Acton/Boxboro/Maynard

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Current Edition - 12/02/22
Previous Edition - 11/25/22

HEADLINES

The Maynard Community Band Presents 33rd Annual “A Christmas Pops”

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MAYNARD: The Maynard Community Band (MCB) presents their 33rd annual “A Christmas Pops” December 18, 5pm at Sanctuary, 82 Main Street. MCB is the longest standing tradition in the town with continual performances since 1947. Whether this is your first time or you're a returning fan, you’ll be inspired by this time honored program for the young and young at heart.  Sit back, relax and listen to the musical sounds of the season.  Beginning with “A Festive Holiday Celebration,” hop on the “Polar Express” and take a glistening ride around the world as you enjoy the parade of the “March of the Toys,” ultimately stopping to listen to Disney’s “Frozen”. Try to stay in your seats though as we feature our trumpet section on “Bugler’s Holiday”.  Then once again remembering “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, and finally ending “Wishing you a Mambo Christmas”.  Weather permitting we may even get a visit from Santa himself.

This concert has become an annual event in town and always proves to be an entertaining and memorable experience... and it’s
FREE!!!!  Come early and stay for the main event as the MCB Holiday Concerts have become standing room only by downbeat time.  Doors open at 4pm.  Cash bar open.  Limited seating available.

The community concert band is a non-professional musical ensemble comprised of musicians from Maynard and its’ surrounding communities who demonstrate strong interests in playing music in a purposeful but non-stressful atmosphere.
For those unable to attend or wanting to view the concert from home, it will be LIVE streamed on Facebook  https://fb.me/e/2qq0tSLcu?mibextid=RQdjqZ or Youtube https://youtu.be/fwXDkW7hb_0.
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Supporting Someone with a Mental Health Condition?

The Family to Family course from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) could prove helpful to you. This is a free, evidence-based, weekly, eight-session virtual course for family members and friends of individuals living with mental health conditions. Topics include understanding the symptoms of mental health conditions, learning about treatments and therapies, practicing communication and problem-solving skills, creating a positive team approach, and self-care. Importantly, the course offers family members the invaluable opportunity of open conversation and mutual support in a stigma-free environment. The class is taught by NAMI trained family members from the local NAMI Central Middlesex affiliate. The course will meet Mondays via Zoom, starting January 16, 6-8:30pm.  Registration is required. Go to namicentralmiddlesex.org/educational-courses for additional information, the registration link, and more course offerings. To converse with one of the teachers, contact Patti at pjsardella56@gmail.com; (978) 621-1065 or Lindsay at linzbfar@gmail.com; (781) 864-7003.
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Santa Claus is Coming to Acton December 10

ACTON: Santa will visit the neighborhoods of Acton on December 10 from 9am-3pm. The Jolly fellow will ride in a vintage 1936 REO fire truck, escorted by the Acton Fire
Department. Come one, come all! Be sure to bring your wish list. Santa’s helpers will
also collect non-perishable food items for the Acton Food Pantry.

* Santa’s Itinerary *

9am. Oakwood Road and Fernwood Road
9:15am. 32 Parker Street, Cucurbit Farm
9:35am. 15 Hillcrest Road
9:50am. Faulkner Hill Road at High Street
10:10am. Robbins Street at Heron View Road
10:30am. Lothrup Road at Spencer
10:45am. Joseph Reed Lane at Capt. Forbush Lane
11:05am. Ethan Allen Drive at Black Horse Drive
11:20am. Duggan Road at Townsend Road
12pm. Nashoba Road at Huron Road
12:15pm. Seneca Road at Seminole Road
12:30pm. 29 Jackson Drive
12:50pm. Musket Drive at Fife & Drum Road
1:10pm. Acton Memorial Library, lower lot
1:30pm. Acorn Park Drive at Walnut Street
1:50pm. 47 Nonset Path (Nagog Woods Post Office)
2:10pm. Nara Park, 25 Ledge Rock Way (Bathhouse)
2:30pm. Bayberry Road at Magnolia Drive
2:45pm. Hosmer Road at Alcott Street

Look for Santa on Facebook @Santaride. Times are subject to change.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Protect Financial Accounts From “Cyberthieves”

November 29, 2022
 
Cybercrime is booming. In 2021, the FBI reported that cybercriminals scammed nearly $7 billion from Americans — a figure slightly higher than the gross domestic product (GDP) of Switzerland for that year, according to research organization World Economics. How can you protect yourself from cyberthieves? Here are some suggestions that can help:
 
  • Watch out for “phishing” attempts. You may receive emails that appear to be from a legitimate firm, requesting information your financial institution would never request online — confirmation of an account number, password, Social Security number, credit card number and so on. These notes can look official, often incorporating a firm’s logo, so pay close attention to what’s being asked of you.
  • Think twice before clicking or downloading. If you are suspicious about a communication, don’t click on a link or download an attachment — instead, go to your financial firm’s website or use their app to verify they sent the information or request.
  • Become adept with passwords. Use a different password for each of your accounts and change your passwords regularly. Of course, maintaining multiple passwords can be confusing, so you might want to consider using password management software, which generates passwords, stores them in an encrypted database and locks them behind a master password — which is the only one you’ll need to remember.
  • Use your own devices. Try to avoid using public computers or devices that aren’t yours to access your financial accounts. If you do use another computer, clear your browsing history after you log out of your account.
  • Be cautious about using Wi-Fi when traveling. When you’re on the road, you may want to use public hotspots, such as wireless networks in airports and hotels. But many people don’t realize that these hotspots reduce their security settings to make access easier, which, in turn, makes it easier for cyberthieves to intercept your information. In fact, some hackers even build their own public hotspots to draw in internet-seekers in an effort to commit theft. So, if at all possible, wait until you can access a trusted, encrypted network before engaging in any communications or activity involving your financial accounts.
  • Don’t give up control of your computer. Under no circumstances should you provide remote access to your computer to a stranger who contacts you, possibly with an offer to help “disinfect” your computer. If you do think your device has an issue with malicious software, contact a legitimate technician for assistance.
  • Know whom you’re calling for help. If you need assistance from, say, a customer service area of a financial institution, make sure you know the phone number is accurate and legitimate — possibly one from a billing or confirmation statement. Some people have been scammed by Googling “support” numbers that belonged to fraudsters who asked for sensitive information.
  • Review all correspondence with your financial services provider. Keep a close eye on your account activity and statements. If you see mistakes or unauthorized activity in your account, contact your financial institution immediately.

Advanced technology has brought many benefits, but also many more opportunities for financial crimes. By taking the above steps, and others that may be needed, you can go a long way toward defending yourself against persistent and clever cyberthieves.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Preston Carbone, Westford, MA  - EdwardJones.com/Preston-Carbone, Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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56th Annual Maynard Holiday Parade

MAYNARD: The 56th Annual Maynard Holiday Parade will take place on December 4 in downtown Maynard. At 1:45pm, look up to see Santa waving at the crowd from a helicopter! Then, the parade kicks off at 2pm with food collection trucks leading the way. Each parade attendee is asked to bring one or more canned food items to donate to our local food pantries. Together, we can lessen food insecurity for our community members. The parade will also feature special guests of honor, local businesses, organizations, musical groups, and entertainers. For more parade details, visit www.Maynardholidayparade.com. WAVM, the Maynard High School radio/tv station, will be emceeing the event live from Sanctuary at 82 Main Street. Add to the excitement by arriving early or staying afterward to enjoy a meal and some holiday shopping.
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Friends of Maynard Seniors Community Bag Sale

MAYNARD/STOW: Friends of Maynard Seniors has been selected as the benefiting nonprofit for the give back where it counts community bag sale at Shaws. For the month of December 2022 the Friends of Maynard Seniors will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $3 reusable give back where it counts bag sold at Shaws 155 Great Road in Stow. These bags are great to carry groceries as well as other items. Why not get several to give as gifts? Your donation to the Friends of Maynard Seniors is a wonderful gift to help senior citizens where needed.
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Family-to-Family Gift Bag Drive Returns to Open Table
An opportunity to give back to our community and brighten the holiday season

ACTON/CONCORD: Open Table, the Concord and Maynard charity dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities, announced that the Open Table Family-to-Family Gift Bag Drive is back for the third year in a row. The program offers community members the opportunity to create special holiday gift bags for clients of Open Table.

