The Gloucester Lyceum presents WINTER TALES: Stories for all ages

HOW TO VIEW THE STORIES: Stories will be posted at 6pm on the date listed. To access the stories, visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel on or after that date. 
Click to view Winter Tales on Facebook
Click to view Winter Tales on YouTube

Please note: Sawyer Free Library’s Holiday Hours

  • December 23 10am – 5pm
  • December 24 – 27 Closed
  • December 28 10am – 5pm
  • December 29 10am – 5pm
  • December 30 10am – 5pm
  • December 31 10am – 5pm
  • January 1 Closed
  • January 2 10am – 5pm

For more information visit sawyerfreelibrary.org

Gloucester Snow Emergency & Parking Ban Declared Effective Tonight (3/12) at 10PM to Weds (3/14) at 6AM

GLOUCESTER EMERGENCY ALERT

Snow Emergency/Parking Ban Declared Tonight Mon. 10PM(3/12) to Weds. 6AM (3/14)

City Offices & Schools Closed Tues. (3/13)

WEATHER EMERGENCY UPDATE

Massachusetts will be impacted by a significant storm tonight into Tuesday evening with the potential for blizzard-like conditions and snowfall rates of 1-3” per hour. This storm could bring significant snowfall and strong coastal high winds with potential for power outages. Snow is expected to begin tonight and continue into Tuesday evening across much of Massachusetts. National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning for all of Massachusetts, and a High Wind Watch for Cape Ann, the eastern coastline, southern Bristol and Plymouth counties, and the Cape and Islands.

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PARKING BAN

Effective at 10 PM tonight, Monday, March 12, the city has declared a snow emergency and parking ban on all city streets due to expected significant snowfall and powerful wind gusts. Additionally, Gloucester schools & offices will be closed tomorrow and trash collection will be delayed one day.

We recommend that all citizens shelter at home and avoid all travel during the storm. Poor road conditions are expected across Tuesday and emergency teams need all streets clear to allow effective service. Gloucester will enforce an emergency parking ban across all city streets until 6 AM Wednesday, March 14th (unless updated otherwise). This parking ban means all vehicles are banned from parking on city streets. Residents may park in all municipal and school parking lots, but please be aware that citizens are solely responsible for any weather related liability at public parking lots.

Please use caution across this storm and call 911 for any emergencies.

EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE

If you are in danger, CALL 911 FOR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE or call Gloucester Police Department at (978) 283-1212. Please note the following social services in the City will be open this weekend during the storm and frigid cold.

  • Action Inc. will be open all day Tuesday and Weds until 11 AM (978) 282-1000

In the event that you lose power or heat over the weekend, the City encourages residents to shelter in place, stay with a family/neighbor who has heat and contact the Gloucester Police Department immediately for any concerns about staying safe or warm. The police can assist you in finding a place to go with power and will be working with American Red Cross of Massachusetts to assist residents in need.

POWER OUTAGES

National Grid has been reporting power outages in different areas across the North Shore, including Gloucester. If any outages do occur in your area, it is imperative that they be reported via the National Grid Customer Service or Outage Reporting phone lines as listed below. Every outage phone call that we receive is logged into our outage tracking system and better enables us to pinpoint the location of the issue. The sooner National Grid can identify the location of the issue, the quicker a response can be sent.

REMINDERS/ SAFETY INFORMATION (via MEMA)

Updates will be forthcoming as the storm progresses. Please check the City of Gloucester website and social media for further updates at www.gloucester-ma.gov.

Thank you for your assistance and stay safe during this snow emergency. ~Chris

Flooding Alert: LONG DURATION COASTAL STORM THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY BRINGS POWER OUTAGES Gloucester Emergency Alert

Gloucester Emergency Alert

LONG DURATION COASTAL STORM THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY

(Issued 3/1/2018 6 PM) Tides will be astronomically high from Thursday night (3/1/2018) through all of Saturday (3/3/2018) with a coastal storm and storm surge increasing coastal flooding and property damagePower outages, road closures, and other emergency incidents are expected in the next 24 to 48 hours and we strongly recommend all citizens to prepare accordingly.

