TONIGHT: vote to whittle new school options. Scenes and recap of new building plans presentation June 17

If you go-

Tonight’s meeting about East Gloucester/Veterans’ Memorial proposed elementary school building(s), will be held at the Gloucester Public Schools District Office Conference Room, 2 Blackburn Drive, Thursday June 20, 2019 5PM Find the agenda here 

Below are a few scenes from Gloucester’s school committee presentation by MSBA assigned designers, Dore & Whittier, and audience statements. The meeting was held at City Hall on June 17 and hosted by Ward 1 City Councilor Scott Memhard.The current status of proposed elementary school plans were reviewed. They discussed 14 options on 3 sites.

Audience members (approximately 125) were overwhelmingly opposed to the plans. People were vocal about green space, Mattos Field and memorial, women and sports, traffic, parking, transparency, consolidation, limited site options, narrow scope (what about the other schools), impact on each neighborhood, evaluation of West Parish, slow timeline, and future plans for any surplus property. Few in favor of consolidation were inclined with those proposed. One woman encouraged checking back in with the MSBA about completing multiple schools at once in lieu of consolidation and costs based on the firm’s belief that most of these options were ill suited.

Here is one statement read aloud reflecting concerns about green space and Mattos Field:

“Mattos field, East Gloucester school area, and Green Street all have the same thing in common: They are all open space and should be protected and preserved for future generations. 

Our Community Plan 2000 remind us over and over again the importance of our open spaces and the places we hold dear. The plan was “citizen-driven” and reached out to residents from all corners of our city. 

Since that plan, we are again reminded of our need and love for open space with our Open Space and Recreation Plan, a plan I was fortunate to be able to be a part of. This plan listed and inventoried all of our open spaces– from our beautiful beaches to our ball fields and parks, to our cemeteries and even our boat landings. Birds. Plants. All find a place in this plan. We talk about how we can protect these places and how we can improve them, but never did we talk about taking them away. 

Preserve, Maintain and Protect. These are the three words we should be using when it comes to our open spaces.  Because once it’s gone we can’t get it back. Thank you!”- Patti Amaral

Here is another statement pushing to reject all or nothing in favor of both/and:

“I’ve been to my share of School Committee meetings over the past several years and I’m learning more and more about what the future holds for the children of our city. There are three sites that the Building Committee has in mind for the “East Gloucester Elementary School” project. Two of those sites will take East Gloucester Elementary School out of East Gloucester.  One of those sites would eliminate the current Mattos Field and another would put the school up on Green Street, 500 yards from the old Fuller School.

The fate of East Gloucester Elementary needs your support.

I stood in front of our School Committee many years ago and asked, “Our schools are beginning to deteriorate. What are we going to do to maintain them? School Committee member, Ab Khambaty (president of the School Committee at the time) said, “Mary Ann, we do not need glorious buildings to educate children. We can teach them in a tent. What children need are teachers who have a strong desire to bring the best out in our children. We need parents who are involved with their PTO’s and staff who care.” I left that meeting very upset, because I was a young mother who wanted it all for my daughter and her fellow students, but as the years have passed I understand his message loud and clear. Our schools do not need brand new facades, grand entrances or hallways that have no educational purpose.

They do, however, need safe, clean and well maintained environments for both students and teachers (staff) alike to thrive in. It’s not the GRAND building that makes a school. It’s the PEOPLE within that structure that make a school GRAND. Can’t we provide safe, learning environments that meet the needs of today’s students, staff and neighborhoods (yes, neighborhoods) without disrupting our green spaces, without disrupting neighborhoods? Can’t we renovate our two schools for less than the cost of a new, consolidated school?

