Author Archives: Catherine

Doors open for #BerkshireMuseum case John Adams Courthouse

People are streaming in and filling seats like guests at a wedding– proponents of the sale like Berkshire Museum director Van Shields and Trustees are seated together on the left.

Attorneys greet and shake hands like team captains before a big game.

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Berkshire Museum court case today – order for oral arguments as follows

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan (8)_105946 (1)

Courtroom 2 at John Adams Courthouse is quiet now but come noon today the Berkshire Museum deaccession  art case will have it’s next day in court, this time the highest in the Commonwealth.

Attorneys for Parties (The Trustees Berkshire Museum and Massachusetts AGO) vs. Amici (Patti and Hatt groups) will present as follows:

Amici will go first  Tom Patti and Hatt groups, then AGO, and Trustees last. Justice Lowy can decide to allow the patries’ petition, deny it, or reserve and report which means bringing the case back to the full court.

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Native filmmaker, local fishermen | Dead in the Water at Cape Ann Cinema tonight


photo: Wittkower filming at sea — with PAUL VITALE, GLOUCESTER

Tonight Cape Ann Cinema TUES. MAR. 20 @ 7:30PM

ed. note reposting:

David Wittkower’s full length documentary about the Gloucester fishing industry, Dead in the Water, was produced by Wittkower,  Linzee Coolidge, John Bell and Angela Sanfilippo. Music is by Paula Cole. LA based filmmaker, Wittkower, returned home to Gloucester, and was surprised by how different the docks were from the same ones he scrambled over as a kid. What happened? Prior local screenings were held at Rockport High School and Cape Ann Museum.

Dead in the Water documentary poster

Dead in the Water – the documentary, poster @GloucesterHouse “Fishermen have survived Nature’s fury at sea. But can they survive the Perfect Storm at home?”

Cape Ann Cinema Dead in Water




More photos – 4th Annual Welcome Home Cape Ann Veterans Mission at Gloucester MA Elks Lodge #892

4th Gloucester Elk Lodge #892 Welcome Home Initiative March 18 2018 _130158 ©c ryan (9)

Caffe Sicilia celebration cake

Gloucester and Cape Ann’s generous community join together to pull off this awesome, model initiative. Numerous volunteers prepare for and host on site. The welcome home bundles are loaded up with community business gift certificates and support.

4th Gloucester Elk Lodge #892 Welcome Home Initiative March 18 2018 _130158 ©c ryan (8)

The organizers– Adam Curcuru, Vionette Chipperini, Jayne Morse– and Mayor Romeo Theken welcomed attendees. The guest speaker, Lt General Mark O.Schissler (USAF Retired), and Marcia (Deacon) Schissler  retired here. Marcia grew up in Gloucester. Their enthusiam and positivity are a delight–say hi when you see them! The Lt General urged Veterans to stand on their service, reminding them who they are: “You make sacrifices. You willingly give of yourself and give up time to serve in the military…Hold on to it and move forward…the skills and confidences you build up a little bit over time will be great here and going forward. You’ll help make communities stronger–as strong as they can be…As you prepare for other chapters in your life, you will carry these skills and capabilities in to your next chapter… and the next, always. We honor you today and join together to celebrate and give thanks for your service and talent. This event–look around you…We’ll be there for you, take care of you now…”

4th Gloucester Elk Lodge #892 Welcome Home Initiative March 18 2018 _130158 ©c ryan (27)

Final note from Adam Curcuru, Director Cape Ann Veterans Services

“Great day at the Gloucester MA Elks Lodge #892 for the 4th Annual Cape Ann Veterans Welcome Home Initiative. Welcome Home to all our Veterans and thank you to all our Volunteers, local businesses, and community for supporting our Veterans.” 

4th Gloucester Elk Lodge #892 Welcome Home Initiative March 18 2018 _130158 ©c ryan (28)

Gloucester High School spring sports Registration is OPEN

Julie Smith, Gloucester Public Schools Director of Athletics, reminds Gloucester students that SPRING SCHOOL SPORTS REGISTRATION is open.

