Rebecca Reynolds (MARS board president), Annie Harris (CEO Essex National Heritage Area) and Mary Kay Taylor (Lowell’s Boat Shop education/grants director)

Today I attended the Essex National Heritage Area annual spring meeting as a recently appointed heritage commissioner. The meeting was held at the Saugus Town Hall, a magnificently maintained, predominately Gothic Revival style building, constructed in 1874-1877 and designed by architects Lord and Fuller. The East Lake inspired interior details and decoration were a treat to see and have been beautifully preserved.

It was a joy to see my friend Sarah Boucher, director of sales and marketing at Willowdale Estate and Briar Barn Inn, to meet Rebecca Reynolds, president of the Manship Artists Residency and Studios (MARS), and to see the always wonderful Mary Kay from Schooner Ardelle-Adventure-Lowell’s Boat Shop.

Today Mary Kay was wearing her Lowell’s Boat Shop and Museum hat, accepting the matching Essex National Heritage Area partnership grant. The grant will go towards the restoration of the Boat Shop. To learn more about Lowell’s Boat Shop and Museum, the oldest continuously operating boat shop in America, visit their website here.

Saugus Town Hall image courtesy wiki commons media

Beautiful Fish: Grenadier -By Al Bezanson


Common Grenadier, Rat-tail, Marlin Spike

Occurrence in the Gulf of Maine—

The common grenadier was formerly regarded as a rare stray in the inner parts of the Gulf of Maine for only two had been recorded there aside from the Eastport and Lubec specimens mentioned above, the  one from the western basin in 160 fathoms, the other from off Gloucester, both of them taken many years ago. But they must be rather common on the muddy bottoms of the deeper parts of the Gulf in 85 to 125 fathoms, for we have caught more than 100 of them at various localities on recent trawling trips. No doubt it is because few vessels ever fish on these grounds, which are not productive either of cod or of haddock, that the presence of grenadiers there has been overlooked. A grenadier, too, was reported from the slope of Jeffreys Ledge, in about 50 fathoms, during March 1934.  Usually about a foot long.


Rough-headed Grenadier, Rat-tail, One-eye

Occurrence in the Gulf of Maine—

Three quarters of a century ago, when halibut were more plentiful in the Gulf of Maine than they are today, and when vessels, long-lining from Gloucester, still resorted regularly to the deep channel between Georges Bank and Browns Bank as well as to the deep gullies that interrupt the Nova Scotian banks, large grenadiers were often hooked. Fishermen described them as common enough to be a nuisance, for they stole the baits meant for other fish and were of no commercial value themselves. It was on the strength of such reports that Goode[7] characterized them as “exceedingly abundant on all of our offshore banks.”   Maximum  length of 3 feet and a weight of 4 or 5 pounds

From Fishes of the Gulf of Maine by Bigelow and Schroeder (1953) online courtesy of MBL/WHOI

Spring Household Hazardous Waste Day, April 14, 2018

This event is always well attended.  Hope to see everyone there.

Spring Household Hazardous Waste Day – April 14, 2018

This year our Spring Household Hazardous Waste Event will be April 14, 2018, rain or shine, from 9am-12 noon.  Residents are asked to schedule an appointment to bring their materials to the DPW yard.  The Recycling Department will begin accepting appointments beginning March 15th.  Please call 978-281-9785 to schedule your appointment. Registration closes April 13, 2018 at 11 AM.

Gloucester residents are allowed to bring up to 25 pound or gallons of material at no cost.  If you exceed 25 pounds or gallons, and additional fee will be accessed and payable to ACV Enviro(payable by check only, cash is not accepted).  For up to 10 gallons or pounds over it is $30, 11-25 gallons or pounds over the charge is $50.00.

Please understand that we can only accept hazardous materials when ACV Enviro is on site, early drop offs will not be allowed.

Acceptable Materials

From the House:

  •  Rubber Cement, Airplane Glue
  •  Fiberglass Resins
  •  Photo Chemicals
  •  Chemistry Sets
  •  Furniture Polish
  •  Floor & Metal Polish
  •  Oven Cleaner
  •  Fluorescent Bulbs
  •  Mercury bearing wastes
  •  Drain & Toilet Cleaner
  •  Spot Remover
  •  Rug & Upholstery Cleaner
  •  Hobby Supplies, Artist Supplies

From the Yard:

  •   Poisons, Insecticides, Fungicides
  •   Chemical Fertilizers
  •   Weed Killers
  •   Moth Balls
  •   Flea Control Products

From the Workbench:

  • Oil Based Paints ONLY
  • Stains & Varnishes
  • Wood Preservatives (except Penta)
  • Paint Strippers/Thinners
  • Solvent Adhesives
  • Lighter Fluid

From the Garage:

  • Fuels/Gasoline/Kerosene
  • Motor oil
  • Car batteries
  • Antifreeze
  • Engine Degreaser
  • Brake Fluid/Carburetor Cleaner
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Car Wax, Polishes
  • Driveway Sealer
  • Roofing Tar
  • Swimming Pool Chemicals
Unacceptable Materials

What Not To Bring!

