Westford/Littleton

Just click below on the paper you want to read. You can read life-size by clicking on the four corner box bottom right, then turn pages with mouse at corners just like you would if paper!

Current Edition - 3/01/24
Previous Edition - 2/23/24
Emerson Health Wellness Winter Classes

HEADLINES

Searsconnor

American Classics Brings Cole Porter to Life This March

WESTFORD: It’s delightful… it’s delicious… it’s “DeLovely!”  American Classics will be coming to the Parish Center for the Arts’ Lounge to perform a “Wundebar” cabaret of songs and music by Cole Porter on March 9 at 7pm! Tickets range from $12-$18 are available online at pcawestford.org.  For groups of 4 or more, call (978) 692-6333 for reserved seating. The PCA, located right on Westford Common at 10 Lincoln Street, is an accessible space to those with mobility challenges.  BYO food and beverages, as you wish.

"What American Classics does is document people's dreams, and the way they've manifested themselves in the humble popular song over the generations. Nobody does it better." (Richard Buell, Boston Globe)

American Classics was founded in 1996 by The Camptown Ladies (Mary Ann Lanier & Sylvie Stewart), Benjamin Sears, Bradford Conner and Margaret Ulmer as a summer concert series at the Swedenborg Chapel in Cambridge. In 1999, they moved to the Longy School of Music, also in Cambridge where the group began a regular Fall/Winter seasons of three programs, eventually adding second performances in the suburbs. American Classics has been a leading presenter of classic musicals in concert format. Irving Berlin's first two Broadway scores, Watch Your Step (not seen in Boston since 1915) and Stop! Look! Listen!, along with an overview of his four Music Box Revues were among the group's early productions. The first revival of Berlin's World War I shows, Yip! Yip! Yaphank! (E.Y. “Yip” Harburg) was given in 2010, with a second production in 2019 for the show's 100th Anniversary. Other programs have featured salutes to songwriters, among them Jerome Kern, Alan Jay Lerner, Frank Loesser, Johnny Mercer and a special centenary salute to Sammy Cahn (recorded in concert for CD release). Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, and Ethel Merman are among the great performers celebrated in concert. For this performance, duo Benjamin Sears and Bradford Conner will be joined by Cynthia Mork and piano duo Heinrich Christensen and Robert Winkley for some Porter favorites, rarities and arrangements for four-hand piano solo.

Cole Porter was an American composer and songwriter. Many of his songs became standards noted for their witty, urbane lyrics, and many of his scores found success on Broadway and in film. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, Porter defied his grandfather's wishes for him to practice law and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn to musical theatre. After a slow start, he began to achieve success in the 1920s, and by the 1930s he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway musical stage. Unlike many successful Broadway composers, Porter wrote the lyrics as well as the music for his songs. He is known mostly for his most successful musical, Kiss Me, Kate (Tony Award, Best Musical and Anything Goes. Porter's other musicals include Fifty Million Frenchmen, DuBarry Was a Lady, Can-Can and Silk Stockings. His numerous hit songs include "Night and Day", "Begin the Beguine", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "Well, Did You Evah!", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "You're the Top". He also composed scores for films from the 1930s to the 1950s, including Born to Dance (1936), which featured the song "You'd Be So Easy to Love"; Rosalie (1937), which featured "In the Still of the Night"; High Society (1956), which included "True Love"; and Les Girls (1957).  

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/3-9-24-it-s-delovely-a-cole-porter-cabaret/146
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ParishCenterfortheArts
Twitter: www.twitter.com/PCAWestford
Instagram: www.instagram.com/pcawestford
Shegrooves

SheGrooves Kicks Off Women’s History Month

WESTFORD: Kicking off Women's History Month'24, the PCA is presenting a concert with SheGrooves on March 1 at 7:30pm. SheGrooves is a female contemporary band, a powerful group of women musicians dedicated to elevating and celebrating the female experience. The band is made up of Berklee College of Music women presenting an eclectic mix of pop, rock, jazz and R&B. This family-friendly public event will explore how women historically have used their voices for positive change within the world. SheGrooves repertoire currently includes original tunes as well as covers of Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, as well as jazz greats, Nancy Wilson and Dianne Reeves. Tickets to this family-friendly event are $5 students; $10 PCA Members/Seniors; $15 Non-Members or At-the-Door.  Click HERE to reserve yours now!

This program is funded in part by the Westford, Littleton, Ayer and GrotonCultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Mass CulturalCouncil, a state agency.

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/3-1-24-shegrooves-women-s-history-month-kickoff-concert/168

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Hotskilletclub

The Hot Skillet Club Brings Red Hot Vintage Jazz with a Western Swing

WESTFORD: The PCA Coffeehouse is going to be sizzlin’ on March 8 when The Hot Skillet Club brings their red hot vintage jazz with a western swing to Westford’s Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street. Tickets are $18 for PCA Members/Seniors; $18 in advance/Non-Members;and $25 at the door (if available).  For more information, call (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

The talented artists making up Hot Skillet Club are Liza Constable (Guitar/Vocals), Val Blachly (Bass/Vocals) and Ellen Carlson (Fiddle/Vocals) – just three voices, a guitar, a bass and a fiddle, but the richness of a pancake covered in sweet maple syrup.

Liza's strong alto and rhythmic ease brings the band right into its vintage jazz roots. A guitar player since childhood, her bands have been various, her interests eccentric, and her passions notable. Tex-Mex, Cajun, New England fiddle tunes, delta blues, she has the unusual talent to play many genres and leave you a believer. You may have seen her in performance with Les Flames D'Enfer, Chanterelle, Rumblestrip, The Sevens, BabaRay, Swing a Cat and/or The Blue Ox.

Val is a smooth one. She plays a stick bass, and finds those high harmonies. Raised in a family of classical singers, Val started off in the world of opera, which led seamlessly to bluegrass, and then vintage jazz. You have heard her informer bands including Sweet Hot and Sassy, Mink Hills Band, Swing a Cat and Honest Millie. Her upright bass playing and smooth vocals are a delight. She has five albums to her credit, one of which is all original songs for children.

Ellen comes from a family of musicians, learned traditional fiddle tunes, then explored different styles - including hot jazz while at the summer camp"Django in June," taking workshops with Jason Anick and Tim Kliphuis. You've seen her in Sweet Hot and Sassy, Honest Millie and her bluegrass band High Range. Ellen brings diverse playful playing to the Hot Skillet Club as well as her resonant alto voice. She has six albums with her own groups and numerous other recording sessions.

The PCA Coffeehouse Series is sponsored by Enterprise Bank/Westford

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/3-8-24-the-hot-skillet-club/157

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Mike payette  2 vocals.bass

Ride the Yacht Rock Waves with Mike Payette’s Three-Hour Tour

WESTFORD: Rock out and ride the yacht rock waves when Mike Payette brings his Three-Hour Tour to the Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street on March 2 at 7:30pm (Doors open 7pm). Advanced ticketing guarantees you a seat - $18 for Members; $20 for Non-Members; $25 at the door (if available) - and you can bring your own food and drink for a complete evening of entertainment. For tickets and more information, call (978) 692-6333, or visit pcawestford.org.

This new band will entertain you with soft yacht rock music with 70's-80's smooth vibes, great songs, and tight harmonies - think Michael McDonald, Doobie Brothers, Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins, Toto, Steely Dan, Ambrosia and more. This new music project came to life when Mike Payette was subbing for a musician in the band No Static (a Steely Dan tribute band). During the break,he told the drummer Barry Lit that he'd like to put together a yacht rock show,to which Barry replied “I’m IN!" Mike gathered friends of kindred spirits to be part of this new band that includes keyboards, sax and trumpet, and background singers, and so began the Three-Hour Tour!

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/3-2-24-mike-payette-s-three-hour-tour-soft-yacht-rock-of-70-s-80-s-/169

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Deb o'connell

Winter/Spring Registrations Open; Vacation Workshops Announced

WESTFORD: Moms, Dads, Parents, Grandparents, Guardians... what are your kids doing after school this Winter/Spring? Perhaps a dash of creativity and artistic expression might be in their future?  The PCA’s Winter/Spring'24 Arts-in-the-Loft programs with Deb O'Connell have something for kids from 8+!  Do as much or as little as you'd like, and on May 13 from 7-8pm, class artwork will be on display during an special exhibition in the Main Hall (optional)!  To register online, visit parisharts.square.site/arts-in-the-loft, or for more information, call (978) 692-6333, email admin@pcawestford.org, or visit pcawestford.org.

Included in this semester's offerings are...
 
