August 4, 2021: Mosquito Season is Here!
The State EEA is signaling municipalities conduct some mosquito control measures to qualify for an exemption from the state mosquito control program in the 2022 season. If the City fails to meet the State's review criteria, the City will relinquish control and the State will administer their regional program here.
The Gloucester Board of Health will meet Thursday August 5th @ 5:30 pm. Board of Health meeting Aug 5th @ 5:30 pm
Please consider speaking during oral communication to encourage the BOH and health department to report on current mosquito control efforts and inquire as to how they plan to work towards compliance in the State Mosquito Control Program.
Both Gloucester and Rockport have been approved for exemption from state mosquito pesticide controls for this season. In order to obtain a municipal opt-out approval for 2022, the State has placed expectations and goals to be met for this season.
Municipal Opt-Out approval letters included this statement from EEA:"Despite approval, there remain substantial opportunities for improvement in all plan submissions this year. This includes the existence of and quality of alternative mosquito control management services to be provided, implementation of source reduction methods, data collection and analysis, assessment of efficacy, and regional coordination. Most importantly, this also includes the extensiveness of education and outreach to local residents."
The EEA further points out: “Looking beyond this season, guidance for the 2022 opt-out application process will be forthcoming. EEA expects to evaluate lessons learned from the 2021 opt-out process to amend the process for the next year.
While we anticipate the application will have expanded scope and requirements, and that applications will be subject to significantly more stringent review, we also expect to increase resources and support for municipalities in developing plans.”
The State Mosquito Control Task Force is charged with setting State mosquito control policy beginning in 2023. The MCTF will meet Tuesday August 10th @ 12:00 pm. Zoom link: Mosquito Task Force meeting August 10th
Thank you for your interest in preserving Gloucester as a safe mosquito control community.
Find us on Facebook Safe Mosquito Control Massachusetts | Facebook
August 2, 2021: Round two of Fisheries Relief. This is the announcement for the $23 million Fisheries Relief - fisheries industry only, second round. It goes through NOAA first - they take a cut for "administration". It then goes through the Atlantic States Fisheries Commission - another cut. Then to State Division of Marine Fisheries - a third hand in the till, and only then does it go to the intended recipients: Mass CARES Act Fisheries Relief | Mass.gov
July 30, 2021: Gloucester's marvelous Stacey Boulevard gardeners: https://generousgardeners.org/
July 29, 2021: From the desk of the legal researchers assisting the plaintiffs involved in the effort to save Mattos Field:
The researchers who are assisting Patti Amaral are donating all of their hours spent in the month of July to the 'Save Mattos Field' effort. 41 hours of extensive research, meetings, writing, re-writing, travel and court hearing attendance, and document production ($3,075 worth) will not be billed to the plaintiffs. While we could certainly use this money to help their own financial situations, we give up the opportunity to contribute to Save Mattos Field. We were very much stirred by the tremendous efforts by Save Mattos Field, and the contributions of so many wonderful ball players and supporters at the One-Pitch Tournament on July 24th. We look forward to the next fund-raising effort!
We encourage all to keep supporting Patti Amaral and her co-plaintiffs. The politicians in the densely developed cities all over Massachusetts are looking for free and easy land to build their schools. To build these so-called 'green schools', the people's 'green spaces' are being targeted at an alarming rate. Unless the people stand up and say "No More!" the next municipal project will certainly target another park. Urban open spaces are vital to urban resident's health and welfare. Schools are vital, too. But once an open space is taken away, it never comes back. Older school buildings can be refurbished or even replaced with new buildings in smart ways. The easy way out is not always the best way out. If we save Mattos Field, we will save the next park, too. Please consider a contribution to Patti. She and her family have spent decades devoting their time and efforts to help make Gloucester a better place for everyone. If Mattos Field is saved, the results will be of great benefit to others who don't have the means or ability to know where to start to save their parks and playgrounds from being taken away. When one neighborhood is stripped of its park, it hurts all of us. When one neighborhood park is saved, it helps all of us.