Public art repurposed GHS floor fishermen logo Gloucester MA high school ©c ryan_20180110_150616.jpg

“Thanks to all of those who have already registered.  This follow-up announcement is especially for parents and guardians of O’Maley student-athletes…  We look forward to seeing you on the tracks, fields and diamonds!  Bring on spring!”

prior notice: March 4, 2018

“Spring school sports season is two weeks away!  All are encouraged and welcome to participate in GHS and O’Maley Middle School Sports.  Please check out the offerings below and follow the instructions to register.  Contact the sport coach listed below for assistance. 

Please be aware that Gloucester is in Year 2 of MIAA-approved Coop Waivers which allow Manchester Essex Regional High School (Track and Field) and Rockport High School (Boys Lacrosse) to compete together with GHS.

We are in the process of pursuing Middle Level Waivers from the MIAA in order for 8th, and in some cases 7th-graders at O’Maley Middle School to participate on GHS sports teams.  Please stay tuned for future announcements upon MIAA approval of the applications. 

Be sure to check out the offerings below and email the sport coach directly with questions.  MIAA Spring season begins Monday, March 19th.  We look forward to seeing you!


Julie Smith, Gloucester Public Schools Director of Athletics



  • GHS Boys Baseball – Open to Grades 9-12.  Pursuing middle-level waiver. 
  • GHS Girls Softball – Open to Grades 9-12.  Pursuing middle-level waiver. 
  • GHS Boys Lacrosse – Open to Grades 9-12 at both GHS and Rockport High Schools.  Pursuing middle-level waiver.
  • GHS Girls Lacrosse – Open to Grades 9-12 at GHS.  Pursuing middle-level waiver.
  • GHS Boys Tennis – Open to Grades 9-12.
  • GHS Girls Tennis – Open to Grades 9-12. 

Please note that coaches will likely need to limit the number of team members, given the facts that there are five tennis courts available to GHS and the program has been over-enrolled in recent years.

  • GHS Boys Track and Field – Open to Grades 9-12 at both GHS and Manchester Essex Regional High Schools.
  • GHS Girls Track and Field – Open to Grades 9-12 at both GHS and Manchester Essex Regional High Schools.
  • O’Maley Middle School Boys Track and Field – Open to Grades 6-8.
  • O’Maley Middle School Girls Track and Field – Open to Grades 6-8.

“Opening Day” is Monday, March 19thth!

Ready to register?  Please follow these steps!

GHS and O’Maley registration is in the same program so be sure to select the correct school and sport!

  1.  Register on  Parents/Guardians and Student-Athletes need to do this together.  Link to Athlete Registration:

  1.  Provide proof of a physical exam within the last 13 months to the sport coach.
  2.  Provide proof of completion of a certified concussion course to the sport coach.  Link to National Federation of High Schools course:

  1.  Pay the Spring 2018 User Fee, as well as any unpaid User Fees from previous seasons to the sport coach.

Instructions are included in the FamilyID registration.  Forms and payment must be submitted to the sport coach.  Contact the coach at the email address below for more information.

GHS Coach Email Addresses:

Boys Baseball, Bryan Lafata:                          

Girls Softball, John John Nicastro:         

Boys Lacrosse, Dylan Girard                           

Girls Lacrosse, Mike Lattof                              

Boys Tennis, Derek Geary                              

Girls Tennis, Cassandra Bradley and Cate Arkins

Boys Track and Field, David Coleman

Girls Track and Field, David Coleman                     same as above

O’Maley Middle School Coach Email Address:

Boys Track and Field, Allie Mitchell               

Girls Track and Field, Allie Mitchell                         same as above

Next stop nationals! Gloucester High School Cheerleading Team New England champions

courtesy photo from winning routine 2018 New England champs

Julie Smith, Director of Athletics, shares great news about the Gloucester High School Cheerleading team:

“Please take a moment to watch the amazing Gloucester High School Cheerleading team and their winning routine, out of a field of 18 teams, at the NEW ENGLAND championships yesterday at Southern New Hampshire State University. According to Coach Erica Mitchell, yesterday’s competition was the “Super Bowl of the New England competitive cheer world.”  The team captured back-to-back State Titles in the Fall and Winter seasons.  The New England Championships are a culmination of the two seasons and only occur at the conclusion of the Winter season.  This is the program’s first New England Championship since 2007.  The team departs for Florida where they will compete in the National Championship this weekend.”

Top o the mornin’ from Farm Bar and Grille! Irish breakfast & Mike O’Leary & Friends LIVE celtic music felt like a pub in Dublin, and home 🍀🍀

Saturday Saint patties day @FarmBarGrille in Essex started extra early this year (officially 9:30 AM to 11 AM) with a superb Irish Breakfast,  LIVE Irish music from Mike O’Leary & friends, festive beverages, amazing coffee & famous Irish soda bread. They’re serving a great menu ALL day. Get over there while it lasts! (And mark your calendars next year!)


shamrock shakes, irish coffees and other specialty festive drinks


Farm Bar and Grille, 233 Western Avenue, Essex, (978)768-0000 Facebook – @FarmEssex

MENU and scenes from early this morning

Mike O’Leary played with David de La Barre (Irish whistle and voice) and Linda Swicker (voice). Fiona Warner lilting voice accompanied the trio, and with Maeve, too.


Irish Breakfast LIVE music Michael O’Leary and friends at Farm Bar and Grille St Patrick’s Day 2018 (L-E) David de La Barre, Linda Swicker,  Fiona Warner, Michael O’Leary

tail end of mountain dew

bonus (one of Michael O’Leary’s favorite St. Patrick’s Day tunes) do you know it?

Their restaurant En Fuego will feature some creative St Patrick’s Day specials, too.

Cape Ann Museum Kids Calligraphy with Albina Papows!

CAM Kids Calligraphy.jpg

Learn calligraphy basics in a morning class with specialist Albina Papows. Inspired by the special exhibition Unfolding Histories: Cape Ann before 1900. Write your name, use calligraphy tools and leave with a sampler to take home. This family workshop is recommended for children 7 and up with an adult. Registration required. To register, please contact Education Coordinator Kirsten Vega at or (978) 283-0455 x16.

Read more at :


free Teacher workshop at Cape Ann Museum with support from Essex Heritage | “Unfolding Histories” exhibition opens March 31!

Exciting news from Cape Ann Museum:

March 2018

Teachers throughout Essex County are invited to Cape Ann Museum to study Unfolding Histories: Cape Ann Before 1900, the first major exhibition to bring together historical and archival material from nine Cape Ann institutions focused on life during Cape Ann’s early years, including stories which illuminate the Native American and European contact period, the Revolutionary War, and 19th century history and culture.

Teachers who attend the April 7th Teacher Workshop will discover strategies to increase student literacy with primary source documents using an inquiry-based learning model to tie larger themes to our local area. Designed for K–12 teachers currently working in public & private schools throughout Essex County, this free workshop is a way to earn 10 PDPs for attending the session and creating an activity plan, with additional opportunities to earn more. Space is limited to twenty teachers; registration required. For more information please contact Essex Heritage Education Director Beth Beringer at or (978) 740-0444.

The Unfolding Histories exhibit will be on view March 31, 2018- September 9, 2018. Massachusetts Teacher Association members are admitted free!


Breaking News: This isn’t just another lost cause- Justice Lowy has scheduled a Hearing for Berkshire Museum litigation

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan_105912

Huge step and opportunity. Justice Lowy has scheduled a hearing on Tuesday March 20 for counsel and parties! High noon. This is not to the full court; first stop is before the Single Justice. Justice Lowy has allowed 10 minutes each for oral argument.

