Approaching Winter Storm Postpones CAS Annual Meeting from Wednesday, January 17 to  Wednesday, January 24

Approaching Winter Storm Postpones CAS Annual Meeting from Wednesday, January 17 to  Wednesday, January 24

Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, Inc.

Notice of Annual Meeting

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 7:30 pm.

Gloucester House Restaurant

63 Rogers Street, Gloucester, MA




Cape Ann Symphony Board President Thomas Mannle announced the Annual Meeting of Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, Inc originally scheduled forWednesday, January 17 has been postponed because of the approaching winter storm. The new date for the Annual Meeting of the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, Inc. will be  Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at 7:30pm at the Gloucester House Restaurant, 63 Rogers Street, Gloucester, MA. The meeting will be preceded by a cocktail reception at 6:30pm. ($36. per person/ cash bar). It is not necessary to attend the reception in order to attend the Annual Meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to hear reports of the past year’s activity by the Music Director, Treasurer, President, and Manager. The meeting is also convened to elect Directors and Officers for the period from January 20, 2017 through January 19, 2018. For information please contact David Benjamin, Business Manager,978-281-0543.

The search For a sub $800 Canada Goose Jacket Alternative Part 1

A little background:

The McKays and The McElhenny’s came over for an adult gamenight last week.  We played “What Do You Meme” and while here Erin let Kate try on her Canada Goose Jacket.   The same type of  winter parka that our Kim Smith raves about.   Of course Kate fell in love.  After all these ladies have style for days.  Kate said the comfort was indescribable.  aaaaaand the obsession began…

I can appreciate the finer things in life.  Ugg slippers which we talk about on the Podcast are one of life’s luxuries I’d gladly pay double for because they’re so far better than anything else I’ve ever put on my feet so I completely understand why they are priced the way they are.  The Canada Goose Jacket I can only assume is the same thing.  Only we just don’t have over $800 laying around for a jacket.

Now we got away this past weekend to Montreal.  One of my five favorite cities but also one of the coldest.  People in Montreal are very stylish, very polished, very European.  It’s also cold as fuck up there.  Negative digits routinely this time of year.  We stayed downtown and walked everywhere and wouldn’t you know more women than not and a ton of men were rocking Canada Goose Jackets or Canada Goose Jacket look-a-likes.

So while stuck at the airport for a bit I set out to find an alternative to the Canada Goose Jacket for Kate.  Surely there has to be a company out there that A) makes jackets, B) sees how much Canada Goose is charging for their jackets and C) has set out to make an equally as well performing jacket for way less money.  

You can’t tell me that it costs anywhere close to $800 to produce these jackets.  I get that it’s become a total status symbol type thing but there is something to the fad, the comfort and style that can be replicated for far less money.

So I checked around and one alternative is the North Face Arctic Parka II  $298.95 Read the reviews here



Here’s the Canada Goose version which actually gets lower review ratings read the reviews here


(can the patch on the sleeve really be worth $500 more?)

Kate’s going to get the North Face one and we will report back.  Stay tuned!


Rain this past week melted the snow, revealing more destruction from the 2018 Bombcyclone. Stopping at favorite places along the backshore, the storm surge left in its wake damage to T-wharf, the road is completely washed out at Pebble Beach, and Eastern Point marsh and storm drains are clogged with debris.

T-Wharf, Rockport

Pebble Beach and Henry’s Pond. The storm surged pushed the rocks over the bank and into the road. Saltwater found a path and gushed into Henry’s Pond.

Popples strewn across the lawn and seaweed and debris clogged storm drains.

More Local History from Jude Seminara

                                               EDWARD NEWELL

This coming February marks the centennial of the loss of the Navy tug Cherokee off the coast of Delaware with the death of her commander, Gloucester native Edward Dolliver Newell, namesake of Newell Stadium at Gloucester High School.

Newell was born to prominent Gloucester dentist George Newell and his wife Carrie (Rust) on December 2, 1894. The Newell home was at 9 Hovey Street, nearby the field that would one day bear his name.  They were a well-known family; George practiced out of his office at 156 Main Street, and from 1934 to 1936, when he was in his eighties, served as mayor of Gloucester.  It is no surprise, then, that Edward distinguished himself as a master mariner while still in his late teens.