  • LATEX PAINT (pop lid, let dry, throw in trash)
  •  Empty Containers/Trash
  • Commercial or Industrial Waste
  • Radioactive Waste, Smoke Detectors
  • Infectious & Biological Wastes
  • Compressed Gas Cylinders (other than propane)
  • Ammunition, Fireworks, Explosives, Flares
  •  Fire Extinguishers
  •  Prescription Medicines/Syringes
  • Asbestos

How Can I Safely Transport These Hazardous Materials?

  • Leaving materials in original containers.
  • Tighten Caps and lids.
  • Sort and pack separately: oil  paint, pesticides,and household cleaners.
  • Pack containers in sturdy upright boxes and
  • pad with newspaper.
  • Pack your car and drive directly to the site.
  • NEVER SMOKE while handling hazardous material.

Alicia Unleashed- SUP?



Episode 77- We are on location for this one too! We recorded this 2 Southern Ave also known as The Board Barn and Retail Shop! With Owners Dom and Anneliese with Fila (the paddleboarding dog)
Hot Plate:
How many times does Alicia say Um?
*The Great Gloucester Clean Up-April 21st 9am-11am (check out our girl Donna’s One hour at a time gang page)
**Dom and Anneliese will be down at Pavilion Beach, come help clean!
*Cape Ann Lanes is hosting Unlimited Bowling on Tuesdays in April! $15 (shoes included) 7pm-Close UNLLIMITED BOWLING!
*Pride Stride April 29th
*Check out GloucesterCast 270 with Eric Lorden!
*One Ocean, One Love-OPENING WEEKEND!
We get right in to it with Dom and Anneliese, about the origins and where it all began with 1 spot (RIP Birdseye Building) to now having 4 locations! They discuss the Surf/Paddle/Retail Shop, working with businesses to support the local economy. We discuss the services that they provide, between Kid’s Surf Night (M,T,THR), Military Mondays-a working title (1/2 all services for any Active Duty or Retired Veterans), SUP YOGA (Sundays/Wed), keep an eye out for Wine Nights! Laides Surf Night (Fridays-Jul/Aug). They discuss the growth of the company, the partnerships with the commuinity and HOW FREAKING COOL IT IS!
Season Opener coming soon! Stop by the Barn of the Beach and say HI! AND GET OUT THERE!
#podcast #aliciaunleashed #CapeAnnSUP #SUP #paddleboards #surfing #paddleboarding #Gloucester #Essex #paddling #EssexRiver
**If you know of someone we you should talk with on the podcast, tag them or put them in touch with us!
Instagram: @capeannsup

Beauport Hearing

Hearing and Brain Fitness

Hosted by St. John’s Episcopal Church

48 Middle Street, Gloucester, MA  01930

April 21, 2018, 11 AM – 1 PM

This first Hearing Mission event introduces the human hearing system, how to protect good hearing, and the restorative benefits of aural rehabilitation. Attend this event to learn about the human hearing system, your brain, and how you can keep your brain sharper through better hearing. There will be door prizes and gifts too! We will answer your questions about hearing aids and explain the role of aural rehabilitation and brain fitness in hearing health. Beauport Hearing Care takes a more holistic approach. Good nutrition and exercise matter. Better hearing is not just about hearing aids! In addition, hearing screenings will also be offered at the program. And free hearing tests with personalized hearing coaching will be scheduled for those that request it.

Mission participants that need hearing aids but cannot afford them may apply for free hearing aids through the Beauport Hearing Mission in partnership with the Starkey Hearing Foundation. But whether or not you qualify for free, all participants are introduced to a new way of thinking about their hearing and health.

Hearing and healing are central to every spiritual and religious tradition! The vast majority of traditions are oral traditions, e.g. they have no written language. ‘Hearing’ God’s Word is universal to all traditions. Moreover, science is discovering that hearing is the primary sense to help the brain organize and prioritize all sensory inputs. The beautiful human hearing system bridges our physical and spiritual worlds. Healthy hearing promotes measurably better social and physical health. Socialization is important to maintain good brain health, and hearing is essential to socialization. Hearing is also necessary to understand the advice of your doctor.