  • Explorations in Drawing: (Ages 13-21) - Mon., February 26-April 1, 2024 from 6-7:30pm. Pick the sessions you'd like, or sign up for the full 6-weeks. Participants will choose from a variety of drawing media and papers to create dynamic drawings using multiple techniques. Emphasis will be placed on good observational drawing skills as a focal point. Consideration will be given to composition, line, value, color, texture, pattern and unity. Famous and contemporary artists' works will be shared for inspiration and discussion. NOTE: Returning students will broaden their previous experiences with greater detail and challenges! Tuition: $25/session or $125 all six.
  • Arts After School: (Ages 8-12) - Tues, February 27-April 30, 3-4:30pm. Pick the sessions you'd like, or sign up for the 10-weeks. A wide variety of 1- to 2-class projects will be offered. Work in 2- and 3-dimensions. Lessons include themed portraiture, tunnel books, mixed media collage, multi-media drawing & watercolor painting. Lessons are inspired by artists - both contemporary & historical - and are used as a starting point. Students are encouraged to express their personal creative voice in a supportive environment of their peers. NOTE: Returning students will broaden their previous experiences with new projects and challenges! Tuition: $25/session or $200 for all ten.
  • Sculptural Book Making: (Ages 12+, 4-weeks) - Wed., February 28-March 20, 3-4:30pm. Gather favorite images, materials, ephemera, scrapbooking papers, photographs and ideas to create one of three types of sculpted books (accordion, star & foldout), step-by-step. Look to artists Akayo Sakanishi & Lizzie Buckmaster Dove for inspiration. Tuition: $100.
  • Pop Art Acrylic Painting: (Ages 9+, 4 weeks) - Wed., March 27-April 17, 3-4:30pm. A fun program of color mixing with paints using a value scale. Use a tonal underpainting along with techniques with brushes in the application of line, pattern, color, design and composition to create a Pop Art style image a la Andy Warhol and Romero Britto. Tuition: $100.
  • Sculpted Architectural Letters: (Ages 13-21, 4 weeks) - Mon., April 8-29, 6-7:30pm. Design an architectural letter through a step-by-step process creating a unique 3D form. Drawings will start the design, then the armature is built using a variety of construction materials and paper mache. As the structure dries decorative ideas will be considered and sketched, followed by completing the piece with finishing details. Tuition: $100.
Vacation workshops are fun, and creative... and WAY better than staring at screens in your down time! PCA programs are planned for February Vacation Week, Monday thru Wednesday from 10am-3pm!
 
  • Monday (2/19) Sculptural Book Making: (Ages 14+) - Gather your favorite images, materials, ephemera, scrapbooking papers, photographs, and ideas to bring to this fun workshop where you will built a one-of-a-kid sculpted books (accordion, star & foldout). These make beautiful gifts for yourself or someone you love. All basic materials will be provided along with additional decorative media (paints, ink, stamps, etc.)
  • Tuesday (2/20) Foam Plate Printing: (Ages 8-13) - A la Artist Annette W. Mitchell, create foam plate prints using water soluble printing inks with brayers and a variety of painted, colored and textured papers. Students will print a series of images and may choose to register a print using two or more ink colors. Using demonstrations and a step-by-step process, prepare the plates and print their images.
  • Wednesday (2/21) Family & Friends Story Quilts: (Ages 8-13) - Look to the artist Faith Ringgold for inspiration... participants will create an image of their family, loved ones or close friends in the center. In surrounding blocks, they will draw or find images that represent special memories and/or pattern designs. Pencil, marker, oil pastel, collage and watercolor resist will be used.

Pre-packaged snacks and water bottles will be available, but participants bring their own lunch. (No nut products.) Each day is $100/student (includes all supplies), and all works created will be featured in the Winter/Spring Arts-in-the-Loft Student exhibition in May (or, take home projects at the end of the day). For more information or to see your options, visit https://parisharts.square.site/arts-in-the-loft.

On Friday (2/23), there's also a terrific afternoon Family Concert by Grammy Award-nominee for children’s music Judy Pancoast at 2pm! Pancoast will be giving and afternoon concert for families, then will return in the evening at 7pm for her NYC “Carpenters” Revue.  Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/2-23-24-judy-pancoast-family-concert/155

The PCA is a non-profit arts center located at 10 Lincoln Street, Westford. They have a passion and a purpose to provide a forum for visual and performing arts for Westford and surrounding communities. For more information about this and upcoming exhibitions, concerts and events, visit pcawestford.org, call (978) 692-6333, or email admin@pcawestford.org.

Littleton Middle School Theater Students Set Record with "The Little Mermaid Jr." Production

Lmsmermaid
LITTLETON: Superintendent Kelly Clenchy would like to share that Littleton Middle School students demonstrated their exemplary theater skills during a successful three-day showing of Disney's "The Little Mermaid Jr." A cast of 51 LMS students performed the stage adaptation of the Disney classic for the Littleton community on Jan. 19-21. But this was no ordinary middle school musical.

For the first time in LMS' history, the production sold a total of 1,400 tickets, setting a record for the highest number of tickets sold for a middle school show. The Sunday matinee, which is usually the least attended show of the three, ended up being the most attended.

The success of the production can be attributed to the enthusiasm of the theater students and their peers, who spread the word throughout the community to generate interest in the show. Many students and members of the community stayed after Saturday's performance to take photos with the cast.
LMS' Drama Director Tracey O'Neill, who grew up doing theater and watched her daughters perform throughout middle and high school, noted how productions like this foster an environment for community building.

"The middle school shows allow for high school students to return to their former stomping grounds to help out with the production. I've had students help with stage management, choreographing, rehearsal, and auditions," she said. "I really couldn't do it without them. They are a huge support system for me, and I am thrilled to support their goals and provide them with opportunities for involvement." O'Neill added, "This is my seventh show, and the casts just keep getting better. They work so hard, and it is my main goal to make sure they have fun. Thank you to all the parents, who provided immense support. A huge thank you to our Music Director Ashley Sheldon for all of her hard work, as well as the Fine Arts Boosters of Littleton, which helps to make our students' theatrical goals possible."

LMS theater students will take to the stage again in May for their production of Lucky Hudson and the 12th Street Gang. Tickets will be available at a later date at littletonmiddleschooldrama.com. 

Littleton Public Schools Students Foster an Inclusive Community through Project 351 & the Playbook Initiative

Project351
LITTLETON: Littleton Middle School students are driving to the basket and starting the conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Littleton school community by taking part in the Playbook Initiative. The Playbook Initiative, a partnership between Project 351, the Boston Celtics, and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS), is an anti-discrimination and bias-prevention program led by student trainers in communities throughout the state.

Interest in participating in the program at Littleton Middle School was significant. Out of nearly 50 applications, 30 LMS students who demonstrated their desire to foster a community of tolerance and belonging were selected to become "student influencers."

Littleton's Playbook Initiative 2024 Team Roster was soon solidified. Student influencers include Grade 6 students Madison Saunders, Aubrey McCarthy, Emilia Garrido, Nora Pasquale, Lana Yang, and Lauren Fitzgerald; Grade 7 students Nyla Jacob, Darsh Sharma, Sara Kerrigan, Drew Murch, Sophia Capoccia, Zach Ryan, Henry Young, Ruby Willis, and Abigail Muddasu; and Grade 8 students Caroline Nash, Adi Loan, Caroline DeChane, Aiden Donohue, Kyra Grant, Christina Rains, Makayla Rydwansky, Amby Harriman, Brianna Tucker, Janie Laferty, Eric Santos, Cassidy Forsberg, and Abak Maraial.

"Littleton's Playbook Leadership Team (PLT) has embraced this initiative and is committed to being architects of a more inclusive, responsive, and just school community," said Mary Cringan, Project 351 Educators Advisory Group Chair and Playbook Educators Coach. "The Littleton community will be enriched through inspiration, collaboration, and celebrating the voices of the students who are working hard to be change makers and bridge builders. It's a pleasure and privilege to work and learn from the PLT from Littleton."

As part of the program, student influencers meet during school hours to partake in two 90-minute workshops where they break the ice, open up to one another, and engage in discussions and activities surrounding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB).

Workshops are led by Peer Trainers from Littleton High School sophomores, Lead Trainer Haaris Khan and Deputy Trainer Keirob Cherubino. Cherubino and Khan were motivated to become Peer Trainers due to a common desire to strengthen the Littleton school community and spread their knowledge of DEIB to the younger students.

"In teaching students the significance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as Belonging, I want to make them feel comfortable when they're discussing related events or issues, and not be discouraged to come ask questions," said Cherubino.

