Tag Archives: DPW

Gloucester’s clean harbor: H2O no no’s are in the past

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Did you read about Cape Cod’s Big Water Drinking Problem in the Boston Globe magazine this past weekend, the cover story? Oy, complicated.

There’s still time to register for the annual Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim which will be held at Niles Beach Saturday morning. Swim or raise a toast–there is so much to celebrate.

Swim to celebrate Gloucester’s clean water

Swim to celebrate the moments people help*

Swim to celebrate a history of ongoing conservation

Swim to celebrate the guys on the DPW crews

Before it was Celebrate the Clean Harbor it was… clean it.

Thirteen year old Elinor Doty swam a mile and a half in 29 minutes, ahead of 16 other swimmers in 1979. The race was in tribute to John McPhee, head of Gloucester Sea Scouts. “We tried to get swimmers who knew John McPhee,” said race organizer Jim Doty, Elinor’s father. “I’d like to make it an annual event if I can swing it…”

“Rounding out the field of 17, was 68 year old Sara Robbins, who was surprised by an unexpected visitor during the middle of the race. “The grey harbor seal popped up beside me to show me a two-pound flounder that he had caught,” said Robbins, who has been training a half mile each day for the past two weeks. “I’m not too fast but I get there.” She said she used the side stroke during the whole course.”

Doty came in first place again in 1980 when the swim morphed into the ideal kick off event for Cape Ann’s Year of the Coast. Because of water quality, several parents wouldn’t let their children participate. “And only two are from the Cape Ann YMCA, James Doty notes, which usually supplies more contestants.

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1979

 

Water pollution was rarely mentioned if at all before the Cape Ann Year of the Coast, an undeniable avalanche tipping point. One 1980 article has a picture of Sarah Fraser Robbins, Sarah Evans and Chandler Evans. The 8 year old was ceremoniously passed from boat to boat and then dropped in so three generations could swim across the finish line. In 1981 organizers reminded people that they didn’t need to complete the swim, they could jump in and swim across the finish line in support. I wonder if that tradition was maintained?

1980 swimmers besides the Evans clan and Doty–Gloucester residents, unless otherwise stated: David Hayden (2nd place), Karen Hartley of Dorchester (3rd place), Andy O’Brien of Rockport, Barry Hallett Jr, Darrell Hallett (swam part way alongside his brother), Kay Rubin, Polly Doty of Dedham, Jack Crowley of South Weymouth, Carl Blumenthanl, Chris Lovgren of Gloucester, Stan Luniewicz, Bill Jebb representing Sea Tec, Steve Haskell Sea Tec, Sharon Kishida Sea Tec, Earl Kishida Sea Tec, Jan Childs, Chris Sanders of Rockport, Chris Vonalt of Rockport, and Sam Rugh.

Councilor Carolyn O’Connor led a brief awards ceremony. I love the quip recorded in Laura Meades 1980 sports report Hardy Swimmers Keep Heads High“As they went on, the swimmers shouted encouragement to one another and checked their progress.  “What’s ahead of us?” asked Steve Haskell of SeaTec Inc, a diving firm. “A couple of 8-year olds,” replied SeaTec’s owner, Bill Jebb, swimming beside Haskell.”

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1980

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1980

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I hope DPW feels proud that their work protected us, Gloucester’s famous harbor, our legacy.

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Before the waste water treatment facility was built in 1984, untreated waste (sanitary, storm water, industrial, you name it) was discharged directly into the inner and outer harbor. Gloucester was not alone. Rockport, Essex, Beverly- there were many North Shore stories. I wish I knew the name of every person that did the necessary retrofitting and water treatment labor. They dug up roads, laid pipe, cleaned up messes, dealt with outfalls, extended sewer lines, requested a decontamination shower and changing area (1978) so they wouldn’t have to wash up at home, engineered, mapped, and monitored what was necessary to bring us from a crisis by 1980–and lawsuit– to where we are now in 2016. DPW continues to address storm water pollution, also mandated, and will make next year’s compliance deadline. (Gloucester is not unduly impaired by industrial waste like some other communities that will feel the pinch.) Thanks to Larry Durkin, Environmental Engineer, DPW, and Senator Tarr’s office for pouncing on MBTA’s pesticide spraying.