The Beauport Hearing Mission demonstrates one way St. John’s Community Health Ministry enables better health. Like healthy hearing, other health problems like diabetes also require a more holistic and social intervention to be most effective. We need your help! Come see how the Hearing Mission is leading. Consider volunteering for St. John’s Community Health Ministry by becoming a St. John’s ‘hearing coordinator’.

Dennis Brennan, Steve Sadler and Andy Plaisted …oh and dear Ol’ Dave Sag Tonight @ The Rhumb Line 8:30pm



40 Railroad Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-9732

Opening Day

Here’s a shot I had been thinking of doing for opening day,, being a huge Sox fan, and baseball fan. The feeling of home opener means a lot to me brings me back to when I was a kid playing baseball in the churchyard and down the fields or hair playing catch in the backyard,I know to some they have lost the passion because of all the big contracts and how expensive it is to spend a day at the ballpark,, all I have to say to those is grab a glove and ball a couple friends and just have a pick up game, I know that feeling will comeback!!

Let’s Go Redsox

Happy Opening Day!

If you know me, you know by now that I’m passionate about a few things… amazing boys, the school where I am blessed to work and my boys are even more blessed to attend, people who have your back, staying busy, all things Cape Ann, and Fenway Park.  Weird, right?

I say the same thing each year at about this same time…..  I appreciate baseball, I like the Red Sox, but I love Fenway Park.  Cliche as it is, I find it kind of intoxicating.  Larry Lucchino once led me through a door that leads from the front office to the grandstand on a day when the park was relatively empty.  It was, in fact, hours away from an evening game time and the park was just starting to yawn and stetch.  He told me that it was moments like that when Fenway spoke to him the most.  I couldn’t agree more.

I am in love with the geometric lines and patterns, the shadows, the shapes, the textures, and the colors that make Fenway come to life.  During game time, as exciting as the play on the field can get, it is the sounds, smells, and palpable buzz in the air that literally give me goosebumps.  It is watching families, friends, soulmates, and strangers united in their love of a day together at the park.  At all other times, it is the history that seeps from every nook and cranny, it is the tradition that stands at attention, and the memories that echo off the hallowed walls.  It is my own memories and the memories of millions of others swirling together in shades of green and red that make me take pause….and smile.

I have attended Opening Days, World Series games, Big Papi’s last game, Pedro’s # retirement, ring ceremonies, rolling rally parades, concerts, charity events, and hundreds of games in between.  I have been blessed to be in the midst of some incredibly exciting moments and to bear witness to history being made. That being said, my favorite minutes in the ballpark still remain the very late night hours when I’ve left a game, met friends for a drink, and then wandered back into the park and down towards the field.  The park is sleepy then, the lights are still on, the air is still buzzing, the field is often shiny and wet, and all is right in the world.

The 2018 Red Sox Home Opener takes place today….and with it comes the promise of excitement, disappointments, cheers, spills, laughs, rally caps, 7th inning stretches, home runs, wins, losses, broken bats, broken hearts, continued traditions, lots of firsts, and a wild, wild ride. Buckle up, grab some friends, and make some memories.  Game on.


Rafe’s Chasm Cloaked in Spring Beauty

We took a walk out to Rafe’s Chasm one sunny day last week to soak in some spring sunshine.  The ocean was the blue of a gem twinkling in the sun and the waves demanded their share of attention by slapping against the rocks with authority.

One of my favorite parts of this walk is the sound of the water as you approach, and then the vista reveals itself to include the ocean, rocks and waves.


We watched the Arethusa go about its business


As the waves punished the rocks, we even got an acceptable picture of ourselves out there…. copies available upon request.


It’s just so darn beautiful out there!

The Smith Family to Bring Grocery Store to Rockport

Dear Rockport Community:

Here is the official announcement made by our company and family today. We are so excited to bring a grocery store to Rockport, and we look forward to your support and input. Crackerjacks is not going away. We are remerchandising it to include groceries, and bring a much needed store to our community. Stay tuned as our plans unfold.


CONTACT: Jay Smith, President, Smith Ace Hardware & Lumber

978-546-2229 x 11 email:

The Smith Family to Bring Grocery Store to Rockport

Rockport, MA – On Wednesday April 4, Jay Smith, President of the Smith family businesses, which include Smith Ace Hardware & Lumber and Crackerjacks in Rockport, and Hometown Ace Hardware in Gloucester, announced his plans to bring a grocery store to Rockport. “We have been listening to what the community wants, and we have done the preliminary research and planning to make it happen,” said Smith in an official statement. “We will start by remerchandising Crackerjacks at 27 Whistlestop Mall in the coming months, and then grow it from there, based on community input and support.”

