2022 Good Morning Gloucester Shop Local Series-Bookstore of Gloucester of Gloucester

My beautiful wife Kate and I are going to feature one or two local places to buy holiday gifts each day highlighting the fact that there’s no need to buy your presents online or trudge up to the mall.

There’s excellent places to shop right here in Gloucester.

Previous videos:








Birds and Surf — pat morss

Another week enjoying our feathered friends, and the weather extremes.

Female Cardinal wondering how to get at the last of the suet.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way”
“Look! We’re back at Niles Pond for the winter” – Buffleheads bracketed by Mergansers.
This young lady (3rd from left) had a flotilla of suitors, in formation.
I’ll take a chance. “Excuse me Ma’am – would you like to go out for dinner with me?”
Lucky guy. Invitation accepted. Bottom buffet, Mallard style.
Our Bald Eagle is back, surveying his surroundings from a treetop.
There was good surf swirling around Brace Rock …
… that could surprise you.
Stormy outside Brace Cove. Twin Lights/Thacher Island disappearing in the mist (at right).
Downright threatening for anything except the gulls.

Ebullient mural by Emily Grace in progress for Bravo by the Sea #GloucesterMA

“I was asked by Beth, the owner of Bravo to paint the wall and she just wanted something beautiful to be there! She found me at the Magnolia farmers market. I sold my art there all of last summer and when she saw my work she thought I would be the one for the job.

 I’m 20 years old and a Junior, Painting major at Salem State 

Emily Grace

Mural underway, work in progress (on the left as of Nov. 21 | on the right last week)

I’ll hold off revealing more from Emily Grace about her inspiration until the mural is finished. What do you see?

How fantastic that Bravo commissioned a young artist, and for that wall. What a great match.

it’s That time! Cape Ann Symphony Holiday Pops tickets on sale

Heidi Dallin shares holiday cheer from Cape Ann Symphony:



Yoichi Udagawa, Music Director



A Festive Musical Celebration to Celebrate the Season for Orchestra and Chorus

in Manchester & Ipswich

  • Saturday, November 26, 2022: 2:00 PM in Ipswich
  • Saturday, November 26, 2022: 7:30 PM in Manchester
  • Sunday, November 27, 2022: 2:00 PM in Manchester

Featuring Cape Ann Symphony Chorus in all Performances &

Ipswich High School Chamber Singers  & Bel Canto Treble Chorus in Ipswich Concert Only 

The Cape Ann Symphony’s Annual Holiday Pops Concert, returns to kick off the holiday season on Saturday, November 26 at 2 pm at the Dolan Performing Arts Center at Ipswich High School on 134 High Street, Ipswich, MA; Saturday, November 26 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 27 at 2 pm at Manchester-Essex High School auditorium on 36 Lincoln Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA, . For tickets and information about this Cape Ann Holiday tradition, call 978-281-0543 or visit www.capeannsymphony.org

The 2022 Holiday Pops Concert led by CAS Conductor and Music Director Yoichi Udagawa features the Cape Ann Symphony Chorus under the direction of Rockport’s Wendy Betts and performing in the Ipswich Concert only, the Ipswich High School Chamber Singers and Bel Canto Treble Chorus under the direction of Abby Frost. “The Holiday Pops is the centerpiece of our season.” points out Cape Ann Symphony Board President Fran White, “We are thrilled to usher in the Holiday season each year with this joyful series of concerts for the whole family. We are grateful for the support of our audience!! Symphonic music is flourishing on Cape Ann because of YOU!!”

Maestro Udagawa has planned a program of holiday favorites including: Anderson’s Christmas Festival and Bugler’s Holiday, Reed’s Greensleeves, Custer’s Chanukah Festive Overture, and Tchaikovsky’s Selections from The Nutcracker. The Cape Ann Symphony Chorus joins the Orchestra for Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s And the Glory to the Lord, Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine, Hamilton’s Sing Noel, Leavitt’s Ose Shalom, Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, and Hayes’ Christmas Bells Are Ringing. The Ipswich High School Chamber Singers and Bel Canto Treble Chorus join the Chorus and Orchestra at the Ipswich Concert for Leavitt’s Ose Shalom, and Hayes’ Christmas Bells Are Ringing. The concerts end with the annual audience Holiday Singalong. 

“The Holiday Pops Concerts are always a highlight of the concert season,” says Maestro Udagawa, “The musicians of the Cape Ann Symphony and I are very excited to kick off the holiday season with our loyal audiences. And it is such fun to be joined onstage by the wonderful singers of the Cape Ann Symphony Chorus under the fabulous direction of Wendy Betts as well as the talented young singers from The Ipswich High School Chamber Singers and Bel Canto Treble Chorus. The concerts are a joyous celebration of the Holiday Season. We can’t wait to make music together and celebrate with you!”