Open Table will provide a list of suggested items to fill a gift bag and follow up with reminders on each of the first 12 days of December. Gift bags will be collected in Maynard on December 16 and in Concord on December 17.  Each client will receive a gift bag with their final food distribution of 2022.

Families can use the following suggestions to create a gift bag for a family or a senior:

Day 1:  Movie Night Snack
Day 2:  Special Breakfast
Day 3:  Fun activity
Day 4:  Gift card
Day 5:  Favorite baking mix
Day 6:  Moisturizer
Day 7:  Hot beverage makings
Day 8:  Festive holiday napkins
Day 9:  Favorite store-bought treats
Day 10: Cozy accessories
Day 11:  Favorite spread for toast
Day 12:  Dried fruits and/or nuts

Please note, Open Table is unable to accept home-baked goodies for the gift bags. 

“We are delighted to invite you to join OpenTable again this year in creating a gift bag for either a family or a senior,” said Alex DePalo, Executive Director of Open Table. “Thank you for considering this opportunity to make the holidays more meaningful not only for the families who rely on Open Table, but for your family, too.”

Sign up to make a gift bag at:  opentable.org/family-to-family
 

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Time for New Year’s Financial Resolutions

November 22, 2022
 
It’s that time of year when many of us promise ourselves we’ll go to the gym more, or learn a new language, or take up a musical instrument, or any number of other worthy goals. But this year, when making New Year’s resolutions, why not also consider some financial ones? Here are a few to consider:

Don’t let inflation derail your investment strategy. As you know, inflation was the big financial story of 2022, hitting a 40-year high. And while it may moderate somewhat this year, it will likely still be higher than what we experienced the past decade or so. Even so, it’s a good idea to try not to let today’s inflation harm your investment strategy for the future. That happened last year: More than half of American workers either reduced their contributions to their 401(k)s and other retirement plans or stopped contributing completely during the third quarter of 2022, according to a survey by Allianz Life Insurance of North America. Of course, focusing on your cash flow needs today is certainly understandable, but are there other ways you can free up some money, such as possibly lowering your spending, so you can continue contributing to your retirement accounts? It’s worth the effort because you could spend two or three decades as a retiree.

Control your debts. Inflation can also be a factor in debt management. For example, your credit card debt could rise due to rising prices and variable credit card interest rate increases. By paying your bill each month, you can avoid the effects of rising interest rates. If you do carry a balance, you might be able to transfer it to a lower-rate card, depending on your credit score. And if you’re carrying multiple credit cards, you might benefit by getting a fixed-rate debt consolidation loan. In any case, the lower your debt payments, the more you can invest for your long-term goals.

Review your investment portfolio. At least once a year, you should review your investment portfolio to determine if it’s still appropriate for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. But be careful not to make changes just because you feel your recent performance is not what it should have been. When the financial markets are down, as was the case for most of 2022, even quality investments, such as stocks of companies with solid business fundamentals and strong prospects, can see declines in value. But if these investments are still suitable for your portfolio, you may want to keep them. 

 • Prepare for the unexpected. If you encountered a large unexpected expense, such as the need for a major home repair, how would you pay for it? If you didn’t have the money readily available, you might be forced to dip into your long-term investments or retirement accounts. To prevent this, you should build an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses — or a year’s worth, if you’re retired — with the money kept in a low-risk, liquid account. 

These  resolutions can be useful — so try to put them to work in 2023.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor James Normington, AAMS, Westford, MA - EdwardJones.com/James-Normington. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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Concord Conservatory Teaches Ukulele at the Boys and Girls Club

MAYNARD: On Thursday afternoons, the Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley (BGCAV) is filled with kids playing games, doing homework, and taking advantage of their athletic space. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a new sound, the sound of ukuleles and kids singing!

BGCAV offers after-school, summer, and recreational programs to youth in the community. While programming is varied and enriching, a notable gap was in music education. Recognizing this, the BGCAV Executive Director, Annalisa Campaneli, decided to augment their current program offerings to include music. “Talking with the Concord Conservatory of Music cemented the idea that the ukulele would be a great instrument for Club kids to start with. Aside from all the research that shows that playing an instrument helps develop the area of the brain that handles cognitive tasks, research shows that most children respond to music with joy!”

This fall, CCM introduced a music program for kids ages 6-11 at the Club, marking the first time that Club has had music as a program option for the kids. CCM instructor Cathy Marks leads two classes, teaching the kids the ukulele and general music. For most of these kids, it’s their first opportunity to have instrument lessons, learn foundational music skills like rhythm, play in unison as a group, and sing while playing. “Over the last few weeks, we have seen the ukulele lessons, under the  tutelage of Ms. Cathy, draw out feelings ofpride, self-confidence, and pure enjoyment. We plan on offering the ukulele lessons in the winter and may expand to include drums next year. Our partnership with CCM has been wonderful.”

The classes are free for the kids and the BGCAV and are made possible by generous supporters in the community. The kids will share what they’ve learned with their families and the rest of the Club with a performance. “I am so excited that the BGCAV was receptive to piloting our music classes for their kids. They are so proud of what they have accomplished, and we’re looking forward to continuing to bring music to the Club next semester,” says Kate Yoder, CCM Executive Director.

Concord Conservatory of Music is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church. Financial assistance is available.
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Acton Lions Club Returns with Annual Christmas Tree Sale

ACTON: As they have for many years, the Acton Lions Club will be selling Christmas Trees and Wreaths, starting November 26 at the Acton Ace Hardware parking lot, 222 Main Street. Balsam Fir trees will be $60, and wreaths will be $30. There will be Lions available on site on Fridays from 4-6pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-6pm.. If the lot is unstaffed folks can select their own tree and drop a payment off in the drop box inside Acton Ace Hardware. This is one of their major fundraisers, and they rely upon the public to support their charitable work. All proceeds after expenses are donated to international, national, and local charities.
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Concord Conservatory Teaches Ukulele at the Boys and Girls Club

MAYNARD: On Thursday afternoons, the Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley (BGCAV) is filled with kids playing games, doing homework, and taking advantage of their athletic space. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a new sound, the sound of ukuleles and kids singing!

BGCAV offers after-school, summer, and recreational programs to youth in the community. While programming is varied and enriching, a notable gap was in music education. Recognizing this, the BGCAV Executive Director, Annalisa Campaneli, decided to augment their current program offerings to include music. “Talking with the Concord Conservatory of Music cemented the idea that the ukulele would be a great instrument for Club kids to start with. Aside from all the research that shows that playing an instrument helps develop the area of the brain that handles cognitive tasks, research shows that most children respond to music with joy!”

This fall, CCM introduced a music program for kids ages 6-11 at the Club, marking the first time that Club has had music as a program option for the kids. CCM instructor Cathy Marks leads two classes, teaching the kids the ukulele and general music. For most of these kids, it’s their first opportunity to have instrument lessons, learn foundational music skills like rhythm, play in unison as a group, and sing while playing. “Over the last few weeks, we have seen the ukulele lessons, under the  tutelage of Ms. Cathy, draw out feelings ofpride, self-confidence, and pure enjoyment. We plan on offering the ukulele lessons in the winter and may expand to include drums next year. Our partnership with CCM has been wonderful.”

The classes are free for the kids and the BGCAV and are made possible by generous supporters in the community. The kids will share what they’ve learned with their families and the rest of the Club with a performance. “I am so excited that the BGCAV was receptive to piloting our music classes for their kids. They are so proud of what they have accomplished, and we’re looking forward to continuing to bring music to the Club next semester,” says Kate Yoder, CCM Executive Director.

Concord Conservatory of Music is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church. Financial assistance is available.

Green Acton’s Land Use Committee: Helping to Shape Acton’s Future!

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ACTON: Did you know: the Green Acton Land Use Committee studies, proposes solutions, and advocates at the intersection of land use and Acton's many environmental issues, such as climate, biodiversity, water, toxins, growth/ consumption and social justice. Currently, they are working on (1) a draft Town bylaw to limit tree/land clearing; (2) issues at the nexus of development/construction, land use and social and environmental justice; and (3) influencing changes to Acton’s zoning bylaws.

