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Rockport fireworks fundraiser

February 22, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Addison Gilbert Hospital: 

Please join Rockport Fireworks for their first fund-raising event of the season, Saturday, March 15 at the Elks in Gloucester for a night of Dancing to “Fun Bucket”.  

This event will take place from 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance for $20.  

Raffles, silent auction and the unveiling of local Artist Ken Knowles original painting that will help fund the fireworks.  The Fireworks will be this summer August 9 off Granite Pier.  

Anyone wishing to buy tickets or donate to the Silent Auction may call Susan Collins 978-546-9566.

Theatre in the Pines prepares for spring performance

February 19, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Addison Gilbert Hospital: 

Nan Webber, Director, Theatre in The Pines, announced recently that The Heiress, by Ruth & Augusus Goetz will be the spring program in May. 

The Heiress, takes place in New York in the 1850’s and the story tells of a shy and plain young girl , Catherine Sloper who falls desperately in love with a delightful young fortune hunter.  Catherine lacks the worldliness from realizing the young man proposing to her is not entirely drawn to her by her charm.

Performance of The Heiress will take place on May 15, 16, 17 & 18. at Sprian Hall, located on the corner of Broadway and School Street in Rockport.

Plans are also underway for the September performance of Romeo & Juliet in September at the Shlin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main Street, Rockport. 

Further details regarding both performance will be shared as these date near.

Upcoming events at Addison Gilbert Hospital

February 19, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Addison Gilbert Hospital:

Addison Gilbert Hospital's "Senior Supper Club" to begin March 11th
Addison Gilbert Hospital has a new "Senior Supper Club" available to Rockport and Gloucester seniors 60 years of age or older.
The group will meet on the second Tuesday of each month beginning March 11 through October at 4:30 p.m. at Addison Gilbert Hospital, 298 Washington Street, Gloucester.    A hot nutritious complimentary dinner will be provided by the Cafe at Addison Gilbert Hospital followed by a speaker.
Gloucester seniors are asked to contact Lucy Sheehan, Director, Rose Baker Senior Center at 978 281-9765, extension 22.  Rockport seniors are asked to contact Diane Bertolino, Director, Rockport Senor Center at 978-546-257.  Seating is limited.
At the March 11th program, Cindy Cafasso Donaldson, Vice President, Addison Gilbert Hospital will speak on an overview of events and update on Addison Gilbert Hospital.
This program is hosted by Addison Gilbert Hospital and Unidine, in partnership with the Gloucester Police Department and the Rockport and Gloucester Senior Centers.
Initial Screening for Lung Cancer Screening Provided by Addison Gilbert Hospital and Beverly Radiology Associates

Initial Screening at Rose Baker Senior Center, Gloucester
Addison Gilbert Hospital and Beverly Radiology Associates is offering a free low-dose chest CT screening to any individual who meets the established National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) high-risk criteria.  Persons between the ages of 50 and 74 who have smoked at least an average of one pack of cigarettes per day for twenty-years may meet these criteria and qualify for a free screening.
To learn if you meet the criteria for this free screening, an initial assessment will need to be taken and will be available at the Rose Baker Senior Center, Six Manuel F. Lewis Street, Gloucester on Thursday, February 20th from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.   Appointments are not necessary.  It is not required that you be a resident of Gloucester, all are welcome and invited to attend. Those who meet the criterial will be provided with an appointment date, time and location.
A snow date has been scheduled for February 27th. 
While private insurers and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) do not currently cover low-dose CT lung screening, and most hospitals charge a self-pay of at least $350 for this screen, Addison Gilbert Hospital is determined to help bring awareness and accessibility of this testing to all people at high-risk at no charge.

Police Department to host AARP Drive Safety Program

February 19, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Addison Gilbert Hospital: 

The Rockport Police Department will host an AARP Driver Safety Program on Tuesday, April 29 from 10 a.m - 3 p.m. at the Rockport Police Department, 168 Main Street, Rockport, MA.  It is not necessary to be a Rockport resident to participate, all are welcome.
The AARP Drive Safety Program has offered safety refresher courses since 1979 to more than 11 million graduates.  The goal is for older drivers to better understand the updated technologies in new vehicles, provide a fresher on rules of the road and learn strategies to compensate for age-related changes in vision, hearing or response time.
There is no test to take and no actual driving.  A certificate of completion will be awarded.  The cost of the program is
$15. for AARP members; $20 for non-AARP members.  Checks may be made payable to AARP.
A complimentary light lunch will be served.
All participants must pre-register by calling Special Officer Roger Lesch at 978-546-1212, extension 13.

