Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club Hosts Annual Open House to Welcome New Members

Celebrating more than 50 years of community building, the Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club will host its’ Annual Open House to welcome new members, reconnect with established members, and to introduce an exciting line-up of events and activities for the 2021-2022 membership year.  The Open House is being held from 5pm to 7pm on September 12 at The Red Raven Gastropub in Acton, MA.  Club members and guests interested in learning more about the Club are invited to this affair for neighborly conversation and enjoyment of complimentary, notably distinctive appetizers and a cash bar.

The Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club is excited to invite community members to join us in a variety of activities including Adventure Group, Game Night, 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 the Club’s website at www.nashobavalleyneighbors.org for more information on this and other events, as well as information on how to become a member of the Nashoba Valley Neighbors.

The Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club is a non-profit social organization open to new and established residents from its communities.  Celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2015, 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 our 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.

Fall Book Clubs for Kids at the Lunenburg Public Library

LUNENBURG: Lunenburg Public Library is starting a first time book group experience for beginning chapter book readers - Book in a Bag for 1st & 2nd Graders Starts September 1!  The format for this activity is a bit different.  At the beginning of each month 12 kids, who have pre-registered, will stop by the library to pick up their book bag, which is theirs to keep!  In the bag they will find a library copy of this month’s book which will need to be returned, a sweet treat, coloring pages, a puzzle to solve, a book review form to fill out and return and a surprise item!  The goal of this activity is to give the readers an opportunity to experience how a book club works- you read a shared book, think about what you have read, and then share your thoughts with other readers. Registration is necessary each month for this event, so sign up soon on the Events Tab of the Lunenburg Public Library webpage: lunenburglibrary.org  for one of the 12 bags!  Registration will be available as of Monday, August 23rd. BAGS MUST BE PICKED UP BY THE 10TH OF THE MONTH.    

The LPL Kids Book Club for 3rd thru 5th graders starts Tuesday, September 28th at 4:00pm. Do you  love to read, and talk about what you have read with like-minded people?  This year we will meet here in the library to do just that!  On the last Tuesday afternoon of the month we will hang out to chat about what we are reading, share our thoughts and opinions, have some laughs and make new friends. At the close of each meeting you can pick up your book for the next month. Each month will feature a book from a different genre. Our October read will be a scary book (which is actually from the horror genre) called Small Spaces by Katherine Arden. We provide our monthly selections in different formats including audiobooks when available. Our September meeting will be an overview of the  club and the October book distribution.  Registration will be available as of Monday, August 23rd via the Events Tab of the Lunenburg Public Library webpage: lunenburglibrary.org   

Harvard's Phyllis Clawson Receives $10K Kraft Grant for the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden

HARVARD: Every year since 1998, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots have been celebrating those who give their time to help others. The program was originally known as the Community Quarterback Awards and were presented to those who exemplify leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving their communities through volunteerism.  In 2011, the awards were renamed in honor of the late Myra Kraft who committed her life to volunteering.
On August 11, 26 volunteers were recognized for their contributions at an awards ceremony at Gillette Stadium. 25 organizations received grants of $10K in honor of their outstanding volunteers and one grand prize winner received a surprise $25K donation. On hand to congratulate the award winners were Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, New England Patriots Foundation President Joshua Kraft and Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer and Patriots Executive Director of Community Affairs Andre Tippett.

Phyllis Clawson of Harvard was recognized for her volunteer efforts and a $10K donation was presented to the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden.  The Healing Garden is the only independent comprehensive cancer support center in Massachusetts, helping patients to focus on mental health, physical rehabilitation, stress management and more. Phyllis’s daughter Chrissy became a breast cancer client at the healing garden back in 2003. Sadly, six years later, Chrissy lost her battle. Phyllis decided to stay on as a volunteer, providing additional support to patients.
Phyllis volunteers her time to maintain the gardens, assist at fundraising events, leads Team Chrissy in an annual bike ride and offers her support to families battling cancer. Thanks to volunteers like Phyllis, the nonprofit has served over 2,500 families.
“I am so honored to be selected for this award, and overjoyed that the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden will receive your grant,” said Phyllis. “Over the years, I have been blessed with a husband who could support our family, leaving me with discretionary time. Volunteering at school, humane society, church, garden club, the national parks and the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden has been so rewarding.”
The 2021 Myra Kraft Community MVP winners range from 21 to 92 years old and represent every New England state. The selected nonprofits provide support for many causes, including education, domestic violence prevention, healthcare, homelessness, mentoring and military support.  The Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation received more than 250 applications this year from nonprofit organizations looking to recognize their outstanding volunteers. Nominations open each spring and the awards are open to all nonprofit organizations in the New England region. For more information on the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards, please visit www.patriots.com/community.

