Make Authentic Sushi Hand Rolls with Nami

GROTON: On October 14, 3-5pm, make sushi and hand rolls with your favorite ingredients (no raw fish) and enjoy your yummy culinary creations together afterward! Nami, born in Japan and now living in Groton, will show us how to prepare the ingredients and roll them up to make perfect sushi and hand rolls! Fun for everyone! We will then enjoy it with miso soup and a cup of hot tea together! This class is great for adults, families with kids, and teenagers! Each participant will make at least three sushi rolls and learn the skills to share with others. The instructor will prepare the food material before the class. The students will bring the items on the material list to mix, roll, and make sushi. All children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

Prescott Community Center is located at 145 Main Street.  For more information, call (978) 877-6933, email

What Will YOUR Kids Do on 1/2 Days?

GROTON: Grades 1-5 can enjoy a new offering from Prescott Arts Center on half-day Fridays.  Mixed Media Design for Kids runs Fridays 1-3:30pm September 15, 22, October 20, 27, December 8 and December 15, as well as on Tuesday, November 20 and Wednesday November 21. Students can choose to bring and eat their lunch at Prescott at 12:30pm before the start of class.
Join Ms. Maryanne for a fun afternoon exploring and creating seasonal and nature-based art projects like collage art and foldable books. The students will experiment with a wide range of materials, like paints, magazines, colored paper, fabric scraps, stamps, stencils, washi tape, and more, to create their artwork. They don’t have to know how to draw or have good fine art skills - just a curious mind! Tuition is $40/class.  For more information, visit

Fun Activities Ahead at the Lunenburg Public Library!

LUNENBURG: Visit Lunenburg Public Library on September 25 from 4-5pm for Sock Puppets Drop-In Craft! Join Miss Joslyn in the Story Craft Room to make your own puppets! Decorate them however you choose and take them home for a puppet show! Stop by any time between 4–5. Please bring your own long socks (adult socks are best, but any long sock – whether it’s plain white or fuzzy green – will work!) Registration in encouraged to ensure there's enough supplies for all puppet friends! For more information or to register, visit
On September 28 from 3:30-5pm, enjoy Super Snacks! Cooking Program with Food Explorers, a delicious cooking program! Learn how to make two recipes: BBQ Chickpea Wraps and Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cups. You’ll create a tasty filling for your own wrap and then learn how to dice apples, make a crust and cheesecake layer for your dessert cups. All recipes are nut free and vegetarian but will contain eggs and/or dairy. This event is for children ages 9-12, and will be filmed and broadcast on our local news station. There will be waivers to sign upon arrival. Registration is required (await approval email after filling out registration form).  For more information or to register, visit

Groton Community Christmas Choir Seeks Singers

GROTON: The Groton Community Christmas Choir is looking for singers of all ages! It’s been three years since their last performance and they’re hoping to see new members singing at the 46th annual Groton Community Christmas Concert. Timothy Goliger is the new director with Dan Dudka as the new accompanist. Founder Edie Tompkins is retiring along with long time accompanist Yvonne Gobis.
New members are welcome and there are no auditions, so please share this with your friends and family members who may want to join the choir. The first rehearsal is on Sunday evening, October 1 in the rehearsal space on the lower level of the Gray Building at Lawrence Academy. You may notice that this year’s rehearsal schedule, number of concerts and concert length are being shortened as they transition back to this annual tradition.
  • Senior Choir, for adults including high school ages meets on Sundays from 6:30-8pm through December 3 (no October 8). Additional rehearsal for the Senior Choir on December 5.
  • Treble Choir, for children 3rd-8th grade meets on Sundays from 4:30-6pm through December 3 (no October 8). Additional rehearsal for the treble choir on December 8
  • Final Rehearsal will be December 9 with a performance at the Union Congregational Church, Groton on December 10 at 2pm  and December 11 at 7:30pm. 
Membership dues are $65 per person and a family’s total dues will not exceed $175. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged, as it saves so much time during the first rehearsals. If the fee causes a hardship, you are still welcome. Contact any committee member to request a waiver. 
If you have any questions, please contact Kristen von Campe at If registering for multiple family members, please complete one registration for each person at

Harvard Author Publishes Fiction Novel

HARVARD: "What Will His Life Come To When Everything Starts To Go Wrong?"  This question is asked in Boiling Point, a new book by Harvard's J.W. Boynton, released by Dorrance Publishing.  Sometimes life is too much to bear. When a 1990’s recession sucks his business into bankruptcy and his wife hires an aggressive divorce lawyer determined to fleece him out of what’s left, Jack Cross reaches his Boiling Point. Angry and disillusioned, he climbs into his car and drives away, hoping to leave all his misery in the rearview mirror. He confronts carjackers and other criminal low-lives on his impulsive journey, even becomes a fugitive himself forced to flee the law onto an island in Florida, where he is drawn into a delicious affair with a beautiful psychic. Back at home, Jack’s wife, missing him and suffering regrets, discovers the hard way that her unsavory attorney is a sexual predator. Learning of this, Jack returns for an ill-advised act of violent revenge.
Comments from J.W. Boynton readers include:
  • "…an easy writing style and a nice way of weaving your characters and plots together."
  • “…a writer of intrigue. Great story, great pace, great surprises!”
  • “...I am not normally a fiction reader, but his book is a barn burner!”
J.W. Boynton is a retired real estate executive. His other novels are The World of Bliss; Trafficked!; and Cash Cargo, A Ruthless Game.
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Wurlitzer Pops Presents Clark Wilson and "Girl Shy"

GROTON:On September 24, WurlitzerPops will present organist Clark Wilson (pictured) accompanying the silent file "Girl Shy," a 1924 romantic comedy silent film starring Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston. The movie was written by Sam Taylor, Tim Whelan and Ted Wilde and was directed by Fred C. Newmeyer and Taylor. In 2020, the film entered the public domain The performance begins at 2:30pm in the Shanklin Music Hall.  Tickets are $20; $10 for youth.

Along with a busy concert schedule, Clark Wilson runs his own pipe organ business and is heavily in demand as a tonal consultant and finisher of both theatre and classical pipe organs; he has been given the singular honor of being brought to England multiple times for tonal finishing and consulting. He has received both the Technician of the Year and Organist of the Year awards from the American Theatre Organ Society, the only person to have done so, and his time is now nearly equally divided between concert and technical work. He has been professionally involved with more than 100 organ installations throughout North America and England and has provided consulting and voicing expertise for several different organ companies.