The Cape Ann Symphony launched The Cape Ann Symphony Chorus at the 2005 Holiday Pops Concert. The Cape Ann Symphony Chorus is a chorale with over 53 voices from the North Shore area. The group performed with the Cape Ann Symphony at Holiday Pops Concerts in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 2013, 2014. 2015, 2016. 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021. The 53 plus member chorale under the direction of Wendy Betts is comprised mostly of North Shore residents, the majority of which live on Cape Ann. 

According to Betts, “The CAS Chorus is so excited to be back on stage with the symphony. They work hard, are disciplined in their music tasks, and put out a lovely choral sound. But best of all, they truly enjoy one another, which is what choral singing is all about! Making music TOGETHER!”

About Cape Ann Symphony

Founded in Gloucester in 1951, the Cape Ann Symphony is a professional orchestra of over 70 players from throughout the New England area. They perform a subscription season of four concerts per year plus several Pops and youth concerts. The Symphony Board of Directors named Yoichi Udagawa the Music Director and Conductor of the Cape Ann Symphony in the summer of 2000 after a yearlong search. In addition to his leadership of Cape Ann Symphony, he is Music Director and Conductor of the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, and the Quincy Symphony Orchestra and a cover conductor at the Boston Pops Orchestra. Frequently invited to guest conduct, Mr. Udagawa has worked with many different orchestras including the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Nobeoka Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, the Indian Hill Symphony, the Garden State Philharmonic, the Brown University Orchestra, the Syracuse Society for New Music, the Boston Conservatory Orchestra, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, the Newton Symphony, the Austin Civic Orchestra, and the Mid-Texas Symphony. Mr. Udagawa is at home in popular and contemporary music as well as the standard symphonic repertoire. He is known for his relaxed manner and ability to speak from the podium which has helped new audiences as well as enthusiasts gain a greater appreciation for symphonic music. His programs often include premieres of new works – some specially commissioned for the orchestra — as well as great orchestral works across the symphonic repertoire and lively Pops programs. He is also an integral part of the Cape Ann Symphony Youth Outreach programs to area schools.

Purchase tickets

Cape Ann Symphony’s Holiday Pops Concert is Saturday, November 26 at 2 pm at the Dolan Performing Arts Center at Ipswich High School on 134 High Street, Ipswich, MA; Saturday, November 26 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 27 at 2 pm at Manchester-Essex High School auditorium on 36 Lincoln Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA, . Single ticket prices are $45 for adults, $40 for senior citizens age 65 and above, $20 for Students of any age with a valid student id; $5 for youth 12 years old and under. For tickets and information, call 978-281-0543 or visit www.capeannsymphony.org.

Photo 1: Cape Ann Symphony Chorus Director Rockport’s Wendy Betts Photo Credit David Stotzer
Photos 2 and 3: Cape Ann Symphony Holiday Pops Concert on stage in Manchester
Photo 4: CAS Conductor and Music Director Yoichi Udagawa

Savour – Special Hours for Thanksgiving – Open Monday, Nov. 21

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just to let you know, we have some special hours for the Thanksgiving week.

Monday 11/21 (Extra Shopping Day)

11 am – 6 pm

Tues. 11/ 22, 11 – 6 pm

Weds. 11 / 23 (Open Early), 10 am – 5 pm

Thursday, 11/24 – (closed) Thanksgiving!

Fri. 11/ 25 – 11 am – 6 pm

Sat. /26 – 11 am -6pm

Tasting 2 – 4 pm

We are open for early shopping at Savour tomorrow, Monday, Nov. 21, from 11 am – 6 pm. I recommend you come in that day if you can, as it tends to be quiet, leaving plenty of time to select wines, cheeses, and specialty food items to pair with your unique holiday fare. With all the new additions to the wine tasting machines, there is plenty to choose from!

And yes, we are open for our regular hours on Friday, from 11 am – 6 pm. And, we have a very special tasting on Saturday from 2 – 4 pm, featuring the wines from Westport Winery, grown and estate-bottled right here in Massachusetts. So come in after all the activity of Thanksgiving and just relax and enjoy the chance to learn about these excellent wines from our newest staff member and wine expert, Susan Richards

Also – if you missed our wonderful Grand Tasting last weekend, which was our most successful yet, you can purchase wines from this list and I will continue to honor the 10% off 6 bottles and 15% off a case through November.