Green Street Playground and field remain green, East Gloucester Elementary remains, as well as it’s green space, Veterans’ and Mattos Field are saved and remain green. ALL dedicated green spaces that are used daily throughout the entire year, not just for school purposes, but for the purpose of enjoying the beauty of what they are and the benefits they each create. The benefits of being outside, socializing with friends, meeting new neighbors, enjoying wildlife. Are we willing to lose teachers and staff that invest in our city’s youth? If we lose a school we will lose more than just a building. We lose the most important parts of what children truly need, the people and their open fields. Take a look throughout our city and others and you will see magnificent renovations to so many of the brick structures, structures that have survived for hundreds of years, structures that have been renovated with the latest technology. We teach our children every day to recycle, repurpose and to save our earth. Let’s show them that it can be done. Can’t we provide clean, safe, learning environments while maintaining and protecting our city assets that residents of all neighborhoods and all ages love? Mary Ann Boucher,  advocate for kids, schools, green spaces and neighborhoods

The conditions pursued by the school committee are variable so it’s difficult to build or defend any consensus. In 2016, the Pines in East Gloucester was a front runner or placeholder. Opinions about consolidating multiple schools at Beeman or O’Maley were voiced but not fleshed out. In February of 2017, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), a state agency, moved the Gloucester school consolidation proposal further along in its funding process. In January 2019 at the school committee-city council-board of health joint meeting,  Chairman Pope mentioned exploratory conversations with Rockport about merging districts. Could the elementary and middle schools be situated on Rockport’s campus and O’Maley and GHS accomodate the middle and high school populations?   If so why would large school consolodiation buildings be underway? At the June 17th presentation, questions about other potential sites whether O’Maley, or any of the city’s school properties,  or land elsewhere, or merging with Rockport, went unanswered. Representatives from Dore & Whittier said this phase kicked off in December 2018 and was full spead ahead as of January; in truth, the process began years ago with Dore &Whittier. And new schools were a topic when my kids, now in high school, were in preschool (fantastic!) at the High School. Indeed, a generation of students has grown up and teachers retired since an “urgent” need was expressed. Conditions are urgent. Why is this process so costly and cumbersome? Why is constuction so expensive we can’t remedy in real time?

The school committee and new building sub-group welcome feedback and concerns

although they warn that in order for this process to stay on track for a new school ETA occupancy September 2023/24 they need to move forward with these options. Changes will increase cost.

See prior post with more slides of the presentation, mostly unchanged from the week before.

2019 Cape Ann Arts Alive Music & More Camp at St. John’s church Gloucester

release from St. John’s Episcopal Church:

Exciting news! The 2019 Cape Ann Music & More Camp is open for enrollment.

Cape Ann Arts Alive! Music & More

A Day Camp designed to foster pride in the rich cultural heritage of Cape Ann through music, dance, literature, drama, and art. Now in its fourth season, and in anticipation of Gloucester’s 400th anniversary in 2023, CAAA participants will learn about, visit, and perform at points of interest in the area.

For children age 5 – 15 ~ $75 per child (Scholarships are available! Mentoring opportunities for students over 13)

Monday, Aug. 19th – Friday, Aug. 23th 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

We will feature our accomplishments at a public performance at 11:15 am on our last day. Based at St. John’s Episcopal Church ~ 48 Middle Street, Gloucester

For information/registration contact: Mark Nelson, mark@stjohnsgloucester.org or 978-283-1708 ext. 2

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1979 time capsule – E. Raymond Abbott, former Cape Pond Ice owner and Gloucester philanthropist, on the history of Day’s pond, its waterlilies and a Rockport watershed

Next time you’re heading in the direction of Wolf Hill, Good Harbor Beach or Rockport thank E. Raymond Abbott when you pass Day’s Pond, a historic man made pond in Gloucester about 1 acre in size. In 1978 Abbott wrote about his family’s association with the pond:

stone wall repaired 2018 Day's Pond Gloucester MA_20190425_©c ryan (2)
2018 new engineered wall, railing (sidewalk pending) – read more about Gloucester DPW work here

“On reading a recent article in the Gloucester Daily Times (July 1979) which made reference to the ‘so-called’ upper Day’s Pond off Eastern Avenue it occurred to me that the people of Gloucester might be interested in a brief history of the pond.

