Harvard Flea Market: Biggest Outdoor Flea Market Northwest of Boston

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HARVARD: The League of Women Voters of Harvard and the Harvard Schools Trust are pleased to announce the 49th Annual Harvard Flea Market, to be held on Saturday, October 9, from 9am to 4pm.  Over 160 booths will be on the grounds of the Bromfield School. (Rain date October 10). Admission is $3 per person for adults and seniors; $1 per child ages 6-12 and; and $5 for early birds (7am to 9am).

Thousands are expected to attend. Bargain hunters will descend upon Harvard to attend the largest one-day outdoor flea market northwest of Boston. Shoppers come with bags and carts in tow to visit over 160 booths filled with antiques and collectibles – toys, games, jewelry and vintage clothing, seasonal décor, artwork and paintings, pottery and glassware, and so much more.

The flea market boasts a popular food court area with both traditional favorites and ethnic cuisines including Thai food and specialty desserts.  The Harvard Lions Club serves up hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken strips, meatball subs, veggie burgers, hotdogs, fries, breakfast sandwiches, funnel cakes and fresh squeezed lemonade and drinks. The Congregational Church of Harvard will hold its Apple Festival “Pies on the Common,” selling homemade apples pies fresh from local ovens.   

There will be parking and restrooms available with handicap access. Please do not block private driveways - parking restrictions will be strictly enforced, including ticketing and towing. Emergency staff will be onsite to assist with any medical emergencies. The Harvard Flea Market gate keepers will accept cash only (no checks or credit/debit cards) for admission. Some booth vendors may accept credit card payments via Square® or other apps.  Most accept cash only.   Dogs are permitted at the flea market provided they are on a leash and their owners pick up after them.

PLEASE NOTE: To ensure the safety of our staff, vendors, and guests, the Harvard Flea Market, in consultation with the Harvard Board of Health and per CDC advisories, has established the following guidelines:
 
  • If you are feeling unwell, stay home or find someone to take your place.
  • Safe physical distancing is expected to be maintained while selling, shopping, and waiting in lines.
  • Unvaccinated vendors and guests are asked to wear masks.
  • Vaccinated vendors and guests are encouraged to wear masks, unless local guidelines are revised.
  • Free adult and child masks will be available at each entrance.
  • Vendors are encouraged to have hand sanitizer available at their booths.
 
For more information on the flea market, including directions, and booth availability, visit www.harvardfleamarket.com. To learn whether the flea market has been postponed a day due to inclement weather, call the Harvard Schools Trust message line at 978-456-5085.
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Indian Hill Music Announces New Name & New Home: Groton Hill Music Center

LITTLETON/GROTON: Indian Hill Music announced that it will now be known as Groton Hill Music Center, with the Fall 2022 opening of its stunning new home for music, currently under construction in Groton.

Indian Hill Music has boldly embraced the opportunity to create one of the most ambitious cultural projects in New England, returning to Groton, the North Central Massachusetts town where the non-profit was founded in 1985 by a handful of local musicians and music enthusiasts. Designed by award-winning Epstein Joslin Architects of Cambridge, MA, (Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport; Strathmore Music Center, Baltimore) Groton Hill Music Center is an architecturally exquisite 126,000-square-foot music education and performance venue. It houses a 1,000-seat concert hall with lawn seating for seasonal concerts, a 300-seat performance hall, multi-scaled rehearsal and teaching spaces, state-of-the-art acoustics designed by Threshold Acoustics of Chicago, and dynamic architecture. Additionally, two-thirds of the land on which the facility sits – formerly an apple orchard and a horse farm – is preserved as picturesque agricultural fields.

Groton Hill Music Center will become a gathering place for all to experience the highest quality music education, with private lessons, classes, ensembles, and supplemental learning programs for all ages and abilities; impactful outreach programs that share the transformative power of music throughout the community with a focus on the underserved; and world-class professional performances of all genres -- from jazz, global roots, folk, rock, country, and contemporary music to classical masterworks and chamber music. The building is designed to be a connected environment that creates opportunities for musicians, educators, students, and audience members to encounter, engage with, and inspire one another as a singular music community.

“We are anxiously anticipating the opening of this incredible new chapter for our organization, creating a vibrant musical hub that will be a treasured and valuable asset to the community,” said Lisa Fiorentino, CEO of Indian Hill Music. “Our organization has a strong history and significant ties to the 79 communities we currently serve throughout the region, with many enthusiastic supporters in Groton.”

