Sawyer Free Library Announces New Staff to their Team

Cape Ann Community

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library (SLF) is pleased to announce the appointment of four new additions to its staff. Julie Travers has recently joined SFL as a new Community Librarian. Katelyn Rivela is the new Library Assistant in the Children’s Room, and Leah Svensson is the new Library Assistant at the 1st Floor Service Desk.Annemarie Sanfilippo was recently appointed to the position of Administrative Assistant. Also, Joann Dunajski was promoted to a newly created position, Library Public Technology Assistant.

“I am beyond pleased to welcome such an exceptional and experienced group of professionals to our dedicated and talented staff at the Sawyer Free Library,” stated Jenny Benedict, the Library Director. “Their innovative thinking, commitment to the community, and boundless enthusiasm will only help us better support our patrons of all ages, diverse and growing needs and connect them with ideas…

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Let’s Talk Womxn Event

In honor of starting their most recent chapter in the Greater Boston Area, Let’s Talk Womxn has organized an event for March 8th, including a multi-restaurant tasting dinner provided by 17 local Massachusetts restaurants, as well as a zoom conversation lead by Maura Healey and 30 women restauranteurs of Boston. Tickets can be purchased on the link below until March 4th.
Tickets include a 4-course meal for two, and the zoom link for March 8th. Just to clarify, Turner’s in Melrose is the North Shore pick up location, not Turner’s in Salem (there has already been some confusion about this).

Steve Henderson Has Some Nice Things To Say About The GloucesterCast

Great show. I’m still cracking up when the guys tasted the “Duck Liver”. Guess it’s safe to say it didn’t taste like chicken.

Steve Henderson
The Villages, FL … for 12 yrs
Don’t believe everything you hear about us

The GMGI Science Hour with Aquanaut Dr. Shirley Pomponi: Thursday, March 4th at 7:30pm

Cape Ann Community

Please join us via Zoom this Thursday, March 4th to hear from Dr. Shirley Pomponi, research professor, ocean explorer, and part-time aquanaut, as she describes her experience living in the underwater laboratory Aquarius for nine days in 2019. Dr. Pomponi was selected to participate in one of NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO), testing out techniques and protocols for future space missions.

You can read about Dr. Pomponi and what you can expect from her fascinating talk on our website, and can register for the talk here.

Please reach out to Ashley Destino at with any questions.

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Cape Ann Home


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Robin Hubbard is a financial advocate, consultant, planner and coach for individuals, businesses, and business investors. An agile, refreshing alternative to franchise firms, I don’t push product but find solutions for individual needs and ambitions.

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Rust Island visitors (Bald Eagles)

The attached picture was taken 2 weeks ago as two of our newer Cape Ann residents settled in a tree at the point of Rust Island looking down on the Annisquam on one side and Jones Creek on the other.  It was taken with my iPhone through the lens of a spotting scope at 50 magnification. 

Rick Talkov

Stop & Shop Kicks-Off Annual Help Cure Childhood Cancer Campaign Throughout March in Massachusetts


Hi Joey –
Quickly reaching out to share that Stop & Shop, a neighborhood grocer for more than 100 years, is kicking off its annual Help Cure Childhood Cancer campaign. Running from now through March 31st, the fundraiser will support pediatric cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York. All Massachusetts stores will raise funds for Dana-Farber. 
Throughout the month-long campaign, local customers can visit their nearby Stop & Shop located at 6 Thatcher Road, Gloucester, MA and round-up their purchases to the nearest dollar, or opt to donate an additional $1, $3 or $5 at both self-checkout and mainline registers. Those shopping online at for Pickup or Home Delivery can participate in the fundraiser as well by donating $1, $3 or $5 at checkout. 100% of the change going to the participating hospitals. This year, Stop & Shop’s goal is to exceed its 2020 donation of nearly $2.5 million. 
Sharing the full press release herewith additional information. Please let me know either way if you’re interested in sharing the details of the fundraising campaign with your readers and I’d be happy to provide additional information. Thanks for your consideration.