Years ago there were two Day brothers who owned a large tract of land which extended from the beaches and marshes all the way up to the old Rockport Road. This land, including the upper Day’s Pond, was later sold to a lawyer named Webster who lived in and owned a hotel on Pleasant Street. Later on the Webster property which also included land around Cape Pond in Rockport, came up for sale at a public auction. My father, James Abbott, bought it in June of 1905 and went into business which was later known as the Cape Pond Ice Company. In 1922, my father retired and I took over the ice business. 

I will always remember a young girl, Harriet Wonson, who lived just above the upper Day’s Pond, coming to me asking if she could beautify the pond by planting water lilies in and around it. Of course, I gave my consent.

In 1943, I decided to sell the Cape Pond Ice Company. However, before doing so, I gave the upper Day’s Pond to the city of Gloucester so that the children always have a place to skate in the winter, in the summertime provide a pond for fishing, as well as a beautiful subject for our local artists to paint. It was during this same period that I was able to acquire most of the land around Cape Pond and later gave my interest to the town of Rockport to be used as a water shed. 

It is my sincere hope and desire that the upper Day’s Pond will continue to provide as much enjoyment for the children of the future as it has in the past.

E. Raymond Abbott, Gloucester Daily Times Letter to the Editor, July 16, 1979

Twenty years later, Gloucester dredged Day’s Pond “as part of a watershed management plan to stabilize the pond’s ecosystem.” Massachusetts Department of Environmental Mangement awarded $2500 for the project in 1998. Marilyn Myett wrote a persuasive My View column about the pond’s vital impact in the neighborhood.

Cape Pond Ice was the subject of Mr. Goulart scavenger history challenge for 9th grade GHS students see results & historic photos here

Long Beach seawall walkway construction continues – widening and extending path to Rockport end

In 2018 Rockport widened  much of the Long Beach seawall walkway beginning at the Gloucester side and stretching past the midpoint.  Recently crews began extending this project straight through to the end point on the Rockport side. The work is expected to be completed in a couple of weeks.

Rocky explained it’s done in segments and moving right along.

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Besides this big project, the getting ready for summer bustle is in full swing. Annual staircase return? Check! Front row cottage work? Check! New patio and masonry work by the former hotel (photos 2018 vs 2019 below) where the stone patio was compromised, various yardwork and private deck repairs are visible along the promenade.

 

Cranes, trucks, piers and parking lots! Maintenance and new construction on Stacy Blvd and Rogers St #GloucesterMa

What’s happening on Stacy Boulevard? That Department of Public Works (DPW) project involves the main interceptor sewer cleaning and inspection which is an every 7-10 year process.

At the western edge, Yella on the Water staff training took place outside on their new deck. They refurbished the parking lot and completed the accessibility ramp.

Along Rogers Street, Building Center and Gloucester House are busy with construction. A bit further down, DPW is improving the Rose Baker Senior Center parking lot, completing “just the binder for now, then on to ramps and finally top coat.”

Waterfront businesses require unusual maintenance like pier infratstructure maintenance. Gloucester House has been in business since 1958. I wonder how long the pilings last? The trio of wharf booths for special adventures there include Gloucester Boat Rental, the Thomas Lannon, & 7 Seas Whalewatch.

