Hudson/Stow

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Current Edition - 1/27/23
Previous Edition - 01/20/22

HEADLINES

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Click HERE to vote for February's featured!

Congratulations to January's winner, The Cannon Theatre in Devens!
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Find Out about Affordable, Reliable, Clean 21st Century Nuclear Energy

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

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

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

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

HUDSON: Recently, The MetroWest Food Collaborative (the Collaborative) hosted a Food Access Summit to bring diverse voices to the table to look beyond emergency food, and to talk about the systemic changes that will make the food system stronger, more equitable and work better for everyone in the region.

Congressman Jim McGovern was present and shared his commitment to advancing food equity and justice on a national level and thanked the collaborative for the work that is being done by all those in the room. The Congressman spoke on food insecurity on the national level during the summit. “I think hunger is a political condition. We have the money, we have the food, we have the infrastructure, we have everything. We lack the political will.” He highlighted the role of policymakers as he continued, “We have a White House that has a strategy that they want to move forward on. They have resources they can funnel to local communities. I don't know what’s going to happen in two years, but we have them for two years, and we have a president who said that ending hunger by 2030 in this country is a national priority. We need to get stuff done.” Hopeful for the future, Congressman McGovern left all who were present with a call to action: “No more talk -- Let’s roll up our sleeves and let's make huge amounts of progress in these next two years!”

Amongst the 60+ other guests present was Senate President Karen Spilka, Speaker Pro Tempore Kate Hogan and Representative Jack Lewis, who shared regional data, perspectives on unique collaborations they’ve witnessed between Collaborative members, and recognition that policies are necessary to combat the issues of food insecurity within the region. Youth from Voices of the Community and Discovering Hidden Gems also shared first-hand experiences on the role of food access and justice and the impact on their lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated pre-existing community hardships, especially the need to get food to residents that was healthy and culturally relevant. "Between the lingering effects of the pandemic and inflation cutting into family incomes, food insecurity presents a grave challenge to Massachusetts communities - particularly low-income communities and communities of color," said MA Senate President Karen E. Spilka. As of September 2022, 16.6% of households were food insecure throughout the Commonwealth. This is down from the height of the pandemic, but is still double the number of households that were insecure pre-pandemic. It is clear that hunger does not impact everyone equally. One in five households with children (21.5%) statewide struggle with food insecurity, according to data from fall 2022. However, food insecurity remains most prevalent in Latino/a (36.1%), Multiracial (35.8%), and Black (35.7%) households with children. The pandemic made it clear that there were gaps in the food system, and the idea of regionalizing efforts and collaboration became the quickest and most efficient way to address the issue, thus the Collaborative was born.

The Collaborative sits within the MetroWest Shared Public Health Services group, under the Public Health Excellence grant from Massachusetts DPH, with the Hudson Health Department serving as the fiscal agent. The Collaborative’s membership represents a wide range of sectors including municipal public health, public schools, emergency food providers, philanthropy, community health, social services, and community organizing. The Collaborative has fifty members across the Shared Public Health Region (Ashland, Framingham, Hopkinton, Hudson, Maynard, Milford, Millis and Natick) and envisions a thriving food system that delivers food justice for all. Food justice is a holistic and structural view of the food system that sees healthy food as a human right and addresses structural barriers to that right.

Along with advocacy efforts, the Collaborative also strives to increase healthy food access and are utilizing community engagement to excel in their efforts. Monthly calendars with detailed community-specific food resources are distributed throughout the region, via social media, and online at www.MetroWestFoodCollaborative.org/find-food-1. The Collaborative’s member organizations also run mobile food pantries, farmers markets, food/clothing/supplies distributions and several other programs that promote and advocate for healthy food for all. These dedicated individuals bring many years of experience from living and working within MetroWest. None of these individuals or organizations alone have the capacity to look at the regional data, trends, and policies affecting the regional food system, but by bringing together their knowledge and relationships within the communities, they can begin to tackle systemic issues, such as reducing the SNAP Gap in the region.

“I am grateful to the Collaborative for the vital work they are doing in the region. Combating hunger is an economic justice issue that requires greater support and collaboration among organizations serving our communities. At the legislative level, we have been listening to our constituents and voted to extend free school meals, invest money into the Healthy Incentives Program (which allows people to use SNAP
benefits at farmers markets), increase the minimum wage, and to strengthen our Commonwealth's universal health care," said Representative Jack Patrick Lewis. The idea that food insecurity is about political will and not the lack of food was a recurring theme at the summit.

Events such as the Food Access Summit aim to bring the Collaborative’s mission to light for both community members and stakeholders. “It was so exciting to bring together legislators and members of the Collaborative to open the lines of communication around ensuring food security within the region and opportunities to strengthen the regional food system,” said Kali Coughlan, the MetroWest Food Collaborative Coordinator.
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Valentine’s Dinner Fundraiser at Hudson First United Methodist Church

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HUDSON: On February 11 at 5pm, First United Methodist Church is going to host a little something special to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Those who have dined with FUMC already know of their reputation for serving wonderful dinners. This is going to be a sit-down dinner and you will be served stuffed chicken breast, mashed potatoes, salad and a veggie and desert.

To complete the festive holiday spirit, FUMC is excited to welcome back, for a return visit - Tony Funches, a former lead vocalist from one of the original “Platters”
group. Be sure to mark your calendars,

This is a fundraiser for the church and the cost is only $10/per person. Invite your
friends to come and enjoy this delightful evening.  First United Methodist Church is located over the hill off the Hudson Rotary at 34 Felton Street. More information is available by calling (978) 562-2932 or online at www.hudsonfumc@gmail.com.
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Hudson High School Drama Society presents "Bring It On!"

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HUDSON: Campbell is cheer-royalty at Truman High School and her senior year should prove the most cheertastic — she's been named captain of the squad! But, an unexpected redistricting has forced her to spend her final year of high school at the neighboring Jackson High School. Despite having the deck stacked against her, Campbell befriends the school's dance crew. Together with their headstrong and hardworking leader, Danielle, they form a powerhouse squad for the ultimate competition — the National Championships!
 
Bitingly relevant, sprinkled with sass, and inspired by the hit film, Bring It On The Musical takes audiences on a high-flying journey that is filled with the complexities of friendship, jealousy, betrayal and forgiveness. Uniting some of the freshest and funniest creative minds on Broadway, Bring It On features an original story by Tony Award winner Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q), music and lyrics by Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning composer, Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the HeightsHamilton), music by Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning composer, Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), lyrics by Broadway lyricist, Amanda Green (High Fidelity), and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical. 
 
