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PCA Continues Arts in the Loft Classes

WESTFORD: In week 2 of the Parish Center for the Arts' "Arts in the Loft" classes, instructor Debo O'Connell will be taking on Continuous Line Drawings with her 13-21 age group (9/25), and continuing Zendoodle Letters with her 8-12 after school group (9/26).

In Continuous Line Drawings at 6:30pm on September 25, students will use continuous line drawings as a focal point. Examples of this type of drawing will be shared and the technique will be demonstrated and practiced using a few select objects as still life. Students can choose to continue with this process for the entire class or at some point select a drawing to enhance with value and color.

In Zendoodle Drawing at 3pm on September 26, students will use a font for a letter or symbol. They will discuss color schemes and designs, and how to incorporate them. Colored pencils, markers, pencil and pens, and ink will be available.

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.
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Littleton High School Ranks in Top 10 Best Public High Schools in Greater Boston

LITTLETON: Superintendent Kelly Clenchy is pleased to announce that Littleton High School has been ranked the sixth-best public high school in the Greater Boston area, according to Boston Magazine. Boston Magazine recently released its annual ranking of the best public high schools in the Greater Boston area, evaluating 150 schools in the I-495 corridor.

Littleton High School ranked sixth based on several criteria, including average class size, student-to-teacher ratio, standardized test scores, graduation rate, and educator evaluations. Boston Magazine uses the most recent data available from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to compile its rankings.

LHS was also ranked third in Boston Magazine's Percent of Teachers with Exemplary Ranking list and fourth in its Bang for Your Housing Buck list. The full rankings can be viewed online at bostonmagazine.com/news/best-public-high-schools-boston-2023-chart.

"To see that Littleton High School was ranked so highly by Boston Magazine is a testament to the commitments of our students, staff, parents, and community members to provide high quality educational opportunities for all," said Superintendent Clenchy. "Their commitment to fostering a personalized learning environment is what makes Littleton Public Schools a wonderful place for students to grow both academically and personally."
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Heat Pumps 101 at Westford Library September 28

WESTFORD: Westford Climate Action presents “Neighbor to Neighbor: Heat Pumps 101” a free, in-person and online event on September 28 at 7pm at the J. V. Fletcher Library, 50 Main Street. The evening will include presentations by HeatSmart Alliance and Westford residents sharing their experience with heat pumps in their homes. A Q&A will follow.

Learn about financial incentives and rebates. Cold-climate heat pumps can maintain 100% of their rated capacity down to 5° F and operate to -15° F. In summer, they provide all the benefits of central AC in homes both with and without ducts. Does this 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!

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Westford Clean Energy and Sustainability Committee, HeatSmart Alliance, and the J. V. Fletcher Library. For online registration, visit WestfordClimateAction.org/events. No registration is needed for in-person attendance at the library.
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Westford League Hosts Budget Task Force at Civic Social

WESTFORD: The League of Women Voters of Westford will host the Westford Budget Task Force at its next Civic Social, September 20 at 7:30pm, in person at WestfordCAT, 487 Groton Road. Light refreshments will be served. Hear from members of the task force as they explain their work creating scenarios for a five-year sustainable plan to meet the fiscal challenges facing the Town. The task force is also looking for feedback on the data being collected that will inform its recommendations

The task force, created by the Select Board last May, presented its findings to date at the recent Strategic Planning Retreat. It will present its final report to the Select Board, Finance Committee, and School Committee in October. 
Civic Socials are the Leag
ue’s informal monthly get-togethers, open to all, where people can learn what’s happening in and around town and about what the League is doing.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, issues-oriented organization, open to 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 lwv.westford.org
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Westford Electronics & More Collection

WESTFORD: The Westford Recycling Commission is holding an Electronics & More Collection on September 23 from 9am-1pm at the Westford Highway Garage, 28 North Street. This is a fee-based collection FOR WESTFORD RESIDENTS ONLY. Westford utilizes the services of Northeast Materials Handling of Ayer, Massachusetts. CASH OR CHECK ONLY (checks must be made out to “Northeast Material Handling, Inc”). For traffic safety reasons, entry to the access road off North Street will not be allowed until 8:45am. Those arriving prior to 8:45am will be turned away. The Northeast Materials' staff will take the items from the vehicle for them and collect fees from the driver’s side window. NOTE: TOY PLASTICS ARE NOT 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.

Enjoy Singing? There's a Place for You in The First Church Unitarian of Littleton Choir

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LITTLETON: Experience the well-documented physical and mental health benefits of group singing at First Church Unitarian in Littleton! It's free, fun and flexible. You can 'learn on the job,' but mostly you participate in giving the gift of music each Sunday. They are a progressive community that welcomes all faiths, and FCU Membership is not required to sing in the choir. Whatever genre of music you like, from the Beatles to Beethoven, there's room for many voices.

Rehearsals are 7:30-9pm on Thursdays and 9:15–9:45am most Sundays. The attendance policy is very flexible. Join weekly or once a month. Music reading ability is helpful, but not required. For questions or more information, contact Music Director Molly (music@fculittle.org).  Let her know your interest, and/or if you'd like to be added to the mailing list to receive the schedule.
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First Connections Offers Fall Play Groups

ACTON: First Connections has two free playgroups with openings for Fall. Groups are open to residents of Acton, Bedford, Boxboro, Carlisle, Concord, Harvard, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Sudbury and Westford. Our Fall session will run from the week of September 11 to the week of December 11. Our playgroups are funded by a grant from the Mass. Dept of Early Education and Care and led by our Early Childhood Teacher. Caregivers and children attend the groups together.

Me, You, We Playgroup for Ages 3-5 is based on a Boston Children's Museum curriculum where children practice social-emotional skills such as taking turns, using words to negotiate conflict, and labeling feelings. Families receive at-home learning materials. Younger siblings welcome. Meets outdoors (weather permitting) at Boxborough Library. Thursdays, 10:30-11:30am.
 
