Three Acton Firefighters Graduate from Massachusetts Firefighting Academy's Career Recruit Program

ACTON: Chief Robert Hart and the Acton Fire Department are pleased to announce that three Acton firefighters graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s Career Recruit Program. Firefighter/ Paramedic's Cote Kilbride and Justin Mercuio, and Susan Lombard were among 23 firefighters who graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy's Career Recruit Program Class 309. Firefighter/Paramedic Lombard joined Acton Fire in April 2022, Firefighter/ Paramedic Kilbride joined in May 2022, and Firefighter/Paramedic Mercuio joined in August 2021.

The 10-week program prepares firefighters for basic firefighting, including search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply, pump operation, fire attack and life safety lessons, as well as non-fire responses and hazardous material response.

I would like to congratulate our members for their completion of the Career Recruit Program,” said Chief Hart. “Our members are dedicated individuals, and I would like to wish Firefighter/Paramedic Lombard, Firefighter Kilbride and Firefighter Mercuio the best of luck in this next chapter of their careers.”

At the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, firefighter recruits learn a wide range of skills in an intensive 10-week program. Certified and more experienced firefighters lead classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firefighter skills training and firefighting practice. Students are given training in public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management, confined space rescue techniques and rappelling. Upon successful completion of the Recruit Program, all students have met national standards of National Fire Protection Association 1001.

PHOTO: (From left) Firefighter/Paramedics Susan Lombard, Cote Kilbride and Justin Mercuio.

The Boxborough Finance Committee Completes Work on the Fiscal Year 2024 Operating Budget

Boxborough original
BOXBOROUGH: The Boxborough Finance Committee has completed its work on the Fiscal Year 2024 operating budget to be presented at Annual Town Meeting which starts at 7pm on May 8 at Blanchard School. Boxborough registered voters who attend Annual Town Meeting vote on the budget.

This year’s budget represents an increase of 4.8%.  Education, including the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District assessment and vocational technical education, accounts for 55% of the annual budget.  The remaining 45% of the budget funds Town Government, including Police, Fire, Town Hall, the Department of Public Works and the Library.  The non-education portion of the budget also funds employee and pension benefits, debt service, insurance and the reserve fund.  

Maria Neyland, Chair of the Finance Committee said, “This year’s budget ensures fairness to taxpayers and meets the needs of the town without sacrificing essential services.”

At the recommendation of Michael Johns, Town Administrator, the Finance Committee agreed to reorganize and streamline several smaller budgets.  Utilities, maintenance, landscaping, and Steele Farm were moved into a single budget.  The only exception was Hager Well, which serves Blanchard School, a part of the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District.   

Neyland said, “The budget process was efficient and seamless, thanks in large part to a strong working relationship with the Town Administrator.”     

The Finance Committee meets every Tuesday during the budgeting season leading up to the Annual Town Meeting.  All members of the public are encouraged to attend FinCom meetings.  Agendas are posted on the Town’s website. Agenda Center • Boxborough, MA • CivicEngage (boxborough-ma.gov).

Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley Awards Scholarships to Local Students for Upcoming (RYLA) Conference in June

The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley announced that it has awarded scholarships to this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Conference to be held in June. The lucky scholarship winners are Nevaeh Duplessis, Vincenzo Porfino, Riley Dinjian and Madison Oxnard.

Robert Johnson, local Committee Chairperson, said that the chosen students will be among the more than 150 Massachusetts high school sophomores who will attend the RYLA Conference. Aimed at developing the leadership potential of young men and women, the conference will feature many thought-provoking events including interactive Leadership Labs, exciting guest speakers, and challenging mental and physical activities that will provide the participants with a chance to excel amongst and with their peers. Topics will include decision-making, critical thinking, communicating effectively, ethics, and public service. To be chosen, the candidates needed to qualify by showing leadership potential and good citizenship characteristics and showing a strong desire to attend and benefit from the conference. Additionally, in their individual interviews, they needed to stand out from the other applicants.

Congratulations from the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley to this year’s scholarship winners and their families! Anyone interested in obtaining further information should visit www.ryla7910.org or contact
Robert Johnson at johnson@itesafety.com, (978) 875-3143 or any other member of the Nashoba Valley Rotary Club.
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Open Table Benefits from Local Rotarians' Grant Funding & Donation Drive

Open Table is benefitting from local Rotarians’ grant funding and donation drive. The Maynard-based charity is dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities in 21 local communities, including Acton, Boxborough, Concord, and Maynard. Open Table’s mission is to end hunger by providing healthy food in ways that respect the dignity and diversity of the people it serves.

"We are so grateful for this partnership with the Rotary Club of Concord and the Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough," states Alexandra DePalo, executive director of Open Table. "Many of the individuals and families we serve need the personal-care items that these clubs will collect. This initiative will have a major positive impact on so many members of our community."

The Concord and Acton-Boxborough clubs have partnered to provide a total of $5,000 in Rotary grant funding to Open Table. The two clubs are also conducting a donation drive to provide Open Table with personal-care items are not covered by the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as SNAP.  They are seeking donations from the general public of the following five sets of personal-care items:

- Diapers: Sizes 3, 4, 5, and 6. Each month, Open Table needs 260 each of these sizes. The largest box of any brand in those sizes will be great because Open Table needs two (2) boxes of each size per month.
- Baby Wipes – Standard Size: 24 to 36 packets per month.
- Laundry Detergent and Dish Soap: 400 units per month.
- Toothpaste and Shampoo: 400 units per month.

Here, alphabetically, are Concord’s and Maynard’s nine donation-bin locations:

- Action Unlimited, 100 Domino Dr., Concord
- Coldwell Banker, 11 Main Street, Concord
- Concord Teacakes, 59 Commonwealth Ave., Concord
- Frame-ables, 111 Thoreau St., Concord
- Keller Williams Realty Boston Northwest, 200 Baker Ave. Suite 205, Concord
- Middlesex Bank, 64 Main St., Concord
- Minute Man Arc Early Intervention, 1269 Main St., Concord
- Spirits Liquor Store, Maynard Crossing, 4 Digital Way, Suite 3,  Maynard (next to
Market Basket)
- The Thoreau Club, 275 Forest Ridge Rd., Concord

And here, alphabetically, are Acton’s and Boxborough’s seven donation-bin locations:

- Boxborough Liquors & Convenience, 1233 Massachusetts Ave., Boxborough
- Citizens Bank, Gould’s Plaza, 270 Great Rd., Acton
- Donelan's Supermarket, Gould’s Plaza, 248 Great Rd., Acton
- Extra Steps Pediatric Therapies, 222 Main St., Acton
- Gould’s Clothing, Gould's Plaza, 260 Great Rd., Acton
- Roche Brothers Supermarket, 387 Massachusetts Ave., Acton
- Stop & Shop Supermarket, Powder Mill Plaza, 100 Powder Mill Rd., Acton

Members of both the Rotary Club of Concord and the Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough are "People of Action" in "Service above Self" - both locally and worldwide. To learn more, visit RotaryClubOfConcord.org and ActonBoxboroughRotary.org. For additional information, contact Acton-Boxborough President Steve Jones-D'Agostino at either abrotaryclub@gmail.com or email the Concord at info@rotaryclubofconcord.org.

Boxborough Elections

BOXBOROUGH: Have you ever thought about running for a Town elected office? If so, check out the Boxborough Town Clerk and the League of Women Voters – Acton Area websites. Everything you need to participate in local elections as a voter or as a candidate is there. The League website features videos with advice from former candidates and candidate checklists. Explore the links below to learn about open positions in Boxborough and key dates for voter registration, elections and Town Meeting. Boxborough has vacancies for skilled and engaged citizens like you!

Deadline for pulling nomination papers: March 24, 2023
Last day to submit nomination papers: March 28, 2023
Open Positions (Position, # pos, Term)

Select Board, 2, 3-year term
Select Board, 1, 1-year term
School Committee, 2, 3-year term
Planning Board, 2, 3-year term
Library Trustees, 2, 3-year term
Board of Health, 1, 3-year term
Constable, 0, 3-year term
Town Moderator, 1, 1-year term
Town Clerk, 0, 3-year term

League of Women Voters Election Resources: https://bit.ly/LWV-ActonArea

Boxborough Website: https://bit.ly/boxboroughelections

“Boxborough Bill” Celebration Held

BOXBOROUGH: About 80 people gathered recently at Boxborough’s Sargent Memorial Library, to celebrate passage of the “Boxborough Bill,” legislation allowing the town to qualify as a Green Community. Boxborough Sustainability Committee Chair Francie Nolde welcomed everyone to the event and thanked State Sen. Jamie Eldridge and State Rep. Dan Sena for initiating and supporting the bill, which Governor Charlie Baker signed last October.