Hudson High's actors will showcase their amazing dance and vocal talents in this energetic production. The show is led by Hudson's own: Musical Director Sarah Worrest, Director Alyssa MacDonald, and Choreographer Steven Yerardi. 
 
Shows are scheduled for January 27 at 7pm, January 28 at 7pm, and January 29 at 2pm. All shows will be in the Paul "Skip" Johnson auditorium at Hudson High School, 69 Brigham Street. Tickets are $15 (adults); $12 (students & seniors) at the door, and available with a discount of $2 off when purchased ahead of time at

Local Students Named to Dean's List at Fitchburg State

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

Acton / Boxborough / Maynard
Catherine Abrams
Yilver A. Aguilera

Zainabu A. Bosungmeh 
Joseph D. Ditavi
Abderrahmane Garchali 

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

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

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

Concord / Carlisle / Bedford
David P. Eisenberg 
Shujiao Liu

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more at fitchburgstate.edu.

Toe-Tapping Snappy Hot Jazz at New Revival Coffeehouse

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STOW: On February 4, the New Revival Coffeehouse will present 440 Gypsy Jazz, a quartet that expands the gypsy jazz tradition of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. They play danceable swing standards from the era of Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Benny Goodman, as well as originals from the band. Sometimes called gypsy swing, jazz manouche or hot club style jazz, gypsy jazz originated in the 1930s in Paris with Reinhardt and Grappelli’s band Quintette du Hot Club de Paris, and is often featured in the soundtrack of movies by Woody Allen. The usual instrumentation is acoustic guitar, violin and clarinet, with upright bass.

The leader of 440 is violinist Tomoko Iwamoto, born in Osaka and a graduate of Berklee College. Tomoko is a composer, arranger and educator and plays classical and other styles of music in addition to gypsy jazz. She has released two CD’s, “Yo-ki Swing,” and “Why Why.” “Tomoko has her own melodic vocabulary that she has created within the gypsy jazz context. Not an easy thing to do. It reflects the bravery and strength of her character. It shows she has lived some life and her stories are subtly silhouetted through her music. Such a pleasure.” Chris McDermott, guitarist, singer and songwriter and producer.

The New Revival Coffeehouse is at First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, 353 Great Road. Tickets are $17 in advance at tiny.cc/440jazz and $20 at the door. Doors open at 7pm and the concert begins at 7:30pm. Masks are optional. For more information, see www.jazzyviolinist.com or www.fpc-stow-acton.org/music/coffeehouse. For questions, call (978) 274-2593, or email coffeehouse@fpc-stow-
acton.org.
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Symphonic Treasures: Symphony Pro Musica’s Upcoming Program

HUDSON/SOUTHBOROUGH: Symphony Pro Musica, conducted by Mark Churchill, presents its second performances of its celebratory 40th anniversary season on February 4 at 7:30pm at the Hudson High School, and on February 5 at 3:30pm at St. Mark’s School in Southborough. The program is titled “Symphonic Treasures” and features violinist Maria Ioudenitch, who will perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.

“Maria Ioudenitch (pictured) makes her SPM debut. She is an extraordinary young Russian-American musician and one of the greatest rising violin stars performing today.” says Churchill. Joseph Joachim, the famous German violinist and close friend and collaborator of Brahms declared ‘The Germans have four violin concertos. The greatest, most uncompromising is Beethoven’s.” In fact, Joachim’s playing and devotion to the work set the musical world on fire and it has graced every great violinist’s repertoire since.

Opening the program is French Impressionist composer Claude Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, which begins with a captivating flute solo by our outstanding principal flutist Ethan Lin. Closing the program is Alexander  Borodin’s magnificent Symphony No.2. Churchill comments “This piece used to be a staple of symphony concerts around the world. We think it still should be! It’s exciting, tuneful, challenging but satisfying to play, and it’s a joy to listen to. It brings out the best qualities and spirit of the romantic symphony orchestra.”

SPM continues its long tradition of performing at Hudson High School, which began with the orchestra’s founding 40 years ago. On Sunday, SPM will play at the Putnam Family Arts Center at St. Mark’s School. There will be a pre-concert talk 45 minutes prior to the start of each performance. Students are always able to attend SPM concerts at no charge. Adult tickets are $25, senior tickets are
$20, and group rates are available. Tickets to the performances may be found on Eventbrite - www.symphonypromusica.eventbrite.com., For more information, visit www.symphonypromusica.org, call (978) 562-0939, or email spmoffice@symphonypromusica.org.
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Town of Stow Completes Second Phase of Stow Acres Land Acquisition

STOW: The Town of Stow is pleased to announce that it has completed the second phase of the acquisition of Stow Acres Country Club, purchasing 109 acres as part of a larger vision to create housing, open space, and recreation options in line with community priorities. The $3.535 million purchase, which was completed on Friday, Jan, 13, is being funded through the Stow Community Preservation Act, and a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Grant from the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, assisted by private fundraising by the Stow Conservation Trust.

Rather than sell the course on the open market, Stow Acres’ owners approached the Town of Stow in late 2020 and proposed working in partnership on a development and preservation plan for the land. A unique public-private partnership emerged, including the Stow Planning and Conservation Departments, Stow Conservation Trust, local development firm MCO & Associates, and Stow Acres Country Club, supported by Dodson & Flinker, a planning and design firm. This working group developed a vision of large-scale conservation and ecological restoration of the Town’s most sensitive areas; maintaining and creating recreation opportunities, and diversifying housing with traditional New England architecture to help the town meet its affordable housing goals.

The resulting project received strong support from Stow Select Board and other town boards, Town Administration, the Town’s State House delegation, and from community members and stakeholders.
About 32 acres of the North Course parcel will be developed into smaller single-family, village-style homes, designed to limit the impact on the environment and maximize affordability. The remaining acreage will be set aside for public conservation and recreation. The Town is negotiating a short-term lease to continue operation of nine holes of the North Course. The Town also has purchased a separate conservation restriction for the 18-hole South Course.

“Thank you to the town staff and members of town boards and committees who devoted countless hours to bringing this idea to fruition,” Town Administrator Denise Dembkoski said. “I especially would like to thank Peter Brown and Stow Holdings LLC for being true community partners. Sale of a large parcel for development will alter a community forever. Instead, Peter worked with the Town every step of the way to ensure that the best interests of both sides are met.”

Those interested in learning more about the proposal may visit the Stow Acres Planning Process page.

