02 after the storm

Ernest Stonebraker Exhibit “Close to Home” Opens May 17

MAYNARD: 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main Street is pleased to present “Close to Home” by Ernest Stonebraker, paintings inspired by motifs close to the artist’s home in Stow.  This exhibit will be on view May 17 - June 24, with a reception on May 20 from 5-7pm.
 
Stonebraker says, “We love to travel and see awesome sights of nature such as the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park, or the ancient castles in Europe. Vacations to see these wonders are all too short, as well as expensive. However, we are fortunate to live in an area where we are surrounded every day with beautiful things, both large and small. My wife Sherry and I live on Randall Road in Stow, MA, where just walking our dog Lucy takes us by beautiful things like vistas of the Stow Acres Country Club, and old stone walls, a remnant of the time when most of this land was farmland.”
 
He continues, “Neighboring towns are similarly blessed with the beauty of nature, especially in the autumn. One of my favorite places is the Lt. James Lincoln Williams Pond in the town of Harvard, where I enjoy water lilies and brilliantly colored autumn leaves. Look around and I think you’ll agree with me.”
 
Painter Ernest (Ernie) Stonebraker draws inspiration from what he observes first hand, often recording those views with a camera, then combining and simplifying those images into the final painting. He works in oil, acrylic, and watercolor in sizes as small as 6x6 inches up to 3x4 feet. He is a founding member of 6 Bridges Gallery.
 
 
For more information, please visit 6 Bridges online, on Facebook, or on Instagram.
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Danny’s Place Spring Celebration

ACTON: Join Danny’s Place on May 20 from 2-7pm at the NARA Park pavilion for their first annual Spring Celebration event featuring a fun-for-all-ages cornhole tournament. Play or spectate, and enjoy music (DJ sets, followed by a live performance from Red Van Jazz Band), and family-friendly activities (including an 80' bouncy obstacle course!). Food and beverage will be available for purchase from local sponsors: True West, El Huipil, and Westside Creamery.

Danny’s Place serves Acton and Boxborough youth, ages 8-18, by providing them with experiences to explore, create, and discover their happiest, healthiest selves - through inclusive community programming, social-emotional experiences, and supportive resources. Later this year, Danny’s Place will move into a larger space on Mass Ave in West Acton Village to expand to serve more young people in the community.

Come to this community-building event on May 20 to connect with neighbors and learn more about Danny’s Place. No cornhole experience is necessary to play. All ages and levels of ability are welcome to enter the tournament, or just come for the fun! For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit dannys-place.org/cornhole.
Alex color sculpture scaled e1680319686793

Art Across Generations at YV Art Museum

ACTON: YV Art Museum administered by Contemporary Arts International (CAI), a non profit organization, announces the exhibition of a father and daughter in the main hall. Art Across Generations – Alex and Genie Belozersky presents the sculptures by Alex Belozersky and paintings by Genie Belozersky. It runs May 21- September 17. 

In the Video Room, there will be documentary films by Chen Bohan, a talented filmmaker  from Taiwan. The film explores the inspiration Chen found during his seven visits to our art  ground and showcases his earlier work. Over the years, many people have been curious how Yin  obtained this land; in Bohan's film, for the first time, the story is fully told. 

Alex Belozersky came to art relatively late in life, after several careers first in Russia, then in the  U.S. “What happened to me in my 40s and 50s may be compared with what the Apostles felt  when ‘They were filled with the Holy Ghost and began speaking in tongues they did not speak  before,’ he says. “Almost overnight, I, a professional pianist, transitioned from music to the visual arts.”  Alex began his artistic exploration with clay—as tactile and responsive as piano keys. He spent  two years at the Radcliffe College Ceramics studio in Cambridge, building non-functional ceramic vessels, sculptures, and tiles. The latter, shown in the spring of 1991 at Boston Design  Center, generated considerable interest due to their Russian medieval and Renaissance designs.  He then moved on to sculpting roofing paper, tin, sheet metal, bronze, and wire, learning in the  process what each material allows and inspires. His choice of imagery was, to a degree, dictated  by the medium. But childhood memories, European history, theater, literature, and mythology 
also served as sparks for his imagination. Alex’s philosophical studies, especially the writings of Carl Jung, have stimulated him to address the role of myths and dreams in modern life. Ancient  and modern mythology is represented in the culture as an elaborate interplay of archetypes, symbols, and interpretations. Belozersky has created a stage where these symbols come to life and  comment on our existence. Humor is feature of many of his works: “I think humor gives us a  chance to step aside from reality to have a better view of it, and keeps us from drowning in the  tragedy of life.”  Alex Belozersky, musician, philosopher, sculptor, and poet, was born in Russia and graduated  from Moscow Conservatory. He taught music and wrote for art magazines before emigrating to  the U.S. in 1980. 

Genie Belozersky, born in Boston, has been surrounded by art since childhood, including her  father’s work. Her parents especially favored folk art, but Genie found drawing and painting her  most satisfying way to express ideas, feelings, and reflections on the world. An avid museum  goer, she has been inspired by a wide range of artists and styles, with Surrealism in particular  resonating with her for its combination of fantasy and folklore.  Genie’s distinctive use of small, detailed, precisely drawn imagery emerged in her college years.  She favors drawing with pens and markers: their smoothness and crispness, the polished look  they yield and the freedom of working anywhere, give her maximum opportunity to develop her  pieces. The process of meticulously building up pictures through the aggregation of finely penned components is a form of meditation for Genie; it allows her to both process her emotions  and free herself from the churning mind. They are also, as is the case with her father, a whimsical  outlet for life’s challenges. “I enjoy the cartoonish forms, the juxtapositions of shapes, the  process of weaving my way across the page,” Genie says. “But I also welcome my viewers to  project their own perceptions and ideas on my work and take away the meaning that speaks to  them.”Genie received her B.A. from New England School of Art and Design. She has shown her  work at a number of galleries in the Boston area. 
 
CAI is open to visitors every day from 10am-6pm (summer schedule). Visitors are encouraged to call/text (617) 699-6401 to make appointment. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for 65+ or under 16.
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Maynard Community Gardeners Seeking Plant Donations

MAYNARD: The Maynard Community Gardeners are just weeks away from their Annual Plant Sale, to be held May 20, 9am-12pm, in the parking lot of The Maynard Elks Lodge at 34 Powdermill Road. The club is looking for any excess or unwanted plants of any kind or quantity. Maybe you’re thinning a bed this spring. Maybe you planted something that you just don’t love, or that won’t work in your space. Maybe your neighbor is really tired of their forsythia bush and wants it gone. All those plants can find a new home! Bare root plants will be accepted for drop off or pickup. If you need assistance getting plants out of the ground, they can do that too! Please contact Digging Coordinator, Steve Smith at stevensmith@kw.com to coordinate a dig or the pick up of plants.

All the funds from the Plant Sale go directly to MCG’s efforts to maintain various gardens throughout the town, and educational programming for members and the greater community. Your plant donations are what make the Plant Sale possible!
Actonmemoriallibrary

The Friends of the Acton Libraries To Host Used Book Sale May 20-21

ACTON: The Friends of the Acton Libraries will hold a live and in person used book sale on May 20 at the Acton Memorial Library from 9am-4pm. Members of the Friends are invited to a preview of the sale on May 19 from 7-9pm. Sunday will be half price day for all, from 2-3:30 pm.

The Friends have been collecting and sorting a lot of books since the last sale. Now is your chance to come to stock up on good books in good condition for your summer reading. While not required, face coverings while inside at the sale are encouraged. Weather permitting, there will also be tables outside of the library for browsing and shopping, too.

Be sure your membership is up to date before the big Friends Used Book Sale so you can have first crack at the great selection of used books at the sale preview. If you aren’t yet a member, you can join on Friday night. But why wait? Go to the Friends of the Acton Libraries page on the Acton Memorial Library main page, print out the membership form, and mail it in. Or, bring it with you on Preview Friday night.

The Friends of the Acton Libraries is a volunteer organization dedicated to funding the town's elementary, middle, and high school library budgets. They also provide support to the Acton Memorial Library and West Acton Citizens' Library for programming, museum passes and more. Additionally, The Friends present scholarships each year to deserving high school seniors. For more information, contact The Friends at friendsofactonlibraries@gmail.com, or find them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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Acton Garden Club Hosts Plant Sale

ACTON: On May 20, the Acton Garden Club will be holding its fabulous plant sale. The event will take place rain or shine from 9am-1pm at the Red House located at 468 Main Street across from the Acton common. Parking is available behind Town Hall or the Acton Center Fire Station. If you are looking to beautify your property here’s your chance to easily do so. The sale will include annuals, perennials, pollinators, native plants, a wide variety of locally grown flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetables, herbs, planted hanging baskets as well as a raffle with great prizes. This year they are also offering house plants. Credit cards accepted. Arrive early for the best selections, pick out those plants you have been wanting, buy something you haven’t grown before and then take them all home and get digging!