Grand Tasting Wine List – 2022

(Photos – Pumpkins from my garden and Westport Winery Sculpture garden)

Savour Wine and Cheese

76 Prospect St.

Gloucester, Ma 01930

978 282-1455


Sawyer Free 2025 Public Library: Subsequent Redesign plans, Annual Meeting 2022 – Oudens EllO with Dore + Whittier updates and questions #GloucesterMA

November 16, 2022

Recap and scenes from the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library 2022 Annual meeting, including views of the most recent revised concept proposal for the renovation and addition intended for the library as they appeared in the feature presentation (Oudens & Ello Architects with Dore + Whittier Architects) Sawyer Free 2025

Mern Sibley, Pres. of the Library Board, greeted the crowd and emceed. Jill Cahill thanked everyone and announced that she was there on behalf of the Mayor who was unable to attend as he was at the SFL Medal Awards. (And Jenny Benedict, Library Director, was here at the SFL Annual Meeting, unable to attend the SFL Medal Awards at GHS. Ditto some corporators, perhaps.) The City and Gloucester School District are working closely together, and thrilled to be partnering. In speaking with the Mayor about what message he hoped to convey, Cahill said their moving conversation spilled over among the City Hall Administration staff and easily turned to reminiscences about how the library impacted their lives. A musician himself and music fan, Mayor Verga told them as a boy he loved checking out the CDs and CD player. Cahill shared how first public outings for her mom, wheelchair bound after a health spell, were easy at the library precisely because everyone there was so friendly, and the library was so accessible.

Benedict stressed how instrumental the library was in bringing the community back together after Covid closures and how that was reflected in the robust attendance and programs. Attendance numbers included school visits, too. She concluded with a big note of gratitude for the 16 staff “library champions” which received the biggest clap of the night.

Latest Plans – Oudens & Ello Architects with Dore + Whittier Architects

With a nod to prior remarks, Matt Oudens began by saying thanks and that he “was happy to be reminded of going from libraries of things to libraries that DO.”

Thankfully Gloucester’s library can boast both/and since its inception.

He began by showing the library as it stands now.

“We’ve always noticed how difficult it is to enter the building — the renovation of Saunders is its own project– and the difficult wayfinding problem.”

Since the last time he presented, a construction manager was engaged who recommended modifying the plans (along the side of the Monell building parallel to Middle Street). The “sliver” on that side would be too expensive to build. Instead a “glass “gasket” between the Monell shell and the new addition is planned that will be more economical and a clear signal of where to circulate in & up” the library building(s).

Old concept plan Left | Revised concept plan as of 11/16/2022 Right (note angled “gasket”)


A lower lobby on the Lower Level was expanded. More bathrooms were added. This wing will be available off hours and can be open on its own, separate from the main building. The meeting space on the lower level will open to the outside, to use the outdoor space that runs along the length between the library and Central Grammar (as the children’s library had). *maybe longer then now


All adult collection here. The newspaper periodical reading lobby will be open (high ceiling by soaring windows overlooking Rando Memorial gardens and amphitheater). The 1913 pass through stacks (between the Monell and Saunders) is now the Gallery and Cafe area. A gently sloped sidewalk will allow for greater accessibility at this entrance.


Children’s services spaces. Teen spaces.


“Overall, much more light will transform the library into a nice place to be.”

Much of the exterior is being preserved. Oudens was excited that they’ll be removing the HVAC down to floor and increasing glazing by 25%. All the energy upgrades are important to him*. The light colored brick selected for the new addition will match the painted brick of the Monell. (The community pressed for green consideration all along. As of Feb. 2019 the design team emphasized that scope.)

photo block below: Before / After pairings followed by more views of current built environment and questions


“You can do any and all library things that you do here (at the Dale Ave. location) at the temporary location on Main Street. Go! Please check it out!”

Now thru 2025. The temporary library address is 21 Main Street–above Mystery Train; next to Virgilio’s; across from Tonno, Short & Main, and Caffe Sicilia; down the street from The Bookstore of Gloucester, Pop Gallery, and the Isabel Babson library. Look for “SFL@21Main” for events off site, too!

Questions Asked FROM THE FLOOR

Questions and comments from the audience– followed the budget and architectural plan agenda items:

Question. What is the (financial) arrangement with the city? How does the money/financing work with the city? Joe Grella, Board member, explained first that the Annual Meeting budget report is for the year prior to the year the meeting is taking place. Then he presented the budget. The endowment is below 5 mil and will deplete more. These reserves will need to be built back up at a future date. The questions about the financial arrangement followed his budget report. He explained the debt. (One million had been appropriated for the fundraising/fee.)