“The Stow Acres project is a textbook example of how communities and developers can work together collaboratively,” Conservation Director Kathy Sferra said. “The final result is that Stow will be able to plan for its growth, rather than reacting to growth.”
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Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest Seeks Nominees for Hall of Fame

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HUDSON/MARLBOROUGH: Since its inception 79 years ago, Boys and Girls Clubs of MetroWest (BGCMW) has provided children of all backgrounds with the opportunity to grow and realize their dreams. Their experiences in the Boys & Girls Club helped shape them and open doors to a bright future. BGCMW needs the public’s help in identifying community members who deserve to be recognized for their hard work and devotion to the organization.

The Hall of Fame event is a breakfast celebrating those individuals that do so much for the organization. The event includes an induction ceremony into the Hall of Fame, as well as recognition of Youth of the Year winner. These individuals will be honored at the breakfast on May 18, 2023 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Marlborough. Nominations open online and are available until February 28th.

The Hall of Fame is an opportunity to recognize community members long-term BGCMW dedication, positive youth influence, those who have gone on to make major contributions in their fields, many of whom are alumni or have been associated with the Club for many years, for their dedication to BGCMW mission and continued support of the organization. The Youth of the Year is the highest award available for current members in our membership and recognizes one member's dedication, leadership and academic achievement.  Their stories are very different, but all begin the same way: with the life-changing programs, caring and attentive staff, and fun and safety of the Clubs. The Hall of Fame will acknowledge individuals, whether alumni or club supporters, for their unwavering commitment to BGCMW and the young people of MetroWest. If you wish to nominate someone, visit www.bgcmetrowest.org/hall-of-fame.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest has enabled community youth most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The Clubs serve more than 6,200 youth each year across its’ three Clubhouses in Hudson, Marlborough and Framingham. The Club
maintains a low membership fee of $25 per year, per child because of the generous support provided by local companies, foundations, and individuals. To learn more about, or donate to, the Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest visit www.bgcmetrowest.org.

Assabet Valley Camera Club Program presents Color, Contrast, Lighting, and Composition

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HUDSON: On February 1, the Assabet Valley Camera Club (AVCC) is pleased to host Silvana Della Camera, award-winning photographer, judge, and presenter as well as a member of the Professional Photographers Association (PPA). In her hour-long presentation on Color, Contrast, Lighting, and Composition Silvana will discuss how photography is much more than pointing a camera at a scene and clicking the shutter. It involves a process of weighing the assorted components seen within the viewfinder and realizing how they can be used to capture a powerful image. She will guide photographers on how to evaluate and isolate the various graphical elements before them to create an impactful, visual story.

Silvana Della Camera, a software engineer by trade, began her fascination with photography as a very young child. Now a lifelong obsession, Silvana shares her enthusiasm for photography through her workshops, photo walks and camera club presentations on various topics including
infrared, black and white, time-lapse and deep-space photography. To see more of her images and to join her email list visit her website at SilvanaPhoto.com . She can also be found on Instagram and Facebook.

Currently AVCC meetings are being held online. If you are interested in attending this program, contact AVCC at info@assabetvalleycc.com a few days prior to the meeting to request a link to the event. The club’s Zoom room opens at 7pm with a brief business meeting at 7:15pm. Silvana’s presentation will begin at 7:30pm.

Normally, AVCC meetings are held at the Hudson Senior Center, 29 Church Street. The first meeting of the month generally features a program designed to instruct and/or to entertain camera enthusiasts. During the second monthly meeting, a competition of members’ digital images are judged and critiqued by qualified individuals. Assabet Valley Camera Club, affiliated with both the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) and the Photographic Society of America (PSA), participates in interclub competitions on regional, national and international levels.

AVCC welcomes anyone interested in learning more about photography as a visual art and its practical application as a science. Members benefit from the hands-on experiences, from the knowledge presented in programs, and from having their work critiqued. For more information, visit www.assabetvalleycc.com .
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ARC Comedy Night Benefit is February 10th

HUDSON/MARLBOROUGH: The ARC is hosting the 12th Annual Comedy Night Benefit, featuring the area’s most  popular and talented comedians on February 10, at the Hudson Portuguese Club, 13 Port Street. The event, being held in support of the Addiction Referral Center (ARC) of Marlborough, will include lots of laughs, food, and raffle prizes. The ARC has been serving the local community for fifty years, since 1972, and relies on  fundraising and donations to provide its services.  

Entertainers at the Comedy Night Benefit include popular comedians Amy Tee, Ryan Shea, and Bill Douglas. Boston comedian Dave Rattigan returns as host. These days he co-hosts two podcasts, the crime ‘n  grime-focused Crime Solvers Podcast and Real Stories by Real Cops. His CD has been  played on SiriusXM Radio, and he performed three times on the syndicated Steve  Katsos Show. He’s done commercials for Olympia Sports and iParty, and performed in  Dublin and Kilkenny, Ireland and in Boston with Irish comedians Ardal O’Hanlon and  Joe Rooney. He’s performed at the Hampton Beach Comedy Festival (NH), Boston  Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival, and Salem Comedy and Spirits Festival,  and shared the stage with Bill Burr, Jeff Dunham, the Beach Boys, and more. 

Amy Tee is one of the busiest comedians on the New England comedy circuit today.  Whether performing in world famous comedy clubs, theaters, colleges, or at charity  events, her edgy but subtle approach turns her personal tribulations into non-stop  hilarity with mainstream and alternative audiences from Los Angeles to New York City  alike. As an official presenter for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Amy  Tee proudly uses her comedy act to serve as a mental wellness advocate. Mentioned in  Curve magazine as one of the "funniest lesbians in America," and identified as a rising  star by the Boston Globe, she is a regular performer at the Boston Comedy Festival and  also featured on Sirius XM Satellite Radio & LOGO television network. 

Ryan Shea is a Boston based comic that has been a regular in the Boston clubs for the past 11 years. He performs all over the east coast, and is a former comic in residence at the reputable Comedy Studio in Cambridge. In 2016 he was asked to perform for the troops and asked back in 2017. Shea is honest, outspoken, and introspective. He brings high energy and points of view for everyone to enjoy. 

Bill Douglas is a middle school science teacher by day. At night he’s still a middle school science teacher, but also travels around New England performing comedy. In  addition to New England, he’s performed at clubs in the Midwest and San Francisco. He  has shared the stage with headliners such as Jimmy Dunn, Paul Nardizzi, Carolyn  Plummer, and Paul D’Angelo. 

Doors open for the event at 6:30pm and the show begins at 7:30pm. Food is available  for purchase. Coffee and desserts are complimentary. For further information on  sponsorships, program ads, tickets or table reservations, call the ARC Office at (508) 485-4357. Tables ($250) and individual tickets ($25) should be purchased in advance at  the ARC. Chairing the event are Tracey Gustafson and Bob Landry.  