WurlitzerPops is a concert series curated by EMCATOS (The Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society). Formed in 1956, our mission is to preserve and promote the theatre organ and its art form. For more information, visit them online at

Ayer Residents Needed for Senior Center Site Selection and Building Committee

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Application Deadline:  September 28, 2023

AYER: The Ayer Select Board has formed a public Senior Center Site Selection and Building Committee charged with identifying and recommending to the Select Board a viable site in the Town of Ayer for the development of a Senior Center.  In addition to identifying and recommending a viable site for the Senior Center, the Committee will oversee and administer the necessary due diligence and conceptual design for the purposes of recommending the site to the Select Board for consideration by Town Meeting for the acquisition of the recommended site.  The Committee will oversee and conduct the necessary public outreach and participation with the site selection process and conceptual design; identify and secure funding for the land acquisition and design for the project to include Town Meeting approval; oversee the final design of the project; develop, oversee, and administer a construction budget for the project to include Town Meeting approval; and oversee the construction of the project.  The Committee will conduct all meeting in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meeting Law (publicly posted meetings) and in accordance with the provisions of the Public Records Law (maintain and public post meeting minutes).
The composition of the Committee will be nine (9) members appointed by the Select Board to include one member of the Council on Aging; the COA/Senior Center Director; one member of the Planning Board; the DPW Director; and five (5) Ayer Residents.

Ayer Residents that are interested in serving on this public Committee should submit a letter of intent to the Assistant Town Manager at or to 1 Main Street, Ayer, MA 01432 by the deadline of September 28, 2023.  Applicants will be interviewed and appointed by the Select Board at a Select Board Meeting on October 3, 2023 at 6pm.  For more information, please contact the Town Manager’s Office at (978) 772-8220 x100 or by email at
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Ayer DPW to Host Public Input Meeting

AYER: The Ayer Department of Public Works (DPW) will host a public input meeting to discuss proposed improvements to Sandy Pond Road on September 13 at Ayer Town Hall from 6–7:30pm. The meeting will be held in the Select Board meeting room on the first floor, and will include a presentation by the DPW, followed by questions and input from meeting attendees. For more information:
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Check for a Lead Service Line

AYER: Do you know if you have a lead service line connecting the water main in the street to your home? If you are uncertain, take the following two steps:
Step 1 is Identification using EPA’s Protect Your Tap: A Quick Check for Lead. Use this site to walk you through identifying your service material.
Step 2 is to Snap a picture and Upload it to MassDEP using this site

Open Mic at Harvard General Store

HARVARD: It's once again time for open mic night at the Harvard General Store from 6-9pm on September 8. Play some songs, read a poem, tell some jokes, do a dance routine or whatever else you're inspired to do! All ages, all genres. Don't worry if you think your act is too weird, we're totally down with that. Typically everyone gets around 10 minutes, depending on how many people show up.
Pizza, beer and wine are available upstairs in the performance space, along with a whole assortment of non alcoholic beverages, coffee and espresso drinks, sandwiches, salads, snacks and desserts in the store downstairs.

FREE Mass Save Seminar

BOLTON: Mass Save is NEW and IMPROVED! Are you ready to take control of your energy bills and make your home more eco-friendly? Join the Kotlarz Group for an enlightening and informative Mass Save Seminar that will empower you with the knowledge and tools on how you can save 25% on your home energy bills by creating a more energy efficient living space.  The event is taking place at the Bolton Bean, 626 Main Street.  For more information, visit

16th Annual Holdenwood Trail Run September 24

AYER: The Ayer Shirley Education Foundation (ASEF) will be holding it's first fundraising event of the 2023-2024 school year! The 16th Annual Holdenwood Trail Run 2K/5K/10K will be held on September 24.  Funds raised by the run support the Ayer-Shirley Education Foundation which provides grants to enhance education in the Ayer-Shirley Regional School District.
Scenic, challenging, and satisfying the Holdenwood Trail Run has been delighting walkers, joggers and runners for over a decade.  The course flows through mown grass fields, dirt trails, cool forests, cobblestone bridges and rural roads.
The Holden family and the Shirley community invite all ages to join them on the trails. Walkers, joggers and runners are all welcome.  Your entry entitles you to a beautiful race and a free beer or ice cream at the Bull Run Restaurant at the post-race party. Register at today!
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3rd Annual Downtown Ayer Newton Street Folk & Arts Festival

AYER: The Town of Ayer, in partnership with generous Festival sponsors, Main Street Bank (Gold Sponsor) and Catania Oils (Silver Sponsor), are excited to announce the 3rd Annual Downtown Ayer “Newton Street Folk & Arts Festival”, scheduled for October 7 from 11am-5pm in the Heart of Downtown Ayer on Newton Street! Ayer families, neighbors, friends, and visitors will joyfully join together for a beautiful Autumn afternoon of live musical performance on the grand Main Stage, featuring romping street-dancing Cajun/Zydeco music by “The Squeezebox Stompers”, and driving/soulful Irish & Celtic Heritage music by “Irish Wispa”. Thrill to live dance performances and exhibitions throughout the day by Maria’s School of Dance, The Dance Garden, and Francis Floyd Ballroom Dancing, and more, under the “Dance/Theatrical Tent Venue”. Wonder to the amazing “festival street magic” of Magician-Stephanie Beach also under the “Dance/Theatrical Tent Venue”, and in/around the Festival crowd.The awesome Little Bee Book Shop of Downtown Ayer will create a wondrous “Kids Story-Telling, Reading & Discovery Venue” with a number of children book authors and story-telling performers on the greenspace surrounding beautiful Ayer Town Hall; and we are hopeful the “Professor Bugman’s Insect Petting Zoo” will make a return to the Festival again this year!

The Newton Street Festival now boasts one of the highest-quality “Artists/Artisans/Craftspeople Festival Venues” in the region! It is with pride that all our exceptionally creative, authentic, original, and quality “Artists/Artisans/Craftspeople” are all Ayer and Shirley residents. The concentration of artistic & artisan talent in our local communities is joyfully featured and discovered at the Newton Street Festival. And the Festival food! This year Ayer’s Alltown Fresh will be joining the Festival with their delectable “Festival Grilling Set-Up” and the impressive “Alltown Fresh Coffee Trailer”. Another great new foodie addition will be the delicious “Tacos & Burritos Panchito Food Truck”. Of course, our great Ayer restaurants & eateries, including Lucia’s/Markoh’s on Main, The Nashoba Club Taproom & Pizza, Ruby Donuts  will be serving-up the best of Festival edibles and beverages – and everyone's looking forward to Uncle Joey’s Cannoli Festival Truck!

