Lobster Industry Innovator Passes Away

Riverdale Mills Corporation announces with great sadness the passing of company founder, owner, and retired CEO James Knott, Sr. Mr. Knott was 88.

JimKnottSr Lobster Traps - CREDIT Webb Chappell

An inventor, entrepreneur, industrialist and philanthropist, Knott established Riverdale Mills Corporation in 1980 – transforming it from a startup with a single wire mesh product into a manufacturing giant with more than 3,500 different wire mesh product configurations for customers around the globe.

Great innovators make their mark by challenging the status quo and finding new ways to do things better. James Knott, Sr. unequivocally fit this category as a profoundly influential innovator, whose products help millions of people.

Knott’s Aquamesh® revolutionizes lobster industry

From spending summers in Gloucester, MA, Knott saw firsthand how much time and money lobster fishermen spent fixing their wooden traps. He was convinced there had to be a better way.

Knott set out to build a more durable lobster trap to keep fishermen on the water making a living, instead of regularly onshore repairing their traps or building new ones. He invented and began manufacturing Aquamesh®, the first-of-its-kind marine-grade coated wire mesh.

His innovative wire mesh lobster trap fished better and lasted far longer than wooden traps – benefits that eventually won over skeptical North Atlantic and Canadian Maritime fisherman.  Today 85 percent of all lobster traps in North America are made with Aquamesh.

Dr. Bob Bayer, executive director of the University of Maine Lobster Institute said: “Jim Knott was a well-respected visionary and an ardent supporter of the lobster industry. His impact cannot be understated. The technical changes he introduced to lobster fishing in Maine and throughout North America were profoundly significant. He singlehandedly changed and bettered the way of life for so many people.”

Knott was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Maine for his commitment to the future of the lobster industry, innovative spirit, perseverance and positive leadership, willingness to share his knowledge and ideas, and his outstanding support of the university’s Lobster Institute.

Riverdale Mills – legacy of leadership in manufacturing

James Knott, Sr. founded Riverdale Mills Corp. in an old abandoned mill on the banks of the Blackstone River in Northbridge, MA. There, he worked with his sons to restore the facility and property, while beginning mass production of Aquamesh.  An integral part of the science leading to Knott’s innovative wire mesh product was his proprietary galvanized after-welding and PVC coating processes.

Following the overwhelming success of Aquamesh in the lobster industry, Knott set out to expand and diversify the Riverdale Mills product line for other industrial, commercial and business applications.

His virtually impossible-to-climb-or-cut WireWall® high security fencing is installed worldwide at embassies, transit centers, ports, borders, military bases, manufacturing and power plants, and other sensitive locations where perimeter security is a critical safety and deterrent need.

His welded wire mesh is also used extensively by professionals in the horticulture, agriculture, aquaculture, construction, and water treatment industries.

After nearly 40 years in the wire mesh business, James Knott, Sr. touched the lives of millions of people –starting with his customers and including all the people who unbeknownst to them benefited from his products with abundant lobster, perfectly cultured oysters, and protection from security breaches. He had a special place in his heart for his dedicated employees, many of whom have been with Riverdale Mills for decades and admired and respected his leadership and humanity.

Personal, Professional and Community Life

Knott’s vision and creativity are evident in many aspects of his remarkable life and inspiring career. He earned an economics degree from Harvard College, studied mechanical engineering at Northeastern University, and served two years as a lieutenant in the Army. Before starting his own company, he was CEO of Coatings Engineering Corporation, the world’s largest custom plastic coater. He was also a long-time Director of the Gilbert & Bennett Manufacturing Company of Georgetown, CT.

Knott was resourceful and an early adopter of recycling. To build some of his manufacturing machinery, he repurposed parts from a printing press the previous tenant of the mill had left behind.  When asked once by a journalist how his company had thrived when so many other U.S. manufacturers had faltered, Knott responded pointedly, “We keep our costs low.”

He also modernized the mill with efficiency in mind, restored the natural habitat, tapped the river for hydropower, and instituted recycling of all the steel from the manufacturing process.

Knott was an ardent supporter of the lobster industry, funding scholarships and research. He was also active in the communities of the local Blackstone Valley and the fishing mecca of Gloucester.

“With the passing of Jim Knott, the lobster and shellfishing industry has lost one of its most prolific supporters,” said Beth Casoni, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association. “Jim believed in sustainable fishing and supported our efforts to ensure the viability of the industry and conservation of fish species. On behalf of the entire industry, we acknowledge his contributions, are grateful for his involvement, and will miss him tremendously.”

