Img 7576

Acton Woman's Club Serves Pie at the Senior Center & More!

ACTON: The Acton Woman's Club (AWC) is a place for fun and companionship.  They host monthly lunches, social/cultural events, and clubs. This month, AWC members served pies (made by Concord Farms) at the Acton Senior Center.  The delicious pies were distributed as part of our continuing community service.

Coming up next is a New Year's Day brunch.  The monthly meeting will be held at the Acton TV studio while Joe Loblundo of Twin Seafoods in West Concord prepares a delicious lunch on camera. Then, a field trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on January 19  by The Club's Museum and Antiques group.   Other ongoing clubs include the Bridge, Mahjongg, and Book Club, and Wine & Dine group. For clubhouse activities, new air filters will be running to help everyone be extra safe.

Any woman who lives or works in Acton or a surrounding town may join the Acton
Woman’s Club for society and good works. For more information, contact Posy Dyer at (978) 369-1295; or Jane Bungard at (978) 263-7260 for a luncheon invitation.
20221219 111018

100 Holiday Meals Distributed Courtesy of Mt. Calvary Community Supper of Acton & Acton-Boxborough United Way

ACTON: Another example of what a caring community we have in the town of Acton: local businesses and organizations coming together to help 100 individuals feel the holiday spirit.  On December 19, Mt. Calvary Community Supper partnered with ABUW, Tom Lowe’s Meat Market of Northborough, and Bisousweet Bakery to prepare 100 holiday meals of a delicious
roast turkey dinner with all the “fix-ins” along with a special dessert. Meals were delivered to Acton and Boxborough and surrounding residents by Acton Senior Housing Authority, the Acton Social Services, and members from Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church.

Founded in 2011, this is the tenth year in a row for the event. Tom Lowe took on the task of cooking 16 turkeys at his market and Karen Collins, owner of Bisousweet Bakery provided delectable biscotti treats. All the carving, dicing, mashing, and remaining cooking took place at the Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church of Acton. The dedicated MCC Supper volunteers worked from early morning till noon when the final selections were ready for the packing process. Thanks to the additional help from members of ABUW and 2 returning college students, “many hands made light work” in the assembly line of rapid speed as 100 meals were readied for pick-up and hand delivery.

This event has been a very rewarding experience for all involved throughout the years. Its success has been made possible through the generosity and kindness of individuals and businesses working together for the common good. It speaks to the commitment of the wonderful Mt. Calvary Community Supper volunteers and members of Acton Boxborough United Way who provided the nutritious meals with care and compassion.

All are welcome to join each Wednesday at sit-down dinners, sharing in friendship while being served. As a non-profit organization, Mt. Calvary Community Supper sincerely appreciates support from community residents as they continue to serve all those who are experiencing food insecurity and social isolation. An entire night's 4-course supper for all who come can be provided for $350. Should you, your business, or a group of individuals wish to recognize a special person or family member, please consider donating a unique gift of love. Guests are always so grateful for a delicious meal and sense of belonging they feel as they dine at the only community supper in Acton. Donations may be made to Mt. Calvary Community Supper, P.O Box 1125, Acton, MA 01720
Fog on fenway

Assabet Valley Camera Club: A Certain Slant of Light

HUDSON: On January 4, the Assabet Valley Camera Club (AVCC) is pleased to
host Suzanne Révy, photographer, writer and educator who earned a BFA from the Pratt Institute and an MFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and previously worked as photography editor at U.S. News & World Report and Yankee Magazine. She has exhibited her work at museums and galleries throughout New England and in New York. Révy is an adjunct professor of photography at Clark University in Worcester.

A Certain Slant of Light began as a daily photographic ritual where Suzanne employed a mobile phone to keep her eyes open for light as it moved and changed throughout the day. As a photographer who primarily uses film in a methodical manner, the immediacy, speed and ease of phone photography offered a different avenue for practice and honing her vision on a daily basis. Capturing images at sunrise on a small pond allows Révy to witness seasonal changes in shifting light and weather. In her presentation, she will discuss how using the phone has enhanced her practice in film photography and will describe how her phone pictures have evolved over time.

