Monthly Archives: March 2014

Nominations for 2014 Gloucester Citizenship Awards

It’s time to nominate your favorite local volunteer or do-gooder for a Gloucester Citizenship Award! Joey Ciaramitaro is a past winner. Attached is a photo of the 2013 winners – how many of them can you name?

The Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church is inviting nominations from the public for its 2014 Gloucester Citizenship Awards. The church annually seeks to recognize up to 10 individuals for contributions they voluntarily make to Gloucester, without thought of remuneration or recognition.

The people who receive these honors will come from all walks of life. Some are known for simple deeds they do for their neighbors. Others are honored for giving generously to the entire community. All will be people who have worked persistently and quietly to make a mark on Gloucester. They will be chosen because their actions embody the best of the spirit that guides Unitarian Universalism – open-hearted giving to others, solely for what those gifts mean, for no pay, and often with little or no public notice. From young to old, there are no age limits. Nominees need not be citizens of the United States.

Nominations are due no later than Friday, April 4. They must be in writing and include the name and address of the nominee, why this person should be honored, and the name and contact information of the person making the nomination. Nominations may be mailed to the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, 10 Church St., Gloucester MA 01930, or emailed to Final choices will be made by the church’s Social Justice Committee. The awards will be made at a public event at the church on Sunday, May 4.

Matthew a Green Photo


The Writer’s Book Club at Duckworth’s Presents “The Things They Carried”

Very much looking forward to this Writer’s Book Club event, presented by Eastern Point Lit House and Duckworth’s Bistrot! Chris Anderson, one of my favorite people and a GMG FOB, is going to be leading the event. This promises to be a great discussion, made especially enjoyable as it will be held at the always warm and welcoming Duckworth’s restaurant, accompanied by the sublime Ken Duckworth viands!! I hope to see you there!

Chris writes:

Hi Kim!

Glad you’re back. But with this snow, I bet you wish you were still in Mexico;
Can you help spread the word about these upcoming EPLH events? I’d really appreciate it. The reading this Sunday is going to be great–Joseph Riippi is a wonderful writer and person. And I’ll be leading the book club at Duckworth’s. We’re doing Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, a modern classic, and one of my favorite books (I was lucky enough to attend workshops/hang with Tim in grad school back in Texas). I can’t wait!

Hope this finds you well (and warm).

Thank you!


Representative Ferrante Joins Committee Chairs to Lobby for More Funding

Representative Ferrante Joins Committee Chairs to Lobby for More Funding

State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante lobbied alongside Representative Cory Atkins and Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives, the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, for more funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. The delegation was joined by Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council; Ann Marie Casey, Executive Director of the North of Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Betsy Wall, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

“Cape Ann is a perfect example of how strong support for the arts, culture, and tourism is a driver for local economics. Cape Ann is home to four cultural districts – Gloucester’s Rocky Neck Cultural District, Gloucester Harbortown Cultural District, the Rockport Cultural District, and the Essex River Cultural District. Without the support we received from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, the significant distinction as a cultural district may not have been possible. It is increasingly important to maintain state investment to keep tourism and cultural development of our cities and towns thriving to help grow our local economy” said Ferrante.

In fiscal year 2012, tourism generated $17.7 billion in direct spending as well as $1.1 billion in state and local taxes, making it the third largest industry in Massachusetts. Tourism supports nearly 126,500 jobs for Massachusetts residents, which pay $3.7 billion in wages. The arts and culture industry employs 16,700 full-time and part-time workers and 14,000 independent contractors generating $32 million in payroll taxes. In addition, $1 billion is generated through direct spending on goods and services while $138 million is generated by individual contributions from Massachusetts and beyond.

On average, every $140,283 spent in Massachusetts by domestic and international travelers generated one job in 2012. Without these jobs generated by travel, Massachusetts’s 2012 unemployment rate of 6.7 percent would have been 3.6 percentage points higher, increasing it to 10.4 percent.

