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Current Edition - 12/02/22
Previous Edition - 11/25/22


Tree lighting flier 2022

Northborough Kicks Off the Holidays with the Annual Tree Lighting

NORTHBOROUGH: The Northborough Community Affairs Committee is pleased to present Northborough Annual Tree Lighting on December 3 at 4:30pm on the corner of Blake and Main Streets.  This year's celebration will include the lighting of the tree, an acknowledgment of the town Menorah (which will be lit during Hanukkah) and a performance by the Northborough 5th Grade Unified Chorus. During the event, hot cocoa, cookies, pizza and candy canes will be passed out while supplies last. 

This annual lighting of the tree began in 1968 in honor of the memory of Neil Ellsworth, an Army private first class, who was killed in Vietnam in 1967 at the age of 19. He will be honored during the event. 

There will also be a toy collection for Toys for Tots and a food collection for the Northborough Food Pantry taking place. For more information about the Northborough Community Affairs Committee, visit www.northborough or find them on Facebook @nobocac. 
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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 for additional information, the registration link, and more course offerings. To converse with one of the teachers, contact Patti at; (978) 621-1065 or Lindsay at; (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  -, Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Domestic Violence Roundtable Invites You to Support Holiday Drives for Families Affected by Abuse

Roundtable holiday gift collection2
SUDBURYEach year the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable sponsors a family for the holidays, and each year they invite local communities to become involved in making the holidays brighter for families affected by domestic violence. Families in shelter for the holidays face a sad and difficult time as they are separated from family and friends and are hiding from their abusers. These agencies also serve families living in our local communities.

The Covid pandemic continues to be difficult for everyone, but it has been especially difficult for families affected by abuse. Just covering everyday expenses is a challenge. With the help of our local communities, these families can have happy holidays.

There are a number of ways that you can help. Sponsoring a family can be a wonderful way for you and your family to do something together to help others. You can also involve extended family, neighbors, and friends. Or perhaps your colleagues at work, your book club, scout troop, civic organization, or club would like to organize a collection. Your participation in a holiday drive can help relieve the stress and depression that overcome shelter families at this time of year. The support that comes from the community at this time of year reinforces their decisions to seek safety and end violence in their lives. Each gift, each donation, each good holiday wish has a positive effect on their self-esteem and boosts their spirits. And it lifts the spirits of the donors, too.

Three local agencies offer services and programs for families affected by domestic violence. All of these programs conduct a Holiday Drive.  For further information about how you might help, please contact:

REACH Beyond Domestic Violence
Maria Duffy, Asst. Director of Development,   (781) 891-0724 X109, Deadline: November 29

The Second Step Gift Card Drive
Michaela Estes
(617) 467-5334. Deadline: December 15

Voices Against Violence
Simone Williams,
(508) 820-0834.
Deadline: December 15

Holiday drives start early so that agencies have time to process donations. In some cases, gift cards are being collected so families can shop and wrap their presents. Please call or email now to see how you can help.
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NACC Presents 51st Annual Christmas Concert

NORTHBOROUGH: The Northborough Area Community Chorus (NACC) will present their 51st Annual Christmas Concert on December 4 at 2pm at Algonquin Regional High School's auditorium. They will be performing a variety of Christmas music, sure to put some joy in your step and start the holiday season off right!Special guest appearances by the Saint Mary's Children's Choir of Shrewsbury and good 'ol Saint Nick from the North Pole! Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the door For more information please visit, @northboroughareacommunitychorus on Facebook, or email  You can also call Marie Spence, Chorus President at (571) 331-0214.

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 - Edward Jones, Member SIPC

17 Massachusetts High Schools to Compete on Season 14 of GBH’s High School Quiz Show

Highest-scoring teams from High School Quiz Show’s Super Sunday qualifying event advance to the televised and streamed academic competition, premiering February 4 on GBH 2 and YouTube

High School Quiz Show®, GBH’s televised academic tournament for Massachusetts high schools, has revealed the 17 teams that will compete for the Season 14 State Championship title. The qualifying schools received the highest scores at High School Quiz Show’s Super Sunday event on November 6, where 65 schools from across the Commonwealth took a written quiz at GBH’s studios in Brighton. On the bracket are four first–time competitors as well as defending Season 13 champion, North Quincy High School.

Following two seasons of remote production, High School Quiz Show’s fourteenth season brings its battle of the brains back to in-person competition. Emmy award-winning television and radio personality Billy Costa will host the tapings at GBH studios in Brighton in January 2023. Teams of four students will go head-to-head in the fast-paced bracketed tournament, with winners advancing round by round until the final championship showdown. Season 14 of High School Quiz Show will premiere on GBH 2 and High School Quiz Show’s YouTube channel on February 4 at 6pm. 

“After a successful Super Sunday, we are eager to welcome these 17 schools from across Massachusetts back to GBH for an annual academic showdown,” said GBH Executive Producer Hillary Wells. “High School Quiz Show remains a cherished showcase for the academic rigor, integrity and perseverance embodied by high school students from all corners of the state. We look forward to welcoming fans, families, friends and community members back to our audience as we challenge the Season 14 cohort to show off their smarts.” 

The 15 teams with the highest scores from Super Sunday automatically qualified for a dedicated spot on the competition bracket. The 16th and final spot on the High School Quiz Show bracket will be determined during the season premiere Wild Cardmatch. Two teams representing high-scoring schools that have not previously been on the show or haven’t competed in five or more years will compete for the final spot. This year, those teams are Concord-Carlisle High School and Melrose High School, both of whom are first-time competitors.

North Quincy High School will return to defend its title of Season 13 State Champion. Joining them are Season 5 champion Acton-Boxborough Regional High School; Seasons 7 and 8 champions, Lexington High School; Season 9 champion, Andover High School; and Seasons 10 and 11 champions, Boston Latin School. Four schools will make their High School Quiz Show debuts, including the two Wild Card teams, Concord-Carlisle High School and Melrose High School, in addition to the Commonwealth School and Saint Joseph Prep Boston. 

The full list of teams competing for the title of Season 14 High School Quiz Show State Champion is as follows:
  • Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
  • Andover High School
  • Boston Latin School
  • Brookline High School
  • Buckingham Browne & Nichols School (Cambridge)
  • Commonwealth School (Boston)
  • Concord-Carlisle High School
  • Hingham High School
  • Lexington High School
  • Mansfield High School
  • Melrose High School
  • Needham High School
  • North Quincy High School
  • Phillips Academy (Andover)
  • Saint Joseph Prep Boston
  • Shrewsbury High School
  • South High Community School (Worcester) 

High School Quiz Show is endorsed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education and the Massachusetts PTA. Major funding for High School Quiz Show is provided by Safety Insurance. Additional funding is provided by the Museum of Science, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Xfinity, UMass Amherst, Eastern Bank and Subaru of New England.

For more information, visit and follow the show on  YouTubeFacebook,Twitter and Instagram.
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Party With A Purpose – Celebrating 30 Years

MARLBOROUGH/BOLTON: Kathleen Goneau, owner of The Goneau Group/KW Central MA and her real estate team are celebrating 30 years in business with a Party For A Purpose on November 30 from 5-7pm at The Apex Entertainment Center in Marlborough. The Goneau Group will be giving back, as is a November tradition, to the community by helping Kits For Kids ( create gift bags for teenagers filled with everyday needs, ie. toiletries, scarves/gloves, and gift cards ($10-$20) to local restaurants and retailers. If you’re interested in donating, you are welcome to drop off your donation at The Goneau Group’s office, 1084 Main Street, Bolton, or place an online order using this Amazon link:

Party With A Purpose is a family-friendly event and all are encouraged to come and volunteer with The Goneau Group, Kits For Kids and many other local community service organizations as we collaborate and celebrate together at this special gift-giving event.

