Saturday the fair in Annisquam was fun for all…
I picked up a small Baby Q (Q 1200) for my mom. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you have an appreciation for the simplicity, reliability and functionality of Weber charcoal kettles, then the Q series Weber gassers are the grill for you.
Built like tanks, very few parts, easy to assemble, easy to maintain. Line it with foil to keep it pristine, spray the enameled grates with cooking spray and grill away.
I hooked it up for her and immediately noticed how quick the temps were climbing. So I shot a video in real time as a demonstration.
Here it is-
Please come and show your support for endangered and threatened shorebirds in Gloucester. Thank you!
On the Agenda:
- Open session for public comments.
- Approval of meeting minutes from 7/12/18.
- Review of ACO reports and citations.
- Piping Plover protections: ordinance recommendations.
- Clark and First Parish Cemetery -dog walking.
- Event planning
- Annual report
The chicks of threatened birds such as Piping Plovers and Least Terns evolved to blend perfectly with their surrounding shoreline nesting habitat. This trait helps afford protection from hungry predatory birds flying overhead, birds such as hawks and owls. Because they are so well camouflaged, the shorebird nestlings are at great risk from fast moving pets and unknowing beach goers.
PIPING PLOVER RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE MAYOR FROM THE PIPING PLOVER VOLUNTEER MONITORS ~
July 9, 2018
Dear Mayor Romeo Theken and Gloucester City Councilors,
We, the Piping Plover volunteer monitors, are submitting our short list of recommendations regarding the Piping Plovers nesting at Good Harbor Beach. Our goal is to have in place by next April 1, 2019, measures and ordinances that will greatly increase the likelihood that the hatchlings of this tiny threatened shorebird will have a fighting chance at surviving life on Good Harbor Beach.
Piping Plovers began nesting at Good Harbor Beach in 2016. Each year, the PiPl are coming earlier and earlier. In 2016, they arrived mid-May, in 2017 they arrived at the beginning of May, and this year, they arrived on April 3. It would appear that the same pair is returning to Good Harbor Beach, as the male marks his territory and attempts to build a nest scrape only several feet from the previous year’s nest (at Boardwalk #3 nesting area). More Plovers than ever were seen at Good Harbor Beach this spring, and if not for constant interruptions in the Boardwalk #1 nesting area, we would have had two pairs nesting on the beach.
Why are the birds arriving earlier and earlier? We can presume that the pair are more experienced travelers and that Good Harbor Beach is their “territory.” Does this mean we will eventually have dozens of pairs nesting on Good Harbor Beach? No, because the PiPl are very territorial and they will defend a fairly large area, preventing other PiPl from nesting in their site.
This year the PiPl pair hatched four chicks. All four chicks were killed by crows, gulls, and dogs. All three are human-created issues, and all three can be remedied. The following are the four recommendations and actions we wish to see take place.
1) Change the dog ordinance to not allow dogs on the beach after March 31.
Currently, dogs are allowed on the beach from October 1 to May 1. The Piping Plover volunteer monitor core group, Dave Rimmer from Greenbelt, Ken Whittaker, and Mass Wildlife’s John Regosin, all agree that dogs should not be allowed on Good Harbor Beach beginning April 1, but that it would be safe for Piping Plover fledglings and other migrating shorebirds for dogs to return after September 15.
This new suggested time frame will allow birds to nest on the beach (as opposed to in the parking lot), with far less interruption, shorebirds will nest earlier in the season, which will help with the chicks survival rate, and the chicks will be stronger by the time Good Harbor fills with summer crowds.
This is a very logical and simple solution. Disallowing dogs on Massachusetts coastal beaches where shorebirds are nesting, beginning April 1, is the norm. Allowing them to return after September 15, and in many cases after September 30, is also very common. For Piping Plovers and other nesting shorebirds, protecting their habitat and sharing the shore is a matter of life and death.
2) Rope off the nesting area by April 1.
Poles, with threatened species signs, and a triple row of roping of nesting sites, to be in place no later than April 1. Essex County Greenbelt’s Dave Rimmer will assist with this measure.