Nolde explained that the bill, which Sen. Eldridge dubbed the “Boxborough Bill,” now allows the town to vote at annual town meeting, May 8-11, to qualify to apply for grants to improve energy conservation in town buildings and vehicles. Voters will be asked if they will accept an annual electric surcharge of an average of $5.04 per household to add to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center which joins other state funds to pay for the program. Residents may ask questions about the article and the next steps the town must take to becoming a Green Community at an open, virtual forum on April 11 at 7pm. The Sustainability Committee will provide a Zoom link and details soon.

Nolde added, “We have already met three of five criteria needed to join 290 of the state’s 351 municipalities as Green Communities. Upon meeting those criteria, we will receive an estimated $130,000 to improve energy efficiency.” She also asked citizens to go to EnergizeBoxborough.org to “find many opportunities to improve your carbon footprint.”

Sen. Eldridge thanked the Sustainability Committee, and all Boxborough people working to improve energy efficiency, for “coming together” to encourage Rep. Sena and Sen. Eldridge to create a bill making it possible for towns like Boxborough, to become Green. He explained that because Boxborough is served exclusively by a municipal (consumer financed) light company, with not even one home connected to a public (investor owned) electric company, the town could not apply for state grants. The “Boxborough Bill” removed that restriction, and Sen. Eldridge emphasized that the bipartisan support for the bill on Beacon Hill proved “we can accomplish much by working together.”

Rep. Sena thanked the Sustainability Committee and everyone present for contributing to the effort. He said, “Boxborough is leading in many ways to fight climate change.” 

Attending the event to talk with residents were Peishan Bartley, Sargent Library Director; Bryon Clemence, Water Resources Committee; Kate Davies, Sustainability Committee; Heather Fleming, FreeBee Market co-founder; Rita Grossman, Boxborough Conservation Trust President; Marjorie Kamp, 2040 Book Club founder; Liz Markiewicz, Conservation Commission Chair; and Rebecca Verner, Planning Board. Francie Nolde expressed gratitude to Energy New England’s chief strategy officer, Vin Ragucci, and Littleton Electric Light Company general manager Nick Lawler and his team for their work on the Boxborough Bill. 

Because he could not attend the celebration, Ragucci wrote, “Thanks to the effort of Sen. Eldridge and Rep. Sena, the bill made its way from three separate bills … to a final bill … signed by Gov. Baker. This is a huge accomplishment and shows that with teamwork, we can make just about anything happen!”

Nolde also thanked library director Bartley “for opening Sargent Library for us on a night when it is usually closed.”  Boxborough Fire Police Chief Paul Fillebrown estimated the attendance at 80 and expressed enthusiasm for the size and the “glow” of the gathering.

Help Maynard Tree Corps Purchase & Plant Trees Downtown

MAYNARD: On March 18 at 3pm in Maynard Fine Arts Theatre, 19 Summer Street, have fun and help beautify Maynard's downtown. Join Steve and Lizza Smith of Keller Williams Realty in support of Maynard Tree Corps to view the inspirational movie Kiss the Ground. Admission to the movie is free and donations are gratefully accepted (but not required) for the Maynard Tree Corps to purchase and plant native trees in Maynard's beautiful downtown. The more donations we collect, the more trees we will plant. Register for your free tickets on Eventbrite.
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Maynard Community Information Fair

MAYNARD: The Maynard Library and the Friends of the Library will be hosting a Community Information Fair on March 18 from 10:30 to noon at the library. Representatives from more than 35 organizations and town committees will be on hand to talk about their work, services and special events. Newcomers to town, newly retired people, empty-nesters with more time on their hands or anyone wanting to get more involved post-pandemic can learn about membership and volunteer opportunities. People can also learn about how to stay informed about community events and activities. The participating groups’ missions cover a range of issues including children and education, seniors, environment and gardening, community, food and food insecurity, health, local history, culture and arts, sustainability, civics, tax and legal issues, housing, scouting and pets. The list of participating groups can be found at www.maynardpubliclibrary.org/community-info. The Maynard Library is located at 77 Nason Street. Additional parking is at the town lot on Summer Street.
Dave barnett in dell

BCTrust Annual Meeting: Conservation & Stewardship at Mount Auburn Cemetery

BOXBOROUGH: You may have seen marathoner Dave Barnett out running the streets of Boxborough, but now you can find out what else he’s been up to for nearly three decades before recently retiring. Boxborough Conservation Trust is excited to announce that new Board Member, and long-time Boxborough resident, Dave Barnett will be the speaker at BCT’s Annual Meeting on March 21 at 7pm at the Sargent Memorial Library. All are welcome to join this free event, the first of several that will celebrate BCTrust’s 25th Anniversary this year!

As President & CEO Emeritus, Dave Barnett spent 28 years at Mount Auburn leading a transition to more ecologically friendly landscape design and maintenance practices on this 175-acre site in Cambridge/Watertown. A primary focus of Dave’s presentation will be the restoration of a four-acre portion of the cemetery to the New England woodland that was eloquently described at the founding of Mount Auburn in 1831. Phased over 25 years, this project included the removal of Norway maples and other invasive species and the planting of several thousand plants native to New England, comprising 120 species of trees, shrubs and woodland groundcovers. With a vernal pool in the center of this woodland, preserving the habitat for the significant population of Spotted salamanders was a key focus. The project also included the successful re-introduction of American toads, Gray tree frogs and Spring peepers – which had all disappeared from Mount Auburn due to past “cemetery maintenance” practices.

Dave will also share examples of other smaller-scale projects, ranging from a butterfly/pollinator garden to the replacement of turf with native species of groundcovers to the planting of bird-attracting trees and shrubs. Images from Dave’s own property in Boxborough will attempt to reiterate what last year’s annual meeting speaker, Doug Tallamy, told us about how all of us individually can “bring nature home” and make a difference in making the earth more resilient and wildlife friendly.
Easter egg basket

Egg Your House - Relay for Life Fundraiser

MAYNARD: Maynard Relay for Life team, the Lady Bugs, will be having their annual fundraiser, Egg your House!  Take the pressure off, and order 50 toy filled eggs for $30.  They will be brought to your house the night before Easter - April 8 - and scattered in your front yard (not hidden).  You can also order them as a surprise for a neighbor, friend, relative, etc!  You must order them by March 18.  Please send your orders to kim.lalli@comcast.net, or give to any other Lady Bug teammate. Checks can be made out to Kim Lalli or Venmo, details will be given at the time of the order.  Help us raise money for the American Cancer Society and help more people have more birthdays!

The Relay for Life event will be taking place from June 2 at 6pm until 11pm at Alumni Field in Maynard.  They're looking for new teams for this fun event for a great cause!  Find more information at relayforlife.org/maynardma.

Acton Womens Club to Host OpenTable's New Director Alexandra DePalo

Open table volunteers
ACTON: On March 8, the speaker at the Acton Woman's Club will be Alexandra DePalo, new director of Open Table.  She will describe Open Table's role in serving the population of many cities and towns, including Acton. Its mission is to end hunger in our local communities by providing healthy food in ways that respect the dignity and diversity of those served.  Their pantry operates as an open-air drive-thru service in Maynard's municipal parking lot. Volunteers bring pre-packed bags of groceries to cars. See Open Table's website for the many other services they provide: www.opentable.org/guest-programs .  For information about the Acton Woman's Club, visit theactonwomansclub.org.

Town of Acton to Launch Acton Emergency Assistance Program

ACTON: Acton Town Manager John Mangiaratti and Community Services Coordinator Laura Ducharme are pleased to announce the launch of the Acton Emergency Assistance Program. With this program, Acton households with short-term financial assistance for emergency needs are able to use grant funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The program is also developed to provide emergency assistance for rent, mortgage, utilities, and childcare. Grants will total up to $1,000 in a 12-month period.

To be eligible, an applicant's gross household income must fall below ARPA income eligibility guidelines for low- and moderate-income households.

