SOARING BACTERIA LEVELS AT THE GOOD HARBOR BEACH CREEK = 140 TIMES THE ACCEPTABLE AMMOUNT

Please, whatever you do on your next visit to Good Harbor Beach, please do not go swimming in the Creek and please keep your kids out of the water. Even toe-dipping is not safe!

The City  of Gloucester has been working very hard everyday to find the source of the raw sewage contamination. According to Board of Health Assistant Director Rachel Belisle-Toler, the City has hired an outside engineering firm and are fairly sure the source has been identified. Before they can say for certain, a specific type of rain storm is needed to confirm. When storm drains overflow is the optimal time time to ascertain the source.

The state of Massachusetts’s absolute limit for enterococci bacteria at beaches where people swim is104 CFUs (living colony forming individual bacteria) per 100 milliliters of water. Currently the level is at 14,000 CFUs or approximately 140 times the acceptable level.

From the EPA – Enterococci are indicators of the presence of fecal material in water and, therefore, of the possible presence of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. These pathogens can sicken swimmers and others who use rivers and streams for recreation or eat raw shellfish or fish.

The official name for the Creek is Saratoga Creek. When my kids were little, I never took them swimming at the Creek because it never smelled right to me. As recently as three years ago, there wasn’t any odor coming from the Creek and I let Charlotte swim there. Last year and this have been a different story. The stench was so bad last Sunday, it was almost unbearable. The nose knows!

PLEASE, BRING BACK THE GLOUCESTER HIGH SCHOOL KIDS!!!

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR COMMUNITY ADVOCACY. THE KIDS ARE RETURNING TO GOOD HARBOR BEACH FOR THEIR NEXT PRACTICE. Councilor-at-large Jeff Worthley shares the following,”I just learned that that advocacy for returning students back to Good Harbor has been effective and a decision was made to reverse course. The kids exercise Monday, Wednesday and Friday so I think you’ll see them back there on Friday.”

Dear Community,

I don’t know if we can make this happen or not but there is a situation happening at Good Harbor Beach that I think everyone who cares about our local kids should be aware of. For 36 years, Gloucester football coaches have been running an excellent summer conditioning work-out for kids at the footbridge side of the beach. The conditioning practice is held three mornings a week and starts at around 5:30am, lasting for about two hours. Coach Lattof, Coach O’Connor, and another gentleman, Craig I believe is his name, are there giving the kids a very challenging conditioning practice, and also using the time to develop great teamwork and strong citizen spirits. The kids have summer jobs and that is why the early schedule. The team players are respectful, helpful, courteous, clean-up any beverage bottles, and are not any noisier than the beach is on a typical sunny weekend summer morning when the beach is beginning to fill up. And the noise level doesn’t come close to the dull roar that is Good Harbor Beach by noon time on any given sunny summer day.

ONE neighbor complaining about the noise during practice does not warrant moving the kids off Good Harbor Beach to Stage Fort Park, which is exactly what has happened. To see these kids so earnestly practicing every morning, this generation that has grown up in such turbulent times, with Covid and “active shooter drills” as part of their daily routine, treated like less than the good people they are striving to become is just plain infuriating!

The kids are really disappointed, to say the least. They were really getting into checking on the Plovers and took great pride in telling people to watch out for them. The kids felt like Good Harbor Beach is what made conditioning special; it is something unique to Gloucester that no one else has and it is their way of connecting with nature and the community.

The objective of our Plover program is to work with the community to ensure that Good Harbor Beach is open for Everyone to share the shore, most importantly kept open for our high school sports teams, along with endangered shorebirds. Please share this and please write to Mayor Verga and City Councilors to please let them know that we want the high school kids back on the beach.