The Addiction Referral Center (ARC) ranks as one of the most respected and active  recovery service resources in Middlesex County. As a nonprofit organization, the ARC  provides individualized referral services, Recovery Coach appointments and daily peer support meetings at no cost to those seeking recovery from substance use disorder. To  donate to the ARC or sponsor the 12th Annual Comedy Night Benefit please call (508) 485-4357 or visit www.theaddictionreferralcenter.org/2023- comedy.
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Tom Denney Nature Camp Registration is Open!

BOLTON: Registration is now open for Tom Denney Nature Camp, available to students entering Kindergarten through High School. Activities include swimming, games in the fields and woods, arts & crafts, songs, tracking, scavenger hunt, hiking, exploring, campfires to roast hot dogs and marshmallows, building shelters, Animal Adventures, Predator and Prey, The Amazing Race & more. Campers entering grades 6th-9th in the Eco Adventures program  will play kayaking games on the pond, laser tag in the woods, nighttime activities on Thursday and dinner and s'mores, water guns, an adventure hike, team building activities & more. There are 6 weekly sessions that run July 3 – August 13, Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm. Before/After Care is available! Campers from all towns are welcome!

Counselors-in-Training must be entering 9th grade or above and attend Orientation June 28 - 30 and then choose two weeks or more to be at camp.

Visit www.tomdenneynaturecamp.org for more details and to register. Questions: bcttdnc@gmail.com (best means of communication) or (978) 429-3004 (voice mail).
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Local Grants Awarded for Hudson and Surrounding Towns

Massachusetts state legislators Representative Kate Hogan and Senator James Eldridge along with Donna Specian, Chair of the Hudson Cultural Council, have announced the award of the 2023 grants for cultural programs in Hudson and the surrounding area.

Some of this year's grant recipients include: Boys and Girls Club of MetroWest, C.A. Farley Elementary School, Green Hudson, Hudson Division of Recreation, Assabet Valley Chamber of Commerce, Hudson Public Library, and the Hudson Cultural Alliance for the Hudson Armory Project.

"Congratulations to the many and varied organizations that will be supported by Hudson Cultural Council grants this year. The programs that benefit from these funds bring enjoyment and entertainment, instruction and therapy to residents of all ages in our community,” stated Rep. Kate Hogan (D-Stow). “I'm proud to appropriate funding for our cultural councils each year in the state budget and delighted to see the dollars at work locally."

The Hudson Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.

"I am delighted to see that the state funding has benefited organizations like the Hudson Cultural Council, which is critical to the missions of arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences," said State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Marlborough). "Congratulations to the Council for awarding 16 grants totaling $22,697 to organizations in Hudson which is particularly exciting given the recent acquisition of the Hudson Armory for a community performing arts center!"

The Hudson Cultural Council will seek applications again in the fall. For local guidelines and complete information on the Hudson Cultural Council check out the council’s website at www.hudsonculturalcouncil.org. Applications and more information about the Local Cultural Council Program are available online at www.massculturalcouncil.org. Online applications will again be available September 1, 2023 and will be due October 16, 2023.
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Emergency Shutdown 12/30 in Hudson

HUDSON: From Hudson Light and Power: HLP crews need to do an emergency shutdown to permanently repair the issue that caused the town-wide outages on Friday 12/23. This repair will take place late Friday night 12/30 into Saturday morning, midnight – 2am. You will not be able to report the outage online or with the 888 # as their office will be without power as well.
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Acton Community Chorus Presents Snow Angel

STOW/ACTON: The Acton Community Chorus' upcoming concert, "Snow Angel", by young Canadian composer, Sarah Quartel, with solo cello and djembe, will be at First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, 353 Great Road in Stow, January 14 at 7:30pm. This emotional work brings about the themes of the concert - the army of angels watching over a child, the beauty of winter, and the love and fear expressed through lullabies. But you won't be lulled to sleep, as percussion and cello weave through the many songs in the concert, summoning the power of the "Angel Band" and the "Voces Lucis (Voices of Light)" through varied musical styles and languages. Tickets, available at the door, or from any Chorus member are $25. Admission for children grades K-12 is free.
 
In addition, you’re invited to the Open Sing rehearsals for the Acton Community Chorus Spring Pops Concert on January 23 and 30 at 7:30pm at the Faith Evangelical Free Church, 54 Hosmer Street in Acton. Celebrate the Roarin’ 20’s with hits by Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Fats Waller, and Cole Porter, including Ain’t Misbehavin’, Embraceable You, Singin’ in the Rain, Someone to Watch Over Me, Blue Skies, and so many more.  Don your fedora, break out your flapper dress, and come have a blast with other people who love to sing!  No audition necessary. 

For more information, please visit 
www.actoncommunitychorus.org/join.
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Action Holiday BINGO! Wrapping Up Soon

Have you been playing The Action's Winter BINGO! this season?  The game will be wrapping up soon, so be sure to dab your numbers, cross your fingers, and when you find yourself with a row completed horizontally, vertically or diagonally, copy or scan your cards and send them to "contest@actionunlimited.com" or 100-1 Domino Drive, Concord, MA 01742.  One winner will be drawn from all verified submissions.
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Assabet Valley Camera Club: A Certain Slant of Light

HUDSON: On January 4, the Assabet Valley Camera Club (AVCC) is pleased to
host Suzanne Révy, photographer, writer and educator who earned a BFA from the Pratt Institute and an MFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and previously worked as photography editor at U.S. News & World Report and Yankee Magazine. She has exhibited her work at museums and galleries throughout New England and in New York. Révy is an adjunct professor of photography at Clark University in Worcester.

A Certain Slant of Light began as a daily photographic ritual where Suzanne employed a mobile phone to keep her eyes open for light as it moved and changed throughout the day. As a photographer who primarily uses film in a methodical manner, the immediacy, speed and ease of phone photography offered a different avenue for practice and honing her vision on a daily basis. Capturing images at sunrise on a small pond allows Révy to witness seasonal changes in shifting light and weather. In her presentation, she will discuss how using the phone has enhanced her practice in film photography and will describe how her phone pictures have evolved over time.

Currently AVCC meetings are being held online. If you are interested in attending this program, contact AVCC at info@assabetvalleycc.com a few days prior to the meeting to request a link to the event. The club’s Zoom room opens at 7pm with a brief business meeting at 7:15pm. Suzanne’s presentation will begin at 7:30pm.

Normally, AVCC meetings are held at the Hudson Senior Center, 29 Church Street. The first meeting of the month generally features a program designed to instruct and/or to entertain camera enthusiasts. During the second monthly meeting, a competition of members’ digital images are judged and critiqued by qualified individuals. Assabet Valley Camera Club,
affiliated with both the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) and the Photographic Society of America (PSA), participates in interclub competitions on regional, national and international levels. AVCC welcomes anyone interested in  learning more about photography as a visual art and its practical application as a science. Members benefit from the hands-on experiences, from the knowledge presented in programs, and from having their work critiqued. For more information, visit www.assabetvalleycc.com.
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Or click HERE to take the survey.

