Westford/Littleton

Current Edition - 12/03/21
Previous Edition - 11/26/21

HEADLINES

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Nashoba Valley Chorale Announces 2021 Emerging Artist  

LITTLETON: Nashoba Valley Chorale is pleased and proud to introduce its 2021 Emerging Artist, Margaleet Katzenblickstein, soprano, of Westford. Margaleet will perform at the Chorale’s winter concert, Awake, Psaltery, & Harp on Sunday, December 12 at 3pm at the Acton Congregational Church, 12 Concord Road in Acton.

Margaleet, a student at Middlesex Community College, majors in Music Performance. She plans to graduate her homeschool/high school within the next few months, and Middlesex Community College in August of 2022. As of right now, her primary instrument is the cello, and she hopes to start conservatory soon after graduation. Margaleet currently takes voice lessons with Anna Ward.

COVID-19 Policy: The safety and comfort of our community is of utmost priority.  Nashoba Valley Chorale will be closely following the COVID-19 guidelines as mandated by the CDC and the state of Massachusetts. To keep Audience members, singers and performers safe, Audience members must show proof of full vaccination, or a Negative COVID-19 test result from within 72 hours of the performance to gain entrance.

The Nashoba Valley Chorale, based in Littleton, is well known throughout Central Massachusetts and draws singers from towns in the heart of the Nashoba Valley as well as from all over the metro-west Boston area and southern New Hampshire. For more information about Nashoba Valley Chorale, this concert, and the Emerging Artists program, visit https://nashobachorale.org/
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Put Away Your Credit Card –
Give of Yourself Instead

WESTFORD: The holiday giving season is here. But everywhere we turn we see news of our broken supply chain.  Loaded containers sitting in harbors.  Empty warehouses.  Warnings to “order early!” What if you could give a gift that doesn’t have to arrive on a barge?  Or sit on a warehouse shelf? Or be ordered through Amazon? Or one that might just be a little kinder to our Mother Earth?
 
How about giving of your time, or as some have put it, giving “experiences”?  There are so many benefits!  You’d be spending time with those you care about.   You could support non-profit businesses that could use your help.  And you may be helping someone check a task off their to-do list that’s been festering there forever. Here are some ideas:
 
Chilly New England fall weather makes a trip to a museum a good option.  Your local library may have discount passes.  At the J.V. Fletcher Library in Westford, the most popular passes are to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Discovery Museum in Acton.  For those, book ahead!  But with a shorter notice you can visit historic houses with the History New England Pass.  Or choose your zoo with the Zoo New England Pass.  Give an outing to a museum or zoo this holiday season to someone you love.
 
We’re all procrastinators.  And we agonize about our to-do lists packed with closets that need to be cleaned out, or rooms that need re-painting.  Give someone a hand!  How great would your “giftee” feel if you offered to help them with a project, so they could finally get it done?  How about an afternoon spent organizing and taking a trip to Goodwill with boxes of items for others to enjoy. It’s a win-win!
 
There are lots of other places to treat someone - a movie, a concert, a play.  And it’s all enhanced by the gift of your time. This holiday season, be inventive, and a lot greener.  Avoid the supply chain and shipping issues.  Give a gift of yourself and your time instead.
 
Suggestions offered by Kris Erickson of the Westford Recycling Commission www.westford.gov/recycling.
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Author David S. Brody Hosts Book Signing & Discussion at Westford Museum

WESTFORD: “Scores of Roman-era coins, artifacts and fortifications have been found across New England and the Ohio River Valley. They didn’t just swim across the Atlantic on their own, of course. Most of them seem to date back to the 2nd century AD, around the same time that the Roman Ninth Legion—originally stationed in Great Britain—disappeared from history after deploying to Jerusalem to put down the Bar Kokhba uprising. Did members of the Roman Ninth Legion journey to America in the 2nd century? If so, is it possible they brought with them some of the lost Temple treasures?”

Author of “Romerica: Roman Artifacts in America,” David S. Brody will hold a book signing and discussion on Sunday, December 5 from 2:30-3:30pm at Westford Museum, 2 Boston Road. Brody is a Boston Globe bestselling fiction writer and author of 15 books. His children call him a “rock nerd” because of the time he spends studying ancient stone structures which he believes evidence exploration of America prior to Columbus. A graduate of Tufts University and Georgetown Law School, he has appeared as a guest expert on documentaries on the History Channel, the Travel Channel, PBS, and the Discovery Channel. He and his wife, sculptor Kimberly Scott, lived in Westford for 21 years and currently reside in Newburyport.

*Face Mask Required  $10 per/person Suggested Donation.  Copies of "Romerica: Roman Artifacts in America” ($14.95) are available at the Westford Museum. www.museum.westford.org
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Westford Tree Lighting on the Common Scheduled

WESTFORD: The 33rd Annual Tree Lighting Celebration on Westford Town Common will take place on Sunday, November 28, from 2:30-4pm. The event will include music, crafts, a visit from Santa, and a food and toy drive. Community Christmas Chorus will open the festivities with the performance of a Christmas carol.  Then Santa will arrive by fire truck, and will sit for pictures. (Please bring your own camera.) NOTE: Masks are required to sit with Santa, and are encouraged for all attendees.

The Westford Girl Scout Chorus will lead a sing-a-long.  Craft kits, assembled by Girl Scouts and the Westford Academy Museum Club, will be distributed.
A food and toy drive are also part of the event.  A table for donations of non-perishable food items for the Westford food pantry will be staffed by members of P.E.O.  (Philanthropic Educational Organization)  Chapter AI, who will explain how the organization supports women’s education.   There will also be a table for donations of new toys for needy families.

The event is hosted by the Westford Girl Scouts and Westford Historical Society and Museum, with support from the Westford Academy Museum Club.  The hosts are grateful for the assistance of the Town of Westford, Westford Police and Fire Departments, Westford Parks and  Recreation, Westford Garden Club, P.E.O.,  Ellen Harde, Rick Posch…and Santa.
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Littleton Holiday Bazaar - December 4

LITTLETON: The Littleton Holiday Bazaar, hosted by Littleton Rotary Club, will be filling the Littleton Middle School gym at 55 Russell Street on Saturday, December 4 from 9am - 3pm. This is a fun and exciting way to kick off the holiday season, find some great gifts and stocking stuffers, meet old friends, enter some raffles and get into the holiday spirit!
 
The Littleton High School band will entertain with songs of the season. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive at 10am and will sit for photos with all good girls and boys. 
 
More than 30 Littleton area civic and charitable groups will be on hand including SANTA himself, the  Littleton Rotary Club, Sleep In Heavenly Peace, Littleton Conservation Trust, COA Knitters, Littleton Classes of 2022, 2023, 2025, Friends of the Library, Littleton Park & Recreation, Girl Scout Troop 66292, Littleton Community Farm, Good Shepherd Sheep Club, Health Care Committee, Historical Society, SEAPAC, GSA, DEI, National Honor Society, Littleton Education Fund, Humanitarian Club, Environmental Club, French Club, FABL/Music Boosters, Parent Teacher Association, Littleton Scholarship Trust, Robotics, Baptist Church, Congregational Church, St. Anne's Church, Boy Scout Troops #19, #20, #21, the American Legion, VFW, VFW Friends, Garden Club, See A New Sun, Littleton Athletic Booster Association, and Littleton High School Band.  
 
