Design Competition for Gloucester, Massachusetts’ 400th Anniversary Commemorative Medal is Now Open

Gloucester, MA – February 4, 2019 – Gloucester Celebrations, Inc., the official organizers of Gloucester, Massachusetts’ 400th-anniversary celebration, today announced the city’s first International Commemorative Medal Design Competition. Open to amateur and professional designers alike, this competition continues one of Gloucester’s long-held historic traditions. Detailed rules, schedule, and entry requirements are available for review on the event’s website,

“It is no accident that this design competition kicks off our preparations for Gloucester’s 400th anniversary. The creative arts have consistently played an integral role in our city’s heritage,” said Bruce Tobey, tri-chair of Gloucester Celebrations. “Over the centuries, Gloucester has been built by people from every continent. It has been this rich diversity among our people – their courage, innovation, and creativity — that has fueled Gloucester’s development since 1623 and produced the extraordinary fishermen, artists, innovators, and entrepreneurs who have made us a great city. To honor our global heritage, we decided this year to open the design competition to artists worldwide for the very first time.”

The Gloucester400™ International Commemorative Medal Design Competition
Commemorative medals have been a time-honored part of Gloucester’s historic celebrations for over a century, including the city’s 300th, 350th, and 375th anniversaries. Long-time residents, as well as collectible medal and coin aficionados around the world, are already looking forward to the new medal marking the city’s quadricentennial.

Phases I and II. Judging will take place in two “Phases.” The design competition is accepting entries now for Phase I. In Phase I, artists upload an original sketch of their design to the website. Phase I design submissions close on August 31, 2019.  Three semifinalist designs will be selected from the Phase I entries and progress to Phase II. Each semifinalist will receive a cash award of $3,000 (USD).

Phase II is the final stage of the competition. In Phase II, the semifinalists’ designs are to be submitted as three-dimensional plaster models. Phase II closes on December 1, 2019. The final winner will be announced in February 2020. The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000 (USD) and his or her initials will appear on the final medal.

Complete Rules and Requirements. All artists are encouraged to consult the complete rules, instructions, and requirements that are available for review and download on the Gloucester400 website.

Gloucester, Massachusetts, America’s oldest seaport, will be “400 years young” in 2023. To celebrate its past, honor its people, and welcome its promising future, the city has already begun preparations for celebrating this historic milestone and organizing the year-long celebration of its anniversary. The theme of the quadricentennial is Gloucester: Our People, Our Stories™ and focuses on celebrating Gloucester’s history through the stories of the people who lived, sacrificed, rejoiced, worked, built, and innovated together – at times risking everything — since 1623.

To guide these efforts, the citizens of Gloucester, working collaboratively with the City, established Gloucester Celebrations, Inc., a steering committee led by three members of the community whose deep knowledge of the area, its people, and its businesses, coupled with their many years of exceptional public service, uniquely qualify them to facilitate and organize an exceptional year of festivities. The tri-chairs of Gloucester Celebrations are businessperson Ruth Pino, bank president Robert Gillis, and former mayor, city councilman, and career public servant Bruce Tobey.

“Throughout the year 2023, programs and events of all kinds will highlight Gloucester’s rich history and heritage, encompassing its extraordinary art and culture, remarkable industrial achievements, and spectacular natural resources,” explained Ruth Pino, tri-chair. “These events will be staged by many residents and organizations throughout the community, creating opportunities for everyone to celebrate Gloucester in ways that are most meaningful to them.”

“Our job is to provide the support, guidance, and encouragement Gloucester’s residents and businesses need to hold successful celebrations that are meaningful to them and the community,” continued Robert Gillis, tri-chair. “Gloucester’s history is extensive and exciting. Our 400th-anniversary celebration provides the opportunity to showcase and celebrate the rich history of this community and its people. I know I speak for all three of us when I say how privileged we feel to be a part of it.”


By Kim Smith

January 31, 2019

The World Wildlife Fund Mexico and Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (MBBR) announced on January 30th that this year the Monarch Butterfly population has increased significantly.

