Monthly Archives: May 2015

An Easy Way to Save Money in Your Home, Plus More Homeowner Advice from the Advisor of the Month

This month’s energy saving tips from Next Step Living Energy Advisor of The Month, Tim Slater, who has been saving people all over Cape Ann a ton of money by replacing a ton of free lightbulbs, power strips, electronic thermostats that will turn down the heat at night or while you’re at work automatically, and efficient showerheads.

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Returning to his New England roots, Tim Slater, Advisor of the Month is likely one of the most well-rounded home energy advisors at Next Step Living. Starting his career off in the fine arts as a photographer, he then found his way to insulation work after moving halfway across the country, returning to Massachusetts nearly four years ago to work at Next Step Living. He shares his observations about homeowners, plus how to prepare for warmer weather.

How did you get started at Next Step Living?
I’ve been here three and a half years. My friend was working for Next Step Living, and when I moved back from Las Vegas applying for a home energy advisor position built upon the skills I’d learned there while working at an insulation company. I like being out in the field and not being stuck in one place. That was a bonus for me.

I actually have my bachelor’s in fine arts and photography, but I’ve always done construction in high school and college. Photography is still fun for me on the side, but I prefer it as a hobby. Being a home energy advisor is my full-time commitment.

What’s your favorite thing about being a home energy advisor?
How happy customers are after I leave. It’s cheesy, but I like making them happy. I get to swap out light bulbs and show them how much they can save on their heating costs, and I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone be angry with me when I leave. Everyone wants to save money, and I can help them do that.

What’s the No. 1 thing you’ve learned during your time as a home energy advisor?
After this winter, people are most interested in saving money and being more comfortable. And there’s one way to do that: insulation. I’ve been in thousands of homes, and I would say the large majority of them don’t quite realize that they need more insulation in their homes. There are some that have very little, and they think that’s sufficient. So I like to educate them on the proper R-value needed to really keep warm.

Insulation truly is a year-round issue. It has no specific season, and it’s likely the biggest thing you should have checked in your home to be more comfortable, and to save money.

What are some other things homeowners can do to prepare for warmer weather now that the sun’s finally out?
Before you turn on your air conditioner, get the compressors looked at by an expert to make sure that your air conditioner is working properly, and that it’s working efficiently, too. Think of it the same way you would with your furnace in the winter. It’s a much costlier fix, and much more misery, too, if you have to get it fixed in the dog days of summer rather than when it’s more mild weather.

How do you assess a home?
I like to explain to the homeowner as I’m going through their home what I’m finding. I’ll try to encourage them to follow along with me, which some do, or if they wander off, I’ll check in with them periodically. First, I’ll check the heat and hot water to make sure everything is safe and working efficiently. Then I’ll go up to the attic and look at the crawl spaces, then their windows and then I’ll swap out their light bulbs if needed for more efficient CFLs or LEDs. I like to keep the homeowner in the loop the whole time I’m completing a home energy assessment rather than bombard them at the end with a lot of information.

I always sit down and talk to the homeowners first and find out their problem areas. It makes them feel more comfortable and at ease with me going through their home.

How has your role evolved since you’ve started at Next Step Living?
I became a Senior Home Energy Advisor at the end of last year, and this past month, became a HEA Coach, so I’m now a field trainer for other advisors, which is great. I love people, and I enjoy teaching the new advisors how to do a home energy assessment and how to give the customer the best experience possible. I’ve trained many advisors here, some of which have become close friends, and it’s gratifying to see them do so well, too.

By the way the lightbulbs that they give you are not the ugly squiggly ones, they look just like the ones in your house only they use 10 watts instead of 65 or 100.

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Breaking News from Carol Thistle

Carol Thistle, Senior Project Manager for the Tourism Commission, reports that fully one third of revenue collected from the hotel and motel tax will go toward promoting tourism. Carol broke the news at the joint spring meeting of Gloucester’s Harbortown and Rocky Neck Cultural Districts held Tuesday night at the North Shore Art Association.Carol Thistle Gloucester MA ©Kim Smith 2015

Goetemann Artist Resident Talk tonight at 7PM: Yuko Oda

Please join us this tonight at the Cultural Center, 6 Wonson St, Gloucester, MA at 7PM for our first Goetemann Artist Resident Talk. We will be welcoming Yuko Oda from Brooklyn, NY for her month long stay on Rocky Neck. The informal talk is open to all, and light refreshments will be served.