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Additionally, we caution all citizens who are in low lying areas that are prone to flooding to be aware and prepare accordingly. Any home or business that was previously affected by recent storms and flooding should especially take caution.

Coastal properties facing East, NorthEast may be severely affected by the predicted storm surge and significant wave action.

Precautionary measures should be taken immediately to best prepare, including voluntary evacuation prior to the storm. All residents should avoid these areas, as well as avoiding driving through any flooded areas.

Strong winds may cause power outages and we are asking citizens to shelter in place. If your home is being flooded or if you are in danger, call 911 for immediate assistanceEmergency teams are prepared to assist anyone in need so call 911 right away.

Roads may be slick in areas, so we remind all to take caution if driving. Roadways most prone to splash-over at astronomically high tides will be at greatest risk of inundation.

Updates will be forthcoming and will be shared on the City of Gloucester website and social media pages so please visit http://www.gloucester-ma.gov. Thank you for your assistance and please use 911 for any flooding or emergency needs.

POWER OUTAGES

National Grid has been preparing for power outages in different areas across the North Shore, including Gloucester. If any outages do occur in your area, it is imperative that they be reported via the National Grid Customer Service or Outage Reporting phone lines as listed below. Every outage phone call that we receive is logged into our outage tracking system and better enables us to pinpoint the location of the issue. The sooner National Grid can identify the location of the issue, the quicker a response can be sent.

  • The Customer Service Line is: 1-800-322-3223
  • The Outage Reporting Line is: 1-800-465-1212

REMINDERS/ SAFETY INFORMATION

MASSACHUSETTS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY SITUATIONAL AWARENESS STATEMENT

Latest weather and emergency reports can be seen using the following links and resource lines:

Mayoral Memo: Snow Emergency Updates & Flood Assistance Exploration

1/8/2018 – Last week’s snowstorm and accompanying storm surge was an unfortunate act of nature that resulted in widespread damage throughout Gloucester. This City, like others, requires that residents remove their cars from public streets prior to any storm or snow emergency for safety reasons.

For decades, recognizing that many residents do not have private off street parking, the City has offered off-street parking on public property much like we did last week at Gloucester High School. These offers were strictly optional and residents were free to make other arrangements.

Having said that, my administration recognizes that many are in need of assistance as a result of the damage caused by last week’s storm—specifically those who lost their cars due to the flooding of the High School parking lot. As a result, we will be taking the following actions:

• We have contacted the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and are working with them as they collect public damage information from all of the communities impacted in order to determine whether to request a presidential disaster declaration. While the probability of meeting the threshold for state or federal monetary reimbursement are low, a presidential declaration is necessary to lend direct assistance to the private sector;

• The City is willing to work with those who do not have comprehensive insurance to make arrangements for towing, storage and/or disposal of damaged cars; and

• My administration has reached out to several local/regional car dealerships and they have expressed a willingness to work with those negatively affected by last week’s flooding. Their name and contact information is as follows:

o Sudbay Family Automotive
– Kevin Barkhouse, Sales Manager
– 978-283-4730

o Lyon-Waugh Auto Group
– Warren Waugh, Owner/General Manager
– 978-532-8312

o Michaud Auto Group
– Kevin Michaud, Owner, or Zach Michaud, CEO
– 978-774-4040

o Village Auto Group
– Emilio LoCilento, General Sales Manager
– 978-624-4461

We will keep everyone updated as we find out more information, but please contact your insurance company and work with your Councilors and the Mayor’s Office to see how we can best assist.

Thank you,
Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken

Gloucester Introduces Municipal Leadership Training Workshops

Gloucester Introduces Municipal Leadership Training Workshops

Program Custom Designed by Van Loan School at Endicott College’s Center for Leadership

(Gloucester, Mass.) – October 11, 2017Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken announced new training workshops for City of Gloucester employees designed by the Van Loan School at Endicott College’s Center for Leadership, starting first with “Fundamentals of Leadership” training for municipal department managers.