Indian Hill Music will continue to use its current name until the new center opens next fall. The professional Orchestra of Indian Hill, led by acclaimed Artistic Director and Conductor Bruce Hangen, will complete its 47th season in Littleton, and looks forward to performing in its new world-class home, under a new name to be announced at a later date.
October
If you’ve ever dealt with someone making threats against you, been the subject of physical or verbal attacks, had rumors floated about you, or been purposely excluded from a group, then you know what it’s like to be bullied. During October, we recognize National Bullying Prevention Month and raise awareness and focus on bullying.

Bullying is any unwanted and aggressive behavior that involves a power imbalance, whether real or perceived. It’s typically behavior that is repeated again and again over a period of time.

Technology, with all the benefits it provides, also has made bullying easier and more widespread. Cyberbullying includes the distribution of mean or inappropriate email or text messages, the use of social media to post rumors or embarrassing photos, videos, messages, and even fake profiles.

For more information on ways to prevent, respond, or act against bullying, visit stopbullying.org, which is a special initiative from the Department of Health and Human Services.

If your child has been the victim of bullying and you’ve noticed a change in his or her mental health as a result, or if your child or someone you love is struggling with depression or thinking about suicide, get help now. In Massachusetts, every 5.28 days on an average a young person (ages 10-24) is lost to the silent epidemic of youth suicide.
 
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. One element of these tools and resources is free online training that anyone may utilize. Among the training modules available is one dedicated to the study of bullying and suicide. Visit jasonfoundation.com and click Training for more information. 

Townsend Historical Society Hosts Fall Open House

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TOWNSEND: The Townsend Historical Society warmly welcomes you to visit for a daylong celebration of their revolutionary history. On Saturday, October 2 from 9am – 5pm, history will come alive at the Reed Homestead with tours, hearth cooking, and craft demonstrations. Docents will lead you through our Federal era dwelling, which is well known for its Rufus Porter murals. There will be a number of farm animals on site for your enjoyment. Volunteer reenactors will setup camp, perform military drills and musket firings throughout the day. Civilians of the same period will be demonstrating period crafts such as candle dipping, writing, toys and games. Last, you’ll be offered a rare glimpse into cooking on the hearth and beehive oven as our chefs prepare a demonstration of a noontime meal in the house’s kitchen. This daylong celebration is for you and your family.
 
Admission is by donation but you are encouraged to join the Townsend Historical Society if you like what you see. Experience history hands on. This event is rain or shine, so plan accordingly. Walk-ins welcome but signup is encouraged in advance via Eventbrite (https://tinyurl.com/jcxb3x6w). Masks are required for indoor tours and demonstrations. For any questions, please call 978-597-2106, email info@townsendhistoricalsociety.org or visit www.townsendhistoricalsociety.org.
 
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Townsend Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
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Ayer DPW Paving Ongoing

AYER: The Ayer DPW is in the process of paving High Street from Holmes Street to Winthrop Avenue. The work includes new asphalt sidewalks and curb and repaving the street. Work sequence will be:
 
- Remove existing sidewalks
- Remove existing pavement and regrade (Reclaim)
- Install binder course pavement
- Install curbing
- Construct sidewalks and ramps
- Final paving
 
The Ayer DPW will also be paving Groton Shirley Road beginning on September 22. The work includes reclaiming and regrading the roadway, installing drainage swales on the south side in select areas, repaving, and installing traffic calming (removable speed tables and signage, speed feedback signs, and line painting). Work sequence will be:
 
- Remove existing pavement and regrade (reclaim)
- Install binder course pavement
- Construct stormwater swale
- Install curbing
- Final paving
- Install traffic calming
 
These projects are anticipated to take several weeks. Seek alternative routes. Police details will be onsite to direct traffic. During construction, there will be varying road conditions. Please travel with caution.
 
If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Public Works at 978-772-8240.
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Friends of the Bolton Public Library to Hold Book Sale

BOLTON: The Friends of the Bolton Public Library will hold their semiannual book sale on Saturday, October 16 from 9:30am – 4pm. (Rain date is October 23) at the Houghton Building, 697 Main Street. There are over 10,000 books sorted and “not picked over.” Games, puzzles, CDs and DVDs. The book sale is the Friends' largest fundraiser. Proceeds from the sale support programs, events, museum passes, and their online newsletter Wowbrary.