If you would like to know more about the Green Advisory Committee contact GreenAdvisory@stow-ma.gov.  Additional information and meeting agendas and minutes can be found at www.stow-ma.gov/green-advisory-committee. Survey deadline extended to 12/31/22.
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FPC Holiday & Christmas Eve Services

STOW: Continuing its month of special holiday services, First Parish Church of Stow & Acton (FPC), Unitarian Universalist, will hold a Winter Solstice service on December 18 at 10am, and it will hold its traditional Christmas Eve services on December 24 at 4pm and 9pm. All services will be held both in person and online.

On December 18, FPC will forego its traditional “Mummers’ Play,” and instead the children and youth will share a new play, “Winter Wonder: The Solstice.” Scripted by FPC’s minister, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Landrum, the play is about the meaning and beauty of the Solstice. It will feature a small “nod” to the Mumming tradition. Also participating will be Marissa Evans, Acting Director of Religious Education.

FPC’s 4pm Christmas Eve Family Service, geared towards children, will feature interactive moments, stories, and carols, finishing with the traditional candle-lighting and singing of “Silent Night.”  The 9pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, geared towards adults, will feature traditional carols and anthems, paired with readings and the age-old story of the birth of Jesus. Guest musicians will join the FPC Choir and FPC organist/pianist Sanghee Kim as they perform under the direction of FPC Music Director Brad Dumont. An extended prelude of Christmas music will begin at 8:45pm, and this service will also end with the traditional candle-lighting and singing of “Silent Night.”

There will be no service on December 25.

Masks are required in the sanctuary, with the exception of the balcony. To enter the virtual room, go to http://tinyurl.com/22-23fpc. FPC now has a closed captioning option in online services. If the Closed Captioning option is not turned on, you can use the button at the bottom of your screen to request that the host turn it on. To prevent disruptive intrusions, the virtual room will be locked about 15 minutes after the service begins.

FPC warmly welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Its facilities are wheelchair accessible. For more information, call (978) 897-8149 or visit www.fpc-stow-acton.org. The church is located at 353 Great Road, at the corner of routes 117 and 62.
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St. Stephen Church Delivers 31 Christmas Satchels to Seafarers

MARLBOROUGH: Waiting until Christmas to open presents delivered weeks in advance can be a challenge, but a group of seafarers vowed to do just that when 31 packages of warm winter clothing and other gifts donated by St. Stephen Lutheran Church arrived in New Haven, CT where merchant marines were in port for a day.

Most people may not think about the shipment of such things as rebar and scrap metal, or even how home heating oil and imported wood get to their final destination, or the sailors whose efforts are a vital part of the process. Seafarers from all over the world are an integral part of bringing these, and other products for New Englanders into New Haven, CT. Seafarers are often isolated and lonely, sometimes without the means to contact family frequently, or purchase needed items while in port. Typical contracts put most at sea for 10 months a year, and they remain a largely forgotten population at the holidays.

Seafarers International House serves this population, and the people of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Marlborough, have responded for the past seven years by providing Christmas gifts of satchels filled with hand-knit hats and scarves, hooded sweatshirts, shirts, socks, cans of nuts and Christmas cards. This year, church members Melanie Whapham and Judy Kellogg of Marlborough traveled to New Haven to meet with Port Chaplain Ruth Setaro and deliver 31 satchels.

The visitors had the opportunity to meet some of the seafarers. “A crew from the COSMOS was in port for the day, leaving for India,” Melanie said. “These merchant marines will be the best color coordinated sailors on the seas.” The hand knit items matched wonderfully with the purchased sweatshirts and shirts, she noted.  Chaplain Setaro said the sailors were very grateful for the packages. “They were so excited to get these gifts and promised they would wait until Christmas to open them.”

The need for additional warm, hand knit hats continues, and less than 2 weeks after an announcement in church, 30 more hand-knit hats had been donated.
Seafarers International House is an ecumenical mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to seafarers and sojourners, as well as people who are distressed, disadvantaged, and displaced. For more information, check out https:/www.sihnyc.org.

Seven Lutheran chaplains support the Seafarers Port Mission. When requested, they will board merchant marine ships to provide pastoral care and counseling. During the holidays, chaplains distribute the packages to ships that port in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia and southern New England that will be out at sea for Christmas.

For more information about the church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com  or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org). The church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class. Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Stow, and Bolton.
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Parker School Opens 2023-24 Enrollment Season

DEVENS: Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School announced the enrollment season for the 2023-2024 academic year is now open. Parker is a free public charter school open by lottery to students entering grades 7, 8 and 9. Applications can be submitted online at www.parker.school/apply until February 1, 2023. The lottery will be held on February 7, 2023 at 4pm. All application, lottery, and enrollment regulations, as outlined in the enrollment policy will be followed.

In addition, Parker has limited openings in grades 7 and 9 for mid-year entry during the current (2022-23) school year. There are no openings in grade 8 for the 2022-23 school year at this time. Applications for the current school year can be submitted online and will be accepted until January 4, 2023. If more applications are received than there are available spaces, a lottery will be drawn on January 12, 2023 at 4pm. Enrollment offers will be made with an intended start date of the first day of second semester (January 24, 2023).

Parker Charter School educates 400 students in grades 7-12 from more than 40 towns in Massachusetts. Founded in 1995, Parker is committed to the principles of progressive education—inclusive community, low student-teacher ratio, project-based learning, and promotion based on mastery of core intellectual skills. Learn more at www.theparkerschool.org. Sign up for an information session at www.parker.school/infosession.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: What to Know about Sustainable Investing

December 6, 2022
 
You may have heard about “sustainable investing.”  But if you're not familiar with it, you may have some questions: What does it involve? Is it right for me? Can I follow a sustainable investing strategy and still get the portfolio performance I need to reach my goals?

Sustainable investing can be defined in different ways, with different terminologies. However, one way to look at a sustainable approach is by thinking of it as investing in a socially conscious way which may involve two broad categories: environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and values-based investing.

As its name suggests, ESG investing incorporates a broad range of environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities, along with traditional financial measures, when making investment decisions. This approach may have a neutral impact on performance because it maintains a focus on managing risk, traditional fundamental analysis and diversification. Here's a quick look at the ESG elements:

    • Environmental – Companies  may work to reduce carbon emissions, invest in renewable energy, decrease pollution and conserve water resources.
    • Social – A business  may promote gender and pay equality within its workforce, and maintain positive labor relations and safe working conditions for employees.
    • Governance – Companies distinguished by good governance may institute strong ethics policies, provide transparent financial reporting and set policies to ensure it has an independent, objective board of directors.

