SHOUT OUT TO GLOUCESTER’S DPW FOR THE AMAZING DOWNED TREES STORM CLEAN-UP!!

THANKS SO MUCH TO MIKE HALE AND GLOUCESTER’S SUPER HARDWORKING DPW FOR THE OUTSTANDING JOB CLEANING UP AFTER THE BOMB CYCLONE NOR’EASTER.  

With tremendous speed and efficiency, they have done a stellar job cleaning up the streets of downed trees and branches.

Stumps are painted orange to help prevent people from tripping.

Our own beautiful plum tree did not survive this last storm. It had been severely damaged several years ago when struck by lightening. The flowering plum (Prunus cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’) was planted in the sidewalk in front of our home, providing us with years of joy and beauty. Baltimore Orioles, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Chickadees, Gold Finches and House Finches were just some of the birds that called ‘Thundercloud’ home.

The DPW came within one day of calling to report the damage. My husband was home at the time and he said that within fifteen minutes after arriving, the crew had cut down the tree, chipped all the wood, and painted the stump.

Prunus cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’

RIP sweet plum tree, we are surely going to miss you. Even more so, will all the wildlife sustained by your nectar-rich flowers, fruits, and sheltering branches.

Sam Novello asks GMG: What Happened to the Cannons at Stage Fort Park?

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Stage Fort Park Gloucester MA when Fort Conant spruced up after Civil War_from historic photo pre 1900.jpg

cannon embrasure at stage fort park Gloucester Massachusetts_20191009_ cannons removed for restoration ©c ryan

 

 

Sam Novello asks GMG, “Joe, what happened to the cannons at Stage Fort Park—— two are gone?” 

The cannon(s) are undergoing restoration (cleaning, chemical treatment and re-painting). In 2018, the CPA Committee awarded $22,705 of an estimated $46,000 to the Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee to refurbish the Parrot Rifle Cannon for work scheduled to commence spring 2020. The project is led by the Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee. The grant application project summary indicates the scope of work as follows:

  1. The fabrication of an aluminum “historic-rendering of a carriage for the Parrot Rifle Cannon as part of a multi-year project to restore the Fort area of Stage Fort Park.
  2. Cleaning, treatment and repainting of the Parrot Rifle Cannon.
  3. Machining or “sleeving” of the Parrot Rifle Cannon to create a narrow lined bore capable of firing a small charge report.

“Our final goal is to restore the Fort area as a historic feature of the Park and its importance to our local military history.* Repairs and restoration of this site are long overdue. The ramparts are overgrown with vegetation**. The cannon barrels are suffering due to neglect. The barrels are subject to trash, dirt and debris. We hope to preserve this site for future generations. The cleaning, capping and painting of the cannon will protect the barrel against future damage. We have proposed an annual stipend in the city budget of $2000 for maintenance of the Fort as well as a security plan for the Fort which would include lighting and security cameras. *Our ultimate goals include a visitor education center with historic references to the Fort and its history. It is expected that the entire Stage Fort Park will be used as a centerpiece of the city’s 400th anniversary celebrations.”

 

– Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee CPA application excerpt, photo from packet and phasing goals

Read the full application here: 2019 CPA Application SFP Parrot Rifle Cannon Carriage

*There is no finalized plan for this area overall. See photographs then/now below. There is a history of Fort use and restoration for  historic battles as well as city celebrations honoring this legacy and the kind souls who volunteered to do so. I’m not sure if the 187th Infantry Brigade was paid for the work they did in 1973, which I’m assuming was the last big overhaul. The CPA grant is just about the work on the cannons. The Historical Commission wrote a letter of support stressing replica accuracy using period materials (wood and metal)

**The area is overgrown at the moment because of various DPW work on the boulevard and future plans. (When I photographed the area annually it’s cleared.)

