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.

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Gloucester Awarded $97,500 State Grant for Pump Stations Floodproofing Redesign Retrofit

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.2 Million for Coastal Communities to Prepare for Climate Change 

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced more than $2.2 million in funding to support local efforts to increase community preparedness and resilience to coastal storm and climate change impacts, including storm surges, flooding, erosion, and rising sea levels. These grants, provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), are being awarded to Dennis, Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc., Eastham, Essex, Falmouth, Gloucester, Kingston, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Northeastern University, Salem, Scituate, Wareham, Weymouth and Winthrop. Fifty-one resilience projects have been completed under the Baker-Polito Administration with an investment of over $6.8 million for these projects.

“Protecting and preparing Massachusetts’ extensive residential and commercial developments, port facilities, habitats and natural resources from changing climate conditions along our coast is a priority for our administration,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are committed to addressing these challenges and pleased to provide more than $2 million to coastal communities to adapt and prepare for future storms.”

“Massachusetts is home to 78 coastal communities with unique economic assets that drive sustainable growth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, who also serves as Chair of the Seaport Economic Council. “Today’s grants will help more than a dozen communities from Cape Cod to the North Shore and the South Coast better protect the assets that help drive their local communities.”

The funding continues the commitment of the Baker-Polito Administration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities, and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth. Earlier this year, the Administration awarded over $1 million in grant funding and designation status has been awarded to 71 towns and cities across the Commonwealth to provide communities with technical support, climate change data and planning tools to identify hazards and develop strategies to improve resilience.

“The Commonwealth’s coastal communities are leading by example to proactively integrate climate change projections in planning, infrastructure improvements and the stabilization of natural coastal buffers like salt marsh and barrier beaches,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Through these grants, we are helping to enable communities to become more resilient to coastal storms and sea level rise over time.”

CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program provides financial and technical support for innovative local efforts to increase awareness and understanding of climate impacts, plan for changing conditions, redesign vulnerable community facilities and infrastructure and implement nonstructural measures to increase natural storm damage protection, flood and erosion control and community resilience. Grants can be used for planning, public outreach and feasibility assessment and analysis of shoreline vulnerability, as well as for design, permitting, construction and monitoring of projects that enhance or create natural resources to provide increased shoreline stabilization and flood control.

“Gloucester joins our local, state, regional and global leaders to make our communities more resilient to the effects of climate change,” said Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “All of us will suffer the costs if we don’t act, both in our budgets and in our homes which will be lost. While these coastal resilience grants will help communities like Gloucester endure future storm events and minimize public health and environmental risks due to climate change, we cannot solve these issues alone and remain grateful for the support from the Baker-Polito administration in navigating solutions both short term and long.”

“Through the Coastal Resilience Grant Program, CZM actively works with communities and other partners to develop effective strategies to address shoreline erosion, flooding and climate change issues,” said CZM Director Bruce Carlisle. “We recognize the tremendous efforts and commitment at the local level needed to complete these projects, and we look forward to sharing project results with other coastal communities experiencing similar issues.”

Gloucester – $97,500

  • Project: Gloucester Pump Stations – Floodproofing Redesign and Retrofit
  • Description: The City of Gloucester will design and prepare bid specifications for infrastructure improvements at five of its most vulnerable pump stations. The floodproofing measures will be designed to protect the long-term function of the pump stations from anticipated sea level rise impacts.

The Massachusetts Office Coastal Zone Management is the lead policy and planning agency on coastal and ocean issues within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Through planning, technical and grant assistance and public information programs, CZM seeks to balance the impacts of human activity with the protection of coastal and marine resources. The agency’s work includes helping coastal communities address the challenges of storms, sea level rise and other effects of climate change; working with state, regional and federal partners to balance current and new uses of ocean waters while protecting ocean habitats and promoting sustainable economic development; and partnering with communities and other organizations to protect and restore coastal water quality and habitats.

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Gloucester Traffic, Beach Info & Events: Weekend of June 9 – June 11, 2017

The City of Gloucester through Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Gloucester Police Department want to remind the public about expected TRAFFIC this weekend (June 9 to June 11) due to good weather driving beach visitors and other events/festivals that may cause some back-up. Please plan accordingly, with special highlights provided below:

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Gloucester Traffic, Beach Info & Events: Weekend of June 9 June 11, 2017

WEEKEND WEATHER – JUNE 9 – 11

WEEKEND TRAFFIC: HEAVY TRAFFIC EXPECTED (POLICE DETAILS WILL BE AT ALL BEACHES)

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Expect heavy traffic all weekend between 9AM11AM at:

  • Eastern Ave
  • Thatcher Road
  • Concord Street
  • Atlantic Street

Police Details will be at all beaches

WEEKEND EVENTS: MAY CAUSE TRAFFIC DISRUPTIONS

Events – Saturday, June 10, 2017

 

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New England Beach Soccer Tournament 2017

Sat, June 10, 8:30AM – 4PM at Good Harbor Beach

More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1767071370184433/


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Cape Ann Animal Aid Dog Reunion

Sat, June 10, 11AM – 3PM at Stage Fort Park

More info: http://www.capeannanimalaid.org/events/2017/reunion/dogs.htm


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Strawberry Festival

Sat, June 10, 11AM – 4PM at Cape Ann Marina/Mile Marker

NO PARKING ON ESSEX AVE/STATE HIGHWAY!