“We are pleased to offer this program to Acton residents in need or who face an unexpected emergency, and encourage residents to apply," Town Manager Mangiaratti said.

Seeing that this program has a rolling timeframe, assistance will be provided on a first-come. first-served basis. The Town reserves the right to alter that basis for exigent circumstances. When approved, the funds will be paid directly to the vendor -- for example, a landlord, utility company, etc. -- and not the applicant.

The application form may be found here.

For more information, or assistance in applying for a grant, please contact the Community Services Office at 978-929-6651 or lducharme@acton-ma.gov.

Concord Conservatory Presents Grammy-Award Winners The Okee Dokee Brothers

CONCORD/ACTON: Connect your kids to nature through music on April 1 at 2pm when Concord Conservatory presents the Grammy Award-winning Okee Dokee Brothers for one show only, bringing their new album "Brambletown" and all their fan-favorite songs for singing and dancing. The inspirational, infectious musical duo will perform at the Acton-Boxborough High School.

The Okee Dokee Brothers draw creativity from their incredible extensive outdoor experiences. With humor and heartfelt connections to nature, their songs teach and entertain audiences of all ages. The Minnesota Parent Magazine says, "The Okee Dokee Brothers are an absolute national treasure. These songs are just what the world needs right now." If you want to introduce your kids to great music with lyrics that embrace adventure and finding happiness, look no further than The Okee Dokee Brothers.

As childhood friends growing up in Colorado, Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing were always exploring the outdoors. Whether it was rafting down their neighborhood creek or discovering hiking trails through the Rocky Mountains, Joe and Justin were born adventurers, bringing their passion for the outdoors at the heart of their down-home and lively Americana Folk music. They have created their own unique sound with a touch of bluegrass, old-time, and folk.

Purchase $25 General Admission tickets in advance from ConcordConservatory.org or at the door (if not sold out). Email info@concordconservatory.org or call (978) 369-0010 to learn more about CCM.

Imago Dei 5-week Lenten Spiritual Practice in the style of Lectio Divina

ACTON: The Imago Dei is a five-week small group spiritual practice in the style of Lectio Divina. The group, being held March 1-29 from 7-8:30pm, will be led by Pastor Jinwoo at St. Matthew's UMC, 435 Central Street, in the Library. This form of spiritual practice is built upon prayerful listening to the Holy Spirit and to each other. In this spiritual practice, share with one another the image of God, celebrating diversity, equity, and inclusion. During the practice, look for the same image of God displayed in the Bible passages with the hope that the use of this model might facilitate the ability to live in the image of God and to perceive that same sacred image in others. Reach out to pastor@saint-matthews.org with any questions.

AB Skate Hosts FUNdraiser

BOXBOROUGH: AB Skate's Community Skate FUNdraiser is back on the ICE for 2023! Join in the fun on March 5 from 2pm-4pm at Nashoba Valley Olympia Rink (rink #3) Route 111. Suggested donation: $20/family, $5/pp.  All are welcome - skaters and non-skating supporters. NEW this year, teen volunteers from the Colonial Figure Skating Club will be on hand to help guide new skaters! Skate rentals are available.

This event supports local area food pantries, local STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math) activities, community wellness and eco causes. This year a special donation will be made toward the building & furnishing of a house in Acton for a local disabled veteran project ComeHometoActon.org

Wear YELLOW to Celebrate the Kindness of Carrol Spinney (Acton High Class of 1951) aka ‘Big Bird’. Please bring non-perishable items for the Acton food pantry and small size personal or household items for local families.

ALL proceeds donated thanks to generous donation of ice time by Nashoba Valley Olympia and support from many local community & businesses supporters. For more information, visit www.actonpip.org, or email karen@marketdynamics.info or patty@colonialfsc.com.
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Acton Garden Club’s March Meeting

ACTON: The Acton Garden Club’s next meeting will take place on March 7 in Room 204 of the Acton Town Hall with a program at 10:15 titled ”Vernal Pools” presented by Scott Smyers. During his presentation, Smyers will teach us about vernal pools, their inhabitants and their
importance in the landscape.

Scott Smyers is Vice President and Senior Scientist of Oxbow Associates, a wetlands and wildlife consulting company specializing in rare amphibian and reptile study and mitigation. He has studied the behavior and ecology of amphibian and reptile species native to the Eastern United States for more than twenty years. His research interests are broad, but include life history plasticity and population biology of amphibians, ecology of freshwater turtles, ecology of snakes and the functional ecology of larval caddisflies in ephemeral ponds.

Since this is a hybrid meeting if anyone would prefer to join via ZOOM, please visit the club’s website at www.actongardenclub.org and leave a message for the webmaster. You will be
contacted with the information needed to log into the meeting.

Town Election Season is Here!

ACTON: Acton’s Town website and the League of Women Voters - Acton Area have everything you need to participate in local elections as a voter or as a candidate. The League of Women Voters - Acton Area has resources to help you get started as a candidate including videos with advice from former candidates and candidate checklists for member towns. What to consider when you decide to run?  Explore the links below to learn about open positions in Acton and key dates for voter registration, elections, and Town Meeting. Acton has vacancies to fill this spring with skilled and engaged citizens like you!

Deadline for pulling nomination papers March 3, 2023
Last day to submit nomination papers March 7, 2023
Open Positions (Position, # pos, Term)

Town Moderator, 1, 1-year term
Select Board, 2, 3-year term
School Committee, 3, 3-year term
Library Trustee, 1, 1-year term
Library Trustee, 1, 3-year term
Water District Commissioner, 1, 3-year term
Water District Clerk, 1, 3-year term

League of Women Voters Election Resources: https://bit.ly/LWV-ActonArea

Acton Website: Town Clerk | Acton, MA - Official Website: acton-ma.gov
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Maynard CoA Hosts “Common MassHealth and Asset Protection Planning Mistakes”

MAYNARD: Maynard Council on Aging Elder Law Series, provided by Generations Law Group, presents “Common MassHealth and Asset Protection Planning Mistakes,” February 28, 7pm at Maynard Public Library, 77 Nason Street. The most common mistakes made prior to applying for MassHealth are usually in areas such as bank account management, transferring ownership of assets of value, and estate planning (or lack thereof). In this informative webinar, discuss what not to do if you or a loved one may need to apply for MassHealth in the future. Please contact the Maynard Council on Aging at (978) 897-1009 if you have any questions.

ACT Presents "Eyes on Owls" at Annual Meeting

ACTON: Acton Conservation Trust presents "Eyes on Owls" at their Annual Meeting on March 12 at Acton Town Hall, Room 204, or you may attend virtually. 
1pm - Business Meeting
1:20pm - Presentation of Carol Holley Conservation Award to Tom Tidman, retired Natural Resources Director
1:30-2:45pm - Guest Speakers Marcia & Mark Wilson of Eyes on Owls
"Eyes on Owls" introduces you to the owls of New England and beyond. Mark and Marcia Wilson share the field marks, signs and naturalist's skills that you can use to find wild owls without disturbing them. You will meet live owls up close. Everyone participates in a hooting lesson and learns tips on how to attract and protect owls near you. This program is appropriate for families with children aged 5 and older.
Tom Tidman's contributions to conservation in Acton are well known (think Arboretum and NARA Park).  Less known are his key contributions to the rebirth of both land preservation in Acton and Acton Conservation Trust.
More information and registration is online at ActonConservationTrust.org. 

Free English Language Courses Offered by Great Road Church

ACTON: Starting the first week in March, Great Road Church is offering three free English Language courses to the community. These include an in-person beginners English course on Wednesday evenings, an online upper beginner English course on Tuesday evenings, and the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a conversation partner to practice and develop English speaking skills. The courses will run for 8 weeks through March and April. For a full description of courses and to register, visit greatroadchurch.org/ell or email Erica at ell@greatroadchurch.org. The church is located at 255 Great Road.

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

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

* Hailey Martinez of Acton (01720), who studies Liberal Arts - Early Childhood Education.
* Elizabeth Alonzo of Acton (01720), who studies Cyber Security.
* Holly Lascko of Acton (01720), who studies General Studies.
* Frank Abbott of Acton (01720), who studies Biotechnology.
* Nell Larkin of Concord (01742), who studies International Business.
* Mildred Denisse Woodman of Concord (01742), who studies General Studies.