On Cape Ann we have witnessed the benefits of our cultural and tourism assets such as The Rocky Neck Cultural Center, the Shalin Liu Performance Center, Cape Ann Museum and Gloucester Stage, which have all been recipients of Cultural Facilities Funding.

Today Representative Ferrante will vote to recognize The Cultural Facilities Fund in the hopes of providing more local aid to our cultural assets such as Gloucester City Hall.


Allen Estes welcomes Parker Wheeler & Amadee Castenell on Local Music Seen this week

Catch Parker Wheeler & Amadee Castenell on “Local Music Seen with Allen Estes” starting tonight at 6:30 on Cape Ann TV channel 12.  These two produce more energy than most full bands and when Allen joins in, it’s a hot antidote to the cold outside.

Parker Wheeler (on harmonica) with Amadee Castenell on Sax.  Guess who's on guitar?

Parker Wheeler (on harmonica) with Amadee Castenell on Sax. Guess who’s on guitar?

If you miss tonight, you can see the show again on Friday at 1:30pm and Sunday at 6pm (see Cape Ann TV Schedule here)

You can see Parker at the Grog every Sunday and you can see Amadee live with Henri Smith and Charles Neville on Friday night and Sunday afternoon just down the road at The Larcom Theatre.  Get Friday tickets here and Sunday tickets here.

Oops, did you miss Mardi Gras? This year you’ve got a 2nd chance

Soooo …. you’re dealing with snow again today and you suddenly realize that Mardi Gras came and went yesterday without much thought on your part — you didn’t even go down to Lat 43 to support the YMCA Teens’ Service Learning Trips coming up this spring — yes, spring — I know you can’t even imagine spring, but it will come.  Trust me.

YMCA Teens at Larcom

Rick Doucette with the Y teens on the Larcom Theatre stage with Charles Neville, Amadee Castenell, Henri Smith and his band after last year’s Mardi Gras concert.

Don’t dispair.  You’ve got another chance to celebrate Mardi Gras AND support the YMCA Teens this Friday at the Larcom Theatre with Henri Smith and Charles Neville (of the Neville Brothers).  Melissa Cox will be there hosting a 50/50 raffle to support the Y Teens.  Get your concert tickets here and your raffle tickets at the theatre.  The music will be HOT.  The dancing even hotter — and you can contribute to a good cause, making you feel just great about having a good time!

Joey C. and Mark Wahlberg separated at birth?

If you’re like me, you may have found yourself wondering, “What do Joey C. and Mark Wahlberg have in common?” on more than one occasion.

Fear not, I have done a bit of research for you.

Well, for starters, they’re both in their 40s, their first names both consist of four letters, and their last names are both easy to misspell.  But that is rookie stuff.

Joey is from Gloucester.  Mark really loves Gloucester and spent time here filming the Perfect Storm….which Joey has seen!

Uncanny, right.  But it doesn’t end there.

Mark’s brother was in The New Kids on the Block and Joey auditioned for The New Kids on the Block (I may have that part wrong…)

Mark was an underwear model for Calvin Klein….and Joey. Wears. Underwear.

I know what you’re thinking.  It’s almost like they were separated at birth.

Mark made his big screen debut in the film Renaissance Man done by Penny Marshall.  Joey once had a crush on Penny Marshall’s character Laverne from Laverne and Shirley.  (That’s what I heard anyway).

According to our most recent Podcast, Joey would order a burger over

“Dog Shit, Seagull Shit, Crap on a Shingle, and Corned Beef and Cabbage”

and Mark owns the burger joint Wahlburgers along with his two brothers.

Joey has been to the new shopping mecca MarketStreet in Lynnfield (although was deterred by the long lines) and rumor has it that Wahlburgers will be opening there soon.  (which may or may not be the real point of this post).

And then there’s the little 3rd nipple thing.  Which, until yesterday, they both had.

So, if Wahlburgers is indeed opening in at MarketStreet, would you go?  I think I might.

