Tag Archives: Essex
Essex River Sunset and Great Blue Heron
Readers, what do you think?
December 27th Gloucester Daily Times letter to the editor from Elizabeth and Brad Story.
“To the editor:
Cape Ann folks should be aware of the fact that there is significant opposition to dredging the Essex River in town and it comes from local people who know the river best. Rather than celebrating a boondoggle like dredging, we ought to be mourning a body blow to an incredible local natural resource.
The reason the Essex River hasn’t been dredged since the ‘90s is that dredging:
— actually causes the river to fill in more quickly;
— is terrible environmentally, no matter where the dredge spoils are dumped;
— is a waste of money.
When the channel is dredged, the banks are steeper. More boats use the river at higher speeds and the wakes and turbulence from the boats causes the steeper banks to collapse. The collapsed bank material fills in the channel. Now the river is spread out over the tops of the old banks and more filling in occurs.
We have seen this over and over again. If you look at the time period between dredging projects in the 20th century you will see that the time gets shorter and shorter. This is because the dredging makes the river less deep over time.
In the 19th century hundreds of huge Gloucester fishing schooners, steamers and other large vessels were built and launched on the banks of the river and were brought downriver on successive tides. There was plenty of water for them in the basin where they were launched and the trip down river just had to be guided by someone who knew the river. Once steam tugs were available they didn’t even have to necessarily wait for more than one tide.
Harold Burnham, who brings the Schooner Ardelle up the river to his boatyard, and has brought other large vessels up the river many times, uses the same method today. It is not a problem. My family operated the Story Shipyard, where the Essex Shipbuilding Museum is now, for many generations and I did business there until 1985. I built and launched many boats there and sailed from there downriver to Ipswich Bay hundreds of times.
The only people who have a problem are people who want to zoom up the river to the restaurants or marinas, and don’t want to deal with the state of the tide or the shoal areas. The police chief/harbormaster, who has so far refused to dock his boat at Conomo Point where there is deep water on all tides, also wants dredging. Maybe we need a harbormaster who doesn’t have to do double duty as police chief and therefore doesn’t need to be close to his office in the center of town? Might this work better without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on harmful dredging?
The Coast Guard has always had a problem getting in the lower Essex River but dredging won’t affect that. The problem is the sandbars shifting across the mouth of the river and between the ends of Crane Beach and Coffin’s Beach each year. No amount of dredging will ever change that, nor is it intended to.
The main problem in the Essex River is not its shallow draft. It is people going way too fast in big, powerful boats. This is our public safety problem. We face it every time we try to go boating, especially on summer weekends.”
From the owners of the Blue Marlin Grill in Essex now comes The Boat House Grille. Located at the old Lewis’ Restaurant….and later Castle Creek. I haven’t had a chance to get there yet, but I’ve heard great things about the menu, the food, the staff, and the ambience. Looking forward to seeing what Corey Matthews and his group has created in the very near future!
Last night show of our local schooners was wonderful !! All built in Essex.
Forgot to mention weather dependent outside dining on the deck and what appears to be ample parking front and to the side. Will be ready to open sometime in June.
The Riverbend restaurant still under construction is coming to the Essex Marina area with a target date of sometime in June. Great views from this spot of the marshes and Essex River. They are still looking for help in the wait staff and bartending positions. More to follow.
This is a spot I’ve visited a number of times, just waiting for the perfect view to photograph. One morning I really didn’t want to get out of bed at 4am but I knew a storm had come through the night before and the cloud cover might be interesting so I dragged my butt over to Essex and wasn’t disappointed! Of course I got there and the sun hadn’t started to rise yet…it was just cloudy and grey, but it’s amazing how in a span of 15 minutes a scene like this can unfold before your eyes. This is one of my favorite photos of last year and a 16 x 20 canvas print is one of the prints available at the Art at the Schoolhouse this weekend so stop by! Thanks to James and Anna at Cape Ann Giclee for their expert printing of this canvas!