The best part of the Newton Street Folk & Arts Festival is the great gathering of Ayer’s local organizations, groups, clubs, councils, troops, places of worship, and more, at their Festival Booths for all our festival-goers to visit, connect, re-connect, learn, and support their good local civic and community work. For additional information contact Alan S. Manoian at (978) 772-8220 x141 and/or
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Ayer Cultural Council Grant Applications Now Open

AYER: Ayer Cultural Council (ACC) is accepting applications for grants to fund programs and events that showcase arts, humanities and interpretive sciences that benefit our community. If you have a program you believe would be eligible for consideration for funding, we invite you to apply through October 15, 2023. Guidelines for eligibility and online applications can be found on the Massachusetts Cultural Council website at  For more information or assistance submitting an online grant application, please email
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First Connections Offers Fall Play Groups

ACTON: First Connections has two free playgroups with openings for Fall. Groups are open to residents of Acton, Bedford, Boxboro, Carlisle, Concord, Harvard, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Sudbury and Westford. Our Fall session will run from the week of September 11 to the week of December 11. Our playgroups are funded by a grant from the Mass. Dept of Early Education and Care and led by our Early Childhood Teacher. Caregivers and children attend the groups together.

Me, You, We Playgroup for Ages 3-5 is based on a Boston Children's Museum curriculum where children practice social-emotional skills such as taking turns, using words to negotiate conflict, and labeling feelings. Families receive at-home learning materials. Younger siblings welcome. Meets outdoors (weather permitting) at Boxborough Library. Thursdays, 10:30-11:30am.
Language & Literacy Playgroup for Multilingual Families for Ages 1 1/2-5 is for families who speak a language other than or in addition to English as part of their daily life. This group will help foster a love of books in your child and share tips for how to make the most of your shared reading at home. In addition to free play, there will be circle time and activities related to each week's story. Infant siblings in carriers welcome. Held at First Connections in Acton. Wednesdays, 10-11am.

If you are interested in either of these groups, email Linda to register:

Shirley Historical Offers Shaker Village Site Tours

SHIRLEY: This lovely wooden building was built in the early 19th century by the Believers in the Second Coming of Christ, commonly known as the Shakers. Until 1908, they had a village in the southern part of Shirley where they lived, worked, and worshipped together. The Shirley group was known for the quality of their seeds, herbs, mops, and brooms. They were respected for their kindness to all people and animals. When the community closed in 1908, their property was sold to the state of Massachusetts to be used as an Industrial School for Boys which evolved into a state prison.

This Fall, the Shirley Historical Society, with the cooperation of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, will lead three guided tours of the historic Shaker Village site on September 17, October 8 and October 22. Starting at 12:30pm, visitors meet inside this building for an introductory talk about the Shaker lifestyle and the founding of the Shirley community. They then board a prison van for a tour of the property and go inside two more Shaker buildings. Reservations must be made and the $20 fee paid in advance.  Contact for more details.
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Senior Citizen Water & Sewer Bill Discount Program

AYER: The Senior Citizen Water and Sewer Bill Discount entitles seniors aged 65 or over, residing in their own residence with separate metered water service for that residential unit, a 10 percent discount on the Town of Ayer water  and sewer bill. This discount provides substantial savings to seniors.
The discount is available on your quarterly bill for water and sewer use for the first 3000 cubic feet. Usage over 3000 cubic feet and usage on an irrigation meter is not eligible for the discount.

To be eligible for the discount you must meet the following criteria:
  • You must be 65 years of age or older
  • You must be the owner of the property
  • You must occupy the property as your principal place of residence
  • The property must have a separate water meter
  • The property must be classified as a single-family dwelling or condominium
  • Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) must not exceed $50,000
  • All Town accounts, including taxes,  must be current

If you meet all the above criteria and wish to apply, you must submit a Senior Water & Sewer Bill Discount Application. The form must be completed in its entirety and submitted with all supporting documentation. Applications will be accepted from September 1 Through September 15 and the discount will become effective on October 1.  The application must be renewed on an annual basis.

If your application for the discount is denied due to ineligible property classification, you may appeal this decision by re-submitting your application along with documentary proof that the property is a single-family dwelling or condominium. When such documentation is received, your account will be updated to reflect the correct classification.

If the conditions under which you submit your application change, you are required to make the DPW aware of these changes to determine if the discount still applies.  If it is determined that the discount was approved under false pretenses, you may be liable for any previously waived charges as well as any applicable penalties or fines. The Town of Ayer reserves the right to request recertification of the discount periodically.

For more information on the Senior Water & Sewer Bill Discount program, please contact the Ayer Department of Public Works, 25 Brook Street, (978) 772-8240.
Download the Printable Application Form
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Water Chestnut Pulls Continues

AYER: Volunteers are still being sought to help with final invasive water chestnut removals at Grove Pond. The end of the summer is upon us, and there's just a few more water chestnut pulls planned thru September 10. Help is needed along the shoreline and in boats.  PACE (People of Ayer Concerned About the Environment) provides all of the gear needed, including canoes. You may prefer to bring your own kayak, which is also very helpful in getting into tight spots. Every single plant you pull out prevents the growth of up to 22 new plants next summer!  To sign up, please go to:
Remaining Dates:
  • August 31,  9am-12:30pm
  • September 2, 9am-1pm
  • September 3, 3-7pm
  • September 10, 2-7pm.  (Stay for 2-3 hours you can! )

Looking for a Book Club?  Try LPL!

LUNENBURG: If you're looking for a book club, the Lunenburg Public Library offers a wide variety for all ages! Each book club is handled slightly differently in format and registration requirements, so make sure to check out their event calendar at to learn more about each one.
* "100 Books Bucket List" meets on the 1st Tuesday of the month from 11am-Noon and will help knock off some of those titles on your bucket list of books to read.
* Armchair Travel meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 6:30-7:30pm and will take you around the world through books.
* (Not So) Young Adult meets on the 3rd Sunday of the month from 11am-Noon and focuses on YA literature. This is a hybrid book club so you can join us online or in person.
* A New Chapter is a brand-new book club that meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 4-5pm for grades 5-8. This book club is will run September-May.
* LPL Kids has moved to a new day of the week and will now be meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 4-5pm for grades 3-5. This book club is will run September-May as well.
There are also various book subscriptions for kids in 1st-12th grades if participating in a book discussion doesn't interest you! Book subscriptions will require an active library card in good standing as they will include library books to be borrowed in order to participate.
* Book in a Bag and Popcorn and a Book have different monthly themes and can be picked up from the Children's Room at the beginning of each month while supplies last, no registration required. Both book subscriptions run September - May.
* Random Reads is for grades 5-12 and includes a book hand selected by Teen Librarian Susan based on a reader's survey. Random Reads runs October - May.

Groton Historical Walking Tour with Joshua Vollmar

GROTON: On September 9 from 10:30am-noon, hear the story of Groton’s time as a destination in the early 1800s. This walking tour with Joshua Vollmar will travel from Prescott Community Center down Main Street to Old Ayer Road and back, focusing on Groton’s prominence during the stagecoach days, and the legacy those times left in the town, including Lawrence Academy. Register online at  You must register prior to showing up for the walk. Admission is $20 for those 15 and up; children under 15 are free but must be accompanied by at least one paying adult.