Wahlburgers Burger Joint

Wahlburgers Burger Joint

Click here to check out Wahlburgers

March Always Brings Me Back To My Childhood

PrintMarch always brings me back to my childhood. Always.

me baby photo

 Some of my most cherished memories growing up are from times spent with family and friends celebrating the Feast of St. Josephs at Great Uncle Mike and Aunt Vinci Militello’s home on School Street here in Gloucester.

 For as far back as I can remember…. March 11-19th was spent in their home honoring St Joseph with traditional song and prayer.  All recited in Sicilian.  My aunt and uncle’s home altar was one of many set up throughout the city.  Dozens of families shared this 9-day tradition honoring St. Joseph. 

  Twenty five years ago…. there were over 30 families…. who constructed religious altars within their homes, in and around central Gloucester. Each home was open to family, friends, and neighbors who wanted to participate in the 9-day devotion honoring St. Joseph. Women and children gathered and prayed for a special intention every afternoon and or evening around the handcrafted altars.

Each altar was uniquely draped in silk fabrics, Italian lace, and fragrant fresh flowers, which were replaced routinely throughout the Novena.

St Joseph trick or treat (32) St Joseph trick or treat (44) St Joseph trick or treat (56)

 The shrines were brightly lit from the glow of vigil candles. These vigil candles were lit by guests who were praying  for a special intention.  The construction and setup of each family altar, was, and still is a monumental event, marking the years kickoff to St. Joseph’s Feasts and all its festivities.  The process of washing the saints, selecting a theme color, making adjustments to the altars design to accommodate new statues, and setting up the home to accommodate large crowds of people, remains a special hosting family tradition today. 

St Joseph trick or treat (55) St Joseph trick or treat (66)

 Years ago, most every Sicilian family living in Gloucester celebrated St. Joseph’s Day like it was Christmas.  On March 19th, many adults stayed home from work and most Sicilian children were allowed to stay home from school to celebrate the feast with family and friends. Over the years, the numbers of family altars, in and around Gloucester, have sadly dwindled down to a mere dozen.

After the death of my Uncle Mike, Aunt Vinci continued to host the family altar for a few more years.  But it simply wasn’t the same without Uncle Mike’s presence.  Eventually my cousins stowed away Uncle Mike and Aunt Vinci’s treasured statues, saints, and angels in vetrina Cabinets, in the living room, where they remained until last year.

 I spent years quietly reciting the St. Joseph rosary by myself from March 11-19th.   Then, one year, my dear friend Rosalie Orlando extended an invitation to me to join her family at their altar on Prospect Street. Thrilled and honored to participate once again, in a true customary way, I joined their family with my daughter Amanda and son BJ in tow.  Filled with emotions I sat next to Zina Saputo, Rosalie’s aunt, who took me and my daughter under her wing and guided us nightly, through the prayer service, clarifying pronunciations as needed. Within days my kids were humming the songs on our morning drives to school, and I felt a sense of peace knowing my children were experiencing this amazing tradition that has always been dear to my heart.

rosary beads

Last year… after 6 nights of the same vivid dream of a red and white altar….I called my  Militello cousins and shared the details of my vivid altar dream. With only (5) saints of my own on hand, my husband Barry constructed my *vision* in our living room the very next day! My cousin, Eleanor, packed up Uncle Mike and Aunt Vincie’s treasured altar valuables and gifted them to me. Last year my family and I hosted our families St Joseph Altar after twenty years in retirement. It was truly an inspirational and spiritual event.


My hope for this year, is that people (like me), who once faithfully celebrated this deep rooted Sicilian tradition growing up (and have longed to have it back in their life), find their way to our family’s altar with their special intentions, and participate in the nine day St. Joseph Novena with us.

st joseph 2013 003

This past Monday evening I posted a list of questions on Facebook: Did you grow up celebrating the Feast of St Joseph during the month of March? Do you still celebrate St. Joseph’s Day? How many years ago did you or your families stop celebrating? Are you longing to expose your children to this Sicilian tradition you were raised with?