Presentation on Finland at Pigeon Cove Circle

February 19, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Addison Gilbert Hospital: 

Cynthia Kielinen and her sister Susan  were recently a  part of a tour of Finland led by Anita Smiley of Preston, CT. Their  photo slide show will be presented at the Pigeon Cove Circle meeting at 6 p.m. on February 27, 2014, with a buffet potluck dinner and speakers at 6:45 p.m.   Finnish dishes welcome.   There is no fee or pre-registration required.  All are welcome.
Participants  of Anita's tour were exposed to Finland's past and present through a variety of experiences:  museums, music, and foods of the country, Winter War prior to World War II, well known authors and artists both  past and present, and the modern University system,   and saw a play in an outdoor summer theater.  This trip was a total immersion in Finnish culture.
After traveling along Eastern Finland, the group traveled to Lapland, just beyond the Arctic Circle and down the West coast to Hanko.   Hanko was the port that over 250,000 Finnish emigrants and 150,000 Russians and Jews left for a better life in Canada, Australia, and the United States. This was an emotional port of interest  for those whose  ancestors who left Finland from 1865 and 1930.
The tour included stops in all areas of Finland.   All on the tour came back with a greater  appreciation of the land of our ancestors of the beauty and industry that Finland posses.
The Pigeon Cove Circle is located at Six Breakwater Avenue in Rockport, made-up of men and women throughout Cape Ann, a civic group who provide fund-raisers for community needs such as a yearly scholarship to a Cape Ann high school student, and other needs on Cape Ann.  Those who would like further information about the availability of the Pigeon Cove function hall are welcome to call Michelle at 978-546-1195.

Free rides after 8 p.m., extra service on MBTA for New Year's Eve

December 26, 2013 10:48 AM

The MBTA said it will continue its annual tradition of offering free rides after 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, while boosting service on its subway and commuter rail lines to accommodate people traveling to celebrate First Night.

On New Year’s Eve, the T's Green, Red, Orange, and Blue lines will operate on modified weekday schedules with extra trains running at “rush-hour levels of service” from about 3 p.m. until 2 a.m., officials announced.

The T’s commuter rail lines will also run on modified weekday schedules with additional service, including a number of lines that will see extra outbound service and some delayed outbound departures between midnight and 2 a.m., officials said.

To see a detailed list of extra commuter rail service and delayed departure times, click here.

Meanwhile, the T’s Silver Line, buses, trackless trolleys, express bus routes and boats will run on regular weekday schedules on New Year’s Eve, officials said.

The T’s paratransit service, the RIDE, will run on a regular weekday schedule with extended hours until 2:30 a.m.

On New Year’s Day, the four subway lines will run on Sunday schedules as will the Silver Line, the RIDE, the commuter rail and buses, meaning some commuter rail and bus lines will not operate, officials said.

For a detailed list of subway and bus routes that will not run on New Year’s Day, click here.

The T will not run boat service on New Year’s Day.

City officials have encouraged people traveling in and around Boston on New Year's Eve to ride public transit, including the T. A number of streets will be closed to traffic, while parking will be banned on others. For a detailed list, click here.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at
For the latest updates about your community, follow some of our local neighborhood, city and town Twitter accounts, here.

Gloucester woman gets 4 years in fatal crash

December 3, 2013 05:37 PM

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A Gloucester woman has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to being drunk and causing a fatal accident.

Rebecca Jacques (jakes) pleaded guilty on Monday to a variety of charges stemming from the crash last December in Gloucester that took the life of Mary Lipman of Ipswich, a front-seat passenger in another vehicle.

The Salem News reports that the driver and another passenger survived.

Prosecutors say the 53-year-old Jacques’ blood-alcohol level was 0.22 on the night of the crash, nearly three times the legal limit. Experts also found morphine and other narcotics in her blood and she was driving on a suspended license.

Jacques’ lawyer says her client was going through a difficult time, dealing with the recent death of her sister, at the time.
Information from: The Salem (Mass.) News,

Richard Tisei eyes another run against US Rep. John Tierney

October 28, 2013 10:56 AM

Former state Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei of Wakefield may make another run at being elected to Congress.

Tisei was Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker’s running mate in their losing effort in 2010 and in 2012 nearly unseated Congressman John Tierney, pulling in 47.1 percent of the vote to 48.3 percent for Tierney.

On Monday morning, Tisei announced he’s creating a committee to more actively explore another run and plans to make a formal announcement later this fall about his plans.

In a statement, Tisei said, “Like most Americans, I have been deeply disturbed by the dysfunction we are witnessing in Washington. The critical challenges facing our country have not diminished since 2012. Rather, they seem to be getting worse. The hyper-partisanship exhibited by both parties on a daily basis has created a stranglehold on our government and is preventing us from moving forward. We are a great country, but we clearly have reached a point where we need new leadership and a fresh start. We need more responsible Republicans and fewer divisive Democrats in Washington who are willing to stop the name calling, put party aside, and begin to seriously work together to do what is right for America.”