There will also be a snack bar in the lobby.  Go early, enjoy lunch with friends or family and stick around for the raffles!   Just remember that the Littleton Board of Health requires that anyone attending a public gathering of this type must wear a mask at all times (except when eating, of course).
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Littleton Holiday Tree Lighting - December 5

LITTLETON: Everyone is invited to Littleton’s Tree Lighting on the Common coming up on Sunday, December 5 at 4:15pm. Members of the Littleton High School Band will warm up the crowd with holiday songs, and then Members of the Nashoba Valley Chorale will lead young and old in a sing-along. The Littleton Rotary Club will provide complementary hot cider and donuts to all attendees along with stuffed toys for kids who can answer holiday trivia questions. 
 
The Rotary Club will also provide ornaments that can be personalized and hung on the beautiful spruce tree in the center of the common. Santa will arrive on Littleton Fire Department’s Ladder One at 5:15 pm and will throw the giant switch to illuminate the thousands of lights on the many trees on the common.  He’ll then meet with all of the children before returning to the North Pole to get ready for his Christmas Eve travels.
 
This annual holiday tradition is attended by hundreds of Littleton residents, young and old  Because of the size of the expected crowd, wearing masks is strongly recommended.

The Tree Lighting on the Common is co-sponsored by the Littleton Rotary Club and the Littleton Electric Light and Water Departments.
Senior home buying guide

Tax Relief for Elders and the Disabled (T.R.E.A.D.)

LITTLETON: The U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (2009-2013) reports that 38% of Littleton residents over 65 have an annual income of less than $25,000. According to the 2015 Needs Assessment for Littleton Elder and Human Services and the Council on Aging, property taxes were listed as one of the most prevalent concerns about ability to age in place in town.

Littleton Elder Human Services provides property tax relief for elders and the disabled with the T.R.E.A.D. Program. The T.R.E.A.D. Program is solely dependent upon donated funds. Donations go directly into a designated account and every dollar is used for tax relief for low-income elderly property owners and qualifying disabled owners. All donations are Tax-Deductible. Donations can be made by sending a check payable to the Town of Littleton, “TREAD Program” or through the online property tax payment program accessible from the Online Payment Page on the town website.

Applicants for tax relief must meet the following criteria:  Own and occupy the property; 65+ or have a state recognized disability; and Must file an application disclosing exemptions and household income and expenses for all household members age 18+. Applications can be obtained from the Department of Elder and Human Services, 33 Shattuck Street, Littleton, or by coming to their office in Town Hall, Room 231.

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

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Each year the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable sponsors a family for the holidays, and each year we invite our 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.

The Covid 19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but it has been especially difficult for families affected by abuse. 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.

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:
 

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. Call now to see how you can help.
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The Love Dogs are Back at PCA

WESTFORD: The Love Dogs (rock/blues) bring their funky and swinging rhythm back to the Parish Center for the Arts at 10 Lincoln Street as part of the Rock/Blues series on Saturday, November 20 at 8pm. The Love Dogs show at the PCA has sold out every time, so get your tickets ($25 GA, $21 Members/Seniors, and $12 children under 12) in advance online at https://westford.org/pca/events/love-dogs-2/. Doors open 7:30pm. Cafe-style table seating with BYOB (drinks and appetizers). Parking is available at the former fire station parking lot, JV Fletcher Library, and along Lincoln Street. Please do not come to the show if you are not feeling well. Must show proof of vaccination, provide email for contract tracing, and wear a mask indoors when not actively eating/drinking.

Don't Fall This Fall: Littleton EHS/COA is There to Help You Prevent Injuries

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LITTLETON: Littleton Elder Human Services Director Liz Tretiak reminds us that each year, three million older adults are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries. Fall prevention is a major issue taken on by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and many local aging services, including senior centers.

According to the 2018 Tufts Health Plan Foundation Healthy Aging Community profile, over 10% of Massachusetts residents over the age of 60 were injured in a fall within the past 12 months. According to our local 2015 Needs Assessment for Littleton Elder and Human Services and the Council on Aging, 15% of Littleton residents over the age of 65 self-reported difficulty with ambulation. Luckily, falls are preventable, and there are many things to be done to be proactive.

 
  • Always talk to your doctor about your specific concerns and have them evaluate your risks.
  • Strength and balance exercises can increase your lower body strength and increase awareness of your body and balance. The Littleton EHS offers several strength and exercise classes available, but please always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
  • Having your vision and your prescription glasses regularly evaluated can also help prevent falling.
  • Make your home safer- remove throw rugs, install grab bars, add more lighting, and be aware of ice and snow.

As the weather cools, watch your step on slippery driveways and porches. If you need assistance acquiring ice melt product for your home, please contact EHS/COA.
The Littleton EHS is available to assist you in making your home safer, call
(978) 540-2472.
Thanksgiving breakfast

Don’t Miss the Littleton Thanksgiving Day Breakfast!

LITTLETON: The Littleton Rotary Club invites everyone to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving Day breakfast on Thursday, November 25 at the cafeteria of the Littleton Middle School, 55 Russell Street.  The Rotary Club is once again hosting this wonderful Thanksgiving tradition that kicks off Littleton’s holiday season. The hearty breakfast includes scrambled eggs, ham, pancakes, coffee, juice and buttered toast and costs just $6 for adults; $3 for kids under 12.

This is a great way to start the day, say “Hi!” to old friends, and save mom or dad some work.  The breakfast begins at 6:30am and is served until 10am. There will be a 50/50 raffle and gift raffles every half-hour.  As with every public indoor event in Littleton, masks are mandatory.  (Not while you're eating, of course!)

The best part of this long-standing Littleton tradition, aside from the delicious breakfast cooked by the Littleton Rotarians, is that every dollar raised goes to the Littleton Scholarship Trust to benefit Littleton students.

The Littleton Rotary Club is a service club made up of men and women from the Littleton area.  The club is a member of Rotary International, one of overa 34,000 clubs with over 1.2 million members worldwide.  Rotary is dedicated to “Service Above Self” and provides volunteers and financial support to each community, national and worldwide nonprofit organizations.

The Littleton Rotary Club meets every Wednesday at 7:15am in the dining room at 1 Monarch Drive, off Taylor Street. If you would like to be a guest and learn more about Rotary, please contact Club President Lehel Reeves at lehel.reeves@mac.com or call 978-430-3305.
Support

Do You Need A Support Group?
Here are Four in Littleton!

LITTLETON: Have you ever considered joining a support group? The Mayo Clinic says that the common experience among support group members often means they have similar feelings, worries, and everyday problems. Participating in a group provides an opportunity to be with people who have a common purpose and understand each other. The benefits of participating in a support group may include:  Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged, Reducing distress, depression, anxiety or fatigue, Talking openly and honestly about feelings, Improving skills to cope with challenges, Gaining a sense of empowerment, control or hope, Getting practical feedback about options, and Learning about resources.

According to the 2015 Needs Assessment for Littleton Elder and Human Services and the Council on Aging, 49% of Littleton’s Baby Boomers have provided caregiving to a person who is disabled or frail, along with 40% of residents aged 60-79, and 37% of those age 80+. For a host of reasons, caregiving can be challenging. If you’d like to chat with other caregivers or just hear how others are doing it, join us for Caregiver Support Group. Call 978-540-2470 to sign up.

According to the 2015 Needs Assessment for Littleton Elder and Human Services and the Council on Aging, 31% of Littleton residents who are age 65 and older live alone. Living alone can be isolating, especially during these unprecedented times. Littleton EHS hosts a monthly Living Alone and Living Well Group via Zoom. Contact Amy at 978-540-2472 for Zoom info, and to sign up.

According to the 2018 Massachusetts Healthy Aging Community Profile, 24.3% of Littleton residents age 65+ experience anxiety disorders. Littleton EHS hosts an Anxiety Group via Zoom every other Tuesday from 1-2pm and we would love to have you join. Contact Nicole Sarvela at 978-540-2475 for Zoom info and to sign up.