The committee’s progress on these efforts requires additional volunteers. They need help with research, writing, phone calls, and other advocacy activities. Would you consider learning about and joining in this important work!
If you are interested, attend a Green Acton Land Use Committee meeting. They meet by videoconference on the last Wednesday of the month, 7:30-9:30pm. Email LandUse@GreenActon.org to receive more information and meeting access, and to join the Land Use Committee email list.
Singularity concert series 12.1.22

The Singularity Concert Series: A Unique, Unscripted Musical Improvisation

MAYNARD: Possum Hall Music and Fugitive Productions are co-hosting this Singularity Concert Series on December 1 (7:30-9:30pm) at Sanctuary, 82 Main Street. Each concert is quite unique, with a line-up of cutting-edge musical performers and creators. No songs, no sheet music — music being made purely “in the moment” and showcasing the power and creativity of live improvisational performance. Come witness this unscripted musical magic of fantastic musicians with cool instruments (oud, djembe, bass guitar, clarinet, drums, percussion, keyboards, guitar, electronic...).

Featured musicians include Jerome Deupree (drums, percussion), Burcu Gulec (voice, electronic treatments), Todd Brunel (clarinet, bass clarinet), Carl Nickerson (drums, djembe), Todd Roach (percussion), Mac Ritchey (oud, guitar, electronic treatments), Duncan Watt (keyboards), and Sumner Thompson (bass guitar, voice).

For anyone on the fence, you might be thinking “can I listen to TWO HOURS of improvised music?” The answer is simple: yes, you can. You will hear SONGS being written right there in front of your ears, evolving themes, conversations, unexpected turns. It won’t be random music. It will be magical and it will showcase all the best features of music, community, and sharing a moment of creation and connection.

Tickets are $12 in advance / $15 at the door. Doors open at 7pm. There is a Full bar and you can order dinner in one of Maynard’s many fine restaurants and bring it with you. You can get your tickets and read the incredible bios on each of these musicians on the ticket page at www.eventbrite.com/e/singularity-music-improvisation-series-tickets-456159233547.
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Boxborough Author "Looked to the Sky"

BOXBOROUGH: Boxborough author, Francie Nolde, has written a biography-memoir about her mother who had a remarkable life as a pioneer aviator during WWII and the Cold War. Nolde will give a reading at the Boxborough Sargent Memorial Library on December 7 at 7pm. Bring a book from The Silver Unicorn Bookstore at 12 Spruce street, West Acton, for signing.

Nolde writes: "She dreamed of becoming an opera star. She did perform in a Gershwin musical with Fred Astaire, and she did become the star of a 1930s radio serial. But after Frannie married a wealthy textile manufacturer and became the mother of seven children on his Pennsylvania estate, she looked to the sky."

Frances Dean Wilcox Nolde became a pioneer pilot, World War II Civil Air Patrol (CAP) commander, winner of an early transcontinental all-women’s air race, and eventually a colonel in the CAP in charge of the women’s program. After moving to Washington, she became responsible for planning how America’s civilian airplanes would defend the country should the Cold War become hot. A glamorous, ambitious proponent of women aviators, Frannie challenged male dominance at a time when home, career, motherhood, and personal success created both joy and trials in her life and the lives of those she loved. Her public life demonstrated her capabilities while her personal life revealed her flaws.

In She Looked to the Sky, her youngest child, Francie Nolde, tells her mother’s story — and her own.

Businesses in Your Community

Donelans littleton

Be Thankful for Our Planet: Recycle Event the Small Things Where You Can!

ACTON/LITTLETON: Thanksgiving may soon be over, but it’s never too late to be grateful for this planet, and for us to reduce our impact on it.  Whether that means driving less, weather-proofing our homes, or using less plastic, all of us want to have a clean planet and fresh air to breathe. There are small things that you probably toss in the trash – lip balm tubes, pens and  markers that don’t work any more, an old manual toothbrush –these items are actually recyclable through TerraCycle!  Please check the website https://tinyurl.com/littletonmarecycles to find out what other surprising items you can recycle right here in the Acton/ Littleton area, and then bring them to the wooden TerraCycle bin at the Acton or Littleton Donelan’s grocery store.  If you have a Littleton transfer sticker, there’s a yellow bin there, too, and a green one in the lower floor of the Reuben Hoar Library.

And THANK YOU for your help in keeping our blue-dot planet just a little more clean!

Terracycle gives points for each item which translate into cash for non-profits such as 4-H, schools, and libraries.  This recycling stream helps fund the Acton C.R.A.F.T. 4-H club’s community service activities. Still have questions?  Email littletonma.recycles@gmail.com

17 Massachusetts High Schools to Compete on Season 14 of GBH’s High School Quiz Show

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Highest-scoring teams from High School Quiz Show’s Super Sunday qualifying event advance to the televised and streamed academic competition, premiering February 4 on GBH 2 and YouTube

High School Quiz Show®, GBH’s televised academic tournament for Massachusetts high schools, has revealed the 17 teams that will compete for the Season 14 State Championship title. The qualifying schools received the highest scores at High School Quiz Show’s Super Sunday event on November 6, where 65 schools from across the Commonwealth took a written quiz at GBH’s studios in Brighton. On the bracket are four first–time competitors as well as defending Season 13 champion, North Quincy High School.

Following two seasons of remote production, High School Quiz Show’s fourteenth season brings its battle of the brains back to in-person competition. Emmy award-winning television and radio personality Billy Costa will host the tapings at GBH studios in Brighton in January 2023. Teams of four students will go head-to-head in the fast-paced bracketed tournament, with winners advancing round by round until the final championship showdown. Season 14 of High School Quiz Show will premiere on GBH 2 and High School Quiz Show’s YouTube channel on February 4 at 6pm. 

“After a successful Super Sunday, we are eager to welcome these 17 schools from across Massachusetts back to GBH for an annual academic showdown,” said GBH Executive Producer Hillary Wells. “High School Quiz Show remains a cherished showcase for the academic rigor, integrity and perseverance embodied by high school students from all corners of the state. We look forward to welcoming fans, families, friends and community members back to our audience as we challenge the Season 14 cohort to show off their smarts.” 

The 15 teams with the highest scores from Super Sunday automatically qualified for a dedicated spot on the competition bracket. The 16th and final spot on the High School Quiz Show bracket will be determined during the season premiere Wild Cardmatch. Two teams representing high-scoring schools that have not previously been on the show or haven’t competed in five or more years will compete for the final spot. This year, those teams are Concord-Carlisle High School and Melrose High School, both of whom are first-time competitors.

North Quincy High School will return to defend its title of Season 13 State Champion. Joining them are Season 5 champion Acton-Boxborough Regional High School; Seasons 7 and 8 champions, Lexington High School; Season 9 champion, Andover High School; and Seasons 10 and 11 champions, Boston Latin School. Four schools will make their High School Quiz Show debuts, including the two Wild Card teams, Concord-Carlisle High School and Melrose High School, in addition to the Commonwealth School and Saint Joseph Prep Boston. 

The full list of teams competing for the title of Season 14 High School Quiz Show State Champion is as follows:
 
  • Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
  • Andover High School
  • Boston Latin School
  • Brookline High School
  • Buckingham Browne & Nichols School (Cambridge)
  • Commonwealth School (Boston)
  • Concord-Carlisle High School
  • Hingham High School
  • Lexington High School
  • Mansfield High School
  • Melrose High School
  • Needham High School
  • North Quincy High School
  • Phillips Academy (Andover)
  • Saint Joseph Prep Boston
  • Shrewsbury High School
  • South High Community School (Worcester) 

High School Quiz Show is endorsed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education and the Massachusetts PTA. Major funding for High School Quiz Show is provided by Safety Insurance. Additional funding is provided by the Museum of Science, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Xfinity, UMass Amherst, Eastern Bank and Subaru of New England.