Thank you most sincerely,
Kim and team Piping Plover Ambassadors

Gloucester High School kids Good Harbor Beach morning conditioning practice

 

Scott Memhard (Ward One Councilor, in which GHB falls under his purview) smemhard@gloucester-ma.gov
Jeff Worthley (Councilor-at-Large, who has taken a special interest in Good Harbor Beach and the Plovers) jworthley@gloucester-ma.gov
Val Gilman, City Council President vgilman@gloucester-ma.gov
Joanne Senos, City Clerk vgilman@gloucester-ma.gov
Coach Latoff twinsaints@gmail.com
Bryan Lafata, GHS Athletic Director blafata2@gloucesterschools.com

FOURTH OF JULY SUNSET #livinginparadise

Beautiful golden sunset for our Fourth of July sunset picnic last evening Niles Beach

INDEPENDENCE DAY

Perhaps some day soon, in the not too distant future, the US flag will come to represent all its citizens equally, including women and children; people of every color, ethnicity, and religion; and the LGBTQIA+ community. That’s what I am thinking about this Independence Day. How about you?

HANDICAPPED CHICK, HANDICAPPED MOM: JULY 4TH PIPING PLOVER UPDATE

One of our Good Harbor Beach chicks is not growing as well as the other five. Just like SuperMom, his right foot has sustained some type of injury. I have been keeping an eye on him the past few days and he’s definitely not eating and not growing as quickly as are his siblings at area #3. He doesn’t put any weight on the foot and often does a hop run like his Mom. He is mostly seen  straggling behind and spends more time than the others thermo-snuggling beneath the parent’s wings, especially Mom. She appears to be extra nurturing with this one and does not seem to mind providing extra snuggles. Perhaps with her injury, more snuggling gives her additional time to rest, too.

You can see in the photo he’s at least a third smaller than his sibling. Please, if you go to see the Plovers, give them lots of and lots of space to forage and to do their thing. particularly during the morning and late day when the beach isn’t crowded, it’s their time to forage and stock up for the day’s limited access to food and to water. Thank you so very much!

The chick on the left is similar in development to his two other siblings. You can see that the little handicapped chick on the right is smaller and is not putting any weight on his foot.

Happy Two-Week-Old Birthday to our GHB Area #3 Chicks

It’s been crazy busy at GHB and if all six chicks survive this most busiest of holiday weekends, it will be a miracle, and also, largely  due to our amazing team of PiPl Ambassadors who have devoted many extra hours over the four day weekend to keeping watch over the PiPls.

DEER DID NOT GET THE 411 TO STAY OUT OF THE PLOVER AREA :)

Good Morning PiPl Friends,

All four chicks and Mom and Dad peacefully foraging at #3.

The footbridge end of the beach is far more active so I did not get down to #1, but Mom and Dad and two chicks were there last evening. I observed as Duncan H expertly escorted the four down the length of the very busy beach. Susan is walking that way when she leaves her shift at 8 today so hopefully, a happy report from #1 will be forthcoming. I am headed back down at 9:30 to cover Marty’s shift so will have a look then if they have not been spotted.

Jonathan joined me on my shift this morning. Thank you Jonathan! He met several of the morning PiPl well wishers including Pat and Delores, long-time Pover fans. Jan Bell was there this morning, too. It’s lovely to have these wonderful members of the community also looking out for the PiPls!

Attached is the latest holiday weekend schedule. Many, many thanks to Jill for taking the 1 to 2pm slot and for also volunteering to check in during the evening on the fireworks situation.

The deer did not get the 411 to stay out of the roped off area!

PIPING PLOVER MILESTONES – HAPPY ONE-WEEK OLD BIRTHDAY AND HAPPY TEN-DAY-OLD BIRTHDAY!

Good Morning PiPl Friends!

Thursday marked the ten-day-old milestone of our GHB #3 Family of four chicks and the one-week-old milestone of our twins from the Salt Island Family. They could not have attained these important dates in a chick’s life without the help of the entire PiPl community and well-wishers. On the one hand I expect any day one will disappear but on the other, I am grateful for each day with these little marshmallows. To have six chicks at GHB is simply astounding!