Stage Fort is the oldest fort in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

2019

view over cannons at Stage fort_view of Gloucester Harbor_ Ten Pound Island_Gloucester Massachusetts_20191009_ ©c ryan
October 2019 cannons removed for restoration from site design 1973 by 187th Infantry Brigade

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Stage Fort Park Gloucester MA when Fort Conant spruced up after Civil War_from historic photo pre 1900.jpg
“Fort Conant”, post Civil War – pre 1900 site of ramparts before land set aside as Stage Fort Park. Four cannons were mounted during the Civil War

 

temporary visibility_20191009_cannons stage fort gloucester ma ©c ryan.jpg

 

1973

As part of the city’s 350th celebration prep, the cannon site area (earthworks, entrance area, powder magazine, and gun embrasures) was restored by an engineer brigade from Wollaston. The design intent turned the clock back to how the fort would have been built out in the 1700s. Julian Hatch, the chairman of the 350th, had been director of public works for the city. The project was decades in the wishing and sensitively designed at long last.

1930

In 1930, the Fort was spruced up from its formal design post Civil and Spanish war.  Fisherman’s Field Stage Fort information plaques were commissioned and unveiled.

Printable PDF of the plaque translation here 

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Read more about historic battles and Gloucester Stage Fort Park in this trivia quiz designed by Shaun Goulart, GHS history teacher in this prior GMG post

1921

1920 Frank Cox Stage Fort Frank Cox

copy of Frank L. Cox fine art photograph (pre dates 1921) he used to illustrate his pocket Gloucester guide “The Gloucester Book”, and sell prints

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historic stereoview woman on fort conant stage fort park after civil war.jpg

 

City Hall tower lights are purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month #GloucesterMA

Enza Taormina, clerk from the Office of the Mayor, relayed that the tower lights are “purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month”  October 2019.

purple illumination_20170612_© c ryan.jpg

City Hall Clock Tower Illumination

The tower lights are illuminated to recognize special causes, organizations, events and holidays.  They were instituted by Mayor Romeo Theken and her administration. The City Electrician with Gloucester DPW installed an LED system which is outfitted with changeable color lenses. Requests for commemoration come to DPW through the Office of the Mayor. Check the Mayor’s Facebook page or local media to see announcements for new lights and/or news related to a cause. 

 

GMG reader asks: What do the colored lights on Gloucester City Hall clock tower mean?

color added to lights of City Hall clock tower _20170612_Gloucester MA ©c ryan.jpg

A GMG reader asks Joey about the colorful night lights on city hall and compliments Good Morning Gloucester:

“Thanks for all the work you do on the blog and podcast, and welcome center. I love the blog so much because of how funny and enthusiastic it is, and I always look forward to learning more about Gloucester. My friend and I were wondering, is there a story about the colored light on city hall at night? Sometimes there’s a pattern of colors, sometimes just one color. Do the colors have a meaning or is it just for decoration? We figured you’d be the person to ask, if anyone knows! Thanks a lot, hope you’re having a good day.” – Oliver 

City Hall Clock Tower Illumination

Thanks for the great question, Oliver. The pretty City Hall clock tower lights are illuminated to recognize special causes, organizations, events and holidays.  They were instituted by Mayor Romeo Theken and her administration. The City Electrician with Gloucester DPW installed an LED system which is outfitted with changeable color lenses. Requests for commemoration come to DPW through the Office of the Mayor.

The Mayor’s Facebook page may announce new lights and/or news articles related to a cause. The lights are fun to decipher: green for St. Patrick’s Day, rainbow cylce for Gay Pride, Fiesta trio, and so on.Who remembers the first color lights occasion?

update: Enza Taormina clerk from the Office of the Mayor relayed that this month, October 2019, the tower lights are ” purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”

It’s time! temporary fencing at Stacy Boulevard ahead of the railing replacement

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Part of Gloucester DPW ongoing Stacy Boulevard work, this new railing will extend east, continuing the look of the promenade western side. Future phases involve grounds work. AFTER comparisons will be in this direction.