Presentation About the History of the Nashobah Praying Indians Held

Native
By Alissa Nicol

On May 11, 45 people gathered at Acton Memorial Library for a presentation by local historian Daniel V. Boudillion on the history of the Nashobah Praying Indians. Boudillion recently published “The History of the Nashobah Praying Indians: Doings, Sufferings, Tragedy, and Triumph.” The event was sponsored by the Friends of Pine Hawk and the Acton Memorial Library. 

In 1654, the Nashobah Indian Plantation was established, one of 16 “Praying Villages” in Massachusetts in colonial times. It included essentially all of modern Littleton. These Native American settlements were established by John Eliot, a Puritan minister from Roxbury, for Indians willing to adopt English customs, including Christianity. During King Philip’s War, the Praying Indians were rounded up and imprisoned on Deer Island; many of them did not survive the winter. Survivors were released in 1677, and a few returned to the area, including Sarah Doublet. The land was sold to English settlers, and by 1714, it was in the hands of the English as the Town of Nashoba, and then re-incorporated as the Town of Littleton in 1715. A 500-acre tract of land was set aside for the surviving Nashobah. The Littleton portion of this acreage is now known as the Sarah Doublet Forest. A narrow sliver of the original Nashoba Praying Village lies in Acton. 

Boudillion presents the history of the Nashobah Praying Indians in the four chapters of his new book, including that of present day descendants of those who survived their imprisonment on Deer Island. The Friends of Pine Hawk and the Littleton Historical Society have organized several walks and lectures with both Boudillion and Strong Bear Medicine, a direct descendent of the Nashobah Praying Indians. Visit www.pinehawk.org and www.littletonhistoricalsociety.org  to learn more and sign up for the mailing lists.

Weigh in on What Should be in a New Acton Newspaper

News
By Kim Kastens

There is an effort afoot to launch a new, weekly, non-partisan, non-profit newspaper in Acton. This effort began with members of the Acton-area League of Women Voters (AALWV), who participated in a statewide LWV project on the decline of local journalism. They learned of research documenting that when local journalism declines or disappears in an area, civic engagement tends to decline, government tends to become less transparent and accountable, and the likelihood of corruption increases. The AALWV organized a well-attended community workshop at Town Hall on February 4, where we heard from leaders of newspapers in surrounding towns and began the process of brainstorming what a dream newspaper for Acton should look like. A follow up meeting on March 2 attracted a core group of Acton residents with diverse backgrounds and skill sets, eager to plunge in and make the new paper a reality.  

That group has been meeting regularly and working on multiple fronts simultaneously. One subgroup is exploring bylaws and business plan, another is working on fundraising, another on technical underpinnings, and others are exploring various local partners. Although the LWV kickstarted the effort, the ongoing effort is independent of the League, and is working towards becoming a 501(c)3 non-profit. If you would like to be kept informed about the progress of this effort, or would like to volunteer to help, please email clerk@actonnewspaper.org   A wide variety of skills are needed.  

In the meantime, the newspaper team has begun to practice generating Acton-relevant content for publication in the Acton-Maynard edition of Action Unlimited. That’s what you are reading now.  Thanks very much to Carol Toomey, publisher of The Action Unlimited, for welcoming our contributions and providing a temporary home for this fledgling effort.    

To spread the word about this initiative, to build enthusiasm, and to get a better sense of what people would like to see in an Acton paper, the newspaper team is setting up a series of “affinity group” meetings with various groups and constituencies  who share a common interest that they would like to see reflected in the new paper. These meetings are a chance for townspeople to learn about the vision and status of the new paper, and contribute their ideas about what should be in the paper. So far, there have been two such meetings: one at the Senior Center, and one with Climate and Housing Justice for Acton.  A third meeting, focusing on coverage of nature and the environment, is scheduled for Saturday, May 20, 10:30-11:30, at the Acton Memorial Library 2nd floor conference room.  

The team is offering affinity group meetings in two formats: free-standing, hour-long discussions around a theme or topic, or 20-30 minute discussions inserted into the agenda of an organization’s regularly scheduled meeting. The meetings can be by zoom, or in person. If you have an idea for a theme or topic for such a meeting, or you would like to have such a discussion in an Acton-based organization that you belong to, please reach out to the newspaper affinity group team, by emailing kimkastens@chayes.org

Acton Sculptor’s Boston Women’s Memorial is Celebrated

Memorial
Submitted by Franny Osman

ACTON: Acton sculptor Meredith Bergmann’s Boston Women’s Memorial was honored on May 7 at Emmanuel Church in Boston on its 20th anniversary. The Memorial, on Commonwealth Avenue in the Back Bay, is an approachable and touchable statuary tribute to Massachusetts leaders Abigail Adams, Lucy Stone, and Phyllis Wheatley. Bergmann spoke about the creation of the Memorial, and showed images of its design and sculpting. The event included world premier compositions by female composers of color, Inés Velasco, Virginia Melika M. Fitzhugh, and Emily Lau, inspired by writings of Adams, Stone, and Wheatley. Excerpts from the writings are inscribed in granite next to the statues at the Memorial. Abigail Adams’ letter to her husband John Adams, the second president of the United States, reads:

“Remember the Ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands.”

Abolitionist and suffragette Lucy Stone’s words read:

“Let women’s sphere be bounded only by her capacity.”

Phyllis Wheatley’s book “Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral” was the first book published by an African writer in America. Wheatley was born in West Africa and sold into slavery from the ship Phillis in colonial Boston. Her poem, “Imagination! Who can sing thy force?” is quoted on the stone on which she appears to lean as she writes with a feather pen. The celebration was produced by The Boston Women’s Heritage Trail, Suffrage100MA, and Public Historian Susan Wilson. Wilson introduced the large audience to the scores of statues of male heroes in Boston and told the story of some school children on a field trip who asked “Where are the women?”

Cappella Clausura, a professional ensemble that performs music created by women and often previously unheard, performed the songs written for the event as well as other pieces by women composers, and ended with a singalong to the energetic “March of the Women” by Ethel Smyth, a feminist anthem of women’s suffrage.

After the event at Emmanuel Church, Bergmann walked with a crowd to the Women’s Memorial. She cleaned leaf debris out of small crevices and placed flowers in the statues’ hands. Bergmann moved to Acton two years ago with her husband, Michael, and son, Dan. In her renovated barn studio, she is creating a sculpture of Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the New York State House, and a bronze gateway with figures of over twenty historic women, for the Town of Lexington.
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Town of Acton Announces Recipients of the 2023 Joseph A. Lalli Merit Award

ACTON: Town Manager John S. Mangiaratti and Fire Chief Robert Hart are pleased to announce that the Town of Acton has honored two employees with the Joseph A. Lalli Merit Award for 2023 in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the community.

Acton Memorial Library Office Manager Mary Katis was selected as the Municipal Employee of the Year. Katis was honored for providing leadership and support during several transitions in the library administration over the last year.

Acton Fire Department Firefighter Paramedic Josh Ramos was selected as the Public Safety Employee of the Year. Firefighter Ramos was off-duty when he noticed a fire at a senior housing complex in Maynard on March 22, and voluntarily entered the building to help ensure all residents were evacuating.

Lalli, an Acton resident, businessman, and philanthropist, was a strong supporter of public service. He wished to leave a legacy by acknowledging a public safety employee and municipal employee each year for outstanding performance and extraordinary contributions. The Award is supported and funded by the Steinberg-Lalli Charitable Foundation.

Municipal Employee of the Year
Office Manager Katis has lived in Acton since 1997, when she moved to town with her husband George and their daughter Alexandra. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University. Katis volunteered extensively at the Acton Co-op Preschool and Douglas School. She began her work at the library in 2001, after noticing a job posting for an administrative assistant on the front door.  While her job was initially just one day per week and every other Sunday, Katis has grown into her role and has now worked for four library directors and assistant directors.

Library Director Maria Palacio, who nominated Katis, wrote that Katis is well-respected by both library and Town Hall staff, and often serves as a conduit among town departments due to her established relationships. "When we think of leaders and leadership, we often think of people who head teams or departments, but we can have leaders that don’t supervise people and yet make a big difference in their organizations," Library Director Palacio wrote. "An example of this kind of leadership can be found in Mary Katis."