March 1 Legislative & COVID-19 Update

News from the office of Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante

Today, Massachusetts advances to Step 2 of Phase III of the state’s reopening plan. The Commonwealth has also announced plans to transition to Step 1 of Phase IV on Monday, March 22.

Phase III, Step 2

On May 18, 2020, the Commonwealth released a four-phased plan to reopen the economy conditioned on sustained improvements in public health data. As of October, 2020, the reopening had proceeded to Step 2 of Phase III of the plan. On December 13, 2020, in response to an increase in new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations following the Thanksgiving holiday, the Commonwealth returned to Step 1 of Phase III, reducing capacities across a broad range of sectors and tightening several other workplace restrictions. 

Since the beginning of this year, key public health data, such as new cases and hospitalizations, have been closely monitored and a significant decline has been documented, allowing for a return to Step 2 of Phase III, effective March 1 for all cities and towns. This includes the following updates to businesses, activities and capacities:Indoor performance venues such as concert halls, theaters, and other indoor performance spaces will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity with no more than 500 personsIndoor recreational activities with greater potential for contact (laser tag, roller skating, trampolines, obstacle courses) will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacityCapacity limits across all sectors with capacity limits will be raised to 50% and exclude employeesRestaurants will no longer have a percent capacity limit and will be permitted to host musical performances; six-foot social distancing, limits of six people per table and 90 minute limits remain in placeResidents must continue to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and are encouraged to avoid contact outside of their immediate households. The Travel Advisory and other public health orders remain in effect.

Gathering Changes and Phase IV Start

Provided public health metrics continue to improve, effective on March 22, all communities in Massachusetts will move into Step 1 of Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan. This will open a range of previously closed business sectors under tight capacity restrictions that are expected to be adjusted over time if favorable trends in the public health data continue. Effective on the planned advancement to Step 1 of Phase IV, the following industries will be permitted to operate at a strict 12% capacity limit after submitting a plan to the Department of Public Health (DPH):Indoor and outdoor stadiumsArenasBallparksAlso effective on March 22, gathering limits for event venues and in public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 25 people, with indoor house gatherings remaining at 10 people.

Additionally, dance floors will be permitted at weddings and other events only, and overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate this coming summer. Exhibition and convention halls may also begin to operate, following gatherings limits and event protocols. Other Phase IV sectors must continue to remain closed. 

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.
CareWell Vaccination Clinic Update
We have heard from several individuals who were vaccinated at CareWell Urgent Care vaccination clinics who have expressed concerns over hearing they may not be able to get their second vaccination. My office has brought these concerns to the Baker-Polito Administration.

The Administration has stated that it will be ensuring that second doses will be delivered to vaccinate all individuals who receive their first doses at vaccination clinics across the state. The COVID-19 Command Center and the Department of Public Health are actively working with CareWell on their request for second doses and once DPH receives their survey request for doses, the doses will be allocated and delivered to CareWell for second dose appointments.

If you received your first vaccination at one of thise vaccine clinics, please remain in contact with the vaccination provider to ensure that you receive your follow-up appointment for your second vaccination.
COVID-19 Business Relief Grants
Last week, the Commonwealth announced more than $49 million in awards to 1,108 additional small businesses in the eighth round of COVID-19 Small Business and Sector-Specific Grant Programs administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC). 

To date, the Commonwealth has awarded more than $563 million in direct financial support to 12,320 businesses impacted by the pandemic, including over $2.6 million to small businesses on Cape Ann, to help with expenses like payroll, benefits, utilities and rent.

Each business meets sector and demographic priorities set for the two grant programs. More than half of grantees are restaurants, bars, caterers, operators of personal services like hair and nail salons, and independent retailers. Over half of the businesses receiving relief are women-and-minority-owned enterprises. 

The awards announced last week are the result of a process by MGCC to engage directly with applicants that met sector and demographic priorities but were missing documents necessary to be considered for an award. MGCC is continuing to work with business owners in targeted sectors and demographic groups to allow for applicants to submit necessary documents.