Nashoba Symphonic Band Announces 2023-24 Season

BOLTON: The Nashoba Symphonic Band is pleased to announce its concert schedule for the 2023-2024 season. All concerts will take place in the auditorium of Nashoba Regional High School. Admission is free and open to the public.

October 29, 3pm: “Vive la France” including Scenes from “The Louvre” by Norman Dello Joio, Johann de Meij's setting of Ravel's Pavane Pour Infante Defunte, and the glittering Paris Sketches by Martin Ellerby, as well as music by Paul Dukas and Louis Ganne, and perhaps a Can-Can.

February 10, 2pm: “On Land and Sea” featuring Variations on a Shaker Tune by Aaron Copland, Morton Gould's classic Jericho Rhapsody, and Of Sailors and Whaling, a suite of tone poems based on themes from Melvilles's Moby Dick, by W. Francis McBeth, as well as marches by Henry Fillmore and John Klohr.

May 5, 3pm: “Symphonic Band Originals” including Vincent Persichetti's Symphony No.6 and the suite of Symphonic Songs by Robert Russell Bennett, as well as music by Robert Sheldon and W.P. English.

June 13, 7:30pm: “Across the Pond” featuring Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No.1, English Folk Song Suite by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Knightsbridge March by Eric Coates, and solos by our graduation Senior members.

The Nashoba Symphonic Band welcomes new players at the beginning of each season and at the rehearsal following each concert. There are no auditions, but adult membership is limited to a certain number within each section. Students (grade 8 and above) are required to present a recommendation from their school music director or private instructor. The band currently has openings for section horn, 1 tuba and percussionist with strong snare skills. Those wishing to become members on these or other instruments, or needing further information should contact the conductor/music director, David Bailey ( OR Joe McCarthy, Nashoba Regional High School Instrumental Director (

Rehearsals of Nashoba Symphonic Band are held on Thursdays from 7-9pm on the stage of the Nashoba Regional High School, about a mile west of town center. First rehearsal will take place on August 31 at 7pm with annual registration beginning at 6pm.
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Free Class Day at Groton Hill Music Center

GROTON: Registration is now open for Free Class Day at Groton Hill Music Center, the architecturally stunning, 126,000 square foot music education and performance center at 122 Old Ayer Road. Choose from over 30 classes for all ages and abilities during the free event on Saturday, Saturday, September 16 from 9am-5pm. Registration is required. Learn more, view classes, and register at

“We are thrilled to be expanding the breadth and depth of our educational programming for all ages,” said Pete Robbins, the Center’s Director of Education and Performance Programming. “We’re looking forward to inviting the community to this incredible space to explore music,” he said. 

Now in its 39th year, Groton Hill Music Center is 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 professional performances of all genres - from jazz, global roots, folk, rock, country, and contemporary music to classical masterworks and chamber music - in its two world-class performance halls. 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. 

Learn more about music education programs, performances, and community engagement programs at or call (978) 486-9524.

Dave Gaudet on Shirley Common

SHIRLEY: Dave Gaudet, a multi instrumentalist, is in his home studio cooking up something special to share with on August 20. He will be singing and playing some old favorites as well as a few of his original songs. Dave enjoys using his creative talents making music tracks with bass, piano, drums, as well as background vocals. 

Dave grew up in Ayer  and has performed around the area as primarily a soloist. His biggest influence was James Taylor but he was also inspired by Cat Stevens, Crosby, Stills and Nash as well as much of the music performed by artists in the early 70’s. Bring a blanket, chair and picnic basket, sit down on the Common, and enjoy an afternoon of music. 

Rain or Shine! If there is rain, this event will move into the Meeting House. 2023 is a celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Shirley Meeting House. As part of our celebration all 2023 events are free of charge but donations are welcome and appreciated. The Shirley Meeting House programs are sponsored in part by a grant from the Shirley Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Seven Bridge Writers' Collaborative Opens Registrations

LANCASTER: The wait is over! We are thrilled to announce that the fall session of Seven Bridge Writers' Collaborative is officially open for registration, with classes starting on September 11, 2023. Get ready for a season filled with inspiration, creativity, and growth.

Seven Bridge is a 501c3 non-profit offering in-person writing sessions and online sessions.  For this session, they've curated an exciting array of classes to cater to all your writing needs. Whether you're a seasoned writer or just beginning your literary journey, there's something for everyone. Offerings include prompt groups, critique groups, fiction classes, memoir classes, non-fiction classes, workshops, and open mics. And there's more - two new classes that promise to elevate your writing skills to new heights:

In "Memoir Writing," led by the talented Dr. Karen Fine, you'll embark on an 8-week journey of introspection and exploration. Uncover the essence of memoir writing as you delve into your personal stories and examine what draws you to this captivating genre. In a safe and supportive environment, you'll analyze your favorite memoirs to identify themes and learn how to tackle the challenges of capturing painful memories. Dr. Karen Fine, a successful veterinarian and writer, will share her expertise and valuable resources to help you pen your own compelling memoir.

If you have a passion for non-fiction and aspire to write a well-researched book, "Writing a Researched Non-fiction Book" with Jayne Wilson is the class for you. In this interactive series of classes, Jayne will guide you through the essential factors involved in crafting a successful non-fiction work. You'll learn how to select a viable subject, incorporate creative and factual writing, utilize visuals, and master the nuts and bolts of producing and marketing your book. Jayne's wealth of experience as a journalist and author of two non-fiction books will be an invaluable resource throughout the course.

Let this fall session be a stepping stone in your writing journey, where your creativity thrives, and your stories come alive. Visit for more information on the fall session, class schedules, and registration details.
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Water Safety Reminders

According to the American Red Cross, 10 people die each day from unintentional drowning, and on average two of those deaths are children under age 14. Additionally, drowning is the leading cause of death for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. To ensure everyone’s safety in the water this summer, the Hudson Fire Department would like to remind residents of the following safety tips for kayakers, paddlers and recreational boaters courtesy of the American Canoe Association:
  • Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when boating or fishing, even if you don’t intend to enter the water.
  • Children under the age of 12 must always wear a life jacket in a public body of water.
  • Be a competent swimmer with the ability to handle oneself underwater, moving water, surf or current. Keep the craft under control. Do not enter a rapid unless you are reasonably sure you can navigate it or swim the entire rapid in case you capsize.
  • Keep a lookout for hazards and avoid them. Watch for fog, especially on coastal waters.
  • Know your physical limitations.
  • Group members need to constantly assess the behavior of others in their group.