Business of the Month

Town of Northborough Scholarship Fund Needs Community’s Support

NORTHBOROUGH: November is Scholarship Awareness Month. The cost of post-secondary education has skyrocketed. The availability of scholarships to high school seniors is important so they can meet their educational goals.

The Northborough Scholarship Committee was established by the Northborough Board of Selectmen in 2001. It is currently comprised of six volunteer members, who are appointed to three-year terms by the Board of Selectmen. The goal of the Committee is to recognize high school senior students, who reside in
Northborough, and provide them with some financial assistance for their post-secondary education. The Committee is asking the community to help support the academic journeys of Northborough high school seniors. The Scholarship Fund does not receive any money from the town budget; it relies solely on the generosity of the community. The scholarship awards are based on available funds.

In 2022, a total of $1,800 in scholarship funds was awarded to five recipients in the Class of 2023: Brianna Boeckeler, Aislin Campbell, Erik Lin, Paulina Paradise, and Jason Subat. Consideration is given to the student's academic standing, financial need, employment and community service experiences, school/extracurricular activities, letter of recommendation, and

There are three easy ways to contribute to the Scholarship Fund:
  • Donate online at
  • Donate by check. Mail or use the drop off box in the front of town hall: Town of Northborough -Scholarship Committee, 63 Main Street, Northborough, MA 01532.
  • Add your donation to your tax payment. The portion of the property tax bill, which you return with your payment, gives you the option to voluntarily donate to local funds, including the Scholarship Fund. Indicate the amount you would like to add to your tax payment.
Visit for additional information, or email questions to

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 - Edward Jones, Member SIPC.
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Toys for Tots site at MOOYAH Burgers

NORTHBOROUGH: MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes located at 10010 Shops Way has once again partnered with the Marine Corps League, 144 Worcester Detachment in Worcester to be an official Toys for Tots collection site this holiday season. New, unwrapped toy donations can be dropped off during normal business hours of 11am-9pm through December 18. Toys should be non-violent and in the original packaging for ages 0-16 years old. Gift cards for older children are encouraged. All donations will be distributed locally throughout Worcester County.

Assabet Valey Mastersingsers Invitation for New Choristers

SHREWSBURY: Interested vocalists and potential members of Assabet Valley Mastersingers will be welcomed at an open rehearsal on November 28. Rehearsal time for this rehearsal and all regular Monday practices to follow will be from 7:30-9:45pm at the First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury, 19 Church Road. Get a sense of how regular rehearsals are run as well as a sense of the group itself. AVM offers a choral experience in a community of welcoming, inclusive, respectful, collegial and talented vocalists who value high artistic standards.

Preparation will begin for the concert—Coronation Celebration—with orchestra and soloists on March 26, 2023 featuring Coronation Mass by Mozart, and Coronation Anthems by Handel. Arrive early so that you can meet the Membership chair, Deb Wallace, and section leaders, and get music for rehearsal.

The Assabet Valley Mastersingers chorus, directed by founder Dr. Robert P. Eaton, has gained a reputation for musical excellence and unusual programming. AVM believes individuals perform best when working together in a supportive, encouraging, and non-competitive environment. For more information, visit Sing with Us!!

FINANCIAL FOCUS: COLA is Sweet for Social Security Recipients

October 24, 2022
If you receive Social Security, you’ve probably already heard that your checks in 2023 will be bigger – considerably bigger, in fact. How can you make the best use of this extra money? Here’s what’s happening:

For 2023, there’s an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits – the largest increase in 40 years. Also, the monthly Medicare Part B premiums are declining next year, to $164.90/month from $170.10/month, which will also modestly boost Social Security checks for those enrolled in Part B, as these premiums are automatically deducted.

Of course, the sizable COLA is due to the high inflation of 2022, as the Social Security Administration uses a formula based on increases in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). So, it’s certainly possible that you will need some, or perhaps all, of your larger checks to pay for the increased cost of goods and services. But if your cash flow is already relatively strong, you might want to consider these suggestions for using your bigger checks:

Reduce withdrawals from your investment portfolio. When you’re retired, you will likely need to withdraw a certain amount from your portfolio each year to meet your expenses. A boost in your Social Security may enable you to withdraw less, at least for a year. This can be particularly advantageous when the markets are down, as you’d like to avoid, as much as possible, selling investments and withdrawing the money when investment prices are low. And the fewer investments you need to sell, the longer your portfolio may last during your retirement years.

Help build your cash reserves. When you’re retired, it’s a good idea to maintain about a year’s worth of the amount you’ll spend from your portfolio in cash, while also keeping three months’ of your spending needs in an emergency fund, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account. Your higher Social Security checks could help you build these cash reserves. (Also, it’s helpful to keep another three to five years’ worth of spending from your portfolio in short-term, fixed-income investments, which now, due to higher interest rates, offer better income opportunities.)

Contribute to a 529 plan. You could use some of your extra Social Security money to contribute to a tax-advantaged 529 education savings plan for your grandchildren or other family members. 

Contribute to charitable organizations. You might want to use some of your Social Security money to expand your charitable giving. Your generosity will help worthy groups and possibly bring you some tax benefits, too.

While it’s nice to have these possible options in 2023, you can’t count on future COLA increases being as large. The jump in inflation in 2022 was due to several unusual factors, including pandemic-related government spending, supply shortages and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It’s quite possible, perhaps even likely, that inflation will subside in 2023, which, in turn, would mean a smaller COLA bump in 2024.

Nonetheless, while you might not want to include large annual COLA increases as part of your long-term financial strategy, you may well choose to take advantage, in some of the ways described above, of the bigger Social Security checks you’ll receive in 2023. When opportunity knocks, you may want to open the door. 

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Gerald Breen, Acton, MA -
Edward Jones. Member SIPC.

Classical Guitar Concert: Old and New—Featuring Father & Daughter Guitarists Klondike & Mei Yin Steadman

Fps classical guitar 11.19.22
SUDBURY:  Join First Parish of Sudbury for an evening of Classical Guitar: Old and New, November 19 at 7pm. Father and daughter guitarists Klondike and Mei Yin Steadman will perform a concert of classical music from the Baroque to the present day. Mei Yin will perform traditional favorites by the likes of Telemann, Scarlatti, and Rossini while Klondike will be premiering newly commissioned works by award-winning composers Ruth Myers Sacks and Trevor Weston. Tickets are $20 per person at the door. Free parking is available onsite and behind Sudbury Town Hall.

Mei Yin Steadman was born in Austin, TX, in 2005. Growing up in her parents’ music school, Orpheus Academy of Music, seeing kids taking music lessons every day, she expressed her desire to learn to play music as soon as she could talk. She started Musicianship classes at age four, guitar at age five with her dad, and piano at age six with her mom. She continues to play both instruments but now studies guitar with Professor Adam Holzman. She has excelled particularly at guitar, winning solo prizes at the Southern Guitar Competition, Texas Guitar Competition, the Asian American Competition, The Texas Guitar Conference, and the Houston Classical Guitar Festival and with the Orpheus Guitar Quartet at the Southern Guitar Competition and the Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Festival. She has performed on the radio for KUT’s Eklektikos with host John Aielli, on television for KXAN, and at Carnegie Hall for the 15th-anniversary concert of Orpheus Academy of Music.