Please Note: Masks are required.
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Finance Committee Vacancy Announcement

AYER: The Ayer Finance Committee currently has two open positions. One has been held by Matthew Selby, who is seeking re-appointment for a three-year term to expire on June 30, 2024.  The other opening is a result of a member’s resignation as they moved out of town. This second position is a one-year appointment, expiring June 30, 2022.

Information about the Finance Committee can be found online at www.ayer.ma.us/finance-committee.  Ayer resident voters, who wish to be considered, should present their letter of interest and resumes by Wednesday, September 22, 2021, to the Town Moderator. Email these to joconor@ayer.ma.us who will provide them to the selection committee.

Candidates for the Finance Committee will be interviewed by a five-member selection committee composed of a member of the Select Board, Finance Committee, Ayer Regional School Committee, Ayer Finance Department, and a member of the public appointed by the Moderator.
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POW/MIA Candlelight Ceremony at Townsend Common

TOWNSEND: In observance of National POW/MIA Recognition Day on September 17, Townsend VFW Post #6538 and its Auxiliary will conduct a Candlelight POW/MIA Ceremony on the Townsend Common at 6:30pm. The day is an opportunity to honor prisoners of war and those who went missing in action, from all branches of the nation’s armed services. Friday’s vigil will especially pay tribute to 39 Massachusetts residents who are still unaccounted for in Southeast Asia following the Vietnam War.
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Chess Tactics for all Ages Virtual Event

LUNENBURG: Now that you've had the chance to learn the basics, it's time to take your chess game to the next level! Chess Tactics for all Ages, running September 28 from 6:30-7:30pm, is a virtual program will help you improve your chess game by introducing you to various chess tactics that are useful in winning. They'll form a way for you to get ahead of your opponent and have a better understanding of the game. Participants should already be familiar with how the pieces move. This online class is open to adults, teens, and children ages 8 and up! Chess really is a fun activity for the whole family!

This event is virtual and will take place on Zoom. Registration is required.Register by visiting the Events page on the Lunenburg Public Library's websiteat lunenburglibrary.org, or by emailing Susan at selbag@cwmars.org.
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Shirley Historical Society Offers Shaker Tours

SHIRLEY: There was a community of believers known as Shakers who worshipped, worked and lived together in Shirley from 1793–1908. Shakers were known for their strong faith, the high quality of their seeds and the fine workmanship on their buildings and crafts. They were appreciated for their kindness and generosity to all, regardless of age, color, or background.
 
The State of Massachusetts now owns the former Shirley Shaker property and several of the old Shaker buildings are used by the Department of Corrections.
The Shirley Historical Society is periodically allowed to take visitors on tours of the site and to teach people about Shaker life and the Shirley community. This fall, the tours will be held on Sundays, October 3, 10, and 24 at 12:30pm. The two-hour tour begins with a brief illustrated lecture on the history of the Shakers and the Shirley Village. Visitors then go inside three Shaker buildings and travel by prison van to various locations around the property.
 
Reservations must be made in advance for a cost of $15 per person; $10 for Historical Society members. Pay by cash or check, in person at the Museum at 182 Center Road, mail a check to P.O. Box 217, Shirley, MA 01464, or charge it by Paypal on www.shirleyhistory.org.
 
Additional tours may be arranged for groups of eight or more.
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Beautiful People Creating Beautiful Things; Art Classes at Nashoba Park

AYER: Residents of Nashoba Park recently participated in a step-by-step painting class to make beautiful sunflowers! At Nashoba Park, their multifaceted EnrichedLIFE Program offers a wide array of social and wellness activities to give residents something to look forward to each day. Art classes are a very popular choice among the residents!
 
Nashoba Park Assisted Living is a project of the nonprofit Volunteers of America Massachusetts, which has supported local seniors with specialized services for over 75 years and continues to fulfill its mission today within its three senior communities – Nashoba Park and its “sister communities” Concord Park in West Concord and Forestdale Park in Malden. These residences, rooted in their communities, have a stellar reputation among residents, their families and local eldercare professionals for the quality of their care and services, innovative programs and building amenities.
 
PHOTO: Residents Paula Morris, Eileen Hamel & Shirley Rice.