For more information, visit  highschoolquizshow.org and follow the show on  YouTubeFacebook,Twitter and Instagram.
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Artists' Holiday Shop at ArtSpace Maynard

MAYNARD: ArtSpace Maynard welcomes you to their Artists’ Holiday Shop—an Art Gallery and Gift Shop presented at their community gallery and satellite space at 63 Nason Street. They’ll be featuring a wide variety of original creative art including paintings, prints, sculpture, photographs, jewelry, and textiles from 20 ArtSpace studio artists! The Shop will be open on Fridays (4pm-8pm), Saturdays (10am-5pm), and Sundays (12pm-4pm) beginning December 2 and continuing through December 18. The storefront gallery space is conveniently located in Downtown Maynard across from Veteran’s Park. There will also be an opening reception on December 3 from 6–8:30pm at the Artists’ Holiday Shop! This special event will coincide with Maynard’s Holiday Sip & Stroll, hosted by the Maynard Business Alliance. Meet the artists and enjoy refreshments as you shop, for one night only! 
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Experience Christmas at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church with “O Holy Night: A Thrill of Hope!”

ACTON: Everyone in the community is invited to attend Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Acton for Christmas Eve services at 3:30pm, 6pm and 9pm for “O Holy Night: A Thrill of Hope!”. Usually, when our calendar turns to December, our first reaction is to start listening to our favorite classic Christmas carols, but have any of us stopped to think about the depth of the lyrics that we’ve been singing every year since we were little? Join Mt. Calvary for Christmas Eve as the stars will be shining brightly inside the sanctuary for three joyful worship services.

First, experience a Christmas Eve service for young kids with the whole family and make memories together while singing Christmas carols and experiencing the Big Give. After 3:30pm worship, join a joyful Christmas cookie reception.

Or, join Mt. Calvary’s spectacular and festive candlelight services at 6pm and 9pm with solo instruments, Joyful Praise Choir, bells and organ. Listen to talented musicians and celebrate Christmas together! Be sure to come early at 5:30pm and 8:30pm for special pre-service music in the sanctuary.

Mt. Calvary is located at 472 Massachusetts Avenue. Parking is available off Prospect Street. Handicap parking is available at the Massachusetts Ave. circle drive and the Prospect St. parking lot. Overflow parking is available in the Acton Funeral Home parking lot right next door. For more information, visit mtcalvaryacton.org, call (978) 263-5156, or send an email to info@mtcalvaryacton.org.
 

FINANCIAL FOCUS: When Should You Adjust Your Investment Mix?

November 15, 2022
 
There are no shortcuts to investment success – you need to establish a long-term strategy and stick with it. This means that you’ll want to create an investment mix based on your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon – and then regularly review this mix to ensure it’s still meeting your needs. In fact, investing for the long term doesn’t necessarily mean you should lock your investments in forever. Throughout your life, you'll likely need to make some changes.

Of course, everyone’s situation is different and there’s no prescribed formula of when and how you should adjust your investments. But some possibilities may be worth considering. For example, a few years before you retire, you may want to re-evaluate your risk exposure and consider moving part of your portfolio into a more risk-averse position. When you were decades away from retiring, you may have felt more comfortable with a more aggressive positioning because you had time to “bounce back” from any market downturns. But as you near retirement, it may make sense to lower your risk level. And as part of a move toward a reduced-risk approach, you also may want to evaluate the “cash” positions in your portfolio. When the market has gone through a decline, as has been the case in 2022, you may not want to tap into your portfolio to meet short-term and emergency needs, so having sufficient cash on hand is important. Keep in mind, though, that having too much cash on the “sidelines” may affect your ability to reach your long-term goals.

Even if you decide to adopt a more risk-averse investment position before you retire, though, you may still benefit from some growth-oriented investments in your portfolio to help you keep ahead of – or at least keep pace with – inflation. As you know, inflation has surged in 2022, but even when it’s been relatively mild, it can still erode your purchasing power significantly over time.

Changes in your own goals or circumstances may also lead you to modify your investment mix. You might decide to retire earlier or  later than you originally planned. You might even change your plans for the type of retirement you want, choosing to work part-time for a few years. Your family situation may change – perhaps you have another child for whom you’d like to save and invest for college. Any of these events could lead you to review your portfolio to find new opportunities or to adjust your risk level – or both.

You might wonder if you should also consider changing your investment mix in response to external forces, such as higher interest rates or the rise in inflation this year. It’s certainly true that these types of events can affect parts of your portfolio, but it may not be advisable to react by shuffling your investment mix. In the first place, nobody can really predict how long these forces will keep their momentum – it’s quite possible, for instance, that inflation will have subsided noticeably within a year. But more importantly, you should make investment moves based on the factors we’ve already discussed: your goals, risk tolerance, time horizon and individual circumstances.

By reviewing your portfolio regularly, possibly with the assistance of a financial professional, you can help ensure that your investment mix will always be appropriate for your needs and goals.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Alan Bell, Littleton, MA - EdwardJones.com/Alan-Bell. Edward Jones, Member SIPC.
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Friends of Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Mark 20th Anniversary

ACTON: The Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (FBFRT) will celebrate its 20th anniversary on November 20, 2pm at Pedal Power Bike and Ski, 176 Great Road. The group held its inaugural meeting in October 2002 at Pedal Power to discuss converting the unused railroad right of way in Acton, Concord, and Sudbury to a multi-use path. The group quickly expanded to include trail enthusiasts from Chelmsford and Westford, then Lowell, Carlisle, and Framingham.
 
The rail trail was named for Bruce Freeman, a state legislator from Chelmsford, who was an early legislative proponent of the rail trail. To date about 15 miles of trail have been constructed, from North Chelmsford through Westford, Carlisle, Acton and almost to the Concord/ Sudbury line.  Construction of approximately 4 1/2 miles of the trail in Sudbury is expected to be complete in 2025. Since its inception FBFRT has actively promoted and supported the trail. It has hosted three ground-breaking and three ribbon-cutting celebrations and attended numerous community events. It has donated funds for projects such as landscaping, road crossing signals, art projects, porta potties, signage and kiosks and raised funds for preliminary feasibility studies and trail design. The Friends also has worked with local and state officials to ensure support and funding for the trail.

Stop by on November 20 to commemorate 20 years of active participation to make the BFRT a reality.
Wooden trees fair

2022 Merrie Christmas Fair at UCCB

BOXBOROUGH: A major fundraising and community-building event for the United Church of Christ Boxborough is the UCCB Merrie Christmas Fair, held at the church every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This year's event takes place November 19 from 9am to 1pm. This is a great opportunity to purchase gifts that will surprise and delight and allow you to get your holiday shopping done early!  Money earned will go to support the ministries and missions of the church. Come find handmade ornaments, seasonal greens, gifts and knits, jewelry, baked goods, a children’s table, handmade wooden crafts and “Attic Treasures.”

The Merrie Christmas Fair also includes an online Silent Auction for items to bid by visiting www.biddingforgood.com/UCCBSilentAuction. This Auction runs from November 9 at 8am through November 19 at 8pm. Silent Auction items range from vacation getaways to exquisite handmade items to items that will please every age and interest. Encourage your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to join in the fun!

The fair will be held both inside and outside of the church at 723 Massachusetts Avenue, the Community Center and the Boxborough Town Hall. There will be musical performances by the Workingman’s Duo with classic rock oldies from the 50s and 60s with blues and jazz. To limit the handling of cash, we encourage exact cash, checks or payment by credit/debit card. You may park in the church parking lot or across the street at the Boxborough Town Hall.
Unpainted barrel photo

Rain Barrel Pre-Purchase & Distribution Program

MAYNARD: With the potential for climate change to cause severe droughts and significant rainfall events, take advantage of this upcoming rain barrel pre-purchase and distribution program. Rain barrels have numerous benefits for many climate change-induced weather impacts and will save you money on your water bill. Did you know for instance that the rainfall of one inch within a 24-hour period can produce more than 700 gallons of water that run off a typical house. When Metrowest residents purchase a discounted rain barrel (or two), residents can then use captured rainwater for outdoor irrigation purposes whether water restrictions are enacted or not.

Though not made for potable water consumption, rainwater harvesting can significantly offset lawn and garden irrigation needs when towns restrict outdoor water use. Need more reasons why you should purchase a rain barrel? Your Metrowest town may be able to delay water restrictions if enough rain barrels are installed by residents. And when less water is used, municipalities can save on operating costs and infrastructure costs with fewer new wells, pumping stations, and treatment facilities that need to be built. And when towns use less municipal water, the impact on the environment is reduced as well. Drawing water from an aquifer faster than it is naturally regenerated can adversely affect every living creature in the area.