Dr. Klondike Steadman is a pioneering guitarist, entrepreneur, educator, and author. He has taught at the University of Texas Butler School of Music, and served on the faculty of Southwestern University and the Classical Minds Guitar Festival. As the co-founder and director of Orpheus Academy of Music with his wife, Wendy Kuo, he has built one of the most successful music programs for kids in the country. He is the author of The Complete Guitar and The Complete Guitar For the Older Beginner, which is used by many private teachers and as the textbook for guitar classes at colleges and universities across the US. 

First Parish of Sudbury is located at 327 Concord Road. For more information, please call (978) 443-2043 or email

Alfonso Piacentini to Lead Lincoln Sudbury Civic Orchestra in its 50th Anniversary Year

LINCOLN/SUDBURY: Alfonso Piacentini has been appointed conductor of Lincoln Sudbury Civic Orchestra, a community orchestra resident at the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Piacentini, a charismatic, young conductor and percussionist, graduated from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a Master of Music in conducting in May, 2022. He also serves under Benjamin Zander as an Assistant Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and its youth orchestra.  

Growing up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Piacentini’s mother signed him up for drum lessons at a young age as a place to channel some of his abundant energy. That, combined with the influence of his grandfather’s love of classical music started him on his musical journey. He recalls spending hours with his grandfather listening to the Carnegie Library of Classical Music, a set of LPs, and sharing in his love for the music and the personalities of the conductors.

As an adolescent, heavy metal drummers influenced Piacentini’s rock band playing. However, over time, and with help from some strong mentors, he found his talent and interest in classical music.  He attended a specialized music school in junior high and in tenth grade entered the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. 

Piacentini continued his studies in orchestral percussion as an undergraduate at the Conservatory school where, during his junior and senior years, he discovered his love of conducting. The conductor of the school’s concert band, who was also the Associate Conductor of the Puerto Rico Symphony, was looking for an apprentice. Piacentini started taking his classes, increasing his passion for conducting and building a strong relationship with his mentor. Over the summer, he bought scores and parts to two pieces he wanted to conduct and meticulously studied them. Back at university the next semester, he led the concert band in one of the pieces and got the apprenticeship. “I was so nervous the first time I conducted in a concert,” Alfonso recalled, “I forgot to bring out my score and baton when I came on stage!” 

Upon completion of his studies at the Conservatory in Puerto Rico, Piacentini moved to New York City and spent a year as a server in a fine dining restaurant. Living his life without playing and conducting became unbearable. He knew he was destined to make classical music his career. He has since discovered, thanks to one of his mentors, “Once you fully devote yourself, focus on it and commit, things start happening.”

And happen they did:  Piacentini entered the Boston Conservatory as a graduate conducting student, and immediately began as musical assistant to Benjamin Zander at the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.   After completing his masters at the Boston Conservatory in May, Piacentini applied for the opportunity to conduct the Lincoln Sudbury Civic Orchestra. “I’m excited to be leading a group that comes together for the fun of making music,” said Alfonso. “When we get things right, nail a passage, we know we have sculpted it into a beautiful thing.”

Managing Director William Nicholson is excited to have Piacentini at the podium: "When I first spoke to Alfonso, I knew he'd be a great fit. His high level of energy and his dedication to the music are a perfect combination for the community orchestra. After just a few rehearsals, it's clear we made the right choice."

Founded in 1973 as a community orchestra for high school musicians to work with adult musicians of Lincoln and Sudbury, LSCO begins its 50th year in operation. The orchestra has two concerts planned for their 50th anniversary year featuring works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Mozart.  The group is always looking for new players. Interested amateur musicians are welcome to join the orchestra should visit for more information, or email
Feed the northeast

St. Stephen Church Members Collect for Food Pantry

MARLBOROUGH: Challenged to collect 500 items for their local food pantry during the month of October, the people of St. Stephen Lutheran Church met and exceeded the goal, amassing 663 cans and packages donated to the Hudson Community Food Pantry. Their efforts had an additional benefit: as one of the first 100 participants to meet the “Feed the Northeast” goal of the Thrivent Northeast Member Network, St. Stephen was rewarded with a $500 donation from Thrivent to the food pantry. Frank Dutt of Hudson was the team leader who spear-headed the church project.

Thrivent is a not-for-profit financial services organization headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Appleton, Wisconsin, and founded by Lutherans. Thrivent clients are part of regional member networks that sponsor generosity programs, financial workshops and social
events. HCFP is a non-profit organization serving residents of Hudson, Berlin, and Bolton who struggle with food insecurity.

For more information about St. Stephen Lutheran Church, visit or the church’s Facebook page. Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin,
Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Stow, and Bolton.

PHOTO: Flanking the 663 collected cans and boxes of food, from left, front row: Alissa and Theo Walters, Leo and Lena Mileski. Back row, Pastor Greg Mileski, Beth Warner, Shay Warner, Jan Conlin, Ann Weston and Doug Kellogg.
Vote writing bevanita

Micah Center Volunteers Generate 205 Letters

MARLBOROUGH: There could be an increase of new local voters at the polls, thanks to an initiative of the Marlborough-based Micah Center for Social Justice. To encourage more people to cast a ballot, the Center sponsored a campaign to send hand-written letters to area people eligible to vote.

Penning their notes at home or at a recent gathering at the home of Jan and Beth Conlin, volunteers generated an impressive 205 missives. Each letter had a personalized note from the writer indicating why they believed it was important to vote. The reasons were as varied as the baker’s dozen of volunteers. Deb Roberts, Micah Center chair, recalls these statements: “Voting is powerful;” “Everyone is important and we must vote to share our vision of the country;” “My vote is a way to create a better future for all of us, with good jobs, good healthcare, and safe communities;” and “I feel that it's extra important to speak up, particularly when our country is faced with challenges.”

In addition to Deb Roberts, Jan and Beth Conlin, letter writers included Bev Broz and Anita Phelan (pictured), Marlea Dutt, Beth Garner, Peg Harbert, Judy Kellogg, Pam Narahara, Jim and Joni Schalkhauser and Melanie Whapham.
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First Parish of Sudbury Voices of Color Book Club

SUDBURY:  The First Parish of Sudbury Book Club, led by Rev. Kathleen Hepler, invites the community to their Voices of Color Book Discussions. All books on the list are written by people of color with distinctive voices. Join in for an exploration in decentering whiteness from the discourse. The first session will take place on November 13, discussing This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us by Cole Arthur Riley. This is a series of essays on topics like dignity, rage, and joy. Subsequent books include This Here Flesh by Cole Arthur Riley; On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean WongThe Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates;  and Beloved by Toni Morrison.
Seven sessions are scheduled for Sunday evenings from 7-8:30pm. Between November and February 2023. The first and last session will be held at First Parish of Sudbury, 327 Concord Road, in-person. All other sessions will be held on Zoom. Join one—a few—or all sessions! See all discussion dates and register at (978) 443-2043 or for further information.

Sudbury Select Board Schedules Virtual Forums For Residents To Interact With Town Manager Finalists

SUDBURY: The Town of Sudbury is pleased to announce that two virtual community forums will be held on November 7 and 9 to offer residents and employees the opportunity to interact with the finalists for the position of Sudbury’s next Town Manager.

“We are very interested in having community members engage with the Town Manager finalists,” said Charles Russo, Chair of the Sudbury Select Board. “We value the input of all of our residents and employees in the Town Manager selection process.”