You can pursue an ESG investing approach through individual stocks, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which hold a variety of investments similar to mutual funds, but are generally passively managed – that is, they do little or no trading. As an ESG investor, you don't necessarily have to sacrifice performance because ESG investments generally fare about as well as the wider investment universe. Some investments may even gain from the ESG approach. For example, a company that invests in renewable energy may benefit from the move away from fossil fuel sources.

Now, let's move on to values-based investing. When you follow a values-based approach, you can focus on specific themes where you may choose to include or exclude certain types of investments that align with your personal values.

So, you could refrain from investing in segments of the market, such as tobacco or firearms, or in companies that engage in certain business practices, such as animal testing. On the other hand, you could actively seek out investments that align with your values. For instance, if you’re interested in climate change, you could invest in a mutual fund or ETF that contains companies in the solar or clean energy industries.

One potential limitation of values-based investing is that it may decrease the diversification of your portfolio and lead to materially lower returns due to narrowly focused investments, prioritization of non-financial goals and too many exclusions.

Ultimately, if you choose to include a sustainable investing approach, you will want – as you do in any investing scenario – to choose those investments that are suitable for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon.

If sustainable investing interests you, give it some thought – you may find it rewarding to match your money with your beliefs.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Mandy Calouro, Chelmsford, MA.
EdwardJones.com/Mandy-Colouro - Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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Let Troop 1 Stow Haul Away Your Christmas Tree

STOW: Let Troop 1 Stow haul away your Christmas tree.  Reservation deadline is January 4.  Tree picks will start on December 12. To make make your reservation please pay the $15 online at troop1stow.net or mail in a check payable to Troop 1 Stow at P.O. Box 75.  If you have any questions, please call (978) 212-9175 or by email wreath@troop1stow.net. Stow residents only, please.
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Need Help? The Stow Food Pantry is There for You

STOW: The Stow Food Pantry is holding their next Food pantries on December 3,  4 and 16 from 9 am–12pm, by appointment only. The Pantry will continue to work very hard during this time of uncertainty to serve any in need of services. They will keep our community safe by following CDC guidelines for COVID-19. No referrals required. No financial questions asked. If you are unable to make it to the Pantry, please contact them and they can probably work something out. If you need help, please call (978) 897-4230 or email stowfoodp@gmail.com.
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Quinn Middle School delivers classic fairy tales with Law and Order: Fairy Tale Unit

HUDSON: In the fairy tale criminal justice system, the characters from fairy tales and nursery rhymes are represented by two separate yet equally ridiculous groups: the fairy tale police who investigate fairy tale crime, and the fairy tale district attorneys who prosecute the fairy tale offenders. Quinn drama students will present their stories in this witty and imaginative play! Shows are scheduled for December 1 & 2 at 7pm at Quinn Middle School, located at 201 Manning Street. Tickets are $5 at the door.
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Supporting Someone with a Mental Health Condition?

The Family to Family course from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) could prove helpful to you. This is a free, evidence-based, weekly, eight-session virtual course for family members and friends of individuals living with mental health conditions. Topics include understanding the symptoms of mental health conditions, learning about treatments and therapies, practicing communication and problem-solving skills, creating a positive team approach, and self-care. Importantly, the course offers family members the invaluable opportunity of open conversation and mutual support in a stigma-free environment. The class is taught by NAMI trained family members from the local NAMI Central Middlesex affiliate. The course will meet Mondays via Zoom, starting January 16, 6-8:30pm.  Registration is required. Go to namicentralmiddlesex.org/educational-courses for additional information, the registration link, and more course offerings. To converse with one of the teachers, contact Patti at pjsardella56@gmail.com; (978) 621-1065 or Lindsay at linzbfar@gmail.com; (781) 864-7003.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Protect Financial Accounts From “Cyberthieves”

November 29, 2022
 
Cybercrime is booming. In 2021, the FBI reported that cybercriminals scammed nearly $7 billion from Americans — a figure slightly higher than the gross domestic product (GDP) of Switzerland for that year, according to research organization World Economics. How can you protect yourself from cyberthieves? Here are some suggestions that can help:
 
  • Watch out for “phishing” attempts. You may receive emails that appear to be from a legitimate firm, requesting information your financial institution would never request online — confirmation of an account number, password, Social Security number, credit card number and so on. These notes can look official, often incorporating a firm’s logo, so pay close attention to what’s being asked of you.
  • Think twice before clicking or downloading. If you are suspicious about a communication, don’t click on a link or download an attachment — instead, go to your financial firm’s website or use their app to verify they sent the information or request.
  • Become adept with passwords. Use a different password for each of your accounts and change your passwords regularly. Of course, maintaining multiple passwords can be confusing, so you might want to consider using password management software, which generates passwords, stores them in an encrypted database and locks them behind a master password — which is the only one you’ll need to remember.
  • Use your own devices. Try to avoid using public computers or devices that aren’t yours to access your financial accounts. If you do use another computer, clear your browsing history after you log out of your account.
  • Be cautious about using Wi-Fi when traveling. When you’re on the road, you may want to use public hotspots, such as wireless networks in airports and hotels. But many people don’t realize that these hotspots reduce their security settings to make access easier, which, in turn, makes it easier for cyberthieves to intercept your information. In fact, some hackers even build their own public hotspots to draw in internet-seekers in an effort to commit theft. So, if at all possible, wait until you can access a trusted, encrypted network before engaging in any communications or activity involving your financial accounts.
  • Don’t give up control of your computer. Under no circumstances should you provide remote access to your computer to a stranger who contacts you, possibly with an offer to help “disinfect” your computer. If you do think your device has an issue with malicious software, contact a legitimate technician for assistance.
  • Know whom you’re calling for help. If you need assistance from, say, a customer service area of a financial institution, make sure you know the phone number is accurate and legitimate — possibly one from a billing or confirmation statement. Some people have been scammed by Googling “support” numbers that belonged to fraudsters who asked for sensitive information.
  • Review all correspondence with your financial services provider. Keep a close eye on your account activity and statements. If you see mistakes or unauthorized activity in your account, contact your financial institution immediately.

Advanced technology has brought many benefits, but also many more opportunities for financial crimes. By taking the above steps, and others that may be needed, you can go a long way toward defending yourself against persistent and clever cyberthieves.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Preston Carbone, Westford, MA  - EdwardJones.com/Preston-Carbone, Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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Join the Sounds of Stow Chorus and Orchestra!