Beyond droughts and water restrictions, rain barrels also provide benefits during significant rainfall events. This is especially important given the Concord, Sudbury and Assabet Rivers which flow through the region. Usually, stormwater doesn’t soak into the ground but instead flows over impermeable surfaces like roofs, pavement, bare soil, and sloped lawns into storm drains or directly into water bodies such as our area rivers. And as stormwater flows, it picks up soil, animal waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizers, oil and grease, debris, and other potential pollutants. In addition to reducing the number of pollutants that enter local rivers and waterways through stormwater runoff, promoting rain barrels can also help control local flooding and protect rivers and streams from erosion while also reducing the impact on aging stormwater infrastructure.

For these reasons and because we need water to enjoy gardening during the Spring and Summer, the Maynard Community Gardeners is partnering with The Great American Rain Barrel Co (TGARB) based in Hyde Park, MA to promote and distribute re-purposed BPA-free food grade plastic resin barrels that are modified to be used as rain barrels. Though rain barrels will be distributed to those who purchased them in Maynard, you do not need to be Maynard resident to participate. Residents of all local area towns are encouraged to participate. TGARB sells their re-purposed food grade BPA-free 60-gallon plastic resin rain barrels at prices that are significantly lower than retail outlets:

TGARB Rain Barrel prices (not including tax):
 
  • Painted Barrel in Green, Brown or Gray: $79
  • Unpainted Rain Barrel $74; and
  • Discounted Terra Cotta $70.
 
You can order yours by November 27, midnight online at www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com/community and selecting the state of Massachusetts  and the town of Maynard or by calling (800) 251-2352. Optional accessories are also available. All barrels come with a lid, screen, threaded spigot, overflow valve, and each barrel measures 24” diameter, 39” high, and weighs 20 lbs. empty.

Those who pre-purchase barrels by midnight on November 27 can pick them up on the evening of December 8 from 4:30–6:30pm at the distribution site in the Elks Lodge Parking Lot at 34 Powdermill Road in Maynard. You must pick your barrel up or have someone pick it up for you at the distribution time. Barrels cannot be stored overnight at the distribution location.

Proceeds from purchased rain barrels do not go to the Maynard Community Gardeners. The Maynard Community Gardeners have generously undertaken this opportunity to benefit area residents.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: COLA is Sweet for Social Security Recipients

October 24, 2022
 
If you receive Social Security, you’ve probably already heard that your checks in 2023 will be bigger – considerably bigger, in fact. How can you make the best use of this extra money? Here’s what’s happening:

For 2023, there’s an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits – the largest increase in 40 years. Also, the monthly Medicare Part B premiums are declining next year, to $164.90/month from $170.10/month, which will also modestly boost Social Security checks for those enrolled in Part B, as these premiums are automatically deducted.


Of course, the sizable COLA is due to the high inflation of 2022, as the Social Security Administration uses a formula based on increases in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). So, it’s certainly possible that you will need some, or perhaps all, of your larger checks to pay for the increased cost of goods and services. But if your cash flow is already relatively strong, you might want to consider these suggestions for using your bigger checks:

Reduce withdrawals from your investment portfolio. When you’re retired, you will likely need to withdraw a certain amount from your portfolio each year to meet your expenses. A boost in your Social Security may enable you to withdraw less, at least for a year. This can be particularly advantageous when the markets are down, as you’d like to avoid, as much as possible, selling investments and withdrawing the money when investment prices are low. And the fewer investments you need to sell, the longer your portfolio may last during your retirement years.

Help build your cash reserves. When you’re retired, it’s a good idea to maintain about a year’s worth of the amount you’ll spend from your portfolio in cash, while also keeping three months’ of your spending needs in an emergency fund, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account. Your higher Social Security checks could help you build these cash reserves. (Also, it’s helpful to keep another three to five years’ worth of spending from your portfolio in short-term, fixed-income investments, which now, due to higher interest rates, offer better income opportunities.)

Contribute to a 529 plan. You could use some of your extra Social Security money to contribute to a tax-advantaged 529 education savings plan for your grandchildren or other family members. 

Contribute to charitable organizations. You might want to use some of your Social Security money to expand your charitable giving. Your generosity will help worthy groups and possibly bring you some tax benefits, too.

While it’s nice to have these possible options in 2023, you can’t count on future COLA increases being as large. The jump in inflation in 2022 was due to several unusual factors, including pandemic-related government spending, supply shortages and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It’s quite possible, perhaps even likely, that inflation will subside in 2023, which, in turn, would mean a smaller COLA bump in 2024.

Nonetheless, while you might not want to include large annual COLA increases as part of your long-term financial strategy, you may well choose to take advantage, in some of the ways described above, of the bigger Social Security checks you’ll receive in 2023. When opportunity knocks, you may want to open the door. 

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Gerald Breen, Acton, MA - EdwardJones.com/Gerald-Breen
Edward Jones. Member SIPC.

Boxborough To Host Meet and Greet for New Town Administrator

Boxborough
BOXBOROUGH: The Boxborough Select Board will be hosting a Meet and Greet for all Town employees, volunteers and residents to introduce the new Town Administrator, Mr. Michael Johns, at Boxborough Town Hall at 29 Middle Road on Monday, November 7, from 8:30-10:30am. Mr. Johns is the former Assistant Town Manager and Human Resources Director for Foxborough, MA. Prior to his promotion to that position, he served Foxborough as their Veterans Services Director.

When told of the planned event Mr. Johns said, “I am humbled, as well as incredibly excited, to work in the Town of Boxborough, and look forward to working with and meeting the many members of the community and the Town team.” Mr. Johns is a veteran in the armed services (Navy) and has earned his Masters of Public Administration from Suffolk University, a Masters of Arts from UMass Boston and a Bachelor of Science from Norwich University.

Ms. Jennifer Campbell, Chair of the Select Board said, “The selection of Mr. Johns was unanimous based upon not only his education and recent work history in Foxborough but his prior volunteer service on his Town’s Finance and Economic Development Commission, and his private sector experience.” She went on to say, “We hope all who can will come to this event at some point during the time we have set aside.”
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Donate a Thanksgiving Dinner Basket to a Maynard Food Pantry Family

MAYNARD: The Maynard Food Pantry will once again be providing Thanksgiving dinner baskets to families in need within our community this holiday season. In the past, families, organizations, groups and companies have generously donated dinner baskets consisting of a frozen turkey or canned ham together with a combination of bagged potatoes, fresh squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, canned or fresh vegetables, apples, oranges, fruit juice, packaged rolls and packaged desserts. Thinking about a family of six when putting together the basket is a good guide.

The Pantry would greatly appreciate similar donations this year so that they can provide these wonderful gifts to our client families.  In previous years, they have been able to provide approximately 85-90 dinner baskets to local families in need. If you would like to donate a Thanksgiving dinner basket or a quantity of one of the above-referenced items, please contact Mary Brannelly by email at mjtbrannelly@comcast.net no later than November 13, 2022 for drop off instructions.  Also feel free to send along a note if you need additional information.

The Maynard Food Pantry is always appreciative of cash donations that are used to purchase food to keep the Food Pantry stocked, especially at this time of the year when we consistently see an increase in the number of families in need of our services.  Checks can be made payable to the "Maynard Food Pantry" and may be sent c/o PO Box 55, Maynard, MA 01754.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Avoid Becoming a ‘Burden’ on Grown Children

October 24, 2022
 
Here’s an interesting statistic: Some 72% of retirees say one of their biggest fears is becoming a burden on their families, according to a 2021 survey by Age Wave and Edward Jones. Both before and during retirement, what steps can you take to avoid burdening your loved ones in the future? Here are a few suggestions:
 
  • Build your retirement savings. The greater your financial resources, the less likely it becomes that you’d ever have to count on your grown children for financial support. You may have access to a 401(k) or similar retirement plan at work, so take advantage of it. Even with an employer-sponsored plan, you also may be eligible to contribute to an IRA. In addition to offering a variety of investment options, a 401(k) and IRA provide potential tax advantages. And once you do retire, be careful about how much you withdraw each year from your retirement plans and other investments.
  • Plan for health care costs. Once you are retired, health care costs will be a significant expense. You may have Medicare, but you'll also want to consider your need for supplemental health insurance to cover traditional medical costs. And you’ll want to consider another potential health-related expense: long-term care. You may never need the services of a home health aide or a stay in a nursing home, but no one can predict the future.
Medicare does not cover most costs for long-term care, which can be quite high. In 2021, the annual national median cost for a private room in a nursing home was over $108,000, while the median cost for a full-time home health aide was nearly $62,000, according to a survey by Genworth, an insurance company. You may want to consult with a financial professional on strategies for protecting yourself from these costs.
 