Currently AVCC meetings are being held online. If you are interested in attending this program, contact AVCC at a few days prior to the meeting to request a link to the event. The club’s Zoom room opens at 7pm with a brief business meeting at 7:15pm. Suzanne’s presentation will begin at 7:30pm.

Normally, AVCC meetings are held at the Hudson Senior Center, 29 Church Street. The first meeting of the month generally features a program designed to instruct and/or to entertain camera enthusiasts. During the second monthly meeting, a competition of members’ digital images are judged and critiqued by qualified individuals. Assabet Valley Camera Club,
affiliated with both the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) and the Photographic Society of America (PSA), participates in interclub competitions on regional, national and international levels. AVCC welcomes anyone interested in  learning more about photography as a visual art and its practical application as a science. Members benefit from the hands-on experiences, from the knowledge presented in programs, and from having their work critiqued. For more information, visit
02 latimer chanceofrain encaustic mixedmedia 12x12

New Year, New Work — A Group Exhibit by Artists of 6 Bridges Gallery

MAYNARD: 6 Bridges Gallery is proud to present New Year, New Work, a group exhibit of new works by member and associate member artists. New Year, New Work will be on view at 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main Street, January 6-February 11, 2023.  A reception will be held January 7 from 5-7pm (snow date: February 4). This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

New Year, New Work will include paintings, photography, ceramics, sculpture and jewelry not previously shown in our gallery. Represented artists include: Priscilla Alpaugh, Roy DiTosti, Joyce McJilton Dwyer, Gail Erwin, Mary Morazzi-Henderson, Veronique Latimer, Julie L’Heureux, Sue Kim, Donna Shapleigh, Ernie Stonebraker, Patrick Brennan, Jeanne D’Amico and Natalie MacKnight. For more information, please visit 6Bridges.Gallery, Facebook and Instagram.

Gallery hours: Wednesday through Saturday 10am-5pm.

6 Bridges Gallery was established in 2014 by artists seeking to create a retail and display gallery in the heart of downtown Maynard, Massachusetts. The ever-changing work in our gallery includes a diverse range of media and artistic styles. All our artisans are local; many — including our founding members — are residents of the ArtSpace Maynard studios. Our gallery is owned and operated by our artists, so there is a unique opportunity to meet one or more of them on any given day.
1 fallseasonal

FPC Holiday & Christmas Eve Services

STOW: Continuing its month of special holiday services, First Parish Church of Stow & Acton (FPC), Unitarian Universalist, will hold a Winter Solstice service on December 18 at 10am, and it will hold its traditional Christmas Eve services on December 24 at 4pm and 9pm. All services will be held both in person and online.

On December 18, FPC will forego its traditional “Mummers’ Play,” and instead the children and youth will share a new play, “Winter Wonder: The Solstice.” Scripted by FPC’s minister, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Landrum, the play is about the meaning and beauty of the Solstice. It will feature a small “nod” to the Mumming tradition. Also participating will be Marissa Evans, Acting Director of Religious Education.

FPC’s 4pm Christmas Eve Family Service, geared towards children, will feature interactive moments, stories, and carols, finishing with the traditional candle-lighting and singing of “Silent Night.”  The 9pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, geared towards adults, will feature traditional carols and anthems, paired with readings and the age-old story of the birth of Jesus. Guest musicians will join the FPC Choir and FPC organist/pianist Sanghee Kim as they perform under the direction of FPC Music Director Brad Dumont. An extended prelude of Christmas music will begin at 8:45pm, and this service will also end with the traditional candle-lighting and singing of “Silent Night.”

There will be no service on December 25.

Masks are required in the sanctuary, with the exception of the balcony. To enter the virtual room, go to FPC now has a closed captioning option in online services. If the Closed Captioning option is not turned on, you can use the button at the bottom of your screen to request that the host turn it on. To prevent disruptive intrusions, the virtual room will be locked about 15 minutes after the service begins.