An oft photographed house anchoring the Essex Salt Marsh, and always beautiful in whatever light captured.
Meet the Cape Ann Small Business Persons of the Year and Week-long Schedule of Events June 1st through the 5th, Culminating with Mayor Carolyn Kirk Giving Keynote Speech!
CHAMBER CELEBRATES CAPE ANN SMALL BUSINESS WEEK JUNE 1 – 5
The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce salutes Cape Ann’s 2015 Small Business Persons of the Year at a series of events this week. Monday night, Manchester will honor Mike Storella of Central Street Gallery at 7 Central from 5 to 7 p.m., while on Tuesday friends and fans will celebrate Joey Ciaramitaro of Good Morning Gloucester from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Studio as Gloucester’s choice for Small Business Person of the Year. On Wednesday, June 3 Karin and Ken Porter of Roy Moore Lobster Company and Roy Moore’s Fish Shack, Rockport Small Business Persons of the Year, will in turn be recognized at the Emerson Inn by the Sea from 5 to 7 p.m. Tim and Vicky Kennefick of the Windward Grille, Essex Small Business Persons of the Year, will be feted at their own restaurant on Thursday, June 4 from 5 to 7 p.m. All will be honored together at the Chamber’s 35th Annual Small Business Week awards luncheon on Friday, June 5, beginning at 11:30 a.m., at the Sea Glass Restaurant at the Castle Manor Inn, 141 Essex Avenue, Gloucester. The keynote address at the luncheon will be delivered by former Gloucester Mayor and current Deputy Secretary for Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk.
Cape Ann Small Business Week is designed to highlight the extraordinary contributions of Cape Ann’s small business community for exemplary entrepreneurial achievement as well as notable civic and community involvement. This year’s Small Business Week award winners are being honored individually at receptions in their respective communities during Cape Ann Small Business Week, thanks to the generous support of presenting sponsor Institution for Savings. Please visit capeannchamber.com for a complete schedule of these receptions.
Friends, family members, and colleagues of all small business honorees are invited and encouraged to attend the receptions and the luncheon. Each reception is complimentary, while tickets for the luncheon are available to all for $30. To register online, please visit capeannchamber.com.
For more information, please contact Kerry McKenna at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Chamber at 978-283-1601.
Meet the honorees (of course our Joey needs no introduction) ~
Business career: High tech Operations, Sales and Business Development background for many years in Communications, internet and computer systems of various types. Past positions at IBM, Cisco, and a number of tech startups, presently COO at dog hunter LLC a maker of Iot devices( internet of things). Board member of Rockport Art Association and Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce. Artistic career, plein air painter: One of the Founders of the Central Street Gallery in Manchester by the Sea, MA, it is a co-operative gallery consisting of 14 working artists with 6 shows per year of new works and approaching our 7th year.
Joey Ciaramitaro is co-owner of Captain Joe and Sons Lobster Company and creator of GoodMorningGloucester. He graduated from Bishop Fenwick High School in 1985 and Bentley College in 1989, with a BA in Economics. Joey is the father of two beautiful daughters- Madeline and Eloise Ciaramitaro, ages 8 and 9. He is one of the original founders of The Downtown Gloucester Block Parties. Joey credits his success to the support that his mom Pat, and father Libby gave him growing up, the fantastic people he gets to work with every day, the men and women who lobster for Captain Joe and Sons, his business partner Frankie, and the incredibly passionate Blog contributors who are part of the Good Morning Gloucester family.
Ken Porter began working at Roy Moore Lobster Company at 39 Bearskin Neck in 1979 while still in high school. He continued to work there on weekends for the next ten years, while also working as a lobsterman out of Rockport Harbor. The business was started in 1918 by Roy Moore and was later purchased by Dana Woods and operated by Dana and his son Charlie until the 1980s. In 1989, the year that Ken and Karin were married, Ken purchased Roy Moore Lobster Company. In 1998, Karin and Ken opened the Fish Shack restaurant upstairs from the Lobster Company, and operated there until moving the restaurant to its present location at 21 Dock Square in 2003.