  • Create necessary legal documents. If something were to happen to you, and you didn’t have the appropriate legal documents in place, your loved ones could be placed in a bind, both financially and emotionally. That’s why it’s a good idea to create documents such as a durable financial power of attorney, which lets you name someone to manage your finances if you became incapacitated, and a durable power of attorney for health care, which allows someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t make them yourself. You’ll want to work with a legal professional to develop the documents appropriate for your needs.
  • Evaluate your housing needs. As you enter retirement, you may want to evaluate your living situation. Could you downsize to a smaller home, or perhaps a condominium or apartment? Not only might you save money with such a move, but you could also end up relieving your grown children of the responsibilities and hassles involved in clearing out and selling your home should you become unable to do so yourself during the later years of your retirement.

By taking these measures, along with others, you can go a long way toward maintaining your independence and putting yourself in a place where you won’t burden your grown children.  And that’s a good  place to be.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Alan Bell, AAMS ® - (978) 486-1059. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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Acton Garden Club Honors Winners of “Acton’s Looking Good” Contest

ACTON: Every summer the Acton Garden Club conducts the “Acton’s Looking Good” Contest in order to acknowledge Acton businesses whose landscape enhances the Town’s beauty. At the Acton Garden Club monthly meeting on November 1st , the 2022 winners of the contest were honored. The recipients of award plaques were:
 
  • The Bee’s Knees, Best Curb Appeal;
  • West Acton Villageworks, Best Retail Plaza;
  • Great Road Dunkin, Best New Innovative Garden;
  • The Silver Unicorn, Best Stand-alone Business;
  • Kitchen Outfitters, Best Use of Containers;
  • Acton Pro Tech, Best Intersection
PHOTO: Christine Haufler & Lucinda Sears representing the Bee’s Knees; Lucy Goldstein representing West Acton Villageworks; Megan & Mark Pesce representing Great Road Dunkin; and Paul Swydan representing The Silver Unicorn.
Aruna with awc group

"Cultural Nepal"  at Acton Woman's  Club's November Meeting

ACTON: Join the Acton Woman's Club at 504 Main Street for its monthly meeting on November 9 at 11:30am for a light luncheon, a short business meeting and at 1pm special guest Aruna Sharma of the Cultural Nepal Foundation. Sharma will  share samples of typical Nepali food, and show some of her cultural art, including her Native dress! Born and raised in Kathmandu, Aruna's unique background, blending her professional science and technology experience with her deep understanding of Nepali culture and arts, allows her to nourish cross-cultural relationships.

Also, celebrate Mary Westcott's 90th birthday at the meeting. Remarkable Mary has had several careers - Westford Academy guidance counselor, antiques appraiser and  she has assisted with private auctions, including those for Oprah and Martha Stewart.  Mary is active and effective in everything she does from raising a family, being a Friend of the Acton COA, to our Club and many more.

Any woman who lives or works in Acton or a surrounding town may join the
Acton Woman’s Club for society and good works. For an invitation, please call Posy Dyer at (978) 369-1295; or Jane Bungard at (978) 263-7260. Interest groups now include Bridge, Mah Jongg, Book group; Antiques and Museum Goers; Wine & Dine group. Masks are optional.  New air filters will be running to help keep everyone extra safe. Folks can eat inside
or outside (weather permitting).
2022 cpm show poster final

Concord Piecemakers Quilt Guild Host Quilt Show

ACTON: The Concord Piecemakers Quilt Guild is pleased to announce their Quilt Show will take place on Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5 at St. Matthew’s Church, 435 Central Street. Hours on Friday are from 9am-6pm, and Saturday from 9am-4pm.  Over 150 quilts will be displayed, and there will be shopping at their Boutique and Vendors, a mini Guild yard sale, and their famous cookie tins, in addition to chances for a Raffle Quilt. Watch some member demonstrations of quilting techniques, and the kids can enjoy a scavenger hunt of motifs found in the quilts’ fabrics.

Please be prepared with masks if the church requests them, otherwise they are optional and encouraged in more crowded spaces. Admission is $10 for those 12 and older.

 
The Concord Piecemakers Guild are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization serving Concord and the surrounding communities with members from all over the area and even as far as Maryland. As a non-profit organization, they are dedicated to preserving, promoting, and advancing the art of quilt making through educational programs, workshops and outreach activities such as providing quilts for local hospitals, cancer treatment centers, shelters, and other community groups. Visit www.concordpiecemakers.org for more details.

Acton Native Guslicia Fallah Named to The School of Nursing Dean's List at MCPHS University

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ACTON: MCPHS University in Boston is pleased to announce that Guslicia Fallah has been named to the Dean's List for the Summer 2022 semester. Guslicia is a native of Acton and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Guslicia will graduate from the Boston, Massachusetts campus in 2024.

The Dean's List recognizes those students with a full-time course load who have achieved outstanding scholarship with a 3.5 GPA or higher for the academic term.

The mission of MCPHS University is to prepare graduates to advance health and serve communities worldwide through excellence, innovation, and collaboration in teaching, practice, scholarship, and research. Founded in 1823, MCPHS University is the oldest institution of higher education in the City of Boston. In addition to the original Boston campus, the University has campuses in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Manchester, New Hampshire, as well as robust online learning options. The University currently offers more than 100 unique baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree programs and certificates covering a variety of health-related fields and professions.

Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club Halloween Game Night & Potluck!

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ACTON: Nashoba Valley Neighbors will hold its popular Game Night and Potluck dinner on Saturday, October 29 at The Village of Nagog Woods Clubhouse, 102 Nonset Path, from 6-9pm. Have some fun in costume and bringing along your favorite food and games to share with your Neighbors! Nashoba Valley Neighbors will provide beer, wine, soda and water to quench your thirst. There will be music, games and a whole lot of fun!

Start with a usual "ice breaker game," other popular games include Telestrations, Exploding Kittens, Codenames and Blokus. Don't see your favorite?! Bring it along! Please RSVP to info@nashobavalleyneighbors.org including what type of dish you will be bringing. Choices are appetizer, main dish, side dish or dessert. Newcomers and guests are welcome! As with all events, feel free to bring donations for a local food pantry.

The Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club is a non-profit social organization open to new and established residents from our communities. Celebrating over 50 years, they were originally known as the Welcome Wagon Newcomers Club of Acton. More recently, they have been known as the Acton-Boxborough Newcomers & Neighbors Club. Discovering that established residents in surrounding communities are also looking to explore new interests and to make connections with new friends, they became the Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club in 2014.

The Club is excited to invite community members to join us in a variety of activities including Men’s Night Out, Ladies’ Night Out, Book Group, Wine Tasting, Lunch Bunch, dining in and out events, and special events to start and finish the membership year. Visit www.nashobavalleyneighbors.org for more information on this and other events, as well as information on how to become a member.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Here’s Your ‘Recession Survival’ Checklist

October 17, 2022

It’s unfortunate, but recessions are a fairly normal part of the economic landscape. When a recession occurs, how might you be affected? The answer depends on your individual situation, but regardless of your circumstances, you might want to consider the items in this recession survival checklist:
 