2021 Perennial Walk and Ride to Thrive
To Benefit Healing Garden Cancer Support Center

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HARVARD: Registration is open for Virginia Thurston Healing Garden Cancer Support Center’s 2021 Perennial Walk and Ride to Thrive – a cycling and walking eventChoose between two fun events! On October 2, riders will have the option of a 12, 33 or 66 mile ride through the pastoral towns of the Nashoba Valley. On October 3, walkers will have the option of a 1 or 5 mile walk on the back roads of Harvard. Participants are encouraged to form teams with a theme! Prizes awarded! 

Both events will end with an after-party at The Healing Garden with food, beverages, music, and entertainment. There is also a virtual event option for those that can’t join us in-person and a free scavenger for the children and their families, with prizes. 

The demand for cancer services at the Healing Garden has tripled due to the COVID pandemic. Proceeds of the event will be used to continue to offer our free programs and services to cancer clients and their families. Register on website today at www.healinggardensupport.org or call Maddie Phadke at 978-456-3532, ext. 105.

Dangerous Heat Advisory Continues!

The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting a potential period of prolonged oppressive heat through Friday (8/13) in most of the Commonwealth. During this period, daytime temperature highs will be 90-99 degrees. Heat index (Apparent Temperature) values will be 95-110 degrees. Scattered showers/thunderstorms are possible in the afternoons, with the potential for a few strong to severe thunderstorms late Thursday. There is a low probability that the heat wave could continue through Saturday.
Impacts/ Potential Impacts:
- Very hot temperatures with moderate humidity. Little relief at night especially in urban population centers.
- Potential of heat related issues to at risk population and those doing higher levels of outdoor physical activities.
- Damaging straight line winds and localized street flooding are possible on Thursday in areas where severe thunderstorms occur.
Preparedness and Safety Information:
- Safety and preparedness tips for extreme heat: www.mass.gov/mema/heat
- Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20°F within 10 minutes.
- Check with your local officials to find locations of cooling centers near you.
- Know the symptoms of and watch out for heat-related illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies.
- Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, those who may need additional assistance, and those who may not have air conditioning.
Power outage preparedness and safety information: www.mass.gov/info-details/power-outage-safety-tips
Preparedness and safety tips for thunderstorms and lightning:
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Join the Maynard Folds Virtual Origami Exhibition Contest

MAYNARD: Be an origami museum exhibitor in The Origami Museum, founded and led by artist and teacher, Lisa B. Corfman.  Corfman announces Maynard Folds, a virtual origami exhibition contest – come exhibit in the upcoming Origami Museum Community Gallery. The origami museum welcomes EVERYONE to submit from children and adults, and from novices to experts to be in the spotlight.

Entries can be anything you can do, neatly folded, nicely presented (with fitting paper used, etc.), without cutting, gluing, or drawing on the model.  Just share something you are happy with for fame in the origami museum’s online gallery.  Don’t fret, just enjoy and do your best.  Origami can be simple, fun, or even amazing.  A personal note with questions, comments or concern is always welcome.

All contestants who submit will exhibit within the origami museum website, receive a certificate of participation, have a mention on Instagram and Facebook and receive a selection of origami paper.  Awards for one top child and one adult winner features a certificate of honor, a solo Instagram and Facebook post and an online membership to OrigamiUSA.

There are three jurors and the just listed prizes.  Jurors are Ruthanne Bessman, Susan Dugan and Lisa B. Corfman.  Bessman is a long-term curator of origami exhibitions and contests.  Dugan is a 40-year veteran of origami and is a photography professor.  Corfman makes, sells, teaches, and showcases origami inspired art and she is bringing this opportunity to you!

There are the two categories for origami model submissions: under 18 and adults.  Eligible contestants are within a 20-mile radius from Maynard, whether home, work, or school.  Here are the towns in this eligible catchment area:

Acton | Ashland | Arlington| Ayer | Bedford | Belmont | Berlin | Billerica | Bolton | Boxborough | Boylston | Carlisle | Chelmsford | Clinton | Concord | Devens |Dover | Framingham | Groton | Hanscom AFB| Harvard | Hudson | Lancaster | Lexington | Lincoln | Littleton | Marlborough | Maynard | Natick | Northborough | Sherborn | Shirley | South Lancaster | Southborough | Sterling | Still River | Stow | Sudbury | Waltham | Watertown | Wayland | Wellesley | Westford | Weston

The juried contest is sponsored by the Maynard Cultural Council and OrigamiUSA.  The goal is to increase folds!

Find out more at: https://origamimuseum.org/opportunities/. Maynard Folds information, statement about the jurors, and the application can be found there.