To be eligible for the MassBay Dean's List, students must complete at least six credits of college-level courses, be in good standing with the College, and earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

Local Chefs Take Center Kitchen for Open Table’s Chopped for Charity Gala

CONCORD/MAYNARD: Open Table, the MetroWest charity dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities, announced that acclaimed local chefs Ben Elliot of Concord’s Salt Box Kitchen, Matt Kenah of Acton-based WECO Hospitality, and Kelcy Scolnick of Winchester’s Wright-Locke Farm will compete at this year’s Chopped for Charity gala with television and radio personality Chef Joe Gatto as the Master of Ceremonies. Celebrity judges include Tiziana Dearing of WBUR Radio, Andy Husbands of The Smoke Shop BBQ, and Peter Malloy of Nashawtuc Country Club.

“The highlight of the evening is the fast-paced competition between the three chefs before an expert panel of judges,” said Norma Frye, Open Table BOD member and Chopped for Charity  Co-Chair. “The event will benefit Open Table’s mission to address hunger in our local community by offering a wide variety of healthy and culturally appropriate food choices in our pantry and meal programs.”

Chefs competing in the Chopped for Charity challenge:
  • Chef Ben Elliot – As chef, farmer, and owner of Concord’s Saltbox Farm, Saltbox Kitchen and Saltbox Catering, Ben oversees all elements of the farm-to-table journey – playing an active daily role in planting, harvesting, preparing and serving his cuisine. Prior to Saltbox Kitchen, Ben's 20-year career includes time spent at La Folie and the Fifth Floor under Chef Laurant Gras in San Francisco and Locke-Ober in Boston. More recently, he worked with chef Barbara Lynch in Boston as Chef de Cuisine at No.9 Park, opening Lynch’s demonstration kitchen Stir, and launching Lynch’s catering company 9 at Home as Chef de Cuisine.
  • Chef Matt Kenah – Matt Kenah is the Director of Culinary at Acton-based food delivery service WECO Hospitality. He leads the culinary teams in multiple kitchens and heads the test kitchen team in trying new dishes for WECO’s weekly menus. Starting as a dishwasher and moving up in the kitchen from line cook to head chef, Kenah worked in restaurants all over New England, becoming a key player at WECO when the meal delivery service began in 2020.     
  • Chef Kelcy Scolnick – Chef Kelcy is a Lowell-based chef and educator focusing on eating with the seasons and supporting her local community through private cooking classes and dinner parties. She is also the Farm Chef at Wright-Locke Farm in Winchester, MA, where she runs a variety of educational programming for people of all ages and creates delicious farm-to-table food experiences.

Experts seated at the Chopped for Charity judges’ table include:
  • Tiziana Dearing, host of Radio Boston on WBUR, has been a commentator and contributor to WBUR for more than a decade. Prior to joining the Radio Boston team, Tiziana was a professor at Boston College in the School of Social Work, where she taught social innovation and leadership. A longtime anti-poverty advocate, Tiziana also ran Boston Rising, a startup antipoverty fund working to end generational poverty in Boston and was the first woman president of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Boston.
  • Andy Husbands is the award-winning chef, author and pitmaster behind The Smoke Shop BBQ, Boston’s acclaimed barbecue restaurants, and four-time winner of Boston Magazine’s “Best Barbecue” as well as The Improper Bostonian’s “Boston’s Best” Award for “Best Barbecue.”  Husbands drives awareness for No Kid Hungry, the nation’s leading childhood hunger relief organization, serving as honorary chair of its annual Taste of the Nation fundraiser. He is also a Vice President of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, for which he was honored as MRA’s Chef of the Year in 2014, works closely with the Rodman Celebration for Kids, and is an avid volunteer at local women’s shelter, Rosie’s Place.
  • Peter Malloy is executive chef at Nashawtuc Country Club, where he has been a part of the culinary team for over 10 years. With a passion for food and an unwavering commitment to high-quality ingredients, he creates vibrant, memorable, and nourishing dishes for club events and private functions. Throughout his career, Peter has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens in the area, having honed his mastery of classical French cooking techniques at the renowned Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.
  • Joe Gatto, master of ceremonies for the evening, is a private chef, culinary Instructor, author, and host of the cutting-edge cooking show From Scratch. His private-chef client list has included a star Boston Red Sox player and the CEO and founder of iRobot among others.

This year’s Chopped for Charity will be held at Concord's Nashawtuc Country Club on Friday, April 28. VIP tickets are $200 and include preferred seating, a private reception, meet the chefs, and a high-end spirit tasting. General Admission is $150 per person. Tickets are available at Opentable.org/chopped.

In addition to the chefs’ challenge, the gala will also feature raffle baskets, silent and live auctions, and a cash bar. A light meal will be provided, including delicious desserts from the Open Table kitchen. A VIP reception takes place from 5:30-6:30pm. Doors open for general admission at 6:30pm. 

The evening’s honorees will be Jill Block and Wade Rubenstein and, in memorium, community leader Debra Stark of Debra’s Natural Gourmet.

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

2023 Discovery Museum Scholarship Program

Open to high school juniors and seniors in MA, funds can be used for any educational or developmental experience

ACTON: Discovery Museum has announced their 2023 Scholarship program, which began last year in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Museum. In an increase from last year, the 2023 program will award four one-time $1,500 scholarships to high school juniors or seniors in MA who embody the mission and values of the Museum, to support them on the next leg of their educational journeys.

“More than 5 million kids and their families have come through our doors over the past 41 years to learn about themselves, their abilities, and the world around them, guided by their own creativity and natural curiosity,” said CEO Neil Gordon. “The Discovery Museum Scholarship looks to celebrate young learners who embody the mission and values of the Museum by supporting them on next leg of their educational journeys—whatever that might be.”

Gordon continued, “The scholarship program kicked off last year with a plan to award $1,000 scholarships to two recipients. The Scholarship Committee was so impressed with the caliber and thoughtfulness of the candidates that it selected four award recipients rather than two. This year, the committee will again award four scholarships, and has increased the award amount from $1,000 to $1,500 in recognition of the tremendous impact today’s teens can have on their communities.”

All high school juniors and seniors residing in MA are eligible to apply. For one of the four awards, preference will be given to Discovery Museum past or current employees or volunteers. Award money can be used for any educational or developmental experience, such as college or trade school tuition, travel expenses to support an exciting volunteer opportunity, or costs to provide a learning experience for young children. Video or written applications are being accepted now via Google form at https://bit.ly/DMScholarship2023 (applicants must log in to Google in their browser to apply) and must be received by March 31, 2023. Prior awardees are not eligible for consideration. Recipients will be notified in mid-May. 
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Green Maynard presents “Going Net Zero: Solar Energy.”

MAYNARD: On February 16, 7pm in the Roosevelt Room at Maynard Public Library, 77 Nason Street, Green Maynard will present “Going Net Zero: Solar Energy.” Learn about solar PV (photovoltaic) — the costs, incentives, and energy potential for your property. Participants are welcome to bring an internet-enabled device and their electricity bills. Speaker Zana Cranmer, a Maynard resident, is an energy and data nerd with expertise in renewable energy and decision analysis. Her research aims to identify ways to make our energy system cleaner and more equitable. She teaches college courses on energy efficiency and renewable energy. To learn more and to receive the Zoom link to join virtually, visit greenmaynard.org

Acton Police & Law Enforcement Partners to Step Up Traffic Enforcement on Route 2A

ACTON: Interim Chief James Cogan reports that the Acton Police Department is urging drivers to slow down and use caution in the area of Route 2A as the police department and law enforcement partners are planning high visibility traffic patrols. In response to several serious crashes in the area recently, Acton Police are planning to conduct high visibility traffic patrols along the length of Route 2A through town, and have asked the Massachusetts State Police Community Action Team to assist.  State Police Community Action Teams respond to hot spots to assist with patrols and traffic enforcement when needed. Acton Police have requested their assistance with this initiative.

"We have responded to several serious motor vehicle crashes along the length of Route 2A in town and we are aware that residents have safety concerns about the road," said Interim Chief Cogan. "We share those concerns, and will be responding with additional high visibility patrols aimed at getting the word out that Route 2A is being watched and that drivers must obey the laws while travelling through Acton."

Efforts to maintain a high visibility presence in the area of Route 2A are expected to continue for several months.

