, Gloucester, MA

September 21, 2013

Talk of the Times: GPD prepares citizens' Police Academy II

By All Hands
Gloucester Daily Times

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Gloucester’s wintertime citizens police academy was such a hit that the city’s Police Department has decided to squeeze another session in before the winter holidays, hoping to educate more eager residents on various aspects of community policing.

People interested in participating in the fall session, beginning Oct. 15 and running four weeks with classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6 and 8 p.m., can pick up an application at the police station or print one from the Gloucester Police Department’s website.

“This class experience is designed to bring citizens into the station and give them a clear picture of what it’s like to be a Gloucester police officer,” police Chief Leonard Campanello writes.

Lt. John McCarthy, who leads the classes in everything from firearms awareness to juvenile problems to patrol procedures, will collect applications in person at the police station or by mail.

Holiday troops benefit

It’s early for most of us to be thinking about the year-end holidays and holiday gifts.

But thankfully, Gloucester’s AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Post 32 has its plans for a troops project on the fast track — and downtown Gloucester’s Jalapeno’s restaurant is following suit.

Jalapeno’s will host a fund-raiser for AMVETS’ Christmas For the Troops project on Wednesday, Oct. 2, with 10 percent of all food sales, including takeout orders, from 4:30 p.m. to closing being set aside for the AMVETS troops effort.

Those attending or buying tickets in advance may also take chances on benefit raffles offering a variety of prizes donated by local businesses, while there will also be a 50-50 raffle at the event.

The Christmas For the Troops project provides holiday care packages for U.S. military troops and veterans. Anyone seekng more information may visit the AMVETS Facebook page at

Horribles benefit, too

Speaking of looking ahead, the Fishtown Horribles Parade Committee, already casting its eyes toward next July 3, also has a fund-raiser coming up a week from today at O’Maley Innovation Middle School.

The program, which will run Saturday, Sept. 28, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., will feature a family-oriented “Touch a Truck” showcase, with adults and kids of all ages getting a chance to get a closeup look at a wide variety of trucks on display — including fire trucks, police vehicles, dump trucks, backhoes, a Coast Guard boat, tractors and more.

The showcase will be fun for all, and include many vehicles from the communities of Gloucester, Rockport and Essex, said Fishtown Horribles Committee Chairman David Harvey.

The entrance cost will be $5 per person, while children 3 and under will be admitted free, with door prizes and food for sale as well.

All money raised from this event will go to support next July 3 Fishtown Horribles parade.

In the event of rain, the event will be pushed back to Oct. 12.

City campaign debates

The Gloucester races for mayor, City Council and School Committee are all underway, with campaign signs popping up around town – and some campaign debates popping up on the calendar.

To that end, the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce will be kicking off the season with an early-morning head-to-head clash between Mayor Carolyn Kirk and challenger Mac Bell Tuesday morning, Oct. 8, at the Elks at Bass Rocks.

The event will run as a Chamber breakfast forum, with reception and breakfast at 7:30 and the debate running from 8 to 9 a.m.— similar to last fall’s congressional debate that featured Rep. John Tierney, Richard Tisei and Daniuel Fishman at Cruiseport Gloucester, and a spring debate among selectmen’s candidates in Manchester.

The debate will be open to Chamber members and the general public, with a limited number of tickets available for $35 in advance or $40 on the week or day of the event for members, and at $50 for future members.

A ticket will include a light breakfast and attendance for the debate.

Questions will be posed by a panel of Cape Ann journalists, including Times Editor Ray Lamont. If you have questions that you would like considered for the candidates, please submit them to Chamber Senior Vice President Peter Webber at

Pre-registration is highly recommended as this event will fill up quickly. To make a reservation online please visit

or call 978-283-1601.

The Times, meanwhile, is finalizing plans for its debates, set for Wednesday and Thursday nights, Oct. 16 and 17, at the Gloucester Stage Company’s Gorton’s Theatre. Those debates, which will be free and open to the public, are expected to include candidates in contested ward council races and in the councilor-at-large on Oct. 16, with a School Committee debate and mayoral debate between Kirk and Bell planned for Thursday night, Oct. 17. More information on those debates should be announced next week.

Also, a forum featuring all city candidates is also being planned for the Lanesville Community Center on Oct. 29. Among those coordinating that event is Ward 4 councilor and current Council President Jackie Hardy, who is running for re-election unopposed.

‘Wicked Tuna’ news

When Alchemy Bistro chef Scott Jensen challenged chef Steve Morlino of Union Bar and Grille in Boston, where Jensen got his start, to a “Wicked Tuna” throwdown, they weren’t the only two on stage at the Duncan Street restaurant.

A camera crew working on the National Geographic TV reality fishing show filmed the chefs as they created dishes caught by one of the show’s boat. The crew also taped Allen Estes performing his song “Not With Ya Hands,” about Howard Blackburn. Lisa Smith of Cape Ann TV posted a YouTube video,, of Estes’ performance and the TV crew.

The winner of “Wicked Tuna” Challenge was Jensen; both chefs’ dishes were judged by the voting audience.

As for the “Wicked Tuna” camera crew, they were filming for the show’s third season, set to begin early next year.

Volunteers neeeded for haunting

Anyone interesting in volunteering for the annual haunted house event at the Hammond Castle Museum is welcome to attend a meeting on Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at the castle at 80 Hesperus Ave. in Gloucester. The benefit event this year is titled “Castle of Madness.” Those attending the meeting at the museum should go to the main door. Those interested can also send an email to

Honored veteran

The flag at the Veterans’ Center will fly this week in honor of World War II veteran John Strople DeCoste. Born Sept. 28, 1920, he entered the U.S. Army on July 11, 1944.

A rifleman, the sergeant served with Company G 157 Infantry Regiment in Rhineland, Europe.

DeCoste was awarded the European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon, and the World War II Victory Medal.

He was discharged Feb. 5, 1946, and died Oct. 9, 1998.

The flag was requested to fly in his honor by the DeCoste family of Gloucester.

Anyone wishing to fly a flag in honor of a deceased veteran can call the Office of Veterans’ Services at 978-281-9740.