"As a Littleton student, I have seen first-hand how diversity enriches our community," said Khan. It is important to educate our youth in the topics of bias and discrimination and the significance of equity and acceptance to make every person within our town and the world beyond feel a sense of belonging."
The theory of the Playbook hypothesizes that if it is possible for athletes to prepare for games by studying and practicing “plays," then perhaps the same holds true for social situations as it relates to preparing students to confront bias and discrimination.

In their first workshop, students used a "Playbook" to navigate through difficult conversations about students' own lives, as well as work through scenarios dealing with issues of bias and discrimination.
Student influencers shared their thoughts about the first workshop during the Littleton School Committee meeting that evening.

Madison Saunders, Grade 6, took to the podium to share her enthusiasm for the program and excitement to learn about the different perspectives of her classmates.

"My experience in the Playbook Initiative workshop today was very exciting. I got to hear a lot of people's opinions about the statements and scenarios we had in our Playbooks. It made me understand that this is what people go through from different religions and cultures, and I was very happy that people were open to telling us about their personal lives. I cannot wait to learn more about how to become a better leader."

Kyra Grant, Grade 8, shared an excerpt from her application, "I firmly believe that exposure to other people's points of view helps you grow a tolerance and understanding for others. The Playbook Initiative would be an incredible opportunity for me to learn how to build a community of diversity that is not only accepted but celebrated."

Advising the program are Director of Student Services and District Equity Coordinator Lyn Snow and Littleton Middle School Assistant Principal Matt Levangie, who shared their pride with the School Committee for the vulnerability the students have shown in their work so far.
"This is a powerful example of how important it is to elevate student voice," said Snow. "I'm beyond impressed by these students and I applaud their bravery and willingness to engage in these difficult conversations. This is a skill that many adults – myself included – find challenging."

"I'm so impressed by the number of students who wanted to be part of the Playbook Initiative," Superintendent Kelly Clenchy expressed during the School Committee Meeting. "Today, I witnessed a number of you come up to the podium and talk about things that are important to you. I have been an advocate for student voice for a number of years, and I believe that it is one way we can start the conversation about celebrating diversity. I hope that this is only the beginning for our students to talk about things that are important to them in our schools."
Wickedpickers1

Tickets Now Online for The Wicked Pickers “Original Newgrass” Event

WESTFORD: The Wicked Pickers are your spiritual buddies for acoustic folk, jazz, Celtic, Latin, blues, R&B and soul, with bluegrass instrumentation and even some hints of classical and funk!  They're 98.6% genre-fluid and lovin' it!  On February 24 at 7:30pm, the Pickers are coming to the Parish Center for the Arts to play a range of new original songs and a few old favorites.  Tickets are $18 for PCA Members/In advance and $23 at the door. Seating will be cabaret style. Feel free to BYOB and snacks.  For more information, call (978) 692-6333.

Sarah Friedman heads up the vocals for the band.  She brings a background of R&B and Blue Eyed Soul to the Pickers fusion style. Joining Friedman will be Bill Morris on Guitar, a sideman with a number of bands since attending Berklee College in the late 1970s. Bill has developed a fluid, melodic playing style that crosses many styles.  Paul Green will be on Bass/Vocals. Since moving to Boston area, Paul has played fretless electric bass in the mini-Big Band "Feed the Meter", and Afro-Cuban jazz with JP Tropicale. On Violin will be Gordon Hill, who has taken his strong interest in blending multiple styles. Hill has performed at the Berklee Performance Center, Boston City Hall Plaza, and the Wilbur Theater among other venues.  Before joining the Wicked Pickers,George O'Connor played with the Boston-area bluegrass band Jumpin' Willie. In2007, George was a finalist in the WUMB Folk Festival Song Writing Contest for his song “By the Riverbank”.

Between them all, The Wicked Pickers feature acoustic guitar, mandolin, violin, upright bass and percussion... so what do you call the genre of the band's music? Americana? Folk? Jazz? Soul?  Pop?  How about you call it “Original Newgrass,” but definitely don’t forget to call for your tickets for February 24.

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/2-24-24-the-wicked-pickers/137

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Judy pancoast

Spend a Day with Grammy-Nominated Judy Pancoast in Two-Show Event

WESTFORD: The Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) is SO excited to announce that on February 23, nationally-known singer/songwriter and Grammy Award-Nominee Judy Pancoast will be spending the day at the PCA! Part of the PCA's Lounge Series, Judy will be coming to Westford with her musical director/accompanist Michael Pierce to present an afternoon (2pm) matinee Family Concert (all ages welcome!). Then, the dynamic duo will return at 7:30pm to present her personal and heartfelt cabaret show, "All My Best Memories: Built by The Carpenters." Love, laughs and lots of music for all ages - all in one day!

Judy Pancoast was born and raised in Waterville (ME), and went to college at University of Maine. She later got a master's degree in University of New Hampshire and performed at hundreds of schools, libraries, festivals and events nationwide. At the tender age of 11, in the summer of 1970, Judy Pancoast first heard the lovely, inimitable voice of Karen Carpenter on the radio. Thus began an obsession with the music of The Carpenters, the best-selling brother-sister musical act of the 70s, that has lasted until this day. "All My Best Memories: Built by The Carpenters" takes the audience into Judy's life as she recounts the stories of growing up a Carpenters fan and sings the songs closest to her heart. The show premiered at world-renowned cabaret club "Don't Tell Mama" in New York City to rave reviews from audience members, and has been invited back twice.

Well-known for her children's music for the last 25 years, Judy crafts clever songs with infectious melodies that delight the young and the young at heart, as evidenced by the 2011 Grammy Award nomination for Best Children’s Album for her one-of-a-kind CD, "Weird Things Are Everywhere: A Reading Road Trip with Judy Pancoast!" Judy is perhaps most well-known for her infectious Christmas hit, “The House on Christmas Street,” which can be heard each Christmas season at residential synchronized light displays and on radio stations across the country. In 2003, Judy released her debut album "Swimming in Jello" and later in 2005 she released two more albums - "The Tune Room" and "Are We There Yet".

Family Concert: https://parisharts.square.site/product/2-23-24-judy-pancoast-family-concert/155
Carpenters Tribute: https://parisharts.square.site/product/2-23-24-judy-pancoast-all-my-best-memories-built-by-the-carpenters/156

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Barry at wachusett meadow 1 large hi res 724x1024

Littleton Lyceum Presents Artist Barry Van Dusen

LITTLETON: The Littleton Lyceum will present artist Barry Van Dusen on February 9 at 7:30pm in Littleton High School’s Performing Arts Center at 56 King Street. Van Dusen is an internationally recognized wildlife artist featured in Bird Watcher’s Digest, Yankee magazine, and various Audubon guides. His slideshow depicts his paintings, as well as photos of local wildlife sanctuaries, and is accompanied by his anecdotes and descriptions of his artistic process. Lyceum season tickets are available for families or individuals for $25, and single admissions may be purchased at the door for $8, $5 for seniors and students. For more information, visit littletonlyceum.org.
Isabelstover

Isabel Stover Brings Some Valentine’s Jazz February 10

WESTFORD: “Elegant.” "An amazing range." "Continually evolving." These are just a few of the ways audiences describe Isabel Stover, performing a special “Valentine’s Jazz” concert on February 10, 7:30pmat the Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street.  Tickets are $18 for PCA Members; $20 in advance; $25 at the door.  For more information, call (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

Isabel Stover uses her richly textured vocals and mastery of phrasing thoughtfully and purposely as a way of delivering an authentic,heartfelt experience, fearlessly deconstructing musical compositions to their emotional core. At its heart, singing is storytelling with structure. It makes sense, then, that Isabel Stover, a vocalist with both a master's degree in architecture and credits on a national radio storytelling show, would be skilled at choosing stories to tell and at setting them in the right arrangements.

A consummate professional, Stover is a skilled entertainer and arranger with an ear for unlocking the full potential of jazz and Brazilian standards and beyond. Her debut album, Her Own Sweet World, went to #1 on the charts in the first week of its release. Stover's forthcoming album, includes standards like "On A Clear Day" and "Look For The Silver Lining" in fresh new arrangements, alongside original compositions, and newer classics like Paul Simon's "American Tune" and Stevie Wonder's"Sweetest Somebody I Know." Her arranging skills are on display throughout her recordings and in her live performances, too. On her albums, Stover draws larger ensembles to widen the scope of her musical adaptations,while in small group live shows she's able to use her fellow musicians to their fullest, building a larger sound from a small ensemble.