Interim Chief Cogan is also reminding drivers to obey state law regarding the hand held use of cellular phones and other electronic devices, as distracted driving is a frequent contributor to serious motor vehicle crashes. Officers patrolling the Route 2A area will be on the lookout for those who are violating state law regarding the use of hand held electronic devices while driving.

"Our patrols will be aimed at improving safety along the Route 2A corridor, so I would also like to encourage cyclists and pedestrians in the area to take safety precautions as well, including wearing reflective clothing if out biking or walking at night," said Interim Chief Cogan.

Acton's 3rd Graders Look Up New Words Thanks to Local Rotarians

ACTON: Acton's third-grade students are learning the definitions of new words thanks to local Rotarians. The Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough has donated a total of more than 370 personalized dictionaries to the town's six elementary schools. Under the service-above-self leadership of Past President Marvin Gould, the Acton-Boxborough Club has delivered a total of 16 boxes of dictionaries to the schools. Each dictionary is labeled with the student’s name.

Special thanks to these Acton-Boxborough Rotarians - alphabetically by last name - who made the dictionary deliveries:

- Past President Marianne Fleckner: three classes at the McCarthy-Towne school.
- Past President Marvin Gould and his granddaughter, Kinsley Kline: three classes at the Douglas school.
- President Steve Jones-D’Agostino: three classes at the Conant school.
- Sergeant at Arms Maureen Masciola and Carla Stover: three classes at the Merriam school.
- President-Elect Dean Roberts: two classes at the Gates school.
- Past President Ann Sorvari and Member Johann Sorvari: three classes at the Blanchard school.

For more information about the dictionary donations, contact Past President Marvin Gould at gould144@gmail.com or (978) 758-0362. For more information about the Acton-Boxborough Club, contact President Steve Jones-D'Agostino at abrotaryclub@gmail.com or (508) 930-8675.

PHOTO: Nancy Auger & Gina Lemieux, third-grade teachers at Luther Conant School, posing with two of the donated dictionaries.
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Find Out about Affordable, Reliable, Clean 21st Century Nuclear Energy

The climate crisis is no longer hypothetical. It has arrived. The fastest way to de-carbonize the planet and reduce use of fossil fuels is to incorporate more nuclear energy into the regional power grid. Energy educators are offering free public talks to groups of all kinds – schools, libraries, religious communities, as well as civic, service and environmental organizations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, southern New Hampshire and Maine and northeastern Connecticut. 

Learn about modern safety procedures, the science and enormous power of uranium and thorium as a 21st century solution to meet the escalating world demand for electricity. Examine the fears underlying discussions of nuclear operations, waste and safety. Find out how modern nuclear reactors feed regional power grids with clean energy 24/7, and how other countries are developing this dense low-carbon energy source. Explore Eco-Nuclear Solutions, a non-partisan, volunteer, grassroots group of scientists, educators and environmentalists at www.eco-nuclearsolutions.org. To reserve a date to explore the potential of nuclear power, contact econuclearsolutions@gmail.com

The one-hour presentation is an introduction to nuclear energy and how it benefits the planet and the world’s people. Access to reliable affordable electricity is a gateway out of poverty, which typically leads to lower birth rates. Nuclear power is experiencing a renaissance as one of the most reliable, affordable and zero-carbon sources of electricity that requires minimal land. It is the only electricity generating technology that sequesters  and/or safely disposes of all byproducts which, along with its demonstrated reliability, makes it a rockstar to provide energy, the lifeblood of the world. The Seabrook, NH and Millstone, CT, nuclear plants provide 20% of electricity to the New England grid. Scientists and activists will share data, stories, slides and videos about the world’s drive for reliable, affordable and clean energy.

The team includes: David Butz, a self-educated living encyclopedia of nuclear energy, past, present and future; Carolyn McCreary, Ph.D, who served two terms on the Ayer Select Board and led the town to become a Green Community; Dale Levandier, Ph.D., a chemist with knowledge of nuclear physics; and other scientists and environmental activists.

ACT Hosts Understanding Ticks Seminar

ACTON: Love the outdoors, but worry about ticks? Learn more about ticks, how they operate and affect us and what we can do to protect ourselves from the diseases they spread. Acton Conservation Trust is sponsoring Understanding Ticks: Strategy, Habitat, Ecology and Conservation on March 1 from 7-8:30pm at Acton Town Hall, Room 204 or virtual via Zoom:
- Understanding and Preventing Tick Borne Diseases. Susan Rask, Former Concord Public Health Director, and Tricia McGean, Public Health Nurse for Lincoln and Carlisle, present tick facts and life-cycle information, tick-borne diseases in Massachusetts, practical prevention strategies and tick ecology.
- Deer overpopulation: How it affects tick population & forest health. The relationship between deer overpopulation and tick populations is complex.  Michele Grzenda, Lincoln’s Conservation Director will give us a brief overview on how eastern Massachusetts’s deer population has changed over time. She’ll also review the impacts deer have on forest health and the relationship between deer and deer ticks.

More information and registration is available online at ActonConservationTrust.org. 

Show the Love: Donate Personal Care via The Rotary Club

CONCORD: The Rotary Club of Concord in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Acton is spearheading a donation drive for personal care items for Open Table Food Pantry. The following items are not covered by SNAP/food support programs so Open Table must purchase them for the individuals and families they serve. The following items are being collected: Diaper Sizes:  3, 4, 5, 6, Baby Wipes, Laundry Detergent, Dish Soap, Toothpaste, Shampoo. Items can be dropped off at any of the following LOCATIONS:
  • Action Unlimited, 100 Domino Dr., W. Concord
  • Coldwell Banker, 11 Main Street, Concord
  • Frame-ables, 111 Thoreau St, Concord (Open 10-4, Tues-Sat.)
  • Middlesex Bank, 64 Main St., Concord
  • Minuteman Arc, 35 Forest Ridge Road and 1269 Main St., W. Concord
  • Keller Williams, 200 Baker Ave. Suite 205, Concord
  • Enterprise Bank, 340 Great Rd., ACTON
The Rotary Club of Concord has a long-standing partnership with Open Table which supports food insecure households in 21 communities. Club members volunteer to help transport locally grown vegetables and grocery items and prepare meals for delivery and curbside pick-up.

The Concord Rotary Club is an active group of volunteers who raise money each year for scholarships for local students including sending 10 sophomore high school students to a Rotary sponsored Leadership weekend. Club members also volunteer their time in the community including: the Assabet Valley Boys and Girls Club, building beds for children who do not have beds, working with Habitat for Humanity and holding community events. The Club sponsors a Rotary Interact Club at the high school and Early Act clubs at Concord and Carlisle middle schools. In the past the Club has donated funds for Concord center war memorials, the USS Concord Bell Park and the beautiful tree for the Concord holiday tree lighting.

Rotary International is a service organization with a global network of 1.4 million members taking ACTION to provide clean water and sanitation, fight disease and hunger, support education and mothers and children and grow local economies. Rotary is a leader in working to eradicate polio worldwide. Responding to the war in Ukraine, Rotary International raised $15 million for humanitarian relief which was distributed in the form of disaster response grants. Rotarians continue to provide help in Ukraine through grants from the Rotary Foundation. Interested in learning more about the Rotary Club of Concord? Visit www.rotaryclubofconcord.org for more information.

Life Care Center of Acton Earns Medicare’s 5-star Rating

ACTON: Life Care Center of Acton, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, recently earned a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The rating system for CMS is designed to help people choose the best care for loved ones. The ratings are based on associates, health inspections and quality measures such as weight loss, falls and pain management.
“It’s a great feeling, having your facility awarded the Five Stars Overall,” said Christopher Foye, executive director. “Our staff works so hard to care for our residents every day, [and this is] a great way to recognize their dedication and hard work. I am really proud of my staff and how hard they work every day to keep our residents happy and healthy.”

Located at 1 Great Road, Life Care Center of Acton is one of 15 skilled nursing and rehab facilities in Massachusetts managed by Life Care Centers of America. Founded in 1976, Life Care is a nationwide health care company. With headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee, Life Care manages nearly 200 skilled nursing, post-acute and Alzheimer’s centers in 27 states. For more information about Life Care, visit lcca.com.

