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Current Edition - 08/19/22
Previous Edition - 08/05/22

HEADLINES

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Joy Bible Study In-person at FEFC

ACTON: Joy Bible Study at Faith Evangelical Free Church, 54 Hosmer Street, will be meeting in person this year. If you’ve ever asked:  “Who is Jesus?” or “Why read the Bible?” or are pondering spiritual things, join us to find answers and meet some new friends.  Women are cordially invited to attend their Fall Tea on September 14, 9:45-11:45am. In addition to great food and fellowship, they will introduce this year's study of the Gospel of Mark.  Mark portrays Jesus as the servant-king whom we should follow. 
 
Joy Bible Study welcomes women of all ages and denominations, women who have lots of bible knowledge or no bible knowledge at all.  They meet at in Acton on Wednesday mornings from 9:45-11:45am.  If you have questions or would like more information, please see our website www.joybiblestudy.com.

40th Anniversary Free-Admission Community Day at Discovery Museum September 10

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ACTON: Discovery Museum will host a free-admission Community Day on September 10 in celebration of the Museum’s 40th anniversary.  Indoor and outdoor activities will include making one-of-a-kind noisemakers; a celebratory parade to a cake-cutting ceremony at 11:00am; a performance of "Dhol-Tasha-Lezim," a "double-headed drumming and dance" folk art form that is indigenous to Maharashtra, a state on the west coast of India; and classic Discovery Museum activities such as Balls & Ramps, Cup Towers, a "Discovery Quest" scavenger hunt—with chances to win a free membership—and more.

State and local officials will be on hand for the cake-cutting ceremony at 11am. Mini cupcakes donated by Concord Teacakes will be served to visitors. An ice cream truck will be on site from noon to 3pm.
 
Advance reservations are required at www.discoveryacton.org and can be made beginning September 1. A free shuttle to overflow parking at Congregation Beth Elohim, 133 Prospect Street in Acton, will run continuously from 9am to 4:30pm. The event will happen rain or shine.

“Discovery Museum has served more than 5 million children and families over the past 40 years—and that is due in no small part to the generosity and support of our community,” said CEO Neil Gordon. “That support, combined with the vision and dedication of our staff and volunteers, has enabled us to stoke kids’ natural curiosity and creativity to explore and better understand themselves, their capabilities, and the incredible possibilities of the world around them. We are honored to be an enduring part of the lives of so many families. We are happy to offer a full day of activities, fun, and learning with free admission, to thank our community for its long-lasting support.”
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Acton Garden Club Hosts September Meeting

ACTON: The Acton Garden Club’s September meeting will take place on September 13 in Room 204 of the Acton Town Hall with a business meeting at 9:30am followed by a program at 10:15am titled “Outstanding Natives: Trees and Shrubs for Northeast Gardens”. Speaker Joan Butler of Enchanted Gardens, will help attendees discover native shrubs and trees that add beauty and interest to our garden and benefit the birds, butterflies and pollinators.

Joan has been an enthusiastic gardener for over thirty years and believes gardens should invite you to linger in the world outside your door.  Her gardens have been included on several garden tours and feature exciting plant combinations, dramatic horticultural specimens and collections of hosta, heuchera and epimedium. Joan is a Master Gardener, has worked as a horticulturist at Weston Nurseries and is a past Chairman of the Massachusetts Landscape Design Council.  She is also a member of the Garden Consultants Council and an accredited Flower Show Judge.
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Nashoba Symphonic Band Announces 2022-2023 Season

BOLTON: The Nashoba Symphonic Band is pleased to announce its concert schedule for the 2022-2023 season. All concerts will take place in the auditorium of Nashoba Regional High School, Route 117 (12 Green Road GPS), about a mile west of the center of town. Admission is free and open to the public. The theme for the season is “Joy in Form,” exploring the ways in which various elements are combined to create a complete musical work.
 
  • October 30, 3pm - “Brilliant Expositions!” includes Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovitch, Suite from Candide, Clare Grundman's setting of music from the Broadway show by Leonard Bernstein, and the glorious Symphony No.3 by Vittorio Giannini.
  • February 4, 2023, 2pm - “Unexpected Developments!” features Variations for Wind Band by Ralph Vaughan Williams with Arthur Fracknpohl's Celebration Overture and the Fantasies on a Theme by Haydn by Norman Dello-Joio, plus marches by Kenneth J. Alford and Leon Jessel.
  • May 7, 2023, 3pm “Fiendish Finales!” includes a complete performance of Robert W. Smith's Symphony No.1 The Divine Comedy, based on the writings of Dante: Inferno, Purgatorio, Ascension, and Paradiso. The work is aptly framed by the Rakoczy March from Berlioz's Damnation of Faust, and March “Gloria” by Frank Hoyt Losey.
  • June 15, 2023, 7:30pm - “Fitting Codas!” features classics of concert band repertoire, including Symphonic Dance No.3 “Fiesta” by Clifton Williams, Pines of the Appian Way by Ottorino Respighi, and selections from the musical, Man of LaMancha, as well as music performed by graduating members of the Nashoba Symphonic Band.


The Nashoba Symphonic Band welcomes new players at the beginning of each season and at the rehearsal following each concert. There are no auditions, but adult membership is limited to a certain number within each section. Students (grade 8 and above) are required to present a recommendation from their school music director or private instructor. The band currently has openings for section clarinets and trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 tuba and percussion. Rehearsals of Nashoba Symphonic Band are held on Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. on the stage of the Nashoba Regional High School. Those wishing to become members, or needing further information should contact the conductor/music director, David Bailey at baileydavidwayne@gmail.com OR Joe McCarthy, Nashoba Regional High School Instrumental Director at jmccarthy@nrsd.net.

Open Table Partners with Nonprofits to Bring Prepared Meals to Minority and Immigrant Communities 

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CONCORD/MAYNARD: Open Table, the Concord and Maynard charity dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities, announced that it is working with four separate programs to get 1000 prepared meals per week to elders and 300 fresh lunches per week to children in need through a variety of programs this summer. The participating programs include: The Food Project, IINE in Lowell, Mill City Grows, and the Kids Summer Lunch and Snack Program.

These four partnerships are in keeping with Open Table’s goal to significantly grow the number of individuals it serves through its mobile programs. Working with partners helps Open Table identify and serve unmet need, especially within minority and immigrant communities. For many people, lack of transportation, lack of information, shame, and stigma, along with limited access to food pantry locations and hours are obstacles. Innovative partner-based programming, focused on increasing information, access and choice allows Open Table to begin meeting critical food needs for “the invisible two-thirds” of food insecure households not currently accessing food pantry services.

Participants in the Open Table mobile food partnerships receive either pre-cooked and frozen meals made fresh in Open Table’s professional kitchen or kid’s packs, which contain meals and snacks for enjoying at summer camp or at home.
 