According to the 2018 Massachusetts Healthy Aging Community Profile, 4.9% of Littleton residents age 65+ battle a substance use disorders (drug use and/or alcohol abuse). The Littleton Life Ahead Recovery Support Group Meets virtually, via Zoom, on the last Wednesday of the month from 6-7pm. Contact Nicole at 978-540-2475 for details.
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Grand Opening of the New Reuben Hoar Library

LITTLETON: A ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Reuben Hoar Library, located at 37 Shattuck Street, will be held on Friday,November 5 at 10am. This event will kick off a 2-day celebration including a Story Walk, a senior reception, tours, music, storytimes, a magic show, crafts, and a ceremonial Book Brigade from the old to new building. Everyone is welcome to attend.

“Our new building will be a shift in importance from the library as a repository of books to the library as a place for sharing of ideas and new knowledge,” said Sam Alvarez, Director of the Reuben Hoar Library. “In our planning process, we feel we’ve captured some of the best thinking and most creative ideas about how the library of the 21st century will operate.” 

The new Reuben Hoar Library building is a light-filled, energy-efficient, 23,000 square foot, 2-story building that replaces the 16,000 square foot library that has been housed in the remodeled Shattuck Street School building for the past 32 years. The new, accessible, LEED-certified library building features increased study and work space, public meeting space, a larger and safer Children’s room, and a dedicated Young Adult area.

“We are honored to open the doors to the new Reuben Hoar Library. Libraries are the “living room” of a community - one of the few public places where residents of all ages come together. The library’s value as a public gathering spot is key to building important community connections. We are excited to see how the updated library will better serve our patrons and all residents of Littleton,” remarked Katrina Wilcox Hagberg, Chair of the Reuben Hoar Library Trustees.
All grand opening events are free and open to the public. 

The ribbon-cutting on November 5 will be followed by comments from Sam Alvarez, Library Director; Katrina Wilcox Hagberg, Chair of the Library Board of Trustees; and Kathy Krystofik, president of the Friends of the Library; as well as speakers from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and state and local government. Grand opening celebration schedule:

Friday, November 5:
 
  • 10am Ribbon Cutting ceremony 
  • 1pm - 2:30pm Seniors are invited to tour the new building.
  • 5pm - 8pm Open House featuring Kelly’s Music and More, young adult activities, and local history Q&A.
  • 5pm - 7pm Crafts in the Children’s craft room
  • 5:30pm Storytime with readers Susan Harvey and Kris Hevenor in the Children’s room
  • 6:30 Harry Potter Trivia in the Young Adult room

Saturday, November 6:
 
  • 11am - 4pm Open House featuring music from Kelly’s Music and More, Book End Painting in the Young Adult room, and local history Q&A. The Friends of the RHL will provide cookies and beverages on the patio.
  • 11:30am Storytime with readers Officer O'Donoghue and Mary Lee Donovan in the Children’s room
  • 12pm Ceremonial Book Brigade in the parking lot
  • 1pm Storytime with readers Michelle Barth and Jim Cahill in the Children’s room
  • 3pm Magic show with Mike Bent in the community meeting room
  • 3pm Candy Bar Bingo in the Young Adult room

Per the Littleton Board of Health regulation, face coverings that cover the nose and mouth are required inside the library for all persons aged 2 years or older, regardless of vaccination status. Disposable masks will be available at the library.

Starting November 3 through November 11, a Story Walk featuring the book “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes” by local author Mary Lee Donovan will be set up on the path between the Russell Street School and Shattuck Street. The guest book and commemorative book plates will also be available at the library before and after the opening events.

The opening of the new library building is the culmination of over a decade of planning, beginning with the creation of the Library Trustees New Building Fund in 2009. A 2014 Planning and Design Grant enabled the project to move forward to apply for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Construction Grant. Littleton was awarded an amount of $5.8M in July 2019, and the residents of the Town of Littleton voted to fund this project at a total cost of $14.6M, with $1.1M in fundraising offsetting the town’s burden. In 2021, a follow-on project was begun to put a 35kWh solar array on the roof of the library, funded with an earmark from the state and funds raised by the Trustees.

Nashoba Valley Technical High School Foundation presents...

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Littleton Lyceum presents Raptors! Birds of Prey at LHS

LITTLETON: The Littleton Lyceum will present “Raptors! Birds of Prey” on Friday, November 5 at 7:30pm in Littleton High School’s Performing Arts Center, 56 King Street. Naturalist Marla Isaac brings the biology and conservation of these magnificent birds using live raptors which are unable to be reintroduced into the wild.  In addition, see artifacts such as skulls and skeletons. This family-friendly program will be exciting for children of all ages.

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. Masks are mandatory at the performance. For more information, visit www.littletonlyceum.org.
 
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Rev. Rebecca Lockwood Joins the Fold at Westford's FPCU

WESTFORD: Diversity and compassion are important issues for our newly settled minister, Rev. Rebecca Lockwood, at the First Parish Church United (FPCU).  Carrying on her family’s involvement in the ministry, Rev. Rebecca has used her unique background to bring a strong interest in linking church to community and welcoming all to the FPCU church.

Growing up in a loving blended family in Raymond, Maine, she gained 2 more brothers where they grew up “with a lot of love and some healthy annoyance”. During her pre-teen years, she was influenced by her ministerial family and summer camping experiences at a nearby UCC camp. She has two aunts, who were ordained United Church of Christ ministers and an uncle who was ordained as both a Presbyterian and UCC minister. Their professional experiences in both a California and Midwestern church gave her broader insights into her own personal spiritual explorations. When she was 12, her aunt even designed her a lovely pastoral embroidered stole, gently encouraging her into thinking about the ministry as a possible journey for her.

Another strong influence was her UCC camping experience for many years at the Camp Pilgrim Lodge in West Gardener, Maine. She spent all of her teen summers there, first as a camper, then a photographer, then a counselor. She remembers during those weeks, feeling “free”, and loving both the warm fellowship created by their close community working together in all areas and being surrounded by nature. Exploring nature brought her “closer to the Sacred”, and learning to kayak, canoe, having daily hikes, chapel and vespers, brought her close to her fellow campers and she felt those loving connections. Because of the strong foundation of the community, it was a place to hold challenging conversations around theology, purpose, and social justice issues.

After graduating from high school, she attended Hartwick College in Oneonta (NY), and majored in comparative religions. While there, her advisor, who was the last to be taught the ancient Indian Sanskrit language, had a strong interest in Buddhism, and encouraged her to explore and study more of the mystical Eastern religions. This eventually led to a closer study of Gnostic(mystical) Christianity with a focus on the Gnostic Gospels, non-canonized scripture. These ancient texts, like the Gospel of Thomas, widened her religious journey, and after research and exploration, led her back to looking at Christianity with a different perspective.

At this time, she also began to study creative art forms such as ceramics, embroidery, knitting, and watercolors. Using her hands and being creative “allows me to process life and offers a chance to play”. She wanted to bring that same joy to church life and worship.

Following her undergraduate studies, she enrolled in Andover Newton Seminary in MA and after 3 1/2 years, received her Master of Divinity. She then became an intern at the Hancock Congregational Church in Lexington, MA, and enjoyed their thoughtful, welcoming church that was so dynamic, she stayed an extra year.