“The citizens of Gloucester deserve accountable and professional city services, so we must empower our staff with meaningful training and education,” said Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “The career development of our city employees remains a top priority and we are proud to partner with Endicott College’s Van Loan School for customized workshops to assist with this growth.”

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Initial training needs were identified between Personnel Director Donna Leete and Center for Leadership Director Richard G. Weissman after a series of surveys and employee insights were collected and analyzed. From there, training modules were proposed and finalized with final sign-off by Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken.

“Endicott College and the Van Loan School are proud to contribute to the Gloucester community, including leadership training programs,” said Weissman, who also heads up the 4,000- square-foot Endicott Gloucester campus in the same building that houses the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve done a lot of work within the community for many years now, but this career development series reflects a special relationship that has proven valuable for both the city and our college alike.”

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Training will be conducted by veteran Endicott College adjunct professor and Center for Leadership instructor, Joseph Tragert. Through the Center for Leadership, Tragert has led management development programs and strategic planning projects for organizations including Minuteman Health, the City of Beverly, Endicott College, Cape Ann TV, and the City of Salem.

Modules focus on dynamics of leadership, effective communication, teamwork, managing conflict, project management, and more.

About the City of Gloucester

America’s oldest seaport, the City of Gloucester is known throughout the world as an authentic, working waterfront community, a place of spectacular natural beauty, and home to a diverse population of about 30,000 residents. An important center for the fishing industry, Gloucester also is proud of its vibrant cultural life and rich art heritage as one of the premier art colonies in the United States. In addition, the city is a destination for thousands of visitors who visit the harbor and its beaches during the summertime. In recent years, Gloucester has been actively diversifying its traditional maritime economy, adding leading small research institutions such as the UMass Amherst Large Pelagics Research Laboratory and the Ocean Alliance to the array of local businesses and state and federal agencies working in the city. Recent advancements in Gloucester include new investments in marine robotics and new product development from the fishery.

MBTA Wi-Fi project, as currently proposed, will not be advanced

MBTA Wi-Fi project, as currently proposed, will not be advanced

Gloucester and Cape Ann Elected Officials Work Together to Communicate Concerns

 BOSTON – The MBTA today notified BAI Communications that it will not approve the company’s current proposed implementation of the Wi-Fi system, under which BAI proposes to install approximately 320 seventy-foot monopoles along the Commuter Rail network’s rights of way.

In a letter to BAI, the MBTA said the proposal is not consistent with the license agreement, and cited concerns among members of the public and among federal and state legislators concerning the project’s impact on historic sites and community character.

“Gloucester is pleased about today’s announcement to halt the installation of Wi-Fi monopoles, especially since we didn’t get the chance to review any plans in advance,” said Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “Thankfully, our administration worked across Cape Ann and the North Shore to share information, review the potential sites, and learn from our citizens what their thoughts were, which triggered a demand for accountability from all involved. We are grateful that our voices were heard by working together across local, state and federal levels.”

The MBTA said the license anticipated a more modest project involving the use of “short monopoles” or “existing light poles” to provide Wi-Fi, with only “excess space” available for lease to third party communication providers. BAI’s current proposal would double the size of every pole (and install an extensive fiber network) for the purpose of creating infrastructure to lease.

The MBTA has invited BAI to submit a new implementation plan that better reflects the more modest project anticipated by the license, on a timeframe that is consistent with the MBTA’s transportation and safety needs.

In light of the MBTA’s action, it is no longer necessary to discuss the Wi-Fi project at the August 14th meeting of the Fiscal and Management Control Board. Therefore, the Board will not be accepting public comment on the project.

PIPING PLOVERS NESTING AT GOOD HARBOR BEACH

PIPING PLOVERS NESTING AT GOOD HARBOR BEACH

The City of Gloucester and Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken will be working closely during the 2017 beach season at Good Harbor Beach with the Essex County Greenbelt Association and the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to manage Piping Plovers if they return again to nest on the beach.
 