When both the library director and assistant director resigned last year to pursue other opportunities, Katis took on additional responsibilities to ensure the library continued to function smoothly. She also served on the search committees for a new director and assistant director, and helped the new director and assistant director transition to their new positions.

"In her own quiet, classy and tactful way, Mary filled in the gaps when the former library director and assistant director resigned just weeks apart," Director Palacio wrote. "It was Mary who worked closely with our Town Manager, Trustees and others to ensure operations in the library were running smoothly despite the challenges at the time. Mary co-chaired the director search committee along with our Town Manager and Trustees and worked hard to convey to all stakeholders the importance of finding someone who could lead and stabilize the Acton Memorial Library as it transitioned to new leadership," Director Palacio wrote.

In her free time, Katis enjoys trips to Cape Cod, jumping waves on her jet ski, traveling, and visiting with friends.

Public Safety Employee of the Year
Firefighter Paramedic Ramos has worked for the Acton Fire Department since October 2021, when he joined the department after working at the Lexington Fire Department. He is the father of two young children, and also serves on the Advanced Life Support Oversight Committee, in the Training Division, and as a mentor to newer paramedics.

"I believe Joshua Ramos has led by example on what a public safety employee should be," Fire Chief Robert Hart wrote in his nomination.

On March 22, Ramos was off-duty at his home when he noticed a fire across the street at an elderly housing complex.

"Josh, without a second thought, ran across the street and managed to get a number of residents out of the home before the fire was eventually put out by the Maynard Fire Department," Chief Hart wrote in the nomination.

Firefighter Ramos remained at the scene to assist his colleagues from Maynard with other fire operations.

Ramos is often heard saying that all he wants to do is serve the community. He is a strong patient advocate, and works hard to connect patients to multiple town services because he wants every patient to receive all of the assistance they require.

"I am proud of the men and women of the Acton Fire Department who go above and beyond each and every day," said Chief Hart. "Joshua Ramos sets a tremendous example."

PHOTO:
From left, Acton Memorial Library Office Manager Mary Katis, Town Manager John S. Mangiaratti, and Acton Fire Department Firefighter Paramedic Josh Ramos. Katis & Ramos were named Acton's Municipal Employee of the Year & Public Safety Employee of the year respectively. (Courtesy the Town of Acton)

Concord Players Recognizes RJ Grey Junior High Student’s Essay on "Little Women"

Aaronwang
Submitted by Franny Osman & Tracy Wall

ACTON/CONCORD: Every ten years, the Concord Players produces Louisa May Alcott’s 'Little Women.' This year, for the first time, they put on the musical version, based on the 2005 Broadway musical. To accompany the show, which closes May 13, there was a Birthday Bash kick-off in November, a film festival in February, and a Tea in March.

In addition, to try to engage some younger members of the community, the Players hosted an essay contest. They asked 6th-12th graders from schools in the Metrowest area to answer a question about a deeper aspect of Little Women. Two winners were chosen and one, Aaron Wang, is from Acton. Aaron is a 7th grader at the RJ Grey Junior High School. The title of his essay was “Breaking the Gender Mould: How Jo March in Little Women Challenges and Defies Female Stereotyping”.

As the play’s producers presented Wang with his award, they said his essay rose to the top of an impressive group of entries, and they commented on his mature writing style and the historical evidence he gave to support his claim. Wang’s essay and the other winning essay are available to read at www.concordplayers.org. The website quotes Wang: “It is quite an empowering feeling when you can break gender stereotypes and be unique from others, and that's what I like most about this novel and its characteristics of Jo.”

The Concord Players trace their history to 1857 and the Concord Dramatic Union, which Louisa May Alcott and her sister, Anna helped to found. In 1872, the Union became the Concord Dramatic Club and, ultimately, in 1919, the Concord Players. In 1932, in celebration of Louisa May Alcott's 100th birthday, the Concord Players could do no less than perform a dramatized version of the novel. The show was such a success that they vowed to perform the play every ten years and – with the exception of 1942, because of WWII – they have.

ALICE Training Available for Local Businesses & Organizations

Alice
Submitted by Alissa Nicol

ACTON: Detective Luke Penney, a School Resource Officer (SRO) with the Acton Police Department of Youth and Family Services Division, is a certified ALICE instructor. ALICE is an active shooter preparedness program - the acronym stands for Alert, Lock-Down, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. Detectives with the SRO program have supported the district’s schools with ALICE training and drills, but have also conducted training for other Acton organizations and businesses - Detective Penney for 6 years, and, before him, Detective Keith Campbell.

In addition to schools, recent mass shootings in the U.S. have occurred in offices, hospitals, houses of worship, grocery stores, movie theaters, concert venues and nightclubs. The ALICE program helps staff and management develop tools and strategies they can use in an active shooter situation, and can also include an assessment of a building’s security along with recommendations to improve it. Several Acton businesses have participated. Roche Brothers supermarket, Congregation Beth Elohim, the Discovery Museum, the Haartz Corporation, and the Infant/Toddler Children’s Center are just a handful that have taken advantage of this free 45-minute training.

According to KinderCare Center Director Kate Boldebook, “Detective Penney’s ALICE
presentation was beneficial for staff as well as a relief in knowing what to do in case of an armed intruder event.”

If you would like a visit with one of Acton’s officers to train your staff in ALICE, email psfpoliceyouthservices@actonma.gov.

The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail - An Introduction & Invitation

Turtles
Submitted by Tom Beals

ACTON: I recently rode the newly expanded Bruce Freeman Rail Trail from its north end in Chelmsford to its south end almost at the Sudbury border. I was familiar with the trail from Acton northwards; the extension south into Concord is a welcome addition. If you have never been on the trail, I hope to convince you to visit.

The rail trail is not just for bikes! Users are diverse - seniors, families with strollers and small children, bigger kids just learning to ride a bike, roller-skaters and inline-skaters, scooters and adult tricycles. A variety of bikes - new bike designs with great fat ‘beach buggy’ tires; custom artistic bikes with years of design built on; the occasional bike gymnast spinning wheelies in place, like a break-dancer, on the back wheel. And of course the ‘serious’ bikers, as if training for the Tour de France - sometimes solo, sometimes pairs or groups - jockeying for position, staying in the lead rider’s slipstream or breaking out to take the lead.

Given that variety of users, are there issues with safety? Generally, no; the trail canaccommodate many users, and traffic tends to be sparse. Because it is a rail trail, sightlines are long; and because trains avoided hills, the trail is flat except for overpasses. Adult trail users generally follow public road customs such as keeping right except when passing. With the variety of users described, passing - that is, overtaking slower-moving traffic - is common. If you hear “On your left” this means someone is behind you, and intends to pass by “on your left”. It is not uncommon to see pedestrians with earbuds or headphones, oblivious to spoken warnings, and so one passes there as safely as possible. Acton police sometimes ride the trail, and emergency rescue vehicles can access the trail if need be.

Construction of the railroad embankment split and divided local ecologies, and for the amateur naturalist the trail offers hints of the past and shows the present stages of adaptation. Most areas have adapted beautifully, with prolific growth. Other areas are adapting, with trees too recently dead to have yet decayed, snags leaning over still water. The skunk cabbage foliage is luxuriant now in some areas; its growth pattern tells us about its favored area’s ecology. For the amateur anthropologist as well, the human-built environment can be seen adapting to the trail and its traffic, as old technology recycles into rust.

Parking areas and trail access points are reasonably well described on the following
websites:
 
  • brucefreemanrailtrail.org/
  • traillink.com/trail/bruce-freeman-rail-trail/

PHOTO: Turtles sun themselves on a log at Acton’s NARA Park. By Tom Beals.
Image

Report from Acton Town Meeting, May, 2023

Submitted by Marion Maxwell

ACTON:
May 1 TOWN MEETING may be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j0ehYeSa9I.
Final status of all articles is at: www.acton-
ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/8719/Summary-2023-ATM.

556 registered voters signed in.
 
  • Article 4 passed - Town Operating Budget for $37,382,147.
  • Article 5 passed - Town Capital - Public Works, Public Safety and Public Celebrations for $375,000.
  • Article 6 passed -Town Capital, Infrastructure, Design and Construction for $1,435,000.
  • Article 7 passed - ABRSD Assessment for $71,669,758.
  • Article 8 passed - Minuteman Regional School District Assessment for $2,912,974.
  • Article 10 passed - 549 Main Street (Conant Property) Conservation Restriction Appropriation from CPA funds of $1,030,000.
  • Article 11 Postponed Indefinitely re West Acton Citizens Library Board of Trustees Bylaw. New Trustees were voted in: Annie Channon (3 yrs.); Monica Burke (2 yrs.), Annette Lochrie (1 yr.).