Smith vs Westfield
Send Contributions to Patti Amaral 14 Myrtle Square Gloucester, MA 01930 OR
July 28, 2021: Baker-Polito Administration Awards Over $17 Million in Funding for Dams and Coastal Infrastructure: Baker-Polito Administration Awards Over $17 Million in Funding for Dams and Coastal Infrastructure | Mass.gov Gloucester will receive $63,300 for Haskell Pond drainage and seismic improvements, $1,000,000 to construct a new dam at Haskell Pond and $2,379,000 to mitigate coastal flood damage at the high school site.
July 28, 2012: City Charter revised 2011: In order to better understand the local political structure click here for the revised City Charter document of 2011: http://gloucester-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1254/city-charter-revised-2011?bidId=
July 12. 2021: MAPC has issued the Gloucester Open Space and Recreation survey: Gloucester Open Space and Recreation Plan Community Survey (qualtrics.com)
July 12, 2021: The City is hiring a Senior Project Manager in Community Development Grants Division: Job Postings • Gloucester, MA • CivicEngage (gloucester-ma.gov)
July 10, 2021: Request for Proposal (RFP) for Public Relations Services: Bid Postings • Gloucester, MA • CivicEngage (gloucester-ma.gov)
July 7, 2021: A state task force is recommending all Massachusetts residents be added to an organ donor list unless they opt-out: Task Force Recommends All Mass. Residents Be Added To Organ Donor List, Unless They Opt-Out | CommonHealth (wbur.org)
July 3, 2021: The City of Gloucester is seeking a Community Mental Health Navigator to work within the Health Department. This is a temporary, grant-funded position, until the city gets its poop together: Job Postings • Gloucester, MA • CivicEngage (gloucester-ma.gov)
July 1, 2021: Gloucester is located in northeast Massachusetts. Gloucester is part of Essex County. Gloucester has 26.20 square miles of land area and 15.31 square miles of water area. As of 2010-2014, the total Gloucester population is 29,237, which has shrunk 3.42% since 2000. The population growth rate is much lower than the state average rate of 4.85% and is much lower than the national average rate of 11.61%. Gloucester median household income is $60,229 in 2010-2014 and has grown by 26.21% since 2000. The income growth rate is lower than the state average rate of 34.34% and is about the same as the national average rate of 27.36%. Gloucester median house value is $362,200 in 2010-2014 and has grown by 77.03% since 2000. The house value growth rate is about the same as the state average rate of 77.65% and is much higher than the national average rate of 46.91%. As a reference, the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate for the same period is 26.63%. On average, the public school district that covers Gloucester is worse than the state average in quality. The Gloucester area code is 978. Source: http://www.usa.com/gloucester-ma.htm
June 26, 2021: LOCAL BOARDS AND OFFICIALS BEHAVING BADLY: LESSONS IN LEGAL LIABILITY, Read more here . . .
June 26, 2021: Is due process violated through ex parte communications when officials publicly endorse projects without a formal process involving the public, prior to an endorsement when publicly funded grants are involved? Read more . . .
June 22, 2021: Peter Anastas speaks on the Gloucester waterfront planning process in 2014 (I believe). It is a wonderful tribute to the extraordinary efforts so many have made to preserve the working port: Peter Anastas speaks on Gloucester Waterfront Planning - YouTube
June 21, 2021: This may be premature as Harbor Planning process has not officially begun but how is it that the GCCC folks can state they will work with the Harbor Plan Committee?
How is it that they may be granted access to the Harbor Plan review process? Please find below excerpts from their application to Mass Cultural Commission for a grant to study the feasibility of building the Gloucester Forum.
"Describe the financial need for this grant:
Our planning budget is $150,000 for calendar year 2021. The results of these efforts will be the guide for 2022-2024. With the support of this grant, we will:
* Host a series of 20 to 40 or more small community listening sessions to hear concerns and feedback for our plan.
* Work with the Harbor Plan Committee to identify and address concerns.
* Work with our attorney to identify zoning and land use issues to prepare us to present our case to City Council in 2022.