“For generations, Gloucester’s citizens have existed in a delicate balance with our coastal ecosystem, from the open ocean, to the rocky shorelines and of course to our beaches,” Mayor Romeo Theken said. “We are committed to making every effort possible to protect nesting Piping Plovers at our beaches but we will do so while maintaining public access to these amazing areas. Please help me and the City by cooperating with any short-term restrictions imposed at our beaches in 2017.”
 
In 2016, Piping Plovers, a small shorebird, were observed nesting for the first time at GHB, and the City acted quickly and responsibly along with Greenbelt and MADFW to protect the birds and their nesting areas. The City is preparing more proactively now for the 2017 beach season.

BACKGROUND:

Piping Plovers are a small shorebird that was placed on the US Endangered Species List in 1986 as a threatened species. Piping Plovers nest directly on the sand at beaches throughout MA, typically on the upper beach just below the outer dune edge. Statewide the Piping Plover population has been increasing over the past 20 years and the population reached about 650 pairs in MA in 2016.
 
In Gloucester in 2016, 4 pairs of Piping Plovers nested at Coffins Beach and fledged 10 young. A single pair of Piping Plovers nested at GHB, hatching 3 chicks but none survived to fledge. The Piping Plovers at GHB nested later than normal in the season which may have contributed to the lack of chick survival. Better early season protections could help eliminate this problem in 2017.
The US Endangered Species Act requires public and private landowners to take necessary measures to protect listed species like Piping Plovers. MA also has guidelines and laws for beach nesting bird management. The city is making every effort to be compliant with all regulatory guidelines.
 
Piping Plovers typically arrive from their southern wintering areas to our local beaches in late March or early April. Males and females quickly form breeding pairs that begin the process of courtship and nest site select throughout April and May. During April and May, it is important to limit disturbance to the birds and their habitats. Chicks can hatch from nests in late May and are immediately mobile and move out of the nest in search of food. As chicks grow older and larger, they will roam from the dunes to the water’s edge in search of food. Chicks are very vulnerable to human disturbance and are susceptible to predators like gulls and foxes.

PLAN OF ACTION FOR 2017:

Gloucester officials have directed City staff to collaborate with Greenbelt and MADFW to development management strategies to protect Piping Plovers found nesting on any Gloucester beaches.
 
  • Beach Scraping – Limiting beach cleaning activities like beach scraping with a tractor and mechanical rake is very important once Piping Plovers arrive at GHB. This could start in April and last though June in certain areas at GHB.
  • Fencing – It is also important to strategically select areas for temporary closure with single strand fencing and signs. These fenced areas allow a refuge for Piping Plovers to begin their nesting season normally in May, before the busy beach season. fences could be installed in April and be in place through June in certain areas at GHB.
  • Monitoring – Regular monitors from Greenbelt, MADFW and theCity will visit GHB in March/April to determine if PipingPlovers are present and to ensure that any nesting Piping Plovers are well protected. Monitoring will continue as long as Piping Plovers are present at the site.
  • Public Access – GHB will remain open to the public during the beach season. Only selected small areas may be closed to the public to protect Piping Plovers. Mayor Theken encourages all beachgoers to respect the closed areas and to consider Piping Plovers as an important part of Gloucester’s rich and healthy coastal ecosystem.
  • Dogs – Unleashed dogs can pose a very real threat to Piping Plover adults and chicks. Dogs owners are responsible for controlling their dogs and may be legally responsible for any adverse impacts to Piping Plovers and their habitats.

For more information, please contact Greenbelt Essex County Trust at dwr@ecga.org or (978) 768-7241 x14

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Gloucester Announces Sunday Night Parking Ban; Schools Closed Monday

Issued by Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken at 2:20PM, Sunday, Feb 12th:

Effective at 6PM tonight, Sunday, February 12th, the city has declared a snow emergency and parking ban on all city streets due to expected heavy sleet, snowfall, and powerful wind gusts. Additionally, Gloucester schools will be closed tomorrow and trash collection will be delayed one day.