The plans for remerchandising the Crackerjacks retail location include offering a range of essential grocery items, butchery and bakery products, as well as produce, milk and dairy, condiments, snacks, and other essentials. A customer-friendly designated selling area for beer and wine is also proposed. “Our focus will be on farm fresh whenever possible, regionally and locally made products, and excellence in customer service,” stated Smith, who has been studying national community grocery store designs and trends. Whistlestop Market is the planned business name.

Once the grocery store is established with essentials, future plans may include a deli service area with a hot soup bar, prepared entrées and salad options, and other amenities that will make meals to go and to prepare at home healthy, fresh, and convenient.

“We are confident that our customers and the community will help us serve them, and we want their input,” says Smith, who is planning to survey customers and the community to determine what people most need. “With a 144-year business history on Cape Ann, our family and our employees stand ready to create a shopping experience that locals and visitors alike will enjoy. The grocery store will add yet another attractive, convenient amenity to a town we all love and care about,” Smith stated.

A Family Legacy on Cape Ann

Leverett Edward (L.E.) Smith began his hardware business on Cape Ann at Dock Square in 1874, and moved it to 49 Main Street in 1891. J. Raymond Smith, Jay Smith’s grandfather, who had started in the lumber business in 1924, bought the hardware business from L.E.’s’ sons, and ran it until the time of his death in 1947. Longtime employee and family friend Charles “Brud” Burbank took over the management of the lumber company at that time, and contributed greatly to the Smith’s business success. In the mid 1960’s, Jay’s father, Ray Smith, conceived what the locals at that time called “a crazy idea” of having a “shopping center” to serve the residents of Rockport, at a location outside of the congested downtown area. In 1967, he opened the Whistlestop Mall, with a brand new L.E. Smith Hardware as the original anchor tenant.

Jay has worked in the family business since his early childhood. After kindergarten, he would walk from the Tarr School on Broadway (now the current Rockport Public Library) over to the Main Street store. There he would “help out” until his dad took him home at lunchtime. Jay began working full time at the lumber business in 1978. “I have done just about everything over the years,” says Smith, who succeeded his father as president of the company, before Ray’s passing in 2013.

If the 5,000 square foot Crackerjacks location is successful, Smith may consider options to possibly expand into the 10,000 square foot former Rockport IGA site. “Since that store closed,” notes Smith, “we have been working to bring a grocery store back to Rockport.” While Smith has considered proposals from various grocers as tenants in the former grocery store space, an important consideration has been potential tenant’s confidence that Rockport can support such a large store. “We are part of this community,” says Smith, “We believe that a locally owned and operated grocery store is the right next step for our community, and that it will succeed if we plan it and grow it accordingly.”

Plentiful parking, handicapped access, proximity to other popular businesses, and a commitment to excellence in service are other positives of the Smith family’s proposal and the Whistlestop Mall location. “We are successful because we gave great people on our team,” says Smith. It is anticipated that Crackerjacks will remain open during the initial stages of the project, new jobs will be created, and all present employees will be engaged in the excitement of the new Whistlestop Market project. Some of Crackerjacks products will stay in the new store, and others will be moved to the hardware store.

“It is clear to us that people in the Rockport, Pigeon Cove and Lanesville communities want and need a grocery store,” says Smith. “My father Ray, our family, and our team of over 78 associates have done an excellent job of growing our businesses over the last several decades, and we must continue to change with the times. I am proud to carry on the family legacy as we all look to the future. Step by step, with community support and input, we will work together to make this happen.”

“We are currently looking for enthusiastic, qualified people who are passionate about good, fresh food to join our team,” adds Smith. “We welcome inquiries from nearby farmers, growers and food producers too, and they can contact us at” Smith plans to launch a customer and community survey soon, and will have a website and Face Book page for the new store. “We will begin the remerchandising and community input processes for the grocery store just as soon as possible,” he said.
Photo credit: Dan DeLouise, Gallery 53, Rockport.

Jazz Night Featuring Mitch Selib | Feather & Wedge, April 5


Join us for dinner and an evening of great jazz standards arranged and performed by Berklee-trained Mitch Selib. Dinner tastes better accompanied by a side a sheer talent and artistry.

Thursday, April 5th

7 to 9 PM

Reservations suggested. 978.999.5917

Feather & Wedge, 5 Main Street, Rockport, MA 01966

Mitch Selib - Feather & Wedge.jpg

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Gloucester Biotechnology Academy Still Accepting Applications for Class of 2019

Cape Ann Community

Apply now! Gloucester Biotechnology Academy currently has space available in it’s upcoming class of 2019, beginning in September 2018. 

Contact our Education Director, John Doyle at or 978.491.5968 with questions or to schedule a tour to visit our state-of-the-art laboratory.

Rolling Admission flier 4.2.18

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