More Birds (and Seals) — pat morss

Another active week for birds, and a personal record 14 seals at Brace Cove.

7 of 14 seals at Brace Cove
Almost a mirror image of Mallards on Niles Pond
Sacrifical squirrel for the crows
Member of a flock of winter American Robins
Downy Woodpecker awaiting a turn at the feeder
Blue Jay on the suet
Blue Jay casting off
Feisty House Sparrows
Cardinal moving in on the Sparrows
Goldfinch landing (R), House Sparrow at the terminal, and Chickadee departing
Red-winged Blackbird hiding most of the red
Turkey “grounds crew” doing evening cleanup

December 14 Legislative & COVID-19 Update

News from the office of Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante

December 14 Legislative & COVID-19 UpdateNews from the office of Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante
Dear Joey,

Last week, the Commonwealth announced allocation and distribution plans for the first round of COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Massachusetts set to begin around December 15. The state’s first shipment of 59,475 doses of the Pfizer vaccine was ordered from the federal government this past Friday and will be delivered directly to 21 hospitals across 8 counties, as well as to the Department of Public Health Immunization lab.

Doses will then be redistributed for access to 74 hospitals across all 14 counties for front line medical workers. The next 40,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine will be allocated to the Federal Pharmacy Program to begin vaccinating staff and residents of skilled nursing facilities, rest homes and assisted living residences.

Vaccine is being prioritized for these groups to maximize life preservation and to support the health care system. Based on information at this time, Massachusetts is expecting 300,000 first doses of the vaccine to be delivered by the end of December. The first vaccines, manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer, will require two doses administered three to four weeks apart.

While all delivery dates and quantities are subject to change due to ongoing federal approval and allocation, the Commonwealth plans to receive and distribute over 2 million doses to priority population groups by the end of March.

In collaboration with the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, the Commonwealth designated groups of medical workers, first responders and residents most at risk for serious illness to receive the vaccine before the general population. The Vaccine Advisory Group is made up of leading medical, infectious disease and public health experts as well as representatives from communities of color and representatives of high-risk populations.   

Communities of color and at-risk populations are prioritized throughout the process to maximize life preservation and to prevent serious complications from COVID-19 related illnesses. 

Anticipated Vaccination Phases and Timeline:

Phase One (December 2020 through February 2021), in order of priority:Clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers doing direct and COVID-19 facing careLong term care facilities, rest homes and assisted living facilitiesPolice, Fire and Emergency Medical ServicesCongregate care settings (including shelters and corrections)Home-based healthcare workersHealthcare workers doing non-COVID-19 facing carePhase Two (February 2021 through April 2021), in order of priority:Individuals with 2+ comorbidities (high risk for COVID-19 complications)Early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works and public health workersAdults 65+Individuals with one comorbidityVaccine available to general publicPhase Three (April 2021 and forward):The first shipments of the vaccine are expected to contain doses manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna. While both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are pending FDA emergency use authorization, Massachusetts will not distribute the COVID-19 vaccine until it receives this authorization.

Vaccines go through extensive testing, more than any pharmaceuticals, including extensive testing in clinical trials. The FDA, which approves the vaccine, and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which will make its recommendation for use, must ensure any vaccine is both safe and effective for the public before approval and distribution.

The infectious disease experts in the state’s academic medical centers have pledged to review the EUA data and provide an independent opinion about their safety and efficacy.

All residents should visit to learn more or contact their medical provider for questions about their vaccination plans. 

Please read on below for new, updated, and important legislative updates and information surrounding the COVID-19 crisis and see our past newsletters if you haven’t had a chance to read them already for more relevant guidance and directives following Governor Baker’s declaration of a state of emergency on March 10th. Visit for complete information, check the municipal websites for GloucesterRockport, and Essex for local guidance, and text “COVIDMA” to 888-777 to receive COVID-19 text message alerts straight to your phone.#MaskUpMA
Housing Insecurity Resources Webinar
MassSupport is hosting a webinar tomorrow, December 15th at 7:00 PM, addressing housing insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, with guest speaker Lorena Leza, program assistant of Attorney General Maura Healey’s Community Engagement Division.

The webinar will provide a program overview of MassSupport, protections under the law, statewide services for renters, landlords, and homeowners, and how to remain resilient during these unprecedented times.

Register for the webinar online ahead of attending.

This webinar is being held by MassSupport, a Crisis Counseling Program funded by the Federal Emergency Management Administration and managed in partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and Riverside Trauma Center, a program of Riverside Community Care.
Commuter Rail to Temporarily Operate on Reduced Service Schedule
Beginning Monday, December 14th, the Commuter Rail will temporarily operate on a Reduced Service Schedule due to low employee availability because of COVID-19 absences. Regular train service includes 541 daily trains, but as of December 14, Commuter Rail will operate 246 daily trains. Weekend trains will continue to operate on a regular schedule.