FPC warmly welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Its facilities are wheelchair accessible. For more information, call (978) 897-8149 or visit The church is located at 353 Great Road, at the corner of routes 117 and 62.

Household Goods Seeks Volunteers

ACTON: Household Goods (530 Main Street) has many volunteer shifts but especially needs help on Saturdays. Volunteering on Saturdays is also a terrific way to spend some time with your teenage children, or with your spouse/ partner, or with a group of friends who want to make a difference in the lives of others. Start by registering for a New Volunteer Orientation. The next on-site orientation is January 2 at 10am, with remote orientations held via zoom scheduled for December 20 and January 17 at 7pm. You’ll take a tour and learn about different volunteer opportunities. To register, visit
Peer mentor and principal

Parker School Opens 2023-24 Enrollment Season

DEVENS: Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School announced the enrollment season for the 2023-2024 academic year is now open. Parker is a free public charter school open by lottery to students entering grades 7, 8 and 9. Applications can be submitted online at until February 1, 2023. The lottery will be held on February 7, 2023 at 4pm. All application, lottery, and enrollment regulations, as outlined in the enrollment policy will be followed.

In addition, Parker has limited openings in grades 7 and 9 for mid-year entry during the current (2022-23) school year. There are no openings in grade 8 for the 2022-23 school year at this time. Applications for the current school year can be submitted online and will be accepted until January 4, 2023. If more applications are received than there are available spaces, a lottery will be drawn on January 12, 2023 at 4pm. Enrollment offers will be made with an intended start date of the first day of second semester (January 24, 2023).

Parker Charter School educates 400 students in grades 7-12 from more than 40 towns in Massachusetts. Founded in 1995, Parker is committed to the principles of progressive education—inclusive community, low student-teacher ratio, project-based learning, and promotion based on mastery of core intellectual skills. Learn more at Sign up for an information session at

Acton Boy Scout Holiday Tree Pick Up Fundraiser

ACTON: Acton BSA Troops 1 and Troop 284 are teaming up once again to pick up and dispose of your Holiday Trees from both Acton and Boxborough residents on January 7 & 14, 2023.  100% of your suggested donation of $20 will be used to support Acton Scouting activities including the upkeep of camping gear, camping trips, hiking activities, camp, merit badge workshops, high-adventure trips, Courts of Honor and much more.  These hardworking scouts are an active part of the Acton/Boxborough community.  Acton and Boxborough residents interested in a contactless tree pick up may visit for more sign-up information.  Payment can be made by check (Checks can be written out to Troop 284 Acton) or Cash can be easily affixed to your tree, or you can use Paypal (even if you do not have an account).  No computer to sign up, no problem!  Just give a call to (978) 795-4152 and leave a message.

MathWorks provides significant support for Traveling Science Workshops for the 13th Year

ACTON: Discovery Museum announced a 30-year milestone for its in-school STEM program, Traveling Science Workshops, having delivered hands-on science to more than half a million PreK-8th grade students from hundreds of communities throughout Massachusetts since the program began in 1992.

Traveling Science Workshops (TSW) are state curriculum-aligned, small group, in-classroom workshops that use simple, everyday materials and a hands-on approach to allow students to be scientists: exploring, observing, asking questions, and sharing discoveries. Museum educators deliver twenty-three STEM topics, including Sound, Weather & Climate, Physical Changes of Matter, and Force & Motion, to give elementary and middle school students direct experience with how things work in the physical world.

MathWorks has partnered with the Museum since 2010 to bring TSW to school classrooms, supporting program growth as well as the development of virtual workshops and distance learning resources for teachers during the pandemic. TSW is on pace to serve more than 42,000 students this school year, outpacing pre-pandemic numbers.

“With so much time spent on screens and using electronic devices—where the inner workings are difficult to see—kids have little direct experience experimenting with how things physically work. They are less and less familiar with using their hands to build, construct, solve problems,” said CEO Neil Gordon. “Thanks to the continued and impactful support of MathWorks, we continue to reach more kids to spark their interest in science and build confidence in their own abilities as problem-solvers.”