  • Food Project – Every Thursday, the Food Project picks up 75 frozen meals prepared at Open Table and labeled in Spanish. The Food Project then distributes the meals to seniors at La Alianza Hispana, a community-based organization providing culturally and linguistically appropriate health and education programs to the Latino Community of Greater Boston.
  • IINE, Lowell -  Building on its success in providing prepared meals for Afghani refugees, Open Tables is now providing IINE with up to 70 monthly meals for all the refugees and immigrants who come through its doors. 
  • Mill City Grows – Beginning the week of August 13, Open Table will deliver 85 all-vegetarian meals  to Lowell-based non-profit Mill City Grows (MCG), which includes them in their CSA farm shares to people in need. Meals are labeled in Spanish, Portuguese and Khmer.
  • Kids Summer Lunch and Snack Program – Open Table is preparing 300 lunches a week for area children to eat at home or to take to summer camp programs. The kids’ packs must be reserved in advance and are distributed through the Acton Food Pantry and at the Open Table pantry in Maynard.

“The funds provided by a Massachusetts Food Infrastructure grant have allowed Open Table to upgrade both our kitchen equipment and transportation capabilities so that we can make and deliver more prepared meals to those in need,” said Jeanine Calabria, executive director, Open Table.  “Partnerships with groups like the Food Project, IINE, and Mill City Grows are a friction-less way to extend our reach further into communities where food insecurity is real and where Open Table can make a big impact.”

Open Table is a 501(c)(3) established in 1989. Their mission is to address hunger in their local community by providing healthy food in a welcoming environment while respecting the dignity and diversity of those served. For more information, visit www.opentable.org.
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2022 Symposium for New Art Archeology & Paintings at YV Art Museum

ACTON: The 11th Annual Stone Carving Symposium is being held thru August 21 with participating artists David Adilman (Andover), Kevin Duffy  (Arlington), Memy Ish Shalom (Israel/Newton), Marin Murakoshi (Japan/Newton), Miguel Velit (Peru), Viktor Lois (Hungary/Acton) and Yin Peet  (Taiwan/Acton). At the completion of the Symposium on August 21 (2pm), there will be an Reception with Artists Talk to celebrate accomplishments. The Symposium is open to the public from  2pm-5pm, otherwise by appointment everyday 10am-6pm. Contemporary Arts International’s admission is $10 for adults; $5 for students/seniors; and children under 7 is free.  For more information, visit www.contemporaryartsinternational.org.

One of the highlights of this year’s Symposium is that for the first  time four artists (Duffy, Murakoshi, Lois and Peet) are collaborating in the carving of the  most prominently positioned stone which weighs 20 tons on the top of the stone pile.

Another highlight is that three scientists in this exhibition are showing the public  their artistic expression. David Adilman is a hydrogeologist, Memy Is
h Shalom is a  software engineer, and Jacob Kravetz (painting exhibited in the main hall) is a chemist.  The three of them use their scientific viewpoints to bring a new approach to creating art.  It is valuable having people with a different approach to art contributing to the museum’s 
collection, as it enlivens the galleries and attracts new visitors.  

This estimated 20-year “New Art Archeology” project has since gained steady support  from Mass Local Cultural Council of our town and the surrounding towns. Many  sculptors have come back to carve more on the pile. For example, this is Kevin’s sixth  year carving on the pile, Marin’s fourth year and Miguel’s third year traveling here from  Peru. Each of their creations is monumental. Clearly, by now it has been a community embraced art site.  

Every summer  riding on the Symposium celebration, they have been hosting excellent artists in residency  and exhibit their artwork at the Museum. This year in our indoor galleries, we will  present paintings by Miguel Velit and Yin Peet in the downstairs Gallery, Jacob Kravetz  in the main hall.  In the downstairs gallery, work by Miguel Velit and Yin Peet is titled MURALS INDOOR STREET ART. It consists of three paintings by Velit, sized two 6’x9’, one  15’x11’. The painting by Peet is 38’x12’, covering one entire side of the gallery wall. In terms of the meaning of the title “Indoor Street Art,” curator Viktor Lois articulated, “The  street art today is the new mural. Though indoors, the street art is still following the  tradition of murals which primarily deals with social issues. A good example is presented  in Buchwick Brooklyn, NY.” In this connotation, street art comes indoors to our gallery. 

Furthermore, Miguel wrote: “Since remote times, Man has always searched for ways of  expression to narrate his ideas, history and thoughts. In Altamira, Spain, primitive men  told stories by making drawings on large stones. In Mexico in 1920, a great artistic  current emerged, Mexican Muralism, which was well influenced by the revolution.  Mexican muralists contribute greatly to the current Communist success by narrated  historical and revolutionary political events in their work. Among the great masters of  muralists were Diego De Rivera, the great David Siqueros, and Jose Orosco. Their  narrated historical events in great murals outdoors directly impacted the way popular  expression was framed at that time. This phenomenon is not unique to Mexico. In  Hungary, Russia, and New York, murals that come indoors from the street are part of the  art movement from the 60s, 70s, and 80s to the present.” 

The two artists’ murals we present here each show the artists’ own styles and cultural  backgrounds. Yin, an immigrant from Taiwan, painted a reclining female nude figure  with long hair, body half emerged in a lotus pond while one arm holds the sun passing  dawn and the other arm holds the moon entering night. The painting entitled “ONE DAY  OF A HUMAN ON EARTH” focuses on the Yin’s view on human’s philosophical  yearning to reach out to the important life sources from mother earth.

By contrast, Miguel’s painting describes his social empathy toward Peruvian life. One  painting portrays a Peruvian bus full of passengers, the second, an Inca riding a bicycle  through the street of New York, the third, the Crazy Man in Central Park of Lima, each  painting charged with tremendous energy of the brightly colored South American culture.  

In the main hall on a twelve foot-high, twenty-four foot-wide wall, we present a group of  100 (20”x20” each) acrylic paintings by Jacob Kravetz titled “A Gross Expression of Zen - 2022”. To explain why “Gross,” Jacob describes: “I have used enso (a circle that is  hand-drawn in one uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free  to let the body create) as a daily meditative-art practice for nearly two years now. In my  creation of A Gross Expression of Zen, I utilized this meditative practice to explore  artistic zeugma. In exploring this challenge, however, I came to feel there was a deeper,  more complex set of relationships that could be explored with the concept of “artistic  zeugma” in which the title applies to many aspects of the art (e.g. process, form, and  experience). The “expression of zen” is represented by the enso. Here, the term “gross” in the piece’s  title performs the zeugma. The piece is also gross in that it is large, not just physically  large, but containing a near infinite number (~10^250) of display permutations. On display, it expands beyond the confines of the gallery wall inset. The process of  expression was also gross, but in a disgusted way. Instead of patiently and meditatively  performing each enso daily, Jacob created them in a frenzy of activity, with between ten  and thirty ensos made each day in rapid succession. Finally, with a riot of color instead of  the traditional black and white, the enso backgrounds produce a vulgar and tranquil  display.” 

The painting exhibition can be viewed throughout the year.
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Free Concert with Tatiana Eva-Marie and the Avalon Jazz Band

MAYNARD: The Maynard Public Library invites you to the annual FREE Summer Concert in Memorial Park, Summer Street (rain location: The Sanctuary, 82 Main Street) on August 21, at 3pm. This year's performer is Tatiana Eva-Marie and the Avalon Jazz Band. 
 
Nicknamed the Gypsy-jazz Warbler by the New York Times, Tatiana Eva-Marie is a transatlantic bandleader, singer, author, and actress based in Brooklyn. Best known for her work with the Avalon Jazz Band, she was acclaimed as a millennial shaking up the jazz scene by magazine Vanity Fair. She performs regularly in New York at various clubs, across the USA, and around the world.
 