The Town has contracted with the consulting firm Community Paradigm Associates to assist in the search process. Bernard Lynch, Principal of the firm, will facilitate the two virtual forums. The Town Manager finalists will be available for approximately one hour each during the virtual forums with the individual finalists scheduled to participate on either November 7 or 9 at 6:30pm.  To remotely participate in the community forum, join via Zoom at URL:
Dial-in: Dial-in number: (978) 639-3366 or (470) 250-9358
Meeting ID: 830 3562 0119

For more information, please contact the Sudbury Town Manager’s Office at (978) 639-3381.
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Assabet Valley Mastersingers Present Celebrate Peace

SHREWSBURY: The Assabet Valley Mastersingers will present Celebrate Peace, a collection of four pieces of work entitled Dona Nobis Pacem from four different composers, on November 20 at 3:30pm in the Robert R. Jay Performing Center at St. John’s High School, 378 Main Street. Dr. Robert P. Eaton, Founder and Artistic Director, will conduct soloists Soprano Mary Johnston Letellier and Baritone Philip Lima, along with the orchestra and ensemble.

The traditional Dona Nobis Pacem, often attributed to Palestrina or Mozart, is a short prayer for peace from the Agnus Dei of the Latin Mass. In the round for three parts, it is sung twice in every line. The melody has been passed orally. Keane Southard’s setting is a short unaccompanied work written in 2014. The composer indicates the primary themes evolved over the several years and only upon completion did he realize that the opening and closing sections are in the form of a canon as is the traditional. Latvian composer, Pietris Vasks, incorporates elements of Latvian folk music into a contemporary idiom. The emotional content of his setting is reflected in his masterful use of color and texture which holds our attention on this one single phrase, Dona Nobis Pacem, for 12 minutes. R. Vaughan Williams had witnessed war in France 1914-1918. This powerful work, his setting of Dona Nobis Pacem, vividly proclaims the harshness and cruelty of war, the intense and somber burial of a father and son, the anguished cry for peace, and a final message of good will and peace toward men. Dona Nobis Pacem. Give Us Peace.

Information and tickets can be obtained online at or at the venue the afternoon of the concert. The price is $25; $20 for seniors and students. AVM will follow all public health guidelines provided by Federal, state, and local health departments and those of concert venues.

AVM Programs are supported in part by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Cultural Councils of Ashland, Boylston, Grafton, Marlborough, Northborough, Shrewsbury, Southborough, West Boylston and Westborough. AVM is also supported in part by grants from the Avidia Charitable Foundation; from Southborough Community Fund, a fund of the Foundation for MetroWest.

NPT Hires Director of Public Programs, Bess Paupeck

FRAMINGHAM: Native Plant Trust, the nation’s first plant conservation organization and the only one solely focused on New England’s native plants, announces the hire of Bess Paupeck, as Director of Public Programs. In her role at Native Plant Trust, Bess oversees a department offering approximately 200 programs per year throughout New England, ranging from events, courses, workshops, field trips and a range of other programs that focus on botany, plant conservation, ecological horticulture and gardening.  The department also oversees the native plant certificate programs, which includes in-person and online courses as well as webinar offerings.

“We are delighted Bess has joined our staff at Native Plant Trust, where she will be instrumental in building exciting new opportunities for education and engagement throughout the region,” commented Debbi Edelstein, Executive Director. “Bess’s vision, deep experience in community and programming, passion for engaging learners at all levels and building partnerships will enable us to share our expertise in New England’s native plants with many more audiences.”

“I am very excited to join the team at Native Plant Trust,” noted Paupeck. “I have worked as a program producer, exhibition designer and curator in the art-science space at museums and universities, and am excited for this opportunity to bring this perspective to an organization focused on environmental issues. Since joining Native Plant Trust, I've been inspired by the dedication, passion, and deep knowledge of my colleagues for the science, conservation, and promotion of native plants.”

Prior to joining Native Plant Trust, Paupeck served in roles at Harvard University, the MIT Museum, the Boston Museum of Science, the Somerville Arts Council and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She received a BA in American Studies/Fine Art/Art History from George Washington University, an MA in Public Humanities from Brown University, a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Harvard University, and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from Tufts University.

For more information about Public Programs at Native Plant Trust, please visit

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Avoid Becoming a ‘Burden’ on Grown Children

October 24, 2022
Here’s an interesting statistic: Some 72% of retirees say one of their biggest fears is becoming a burden on their families, according to a 2021 survey by Age Wave and Edward Jones. Both before and during retirement, what steps can you take to avoid burdening your loved ones in the future? Here are a few suggestions:
  • Build your retirement savings. The greater your financial resources, the less likely it becomes that you’d ever have to count on your grown children for financial support. You may have access to a 401(k) or similar retirement plan at work, so take advantage of it. Even with an employer-sponsored plan, you also may be eligible to contribute to an IRA. In addition to offering a variety of investment options, a 401(k) and IRA provide potential tax advantages. And once you do retire, be careful about how much you withdraw each year from your retirement plans and other investments.
  • Plan for health care costs. Once you are retired, health care costs will be a significant expense. You may have Medicare, but you'll also want to consider your need for supplemental health insurance to cover traditional medical costs. And you’ll want to consider another potential health-related expense: long-term care. You may never need the services of a home health aide or a stay in a nursing home, but no one can predict the future.
Medicare does not cover most costs for long-term care, which can be quite high. In 2021, the annual national median cost for a private room in a nursing home was over $108,000, while the median cost for a full-time home health aide was nearly $62,000, according to a survey by Genworth, an insurance company. You may want to consult with a financial professional on strategies for protecting yourself from these costs.
  • Create necessary legal documents. If something were to happen to you, and you didn’t have the appropriate legal documents in place, your loved ones could be placed in a bind, both financially and emotionally. That’s why it’s a good idea to create documents such as a durable financial power of attorney, which lets you name someone to manage your finances if you became incapacitated, and a durable power of attorney for health care, which allows someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t make them yourself. You’ll want to work with a legal professional to develop the documents appropriate for your needs.
  • Evaluate your housing needs. As you enter retirement, you may want to evaluate your living situation. Could you downsize to a smaller home, or perhaps a condominium or apartment? Not only might you save money with such a move, but you could also end up relieving your grown children of the responsibilities and hassles involved in clearing out and selling your home should you become unable to do so yourself during the later years of your retirement.

By taking these measures, along with others, you can go a long way toward maintaining your independence and putting yourself in a place where you won’t burden your grown children.  And that’s a good  place to be.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Alan Bell, AAMS ® - (978) 486-1059. Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Native Plant Trust announces Need for Seed: A Strategy for The Northeast

FRAMINGHAM: Native Plant Trust, the nation’s first plant conservation organization and the only one solely focused on New England’s native plants, opens registration for Need for Seed: A Strategy for the Northeast, a live virtual symposium November 2 and 3 from 10am- 3pm. This two-day symposium focuses on establishing a groundbreaking network of native seed users and producers in New England, including government agencies and non-governmental organizations. Speakers will share success factors in establishing a native seed network and discuss strategy, logistics, and tasks, from seed collection and storage to the uses of seed in restoration and nursery cultivation. Registration is free thanks to support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; to register please visit
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Musical Duo to Offer Family Concert

MARLBOROUGH: On Sunday, November 13, there will be music and more at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton Street, as the inaugural “Performance at St. Stephen” takes place with a concert by Pastor Ed and Ruth Voosen. The presenters predict a “casual and relaxing” afternoon for the whole family, offering mostly familiar folk songs, show tunes, country favorites, and possibly a sing-along to engage the audience.