STOW: The Sounds of Stow Chorus and Orchestra invite all interested singers to join Open Rehearsals on December 5 and 12. The Chorus and Orchestra are a welcoming community of musicians committed to preparing and performing exceptional music to enrich our lives and those of audiences. Rehearsals are held at the First Parish Church's Fellowship Hall, 353 Main Street. Open Rehearsals will begin at 7pm to allow time for registration and welcoming new singers, with subsequent rehearsals running from 7:15 to 9:30pm.

For their spring concert on April 2, The Sounds of Stow will return to Hale Middle School in Stow with a concert entitled “Joyous Voices – Winsome Winds,” which includes Haydn’s Harmoniemesse and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Four
Winds. Rounding out the season, they have been invited to join several local choral groups for “Voices Rising,” a special event on May 20, in the spectacular new  Groton Hill Music in Groton, accompanied by the Vista Philharmonic Orchestra.

Choristers hail from 40+ towns in the Metrowest area and beyond, and membership is open to anyone who can match pitch, learn the music, and blend with the other voices. Artistic Director Barbara Jones promotes principles of good singing and serious musicianship at weekly rehearsals that are lively, challenging, and always fun. For further information, visit www.soundsofstow.org or email info@soundsofstow.org.

Sounds of Stow is supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as administered by the local cultural councils of Stow, Acton-Boxborough, Bolton, and Hudson.
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Town Survey for Climate Action Plan

STOW: The Stow Select Board has chartered the Green Advisory Committee with developing a Climate Action Plan for the town.  They need your input to understand how residents view climate change and what actions you have taken or plan to take.  The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete and we are accepting responses until December 17. Please click HERE to take the survey.

If you would like to know more about the Green Advisory Committee contact them at GreenAdvisory@stow-ma.gov.  Additional information and meeting agendas and minutes can be found at www.stow-ma.gov/green-advisory-committee.

Stow Police Department to Host Opioid Awareness Panel and Free Narcan Training

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STOW: Chief Michael Sallese is pleased to announce that the Stow Police Department is hosting an Opioid Awareness Panel and Narcan Training, December 6, from 6:30-8pm at Pompositticut Community Center, 509 Great Road.

An Opioid Awareness Panel featuring Chief Sallese; Jackie Morris, executive director of Alyssa's Place, a peer recovery and resource center; and Billy Parks, a recovery coach from Advocates, will discuss the opioid epidemic. There were six fatal drug overdoses in Stow between 2016 and 2021. There were 300 overdose deaths in Middlesex County in 2020, and 360 in 2021. There have been 3,140 overdose deaths in the county since 2010, according to data from Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

“We feel that opioids and Narcan usage are important issues for people to not only be aware of, but also educated on," said Chief Sallese. "We also want to make sure people are aware of all the area resources available to them, including our police department. Opioids can impact any family, and we want all residents to know that support is available from the community."

Medical professionals will be on hand to provide free Narcan training to interested community members and to speak about the importance of the overdose-reversing drug.

Narcan, an opioid antagonist, can quickly reverse the effects of a potentially fatal painkiller or heroin overdose by binding to opioid receptors and reversing or blocking the effects of other opioids, quickly restoring normal breathing. Narcan is not dangerous if administered to a person who is not overdosing and it has no potential for abuse.

This event is open to the public, and residents of other communities are welcome.
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Friends of Maynard Seniors Community Bag Sale

MAYNARD/STOW: Friends of Maynard Seniors has been selected as the benefiting nonprofit for the give back where it counts community bag sale at Shaws. For the month of December 2022 the Friends of Maynard Seniors will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $3 reusable give back where it counts bag sold at Shaws 155 Great Road in Stow. These bags are great to carry groceries as well as other items. Why not get several to give as gifts? Your donation to the Friends of Maynard Seniors is a wonderful gift to help senior citizens where needed.

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FINANCIAL FOCUS: Time for New Year’s Financial Resolutions

November 22, 2022
 
It’s that time of year when many of us promise ourselves we’ll go to the gym more, or learn a new language, or take up a musical instrument, or any number of other worthy goals. But this year, when making New Year’s resolutions, why not also consider some financial ones? Here are a few to consider:

Don’t let inflation derail your investment strategy. As you know, inflation was the big financial story of 2022, hitting a 40-year high. And while it may moderate somewhat this year, it will likely still be higher than what we experienced the past decade or so. Even so, it’s a good idea to try not to let today’s inflation harm your investment strategy for the future. That happened last year: More than half of American workers either reduced their contributions to their 401(k)s and other retirement plans or stopped contributing completely during the third quarter of 2022, according to a survey by Allianz Life Insurance of North America. Of course, focusing on your cash flow needs today is certainly understandable, but are there other ways you can free up some money, such as possibly lowering your spending, so you can continue contributing to your retirement accounts? It’s worth the effort because you could spend two or three decades as a retiree.

Control your debts. Inflation can also be a factor in debt management. For example, your credit card debt could rise due to rising prices and variable credit card interest rate increases. By paying your bill each month, you can avoid the effects of rising interest rates. If you do carry a balance, you might be able to transfer it to a lower-rate card, depending on your credit score. And if you’re carrying multiple credit cards, you might benefit by getting a fixed-rate debt consolidation loan. In any case, the lower your debt payments, the more you can invest for your long-term goals.

Review your investment portfolio. At least once a year, you should review your investment portfolio to determine if it’s still appropriate for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. But be careful not to make changes just because you feel your recent performance is not what it should have been. When the financial markets are down, as was the case for most of 2022, even quality investments, such as stocks of companies with solid business fundamentals and strong prospects, can see declines in value. But if these investments are still suitable for your portfolio, you may want to keep them. 

 • Prepare for the unexpected. If you encountered a large unexpected expense, such as the need for a major home repair, how would you pay for it? If you didn’t have the money readily available, you might be forced to dip into your long-term investments or retirement accounts. To prevent this, you should build an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses — or a year’s worth, if you’re retired — with the money kept in a low-risk, liquid account. 

These  resolutions can be useful — so try to put them to work in 2023.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor James Normington, AAMS, Westford, MA - EdwardJones.com/James-Normington. Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Assabet Valley Camera Club Program: Tips for Winter Landscape Photography

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HUDSON: On December 7, the Assabet Valley Camera Club (AVCC) is pleased to host David Long, travel and landscape photographer. A resident of Central Massachusetts, Dave travels extensively throughout New England capturing its beauty across the seasons. He is a member of the Boston Camera Club and has won numerous awards within this club as well as having earned several Image-of-the-Year awards from the New England Camera Club Council. David’s images have been published in the Boston Globe, The Down East Magazine and other notable New England publications.

