Plein Air Exhibition at GLADSTONE in Manchester

GLADSTONE fine jewelry and fine art gallery is pleased to be showcasing the work of Zufar Bikbov, an acclaimed plein air painter, in conjunction with the upcoming Cape Ann Plein Air Competition and Festival in October. The exhibition opened on August 20 and will be on view through October 12.   
Zufar Bikbov is passionate about oil painting and the dynamic nature of the plein air art form. He has been traveling and painting landscapes throughout the United States for over a decade, and is the recipient of multiple prestigious plein air awards at national competitions of juried artists. 
A native of Russia, Zufar was influenced by his father’s unrealized dream to become a professional artist in Stalin era post WWII Soviet Union. Zufar trained from the age of nine at Zelenodolsk Youth Art School in Kazan in the Russian realist tradition. He embraces experimentation in his artwork and today his landscape painting style exhibits elements of both realism and impressionism. 
As a young adult, Bikbov’s desire to help others led him to embark on a career in medicine. During his years in medical school and residency, art remained an important constant in his life. He was honored to participate in the 2002 exhibit, Doctors Paint, at the State Museum of Fine Arts in Kazan, Russia.  There he made a connection which ultimately brought him to Yale to further his medical studies. He relocated to the United States in 2004 and continued to work in the medical field through 2016, painting and participating in plein air competitions all the while. Zufar became a full-time artist and art teacher in 2017.
Zufar’s work is represented in private collections throughout the United States – from New England to California – as well as the UK, Spain, and of course, Russia. While he continues to avidly explore the American landscape, Zufar teaches painting in studio and online at the project.
This is Zufar’s first exhibition at GLADSTONE and the second year he will be competing in Cape Ann Plein Air, October 6 – He was the recipient of the Second Place Award at Cape Ann Plein Air 2018. 
The gallery is located at 36 ½ Union Street. Hours are 11-6, Tuesday – Saturday. You are invited to meet the artist at a reception in his honor on Saturday, October 5, from 4-6pm.

City Adopts Short-Term Rental Community Impact Fee

City Adopts Short-Term Rental Community Impact Fee

–Will Dedicate 100% of Revenue to Affordable Housing Projects

Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken today announced that the City of Gloucester has voted to adopt a 3% community impact fee on short-term rentals.

The City will dedicate the entirety of the fee collected for affordable housing initiatives and projects.  Gloucester’s commitment to use that revenue solely for affordable housing projects is significantly higher than the 35% minimum requirement set by the State.

On December 28, 2018, Governor Charlie Baker signed An Act Regulating and Insuring Short-Term Rentals which sets forth a comprehensive framework for the regulation of short-term rentals.  The new law imposes State and local excise taxes on short-term rentals that are rented for more than 14 days, but not for more than 31 consecutive days, in a calendar year starting on July 1, 2019.  This taxation applies to any rental contract entered into, on or after, January 1, 2019.  Under the new law short-term rental operators are also required to register with the State.

Mayor Romeo Theken’s Administration had been following developments on this new law since earlier this year.  The proposal to adopt the community impact fee was introduced in late July by At-Large City Councilor Melissa Cox through a City Council Order (CC#2019-027).  On Tuesday, August 27, the City Council voted unanimously to impose that fee.

Mayor Romeo Theken said, “Affordable housing is an important asset to any community and is a constant priority for my administration.  It’s crucial that working families have a safe and affordable place to live.  Although Gloucester continues to progress in planning to support affordable housing in the City we face hurdles.  We hope this revenue will serve as the catalyst for major developments that will enhance housing options.”

The community impact fee goes beyond the 6% local lodging excise tax Gloucester already collects on these rooms, as well as hotels and inns.  The revenue from that local room occupancy excise is general fund revenue and may be appropriated for any municipal purpose.

Both the local excise tax and community impact fee will be paid by the operator (proprietor) directly to the Department of Revenue (DOR) and DOR will then distribute the local shares to Gloucester.

The City has reported its acceptance of the community impact fee to the Division of Local Services and expects the fee to become effective on October 1, 2019.  The fees collected will then be distributed by the DOR to Gloucester on the current quarterly schedule.

Jim Destino, the City’s Chief Administrative Officer said, “At this time it is unknown how much money the City may collect.  We expect there will be a seasonality to the collections and distributions.  Changes to the original law will make it easier for both the operators to remit the excise and the City to receive it.  We value this new revenue and feel that it levels the playing field with the already established lodging establishments in the City.”


Additional information and FAQ’s on the law that expanded room occupancy excise to include short-term rentals and changes that apply to traditional lodging establishments can be found here:

Cemetery Stroll Magnolia Point

It was time for another cemetery stroll; this time at the Magnolia Point Cemetery on Magnolia Avenue. A Guide to Cemeteries in Essex County, Massachusetts indicates this is a city owned cemetery tended to by the Gloucester DPW. It further says that individual burials are not recorded, but that there may be a list of some deed holders with the DPW.

It’s well taken care of (thanks, DPW!), small and nicely laid out. I didn’t notice many religious icons but there are several well known family names. I was looking for one grave for the FindAGrave project but did not locate it; honestly, I was rather grateful since it was for a young child and hose always make me a little sad.


It’s great this information is shared on the sign. That’s pretty rare in cemeteries.


I especially love these stone markers:



Friday the 13th full moon through the masts of the Schooner Liberty Clipper

A flock of birds flew by…

and then a butterfly flew by (not really, but doesn’t this bird look like it could be a butterfly?).


Cape Ann Community

Join the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, October 3, for the Chamber’s annual $25,000 Game. The event will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at The Gloucester House Restaurant, 63 Rogers Street, Gloucester, MA, and one person will walk away the lucky winner of $10,000. As one of the most exciting and fun-filled events on Cape Ann this Fall, it will also feature a 50/50 raffle, door prizes and much more. A total of $25,000 in prizes!

Tickets are available on a first come first served basis at the Chamber office located at 33 Commercial Street in Gloucester and are $100 each. A limit of 500 tickets will be sold. Each ticket admits the ticket holder and one guest to the Gloucester House festivities on October 3 and includes a light dinner. Prizes are as follows:

Grand Prize:  $10,000
2nd Prize:  $5,000

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Live Music: Olsen-Warsi Duo at Feather and Wedge


Join us for an evening with world class jazz musicians, Alex Olsen on keyboards and Sahil Warsi on bass.  These accomplished Berklee grads will be performing selections from the Great American Song Book, modern jazz, contemporary blues and R&B. Don’t miss this incredible night of music. Reservations highly suggested. 978.999.5917

Tuesday, September 17
7 – 9:30 PM

Feather & Wedge, 5 Main Street, Rockport, MA 10966

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