* Work with our architect to revise and advance the schematics in response to community feedback.
* Identify and hire consultants to develop a fundraising plan.
In addition to the funding awarded, we also hope to leverage the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s investment prestige. As we approach other foundations for support, we believe that funding from Massachusetts Cultural Council will signal a confidence in the feasibility of our vision. And in turn, this confidence will propel other funders to partner with us."
June 21, 2021: Please find below the contract language for the $100,000 Beach Ambassadors' program for this year:
Beaches – Assists in the monitoring and reporting violations of City Ordinances and regulations governing beach operations, not limited to alcohol use, beach activities, and protection of the piping plovers. The ambassadors will patrol the beach providing assistance to lifeguards if needed and may assist the parking lot personnel in order to expedite the entering and exiting of the vehicles in the lot. Once the lot personnel leaves for the day, the ambassadors may limit the number of vehicles entering the lot if the lot is full. When a police presence is needed, the ambassadors will contact Gloucester PD directly for assistance. The ambassadors may also reach out to the Harbor Master and other emergency services if needed.In regards to the Plovers, the ambassadors will provide assistance to the volunteer group if needed and will help restrict activities within 100 yards of the symbolic fencing.
Quarries – Ambassadors will float back and forth between Plum Cove Beach, Lane's Cove and the quarries, Vernon's, Nelson's and Klondike with the similar responsibilities as on the beach. They will assist in the monitoring and reporting violations of City Ordinances and regulations governing beach operations, not limited to alcohol use, beach activities, and illegal parking. When a police presence is needed, the ambassadors will contact Gloucester PD directly for assistance. The ambassadors may also reach out to the Harbor Master and other emergency services if needed.
Downtown Floater – will travel between Pavilion Beach, Niles Beach and the down town district and will assist in the monitoring and reporting violations of City Ordinances and regulations governing beach operations, not limited to alcohol use, beach activities, and illegal parking. When a police presence is needed, the ambassadors will contact Gloucester PD directly for assistance. The ambassadors may also reach out to the Harbor Master and other emergency services if needed.
Cancellations / Changes in Hours of Operation:The DPW Director or his designee can adjust hours of operation or cancel assignments based on needs, such as inclement weather, beach shutdowns, or any other unforeseen circumstances. Changes in hours of operations will require one week’s written notice by the DPW Director before the changes can take place – unless the agency agrees to do so with less than one weeks’ notice. Any ambassador whose shift gets cancelled without 24 hours’ notice will be entitled to a minimum of 4 hours pay for the cancellation. If an increase or decrease in quantity of hours is warranted, the unit prices will govern.
June 21, 2021: News is Greg Verga will challenge Sefatia for mayor in the upcoming election.
June 15, 2021: The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway is a 90-mile roadway that links 14 coastal communities from Lynn to Salisbury and features scenic views, period architecture, historic sites and recreational opportunities: https://coastalbyway.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/ecsb_report_summary.pdf
June 13, 2021: The newly formed Gloucester Cultural and Civic Center has a plan to build The Gloucester Forum, a proposed 76,000 square foot state-of-the-art cultural and civic center that includes a main stage theater, studio theater, rehearsal rooms, conference center, as well as offices for maritime and nonprofit arts organizations. Mark Bobrowski will provide research and legal services related to the zoning issues for the parcel. He will advise the board members and make recommendations for a strategy for success. This may include researching previous zoning exemptions for businesses such as the Beauport Hotel, GMGI and Cruiseport. Drawing on his depth of knowledge of municipal zoning, Mark will be invaluable to their work as they lead up to their 2022 request to the Gloucester City Council. Click here to see their presentation.