Dave has been teaching landscape photography for the last eleven years throughout New England. He has gained a following through his workshops, tours, and e-books on Self-Guided Photo Tours. Dave makes frequent appearances on photography pod casts, does camera club
presentations, publishes photo blogs and has a large social media community. See his work at www.davelongphoto.com and follow him on  www.instagram.com/davidlong3653 .

Currently AVCC meetings are being held online. If you are interested in attending this program, contact AVCC at info@assabetvalleycc.com a few days prior to the meeting to request a link to
the event. The club’s Zoom room opens at 7pm with a brief business meeting at 7:15pm. David’s presentation Tips for Winter Landscape Photography will begin at 7:30pm.

The first meeting of the month generally features a program designed to instruct and/or to entertain camera enthusiasts. During the second monthly meeting, a competition of members’ digital images are judged and critiqued by qualified individuals.

Assabet Valley Camera Club, affiliated with both the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) and the Photographic Society of America (PSA), participates in interclub competitions on regional, national and international levels. AVCC welcomes anyone interested in learning more about photography as a visual art and its practical application as a science. Members benefit from the hands-on experiences, from the knowledge presented in programs, and from having their work critiqued. For more information, www.assabetvalleycc.com.
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First United Methodist Church of Hudson Hosts “Annual Christmas Country Fair”

HUDSON: All are invited to First United Methodist Church of Hudson's Annual Christmas Country Fair, to be held downstairs in Lamson Hall from 9am to 2pm on December 3.  Explore:

- A Unique Silent Auction; with a variety of gifts and gift certificates from area merchants, for giving or enjoying;
- Their FAMOUS THEMED GIFT BASKETS to bid on; for all ages;
- Country Store; with CABOT cheddar cheese, Bob’s baked beans, candy and more!;
- The Claus’ Homemade Baked Goods Tables;
- Mrs. Claus’ Bling;
- Red Elephant Table; gently used Christmas items;
- OUT OF SANTA’S WORKSHOP; Crafts and Knitting Projects that will make you smile and help you stay warm;
- United Methodist Women’s Table; grab their Cookbook with famous recipes;
- Claus’ Café from 11am to 2pm; Homemade Corn Chowder, Sue’s Famous Chili, Hot Dogs and Chili Dogs;
- SANTA CLAUS HIMSELF 11:30am to 12:30pm.
- And don’t forget the Festival of Trees Silent Auction at the Hudson Boys/Girl’s Club during the Holiday Stroll at 2pm.

Everyone is invited to get into the holiday spirit, so tell your friends and neighbors. First United Methodist Church is located over the hill, just off the Hudson Rotary at 34 Felton Street. More information is available at (978) 562-2932 or at www.hudsonfumc@gmail.com.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: When Should You Adjust Your Investment Mix?

November 15, 2022
 
There are no shortcuts to investment success – you need to establish a long-term strategy and stick with it. This means that you’ll want to create an investment mix based on your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon – and then regularly review this mix to ensure it’s still meeting your needs. In fact, investing for the long term doesn’t necessarily mean you should lock your investments in forever. Throughout your life, you'll likely need to make some changes.

Of course, everyone’s situation is different and there’s no prescribed formula of when and how you should adjust your investments. But some possibilities may be worth considering. For example, a few years before you retire, you may want to re-evaluate your risk exposure and consider moving part of your portfolio into a more risk-averse position. When you were decades away from retiring, you may have felt more comfortable with a more aggressive positioning because you had time to “bounce back” from any market downturns. But as you near retirement, it may make sense to lower your risk level. And as part of a move toward a reduced-risk approach, you also may want to evaluate the “cash” positions in your portfolio. When the market has gone through a decline, as has been the case in 2022, you may not want to tap into your portfolio to meet short-term and emergency needs, so having sufficient cash on hand is important. Keep in mind, though, that having too much cash on the “sidelines” may affect your ability to reach your long-term goals.

Even if you decide to adopt a more risk-averse investment position before you retire, though, you may still benefit from some growth-oriented investments in your portfolio to help you keep ahead of – or at least keep pace with – inflation. As you know, inflation has surged in 2022, but even when it’s been relatively mild, it can still erode your purchasing power significantly over time.

Changes in your own goals or circumstances may also lead you to modify your investment mix. You might decide to retire earlier or  later than you originally planned. You might even change your plans for the type of retirement you want, choosing to work part-time for a few years. Your family situation may change – perhaps you have another child for whom you’d like to save and invest for college. Any of these events could lead you to review your portfolio to find new opportunities or to adjust your risk level – or both.

You might wonder if you should also consider changing your investment mix in response to external forces, such as higher interest rates or the rise in inflation this year. It’s certainly true that these types of events can affect parts of your portfolio, but it may not be advisable to react by shuffling your investment mix. In the first place, nobody can really predict how long these forces will keep their momentum – it’s quite possible, for instance, that inflation will have subsided noticeably within a year. But more importantly, you should make investment moves based on the factors we’ve already discussed: your goals, risk tolerance, time horizon and individual circumstances.

By reviewing your portfolio regularly, possibly with the assistance of a financial professional, you can help ensure that your investment mix will always be appropriate for your needs and goals.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Alan Bell, Littleton, MA - EdwardJones.com/Alan-Bell. Edward Jones, Member SIPC.

Reminder - Stow Charter Review Committee Feedback Form Deadline: 11/18/22

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STOW: The Stow Charter Review Committee is in the process of a ten-year review of our Town Charter. The Charter is the overarching  governance document that sets the legal framework for Stow's town government.  It differs from Bylaws which are more specific and address subject areas in more detail. They are seeking recommendations from boards, committees, departments, and members of the public on desired changes to the Town Charter.  All changes will need to be approved by Town Meeting and subsequently by voters at a town election.  Please complete one feedback form for each proposed change, indicating the wording that you would like to see changed and the rationale for the change.  Once suggested changes are compiled, we will hold one or more public meetings to get comments on proposed changes before deciding which changes to recommend. 
 
The submittal period for feedback forms will end on November 18.  Earlier submittals are encouraged. You may submit electronically or obtain and complete a paper form from the Stow Town Building, Library, or Community Center and return it to Charter Review Committee, Stow Town Building, 380 Great Road, Stow MA 01775.  Please note that all proposed changes are public records. Anonymous submittals will not be accepted.

A copy of the current Town Charter is posted on the Town's website at www.stow-ma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif1286/f/uploads/charteramendmay06_0.pdf.  You will need this as a reference document when completing this feedback form.  The form can be found at: www.tinyurl.com/StowCharterReview.