May 2 TOWN MEETING may be seen at
www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TmWnMbsEZk.

383 registered voters signed in. Meeting ended around 12:15am Wednesday.
 
  • Article 14 Postponed Indefinitely - Disposition of 13 School St. (parking lot).
  • Article 15 passed - Zoning for Firearm Businesses.
  • Article 16 passed - Amend Groundwater Zoning Bylaw.
  • [Articles 17-33 were on the Consent Agenda. All passed.]
  • Article 34 passed - Home Rule Petition to Change Minimum Voting Age to 16 for Town Elections.
  • Article 35 passed - Home Rule Petition for Ranked Choice Voting.
  • Article 36 passed - Non-Binding Resolution – Economic Development Committee.
  • Articles 37-46 were brought by Citizens Petitions and were all non-binding resolutions:
  • Article 37 passed - Sewer Commission Analysis
  • Article 38 passed - Anti-bias Training
  • Article 39 passed - Code of Conduct
  • Article 40 passed - Reduce Transfer Station Sticker Prices
  • Article 41 passed - Composting Facilities at Apartment Buildings
  • Article 42 failed - Slow Increase of New Single Family Homes
  • Article 43 failed - Reduce Size of New Single Family Homes
  • Article 44 passed - Stop Odd Shaped Lots
  • Article 45 approved as amended - Renters’ Access to Confidential Health
  • Department Inspections.
  • Article 46 passed - Kelley’s Corner Improvement Initiative Update.
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Discovery Museum Joins Blue Star Museums to Expand Free Admission for Active Duty Military Families this Summer

Free admission for up to six people with an active duty military ID between Armed Forces Day & Labor Day
 
ACTON: Discovery Museum has joined museums nationwide in the Blue Star Museums initiative, a program that provides free admission to currently-serving U.S. military personnel and their families this summer. The 2023 program will begin on Armed Forces Day, May 20, and end on Labor Day, September 4, 2023.

“We’re proud to participate with Blue Star Museums each summer and expand our yearlong Active Duty Military Discount to include up to six family members,” said Discovery Museum CEO Neil Gordon. “It’s one small way to show our gratitude for the service and commitment of our active duty military and the sacrifice of their families.” For the rest of the year, the Museum offers free admission for up to four active duty military family members.

“We thank the 2023 Blue Star Museums who invite military personnel and their families to experience the many wonders they have to offer, whether it’s a glimpse into the past, an encounter with awe-inspiring art, or a moment of discovery,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Participating museums help to enrich the lives of military families and build meaningful connections between our nation’s military and their local community.”

Blue Star Museums include children’s museums, art, science, and history museums, zoos, gardens, lighthouses, and more, and hail from all 50 states, District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The current list of participating museums will continue to develop over the summer as organizations are welcome to register to be a Blue Star Museum throughout the summer. Find the list of participating museums at www.arts.gov/initiatives/blue-star-museums.
Hope at bat

ABRHS Baseball to Host Hope at Bat Fundraiser to Support American Cancer Society

ACTON/BOXBOROUGH: For the second time post-Covid, the ABRHS Baseball Boosters Program is holding their cancer fundraising event now called "Hope at Bat" (formerly 'Coaches vs. Cancer'). The event will be held May 12 beginning at 5:30pm with concessions and entertainment, including special guests to sing the National Anthem and throw out a ceremonial first pitch. The Junior Varsity game will begin at 5:30pm and the Varsity game will begin at 6pm - both games are against Newton South, who will also be participating in Hope at Bat.

Each team will take this game to honor the lives lost to cancer, celebrate survivors, and support the caregivers who so selflessly help others.  We aim to raise awareness of those living with cancer, caring for those with cancer, and working to advance treatments and cures for the disease, as well as raise money for the American Cancer Society. For more information or to donate, click HERE or
contact krychlik@mac.com.
Action unlimited

Ready, Set, Move! Join VBS this Summer

ACTON: Get ready, get set, and move this summer! Mt. Calvary Church is offering a fun one-week Vacation Bible School (VBS) program August 7–11, 9am-noon daily. Children age 3 through entering Grade 5 in the fall of 2023 are invited to participate. Participants will play games, make crafts, sing, and dance as they learn to follow Jesus. Space is limited. Registration details along with more information can be found at www.mtcalvaryacton.org/vbs. Questions – call the church at 978-263-5156. Mt. Calvary Church is located at 472 Massachusetts Avenue. Parking (including handicap) is available behind the church, off Prospect Street.
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Chef Ben Elliott of Concord’s Salt Box Kitchen Wins Open Table’s Chopped for Charity Competition

CONCORD/MAYNARD: Open Table, the MetroWest charity dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities, today announced that chef Ben Elliott of Concord’s Salt Box Kitchen, was the winner of the cooking competition at its recent Chopped for Charity Gala, which took place on April 28 at Nashawtuc Country Club in Concord. More than 250 people took part in the event, which raised $190,000 for Open Table and its programs.

Chef Ben Elliot won the competition by impressing judges with his ability to fully cook chicken thighs using a small burner in a small amount of time to create braised chicken thighs in a black garlic & mushroom agrodolce sauce with fresh ricotta crostini topped with peas, lemon zest, pistachios, and mint. Chef Kelcy Scolnik won the audience voting with her black garlic ricotta gnocchi in roasted mushroom and basil brown butter sauce, and a spring pea salad with shallot mustard vinaigrette. Chef Matt Kenah busted out the creativity with a ricotta, chopped pea, black garlic, and ‘za’atar spice donut in a yogurt sauce with peas and mint and a composed salad with roasted peas, shaved mushrooms, and chopped bacon, which he topped with toasted almonds in the “28 seconds” he had to spare.

The judging panel included Tiziana Dearing, host of Radio Boston on WBUR; Andy Husbands, the award-winning chef, author and pitmaster behind The Smoke Shop BBQ, Boston’s acclaimed barbecue restaurants; Peter Malloy, executive chef at Nashawtuc Country Club; and Marc Herdegen who won the fourth judging position in an auction prior to the start of the competition. The evening’s master of ceremonies was Joe Gatto, a private chef, culinary instructor, author and host of the cutting-edge cooking show From Scratch.

Jill Block and Wade Rubenstein and, in memoriam, community leader Debra Stark of Debra’s Natural Gourmet, were honored at the event. Local dignitaries in attendance included State Senator Jamie Eldridge and State Representative Kate Hogan.

“Open Table’s supporters came out in force for this year’s Chopped for Charity Gala,” said Alexandra DePalo, executive director, Open Table. “With 250 in-person attendees and an overflow crowd watching online, the event surpassed our fundraising goal and will provide much needed resources to meet the growing demand we are seeing. We are fortunate to have such a strong, supportive coalition of people willing contribute to our mission to end hunger in our local community.”
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AB United Way "United We Run" for Mental Health

WEST ACTON: On May 13 starting at 10am will be the Acton-Boxborough United Way "United We Run" for Mental Health.  Moving together to move our community forward! All are welcome at this family-friendly run/walk event to support Acton-Boxborough United Way's mental health initiatives. Let's come together as a community (rain or shine!) and enjoy the power of connection.

Yankee Timing will be there to provide professional race timing to all participants, and medals will be awarded to the top finishers in each age group. But don’t let that intimidate you — you can go at any pace… run or walk, stroll with neighbors, or mingle with new friends. It’s all about having fun together!

Get the kids involved in giving back to the community with a One-Mile Fun Run! They'll be cheered along the route with bubbles and noisemakers. Free frisbees for all participants. Prizes for the fastest and most spirited!

Fabulous run t-shirts for the first 250 registered. Sign-up before April 15th to ensure you receive your preferred size. Register at https://runsignup.com/Race/MA/Acton/ABUW5K.
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Help Create a Safe New Home for Survivors of Abuse

SUDBURY/MAYNARD: Spring is a time of renewal and new growth, a time for starting over, and planting seeds for the future. It is also the time for the Shower for Shelters. The Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable cordially invites you to participate in its Annual Shower for Shelters. You can help families transitioning from a shelter or transitional housing to establish a new home by donating new household items or gift cards. All gifts collected will be donated to clients of REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, The Second Step, and Voices Against Violence.