Choosing a church to start her pastoral work, she knew she wanted to be an associate in “an open and affirming church that cared deeply about each member.” St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Carmel, Indiana called to her, and after she accepted the call, became their Associate Minister of Missions and Education that focused on social justice. She really enjoyed their flourishing youth program open to 4th through 6th grades, and how it grew to include high school students with their storytelling matched to psalms. She was officially ordained there and served for over 5 years before deciding to relocate back to the East coast and New England.

Several factors influenced her decision to accept the FPCU call. Returning to New England was “in her bones” with its strong family ties, and the church’s strong outreach program appealed to her interest in being involved in a church that was an integral part of a community. She noted that the history of this church, organized in 1725, as well as the Strawberry and Greens Festivals, First Responders’ Dinner, refugee help, and continuing commitment to the Lowell Transitional Shelter were all reasons she came to this church.

Outside of her church duties, she also actively participates in the diversity programs in the Westford schools, Black Lives Matter, and the ecumenical Westford Interfaith Clergy group, and looks forward each year to their annual interfaith Thanksgiving service that draws many members. Skiing with her family, adopting a rescue dog named Stella, and enrolling in a ceramics course at the Pottery Mill in Lowell, she has brought her quiet energy, creativity, and openness to the FPCU church in Westford.

SAVE THE DATE! Annual Holiday Open House & Kitty Angels Weekend

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AMHERST, NH: SAVE THE DATE! Treasures Antiques, Collectables & MORE!, located at 106 Ponemah Road will be hosting their 31st Annual Holiday Open House and Kitty Angels Fundraising weekend on November 6 and 7. Festivities for the weekend will run both days from 10AM till 4PM and includes Holiday inspired shopping, raffles and entertainment.
 
The Open House event has been a mainstay in the community since its inception back in 1991. Kitty Angels, Inc. will be offering information on their organization, adoptions and donations. Representatives from the Amherst Animal Hospital, who has worked alongside Kitty Angels for decades and has cared for some of worst cases of critically ill or injured kitties, will also be on hand. There will be various, live musical entertainment provided by soloists, duos and bands, including Joey Peavey, Wildwood, North Sound Duo, Levi Maxwell, Jeff Damon, and The Grog Tones!
 
This Holiday and Fundraising event, is pet and kid friendly and will offer special sales for all, inside and out. There will again, be a petting zoo and horse and pony rides by Mapledell Farm of Townsend, MA. The weekend festivities will showcase artists and artisans, crafters, professionals, food vendors, featuring a live demonstration of oil painting and techniques by artist Eric Nickola, dba WolfpacStudios. Eric’s artwork will be on display and for sale. He also offers commission work. Artist Lori-Ellen Budenas of Respect the Wood!, a creator of abstract paintings, coasters, trivets and more, and Monica Gesualdo of Trading Faces – a face painting and body art artist will also be on site. Visit with Arty Mitchell at the ARUBACAT cat furniture truck. Some of the other longtime supporting vendors as well as several new vendors to the event will include: Mal’s Grill, with his Famous pulled pork tacos, Jerk Chicken Sandwiches and signature Mac & Cheese, etc., jewelry designers Freedom Jewelry, J. W. Young Studio, Heart’s Design Jewelry and Karen’s Pieces, Happy Cat Company LLC - Gourmet Granola and Maple Syrup, LuLaRoe, Vinyl Revival, Dusty Finds, The Spirit of Cacao, Anthony Acres, Puckerbrush Life, Color Street, Heavenly Goddess, Usborne Books, Fudge & Stuff, Tupperware, Custom Care Designs and many more.
 
Treasures will also be offering a number of fun and exciting raffles, with prizes donated by local and national businesses. Prizes will include a “Chain-sawed” wood carving done by Sara of NorthStar Sculptures, an ARUBACAT cat tree and other cat and dog related items, jewelry, specialty food packages, and an assortment of other fun and exciting prizes.
 
Kitty Angels, Inc., a no-kill cat shelter is made up of all unpaid volunteers and is dedicated to rescuing stray and abandoned cats and furnishing them with treatment for injuries or other health issues. These cats are then placed into life-long, loving “forever homes” with compatible owners. All necessary steps are taken to insure the wellbeing of the cats, including spaying and neutering and providing rabies, distemper and other necessary vaccinations. They are a non-profit, charitable corporation and all donations are fully tax-deductible with every penny of each donation going directly to the care of these cats.
Please join Treasures and Kitty Angels, in friendship and the spirit of sharing the Holidays. For more information, visit www.TreasuresNH.com and www.KittyAngels.org.
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Stretch & Flex with Littleton EHS

LITTLETON: The EHS Invites you to Stretch and Flex is a workout class designed for all fitness levels. Littleton has been offering this class for upwards of 15 years and it has been instructed by the delightful Carol Wing for the last decade. Carol Wing is an AFAA certified instructor, ACSM certified personal trainer, and has been teaching fitness and working with seniors for over 20 years. Join in for a fun cardiovascular warmup and resistance work for the entire body using resistance bands and weights. All ages are welcome.

Meetings are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:15am for 55 minutes. Sign up by contacting the EHS Department  (978-540-2470) at the beginning of each
month. The fee is $3 per class. You can enroll in Tuesdays, Thursdays, or both for the month.

Class sizes have a limit of 20 people but offer an option to join virtually from home
via Zoom. Please dress in comfortable clothing and wear close-toed shoes (e.g., sneakers).

Everyone is encouraged to work at their own level and with what works for their body; there are options to customize the workout to your desired level of fitness. Stretch and Flex can help you to keep moving, increase balance, functional strength (making tasks of daily living much easier), and circulation. This fun class also provides a social outlet. Please talk to a doctor before starting an exercise regimen.
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What's All This Talk About Heat Pumps?

WESTFORD: Does Heat Pump technology for heating AND cooling make sense for your home? Learn why you should invest in heat pump technology and how heat pumps will reduce your energy bills while lowering your home’s carbon footprint! Join Westford Climate Action for a free Webinar on Heat Pumps on Wednesday, October 13 @ 7pm.

Think of heat pump technology as air conditioners that also run in reverse.  Instead of only moving heat from inside to outside, they can also move it from outside to inside. In winter, today’s cold climate heat pumps can reliably extract heat from air that is 4ºF or even colder. In summer, they provide all the benefits of central AC in homes both with and without ducts.

The webinar will include: a presentation by Massachusetts’ HeatSmart Alliance, a speaker from Green Communities linking heat pumps to Massachusetts’ Net Zero Roadmap, and Westford residents sharing their experience with heat pumps in their homes. Learn about rebates. Q&A to follow. Register at WestfordClimateAction.org. The webinar will be recorded and can be accessed at WestfordClimateAction.org and WestfordCAT.com
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Fall Festival (formerly the Littleton Country Fair) to be Held October 16

LITTLETON: The Fall Festival (formerly the Littleton Country Fair) will be held outdoors on Saturday, October 16, 10am to 2pm at 19 Foster Street. The three big attractions are:
 
  • A huge yard sale with all kinds of gently used household items, sporting equipment, toys, kitchen items, some furniture, bric-a-brac and more;
  • A delicious selection of homemade jams, jellies and pickles;
  • Fashionable jewelry seeking new owners. Trash and Treasure  (on the grounds of the Littleton Historical Society).

Treat yourself to more homemade items – crafts, baked goods and soup for lunch. It’s all happening rain or shine outside First Church Unitarian, and at the Littleton Historical Society across the street. Note the new hours, 10 am to 2 pm. Arrive early for the best selections, and be sure and stop by at the end of the day for the $2/bag closeout sale at the yard sale.
 
Donations for the yard sale from the community will be accepted Friday, October 15 from 4-6 pm, and 8-10am October 16. All contributions are tax-deductible and will benefit First Church Unitarian and a Littleton non-profit. No televisions, car seats, computer monitors, books or CDs. Email questions to fair@fculittle.org.