In October 1913, Newell graduated from the Massachusetts Nautical Training School — now Massachusetts Maritime Academy — and entered the merchant marine, serving aboard several civilian vessels.  Within a year, he was the third officer aboard the merchant ship Lexington, having previously served aboard the Rambler and San Juan, the latter making runs from New York to Puerto Rico.  Newell also earned a commission as a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve and served aboard the USS Sterling.

When war broke out between the United States and the Central Powers, Newell joined the active Navy, and was sent to train in navigation in Boston.  Newell had distinguished himself sufficiently at sea to get a command of the recently commissioned Navy tug Cherokee.

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Stage Fort sunrise

I love this spot for sunrise but I haven’t been back here since the summer mostly because I don’t like to venture through the park in the dark on my own, so my husband humored me yesterday and joined me in the -2 degree windchill.   I thought it was going to be a bust because the wall of clouds to the right were coming in quickly, but we were graced with a peek of sun!BLM_3457_HDR-Edit

Looks Like a Duck, Sounds Like a Duck

**PLEASE NOTE: These pictures were taken well before Mr. Swan got himself frozen in the ice on Niles Pond. The following is in no way related to the current swan situation**

Mr. Swan was in Rockport Harbor recently with a few dozen of his closest friends.  I think he’s getting his ducks in order.


I was watching the ducks and came to realize they are not so different from people after all.  I know GMG has other contributors with greater knowledge of animals and nature, but I think I can offer some less scientific observations.  These ducks seemed to be holding a meeting in the harbor.


Who called this meeting?

Someone always arrives late…..


There’s the fidgety one……


And there’s always the lucky guy that gets to “duck out”……..


Till the next time……..

8th Annual Rotary Polar Plunge to Make Polio History

Cape Ann Community

Freezin’ for a Reason:
The Rotary Club of Gloucester
Hosts the 8th Annual Polar Plunge to Make Polio History

The Gloucester Rotary Club will again host clubs from Rotary District 7930 (eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire) for the 8th annual Polar Plunge on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at Long Beach in Gloucester. The event is part of Rotary International’s ongoing campaign to eradicate polio in our lifetime. Several hundred people are expected to plunge into the cold waters off Cape Ann this year. Last year, over 300 people braved the icy waters, raising more than $120,000. Since the first Rotary Polar Plunge in 2011, Massachusetts Rotarians have raised over a half-million dollars with this event.

Since 1985, Polio has been the signature cause for Rotary International as it has teamed up with partners including The Global Poverty Project, The Global Eradication Initiative, The World Health Organization, and UNICEF…

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Angel Swan Sleeping

Thanks to Lyn Fonzo, Dan Harris, Skip Munroe, Skip Hadden, Duncan, Stephanie, Lillian, a bunch more Eastern Point residents, Steve Monell and a pair of “angel” swans, our Mr. Swan has flown off the ice at Niles Pond. As Lyn shared earlier, two Mute Swans flew to Niles Pond, precisely to the same spot where Mr. Swan was resting. They must have been very tired because the mysterious swans immediately closed their eyes and took a nap while Mr. Swan watched over the pair. He eventually dozed off, too. After a long rest, all three departed the Pond, circling around and then heading over Brace Cove towards Rockport. Mr. Swan had some difficulty but perhaps encouraged by the presence of companions, he successfully took off.

Cape Ann residents please be on the look out for the three swans!

Without Dan and Lyn’s overnight vigilance against a coyote attack, our daybreak watch, and the angel swans I think it unlikely Mr. Swan would have survived this latest escapade. Our most heartfelt thanks to all who are keeping good watch over Mr. Swan and friends.

Notice the angel swans have black eyes. A friend asked if they could be Mr. Swan’s offspring. Possibly, but most likely not. Mr. Swan has blue eyes, which is not typically seen in these parts.

Mr. Swan is the tiny lump on the ice toward the left. We don’t want to see you at Niles Mr. Swan until the Pond thaws!