While operating these two successful Rockport businesses together for more than 25 years, Karin and Ken Porter have also generously given back to the Rockport community for decades. For many years they have supported every high school class and the DECA program by hosting fund raising spaghetti suppers and pancake breakfasts at the Fish Shack. Every year they also provide the lobsters for and support the Rotary Club’s Lobster Fest and the Navy Committee’s lobster bake. They also support the Council on Aging with an annual dinner for seniors and the Rotary Club’s annual Valentine’s Day luncheon for seniors. Every Sunday in February, Ken runs a pool tournament at the Legion Hall to raise funds for Rockport’s Veterans Weekend, and every December since moving to Dock Square Karin has provided free hot chocolate following the Christmas in Rockport Tree Lighting ceremony.
Karin and Ken Porter live in Rockport and have two children, John and Charlene.
Vicky and Tim Kennefick opened the Windward Grille Restaurant in August 2005 after 6 months of renovations. The restaurant was formerly known as the Hearthside Restaurant, a well-known dining destination on the north shore. Our goal was to bring the restaurant back to the reputation it had once enjoyed in the 1970s and 1980s. We have 6 children ranging in age from 30 to 14, most of whom have worked at the restaurant throughout the years. Tim is a native of Gloucester and was familiar with the area and the restaurant location. As we close in on our 10th anniversary we hope that the people of Cape Ann have enjoyed our establishment as much as we have enjoyed meeting many new friends.
The keynote address at the luncheon will be delivered by former Gloucester Mayor and current Deputy Secretary for Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk.
Carolyn A. Kirk, Deputy Secretary, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development for the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Carolyn A. Kirk joined the Administration of Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito in January of 2015 and serves as the Deputy Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
In this position, Kirk leads operational management and shares policy responsibility for the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Mass. Office of Business Development and its ancillary agencies of Mass. Travel and Tourism, the Mass. Marketing Partnership, and the Mass. Office of International Trade and Investment.
In addition, Kirk is responsible for economic planning and growth in the Maritime economic sector, oversees the MassWorks grant program, and provides direct support to the Lieutenant Governor’s office on a number of initiatives.
Prior to her appointment with the Baker/Polito administration, in 2007 Kirk was the first woman popularly elected as Mayor of the City of Gloucester. Kirk went on to win three subsequent general municipal elections and never lost a ward or a precinct in any of her contests and served as Mayor for seven years. Kirk’s administration invested over $100million in infrastructure thus laying the groundwork for future economic growth. The first-ever business class hotel is under construction in the city in a long sought after waterfront location adjacent to downtown. A new $40 million elementary school, the first one to be built since World War II and which Kirk led the effort on for seven years, is also under construction in the city.
Deputy Secretary Kirk’s professional career spans over 25 years. She is a long-time management consultant and her clients have included many of the Top 20 banks in the US, along with Fortune 500 companies. She and her husband Bill Kirk have two children, Sam, 17 and Baylee, 14. Both are enrolled in Gloucester Public Schools.
A graduate of the Boston College class of 1984, Carolyn Kirk was born and raised in Clinton, NY and moved to Massachusetts to attend college. She moved to Gloucester in 1988 where she still resides, and was drawn to the diversity and beauty of the city.
You’ve got to be brave to show the kites who’s boss…
“See, you gotta sneak up on it, poke it with the stick and if it moves run like hell!!”
Click to see full size.
As we were talking about salt marshes on a recent podcast, the following is information provided by the Massachusetts Bays Program:
The Essex Salt Marsh is part of the 17,000 acre Great Marsh that extends from Cape Ann into New Hampshire. Salt marshes are found in coastal areas. These unique ecosystems are formed within protective estuaries and support numerous plants and animals. Salt marshes are among the most productive lands on earth, outcompeting even the best-managed farms. Two-thirds of all marine fish and shellfish depend on salt marshes during some portion of their lives.