Sense of Place Multi-Town Exhibit Open; Artist Reception September 26

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GROTON: The currently running "Sense of Place" Multi-Town Exhibit will hold an Artist reception at The Groton Inn September 26, 2 to 5pm. This two-month-long exhibit will bridge the history of this beautiful region we call home with the present through the work of 25 artists from Littleton, Groton, Pepperell and Harvard.

What is it about this special place you call home that speaks to you? That single question, posed to artists from Littleton, Groton, Pepperell and Harvard, sparked a multi-town art exhibition, “Sense of Place,” running from September 1 through October 31 at the Groton History Center, The Groton Inn, the Groton Library, and Old Frog Pond Farm in Harvard, MA.
“Around the world, there are places that exude a certain energy…perhaps it’s a spiritual energy radiating from deep in the earth, or the vibrancy of the souls who have settled in that same spot through the ages,” says the Introduction of the accompanying coffee table book, a compilation of art and essays from the exhibit. “Different places inspire us in our own individual ways and lay the foundation for our inimitable journeys on this planet.”

For Groton painter and NOA Gallery owner Joni Parker- Roach, sense of place meant the vistas not far from her home—Gibbet Hill, General Field and Indian Hill, which she captured in striking detail in a trio of pastel paintings. For Pepperell woodturner Charles Faucher, it was about the ancient trees, including a felled apple in a meadow near his home, from which he turned a set of 6 bowls for the show. Alexia Rosoff Wilber focused her exploration on the many beings—snakes, squirrels, owls—that she spotted while in quarantine on her Pepperell farm—and captured them in collagraph prints and pastel on paper. Other well-known artists represented in the curated 21-person show include Groton’s own Paul Matisse, creator of the Kalliroscope and owner of the gallery of the same name, and Mary Minifie, a Groton portrait painter who studied under the Boston School of Painting’s Paul Ingbretson.

The exhibit was the idea of Bobbie Spiegelman, former President of the Groton History Center, whose goal was “to find the connections between history, place and art and to capture the talents in our community in the 2020s.” The history center is home to a portrait by Edmund C. Tarbell, a leading member of the Boston School, and works by Groton’s Harvey Sargisson, who is best known for his bird carvings, all of which will be on display during the two-month show.
 
Admission to the Sense of Place exhibition is free. It will take place during the months of September and October at three walkable locations on Groton’s Main Street—The Groton History Center, The Groton Inn and the Groton Public Library—AND at an additional location in Harvard at Old Frog Pond Farm in Harvard. A coffee table book featuring the works on display and stories of the artists’ inspirations will be launched at the reception and available for sale at several locations around Groton. All proceeds from the exhibition will go to the Groton History Center.

Groton History Center, 172 Main Street, Groton MA (open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 11 AM to 3 PM)
The Groton Inn, 128 Main Street, Groton MA ( open daily 9 AM to 9 PM)

ArtsNashoba's Back with 2021-22 Season;
Register Now for Show Starting 9/28

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GROTON/AYER: After months waiting, ArtsNashoba is SOOOOOO very happy to announce their 2021-22 season of productions!  They have some very fun and new things planned, as well as some "old" but soon to be refurbished things as well!

Starting immediately, their Fall production will be a "Classic Tales Radio Hour" - 4 short play readings performed in radio play format.  What does that mean?  It means actors will be reading, in character, acting out (most likely multiple) roles at stage microphones while other "foleys" will be contributing live sound effects to help create the atmosphere of the plays.  Included in the titles are "Treasure Island," "Mad Tea Party," "Stone Soup" and "Jack & the Beanstalk." Much character work will be done during this project with Director JulieAnn Govang, as well as extensive creative thinking when devising all of the sound effects.  Cast members can act AND be on the sound team, or select to do just one or the other.
REHEARSALS: Tuesdays & Fridays, 4pm-6pm, starting 9/28/21
LOCATION: UCC/Groton, 220 Main St, Groton, MA
TUITION: $125; $100 for siblings
PERFORMANCES: November 12 & 13, 2021, Great Hall, Ayer Town Hall
INFO: JulieAnn@artsnashoba.org

