Some nice national recognition came in for Gloucester last week.
Rand McNally and USA Today have named America's Oldest Seaport as one of five Eco-Friendly Small Towns in America.
Rand McNally/USA Today asked on Twitter for nominations of eco-friendly cities. When they learned of Gloucester's designation as a "Green Community" in 2010, the editors decided to include Gloucester in their Top 5 list.
They wrote, "In 2010 Gloucester was named a 'clean energy leader.' There are five benchmarks a community needs to meet in order to be awarded grants for local renewable power and energy efficiency projects. Gloucester passed these tests with flying colors."
The Eco-Friendly contest is part of Rand McNally and USA Today's 2012 Best of the Road competition.
A New Hampshire newspaper this week will recognize residents of that state that gave their lives protecting others — among them the son of a Gloucester couple who made the ultimate sacrifice last year.
Paul Frontiero III will receive posthumously the Union Leader Hero Award on Thursday at a 3 p.m. ceremony at the New Hampshire State House in Concord.
The 27-year-old son of Cathy and Paul Frontiero Jr. was fatally stabbed when he went to assist two women being attacked by a passing motorist in October. During court testimony, police said he was stabbed 16 times, including one strike that punctured his heart, allegedly by the 19-year-old driver. The two women survived the attack and the suspect is awaiting trial.
A Nashua resident and emergency medical technician, the younger Frontiero died two weeks before he was to join Holy Family Parish of Cape Ann's mission to the Dominican Republic. He also coached youth lacrosse in Gloucester.
His October funeral from Greely Funeral Home and Gloucester's St. Ann Church drew a large contingent of emergency response personnel, in addition to scores of family members, relatives and friends.
"I still have so many questions about that night — so many answers I may never get," Frontiero's mother told the Union Leader. "But I know he was just doing good. That somehow helps ease the pain."
Yankee Magazine published its "Best of" issue this month, and Gloucester hit a triple when it came to the Massachusetts listings.
When it named the top 10 attractions in Massachusetts, editors chose Gloucester's Cape Ann Museum as having the "Best Seascapes."
"The iconic Gloucester fisherman isn't the only townsman to owe his living to the sea," the editors wrote. "This gem of a small museum houses the world's best collection of maritime paintings by Fitz Henry Lane (1804-65), some Cape Ann scenes by Winslow Homer, and a whole slew of seascapes and shore images by Stuart Davis, John Sloan, and other American Modernists.
The museum is at 27 Pleasant St. For information about current shows, call 978-283-0455 or visiti capeannhistoricalmuseum.org.
Also listed was City Hall, 9 Dale Ave., in the category of "Best Bargains" for "Best Wall Art" for its WPA murals.
"Gloucester has been a painter's town for well over a century, and public buildings all over the city once featured murals by some of America's top artists of the 1930s," said the magazine. "Most are gone, but masterworks by Charles Allan Winter (1869-1942) still adorn City Hall. His 1939 "City Government" and "Civic Virtues" amount to an extended civics lesson using Gloucesterites as models."
When it came to "Best Outdoor Attractions," the magazine chose 7 Seas Whale Watch, 63 Rogers St., for "Best Cetacean Viewing."
"Cape Ann juts into the Atlantic between Stellwagen Bank and Jeffries Ledge — two of the chief feeding grounds for whales on the East Coast. That means that boats from Gloucester don't have to travel as far to reach whales and dolphins and can spend more time among them," the magazine notes. "The boats of 7 Seas are spacious and clean, and there's always a marine biologist on board."