Help For Families: Mental Health Challenges

UPDATE: All programs, due to the increase in active Delta Covid transmissions and illness on the rise in MA, will be be conducted only on Zoom.

Mental illness touches one in five people. It is likely a spouse, partner, child, sibling, parent or dear friend of yours may be living with a mental health condition. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI is offering a FREE 8 session family educational program called “Family to Family”. It is a designated evidenced-based program. The program is taught by NAMI trained family member volunteers who have been there - and includes presentations, discussion, and interactive exercises.

What will you gain? The class provides critical information and strategies for taking care of the person you love, and you’ll also find out – you are not alone! The group setting provides mutual support and shared positive impact – you will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You can also help others through your own experiences.

You’ll learn about: The latest up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they impact the brain. Current treatments: Medications - their therapeutic use and side effects, current treatments and therapies. Local mental health services and supports. Managing crisis, problem solving techniques and effective communication. The emotional impact of mental illness on the entire family. Taking care of yourself and managing your stress.

Two Programs are sponsored by NAMI Central Middlesex for fall 2021.  Thursdays via ZOOM, Sept 16 – Nov 4th, 6:30 – 9:00 PM. To register contact Steve at 978-621-3253, shadden@hadlorgroup.com or Lindsay at 781-864-7003, linzbfar@gmail.com. Tuesdays IN PERSON in Littleton MA Oct 12th – Nov 30th, 6:30 – 9:00 PM. proof of vaccination is required. To register, contact Sara at 339-223-3146, doddsara25@gmail.com or Phyllis at 978.973.3995, phyllis.terrey100@gmail.com.

Businesses in Your Community


St. Mary's Thrift Shop Open Saturdays

AYER: St Mary's Ayer Thrift Shop is now open on Saturdays from 9am until 3pm. Housewares, children's room, Christmas and clothing donations (specifically in need of men's jeans and winter coats), and more clean donations will be accepted via drop off on Saturdays only until 2:30pm. Volunteers are needed. All proceeds go to St. Mary's Church. Visit www.nashobacatholic.org/thrift-store for more information.
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Therapy Dog Greta Brings Smiles to Nashoba Park Assisted Living

AYER: Residents at Nashoba Park Assisted Living have been enjoying visits from therapy dog Greta for 10 years as of this July. Greta and her owner Martha McCown visit regularly from the Pets & People Foundation, Inc. of Westford. As a thank you for bringing joy and happiness to the senior community, Nashoba Park residents (Anita Forest pictured herein with Greta) recently made homemade dog treats for Greta and a card expressing their gratitude for the Pets and People Foundation. “Residents’ faces light up when they see Greta come in the door, and they love getting to spend time petting her and talking to her,” says Christine Masci, EnrichedLIFE Director at Nashoba Park. Therapy animal visits are just one of the many enriching programs offered at Nashoba Park Assisted Living, a Volunteers of America Massachusetts Senior Community. You can learn more online at www.NashobaPark.com.

Explore the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge: FREE NRWA Series for Families

HARVARD/DEVENS: Come explore the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge (ONWR) with Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA) naturalists, Stacey Chilcoat and Gaynor Bigelbach. The NRWA will lead a series of three free family programs, each focused on a different habitat in this 1,697-acre Refuge that runs along almost eight miles of the Nashua River, including woodlands, wetlands, old fields, oxbow ponds, and river ecosystems. Join us for one, two, or all three programs.
  • Saturday, August 7 from 9:30-11:30am: Who Lives Here? ONWR in Harvard - Explore wetland habitat looking for signs of mammals, bird spotting, identifying plants, and investigating what is living in wetland waters. Consider the interconnections of all species living in this habitat. 
  • Saturday, August 28 from 3-5:30pm: Who Lives Here? ONWR in Devens - Explore river habitat during a guided paddling tour looking at signs of beaver activity, and abundant bird life. Also talk about the history of the land surrounding the river, used by humans for farming, recreation, military training, and now conservation.
  • Saturday, September 11 from 2-3:30pm: Who Lives Here?  ONWR in Devens - Explore upland forest habitat and riverside trails looking for tracks, dens, scent mounds, scat and other clues that we are not the only ones using the trails and forest. 
These programs are appropriate for families with school-age children, Kindergarten and up.  Adventure backpacks will be available for families to use during the program including hands-on science tools such as binoculars and plant and animal identification guides. Come discover the wonders of our local federally designated national wildlife refuge! 

For the comfort of all, no dogs are allowed and appropriate COVID safety protocols will be followed. Registration is required; space is limited. Directions to the sites provided upon registration. To register, email registration@NashuaRiverWatershed.org, indicate which program(s) you wish to attend, number of people in your group, and ages of any children, as well as the best phone number where you can be reached in case of weather-related changes in program plans.