Tatiana Eva-Marie’s singing is inspired by her own French and Romanian Gypsy heritage, a love for the Parisian art scene of the 1920s to the 60s, a fascination for New Orleans music, and a deep connection to the Great American Songbook. Through the lens of this musical kaleidoscope, in her current project, she explores the music of Django Reinhardt through her own original arrangements and lyrics.
 
Learn about this and many other library events at maynardpubliclibrary.org/calendar.

Businesses in Your Community

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition's Annual State-wide Against the Tide Multisport Virtual & In-person Events

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Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is hosting its annual, statewide Against the Tide athletic fundraising events as both virtual and in-person events this summer.  
 
MBCC will hold its in-person Cape Cod Against the Tide event on August 13 at DCR’s Nickerson State Park in Brewster for the 23rd year. This event will feature a 1-mile recreational and competitive swim, a ½-mile recreational swim, 5K and 10K runs, a 3-mile walk, and a 1-mile USMS sanctioned swim.
 
Additionally, MBCC is offering participants the option to participate remotely in the Against the Tide August virtual event from August 6–13. The virtual event components include 1-mile recreational or competitive swims, a ½-mile recreational swim, 5K and 10K runs, and a 3-mile walk.
 
Registration for both the virtual and in-person options is $40 for an individual participant, and $100 for a family registration (up to 5 family members). Participants may register as an individual or as part of a team. Participants are encouraged to raise funds beyond the registration fees, as all proceeds support MBCC’s unique goal of breast cancer prevention. All participants will receive an event t-shirt. Prizes will be awarded for the top swim and run finishers of the in-person events. To learn more about all of the registration options or to make a pledge, please visit the MBCC website at www.mbcc.org/swim or call 508-246-3047.
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ART EXHIBIT:  Geometry — Is There Anything We See That Cannot Be Broken Into Geometric Shapes? A solo exhibit by Erik Hansen at 6 Bridges Gallery

MAYNARD: 6 Bridges Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new works by photographer Erik Hansen titled Geometry. The exhibit will be on view at 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main Street from August 24-October 1. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12–5pm. The exhibit will also be hosted online at 6Bridges.Gallery/Geometry. An Opening Reception will be held September 10, 2022 from 5–8pm.
 
“GE-OM-E-TRY”, n., the mathematics of the properties, measurements, and relationships of points, lines, angles, surfaces, and solids. Is there anything we see that cannot be broken into these geometric shapes?
 
Hansen begins his pieces with an original or series of photographs he has previously taken. From there, he creates additional shapes enhancing the image using Photoshop’s myriad tools. The evolution from start to finish allows him freedom to explore beyond the bounds of traditional photography.
 
Hansen has been exhibiting his photography in the U.S. and internationally for over 20 years. His dominant focus in his art is the constant employment of imagination. Because of constant creative invention, various themes wander into new and exciting visions. As a consequence, Hansen does not maintain a signature style. But, one constant is his interest in art that brings something from the inside out, rather than capturing observations of the outside world. It’s a process that demands a deep exploration of states of mind and mystery. Marjorie Kay of Galatea Fine Art said, “There is a coolness of vision in the photography of Erik Hansen.”
 
More of Hansen’s work can be seen at www.erikhansenphotography.com.
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Local Students Named to The Dean's List at MCPHS University

ACTON: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) is pleased to announce the students who have been named to the Dean's List for the Spring 2022 semester:
 
  • Guslicia Fallah is a native of Actonand is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degreeGuslicia will graduate from the Boston campus in 2024.
  • Joelle Perron is a native of Acton and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography degreeJoelle will graduate from the Boston campus in 2023.

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.
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Did You Know that Even Pens are Recyclable through TerraCycle?

LITTLETON/ACTON: Tossing out your old pens, mechanical pencils and glue sticks?  What about those old metal pots and pans?  Save them for the TerraCycle collection box at the Donelan’s supermarkets in both Littleton and Acton, or at the Reuben Hoar Library in Littleton. If you have a Littleton transfer station sticker, take a look for the yellow bin there!

The collection box is also a great place to recycle your empty plastic containers for deodorant or oral care!  In addition: air fresheners (cartridges and plugs), and cleaning product pumps and trigger spray heads, as well as cell phone cases are also recyclable.  Empty ink-jet and toner cartridges are always welcome!  Many other items too – please check out the website at https://tinyurl.com/littletonmarecycles
 
TerraCycle gives points for each item which translate into cash for non-profits such as 4-H, the Littleton schools, and the library.  Still have questions?  Email littletonma.recycles@gmail.com.
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Open House at Faulkner Homestead & Jones Tavern

ACTON: Do you love to sing? Consider joining the Acton Community Chorus! Their fun and friendly group welcomes singers of all levels - no audition necessary. There's nothing quite like sharing your voice with others to create beautiful music. And there are health benefits, too, like regulating the heartbeat, increasing the level of endorphins, and promoting better mental health. Meetings are held on Mondays - in person and on zoom - and their next concert will be in January, 2023. It’s a wonderful way to get involved in the community and flex your creative muscles! No wonder that when asked why so many members return to ACC year after year, one answer stands out- "Harmony."  Learn more at www.actoncommunitychorus.org.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Market decline offers buying opportunities

July 27, 2022

The financial markets have gotten off to a rocky start this year. What’s caused this volatility? And does it present opportunities for patient investors?

First of all, several factors are behind the market volatility, including the war in Ukraine, higher inflation, rising interest rates and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, while these factors may be specific to the recent market decline, volatility itself is a common feature of the investment environment. In fact, history shows that corrections of 10% or more happen about every year, and declines of 15% or more have happened every other year, on average. Furthermore, while 2022 has thus far been challenging for investors, it was preceded by a long period of strong markets, with the S&P 500 averaging more than a 20% return over the past three years. 

Knowing the typical frequency of market volatility and reviewing the results of the past few years may make the current situation seem less shocking. But you don’t have to simply “ride out” the downturn – because a down market may give you the opportunity to buy more investment shares at good prices. Specifically, you can expand your holdings in companies that have good growth prospects due to strong management and products or services that provide sustainable competitive advantages. And this type of opportunity is important, because one of the keys to building wealth is to increase the number of shares you own in your various investments and hold them for the long term. While the market will always fluctuate, the long-term trend has been positive, particularly for well-diversified portfolios built with quality investments.       

Of course, while it is a good idea to boost your share ownership at favorable prices, you still want to be strategic about it, rather than just buying whatever seems to be the biggest bargain. In reviewing your existing portfolio, can you identify any gaps that could be filled with new investments? Are there opportunities to further diversify your holdings? By owning different types of stocks, bonds, government securities and other investments, you can help reduce the impact of volatility on your portfolio. (Keep in mind, though, that diversification can’t guarantee profits or prevent losses in declining markets.) Or, if your portfolio has become “unbalanced” in some way, you could also use this time to rebalance it back to its original long-term targets. You might also consider setting up a systematic investing program in which you invest the same amounts in the same investments on a regular basis, such as monthly. When prices go down, you’ll automatically buy more shares, and when prices rise, you’ll buy fewer shares. (However, systematic investing does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss and you’ll need to be willing to keep investing when share prices are declining.)
Before this year, average annual returns have been solid for about a decade, which makes it somewhat easy to forget about normal market volatility and may have led to overly optimistic performance expectations. So, it would not be surprising if your initial reaction to the current downturn is one of concern. But by viewing the current investment environment as a chance to add quality investments at attractive prices, you can help yourself develop a behavior that can serve you well throughout your life as an investor.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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Open House at Faulkner Homestead & Jones Tavern

ACTON: The Iron Work Farm’s two historic South Acton house museums will be open Sunday afternoon, July 24 from 3-5pm as part of their 2022 “4th Sunday” series.