  • Assess your income stability. If your employment remains steady, you may not have to do anything different during a recession. But if you think your income could be threatened or disrupted, you might want to consider joining the “gig economy” or looking for freelance or consulting opportunities.
  • Review your spending. Look for ways to trim your spending, such as canceling subscription services you don’t use, eating out less often, and so on.
  • Pay down your debts. Try to reduce your debts, especially those with high interest rates. 
  • Plan your emergency fund. If you haven’t already built one, try to create an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses, with the money kept in a liquid account. 
  • Review your protection plan. If your health or life insurance is tied to your work, a change in your employment status could jeopardize this coverage. Review all your options for replacing these types of protection. Also, look for ways to lower premiums on home or auto insurance, without significantly sacrificing coverage, to free up money that could be used for health/life insurance. 
  • Keep your long-term goals in mind. Even if you adjust your portfolio during times of volatility, don’t lose sight of your long-term goals. Trying to “outsmart” the market with short-term strategies can often lead to missteps and missed opportunities.  
  • Don’t stop investing. If you can afford it, try to continue investing. Coming out of a recession, stock prices tend to bottom out and then rebound, so if you had headed to the investment “sidelines,” you would have missed the opportunity to benefit from a market rally.  
  • Revisit your performance expectations. During a bear market, you will constantly be reminded of the decline of a particular market index, such as the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But instead of focusing on these short-term numbers, look instead at the long-term performance of your portfolio to determine if you’re still on track toward meeting your goals. 
  • Assess your risk tolerance. If you find yourself worrying excessively about declines in your investment statements, you may want to reevaluate your tolerance for risk. One’s risk tolerance can change over time — and it’s important you feel comfortable with the amount of risk you take when investing. 
  • Keep diversifying. Diversification is always important for investors — by having a mix of stocks, mutual funds and bonds, you can reduce the impact of market volatility on your portfolio. To cite one example: Higher-quality bonds, such as Treasuries, often move in the opposite direction of stocks, so the presence of these bonds in your portfolio, if appropriate for your goals, can be valuable when market conditions are worsening. (Keep in mind, though, that diversification cannot guarantee profits or protect against all losses in a declining market.) 

A recession accompanied by a bear market is not pleasant. But by taking the appropriate steps, you can boost your chances of getting through a difficult period and staying on track toward your important financial goals. 

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Mandy Calouro, Chelmsford, MA  - EdwardJones.com/Mandy-Calouro, Edward Jones, Member SIPC
Everyone'ssuperhero

Scarecrow Contest in Acton

ACTON: Enter the “Stand Up to Stigma” Scarecrow Contest to benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Central Middlesex. Bring your $25 donation to Cucurbit Farm at 32 Parker Street and pick up your scarecrow starter frame. Then drop off your family friendly scarecrow at the farm stand. Individuals, organizations, and businesses are invited to participate. The scarecrows will be on display for the month of October, and the public is invited to cast their vote for the winning entry. The goal is 100 scarecrows along the fence and many conversations about mental health! Additional info at namicentralmiddlesex.org.
Lwv

LWV Hosts Candidates Forum

The League of Women Voters Acton-Area, Concord-Carlisle and Chelmsford will host a Candidates Forum for the 14th Middlesex District State Representative. The 14th Middlesex District Representative represents residents in portions of Acton, Concord, Chelmsford and all of Carlisle.
 
The forum will be held at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center, 1276 Main Street in West Concord on October 11 at 7pm. It will be recorded and available on public access channels in the 14th Middlesex District as well as League YouTube channels: lwv-acton-area.org and lwvcc.org.
 
The League of Women Voters is eager to help voters learn more about the candidates running in the November 2022 Election and provide a non-partisan forum for all candidates to be heard. The event is part of our mission to encourage the active and informed participation of all citizens in government and the electoral process. The forum is free and open to the public.
Awc clubhouse

Acton Woman's Club Pie Sale!

ACTON: It's time! The ovens will be baking soon! The Acton Woman's Club is looking forward to another successful annual fall pie and baked goods sale on October 15 starting at 9am at The Clubhouse, 504 Main Street. Proceeds support high school scholarships. During the sale, you can get a tour of the antique Clubhouse building [ask for Margie or Brenda]. Not only can you experience a gracious living room furnished with antiques. Meet some Club members to talk about possible membership, especially if you like to bake pies and/or organize events. It's a great way to make new friends! More information: www.theactonwomansclub.org.

FINANCIAL FOCUS : How Should You Pay for Short-term Financial Goals?

October 3, 2022

As you go through life, you will likely have long- and short-term financial goals. But how will your strategies for meeting your long-term goals differ from those needed for your short-term ones?

If you’re like most people, your biggest long-term goal is achieving a comfortable retirement. And for this goal, a common strategy is putting away money in tax-advantaged retirement vehicles, such as your 401(k) and IRA.

So, how should you go about preparing for shorter-term goals, such as a family vacation, home renovation, wedding or major purchase?

For starters, determine what your goal is, how much you can spend on it and when you’ll need the money. Even if you can’t pinpoint a precise amount, you can develop a good estimate. Of course, the sooner you start this process, the better off you’ll be, because you’ll have more time to save.

Your next decision involves the manner in which you save for your short-term goal. Specifically, what savings or investment vehicles should you use? The answer will be different for everyone, but you need to make sure that your investments align with your risk tolerance and time horizon. And you’ll want to ensure, as much as possible, that a certain amount of money is available for you at the specific time you’ll need it.

If you aren’t able to save enough to reach a short-term goal, you have other options — you can borrow what you need, or you can potentially sell investments to cover the cost. How can you decide which choice is best?

To help make up your mind, you’ll first want to consider some of the most common borrowing options: credit cards, home equity loans, personal loans and margin loans. (A margin loan lets you borrow against the value of investments you already own). How might each of these loans fit into your overall financial strategy? Will the repayment schedule work with your cash flow and budget?

You’ll then want to compare the costs and benefits of borrowing, in whatever form, against selling investments. For example, if you can borrow at a lower interest rate compared to the return you think you can get from your investments, borrowing might be a reasonable choice. You’ll also need to consider other factors, such as your credit score, taxes, fees associated with selling investments and time needed to repay debts. If, for instance, selling investments will trigger a large amount of taxes, borrowing might be preferable. You’ll also want to consider whether there’s a penalty or high costs associated with selling investments. In addition, if you have a long time horizon for a loan, you may want to sell investments to avoid paying interest for a longer period of time, and thus driving up the overall cost of borrowing.          Finally, keep in mind that you may have built an investment mix designed to align with your goals and risk tolerance. If you were to sell any of these investments to meet short-term needs, you would want to consider the need to rebalance your portfolio to maintain your desired asset allocation.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to paying for short-term goals. But by carefully evaluating your options, you can make the choices that are right for your needs.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Alan Bell, Edward Jones, Member SIPC.

Cornerstone Thrift Shop Reopens

ACTON:The Cornerstone Thrift Shop has reopened after taking a summer break. The summer clothing is gone, and in its place there is fall and winter clothing for women, children and men. There are shirts, pants, sweaters, and outerwear, as well as shoes for children and adults. The shop is now taking donations of good quality clothing and shoes in excellent condition for all sizes, particularly more children's clothing. They are also accepting dishes and housewares. Please check your donations to make sure they are in excellent condition. The Cornerstone is located in Acton Congregational Church at 12 Concord Road in Acton center. The shop is run by volunteers, and all of the proceeds go to support the missions and ministry of the church. They are open Mondays and Fridays from 10am-2pm, Wednesdays from 3-5:30pm, and Saturdays from 10am-noon. The Shop will be closed on October 8 and 10 for Columbus/ Indigeonous Peoples Day weekend.

Autumnal — Photography by Julie Smith L’Heureux and Ceramic Sculpture by Patrick Brennan

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MAYNARD: 6 Bridges Gallery is pleased to present an exhibit of new works by photographer Julie L’Heureux and ceramic sculpture by Patrick Brennan titled,  Autumnal. The exhibit will be on view at 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main Street from October 5-November 12. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday 10am-–5pm. The exhibit will also be hosted online at 6Bridges.Gallery/Autumnal. A reception will be held October 22 from 5–7pm.
 
In this exhibit, the essence of autumn is expressed literally and abstractly through Julie L’Heureux’s photography and Patrick Brennan’s ceramic sculptures. L’Heureux’s photography captures the autumnal theme through the New England landscape and seasonal food, as well as via abstract images. Brennan’s ceramics embody the energy and color of autumn.
 