“Discovery Museum’s Traveling Science Workshops help kids understand that their worlds are filled with opportunities to observe and do science and that in fact they already are scientists—and that’s exciting,” said Kevin Lorenc, director of corporate communications at MathWorks. “Our long-running partnership with Discovery Museum is due to our firm belief that engaging kids early with STEM can broaden their interests and open up a world of possibilities around science and engineering that they may not experience otherwise.”

Discovery Museum is celebrating TSW’s 30th anniversary and thanking schools that have hosted the program for 10+ years with special discounts and STEM prizes, as well as offering referral discounts for all schools.

“Discovery Museum has made such a difference in the lives of my students over many years,” said Laura Adams, second grade teacher at Quinsigamond Elementary School in Worcester, MA, which has received subsidized school programs from Discovery Museum since 2013. “The students are so engaged and excited, and proud of themselves for applying what they observe and learn to the task at hand. And, [TSW] connects kids as they work together—even if they speak different languages. We teachers watch their faces light up and their minds bursting with ideas, and we know the program has made a real difference for our students.”

In its first year, TSW offered three topics and served 1,200 students in Acton, Maynard and Marlborough.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: What to Know about Sustainable Investing

December 6, 2022
You may have heard about “sustainable investing.”  But if you're not familiar with it, you may have some questions: What does it involve? Is it right for me? Can I follow a sustainable investing strategy and still get the portfolio performance I need to reach my goals?

Sustainable investing can be defined in different ways, with different terminologies. However, one way to look at a sustainable approach is by thinking of it as investing in a socially conscious way which may involve two broad categories: environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and values-based investing.

As its name suggests, ESG investing incorporates a broad range of environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities, along with traditional financial measures, when making investment decisions. This approach may have a neutral impact on performance because it maintains a focus on managing risk, traditional fundamental analysis and diversification. Here's a quick look at the ESG elements:

    • Environmental – Companies  may work to reduce carbon emissions, invest in renewable energy, decrease pollution and conserve water resources.
    • Social – A business  may promote gender and pay equality within its workforce, and maintain positive labor relations and safe working conditions for employees.
    • Governance – Companies distinguished by good governance may institute strong ethics policies, provide transparent financial reporting and set policies to ensure it has an independent, objective board of directors.

You can pursue an ESG investing approach through individual stocks, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which hold a variety of investments similar to mutual funds, but are generally passively managed – that is, they do little or no trading. As an ESG investor, you don't necessarily have to sacrifice performance because ESG investments generally fare about as well as the wider investment universe. Some investments may even gain from the ESG approach. For example, a company that invests in renewable energy may benefit from the move away from fossil fuel sources.

Now, let's move on to values-based investing. When you follow a values-based approach, you can focus on specific themes where you may choose to include or exclude certain types of investments that align with your personal values.

So, you could refrain from investing in segments of the market, such as tobacco or firearms, or in companies that engage in certain business practices, such as animal testing. On the other hand, you could actively seek out investments that align with your values. For instance, if you’re interested in climate change, you could invest in a mutual fund or ETF that contains companies in the solar or clean energy industries.

One potential limitation of values-based investing is that it may decrease the diversification of your portfolio and lead to materially lower returns due to narrowly focused investments, prioritization of non-financial goals and too many exclusions.

Ultimately, if you choose to include a sustainable investing approach, you will want – as you do in any investing scenario – to choose those investments that are suitable for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon.

If sustainable investing interests you, give it some thought – you may find it rewarding to match your money with your beliefs.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Mandy Calouro, Chelmsford, MA. - Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Boxborough Minutemen Christmas Tree Pickup January 7, 2023

BOXBOROUGH: The Boxborough Minutemen, with help from the Boxborough DPW, will be collecting and chipping Christmas trees from Boxborough residents this year on  January 7, 2023.  In late December, look for the sign up forms on the Boxborough Minuteman  website at  Hard copy forms will also be available around the same time at the Town Hall if you prefer to use mail.  The cost for pickup is $15; deadline for all payments is  January 3rd. If you prefer not to sign up for tree pickup, you can also deliver your tree for disposal to the “old” Boxborough DPW facility located at 577 Mass Ave (Rte. 111) on January 7 between 10am and 2pm. A disposal fee of $10 will be collected on site when you drop off your tree. For questions, email

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

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

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

The community concert band is a non-professional musical ensemble comprised of musicians from Maynard and its’ surrounding communities who demonstrate strong interests in playing music in a purposeful but non-stressful atmosphere.
For those unable to attend or wanting to view the concert from home, it will be LIVE streamed on Facebook or Youtube
280660889 3111347932418958 4533117763389609110 n

Supporting Someone with a Mental Health Condition?

