City of Gloucester Schedules Redesigned City Website Launch

— Site to go live Thursday, April 16 at noon

–Boasts significant changes to design and improved usability

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (April 15, 2020) – Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken announces the launch of the City’s redesigned website, The refreshed site is expected to go live on Thursday, April 16 at noon and will make it easier for Gloucester residents and businesses to access services, find information and engage in local government.

Mayor Romeo Theken said, “This redesigned site will make navigating City government much easier. The updated site is an important communications tool for residents, businesses and visitors to find information. We will work to continuously improve its content, functionality, and usability.”

James Pope, Director of Information Services, said, “We’ve been working hard to improve the City’s website. We hope Gloucester residents, businesses, and visitors appreciate the refreshed design and improved user experience. The City continues to make significant investments in information technology that provide more convenient, useful functions for our citizens.”

The digital front door for the City of Gloucester features significant changes to the visual design and content organization of the City’s website. The new site showcases a cleaner and mobile friendly design, an upgraded and more prominent search function, and integrated social media feeds consolidating accounts from across city departments.

Visitors can expect some changes on the new site that were part of the overall strategic design that in the end will improve user experience. The new content-focused design places an emphasis on news. As a result department specific announcements/notices will be updated on their respective pages, not the home page. For example, updates, reminders or information on trash collection will be found on the Department of Public Works page. The home page news section will be used for news and announcements from City Administration.

All public meetings will now be listed under the “Public Notices” section of the site, not the City Calendar. This will consolidate notice information for all upcoming City of Gloucester public meetings and hearings. Due to COVID-19, the City is currently utilizing the Zoom platform for remote participation of public meetings. Details about accessing each meeting and instructions on how to connect can be found by clicking on “remote meetings” on the Public Notices page.

The City is excited about the introduction of an event mapper. The event mapper will help users navigate what is going on in the City as it is happening. This will be a helpful feature for residents related to street closures/detours or ongoing roadwork for major events, snow removal, construction and road races.

Pope said, “This feature was built from scratch and will be a very useful real-time tool for residents to know what is going on in certain areas of the City at any given time.”

Due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Gloucester has created an informational page on its website to help disseminate information about COVID-19. To view the webpage click here. Given the rapidly evolving circumstances, the City will be updating this information regularly.

Mayor Romeo Theken said, “We hope the public continues to utilize this webpage as a tool to stay informed. In a time such as this, when misinformation is spread quickly to our residents through a variety of platforms, it is important that we share information and guide our local community towards credible sources.”

As the new site goes live residents are reminded to sign up for emergency alerts and check your website subscription to ensure you receive important City announcements and public meeting notices. You can sign up for emergency alerts here. To review your current subscription selections and/or sign up for City of Gloucester website notifications click here.

The redesign was led by Pope in partnership with CivicPlus. CivicPlus is an integrated technology platform for local government that delivers thoughtful solutions that improve website functionality. Photography and aerial shots on the homepage were provided by photographer Sean O’Laughlin of Cut Bridge Productions. The photos featured throughout the site highlight the City’s beautiful architecture and our working waterfront

The redesigned website was first discussed at Mayor Romeo Theken’s Inaugural Address on January 1. The City had originally expected to launch the site in mid-march but delayed amid COVID-19 planning.


How disappointing to see the Monarch numbers plunge to less than half of last year’s population. Scientist Chip Taylor from Monarch Watch predicted lower numbers, but not to this degree. It’s hard to believe, especially after witnessing the tremendous numbers at Cerro Pelon in 2019, along with the beautiful migration through Cape Ann last summer.

Plant a variety of milkweeds and wildflowers to help the Monarchs on the northward and southward migrations

The chief reasons for this year’s loss of Monarchs are decreasing amounts of wildflowers on their migratory route south, bad weather during the 2019 migration, and the continued spraying  of deadly chemical herbicides and pesticides on genetically modified food crops.

As we are all aware, Monarch caterpillars only eat members of the milkweed (Asclepias) family, but the plant has been devastated by increased herbicide spraying in conjunction with corn and soybean crops that have been genetically engineered to tolerate direct spraying with herbicides. In addition to glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup, which is now owned by Bayer), Monarchs are threatened by other herbicides such as Dicamba and by neonicotinoid insecticides that are deadly poisonous to young caterpillars and decrease the health of adult butterflies.

In 2014, conservationists led by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the butterfly under the Endangered Species Act.

The decision on Endangered Species Act protection will be issued in December of this year under a settlement with the conservation groups. The low count of 2019-2020 reinforces the need to protect what we already know to be an endangered species.



NEW AT F&W! In addition to our full menu, we are now offering prepackaged GRAB-N-GO ITEMS and introducing ONLINE ORDERING!

Visit our website for this week’s menu — available Thursday through Saturday from 4-7pm! Please be patient with us as we implement our online order system… if you are unable to place your order online, please call us — 978.999.5917


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Fisherman’s Wharf Gloucester would like to provide an update, starting this Friday we will be offering order by phone Curbside Pickup. To make our local fish easily accessible the curbside pickup will be open 5 days a week starting this Friday April 17th. Our ordering process will be fast and simple. Tomorrow we’ll post details to our Facebook page on how to order. Thank you for your continued support!

beloved weekly story times for little ones resume despite closure| with Christy at Sawyer Free Library and Tuesdays with Carol at Manchester Library #CapeAnn

Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Public Library weekly Story Time with Christy resumes despites Covid-19 closure. Christy Russo is the Director of Children’s services at the library. She effortlessly brings a Mister Rogers kind flair and expertise to programs. See the first week’s video below focused on friendship. The production quality is well done, and the emoji adds feel sweet and festive.  This episode format includes a greeting and “visit” with garden friends, stories*, and activities.

*We Are Brothers We are Friends by Alexandra Penfold and Little Elliot Big City by Mike Curato (Macmillan publishing, both)

Storytime With Christy


Also of note: Now in its 18th year, the annual Poetry without Paper competition, co-founded by Russo with poet John Ronan, is open to children in grades K-12.

More Virtual Story Times –

Manchester Public Library is offering story times as well via social media (including Facebook LIVE). Look for upcoming events here

Weekly Tuesdays at 6:30pm PJ Story Times with Carol Bender, another stellar children’s librarian on Cape Ann, began April 14th, 2020. “Remember to wear your PJ’s and bring your special animal friends for a Facebook live story time!” Upcoming April 21, 28 and May 5

Manchester Public Library story times during corona