Language & Literacy Playgroup for Multilingual Families for Ages 1 1/2-5 is for families who speak a language other than or in addition to English as part of their daily life. This group will help foster a love of books in your child and share tips for how to make the most of your shared reading at home. In addition to free play, there will be circle time and activities related to each week's story. Infant siblings in carriers welcome. Held at First Connections in Acton. Wednesdays, 10-11am.

If you are interested in either of these groups, email Linda to register: lmatthews@jri.org.
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Littleton Public Schools Students Participate in Extended School Year Program

LITTLETON: Superintendent Kelly Clenchy is pleased to share that Littleton Public Schools' Special Education staff worked hard to make the extended school year (ESY) a fun and engaging experience for students this summer.

Students across the district participated in a variety of activities throughout the summer ESY program, including field trips, community engagement efforts, and cooperative games. The program had weekly themes, including Nature, Outer Space, Community Helpers, Sports, and Shark Week, with corresponding learning activities and special guest appearances from the Littleton Shark.

The middle and high school programs made the community their classroom by working on their Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals during weekly outings. The group visited an outdoor art museum, completed volunteer work at Acton Toyota of Littleton, and worked on life skills at the Bistro at LHS.

Elementary students completed hands-on science experiments such as a saltwater density experiment, a walking rainbow experiment, and a gummy bear in water experiment. They also worked on functional academics and played games that helped develop cooperation skills like scavenger hunts.

Students in the early childhood classes worked on functional communication skills, engaged in cooperative play, and had fun with their sensory corners, balloons, and bubbles.

The district's transition program, which accommodates students ages 18-22, attended weekly fitness classes in the community on Mondays. They also completed jobs for the school and community, including collecting and delivering mail and cleaning the trails for the Littleton Conservation Commission.

"Our Special Education staff did an amazing job crafting an extended school year program that provided students with engaging, educational, and fun activities to promote learning and development," said Superintendent Clenchy. "We are very proud to have a district filled with staff and students that care so much about their community and each other."

PHOTO: Board Certified Behavior Analyst Teresa Fiori and student Kyle Musomba arrived prepared for the Extended School Year program. (Photo Courtesy Littleton Public Schools)
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NVPC Presents Wabi-Sabi

LITTLETON: On September 20 at 7pm, Nashoba Valley Photo club (NVPC) will present Wabi-Sabi at Reuben Hoar Public Library, 35 Shattuck Street. This is a special presentation by Tom and Lisa Cuchara, whose work has been accepted into many juried exhibitions and has won awards at the local, state, national, and international levels.  Wabi-Sabi will explore the beauty of imperfect and/or unconventional subjects. Nature photographers often seek out the flowers, leaves and such that are perfect, with no blemishes or defects. This program highlights subjects that are not perfect, such as flowers that have character, double headed flowers, decaying fall leaves, the deformed coneflower that stands out as flawed and hence different and beautiful, rust as it creates abstract patterns amidst the decay, etc. Explore the concept of slowing down and appreciating the beauty of everyday life, things that might be overlooked. Wabi-Sabi teaches to find beauty in everyday life. It is a kind of anti-aesthetic, an alternative to the dominating discriminatory ideas we hold about beauty.

“Wabi means a beauty of elegant imperfection. Sabi means aloneness. Together, they suggest the beauty of ‘the withered, weathered, tarnished, scarred, intimate, coarse, earthly, evanescent, tentative, ephemeral.’ ~ Crispin Sartwell, Six Names of Beauty. It is a way of honoring that everything is impermanent, and we are always in a state of both becoming and falling away. It is used to describe a particular philosophy that beauty can be found in the old, the everyday, the imperfect. Wabi-Sabi applies to more than nature and the seasons of change and decay, but it also to the “Life after Humans” arena or UrbEx (urban exploration). As a side note, the term Wabi-Sabi can also be part of the social movement of embracing imperfection of your physical traits as a human being, especially with respect to self-perception and celebrating imperfection in a society that encourages people to be perfect and pressures people to be flawless.

Tom and Lisa Cuchara's photographs have appeared in Adirondack Life, Wild Bird, Birder’s World, in calendars and on calendar covers, and on the cover of a fictional paperback novel. Lisa has also had images accepted into the PPA (Professional Photographers Association) loan collection and has earned three Bronze image competition cases. Find them at www.PhotographyByLisaAndTom.com.

Visit the NVPC website at https://nvpc.visualpursuits.com to see more about the club and upcoming activities. This presentation will also be available via Zoom. Please contact Tom Carroll at nvpc.president@gmail.com for additional information.

Arts Class Series for Young People Starting Mid-September

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WESTFORD: The Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) is opening a new visual arts series to young people ages 8-21 during 2023-24.  Arts-in-the-Loft will be offering two classes - Foundations in Drawing (ages 13-21) and Arts After School (ages 8-12).  Each of these classes run for 10 weeks, and students have the option to sign up for all 10, or pick and choose which ones they’d like to attend! Then, on November 27 there will be a special exhibit in the PCA featuring young artists’ works (optional). More information is available by calling (978) 692-6333 or visit the PCA online.

In Foundations of Drawing (starts 9/18, 6-7:30pm), focus on drawing from direct observation in a variety of formats using the element of line as a focal point. Practice techniques such as blind contour, modified contour & continuous line drawing exercises referencing famous artists' sketchbook drawings. This class will work with a variety of drawing media, pencil, charcoal, colored pencil, and pen & ink.  Specifically: Blind Contour Line Drawing (9/18); Continuous Line Drawing (9/25); Modified Contour Line Drawing (10/2); Cross Contour Line Drawing (10/9 & 10/16); Expressive Line Drawing (10/23 & 10/30); Lines Used for Shading & Value (11/6); Putting it All Together (11/13); and Free Draw (11/20).