Again, starting at 6PM tonight, Sunday February 12th, until 9AM tomorrow, Monday, February 13th, all vehicles are banned from parking on city streets. 

Residents may park in all municipal and school parking lots but must remove their vehicles once the ban has expired at 9AM tomorrow or will be subject to ticketing and towing at the owner’s expense. 

All residents and businesses are reminded that they are responsible for clearing snow from sidewalks adjacent to their property. Please make every effort to shovel out hydrants at or near your homes, and please check on your elderly and disabled. Again, violators of this emergency declaration are subject to ticketing and towing at the owner’s expense.  

Your cooperation during this parking ban is necessary for efficient and safe snow removal efforts.

 To repeat, the City of Gloucester has issued a parking ban on all city streets as of 6PM tonight, Sunday, February 12th, 2017 until 9AM tomorrow, Monday, February 13th, with all vehicles banned from parking on city streets between those hours. Additionally, Gloucester schools will be closed Monday and trash collection will be delayed one day.

Updates will be forthcoming as the storm progresses. Please check the City of Gloucester social media pages or website for further updates at www.gloucester-ma.gov.

Gloucester Civil War Coat Preservation Plan Wins Statewide Recognition, Grant Money

GLOUCESTER, Mass., Feb. 1, 2017 – Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Committee of the Arts Board Member Catherine Ryan announced that Gloucester has been awarded a statewide grant of $6,620 from the Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) to help with conservation and historical education for a Civil War uniform coat.

“I’m proud of our city volunteers, students and residents who came together to help raise awareness of this American artifact that has history to our country and to our local community,” said Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “With this SHRAB grant, as well as Awesome Gloucester and online fundraising monies, the education and heritage will live on for years to come.”

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The SHRAB program is an extension of grants awarded by the Massachusetts Sesquicentennial Commission of the American Civil War with supporting services from the Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin and Massachusetts Archives Department, which features a rigorous and competitive qualifying process. The program reviewed hundreds of applications across the Commonwealth, but the ten-page application overview designed by two young activists, Charles King and George King, was “enthusiastically” selected by Commonwealth Archivist Dr. John Warner and his committee.

Both Charles and George King joined Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Director of Communications and Constituent Services Christopher Sicuranza in late January for a conference call with Archivist Dr. Warner to reveal the grant award, which was the culmination of months of work for advocacy and awareness for the conservation project. In addition to the monies provided by the SHRAB program, Charles and George led efforts across Gloucester to raise awareness through local media and manage fundraisers through online sites and the Awesome Gloucester program.

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Charles and George high-fived upon hearing the approval of their grant proposal from Commonwealth Archivist Dr. Warner in Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken’s office.

Plans to create an innovative and attractive display case are currently being developed, but a special emphasis on mobility was factored into the funding request so that the artifact can be easily transported to other museums, including the aim of bringing the feature at a Smithsonian National Museum as part of a regional or national ambassador program.

About Civil War Coat

Over 80 years ago, the Civil War coat was installed in the then new Gloucester High School through Albert W. Bacheler who fought in the Civil War and later served as principal of Gloucester High from in 1884-1914, using the coat in his lessons. Years later, a former student , noted businessman and philanthropist, Roger Babson, donated an enshrinement memorial at the school to help preserve the coat, but over the years the coat’s condition became fragile. One parent, Kim Minnaugh, asked Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken to assist with recovery efforts, which gained assistance, support and financing through various offices including Chief Administrative Officer Jim Destino, City Archivist Sarah Dunlop, Veterans Affairs Director Adam Curcuru, Sawyer Free Library Assistant Valerie Marino, Catherine Ryan and The Committee for the Arts, Massachusetts Historical Commission Director of Preservation Planning Michael Steinitz, Superintendent Dr. Richard Safier, Principal Cook Gloucester High School, and Allison Cousins and Principal Lucey at O’Maley Innovation Middle School.