The Voosens bring not only their voices — he is a baritone and she is a soprano — but also a variety of instruments, from flute to banjo to traditional guitar to a 12-string guitar, as well as interesting history. This versatile couple has been making beautiful music together for decades. Ed and Ruth met at Wagner College, each coming in with a love of music, and married two years later.

— As a member of the band, The Capitals, as a teen, Ed appeared twice on TV on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour.
— Ruth played the flute in bands and orchestras including All State Band, and sang first soprano in the Wagner College Choir.
— Ed founded and directed the Pinecrest Folk Choir, which recorded two albums and toured the eastern U.S. Ruth sang in the choir.
— Together, they have gone on more than 100 cruises, with Pastor Ed as the Protestant chaplain. During those trips, Ruth enjoys playing hymns on flute with Ed on guitar. In addition to the cruises, the Voosens have organized and led trips to Israel, Scandinavia, and Germany.

Ed Voosen was educated at Princeton University and the New York Theological Seminary. Ordained by the Lutheran Church, he served congregations in Brooklyn, NY and Auburn, MA, and retired in 2010. Ruth earned a BS in nursing at Wagner College and is a registered nurse. She has worked in a psychiatric unit in Brooklyn, has been a college health nurse at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and served as a nursery school teacher. The Voosens have three children and seven grandchildren.

Some of the audience will undoubtedly be engaged by the pre concert activity — the
afternoon program begins at 3pm with an Ice Cream Buffet. There is no fee for the concert, but donations are welcome. A free will offering will be taken to help fund St. Stephen teens who will attend the 2024 ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans.

For information about St. Stephen Lutheran Church, visit or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ( . 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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Christa Collins Retires After 20 Years at SVT
Dedicated Conservationist Receives Commendation from Massachusetts House of Representatives

SUDBURY: Christa Collins, Director of Land Protection at Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) since 2008, retired earlier this month after 20 years with the nonprofit conservation organization. A well-respected member of the Massachusetts conservation community, Collins played a role in the protection of more than 3,100 acres across 88 properties during her time at SVT. She was integral to the conservation of some of the region’s most expansive and well-known landscapes, including the 218-acre Mainstone Farm in Wayland, the 300-acre Nobscot Scout Reservation in Sudbury, the 90-acre Sweetwilliam Farm and Whitney Conservation Area in Upton, and most recently, the 100-acre Horseshoe Pond on Mount Pisgah in Berlin.

SVT honored Collins at its Annual Meeting recently, when Executive Director Lisa Vernegaard highlighted many of her successes. State Representative Carmine A. Gentile was also on hand to present Ms. Collins with a commendation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives. After the meeting, Vernegaard was effusive in her praise of her former colleague. “To a person, everyone I’ve spoken with has said what a pleasure it was to work with Christa,” she said. “Her knowledge, dedication, and persistence, along with a great sense of humor, combined to make her a respected and successful partner in conservation projects throughout the region. Her impact will be felt for decades to come, as future generations will be able to explore the same beautiful natural areas that we enjoy today.”

Ever dedicated to conservation, Collins will continue to serve the region as a board member for the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition.
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Westborough Community Land Trust 25th Anniversary Hike 

WESTBOROUGH: Westborough Community Land Trust (WCLT)'s first organized hike was at the Bowman West property. On November 6 from 1-3pm, re-create that walk, with commentary about the history of Bowman West, the early days of WCLT, and the work that has been done at that property and our other trails in the past 25 years. WCLT founding member Tim Buckalew will be the walk leader. Meet at Bowman Conservation Area on Bowman Street. Free; no reservation required. For questions, contact

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Five Centuries of Classical Music Organ Concert at UCM

HUDSON: Organist and Music Director Robin Jubenville will perform an hour-long concert of classical organ music spanning five centuries on November 5 at 4pm in the Sanctuary at the Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson (UCMH), located at 80 Main Street. The concert is free and open to the public, with donations gratefully accepted.

The organ at UCMH was built in 1891 by Geo. Ryder as his Opus 161 and presented to the church by Joseph S. Bradley, Edmund M. Stowe and Russell B. Lewis in 1892. This event marks the first public concert on this historic organ in more than 50 years. “Performing a public organ concert has been my dream for years,” said Ms. Jubenville. “I’m thrilled that it’s finally going to happen.” Ms. Jubenville has been playing organ since childhood.

To attend, register online at and reserve your free tickets! For more information please contact the church office at (978) 562-9180 or via email at

First Parish to Host Trunk or Treat So Others Can Eat

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SUDBURY: First Parish of Sudbury invites all children ages 10 and under to wear their costumes and take part in the Fantastic & Fun 1st Annual Trunk or Treat So Others Can Eat on October 30, from 11:30am to 12:30pm in the First Parish parking lot, 327 Concord Road. Collect candy, play games, and have lots of Ghoulish Fun!!
 Please bring a non-perishable food item to donate to our collection for the Sudbury Community Food Pantry. The event will take place in the First Parish parking lot (and inside if the weather is inclement). For information, please contact Michelle Cote at

First Parish of Sudbury (, located in the center of history Sudbury, is a diverse and welcoming community of spiritual seekers who strive to learn together and support one another as they celebrate life’s important moments and serve the larger community. The First Parish was founded in 1640, and the congregation worships in the historic meetinghouse that was built in 1685.

Northborough's 3rd Annual Jack-O-Lantern Contest and Stroll 

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NORTHBOROUGH: Back by popular demand, the Northborough Community Affairs Committee is excited to announce the 2022 Jack-O-Lantern Contest and Stroll during Halloween weekend. Jack-o-lanterns provided by Northborough residents will be on display at the Town Common starting Friday, October 28 and will stay lit through the weekend for all ages to enjoy. 

Residents can sign-up now to participate and members of the community will be able to vote for their favorite creative designs.  The Committee is accepting up to 100 entries this year. Entry is free, although registrants are asked to make a suggested donation to the  Northborough Food Pantry to participate.   The pictures of the jack-o-lanterns will be posted on the Committee's website and Northborough  residents will be able to vote for their 3 favorite entries until Halloween night. The three winners will each receive a prize from a local business. The Community Affairs Committee hopes that all interested Northborough residents, both children and adults, enter this fun Halloween event! 
For more information on this event, visit

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Here’s Your ‘Recession Survival’ Checklist