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Back to school beauty: East Gloucester Elementary

DPW year round endeavors, Backyard Growers beds, and EGS PTO grounds help East Gloucester elementary be back to school ready. Neighbors, too! In August, three generations tackled the turnabout center island.

Before / After

 

The sidewalk ends at O’Maley! Gloucester DPW completing massive work from the Mills & Washington up along Reynard and Cherry Streets

More back to school beauty…

Leveraging complete streets and Chapter 90 funding, Gloucester’s DPW is completing a big project on Cherry Street at O’Maley. Sidewalk and street improvements follow along Cherry towards Reynard, stretching straight through to Washington Street. The work will be completed in a week or so.

 

 

 

Back to school beauty | new sign, lifted trees, entrance spruced at Gloucester High School

courtesy photo from john DPW.jpg

John from DPW described some Gloucester High School curb appeal betterments we happened upon today and kindly shared this photo for Good Morning Gloucester.

John, Nick, Fred (electrician), Tommy, Brian, and Billy from Gloucester DPW have been finishing some corrective cement walkway work and assorted grounds keeping at Gloucester High School. Over in the parking lot, the trees are looking sporty-spruced, and they’re easy to walk under now they’ve been lifted. Overgrown brush has been cleared and hauled off with more to come. Loam is being delivered for the ground around the new entrance sign (class gift) readying for the wonderful gardeners touch still to come.

 

 

Gloucester Public Works – DPW projects along Rogers and Thatcher

Gloucester DPW projects along Rogers by Cape Ann Savings Bank and Minglewood include necessary sidewalk and ADA crosswalk construction as well as remedying the pooling puddles at Minglewood and by St. Peter’s. They should be completed this week!

 

Between Good Habor Beach and Long Beach Dairy Maid, DPW manages a long standing issue of poor drainage. They’re testing clearing and rough grading at this stage.

Coming soon! ADA sidewalks & paving | Gloucester DPW at work along School St from Prospect to Proctor by library and fire station

Helping people move safely and easily throughout the city is a contant Gloucester Department of Public Works directive. One recent construction project with CDBG ADA funds that’s fast finishing will be a welcome addition in the neighborhood along School Street between Prospect & Proctor, before the Gloucester Fire Department and back of the library. The new sidewalks extend roughly .10 mile each side. Expect some road closure to cars and no parking through May 10th. I’ll post Before/After pictures when the work’s complete.

 

 

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In the meantime, here is a completed Before/After sequence- the evolution of the Duncan Street sidewalk and road repairs September-October 2018.

 

 

 

 

AWESOME MORNING INSTALLING PIPL FENCING AT GOOD HARBOR BEACH WITH GREENBELT’S DAVE RIMMER, DAVE MCKINNON, MIKE, DPW’S JOE LUCIDO, VOLUNTEER MARY, DOG OFFICER TEAGAN DOLAN, GLOUCESTER’S CONSERVATION AGENT, AND ADORABLE RAINBOW GIRL FREYA!

I checked on the PiPls early this morning, or more accurately should write, one Piping Plover. We haven’t seen the second PiPl since Monday afternoon. The beach was quiet, with only two dogs, and they were both on leash. Officer Teagan was also present, walking the length of the beach and keeping an eye out on our singular PiPl.

Officer Teagan Dolan

Dave McKinnon

Mid-morning I returned and the beach was bustling with activity. Dave Rimmer and his crew, Dave McKinnon (the above photo is for Dave’s Mom!), and Mike were installing the symbolic fencing. Gloucester’s Conservation Agent was present as well as volunteer monitor Mary. The group was soon joined by Joe Lucido. Joe was there to check on the signs, which are a work in progress, and a DPW crew was present cleaning up all the winter trash that accumulates and blows into the marsh. Joe has been posting about the PiPls on the Gloucester Beaches facebook page and he mentioned the Plover posts get tons of likes!