In Arts After School (starts 9/19, 3-4pm), participants will engage in small creative endeavors taking either one or two weeks to complete. They will use a variety of media, processes & materials to create both 2- and 3-dimensional works of art, using works of art throughout art history and various cultural themes as inspiration for specific projects. Emphasis will be placed on individual expression & use of imagination, along with discovery & practice of skills demonstrated. Included are: Zen Doodle Letters (9/19 & 26);
Still Life Drawing (10/3); Self Portrait (10/10 & 17); Nature Leaf Printing (10/24);
Accordion Mini Books (10/31 & 11/7); and Watercolor Exploration & Application (11/14 & 21).  Sessions are $20 each; $35 for two; $175 for all ten.

For the past 25 years, the 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. For more information, call (978) 692-6333, visit them online, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Superior Sound Workshop Open to All

WESTFORD: Free and open to the public. From 9am-1pm on 9/16, gain hands-on skills with a professional sound system. Appropriate for all levels of experience, this workshop is custom-tailored for each student. Part science lab/part user group, this is an opportunity to work with the PCA’s sound system in depth. Learn from the experts and share ideas. Begin the day setting up the system, get a run-down of how it works, then move into open-ended experimentation with microphone technique, monitor placement, EQ, effects, and more. After 1pm (voluntary), participate in a full inventory and review of equipment, etc. Upon completion, you may become eligible as a volunteer sound tech for PCA events! Suitable for adults & teens (max 12). Instructor: David "Stack" Stackhouse. Please register in advance by email or by calling (978) 692-6333.
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Community Christmas Chorus Begins October 1

WESTFORD: Community Christmas Chorus will begin rehearsals on October 1 at 7pm. The chorus, under the direction of Rene Minalga-Rheault,  is a non-auditioned chorus open to all area adults and teens.  The chorus will rehearse every Sunday at 7pm at the Church until the concert on December 3 at 7pm. All proceeds of the concert will be donated to the Westford Food Pantry.  At this "meet and greet," singers can register, pick up their music, and pay the chorus dues ($25; $40 a couple) at that time. For further information, please call Jeanne Masterman at (978) 692-8416.
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Northbound Station Brings New Sound to the PCA Coffeehouse

WESTFORD: The Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) is thrilled to be one of the first locations for the newly formed band Northbound Station, playing September 8 at 7:30pm (Doors open 7pm). Pull together a nice picnic dinner, maybe bottled beverages of your choice, and get ready to kick back and listed to some acoustic favorites from the 60s, 70s and more. Tickets are $25 at the door; $20in advance; $18 for PCA Members, and are available by calling (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

Northbound Station is the result of an expansion of the band Kota, an acoustic trio that has been performing in New Hampshire’s Monadnock area for six years. Members Suzi Brumaghim, Laurie Donohue and Paul Belanger, are now joined by drummer Craig Brown and multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lowe (Dlowe) to form a new band featuring covers of classic rock from the 60s through the 90s.  Kota fans will remember performances at the Park Theatre in Jaffrey, Blue Bear Inn in Francestown, West LA Brewery in Keene, Aldworth Manor in Harrisville, and many other venues. Brown and Dlowe fans will remember them for shows at from their work with other bands including Off the Hook, Bendingtunes, Therium and Sheep Dip. All included, the new Northbound Station is excited to meet future audiences, still focusing on beautiful harmonies and tight arrangements, but providing a deeper, more complex musical foundation, and creating a sound that is not to be missed!

For the past 25 years, the 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. For more information, call (978) 692-6333, visit them online, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Register Now for the 15th Annual Littleton Road Race, September 17

LITTLETON: Registration is now open for the 15th Annual Littleton Road Race. The race will be held September 17, 2023. It will be the same format as in previous years with the 1 Mile Fun Run starting at 2pm followed by a 5K USATF sanctioned race.  In addition to a closed race course, there will be food, music, and games for the kids.  Free t-shirts are given to all 5k registrants who sign up before August 27.  Awards are given to multiple age and gender group categories, and 1mi race participants receive finisher's medals.
 
This race is a fundraiser for the Littleton Road Race & Track Organization. In 2008, they began work to promote the building of a new track and field facility in Littleton, and this facility opened in March of 2013. Proceeds from the Road Race will be used to maintain and enhance the Littleton track and field facility, as well as promote the sport of track & field in Littleton. Past projects funded by the road race include new landscaping at the entry to the track, the addition of a pole vault box and pit, a school track records board at the high school and summer track and field programs to introduce new runners to the track. Visit www.LittletonRoadRace.org to register, donate, sponsor and volunteer.
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Ryan B Hebert Kicks Off 2023-24 PCA Season with the Great American Songbook

WESTFORD: Fresh off a stint on Season 21 of ABC’s hit talent competition “American Idol,” entertainer Ryan B Hebert is stopping by the Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) for an evening of ‘Sinatra, Standards & the Great American Songbook,’ September 2, 2023 at 7pm (Doors open 6:30pm). Pack a beverage, a bite to eat, and prepare to coast down memory lane with Hebert as he sings a collection of songs featuring Sinatra classics and standards to the sounds of Robert Goulet, and more. For tickets and information, call (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

Ryan B Hebert is an American actor and singer, (not to mention a Pokémon Master). He grew up in Massachusetts, spent some time in Chicago (DePaul University Theatre School graduate), and is currently spending his time performing around New England. Ryan most recently returned for his third summer residency at The Leavitt Theatre in Ogunquit (ME), including a performance backed by the New Hampshire Jazz Orchestra.

For the past 25 years, the 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. For more information, call (978) 692-6333, or visit them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Calling All Artists for the 23rd Annual Westford Regional Art Event!