The 1707 Jones/Faulkner Homestead at 5 High Street is the oldest building in Acton.  It was the home for several generations of the owners of the little textile mill that operated across the street at the dam on Fort Pond Brook.  Members of the Nashoba Valley Weavers’ Guild will be on hand to demonstrate their craft, and to work on the 19th-century “barn frame” loom.

The 1732 Jones Tavern, 128 Main Street, was the home of several generations of the Samuel Jones family, who operated local mills and businesses, including a 1750 tavern and store. 

There is no admission charge, but donations are welcome. For more information, visit www.ironworkfarm.org. Parking is available on site or nearby.
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Hosmer House Campus Reopens

ACTON: On Sunday, July 24 at 1pm, take a step back in time and join in the celebration of Acton's "birthday" at The Hosmer House. Formerly referred to as "Concord Village," Acton became a separate town in July of 1735. The campus consists of several antique buildings, including a 1760 saltbox style house, an 1823 English style barn and a 1922 stone garage. These buildings will be open for the public to visit. These structures are situated on a parcel of land that was recently restored thanks to CPC funding. Also on display is a new exhibit "Wish you were here." Acton was once a tourist destination. See why through a postcard collection with the Acton Historical Society, www.actonhistoricalsociety.org.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Strengthen Your ‘Three-legged Stool’ for Retirement

July 18, 2022

For many years, Americans provided for their retirement needs through three sources: employer-sponsored pension plans, Social Security income, and savings and investments accumulated through employer plans or individual accounts – the so-called “three-legged stool.” But today, that stool is shakier than it used to be. What can you do to strengthen it?

To begin with, all three legs of the stool are facing challenges. Let’s consider them:

• Employer pensions – A generation ago, workers employed in many companies could count on a set monthly pension income to help them through their retirement years. Today, pensions – also known as defined benefit plans – are mostly found in public sector employment, as most private-sector employers have replaced their pensions with 401(k) and similar plans. These plans can be quite effective at helping build resources for retirement, but they do place most of the responsibility for saving on the employee.

• Social Security – Social Security has come under financial pressure because the workers-to-retirees ratio has declined significantly, according to the Social Security Administration’s 2021 Board of Trustees Report. A number of proposals have been brought forward on how to improve the long-term financial security of the Social Security system.

• Personal savings and investments – In terms of building savings and investments for retirement, the picture is somewhat mixed. The national savings rate has increased in recent years, but more than half of American workers still say their retirement savings are not where they should be, according to a 2021 survey from Bankrate, a personal finance website. And the same survey found that just over half of investors with a 401(k) or IRA have taken early withdrawals – that is, they withdrew money before they retired. Furthermore, we may be waiting too long even to begin saving/investing for retirement. A survey from Age Wave and Edward Jones found that respondents began saving for retirement at an average age of 38, but the majority said they should have started saving a decade earlier.

You have options for improving some parts of your own three-legged stool. For example, no matter what happens to Social Security, you can still decide when to start taking payments. You can begin collecting benefits as early as 62, but your monthly checks will be larger if you wait until your “full” retirement age, which will likely be between 66 and 67. You can even delay taking benefits until they “max out” at age 70.

As for a pension, you can’t control what’s available to you through your employer, but you can create your own retirement income stream by contributing as much as you can afford to your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan and by increasing your contributions whenever your salary goes up. And you can also contribute to an IRA or other investment vehicle to further boost your retirement funds. Try to leave these accounts intact until you need them for retirement. This will be easier if you’ve built an emergency fund, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account, to pay for unexpected costs, such as those resulting from a major car or home repair.

The three-legged stool may not be as universal as it once was – but you can still construct a sturdy structure to support your retirement needs in the future.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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The Nature Connection Ice Cream Fundraiser

ACTON: Looking to chill out on a hot day and for a way to support a meaningful cause?  Visit West Side Creamery in Acton (Villageworks Plaza, 537 Mass. Ave.) between the hours of noon-9:30pm on Wednesday, July 27 and mention that you’re supporting The Nature Connection when placing your order. 20% of the sale will be donated to the organization, which makes nature accessible to all.  At the event there'll be an information table set up outside.  Your support makes a big difference in the lives of those impacted by our programs. If you have any questions, visit nature-connection.org or email info@nature-connection.org.
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Acton Republicans Meet

ACTON: The Acton Republican Town Committee (ARTC) will meet Wednesday, July 20 at 6:30pm, around the firepit at 5 Wampanoag Drive. Meetings are open to all individuals interested in furthering the principles of limited government and individual liberty.  This month, discuss local Acton issues as well as various political campaigns, with numerous candidates for public office and other guests. Agenda topics from members and visitors are encouraged for spirited discussion. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact RTC Chair Dave at (781) 775-9922 for more information.
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Announces 2022 Scholarship Recipients

ACTON: Discovery Museum announced today its first-ever Discovery Museum Scholarship recipients, four area high school students selected through a competitive application process that saw 158 applications from students in 56 towns throughout Massachusetts.

Launched this year for the Museum’s 40th anniversary, the Discovery Museum Scholarship recognizes high school students who embody the mission and values of the Museum. Scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded to:
 
  • Ajax Benander, Hudson, MA; Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School
  • Myles Braverman, Westford, MA; Westford Academy
  • Sunithi Krishnan, Acton, MA; Acton-Boxborough Regional High School (and Discovery Museum Explorer)
  • Cara Murphy, Hudson, MA; Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science

“We created the Discovery Museum Scholarship to honor the millions of young people who have come through our doors over the past 40 years—so many of whom have gone on to inspire us,” said CEO Neil Gordon. “Ajax, Myles, Sunithi, and Cara each impressed the scholarship review committee with their achievements, community support activities, and plans to further their education. From their applications we learned a bit about how Discovery Museum impacted them while they were young and contributed to the paths they have chosen. We are very proud honor and support these impressive students on the next step in their educational journey.”
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Free STEM + Movie Night at Discovery Museum

ACTON: Discovery Museum announced the second Free STEM + Movie Night, July 21, on the lawn in celebration of the Museum’s 40th Anniversary.  This is the second in the series of three free Movie Nights on the lawn—a Thank You to the community as the Museum celebrates its 40th  anniversary.  STEM activities 7:30pm, movie begins 8:30pm. Registration is not required.

Before the movie starts, visitors can try some hands-on activities that explore topics ranging from renewable energy to helping support habitats for pollinators. Frozen treats will be available from VeeBop’s Ice Cream truck. Bring a lawn chair or blankets. Museum building will be open for restroom use only.  Rain Date: Friday, July 22.