Each year the orange and black winged beauties return to the oyamel fir and pine tree forests, which are located in the heart of Mexico’s trans volcanic mountain belt. In December and January, Lepidoptera population specialists and citizen scientists measure the area the Monarch colonies cover at their over wintering sites. This year (2018-2019) the butterflies are blanketing 6.05 hectares (approximately 15 acres), up from an all-time low of only 0.67 hectares (1.65 acres) during the winter of 2013-2014.

Not since 2006-2007 has this great an area been covered by the butterflies, although the numbers are still quite low when compared to the numbers recorded in the late 1970s when the butterfly’s winter roosts were first discovered by Dr. Fred Urquhart.

I have been following the butterfly counts around the US as they were reported. The Monarch population has been decimated in California. This year only about 30,000 butterflies were counted, down from several million just two decades ago. There is the very real possibility that the Monarch butterfly will become extirpated (extinct from an area) on the West coast. The winter count is down drastically in Florida as well.

It was clear though that east of the Rockies–the Midwest and Northeast regions of the US, as well as southern provinces of Canada–there were many more Monarchs in gardens and on the wing than in recent previous summers.

Leading Monarch scientists are reluctant to become excited about the increase, and justifiably so. Last spring the weather was slightly cooler in Texas, which allowed more Monarch eggs to hatch, which in turn allowed more caterpillars to mature. A greater number of butterflies emerged and set the stage for a strong breeding season throughout the summer. That scenario, along with the overall good weather during the summer of 2018, also helped create ideal conditions. It was a true “goldilocks” summer, not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

In autumn of 2018, the Monarchs arrived to Mexico about a week later than usual, but once they began to arrive, a kaleidoscope of butterflies poured into their winter roosting grounds.

The 2018-2019 Eastern population count is a reprieve from the past ten years of heartbreaking news, but one good year does not change what the butterflies need most, which is protection for the Monarchs under the Endangered Species Act.

Monarch and Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia)

There is disagreement among scientists whether planting milkweed has any bearing on the health of the Monarch butterfly population. Does creating corridors of Monarch habitat help mitigate the death and destruction caused by climate change, modern agricultural practices, the devastating use of pesticides and herbicides, and the planting of GMO crops (corn, sorghum, and soybeans, for example) that were engineered to withstand the deadly poisons, but which wildflowers and caterpillars cannot?

Monarch Butterflies and New England Aster, Gloucester, 2018

The answer to that question is a resounding yes! Monarchs are a bellwether species. The love for this one butterfly has helped shape a consciousness towards all species at risk. An uncomplicated stand of milkweed and asters can make every public walkway, park, community center, church, school, and backyard a haven for Monarchs and together we can bring about a conservation victory for the pollinators.

2019 Economic Outlook Breakfast

Cape Ann Community

Please join us this Friday, February 8, 2019 for the Chamber’s annual Economic Outlook Breakfast. This event has been held annually for over thirty years. The primary purpose of the event is to share the keynote speaker’s perspective and insights regarding the economic prospects for the Commonwealth and Cape Ann in the coming year.

This year’s talk will focus on healthcare. Our featured speaker is Phil Cormier, CEO of Addison Gilbert and Beverly Hospitals, who will will address the state of the health care industry nationally, discuss the recent merger of Lahey and Beth Israel Hospitals, and the future of our local hospitals.



Economic Outlook Breakfast
Friday, February 8, 2019 | 7:30-9 AM
The Elks at Bass Rocks | 101 Atlantic Road, Gloucester
CLICK HERE to register.

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Acoustic Night Featuring Headlands – Thursday Night!!


Rockport’s own Headlands, featuring John Rockwell, Amy Rich and Eric Wilson, is back at Feather & Wedge this Thursday! Drawing from roots and country music as well as other American genres, their arrangements are at once contemporary and timeless. Their distinctive style and powerful harmonies make this band truly a local treasure.

