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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.
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June is PTSD Awareness Month

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

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

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

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

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