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February 16, 2013

Talk of the Times

Talk of the Times

The Blizzard of 2013 not only snowed on Gloucester residents and frayed a few tempers last weekend, but — paired with the city’s sometimes tangled street names — created more than the usual problems for the Department of Public Works crews, their 18 snow removal vehicles, and the 60 or so private plowing contractors who were also called in to help with the city’s most massive snow cleanup in years.

In one instance last Sunday, a listen in to the city’s police and other emergency radio transmissions turned up the byplay between two plow drivers who seemed confused over which of two streets needed the more urgent attention‚ Marble Road or Marble Street, and which street’s residents had called for help.

The issue became even more confused when each of the drivers — one at one site and one at the other, each insisted he was in the right place to respond to the calls.

“C’mon guys,” the dispatcher said, “it sounds like we’re losing our Marbles.”

Both streets are in East Gloucester, and both go up — and down — hills a few blocks apart.

Fishing and agriculture

William “Mo” Cowan, who stepped into U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s seat on an interim basis when Kerry took over as Secretary of State last month, has not wasted any time taking up the cause of Gloucester’s and the state’s fishermen – even though he figures to only hold the post a few months until after the state’s June 26 special election for U.S. Senate.

Cowan, appointed to the interim post by Gov. Deval Patrick, was sitting in on his first hearing as a member of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee — the first Massachusetts senator to sit on the Senate AG panel since 1879 — when he not only noted the too-often unheralded role played by Massachusetts farmers, but noted agriculture’s similarities with fisheries as well.

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