To paraphrase the famous George M Cohan quote: My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my brother thanks you, andI will add that my children thank you, future generations thank you, wildlife thanks you, businesses thank you, truly all of Gloucester thanks you!

**I grabbed material for this post from GDT headlines thanks to   Sawyer Free Library. Newspapers on microfilm are available in the Reference Department. I am not alone in dreaming of the day when Gloucester archives, Gloucester Daily Times, and other essential research are digitized, but I tend to repeat this ongoing plea.

*It’s not one person, event or decade that stands out. There’s an incredible timeline of care. Who would you add? part 2

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Gloucester portraits: Good Harbor Beach piping plover and David Rimmer Essex County Greenbelt with an Edward Hopper house. And Leon Kroll double bridge.

There are more than 110 portraits of the City of Gloucester by the American artist Edward Hopper. There are a few 1923 Good Harbor Beach scenes including one with Jo Nivison seated sketching, and in the distance Bass Rocks and a ‘Hopper’ house. That vista was already a Gloucester motif.

Copy of Edward Hopper all around Gloucester MA (more than 90 works) (73)

piping plover with Hopper house

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Dave with Hopper house

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Dave with Hopper house                                                                                                                                  David Rimmer, Director of Land Stewardship, Essex County Greenbelt monitoring piping plovers 2016, Good Harbor Beach.

 

 

Eleven years before the image of Jo sketching, Hopper painted the other side of Good Harbor (Brier Neck) when he first came to New England. Leon Kroll painted two pedestrian bridges on the Bass Rocks side of the beach that same year.

Copy of Edward Hopper all around Gloucester MA (more than 90 works) (75)

Note the double bridges on Good Harbor.

Leon Kroll 1912 double bride 26 x 32 oil on

Leon Kroll, 1912, oil on canvas, (Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester) 26 x 32

 

Leon Kroll 1912 oil on canvas 26 x 32  sold at Sothebys 2011 bridge at bass rocks informal title 170,500

Leon Kroll 1911, 26 x 32 oil on canvas (Bridge at Bass Rocks) sold at Sotheby’s auction in 2011 for $115,700

8 point 5 by 10 three quarters 1912 leon kroll

Leon Kroll, 1912 oil on panel, 8.5 x 11-3/4

 

Knoll also painted Niles and Pavilion. He kept returning to Gloucester; eventually his family purchased a home in Folly Cove in 1932. Learn more at Cape Ann Museum and see Kroll works of art on display.

Leon Kroll Niles Beach 26 x 32

Leon Kroll, Niles Beach 1913

Copy of Edward Hopper all around Gloucester MA (more than 90 works) (74)

Copy of Edward Hopper all around Gloucester MA (more than 90 works) (71)

THANKS TO GOOD HARBOR BEACH’S DPW CREW TONY AND MURRAY FOR THE GREAT WORK THEY DO!

Each and every morning the DPW is out there cleaning Good Harbor Beach. They do an absolutely tremendous job. You would be shocked at what people leave behind, and the sheer volume of it. I am usually filming in non-public spaces and it has been an eye opener working at a public beach in the early morning. If you see these guys, please tell them thanks.

Good Harbor Beach heroes Tony and Murray.

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

 

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Where the Sidewalk Begins- Walk this way again Railroad Ave

Hi Joey,

A sidewalk returns to Railroad Avenue. Some call it place making or Smart Growth. I say sometimes it’s nice to turn back time. Look at the old postcard image. We are lucky to have some of the same wide streets. Clean sidewalks – they’re great for residents. Great for commuters. Easier for families. Thank you DPW! It looks beautiful. I hope it inspires Shaws to match it up on the other side.

Bonus: It’s easier than ever to #strideby the Jeff Weaver mural at Ben’s Wallpaper and Paint and have a closer look. That mural changes now and again.

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Blizzard of ’69, Gloucester

a8945_402wm copyForty six years ago, almost to the day, the Blizzard of 1969 visited us. It dropped a mere 20 inches of snow. This is Gloucester’s DPW yard on Poplar Street, with National Guard and police vehicles in the yard and on the street. I think I see an armored personnel carrier on the right. The so-called “Lindsay Blizzard” killed 94 people. Mother Nature has a way of repeating herself, as does history.