 
[The movie title cannot be used in a press release due to distribution requirements, but can be found here. The movie centers on the adventures of a young human named Zak. When Zak is accidentally shrunk to the size of a fairy, he helps rally fairies and forest creatures to protect their rainforest home from logging and pollution.]
 
STEM + Movie Night #3 is August 11.
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Friends of Maynard Seniors Benefit from Community Bag Sale

ACTON/MAYNARD: Friends of Maynard Seniors has been selected as the benefiting non-profit in the community bag program at Stop and Shop. For the month of July 2022 Friends of Maynard Seniors will receive a $1.00 donation from each purchase of the $2.50 reusable white give back bag sold at Stop and Shop 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton. These bags are great to carry groceries and also to carry items for summer activities. Why not buy several?  Your donation to the Friends of Maynard Seniors is a wonderful gift to help Senior Citizens when help is needed and appreciated.
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Local Residents named to Spring 2022 Dean's List at Saint Michael's College

ACTON/CONCORD: The following local students were named to the Dean's List at Colchester, Vermont's Saint Michael's College for the Spring 2022 semester:
 
  • Danielle Butler, a May 2022 graduate and biology major from Acton, and a graduate of Acton Boxborough Regional High School.
  • William Meehan, a May 2022 graduate and business administration / economics major from Concord, and a graduate of Concord Carlisle Regional High School.

Saint Michael's College, founded on principles of social justice and leading lives of purpose and consequence, is a selective, Catholic college just outside Burlington, Vermont, one of the country's best college towns. Located between the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain, our closely connected community guarantees housing all four years and delivers internationally respected liberal arts together with an innovative Purposeful Learning Program, preparing students for fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. Young adults here grow intellectually, socially, and morally, learning to be responsible for themselves, each other, and their world.
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Promoting Clean Energy in our Buildings: What is Acton’s Path to Climate Action?

ACTON/WESTFORDWestford Climate Action hosts a free webinar on Wednesday, July 13 at 7pm with Acton Select Board Member Jim Snyder-Grant. Westford’s Clean Energy and Sustainability Committee has determined that nearly 60% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from our buildings.  Many towns in our Commonwealth have formed climate action and clean energy committees to move toward a carbon-free future. How can local boards, committees and residents codify this work so that future projects meet clean energy benchmarks and goals? The webinar will include the presentation by Jim Snyder-Grant followed by a Q&A. Register at WestfordClimateAction. The webinar will be recorded and can be accessed at: WestfordClimateAction.org  
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Upcoming Origami Fun at Memorial Park

MAYNARD: On 7/9 from 3-4:30pm is an origami folding gathering at Memorial Park for everyone, Maynard Folder or not! The rain date is Sunday, 7/10 at the same time.  Join for a social and fun time, whether a little Yogami (human body folding from gross to fine motor movements) or to explore uses like functional folds, artistic models, teaching, therapy, and entertainment, etc.  See the mathematics, discover historic figures, and fold with materials like plastic and metal sheets!

Origami Place founder and artist, Lisa B. Corfman will bring a huge library of origami books, drinks and snacks, some origami paper, and ideas.  She says “let’s fold together!” 

If you cannot make this day, mark your calendar for the 8/13 and/or 9/10 Origami Club folding meetings at Memorial Park.

Community-Owned Grocery Store to Break Ground in Maynard 

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MAYNARD: On Friday, July 8, at 12pm, the Assabet Co-op Market will break ground on a full-service, community-owned grocery store at 86 Powder Mill Road. The store is owned by almost 2,000 residents from 40 local communities and will be the only cooperative grocery store in Metro West. State and local officials, including State Representative Kate Hogan and Senator Jamie Eldridge, will attend the groundbreaking. 

"We are thrilled to be opening a community-owned grocery store where everyone is welcome – a grocery  store committed to supporting local farms, food justice, and the environment," said Sam McCormick, the  store’s general manager. "And because we’re democratically owned, we’re keeping control of our food  system and our economic future here in our community." 

The Co-op has agreed to lease the property from the Coffman Development Group and plans to open an 8,000-square-foot grocery store with 6,000 square feet of retail space later this year. Designed by Scott/Griffin Architects and Jenna Soberg - Sota Box Consulting, it will include every department found in a conventional grocery store, including an extensive bulk foods section. It will also have a cafe, prepared foods, community space, and ample parking. 

Unlike conventional grocers, food cooperatives prioritize local producers, including local farms, bakers,  cheese makers, and more. McCormick said the Co-op has built relationships with more than 170 local  food producers.

Sourcing from local producers keeps money in the local economy, something co-op leaders say will build  economic strength across the region. According to Food Co-op Initiative (FCI), a national nonprofit that  advises startup food co-ops, every $1,000 spent at a food co-op generates $1,600 in the local economy. 

"Cooperatives exist to serve the communities that own them, not enrich far-away corporate shareholders,"  said Jacqueline Hannah Reid, FCI's assistant director. "That mission -- and the fact that local residents  own the business they're supporting -- builds community and builds loyalty. It's just one reason why co ops are so successful." 

The Co-op also aims to increase access to local, healthy food, regardless of a shopper’s income. The  store will be open to everyone to shop, regardless of whether they become owners, and it will accept  SNAP benefits. As a member of the National Cooperative Grocers (NCG) network, the Co-op will also be  able to sell natural and organic staple items at affordable prices. And Co-op leaders are seeking grants to  build a Healthy Food Access program to provide additional discounts to low-income shoppers.  

Co-op owners purchase a one-time $200 share and are entitled to benefits, including an annual dividend in profitable years; a say in products and classes; bulk ordering discounts; and voting rights for store initiatives and board elections. Maynard has a long history of cooperative  businesses, with Russian and Finnish immigrants establishing a host of cooperatives stretching back to the 1800s. 

Across the country, food co-ops are thriving and with good reason, said Lorne Bell, Assabet Co-op Market’s director of outreach and communications.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, he said,  community-owned grocery stores stepped up as only they could. 

"Food shortages in the industrial food system hit conventional grocers hard, but cooperatives turned to  their relationships with local producers to source more local food, keep shelves full, and keep money  flowing to the local economy," said Bell. "Food co-ops have been sourcing locally and strengthening  communities for more than 170 years." 

The Assabet Co-op Market hopes to carry on that legacy in Metro West Boston.

Life Care Center of Acton Therapist Wins Company’s Divisional Quarterly Service Award

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ACTON: Jennifer Kilgour, an occupational therapist at Life Care Center of Acton, recently received Life Care Centers of America’s quarterly Northeast Division Whatever It Takes Champions Award for her dedication to customer service. Life Care awarded Kilgour a $250 cash prize during an awards ceremony at the facility.

Kilgour was one of only eight associates from Life Care’s more than 200 facilities nationwide to receive the quarterly award. She had won the facility’s monthly Whatever It Takes Champions award for March 2022.  Kilgour worked with a patient who came to the facility from an acute rehabilitation facility. Whether she was assigned to the resident or not, every day she was working, she checked on the patient and gave her positive reinforcement. Before the patient completed her therapy program, and three days before the patient’s birthday, Kilgour got the staff together to celebrate the patient’s accomplishments in rehab, as well as the upcoming birthday.

“It’s a privilege to be recognized for what I strive for every day – putting a smile on my patients’ faces when they are able to do something they couldn’t before,” Kilgour said. “I try to live by the golden rule, ‘Treat others as you would want to be treated.’ It’s nice to work for a company with the same integrity.”