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Artists Statement:

My inspiration stems from observations of natural life forms and processes. Organisms like flowers and birds have forms and functions familiar yet foreign to us. At a glance, they may seem simple and go unnoticed, but a little curiosity and observation reveals a universe of complex, intelligent systems. The wonder and reverence I feel in this study is what drives my work, and the results take various directions, from paintings to digital sculpture and animations.

In my practice, I bring forth the life force of a living form by abstracting and transforming its elements. A delicate flower may explode like a bomb, or become a planet in a galaxy. A massive golden butterfly flock departs from a dark landscape, and colorful hummingbirds escape from an apocalyptic explosion. At times ephemeral and celestial, at others haunting, I explore energetic contrasts and mystical symbolisms in my work.
yukooda.com

Cape Ann Fishermunn Special Olympics Track Team Sweep the Regionals For the Gold

Cape Ann Fishermunn Special Olympics Track and Field Team

Cape Ann Fishermunn Special Olympics Track and Field Team

Last Sunday, May 17, 2015, Anna and I took our son Yianni to the Special Olympics Track and Field Summer Games at Milton Academy. The is the Cape Ann Fishermunn’s first year so we weren’t sure what to expect. In order to qualify to move on to the state competition an athlete must win at least one gold medal in an event. I was very excited and nervous as this was my first time at an event. The coaches and other parents were all talking about how the Special Olympics had changed in recent years and become more competitive. I guess all of us were nervous, except for the athletes. They were having a blast and enjoying the perfect sunny day, which is how it’s supposed to be. I love these Special Needs folks. They remind me to just relax and enjoy the day!

The day was mostly spent waiting for our turn to compete. The organizers did an amazing job with complex logistics. Our coaches, Shawn Williamson, Kathy Verga and Nicole Tucker, scattered across the field coaching athletes for their events and then coming back to our little home base to report the results.

In the end we, not only had nothing to be worried about, the team swept the field with medal. I am happy to report that All of our athletes took at least one gold medal, so we are all going to the State Special Olympic Games!! Out of 13 athletes competing in 34 events we brought home 23 Gold medals, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze and 7 ribbons!

We are ALL going to the Special Olympic Track and Field States at Harvard University...WaaHoo!!

We’d like to thank the GMG FOBs for coming out to the fundraisers at Passports. Thanks to Eric Lorden for having “TWO” fundraisers for us!

Pan of the Opening Ceremonies

Yianni takes the Gold in the 50 meter dash

Marcia & Kristen share a win for the Gold

You can be on James Montgomery’s new CD

James Montgomery in Boston Herald interview

Tomorrow (5/21), you can be in the audience when the James Montgomery Band records a new live CD right down the road at Beverly’s Larcom Theatre.

This concert (and the CD) will also raise money for James Montgomery’s foundation V is for Veterans, which focuses on helping disabled veterans.  James donated most of the tickets to veterans organizations and the VA hospital, but you can still buy tickets here.

James will be joined by David Hull (from Aerosmith & The Joe Perry Project) on bass, Cliff Goodwin (from the Joe Cocker Band) on guitar and Jeff Thompson on drums.  Young, rising country stars Whitney Doucet (who sang with Keith Urban) and Lexi James open.

Be sure to scream and shout and clap loud enough to be heard on the CD, so when it comes out you can get one and play it for your friends — fast forwarding through the songs and waiting for the applause, of course.

Here’s a video of James the last time he was at The Larcom.  Notice the crowd in the middle of the song … this could be YOU!

Click here to read an excellent Boston Herald interview with James — especially the part where he talks about B.B. King!

Gang Of Thieves Friday May 22 @ MinglewoodAtLat43 ~ You do not want to miss this band…seriously!

gang of thieves mw friday

These legendary Vermont Rockers are bringing the funky
fury back to Gloucester this Friday! If you missed them last time, this is your chance!

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High energy is the hallmark of Burlington, VT’s Gang of Thieves. Their sound and energy is a cross between Led Zeppelin and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, with a funky blast of Green Mountain soul thrown in the mix. The key to their appeal is the infectious sense of fun and showmanship, delivered with a hint of spiritual and political awareness, without any of preachy self-righteousness. With a live show that will leave you screaming and exhausted from your nose to your rump, these up and coming rock stars will leave you begging for more!

These Green Mountain rockers have won over diverse audiences coast-to-coast, opening for the likes of Skid Row on the one hand, and up-and-coming jam band Twiddle on the other. The Gang was also recently nominated for “Rock Act of the Year” by the 2013 New England Music Awards, and Best Funk Group by 7 Days “Seven Daysies” contest.