This free series is being offered by the NRWA in partnership with US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex, funded by a grant from the Freedom’s Way Heritage Association. The NRWA is a non-profit environmental organization providing water and land protection and environmental education programs in the 32 communities of our watershed. Learn more at www.NashuaRiverWatershed.org.

Bottled Water Rebate in Ayer

AYER: The Town of Ayer is offering a  water bill rebate for consumers who are pregnant or nursing women, infants and people diagnosed with compromised immune systems.  The Town's water system recently received notification of PFAS6 results showing that the system exceeded the 20 parts per trillion (ppt) PFAS6 Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) drinking water standard during the January – March 2021 compliance period, with a quarterly average of 26 ppt. Ayer has installed treatment to remove PFAS at one of their supplies and is constructing a PFAS treatment system at the other water supply location, which should be completed at the end of this year.
The MassDEP has stated that consumers in sensitive subgroups (pregnant or nursing women, infants and people diagnosed by their health care provider to have a compromised immune system) should consider using bottled water when the level of the six PFAS substances, individually or in combination, is above 20 parts-per-trillion (ppt). The Ayer DPW and Select Board have decided to offer rebates on water bills to customers in the sensitive subgroup. This rebate is based on the average cost for purchasing bottled water. If you qualify and submit a completed application, a credit will be added to your water bill each billing cycle. Credits will be as follows:
  • $21 per infant less than one year old in home
  • $57 per pregnant or nursing mother
  • $57 per immune-compromised

For more information, call 978-772-8240.

Ayer Police Department Host Annual Food Drive

AYER:The Ayer Police Department was made aware from local food pantries that they are anticipating food shortages by early fall. Therefore, they are reaching out to the community to help by donating nonperishable food items. Time and time again, this community has rallied for great causes. No one should ever go hungry!
For the entire month of August, the Ayer Police Department will be accepting donations which can be left in the lobby. All nonperishable food items will be accepted, especially including:
  • Boxes of cereal
  • Canned soup
  • Canned carrots, green beans, corn, & mixed vegetables
  • Canned beans
  • Canned fruit
  • Instant potatoes (pouches or boxed)
  • 1 or 2 lb pound bags of rice
  • Peanut butter & jelly
  • Box cartons of shelf stable whole milk (not evaporated)
  • Toilet paper

The drive will end on August 31 and the all of the food provided by you will be given to pantries in need on September 1, 2021.  For more information please contact: Sergeant John MacDonald, Ayer Police Department - (978) 772-8200 Ext: 570

Ayer Cultural Council Seeks New Members

AYER: The Ayer Cultural Council will hold its next meeting on July 27th, 6:30pm, at the Town Hall. There are currently two openings on the Council for those who would be interested in volunteering. Minimal commitment, but a maximum contribution to the Arts & Humanities in our region. For more information, please email CulturalCouncil@ayer.ma.us.

Scavenger Hunt on Lunenburg's Peabody Conservation

LUNENBURG: The Peabody Conservation consists of three-quarters of a mile worth of trails that are a part of the North County Land Trust. Hiking trails can be accessed across the road from the Lunenburg Public Library parking lot for the Lane Forest on the eastern side of Holman Street. A private landowner has generously agreed to a quarter-mile trail, called the Tenderness Trail, that crosses his land to connect the Lane Forest parking area to the Peabody Conservation Area trail system. Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, fishing, and cross-country skiing are allowed at the Peabody Conservation Area.
This summer, the Library invites everyone to explore this beautiful local hiking area with your family. Starting this Monday, July 26, there will be some woodland animals hiding along the trails for you to find while you are there. Stop by the library for a map and list of animals before you go. Try to find as many animals as you can to earn a badge and/or raffle ticket as part of the summer reading program. These animals will then be at Peabody for the rest of the summer, so stop by anytime to do your scavenger hunt.
Remember... once you have found the animals, leave them where they are cuz that's where they are happiest, and also so they can be found by the next lucky hunters!
Lunenburg Library is located at 1023 Mass Ave. For more information visit them online at www.lunenburglibrary.org.
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100th Anniversary of the Appalachian Trail

SHIRLEY: On Saturday, August 7 at 1:30 pm, the Shirley Historical Society, in co-sponsorship with the Town of Shirley Greenway Committee and Freedom’s Way Heritage Area, will present a program at the Shirley Historical Society Museum, 182 Center Rd, Shirley MA celebrating the 100th anniversary of Benton MacKaye’s 1921 publication of his proposal to create the Appalachian Trail. Featured in the program will be John and Trudy Phillips of Lynchburg ,VA, who will speak about their two-year experience hiking the entire 2,200 mile hiking trail from Georgia to Maine.  As active volunteers with the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club, they will discuss the important role played by the 31 trail clubs that maintain the Appalachian Trail in partnership with the Natural Park Service.