Life Care’s Whatever It Takes Champions program rewards associates for extraordinary acts of kindness. Monthly awards are presented in Life Care facilities nationwide based on nominations from fellow associates, family members, residents and guests.

Life Care Center of Acton, located at 1 Great Road, is one of 15 skilled nursing and rehab centers in Massachusetts managed by Life Care Centers of America.
Founded in 1976, Life Care is a nationwide health care company. For more information about Life Care, visit lcca.com.
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"Make Waves" Summer Blast at Great Road Church

ACTON: Highrock Church in Acton has changed its name to Great Road Church to celebrate its local focus in the town of Acton. All kids from preschool up to grade 5 are invited to participate in their annual Summer Blast program mornings from August 1-5. It’s similar to what some churches call Vacation Bible Camp, but the emphasis is on fun! They’ll have skits, songs, crafts, snacks, Bible lessons and games. The theme this year is about how each child can “Make Waves” in the world. You can sign up online at greatroadchurch.org or email mary@greatroadchurch.org. Great Road Church is located at 255 Great Road, Acton, across from Gould’s Plaza. The church’s mission is to create communities that encourage questions and inspire each other to love like Jesus.
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Free 6-Week Pre-K Playgroup at First Connections

ACTON: First Connections is offering a free 6-week playgroup on Mondays, 10-11am, at their family center at 179 Great Road. The group will meet from July 11-August 15, and is open to children who will be starting kindergarten in September 2022. This group will facilitated by an Early Childhood Educator and a K-2nd Educator and will help children practice skills needed in kindergarten, as well as talking about what kindergarten may be like, playing, and doing activities that support fine motor skills. Each child will receive a book about starting school that includes activities parents can do with their children over the summer. Limited to 10 children to minimize crowding in the playroom space, with masks required. If you would like to register, please email lmatthews@jri.org.20.
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A Friend in Need...

ACTON: A Friend in Need (AFIN) is an arm of the South Acton Congregational Church(SACC) It is a small, all-volunteer organization dedicated to offering financial aid to people in need in the
Acton/Boxboro/Maynard area.
 
  • When her husband left the family, he did not provide any child support, and they are now struggling financially.  Their advocate contacted A Friend in Need, and we were able to help with their rent, giving them some breathing room as they applied for other resources.
  • A senior who had been working to supplement his income lost his job during COVID.  Now he has fallen behind in his utility bills. His advocate contacted A Friend in Need and they stepped in to pay them.
  • A client had his own business, but when he became ill and unable to work, the bills began to pile up.  The family became behind in their rent, and reached out to A Friend in Need.  Their landlord has been working with them and we were able to assist with a portion of their rent.

SAY HELLO!  A Friend in Need will be at the Acton-Boxborough Farmers Market on Sunday, July 17.  Please stop by  the Community Table to chat with one of the volunteers and learn about their mission. Usually they have a one-time limit for help given to any family, but due to the economy they are trying to be a bit more flexible. Their mission is to provide immediate help until the family can receive more substantial aid from other agencies.

Much of their money comes through pleas published in our local newspapers and from generous community residents.  Acton-Boxborough United Way and the Maynard Community Chest support us through grant money. Besides SACC, several other churches support us through their Mission Funds.  Depending on the resources we have on hand, they can usually provide between $300. and $800. to the needy family.  


The AFIN mailbox is located at the South Acton Congregational Church.  Volunteers pay for postage and all other costs, so they are able to give away 100% of the money received.

AFIN will consider helping anyone who is recommended by clergy or social professionals associated with a local agency.  Anyone in urgent need can be considered for financial assistance by going to a member of the clergy or social service representative and asking them to contact A Friend in Need on their behalf.   They do not discriminate and will try to help anyone with a genuine need. They can also be contacted at afriendinneedacton@gmail.comIf you would like to make a donation, please send your check to A Friend in Need, c/o South Acton Congregational Church, 35 School Street, Acton MA 01720.
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Lauren Rosenzweig-Morton Named ABUW Volunteer of the Year

ACTON: Each year, the Acton-Boxborough United Way (ABUW) “Volunteer of the Year” Award is given to an individual whose effort and generosity of time and spirit to the AB community is clearly “above and beyond” the expectations for the volunteer role they’ve selected. The gift of expertise, time and effort given by these volunteers make a clear and tangible difference in the lives of individuals and families in the community.
 
Lauren Rosenzweig-Morton has a long history of giving back to the community. She came to work with ABUW through the AB Racial Justice Collaborative in which she was representing Communities for Restorative Justice. This led her to be instrumental in bringing two key initiatives to fruition this year: Community Building Circles and the Welcome Initiative.
 
Lauren's experience with Communities for Restorative Justice gave her the insight to bring Community Building Circles to our community. In partnership with AB Racial Justice Collaborative, 16 members of the community became trained as Community Building Circle Keepers. Community Building Circles are a structured way to build deeper connections among participants, in this case neighbors across Acton and Boxborough. (Learn more about the Circles here.)
 
The Welcome Initiative strives to greet each new neighbor in Acton and Boxborough with a Welcome Bag. New residents are genuinely delighted at a warm showing of neighborliness. In addition to creating a sense of community, this initiative ensures that new residents know where to turn for a wide variety of resources. (Learn more about the Welcome Initiative here.)
 
Ever-humble, Lauren made sure to acknowledge the many others who had worked with her on both of these projects.
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Lynne Osborn Awarded 2nd Annual Mike Tobia Award for Community Leadership

ACTON: The 2nd Annual Mike Tobia Award for Community Leadership was awarded recently to Lynne Osborn. The Acton-Boxborough United Way was honored to have last year's inaugural recipient, Rev. Cindy Worthington-Berry, there to present this year's award.  The Mike Tobia Award for Community Leadership, established in 2021, recognizes an outstanding Community Leader, dedicated to serving residents' needs with compassion and dignity, while fostering a sense of belonging for all. It is named for Mike Tobia, founder of Mt. Calvary Community Supper. The organization honors his dedication to our community by recognizing others who are carrying on his level of service.
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Announcing ABUW's 2022-2023 Community Impact Grants

ACTON: For forty years, Acton-Boxborough United Way has supported incredible local organizations bringing vital services to Acton and Boxborough. When you donate to Acton-Boxborough United Way, your dollars work harder to bring critical services to our community. For their 2022-2023 Community Impact Grants, ABUW's community volunteer grant team sought organizations that equitably, effectively, and sustainably drive progress on their 5 Thrive Impact Focus Areas: Mental Health, Early Childhood Success, Equity & Racial Justice, Financial Stability, and Crisis Preparedness. ABUW is able to grant $145,000 to these incredible local organizations for 2022-2023:
 
By pooling your donations, they can make significant grants to organizations, attracting the quality services necessary for all residents to belong and thrive. To donate, visit www.abuw.org/give.
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Acton Center ‘Bugles’ Memorial Service 

ACTON: This month’s ‘Bugles Across America’ memorial service will take place promptly at 5pm on Sunday, July 3. This is a short memorial (15-20 min) to those that served and paid the ultimate price for their service to our country defending freedom. The service consists of the Pledge, a few words from one or more in attendance and the live playing of “Taps”. Location is in front of the Acton Center Fire Station (easy parking in the rear), and across the street from the Acton Monument and gravesite of Abner Hosmer and Isaac Davis.  For more information, contact Dave 781-775-9922. 