Predeceased by his cherished wife Betty, who died in February after 67 years of marriage, Knott is survived by four children, including James Knott, Jr., the CEO of Riverdale Mills since 2015, and four grandchildren.  Arrangements are forthcoming.

The Gloucester Schooner Festival Labor Day Weekend– August 31-September 2, 2018

Len Burgess submits-

Don’t miss this great weekend event…

The 34th Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival will be held Labor Day Weekend– August 31-September 2, 2018. www.gloucesterschoonerfestival.net

Len Burgess Photos from 2017…



Animal Advisory Committee Meeting Thursday, August 23rd, at 6:30. This meeting is being held at the Friend Room at the Sawyer Free Library. 


Lest anyone has forgotten, a beautiful pair of Piping Plovers tried to establish a nest on Good Harbor Beach during the month of April. Time and time again, they were disrupted by dogs–dogs off leash on on-leash days, dogs running through the nesting area, and bird dogs chasing the birds up and down the shoreline. This was witnessed multiple times during the month of April by the Piping Plover volunteer monitors.

Piping Plovers face many man made problems and natural predators however, the two greatest threats at Good Harbor Beach are dogs and crows. Changing the ordinance on Good Harbor Beach to help the Piping Plovers will at the very least allow them to nest in their natural environment. Our parking lot nesting pair were extremely stressed having to defend both territories, the parking lot nest and their roped off territory. Please let Mayor Sefatia and city councilors know that you support the change in ordinance to restrict dogs on Good Harbor Beach during the month of April.

Thank you for your help!


The following series of photos shows why it is so critically important to not allow dogs on Good Harbor Beach during shorebird nesting season, which begins April 1st on most Massachusetts beaches.

Early April and our returning Good Harbor Beach Dad begins making nest scrapes.

He invites Mom to come inspect.

She tries the nest on for size and approves! Mom appears plump and ready to begin laying eggs.

Mid-April and after days of dogs running through the nesting area, the Piping Plovers are discovered standing on the white lines in the GHB parking lot.

Dad begins making nest scrapes on the painted white lines in the parking lot gravel.

With fewer cars in the lot during the month of April, the PiPl determine the lot is safer than the beach. They give up trying to nest on the beach and concentrate solely on the parking lot nest.

Dad invites Mom to inspect the parking lot nest scrape.

She begins laying eggs in the parking lot.



Robert Walsh, Artistic Director   Jeff Zinn, Managing Director









Gloucester Stage Company continues its 39th season of professional theater with Sam Shepard’s modern American classic, True West from August 17 through September 8 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Directed by Joe Short, True West explores the explosive conflict between two brothers: Austin, the successful family man; and Lee, the nomadic drifter and petty thief. Set in the kitchen of their mother’s home 40 miles east of Los Angeles, these sons of a desert-dwelling alcoholic and a suburban wanderer clash over a film script. Austin, the achiever, is working on a screenplay he has sold to producer Sal Kimmer when his brother Lee drops in. Lee pitches his own idea for a movie to Kimmer, who then wants Austin to junk his bleak, modern love story and write Lee’s trashy Western tale. The conflict between the brothers creates a heated situation in which their roles as successful family man and nomadic drifter are somehow reversed, and each man finds himself admitting that he had somehow always wished he were in the other’s shoes. The cast features GSC veterans Nael Nacer as Lee; Mark Cohen as film producer Sal Kimmer and Marya Lowry as Mom and GSC newcomer Alexander Platt as Austin.


True West had its world premiere on July 10, 1980 at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, where Mr. Shepard was the resident playwright. The world premiere was directed by Robert Woodruff and featured Peter Coyote (Austin) and Jim Haynie (Lee). On December 23, 1980, it opened at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater in New York City, starring Tommy Lee Jones (Austin) and Peter Boyle (Lee). In 1982, it was revived at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago featuring then-unknown actors Gary Sinise (who also directed the production) and John Malkovich. The Steppenwolf production transferred to the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York where it enjoyed a run of 762 performances. After Sinise and Malkovich left the production, the leads roles were played by a variety of well-known actors including Jim Belushi, Erik Estrada, Gary Cole, Dennis Quaid and Randy Quaid. On March 2, 2000, a Broadway revival of True West opened at the Circle on the Square Theatre featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly, who alternated playing the lead roles. This critically acclaimed production earned Tony Award nominations for best actor (for both Hoffman and Reilly), best director, and best play.


