Summer Beach Traffic and Parking- discuss

February 15, 2018 meeting at Sawyer Free Library–Councilor Scott Memhard hosted another Ward 1 community discussion and welcomed participation. All hands on deck– Councilor O’Hara part of beach traffic task force;  Council Lundberg, Holmgren, Cox and Hecht were there, too. I’ll add links soon.

UPDATE: Councilor Memhard added meeting notes to the comments (see below). I’ve also added them into a Part 2 post with the Beach & Traffic Ad Hoc committee presentation to City Council. Look for information and maps related to Long Beach, Good Harbor Beach, Stage Fort Park, and more. Chances are your ideas or concerns were mentioned–doublecheck and future public meetings to be announced.



Save the Date! On April 12th from 5 to 7pm I am going to be the guest speaker at Salem State University as part of their Earth Day celebration. I will be giving my Monarch Butterfly lecture program.

A series of interesting, thoughtful speakers and exciting events are scheduled and I will post the flyer and more information as soon as is available. This program is open to the public. I hope to see you there! Dandelions for the Pollinators! 

I think Dandelions growing in a lawn are lovely and they also provide nectar early in the season for bees and butterflies, as well as late in the season, especially for migrating Monarchs. It’s lamentable that the lawn care industry has convinced consumers that Dandelions are unwelcome in the lawn.

One morning in mid-fall I watched as hundreds of migrating Monarch poured in from over the water. They were tired and hungry but as it was late in the season, there were few wildflowers and garden flowers still blooming. Nearly every Monarch made a beeline for the Dandelions and even got into little tussles over who would drink first. The lawn was simply covered with bright yellow blossoms and orange and black flakes. Unfortunately, a maintenance crew arrived to mow the lawn. No matter how hard I tried to convince the guys that perhaps they could come back the next day, after the butterflies had departed our shores, they would have none of it. The lawn was mowed and the weary butterflies dispersed and did not return.

Next time you reach for a spray bottle of poisonous pesticide, such as Monsanto’s Round-up, think instead about the bees and butterflies. And, too, the strong taproots of Taraxacum officinale will aerate your soil and the tender, young greens are delicious in salads.

ROCKY NECK NOW 2018: The Annual Spring Members’ Show

ROCKY NECK NOW 2018: The Annual Spring Members’ Show

March 1 –April 8, 12-4 PM
Opening Reception:  Saturday, March 10, 2-5 PM
Panel Discussion with Artists: Sunday, March 11, 2018, at 2 PM.
Poetry Reading: “Rising Spring” Three poets present, Sunday, March 25 at 3 PM.

Cultural Center at Rocky Neck
6 Wonson Street, Gloucester, MA
Galleries open: Thursday through Sunday, Noon-4 PM


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The Rocky Neck Art Colony (RNAC) opens the season with the highly anticipated “Rocky Neck Now 2018: The Annual Spring Members’ Show” running for six weeks from Thursday, March 1 through Sunday, April 8, 2018.  The exhibition features recent work by more than 30 of the Rocky Neck Art Colony’s  artists.  This show, in both the upper and lower galleries of the Cultural Center includes a wide range of artistic interpretations with abstract, representational and expressive styles in all media, 2D and 3D. The galleries are open each Thursday through Sunday Noon-4 PM. The public is invited to meet the artists at the opening reception on Saturday, March 10, 2-5 PM. All are invited to receptions and events with refreshments, admission and nearby parking free of charge.


The Artists

Some of the more than 30 RNAC well-known, participating artists include Nubar Alexanian, Kathleen Gerdon Archer, John Bassett, Katherine Coakley, Mary Cole, Yhanna Coffin, Terry Del Percio, Robert Diebboll, Judith Goetemann, , Leslie Heffron, Richard Honan, Jane Keddy, Randolph Kelts, Otto Laske, Brenda Malloy, Ruth Mordecai, Ed Mowrey, Tom Nihan, Regina Piantedosi, David Piemonte, Mary Rhinelander, Martha Swanson, Marilyn Swift, Bonnie Twomey, Connie Vallis, Rokhaya Waring and Karen Watson among many others.