Richard Evans, a Shirley native now living in Robbinsville, NC, will give a brief talk on the 287-mile Benton MacKaye Trail on the Smoky Mountain ridges spanning northern Georgia to western North Carolina, which provides vital wilderness protection as a companion trail to the Appalachian Trail.  

The program will conclude with a short walk to nearby Shirley Center to view the MacKaye homes on Parker Road, visit the Shirley Meeting House, and stop by the MacKaye memorial stone in Center Cemetery.   Following the walk, visitors can view MacKaye  memorabilia from the Society’s collections.    Admission is free with donations gratefully accepted.  For more information, visit www.shirleyhistory.org.

Nashoba Park Resident Receives Special Lifetime Achievement Award

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AYER: Rose Bardell, a Lynn native and former Townsend resident, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Nashoba Park, recognizing her long list of accomplishments throughout her life and honoring her personal history.

Born in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1933, Rose moved to Montreal, Canada as a baby and lived there until she was 12. After leaving Canada, Rose returned to Lynn, where she attended St. Mary’s High School. After graduation, Rose went on to work for General Electric in Lynn for four years. In 1951 she met her husband, Bill, on a blind date and was married that same year. They went on to have two children together, Bill and Rod. Rose’s career featured roles at Champion Lamp in Lynn, Lydia Pinkham’s Company, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Social Services. After she retired, Rose moved to Townsend to be closer to her family.

In her spare time, Rose was part of the bowling leagues in Lynn and Peabody. She has been bowling since her early 20s and would bowl Thursday nights, Friday nights and in the morning before work. She even went on to win a few bowling championships with her league! Rose also enjoyed scuba diving with her husband, venturing to Lynn Beach, Red Rock and George’s Island on their boat. Rose is most proud of her children, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

“The Lifetime Achievement Award is really about recognizing that every single person in our community has achieved so much throughout their lives,” said Kimberly Gagnon, Executive Director of Nashoba Park. “Every resident has a story to tell, and it’s important that we honor that and share their stories with others.”

Nashoba Park is a Volunteers of America Massachusetts non-profit Assisted Living community located in Ayer. For more information about Nashoba Park, please visit www.NashobaPark.com.

AARP Massachusetts Fraud Watch Update: July 2021

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Did you know that someone’s identity gets stolen every two seconds?  The AARP Fraud Watch Network provides you with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud so you can protect yourself and your family.  Our watchdog alerts will keep you up to date on con artists’ latest tricks.  It’s free of charge for everyone:  AARP members, non-members, and people of all ages.  Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.

Warm weather is here which means door-to-door sales crews are here, too. But what they’re selling isn’t always legit. Be cautious anytime a stranger comes knocking, especially if the visitor is trying to sell you goods or services. Be wary of contractors who say they stopped by because they just happened to be in the neighborhood. The good ones are usually too busy to roam around in search of work. Also be on guard for high pressure tactics to make a quick decision for a steep discount, and requests for payment upfront. Your best bet is to proactively seek out services if you need them, versus reacting to an unexpected sales pitch. It’s always okay to explain you don’t do business at your front door (or to not answer when strangers knock).

Many scams originate right at your fingertips through your computer or smartphone. The good news is the way to block them is also within your grasp. Here are three tips to keep your devices safe from criminals. Make sure your devices’ operating systems are up to date; you should be able to set an auto-update feature that downloads the latest software when available. Next, make sure to change the password on your Wi-Fi router so it’s different from the password it came with. If you have a lot of devices connected to it, they could be vulnerable if the router is compromised. Lastly, a password manager is a great way to create unique and hard-to-guess passwords for all of your online accounts and apps.

America is open for business again and millions of people are traveling, or planning to. One thing you may run into is sticker shock – especially with rental cars. The lack of travel in 2020 led rental companies to sell a lot of their inventory of cars. Now that demand has spiked, supply is tight and prices are high.
Unfortunately, criminals are paying attention and posting fake rental car deals at rock bottom prices online. While everyone loves a good deal, doing business with an entity you aren’t familiar with could be risky. Whatever your travel needs, stick to reputable websites with proven track records. If you do find a deal with an unfamiliar provider, do your research: look up the company name with “scam” or “complaint” and see what appears, and check out reviews.