American author, actor, director, and playwright Sam Shepard published over forty plays in his lifetime. Winner of eleven Obie awards (the most received by any writer or director), and of the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Buried Child, Sam Shepard ranks as one of America’s most celebrated dramatists.. Sam Shepard had his first New York plays, Cowboys and The Rock Garden, produced by Theatre Genesis in 1963. For several seasons, he worked with Off-Off-Broadway theatre groups including La MaMa and Caffe Cino. Eleven of his plays have won Obie Awards including Chicago and Icarus’s Mother (1965); Red Cross and La Turista (1966); Forensic and the Navigators and Melodrama Play  (1967); The Tooth Of Crime (1972); Action (1974); and Curse of the Starving Class (1976). Mr. Shepard was awarded a Pulitzer Prize as well as an Obie Award for his play Buried Child (1979). Fool for Love (1982) received the Obie for Best Play as well as for Direction. A Lie of the Mind (1985) won the 1986 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and the 1986 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Play. A revival of Buried Child under the direction of Gary Sinise opened on Broadway in April 1996 and was nominated for a Tony Award. Kicking A Dead Horse(2007) and Ages of the Moon (2009) both received their world premieres at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Kicking A Dead Horse transferred to The Public Theater in New York and to the Almeida Theatre in London, and Ages of the Moon received its US premiere at Atlantic Theater Company. Mr. Shepard wrote the screenplays for Zabriskie Point; Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas; and Robert Altman’s Fool for Love, a film version of his play of the same title. As an actor he has appeared in the films Days of Heaven, Resurrection, Raggedy Man, The Right Stuff, Frances, Country, Fool for Love, Crimes of the Heart, Baby Boom, Steel Magnolias, Bright Angel, Defenseless, Voyager, Thunderheart, The Pelican Brief, Safe Passage and Hamlet. In 1986, Mr. Shepard was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1992, he received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy, and in 1994, he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. After his death in 2017 Mr. Shepard’s plays have remained a prominent part of the theater community.

Nael Nacer returns to GSC to play Lee after performing in 2017’s Bank Job and 2015’s The Flick for which he received the IRNE Award for Best Actor. New England area credits include: A Doll’s HouseBedroom FarceCome Back, Little ShebaAwake and Sing!Our Town and The Seagull with the Huntington Theatre Company; Constellations, Distracted, Sila with Central Square Theater; Calendar Girls at Greater Boston Theatre Company; 45 Plays for 45 PresidentsIt’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play at Merrimack Repertory Theatre; Shear Madness at Charles Playhouse; Mr. Burns, a Post-ElectricPlayIntimate Apparel for which he received Elliot Norton Award for Best Actor, The Temperamentals, and Animal Crackers at Lyric Stage Company;  A Number, Pattern of LifeLungsThe Kite Runner with New Repertory Theatre; A Future Perfect and Tribes at SpeakEasy Stage Company;  Rhinoceros,Windowmen and Gary at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre;  The Aliens, Love Person, 1001 and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot with Company One. His next project is the title role in Macbeth at Actors’ Shakespeare Project this October. Mr. Nacer is a monologue coach for My College Audition.


Crossfit Cape Ann – A Look Inside

Cape Ann Wellness

Have you ever wondered what a class is like at Crossfit Cape Ann? A recent article by the Gloucester Times is spot on! Close-knit, comforting and conversational and just a few of our favorite adjectives to describe CFCA!

Read the entire article here: https://bit.ly/2N6ODnm

5b76f137f1578.imageKathy O’Shea of Essex participates in a Kettlebell fitness class at CFCA. Photo cred: Mike Springer GDT

Interested in joining? Check out our website for more information: www.crossfitcapeann.com

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Gloucester Proud!

Last night, a Monday there were three great events in Gloucester and all three were fully supported by this wonderful Community. The first was the Cape Ann License Plate Online Auction Kickoff at the Drift for the 1-100 low numbers. Then Action Fundraiser at Mile Marker and finally the Kay Ellis Scholarship Event at the Gloucester House. Our community stepped up last night, many attending more than one of the events. Really loving Cape Ann and Gloucester today!!!