Jason Burroughs closing talk Thursday May 30th 5pm Goetemann Artist Residency #GloucesterMA

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Throughout this Goetemann Artist Residency, Jason Burroughs carved out painting times while working at his full time job which goes with the territory of being an emerging fine artist. So what was different with this special honor on Rocky Neck? To begin with, he timed a full week off from work to coincide with the Residency, to devote his time exclusively to art. Burroughs doesn’t have an artist studio so it has been a luxury to have ample room and walls to surround himself with new works in process and recent series near by, and to spread out books and materials. He set himself a tall task of completing at least 15 new plein air works, all oils rendered in the field. He had new tubes of paint to work with thanks to a recognition award from the Cape Ann Plein Air quick draw. Paint is expensive and Gruppe’s quip about paint like you are a millionaire went through his mind as he struggled to capture what he saw and sought to express. A few times he painted side by side more seasoned artists that have become friends and mentors, which he enjoys. Mostly he adjusted to painting with oil, outside on the waterfront, throwing paint down and “putting in the work spending time looking, truly looking.” Burroughs wishes he had his own studio right here on Rocky Neck. The Goetemann Artist Residency was a dream come true this month. Come hear about all he’s done.

 

Burroughs is looking forward to the next Goetemann talk with Marilu Swett ; Swett was professor for his senior sculpture work at Montserrat College of Art.

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Artist Jason Burroughs has been busy! Reminder please come see his closing talk Thursday May 30th 5pm | Goetemann Artist Residency #GloucesterMA

artist JASON BURROUGHS_invited Goetemann Artist Residency May 2019_Rocky Neck Art Colony_work within the last year on one wall_new work in front_Gloucester MA_20190527_© c ryan (9).jpg

Throughout this Goetemann Artist Residency, Jason Burroughs carved out painting times while working at his full time job which goes with the territory of being an emerging fine artist. So what was different with this special honor on Rocky Neck? To begin with, he timed a full week off from work to coincide with the Residency, to devote his time exclusively to art. Burroughs doesn’t have an artist studio so it has been a luxury to have ample room and walls to surround himself with new works in process and recent series near by, and to spread out books and materials. He set himself a tall task of completing at least 15 new plein air works, all oils rendered in the field. He had new tubes of paint to work with thanks to a recognition award from the Cape Ann Plein Air quick draw. Paint is expensive and Gruppe’s quip about paint like you are a millionaire went through his mind as he struggled to capture what he saw and sought to express. A few times he painted side by side more seasoned artists that have become friends and mentors, which he enjoys. Mostly he adjusted to painting with oil, outside on the waterfront, throwing paint down and “putting in the work spending time looking, truly looking.” Burroughs wishes he had his own studio right here on Rocky Neck. The Goetemann Artist Residency was a dream come true this month.

photos: sneak peek details from new work

 

Burroughs is looking forward to the next Goetemann talk with Marilu Swett ; Swett was professor for his senior sculpture work at Montserrat College of Art.

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Jeff’s Variety sandwich counter now open till 4pm

By popular request, Jeff’s Variety is trying out extending the sandwich counter hours from 2pm to 4pm to serve kids after school and  people heading home from the beach or on the way to a picnic dinner. Feel free to call ahead for pick up or special orders.

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Castaways Vintage Cafe, 20 Rogers Street, #GloucesterMA opens May 22

New cafe and retail shop, Castaways Vintage Cafe, 20 Rogers Street (former Rogers St entrance to Dog Bar.) The Be Sargent’s Judith Sargent Murray mural is off to the right as you enter.

 

Above – exterior of new business- “Bohemian style cafe offering Killa Koffee, Beautiful Acai Bowls, & Vibin’ Vintage clothing”

Below – Before snapshots exterior parking lot view back to Main St (2012/2018)

 

 

Sugar Magnolia’s Breakfast for Dinner fundraiser night June 6th GHS Class 2022 |generous eats #GloucesterMA

❤️ Sugar Magnolia’s, 112 Main Street, Gloucester, MA 978 281-5310

“Brinner” – Breakfast for Dinner – perfect Fundraiser for Class of 2022

June 6th 5:30-9PM

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Gloucester in the news and on the road: #GloucesterMA documentary and food a hit in Minnesota news