6 Bridges Art Exhibit “Boundaries” Features Works by 37 New England Artists

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MAYNARD6 Bridges Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of our sixth annual juried show, “Boundaries,” on display June 22 – August 13 at 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main Street. A reception will be held on June 25 from 4 – 6pm.  Artists were invited to submit original 2D and 3D artworks that explore the theme of “Boundaries.” The entries were juried by a panel of four 6 Bridges Gallery artists members of varied mediums. With limited gallery space and an abundance of thoughtful and skilled submissions, the jury ultimately decided upon works from 37 artists for this exhibit. Two awards will be offered:  The 6 Bridges Gallery Award, which will be announced during the reception, and the People’s Choice Award, which will be announced at the conclusion of the exhibit.  
 
Congratulations to the following artists for their works accepted into the exhibit:
 
Alfred DiMaio, “Detritus of War – Barbed Wire-Endless Walls”
Amy Ragus, “Nokomis”
Ben Sisto, “Do Not Enter”
Bryan Clocker, “Falcon Dive”
Carole Holcroft, “The Red Coats Are Coming”
Cassie Doyon, “Boundaries”
Christopher Serra, “Sciffany Tonce”
Darcy Cloutman, “Cape Roca, Portugal – The Edge of the World”
Dawne Osborne, “Dancing in the Paint”
Deborah Baye, “Convergence”
Deborah Drummond, “Lights Path”
Donna Melanson, “Know Your Limits”
Elaine Seidel, “Love Beyond Boundaries”
Ellen Royalty, “Expanding” (pictured)
Erika Larskaya, “H205”
Gloria Ross, “New Heights”
Gwen Murphy, “Woman in a Fur Hat Crossing Summer St”
Hilary Hanson Bruel, “Storm Break”
James Curran, “Spring Green”
Jean-Pierre Ducondi, “Center of Attention”
Jill Goldman-Callahan, “Push”
Joseph Schairer, “Crib/Coffin”
Kimberley Harding, “Pussyhat Basket”
Laura White Carpenter, “Cocoon”
Linda Merwin, “Life”
Margo Ezekiel, “Rust Slide”
Megan Chiango, “Reverence”
Neil Wilkins, “Laminae/ Re: 24”
Nilou Moochhala, “Humara/Ours”
Pamela Bower-Basso, “Blue State Attractions: New Jersey”
Robert Kephart, “The Colony I”
Sharon Whitham, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place #13”
Steven Edson, “Sudbury River”
Susan Erickson, “Blurred”
Todd Monjar, “Kaleidoscope”
Trevor Toney, “Glam-O-Rama”
Yael Kupiec-Dar, “ Flight”
 
For more information about these exhibits, please visit 6Bridges.Gallery, Facebook and Instagram.
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Maynard Community Band Presents 75th Year of Free Summer Outdoor Concerts

MAYNARD: After two years of a pandemic, the music is finally back.  Bring a blanket or chair, relax, and let the Maynard Community Band (MCB) entertain you at Memorial Park across from the Fine Arts Theater on Wednesday evenings this summer. All concerts start at 7pm. The band will be performing international musical highlights along with new tributes to Hollywood, Broadway, rock favorites, and, most especially, our Armed Forces. 

Starting Wednesday, June 29, the tempo starts in brilliance at Maynard’s Memorial Park in downtown Maynard.  From hence on, the musical journey through time begins and keeps the beat to the bands’ traditions. The band will begin its’ season with several international gems and lead into TV, Movie, Broadway and Patriotic themes that will entertain both the young and young at heart.  Brand new arrangements have been added to your favorite marches and patriotic tunes. Dance to our polka, or join in with the kids as we continue our parades around the park.  A special 4th of July concert will be performed on July 6th.

This year becomes Michael Karpeichik’s 20th year as conductor of Maynard’s own band.  He’ll be supported this year by a bigger, energized band including musicians from several of our surrounding towns.  Come and see the talents of your neighbors and friends new and old.

If rain is in the forecast the concert will move to the Sanctuary, 82 Main Street, Maynard.  (Covid restrictions apply.)

If you’re an instrumentalist interested in joining the Band, please feel free to contact Michael at 508-485-3171 or email mkarp143@verizon.net for more information.

Local Residents Earn Dean's List Honors from MassBay Community College

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WELLESLEY: The following local students have been named to the MassBay Community College Dean's List, achieving this outstanding academic honor for the spring 2022 semester.

To be eligible for the MassBay Dean's List, students must complete at least six credits of college-level courses, be in good standing with the College, and earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
 
  • Frank Abbott of Acton (01720), who studies Biotechnology
  • Holly Lascko of Acton (01720), who studies General Studies
  • Hailey Martinez of Acton (01720), who studies Liberal Arts - Early Childhood Education
  • Walid Alsharafi of Concord (01742), who studies Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Nell Larkin of Concord (01742), who studies International Business

MassBay Community College is the most affordable higher education option in MetroWest Boston, offering a robust portfolio of courses and more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs with flexible day, evening, and weekend classes in Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley Hills, and online. MassBay students receive an unmatched educational value by earning stackable credits that transfer to bachelor's degree programs, and workforce-ready skills necessary to advance careers in high-demand fields such as health and life sciences, automotive technology, engineering, business, cybersecurity, and the humanities. MassBay's Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) and Practical Nursing (LPN) programs were both ranked as the #1 Nursing Program in Massachusetts in 2020-2021 by national nursing advocacy organizations RegisteredNursing.org, and PracticalNursing.org. Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and remains firmly committed to its mission of meeting the needs of the diverse local communities it serves. We value the intrinsic worth of all individuals, collectively in pursuit of inclusiveness and prioritize our work towards achieving equity within our community and beyond. To learn more about MassBay, visit massbay.edu.
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$50,000 Secured in Senate FY23 Budget for Assabet-Co-Op Market
IT Systems Funded to Allow Co-Op to accept SNAP Benefits

MAYNARD: During the debate on the Senate FY23 budget, State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) secured funding of $50,000 for the Assabet Co-Op Market to allow the market to accept SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps. Last week, the Massachusetts State Senate passed a $49.78 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23). SNAP benefits provide monthly funds on an EBT card for low-income families to purchase food at participating stores. 

With unanimous support, the budget makes significant, critical and targeted investments in the areas of education, healthcare, housing and community support to meet the on-the-ground challenges brought on by the global pandemic and ongoing financial uncertainty.

“Maynard is a community with significant socioeconomic diversity. By providing funding for SNAP benefit accessibility, this earmark will ensure that the Assabet Co-Op Market will be welcoming to all,” stated State Senator Jamie Eldridge. Senator Eldridge has represented Maynard as its state senator since 2009.  

The Assabet Co-Op Market will be a full-service, community-owned grocery store in Maynard. The Market currently has over 1,900+ owners who have provided $2 million in owner loans. Assabet Co-Op Market will be located in Victory Plaza at 86 Powder Mill Road in Maynard. 