Littleton Residents: The Elder & Human Services/Council on Aging "Loving Stitches" Group Needs Your Help!

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LITTLETON: The Friends of the Council on Aging will be hosting a table with handmade items for sale at Littleton football games. The Friends asked Loving Stitches for help and Loving Stitches accepted the challenge! Time is short. Football season is here and help is needed! Will you also accept the challenge and make a hat, scarf, mittens, or something else to keep spectators warm? Ideal colors:  Littleton High School Tiger blue, gold, yellow, and/or white. Items can be dropped off at the EHS office, 33 Shattuck Street, 2nd floor (enter via the courtyard).

If you’d like to donate any other handmade items, we’d also be happy to accept them to be sold at the December Littleton Town Fair. Please label your donation for Loving Stitches:  Friends of COA project. The Friends of the COA raise funds to support elder resident activities.
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Indian Hill Music Announces New Name & New Home: Groton Hill Music Center

LITTLETON/GROTON: Indian Hill Music announced that it will now be known as Groton Hill Music Center, with the Fall 2022 opening of its stunning new home for music, currently under construction in Groton.

Indian Hill Music has boldly embraced the opportunity to create one of the most ambitious cultural projects in New England, returning to Groton, the North Central Massachusetts town where the non-profit was founded in 1985 by a handful of local musicians and music enthusiasts. Designed by award-winning Epstein Joslin Architects of Cambridge, MA, (Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport; Strathmore Music Center, Baltimore) Groton Hill Music Center is an architecturally exquisite 126,000-square-foot music education and performance venue. It houses a 1,000-seat concert hall with lawn seating for seasonal concerts, a 300-seat performance hall, multi-scaled rehearsal and teaching spaces, state-of-the-art acoustics designed by Threshold Acoustics of Chicago, and dynamic architecture. Additionally, two-thirds of the land on which the facility sits – formerly an apple orchard and a horse farm – is preserved as picturesque agricultural fields.

Groton Hill Music Center will become a gathering place for all to experience the highest quality music education, with private lessons, classes, ensembles, and supplemental learning programs for all ages and abilities; impactful outreach programs that share the transformative power of music throughout the community with a focus on the underserved; and world-class professional performances of all genres -- from jazz, global roots, folk, rock, country, and contemporary music to classical masterworks and chamber music. The building is designed to be a connected environment that creates opportunities for musicians, educators, students, and audience members to encounter, engage with, and inspire one another as a singular music community.

“We are anxiously anticipating the opening of this incredible new chapter for our organization, creating a vibrant musical hub that will be a treasured and valuable asset to the community,” said Lisa Fiorentino, CEO of Indian Hill Music. “Our organization has a strong history and significant ties to the 79 communities we currently serve throughout the region, with many enthusiastic supporters in Groton.”

Indian Hill Music will continue to use its current name until the new center opens next fall. The professional Orchestra of Indian Hill, led by acclaimed Artistic Director and Conductor Bruce Hangen, will complete its 47th season in Littleton, and looks forward to performing in its new world-class home, under a new name to be announced at a later date.
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EHS Isn’t Just for Seniors, They Can Help Littleton Residents With Childcare Money & the Mortgage

LITTLETON: EHS isn't just for Seniors.  They can help Littleton residents with childcare funds and mortgage assistance, too!

Free Money: Childcare Subsidy Program
Income eligible families may receive up to $5,000 per child toward care at a licensed program. The program is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development’s CDBG-CV grant program. The towns of Littleton, Acton, Boxborough, Maynard, and Westford have been awarded funds through a regional CARES ACT Community Development Block Grant Program to provide COVID-19-specific relief to local communities.

Funding expires December 31, 2021. The deadline is coming up; do not miss this opportunity! The application is only a few pages long and asks basic information about your contact information, child(ren)’s ages, and annual income. For the Childcare Subsidy Program guidelines and application, Littleton residents can go to:  www.littletonma.org/elder-and-human-services/pages/childcare-subsidy-program. Residents within the other participating communities should refer to their town’s website for information on how to apply.

Free Money: Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program
The Littleton Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (LEMP) provides temporary emergency mortgage assistance to those who need help paying their mortgage. This program is for affordable deed restricted residents of Littleton. Eligible residents could receive up to $4,500. The short application asks for your contact information, housing situation, and income. To apply, go to:  www.littletonma.org/elder-and-human-services/pages/littleton-emergency-mortgage-assistance-program.
October
If you’ve ever dealt with someone making threats against you, been the subject of physical or verbal attacks, had rumors floated about you, or been purposely excluded from a group, then you know what it’s like to be bullied. During October, we recognize National Bullying Prevention Month and raise awareness and focus on bullying.

Bullying is any unwanted and aggressive behavior that involves a power imbalance, whether real or perceived. It’s typically behavior that is repeated again and again over a period of time.

Technology, with all the benefits it provides, also has made bullying easier and more widespread. Cyberbullying includes the distribution of mean or inappropriate email or text messages, the use of social media to post rumors or embarrassing photos, videos, messages, and even fake profiles.

For more information on ways to prevent, respond, or act against bullying, visit stopbullying.org, which is a special initiative from the Department of Health and Human Services.

If your child has been the victim of bullying and you’ve noticed a change in his or her mental health as a result, or if your child or someone you love is struggling with depression or thinking about suicide, get help now. In Massachusetts, every 5.28 days on an average a young person (ages 10-24) is lost to the silent epidemic of youth suicide.
 
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is a free resource, available 24 hours a day for anyone who is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. The Crisis Text Line is a free 24/7 text line where trained crisis counselors support individuals in crisis. Text “Jason” to 741741 to speak with a compassionate, trained Crisis Counselor. Confidential support 24/7, for free.

The Jason Foundation is another available resource.  The Jason Foundation is dedicated to the awareness and prevention of youth suicide through educational programs that equip youth, parents, educators, and the community with the tools and resources to identify and assist at-risk youth. One element of these tools and resources is free online training that anyone may utilize. Among the training modules available is one dedicated to the study of bullying and suicide. Visit jasonfoundation.com and click Training for more information. 

Businesses in Your Community

Nashoba Valley Technical High School Foundation presents...

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Two Yard Sales in One September 25

LITTLETON: Rain or Shine, stop by on Saturday, September 25 for two spectacular Yard Sales at one location.
 
The first Yard Sale is to benefit the Friends of the Littleton Council On Aging and Senior Programs. There will be furniture castoffs that have been refurbished and reborn. These include: small tables, child and adult rockers, a large bench, a dry sink, and more. The artist who is doing this is Barbara McRae, retired President from the FLCOA. You must go to see what a little "make-up" can do!
 
The second Private Yard sale has household goods, furniture, clothes, etc. Also stop by for some seasonable goodies such as decor, wreaths, table top trees, fabric, ornaments, and so much more.
 
Parking is also available along Shattuck Street.

Littleton Cultural Council Grant Applications Available Now!

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LITTLETON: It is fall. Schools are open. Apples are ripe on the trees. And the Massachusetts Cultural Council grant cycle has begun. The local council accepts applications from September 1 until October 15, 2021. Despite the pandemic and its challenges, the cycle is back to its early fall timeframe. 

Why culture when society has so many other needs? Because the arts nourish our souls just as food does our bodies. The Massachusetts Cultural Council provides nearly $29 million dollars in grants for the upcoming fiscal year. They have already distributed many millions of dollars to support the cultural community through the pandemic, since artists have been especially impacted by COVID. 