The Shower for Shelters is being held through May 5.  New unwrapped gifts may be dropped off at Spirits of Maynard, 4 Digital Way, Suite 3, Maynard or at Sudbury Wine and Spirits, 410 Boston Post Road, Rugged Bear Plaza, Sudbury. Requested items include: diapers, twin size comforters, sheets and pillowcases, bed pillows, towels and face cloths, unscented cleaning products and laundry detergent, laundry baskets, kitchen utensils, flatware, dishes, drinking glasses, small kitchen appliances, and other household items. Gift cards for the following are also welcome: Target, Walmart, CVS, Market Basket, Hannafords, Stop and Shop ($20-$50). For further information, please visit the Roundtable online at www.domesticviolenceroundtable.org.

The Acton Garden Club’s May Meeting

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ACTON: The Acton Garden Club’s next meeting will take place on May 2 in Room 204 of Acton Town Hall with a business meeting at 9am and a program at 10:15am titled “Growing Meadows Large and Small” presented by Kathy Connolly. Note: The general meeting will be hybrid but the program will only be over Zoom. For non-club members who would like to see the program, visit www.actongardenclub.org and leave a message. You will be contacted with the information needed to log into the event.

What is a meadow? Is it a lawn gone feral? Is it a perennial garden gone wild? Or something else altogether? In her presentation Connolly will explore the definition of a meadow and how it differs from other “no-mow” and “low-mow” approaches to the landscape. No one can grow an instant meadow, but this program will increase our understanding of what it takes to create and maintain one.

Kathy Connolly is a landscape designer who specializes in naturalized designs, low-impact landscape techniques and native plants. She has a master’s degree in ecological landscape planning and design, has completed the advanced master gardener program and is an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional through the Northeast Organic Farming Association of CT.
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Over $37 Million in Funding to Finance Drinking Water and Clean Water Quality Projects in Acton

ACTON: State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Marlborough) and State Representative Simon Cataldo (D-Concord) are pleased to announce that the State Revolving Fund loan program has awarded over $15 million to the town of Littleton to fund water infrastructure projects supporting a clean, healthy, and modern water supply.

This funding is part of $1.3 billion in low-interest-rate loans and grants allocated for projects proposed by municipalities, regional water supply and wastewater treatment districts, and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). Administered by the Clean Water Trust, the State Revolving Fund is instrumental to improving water quality, updating aging infrastructure, and improving renewable energy and climate resiliency in water systems across the Commonwealth. This year's funding includes $173 million from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and finances 61 clean water infrastructure projects, 50 drinking water construction projects, and 39 Asset Management Planning projects.

“Water infrastructure is in serious need of updates and climate resiliency improvements in municipalities across the commonwealth. I am grateful this essential funding has been allocated to Acton to address the public health challenge of PFAS contamination as well as to expand their municipal sewer system,” said State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Marlborough) “The continued investment in protecting this crucial water resources is paramount and I am proud to be sponsoring S.476 An Act improving municipal water infrastructure, which would increase municipal funds for drinking water, wastewater, or stormwater infrastructure.”

“The Town of Acton and communities across the commonwealth are experiencing significant challenges in their efforts to deliver reliably safe drinking water, especially with respect to PFAS,” said State Representative Simon Cataldo (D-Concord) “A lack of water infrastructure is also creating a significant bottleneck to future economic development along Great Road in Acton. This funding is a significant step forward in meeting Acton’s significant water treatment and infrastructure needs.”

The State Revolving Fund programs make water projects accessible to communities and ensures affordability through loan forgiveness offered to municipalities meeting the affordability criteria, including 64 of this year's new projects. Additionally, reduced borrowing rates are available for communities meeting the Housing Choice Initiative criteria to support municipalities pursuing sustainable and affordable housing.

Through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, the Acton Water Supply District will receive $7,820,000 for PFAS Treatment at the Central Acton Water Treatment Plant and $8,700,000 for PFAS Treatment at the South Acton Water Treatment Plant. These projects are essential to the community given that recent sampling results for certain locations in Acton have been found to be in exceedance of the maximum contaminant level for PFAS. Additionally, through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the town of Acton will receive $20,854,000 for the Acton Great Road Sewer Project to extend Acton’s municipal sewer system to the Great Road area of the town.

Clean, safe water is essential to the health and prosperity of the Commonwealth. Funding provided through the State Revolving Fund enables the projects necessary to maintain and improve Massachusetts’ water infrastructure and ensures this need is met for residents today and for generations to come.
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Wednesday Vigils Against Gun Violence Continue at School & Main Streets

ACTON: As Christians celebrating 50 days of Easter Tide, some are asking God to change our lives, change our hearts, and let us become messengers of Easter joy and hope. Ending the vigils against gun violence now just seems like bad timing. Join South Acton Church at the corner of School and Main Streets on Wednesdays from 4-5pm. Bring your own sign (dark black against a white background shows up best) or use one from South Acton Church’s library at 35 School Street.  The vigils will continue for the foreseeable future. Questions or ideas, contact Joan Fischer at joanlfischer@comcast.net
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The Book Shed at Great Road Church

ACTON: There is a hidden jewel behind the old Makaha building on Great Road across from Donelan’s. Since becoming Great Road Church, the shed attached to the back left of the building has been converted to a give and take book library for all to enjoy. It is stocked with over a thousand gently used and new books. You will find picture and board books for the little ones, and beginning and easy readers. There are even workbooks to keep the kiddos busy. There are some graphic novels in the young adult section as well as fantasy and other popular books. There is also a wide array of books for adults. This includes mystery, history, current events, philosophy and religion in both hard and soft back books. There are even treats for holidays and different themes highlighted each month. For example, May is the month for brides and you will find a large assortment of books for planning weddings. Take and keep what you need and donate what you would like to share. Another bonus, it is always open. Even if the door is closed, you can just open it up and enjoy. This is a place for people to relax and share their love of reading and will be sure to bring a smile to your face.
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South Acton Church Hosts Semi-Annual Rummage & Bake Sale

ACTON: South Acton Church will hold its terrific semi-annual Rummage & Bake Sale, April 29 from 8am-2pm including:
 
  •     MORNING COFFEE! Hot coffee and scones+muffins will be ready early plus bread, cookies, cakes & jam.
  • LUNCH! (Eat-in or take out) Minestrone soup, vegetarian & meat chili,     corn chowder; carrot, chocolate & cheese cakes by the slice.
  • TAKE HOME DINNER! Frozen prepared dinners are delicious and a bargain.
  • BAKE SALE: Cookies, muffins, cakes, tea breads, jams – All home made & fresh!
  • RUMMAGE SALE: The downstairs offers bargains on gifts & essentials (elevator available). Clothing for the whole family, housewares, linens, jewelry, sports items, books & toys.

Ample parking is available on the street, in the School Street commuter lot, and behind the South Acton fire station. For more info email bhadden@hadlorgroup.com.
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Environmental Education for Acton Residents

Submitted by Karen Root Watkins

ACTON: From conserving water resources to adopting renewable energy in our homes, Acton residents are learning and acting. On April 26, the Acton Water District led a "Water Wise Nature Walk" about Acton's water supply while touring the key conservation land along Brook Street and 459 Main Street (see Acton’s Town Meeting Warrant Article 10). The kid-friendly walk explained how Acton gets its water and looked at future challenges, especially as we lose open lands and as climate change affects rainfall patterns.

Then, on April 29, Acton experienced a first-time event. Was it a garden tour or home design tour? No, it was a "Clean Energy Homes Tour" sponsored by EnergizeActon.org. Nine Acton homeowners opened their homes to show the latest in high efficiency, low carbon home energy use. Visitors got to see houses with solar panels and solar battery storage that hardly ever draw electricity from Eversource.

Other homes featured the latest generation of cold weather air source and ground source heat pumps that kept their homeowners nice and toasty during February's arctic freeze. Plus, there were nifty appliances such as solar water heaters, super efficient heat pump clothes dryers, and electric garden mowers and tools. One visitor commented, "[The homeowners] were prepared! Seriously, we saw a slide show and got handouts with facts and data at multiple sites. Wonderful!"

At the event's starting point on Elm Street, visitors enjoyed coffee, baked goods, and discussion. The hot topics? People heard about Acton Power Choice Green, an option for all renewable electricity contracted by the Town but billed through Eversource. Second, visitors got info on great state and federal incentives for "electrification" to help us move off of fossil fuels and onto renewable energy systems.

PHOTO: Acton Select Board member and Clean Energy Coach David Martin explains his unique air source heat pump to hydronic (hot water) baseboard heating system.
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News from Acton Water District Board of Commissioners Meeting, April 24, 2023

Submitted by Kim Kastens

ACTON: The Acton Water District (AWD) is on the cusp of completing a large solar energy array on their property on Knox Trail in the southeast corner of Acton. This 1.2 megawatt array will provide energy to power the South Acton Water Treatment Plant.