3) Enforce the existing ordinances regarding dogs (and littering) at all times throughout the year.
Only enforcing dog ordinances at Good Harbor Beach during nesting season is creating hostility toward the Piping Plovers.
Additionally, we do not recommend extremely high fines as we feel that may become an impediment to issuing and collecting the fines. We know of at least one example where the magistrate dismissed the tickets issued to a woman who claimed to have a service dog. This woman was running rampant on the beach and throughout dunes with her service dog off leash throughout the entire time the PiPl were nesting, from April through May. Despite the fact that former dog officer Diane Corliss caught the woman on camera with her dog off leash on the beach, and in the dunes, all her tickets that were issued by the animal control officer were dismissed. This is neither fair to the officers who are working hard to keep the dogs off the beach or to the plover volunteers who are spending inordinate amounts of time trying to keep the PiPl safe.
4). Increase trash collection.
When no barrels are placed at the entrances to the beach, people dump bags of trash there anyway. When barrels are in place, people put trash in the barrels however, when the barrels become full, they again resort to leaving bags of trash behind, only next to the barrels. In either scenario, gulls and crows are attracted to the trash. Both gulls and crows rip open the bags and the trash is blown throughout the parking lot and marsh, soon finding its way onto the beach and into the ocean. Hungry gulls and crows waiting for people to leave their trash behind eat tiny shorebirds.
A friend who lives on a North Carolina beach shares how her community keeps their public beaches looking pristine. Not only do they have barrels, but every few weeks, police patrol the beach and hand out fines for littering. This is taken as a wake up call, everyone is good for a bit of time, but then become slack about littering again. Out come the officers for another round of ticketing.
Thank you for taking the time to consider our recommendations.
cc Paul Lundberg, Steven LeBlanc, Val Gilmam, Ken Hecht, Melissa Cox, Jen Holmgren, Scott Memhard, Sean Nolan, Jamie O’Hara, Dave Rimmer, Ken Whitakker
“Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
After a very successful There’s More to Sea Art Show at Ocean Alliance, ( The Paint Factory), the sky was so awesome and there was a small cruise ship, I think it is the American Glory, leaving port. The Beauport was also was cruising Gloucester’s Beautiful Harbor.
It was standing room only as James Masciarelli launched his Novel and book signing, “Beyond Beauport” at the Rocky Neck Cultural Center last night.
Shannon Clarke raised a family and worked waterfront jobs in America’s oldest seaport. Her childhood dream to become a sea captain is revived when her long-lost seafaring uncle Patrick visits with a salty tale of their maritime family ancestry of pirates and privateers. He shares recovered family letters and artifacts from the Golden Age of Piracy. They take to the sea in Patrick’s brigantine to follow the siren song of their ancestors in quest of destiny, truth and treasure. The voyage is fraught with raw forces of nature, past traumas and present day sea robbers, as their talents and beliefs of family, identity and purpose are shaken to the core.
To purchase a copy of Beyond Beauport:
THE BOOKSTORE OF GLOUCESTER
61 Main Street
23 Harbor Loop
BARNES AND NOBLE
I am in love with this amazingly cool shot captured by Cristy Grace and I’m so glad she was willing to let me share it. Talk about a perfectly timed photo bomb by one of Gloucester’s “finest.” If this photo doesn’t scream Gloucester, I don’t know what does. Thanks, Cristy!
Swabbing the deck. Great job!
U.S. Dory Elimination Races- The International Dory Racing Committee will hold it’s elimination races off Niles Beach Saturday August 4th at 9 AM. All racing fans are encouraged to attend!! Those dues paying members who plan to race must attend sign ups Friday evening August 3rd at St. Peter’s Square at 6 PM or email before 12 noon. These races are strictly for 2 person teams in the following categories: Juniors (men under 18), Women, Mixed Doubles, Seniors (Men Open) and Master’s (Men over 50), and will determine who will represent the US against Canada in the upcoming International Races in Lunenburg Nova Scotia on August 18th. If needed there will be a finals race on Monday night at 6 PM at Niles beach. Please share this with friends and family. It will be a great day of racing, uniquely Gloucester, and fun for all!