“Animals Around Us” by Sue Kim opens February 15 at 6 Bridges Gallery

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MAYNARD: 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main Street, is pleased to present “Animals Around Us” by Sue Kim, photographs exploring the expressiveness and wonder of some of the creatures with which we share this planet. This exhibit will be on display February 15 - April 1, 2023, with a reception on March 25th, 2-4pm. For more information, please visit https://6bridges.gallery, www.facebook.com/6BridgesGallery/ and www.instagram.com/6bridgesgallery/?hl=en.
Kim says, “Planet Earth is home to so many more individual creatures than we can possibly fathom. Demographers with the United Nations designated November 15, 2022 as the approximate day when our world’s human population reached eight billion. Now consider that in 2011, biodiversity experts estimated the total number of animal species on the planet to be roughly 7.7 million. Species. Not individual animals. 7.7 million species. This world is so much bigger than ourselves.”
Nature photographer Sue Kim strives to be a compassionate and respectful observer of our natural world. In “Animals Around Us,” she presents photographs of creatures found in environments familiar to us all, including forests, waterways, backyards, zoos, shelters and wildlife refuges. It is a small sampling of the vastly diverse population of non-humans living among us, sharing our planet.  Kim is a multi-passionate artist who works variously as a photographer, mixed media artist, writer, stage director, producer, choreographer and dramaturg.
6 Bridges Gallery was established in 2014 by artists seeking to create a retail and display gallery in the heart of downtown Maynard. The ever-changing work in the gallery includes a diverse range of media and artistic styles. All artisans are local; many — including our founding members — are residents of the ArtSpace Maynard studios. The gallery is owned and operated by the artists, so there is a unique opportunity to meet one or more of them on any given day.

GLCF Seeks Request for Proposals for 2023 Discretionary Grant Cycles

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LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation will open its 2023 Discretionary Grant Cycles on February 1 and is seeking requests for proposals from nonprofit organizations. The Foundation will award $200,000 through the Discretionary Grant Cycle. Nonprofit organizations serving the communities of Acton, Ashby, Ayer, Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Littleton, Lowell, Pepperell, Shirley, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsboro, Westford, and Wilmington are invited to apply.

Grant funding from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation’s 2023 Discretionary Grants Program includes the following strategic funding categories:
  • Racial Equity and Inclusion (details below) - The Foundation will award multiple grants of up to $15,000 that focus on racial equity and inclusion. The grant funding should focus on one or more of the following goals:
    • Increase understanding of our community’s challenges with racial equity and race relations
    • Provide access to stories and diverse perspectives on the lived experience of racial inequity in Greater Lowell
    • Strengthen relationships among Greater Lowell residents, particularly across racial and ethnic groups
    •  Increase awareness of resources and best practices related to advancing racial equity
  • Leclair Elder Services - The Foundation will award five grants at $7,000 each to organizations that support services to seniors (55 years+) in our service area.
  • Children’s Services - This year, thanks to the generosity of our donors, GLCF will award seven grants at $7,500 each to projects that support services for children. The Foundation welcomes proposals that improve the quality of life for children and young adults (birth to age 22.)
Grant applications must be submitted by noon on March 3, 2023. Grant recipients will be announced in May. More information is available online at  www.glcfoundation.org.

For more information about the grant process, contact Sharon, GLCF Grants Coordinator with any questions at sharon@glcfoundation.org.

PHOTO: Clarendon Early Education Services received a 2022 Discretionary Children’s Grant to support their Comfort Kits for Foster Kids.

Girl Scout Cookie Season is in Full Swing in Acton

ACTON: The Girl Scout Cookie Season is in full swing and hopefully you have been able to get your favorite cookies from a local cookie booth or from a scout taking your order with a smile from your doorstep. With every cookie purchase, you’re supporting Girl Scouts’ ability to learn, grow, and thrive through all of life’s adventures. Plus, all proceeds stay local to help fund life-changing, girl-led programs, experiences, and learning all year long in our area. This is just some of the activities the Acton Boxborough Girl Scouts have initiated in the last year.
  • Run Food Drives or shopped specifically for the local food pantries
  • Made and donated specific packs for children (food, art and school supplies)
  • Provided Christmas gifts and meals for individual families 'matched' through local charities
  • Made Holiday Gift Bags for nursing home residents
  • A regular commitment to supply brownies for community suppers
  • Worked with the town to clean up brush in the Arboretum
  • Donated to the Children’s Hospital
  • Funded healthy meals for the nurses at Emerson Hospital

The scouts have also used the funds raised through the cookie program to support their interests and develop new skills including:
  • Robotics
  • Astronomy
  • Cooking
  • Horseback riding
  • Conservation
  • Camping
  • Rock Climbing
  • First Aid

As Girl Scout Cookie entrepreneurs learning essential life skills every step of the way, girls are also transformed into bold and brave leaders who will make the world a better place today and in the future. If you would like to support the Girl Scouts and prefer a direct shipment of cookies, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts is subsidizing 50% of the shipping costs for orders between 9-12 packages from February 1 to March 10, 2023.

The link to support all Acton Boxborough Troops is http://tinyurl.com/34n9wnn9 and all proceeds will be distributed across the local Girl Scout Troops. Please contact actonboxborogs@gmail.com for more information.

Discovery Museum 2023 Speaker Series Schedule Announced

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ACTON: Discovery Museum kicks off the 11th year of its Discovery Museum Speaker Series with Susan Engel, Ph.D., on “Teaching Today’s Kids to Spot Tomorrow’s Fake News.” The event will be held virtually via Zoom webinar on Thursday, February 9 from 7-8pm. Registration for this event and the entire 2023 series is open now at http://bit.ly/DMSpeakerSeries.

Children and adults alike are faced with misleading information and unsupported claims, which often lead to bad decision making. How do we teach children to distinguish good information from bad?  The answer is clear: Research shows that if we start early, giving children the intellectual tools to assess the credibility of information is neither as hard nor as amorphous as it might seem.  Susan Engel, Senior Lecturer in Psychology and The Class of 1959 Director of Program in Teaching at Williams College, will share research on how young children decide whom to trust, how they learn to separate fact from fiction, and how we can support their growing ability to seek the truth.

Susan Engel is a developmental psychologist and Class of 1959 Director of the Program in Teaching, at Williams College. She has taught all ages from preschool through graduate school. She has been at Williams for 33 years. She was a co-founder and educational advisor to an experimental school in New York State called the Hayground School, where among other things, she guided curriculum development and supervised teachers for 20 years. Engel is the author of The Hungry Mind: The Origins of Curiosity in Childhood (Harvard University Press 2015), a book for teachers titled, The Children You Teach (Heinemann 2018), and The Intellectual Lives of Children (Harvard University Press 2021) and has published articles on narrative development, curriculum, and the development of children’s ideas.

Most (but not all) 2023 events will be presented virtually via Zoom webinar, from 7:00pm to 8:00pm, except for the May 9 event, which will be held in-person at Nashoba Brooks School, 200 Strawberry Hill Road, Concord, MA, from 7pm to 8:30pm. All events are free and open to the public. Registration for all events is open now on the Museum’s website at http://bit.ly/DMSpeakerSeries.

Remaining 2023 Schedule

March 29 | “Who’s Raising the Kids?: Big Tech, Big Business, and the Lives of Children,” with Susan Linn, Ed.D., author, psychologist, award-winning ventriloquist, and world-renowned expert on creative play and the impact of tech and commercial marketing on children. Dr. Linn will discuss the impact of Big Tech and big business on children, explain the commercial incentives that drive it, and map out what we can do for our families, our students, and our communities, to create change. Dr. Lynn Dr. Linn will be interviewed by Nancy Pearl, retired Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book at the Seattle Public Library.

May 9 | “A Family Revealed: From Slavery to Hope,” with Wallis Wickham Raemer, educator, and Reggie Harris, folk singer and social activist. In an evening of engaging music and conversation, 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. This event will be held in person at Nashoba Brooks School, 200 Strawberry Hill Road, Concord, MA, from 7pm to 8:30pm.

June 7 | “How to Talk to Kids About Gun Violence,” moderated by Boston Globe Parenting Unfiltered Columnist Kara Baskin, with Dr. Neena McConnico, Director of Boston Medical Center's Child Witness to Violence Project, Dr. Patricia Crain de Galarce, Director of Lesley University's Center for Inclusive and Special Education, and Dr. Anthony Rao, pediatric psychologist, lecturer, author. This event is a live-panel version of two of Kara Baskin’s important articles that all parents should read: How to talk to kids about gun violence and Will our kids ever be safe.