AWD's latest PFAS measurements (Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances, also known as “forever chemicals”) from January, February and March 2023, have all been beneath the Massachusetts Maximum Contaminant Level of 20 parts per trillion for the sum of six PFAS compounds. The addition of PFAS treatment capacity at the North Acton Water Treatment Plant is moving ahead, with ground-breaking expected in May and completion anticipated by the end of 2023.

The AWD's bottled water rebate program, for people who have conditions that require lower exposure to PFAS than for the general population, continues to attract new participants. For the first quarter of 2023, 135 owner-occupied households have received bottled water rebates as bill abatements, and 18 tenants have received rebate checks directly. The water bill abatement program for low-income seniors has attracted six households in the first quarter of 2023. AWD Commissioners have been considering additional mechanisms to aid residents who have less ability to pay. AWD Treasurer Christine McCarthy has been researching the various tax discount programs the Town of Acton offers, as well as utility bill assistance offered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

For the second year in a row, the AWD will be receiving an award from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for excellence in water conservation. The award will be presented in a ceremony at the State House on Drinking Water Day, May 11.
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Acton Town Elections

Submitted by Alissa Nicol

ACTON: On April 25, Acton’s Annual Town Election was held, and 13.7% of registered voters cast a ballot at the polls or via mail. Polls were open from 7am-8pm at the RJ Grey Junior High School on Charter Road, and 2188 voters elected Jo-Ann Berry, incumbent, as Town Moderator, James (Jim) Snyder-Grant, incumbent, and Alissa Nicol to the Select Board, and Victoria (Tori) Campbell, Leela Ramachandran, and Yanxin Schmidt to the School Committee. Thomas (Tom) Lemire was elected for a 3 year term on the Memorial Library Board of Trustees and Eric Schlesinger was elected for a 1 year term. William Stanford was re-elected as Water District clerk, and Stephen Stuntz was re-elected Water District Commissioner. For complete election results, including vote tallies by precinct and by hour, visit
www.acton-ma.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/18407.

Celebrate Your Drinking Water on Earth Day

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ACTON: The Water Supply District of Acton is celebrating Earth Day on April 22 with an open house at their recently completed treatment plant in Acton Center. The Water District and its partners will have information and displays on water conservation and efficiency, WaterSense-labeled products, the importance of water main replacement, and a groundwater model. There will also be information on water quality and groundwater protection efforts, water conservation device giveaways, and tours of the water treatment plant. Walking tours of the adjacent property at 549 Main Street will also be conducted. Activity sheets and stickers will be available for children.

The open house will take place from 10am to 1pm at the Central Acton Water Treatment Plant. All events are free and open to all members of the community and their families. Tours of the treatment plant will be given at 10:15am, 11:15am and 12:15pm, while walking tours of the 549 Main Street property will be given at 10:30am and noon. Three lucky attendees will receive either a rain barrel, a WaterSense-labeled dual flush toilet, or a WaterSense-labeled rain showerhead!

The Water District is an independent municipal government that is chartered to supply water to the Town of Acton. It was established on April 16, 1912 as the West and South Water Supply District of Acton. It currently operates 24 wells, four water treatment facilities, four storage tanks, and maintains over 135 miles of water transmission and distribution mains. It is governed by three elected Water Commissioners, an elected Moderator, and an appointed Finance Committee. The Central Acton Water Treatment Plant is located at 8 Post Office Square Behind (behind the Associated Environmental Systems building. Please observe one way travel around the building). There will be signs directing you to the facility once you approach the post office!

For additional information on the Water District, please visit www.actonwater.com.
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Spirits of Maynard Hosts Complimentary Wine and Beer Tasting

MAYNARD: The Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable cordially invites the public to a free wine and beer tasting to support its annual Shower for Shelters. The event will be held at Spirits of Maynard, Plaza, 4 Digital Way, Suite 3 on April 21 at 7pm. Light refreshments will also be provided by the Roundtable. There will also be a short presentation by a survivor. Please bring a new, unwrapped housewarming gift to the event. Families transitioning from shelters appreciate gifts of new household items to help them establish their new homes. These generous donations will be collected and given to the clients of Reach Beyond Domestic Violence, The Second Step, and Voices Against Violence. Requested items include: twin size sheets and pillowcases, twin blankets, twin comforters, bed pillows, crib sheets, bath towels and face cloths, unscented cleaning products and laundry detergent, laundry baskets, kitchen utensils, flatware, dishes, drinking glasses, and small kitchen appliances. Supermarket and departments store gift cards are also welcome. For a complete list of requested items, visit www.domesticviolenceroundtable.org.
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Acton Republican Town Committee Host Meeting

ACTON: The Acton Republican Town Committee (ARTC) will meet April 19 at 6:30pm at the West Acton Baptist Church, 592 Mass Avenue. Meetings are open to all individuals interested in furthering the principles of limited government and individual liberty. Discuss local Acton issues with visiting School Committee candidates Yanxin Schmidt, Mike Gowing, and Jason Fitzgerald. Agenda topics from members and visitors are also 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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Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council Presents 14th Annual ABCC "Our World Film Series"

ACTON/BOXBOROUGH: The ABCC Our World Film Series returns for four successive Friday nights in late April/early May. Live and in-person at a new location, Boxborough’s Sargent Memorial Library Meeting Room, all programs starting at 7pm. The screenings are free and open to the public. Light refreshments provided.

FRIDAY, APRIL 28
A Short Night - The 11th annual Our World Short Film Program, presenting a selection of recent short films produced by film students from Massachusetts colleges and universities. The filmmakers are invited to attend and discuss their work with the audience.

FRIDAY, MAY 5
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Bhutan 2020) - An aspiring singer living with his grandmother in the capital of Bhutan dreams of getting a visa to move to Australia. Oscar nominee for Best International Feature Film. “A testament to the vitality of making cinema available to those without standard resources... an affirmation that all films, however humble their origin, can matter and be counted.” -
Ronda Racha Penrice, TheWrap

FRIDAY MAY 12
Flee (Denmark 2021) - The extraordinary true story of a man, Amin, on the verge of marriage which compels him to reveal his hidden past for the first time. Nominated for three Oscars: Best Documentary Feature Film, Best Animated Feature Film, and Best International Feature Film. “Flee is a remarkably humanizing and complex film, expanding and expounding the kind of story that’s too easily simplified.” – Benjamin Lee, The Guardian

FRIDAY MAY 19
The Dark Horse (New Zealand 2014) - A brilliant but troubled New Zealand chess champion finds purpose by teaching underprivileged children about the rules of chess and life. Award winner at the
Rotterdam International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, St. Tropez International Film Festival. “The heartfelt telling of a truly extraordinary true story with a mesmerizing central performance.” – David Hughes, Empire

More information on the series and prior year’s film selections is available online at
abccourworld.wixsite.com/abccourworld, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ABCCOurWorld.
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Acton Water District - April 10, 2023 - NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

ACTON: Notice is hereby given that an application has been made on behalf of the Acton Water District for the approval of MassDEP for the Acton Water District to acquire certain lands or rights of land in the Town of Acton for public water supply protection. Said land is located at 549 Main Street, Acton, MA 01720 and is identified on municipal assessor map #E4 as parcel #47.

As required by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40 Section 41, the Acton Water District will hold a public hearing. The hearing will be held at the Water District’s offices located 693 Massachusetts Avenue, Acton, MA 01720 on April 24, beginning at 11am. The plan showing the land in question is on file at MassDEP (8 New Bond Street, Worcester, MA 01606) and in the office of the Acton Water District and on the public water system’s website. Said plan is entitled 549 Main Street Survey Review Plan – 02-02-2022.

Comments pertaining to this matter may be made orally at the time of the hearing or submitted in writing at any time before May 1 at 5pm, addressed to Department of Environmental Protection, Drinking Water Program Chief, 8 New Bond Street, Worcester, MA 01606. ~ Acton Water District
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St. Matthew’s Hosts Half-Day Summer Bible Camp

ACTON: “Seeing God” is a unique half-day camp offered by St. Mathew’s United Methodist Church, July 17-21. ALL children Pre-K thru 6th grade are invited to join from 9am-noon for a fun-filled morning of activities provided in the Science & Nature, Crafts, Outdoor Games and Music Stations. Children will be divided by age into groups of 5-8 with two Shepherds assigned to each group. Daily themes include: Can We See God?, Seeing God in New Ways, Seeing God in Nature, Seeing God in Others, and Seeing God in YOU!