Stover’s passion for jazz was ignited after landing a spot in the Oakland Jazz Choir, a 30-voice vocal big band in the San Francisco Bay Area, with whom she regularly performed at the venerable Yoshi’s in San Francisco and many West Coast jazz festivals. She began taking classes at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, and from there had the opportunity to study with many acclaimed vocalists and educators such as Madeline Eastman, Kitty Margolis, Sheila Jordan, and Ledisi. From here, technique became Stover’s focus and she moved East to Boston where she studied at New England Conservatory and Berklee School of Music.  Accompanied by some of the most creative figures on the Boston scene, Stover continues to perform in and around New England.

"We don't always have the tools to express the fullness of our inner selves," Stover says. "Music can bring forth something which is without sound or shape but is a shared experience; an emotional language which we perceive in melodies, lyrics, rhythms. I hope that my music can transform the human experience through this resonant energy and bring redeeming beauty to people."

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/2-10-24-isabel-stover-quintet-valentine-s-jazz-/100

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Calling All Loud Talkers, Church Ladies & PhDs… Reverend Robert B. Jones, Sr. is Coming to Westford

Robert
WESTFORD: The PCA Coffeehouse Series is thrilled to welcome a special guest to the stage on February 9 at 7:30pm with none other than Reverend Robert B. Jones, Sr.! Jones’ deep love for traditional African American and American music is shared in live performances that interweave timeless stories with original and traditional songs. At the heart of his message is the belief that our cultural diversity tells a story that should celebrate, not just tolerate. Tickets are $18 Members; $20 Non-Members; $25 at the Door.  BYOB and snacks. For information, call (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

This concert is generously sponsored by Enterprise Bank/Westford.

When you couple authenticity with the talent of a truly exceptional nature: songwriting, storytelling, multi-instrumentalist, award winning educator, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of African American folk music, including blues, spiritual, and slave songs … its players and styles … you get the Reverend Robert B. Jones, Sr.  Jones is an inspirational singer, songwriter, storyteller and self-taught award-winning multi-instrumentalist. He plays guitar, harmonica, mandolin, banjo and fiddle using folk, blues, spirituals and other American Roots music to champion the history, beauty and power of shared culture. Acclaimed photographer James Fraher writes about Robert: “Perhaps the world’s most highly educated blues musician, an ordained minister, a longtime DJ, and a living encyclopedia of blues history, the Reverend Robert Jones is comfortable among juke joint loud talkers, fancy-hatted church ladies, and PhDs alike.”

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/2-9-24-reverend-robert-jones-sr-/150

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tyngsborough Police Department Welcomes New Officer

Travismacmurdo
TYNGSBOROUGH: Chief Rich Howe is pleased to announce that the Tyngsborough Police Department is welcoming a new police officer from the Municipal Police Training Committee's Lynnfield Police Academy.

Officer Travis MacMurdo graduated with the 4th Recruit Officer Class at the Lynnfield Police Academy on January 4, and is now assigned to a 12-week field training program with Tyngsborough Police. He will patrol for 12 weeks under the supervision of a more senior officer before patrolling on his own.
Officer MacMurdo is a native of Tewksbury. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Anselm College.

"Chief Howe and I are excited to have Officer MacMurdo join our department and we have no doubt he will have an immediate positive impact in our community," said Deputy Chief Shaun Woods.

Officer MacMurdo was one of 69 officers to graduate from the MPTC Lynnfield Police Academy's 4th ROC. Graduates successfully completed over 20 weeks of intensive, standardized training in all aspects of law enforcement and will now serve as full-time officers representing 31 police agencies across Massachusetts.
As part of the MPTC’s commitment to academic excellence and world-class police training, the Recruit Officer Course provides over 800 hours of course curriculum designed to prepare student officers for the safe and effective performance of their duties. In keeping with mandates established by the landmark 2020 police reform law, the MPTC curriculum includes de-escalation training based on new use-of-force policies and regulations. Student officers also receive uniform training based on best practices related to essential modern-day policing needs, including effective communication skills, victim-centered and trauma-informed incident response, missing persons and human trafficking investigations, mental health-related emergency response, active shooter and hostile event response, patrol duties, and officer safety and wellness.

Upon successful completion of the Academy, student officers have met all training requirements to be eligible for Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission certification.
Jvfletcher

Friends of the J.V. Fletcher Library Book Sale

WESTFORD: The Friends of the J.V. Fletcher Library Inc. will hold a book sale on February 9, 10 and 11 in the library’s Meeting Room, 50 Main Street. February 9 is a Friends Members Only preview sale from 6:30-9pm. Memberships are available online now. You may also join at the door. February 10 is the Public Sale, from 10am-5pm. Most items are $1 or $2. February 11 is a Bag Sale from 2-4pm. Attendees must purchase a reusable bag for $10 to enter, and can then fill it with items. Scanners may not be used on February 9, but are welcome on Saturday and Sunday.

The sale will include thousands of gently used books plus CDs, audio books, blu-ray discs and DVDs. Credit card payments are accepted, in addition to checks and cash. This sale is a fundraiser. 100% of the proceeds go directly to the Friends of the JV Fletcher Library. The Friends support the library by running innovative programs for all ages, providing museum passes for discounted entrance fees, supplementing the Library’s digital and hard copy collections, and updating furnishings and décor.
Memberships support the Friends and are good for a whole year. It’s $10 for students/seniors, $15 for and individual, or $30 for a family.

Item donations are still being accepted for the February sale. Please consider giving your unwanted books, audio books, CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray discs. These materials can be dropped off at the left-hand door just inside the Library’s rear entrance. If the Library is closed, just drop your donations in the collection box that is located near the back door of the Library. Tax deduction forms are available at the library’s main desk. Approximately 95% of the books offered at these sales are donated by Westford residents.

The Friends of the J.V Fletcher Library appreciates your support.
Chocolate for charity

Buy Sweets for a Good Cause at St. Mark’s Chocolate for Charity

WESTFORD: St Mark’s Episcopal Church, 75 Cold Spring Road, will again sell delicious boxes of homemade chocolate desserts to raise money for local hunger relief organizations during the 2024 Chocolate for Charity event, a renaming of its long-running Chocolate Festival. Boxes homemade chocolate desserts can be purchased online (www.st-mark.org/chocolate) and then picked up at the church on February 10 from 1-4pm.

As usual, local businesses are stepping up to donate prizes for the Chocolate for Charity raffles. The premium raffle ($5 per ticket) offers a chance to win a Weekend Out in Westford, with a two-night stay at the Hampton Inn and gift certificates to two local restaurants; a Night Out in Groton, including an overnight stay at the Groton Inn with breakfast and a $50 gift certificate to Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton; an 18-hole round of golf for 4 at the Nabnasett Lake Country Club; and a day sail on a private 40-foot
sailboat from New Bedford Yacht Club in South Dartmouth. The general raffle ($2 per ticket) includes more than 25 prizes donated by other local businesses. For a full list (updated daily with new prizes), visit www.st-mark.org/pages/chocolate-festival-raffle-prizes.

Winning tickets will be pulled at 4:30pm on the day of the festival and broadcast on Facebook Live.

All proceeds benefit the Westford Food Pantry, Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry at Devens, St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen in Lowell, and St Mark’s building fund, which supports low-cost community use of its facilities. For more information, visit www.st-mark.org/chocolate.
Jvukelele

Ukulele Play Along at J.V. Fletcher

WESTFORD: There will be a Ukulele Play Along for Adults January 6 at 2pm in the Meeting Room at the J.V. Fletcher Library. Join Julie Stepanek and other players for a ukulele play along! A play along is participatory music at its best. Julie will prepare song sheets (lyrics and chords) of songs and lead participants in playing those songs, offering tips and encouragement as you play, sing and have a good time. Please note: this is not a beginner teaching class, though Julie will offer tips and all skill levels are welcome! A limited number of ukuleles are provided. However, you are welcome to bring your own! Register online atwestfordlibrary.assabetinteractive.com/calendar/ukulele-play-along-for-adults.
Duelingpianos logo

Back by Popular Demand! Get Your Tickets Early for Dueling Pianos

WESTFORD: Who doesn’t love a rockin’ good time out with friends being completely ridiculous and silly? Well, Parish Center for the Arts will once again provide that vehicle for all that do when Dueling Pianos returns to 10 Lincoln Street on January 26 at 7pm. Dueling Pianos is a huge "to the top of your lungs" sing-along with all your friends! Two grand pianos are center stage with a team of outrageously talented pianists that seem to know every song ever written! 7pm show (doors open 6:30pm) Tickets are $22 for PCA Members/Seniors; $25 Non-Members; $30 At the Door (if available).  BYOB and snacks. For information, call (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

(12/31/23 UPDATE: Only 4 seats remain.)

