CUZNER IN NATURE: The elusive green herons of Marblehead
Environment, Local News, Opinion, Top Stories

CUZNER IN NATURE: The elusive green herons of Marblehead

I came upon this green heron hunting for snacks (frogs) along the edge of Joe Brown’s Pond. Close-up of a green heron showing its distinctive rufous neck. COURTESY PHOTOS / RICK CUZNER I find them to typically be very skittish unless they are on the hunt. Local ponds are an amazing place to watch for wildlife. According to MassWildlife, this small wading bird has a wingspan of 26 inches and stands about 18 inches tall, although it frequently retracts its neck to appear shorter. Adult green herons have a dark green to black crown, a rufous neck and a gray belly. Green heron perched on a log, patiently waiting for its next catch. They primarily feed on small fish and aquatic invertebrates, and they've even shown evidence of using tools like sticks to attract prey. Th...
Education, Environment, Local News, Marblehead Public Schools, Top Stories

MHS student, Scout leads greenhouse groundbreaking

After more than two years and 400 hours of work, Marblehead High School senior and Scout Tyler Earp joined Acting Superintendent Michelle Cresta and other school leaders — all with shovels in hand — for a groundbreaking for Earp’s greenhouse project. “I’m so glad to see this coming to fruition,” Earp said. “It will be nice to see it here.” Earp started working on his greenhouse idea, an Eagle Scout project, in February of 2021.  At the groundbreaking for a greenhouse at Marblehead High School are, from left, Groom Construction’s Dwight Groom, architect Jeff Tucker, Tyler Earp, Acting Superintendent Michele Cresta, MHS Assistant Principals Lindsay Donaldson and Dan Richards, and Principal Michele Carlson. CURRENT PHOTOS/LEIGH BLANDER “There were six months of planning, three mo...
Environment, Local News, Public safety, Sailing, Top Stories

Harbormaster: Best advice is to ‘prepare for the worst’

Marblehead Harbormaster Mark Souza is keeping a close eye on Hurricane Lee as it heads up the Atlantic coast. According to the National Weather Service, "Lee should bring rough surf and possible storm surge flooding, damaging winds, and bands of heavy rain to at least coastal areas of Massachusetts and Rhode Island." As of Thursday morning, Lee was about 800 miles south of Nantucket. Souza is adding on-call staff to handle any problems with the stormy weather which he predicts will hit Marblehead overnight Friday. "We're just recommending that the public use the opportunity today and tomorrow to secure equipment on boats ... if they can haul their boat to do that," Souza told the Current, adding that he is seeing people take their boats out of the water. "We have our boats re...
Education, Environment, Local News, Marblehead Public Schools, Municipal Matters, Top Stories

BRIGHT IDEA: Marblehead schools eyed again for solar power

The Marblehead Municipal Light Department will be reaching out to the town’s public schools before Thanksgiving to discuss new plans to install solar panels (photovoltaic arrays) with batteries at local schools. A look at potential solar panel installation in Marblehead schools, contributing about 2.3% of the 2022 energy supply with solar arrays and batteries.  At a recent meeting, MMLD General Manager Joseph Kowalik said the Light Commission is evaluating solar PV arrays for six schools, and on-site batteries at four of those buildings. He said adding batteries (which would be on school grounds, but not in school buildings) will mean that the stored energy can go straight back into the schools and avoid transmission costs. “We have been involved in high-level discussions with th...
Community resources, Environment, Local News, Municipal Matters, Public safety, Top Stories

Hurricane Lee prompts Marblehead Harbor warning

Marblehead Harbormaster Mark Souza put out a warning Tuesday afternoon as Hurricane Lee makes its way up the Atlantic. "The projected path and forecast for Hurricane Lee is still uncertain, but at the very least we are expecting tropical storm force gusts, coastal flooding and high seas," Souza wrote in an email to boat owners. "We will be raising gangways on Thursday afternoon around 12 p.m. and recommend you check your launch servicer's websites for updates about suspension of service timeframes. Please remove all tenders from town docks and kayaks from town racks prior to Thursday at noon. Hurricane Lee is Category 3 storm right now. It is not clear whehter it will impact the New England coast. but the Outer Cape and Nantucket are in the so-called forecast cone, according to WCVB...
Environment, Local History, Top Stories, Uncategorized

Gas House Beach closed after failing bacteria test

It's a hot day, but the Marblehead Health Department does not want people cooling off in the water at Gas House Beach. The town has closed the beach due to high bacteria levels. Nearby Devereux Beach, Crocker Park, Grace Oliver and Stramski Beach were tested Tuesday and remain open. Gas House Beach will be tested again Wednesday, with results expected Thursday, said Marblehead Health Director Andrew Petty. The beach will remain closed until bacteria levels meet state standards. People should avoid swimming at posted beaches because of the risk of illness. Petty can be reached at 781-631-0212 for more information.
Education, Environment, Local News, Uncategorized

APL invites public to learn about birdwatching

In collaboration with Abbot Library and Ashland Library, author Heather Wolf will host an online Zoom presentation at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 13, to discuss her new book "Find More Birds: 111 Surprising Ways to Spot Birds Wherever You Are." The event aims to teach people how to be present and notice the variety of birds around them, particularly during high migration seasons. Registration is required at https://bit.ly/3R4So0d. For more information, visit abbotlibrary.org, email mar@noblenet.org or call 781-631-1481.
Environment, Local News, Public safety, Top Stories

Algae bloom in Redd’s Pond prompts public health warning

The Board of Health has issued a public health advisory warning residents to avoid contact with Redd's Pond due to a suspected harmful bloom of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria. 2023_reds_pond_health_advisoryDownload Initial visual inspections indicate that the pond is likely experiencing an algae bloom that could produce toxins harmful to both humans and pets. Authorities are urging the public to refrain from the following: Do not swim. Do not swallow water. Keep animals away. Rinse off after contact with water. Ingesting these toxins can lead to acute gastrointestinal issues and potentially affect kidney, liver or neurological functions, in extreme cases leading to death. Symptoms such as vomiting, staggering, drooling or convulsions in pets should p...
Beacon Hill, Environment, Local News, Municipal Matters, Top Stories, Travel, Uncategorized

PLUGGING IN: How is Marblehead preparing its power grid for the electric-vehicle boom?

As electric vehicles (EVs) gain traction in Marblehead, the town's officials are taking proactive measures to ensure the local power grid can accommodate the growing demand. Across Massachusetts, communities face a state mandate to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Widespread EV adoption is a key strategy, aiming for at least 900,000 electric cars on state roadways by 2030. ‘10 years is really tomorrow’ "EVs are coming. How quickly are they going to come? That is the question," said Jean Jacques Yarmoff, a Marblehead Municipal Light Department commissioner focused on the town's energy future. "But for the light department and utilities across the country, 10 years is really tomorrow.” Marblehead is no exception and faces the challenge of reinforcing an aging municipal power...
Community resources, Environment, Local News, Opinion

Marblehead, stop peaking!

In many Marblehead households, we follow a similar weekday routine when we get home in the late afternoon from work, school and daily activities. We turn on lights, air conditioners, ovens, cooktop ranges, washers and dryers. We run the dishwasher, turn on the television and charge electronic devices. In a growing number of households, we’re plugging our electric vehicles into chargers. This all generally occurs between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Lisa Wolf charges her electric car. CURRENT PHOTO / LEIGH BLANDER This window of increased demand for electricity isn’t just happening in Marblehead, it occurs across Massachusetts and the rest of New England at the same time. The organization responsible for planning for the generation and transmission of this increased electric demand...
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