Since March, Keolis and the MBTA have introduced new technologies like electrostatic sprayers to help sanitize passenger areas quickly and thoroughly. As part of this enhanced sanitization, added attention is given to touched surfaces, employee areas and air filtration systems. Passengers are reminded that all coach cars on every train remain open so they may spread out and maintain social distance.

Schedules are posted on and more information on Reduced Service Schedules can be found here
Health Connector Open Enrollment and Webinar
The open enrollment period for the Massachusetts Health Connector runs through January 23rd. Now is the time individuals and families can apply and enroll in health and dental coverage and see if they qualify for free or lower cost coverage like MassHealth, ConnectorCare plans, or a tax credit.

This Thursday, December 17th at 1:00 PM, the Health Connector will be hosting a webinar on shopping and signing up for health insurance plans through the Connector. You can find more information and register to attend on the webinar’s Eventbrite page.

Important Dates & Deadlines for the Health Connector:November 1, 2020: Open Enrollment beginsNovember 23, 2020: Deadline to enroll in health and dental plans that start December 1, 2020December 23, 2020: Deadline to enroll in health and dental plans that start January 1, 2021January 23, 2021: Open Enrollment ends for Massachusetts residents. This is the deadline to enroll in health and dental plans that start February 1, 2021. If you are already enrolled, this is the last day to change your plan for any reason.Visit the Health Connector website for more information and to apply for coverage online.

There is always something happening at Minglewood Harborside


Kids Eat Free Monday!

Start the week off with kids eat free from 4 to 6 PM
*with the purchase of an adult entrée

Tuesday Wing Night
50 cent Wings all night

Island Wednesdays
10% off food for Gloucester & Rockport Residents
*don’t forget to tell your server or bartender

I LOVE Sushi Thursday
Buy One Roll, Get one 1/2 off Sushi

Pats’ Game Central
50 cent wings during halftime + specials throughout the game


Minglewood Harborsideis located at25 Rogers St. in Gloucester

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Chelsea Berry Virtual Concert This Weekend!

Chelsea Berry At Hammond Castle Museum: A Holiday Special

Sunday, December 20th at 7:00 pm. Ticket: $20

Join us for a very special live recording of Chelsea Berry at the Hammond Castle Museum! In this virtual performance, Berry’s powerful vocals fill the Great Hall as she performs holiday classics and winter favorites. Let her soulful renditions transport you to a Christmas wonderland, right from the comfort of your own home!

This holiday special will be broadcast through a private group on Hammond Castle Museum’s Facebook page.  Ticket holders will receive an email with a link to join the private group. The show will be broadcasted at  7:00 pm EST on Sunday, December 20th. Access to the show will remain through January 1st.

This ticketed program is part of the Museum’s fundraising efforts in response to the Covid-19 impact on our 45th season. Ticket proceeds will be split between Chelsea and the Museum. Opportunities to donate to the Museum and to tip Chelsea during the Facebook Live broadcast will be available and are very much appreciated.  We hope you will join us as we celebrate the holidays with one of the North Shore’s most talented artists!

Here is the link:

And, they can find it on the homepage of our website:

Signs of the times: JUST WEAR IT – face mask reminders on CATA buses, storefront doors #GloucesterMA

Have you seen the great Gloucester Youth Leadership Council JUST WEAR IT mask up design on CATA buses and business and organizations around town?

Look back at public appeals 1918


Mask were encouraged in public appeals in the Gloucester Daily Times 9/30/1918

Directions for making Gauze Face Masks
Use as fine gauze or cheesecloth as possible. Fold material to make five thickness and cut an oblong 3-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches. Make three half-inch plaits at each end, turn in edges and stitch. Cut four feet of tape into four lengths and sew one to each corner. Make box plait 1-1/2 inches in width in one of the long edges of the mask, stitch down one inch. To adjust, place mask over face: tie tapes from upper corner around back of head and tape from lower corners around back of neck. Place box plait over nose. Masks should be worn by attendants whenever caring for those sick with influenza or pneumonia.
They should be changed at two-hour intervals and oftener if wet, and immediately boiled for five minutes, (illegible), or wrapped securely in paper bag or newspaper until they can be boiled.