Catch up on the case Read more

#GloucesterMA Gloucester Fresh in the news: determined leadership Mayor Romeo Theken, et al at Boston SENA rocking ocean to table fare

SENA= Seafood Expo North America, Boston, MA 2018

Article Oldest Fishing Port Shows How It’s Done  by Jason Huffman

“BOSTON, Massachusetts, US — Sefatia Romeo Theken, the mayor of nearby Gloucester, Massachusetts, warns the roughly 70 Seafood Expos North America (SENA) attendees who jam into an upstairs room for her group’s tasting reception that she is hard to say “no” to. Then she proves it by telling everyone to try the monkfish-stuffed rice balls known as arancini…”


LIVE Nor’easter storm #GloucesterMA Here you come again

Before high tide March 13, 2018 Nor'easter March 13 2018 Gloucester MA before high tide ©c Ryan_091734

LIVE video (1 min – two 30 sec clips)

March 3 –  March 5- March 13

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What will Justice Lowy decide and the room where it happens | Last stop for Berkshire Museum docket SJ-2018-065 at John Adams Courthouse #BostonMA Supreme Court

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan (9)

Front entrance John Adams Courthouse, Boston, MA. The Berkshire Museum case is under review by Supreme Court Justice Lowy

How did the Berkshire Museum brouhaha wind up in the highest court under SJO (Single Justice) review by Justice David A Lowy?

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, deemed it necessary to alter an original historic building and sell off its priceless core art collection in order to build a dream and survive. This controvertial move garnered attention and divided opinion.  The Trustees of the Museum explained that they hired a consultancy firm which confirmed this new direction (“New Vision”), via extensive public outreach* no less, so what gives? (*22 focus groups involving over 200 people is hardly extensive.) Opponents cried, “Foul!”, and pointed out questionable and perhaps shady fodder, i.e. would museum members and the Berkshire community have voted YES had they been told that the best works from the permanent collection must be sold off to make it happen? Also, the art was consigned to Sotheby’s June 13, 2017, but the Trustees altered the museum’s Charter after the consignment date and only then informed the “public”.  Timing is everything. There was even an infamous email with a ‘loose lips sink ships’ subject line.  We know these details because of dogged reporting by the The Berkshire Eagle, notably Larry Parnass, and a wide network. The story is urgent and compelling, the art world equivalent of a Spotlight-All the President’s Men-Pentagon Papers type investigation.

The first auctions were slated for November 2017. Shuffleton’s Barbershop by Norman Rockwell was to have been the Berkshire Museum star lot. Its presale estimate alone was 20 to 30 million. By the Fall of 2017, the museum was hit with multiple lawsuits, sued by the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, Norman Rockwell descendants, and various plaintiffs. Eventually, all were folded into #TeamAGO vs. the Berkshire Museum. On November 8th, the Lower Court ruled in favor of the Museum, clearing the legal right of way to auction. The Attorney General Office appealed to the State’s supreme judicial court to block the sale for more time to evaluate and investigate the case. Attorneys for the Museum fought that request vigorously, but were denied. On November 10, 2017, the AGO procured an injunction from Judge Trainor of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, scuttling any scheduled auction prior to December 11, 2017. Allowances for extensions to build the case were granted. On February 5th, the AGO switched teams and filed jointly with its former adversary, the Berkshire Museum, petitioning the court to apply cy pres and maintaining its opinion that indeed all the art is restricted:

“As detailed elsewhere (e.g., in its filings in the litigation referenced above) the AGO believes that all of the works of art deaccessioned and proposed for sale are subject to one or more restrictions that limit the Museum’s ability to proceed with its planned sale and use of proceeds to fund an endowment, pay for operating expenses and fund renovations. The Museum continues to believe no restrictions (beyond the Museum’s charitable purposes) apply.”