Registration Fees are: Earlybirds - $25 per child/$40 per family through June 17; $30/child; $45 per family after June 17. For parents or grandparents participating in Camp, deduct $10. Financial assistance is available. For more information, call (978) 262-2822. St. Matthew’s is located on Central Street between Idylwilde Farm and Route 2. Registration is open. Please visit www.saint-matthews.org for details.

Maynard Community Gardeners Wants Your Surplus Plants for Annual Plant Sale

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MAYNARD: In anticipation of the Maynard Community Gardeners’ Annual Plant Sale, the group is asking anyone who would like to donate excess or unwanted plants of any kind or quantity to contact Steve Smith at stevensmith@kw.com with your name, address, and times that are convenient for an MCG member to come and pick up the plants. If you need assistance to dig the plants, include so in your email. The MCG is always looking for unique, harder to find perennials, trees and shrubs but are still open to taking more common perennial varieties such as Hosta, Lily, and Iris. They are especially interested in perennials that are native to the region and/or pollinator friendly.

Unfortunately, any plants that are listed as invasive in MA (e.g. burning bush), or known to be particularly aggressive (e.g. pachysandra) cannot be accepted.

The Maynard Community Gardeners’ Annual Plant Sale will be held on May 20 in the parking lot at The Maynard Elks Lodge at 34 Powdermill Road from 9am-12pm. MCG’s Plant Sale is the group’s largest fundraising event of the year, providing gardeners with a large variety of plant choices to get the growing season underway. All the plants at the sale are either donated by members and non-members who want to share their abundance, or provided by Brigham Farm Stand & Greenhouses. The plant sale provides a great opportunity to choose from a wide variety of plants that flourish locally. There will be flowers, vegetables, hanging plants, perennials, annuals, herbs, and shrubs, featuring a large assortment of heights, types, and colors. Your plant donations are what make the Plant Sale possible!

MCG is an organization made up of seasoned and novice gardeners who make it their mission to beautify our small town. The club plants and maintains flower buckets downtown, the beautiful flower-filled alleyway next to the Outdoor store, the seasonally changing downtown triangle, and Maplebrook park. Their hope is to bring beauty and joy to anyone who lives in Maynard, uses the Assabet River Rail Trail, or visits the town to enjoy shops, eateries, and other amenities. All the funds from the Plant Sale go directly to MCG’s efforts to maintain these projects.
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2023 Acton Clean Energy Homes Tour

ACTON: Are you thinking about switching from oil heat to efficient cold-weather heat pumps that heat AND cool? Are you considering solar, especially with the increased federal solar incentives? Do you want to decrease your carbon footprint? Sponsored by EnergizeActon.org, the 2023 Acton Clean Energy Homes Tour will take place April 29, 11am-4pm at
10 Homes Around Acton (Base Camp, 19 Elm St Tennis Courts/AB Farmers Market). For more information, go to EnergizeActon.org and click on the Events tab, or register HERE.
 
Visit and talk with Acton neighbors who have already adopted clean energy technologies! Ten Acton homeowners will welcome you to learn about their equipment, including air source and ground source heat pumps, solar panels and solar battery storage, electric vehicles and EV charging, induction cooking, and more. This is a great opportunity to ask questions, to hear about the experiences of others, and to begin to formulate a plan for your own clean energy future. After you register, you will receive an email with detailed information about the Tour, including host addresses. Not all the hosts are available for all five hours of the tour, so the follow-up email will let you know which homes are available when during the day.
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Maynard’s Week of Trees - April 22-29

MAYNARD: Celebrate Maynard’s downtown street arboretum with free special events from Earth Day to Arbor Day.
 
  • On April 22, 10-2pm, witness an “island transformation” at the Summer Street parking lot opposite the Fine Arts Theater. Trees, shrubs and plants will be planted through a One Tree Planted grant awarded to the Tree Corps.
  • On April 26, 6-8pm, learn about old growth trees at The Sanctuary, 82 Main Street. Author Lynda Mapes, forest ecologist Neil Pederson, indigenous forest advocate Andre Strongbearheart, and nature photographer Brent Mathison, will present their special work.
  • On April 28 at 10am, a beautiful Sourwood tree, known as a “Lily-of-the-Valley” tree will be planted at the Maynard Town Hall. Learn about the planting process while the tree is being planted.
  • On April 29, 10-10:30am, join the tree dedication for Arbor Day at Town Hall. Hear the story of Arbor Day and official proclamations in honor of the Day.
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Acton Woman's Club to Host Cathy Fochtman on April 12

ACTON: Join the Acton Woman's Club at 504 Main Street for its monthly meeting on April 12 at 11:30am. There'll be a finger-food luncheon, a short business meeting, and special guest Cathy
Fochtman, who will guide gusts through making some home horticultural treasures. If you are lucky, you may find yourself taking home one of Cathy's stunning floral arrangements!

A long time Acton resident, former Director of Acton's Recreation Department, Cathy Fochtman is sought after by clubs and organizations for her innovative horticultural therapy presentations.  Her “Fundamentals of Horticultural Therapy” has been hosted by Perkins School for the Blind, through the Northeast Horticultural Therapy Network. She is also know for her walking tours of the Acton Arboretum, where she gives an overview of each garden as well as a history of the Arboretum. Cathy has led and is active in the Acton Garden Club, which makes many areas of Acton so very beautiful.

This is last program of the Acton Woman's Club's season. There are many new members, as all women from the Acton region are welcome to join. Please contact Posy for an invitation at janisdyer38@gmail.com or call (978) 369-1295. Masks are optional.  New air filters will be running to help everyone be extra safe. Folks can eat inside or outside  (weather permitting).  You will get a chance to see all the lovely antique Clubhouse. For more information, visit theactonwomansclub.org.
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Holy Week at United Church of Christ

BOXBOROUGH: Holy Week at United Church of Christ in Boxborough:

Easter Sunrise - April 9, 6:15am (in person only) at North Cemetery, intersection of Hill and Middle Roads (Parking at Boxborough Museum). Practice the resurrection and welcome Easter morning!  Sing hymns and share communion, and flower the cross, a UCCB tradition. Please bring your own flower (ideally one for everyone in your party), to help weave gorgeous variety into the cross! Afterwards, all will enjoy breakfast and fellowship in the Gathering Room at the Church.
 
Easter Hybrid Worship - April 9, 9:30am.  All ages join together (in person or online) for worship full of celebration and joy.   Please note: Worship services are streamed live via Zoom and Facebook, and recorded for posting on YouTube (https://bit.ly/3ZlM58Y). Facebook offers closed captioning (subtitles) for those who find that helpful. 

- Zoom link with Passcode embedded (cut and paste if necessary):
https://bit.ly/3K8xhq1
- Phone in: 929-205-6099, Meeting ID: 845 8688 4054, Passcode: 7387 

United Church of Christ Boxborough is located at 723 Massachusetts Avenue. For additional information, see www.boxboroughucc.org or call (978) 263-7387.
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Boxborough DTC to Sponsor Household Goods Donation Drive

BOXBOROUGH: Have you started your spring cleaning? The Boxborough Democratic Town Committee is organizing a donation drive for Household Goods in recognition of Earth Day (April 22). Household Goods provides a full range of furniture and household items, free of charge, to help people in need make a home. By donating, not only will you be helping a family in need, you will also ensure that your unwanted item doesn’t end up in the trash.

Pots and pans, towels, lamps, sheets, blankets, small rugs, etc. are always needed. For a list of items accepted and donation guidelines, please visit www.householdgoods.org or https://tinyurl.com/4cazmftn.  Donations are accepted at Household Goods on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9am-noon. Can’t get to Household Goods during these hours? The Boxborough DTC will be collecting small item donations (no large furniture) and delivering to Household Goods on Earth Day. For more information, send an email to boxborough.dtc@gmail.com, visit www.boxboroughdems.org or facebook.com/BoxboroughDTC.
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Boxborough Minutemen Patriots’ Day Activities 

BOXBOROUGH: On April 17, the Boxborough Minutemen Company will convene at 5:30am outside the Boxborough Museum, 575 Middle Road, to commemorate the events of the original Patriots’ Day. The Museum is located at the edge of Boxborough’s Old Town Center Historic District where some of the original Minutemen from Boxborough mustered on April 19, 1775.

The list of company officers is confirmed by a drumhead election. This is an old tradition whereby minutemen company members indicate their approval by tapping on the company bass drum. The company cannon is fired to announce that the company is ready to meet the enemy. There is a short march to Boxborough North Cemetery for a commemorative musket volley after which the names of men from Boxborough who joined in the battle on April 19, 1775 are read out.