October 17, 2022

It’s unfortunate, but recessions are a fairly normal part of the economic landscape. When a recession occurs, how might you be affected? The answer depends on your individual situation, but regardless of your circumstances, you might want to consider the items in this recession survival checklist:
  • Assess your income stability. If your employment remains steady, you may not have to do anything different during a recession. But if you think your income could be threatened or disrupted, you might want to consider joining the “gig economy” or looking for freelance or consulting opportunities.
  • Review your spending. Look for ways to trim your spending, such as canceling subscription services you don’t use, eating out less often, and so on.
  • Pay down your debts. Try to reduce your debts, especially those with high interest rates. 
  • Plan your emergency fund. If you haven’t already built one, try to create an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses, with the money kept in a liquid account. 
  • Review your protection plan. If your health or life insurance is tied to your work, a change in your employment status could jeopardize this coverage. Review all your options for replacing these types of protection. Also, look for ways to lower premiums on home or auto insurance, without significantly sacrificing coverage, to free up money that could be used for health/life insurance. 
  • Keep your long-term goals in mind. Even if you adjust your portfolio during times of volatility, don’t lose sight of your long-term goals. Trying to “outsmart” the market with short-term strategies can often lead to missteps and missed opportunities.  
  • Don’t stop investing. If you can afford it, try to continue investing. Coming out of a recession, stock prices tend to bottom out and then rebound, so if you had headed to the investment “sidelines,” you would have missed the opportunity to benefit from a market rally.  
  • Revisit your performance expectations. During a bear market, you will constantly be reminded of the decline of a particular market index, such as the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But instead of focusing on these short-term numbers, look instead at the long-term performance of your portfolio to determine if you’re still on track toward meeting your goals. 
  • Assess your risk tolerance. If you find yourself worrying excessively about declines in your investment statements, you may want to reevaluate your tolerance for risk. One’s risk tolerance can change over time — and it’s important you feel comfortable with the amount of risk you take when investing. 
  • Keep diversifying. Diversification is always important for investors — by having a mix of stocks, mutual funds and bonds, you can reduce the impact of market volatility on your portfolio. To cite one example: Higher-quality bonds, such as Treasuries, often move in the opposite direction of stocks, so the presence of these bonds in your portfolio, if appropriate for your goals, can be valuable when market conditions are worsening. (Keep in mind, though, that diversification cannot guarantee profits or protect against all losses in a declining market.) 

A recession accompanied by a bear market is not pleasant. But by taking the appropriate steps, you can boost your chances of getting through a difficult period and staying on track toward your important financial goals. 

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Mandy Calouro, Chelmsford, MA  -, Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Native Plant Trust to Screen Documentary Mardi and the Whites

FRAMINGHAM: Native Plant Trust, the nation’s first plant conservation organization and the only one solely focused on New England’s native plants, is pleased to announce that it will screen the documentary Mardi & the Whites on Saturday, October 15, at 3:30pm at Garden in the Woods, 180 Hemenway Road. A film made and directed by Paula Champagne, featuring Dorchester resident Mardi Fuller, Mardi & the Whites chronicles the deep relationship that outdoorswoman Mardi Fuller has built with New Hampshire’s White Mountains, which has also been complicated by the overwhelmingly white hiking and outdoors community. 

Mardi says that she is “thrilled to share my experiences as a Black outdoorswoman with this audience, at such an iconic local garden venue, and in partnership with Native Plant Trust, an organization committed to land stewardship and community education. My hope is that my story will shed light on patterns of exclusion in outdoor institutions and lead audience members to consider ways they might participate in the movement to improve access to nature for marginalized groups. I’m looking forward to a meaningful conversation and I know I will be inspired by the setting.”

The screening will be followed by a conversation and reception with Mardi, and attendees are welcome to arrive early at Garden in the Woods and enjoy a stroll through the garden before the program. To register for this event, please visit
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Marlborough Author Publishes Paranormal Novel

MARLBOROUGH: The Witch and the Priest of Lies, a new 362-page book by John Baldwin Large, has been released by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc. In a quiet, old New England town, a Native American holy site becomes the home for a satanic ritual. But when things go horribly wrong, worshippers are butchered, and an inexplicable horror is unleashed on the town.  High school psychologist Julie Bernard witnesses the whole event in her dreams. Unsure of what she saw and even more confused as to why she witnessed it, Julie is thrown into an ancient struggle between good and evil. As she works to uncover the truth about the night’s events, she uncovers more secrets about the town and her own life than she could have possibly imagined.
John Baldwin Large is a professional musician and singer/songwriter with the band Emily Rising. He also serves as a chaplain. Large lives in Massachusetts with his wife and their two cats.

Sunday School For All Ages at St. Stephen Church Starts This Week

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MARLBOROUGH: Sunday School for all ages – from pre-school through adult – will begin October 9 at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton Street. While the
youngest disciples, preschool through grade 1, will meet during the 10am church service, other ages will begin their programs at 9am.

Using the “Echo the Story” curriculum from Sparkhouse, students in grades 2 and up will go on a Biblical narrative journey using a collection of learning styles, with a six part sequence that includes videos, listening skills, hearing a story read, using sketch journals to capture interesting aspects of the story, retelling the story, and sharing observations with the group. Arts and crafts will also be incorporated, with the creation of a banner,  environmental photography, painting and sculpture all on the program. Melanie Whapham will lead the group.

Adults will meet with Pastor Greg Mileski, also in the 9-9:45am time slot, for a discussion of the week’s lectionary readings, with a comparative study of religions and a book study also on the agenda.

The youngest students, pre-school through grade 1, will come to the 10am church service, then leave before the sermon to hear Bible stories, engage in a related craft and play, and return in time for communion. Heidi Richard, Dianne Bruno, and Stephanie and Lily Ruggiere
will interact with this group.

There is no registration requirement, and all are welcome to engage in this Christian
Education program. For more information about St. Stephen Lutheran Church, visit or the church’s Facebook page.

SUDBURY: The Sudbury Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission is currently seeking candidates. The mission of the Sudbury Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commission is to support diversity and foster equity for every member of the Sudbury community, respecting all aspects of individuals’ identities. The Commission shall also critically consider intersections among these groups to facilitate learning, understanding, and unity.

Sudbury resident(s), including Students or Parents of Students attending Sudbury schools are invited to apply to the Commission. Areas of expertise/ experience for members may include but are not limited to:

• Business representatives
• Education
• Parent or caregiver
• Student
• Human Resources
• Immigration law
• Medical and healthcare
• Minority affairs
• Real estate/Affordable Housing
• Social Work

To learn more, please see the recently updated Diversity Equity Inclusion Commission Mission StatementTo apply, please submit the Appointment Application form. Applications are due by 12pm on November 4, 2022.
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SMILE Mass Announces Return of Gobble Wobble Road Race

SUDBURY: SMILE Mass is thrilled to announce the return of the 9th Annual Gobble Wobble for SMILE Mass Road Race scheduled for November 19. This year’s race is presented by Ira Motor Group a division of Group 1 Automotive. 
Registration is now open for the Kids Fun Run, 1.4 Mile Walk, 5K and 10K runs. To register go to All races begin at Curtis Middle School, 22 Pratts Mill Road at 10am.  All athletes of all abilities are invited to participate. Strollers, and disability "Ambassadors" and "Captains" are also encouraged. Please visit for more information on how to be part of our race team. Participants registered by November 1 are guaranteed a SMILE Mass t-shirt. Awards medals will be given for winners across several age groups in both the 5k and the 10k.
"After two challenging years, SMILE Mass is eager to get back to our tradition of hosting the Gobble Wobble on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.” said Lotte Diomede, President of SMILE Mass. "We are grateful for the support of our sponsors who have helped carry us through the pandemic and for the opportunity to bring back this amazing event that celebrates athletes of all abilities."
“We would like to invite those in Metrowest communities to join us for the Gobble Wobble.  It’s a great day of inclusiveness and fun for a great cause.” said Susan Brown, VP of SMILE Mass.  “Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are welcome and we hope to see you there.”
Proceeds from this event benefit Club SMILE Mass, the newest and fastest growing program servicing kids and adults with disabilities with an after-school program for individuals under age 22 and a self-directed program for individuals over age 22. Club SMILE Mass is a hybrid-program that allows individuals with disabilities of all ages to enjoy Zoom classes in several areas of interest (music, story time, gym, bingo, and book club) as well as in-person gym and swim classes at Lifetime in Framingham. In addition, SMILE Mass hosts monthly recreational community activities with like-minded individuals and families. 