Q. What about the fundraising? What happens if it’s not raised? A. Mern Sibley said that’s a perfect segue to introducing John Brennan for the fundraising report. “The City voting to fund the loan for the new building was a game changer,” and they’ve raised 52% of the goal. He appealed for a benefactor like philanthropists over a century ago: “Seeking the Next Samuel Sawyer. The Next Addison…We need to still find donors that will propel the project…(Since ca. 2018) it was a small group of me, Fred, Deb (Lib. Dir. summer 2015-summer 2020), others and NOW with the city’s momentum, we’re picking up speed (fundraising). [Hence another Sawyer Library Foundation and Sawyer Free 2025 Capital campaign.] A postcard was sent to every household in Gloucester…” He credited an audience member with the phrase, “We’re just jazzed.” And thanked the donors: Inst. Savings, Bank Glou, Sudbay, Gorton’s, etc.

Q. This has been mentioned before, but how will children’s services work for programs on the top floor with one elevator? A. Oudens said it has worked at other buildings he’s completed. The elevator will be bigger than the one that’s there now.

Q. Have there been more thought to swapping (floors) / amending designs? A. The distribution hasn’t changed.

Q. Is the atrium height filled in? Yes. The ceiling will be the floor of the top level. (On this floor, height will be opened up above the new Newspapers and Periodical Reading area which is overlooking Rando Memorial )

Q. What is the cafe? A. Oudens repeated the potential location (former stacks connector) and how they’ve worked at other libraries. He replied that that’s undecided.

Q. The new “stacks” space is windows. Where will the art hang (auction and exhibits)? Where are the walls? (several audience members) Oudens suggested free standing display panels, etc., and to check out the space following the meeting to see the general idea of the footprint there and confirm window count.

Q. Has there been consideration of repurposing and/or revising as much as possible of the extant building existing elements? A. Oudens said there’s not a lot to save, mostly because of code compliance reasons. There will be many upgrades. “The plans (now) maintain the exterior. Hopefully the inside will have enough of a refreshed feeling of Monell.”

Q. Where are the bathrooms? A. The plans show more bathrooms than what’s here now, and on each and every level. Oudens mentioned 4 or 5 bathrooms on the School Street | back of the building level, dictated/guided by the size of the meeting room, which is capacity 100. (I believe there were 2 restrooms for women, 1 men, and one all. Maybe they can all be all gender bathrooms, like planes.) *Not sure if they are all accessible

More questions.

I also wonder about the Matz gallery space, and how to add more gallery space. Also, where are the designated special built sites for major works in the collection (removed–on loan to Cape Ann Museum and storage/Trust). I was asked if the bathrooms can be reconfigured or the stairwell so that there are more elevators if the traffic flow isn’t flipped? Is there ample space for archives and research? Do the plans emphasize or miss a strategy and monies spent for digitization of the enviable archives, accessibility for all? Are there too many meeting spaces especially with other options close by (City Hall, Temple, UU Church, CAM, sites on Main Street, and more)? A cafe option split audience reaction, and prompted great chatter of “I’d love that!” and “No way!” One board member repeated how much he loved the Wenham Library more than this building. In the rendering showing a viewshed from Dale Avenue/City Hall to SFL, is the new addition blocking the view of the UU Church? Feedback over the years asked about the corridor between Central Grammar and the library and views showcasing City Hall.

The history of SFL’s extant buildings and archives (of historical and cultural, local and national significance) are the envy of libraries along the North Shore and –with the City’s, CAM’s –such assets are up there with Boston’s Public Library and major university repositories.

I believe that the custodian services are borne by the City. When the library is open for special events beyond operating hours a custodian is responsible for closing, if not the event breakdown itself. How will this impact the budget for the library and the city?

Beautiful and delicious spread by Willow Rest


  • Ethan Forman wrote about the 2022 Annual meeting here: Architect shares new design of Sawyer Free library addition. Gloucester Daily Times
  • Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Annual Report – will add link or PDF
  • Annual meeting 2021 minutes – will add link or PDF
  • Former presentation roundup here
  • Light corporator attendance. A few board changes plus new corporators .

photo: Party favors – used SFL book ends

News from your YMCA!

Cape Ann Wellness

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy ThanksgivingPlease note our holiday hours below
Register for Winter Programs!

Stay active all winter long with us! Swimming, gymnastics, Jr. Celtics, sports, and more!
View all Programs
Healthy Together With Member Referral

Invite a friend to join the Y and we’ll thank you with a free month of membership for you and $0 enrollment fee for your friend!Learn more

Upcoming Fitness Fun

Join us for Glow Cycle and Glow Yoga onMondays at 7:30pm

Glow Cycle 11/21Glow Yoga 11/28Glow Cycle 12/5Glow Yoga 12/12Glow Cycle 12/19
Registration opens 23 hours in advance,Register

Crystals 101
Thursday, November 17 at 7:15 pm

Crystal Healing is a technique that uses precisely placed crystals either on and/or around the physical body. Crystals may also be laid in precise geometric patterns within the environment.
Crystals absorb, focus, direct, detoxify, shift, and diffuse energy as they interact with the electromagnetic…

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