Reservations highly suggested! 978.999.5917

Thursday, February 7, 2019

7:30 PM – 10:00 PM

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TONIGHT Sustainability workshop at Sawyer Free about proposed new building Feb 5 2019 5:30PM

Sustainability workshop scheduled tonight from 5:30-7:30 pm related to proposed new Sawyer Free public library. For more information catch up with a summary of  last week’s building committee presentation. 



AMAZING front page photo by Paul Bilodeau Gloucester Daily Times!

Detail from Paul Bilodeau full front page photograph for today’s Gloucester Daily Times– Tom Brady New England Patriots holding his daughter after Super Bowl 2019 win. Good day to buy the paper for a great Super Bowl keepsake

detail from paul biodeau super front page photo_Tom Brady-Gloucester Daily Times 2019020 © catherine ryan.jpg


Gloucester Meetinghouse

1)  On Saturday, February 16th the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation presents a Free Family Movie Day at the Cape Ann Community Cinema from 10:00am to 4:00pm with games, prizes, face-painting and a pizza lunch.  There are two feature movies, the animation thriller ‘Spider-Man, Into the Spider-Verse’ at 11:30am and the hilarious Disney sequel ‘Wreck-It Ralph 2’ at 2:00pm.  The fun starts with refreshments and making decorated indoor snowmen from white socks at 10:00am.  Community partners Maritime Gloucester and Pathways for Children will participate with presentations, displays and program information. The movies and activities are best-suited for kids 6-12 years old.  Admission is free for children and their parents or adult guardians (no drop-offs please) thanks to the sponsors of the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation 2018-19 Winter Series as a special mid-winter treat.  Free-will donations to Pathways for Children to support their terrific early education programs are encouraged.  Popcorn with additional treats and refreshments will be available at the theater counter all day.  At 4:00pm we will take a short walk up to visit the historic (1806) Gloucester Meetinghouse for a brief educational tour, demonstration of the pipe-organ, and ringing of the Paul Revere bell. The Cape Ann Community Cinema is located above Mystery Train at 21 Main Street.  More information at

(2)   On Saturday, March 2nd at 3:30pm the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation will host a concert by the Albany Pro Musica with Camerata Coral from Puerto Rico in a choral program called ‘The Americas, Land of Many Cultures.’ Making their first appearance in Massachusetts, the combined choral groups of Albany Pro Musica and Camerata Coral will present a stirring and inspirational concert in Spanish as well as English with distinctive harmonies and thrilling rhythms that will transport you in a journey celebrating the diversity, multiculturalism, inclusiveness, and acceptance: the values that hold the Americas strong. The program will consist of carefully selected works from the best contemporary composers in the western hemisphere. With the ravages of hurricanes and political discord that afflicts all countries in our hemisphere, this concert provides the beauty of classical choral music that can overcome turmoil, warm the heart, and provide hope.  Tickets: $45 Preferred seats, $30 General, $10 Students, Under 12 free (note: no one turned away for lack of funds) available at the door and on-line.  The Gloucester Meetinghouse is located on the green at the corner of Middle and Church Streets with accessible side entrance at #10 Church Street.  More information and advance ticket purchases at

Charles L. Nazarian, president

Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation

10  Church

Gloucester, MA 01930

cell: 978-821-5291

To Every Season, Turn Turn Turn

As Donna mentioned yesterday, it was Truck Day at Fenway.

Fresh off a Super Bowl Championship our groggy Patriots landed in Boston to get ready for (yet another) Duck Boat Parade within hours of when the Red Sox equipment truck departed Fenway to make the 1,500 mile trip to Fort Myers.

You’ve got to love Boston.  Can any other city boast that their Championship football team arrived home at the culmination of their victorious season on the very same day of the, albeit unofficial, start of the Championship baseball team’s new season?

As Brady, Gronk, Edelman, and the McCourty twins stepped onto the runway, Al Hartz stepped into the cab of the big green truck.  Who is Al Hartz you may ask?  He’s the guy who has carefully driven the Red Sox team equipment all the way down to Spring Training for 21 years in a row now.

Just what’s in that truck?   The Red Sox tweeted out the answer to that question yesterday.

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