State Senator Tarr Hosts the Gloucester Sea Cadets – David G. Ouellet Division at the State House

The Gloucester Sea Cadets – David G. Ouellet Division were honored to be State Senator Bruce Tarr’s guests at the Massachusetts State House yesterday. Thank you also to Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante for helping to host them so graciously.




hearing-1Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester) has been nominated by Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and affirmed by a vote of her colleagues to be the First Division Chair of the House of Representatives for the 190th Massachusetts General Court. She had previously served as the House Chair for the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses.

Ferrante’s new position as a Division Chair carries the responsibility of serving as a mentor and leader for representatives in her division, about a quarter of the Democrats in the House of Representatives. Ferrante will also be one of nine Democrats who meet with the Speaker on a weekly basis to discuss House policy and legislation.

“I’m honored to be a part of Speaker DeLeo’s leadership team,” said Ferrante. “Under the Republican leadership of Trump, McConnell, and Ryan, I expect the Federal government to send more decisions about policy and budgeting items back to the states, making our roles as state representatives all the more important. I’m humbled to have been given this responsibility and opportunity to help chart the legislative course of the Commonwealth and I remain dedicated to making sure Cape Ann has a strong voice at the table so that our communities get their fair share.”

“Representative Ferrante is an exceptional coalition builder who approaches her work with great respect for her colleagues and recognizes the importance of bringing diverse voices to the table,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “She is a woman of outstanding intellect which she couples with a commitment to public service. I look forward to seeing the good work she will do this session on behalf of her constituents and the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

In addition to her role as First Division Chair, Ferrante has been appointed to serve on the House Rules Committee and the House Steering, Policy and Scheduling Committee, as well as continuing to serve as the House Chair of the Tech Hub Caucus, a gathering of technology business leaders and legislative leaders. Ferrante’s co-chair is Senate Ways and Means Chair Karen Spilka.

“Ann-Margaret is passionate about her communities beyond her elected office,” said John Bell, former Mayor of Gloucester and community activist. “From the establishment of cultural districts in Essex, Gloucester, and Rockport to the opening of Gloucester Biotechnology Academy and Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, Representative Ferrante is there to make sure that state dollars and legislative support come to Cape Ann to bring new projects forward. I can only imagine in her new position as a leader in the House, Representative Ferrante will remain a steadfast defender of our fishing industry while bringing innovation to Cape Ann.”

Prior to serving as the House Chair for the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses, Ferrante had also previously served as the House Vice Chair of the Joint Committee Economic Development and Emerging Technology, the House Vice Chair of the Committee on Environmental Resources and Agriculture, and as a member of the Ways and Means Committee.


A wonderful celebration of locally caught fish and fisherman, local produce and farmers, and top notch local chefs



Mayor Sefatia teaching Lt. Governor Karyn Polito about Sicilian eggplant, with Angela Sanfilippo

Who Fishes Matters

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Cape Ann Farmer’s Market and Seafood Throwdown and last night’s competition did not disappoint. Local chefs Eric Lorden, owner of Passports Restaurant, and Danielle Glantz of Pastaio Via Corta joined forces (dubbing themselves the Center Street Chefs) to compete against David Gauvin of Addison Gilbert Hospital and Todd Shopkowski of SnapChef.

The mystery fish, revealed moments before the competition began, was caught by Al Cottone, Captain of the Sabrina Maria. Fresh, whole, beautiful and fabulous whiting, alternately named Silver Hake, was presented to the chefs and off they went through the market shopping for farm fresh local ingredients. With only fifteen minutes to shop and an hour to prepare, the race was on!

Celebrity and very special guests included Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, Gloucester Fisherman’s Wives Association President Angela Sanfilippo, former Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk (now the Deputy Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office), lobsterman Mark Ring, author and Gloucester Times food writer Heather Atwood, and Maria and Sal DiStefano. DSCF0277

DSCF0247Throwdown Judges 


Judge Beatrix Brosnihan and Lara Lepionka

Seafood Throwdown Gloucester 2016 Al cottone Mark Ring copyright Kim SmithLobsterman Mark Ring and Fisherman Al Cottone

Seafood Throwdown Gloucester 2016 -Karyn Polito Carolyn Kirk copyright Kim Smith

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Carolyn Kirk
DSCF0172Daniele chopping squash blossoms for the pasta

DSCF0406Mayor Sefatia and Angela Sanfilippo frying whiting for their cooking demonstration

See Instagrams Here



Hearing-1Saturday morning a public meeting was held to provide State Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante the opportunity to introduce the four pieces of legislation that she has put forth to help grow the Massachusetts creative economy. The meeting was organized by Judith Hoglander, Chair for the Gloucester Committee for the Arts, and took place at the Gloucester Stage Company. Judith and Ann Margaret’s hope was to have an open exchange regarding the legislation prior to its moving forward and to create an opportunity to hear and discuss new ideas. Special guest Matt Wilson from MASSCreative also spoke about the importance of arts advocacy.

Ann Margaret’s proposed legislation could not be more on target and will have a tremendously positive impact on communities throughout Massachusetts. Time and again, around the nation, and the world over, we have seen how a thriving artistic community improves the spiritual, educational, and economic well being of a region.