WESTFORD: REGISTRATIONS ARE OPEN!
Share your talent by submitting your artwork for the annual Westford Regional Art Event at the PCA. Gala receptions for adults and children kick off the event on September 22 and 23. The show, open to all ages, is judged by professional artists - amateur and professional alike. Entry categories include Computer-generated Art, Drawing, Fiber Art, Mixed Media (collage, etc.), Photography, Printmaking (engraving, etching, etc.), Opaque (oil, acrylic, etc.), Pastel & Transparent (watercolor etc.) Paints, Metals, Jewelry and Sculpture. Online registration runs thru 9/15/23.

The WRAE goes deep in the heart of Westford. It started when Andrew Kusmin, Nancy Russo, and  other Westford area artists worked with the Roudenbush Community Center to give local talent a place to see and be seen. Nancy and Andrew were also part of the group who started the Parish Center for Arts when the old church building at 110 Lincoln Street became available in 1997.  The WRAE moved to the PCA in 1999. It draws art from Westford and the surrounding towns - hundreds of artworks from hundreds of artists - amateur and professional, adult, young adult and child.

Dozens of volunteers support the WRAE - managing online registration for artists and volunteers, receiving artwork - this year on September 17 and 8, working through the night to hang artwork halfway up the walls, and finally to celebrate with festive awards events on September 22 at 7pm and on September 23 at 1pm. The work will be on view at the PCA on September 23 (3-5pm); September 24 (10am-4pm); September 28 (4-9pm); September 30 (10am-4pm); and October 1 (11am-2:30pm). In past years, the WRAE featured over 400 artists exhibiting over 500 works!

Click HERE to Register your Artwork
Click HERE to Volunteer to help with the event
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MOMENTUM Plays Westford Common August 26

WESTFORD: Raise the roof with Momentum on Westford Common, August 26 from 2-4pm. This concert is being offered free of charge courtesy of the Parish Center for the Arts (PCA), 10 Lincoln Street! For over 4 years,Momentum has been rocking the Merrimack Valley with a diverse mix of recognizable tunes from Beatles to Black Keys. From festivals to bars, covers to originals, there's always a strong groove, great lyrics, and a musical surprise around every corner! Always a rockin' good time! For more information about the band, visit them online.

For the past 25 years, the Parish Center for the Arts (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. For more information about the PCA, a local non-profit arts organization, call (978) 692-6333, visit pcawestford.org or visit them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Westford Regional Art Exhibit Seeks Volunteers

WESTFORD: The 2023 Westford Regional Art Exhibit (WRAE) is almost upon us! An annual celebration of art, the WRAE showcases emerging and established artists within our local communities. We celebrate this work with music and refreshments at gala awards receptions for adults and children. Online registrations will be opening soon, and when they do - register early - as this event shows an average of 500+ pieces from 350+ artists! Sign up online now via Sign-up Genius to volunteer during the event. If you have questions, contact admin@pcawestford.org.
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Water Safety Reminders

According to the American Red Cross, 10 people die each day from unintentional drowning, and on average two of those deaths are children under age 14. Additionally, drowning is the leading cause of death for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. To ensure everyone’s safety in the water this summer, the Hudson Fire Department would like to remind residents of the following safety tips for kayakers, paddlers and recreational boaters courtesy of the American Canoe Association:
 
  • Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when boating or fishing, even if you don’t intend to enter the water.
  • Children under the age of 12 must always wear a life jacket in a public body of water.
  • Be a competent swimmer with the ability to handle oneself underwater, moving water, surf or current. Keep the craft under control. Do not enter a rapid unless you are reasonably sure you can navigate it or swim the entire rapid in case you capsize.
  • Keep a lookout for hazards and avoid them. Watch for fog, especially on coastal waters.
  • Know your physical limitations.
  • Group members need to constantly assess the behavior of others in their group.

For those swimming in the ocean, lakes, ponds or pools, the Hudson Fire Department also provides the following safety tips from the American Red Cross:
 
  • Never leave children unattended while they are near or in a body of water, and make sure they have an adult to accompany them into the water. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floats.
  • Never swim alone; swim with lifeguards and/or water watchers present. Even if lifeguards are present, you (or another responsible adult) should stay with your children.
  • If a child is missing, always check the body of water that they were near or swimming in first.
  • Understand and adjust for the unique risks of the water environment you are in, such as river currents, ocean rip current, underwater hazards including vegetation and animals, and more.
  • Don’t use alcohol or drugs (including certain prescription medications) before or during swimming or diving, or while supervising swimmers.
  • Recognize the signs of someone in trouble and shout for help. A swimmer needs immediate help if they:
    • Are not making forward progress in the water.
    • Are vertical in the water but unable to move or tread water.
    • Are motionless and face down in the water.
  • If someone is drowning or experiencing an emergency in the water:
    • Rescue and remove the person from the water (without putting yourself in danger).
    • Ask someone to call emergency medical services (EMS). If alone, give 2 minutes of care, then call EMS.
    • Begin CPR.
    • Use an AED if available and transfer care to advanced life support.
  • Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency occurs. Update skills regularly.
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PCA Hosts Summertime Jazz Jam with Joe Virga

WESTFORD: Interested in sitting in on a musical collaboration as a player or audience member? Consider stopping by the Parish Center for the Arts at 10 Lincoln Street in Westford for a summertime Jazz Jam with host Joe Virga on August 6, 3:30p-5:30pm! Just bring your instrument and sit in on a few tunes with other jazz musicians. Vocalists, bringing your own mic is recommended. These jams are a safe space to practice, play and listen to jazz tunes, or just come hang out with friends. Each month there will be a few tunes posted to work on before the jam. If you are not on the jazz jam email list, please email admin@pcawestford.org to hear more, or if you just want to drop by and see what it's all about, all are welcome. The PCA asks only a $5 suggested cover for all drop-in programs. Can't make it to this jam? Save these future dates, kicking back into gear in the PCA's new season - 9/10, 10/8, 11/5, 12/3.  For more information, visit www.pcawestford.org.
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Senator Eldridge and Representative Arciero Announce $17,921 Grant for Littleton Community Farm Award

The award will be used to drill a well that will increase resistance to droughts. 