For those swimming in the ocean, lakes, ponds or pools, the Hudson Fire Department also provides the following safety tips from the American Red Cross:
  • Never leave children unattended while they are near or in a body of water, and make sure they have an adult to accompany them into the water. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floats.
  • Never swim alone; swim with lifeguards and/or water watchers present. Even if lifeguards are present, you (or another responsible adult) should stay with your children.
  • If a child is missing, always check the body of water that they were near or swimming in first.
  • Understand and adjust for the unique risks of the water environment you are in, such as river currents, ocean rip current, underwater hazards including vegetation and animals, and more.
  • Don’t use alcohol or drugs (including certain prescription medications) before or during swimming or diving, or while supervising swimmers.
  • Recognize the signs of someone in trouble and shout for help. A swimmer needs immediate help if they:
    • Are not making forward progress in the water.
    • Are vertical in the water but unable to move or tread water.
    • Are motionless and face down in the water.
  • If someone is drowning or experiencing an emergency in the water:
    • Rescue and remove the person from the water (without putting yourself in danger).
    • Ask someone to call emergency medical services (EMS). If alone, give 2 minutes of care, then call EMS.
    • Begin CPR.
    • Use an AED if available and transfer care to advanced life support.
  • Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency occurs. Update skills regularly.

Back to Nature Camp for ages 8-12 in Devens

DEVENS: Join a Back to Nature camp at Clear Path for Veterans! An exciting day is planned filled with adventure and learning for children ages 8-12. Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of bees and birds native to our surroundings as you explore their habitats and discover their unique behaviors.Get ready to unleash your creativity with a fun patriotic craft that will surely ignite your imagination. And don't worry about going hungry because lunch and snacks are included! This special camp is open free exclusively to the children of Veterans and their families. Space is limited, so mark your calendars for August 23rd from 9am to 3pm for this thrilling journey into nature's wonders! Reserve your spot by contacting!

Equine Program from Clear Path

STOW/DEVENS: Join Clear Path for Veterans of New England at the incredible Equine Program, brought to you by Clear Path in partnership with Kairos Spring Farm! Located in Stow, this program is specifically designed for Veterans and runs every Friday from 10am to 2pm. With a duration of six weeks, it is essential for Veterans to attend all sessions and experience the transformative power of this evidence-based curriculum developed by the Equus Effect Program. Filled with a unique blend of horsemanship and engaging "classroom" time, participants will delve into the depths of emotional agility while enjoying a nutritious lunch provided as well.The Fall schedule begins as follows:
  • Session 2: For six consecutive Fridays, from September 8th to October 13th,
  • Session 3: For six Fridays from October 20th to December 1st (with November 24th off due to Thanksgiving)

For more information, visit, or contact Clear Patch at 84 Antietam Street in Devens.
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Project Summertime at Devens Museum

DEVENS: On August 19 at 1pm, Fort Devens Museum Executive Director Kara Fossey will present a program on “Project Summertime,” a camp held at Fort Devens in the summer of 1970 for local youth. This program was born out of the examination of a 16 mm reel of film found in the museum’s collection. Through a grant from the Ayer Cultural Council (part of the Massachusetts Cultural Council) digitization of the film was completed. The 29-minute video (no audio) details camp activities and will be shown after an illustrated talk about “Project Summertime.”
The Fort Devens Museum is located at 94 Jackson Road (3rd Floor) in Devens. The facility is wheelchair accessible. The museum is open on August 19 from 10am to 3pm. This event is free and open to the public with donations gratefully accepted. More information at
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notloB Parlour Concerts presents Mark Schatz & Bryan McDowell

HARVARD: Mark Schatz (Nickel Creek, Bela Fleck, Claire Lynch Band...) and award-winning instrumentalist Bryan McDowell bring two generations and backgrounds together in an unparalleled synergy, humor, beauty, and ease, taking the listener on a delightful, toe tapping journey through a landscape of fiddle and banjo tunes, songs, lilting waltzes, and searing guitar solos. Stir in some clogging, hambone, and jaw harp, then sit back and enjoy an eclectic musical feast! This duo will be presented by notloB Parlour Concerts at Fivesparks, 7 Fairbanks Street on August 24 at 7:30pm. (Doors 7pm).  Admission is by free-will offering, suggested donation adults $25, teens/seniors $15-20, children $10. 100% of patron donations go to the artist. For more information, visit

This multi-generational duo presents a broad spectrum of American acoustic music. Both Schatz and McDowell are multi-instrumentalists who cruise seamlessly from old-time to bluegrass, from folk to swing, playing and singing tunes and songs, old and new, including their own original compositions. At age eighteen Bryan took first place in fiddle, mandolin, and guitar at the prestigious National Flat-picking Championships in Winfield, Kansas. Mark has toured and recorded with a who’s who of the acoustic music world including Bela Fleck, Nickel Creek, Tony Rice, and Tim O’Brien. The two worked together in The Claire Lynch Band from 2009 to 2014, and they’re excited to present a new and dynamic show which of course will include some of Mark’s colorful hambone and Appalachian clog dancing.

In January 2020, Mark Schatz and Bryan McDowell started working up a duo show for festivals, small venues, and a Canadian fall tour. The time they spent together touring with the Claire Lynch Band had fostered a personal and musical rapport, which has made for a fruitful collaboration. Their show offers  stylistically diverse material, ranging from traditional fiddle tunes and ballads, a Bob Dylan song, and a Louis Jordan boogie-woogie number to an Eastern European folk song on bowed bass and bluesy renderings on fretless banjo. During this time they recorded tracks for their new CD, Grit & Polish, which climbed quickly to #1 on the Folk DJ charts shortly after its release in June of 2021.

Shirley Traffic Advisory Committee (STAC) Seeking New Members

SHIRLEY: The Shirley Traffic Advisory Committee (STAC) is looking for new members to be involved in the next phase of its mission. Beginning in early 2022, the STAC worked to identify ways to minimize the negative impact of increasing traffic – especially heavy truck traffic - on Shirley’s roadways and the quality of life of its residents. In April 2023, STAC submitted its recommendations to the Select Board regarding traffic-related improvements designed to preserve the safety, environment and rural character of Shirley. These improvements are especially urgent in the face of new or proposed warehouse trucking facilities on Shirley’s borders in Lunenburg and Lancaster.
In the next phase of its activities, STAC will focus on providing assistance to the Select Board and town leaders as they work to implement the recommended improvements. Toward that end, the committee is looking to add 2-3 new members. Volunteers should be Shirley residents willing to contribute their time and energy to accomplishing the committee’s mission, including attending one or two meetings per month.
The committee’s recommendations, mission and goals can be viewed on the Traffic Advisory Committee page on Shirley’s website.

If interested in joining the committee, please contact the Shirley Town Administrator at (978) 425-2600 x200 or And always feel free to attend a STAC meeting to ask questions, provide input and meet committee members in person.