Who doesn’t love something for free? But beware, that “free trial offer” might mean months of payments that you didn’t know you signed up for and will have a hard time canceling. These types of sales tactics are called negative options – a customer signs up for a free trial and unwittingly accepts a subscription – sometimes for a questionable product – often by not seeing a pre-checked box in the very tiny print. When it comes to free trials, research before you enroll. Fully understand the terms and conditions by reading the fine print. Keep a close eye on your credit and debit card statements so you spot unexpected charges right away. Contact your bank or credit card company to address the issue; calling the company you inadvertently signed up for a subscription with will likely get you nowhere.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.
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Road Closing and Detour East Main Street Reconstruction Project in Ayer

AYER: 7/2/21 UPDATE: The following work is anticipated starting Tuesday July 6th: The Contractor, PJ Albert will be removing the sidewalk pavement and replacing it with compacted gravel until they are ready for the final grading and new cement concrete sidewalks to be installed.
During construction, there will be a usable sidewalk on one side of the road and sidewalks in the work zone should be passable at the end of each day. Some sections of sidewalk will be closed during work hours and pedestrian detour “cross here” signs will be placed to direct pedestrians.
The work will be from Maple Street toward the bridge at Main Street on the north side (Library side) of the road and then from the Bridge to Maple Street on the south side ( Court House side) of the road. The Contractor will then remove and regrade sidewalks from East Street to Maple Street They will also begin installing granite curbing beginning on July 12.
Alternating one way traffic and detours will be setup as necessary and detail officers will be onsite to direct traffic. Local access will be allowed at all times.
If you have any questions, please call them at 978-772-8240 (7:30 to 3:30) or email DPW@ayer.ma.us. Ayer DPW will provide regular construction updates on the Town web site www.ayer.ma.us , FaceBook (Town of Ayer, MA) and we will send out E-Alerts via email. To sign up for E-Alerts visit www.ayer.ma.us/subscribe.
The East Main Street Road Reconstruction Project is progressing and the first phase of road reconstruction and paving is in progress. Base Paving between Maple Street and East Street will be done on Wednesday June 30 and Thursday July 1. In order to complete this work quickly and before the Holiday weekend, work will begin at 5 AM and the road will be closed to through traffic. A detour in both directions will be clearly marked on Columbia Street, Central Avenue and Sandy Pond Road.
There will be traffic delays and detours. Seek alternative routes. Police details will be onsite to direct traffic and detour signage is in place. The road will be open to local traffic, the Ayer Library, Pirone Park and Ayer Court House.
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Nashoba Park Assisted Living Celebrates National CNA Week

AYER: Nashoba Park Assisted Living found a special way to give back to their associates for National Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) Week. The Volunteers of America Massachusetts Senior Community used the occasion as an opportunity to show their appreciation to their dedicated group of Resident Care Associates, who work around the clock to provide for the care of the community’s residents, with an ice cream sundae bar and personalized giveaways.

“Our wellness team members are some of the most dedicated, passionate individuals I have ever worked with,” says Kimberly Gagnon, Nashoba Park’s Executive Director. “We are trying to find as many ways as possible to recognize the hours and sacrifices they are putting in to care
for residents and keep them safe.”

In addition to regular appreciation events, Nashoba Park also offers professional development opportunities and educational training for associates. Nashoba Park currently offers a variety of opportunities to join their close-knit team. Learn more and apply online at www.NashobaPark.com/Careers.

The Wall That Heals at NMRHS

TOWNSEND: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Wall That Heals will be on display at the North Middlesex Regional High School July 1st through July 4. The to scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial honors veterans and the families of Central Massachusetts and Middlesex County, Townsend, Pepperell, Groton and Acton. The exhibit will be open 24 hours a day. You can find additional information on the Wall that Heals at www.vvmf.org/The-Wall-That-Heals.

DONORS URGENTLY NEEDED: Red Cross Still Facing Severe Blood Shortage

The American Red Cross continues to experience a severe blood shortage that is negatively affecting blood product availability across the country. Donors of all blood types – especially type O and those giving platelets – are urged to make an appointment to give now and help ensure hospital shelves are stocked with blood products over the Fourth of July holiday and beyond.

Right now, the Red Cross is working around the clock to provide blood products to hospitals responding to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, as well as overdoses and resulting transplants. As a result of the blood shortage, some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes, delaying crucial patient care. 

In addition, while summer is traditionally a time when blood donations decline, this year is particularly challenging as many Americans receive their vaccinations and resume summer activities after more than a year of limited interactions and travel, leading to lower donor turnout. The need for blood doesn’t take a holiday break − patients still depend on lifesaving transfusions.