Opening registrations in early December will be a 'reboot' of "Seussical, the Musical" by Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty, the team who have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination – Jojo.  "Oh, the thinks you can think" when Dr. Seuss' best-loved stories collide and cavort in an unforgettable musical caper!  Canceled just ONE WEEK before opening in 2020, ArtsNashoba is revisiting this fully-staged production with fresh eyes, starting anew with new plans and a new Directorial Team including Kathleen MacKenzie and music director Scott Cruikshank.
REHEARSALS: Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays (to be confirmed later this year)
LOCATION: UCC/Groton, 220 Main St, Groton, MA
TUITION: $295; $275 for siblings
PERFORMANCES: March 25, 26 & 27, 2022 at Lawrence Academy, Groton
INFO: info@artsnashoba.org; kmckenzie360@gmail.com 

Theater is alive and coming back with a vengeance, thank heavens. Please note that at ArtsNashoba, SAFETY ALWAYS COMES FIRST! ArtsNashoba will follow Covid-19 safety protocols determined by current CDC guidelines. At least for the Fall show, masks will be required as well as social distancing during rehearsals & performances. For more information about either or these productions or any other projects ArtsNashoba has in the pipeline, drop us a line at info@artsnashoba.org or visit www.artsnashoba.org!

Be a fraud fighter!
If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

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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.  AARP's 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.

SCAM ALERT #1: AARP Impostor Scams
One of the most effective things that criminals can do to gain your confidence is impersonate an organization that you do business with and trust. Sadly, no one is immune from this - not even AARP. Recently, the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline has been receiving calls about a scam involving phone calls from someone claiming to be with "AARP Security Systems" (or something similar sounding). The first question they ask is whether you own your home and then they hang up. Rule of thumb...Don’t engage with anyone claiming to be from AARP Security Systems, and if you get a call like this, call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 1-877-908-3360, or reporting it on zour scam map (www.aarp.org/scammap). Anytime you are directed to pay a debt or other obligation with a gift card, it is a scam.

SCAM ALERT #2:  “Smishing”
As more of us catch on to scam calls to our smartphones and block them or don’t answer them, scammers have taken to texting. “Smishing” is the term of art: SMS + phishing. Just as scammers phish by casting a wide net with email, so they do with smishing. The same things that we suggest in order to avoid phishing attacks apply to smishing.  But texts live in this space of immediacy – scammers know we are likely to respond much faster to a text than an email. To thwart their efforts, take a pause and consider the message. Is this really my bank, or Amazon, or PayPal, or the IRS texting me? Don’t click links – access the company or agency in a way you know to be safe and see if there’s an issue. Otherwise, don’t engage.

SCAM ALERT #3: Grandparent Scams
Criminals know that fear is the best motivator, and nothing drives fear more than a loved one in trouble. This is why scams targeting grandparents seem never to go away. If someone calls claiming to be your grandchild, or some authority calling about your grandchild who is in trouble or danger, it’s most likely a scam. It’s certainly a scam if the caller directs you to send money fast to resolve the problem. Your best move is to hang up and call your grandchild or reach out to family who would know his or her whereabouts.

SCAM ALERT #4: Utility Scams
Utility scams heat up as the temperatures rise (and when they fall), so much so that the Federal Trade Commission ranks utility impostors among the top reported scams. In this one, you typically get a call, email or text saying your account is past due and you must pay immediately, or they will cut off your power.  Another tactic is the “utility” claiming you overpaid your bill, and they request your bank account information to issue a refund. Utility scammers can also show up at your door after a power outage or severe storm offering to get your power back on for a fee. Utility companies typically don’t do business this way. Any unusual communication from your utility should raise a flag. Disengage and contact your provider at a number you know to be legitimate (off of a recent statement, for example). Chances are you’ll learn that there is no problem to address.

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.
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Emergence: Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit Continues Thru 10/3 at Old Frog Pond Farm

HARVARD: Emergence: the farm’s outdoor sculpture is open Thursdays through Sundays; 11-4pm. Walk the trails around the pond and through the woods and enjoy more than 40 outdoor sculptures by artists from all over New England. The self-guided tour takes about an hour. The juried artists selected for Emergence are Natalie Andrew, Louise Berliner, Gail Bos, David Crane, Kevin Duffy, Alicia Dwyer, Liz Fletcher, Cortni Frecha, Caroline Hack, Elizabeth Helfer, Adria Katz, Ilana Krepchin, Bette Ann Libby, Claire Lima, Azam Majooni, Laura McCallum, Marianne McCarthy, Yvette Monstad, Julie Nussbaum, Francis Patnaude, R. Douglas Rice, Maria Ritz, Deborah Santoro, and Melanie Zibit.
 