LITTLETON:
State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Marlborough) and State Representative James Arciero (D-Westford) announced that Littleton Community Farm will be awarded $17,921 through the Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program. The grant will support the drilling of a new well, which will be an important tool to combat the impact of climate change on farming by increasing resistance to droughts. 
 
Littleton Community Farm aims to reduce food insecurity in the local community and seeks to provide everyone with healthy food regardless of wealth. The farm grows, harvests, and distributes mixed vegetables from May through November in Middlesex and Worcester counties, targeting low income families, especially in food deserts, language isolation, or with low access to transportation, in Littleton, Lowell, Ayer, and Shirley. 

LCF runs the Hunger Relief Program, through which the farm has donated over 36,000 lbs of diversified crops since 2015, in addition to its CSA program. A CSA participant buys a “share” of the produce in advance of the growing season and receives a weekly share of the harvest during the growing season.  To increase accessibility, the CSA program uses a sliding economic scale for the cost to buy in. participants experiencing unemployment, health issues, or who have a disability can pay much less for a product share while homeowners with a higher discretionary income can pay a higher price.

“Getting fresh, healthy food on the table is crucial for families, but the cost of doing so is often a barrier,” said Senator Eldridge. “No one should be denied access to proper nutrition, and Littleton Community Farm does great work to close the accessibility gap. I’m very excited that they are to receive this grant from the EEA.”

“Food security has become an ever increasing concern in recent years and I am grateful that the Commonwealth can do its part to support the farming community and food producers, like Littleton Community Farm, for this important endeavor to ensure that at risk individuals and families have access to wholesome healthy foods,” said Representative Arciero.
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Sample a PCA Favorite “Open Mic” on Westford Common

WESTFORD: An open mic (short for "open microphone") is a live show at a venue such as a coffeehouse, nightclub, comedy club or pub, usually having audience members performing on stage, often for the first time. Did you know that the Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) has a bi-monthly Open Mic during the season? Would you like to get a taste with NO pressure to perform whatsoever? Stop by Westford Common (or the PCA, 10 Lincoln Street if the weather's not cooperating) from 1-4pm on July 23 with a picnic lunch, a blanket or chair, and your listening ears, because PCA Open Mic Host John Ferullo will be bringing some friends by for an Open Mic Sampler! Admission to this special session is free, though donations to the PCA are humbly accepted, as all funds received will go toward future events at and offerings from this non-profit organization. For information, call (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

Included in this special “On the Common” PCA Open Mic will be a wealth of talented artists you will probably see at one of the in-house sessions, held during the season (September-June) each 2nd & 4th Sunday (6:30-10pm). You will see and hear just the tip of the ice berg of styles and songs performing by individuals such as Bob Morse (Blues & originals/finger-style instrumentals); Dan Tappan (originals in the folk tradition); Cooper & Kenneally (folk-rock, country & blues); John Ferullo (folk originals & covers); John Swenson (originals); and Chuck Hall (original folk).

When the PCA Series starts up again September 10, 2023, the public is welcome to come by and play or just listen – all for the price of a small donation ($5 requested).  You will hear spoken word pieces, American songbook tunes, original tunes, country, folk, rock and roll, oldies – there are no limits as every artist brings what they like to the table (or the stage, as the case may be). It is always a very enjoyable night, usually including a special guest artist, with a lot of fun, surprises and amazing music. For more information, call (978) 692-6333, visit pcawestford.org or visit them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

PHOTO: Open Mic Host John Ferullo (Photo by Dan Tappan)
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Littleton Historical Opens Up Greeting Hours

LITTLETON: The Littleton Historical Society on 4 Rogers Street will be open to the public on Thursday evenings, 6-8pm, from July 13-August 24. They will also welcome visitors at the usual times: Wednesday afternoons 1-4pm and the second Sunday of the month 2-4pm. Stop by and check out museum displays, as well as the Advanced Placement U.S. History class projects on view in the exhibit hall till the end of the summer.  For more information, visit the LHS website, or visit them on Facebook.
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PCA Presents Magician Stephanie Beach on Westford Common

WESTFORD: Stop by Westford Common (or the PCA, 10 Lincoln Street if the weather's not cooperating) around noon on July 22 with a picnic lunch and stick around for a 1pm, very family-friendly magic show by the area's own magician extraordinaire Stephanie Beach! Enjoy an hour or so of fast-paced and fun entertainment you won't forget! Coloring, crafts and face-painting will also be available in the PCA throughout. Tickets: $5/individuals; $10 for families. For tickets and more information, call (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

Stephanie Beach is a professional Magician specializing in comedy magic and teaching magic for kids and adults. A favorite throughout the state, Beach can be found at many town festivals and parties, known for her fast-paced fun that people don't forget!  She also conducts magic classes and workshops, such as her EMU (Easy Magic University) which disguises itself as a magic show, but it is actually an extraordinarily fun life skills course!  For more information about Stephanie Beach Magic, visit stephaniebeachmagic.com.

Make July 22 a bit more magical than your usual summer-time fare. Enjoy Stephanie Beach perform on Westford Common. Coloring, crafting and face-painting will be available at noon in the Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street; show (formally) starts at 1pm.  Tickets are $5 for individuals; with a $10 family cap. For tickets and more information, call (978) 692-6333, visit pcawestford.org or visit them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Tips for Safe Fourth of July Celebrations

According to the state Department of Fire Services and State Police, Massachusetts fire departments reported nearly 1,000 fires related to illegal fireworks between 2013 and 2022. In addition to the 42 fire service injuries, five civilian injuries, and $2.5 million in damages attributed to these fires, Massachusetts medical facilities reported about 30 severe burn injuries extending to 5% or more of the victims’ bodies that were caused by illegal fireworks. In 2022 alone, fire departments reported 106 fires and explosions attributed to fireworks, an increase of nearly a third over the prior year.