Every Dueling Pianos show is different because it's all by request. You and/or your friends might even get called up on stage for a bit of good humored fun and some unforgettable moments! Think YOU won't sing along? Just TRY not to! Soon you’ll be pitted against all of your friends to see who comes out on top! There are no boundaries. Dueling Pianos appeal to all ages, creeds and colors…no one is safe… and it’s incredibly fun!  Get your tickets early. Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/1-26-24-dueling-pianos/37

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Juliettemount

PCA Gallery kicks off 2024 with a "FIRE  |  light" Exhibition by Artist Juliette Mount

WESTFORD: PCA  Gallery is pleased to present "FIRE | light," an exhibition by artist Juliette Mount running from December 30-January 28.  There will be an opening reception on December 30 from noon-3pm. The Gallery is open to visitors each Sunday from noon until 2pm.

American artist Juliette Mount is known for her nature-based encaustic paintings and photography full of movement, passion and vibrant colors. Mount pursued art early in life, encouraged by her mother who was an influence on her early work. She achieved her BFA in Drawing and Painting from SUNY Oswego then worked as a graphic designer, illustrator and photographer for years before shifting into professional roles in high tech and achieving a Master’s in Systems Design from Cornell College of Engineering. Mount learned and developed encaustic techniques, now her favorite painting medium. The combination of the art and science, and the alchemy of the process is fully immersive & her works show it.

FIRE | light is the first exhibition of her encaustic work, combined with Mount's photography and focused on the beauty of nature and fantasy, the FIRE of passion and the light of inspiration. In loving memory of her parents, 10% of all profits from this show will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

For more information about the PCA Gallery, visit www.pcawestford.org.
Pxl 20231006 231824565

Inter-Generational Game Night at UU/Littleton

LITTLETON: Families of all kinds, singles, retirees, teens and anyone in between are invited to a monthly potluck and games night on December 8, 5:45pm at 19 Foster Street. Bring something good to eat and your favorite game to play after this friendly inter-generational event, that includes a foosball game. The Unitarian Universalist community welcomes the GLBTIA-plus community of all ages. Sunday School and youth groups are based on acceptance toward all, that reflects their seven principles of justice, and respect the earth and people of all races and gender orientation.

Unitarian Universalist is a non-dogmatic denomination in which members are free to follow their own path, with or without a deity. They come from more than 20 towns in the region, offering Sunday services at 10am, either in the building or on Zoom. For more information, email memberreach@fculittle.org, and visit www.fculittle.org to view videos of weekly services.
Unnamed(2)

Littleton Police Department Promotes Two Members

LITTLETON: Chief Matthew Pinard is pleased to report that the Littleton Police Department promoted two members of the department on November 1.

Lt. Douglas Landry is the department's first lieutenant in approximately 15 years, since former Chief Matthew King served in the position before becoming a deputy chief. Edmond Bussiere was promoted to sergeant. Lt. Landry was appointed to the department in May of 2013, and previously worked with the Nantucket Police Department. He has served as a sergeant since December of 2014. Since his promotion in 2014, Landry has worked the 11am-7pm and 7am-3pm shifts, and served as the department's firearms instructor and armorer, and as a use of force and defensive tactics instructor. Landry also serves a member of the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council SWAT Team.

Sgt. Bussiere has served with Littleton Police since September of 2006, and previously worked with the Pepperell Police Department. Sgt. Bussiere has served as the department's Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement instructor, Breathalyzer Instructor, and as a Drug Recognition Expert. Sgt. Bussiere also assisted the department throughout the process of being accredited by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission.

"The knowledge and experience of both of these men has benefitted every member of our department, and I am pleased to see both earn promotions this week," said Chief Pinard.

PHOTO: (From Left) Littleton Police Chief Matthew Pinard, Lt. Douglas Landry, Sgt. Edmond Bussiere and Deputy Chief Jeffrey Patterson. (Photo Courtesy Littleton Police Department)
Pamelahines

Jazz Concert at Littleton Lyceum

LITTLETON: The Littleton Lyceum is excited to present the Pamela Hines Trio on November 17 at 7:30pm in Littleton High School’s Performing Arts Center on 56 King Street. A prolific presence in American Jazz, as both a pianist and a composer, Pamela Hines has received national and international critical acclaim for her instrumental compositions and jazz originals for vocalist. Don’t miss this chance to experience quality music at affordable prices. Season tickets are available for families or individuals for $25, and single admissions may be purchased at the door for $8; $5 for seniors and students. For more information, visit littletonlyceum.org or follow them on Facebook.
Chorus and orchestra cropped 3x2

Sounds of Stow Fall Concert

STOW/LITTLETON: Join the Sounds of Stow Chorus & Orchestra for the opening concert of their 45th season. “Beauty in Birdsong” on November 19 at 2pm. The concert will be held at a convenient and state-of-the-art venue, the Littleton High School at 56 King Street in Littleton (just off I-495). For further information and tickets, please visit www.soundsofstow.org or email info@soundsofstow.org.

Under the direction of Barbara Jones, the chorus and orchestra will perform the area premiere of Christopher Tin’s important new work, “The Lost Birds: An Extinction Elegy.” The composer’s website observes that the work serves as a “musical memorial to bird species driven to extinction by humankind. Sweeping and elegiac, it is a haunting tribute to those soaring flocks that once filled our skies.” Drawing on texts by four 19th century women poets, “The Lost Birds” celebrates the beauty of birds and the natural world, while also warning of the tenuous existence of all living things. Tin has created a profound, timely, moving and beautiful work that will touch the hearts of all who hear it. Preceding this new work, the orchestra visits familiar works from the musical canon that are inspired by birds, including Vivaldi’s Flute Concerto “The Goldfinch,” Saint-Saëns’ “The Swan” arranged for harp and cello, Margaret Lowe’s “Dawn Carol” for flute ensemble, and R.V. Williams’ “The Lark Ascending.”

Sounds of Stow is partnering with the Mass Audubon Society to highlight the importance of conservation as bird populations are declining across North America. Joan Walsh, chair of natural history and field ornithology at the Mass Audubon Society, will give a short talk at the beginning of the concert, and Audubon staff will be in the lobby to answer questions, provide informational material, and introduce some avian “wildlife ambassadors.”

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.
Fall leaves on lawn 5 300x400

Fall Nature Gardening Tip: Leave Leaves Alone

As a rule in nature and gardening, keep leaves in place whenever possible. Leaving the leaves alone is a good way to support native pollinators and other insects and wildlife.  These valuable insects rely on the habitat fallen leaves provide, especially over the winter months.  Dead leaves also decompose creating compost that can improve soil structure and fertility. 
 
This being said, leaves need to be managed in yards to see the most benefit. Leaves shouldn't simply go unmanaged. If nothing is done, layers of fallen leaves can cause damage by blocking out light and smothering plants which can kill them. Often a little redistribution of the leaf layer to prevent a thick mat of leaves from forming is all that is needed to prevent this type of damage. Excessively thick layers of leaves (greater than 6 to 8 inches) may need to be reduced or removed. Whenever possible move them to mulched garden areas with fewer leaves or create a compost pile onsite to keep all that beneficial organic matter in your yard.
 
Mow-mulching the leaves on the lawn has many advantages, including reducing noise and greenhouse gases, and enhancing the health of your yard. The shredded/mulched leaf material  creates valuable compost, which enriches the topsoil. Leaf mulching also limits spreading dust and contaminants into the air and saves you time and money. The benefits of mulching the leaves into the lawn are numerous and scientifically proven.  Mulching:
  • is quieter and cleaner than leaf blowing;
  • reduces the need for fertilizer and avoids water pollution by reducing phosphorus and fertilizer leaching;
  • reduces the safety hazard of piled up or bagged leaves on the roadsides and saves taxpayer money for municipal leaf collection;
  • improves soil structure, water retention and percolation;
  • encourages the grass roots to penetrate more deeply, improving grass health; and
  • makes the lawn more resilient to weather events like drought and flooding.