“Gang of Thieves, you’ve really done it this time. Soaring guitars,
early 90s grunge style vocals, Flea level basslines, and a mix of funk and rock to make a party a rager… you [gave] us Thunderfunk and it’s just another damn level.”
-John Powell, http://www.angelica-music.com

Check them out here: http://www.thegangofthieves.com/#about-1

This will be one of the most exciting shows you will see this month!

Wednesdays with Fly Amero @The Rhumb Line – Special Guest: Chick Marston 5.20.2015

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Dinner Specials Every Week!

Wednesday, May 20th – 8pm
Special Guest: CHICK MARSTON!

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Traditional and contemporary folk music. Delta and ragtime
blues. Classic and old-time country. And, of course… sea
songs. Chick Marston is a master of all, with a pulsing
thumb-bass precise as a metronome. Such an incredible
study! We start at 8. ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
Dave Trooper’s Kitchen…
Prepared fresh weekly by “Troop”… always good!
Check out Fred’s rockin’ wine menu!
Upcoming…
Dan King

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Fozzie

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Rocky

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Visit: http://www.therhumbline.com/
Looking forward……to seeing you there 🙂

 

You Have Diving Needs? Matt The Diver is Your Guy

 

Phone: 978-381-9118 Email: gloucesterdiver@gmail.com

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Services

Mooring service including: Repairs, Inspections, Relocation Mooring ball change, Winter stick change
Hull cleaning, Recovery services, Clearing of fouled propellers

Underwater video and still photography documentation & anything else you might need done underwater!

Pet of the Week-Heather

Heather is my name and being sweet and bashful is my game! I’m a mellow and affectionate gal who is looking for that special someone to fill the void in my heart.

heather

I must admit I also enjoy my play time, pouncing on toy mice and batting around string toys are some of my favorite things! Think I could be the perfect match for you and your family? Then stop by and visit me today!
Visit the shelter in person or check our website www.capeannanimalaid.org for more information about me and all the other animals waiting for homes.

Welcome, Chief Horvath

Rockport is happy to welcome Police Chief John Horvath.  Chief Horvath takes the reigns from Interim Chief of Police, Jim Mulligan.  Chief Mulligan was welcomed aboard after Rockport’s long-standing Police Chief John “Tom” McCarthy retired this past fall.  Most recently, Chief Horvath has served as the Chief of Police at UMASS Amherst.

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Lou and Gail Snitkoff represent! At The Lincoln Center

Hi, Joey.

Somehow my wife, Gail, and I managed to get to midtown Manhattan (Lincoln Center) before we made it to downtown Albany, NY–where we live.

So, here’s a pic of GMG at Lincoln Center…

Thanks again for the stickers.

Lou Snitkoff

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About Our Award For Being Named Small Businesspersons Organization of The Year…

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I don’t have to go into the reason that this is obviously a shared award, right?

Well I’m gonna, just in case anyone doesn’t think otherwise.

Such a great honor for our team.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it ten thousand times, Good Morning Gloucester with only one person contributing is infinitely less impactful than it is when you have such a dedicated group of people all pulling in the same direction, all with incredibly positive attitudes, all working for good and trying to have fun along the way.

Just like our family business, Captain Joe and Sons is not nearly what it is without my incredibly rock solid partner and cousin Frankie. Good Morning Gloucester is just another blog without all of the readers, commenters and contributors who all have a shared passion for this place.

Probably the single greatest influence creatively in my life has been my mom.  She pushed my sister and I to try as many different things as we could growing up, took us out of our comfort zone and sent us to Bishop Fenwick which forced us to leave our close friends at home and learn how to socially adapt outside of the small network of family and friends and prepared us for college. So thanks mom for all your love and support.

No one wins awards alone.  It’s the people that are around you that you draw strength from and by working together and pulling for good and fun, that’s when awards are given.

I’d also like to recognize Barbara Keon who in the first year of the blog told me the Buddhist expression “The most selfish thing to do is to give.”

I didn’t understand it at first but it all made sense in practice.

Thanks to the Chamber for recognizing our work and congratulations to the other recipients of this award from our surrounding communities- Mike Storella of Central Street Gallery in Manchester, Karin and Ken Porter of Roy Moore Lobster Company and Roy Moore’s Fish Shack in Rockport, and Tim and Vickie Kennefick of the Windward Grille in Essex.

Just wish my dad had his wits about him to celebrate our good fortune.

Love our team. Can’t tell you how fortunate I am to have you all in my life.  Thanks to everyone that has touched the GMG community to make it the positive force that it has become. Thanks each and every one of you.

Here’s the press release