A huge shout out to our amazing, dedicated, kind-hearted Piping Plover Ambassadors; the City of Gloucester; Mark Cole, Joe Lucido, and the DPW crew; Essex Greenbelt’s Director of Land Stewardship Dave Rimmer; City Councilors Jeff Worthley and Scott Memhard; Coach Lafferty, Athletic Director Byran Lafata, Head Football Coach O’Connor, and the GHS football team. Thank you!

GHB Salt Island one-week-old Plover Chick

GHB Area #3 ten-day-old Piping Plover Chick 

 

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT! Please give the Piping Plovers lots of space

The main reason why we have become increasingly reluctant to publicly share information about the Piping Plover families nesting at Good Harbor Beach is because of photographers. We want to help educate the community and share their beautiful life story unfolding but on the other hand, sharing information and images entices folks who are not as conscientious as you or I would hope. I think most of our local photographers, filmmakers, and well-wishers are very sensitive to giving wildlife their space but out-of- towners, not so much.

The one morning I wasn’t able to stay for my full shift at GHB, a photographer parked herself for several hours smack dab in the midst of the primary Plover area where they traverse back and forth. When the next Ambassador came on duty there was a great deal of confusion  locating chicks with their respective parents and I can’t help but wonder if having a stranger stationed for several hours precisely where they are accustomed to foraging displaced the chicks.

One need not bring a blanket and sit right on top of the Plovers, especially when one has a ginormous telephoto lens. Please stop by, take a few photos from a comfortable distance, and then please, move on. Folks don’t realize too that sitting on top of the baby birds like this also attracts Crows and Gulls, especially in the early and later part of the day when there are few other humans around for the C and Gs to swipe food from. I am quite sure the photographer knew that she was not following good wildlife observing guidelines because the minute she saw me coming as I returned to the beach, she packed up her blanket and gear.

Next year we are going to request the DPW pull the roping out further into the beach. The symbolically roped off area does not need to be quite as wide as it is, but for the general safety and well-being of the PiPls, it needs to be deeper. However, in the meantime, especially early and late in the day when the Plovers are mostly feeding, please give the baby birds the space they need to forage. These few weeks they are at Good Harbor Beach are the most critical days of their little lives. They need lots and lots of space to continuously forage to  fatten up for the long journey south. Thank you!

CRAZY HAT LADY SAMANTHA BARRETT’S MAGNIFICENT CREATION

Samantha Barrett if a first time Fiesta Crazy Hat Lady

GLOUCESTER STAGE AND THE SAWYER FREE LIBRARY PRESENT EDITH WHARTON EVENT THURSDAY, JUNE 30TH!

My friend M.J. writes from the Gloucester Stage –

Hello friends!!

Gloucester Stage opens its second show of the season this coming Friday, July 1.  MR FULLERTON: BETWEEN THE SHEETS is about Edith Wharton and her torrid affair in Paris with Morton Fullerton, and also her friendship with Henry James.

We’ve put together an event at the Sawyer Free Library on Thursday evening which is a not-very-disguised ploy  to stir up some buzz about the play by having an evening of lively discussion about Wharton.  First, we’ll present a short scene from the play.  The playwright, Anne Undeland, will dish about the steamy letters between Wharton and Fullerton that inspired the play, and Prof Megan Dawley, an expert on American satire in the Gilded Age, will reveal some lesser known aspects of Wharton’s life and work. There will be a wine reception afterwards.

The event is Thursday 6-8 at the Library and I hope you can come!

All best,

M.J.

WINNING WALK SHORT FILM – ANTHONY NOVELLO YOUR SATURDAY GREASY POLE CHAMPION!

“I did it for the Fort!”

A SIX PIPL CHICK MORNING!

Good Morning!

All feeding with great gusto except when a hungry family of Starlings appeared on the scene. Mom and Dad both went after the three with much buzzing and brandishing of wings.

Super Mom, with only one foot, giving the Starlings the business!

We are so thankful to Councilor Jeff Worthley, Mark Cole, Coach Lafferty, and athletic director Byran Lafata for their response in moving the sports teams back to the original footbridge location, where they have been practicing for 36 years. Additionally, Coach Lafferty is having the kids run in groups of three, not thirty across, which will help give chicks the opportunity to scamper away if they get caught in the midst. This was the Coach’s idea!