Don't blow... mow! 
Sugarsnaptrio

First Church Unitarian Littleton Hosts Folk Festival’23

LITTLETON: First Church Unitarian invites you to Folk Festival ‘23 featuring The Sugarsnap Trio, a professional music trio from Burlington (VT). The Sugarsnap Trio is part of a larger touring band, The Tenderbellies who have travelled the country playing their inspiring music for many years. The Trio offers a mixture of folk, blues and more with original and familiar tunes. This is their first time performing for First Church live. This family-friendly event takes place November 11 at 7:30pm at 19 Foster Street. Tickets at the door are $30 per person; $35 for families. No one will be turned away for an inability to pay - put whatever you feel you can afford in the “Donations” jar (as no gift is too small). Proceeds go to First Church Unitarian Littleton to help them remain an active and vital part of their shared communities.
Poe

Westford Remembers Edgar Allan Poe with a New Sculpture by Westford Artist David Christiana

WESTFORD: Join the Westford Museum and Historical Society and the Parish Center for the Arts as they collaborate in unveiling David Christiana’s newest sculpture celebrating Edgar Allan Poe's time in Westford and the impact Westford had on Poe’s work. The unveiling will take place on October 29 from 2-6pm. Christiana will be on hand to discuss the sculpture, J.W. Ocker will introduce the unveiling, and Abner Serd will read “Nancy” and “The Raven.” There will be autumn-themed refreshments. 

Poe’s connection with Westford began in 1848 when he met Nancy Heywood Richmond in Lowell during a Poets and Poetry of America Tour. He later spent time in book club meetings at the Heywood house on Graniteville Road. Recently bereaved - his wife of eleven years had died four months earlier - Poe was in need of friendship and warmth. Conversations with Nancy, to whom he gave the nickname “Annie,” prompted his descriptions of Westford as Paradise and he planned to return. Sadly, Poe died in the following year.

Sculptor David Christiana created many of the historic pieces in town including the Fallen Firefighter and September 11th monuments in Westford Center, the Rajiv Paluri memorial in Whitney Playground and the Westford Knight sculpture on Depot Street. He is also recognized as a talented photographer and has designed Westford historic house signs.

J.W. Ocker, winner of Lowell Thomas and Edgar Awards, is the author of macabre travelogues, spooky kid’s books, and horror novels including A Season with the Witch, Twelve Nights at Rotter House, The Black Slide, and Cursed Objects
Rick Taylor, who performs and writes as "Abner Serd," brings history to life. He comes to us fresh from an extended storytelling tour of New Zealand where he entertained a wide variety of audiences with recitations of classic 19th-century poetry. He has also performed as an historical interpreter at Boston’s Old North Church.

The Westford Historical Society and Museum in the town center promotes understanding and appreciation of Westford’s unique history by providing programming that features aspects of the daily lives, activities and achievements of Westford residents and by collecting, preserving, and exhibiting documents, photographs, and objects historically significant to Westford.

The Parish Center for the Arts is a private, non-profit arts center located in a historic 10 Lincoln Street on Westford common. It offers many ways to celebrate the fine and performing arts in a convenient and family-friendly venue. Programs include many genres of music, theater, and fine arts. Visit pcawestford.org for more information.
Nashobaplayers

Don't Miss Nashoba Players' “The Fourth Wall”

WESTFORD: The Nashoba Players open the end of this month with a clever play that fits in well with our current political situation, “The Fourth Wall” by A. R. Gurney. The play’s title refers to what is known in the theater as the fourth wall, or the imaginary wall between the actors on stage and the audience. The production runs October 27, 28 and November 3 and 4 at 7:30pm at Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street. Reservations are now open for cabaret seating at nashobaplayers.org.

The comedy finds that Peggy (Emily Goldfarb) has redecorated her living room and hubby, Roger (Kenny Meehan), hates it. Peggy’s typically superb taste has oddly failed. She’s rearranged the room as if it were a stage set. Everything faces one way, toward the fourth wall. Unable to deal and needing moral support, Roger first asks old friend, Julia (Diane Meehan), to fly in from New York. Then he calls in Floyd (Ken Golner), a local theater professor, to address the issue. Something strange is afoot, everyone feels compelled to behave like they’re acting in a play or even a Cole Porter musical. Besides the four actors, there are two more ‘characters’ or forces in the comedy. The fifth of course is the fourth wall, and the sixth is an on stage grand piano, a seemingly intelligent piano focused on Cole Porter songs. The piano seems to be in cahoots with the fourth wall.

Director Douglas Cooper points out that the revised 2003 script being performed with political overtones was first penned by Gurney in 1996. He even considered more recently tweaking it again to reflect our present day. In the end, Gurney’s 2003 revision leads us to reflect on our own challenges dealing with the current state of politics. It’s The Players’ hope that audiences will laugh a lot, and maybe see the function of theater in society. It’s important to consider our ethical responsibilities to ourselves and to each other as world citizens in a turbulent political climate.

Free Seminar: Energy Realities in the 21st Century

WESTFORD: Transitioning to clean energy is a huge undertaking that will have a lasting impact on future generations. To make informed decisions as we move forward, we need a better understanding of the details. Will the Massachusetts 2050 Roadmap succeed in getting us to 100% clean energy? Can solar and wind do the whole job? How is the Grid impacted? What role could nuclear power play? Which technologies are really green? Are rolling blackouts in our future? Are we leaving viable options on the table? Join Eco-Nuclear Solutions on October 24, 7-8pm at the Roudenbush Community Center, 65 Main Street in Room105 to learn more about the benefits, limitations and unintended consequences of all clean energy options.
 
Presented by Eco-Nuclear Solutions, a local nonpartisan group of scientists, engineers, educators and environmentalists who educate and advocate for nuclear energy. Take a deep dive into nuclear power. Learn the facts about radiation, accidents and waste. Decide for yourself how best to power the great electrification. Which path is really kind to the planet?
 
Get more information at www.eco-nuclearsolutions.org. Walk-ins welcome. If you’re not able to attend in person, you can request a Zoom link by sending an email to econuclearsolutions@gmail.com.
Bins picture3

Trick or Trash!

ACTON/LITTLETON: Please join the community in recycling - candy wrappers!  Place your candy wrappers in another bag (recycling that, too!), and then drop it off in the TerraCycle bin at the Donelan's Supermarket (in Littleton as you exit the door, or in Acton near the bottle center), or at the lower floor of the Reuben Hoar Library.  The Sustainability Committee is also working on getting special boxes around Littleton specifically for recycling candy wrappers - at Alumni Field parking lot during Trunk or Treat, Reuben Hoar Library lobby, and the Town Hall.  Thank you for helping reduce trash in our community!
 
The TerraCycle bins at Donelan's are also where you can recycle other non-curbside-recyclable items such as:

• Oral care product containers & manual toothbrushes (no electric toothbrush heads)
• Plastic Deodorant containers (no aerosols)
• Air freshener and cleaning pumps, trigger sprays, cartridges (no aerosols)
• Empty ink-jet and toner cartridges
• Cell-phone cases of any brand
• And so much more – see tinyurl.com/littletonmarecycles
 
TerraCycle gives points for each item which translate into cash for non-profits such as 4-H, the Littleton schools, and the library.  Still have questions?  Visit https://tinyurl.com/littletonmarecycles, or email littletonma.recycles@gmail.com.

Westford League of Women Voters & Westford Women’s Club to Co-Host Fredie Kay

Fredie kay
WESTFORD: The League of Women Voters of Westford and the Westford Women’s Club are joining forces to present “Honoring Massachusetts Women Past and Present,” an evening presentation with Fredie Kay, president and founder of Suffrage100MA, Fredie Kay. This special event will take place November 8, 7:30pm at the Westford History Museum, 2 Boston Road. The presentation is free and open to the public. Parking is available on Lincoln Street and in the lot adjacent to the Westford Police Station in town center.

Since 2010, Suffrage100MA has been dedicated to commemorating the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment, which prohibits governments from denying women the right to vote. It took a 72-year struggle, by thousands of suffragists, to achieve adoption of the 19th Amendment in August of 1920. The mission of Suffrage100MA has been to raise awareness and honor the remarkable sacrifices and achievements of the suffragists, by providing resources, creating educational films, and organizing events held in Boston on Women’s Equality Day.

Kay will present an overview of Suffrage100MA and highlight the organization’s vision for a new virtual Massachusetts Women’s History Museum and flagship Women’s Hall of Fame. She is an attorney and women’s rights and political advocate. Kay is the president of the Women’s Suffrage Celebration Coalition of Massachusetts.
Joelcage

Chill with Joel Cage October 7 in Westford

WESTFORD: What's better than chillin' and listening to good music with good friends?  Well, the PCA’s good friend and award-winning veteran singer/songwriter, Joel Cage will be returning to the PCA on October 7 at 7pm!  Tickets are $12 for members and/or in advance; $15 for non-members and/or at the door (if available).  Snacks and beverages of your choice are welcome during the show. To reserve your cabaret seating or for more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org or call (978) 692-6333.