November 2 | “Incarceration and Families: What is the Toll on Children?,” with Dr. Nneka Tapia Jones, Managing Director of Justice Initiative at Chicago Beyond and former Warden of Cook County Jail in Chicago, IL. Dr. Tapia’s passion for mental wellness, criminal justice reform, and supporting young people who have experienced trauma has been an innovative force for new programs in Chicago, including ones specifically targeted at reducing the stigma and trauma that surrounds young people impacted by parental incarceration. This event is presented in partnership with Chicago Children’s Museum and made possible by a grant from The Cummings Foundation.

An additional event, “Helping Children Find Hope Amidst Climate Anxiety,” presented in partnership with Madison Children’s Museum, Madison, WI, will be scheduled for Fall 2023.

Opportunity for Visual Artists

ACTON: The Arts Committee of the Acton Memorial Library invites Massachusetts artists to submit work for consideration for upcoming exhibitions in the Meeting Room Gallery. The Committee will review work for one person shows and will set the schedule for September 2023 - August 2024. Various media including painting, drawing, printmaking, illustration, photography, textiles and mixed media are eligible. Sculptural work will be considered for exhibit on the second floor of the library. All work should have been completed within the last five years. All applications must be submitted through Google Forms online. Go to this link: www.actonmemoriallibrary/artexhibits. A Google account is required to complete your submission and can be set up for free if you do not already have one. DEADLINE: MARCH 30, 2023
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Maynard Relay for Life Fundraiser

MAYNARD: Maynard Relay for Life's team Lady Bugs is hosting a fundraiser - The Midnight Riders band!!  It will be held at the Maynard-Clinton Elks on February 4.  Doors open at 7:30pm; band will play from 8-11pm. The Midnight Riders play music from many eras. Tickets are $15, available at the door or in advance by contacting Kim at (978) 897-9907 or kim.lalli@comcast.net.  If you have a table of 8 payable in advance, reserve a table! There will be light refreshments, raffles and a cash bar!  All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society to help fund research, lodging for patients receiving treatment, etc.  A fun night out for a great cause!
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New Dads Group at First Connections

ACTON: First Connections will be offering a FREE 6-week New Dads Group for dads and their children aged 0-12 months. The group will meet for 5 weeks at First Connections, 179 Great Road, then meet at the Brain Building Exhibit at The Discovery Museum in Acton on the 6th week. First Connections has a baby-friendly playroom with air filter machines, and we request that adults wear masks. The group will be facilitated by Facilitators Neeraj Dalal and Heather O'Brien. Discuss new parenthood, ask questions, share ideas and make connections. This group will meet on Sundays, February 5-March 12, 9-10am. To attend this program, email lmatthews@jri.org.
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Spring Fashion Show & Dessert with Acton Woman's Club

ACTON: The Acton Woman's Club is hosting its Spring Fashion Show at the ActonTV Studio, 16a Craig Road, February 8, starting at 11:30am for Social time, noon for Dessert, 12:30 Business meeting, and 1pm for the Fashion Show. Outfits will be from Gould’s Clothing and Anita’s Shoe Boutique of Acton. There'll be lively commentary by esteemed Acton Woman's Club member Paula Walsh, and the models will be actual Club members - real people, neighbors and friends!

Any woman who lives or works in Acton or surrounding towns is welcome to join this active and friendly group for society, companionship and good works.  Guests may attend two meetings before joining the Club. Please call Posy Dyer at (978) 369-1295; or Jane Bungard at (978) 263-7260 for a luncheon invitation. For more information, visit https://theactonwomansclub.org.
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Acton Garden Club’s February Meeting

ACTON: Acton Garden Club’s February meeting will take place virtually on February 7 with a program at 10:15am titled “Hydrangea Happiness, Hydrangea Hysteria” presented by C. L. Fornari.  From blue mopheads and lacecaps to white peegees, there are hydrangeas for every garden.  Learn which varieties will live and flower well in your gardens and how to care for them. For those non-AGC members who would like to join the meeting, visit www.actongardenclub.org and leave a message for the webmaster.  You will be contacted with the information needed to log into the meeting.

C. L. Fornari is the author of eight books, including Coffee for Roses and The Cocktail Hour Garden.  She’s a professional speaker, the host of GardenLine on WXTK and co-host of the Plantrama podcast.  She has worked for a family-owned independent garden center for 25 years and grows vegetables, flowers, shrubs, trees and numerous other plants at Poison Ivy Acres on Cape Cod.

Gender Bending "Marian" Playing at Theatre III

WEST ACTON: What if Robin Hood is really Maid Marian in disguise and the Merry Men aren’t actually men?  Consider this in the gender-bending, patriarchy-smashing, hilarious new take on the classic tale, "Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood" by Adam Szymkowicz soon to be playing at Theatre III, 250 Central Street, February 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 8pm; and February 5 at 2pm. Tickets are available at theatre3.org or by calling (978) 263-9070.
PHOTO: (L to R) Len Ruark (Much the Miller's Son), Kendra Sweitzer (Little John), Amanda O'Donnell (Marian/Robin Hood), Carrie Miller (Alanna Dale) & Meghan Moore (Will Scarlett)

Volunteers Needed At Hagar’s Sisters

ACTON: Hagar’s Sisters has several volunteer opportunities for women – especially women of color - to help lead virtual support groups of women experiencing domestic abuse. Volunteers are needed two evenings a week to cultivate the emotional and spiritual healing of women impacted by intimate partner abuse, empowering them through care planning, education, and compassionate community. These support groups are typically 1.5 hours in length and take place over Zoom. Due to the security and well being of clients (‘Sisters’), interviews and certification training are necessary. The certification training is free. To request an interview and potential training enrollment, email Rene at volunteers@hagarssisters.org. Join the mission to assist those in need in the community. Visit https://hagarssisters.org for more information.

If you are in need of their services, please email care@hagarssisters.org, or call (978) 266-0053.

Local Students Named to Dean's List at Fitchburg State

FITCHBURG: Fitchburg State University President Richard S. Lapidus has announced the students who qualified for inclusion on the Dean’s List for the Fall 2022 semester. A student is placed on the Dean’s List for the semester if an average grade of 3.20 or better is attained, and the student is attending the university full time.  Congratulations to:

Acton / Boxborough / Maynard
Catherine Abrams
Yilver A. Aguilera

Zainabu A. Bosungmeh 
Joseph D. Ditavi
Abderrahmane Garchali 

Ryan B. Kidder 
Carl W. Lindberg
Kyle J. Lindfors

Jonah T. Sallese 
Zachary J. St John 
Ayer / Shirley / Groton / Harvard / Devens
Chassity P. Boo 
Kaitlyn M. Bremer 
Jonathan W. Bremer 
Hailey G. Burke 
Savannah D. Caldbeck
Matthew J. Carey 
Andrew T. Esielionis
Emily J. Hanson 
Kayla A. Holland 
Curtis J. Holmes
Kabriana T. Kien 
Ryleigh A. Levensailor 
Brady W. Madigan 
Deven J. Muldoon 
Eli Norton 
Mishayla S. Silver
Megan R. Strout
Mark K. Terhune 
Danielle M. Varner 
Jing Wang
Stephen T. Wells

Chelmsford / North Chelmsford
David E. Kelley 
McKenna G. Moore 
Sara Najm 
Karen A. O'Rourke
Seth E. Rigby

Concord / Carlisle / Bedford
David P. Eisenberg 
Shujiao Liu

Hudson / Stow
Brian K. Boland 
Emily Cristobal 
Molly J. Flanagan
Isaiah French

Emily G. Hallsworth 
Nicholas D. Solimine 
Cameron J. Sousa
Dale A. Sousa 
Courtney M. Walsh

Marlborough / Sudbury
Julia M. Barnes 
Ava E. Hannon 
Kaleigh A. Morales 
Nickolai Voskanian

Westford / Littleton 
Vincent A. Colavita 
Erick K. Gakuo 
Benjamin R. Golash 
Kyanah Long 
Nathan S. Martin 
Edith Masembe 
Adam E. Quinlan 
Alyssa K. Ramirez 
Asha L. Speller 
Benjamin G. Stormwind
Meaghan J. Walsh

Additionally, Fitchburg State University President Richard S. Lapidus has announced the names of students included on the President’s List for the Fall 2022 semester. The President’s List honors students for consistently high academic achievement. A student is named to the list after achieving a 3.75 average in each of three successive semesters.  Congratulations to:

Acton / Boxborough / Maynard
Owen C. Thayer
Chelmsford / North Chelmsford
Alyssa J. Fields
Emily F. Klein 
Sophia A. Piper

Learn more at fitchburgstate.edu.