Letting the Land Lead: Summer in the Field

GROTON: Summer in the Field is a meditative dance performance that celebrates the ways in which we are nourished by the land.  It will be held on August 26 at 5pm at The General Field.  The last in a four-part series in partnership with the Groton Conservation Trust, this performance is the culmination of the explorations that Letting the Land Lead has undertaken since the autumn. Click here for more details and registration info.

Free Healthy Soils Workshop at Fredonian Park

SHIRLEY: Thanks to a grant from the Shirley Cultural Council, The Gardeners Exchange, a north central Massachusetts gardening group, is pleased to announce that its program Healthy Soils Grow Healthy Plants, to be held August 19 from 10:30am-12:30pm is free and open to the public. In this hands-on (and hands-in!) workshop at Fredonian Park in Shirley, M.L. Altobelli will demonstrate how to improve the health of your soil by apportioning and mixing the best ingredients before adding them to garden plots or raised beds.

M.L. will share her soil restoration secrets, from soil testing, to nutrient-mixing, to cover crops and other site preparation tips for maintaining the nutrient density and biological integrity of living soil. Come prepared to mix and take home your own soil amendments, along with a wealth of knowledge.

For over 35 years, M.L. has been exploring the world of soils and plants to create beautiful, healthy gardens. She is one of the founding members of the Ecological Landscaping Association, and owns and operates M.L.'s Greenery in Motion, a design, installation, and maintenance company that creates specialty gardens to provide color from March through November. She recently purchased the Agway in Gardner, now known as The Good Earth Farm and Garden Center.

Non-members of The Gardeners Exchange planning to attend are asked to pre-register by emailing program coordinator Dina Samfield at  prior to August 15 with their names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails.
Fredonian Park and Nature Center is located at the intersection of Fredonian and Mill Streets. Participants should come prepared for learning and working outdoors, and bring gardening gloves.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Shirley Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. The mission of the Shirley Cultural Council is to promote excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences in order to improve the quality of life for Shirley residents and to contribute to the economic vitality of our community.
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Ayer Police Department Food Drive

AYER: The Ayer Police Department was made aware from a local food pantry that they are anticipating food shortages by early Fall. Therefore, they are reaching out to you to help by donating nonperishable food items. They have seen the community time and time again rally for great causes and all of us are counting on it happening again! 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 our lobby. All nonperishable food items will be accepted. They have provided a list of the following items that our local pantries go through the fastest.
  • 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 all of the food provided by you will be given to the Stone Soup Kitchen Ministries. So come on in, drop the food into the grocery cart and leave knowing you helped feed someone in need! For more information please contact: Sergeant John MacDonald, Ayer Police Department, (978) 772-8200 x570;

A Conversation with Professor/Author Gail Sahar at GPL

GROTON: Have you been asking yourself "what does culture war even mean" and "what does it mean to be 'woke'" and how do these questions contribute to the current divide in America? If you have been, please join a conversation with Professor Gail Sahar, author of "Blame and Political Attitudes: The Psychology of America’s Culture War" courtesy of Groton Public Library, August 9 at 7pm. Questions about the causes of events, from terrorist attacks to mass shootings to economic and public health crises dominate conversations across the US. Recent research in social psychology outlines the process we use to identify the causes of such events, reveals how we determine who is responsible or to blame, and documents the far-reaching consequences of these determinations for our emotions, our actions, and our attitudes.

Current approaches to political opinions posit a direct path from a person’s worldview (liberal or conservative) to their attitudes toward specific political issues like abortion and welfare. This book argues that blame is the missing link between the two. Sahar demonstrates that the current emphasis on value differences, whether between conservatives and liberals in the U.S. or between religious and secular countries on a global level, ignores commonalities in the way people think about issues. She proposes that focusing on perceived causes of social problems is a much more promising avenue for dialog than trying to reconcile fundamental belief systems. Informed by the latest psychological science, this new take on how to change attitudes has implications for anyone seeking to influence the viewpoints of others, from politicians and activists to ordinary people talking about current events at a dinner party.

You can buy signed books (by bookplate) by Gail from Aesop's Fable. Just write that you would like the book signed in the notes section at checkout. For more information, visit
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LUK, Inc. to Expand Accessible Behavioral Healthcare through UMass Memorial Health - HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital Funding

FITCHBURG: LUK, Inc. recently received funding from UMass Memorial Health - HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital through their Determination of Need Program to increase behavioral healthcare accessibility in the communities they serve. This mission directly aligns with the Determination of Need Program’s focus goal: to ensure that resources will be made reasonably and equitably available to every person within the Commonwealth at the lowest reasonable aggregate cost” (UMass Memorial, “Determination of Needs”).
The agency will accomplish this goal with LUK’s Equity & Access Project (LEAP). LEAP is designed to increase access to quality behavioral health care for populations that have been historically underserved, marginalized, and/or adversely affected by inequality.
The project focuses on those who encounter barriers to accessing behavioral health services based on the availability of standard outpatient appointments as well as language availability. Through LEAP, LUK aims to increase the number of behavioral health appointments accessible outside traditional hours (before 8am-6pm) and on weekends, as well as appointments made available in languages other than English (such as in Spanish or American Sign Language).
With this funding from UMass Memorial Health - HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, LUK will be able to start building appropriate staffing to hold appointments outside standard hours and in multiple languages in order to provide more accessible care in Central Massachusetts communities.
LUK, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the safety, health, and well-being of youth, families, and adults in Central Massachusetts. As a community-based organization, LUK’s mission is to challenge and inspire youth, adults, and families to realize their unique potential through community-based prevention, intervention, education, and support services.
For more information about LUK, Inc. visit, call (800) 579-0000, or find us on Facebook (@LetUsKnowINC). Join us in building stronger communities, family by family!
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Volunteers Still Needed to Clear Water Chestnuts from Grove Pond

AYER: There's just one more day in July to join in the Big PULL! Sign up to help, no matter what your experience level is!  With the support from the Nashua River Wild & Scenic Grant, canoes, paddles, life jackets and gear - and paddling instructions are available, if needed.  All that's needed is YOU! The remaining date is July 25, 9am-12:30pm.  For details and to register, please go to
Have you heard about how hard people have worked and how hugely successful this Campaign has been?  This season, 132 volunteer children, teens and adults have CLEARED entire areas, including the upstream source, and tackled the main infestation- giving a total of 735 hours of volunteer time!   Also, so far, 966 baskets have been pulled - an estimated at 209,940 invasive water chestnut plants! 
Please join the community and help with this PULL!  Most folks are finding it a relaxing, meditative time to be in nature and connect with other like minded people.
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Ayer Officials To Release the Town’s Community Choice Power Supply Program Aggregation Plan

AYER: The Town of Ayer has developed an Aggregation Plan in compliance with Massachusetts law regarding public aggregation of electric consumers. It contains required information on the structure, operations, services, funding, and policies of the Town’s Plan. The Plan has been developed in consultation with the Town’s municipal aggregation consultant, Colonial Power Group, Inc. (CPG) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).