Several days ago, I met the gentleman who owns the house at Cape Hedge where the Plover family had the nest. He was overjoyed to see our pLover chicks and is super bummed about the CHB family. He is dismayed that the no dogs signs still have not been posted at his end of the beach. We are going to have to provide more assistance to our Rockport friends in helping them get organized for next year.

Thank you Everyone for all your great work! Jennie, I am going to post about your Gloucester Writer’s Center event in a separate post. I am hoping to attend and looking forward to listening to your Plover poems, but if not, congratulations and best wishes for a wonderful event <3

Have a beautiful day,
xxKim

LIVE AT THE GLOUCESTER WRITER’S CENTER – JENNIE MEYER AND BOB WHELAN!

Jennie, my friend and Piping Plover Ambassador extraordinaire writes,

“I will be reading alongside Rockport Poetry’s Bob Whelan to launch the opening night of The Gloucester Writers Center summer reading series this Thursday, June 30, at 7pm at the GWC (126 East Main St., East Gloucester).

I am an eco-poet, among other things, and usually read a poem or two about the plovers, and touch briefly on what we do. Bob is a mindful poet who recently hosted the Rockport Poetry Festival. I thought I would pass this on in case you are interested in an evening of local poetry!

Bob and I are also members of a group, The Cape Ann Poets. Last fall we released our new book, Tidelines: An Anthology of Cape Ann Poets, with many locally-themed poems. I have two of my PiPl poems in there along with Good Harbor Beach-based poems among others. I believe there are still a few books available at The Bookstore of Gloucester if you are interested. The larger group will be reading several poems each at the GWC on July the 14th at 7 pm where our book will also be available. (The group has been going strong with their passion for poetry for years before I joined.)”

Best wishes to our friend Jennie for a wonderful event!

 

VIDEO – LEO CANNAVO 2022 FRIDAY GREASY POLE CHAMPION

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEO!

Veteran Greasy Pole Walker Leo Cannavo captures the flag, his first in 20 years of walks. And it’s his birthday!

SIX PIPING PLOVER CHICKS AT GOOD HARBOR BEACH! #ploverjoyed

Good Morning PiPl Friends,

We have wonderful news to share. Four chicks have hatched at Good Harbor Beach at the area we call #3! Today they are one week old, a milestone in a PiPl chick’s life. All four are doing beautifully on this their one week old anniversary. At the north end of the beach, the Salt Island side, we have a pair of four day old chicks, also thriving. This pair came from a re-nest of four eggs. We know three eggs hatched but the third chick, the one that hatched late, did not make it.

I don’t think we have ever had six chicks at GHB and it shows that when a community works together, amazing, beautiful things can happen. The adage,’it takes a village’ rings true when raising Piping Plovers to fledge. We hope with all our hearts all six chicks will survive to adulthood but also recognize that isn’t always the case.

We could not have had this year’s early success without the help of Gloucester’s DPW crew, Animal Control Officers Jamie Eastman and Teagan Dolan, City government especially Councilors Jeff Worthley and Scott Memhard, and the Gloucester Police Department.

We have simply the best Piping Plover Ambassador team imaginable. They are all extraordinarily kind, creative, and helpful individuals devoted to the well being of the tiniest members of our community. With heartfelt thanks and gratitude to our devoted daily monitors Deb Brown, Jennie Meyer, Sally and Jonathan Golding, Susan Pollack, Paula and Alexa Niziak, Jill Ortiz, Sharen Hansen, Marty Coleman, and Mary Keys. Thank you to our outstanding crew of substitutes including Barbara Boudreau, Ann Cortissoz, Duncan Holloman, Peter Van Demark, Linda Bouchard, Karen Thompson, Duncan Todd, and Sue Winslow.

Please, if you go to GHB to see the Plover chicks give them lots and lots of space.  When the parents are concerned you are too close, they will pipe loudly at you to warn the chicks are underfoot. I emphasize underfoot because they are scurrying around all over the beach.