Once a member of the acclaimed rock & roll group Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, Joel has been performing regionally and nationally as a soloist for decades. He has performed at some of the most prestigious folk and acoustic venues and festivals in the country, including the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas where he was awarded top prize in the Kerrville New Folk Competition. A virtuoso guitarist and an impassioned vocalist, Joel's music is both evocative and raucous. He spans the gamut from sounding like a full rock band to 'hear your own heartbeat' intimacy. Joel is also a master interpreter of other people's music, spanning a wide field of musical genres, garnering him the oft used moniker "Acoustic Rock Song Stylist."

Visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

DirectTicket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/10-7-23-joel-cage/136
Pumpkinheadshining

Pumpkinhead People Contest in Littleton

LITTLETON: It’s that time again folks! Littleton Police is hosting their 5th Annual Pumpkinhead People Contest October 1-27.  This year’s theme – SUPERHEROES & VILLAINS. Tips on How to Make your Own Pumpkinhead People…

• Use plastic bags stuffed with newspaper, hay or other lightweight materials to make the arms, legs and bodies.
• Supplies of: duct tape, glue, plumbers foam, two by fours, dowels, nails, scissors, PVC, wire, coat hangers and rope will help you put together your Pumpkinhead People.
• Once ready to assemble, the best way to secure the head to the dowel or stake that you will be using is to cut a small hole in the base of the pumpkin (leave the stuffing in the pumpkin), put the dowel or stake through the small cut hole and fill the entire inside of the pumpkin with plumbers foam. This will help keep the dowel or stake in place and slow down the rot process of the pumpkin. Remember pumpkins are heavy. We recommend you use two by fours.
• Use old clothing to make your Pumpkinhead People bodies more realistic or you can use costumes, sheets, almost anything to clothe your displays. Old mop heads, wigs, straw or other materials can be used for hair.
• Markers or paints should be used for faces rather than carving which prevents early rot. It is recommended that you have back up heads for replacement if needed.
• Wind can be a factor…it is important that you secure your displays tightly to the ground or anchor them to something.
• Position your Pumpkinhead People where it is highly visible from the street. Businesses may want to position your display near your business sign as we anticipate they will be highly photographed which presents a great marketing opportunity!

Be sure to call (603) 444-7711 x2, Monday-Friday between 8am-4pm to register your display!
New food pantry box photo

Food Pantry Boxes for Charitable Organizations Available

LITTLETON: Mattias Lacroix is a Boy Scout from Troop 20 in Littleton working on his Eagle Scout project. He has constructed four food pantry boxes and will provide, install and stock a box for you at no charge as a public service. A food pantry box is a wooden box about 2’ by 2’ by 1½’ that sits on a post, kind of like a mailbox, and stores non-perishable food. People who are in need of food can come and take some, and people who have a little extra food can come and put food in the box. (Think “little free library” for books). If you are an organization within an hour’s drive of Littleton that would like Mattias to install a food pantry box for you this fall, please reach out. You just have to pick a spot, call Digsafe to check it, and maintain the box’s food supply if it gets low. Mattias will also hold a food drive so you aren’t just getting an empty box. If you are interested or have any questions please email mattias.lacroix@theparkerschool.org.
Lwv westford

Westford LWV Holds Special Town Meeting Preview

WESTFORD: The League of Women Voters of Westford is hosting a Special Town Meeting Preview on October 12, to educate residents about items on the meeting warrant. The preview will be held virtually at 7pm. Residents can obtain a Zoom link on the League’s website at lwv.westford.org.

The Special Town Meeting will be held on October 16 at 7pm in the Westford Academy gymnasium, 30 Patten Road. Voter registration deadline for Special Town Meeting is October 6 at 5pm at the Westford Town Clerk’s office or at 11:59pm on the Secretary of State’s website. You can check your voter registration status on the same site.
There are nine articles on this year’s Special Town Meeting warrant. Of particular note is Article 9, which would amend existing zoning bylaws to define and regulate firearm businesses. To read the Town Meeting warrant, visit www.westfordma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/13539/2023-STM-SIIGNED-WARRANT-10162023.

For more information about Special Town Meeting, check out the Westford Town Moderator’s website at Town Moderator | Westford, MA (westfordma.gov)

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, issues-oriented organization for all that encourages informed and active participation in government. The League does not support or oppose any candidate or political party. For more information about the organization, go to Westford League of Women Voters | Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy
Trash n treasure 2

Family Fun at the Country Fair October 14

LITTLETON: A tradition that dates to the 1890s, The Country Fair on October 14, 10am-2pm, offers something for everyone – free kids activities, a gigantic yard sale; fantastic homemade jams, a used bookstore and jewelry booths, homemade lunch and bake table, and new this year, take a tour of home-built super-tiny house. It’s all happening in Littleton at 19 Foster Street and at the nearby Historical Society.

"We have raised ‘Spend a day, not a fortune’ to new heights with free fun family crafts and face painting. Kids of all ages can shop for treasures at the ultimate recycling booths, yard, and buy grilled hot dogs, mac ‘n cheese and popcorn, all without breaking the piggy bank," said Susan Tordella, co-chair of the annual event.

Special highlights include tarot card readings, Martha’s home baked apple pies, free live entertainment by the famous UU Ukes, and "Ask the minister" a question about the universe or life.
The massive yard sale offers a variety of gently used household items, sporting equipment, toys, kitchen goods, some vintage and mid-century items, art, craft supplies, games, bric-a-brac, tools, home maintenance, and many surprises. Come early for the best selections at the yard sale and our famous homemade jams, jellies and pickles and crafts.

Lunch and scones will be sold at the Country Cafe inside the church’s lower dining room. The homemade menu features pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw, macaroni and cheese to die for, and Lentil soup – vegan, gluten free and delicious.

Donations from the community for the yard sale will be accepted October 13 from 4-6 pm, and 8-10am before the sale on October 14. PLEASE NOTE: TVs, car seats or computer monitors will NOT be accepted. All contributions are tax-deductible, to benefit First Church Unitarian of Littleton, which awards 10% of income to a Littleton non-profit. Email questions to fair@fculittle.org.

America’s “Special Guest” Charlie Farren Takes the PCA Stage

Charlie farren2
WESTFORD: Every state and every town has their own "legendary" musicians to lay claim to, and the Merrimack Valley proudly claims Charlie Farren!  The Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) welcomes “America’s Special Guest” for an acoustic set on October 21 at 7pm (Doors open 6:30pm). Pack a nice dinner, beverages of your choice, and get ready to kick back and enjoy some original Farren fan favorite songs and stories. Tickets are $25 at the door; $20 in advance; $18 for PCA Members, and are available by calling (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

With innumerable live shows and 18 albums (7 solo; 11 with bands he's formed) under his musical black belt, Charlie Farren burst onto the national scene in the early 80s as lead singer of The Joe Perry Project, teaming up with the Aerosmith lead guitarist. With Perry, Charlie played to sold out theaters across the country and toured arenas and stadiums around the world with artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Rush, Heart, ZZ Top and Alice Cooper. Farren subsequently formed FARRENHEIT, a trio releasing a self-titled debut album on Warner Brothers. Three singles from that album, “Fool in Love,” “Bad Habit” and “Lost in Loveland,” as well as video exposure on MTV, established FARRENHEIT as one of the era’s premier rock acts.

More recently, Charlie has been touring North America as with Three Dog Night, REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Joe Perry, Pat Benetar & Neil Geraldo, and many others. His CHARLIE FARREN: GUITAR & VOICE has been rolling out with regular releases of compelling new original music that has been resonating with audiences across the United States. Charlie continues to be one of America's most original and compelling musical artists. He takes the stage alone, and leaves with a roomful of new believers!  Don’t miss your chance to join the band!


The PCA is located at 10 Lincoln Street, Westford, right on Westford Common.

"For Comedy, God & Country": Jimmy Tingle Comes to Westford

2017 jimmy tingle  1024x683
WESTFORD: "Boston's Own" political satirist/comedian Jimmy Tingle is stopping by the Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) on October 15 for a special matinee of his “For Comedy, God & Country” at 3pm (Doors open 2:30pm). Pack a late lunch/early dinner, beverages of your choice, and be prepared to be entertained in many ways with laughter, tears, insight, logic and more tears because you’re laughing so much. Tickets are $18 members; $20 advance purchase; $25 non-member; $30 at the door, and are available by calling (978) 692-6333 or online at pcawestford.org.