It is illegal for private citizens to use, possess, or sell fireworks of all kinds in Massachusetts without a license and a permit. This includes fireworks purchased legally elsewhere and brought into Massachusetts. It includes sparklers, firecrackers, cherry bombs, and other fireworks. Fines range from $10 to $1,000, and some violations could carry a one-year prison sentence.

Residents are encouraged to report any misuse of fireworks they notice in the community to your local Police Department.

In case of a firework-related or other emergency, always dial 911.

Additionally, residents are reminded of these key safety tips for Fourth of July celebrations:
 
  • Attend organized and permitted fireworks displays only.
  • Report illegal fires to the police.
  • Remember that alcohol/drugs and fireworks do not mix.
  • Keep pets indoors and away from fireworks. The loud noises and flashing lights can be frightening and overwhelming for pets. Pets can become frightened and run from familiar environments and people, becoming lost. Read more here.

The Department also urges residents to observe the following tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on getting home safely following Fourth of July celebrations:
 
  • Be mindful of pedestrians.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. From 2017 to 2021, 1,460 drivers were killed in motor vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July holiday period — 38% of the drivers killed were drunk.
  • Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, do not plan on driving. Instead, designate a sober driver or use a ride-share service to get home safely.
  • Take keys away from individuals who are under the influence and are planning to drive. Alcohol and drugs impair perception, judgment, motor skills, and memory, which are critical for safe and responsible driving.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, safely pull over and call 911.
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Russell Street School Students Participate in Playground Mural Elective

LITTLETONSuperintendent Kelly R. Clenchy is pleased to share that Russell Street School students have been working on a mural as their selected What I Need (WIN) elective.  Students began the Playground Mural Elective project on June 5, when they gave the playground wall a fresh coat of white paint. Groups of approximately 20 students from Grades 3, 4 and 5, have been working on the mural on Wednesday afternoons.

Students selected to paint the mural as part of the school's WIN elective program, which allows students to choose an afternoon activity to participate in on Wednesdays. The options change each trimester.

RSS Music Teacher Timothy Gansenberg, who has been involved in the production of murals in Lowell and Methuen, worked collaboratively with Art Teacher Kristen Hemmis to create the mural project.

Students gathered inspiration from other murals around the community and brainstormed ideas for RSS' mural. Gansenberg designed it using the most popular components, which included the district's signature tiger paw logo and mascot. The colorful drips were inspired by an art project Hemmis did with students based on works by artist Jen Stark. Finally, the mural features a slogan that reads "RSS is our school."

"The Russell Street School mural is a great representation of our energetic, lively, and vibrant school community," said Superintendent Clenchy. "The students have displayed an immense amount of creativity and excellent teamwork skills while working on this project. We cannot wait to see the final result!"

PHOTO: Russell Street School students work on a mural for the playground. (Courtesy Littleton Public Schools)
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Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous- Weekly Meeting

LITTLETON: Are you having trouble controlling the way you eat? Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA) is a free Twelve Step recovery program for anyone suffering from food obsession, overeating, under-eating, or bulimia. Meetings are held on Thursday at the Reuben Hoar Library, 35 Shattuck Street from 6:30-8pm. For more information or a list of additional meetings throughout the U.S. and the world, call (781) 932-6300 or locally at (617) 413-4237, or visit www.foodaddicts.org.
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NVTHS Craft Fair Seeks Vendors

WESTFORD: The Nashoba Valley Technical High School Foundation's 11th Annual Craft Fair will be held November 18 from 10am-3pm (set up 8am-9:30am) at NVTHS, 100 Littleton Road (Rt. 110). Register now for this well-attended event - only 100 spots available! Vendor fees are $75, which includes an 8' spot and 2 chairs. Bring your own table or display. Click HERE for more information and to complete the online registration/payment. Any questions, email NVTHSFoundation@nashobatech.net.
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The Sounds of Americana at PCA with Trusting Fate

WESTFORD: Dig in deep with some down-home, folk-rock Americana Music when Trusting Fate takes the Parish Center for the Arts’ stage at 10 Lincoln Street on June 24 at 7pm (Doors open 6:30pm). Advanced ticketing guarantees you a seat - $15 general admission; $13 PCA members/ seniors, and you can bring your own food and drink for a complete evening of entertainment. For tickets and more information, call (978) 692-6333, visit online or visit them on Facebook.

For Trusting Fate, it's in the DNA. 15 years, hundreds of tunes both original and cover, multiple instruments apiece, three lead vocals with effortless harmony, always a switch-up parade through the genres, and more fun playing together and for our loyal followers than the law should allow - all meld into a tasty combination. Tight harmonies, varied instrumentation, powerful lyrics and great melodies are hallmarks of a Trusting Fate performance thanks to Susanna Doyle (accordion, keyboard, mandolin), Mike O'Brien (mandolin, fiddle, guitar), Paul Therkelsen (guitar, banjo, harmonica), and Rose Villani (bass).
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The Model Trains are Coming to the Westford Museum!

WESTFORD: The Model Trains are coming to the Westford Museum! Visit the Westford Museum and get express train tickets punched on Sundays through June from 1-3pm. Visitors can also see the trains on June 17 from 10am-3pm during the Strawberry and Arts Festival. Suggested Donation of $5 per person/$10 per family.

See the largest model trains exhibit in Westford at the Westford Museum conducted by the model train engineers of the Middlesex Central Model Railroad Club. The Middlesex Central Model Railroad Club takes its name from the Boston & Maine Branch Line. That line started at the North Station on the B&M main line then branched off at Arlington and stopped at Concord, Carlisle and Westford. The club was organized in the 1980s and meets at the Westford Senior Center (formerly the Cameron School).  At present, they have over 6oo feet of track.  Their control system allows several model train engineers to move freight and passengers to and from various stations within the layout of the model train track.
Come and meet the Middlesex Central Model Railroad Club engineers, learn about the history of the railroad in Westford and experience the sights and sounds of the Model Trains.