Jeff Weaver Buoy

Last night the opening for the fabulous show featuring the Art Haven Lobster Trap Tree Artist’s Buoys was held at the Charles Fine Arts Gallery. The buoys are painted by some of Cape Ann’s finest artists and are displayed either with works of art by the artist or with paintings that correspond in some way to the buoy.

The buoys are on display through the weekend of 20th-21st and people can call the gallery to place bids. Charles Fine Arts Gallery is located at 196 Main Street, Gloucester, and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 1pm to 6pm, or by appointment (978-559-7762).

The Cape Ann Art Haven Lobster Trap Tree awesome fun family buoy auction event is Friday, January 26th, from 5pm to 8pm at Crusieport. 

Little houseboat in the great frozen salt marsh #Gloucester MA

A photo journal after the storm documenting and comparing a few iconic and sweeping Gloucester vistas on January 7, 2018, when all was white ice frozen, and again after the Great Thaw on January 13 2018.

Gloucester Motif- the house boat in view just before the turn off at Nichols

Little house boat in the great frozen salt marsh - Gloucester MA January 7 2018 three days after historic winter storm © c ryan_095245


The Little House boat in the great frozen salt marsh reminded me of a mash up of two of Virginia Lee Burton’s children’s picture books inspired by Gloucester — Little House and Katy and the Big Snow. Here’s the little floating houseboat after the thaw at low tide January 13, 2018.

Little house boat in the great salt marsh - Gloucester MA January 13 2018 after thaw from historic winter storm © c ryan__133100

At high tide earlier in the day, January 13

Little house boat in the great salt marsh - Gloucester MA January 13 2018 after thaw from historic winter storm © c ryan__072700.jpg

Good Harbor Beach drive by three days after the storm


Good Harbor Beach salt marsh drive by one week after the storm and great thaw


Below the read more break: additional winter comparison photos (icebergs on the marsh by Lobster Land, Good Harbor Beach parking lot, Good Harbor Beach salt marsh, Stoney Cove pier at Little River & Annisquam River)

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Yesterday at mid-morning Mr. Swan flew to Niles Pond. This is an unfortunate occurrence as Niles Pond is frozen.

When temperatures plummeted in December, Mr. Swan moved to one of his favorite winter territories, Rockport Harbor and the adjacent coastline, where the salt water rarely freezes. My theory is that the January thaw we experienced over the past several days drew him to freshwater Niles Pond and I imagine, he expected to find a thawed pond. This is only a theory, but in trying to think like a swan and understand why he would be so uncharacteristically foolish, it is my best assumption.

Maneuvering on ice can be extremely difficult. In order to take off for flight, swans run a short distance on top of the water. Trying to gain the traction needed on ice may be nearly impossible.

After spending a good part of the day in the center of the pond, I coaxed him over to the edge where there was a patch of open water. He ate a little bit of corn, although not nearly as much as usual. He appeared to enjoy the freshwater but then at dusk, he half flew-half ran back to the center of the pond.

Extremely concerned about coyotes, Mr. Swan’s caretakers Lyn and Dan checked on him throughout the night. I took the dawn shift and found him alert and preening. He made several attempts to walk, but then would plop down and tuck his head under his wing to sleep and to keep warm. Eastern Point residents Duncan and Stephanie, and ice boat sailor Steven, offered to help while Lyn, Skip Munroe, Lois, and I conferred on the phone. We decided the best plan of action would be to capture him and return him to Rockport Harbor. At 9am Skip and Dan determined that the ice was okay to walk upon. They fearlessly walked onto the pond and at one point Lyn followed with blankets. After first attempting to capture him, they then herded him over near Skip Hadden’s dock. Skip, Skip, and Dan again tried to capture him. He’s a very smart swan, wily and wild, and after several unsuccessful attempts, we decided to not tire him out and try to feed him, and help him as much as he would allow, from Lyn’s little beach.

Mr. Swan at sunrise and trying to negotiate the ice.

Shortly after, and unbelievably, A PAIR OF TRAVELING SWANS flew into Niles, near Lyn’s beach, next to Mr. Swan. At the moment, while writing this post, all three are sleeping peaceably together in a little group!

Newly Arrived Swans!

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