Donors are needed now to prevent further delays to patient care. Schedule an appointment to give blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a thank-you, all those who come to give July 1-6 will receive a Red Cross embroidered hat by mail,* while supplies last. And, donors who come to give July 7-31 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, plus a chance to win gas for a year (a $5,000 value). (Terms and conditions apply; visit rcblood.org/fuel). 
In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.
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Town of Ayer 2020 Water Quality Reports Released

AYER: The Town of Ayer Department of Public Works - Water Division has presented their 2020 Water Quality Report. This report provides an overview of the water quality that we supplied to the Town in 2020 and information on how the Town manages and protects its water resources. In an effort to be more environmentally responsible, they are no longer printing and mailing reports. They are available on the Town website and at Town Hall, the Library and the DPW office. If you would like a copy mailed to you, call the DPW at 978-772-8240. Visit www.ayer.ma.us/ccr to download or view the water quality report.
Also, in October 2020, MassDEP promulgated a new drinking water regulation and maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 20 nanograms per liter (ng/L) for the sum of six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (called PFAS6). Ayer DPW recently sent out a public notification with information regarding PFAS in the Town drinking water. The DPW is actively working on removing the PFAS from the drinking water including construction of 2 treatment plants. One is in operation and the other will be completed by the end of the year. For more information, visit www.ayer.ma.us/water-department/pages/pfas-drinking-water.

Join Shaw's in Giving Back Where it Counts - to July'21 Recipient ArtsNashoba

GROTON: ArtsNashoba Youth Arts program is thanking you in advance to show at the Shaw's Supermarket at 760A Boston Road in Groton next month.  And while you're there, please consider purchasing one (or more) of the store's "Give Back Where it Counts" re-usable bags. ArtsNashoba has been selected by the store leadership as the benefiting non-profit for the month of July, so the non-profit 501(c)3 organization will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $2.50 bags purchased!  So mark your calendars, shop at Shaw's in July, and don't forget to take your groceries home in a bag that COUNTS!!!  For more information about ArtsNashoba, visit them online at www.artsnashoba.org.

Erin Raber joins Virginia Thurston Healing Garden as a Clinical Care Specialist & Music Therapist

HARVARD: The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden Cancer Support Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Erin Raber as a Clinical Care Specialist and Music Therapist. Raber, a recent Healing Garden intern who completed a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Music Therapy in May 2021, joined the Healing Garden clinical staff on June 15th and will lead several support groups, provide music therapy groups and individual sessions, and will be available for short-term individual counseling for clients new to the Healing Garden.

Erin is a music therapist, clinical mental health counselor, and certified sound healing practitioner based in Boston, MA. Erin’s expressive, voice-based music therapy approach combines theories and ideas from transpersonal and psychodynamic frameworks and ancient and modern music and sound healing techniques from a variety of Indigenous and non-Western cultures. She has also received accreditation through the California Institute of Integral Studies in Sound, Voice, and Music Healing and the Vox Mundi School of Sound and the Voice, and vocal training at the California Jazz Conservatory.

“I am so excited to join the staff at the Healing Garden and to begin this chapter of my career at an organization that provides compassionate, integrative care for people with a cancer diagnosis, and understands and values the importance of music therapy in cancer care. It has been such a joy and honor to work with Healing Garden clients, and I am so grateful I get to continue this work,” said Raber.

The Healing Garden is a local non-profit organization dedicated to providing education and supportive, integrative therapeutic services, programs, and classes for all those affected by cancer. Clients and caregivers come from over 165 of the towns and cities in the Commonwealth. The Healing Garden provides high quality, evidence-based therapies in a magnificent healing environment, located on eight acres of lovingly created gardens on a wooded hillside in Harvard, Massachusetts. Here, without reminders of the disease and medical interventions, clients can begin treatments feeling calmer and supported. We offer, a community of others to share in the journey, counseling and support groups, mind-body medicine for symptom management, stress reduction and restoration of wellness, education about choices that contribute to health and healing, such as nutritional educationexercise, and mindfulness, expressive therapies as an alternative to talk therapy for processing/releasing emotions, programs, and services to help regain control in life, both during and after medical treatment.  For a detailed description of the various modalities of care and their contributions to healing, visit www.healinggardensupport.org or call (978) 456-3532.
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Pay as you Throw Trash Bags in Ayer Increased

AYER: The Town of Ayer Rate Committee recently determined the need to increase the price of the Pay As You Throw trash bags to help cover the rising cost of operating the Transfer Station. The price of each sleeve of five bags will be increased by $5 beginning July 1st.
15 GALLON BAGS (sleeve of 5 bags) $20
33 GALLON BAGS (sleeve of 5 bags) $25
55 GALLON BAGS (sleeve of 5 bags) $30
Bags purchased between now and July 1st may be limited to three rolls per customer so that bag inventory can be maintained for all residents that use the Transfer Station. Please direct any questions to the Public Works Department at 978-772-8240.