The Westford Museum & Historical Society is committed to stimulating interest in the history of our community by collecting, preserving and sharing our unique cultural heritage with people of all ages.
For more information about this topic, please contact Linda Greene by calling 978-692-5550, or e-mail Linda at director@museum.westford.org.
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Westford Chorus Holds Special Free Performance

WESTFORD: The Westford Chorus is holding a special free performance on June 11 at 2pm, followed by a reception to mark 40 years as a community cultural institution. The performance will be at the Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street, along the Westford Common. After the performance, the reception will be held on the Common or, in case of inclement weather, inside the PCA. While the event is free, donations will be gratefully accepted.

Since its founding in 1983, Westford Chorus has transcended the boundaries of community chorus. Over the years nearly 500 singers have performed diverse and challenging works ranging from Mozart to P.D.Q. Bach, from Renaissance polyphony to pop, from sacred music to 1940s swing, Broadway and the movies, in formal presentations and staged, costumed productions. The Chorus has sung with piano accompaniment, string quartets, orchestral backup, swing and jazz bands, jug bands, electric combos, and eclectic world music groups. The Chorus has entertained audiences in Westford, Chelmsford, Concord, Lowell, Billerica, Groton, and Cambridge, including, before the pandemic, area nursing homes.

At the anniversary concert, music director Jim Barkovic will draw from the Chorus's past repertoire. Chorus alumni will return to the stage to lend their voices to a selection of favorites.

For more information go to westfordchorus.org.
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LHS Students Participate in Financial Literacy Fair

LITTLETON: Superintendent Kelly R. Clenchy is pleased to share that Littleton High School students recently participated in the school's financial literacy fair, which took place on May 18. The event was designed to help students learn how to budget, manage, and spend their money responsibly.

Students were asked to provide their choice of career earlier this year in preparation for the event. On the day of the fair, students received a folio with a career profile, a mock paycheck, a randomly assigned credit score, and a budget worksheet.

During the event, students visited 13 stations where they had to make typical financial decisions they may face as a young adult. The various booths included housing, furniture, food, health insurance, clothing, transportation, charity/ community service, education, luxuries, insurance (car and renter), savings, investing, and retirement, the Reality Wheel of fortune or misfortune, and budget counseling.

"The fair helped me realize that I should start saving money and stop my frivolous spending. It also made me think more about starting to build my credit," said LHS senior John Feltus.

At the Reality Wheel of fortune or misfortune, students spun a wheel with 15 possible outcomes that caused them to either gain or lose funds, such as receiving birthday money or having to repair a vehicle. The purpose of this booth was to show students that life throws curve balls and that they will need to accumulate some savings to be prepared.

Upon completion of all stations, students received a ticket to put in for one of the prizes, which included a $100 Amazon gift card, a $100 gas gift card, and a $100 Visa gift card. Winners were announced the following day.

"The financial literacy fair was a successful and engaging way to help our students learn about the importance of making smart financial decisions," said Superintendent Clenchy. "We would like to thank the community for its support in making this event possible and all our students for their participation!"

PHOTO: LHS seniors, from left, Brady DeCoste, Dean Blake, Alex Delorenzo, Jordan Graham, Emily Mizzoni, Jaime Sundberg, Kaylyn Cleary, Madeline Shea, and Emma Cvitkovich visit the financial literacy fair's housing table. (Courtesy Littleton Public Schools)
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Dave Martsolf Brings His “Dance Series” to the Parish Center

WESTFORD: The Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) welcomes Dave Martsolf as the June Artist of the month with an exhibition of abstract paintings in the surreal genre.  The June 1-26, 2023 exhibit, as well as an Artist’s Opening Reception on June 4 (12-3pm), will be held at the PCA, 10 Lincoln Street.  The Gallery is open to visitors each Sunday from noon until 2pm. For more information, call the PCA at (978) 692-6333, visit the PCA online, or find them on Facebook.

Dave Martsolf has been drawing and painting for over 40 years, since turning away from studies in architecture at MIT, circa 1967-70, to focus on the Fine Arts.  Initially, he was intrigued by surrealism.  Awards he has earned include the Juror’s Prize at the “UNH Revisited” Alumni Show and the Sawyer Award for Painting at the 38th Annual New Hampshire Art Association Exhibition at the Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester. In 2017 Martsolf began painting abstracts, which he now calls the “Dance Series.”  These dance paintings highlight the energy and artistic honesty contained in original sketch on paper that is then enlarged and copied onto canvas using a computer projector.  The projected image is then redrawn lightly with pencil or pen. During the 2020 pandemic, Martsolf turned again back to the surreal, but this time with a more positive outlook, both in subject matter and in cerebral conception.  He also began a series of what he calls “wild abstracts” where the entire canvas is completed in a matter of minutes with acrylics brushed boldly into a field of wet white gesso. View more of Dave Martsolf’s award-winning works online at www.martsolffineart.com.
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Littleton Middle and High School Students Recognized at Massachusetts Science & Engineering Fairs

LITTLETON: Superintendent Kelly Clenchy is pleased to announce that Littleton Middle School student Ryan Stimpson and High School student Anika Jacob were recognized for their research at the Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fairs (MSEF).

Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fairs (MSEF) holds high school and middle school-level science fairs that allow students to explore and manage an experimental project of their choosing. Students must follow a set of guidelines when choosing a topic and conducting their research. At the Fairs, they must present a journal that outlines their research process, written lab report, engaging visual displays, and demonstrate their knowledge of their project and scientific field to a panel of judges.