In addition to the Emergence Exhibit, permanently installed sculpture by BJ Andrus, Anne Eder, Zach Gabbard, Tristan Govignon, Linda Hoffman, Madeleine Lord, Ariel Matisse, Paul Matisse, Yin Peet, Blase Provitola, Karin Stanley, Scrap Wrenn, and Joseph Wheelwright are also on view. Adults $10; Seniors $8; and children under 12 are free.

PHOTO: Wonalacet Returns by Liz Fletcher
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Shirley Historical Society Hosts Garden Party Fundraiser

SHIRLEY: The Shirley Historical Society will hold a Garden Party Fund Raiser at the Bull Run on September 19th from 3–6pm. The afternoon will feature the mellow steel drum sound of Phil Andrews. Appetizers are included in the ticket price, but bring your cash or credit card for the bar and the silent auctions. To purchase your ticket, stop by the Museum at 182 Center Road on a Monday, Wednesday, or Saturday between 10am and 1pm, or go to www.shirleyhistory.org and use Paypal.
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Public Announcement - Street Tree Management Plan

AYER: The Ayer DPW is developing a street tree management plan for the Town. This plan is partially funded through a grant from MA Division of Conservation and Recreation. The Town's consultant, Davey Resource Group will be working in Town for the next 5 weeks completing a tree inventory of Town street trees. They will be walking through all of Ayer’s neighborhoods and streets collecting data. The representatives will wear hi-viz safety clothing and will be collecting data on tablet computers. They will not be entering private property. Vehicles will have the company name on the door and will be parked on the street in the areas that they are working. The goal of this project is to identify hazard trees, tree maintenance requirements and develop a planting plan for new trees. If you have any questions, please contact the Ayer DPW at 978-772-8240.
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10th Special Forces Presentation at Fort Devens Museum

DEVENS:Vinnie Sorrento will present an illustrated program on 10th Special Forces on September 18 at 1pm. This overview will cover the Lodge Act through the Vietnam War as shown through images and artifacts from the period. Program is via Zoom with limited seating in the museum. Visit www.fortdevensmuseum.org/events to register. 
 
Photo: Handmade plaque by Ken Kilmer at the Museum

Ayer Library To Participate in 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s Education Exhibition 

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AYER: The Ayer Library is excited to announce its participation in September 11, 2001: The Day That Changed the World, a downloadable educational exhibition that presents the history of 9/11, its origins, and its ongoing implications through the personal stories of those who witnessed and survived the attacks. Told across 14 posters, this exhibition includes archival photographs and images of artifacts from the Museum’s permanent collection. It explores the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and communities at the local, national, and international levels, and encourages critical thinking about the legacies of 9/11.  This exhibition will be set up in the library through the end of September.
 
Twenty years after the attacks, with terrorism still a threat today, the events of 9/11 and its aftermath remind us that we may never be able to prevent all the actions of people intent on harming others, but we do have control over how we respond to such events. Whether by volunteering in our local communities, serving our nation in the military, caring for the sick, or through other efforts, all of us can help build the world in which we want to live. As we witness history unfolding in our own time, the ways we choose to respond—both large and small—can demonstrate the best of human nature after even the worst of days.
 
This 9/11 Memorial & Museum curated exhibition reflects the core pillars of commemoration, education, and inspiration as we prepare to observe the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
  
The poster exhibition was developed by the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy Demands Wisdom. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National endowment for Humanities.

The Ayer Library is located at 26 East Main Street. Visit www.ayerlibrary.org for more information on this exhibition and other library programs and services.
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OARS Annual River Cleanup

It's OARS 35th Annual River Cleanup September 17-19. Join staff and volunteers as they spread out across the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord River Watershed to clean up our rivers, streams, ponds and trails. This year, to accommodate the comfort and needs of volunteers, there are two options.

Team Up Clean Up: During the weekend, gather family and friends for a walk or a paddle near or along the river, stream or pond. Pick up what trash and recycling you can and send OARS photos of your group cleaning up! People love to see what trash is no longer in our rivers.

Cleanup Day: Saturday, September 18, from 9am–noon. A team of volunteers will tackle sites in needing a larger group effort in towns including Framingham, Westborough, Hudson, Maynard, Concord and Billerica. The morning of hard work will be followed by a celebration with pizza. Registration is required. Details and registration information is available at www.oars3rivers.org

OARS is the watershed organization working to protect, improve, and preserve the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers, their tributaries and watersheds for the purposes of public recreation, water supply, and wildlife habitat. 