“We can't thank Senator Eldridge enough for securing this crucial funding for our community-owned grocery store. These funds will help us achieve a core piece of our mission: increasing access to locally sourced, healthy food for all,” stated Sam McCormick, general manager of Assabet Co-Op Market. 

Unlike corporate chains, food co-ops are totally independent and owned by the community members who shop there. Instead of focusing on investors, food co-ops focus on their community — nourishing everyone according to their budget and cooking style, according to a leading website on co-ops. 

SNAP benefits are administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance. If you are food insecure, please visit their website. 

The Senate’s FY23 Budget is available on the Massachusetts legislature’s website, by clicking here. Now that the Senate and Massachusetts House of Representatives have passed their respective budget proposals, both branches will now work together, form a conference committee and reconcile differences.
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Acton Recreation Department is Now Offering Adaptive Cycles

ACTON: Adaptive cycles are now available for riding on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, starting from Nara Park. Acton residents can ride the cycles for free and out-of-towners will pay a $5 rental fee.
 
The Recreation Department acquired three cycles: an adult recumbent trike, an adult handcycle, and a child recumbent trike. The child recumbent trike has a number of features on it that make it possible for children with a range of disabilities to use.
 
To borrow or rent a cycle, go to the snack bar at Nara Park and ask for one. You can also call Nara Park to see if the cycle you want to ride is available for use. You can ride the cycle for up to three hours.
 
This is a great opportunity for those with disabilities or those who for whatever reason can't ride a two wheeled bike to get out on the rail trail and ride.
 
You don't have to have a disability to ride the cycles. Many people without disabilities ride recumbent trikes. They're comfortable and fun to ride. Give it a try!
 
For more information, contact Leslie Johnson, head of the Greater Acton Adaptive Bike Coalition at lesliej961@yahoo.com or 978-618-1812, or Melissa Rier, Director of the Acton Recreation Department, mrier@actonma.gov or 978-929-6640.

Open Table Receives Cummings Foundation Grant
Metro West nonprofit receives two years of funding from Cummings Foundation

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CONCORD/MAYNARD: Open Table, the Concord and Maynard charity dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities, announced that it is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program. The Concord and Maynard-based organization was chosen from a total of 580 applicants during a competitive review process.

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 800 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 for us to continue to address food insecurity in our region.

“The Cummings Foundation grant  will help Open Table  expand its services as a community food hub and support the increased number of individuals and families facing food insecurity during these challenging times,” said Jeanine Calabria, executive director of Open Table. “In addition, the grant will be used to help Open Table grow its mobile food program.”

The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.
Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We are so fortunate in greater Boston to have such effective nonprofits, plus a wealth of talented, dedicated professionals and volunteers to run them,” said Cummings Foundation executive director Joyce Vyriotes. “We are indebted to them for the work they do each day to provide for basic needs, break down barriers to education and health resources, and work toward a more equitable society.”

With the help of about 90 volunteers, the Foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings Foundation grants. Forty of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

“Our volunteers bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives, which is so critical to our grant selection process,” said Vyriotes. “Through this democratized approach to philanthropy, they decide more than half the grants every year.”

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including food insecurity, immigrant and refugee services, social justice, education, and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 45 different cities and towns.

The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 900 previous recipients, is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.  Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $375 million to greater Boston nonprofits.

Open Table is a 501(c)(3) established in 1989. Their mission is to address hunger in their local community by providing healthy food in a welcoming environment while respecting the dignity and diversity of those served. For more information, visit: www.opentable.org

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences, LLC. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.
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Discovery Museum Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary

MAYNARD: Discovery Museum announced a series of celebratory public events to mark its 40th year of bringing hands-on STEAM learning to kids and families and to thank its community for the four decades of support that have made it possible.

“Discovery Museum has served more than 5 million children and families over the past 40 years—and that is due in no small part to the generosity and support of our community,” said CEO Neil Gordon. “That support, combined with the vision and dedication of our staff and volunteers, has enabled us to stoke kids’ natural curiosity and creativity to explore and better understand themselves, their capabilities, and the incredible possibilities of the world around them. We are honored to be an enduring part of the lives of so many families.”

"It is so rewarding to see generations of families exploring and learning together at Discovery Museum across 40 years," said Emeritus and Founding Board Member Carolyn Platt. "We see parents who visited as children bringing their own children, and their parents visiting with their grandchildren—strengthening bonds and creating joyful memories through hands-on play. Learning together through open-ended play experiences at the Museum is as impactful today as it was in 1982. Discovery Museum is a treasured community resource that I expect will be a part of families' lives for generations to come."

40th Anniversary Community Events

Special programs and events including free outdoor movie nights, accessible arts performances, a free-admission day, a 21+ party, and more will be held June through October. Most events require advance registration, unless noted otherwise.

June 23, 7:30pm | STEM + Movie Nights on the Lawn #1 – Enjoy hands-on pollinator activities and then settle in to watch “A Bug’s Life” on our lawn. Registration not required. Free.

Jun 24, 4:30-8:00pm | Summer Friday Nights Free begin – Visit with free admission every Friday night through Labor Day. Registration required to visit. Free.

June 25 & 26, all day | Bessie’s Birthday Weekend – We’ll celebrate our dinosaur mascot’s 40th with STEM explorations, a scavenger hunt, and more. Registration required to visit. Free with admission.

July 16, 6:30pm | Discovery After Dark, a 21+event – It’s grown-up time at the Museum! Enjoy live Caribbean steelpan music, drinks, food, and FUN. Indoors and outdoors; advance ticket purchase required.

July – August | Inclusive Patio Performances – Inclusive performing arts events on our patio, including a jazz performance by Berkshire Hills Music Academy and Exploring China: The “Middle Kingdom” Through Music & Story with Shaw Pong Liu, a Young Audiences of Massachusetts artist; dates to be announced. Registration required to visit. Free with admission.

July 21, 7:30pm & August 11, 7:00pm | STEM + Movie Nights on the Lawn #2 and #3 – Enjoy hands-on STEM activities and then settle in to watch a family favorite movie on our lawn. (These film titles cannot be include in the press release but can be found here and here.) Free.

September 10, all day | Free Community Day! – Join us with free admission and enjoy activities, food trucks, birthday cupcakes, a parade, and more! Registration required to visit. Free.

October 1 – 31 | Play Like It’s 1982! – Join us any day in October, the month of our founding, and pay just $2.50 admission. Registration required to visit.

In addition, a number of long-running visitor-favorite public programs will be offered such as Cold As Ice, Fairyborough, Exploring Nano, Woodworking, Take Aparts, and more.
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Wild & Scenic Film Festival, June 15th, Maynard Fine Arts

MAYNARD:   OARS is excited to present the 14th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Currents of Hope, on the evening of Wednesday, June 15 at the Maynard Fine Arts Theater. The Wild & Scenic Film Festival inspires environmental activism and a love for nature through film. Join us in Maynard or watch the event live-streamed online for an evening filled with inspiration, nature, and adventure! Local emcee EJ Labb  will be hosting and there will be some terrific raffle prizes! Tickets start at $15 per person and must be purchased online at www.oars3rivers.org.

OARS is a nonprofit, science-based organization with a mission is to protect, preserve, and enhance the natural and recreational features of the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers, their tributaries and watersheds. For more information, visit www.oars3rivers.org.