What can you do to help the Piping Plovers? Here are five simple things we can all do to protect the Plovers.

1) Give them them space, lots and lots of space, to forage and to rest. 

2) Do not linger near the Piping Plovers or their nests. Activity around the Plovers  attracts gulls and crows.

3) Do not feed gulls and crows. Gulls eat chicks in all stages of development and crows eat eggs.

4) Don’t leave behind or bury trash or food on the beach. All garbage attracts predators such as crows, seagulls, foxes, and coyotes, and all four of these creatures eat plover eggs and chicks.

5) Respect the fenced off areas that are created to protect the Plovers.

Thank you!

 

DEREK HOPKINS YOUR 2022 SUNDAY GREASY POLE CHAMPION

Greasy Pole Walker phenom Dereck Hopkins captured the flag on the second walk of the first round. It wasn’t unexpected, as he strolled out to the very end of the Greasy Pole on the second walk of the courtesy round. Congratulations to Derek! 

SCENES FROM ST. PETER’S NOVENA, MASS, AND PROCESSION

The last night of the nine-day Novena concluded with a Mass and procession to Beach Court. With thanks and gratitude to the beautiful Novena ladies for hostessing and organizing the Novena to St. Peter. You could feel the joy in people’s hearts to be back celebrating again in person.

YOUR SATURDAY GREASY POLE CHAMPION ANTHONY NOVELLO!!

CONGRATULATIONS ANTHONY AND FAMILY!

SCENES FROM FRIDAY FIESTA

A glorious Friday Fiesta overflowing with joyful, smiling Fiesta goers. One attendee sweetly spoke about how during Fiesta, the community of Gloucester comes together like one big family, and we all become Sicilian for a weekend. Viva San Pietro!

With thanks and gratitude to the Fiesta Committee for organizing the 2022 St. Peter’s Fiesta, no small feat after a two year hiatus due to Covid. 

Joseph Novello – President

Michael Linquata – Vice President

Anthony Cusumano – Treasurer

Rose Aiello – Clerk

Christopher Palazzola – Committee Member

Salvatore Ferrara – Committee Member

Ralph Puopolo – Committee Member

Carlo Barbara – Committee Member

Rose Aiello – Committee Member

Alphonse Millefoglie – Committee Member

Lucia Sheehan – Recording Secretary

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

the agony

 

Santo Parisi, Friday Greasy Pole

 

YOUR FRIDAY GREASY POLE CHAMPION LEO CANNAVO!!!

Congratulations to Leo and the Cannavo Family <3

BEAUTIFUL ICONIC BEACON MARINE BASIN – THE FIRE IS CONTAINED

Fire broke out early this morning at Gloucester’s iconic Beacon Marine Basin. Everyone escaped unharmed. Sending love and prayers to our friends David and Bob, and to all who call the building home. We’re hoping so much the Beacon Marine can be  restored and rebuilt.

BEE PART OF POLLINATOR WEEK!

HAPPY POLLINATOR WEEK!

We can all lend a hand helping pollinators. 

The three best practices –

1) Plant a habitat garden for bees, butterflies, bats, hummingbirds, and songbirds.

2) Keep your home and garden free from pesticides, herbicides, and rodenticides.

3) Support local farmers and beekeepers by purchasing locally produced food.

Please join me tonight at the Salem Regional Visitor Center for a free screening of Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly


A wonderfully early-in-the-season for our region batch of Monarch caterpillars feeding on Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), June 11.

NONNA, WHAT IS ST. PETER’S FIESTA?

Charlotte LOVES Nonna, What isSt. Peter’s Fiesta?  and we have given it to many of her friends, and they love it ,too <3

Author Laura shares  – Celebrate St. Peter’s Fiesta with your very own copy of Nonna, What is St. Peter’s Fiesta? A great book for children and adults. All proceeds benefit St. Peter’s Fiesta, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit. Available at The Bookstore of Gloucester, Main St. Gloucester.