This alliance left many scratching their heads  and interested parties formerly #TeamAGO adrift. Although the Rockwell plaintiffs backed off and dropped their case, law firms Sullivan & Worcester and  Foley Hoag with Barker, Epstein & Loscocco solicited amicus status on behalf of their clients.

Sullivan & Worcester Berkshire Museum

Sullivan & Worcester blog post about their position

Immediately, the AGO and the Berkshire Museum filed opposition papers. They weren’t persuasive. The Justice granted the participation of the law firms which means that the SJ-2018-065 docket was vastly enlarged and enlightened on February 27, 2018, and I had to see. And share. (Although everything I was looking for and questioned was not there.) The attorneys disagree with the AGO and Berkshire Museum proposal, and request oral argument. The AGO and Museum responses were filed after I visited. Justice David A Lowy will make that decision. He can act on filed papers related to Docket SJ-2018-065, order a hearing, or pass the case back to the full court. What will he do? I’m crossing fingers that arguments will be heard, and with the full court (which meets the first week each month and is open to the public), especially after I considered the material in person.  The Berkshire Museum could inspire a Frank Capra-esque courtroom movie treatment one day.

In the meantime, the art remains in Sotheby’s possession and the auction house stands down as the case is sorted. The docket includes Sotheby’s contract.

For armchair lawyers and detail detectives: I offer a blizzard of documents, on the eve of the next Nor’Easter blizzard and hope I’ve peaked your interest. (Leaving my analysis aside for now.)  Scroll past this post’s “read more” indicator to see interior architectural photos I took of the stunning John Adams Courthouse, and to read some of the complete and unfiltered new filings and documents related to the Berkshire Museum case, specifically-

  • AMICI CURIAE Sullivan & Worcester LLP law firm on behalf of ‘Berkshire Museum Member Plaintiffs’: James Hatt,  Kristin Hatt,  and Elizabeth Weinberg, filed Feb 26 2018, case SJ-2018-065 (52 pages)
  • AMICUS CURIAE Foley Hoag and Barker, Epstein & Loscocco – attorney Michael B Keating of Foley Hoag with attorney Daniel Epstein of Barker, Epstein & Loscocco on behalf of clients: Tom Patti, who completed two commissioned installations for the Berkshire Museum entrance and reception areas–spaces that will be gutted if the historic building is disfigured for the New Vision; Marilyn Holtz Patti – resides and works in Berkshire County as does Tom Patti; Jean Rosseau and Jonas Dovydenas- residents of Stockbridge and Lenox; James Lamme, resident of Egremont; and Donald MacGillis, resident of Pittsfield, MA. (21 pages)
  • Sotheby’s Contract with the Berkshire Museum (9 pages)
  • Affidavit from Dan Monroe, Director of the Peabody Essex Museum opposed the Berkshire Museum sale (4 pages)
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) provided major facility funding since 2000. Some related construction was completed by a board member and warrants scrutiny
  • links to prior GMG Berkshire Museum posts

Interior views John Adams Courthouse 

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan (2)

The John Adams Courthouse Great Hall is stunning. On the right side in this photos is a Daniel Chester French gilded sculpture of Rufus Choate


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GHS Docksiders perform & Wine Tasting booster at Gloucester House – tix available at Alexandra’s Bread

GHS docksiders

look at the energy! courtesy photo- Mr. Fleury, Band Director, and GHS Docksiders 

What’s on the set list and the tasting menu for this great pairing? Mark your calendars for the GHS Docksiders Wine Tasting booster at The Gloucester House on Saturday, March 17, at 6:30PM.