Special Events

The Art Colony presents two special events during the exhibition.  On Sunday, March 11, 2018, at 2 PM, the public is invited to a panel discussion featuring selected participating “Rocky Neck Now” artists.  Audience participation will be encouraged, and the discussion will cover a wide range of topics, many based on questions asked by audience members.

For a lovely afternoon of inspiring words and art, be sure to attend “Rising Spring,” a program of poetry readings by Nadine Boughton, Mary Cole, and Patrick Doud on Sunday, March 25 at 3 PM.


A Celebration

As this is the first exhibition since major renovations to the main gallery of the Cultural Center, “Rocky Neck Now 2018” serves as a grand re-opening celebration. Cultural Center renovations were funded in part by a generous grant from the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency that promotes excellence, inclusion, education, and diversity in the arts. The work that included the installation of updated lighting, the application of acoustic materials to improve sound quality in the hall, the addition of hangers to allow ceiling mounted installations are in place as are painting and repairs. More information on all Cultural Center events is available by visiting the website at, by email at or telephone 978 515-7004.


The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street, Gloucester, MA 01930, the official Welcome Center for Rocky Neck and home of the Art Colony, hosts exhibitions, workshops, meetings, lectures and cultural events of all kinds. The Center accommodates up to 100 people. For information about renting the facility for a meeting, theatrical or musical performance, a small wedding or anniversary, both private or for the community, please contact:


A celebration of Fred’s life will be held on Sunday, February 18, from 11:00 to 1:00 at the Cape Ann Museum. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Cape Ann Museum to support the Photographic Archive.

Federick William Buck II passed away at home on February 12, 2018 at the age of 69, surrounded by his family.

He was born on October 29, 1948 in Ypsilanti, MI, the eldest child of David Buck and Helene (Helmers) Buck. As a child he traveled and lived in the Western states with his mother, siblings, and step-father Edward Dorn, including a year spent at Black Mountain College, NC. When he was a teenager he and his family moved to England where he attended Jesus College, Cambridge, obtaining an MA in English Literature.

He married Stephanie Chick on July 11, 1970, and they moved from England to Gloucester that August, where he obtained a ‘temporary’ job in the local Post Office. He faithfully delivered the mail in his neighborhood in snow, sleet, rain, heat and the gloom of night, for more than 30 years, retiring in 2003.

In his youth he was a classical guitarist and was awarded a scholarship to the Montana State University music camp in Missoula, where he studied the cello. When in 9th grade he was the only member of the Snake River Valley Orchestra under the age of 21 and held the position of First Chair cello. He later took up the acoustic bass, even jamming a few times with Charles Mingus. As an adult he continued to play the ‘stand up’ bass in local bands, most notably Old Cold Tater, playing bluegrass, and later the electric bass in the blues band the Megawatt Blues Crushers.

Fred was also a poet, co-editing and publishing several small poetry and literary magazines with friends, including “Bezoar” which was awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. He was an amateur photographer, developing his black and white images in his own basement darkroom. This evolved into a love of historic photographs and led to him spending the last 12 years of his life working as the Photo Archivist at the Cape Ann Museum.

He was the family historian and an invaluable resource for authors of several recent books about his step-father, the poet Edward Dorn, and his artist mother Helene Dorn.

He is survived by his wife Stephanie, his daughters: Kettie MacLean and her husband Stan; Sunniva Buck and her fiancé Adam Costello; Yma Buck and her partner Kevin Connearney. His grandchildren Elaina, Keyra and Alexis MacLean, David Frazier, Savanna, Troy and Seth Balestraci and his great grandson Bryson Curtis. Also by his sister Chansonette Buck (and former husband Gus Wedemeyer), his brother Paul Buck (and wife Sasha), his brother-in-law Stephen Abendstern-Chick (and wife Michele). Also by nephews and nieces: Sara Wedemeyer (and her daughter Stella), Ben and Andrew Buck (and Andrew’s wife Kaitlyn), Lily and Dylan Abendstern-Chick, his former son-in-law Shawn Balestraci and half-sister Pamela Buck.