At 6:20am, the Boxborough Company joins its comrades, the Acton Minutemen, at Acton town center for a three volley musket salute, after which both companies embark on the seven mile march on the Isaac Davis Trail to the North Bridge in Concord (arriving about 8:45am) for a skirmish against the British redcoats.

The Minutemen finish the day’s events with a parade through the center of Concord. 
For information, please contact Captain Tony Newton at captain@boxboroughminutemen.org, or (617) 448-5931.
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Open Space & Recreation Public Forum  April 12

BOXBOROUGH: The Boxborough Town Planner and the chairs of the Conservation Commission and Recreation Commission will be hosting a public forum on open space and recreation on April 12 from 7-8:30pm at Boxborough Town Hall, 29 Middle Road. Boxborough residents and members of the greater community of all ages are invited to discuss updates to the Town's Open Space and Recreation Plan. Parks and open space provide opportunities for fun and relaxation. From bike racks to signage, and even new spaces, this forum will give you a voice to help guide decision-making for the next several years.

Interpreters in Mandarin Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, and Hindi will be available during the forum.

If you would like to participate or provide feedback, but cannot attend the forum, submit ideas and suggestions to the Town Planner, Alec Wade via email at awade@boxborough-ma.gov, or visit during office hours from 5-6:30pm at Boxborough Town Hall on April 6, 10 or 13.

To review a draft of the plan, visit boxborough-ma.gov, and type OSRP into the Search bar.  If you have any questions, please contact the Town Planner at (978) 264-1723.
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Wallis wickham raemer and reggie harris

Discovery Museum presents,
“A Family Revealed: From Slavery to Hope”

Live, in-person event will feature Wallis Wickham Raemer and Reggie Harris,
cousins and descendants of a Confederate enslaver


ACTON/CONCORD: As a live, in-person 2023 Discovery Museum Speaker Series event, “A Family Revealed: From Slavery to Hope” will be an evening of engaging music and conversation with the audience, two descendants of a Confederate enslaver, one Black and one white, share their story and discuss what it was like to discover each other’s deeply held feelings, pain, and hope. 

Featured will be Wallis Wickham Raemer, educator, and Reggie Harris, folk singer and social activist. Raemer, who grew up in Richmond, Virginia, thought it was cool to have a statue of her great-great-great-grandfather, Willams Carter Wickham, in the center of town. But as she grew older she changed her mind–especially after meeting Reggie Harris, who also is a descendant of the same Confederate general but by way of Bibanna Hewlett, one of the 275 people that he enslaved. For Mr. Harris, a wonderfully gifted folksinger and educator, the statue was a painful reminder of the abuse his family suffered and the refusal of America to fully acknowledge its past. After the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017 Wallis and some members of her family wrote a letter to the city requesting that the statue be removed. But it remained until protesters dragged it down with a rope. This is real history and it’s complicated. But Reggie and Wallis are facing it by talking it out and through music. They’ve shared their journey on CNN, in a recent film, in schools, and in an article in The New York Times.

This event will be held May 9 from 7-8:30pm at no charge in the Nashoba Brooks School, 200 Strawberry Hill Road in Concord. Required advance registration is available at http://bit.ly/DMSpeakerSeries.
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Acton Town Election Important Dates

ACTON: Mark your calendars for these important Town of Acton election dates:
 
 
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Communication in Ages 0-2

ACTON: Learn about ways to connect, support and understand your baby age 0-24 months with presenter Mary Beilman, a Baby Sign Language Educator certified thru the Institute of Pediatric Sleep and Parenting, based on Dr. Joseph Garcia's Sign with Your Baby program. Discuss communication milestones including crying, understanding and first words. In addition, learn about the benefits of using sign language to help build communication skills, reduce frustration, and enhance communications. Participants will learn basic signs to incorporate into your daily routines. Bring your baby, a blanket, and enjoy a story and song that includes the new signs we learn. This event will be held at First Connections on April 19, 10-11am. Masks required for adults. To register, email lmatthews@jri.org.

Emerson Health 5k Run~Walk for Cancer Care – Registration Now Open
High-Performance Shirts for All Registrants!

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CONCORD/ACTON: Registration is open for Emerson Health’s 24th annual 5k Run~Walk for Cancer Care at www.emersonhospital.org/5k. All proceeds support healing programs for patients who receive cancer care at Emerson.  In addition to the 5k, there will be a one-mile Kids’ Run and medals for the top finishers.

There are two ways to participate: Join the in-person event on May 6 at 8am at Nara Park in Acton, which includes free breakfast from Blackbird Cafe, ice cream from Kimball Farm, lawn games from All in Events MA, and community tables.

Or, sign up to do the virtual event to complete the 5k anytime between May 1 – May 6. Visit the website for details, to register, and make a donation. All registrants receive a high-performance race shirt. 

The Run~Walk event is a great opportunity to meet up with friends, neighbors, and loved ones. Encourage everyone you know to come out and exercise while raising money to support people in the community with cancer. For more information, email runwalk@emersonhosp.org, call Emerson’s Development Office at (978) 287-3084, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram @EmersonHealth5K.
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Patriots’ Day Spirit at the Faulkner Homestead

ACTON: On April 16, the Iron Work Farm will explore the full meaning of Patriots’ Day, which was established to commemorate the start of not one, but two wars in our country’s history. In both wars, the people of Acton and the Faulkner Homestead played an important part. Beginning at 1pm, three groups of re-enactors will be on hand to mark the April 19, 1861 start of the Civil War. Soldiers of the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and the 12th Georgia Infantry will stage an encampment and hold skirmishes in the Faulkner woods, while members of “Be What Remains”, the re-enactors of the US Sanitary Commission, will demonstrate the help they gave to the enlisted soldiers during the war. A musical ensemble, the “Shades of Gray” will be on hand to perform mid-19th century tunes.

On April 19, 1775, on the first day of the Revolutionary War, local families gathered in the Faulkner dooryard to cook food to take to the Acton militiamen in the field. Visitors will experience 18th -century home life with outdoor cooking, children’s games, etc., while in the Faulkner House, members of the Nashoba Valley Weavers Guild will demonstrate colonial weaving, and show off the old “barn frame” loom. At the end of the afternoon (about 5:30pm), the Acton Minutemen will stage their annual “Robbins’ Ride” reenactment—the arrival of the horse and rider who brought the news to Col. Francis Faulkner earlier that day that the British were marching on Concord.

Patriots’ Day Spirit is open to the public for a modest donation—“Give What You Will”. Parking is available in the nearby public lots.
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Candidate Forum

ACTON: The League of Women Voters Acton-Area will host a Candidates Forum ahead of the April 25 Election Day. All candidates whose names will appear on the town ballot have been asked to participate. If a candidate is in a contested race, they will appear on a panel for the race and answer a series of pre-selected questions from the League and from voters who have submitted questions ahead of time. If a candidate is in an uncontested race they will be given the opportunity to make a statement. 
 
The forum will be held in the Faulkner Meeting Room at Acton Town Hall on April 10 at 7pm. It will also be available live on Acton TV's cable channel and Acton TV's YouTube channel. The forum will be recorded and made available to watch on Acton TV, Acton TV's YouTube channel as well as the League's website: lwv-acton-area.org
 
The League of Women Voters is eager to help voters learn more about the candidates running in the Acton Town Election and provide a non-partisan forum for all candidates to be heard. The event is part of the LWV's mission to encourage the active and informed participation of all citizens in government and the electoral process. It will be free and open to the public.  
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SVT Announces Spring Programs

Area residents are invited to attend one of the many nature-themed programs hosted by Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT). The nonprofit conservation group recently posted its Spring 2023 Program Calendar on its website, along with complete details and registration information.  Highlights include a Senior Walks in Acton, Wayland, and Sudbury (various dates in April and May); Unlock Your Inner Food Gardener (May 6); Spring Wildflower Walks in Berlin and Sudbury (May 13); a Plant Identification and Natural History Walk in Harvard (May 14); and a Full Moon Walk in Wayland (June 2). Space is limited and registration is required.

In honor of Earth Day, SVT will lead a History Hike Up Tippling Rock in Sudbury on April 22, at 9am. Plus, a special webinar on April 20 will explore how backyard gardens can contribute to climate change resilience.

SVT also offers volunteer opportunities for those interested in caring for local conservation lands. Upcoming projects include building a boardwalk across wetlands in Sudbury, creating a new hiking trail in Berlin, and pulling non-native invasive plants from conservation areas in several towns. New volunteers are also invited to attend the Spring Volunteer Orientation Session over Zoom on April 26 at 7pm.

Complete information about SVT programs and volunteer projects is available at www.svtweb.org/calendar.