SMILE Mass Small Miracles in Life Exist (SMILE Mass) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families raising children or adults with disabilities enjoy happy, healthy memories through vacation and recreation experiences. Over the past 12 years, SMILE Mass has donated over 150 floating beach wheelchairs to public beaches in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont. In addition, SMILE Mass has a fully accessible vacation rental in Truro, MA available to families, an Equipment Loaner Program that allows families to borrow recreational equipment, and a running team. To learn more visit
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Domestic Violence Roundtable’s Purple Lights Campaign

SUDBURY: Why are those buildings purple? Purple, it is said, is the color of courage, survival, honor, and hope. It is also the color recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which takes place each October. During this month, domestic violence service providers use the color purple to raise awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence and the 3 to 4 women and girls who are murdered each day in our country within intimate relationships.

In witness and protest, some people wear purple clothing, attach a purple pin, or tie a purple ribbon around a tree. For the past several years, the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable, in collaboration with the Lauren Dunne-Astley Memorial Fund, and First Parish in Wayland, has chosen to light the towns of Sudbury and Wayland in purple. They have lit numerous faith and public buildings in Sudbury and Wayland and have posted banners and signs in all three communities. Some of you may have seen them.

These are beautiful and dramatic displays that both honor those lost to domestic violence and bring awareness to the community that domestic violence has no borders. The Roundtable invites local businesses to join in by adding their own purple lights. Homeowners may also take part by installing purple bulbs in their door and porch lights and their lamp posts. An effective 4.5 watt Feit purple LED Electric bulb is available inexpensively and locally at Ace Hardware in Wayland and Aubuchon Hardware in Sudbury. Light up towns and stand with survivors of domestic violence and their families!

FINANCIAL FOCUS : How Should You Pay for Short-term Financial Goals?

October 3, 2022

As you go through life, you will likely have long- and short-term financial goals. But how will your strategies for meeting your long-term goals differ from those needed for your short-term ones?

If you’re like most people, your biggest long-term goal is achieving a comfortable retirement. And for this goal, a common strategy is putting away money in tax-advantaged retirement vehicles, such as your 401(k) and IRA.

So, how should you go about preparing for shorter-term goals, such as a family vacation, home renovation, wedding or major purchase?

For starters, determine what your goal is, how much you can spend on it and when you’ll need the money. Even if you can’t pinpoint a precise amount, you can develop a good estimate. Of course, the sooner you start this process, the better off you’ll be, because you’ll have more time to save.

Your next decision involves the manner in which you save for your short-term goal. Specifically, what savings or investment vehicles should you use? The answer will be different for everyone, but you need to make sure that your investments align with your risk tolerance and time horizon. And you’ll want to ensure, as much as possible, that a certain amount of money is available for you at the specific time you’ll need it.

If you aren’t able to save enough to reach a short-term goal, you have other options — you can borrow what you need, or you can potentially sell investments to cover the cost. How can you decide which choice is best?

To help make up your mind, you’ll first want to consider some of the most common borrowing options: credit cards, home equity loans, personal loans and margin loans. (A margin loan lets you borrow against the value of investments you already own). How might each of these loans fit into your overall financial strategy? Will the repayment schedule work with your cash flow and budget?

You’ll then want to compare the costs and benefits of borrowing, in whatever form, against selling investments. For example, if you can borrow at a lower interest rate compared to the return you think you can get from your investments, borrowing might be a reasonable choice. You’ll also need to consider other factors, such as your credit score, taxes, fees associated with selling investments and time needed to repay debts. If, for instance, selling investments will trigger a large amount of taxes, borrowing might be preferable. You’ll also want to consider whether there’s a penalty or high costs associated with selling investments. In addition, if you have a long time horizon for a loan, you may want to sell investments to avoid paying interest for a longer period of time, and thus driving up the overall cost of borrowing.          Finally, keep in mind that you may have built an investment mix designed to align with your goals and risk tolerance. If you were to sell any of these investments to meet short-term needs, you would want to consider the need to rebalance your portfolio to maintain your desired asset allocation.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to paying for short-term goals. But by carefully evaluating your options, you can make the choices that are right for your needs.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Alan Bell, Edward Jones, Member SIPC.
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Celebrate the Anniversary of Mainstone Farm’s Protection

WAYLAND: To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the conservation of Mainstone Farm on Rice Road in Wayland, Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) has designed a special two-mile Self-Guided Anniversary Walking Route at the property. Throughout the month of October, visitors can enjoy this walk through the woods, which features five stops where you can scan a QR code to learn more about the property and the incredible conservation effort. The Self-Guided Anniversary Walking Route is accessible from the Mainstone Farm Trails parking area at 196 Rice Road.

On October 15, SVT staff will be on hand at the trailhead from 9:30-11:30am to answer questions about the conservation effort and provide visitors with additional information about the property.

In 2017, the Town of Wayland and SVT purchased a conservation restriction (CR) on the land that permanently protects 218 acres of the farm’s pastures and forest from development. Mainstone Farm is part of a complex of conserved lands owned by the Town of Wayland, Sudbury Valley Trustees, and some private entities. Additional protected lands, including Hamlen Woods, Mainstone Hills, Reeves Hill, and Turkey Hill, contribute to an extended network of wildlife habitat and open space. SVT, together with the Town of Wayland, maintains walking trails across many of these lands that can be accessed from two parking areas on Rice Road.

"We are thrilled to celebrate the fifth anniversary of one of the region's spectacular landscapes,” said Lisa Vernegaard, SVT Executive Director. “I remain grateful to Wayland residents, the Hamlen Family, and the many generous donors who made this possible. Because of that partnership, wildlife, hikers and area residents will continue to enjoy this extraordinary property for decades to come."

Gretchen Schuler, Former Chair of the Wayland Community Preservation Committee, added, “The protection of Mainstone Farm was the culmination of many years of effort by many people. I am so thankful that Town residents and SVT agreed to purchase the CR on this land so that future generations will always enjoy this iconic Wayland landscape.”

Printed maps for the Self-Guided Anniversary Walking Route will be available throughout October at the trailhead kiosk at 196 Rice Road. A map is also available online at

Northborough Helping Hands’ Holiday Campaign Make Spirits Bright for Families in Need

Nhha holiday volunteers
NORTHBOROUGH: Northborough Helping Hands Association, Inc. (NHHA) is kicking off its holiday campaign “Making Spirits Bright.” The holiday program benefits Northborough families and senior citizens in need. Community members have the opportunity to sponsor a gift, a child, or a grocery gift card.

NHHA collaborates with town social service programs to identify the Northborough families needing assistance. The program’s goal is to provide gift cards to the parents, so they can personally purchase needed clothing or a special toy from the child’s wish list. In addition, grocery gift cards are provided to senior citizens and singles who are in need.

In 2021, 142 children were served. This year, NHHA hopes to be able to raise $10,000 to provide cards for each child. The gift cards will be distributed during the organization’s annual Thanksgiving program distribution, which provides a turkey with all the fixings. The success of NHHA’s programs each year is due to the generosity of the community. How can you help?

A donation of $75 will sponsor one child for the holiday. You can also sponsor a grocery card for the family for $50 or one gift for a child for $25. Monetary donations are being requested so the gift cards purchased by NHHA can be tailored to each child before distribution. The deadline to donate is November 1.

Upcoming Fundraisers with business partners:
  • MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes (10010 Shops Way, Northborough) will donate a percentage of all sales on October 1, 11am-9pm to NHHA.
  • For the entire month of October, Aero Coffee Roasters (318 Main Street, Northborough) will donate 10% of all in-store whole bean coffee purchases to NHHA.

