hopeful that MARS would consider the schools and Gloucester’s students when determing a most suitable location. Teacher Brett Dunton knows Natti and all about this famed press. He was thrilled to build a print room around it and get going. Natti had already given him some of her drying racks. This opportunity would not have happened without MARS working with donors to rescue the press and Mr. Dunton’s expertise and enthusiasm for taking it on. This has to be one of the nicest feel good full circle art stories coming home ever! I look forward to sharing some of the results from the inaugural student printmaking classes, original print editions from this stellar art room addition.



Emrah’s stylin’ new Paprika Grill chef shirt

Emrah Arslan is the owner and chef at Paprika Grill, an awesome Mediterranean takeout which opened December 2015 at 185 Washington St., in Gloucester, MA. (978) 551-8186. Donna Ardizzoni’s photographs are on display.

Paprika Grill will be closed over Thanksgiving.


Binge Watching the Hallmark Channel

All month long….   If you need me, I’ll be binge watching the Hallmark Channel for the next six weeks.


Check out the list of new Holiday premiere movies….all 21 of them.  Hours of cheesy holiday fun!  I couldn’t be happier. Plus some old favorites from the last few years.


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