Enjoy an evening with the GHS Docksiders: Listen to great music, sip fine wine, shop & support local music. Special Guest auctioneer, Senator Bruce Tarr. Tickets are $25 at the door or from a GHS Docksiders member or… 

Docksiders fundraiser March 17 2018

You can buy a ticket or donate at Alexandra’s Bread, 265 Main Street, Gloucester

Chronicle WCVB Channel 5 shares Exciting updates from Woman owned Business on Essex Coastal Scenic Byway

These local businesses are bringing a lot of positive coverage and energy about our region. Woman owned Businesses on the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway re-aired March 9, 2018, International Women’s Day, on Chronicle with a new introduction from the hosts because of the trail’s continued success and expanded special offers and plans! Johanne Cassia and Pauline Bresnahan share the news for 2018: Our “Woman owned Businesses on the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway”, a full day shopping destination, is moving forward in several ways.  


  • We are currently updating our brochure, creating special events and partnering with Essex Heritage Foundation. The 2018 printing will arrive in April and  include additional “Woman owned Business on Essex Coastal Scenic Byway”. Shops will still be located on the 10 mile trail along the coast of Gloucester, Essex, Ipswich and Rowley, MA. We have developed a Calendar of Events to market our serious fun businesses. All shops will have refreshments, special products, promotions and giveaways.  Mark your calendars for a trio of 2018 seasonal outings hosted by the Woman Owned Business on Essex Coastal Scenic Byway:
  • SPRING May 5 & 12- “Moms are Everything”, a “special event” , will be held on two Saturdays, May 5 and May 12. We will honor ALL MOMS and invite them to shop with us. This is a “Women helping business Women” event as well: we are inviting other local “woman owned businesses” to bring in their products to our shops. We will give them space in our shops to sell their goods and services during this event.
  • SUMMER August 22,23 – “Harvest Festival” weekend:  Each shop will invite a local farm to partner with them. Local Farms will have tents in front of our shops where they can offer farm products, flowers and tastings.
  • FALL Sept 21-23 and 28-30 “Trails & Sails Weekends” sponsored by Essex Heritage, Salem, MA. We are partners with Essex Heritage Foundation and part of 150 events offered by Trail or Sail on the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. Each shop will offer a demonstration event on these dates. For more information about Trails and Sails :  Essex National Heritage is in the process of building a new and better website. We’ll have our own shopping destination page and sub pages for each shop!
  • Several organizations and groups have offered mini-bus tours since we unveiled our trail
  • People ask where can you find the brochure? Contact Essex Heritage they will have the brochures, or any of our businesses. Our FB page is


  • Byway.jpg

Woman owned business on byway

Don’t miss Alice Gardner solo show at Matz Gallery!

What a beautiful show and radiant bellwether of spring.

Alice Gardner March 2018 exhibition at Sawyer Free Library







the comedy writers did slay #MeToo monster topics on Mary Tyler Moore Show

Mary Tyler Moore January 8 1972

yeah, still relevant 46 years later

Sometimes it’s tough to have several generations in our home agreeing on entertainment, but The Mary Tyler Moore Show is hilarious and works. Our viewing of some of these episodes happened right at the time of the Weinstein take down, making an even bigger impression on my kids. Here are short excerpts (5min) from 3 episodes not to miss:

Vid.description- Mary interviews women to be her assistant and Lou Grant weighs in




Mary says Aha!



Last excerpt, another from a season three episode cut to Mary, Rhoda, and Phyllis discussing the possible promotion for Mary –taking Lou’s job, Phyllis imploring “go get that job”, and then Mary asking Lou a bunch of questions about why she wouldn’t get the job “Does it have anything to do with my abilities? Nah. “It’s not because I’m a woman is it?” Of course it is…

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Job opening at Gloucester Downtown Association

Downtown Assoc

“The Gloucester Downtown Association‘s Sidewalk Bazaar Coordinator has moved to Salem; Danielle Capalbo did a great job for us for the Bazaar and our Christmas promotion.  I am sure we all wish her well in settling into her new home. The Glouceser Downtown Association (GDA) is now looking for a new Bazaar Coordinator which is a paid contract position.  So if you know of anyone who you think might be interested, please have them send a resume to Patty Gates (Premier Imprints)  or myself ( The Weathervane) for consideration.”
Joe Ciolino, Director GDA”

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