Read to Luna the Dog Live! at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library invites children to Read to Luna the Dog on the Main Library lawn the second Friday of each month beginning in June between 11:30am-12:30pm. Luna is a certified therapy dog through Pets & People Foundation, Inc. Did you know that reading to dogs boosts reading skills and emotional and social skills for children? This event is for children ages 5+. Children are invited to register for their own individual 15 minute session with Luna. Register in advance by visiting the library's events calendar online at www.concordlibrary.org.
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June is PTSD Awareness Month

June is PTSD Awareness Month. Though most often associated with veterans who experienced atrocities of war, anyone, including children and teens, can suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Children typically recover quickly from stressful events, but when it comes to severe stress, especially serious injuries, the death of a close family member or friend, sexual assault, living through a disaster, or witnessing a violent act such as a school shooting, children can often suffer the long-term effects of PTSD.
The National Center for PTSD estimates that 7-8% of people will experience PTSD during their lives. Worse yet, over 65% of children who are exposed to a traumatic event will, at some point, attempt to take their own lives.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the symptoms of PTSD are different for young children than those of older teens and adults. Children younger than 6 will often wet the bed, forget how or refuse to talk, act out the traumatic event during routine play, or become unusually clingy with a parent or other adult.

Research shows that depression rates increase after a trauma and tend to be especially high among children with PTSD. If your child or someone you love is struggling with depression or thinking about suicide, get help now. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is a free resource, available 24 hours a day for anyone who is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. The Crisis Text Line is a free 24/7 text line where trained crisis counselors support individuals in crisis. Text “Jason” to 741741 to speak with a compassionate, trained Crisis Counselor. Confidential support 24/7, for free.

The Jason Foundation is another available resource.  The Jason Foundation is dedicated to the awareness and prevention of youth suicide through educational programs that equip youth, parents, educators, and the community with the tools and resources to identify and assist at-risk youth. Many times, a young person will exhibit clear warnings signs prior to an attempt. By knowing the warning signs, and knowing how to help, you could save a life.  Visit The Jason Foundation’s website to learn more about youth suicide, the warning signs, and how you can help make a difference.  The Jason Foundation has never charged a school, community, or individual for the use of their programs or resources.  http://www.jasonfoundation.com
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Emerson Hospital & IMPACT Melanoma Team Up to Protect the Public

CONCORD: Emerson Hospital and IMPACT Melanoma, a national non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the incidence of melanoma, have teamed for the third consecutive year to protect residents from skin cancer. The organizations have deployed touchless, automatic sunscreen dispensers at 16 high-traffic locations, including parks and recreation facilities, beaches, rail trails, and athletic fields throughout Concord and the greater area. The dispensers provide complementary sunscreen throughout Acton (at The Discovery Museum), Bedford, Chelmsford, Concord, Harvard, Hudson, Maynard and Westford.
Jen Melanson, Community Service Coordinator for the town of Chelmsford, reported after the 2020 season, “The program was so well received, we had positive feedback on social media and from citizens who were very excited and appreciative. We are grateful to Emerson Hospital for providing the dispensers and are excited to support the program again this year.”
“We are pleased to work with Emerson Hospital on this invaluable initiative for the third year,” said Deb Girard, IMPACT’s Executive Director. “It is imperative to educate communities at all levels – residents, government, employees, and visitors – to create a broad sense of sun-safe practices aimed at healthier lifestyle choices for our skin. With this initiative in motion, we can achieve exactly that with the fleet of free sunscreen dispensers, and educational messaging. We are excited and hope that neighboring towns take notice. Together we can make a great IMPACT and practice of safe skin.”
Emerson Hospital is sponsoring bright yellow sunscreen dispensers that are filled with SPF 30 sunscreen. The dispensers are monitored regularly and replenished as needed, ensuring that everyone in the area who needs sunscreen has easy access to it. SPF 30 or higher sunscreen is rated and recommended for use by children ages six-months and up, and adults. All sunscreen ingredients are safe and approved by the FDA.
“Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in our service area, according to our latest Community Health Assessment,” notes Christine Gallery, Senior Vice President, Planning and Chief Strategy Officer, Emerson Hospital. “We are proud to support IMPACT Melanoma again this year, so that people throughout our towns can have fun this summer, while easily protecting themselves from skin cancer. We anticipate the community will use the sunscreen often and it will become a routine part of their summer safety regimen. We encourage the community to be in touch with a physician with any questions or concerns about their skin.”
To learn more about the importance of sunscreen and where the complimentary sunscreen dispensers are located, please visit www.emersonhospital.org/sunscreen.