June 13, 2021: Conservation Commission meeting June 16 at 6 PM, may be a big night. Of particular interest to the public, Notice of Intent (NOI) 28-2776 for 11 Webster Street and Request for Determination (RDA) for 1703 Salt Island: SKM_28721061112180 (gloucester-ma.gov)
June 13, 2021: Community Preservation Committee meeting Tuesday June 15 at 6 PM, applicant presentations, round 1: SKM_28721060913420 (gloucester-ma.gov)
June 13, 2021: City Council O&A sub-committee Monday June 14 at 6 PM regarding CC order #2021 - 12 presented by Scott Memhard to consider adopting pilot changes in 2019 Beach & Stage Fort Park regulations relating to surfing at Good Harbor Beach. Flexibility will be discussed to accommodate surfers. This is a good initiative. SKM_28721060909110 (gloucester-ma.gov)
June 13, 2021: Regarding mosquito control in Massachusetts, the group Safe Mosquito Control, https://www.facebook.com/safemosquitocontrol.ma, thanks you for your recent support of the Mosquito Control Municipal Opt-Out Application process.
The State is reviewing 34 completed Municipal Opt-Out applications. We now await review and approval by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and Department of Public Health.
According to Craig Gilvarg, EEA Deputy Communications Director, opt-out applications will be “reviewed with consideration of historical arbovirus risk, the impact of the opt-out application regionally, and the implementation of an alternative mosquito management plan.”
If any applications are deemed deficient for approval, there needs to be comments returned to the municipality for amendment and resubmission to the State. Declination by the State should not be an option.
Please contact the following and request the approval of all Municipal Opt-Out applications: Caroline Higley at the EEA email@example.com
State Senator and State Representative: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator Mosquito Task force for the 21st Century https://www.mass.gov/.../comments-for-the-mosquito...
Additionally, as a courtesy, you can find two form letters here the group has created for your convenience when contacting EEA or your elected officials.
June 10, 2021: Ordinances and Administration Committee meeting on June 14 at 6PM Councilor LeBlanc's CC Order 2020-03 requests a review of the city charter: SKM_28721060909110 (gloucester-ma.gov)
June 10, 2021: GLOUCESTER MEANS BUSINESS
June 7, 2021: For a better understanding of the chain of command in Gloucester please see the City's organization chart. It's noteworthy who really is in charge . . . See more
June 7, 2021: City Council meeting June 8th @ 6:00 pm. It's a public hearing regarding 11 Webster Street for building in excess of Sec 3.2 limits and building heights in excess of 35 feet in the R-20 District: SKM_28721060408550 (gloucester-ma.gov)
June 7, 2021: Over the weekend Patti Amaral shared a letter she had submitted for a Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review regarding Mattos Field and its proposed appropriation for a new school. Read More . . .
June 4, 2021: Fiscal 2020 Comprehensive Annual Report http://www.gloucester-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/7505/City-of-Gloucester-CAFR-2020?bidId=
June 2, 2021: Planning Board will meet Thursday June 3rd @ 5:00 pm on the agenda is a continued public hearing for the proposed Upper Banjo Cluster Development: SKM_28721060111380 (gloucester-ma.gov)
June 2, 2021: Special Events Committee meets Thursday June 3rd @ 2:00 pm Click here for a full list of events planned for this season in Gloucester: SKM_28721060111310 (gloucester-ma.gov)
June 2, 2021: As contaminated water concerns grow, Massachusetts towns urge the state to stop spraying pesticides in their communities (msn.com) “I have yet to be convinced that blanketing the state with pesticides is a good public health strategy,” said Julia Blatt, executive director of Massachusetts Rivers Alliance. “It seems crazy to me that we’re asking water suppliers to spend millions of dollars to remove PFAS from public water supplies to make them safe, while continuing to spread pesticides, some of which we know contain PFAS.” In Gloucester, there were other concerns, especially from the lobster industry:Patti Page, an outspoken resident who works for a local lobster business, noted that mosquitoes and lobsters are both arthropods and vulnerable to the same threats.“What kills a mosquito kills lobsters just as effectively,” she said.Before the new law took effect, she noted, Gloucester didn’t allow spraying and has seen no reason to change.“This took away all local control,” she said. “This was very concerning to me.”