Gloucester Daily Times 9/30/1918


Now if ever the citizens of Gloucester must meet manfully the terrible calamity that like a thief in the night has come upon the City. Now if ever they must stand should to shoulder, looking out confidently into the future. It is not the time for the brave men and women to turn backward, “Courage, now if ever.” must be written in large letters upon the faces and in the hearts and homes of every citizen. Gloucester men and women have never failed to meet the direst calamity no matter how severe it has been. Many times in her history has the hour seemed the darkest and the cloud has seemed to have no silver lining. War has frequently called (illegible) Gloucester men to battle and many have fallen. Storm and (illegible) has wrecked many a vessel and thousands of her bravest fishermen have (illegible). Fire has twice devastated her principal street. Business (illegible) cast a hoary gloom over the city when hundreds of men have been out of employment and the city has been most insistent in meeting the poverty of the people. Never in all the three hundred years since the landing at Stage Head have the people lost heart nor given up the fight. Standing closer to each other when the day was the darkest, the men and women have looked into each other’s faces and gathering courage have gone about their tasks determined that come what will they would not give up. And today her people, under the lead of men and women whom the emergency has raised up to lead them, will face the future and will do everything that men and women can do to strengthen and sustain those who are sick, those into whose home death has come, those whose hearts may be faltering. Let no one feel that there is nothing for them to do. If they cannot nurse the sick, if they cannot carry sympathy into the homes where death has entered, if they cannot give of the dollar so sadly needed, surely they can do many other things (illegible) and not down out and not in, they can lend (illegible). The request has been made for the co-operation of all persons that they shall give over their own selfish pleasures and that they shall deny themselves in every possible way. Let the request be heeded. Cut out in every way all those things which one can do without. And to those into whose sickness has come there is still a duty and a responsibility. They too must co-operate. They too must have courage. They too must do their part. No person in whose home, there is sickness, no person who is sick or has been sick should mingle with the people until all danger from the sickness has passed. When the danger has passed and not till then must they resume their ordinary routine of living. Courage men and women of Gloucester! Stand shoulder to shoulder as never before. Look manfully into the present and into the future. The Almighty God is still the good Father and He will not forsake His people nor allow Evil to triumph. Courage, the courage of brave hearts and the confidence that is born in faith—these will win the fight. Courage, even if the hour seems the darkest. Be patient, be kind to one another; be calm. All will yet be well.

Gloucester Daily Times Op Ed 9/30/1918

1918 Flu pandemicU.S. population 103.2 million (1917)675,000-800,000 estimated deaths (1918-1920)
Massachusetts population
3.7 million
3,693,310 (1915) 3,852,356 (1920)
2020 covid-19 pandemicU.S. population 331 million300,000+ deaths reached this week
Mass. population 6.7 million11,388 deaths reached this week

Chelsea Berry is excited to announce that tickets are now available for her online holiday show!

I’ve teamed up with Hammond Castle to bring you an evening of holiday music in a beautiful setting. The show will be NEXT Sunday, December 20, at 7pmEST.. at your home!

**when you buy a ticket, you can watch the show ANYTIME (and as many times as you want!) between next Sunday evening and January 1!!! So don’t despair if you already have plans for next Sunday. (The internet is perpetual! There’s a 2020 silver lining for us…..)***
Follow the link below for tickets and more info:


Give the Gift of Gloucester: Gloucester 400 Medals Now Available

The Gloucester 400 Medals, designed by Beth Swan, are now exclusively available at the Brass Monkey at 85 Main Street for $40. We went to the Brass Monkey yesterday to hear a little more about these beautiful commemorative medals designed to celebrate Gloucester’s 400th anniversary in 2023. Mayor Sefatia, and Gloucester 400 co-chairs Ruth Pino and Bob Gillis (Bruce Tobey was not in attendance this time) discussed some of the history of the medal design and selection. All proceeds will benefit the Gloucester 400 Anniversary Celebration. We learned quantities are limited and that they are going fast. There was an order for 15 medals waiting for pickup; and, as we were standing there, a customer ordered 3! I encourage you to stop by the Brass Monkey sooner than later to get yours! The medal is just gorgeous and is giving the Gift of Gloucester.

Video from yesterday’s event posted to Good Morning Gloucester yesterday and here’s a link if you are interested. We met Beth Swan’s husband who showed us the medal given to Beth as an example to study. What an interesting afternoon!

Gloucester 400 Facebook page
Beth Swan’s husband showing us the sample medal as he was getting ready to purchase some of the remaining inventory.

Message from the Sawyer Free Library

Cape Ann Community

What a year it has been, but through it all, YOU have been there for US! THANK YOU!

The SAWYER FREE LIBRARY is fortunate to have supporters that understand the Library’s value and the service it provides to the community!

Please listen to this short video from the President of the Library’s Board of Trustees who shares the important role YOU play in helping to make our work at the Sawyer Free Library possible.

Your support of our Annual Appeal allows us to continue to provide the unprecedented services the community expects, no matter the circumstances. With your help, we promise to be here for all our patrons, to continue to adapt and evolve in service to our incredible and resilient community!


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