Joe Lucido

Shout out and thank you to Mayor Sefatia and her administration, all our City Councilors, Joe Lucido and the entire DPW, Heather Hall, Mary, and all our volunteers, Greenbelt’s Dave Rimmer, Dave McKinnon, and Mike, Gloucester’s Conservation Agent, and everyone who is helping our Good Harbor Beach Piping Plovers get off to a great start!


High-stylin’ Freya, in her hand crocheted rainbow sweater and hat (with matching rainbow shoes), and her Mom were at GHB enjoying the sunshine.

Great foraging in the tide flats for our PiPl. Notice in the super copped photo, a tiny little shrimp!

Enjoying scenic overlook on Thatcher Road walkway to Good Harbor Beach

Beautiful build by Gloucester DPW to Good Harbor Beach is seeing steady use. The new pedestrian bridge spanning the marsh little river makes it easy to linger over a sweeping November vista to Good Harbor Beach and back.

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Prior posts on Good Morning Gloucester about the marsh walkway under construction. 

October 6, 2018 snazzy new guardrails

September 12, 2018   construction begins

DPW making public works work: great marsh walk along Thatcher Road from Good Harbor Beach entrance to footbridge Gloucester Massachusetts

View to Good Harbor Beach across marsh_from the future sidewalk_Gloucester Mass_2018 June 30_©catherine ryan
back of Good Harbor Beach, framed and open views across marsh from Thatcher Road, June 2018  

Walk this way! Part 1- Pilings In, Guardrails Gone!

A new mini marsh promenade is underway along Thatcher Road from Gloucester’s Good Harbor Beach entrance all the way around to the foot bridge. Walkers will have safe access via sidewalks and a natural path.

Gloucester has been planning for an opportunity to extend safer pedestrian access along Thatcher Road for years. When National Grid scheduled replacing antiquated gas lines along the busiest and scenic stretch, Gloucester Public Works was ready to seize the opportunity with collaborative solutions sensitive to conservation. Sidewalk upgrades were built out at both ends and paused until National Grid completed its underground infrastructure work. Prior to paving, Thatcher Road will be widened slightly to accommodate a safe and scenic path. The city hoped to complete repairs and paving by autumn and is on track to meet that goal. This week crews were clearing brush. The rusty guardrail was removed and will be replaced with a new design. “It will all happen quickly now,” says Mike Hale, director of Public Works.

 

Before marsh walk _Thatcher Road_Gloucester Mass_2018 June 19_future DPW work by great marsh ©catherine Ryan
BEFORE June 2018 ©catherine ryan

Rusty rail outta here_Thatcher Road slightly widened_pedestrian safe and access_great marsh back of Good Harbor_Gloucester Mass_2018 Sept 11 ©catherine Ryan

Thatcher Road Under Construction

There’s an ideal and creative scenic overlook solution over the river that’s under construction off site. I can’t wait for the reveal! I have been documenting progress and will post various updates, fast stats and history as another impressive project moves along.

New pedestrian walkway_Thatcher Road_Public Works_Gloucester MA_ 2018 Sept 11_©catherine ryan (1)

New pedestrian walkway_Thatcher Road_Public Works_Gloucester MA_ 2018 Sept 11_©catherine ryan (3)

Gloucester’s great marsh walk will afford safer access for sweeping seasonal observation

winter, spring, summer, fall 

 

One of my favorite Gloucester motifs, Gloucester oxbow, view from Thatcher Road 

Gloucester motifs_Gloucester oxbow_at the back of Good Harbor Beach_view from Thatcher Road_2017 Februray 5©c ryan.jpg

GLOUCESTER DPW ROCKIN THE NEW FENCING AT GOOD HARBOR BEACH!

Check out the awesome new dune fencing recently installed at Good Harbor Beach by our DPW crew. The wire fencing runs along the length of the beach. The DPW did an outstanding job, very neat and unobtrusive.