Stephen LaPierre reception Sunday August 26 | New work inspired by Rocky Neck

Stephen LaPierre Rocky Neck Plein Air Collection

Stephen LaPierre studio-gallery, 75 Rocky Neck Avenue, 2nd Floor (next to the Rudder), Gloucester, Massachusetts

Reception Sunday August 26, 2018 from 12PM – 9PM – Clam-Digging Mermen, four-piece group (banjo, guitar, fiddle and stand-up bass) will be playing folks, blues and jug from 4-7PM

photos and more information about the series from the artist’s press release:

“Stephen has completed a dozen paintings of the Neck, this past spring and summer…trying to capture the dwindling historic architecture.. still remaining along the Neck’s lanes and shore,  as well as capturing current day village and harbor views”

Continue reading “Stephen LaPierre reception Sunday August 26 | New work inspired by Rocky Neck”

Wachusett Brewing Company

The boys and I spent the weekend out in Saratoga and drove home with my sister and nephew.  We opted to take the scenic, albeit much longer, ride home along Route 2.  It took us by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and through Troy, through Williamstown and past Williams College, through North Adams and even into Florida, Massachusetts.  We stopped at a pretty cool river, scoped out potential weekends away and then took a detour to check out the Wachusett Brewing Company and its awesome Brew Yard.

Wachusett Brewing Company

The Brew Yard

Any place with super fun lawn games like corn hole, Connect Four, and Jenga, live music, order up window and tons of picnic tables, super yummy craft beer, fried pickles, tons of dogs, and an awesome Airstream-turned-bar is a place I’m happy to be.  The Brew Yard has a super funky vibe and lots of places to sit and chat with one friend or twenty.  My only regret is that it ins’t closer to home!


Cape Ann Low License Plate # Auction Kick Off Event At Drift Cafe Was Lots Of Fun

Check out the live bids now at this link

I think there’s real value starting at number 6.

As of this morning at 4:55AM #1 had a leading opening bid at $25,000.

Then it goes #2-5 with opening bids of $10,000.   #6 through #10 start with opening bids of $5000.  Which to forever have a single digit license plate for $5000 is some big baller shit.   Great value right there.  6 ismy lucky number if anyone is feeling generous, keep that in mind 🙂




Caregivers Needed – Partner with Mavencare

Cape Ann Wellness


Join a company that cares about you as much as their clients. We have immediate cases available where you can make a difference.

Mavencare Caregivers are the best in their field and view their career as more than just a job. Join our staff of healthcare professionals supporting seniors who wish to age in the comfort of home. You and our clients are supported by clinical managers, care coordinators and social workers as needed.

Click here to apply today: https://mavencare.com/job/10001/10598

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Sedona Retreat ~

Cape Ann Wellness

Sedona is calling you back to your heart!!

Join Kim, Ayurveda Wellness Healing, LLC & Katie, North Shore Restorative Yoga, for a journey of a lifetime.  Meet us at the Sedona Rouge Hotel, Spa & Reds, the perfect setting to relax, let go and fall in love with yourself as you absorb the powerful healing energy of this geological wonderland.  Find your peace and revival as you slow down, reconnect and empower your life with daily rituals that purify and clarify your highest intentions.

This relaxing journey includes:
*Opening/Closing Ceremony, Intention Setting and Group Connection
*2 daily Flow & Restore Yoga Classes with Katie. (All props and mats included).
*Ayurveda Discussion with Kim
*Evening Yoga Nidra
*Chakra Clearing at a Vortex with SpiritQuest Sedona Awake and Aware guides
*Desert excursion and stargazing with SpiritQuest Sedona Awake and Aware guides
*2 daily vegetarian meals, water, tea & coffee

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Paul Ciaramitaro Pop Up Show September 3 – 7

Cape Ann Community

How to make something out of nothing! Artist Paul Ciaramitaro Demo and Pop-up show Paul Ciaramitaro, a lifelong resident of Cape Ann, began his love of art as a child. Over the years, he has been influenced by the Renaissance artists as well as Aldro Hibbard, Emile Gruppe, and especially Charles Movalli. In the 1970’s, Paul became a student of Movalli’s and was deeply inspired by him. He told Paul “If you learn something from every painting you do, you will become an artist”. (verify this quote) In between his grueling hours as a commercial fisherman and dockworker, Paul sketched and painted in his spare time and worked hard to glean all that he could from his mentors. His commitment and talent led him to become a well-established and accomplished Cape Ann artist. His paintings have won many awards and his work can be found in both private and corporate…

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