Great read- From Sea to Sustainable Sea: Supporting American Wild Seafood event in Minneapolis “combined midwest premiere of the Gloucester fishing documentary “Dead in the Water” by Rockport native David Wittkower sandwiched between a cocktail hour and a seafoot featst featuring Gloucester landed monkfish, redfish, crabs, lobsters andother seafood delights.” See who’s involved with this great road foodiefilm trip, read more here

Spreading Gloucester’s Story: Minnesotans eat up film on fleet, seafood by Sean Horgan, Gloucester Daily Times

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Yella on the Water 25 Western Ave / Stacy Boulevard opening soon

The exterior transformation by RePro General Constuction & Design Services (ReProservice.com) for Danielle and Carlo Berdahn’s new Mediterranean bistro, Yella on the Water, is moving right along (in the former Morning Glory space) on Stacy Boulevard.

 Before (2013)  vs. construction underway (May 2019)

Sept 9 2013 Morning Glory ©c ryan
2013

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They opened Yella Grille in Andover  (and catering) ten years ago.

Tesoro Vintage Finds | 5 Short Street West End downtown #GloucesterMA

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Find Tesoro Vintage Finds at 5 Short Street next to Caffe Sicilia in Gloucester, Mass., a close walk to Bananas and Cape Ann Auction.

(Adrift 284 Main Street on the East End closed.)

 

 

 

Vintage street flair: BlackBear Barber Shop adds the perfect show stopper door propper

The BlackBear Barber Shop, 260 Main St., Gloucester, Mass., has a sharp greeter-  a carved wooden bear sculpture and calling card receiver/business card holder.

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(It’s a good fit for Gloucester history. Pre 1900, carved statues advertising Main Street businesses provided a new customer base for some  shipbuilding figurehead carvers.)

New restaurant Salt Water Grille opening soon | art by Alexia Seaside Graphics #GloucesterMA

Salt Water Grille_opening May or June 2019_ Gloucester MA_ art and logo by Alexia J Seaside graphics_20190510_© c ryan (4)

Salt Water Grille expects to open late May/ early June 2019.

The seasonal restaurant is located at 226 Washington Street, Gloucester Mass., in the former Friendly’s location off the first rotary. (See Gloucester Daily Times article here to learn more about the owners.) New logo and art by Alexia at Seaside Graphics.

 

 

Seaside Graphics in Gloucester, Mass., specializes in printing, graphic design and branding. “Seaside has done work for National Geographic Channel, Bosch, Honda North, Fama PR, Pilgrim Films, NOAA, Dunkin Donuts, NBC Sport’s show Shark Hunter, among others.” Owners and married couple Bill and Alexia handle the Wicked Tuna gear (e.g. Wicked Tuna, Falcon / Hard Merchandise, F/V-Tuna, The Wicked Pissah, and PinWheel). Check out the store on Railroad Avenue, or on line here: https://wickedtunagear.com/. The headquarters also carries Alexia’s Hooked for Life apparel.

 

 

 

 

 

Poll- Who are those guys? Fugro ship closer and slower today

view of fugro ship off gloucester ma coast from Salt Island Road_20190511_Gloucester Ma 01930

View of Fugro ship off Gloucester MA from Salt Island Road May 11, 2019, closer and slower.

“As the largest global supplier of marine geotechnical site investigation services, Fugro conducts tailored investigations in all offshore regions of the world.” 

Who are those guys? View of Fugro ship changes depending on vantage and as it moves back and forth. View of ship from Good Harbor Beach.

 

 

 

 

Until I hear back, queue GMG poll for best guesses –  as to what they are doing?

Cape Wind engaged Fugro for survey work as part of pre-construction for offshore utility-scale wind farm. Fugro may have been engaged with phases of projects closer to home, like the LNG “Neptune” buoy port that was developed in 2010 by ENGIE about 10 miles off shore where LNG vessels could moor and discharge natural gas. (Another LNG one, the Northeast gateway, is 18 miles out from Boston.)