The purpose of this Plan is to represent consumer interests in competitive markets for electricity. It seeks to aggregate consumers in the Town to negotiate rates for power supply. It brings together the buying power of more than 8,400 consumers. Furthermore, the Town seeks to take greater control of its energy options, including enhancing the ability to pursue price stability, savings opportunities and the amount of renewable energy procured. However, savings cannot be guaranteed. Participation is voluntary for each consumer. Consumers have the opportunity to decline service provided through the Plan and to choose any Competitive Supplier they wish. The Town has distributed this Plan for public review prior to submitting it to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU).

Basic Service rates change twice a year or more, depending on rate class. As a result, the aggregation rate may not always be lower than the Basic Service rate. The goal of the aggregation is to deliver savings over the life of the Program against National Grid Basic Service. However, such savings and future savings cannot be guaranteed.

The Town of Ayer’s Aggregation Plan is available for public review and comment from July 19, 2023, at 9am through August 20, 2023 at 5pm. The document will be on the Town’s website at and available Select Board’s Office or in the Town Clerk’s Office.

Any person who desires to comment may do so in person at the Select Board’s office or submit written comments using one of the following methods: (1) by e-mail to; or (2) by postal mail to the address below.

Comments must be clearly marked Town of Ayer’s Aggregation Plan and must be received (not postmarked) by the end of the comment period in order to be addressed.

Carly Antonellis
Assistant Town Manager
Town of Ayer
1 Main Street
Ayer, MA 01432

Any questions pertaining to this should be directed to Carly Antonellis, Assistant Town Manager at (978) 722-8220 x100.

West Main Street Trench Paving

AYER: On July 25, The Ayer Department of Public Works (DPW) and its Contractor, Davenport & Sons, will pave the areas excavated during the recent emergency sewer repair work on West Main Street. The work location is on the roadway of West Main Street, across from the Fire Department’s parking lot. Work will take place between 7am-3pm. Delay should be expected when traveling toward the intersection of West Main Street, Main Street, Park Street, and Mill Street during these hours. West Main Street will be open to one lane of alternating traffic between Mechanic Street and Main Street. Uniformed police officers will be directing traffic in this location. The DPW appreciates your patience with this work. If you have questions, please call DPW at (978) 772-8240 or email

Author Talk: Janet Raye Stevens & Sharon Healy-Yang

SHIRLEY: On August 2 at 6pm, all are welcome to join mystery and suspense authors Janet Raye Stevens and Sharon Healy-Yang for an engaging, multi-media event revealing some intriguing inspirations for creating a mystery set circa WWII. Using film clips, anecdotes and excerpts from their books, Janet and Sharon talk about 1940’s women in real as well as ‘reel’ life and how these smart, stylish, and wise-cracking gals in books and film inspired their own 1940’s-set mysteries. This lively blend of mysteries, movies, and lots of banter is a perfect program for mystery lovers, aspiring writers, and film enthusiasts alike. The program will include a Q&A session and the authors will have copies of their books on sale at the end of the event. Light refreshments will be served.  This program is sponsored by the Hazen Memorial Library Gift Fund, 3 Keady Way. For more information, contact us at (978) 425-2620.
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Real Estate & Personal Property First Quarter Taxes Due August 1, 2023

AYER: FY24 1st Quarter Real Estate / Personal Property Tax bills are due August 1, 2023. FY24 First and Second Quarter Real Estate/Personal Property Tax bills have been mailed. First quarter bills are due by August 1. Cash, check and credit/ debit card payments accepted at the counter during Town Hall hours, (Monday, Wednesday & Friday 8am-4pm; Tuesday 8am–6pm; Friday 8am-2pm). For your after-hours convenience, a secure Tax Collector drop box is located outside the Columbia Street entrance to Town Hall for checks only. Make checks payable to the “Town of Ayer.”
You can search for and pay your bill online using UNIPAY. Payments are accepted by e-check, debit card or credit card. Click here for Online Payments and select Collector.

Do you use the Bill Pay function with your Bank?  The P.O. Box address for payments has changed. Remit Payments to: Town of Ayer, MA, Department 1100, PO Box 986535, Boston, MA 02298-6535. Make sure to update this address or it may result in delinquent payments.

NOTE: The Town of Ayer uses Unibank and Kelley & Ryan for our online payment  providers.  These are the only online services the Town has contracted with for payments.

Construction Notification - West Main Street Sewer Repairs

AYER: On July 11, The Ayer Department of Public Works (DPW) and its Contractor, GVC Construction, will resume emergency repairs to an underground 24” diameter sewer main on West Main Street. The work location is on the roadway of West Main Street, across from the Fire Department’s parking lot. Work will take place between 7am-7pm. Delay should be expected when traveling toward the intersection of West Main Street, Main Street, Park Street, and Mill Street during these hours. West Main Street will be open to one lane of alternating traffic between Mechanic Street and Main Street. Uniformed police officers will be directing traffic in this location. The repairs are expected to be substantially complete by Thursday, July 13. Ayer DPW will be on site inspecting the work. If you have questions, please call DPW at (978) 772-8240 (7:30am-3:30pm) or email

Registration Open for Twists & Turns Vacation Bible School

BOLTON: Held at Trinity Church Congregational, VBS will be held this summer from August 7-11 from 9am- 12pm. Vacation Bible School is a free program including Music, Craft, Snack, Recreation, and Bible Learning offered to children in PK - 8th Grade.  This year, children will learn how Jesus changed the game for Peter and how Jesus can change the game for us.  To register online or print a registration form, visit or use the QR code below.  Trinity is located at 14 Wattaquadock Hill Road.

Implementation of a 4-Way Stop Central Avenue at Groton Harvard Road

AYER: Public Notification: The Town of Ayer will be converting the intersection of Central Avenue and Groton Harvard Road to a 4-Way Stop on July 26. Currently, the Groton Harvard Road approaches have stop control and there is no stop control for Central Avenue. Signage and roadway markings will be added in accordance with the attached plan. In brief, stop control will be added to the Central Avenue approaches, including stop ahead warnings.