“Prior to the pandemic, arts nonprofits in the Commonwealth supported more than 73,000 full-time jobs, generating more than $2.2 billion in total spending, and bringing in nearly $100 million in state tax revenue. The Massachusetts arts and cultural industries generated over 25 billion dollars for the U.S. GDP in 2019 alone. There are nearly 310,000 people employed by the creative economy in New England, with nearly half employed in cultural institutions providing close to 150,000 creative economy jobs in Massachusetts.” For more information on these statistics and the positive impact on the Commonwealth, go to https://massculturalcouncil.org/

Your local council welcomes grant applications from artists of all varieties: theaters, musicians, writers, muralists, artists working in clay or oil paint or any other medium, dancers - you think it up and it will be considered.

Anyone is welcome to apply; you need not be a Littleton resident as long as there is local benefit to your project. Individual artists, non-profit organizations, photographers, community groups, schools, libraries, musical groups of all kinds--let’s hear your ideas. The Council is especially interested in projects that are related to the school population, or that have an ecologic focus, or that are public art within Littleton (Murals? Statues? Exhibits? Public performances?)

In an informal public poll the Council discovered that Littleton would enjoy a series of outdoor concerts, some hands-on art lessons like pottery or water color; or opportunities to learn about other cultures (henna? drumming?).  Given the uncertain times, you providing alternate (virtual) performance platforms is appreciated.


The application process is completely online. Go to www.mass-culture.org./Littleton to begin. Grant decisions will be made by the end of the year for events to take place over 18 months. 

Littleton Lyceum Announces First Program of the New Season

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LITTLETON: The Littleton Lyceum kicks off its new season with audience favorite New Black Eagle Jazz Band on October 1 at 7:30pm in Littleton High School’s Performing Arts Center, 56 King Street. Now in its 50th year, the band continues to delight with its infectious, soulful, and uplifting style of traditional New Orleans jazz. The New York Times noted that they are “…so far ahead of other traditional bands …there is scarcely a basis of comparison.”

Season tickets are available for $25, and single admissions may be purchased at the door for $8, $5 for seniors and students. Please note that face masks are mandatory at the performance. For more information, visit www.littletonlyceum.org.

Westford Rotary Invites Residents to Trex Plastic Bag Challenge

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WESTFORD: The Westford Rotary Club is collecting plastic bags and wraps to participate in the Recycling Challenge by TREX. The collection goal is 500 pounds.  From September 13 thru November 14,  PLEASE USE WESTFORD ROTARY TREX BOXES ONLY at:
 
· Roudenbush Community Center, 65 Main St. (side door).
· Brookside Convenience Store, 64 Brookside Rd. (inside store).
· Cameron Senior Center, 20 Pleasant St. (front porch).
 
Items to collect for the Bags to Benches Challenge include:
 
- Single use plastic grocery bags
- Bread bags
- Plastic overwrap for toilet paper, napkins, paper towels & diapers
- Plastic overwrap on bulk items in cases (ex: water bottles, snacks)
- Plastic retail bags (with hard plastic & string handles removed)
- Clean, dry plastic food storage bags (ex: Ziploc bags)
- Polyethylene film labeled #2 or #4
- Stretch wrap
- Produce bags
- Dry cleaning bags
- Newspaper sleeves & bags
- Plastic cereal box liners
- Plastic shipping envelopes, bubble wrap & air pillows (deflate, remove labels)
 
Trex Outdoor Furniture will turn the collected plastic into a bench that will be placed locally. Westford saves money by keeping plastics out of the trash.
 

PCA Gallery Reopens with “Sense of Magic”
New Paintings Embody Hopes & Dreams for a Better World

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WESTFORD: Introducing a solo show of new paintings, “Sense of Magic” by artist Liz LaManche at the Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street, September 11 through October 28. An Opening reception will be September 19 from noon-4pm.

“Each one is a spell, or a meditation” explains artist LaManche. “These paintings are about meditating on my true desires- for spiritual growth, for the world. We create reality by focusing our thoughts and intentions. In this series of recent work I'm visualizing our hopes and dreams, and creating symbolic representations- visually informed by street art, graphic design, blackwork tattooing, and the painting medium at hand. Having one of these will strengthen that clear vision and blessing in your life. Many are also inscribed on the back with a “devotion”- other things the holder of the work can do to make that thing come about. Each is a talisman of a positive outcome.”

The paintings marry a background in alternative spirituality with a lifetime's study of iconography: “I've had a lifelong fascination with the way humans use visual symbols to focus their intentions, speaking to the conscious and unconscious mind, to create reality. This has been true since the earliest cave paintings (which we now think may have been created by women)- through many systems from indigenous and Wiccan “magic” to propaganda posters, and including the common human practice of tattooing- where ordinary people use personally relevant graphics to create physical symbolic reminders of things they value or wish for (often closeness to a loved one or group, protection, personal goals.) By holding our goals in mind, we begin the magic of creating a new and better world.”

Liz LaManche is a Westford resident with studio presence in Lowell and Somerville. Find current and past work, or contact the artist, at Earthsign.com

The Gallery is open to the public Sundays from noon to 2pm, and can also be viewed while the Parish Center is open for events and meetings. Their schedule is available at https://westford.org/pca/.

Pandemic precautions: masks required, doors and windows will remain open.

Registration Open for 13th Annual Littleton Road Race!

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UPDATE: Volunteers are needed before the race to help with registration as well as with the Fay Park and race course set up. Course marshals are needed to help direct the runners during the race. During and after the race volunteers help at the finish line and with the post-race refreshments. Student volunteers may be able to use this for their community service requirements. More information on our volunteer needs can be found at our volunteer registration website - https://app.racereach.com/event/lrrto/volunteer. For more information contact Marc Saucier at Marc@Saucier.org.

Calling all runners and walkers to the 13th annual Littleton Road Race to be held on Sunday, September 19  at Fay Park (20 Foster St., Littleton).  Registration is open and information is available at www.LittletonRoadRace.org.  Registration may be completed online or by mail.

Over 400 runners and walkers are expected to once again make their way over Littleton’s scenic roads in this community event to benefit the Littleton Road Race & Track Organization.  Proceeds from this race will support updates and maintenance to the Littleton track and field facility.

The first event, starting at 2pm, is a 1-mile fun run that is open to all ages.  The second event, starting at 2:30 pm, is a 5K (3.1 miles) race that is open to both runners and walkers.  The event is USATF sanctioned and certified and has professional, computerized finish line timing for both races.  The 5K course is closed to traffic and has mile markers, timed splits, and a water station on the course.  A complimentary bag check is available at the park.

The event is fun for the whole family and includes post-race refreshments for the runners, live music by Littleton band Get Off My Lawn. All 1-mile finishers receive a medal, and the top male and female finishers in seven age categories receive prizes in the 5K race.  

Pre-race registration fees are $35 for the 5K with a race tech shirt, $10 for the 1-mile without shirt, and $15 for the 1-mile with shirt.  Shirts are guaranteed for registrations received by September 7th.

Be a fraud fighter!
If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

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Did you know that someone’s identity gets stolen every two seconds?  The AARP Fraud Watch Network provides you with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud so you can protect yourself and your family.  AARP's watchdog alerts will keep you up to date on con artists’ latest tricks.  It’s free of charge for everyone:  AARP members, non-members, and people of all ages.

SCAM ALERT #1: AARP Impostor Scams
One of the most effective things that criminals can do to gain your confidence is impersonate an organization that you do business with and trust. Sadly, no one is immune from this - not even AARP. Recently, the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline has been receiving calls about a scam involving phone calls from someone claiming to be with "AARP Security Systems" (or something similar sounding). The first question they ask is whether you own your home and then they hang up. Rule of thumb...Don’t engage with anyone claiming to be from AARP Security Systems, and if you get a call like this, call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 1-877-908-3360, or reporting it on zour scam map (www.aarp.org/scammap). Anytime you are directed to pay a debt or other obligation with a gift card, it is a scam.