Salt marshes are divided into two general vegetation zones. The Low Marsh is flooded twice daily by the incoming tide and is dominated by Spartina alternifolia (low salt marsh grass). The High Marsh is flooded sporadically and is dominated by Spartina patens (high salt marsh grass). Salt marshes contain tidal creeks, pools, and islands of high ground, and serve as highly efficient pollution filters.
Nationwide, vast areas of salt marsh have been destroyed by filling, dredging, and developing upland areas. The Great Marsh has escaped much of this destruction, but it is impacted by pollution runoff and mosquito control ditches built in the 1930s, and by road and rail crossings, which restrict tidal flows to upstream marshes.
Clouds over the Essex River at high tide
Award-winning, internationally acclaimed performers, Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly present captivating programs of traditional American and Celtic folk songs and percussive dance. Elwood and Aubrey blend gorgeous harmonies and play an astonishing array of instruments including guitar, Appalachian mountain dulcimer, mandolin, tin whistle, harmonica, banjo, limberjacks, and other surprises including a thrilling interpretation of freestyle Appalachian clog dancing. Married since 1989, Aubrey and Elwood have performed widely in the United States and abroad and their twelve recordings receive international airplay. Joining Aubrey and Elwood is Kevin Doyle, a delightful, compelling performer of old style traditional Irish step dance and American tap dance as well as percussion and vocals. A lifelong dancer, Kevin was a U.S. Champion Irish step dancer in his early competitive years, and has been entertaining audiences ever since with his traditional style of “close to the ground” rhythms and intricate foot work. Their performance is appealing to all ages, and with humor, audience participation, and a relaxed stage presence, Aubrey, Elwood, and Kevin explain song origins to give more relevance to the material. From haunting melodies to lively jigs you will be delighted by the performance.
A mecca for lovers of American folk art, Cogswell’s Grant was the summer home of renowned collectors Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little. The colonial-era farmhouse on the property serves as a rich backdrop for their celebrated collection, assembled over a period of nearly sixty years. Though known for their meticulous research, the Littles decorated with an eye for visual delight rather than historic accuracy, and the result is a house rich in atmosphere and crowded with works of strong, even quirky character.
The Littles purchased this 165-acre property overlooking the Essex River in 1937 and carefully restored the 1728 farmhouse, preserving original finishes and documenting their work through photographs. Today, the rooms are overflowing with “country arts” including folk art portraits, painted furniture, redware, hooked rugs, weathervanes, and decoys. Everything is arranged just as the family lived with it and shared it with their friends and fellow collectors.
Mr. and Mrs. Little were both prominent members of collector’s clubs and historical societies, and Mrs. Little authored countless books, articles, and exhibition catalogues. She is now recognized as one of the most important scholars in the field of American folk art.
Cogswell’s Grant was the perfect setting for the Littles’ antiques, but was also important as a working farm and family retreat where they relaxed and entertained. Today it is one of the only places where it is possible to visit such a collection in the home for which it was collected.
Visit Cogswell’s Grant
Wednesday – Sunday, June 1 – October 15
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tours on the hour. Last tour at 4:00 p.m.
Closed July 4
Grounds open dawn till dusk, year round
Free for Historic New England members and Essex residents.
Cogswell’s Grant is located at 60 Spring Street in Essex
Farmer John Kusulas was interviewed on WBZ News Radio 1030, Mary Blake News Anchor.
Fred Bodin gives the Kodiak Bear Family sculpture a “bear hug” during a special preview on the grounds of the Chris Williams sculpture studio in Essex, MA. I am 6’1″ tall, and males of this species of bear grow to over 10′ tall when standing on their hind legs. The tree the bear family is climbing is 17′ high. The Kodiak bear is to scale! Kodiak, or brown bears, are named after an island of the same name in Alaska.