Summary of the four pieces of legislation:


  1. Tax credit for live-theatre-to-Broadway. What does that mean? Pre-Broadway theatres would be granted a tax-credit for the six to twelve weeks of the show’s run. How does that benefit our communities? Ann Margaret explained that Boston and Massachusetts regional theatres were formerly considered the best place for theatres in New York to test their upcoming shows. It was easy and economical to pack up the show and head to Massachusetts. Not any longer because Chicago, New Orleans, and Rhode Island now offer tax exemptions for pre-Broadway shows. Boston and Massachusetts theatres are dark during pre-Broadway runs, which means the restaurants and surrounding businesses are also empty of patrons. Did you know that the Colonial Theatre in Boston is slated to close this winter? And become luxury condos??


  1. Sales tax exemptions for art sales (with a cap).


  1. Sales tax exemptions for developers to create artist live-work space. This is huge and would also contain wording to prevent the dwellings from becoming luxury condominiums.


  1. Simple red/green rating system for the handicap accessibility of cultural institutions. This would not compel any change to the institution, but simply make it easier for people with a handicap to attend the venue.


A true advocate for the arts, it is worth noting that Representative Ferrante was instrumental in maintaining the film industry tax credit. She was the point person fighting this serious threat to our regional economy. There isn’t one person in Massachusetts who has not benefited directly or indirectly from our growing film industry. The business of filmmaking creates exceptional and well paying jobs (with benefits) and supports local businesses, while also generating worldwide interest in our region. Hats off to Ann Margaret Ferrante for the stellar work that she is accomplishing for Cape Ann and for all of Massachusetts.

Judith Hoglander ©Kim Smith 2015

Judith Hoglander, meeting organizer, and Chair to the Gloucester Committee for the Arts.

Jon Wojciechowski ©Kim Smith 2015

Jon Wojciechowski, Executive Managing Director Gloucester Stage Company

Matt Wilson ©Kim Smith 2015

Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCeative

Matt explains that the mission of MASSCreative is threefold: 1) to educate communities about the importance of the arts, 2) advocate for the arts on a political level, and 3) teach communities how to advocate for themselves. Read more about MASSCreative here.

Why does Gloucester Stage looks so funky? GO SEE OUT OF STERNO TO FIND OUT WHY!

Please Note: Ann Margaret is not running for re-election in the fall of 2015 (she will be running for re-election in 2016) and I feel strongly that by presenting the above information I am not going against the Good Morning Gloucester policy of not advocating for candidates during an active election campaign. As we have done many times in the past, it is of great value to our community to highlight the good work that is being done by our elected officials, especially in this case where the legislation that is being put forth by Representative Ferrante will directly benefit a large percentage of our community. 2010_FERRANTE_4585Jason Grow Photo

State Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante Hosts Gloucester Girl Scout Tour of the State House

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Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo and Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante with Gloria Parson’s East Gloucester Girl Scout Troop
The East Gloucester Girl Scouts led by Gloria Parsons (Mrs. P) were privilged to visit the State House yesterday. During the grand tour, State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante and her aides gave the girls a history lesson as they visited the various chambers of the State House, including the House and Senate Chambers.
IMG_4278 (1)Representative Ferrante also introduced the girls to the Speaker of the House, Robert DeLeo. The girls had a great time visiting the State House and later taking a ride on the Swan Boats in the Boston Public Garden. Thank you Ann-Margaret for the tour and inspiring girls to become leaders!
IMG_4301 (1)Yesterday was also Girl Scout Troop Leader Appreciation Day. Gloria Parson has been the East Gloucester Girl Scout Troop Leader for over 30 years. Thank you for your service
Mrs. P.!

Gloucester Celebrates International Women’s Day!

International Women's Day Festa della Donna Figli di Trappeto Gloucester MA. -10 JPGInternational’s Women’s Day, or Festa della Donna, held last night at the Gloucester House Restaurant and hosted by Figli di Trappeto was, simply put, a smashing fun time. In attendance were an amazing group of Gloucester community-minded women and it was an honor to be with such a group, and all gathered under one roof!  

Crocetta Groppo gave a heart felt speech honoring Gloucester’s first Sicilian-American woman mayor, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Thekan. The guests included State Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, Angela Sanfilippo, and Mayor Romeo Thekan’s sisters Rosaria Floyd and Marianne Pacquette. The Gloucester House was transformed into a charming country western club with cheery red and white checked tablecloths, golden yellow sunflowers, red bandanas, milk bottle vases, and rustic touches abounding. After a delicious dinner of fried chicken, ribs, succotash, and macaroni and cheese, dancing ensued well into the night.

Stetson Hats Off to organizers Crocetta Groppo, Geri Parisi, Kathy Numerosi, Faye Pavia, Josephine Taormina, Fay Puopolo, Enza Taormina, and Nancy Millefoglie!

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Gloucester Wins Award From MA Cultural Council

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I figured that if I could board the USCG Barque Eagle, I could visit the Massachusetts State House. I’m glad I did, because the City of Gloucester won the 2015 Commonwealth Award for “Creative Community” by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The ceremony was held in the capital’s Great Hall. About a dozen of us, elected officials and organizers from Gloucester’s two designated cultural districts, marched to the podium and onto the stage to accept the medal. Shown below, left to right, are: Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council; Ann Margaret Ferrante, our State Representative; Sefatia Romeo Theken, Mayor of the City of Gloucester; and Bruce Tarr, our State Senator. I was glad to be there and proud to have been part of our accomplishments.