SCAM ALERT #2:  “Smishing”
As more of us catch on to scam calls to our smartphones and block them or don’t answer them, scammers have taken to texting. “Smishing” is the term of art: SMS + phishing. Just as scammers phish by casting a wide net with email, so they do with smishing. The same things that we suggest in order to avoid phishing attacks apply to smishing.  But texts live in this space of immediacy – scammers know we are likely to respond much faster to a text than an email. To thwart their efforts, take a pause and consider the message. Is this really my bank, or Amazon, or PayPal, or the IRS texting me? Don’t click links – access the company or agency in a way you know to be safe and see if there’s an issue. Otherwise, don’t engage.

SCAM ALERT #3: Grandparent Scams
Criminals know that fear is the best motivator, and nothing drives fear more than a loved one in trouble. This is why scams targeting grandparents seem never to go away. If someone calls claiming to be your grandchild, or some authority calling about your grandchild who is in trouble or danger, it’s most likely a scam. It’s certainly a scam if the caller directs you to send money fast to resolve the problem. Your best move is to hang up and call your grandchild or reach out to family who would know his or her whereabouts.

SCAM ALERT #4: Utility Scams
Utility scams heat up as the temperatures rise (and when they fall), so much so that the Federal Trade Commission ranks utility impostors among the top reported scams. In this one, you typically get a call, email or text saying your account is past due and you must pay immediately, or they will cut off your power.  Another tactic is the “utility” claiming you overpaid your bill, and they request your bank account information to issue a refund. Utility scammers can also show up at your door after a power outage or severe storm offering to get your power back on for a fee. Utility companies typically don’t do business this way. Any unusual communication from your utility should raise a flag. Disengage and contact your provider at a number you know to be legitimate (off of a recent statement, for example). Chances are you’ll learn that there is no problem to address.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.
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Be a Part of Littleton History

LITTLETON: Would you like to be part of history? The Littleton Historical Society is looking for submissions from Town residents telling personal tales of living in Littleton during the pandemic. It is hoped this will, years from now, prove to be valuable firsthand information of our local trials and tribulationsduring the past year and a half, and something to which future generations may refer in order to better understand this time in history. You may be burned out by the pandemic, but it is important for people to jot down miscellaneous recollections or write a fuller view of how the pandemic changed our day-to-day lives. If interested, contact Andrew Bowers, atbowers@juno.com, or visit www.littletonhistoricalsociety.org— to find more information on this project.
 
Also on the website, if you prefer, there is a questionnaire you can answer about your pandemic experiences. Selections from this survey may be published on the Littleton Historical Society website over the next year.
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OARS Annual River Cleanup

It's OARS 35th Annual River Cleanup September 17-19. Join staff and volunteers as they spread out across the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord River Watershed to clean up our rivers, streams, ponds and trails. This year, to accommodate the comfort and needs of volunteers, there are two options.

Team Up Clean Up: During the weekend, gather family and friends for a walk or a paddle near or along the river, stream or pond. Pick up what trash and recycling you can and send OARS photos of your group cleaning up! People love to see what trash is no longer in our rivers.

Cleanup Day: Saturday, September 18, from 9am–noon. A team of volunteers will tackle sites in needing a larger group effort in towns including Framingham, Westborough, Hudson, Maynard, Concord and Billerica. The morning of hard work will be followed by a celebration with pizza. Registration is required. Details and registration information is available at www.oars3rivers.org

OARS is the watershed organization working to protect, improve, and preserve the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers, their tributaries and watersheds for the purposes of public recreation, water supply, and wildlife habitat. 
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Westford Remembering 9/11: 20 Years Later

WESTFORD: A new Westford Museum exhibit recognizing the 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001, opens for a limited engagement Sundays through September 26th 2-4 pm. The exhibit tells the story of 9/11 through artifacts, personal stories, and pictorial history of how Westford has recognized that fateful day. Portions of this exhibit have been provided by The 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The poster exhibition was developed by the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy Demands Wisdom. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for Humanities.
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Westford's Dana Porter Wins Earth Machine Composter

WESTFORD: Earlier this summer, Westford Climate Action staffed a table at the Farmers’ Market on Westford Common. Many people stopped to discuss how to lower their carbon footprint in their home, car, trash and yard. Learn more at westfordclimateaction.org  The winner of the Earth Machine composter is Dana Porter who has lived in Westford for 25 years. He says, “I am happy to have this Earth Machine, because it will be my second composter. I never seem to get to the point where the compost is ‘all done’ so this way I can turn this summer’s material over, cover it with leaves, and begin a new batch in this machine over the winter and spring!” To kitchen waste, Dana adds leaves, newspaper, egg cartons, empty paper roll tubes, and even the “shredded paper bits” that Westford recycling does not allow. Thank you to the Westford Recycling Commission for generously providing the Earth Machine composter using funds from a state grant.
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Pick Your Own Flowers at Littleton Community Farm!

LITTLETON: Pick Your Own Flowers at Littleton Community Farm! $10 a PYO Quart; $15 a Bouquet. Cash and credit cards accepted. Hours: Sunday 11am-4pm; Tuesday 3pm-6pm; Thursday 3pm-6pm. Littleton Community Farm’s mission is to reduce food insecurity in our area, provide farm-based education, become a model for responsible land and soil stewardship, and be a place for community connection. We aim to inspire through hands-on exposure to agriculture and growing for the entire community. For more information: www.littletoncommunityfarm.org.
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Electronics & More Collection - September 25, 2021

WESTFORD: There will be an Electronics & More Collectionon September 25, 2021 from9 am–1pm at Westford Highway Garage, 28 North Street. This event will feature the successful traffic flow redesigned for the November 2020 event featuring 50% greater throughput with 3 drop-off stations. This is a fee-based collection FOR WESTFORD RESIDENTS ONLY. Westford utilizes the services of Northeast Material Handling of Ayer. CASH OR CHECK ONLY (checks must be made out to “Northeast Material Handling, Inc”). The Town of Westford receives no proceeds from this event.
 
For traffic safety reasons, entry to the access road off of North Street will not be allowed until 8:45 AM. Residents arriving prior to 8:45 will be turned away. **Important Covid-19 protocol: Residents are required to stay in their vehicles and wear masks. The Northeast Materials' staff will take the items from the vehicle for them and collect fees from the driver’s side window.
 
*** NOT ALL TOY PLASTICS ACCEPTED*** For a list of acceptable Items: some free and some chargeable, visit www.westfordma.gov/recycling. If you have any questions about what is acceptable, please feel free to call 978-772-4545 or email: Francine@liquidatedstuff.com.

NAMI Offers 9-Week "Family to Family" Mental Health Educational Program

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UPDATE: All programs, due to the increase in active Delta Covid transmissions and illness on the rise in MA, will be be conducted only on Zoom.

LITTLETON
: Does a “Loved One” have Mental Health concerns? Mental health conditions touch one in five people, so it is likely a spouse, partner, child, parent, sibling or dear friend of yours may be living with a mental health condition. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI, is offering an eight week free family educational program called “Family to Family”. It is a designated evidence-based program taught by trained NAMI family member volunteers who have been there. Curriculum includes presentations, discussions, videos and interactive exercises.                                                                                

What will you gain? The class provides critical information and strategies for taking care of the person you love and you’ll also find - you are not alone! The group setting offers mutual support and shared positive impact – You will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You can also help others through sharing your own experiences.     
        