ParentChild+ Program now Available Locally

ACTON: ParentChild+ is a FREE home visiting program for families with young children to help parents prepare their child for preschool or kindergarten. First Connections recently received a grant to provide this program to families living in Acton, Bedford, Boxboro, Carlisle, Concord, Harvard, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Sudbury and Westford. An Early Learning Specialist will visit your home twice per week with fun and engaging early learning experiences, including a high-quality book or toy that you can keep. Specialists model reading, conversations and play activities designed to promote language development, pre-literacy skills, and school readiness. Children can enter the program when they are 18-36 months old and participate for 46 weeks, excluding summer and holiday breaks. Families who lack transportation or the financial ability to attend playgroups or preschool will be prioritized to receive this service. Families whose children are watched by family members while they work are eligible, but children enrolled in preschool or child care outside of the home would not be eligible. This program has a 40-year track record of supporting early childhood success. Anyone interested in participating in this program can contact First Connections by emailing firstconnections@jri.org or calling/texting Debbie at (978) 505-4429.  

The Friends of the Acton Libraries To Host Used Book Sale January 28-29, 2023

Book sale
ACTON: The Friends of the Acton Libraries will hold a live and in person used book sale on January 28 & 29 at the Acton Memorial Library from 9am-4pm. Members of the Friends are invited to a preview of the sale on January 27 from 7-9pm. Sunday will be half price day for all, from 1-3 pm. The Friends have been collecting and sorting a lot of books since the last sale. Now is your time to come to restock your supply of good books in good condition for your winter 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? Visit the Friends via the Acton Memorial Library main page at actonmemoriallibrary.org. 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 on social media at www.facebook.com/friendsactonlib, https://twitter.com/friendsactonlib or www.instagram.com/friendsactonlib.
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Maynard Hometown Heroes – Phase 3: What are Hometown Heroes?

MAYNARD: The Town of Maynard launched the Maynard Hometown Heroes program in 2019. The objective of the Hometown Heroes is to create banners that will be hung in Maynard honoring Maynard Veterans and Active-Duty military men and women.
Who Qualifies? Veterans honored through the Hometown Heroes program are defined per Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.” Per the VA.org website, “This definition explains that any individual that completed a service for any branch of armed forces classifies as a veteran as long as they were not dishonorably discharged.” Any Maynard-based Veteran, whether native or new resident, is welcome to be part of the Hometown Heroes Program. A Veteran or Active Military person who was born and raised in Maynard but does not currently reside in Maynard would also qualify.
Display Duration & Location: The Town of Maynard displays the banners annually from May – November. The location of where the banners are displayed are at the discretion of the Town.

Number of Displays & Rotation Schedule. The Hometown Heroes Committee and Town of Maynard have designated 46 poles located downtown Maynard for the veterans Killed in Action (KIA). During Phase III, we will have additional electric poles that are outfitted with brackets for our banners.  Applications for Phase III will be taken until March 15, 2023.
How to Participate: Phase llI Hometown Heroes Banner applications are now available online at www.townofmaynard-ma.gov.They are also available at the Maynard Town Hall (on the tables upstairs and downstairs), Maynard Public Library, Maynard-Clinton Lodge of Elks #1568 and Council on Aging office.  You can also visit the Maynard Hometown Heroes Facebook page to get questions answered, or call Kim Lalli at (978) 897-9907.

Boxborough Minutemen Company Welcomes New Members January 21

BOXBOROUGH: The Boxborough Company of Minutemen is looking for some good men and women. The Company is holding its annual Wine and Cheese party for current members and prospective new members on  January 21 at 7:30pm.  For information contact Captain Tony Newton at (617) 448-5931or captain@boxboroughminutemen.org.

The Boxborough Minutemen Company is open to anyone of least 18 years of age who is interested in service to the Town and/or perpetuating the memory of the Minutemen of 1775. Members may participate in any number of the Company's activities including marching in parades, organizing the annual Fifer's Day town festival, performing seasonal clean-ups on Route 111, sponsoring the Boy and Cub Scouts, providing volunteers to the Blanchard School and other service organizations, and participating in our various social functions. The Company also provides financial support to a variety of service organizations and sponsors a number of annual scholarships to Boxborough students who are continuing their education after high school.
Both old and new residents of the town are welcome to come and make new connections with others in town. For more information visit www.boxboroughminutemen.org.

21st Annual Martin Luther King Day Breakfast featuring Tanisha Sullivan

Tanisha sullivan
ACTON: Congregation Beth Elohim’s Na'aseh (We will do) organization is thrilled and honored to welcome Tanisha Sullivan as our guest speaker at the 21st Annual Martin Luther King Day Breakfast. Sullivan is the President of the Boston branch of the NAACP. Her topic will be: "Dear Beloved Community…The Power of Grace in the Movement." 

Doors open for the breakfast at 8:15am.  The program begins at 9am and will be in person at Congregation Beth Elohim, 133 Prospect Street, as well as via ZOOM.  There is no charge for the breakfast and program. A donation in the amount of your choice is very much appreciated, however. The funds are used to underwrite next year's MLK Jr. tribute event and other activities of the Na’aseh Social Justice group. For planning purposes and to receive the ZOOM login, please register www.bethelohim.org/event/mlk-2023. If you would like to make a donation, enter the donation amount of your choice when registering.

Tanisha M. Sullivan is the President of the Boston branch of the NAACP, leading the organization in its fight for racial, economic, and social justice with a data-driven and solutions-oriented framework. In this volunteer leadership role, Sullivan has led efforts to build a more inclusive democracy and improve quality of life for all Massachusetts residents. She is a seasoned corporate lawyer, has over 25 years’ experience in the life sciences industry and served as the inaugural Chief Equity Officer for the Boston Public Schools. Boston-born, Sullivan earned a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Virginia, and an M.B.A. and J.D. from Boston College. In 2022, she ran for Secretary of State in Massachusetts.

Discovery Museum Announces 2023 Series of Free Events for Families of Children with Disabilities

Especially for Me program, now in its 13th year, offers free Museum access for families of children on the autism spectrum or who have vision or hearing loss or sensory issues

ACTON: Discovery Museum has announced  the full 2023 schedule for the Especially for Me series of free events for families with children on the autism spectrum or who have vision or hearing loss or sensory issues. This is the 13th year of the popular program series that offers families an opportunity to play together when the Museum is closed to the public and capacity is limited in order to improve access. Because admission is free, families may come and go based on their child’s needs without concern for cost. Parents also have the chance to meet other families in similar circumstances, thereby reducing feelings of isolation often described by families dealing with special needs. A medical diagnosis is not required to attend.

Discovery Museum is ADA-compliant and all exhibits are accessible, designed according to Universal Design principles to be both aesthetically pleasing and usable by the widest possible range of people, without regard to age or ability.

Special resources are available to families including noise-reducing headphones, a sensory guide to the Museum, sensory-based programming, and American Sign Language (ASL) language facilitators at some events. Additionally, dinner, including a gluten-free option, is provided at all evening events.

All Especially for Me events are free to attend for all family members, but preregistration is required. Dates and registration links can be found online at http://bit.ly/EspeciallyforMe.

2023 Event Schedule:
  • Mornings for Families of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Infants & Toddlers (closed to the public): Mondays 9:30am-12:30pm | 2/13, 9/11 
  • Sensory-Friendly Afternoons (open to the public, but no group visits are scheduled): Tuesdays 1:30-4:30pm | 2/7, 3/7, 4/4, 5/2, 6/6, 8/1, 10/3, 11/7, 12/5
  • Evenings for Families with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Children (closed to the public): Saturdays 5-8pm | 3/11, 5/6, 12/2.
  • Evenings for Families with a Visual Impairment (closed to the public): Saturdays 5-8pm | 2/4, 10/7.
  • Autism-Friendly Evenings (closed to the public): Saturdays 5-8pm | 3/18, 4/1, 6/3, 9/16, 10/21, 12/16
  • All-Access Evenings (closed to the public): Saturdays 5-8pm | 1/21, 5/20, 6/17, 11/18.