Jimmy Tingle has the rare distinction of winning the prestigious “Best of Boston” award as both a performer in the “stand up comedy” category and as a producer for Jimmy Tingle’s OFF BROADWAY Theater. His "Education of an American Comic" received stellar reviews during a 9-week engagement in New York City and continued to succeed brilliantly at the Hasty Pudding Theater in Cambridge, becoming the longest running one person show in that theater's history. The show was also nominated by The L.A. Weekly for "best male solo performance" in their 20th Annual Theater Awards. Jimmy is also known for his "Uncommon Sense," "Jimmy Tingle in the Promised Land" and "Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream."

Tingle was the American correspondent for David Frost’s show for PBS and the BBC, “The Strategic Humor Initiative.” He completed two seasons as the humorist/commentator with “60 Minutes II” on CBS, worked as a contributor and satirist for MSNBC, and has appeared on “Tough Crowd” with Colin Quinn, “The Tonight Show,” “Larry King's Weekend,” “Late Night with Conan O'Brien,” “The Late Late Show” with Tom Snyder, The American Comedy Awards, as well as his own HBO comedy special.

In October 2017, Tingle announced that he would run for the office of Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. In the Democratic primary election in 2018, Tingle was defeated, but his expansive career has given Jimmy no shortage of material to share, much of which leaving audiences holding their sides.

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/10-15-23-jimmy-tingle-for-comedy-god-country/114

The PCA is located at 10 Lincoln Street, right on Westford Common. For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Bonnie Anderson Opens Piano Heritage Series with Clara Schumann & Friends

Bonnieanderson
WESTFORD: One of the PCA’s favorite instrumentalists, Westford native Bonnie Anderson will present “Clara Shumann & Friends” on October 22 at 4pm, with a pre-concert talk at 3:15pm. Enjoy music by female composers and living composers from around the world. Hear stories and music by Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, Cecile Chaminade, Margaret Bonds, Eliza Kats-Chernin, William Bolcom, Stephen Wood and Alexis French. All ages welcome! Tickets are $15 for members/seniors; $18 for non-members; $8 for teens and $5 for kids 12 and under. Snacks and beverages of your choice are welcome during the show. To reserve your seat or for more information, visit pcawestford.org or call (978) 692-6333.

This event is the first of two in this season's ‘Piano Heritage Series,’ the second on April 14, 2024 when Steve Zocchi brings his “Man vs. Piano” to the PCA stage. Also as part of the PCA’s Music offerings will be a Classical Guitar Series including Jérôme Mouffe (11/19), The Hampton Trio (2/25/24) and Thatcher Harrison (5/11).

For the past 25 years, the non-profit PCA has brought the arts alive for residents of Westford and surrounding communities. A fine art gallery, a concert hall, a dance hall, or a general purpose hall for your private recital or family event, the PCA offers many ways to celebrate the visual and performing arts in a convenient and family-friendly venue. Visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Image

A History of the Westford Quarries

WESTFORD: Most everyone knows there are granite quarries located throughout Westford. For over a century granite has been a main source of income for Westford. Granite is an igneous rock, a type of rock that has been formed out of magma. You’ll see Westford granite in town mailboxes, benches, and splattered in the cobblestone streets. Discover where the Westford Quarries were located, who owned them and men and women that worked there in an insightful PowerPoint presentation with Geoff Hall and Rich McLaughlin, November 9 from 7-8:30pm at Westford Museum & Historical Society. Suggested donation is $10 per person.

PHOTO: Samuel Merrill (left front) & George W. Merrill II (right of pole) at Merrill’s Quarry, 1886.
Bedfordartists

Fab Four from Bedford Exhibit at Westford’s PCA

WESTFORD/BEDFORD: The Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) welcomes four Bedford artists in a group exhibition running from  October 8-29, with an opening reception on October 8 from noon-3pm.  This is the first in the PCA's 2023-24 "Artist-of-the-Month" series, open to visitors in the Gallery each Sunday from noon until 2pm.This group exhibition of talented artists features a collection of works in acrylic, watercolor, collage and batik.

Dana Holley’s primary medium is acrylic, and she also enjoys drawing and collage. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Bedford Arts & Crafts Society’s Regional Art Shows and the Grace Chapel Art Gallery and was featured on the cover of her Wellesley College 50th reunion Record Book.
 
Laura Wallace has cultivated her art practice in batik for many years. Since her retirement from the software industry, she has shown her work at various venues, including Gallery Twist, the Concord Art Association, and the Bedford Free Public Library. Laura also enjoys painting in acrylics and watercolor, as well as drawing.
 
Margo Zelermyer has recently rekindled her longtime passion for making art. She works in acrylics, colored pencil, ink, collage, and watercolor. Margo has exhibited at the Grace Chapel Art Gallery and the Bedford Arts & Crafts Society’s Regional Art Show.
 
Sylvia Mallory studied watercolor painting and subsequently took up acrylics, now her favored medium. She also works in collage and mixed media. Sylvia’s artwork has hung at the Rockport Art Association, Gallery Twist, the Grace Chapel Art Gallery, the Art Gallery at First Parish, and the Chelmsford Center for the Arts. Her favorite subject matter includes landscapes, floral still lifes, and abstracts.
 
For more Artist information, contact 4.friends.art@gmail.com.  For more information about the PCA exhibit, visit www.pcawestford.org or call (978) 692-6333.
Still life

PCA Continues Arts in the Loft Classes

WESTFORD: In week 3 of the Parish Center for the Arts' "Arts in the Loft" classes, instructor Deb O'Connell will be taking on Modified Contour Line Drawings with her 13-21 age group (9/25), and Still Life Drawing with her 8-12 after school group (9/26).

Modified Contour Line Drawings is at 6:30pm on October 2. The amount of time spent looking at the object as you draw will be a focal point along with considering the role of the negative space between objects. Students will be given a choice later in class to continue working exclusively with this practice or to select a drawing for further development with pattern and design. This is a one-week session for $25.

In Still Life Drawing at 3pm on October 3, students will use colored pencil, pastel or oil pastel. Look to artists Paul Cezanne & Vincent van Gogh for inspiration - either a bowl of seasonal fruit or a flower in a vase. Media preferences will be chosen by students to complete their work with color & shading. This is a one-week session for $20.

PCA's Arts in the Loft program is ten weeks collectively, but students can pick and choose which sessions they'd like to participate in. Then, on November 27 there will be a special exhibit in the Main Hall showcasing student artwork from the class (optional). For more information, visit https://parisharts.square.site/arts-in-the-loft.
Pollinators

Women’s Alliance of First Church Unitarian, Littleton Presents Program on Pollinators & Native Plants

LITTLETON: On September 30 at 11am, Erin Jade, a volunteer with the Littleton Conservation Trust, will present a program on Pollinators and Native Plants in the Vestry at First Church Unitarian, 19 Foster Street, Littleton. Come learn about the importance of protecting and providing habitat and food for pollinators. There will be time for questions and answers about what you can do in your own yards and communities to support these vital links in our food chain. Light refreshments will be served after the presentation for those attending in person. For those who would like to attend virtually, please contact Rochelle Chambless at alliance@fculittle.org to receive the Zoom link.
Copy of ot logo horizontal new tag filled onion

Run a Food Drive to Spread More Love, Less Hunger

Did you know that 24% of the food Open Table distributes comes from community food donations?  Your assistance is vital to Open Table.  Please consider running a food drive this autumn if you are hungry to help neighbors experiencing food insecurity.  It's an easy, feel-good community service that is a great activity for neighborhoods, businesses, schools, scouts, clubs, teams, and faith-based organizations.  All size food drives are welcome.  Sandwich boards and other signs are available to help you spread the word.  Go to www.opentable.org/donation-activities/ for information.   Stay up-to-date on our changing needs and news on Instagram and Twitter @opentablema and Facebook.com/opentablema.  
 
Open Table is the local food pantry supporting those in-need in Concord, Bedford, Carlisle, and 18 other surrounding areas.  If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, email info@opentable.org or call (978) 369-2275. 
Asullivan

Roudenbush Community Center Welcomes New Executive Director

WESTFORD: Roudenbush Community Center recently welcomed its new Executive Director, Amanda Sullivan. Sullivan replaces former Executive Director Michelle Sullivan, who left her role earlier this year. Sullivan is a graduate of Suffolk University, holding a Master of Social Work from the University of New England. Most recently, she served as Youth Services Director at Community Teamwork, a non-profit community action agency based in Lowell. In her role, she built up day-to-day and long-term programming for youth and adolescents. Sullivan was born and raised in Groton.