Dune fencing plays an important role in reducing erosion. One of the main benefits of dune fencing is to help keep pets and people out of the dunes. Why is it detrimental to the dunes to allow uncontrolled dogs to run through the dunes and for people to use the dunes to access the parking lot, or worse, as their personal toilet? Repeated traffic through the dunes damages and kills the plants growing in the dunes. Plants help control erosion by stabilizing soil and sediments with their roots. Dune vegetation helps break the impact of of wave splash and rain, and also traps sand to help build up the dunes.

The fencing material installed by the DPW is an excellent choice for nesting shorebirds. This year especially, with much of the beach vegetation washed away and with the beach greatly narrowed, the Piping Plover adults and chicks had learned to use the area behind the old wire fencing for shade and to hide from predators. The open fencing still allows for small wild creatures to go in and out of the holes to find shelter and safety at the base of the dune.

Pip snuggled under Mama PiPl at the old fence.

Thank you Gloucester DPW for a super job well done!

 Adult Piping Plovers and chicks found shelter along the wire fencing (the Bachelor left, and Mama and Pip, right).

GLOUCESTER DPW GETTING THE JOB DONE-THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN!

Phil Cucuru and Mike Tarantino installing the sign board.

Thank you again to the Gloucester DPW, and again to Phil Cucuru and Mike Tarantino. The repaired footbridge looks beautiful and the signage placement is very noticeable. We are grateful to Phil, Mike, Joe Lucido, Tommy Nolan, Kenny Ryan, Newt, Cindy, and the entire DPW and Good Harbor Beach crew for their outstanding effort in helping our PiPl family, since when they first arrived, way back on April 3rd. Their assistance, interest, and kindness is making a difference. Thank you That’s City Councilman Scott Memhard walking the footbridge to check on the PiPl. So sorry to Scott for not getting a better photo.

THANK YOU GLOUCESTER DPW AND HUGE SHOUT OUT TO PHIL CUCURU AND MIKE TARANTINO!

Phil Cucuru

THE NEW FOOTBRIDGE LOOKS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! Phil and Mike have been doing the finish work the past few days and a deep layer of sand was added to the beach end for safety sake. I think it looks super sharp with the diagonal cuts across the pilings.

It’s been a really tough spring for the DPW after the extensive damage caused by back to back nor’easters, but getting the bridge completed before the summer crowds was made a priority. Thanks so much to Phil and Mike for working though the weekend. If you see these guys around town, please tell them how great the footbridge looks!

Mike Tarantino

SHOUT OUT AND THANK YOU TO GLOUCESTER DPW’S TOMMY NOLAN!

Tommy Nolan helps keep both Wingaersheek and Good Harbor Beaches looking sparkling clean. He mans the beach rake, and last year did an incredible job of keeping an eye out for Piping Plover chicks. Tommy also has an interest in birds and enjoys watching the wildlife in his own backyard. He collected seaweed this week from Good Harbor and placed it around the nesting area. Thanks so much to Tommy and to the entire Good Harbor Beach team for looking out for our nesting PiPls 🙂

BREAKING: FOOTBRIDGE TEMPORARY BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY!

Gloucester’s DPW Phil Cucuru and Mike Tarantino arrived at Good Harbor Beach this morning ready to work with a truckload of pressure treated marine wood. Work will continue for the next two weeks. Looks like the footbridge will be operational by Fiesta weekend! 

GOOD HARBOR BEACH FOOTBRIDGE GOOD NEWS PROGRESS REPORT!

Gloucester’s Department of Public Work’s Phil Cucuru updates us with the following good news:

Chad K and crew are finished installing the 21 pilings. The DPW is waiting for the special marine grade wood needed to build a temporary footbridge. The hope is that it will be here by Friday. As soon as the wood is delivered, Phil and Mike Tarantino will begin rebuilding the bridge. They plan to work nonstop, including weekends, until the bridge is complete and fully operational. Hooray and thanks to Phil and Mike for the update!