You’ll learn about: Latest up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they affect the brain ~ Current treatments; medications – their side effects and evidenced-based treatments and therapies ~ Local mental health services and supports ~ Managing crisis, solve problems and communicate effectively ~ The impact of mental illness on the entire family ~ Taking care of yourself and managing your stress. 

The program will be held IN-PERSON starting October 12 and November 30 from 6:30 -9PM. Proof of vaccination is required. To register contact Sara at 339-223-3146 or doddsara25@gmail.com  or Phyllis at 978-973-3995, Phyllis.terrey100@gmail.com. Additional course offerings and info at www.namimass.org.

Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club Hosts Annual Open House to Welcome New Members

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Celebrating more than 50 years of community building, the Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club will host its’ Annual Open House to welcome new members, reconnect with established members, and to introduce an exciting line-up of events and activities for the 2021-2022 membership year.  The Open House is being held from 5pm to 7pm on September 12 at The Red Raven Gastropub in Acton, MA.  Club members and guests interested in learning more about the Club are invited to this affair for neighborly conversation and enjoyment of complimentary, notably distinctive appetizers and a cash bar.

The Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club is excited to invite community members to join us in a variety of activities including Adventure Group, Game Night, Men’s Night Out, Ladies’ Night Out, Book Group, Wine Tasting, Lunch Bunch, dining in and out events, and special events to start and finish the membership year.  

Visit the Club’s website at www.nashobavalleyneighbors.org for more information on this and other events, as well as information on how to become a member of the Nashoba Valley Neighbors.

The Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club is a non-profit social organization open to new and established residents from its communities.  Celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2015, they were originally known as the Welcome Wagon Newcomers Club of Acton. More recently, they have been known as the Acton-Boxborough Newcomers & Neighbors Club.  Discovering that established residents in our surrounding communities are also looking to explore new interests and to make connections with new friends, they became the Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club in 2014.
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Dangerous Heat Advisory Continues!

The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting a potential period of prolonged oppressive heat through Friday (8/13) in most of the Commonwealth. During this period, daytime temperature highs will be 90-99 degrees. Heat index (Apparent Temperature) values will be 95-110 degrees. Scattered showers/thunderstorms are possible in the afternoons, with the potential for a few strong to severe thunderstorms late Thursday. There is a low probability that the heat wave could continue through Saturday.
 
Impacts/ Potential Impacts:
 
- Very hot temperatures with moderate humidity. Little relief at night especially in urban population centers.
- Potential of heat related issues to at risk population and those doing higher levels of outdoor physical activities.
- Damaging straight line winds and localized street flooding are possible on Thursday in areas where severe thunderstorms occur.
 
Preparedness and Safety Information:
 
- Safety and preparedness tips for extreme heat: www.mass.gov/mema/heat
- Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20°F within 10 minutes.
- Check with your local officials to find locations of cooling centers near you.
- Know the symptoms of and watch out for heat-related illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies.
- Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, those who may need additional assistance, and those who may not have air conditioning.
 
Power outage preparedness and safety information: www.mass.gov/info-details/power-outage-safety-tips
 
Preparedness and safety tips for thunderstorms and lightning:
 
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Join the Maynard Folds Virtual Origami Exhibition Contest

MAYNARD: Be an origami museum exhibitor in The Origami Museum, founded and led by artist and teacher, Lisa B. Corfman.  Corfman announces Maynard Folds, a virtual origami exhibition contest – come exhibit in the upcoming Origami Museum Community Gallery. The origami museum welcomes EVERYONE to submit from children and adults, and from novices to experts to be in the spotlight.

Entries can be anything you can do, neatly folded, nicely presented (with fitting paper used, etc.), without cutting, gluing, or drawing on the model.  Just share something you are happy with for fame in the origami museum’s online gallery.  Don’t fret, just enjoy and do your best.  Origami can be simple, fun, or even amazing.  A personal note with questions, comments or concern is always welcome.

All contestants who submit will exhibit within the origami museum website, receive a certificate of participation, have a mention on Instagram and Facebook and receive a selection of origami paper.  Awards for one top child and one adult winner features a certificate of honor, a solo Instagram and Facebook post and an online membership to OrigamiUSA.

There are three jurors and the just listed prizes.  Jurors are Ruthanne Bessman, Susan Dugan and Lisa B. Corfman.  Bessman is a long-term curator of origami exhibitions and contests.  Dugan is a 40-year veteran of origami and is a photography professor.  Corfman makes, sells, teaches, and showcases origami inspired art and she is bringing this opportunity to you!

There are the two categories for origami model submissions: under 18 and adults.  Eligible contestants are within a 20-mile radius from Maynard, whether home, work, or school.  Here are the towns in this eligible catchment area:

Acton | Ashland | Arlington| Ayer | Bedford | Belmont | Berlin | Billerica | Bolton | Boxborough | Boylston | Carlisle | Chelmsford | Clinton | Concord | Devens |Dover | Framingham | Groton | Hanscom AFB| Harvard | Hudson | Lancaster | Lexington | Lincoln | Littleton | Marlborough | Maynard | Natick | Northborough | Sherborn | Shirley | South Lancaster | Southborough | Sterling | Still River | Stow | Sudbury | Waltham | Watertown | Wayland | Wellesley | Westford | Weston

The juried contest is sponsored by the Maynard Cultural Council and OrigamiUSA.  The goal is to increase folds!

Find out more at: https://origamimuseum.org/opportunities/. Maynard Folds information, statement about the jurors, and the application can be found there.
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Help For Families: Mental Health Challenges

UPDATE: All programs, due to the increase in active Delta Covid transmissions and illness on the rise in MA, will be be conducted only on Zoom.

Mental illness touches one in five people. It is likely a spouse, partner, child, sibling, parent or dear friend of yours may be living with a mental health condition. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI is offering a FREE 8 session family educational program called “Family to Family”. It is a designated evidenced-based program. The program is taught by NAMI trained family member volunteers who have been there - and includes presentations, discussion, and interactive exercises.

What will you gain? The class provides critical information and strategies for taking care of the person you love, and you’ll also find out – you are not alone! The group setting provides mutual support and shared positive impact – you will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You can also help others through your own experiences.

You’ll learn about: The latest up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they impact the brain. Current treatments: Medications - their therapeutic use and side effects, current treatments and therapies. Local mental health services and supports. Managing crisis, problem solving techniques and effective communication. The emotional impact of mental illness on the entire family. Taking care of yourself and managing your stress.

Two Programs are sponsored by NAMI Central Middlesex for fall 2021.  Thursdays via ZOOM, Sept 16 – Nov 4th, 6:30 – 9:00 PM. To register contact Steve at 978-621-3253, shadden@hadlorgroup.com or Lindsay at 781-864-7003, linzbfar@gmail.com. Tuesdays IN PERSON in Littleton MA Oct 12th – Nov 30th, 6:30 – 9:00 PM. proof of vaccination is required. To register, contact Sara at 339-223-3146, doddsara25@gmail.com or Phyllis at 978.973.3995, phyllis.terrey100@gmail.com.
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Westford Historical presents Outdoor Pop-up Museum: Spinning

WESTFORDJoin Westford Spinners, a group of fiber fanatics, for an afternoon of show and tell. Learn how to use a spinning wheel and a drop spindle for twisting wool fibers into yarn. Explore the history of colonial spinning to the development of the Abbot Worsted Mills in Westford. Includes children’s craft and Storytime Suggested donation $5 per person/$10 per family. More information at www.museum.westford.org.