L'Heureux subject matter is still life, landscapes and portraits. The images she creates go beyond what the viewer sees. She interjects her ideas of what is important through the use of light, shadows, color and clarity. Rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination. She creates an image that may be different from what the viewer might have observed when looking at the same subject matter. L’Heureux creates this new reality with her camera, through the use of light, and with digital creativity using Lightroom and Photoshop. Her images have been accepted to numerous art exhibits in the Boston area and have been added to personal collections including the Federal Reserve Bank. She has also published photographs on-line and in numerous magazines and newspapers. More of L’Heureux’s work can be seen at www.jlheureuxphotography.com

PHOTO:
Yellow Leaves in Monochrome by Julie L’Heureux
 
Patrick Brennan is a Boston-based LGBTQ artist and MFA student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He often imagines what it would look like if a hypothetical God or a being as intelligent in relation to us as we are to an insect would see if it looked down on our plane of existence. In essence that is what his art is meant to portray, how we would be seen by something so far beyond us that we are nothing more than a beautiful but stupid little microbe spinning around chasing our own flagella in a sea of endless memetic iterations of ourselves. In addition to his art practice, Patrick is also an art educator, previously employed by the education department at the Institute of Contemporary Art, and Museum of Fine Arts, and currently employed by Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Brennan’s work can be seen at  https://www.fineartsculptor.com
 
For more information, please visit 6Bridges.Gallery, Facebook and Instagram.
Savers 2021

Maynard Emblem Club Clothing & More Fundraiser

MAYNARD: Maynard Emblem Club #205 is holding their annual Savers Fundraiser soon.  They are collecting used clothing, purses, shoes, accessories, backpacks, bedding, linens, curtains and other textiles such as decorative pillows. Call Kim at (978) 897-9907 or email kim.lalli@comcast.net to schedule drop-off or pick-up. Items will be collected until October 28. All money raised will be used to help local charities.

Alexandra DePalo Named Open Table Executive Director

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CONCORD/MAYNARD: Open Table, the Concord and Maynard charity dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities, announced that Alexandra DePalo will take over the role of executive director leading the 33-year-old non-profit organization whose mission is to end hunger in the local community by providing healthy food in ways that respect the dignity and diversity of those served. DePalo replaces Jeanine Calabria who helped establish Open Table as an area provider of food pantry services and mobile meals programs over her 10-year tenure.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, DePalo will provide vision and dynamic leadership to Open Table as well as supervisory oversight for a staff of 13 and over 500 volunteers. She will oversee the strategic and operational efficiency of the non-profit’s programs and staff and will help define the role of the new 3,000-square-foot annex.

“As executive director at  Open Table, I’ll have the opportunity to make an impact on the health and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable members of the MetroWest community,” said Alexandra DePalo, executive director, Open Table. “I’m looking forward to building on the strengths of this already impressive organization and advancing that work  to end hunger in our communities.”

Alexandra DePalo brings over 20 years of experience in public and community health to Open Table. She has worked in academic, philanthropic, government and community-based organizations to improve access to health and wellness across Massachusetts. Most recently Alex was the Director of Public Health for the City of Framingham where she provided personnel and budget management for the department, worked with a wide variety of community partners, and coordinated many of the City's COVID-19 responses including emergency food programs, free testing sites and vaccine clinics.

Previously she worked for the Hudson Health Department on regional community health programs including food access and healthy eating initiatives. Earlier in her career she managed grant programs to promote healthy eating and reduce health disparities at the MetroWest Health Foundation. DePalo holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in public health from Boston University.

“Open Table is excited to welcome Alexandra DePalo as its new executive director. Her experience in creating and running public health programs is exactly what Open Table needs,” said Mary Siegel, chairman of the board of Open Table. “She will be a driving force in helping  Open Table move closer and closer to meeting the needs of our clients in the communities where they live.”

Currently Open Table distributes bags of groceries, which include fresh produce, proteins, dairy, baked goods, and shelf-stable produces, to over 300 households each week and provides over 1000 prepared meals to clients that hail from the Metro West suburbs.  Open Table has received incredible support from the communities it serves through donations of food and funds, making it possible to continue to address food insecurity in the MetroWest area.

Theatre Opportunity for Neurodiverse Adults

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ACTON: Theatre with a Twist, a not-for-profit theatre organization, and the Northeast Arc Adult Autism Support Center, a not-for-profit organization that helps adults with Autism become full participants in the community, are participating to bring theatre to neurodiverse adults in a unique theatrical experience. If you, or someone you know, is a neurodiverse young adult that would love the opportunity to participate in a theatre experience to help gain confidence, build social skills, and just have some fun, visit www.theatrewithatwist.org for further information.

Mary Spinosa, director of the theatre is a drama therapist, educator, case manager and experienced psychiatric nurse. She will be working with Andrea Green, music therapist and playwright of Philadelphia, to develop a unique therapeutic program and fun experience for neurodiverse young adults ages 18-35. The show is called, The  Same Sky, and we are so lucky to have Andrea Green come to the theatre the week of the performance to conduct her own individual workshop for participants, along with regularly scheduled rehearsals and performances of the group in early February.

Auditions are in mid-October and weekly rehearsals will be held at their Blackbox theatre in Acton. If you are interested in, or know someone that is interested in participating, please complete the registration form and tuition payment online at www.theatrewithatwist.org. Registration is now open. If you need
financial assistance to cover the expense of registration, please reach out to Daphne Thompson at dthompson@ne-arc.org.  Further questions may be sent directly to Mary at theatrewithatwist@gmail.com. Rehearsals will begin the first week in November.
Bee gegear

Acton Garden Club Hosts October Meeting

ACTON: The Acton Garden Club’s next monthly meeting will take place on October 4 in Room 204 of Town Hall with a program at 10:15 titled “The Bee-cology Project; Native Pollinator Decline and Conservation”. The presenter, Dr. Robert Gegear, is the Director of the New England Bee-cology Project and an Associate Professor in the Biology Department of UMASS Dartmouth.

Why is ecological pollinator conservation so important? Dr. Gegear will help us understand this question and how the Bee-cology Project can speed up the process of identifying major stressors before threatened species become extinct.

The Bee-cology Project aims to provide information needed to develop effective conservation and restoration strategies for threatened species by recruiting citizen scientists from across the region to digitally collect and submit ecological data on native pollinator species using the
project’s freely available smartphone and web apps.

The public is invited to join the meeting in person or via ZOOM. If the latter is your preference, please visit www.actongardenclub.org and leave a message for the webmaster. You will be contacted with the information needed to log into the meeting.

Maynard Cultural Council Seeks Funding Proposals

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MAYNARD: Would an arts and culture grant help you or your organization? Consider applying for the Maynard Cultural Council Local Grant program. Proposals for community-oriented arts, humanities, and science programs are being accepted from now through October 17. These grants can support a variety of projects and activities in Maynard -- including exhibits, festivals, field trips, short-term artist residencies, performances, workshops, lectures, etc. The Maynard Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.

Typical grants range from $50 to $1500, to support arts, humanities, and science programs benefiting the Maynard community. Some highlights from last year’s funding include: Butterfly Fairy Frolic installation at ArtSpace, Stone Carving Symposium at Contemporary Arts International, Origami Club, Pollinator Meadow Identification Cards, and Free Summer Concerts in Memorial Park. Application forms and more information about this Local Cultural Council Program are available online at www.mass-culture.org.

Priorities will include projects that activate our downtown – primarily the area that makes up the Maynard Cultural District. This priority reflects how hard hit the pandemic has been on our downtown and the need to support projects that reactivate those public spaces. This ties to a current goal to facilitate more cultural offerings and to better communicate to the public about the cultural endurance of Maynard. All events should also be publicly listed on discovermaynard.com.

This year we have also elected to participate in the “direct grant” program rather than the reimbursement model previously utilized. It is our hope that this will lower the barrier to entry for many applicants. The process is the same except that funds are distributed to grantees at the outset.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who can apply?
Individuals, organizations, agencies, schools, and non-profits may apply for grants that support activities in culture, humanities, arts, and sciences publicly benefiting the local community. Projects must take place between January 1, 2023 and be completed by December 31, 2023. All applicants must reside or be located in Massachusetts.

How do I apply? Applicants must be submitted online via the MCC website https://www.mass-culture.org/lcc_public.aspx. The application is currently open for applications

What makes a good application? Each year we receive more requests than the funds that are available. The success of your grant may rely on careful planning and thorough preparation. Clearly identify dates, times, and locations. Include all costs in your budget, including in-kind donations (free use of space or donated services). If permits or extra permission are needed, please identify them. If this is a collaborative project, please identify the stakeholders and spell out agreements. Potential applicants are welcome to discuss ideas with Council members at our next meeting on October 13 at 7pm. The meeting will be publicly posted on the Town website or email culturaldistrict@townofmaynard.net to be included in the agenda.