More info: https://capeannmarina.com/event/strawberry-festival/


Events – Sunday, June 11, 2017

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D.E.S. Portuguese Club Crowning on Trinity Sunday

Sun, June 11, 11AM – 2PM Portuguese Hill Area

More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/136690940215049/


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Gloucester High School Graduation Ceremony

Sun, June 11, 1:30PM – 3:30PM– Newell Stadium

More info: http://ghs.gloucesterschools.com/


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Gloucester Firefighters Memorial Service

Sun, June 11, 9AM – Cherry Hill Cemetery

(procession from Poplar St)

More info: https://jgpr.net/?wysija-page=1&controller=email&action=view&email_id=4169

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City Officials & Partners Unveil Gloucester Green Thursday 12 Noon at City Hall

CITY OFFICIALS AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS UNVEIL GLOUCESTER GREEN

 Mayoral Initiative Helps Highlight Ways to Save Energy and Save Money, Including No-Cost Mass Save Home Energy Assessments

(Gloucester, Mass.) April 26, 2017 – The Mayor is pleased to announce the launch of Gloucester Green, a new initiative aimed to help residents save money, save energy, and reduce the community’s carbon footprint.  Gloucester Green includes a partnership with National Grid to encourage residents to sign up for a no-cost Home Energy Assessment through Mass Save.  Signing up is the first step for residents to qualify for rebates and incentives that will make their homes more comfortable while saving energy and money.

“I’m thrilled to launch Gloucester Green but I’m even more excited for Gloucester’s future,” said Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “I’m very proud of our team who all worked together to help launch this important initiative. We’ve achieved so much as a City, including wind turbines, electric vehicles and charging stations, LED street lights, all helping our residents save energy and save money which we can all support. Gloucester Green is another great milestone in our eco-friendly success story!”

Gloucester Green is a consortium of community and City partners, including the Mayor’s Office, the Community Development Department, the Clean Energy Commission and the local non-profit TownGreen 2025.  All have joined together to better promote opportunities for Gloucester citizens to become greener and save money, including encouraging residents to sign up for the Mass Save Home Energy Assessment.

During the Mass Save Home Energy Assessment, an energy specialist will do a complete checkup of the home and not only recommend ways that residents can use less energy, but install some measures on the spot at no cost that will immediately help them start saving.  In addition, the energy specialist will review with the homeowner additional measures that can be funded with rebates and incentives offered by Mass Save.

 

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Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken finishes her no-cost home energy assessment and is smiling large

 

Earlier this week, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken completed her own Home Energy Assessment.  “The energy specialist who performed my assessment was very knowledgeable and professional,” said the Mayor.  “I learned a lot about the ways to save money and improve my home, and I encourage every resident of Gloucester to follow my lead and sign up for your no-cost assessment.”

Gloucester Green includes a partnership with National Grid, and together they have set a goal to complete 1,400 assessments in 2017.  National Grid has provided the Gloucester Green team funding to aid in public outreach and has pledged an additional grant reward of $41,000 if Gloucester reaches its goal.  “We’re excited to work with National Grid to bring Glouresidents’beneficial services that not only will help us reach our energy savings goals, but could help us earn additional funding,” says Chris Sicuranza, Director of Communications.

Gloucester Green will officially be unveiled this Thursday at noon at City Hall with Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, community leaders and city officials.  All are welcome to join.

The Gloucester Green team and Mass Save will also be available at Saturday’s 2017 Cape Ann Sustainability Fair to help residents sign up for the Home Energy Assessment.

Residents can look forward to more information throughout the year to save energy in their homes and help make Gloucester a greener community.  Residents are encouraged to sign up for a no-cost Home Energy Assessment today by going to masssave.com or calling 1-866-527-SAVE (7283).

The unveiling of Gloucester Green comes on the heels of recent achievements in reducing the carbon footprint of City facilities.  This past year, the City reached its Green Communities goal to reduce energy consumption by 20% of 2009 levels, which results in a 35% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.  In August of 2016 Environment Massachusetts recognized Gloucester as one of 18 communities leading the way in the state in sustainability, renewable energy, and energy conservation.   In December 2016 Mr. Coogan, Senior Planner and Clean Energy Manager for the City, received a Leading by Example award from the Baker-Polito Administration for his outstanding efforts to implement policies and programs that have led to significant and measurable environmental and energy benefits for Gloucester.  Gloucester Green is an effort to continue the City’s commitment to environmental stewardship by reaching out to help residents save energy and save money.