Fred was known, respected and admired by many, and will be terribly missed by his family and friends.

A celebration of Fred’s life will be held on Sunday, February 18, from 11:00 to 1:00 at the Cape Ann Museum. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Cape Ann Museum to support the Photographic Archive.

Nichole’s Picks 2/17 + 2/18

Pick #1:  New England Boat Show (still)

February 10th to 18th at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center


Read about Donna’s fun day at the boat show last weekend in her post HERE


Pick #2:  Merrimack River Eagle Festival


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Come to Newburyport and Amesbury on Saturday, February 17, for a full day of fun indoor and outdoor activities celebrating the return of our Bald Eagles! Learn more about these magnificent birds—as well as other amazing raptors such as Snowy Owls—and why our local habitat is so important to them.


Visit Eagle Hot Spots
9:00 am–4:00 pm

Drive yourself! Naturalist guides will be onsite all day along the Merrimack River. Parking available. Maps will be available on this webpage and onsite at Eagle Festival. All ages welcome. FREE.

  • Lowell’s Boat Shop: 459 Main Street, Amesbury
  • Andrews Boat Shop: 489 Main Street, Amesbury
  • Deer Island: midway between Chain Bridge, and First Lieutenant Derek S. Hines Memorial Bridge, Spofford Street, between Newburyport and Amesbury
  • Mersen: 374 Merrimac Street, Newburyport
  • Cashman Park: Sally Snyder Way (off Merrimack Street), Newburyport
  • Joppa Flats Education Center: 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport
  • Plum Island (10:00 – 3:00): Not on map. Look for the Eagle Festival signs! In parking lot at north end of Northern Boulevard; also, driving south on Parker River National Wildlife Refuge (free entry for Eagle Festival guests).

Eagle Festival Photo Tour with Hunt’s
2:00 pm–4:00 pm

Register in advance for this exciting opportunity for in-the-field wildlife photo tips from Hunt’s Photo & Video. Departs from Newburyport Chamber of Commerce.
Adults only | $50 per person

See A Raptor Show
10:00–11:00 am & 12:45–1:45 pm

Mary-Beth Kaeser of Horizon Wings presents two educational programs at Newburyport City Hall featuring raptors great and small. First come, first served. Recommended for adults and children age 6 and over. FREE.

Pose For A Photo With A Raptor
11:00–11:30 am & Noon–12:30 pm

Hunt’s Photo & Video will take your photo with a raptor for a $10 donation. Newburyport City Hall. Limited availability. First come, first served—advance registration recommended.

Have Fun With Your Family
10:00 am–3:00 pm

At the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters: Family activities, arts and crafts, and more! Special Feature: Live owls from Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm (11:00 am–3:00 pm). FREE.

At Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center: Family activities, arts and crafts, and more! Special Feature: Live hawks from Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm (11:00 am–3:00 pm). FREE.

Pick #3:  Snow Tubing at Nashoba



As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid


Fire and Rice- Marco Island From Jim Masciarelli

Hello Gloucester! Hanging out down here at the Marco Island Farmer’s Market with Chef Paul Schmidgall (pictured in back right). For all the Gloucester folks who visit/winter down here, you have to try “Fire and Rice” when you see them at the market, or beach-side. His Paella is amazing and I’d love to see a franchise in Gloucester.

Chef Paul built his entire business on his Paella recipe that I am enjoying at the moment. Chef Paul attended Johnson & Wales and knows New England and Gloucester well. He sends his greetings. Right now it’s a balmy 81 degrees in beautiful Naples!
Jim Masciarelli
PS: thanks for keeping Gloucester in my heart every day