Several factors as to why this implementation is taking place include:
  • High Crash Rate: 81 Crashes since 2002, 19 with possible/minor injuries, near misses not recorded but known
  • Intersection Improvement Study Completed
    • Crash Rate indicates two-way stop is no longer adequate for the intersection
    • Skewed Intersection Geometry
    • Poor Level of Service on Groton Harvard Road
    • Interim Improvement of 4-Way Stop Recommended

For more information including presentations, please click here. The Town of Ayer appreciates your cooperation during this important project. If you have any questions, please call the Ayer DPW at (978) 772-8240 (7:30am to 3:30pm) or email

Tips for Safe Fourth of July Celebrations

According to the state Department of Fire Services and State Police, Massachusetts fire departments reported nearly 1,000 fires related to illegal fireworks between 2013 and 2022. In addition to the 42 fire service injuries, five civilian injuries, and $2.5 million in damages attributed to these fires, Massachusetts medical facilities reported about 30 severe burn injuries extending to 5% or more of the victims’ bodies that were caused by illegal fireworks. In 2022 alone, fire departments reported 106 fires and explosions attributed to fireworks, an increase of nearly a third over the prior year.

It is illegal for private citizens to use, possess, or sell fireworks of all kinds in Massachusetts without a license and a permit. This includes fireworks purchased legally elsewhere and brought into Massachusetts. It includes sparklers, firecrackers, cherry bombs, and other fireworks. Fines range from $10 to $1,000, and some violations could carry a one-year prison sentence.

Residents are encouraged to report any misuse of fireworks they notice in the community to your local Police Department.

In case of a firework-related or other emergency, always dial 911.

Additionally, residents are reminded of these key safety tips for Fourth of July celebrations:
  • Attend organized and permitted fireworks displays only.
  • Report illegal fires to the police.
  • Remember that alcohol/drugs and fireworks do not mix.
  • Keep pets indoors and away from fireworks. The loud noises and flashing lights can be frightening and overwhelming for pets. Pets can become frightened and run from familiar environments and people, becoming lost. Read more here.

The Department also urges residents to observe the following tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on getting home safely following Fourth of July celebrations:
  • Be mindful of pedestrians.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. From 2017 to 2021, 1,460 drivers were killed in motor vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July holiday period — 38% of the drivers killed were drunk.
  • Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, do not plan on driving. Instead, designate a sober driver or use a ride-share service to get home safely.
  • Take keys away from individuals who are under the influence and are planning to drive. Alcohol and drugs impair perception, judgment, motor skills, and memory, which are critical for safe and responsible driving.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, safely pull over and call 911.
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Summer Concert Series at Fruitlands Museum

HARVARD: The Concord Band is back for another summer season on the Fruitlands Museum outdoor stage! The Concord Band will treat concert-goers to a fun program of music comprising timeless classic songs, motion picture scores, Broadway musicals, and popular favorites. Each week presents a new program with different themes,

- July 5: True to be Red, White, and Blue
- July 12: Outstanding Overtures & Magnificent Marches
- July 19: Summer Retrospective

Gather on the lawn for a picnic concert with stunning sunset views. Bring your blanket, lawn chairs and picnic basket. There is plenty of room on the concert lawn to spread out. Dogs are welcome to join for these picnic concerts and just must remain on leash while on the grounds at Fruitlands.

Concerts are on Wednesday evenings starting at 7:15pm; gates open 5:00pm.

Reservations are encouraged for faster entry. In the event of rain forcing cancellation, ticket holders will be contacted via email in advance of showtime. Questions? Contact Catherine Shortliffe at
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Revolutionary War Currency on Display at the GHC’s July 15 Open House

GROTON: On view at the Groton History Center’s July Open House, a display of Revolutionary War currency offers a sneak preview of future exhibits during the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  The GHC invites visitors to enjoy the many treasured antiquities at the Boutwell House, 172 Main Street, on July 15, 11am-2pm. 

These short-lived Revolutionary War bills tell a fascinating tale. Issued in 1775 to finance the war, the new currency was backed, not by gold or silver, but by the anticipation of incoming tax revenue. It soon proved worthless, however, due in part to the proliferation of counterfeit bills, and state-issued currency (led by Massachusetts) backed by gold and silver. Several of the bills on exhibit feature punched holes indicating their subsequent cancellation.
Ongoing visual treats at the Groton History Center, aside from its period furnishings, include several gorgeous oil paintings by the American Impressionist, Edmund Tarbell (born in West Groton in 1862); shore birds carved by the late Harvey Sargisson, renowned for the beauty and delicacy of his work; and an exhibition of rare photos, artifacts, and ephemera related to Groton’s Early Industries.
The GHC’s Open House is free (donations welcome) and open to all, thanks to support from the Groton Commissioners of Trust Funds, as well as GHC donors, members, and volunteers. For more information, visit,, or call (978) 448-0092.

Meet a Pair of Oxen Up Close & Personal

SHIRLEY: Meet a pair of oxen (Phil & Kent), up close and personal at the Shirley Historical Society Museum, #182 Center Road on July 15 at 2pm. (Rain date July 16 at 2pm). Following a 400-year-old New England tradition, Natalie Delorey has trained these gentle giants to work at typical farm jobs. She will explain their history and their talents. The Museum basement will also be open for visitors to see a variety of farm tools which have been used in Shirley. Admission is free. Visit with any questions.

Scouting for Instruments

by Franny Osmon

ACTON/GROTON: Arjun Saulnier, a member of Boy Scouts Troop 284 of Acton, didn’t have to look far to find an Eagle Scout project that was a great fit. The recent Acton-Boxborough Regional High School graduate and longtime violin student of Groton Hill Music School’s Angel Hernandez was quite familiar with Groton Hill’s mission to give music generously when there is need. So Arjun went on a mission of his own – to search out and collect gently used instruments (and the funds to refurbish them) for Groton Hill to distribute to students in need.

This spring, Arjun and his mom, Hashi Chakravarty, transported nearly two dozen instruments – violins, guitars, a drum set, woodwind and brass instruments – plus a xylophone and a banjo – to the music school. Arjun knew that many of the instruments he collected were likely in need of a tune-up, so he also collected $1100 to bring them back to life so they could go to new homes.

“I’m extremely glad to be able to give back to Groton Hill after taking lessons there for so long,” said Arjun. “I hope my project and the accompanying donation can help to bring the joy of music to other students!” Arjun plans to pursue chemistry studies at Case Western Reserve in Ohio this fall.
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Public Forum on PFAS: July 13, 7-9pm

A note from Laurie Nehring, People of Ayer Concerned About the Environment

AYER: SAVE THE DATE: July 13, 7-9pm!  PACE and Silent Spring Institute will be co-hosting a Public Forum in Ayer on PFAS: Update on the PFAS Health Study in Ayer and proposed legislation to regulate PFAS; Senator Jamie Eldridge will be presenting this new legislation.  Details coming soon!
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Removals in July: Volunteers Needed

AYER: PACE members are delighted with the progress of the Water Chestnut PULL at Grove Pond!  Compared to last year, they have SOLID progress, thanks to the help of over 65 volunteers!  More help is needed in July; dates are posted for the weekends, but Laurie Nehring will happily create additional dates for any group of 4 or more!  PULLING will continue through the summer. Please sign up at