Tierney edged Tisei by 4,330 votes and Tisei won in 29 of the 39 communities in the Sixth Congressional District. Tisei, who served 26 years in the House and Senate on Beacon Hill, runs a real estate firm with his partner Bernie Starr.

- M. Norton/SHNS

Deleo, Coakley file bill to limit amount of required flood insurance

October 16, 2013 02:16 PM

Worried about new federal flood insurance rules sparking another foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Attorney General Martha Coakley on Wednesday partnered to file legislation limiting the amount of insurance homeowners in the flood zone must purchase.

Though the Winthrop Democrat said the state-level action could blunt the impact of new federal flood insurance regulations, DeLeo said Congress must still act to further protect the expanded group of coastal residents and businesses and those living near lakes and rivers who are now required to purchase more comprehensive and costly insurance.

“People aren’t going to be able to pay their insurance, and as a result of that they’re going to lose their home unless we can convince our friends in Washington, which right now I guess they’re a little bit involved with a couple other issues, but they’re really going to have to get on the ball and address this,” DeLeo told reporters after meeting with House Democrats.

The bill filed by DeLeo and Coakley would limit the amount of flood coverage a homeowner or business must purchase to the value of the mortgage on the property, instead of the replacement value of the home. Creditors would also be prohibited from requiring coverage for contents of the home, or including a deductible less than $5,000.

Taking one of the only steps a state can to limit the amount of coverage required under federal guidelines, the Beacon Hill leaders hope to lower premiums for impacted homeowners, while retaining the option for consumers to purchase more coverage if they desire.

“These new flood insurance changes are going to devastate many families and businesses in our coastal communities,” Coakley said in a statement. “We continue to urge the federal government to delay implementing these changes until they’ve followed all the steps required by law.”

Coakley said she did not expect insurers to have a “huge complaint” with the legislation.

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 required the Federal Emergency Management Agency to redraw national flood maps, and eliminated various subsidies in the National Flood Insurance Program to ensure sustainability.

Critics, however, say the new maps have captured large swaths of real estate at little to no risk of flooding, forcing larger numbers of property owners to purchase insurance. New rules governing the required height of buildings and other structural requirements for properties in the flood zone have also driven up the price tags on policies.

Rep. James Cantwell, a Marshfield Democrat, recently provided the News Service with a copy of an insurance bill for a Scituate homeowner that spiked up to $68,000 under the new program. He called the new FEMA flood maps “ridiculous.”

The homeowner, Peg Sullivan, told the News Service that she previously paid a $1,300 premium for the same coverage.

“It’s hurting our Massachusetts builders. It’s hurting our Massachusetts realtors. Right now, all up and down the coast, we have essentially people are being frozen out. They can’t sell their homes, and people aren’t buying because there’s so much uncertainty about what their rates are going to be for their flood insurance. The speaker taking swift action right now is so warranted and so helpful and I’m thrilled to be joining with him,” Cantwell said.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey and the state’s entire Congressional delegation recently sent a letter to House and Senate leadership urging a delay in the Biggert-Waters reforms.

Cantwell said budget cuts limited FEMA's ability to review its surveys, and the government shutdown, which began Oct. 1, has placed on furlough the governmental affairs person at FEMA whom he speaks to about constituents' concerns. Scituate and Marshfield hired their own consultant to contest the FEMA maps.

Cantwell, whose bill (H 865) had a hearing last month calling on the Division of Insurance to regularly investigate the National Flood Insurance Program, said he’s “cautiously optimistic” that DeLeo’s bill can be heard and brought forward for a vote before the end of the year.

Though he made clear the “ultimate answer” must still come from Washington, DeLeo said he hopes that by tying the insurance requirements in Massachusetts to the value of a mortgage, property owners will fare “significantly better” than they would under the federal guidelines.

“We’re truly going to see people losing their homes, not from floods, but from flood insurance,” DeLeo said.

Democratic challenger to US Rep. John Tierney outraises him

October 15, 2013 06:04 PM

Targeted almost daily by national Republicans, U.S. Rep. John Tierney raised $251,216 in the third quarter of 2013 as he gears up for a re-election contest in a little less than a year, but was outpaced by his Democratic challenger Seth Moulton of Salem.

Moulton raised $355,548 from July through August, and had $301,735 in cash on hand, according to his campaign. Tierney’s quarterly report filed with the Federal Elections Commission showed the Salem Democrat raising a quarter of a million dollars, and finishing the third quarter with $561,155 in cash on hand.

Moulton, an Iraq war veteran and vice chairman on the board of directors of Eastern Healthcare Partners, launched his primary challenge to Tierney earlier this year after the incumbent staved off a strong Republican challenge from former state Sen. Richard Tisei in 2012 following a controversy over his wife’s involvement in her brother’s illegal offshore gambling operations.

Tierney will be running for a 10th term representing the 6th Congressional district in 2014. - M. Murphy/SHNS

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