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

Santa Claus is Coming to Acton December 10

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

* Santa’s Itinerary *

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

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

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Protect Financial Accounts From “Cyberthieves”

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

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

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Preston Carbone, Westford, MA  -, Edward Jones, Member SIPC

56th Annual Maynard Holiday Parade

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

Friends of Maynard Seniors Community Bag Sale

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

Family-to-Family Gift Bag Drive Returns to Open Table
An opportunity to give back to our community and brighten the holiday season

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign up to make a gift bag at:

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Time for New Year’s Financial Resolutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor James Normington, AAMS, Westford, MA - Edward Jones, Member SIPC
Img 0519

Concord Conservatory Teaches Ukulele at the Boys and Girls Club

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

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

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

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

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

Acton Lions Club Returns with Annual Christmas Tree Sale

ACTON: As they have for many years, the Acton Lions Club will be selling Christmas Trees and Wreaths, starting November 26 at the Acton Ace Hardware parking lot, 222 Main Street. Balsam Fir trees will be $60, and wreaths will be $30. There will be Lions available on site on Fridays from 4-6pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-6pm.. If the lot is unstaffed folks can select their own tree and drop a payment off in the drop box inside Acton Ace Hardware. This is one of their major fundraisers, and they rely upon the public to support their charitable work. All proceeds after expenses are donated to international, national, and local charities.
Img 0519

Concord Conservatory Teaches Ukulele at the Boys and Girls Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Singularity Concert Series: A Unique, Unscripted Musical Improvisation

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

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

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

Tickets are $12 in advance / $15 at the door. Doors open at 7pm. There is a Full bar and you can order dinner in one of Maynard’s many fine restaurants and bring it with you. You can get your tickets and read the incredible bios on each of these musicians on the ticket page at

Boxborough Author "Looked to the Sky"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit and follow the show on  YouTubeFacebook,Twitter and Instagram.
Bill cohn  refugee  ceramic and rock

Artists' Holiday Shop at ArtSpace Maynard

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

Experience Christmas at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church with “O Holy Night: A Thrill of Hope!”

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

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

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

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

FINANCIAL FOCUS: When Should You Adjust Your Investment Mix?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friends of Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Mark 20th Anniversary

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

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

2022 Merrie Christmas Fair at UCCB

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

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

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

Rain Barrel Pre-Purchase & Distribution Program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FINANCIAL FOCUS: COLA is Sweet for Social Security Recipients

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boxborough To Host Meet and Greet for New Town Administrator

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

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

Ms. Jennifer Campbell, Chair of the Select Board said, “The selection of Mr. Johns was unanimous based upon not only his education and recent work history in Foxborough but his prior volunteer service on his Town’s Finance and Economic Development Commission, and his private sector experience.” She went on to say, “We hope all who can will come to this event at some point during the time we have set aside.”
Untitled 1

Donate a Thanksgiving Dinner Basket to a Maynard Food Pantry Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Alan Bell, AAMS ® - (978) 486-1059. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
Fb66f227 c342 4b89 958e 43739909cc5e

Acton Garden Club Honors Winners of “Acton’s Looking Good” Contest

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

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

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

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

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

Concord Piecemakers Quilt Guild Host Quilt Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club Halloween Game Night & Potluck!

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

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

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

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

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

October 17, 2022

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

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

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Mandy Calouro, Chelmsford, MA  -, Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Scarecrow Contest in Acton

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

LWV Hosts Candidates Forum

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

Acton Woman's Club Pie Sale!

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