June 2, 2021: Cape Ann Cosmos, a link to arts, science and entertainment events list on Cape Ann, Cape Ann Cosmos: Arts, Science & Entertainment Newsletter
June 1, 2021: New rules around parking for residents in GDT: https://www.gloucestertimes.com/news/city-limits-beach-area-parking-to-residents/article_2df3fbd7-dd03-5a64-926d-282bc6217149.html
June 1, 2021: Local woman quoted in the Boston Globe today with concerns about pesticide spraying: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/05/31/business/contaminated-water-concerns-grow-massachusetts-towns-urge-state-stop-spraying-pesticides-their-communities/
May 30, 2021: Considering it's an election year, here is a link to the city's charter, the governing document that explains the powers of the city. It's a good read and reference point for any of you inclined to hold those in office accountable: http://www.gloucester-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1263/CityCharter?bidId=
May 30, 2021: In order to stay informed we urge you to actively participate in Gloucester's Open Space and Recreation committee meetings. Refer to city's calendar for dates and times http://gloucester-ma.gov/1021/Public-Meeting-NoticesMetropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is leading the Greater Boston’s regional long-range planning - Metro Common 2050, Greater Boston's next land use and policy plan. Each month there will be a new information added and various ways to interact. Click here to take survey: https://mapc.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d1gV69jqThRkfPw Strategies include considering the future use of TDRs, cluster development by right, and establishing bylaws or ordinances to preserve trees on private property which serve the public interest.
May 30, 2021: Friday May 28th marked the deadline for municipalities to submit a Mosquito Control Municipal Opt-Out application for approval to State EEA Sec Katherine Theoherides. The Mosquito Task Force will meet June 2nd @ 1:00 pm and discuss the Opt-Out process. We are hopeful all Municipal Opt-Out applications will be approved. Link to Mosquito Task Force agenda with link to meetinghttps://www.mass.gov/doc/june-2-2021-meeting-agenda/download
May 29, 2021: At next week's scheduled Conservation Commission meeting conservation restrictions at 286 Concord Street will be discussed. See ConComm's meeting and agenda schedule for more information: http://gloucester-ma.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/13298
May 27, 2021: Please find link to workbook the city's OSRC is using to conduct is review of Gloucester's open space: OPEN SPACE AND RECREATION PLAN (mass.gov)
May 27, 2021: Metro Common 2050 Greater Boston's next land use and policy plan, click here to take survey MetroCommon Policy Survey (qualtrics.com) The plan is considering the future use of TDRs, cluster development by right, and controlling private trees on private property. In order to stay informed we urge you to actively participate in Gloucester's Open Space and Recreation committee meetings. Refer to city's calendar for dates and times http://gloucester-ma.gov/1021/Public-Meeting-Notices
May 26, 2021: Do you enjoy open spaces? Gloucester’s Open Space and Recreation Committee (OSRC) is undertaking a review of the city’s open space plan.
Here in Gloucester there are all varieties of open space, from the Gus Foote pocket park to Stage Fort Park. Open spaces include both passive and active recreation areas from the woodlands of Dogtown, the Lanesville quarries (city-owned only please), Magnolia Pier, Annisquam Bridge, Rocky Neck causeway, Jones’ Creek Landing, properties owned or governed by land trusts, ball fields, beaches, public landings, and parks.
To learn more, go to the city’s main page, http://gloucester-ma.gov/ click on the Government, Boards and Commissions tab, then scroll to OSRC. (Unfortunately, the link through the Departments tab to Community Development to OSRC does not lead you to the same interface, so don’t be fooled.) Or use this link: http://www.gloucester-ma.gov/131/Open-Space-Recreation-Committee
This planning effort is being led by the State Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). MAPC is a public agency created under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40B, Section 24.
MAPC's mission statement can be found here at https://www.mapc.org/aboutus/
The results of their Virtual Open House survey should be posted shortly.
This renewal planning process is underway but there is still time for the public to participate. An OSR public survey, originally scheduled to launch May 24th, will be launched in the near future. There will also be a second public forum scheduled and city-wide participation is encouraged. This process will develop strategies and goals for the next seven years. Those interested in guiding the policies which will be incorporated into Gloucester’s new open space and recreation plan should stay tuned and participate.