Peter Favazza responded to my Facebook post with this share ~  I have not done a 10 day novena for St. Joseph since I moved away to Las Vegas my grandmother in Gloucester down the FORT Giovannini &Tom Misuraca celebrated St. Josephs day for 50 years to this to this day I collect Saints and statues and celebrate in my own way when the going gets tough it works every time

Photo below provided by Peter Favazza

peter Favazza st joseph photo

Gina Parisi Wingerter shares her thoughts and photo~Felicia I have the best memories at my beautiful aunts home celebrating St. Joseph’s day.

gina parisi st joe altar

Viva San Giuseppe! Luv this pic of my beautiful aunt who hosted our
family’s celebration for decades! We are carrying on with our own tribute
tonight. When I was asked for the documentary what this day meant to me…,I
answered with one word “commitment”. We will never forget or take our
blessings for granted. Happy St. Joseph’s Day!!

Sista Felicia~ Thank you for sharing  Gina, What a beautiful photo of your aunt and her altar!

What are your fondest Feast of St. Joseph memories or stories? Please share your story and photo. I know we all would benefit from hearing these traditional stories during this time of year !

Photos From Last nights Holy Family Parish Guild Meeting


st ann holy family parish guild 2014 020

Last night I was invited to speak about my personal journey of writing my first cookbook “Gifts Of Gold In A Sicilian Kitchen With Sista Felicia, Harvest”  with the members of the Holy Family Parish guild’s monthly meeting. What a fun we had!  Thank you ladies for inviting me. It was a pleasure talking about old recipes, and my families altar for the upcoming Feast of St. Joseph with you all!

st ann holy family parish guild 2014 001 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 002 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 003 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 004 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 005 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 006 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 007 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 008 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 009 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 010 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 011 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 012 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 013 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 014  st ann holy family parish guild 2014 016 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 017 st ann holy family parish guild 2014 018

Wednesday March 5th 2014 Hump Day Cape Ann Forecast …

Marine Forecast …
Wed: N winds 10 to 15 kt with gusts up to 20 kt. Seas 3 to 5 ft. A chance of snow showers.

Wed Night: N winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 4 to 7 ft. Light freezing spray. A chance of snow showers.

Hey Happy “Hump Day” folks .. Snow showers or flurries in the morning with light northerly to northeasterly winds 5-10mph .. High around 30 .. Tonight snow showers / flurries end in the evening hours . Lows in the 20’s shore teens interior …
Thursday mostly sunny highs 25-33 degrees . Coolest interior . Light winds 10-15mph.. Thursday night partly cloudy lows around 25..

Today snow showers or flurries are caused by onshore fetch of northerly and northeasterly winds ..water temps in the 30’s with highs in the 20’s to lower 30’s cause a mix of warm and cold temps off Atlantic Ocean in return gives us the light snows . How ever one thing that’s bugging me is that the the forcing for ascent is pretty weak and instability isn’t all that great either . But given past Experience and looking over past history data , I can’t rule out 2-3″ of ocean effect snows if all comes into exact formation … Otherwise it’s just nuisance values . So I’ll be keeping an eye to see if any banding develops .. Certainly worth watching as these can creep up on us with little or no warning at all..
Extended look ahead 40’s return late week , with a few storm chances late next week . One which could be snow . But that’s way way off for now ! Have a great day .. Thanks again for viewing 🙂
Peter Lovasco




Cape Ann Farmer’s Market March Madness Market

Due to popular demand, the Cape Ann Farmers Market is adding the March Madness market on March 15th. It will be held downstairs at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, at the corner of Middle & Church Streets, from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. The market is open to the public, and will feature produce from Farmer Dave’s, Alprilla, Mehaffey, and Seaview Farms. Markouk Bread, Tatiana’s, and Swiss Bakers will have baked goods. Other vendors include Sasquatch smoked fish, The Herb Farmacy, Trupiano sausage, Patti’s Guacamole, Valencienti Organico Pasta, Maitland pickles, and much more. Tickets for the popular Dinner and a Movie Fundraiser in April, with special membership packages, will be available. For more information, go to, or call 978-290-2717.