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About City of Gloucester:

Under the leadership of Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Gloucester Massachusetts is home to America’s oldest seaport and art colony, the rich cultural history of Gloucester is bound to spark your interest. With dozens of museums and historical sites across the community from Rocky Neck to Lanesville, people can learn how ships are made, see how people lived 300 years ago and visit memorials to fishermen and their families.

About National Grid:

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain. Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st-century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities’ long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization). For more information, please visit our website or our Connecting website, follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, friend us on Facebook.

 

Gloucester Snow Emergency Declared: Parking Ban Starts at 10AM 3/14, Schools Closed

The City of Gloucester has declared a snow emergency and parking ban on all city streets due to an upcoming severe snow storm. All city buildings including City Hall, library and schools will be closed on Tuesday, March 14th, with regular city hours planned for Wednesday, March 15th (weather permitting). Please see full parking ban timing, warming shelter updates and complete details below:

PARKING BAN: 
Effective at 10:00 AM tomorrow, Tuesday, March 14th, until 7:00 AM Wednesday, March 15th all vehicles are banned from parking on city streets. Residents may park in all municipal and school parking lots. Please remove all vehicles from municipal and school parking lots before the parking ban expires at 7:00 AM Wednesday. School parking lots will be the first areas to be ticketed and towed once parking ban has concluded.Violators of this emergency declaration will be at the owner’s expense.

TRASH & RECYCLE PICKUP DELAY:
Trash and recycling will NOT be picked up Tuesday and will resume Wednesday on a holiday schedule (one day delay).

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

NEIGHBOR SAFETY CHECK:
Please check on your elderly and disabled neighbors, especially if there is a loss of power. Various warming and safe shelters will be announced and updated for anyone in need, and seen below.

POWER OUTAGES:
National Grid is preparing for a Nor’easter which could bring blizzard-like conditions to our area, including high winds and approximately 1-2 feet of heavy, wet snow. National Grid reminds customers to keep safety a priority. It is a good idea to ensure cell phones and electronic devices are charged so that you can stay connected during the storm. To report an outage or see a map of outages currently reported, please visit: https://www1.nationalgridus.com/ReportOrCheckOutage-MA-RES or call: 800-465-1212

WARMING CENTER UPDATES: 
Warming centers are locations where the public can congregate during daytime hours to remain warm through severe winter events. They often use existing staff at locations that are otherwise open, but all groups are committed to Gloucester in providing a coordinated multi-agency response for the community’s needs.

  • Action Inc: Given the impending snowstorm, Action, Inc. has made arrangements for the Emergency Shelter (located at 370 Main St. in Gloucester) to be OPEN on Tuesday, March 14. Meals will be served.  Staff can help any questions and can be reached at Main Phone: 978-282-1000 or via Email: mlezynski@actioninc.orgOpen Door will be supplying food for Action shelter.
  • Gloucester Housing Authority / Rose Baker Senior Center: The Gloucester Housing Authority office will be CLOSED on Tuesday, March 14 due to the storm. Residents are advised to remain indoors until after the storm has subsided. In the event of a maintenance emergency in one of our buildings, please call (978) 283-4435. GHA Operations Director Cliff O’Neill and Executive Director David Houlden can be reached via this number in the event of an emergency.

    Maintenance crews will work to keep emergency access routes open during the storm, but will not clear remaining walkways and parking areas until after the snow has subsided. Common areas of the Sheedy & Clark Buildings are powered by generators during a power outage. The generator at McPherson Park powers the elevators and hallway lighting.

  • The Grace Center: The Grace Center will be CLOSED on Tuesday, March 14. Their emergency team is available to respond and can be reached at Phone: 978-675-6240
  • The Open Door: The Open Door programs, including Second Glance, will be CLOSED on Tuesday, March 14. Our emergency team is available to respond to open the building if a larger community emergency should arise. Open Door will be supplying food for Action shelter.

City of Gloucester Closed Thursday for Snow Emergency

Tomorrow, Thursday, February 9th the City of Gloucester and all public buildings including City Hall and schools will be closed. Effective at 8:00 AM tomorrow, Thursday, February 9th, the city has declared a snow emergency and parking ban on all city streets due to an upcoming severe snow storm.

From 8:00 AM tomorrow, Thursday, February 9th, until 7:00 AM Friday, February 10th all vehicles are banned from parking on city streets.

Residents may park in all municipal and school parking lots.

Please remove all vehicles from municipal and school parking lots before the parking ban expires at 7:00 AM Friday. School parking lots will be the first areas to be ticketed and towed once parking ban has concluded. Violators of this emergency declaration will be at the owner’s expense. Your cooperation during this parking ban is necessary for efficient and safe snow removal efforts.

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. All city buildings will be closed on Thursday, February 9th with regular hours planned for Friday, February 10th weather permitting.

To repeat, the City of Gloucester will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, February 9th, with a parking ban issued on all city streets as of 8:00 AM tomorrow, Thursday, February 9th, 2017. The ban shall be in effect until 7:00 AM, Friday, February 10th

Updates will be forthcoming as the storm progresses. Please check the City of Gloucester website and social media for further updates atwww.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.