Two Benefit Concerts at Virginia Thurston Healing Garden Center

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HARVARD: The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden Cancer Support Center is pleased to announce two benefit concerts happening in September. Elliott Steger, MD will perform a virtual Jazz Concert on Sunday, September 12th at 3pm. The program will include original tunes as well as jazz standards and songs from Billy Joel. On Sunday, September 26, Tom Smith, award-winning Folk Music performer and songwriter will perform outside at the Healing Garden.

Registrations are required for both virtual and in person outdoor concerts, which are being offered, free of charge and are open to the public. Donations are appreciated and there is an opportunity when registering to make a secure online donation in support of the Healing Garden cancer services. Visit 
www.healinggardensupport.org for more details and to register.  Questions may be directed to Concert Coordinator Michele Abroff at concertcoordinator@healinggardensupport.org or call 978-456-3532. 
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Fall Activities for Kids at the Lunenburg Public Library

LUNENBURG: It's time for Fall Activities for Kids at the Lunenburg Public Library!
 
- Story hours begin Monday, September 13 at 11am. Come meet new story time pal, Mr. Forrest Lake! Gatherings are designed to help your child develop a lifelong love of reading as books, readiness activities, rhymes and songs are shared. Story times encourage language and pre-reading skill development that help your child grow into a successful reader. Story times are also a great resource for developing social skills! There will also be a simple accompanying art activity. Story hour will take place outside on the patio throughout the fall. If possible, story time will take place inside during inclement weather. Suitable for all ages. No registration necessary.
 
- Book in a Bag for 1st & 2nd Graders starts September 1. LPL is starting a first time book group experience for beginning chapter book readers! 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: www.lunenburglibrary.org for one of the 12 bags! NOTE: Bags must be picked up by the 10th of the month.
 
- LPL Kids Book Club for 3rd-5th Graders starts Tuesday, September 28th at 4pm. Do you love to read, and talk about what you have read with like-minded people? This year, meet in the library to do just that! On the last Tuesday afternoon of the month, 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. The October read will be a scary book (which is actually from the horror genre) called "Small Spaces" by Katherine Arden. Monthly selections are provided in different formats including audiobooks when available. The September meeting will be an overview of the club and the October book distribution. Registration will be available via the Events Tab of the Lunenburg Public Library webpage: www.lunenburglibrary.org.
 
DON’T FORGET- SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL LIBRARY CARD MONTH!
Stop by the library to get a new card and decorate a paper heart to let everyone know how much you love your library!

NAMI Offers 9-Week "Family to Family" Mental Health Educational Program

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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.

LITTLETON
: Does a “Loved One” have Mental Health concerns? Mental health conditions touch one in five people, so it is likely a spouse, partner, child, parent, sibling or dear friend of yours may be living with a mental health condition. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI, is offering an eight week free family educational program called “Family to Family”. It is a designated evidence-based program taught by trained NAMI family member volunteers who have been there. Curriculum includes presentations, discussions, videos 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 - you are not alone! The group setting offers mutual support and shared positive impact – You will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You can also help others through sharing your own experiences.   
        

You’ll learn about: Latest up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they affect the brain ~ Current treatments; medications – their side effects and evidenced-based treatments and therapies ~ Local mental health services and supports ~ Managing crisis, solve problems and communicate effectively ~ The impact of mental illness on the entire family ~ Taking care of yourself and managing your stress. 

The program will be held IN-PERSON starting October 12 and November 30 from 6:30 -9PM. Proof of vaccination is required. To register contact Sara at 339-223-3146 or doddsara25@gmail.com  or Phyllis at 978-973-3995, Phyllis.terrey100@gmail.com. Additional course offerings and info at www.namimass.org.
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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.
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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

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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.
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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.
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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

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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

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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.

SCAM ALERT #1: DOOR TO DOOR SCAMS
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).

SCAM ALERT #2:  PROTECT YOUR DEVICE, PROTECT YOURSELF
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.

SCAM ALERT #3: RENTAL CAR SCAMS
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.

SCAM ALERT #4: FREE TRIAL OFFERS, NEGATIVE OPTIONS
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
IMPORTANT NOTICE

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.
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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.
 
 
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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.
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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.
 
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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.
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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.