NHHA is a recognized 501(c)(3) charity and 100% of donations will benefit its programs. In addition to the holiday programs, NHHA coordinates a winter coat drive, backpack drive, emergency aid program, scholarship program and medical equipment loan program. Additional information on the holiday outreach programs can be found at Email for more information.

Musicians of the Old Post Road Presents Masterful Madames: Women Composers
in the Circle of Frederick the Great

SUDBURY/BOSTON: On October 29 and 30, Musicians of the Old Post Road begins its 34th season with live performances for both in-person and online audiences. Entitled Masterful Madames: Women Composers in the Circle of Frederick the Great, the program celebrates three fabulous forgotten female composers: Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia, Wilhelmine of Prussia, and Anna Bon. Their wonderful chamber music will be presented together with works by other composers in Frederick the Great’s circle, including the music-loving king’s flute teacher J. J. Quantz and his concertmaster Franz Benda.

Featured works include the expressive Flute Sonata in F Major by Anna Amalia, the only surviving multi-movement work by this gifted little-known composer. A sister of Frederick the Great and a patron of the arts, she devoted herself to music and amassed an important music library. 
The concert also includes the brilliant Harpsichord Concerto in G Minor by Wilhelmine of Prussia, one of the earliest surviving works in this genre. Another sister of Frederick the Great, she was the Margravine of Bayreuth and an accomplished lutinist. The ensemble will also perform an evocative trio sonata by Anna Bon. Bon was in the service of Wilhelmine and her family at the court in Bayreuth. She was a talented singer and composer who received her early training at the orphanage for girls in Venice where Vivaldi taught.

Rounding out the program are trio sonatas by Frederick the Great’s court composers Franz Benda, J.J. Quantz, and Christoph Schaffrath. Instrumentalists for this concert include flutist Suzanne Stumpf, violinists Sarah Darling and Jesse Irons, violist Marcia Cassidy, cellist Daniel Ryan, and harpsichordist Michael Sponseller. All will perform on period instruments.

Single In-Person Tickets are $50 general admission, $45 seniors, $35 for under 35, Kids 18 and under free with adult. Day-Of-Concert Rush Tickets (students and EBT Card holders only) are $10, availability permitting. Online single tickets and online subscriptions are also available. In-Person Season Subscriptions are available for $170. These include in-person and online access to all four concert programs this season, along with free admission to the fifth online episode of the ensemble’s “Delving Deeper” series. 
  • October 29, 4pm @ First Parish, Sudbury and live-streamed at;
  • October 30, 4pm @ Emmanuel Church, Boston.

For more information, visit, email, or call (781) 466-6694.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Should you Stick with Index-based Investments? 

September 21, 2022
You may have heard that you can simplify your investment strategy just by owning index-based or passive investments. But is this a good idea? You’ll want to consider the different aspects of this type of investment style. 
To begin with, an index-based investment is a vehicle such as a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that mimics the performance of a market benchmark, or index — the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and so on. (An ETF is similar to a mutual fund in that it holds a variety of investments but differs in that it is traded like a common stock.) You can also invest in index funds that track the bond market. 
Index investing does offer some benefits. Most notably, it’s a buy-and-hold strategy, which is typically more effective than a market-timing approach, in which individuals try to buy investments when their prices are down and sell them when the prices rise. Attempts to time the market this way are usually futile because nobody can really predict when high and low points will be reached. Plus, the very act of constantly buying and selling investments can generate commissions and fees, which can lower your overall rate of return. Thus, index investing generally involves lower fees and is considered more tax efficient than a more active investing style. Also, when the financial markets are soaring, which happened for several years until this year’s downturn, index-based investments can certainly look pretty good — after all, when the major indexes go up, index funds will do the same.
Conversely, during a correction, when the market drops at least 10% from recent highs, or during a bear market, when prices fall 20% or more, index-based investments will likely follow the same downward path. 
And there are also other issues to consider with index-based investments. For one thing, if you’re investing with the objective of matching an index, you may be overlooking the key factors that should be driving your investment decisions — your goals and your risk tolerance. An index is a completely impersonal benchmark measuring the performance of a specific set of investments — but it can’t be a measuring stick of your own progress.
Furthermore, a single index, by definition, can’t be as diversified as the type of portfolio you might need to achieve your objectives. For example, the S&P 500 may track a lot of companies, but they’re predominantly large ones. And to achieve your objectives, you may need a portfolio consisting of large- and small-company stocks, bonds, government securities and other investments. (Keep in mind, though, that while diversification can give you more opportunities for success and can reduce the effects of volatility on your portfolio, it can’t guarantee profits or prevent all losses.)

Ultimately, diversifying across different types of investments that align with your risk tolerance and goals — regardless of whether they track an index — is the most important consideration for your investment portfolio. Use this idea as your guiding principle as you journey through the investment world. 
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor: Marshall-Ben Tisdale,Westford, MA  -, Edward Jones, Member SIPC
Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.
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Donations of Winter Coats, Boots Needed to Keep Kids Warm

NORTHBOROUGH: Cleaning and sorting your closets as the season changes? New and gently used winter coats, snow pants and boots are being collected by Northborough Helping Hands Association, Inc. (NHHA) through October 21. Sizes from toddlers to adult are needed. Donations will benefit Northborough families in need. All requests for assistance are received through collaboration with town social service programs. Donations will be distributed in late October. Collection bins will be located at Lincoln Street School (76 Lincoln St.), Marguerite E. Peaslee School (31 Maple St.), Fannie E. Proctor School, (26 Jefferson Rd.), Marion E. Zeh School (33 Howard St.), Robert E. Melican Middle School (145 Lincoln St.), Algonquin Regional High School (79 Bartlett St.), and St. Bernadette’s School (266 Main St.). The Northborough Free Library (34 Main St.) and Allure Hair Spa (299 West Main St.) will also have collection bins.

The mission of NHHA is to coordinate programs to assist residents through its programs, including the holiday program, backpack drive, medical equipment loan program, emergency aid program, and scholarship program.  For more information, visit or email questions to
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First Parish of Sudbury Appoints Michelle Cote as Director of Religious Education

SUDBURY: First Parish of Sudbury is pleased to announce that Michelle Cote (of Natick), has been appointed to the position of Director of Religious Education. Prior to becoming Director of Religious Exploration at First Parish of Sudbury, Cote served for 14 years as Director of Religious Education at First Parish of Stow & Acton and taught at the elementary level, both as a literacy specialist and special educator. In addition, she has worked as a life coach and advocate for adults with developmental and cognitive challenges.  

Cote believes that all children and youth should be seen, heard, and valued. One of her favorite quotes is Marcus Samuelson’s African saying: “I want to believe that I am here to teach one, and more than that there is one here who is meant to teach me. And if we each one, teach one, we will make a difference.”
She is eager to begin the year and create a vibrant, active, welcoming Religious Education Program that makes a difference in the lives of children and families.

The Religious Exploration Program at First Parish is an exploratory process that offers many programs for children and teens. It focuses on teaching young people how to make moral and ethical life decisions in an accepting environment without fear or judgment. See to learn more about upcoming programs.

First Parish of Sudbury, located at 327 Concord Road, is a diverse and welcoming community of spiritual seekers who strive to learn together and support one another as they celebrate life’s important moments and serve the larger community. The First Parish was founded in 1640. The congregation worships in the historic meetinghouse that was built in 1685.