LMS students in Grades 6-8 attended the MSEF Region IV Middle School Science and Engineering Fair on Saturday, April 29, at the UMASS Lowell Tsongas Center. This was the 18th year that LMS had students participate in MSEF.

There were seven groups of LMS students that presented their experiments in the Fair:
 
  • Grade 8 students Emma Lu and Suma Bhiravasa presented "Physics Underwater."
  • Grade 8 students Cecelia Jenei and Hazel Willis presented "Hair Looking Like Shrek? Chlorine Had an Effect!"
  • Grade 8 student Caitlin Stimpson presented "How Does Sugar Content in Water Affect the Rate at Which an Ice Cube Melts?"
  • Grade 8 students Angel Patel and Samhita Gowda presented "A Study of the Effects of Different Fonts on Memory."
  • Grade 8 students Eva Hyunh, Lily Tesz, and Ritika Singh presented "You Did Great! Does Confidence Play a Role in Test Performance?"
  • Grade 8 student Pranav Sharma and Grade 7 student Pranshu Sharma presented "Biodegradable Plate."
  • Grade 6 student Ryan Stimpson presented "What is the Effect of Mint Products on the Temperature of Water?"

"Physics Underwater", "Hair Looking Like Shrek? Chlorine Had an Effect!", "How Does Sugar Content in Water Affect the Rate at Which an Ice Cube Melts?", "What is the Effect of Mint Products on the Temperature of Water?", and "A Study of the Effects of Different Fonts on Memory" were all selected by the regional science fair judges to advance to the State Competition, which occurred on Saturday, May 20.

"You Did Great! Does Confidence Play a Role in Test Performance?" was also selected to move onto the State Competition by LMS teachers Amy Durkin, Grade 6, Christal Dionne, Grade 7, and Christine Finn, Grade 8.

At the State Competition, Ryan Stimpson received an honorable mention for his project "What is the Effect of Mint Products on the Temperature of Water?"

Two Littleton High School students presented projects at the MSEF High School Science and Engineering Fair on Friday, May 5 at MIT. This was the first time that Littleton High participated in MSEF.

Sophomore Isabel McCurdy presented her project on the effect of Manuka honey on the growth of K-12 Escherichia coli, and first-year Anika Jacob presented a study on the effect of 1,3,7-Trimethylpurine-2,6-dione on the growth and development of Tenebrio molitor (mealworm).

Jacob received third place and the Massachusetts Chemistry and Technology Alliance (MCTA) award for her research.

"Well done to all of our Littleton students that took part in the Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fairs, especially to Anika for her third-place win and to Ryan for his honorable mention," said Superintendent Clenchy. "Every student who participated demonstrated their curiosity, intelligence, and creativity with their projects. We are very proud of each of them."

PHOTO: LHS first-year Anika Jacob received third place and the Massachusetts Chemistry and Technology Alliance (MCTA) award for her study on the effect of 1,3,7-Trimethylpurine-2,6-dione on the growth and development of Tenebrio molitor. (Photo Courtesy Littleton Public Schools)
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LWV Hosts Annual Meeting

WESTFORD: Are you interested in learning more about the League of Women Voters of Westford? Join the League June 7 at 7pm. as the organization hosts its annual meeting. The event will be held in person at the Westford Museum, 2 Boston Road. The League welcomes the chance to meet in person to review the group’s accomplishments over the past year, choose the League leadership team, and decide on activities for the coming year. The meeting is a great opportunity for its members to influence what community issues the League will focus on and learn more about the organization.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League is based on the belief that democratic government depends on the informed active participation of its citizens. The League’s goal is to empower citizens to shape better communities.

Membership in the League provides Westford residents an opportunity to learn more about the town, take a continuing and intensive course in government at all levels, and develop leadership skills. Membership in the League is open to all and operates on local, state, and national levels. Want to learn more? Join the League of Women Voters of Westford on June 7. You can also go to the League’s website for more information at https://lwv.westford.org.
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Rock Out with Mike Payette's Acoustic Roadshow on June 2

WESTFORD: Rock out when Mike Payette’s Acoustic Roadshow visit the Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street on June 2 at 8pm (Doors open 7:30pm). Advanced ticketing guarantees you a seat - $25 general admission; $21 PCA members/seniors, and you can bring your own food and drink for a complete evening of entertainment. CLICK HERE for tickets and more information, call (978) 692-6333, visit the PCA online or visit them on Facebook.

With a musical career spanning decades, Mike Payette is a well-known and well-respected member of the Greater Boston musical community. His bass playing and strong vocal ability are always in demand. His Acoustic Roadshow has Payette (bass/vocals) alongside experienced instrumental / vocalists and longtime friends Mike DiBari (guitar/vocals), Chris Leadbetter (guitar/mandolin/vocals), and Eddie Scheer (drums/vocals). With a focus on honing the close harmonies of Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, the Beatles, the Doobie Brothers and other classic rock favorites, Mike Payette's Acoustic Roadshow's unplugged approach to classic and contemporary rock is utter perfection.

Side-splitting Silliness with Deb Seymour & Stan Lyness at PCA

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WESTFORD: Join two of the funniest songwriters you’ll ever know for an evening of satire, parody and silliness!  The duo of Deb Seymour and Stan Lyness will be taking the stage at the Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street on May 27 at 7pm (Doors open 6:30pm). For ticket reservations and more information, visit pcawestford.org.
 
How exactly does one sum up the whimsical songwriter Deb Seymour? According to a fan, "Joni Mitchell meets Lucille Ball.” Deb Seymour writes songs that tickle your funny bone and pull at your heart strings. She is a master musical storyteller whose songs range from hitch-hiking chickens and tango-dancing Martians to blues-influenced torch songs. She plays at wineries, festivals, house concerts, cafes and listening rooms. Deb is a skilled, award-winning guitarist and singer who counts four albums of original material (currently working on the 5th). She also simulcasts her popular livestream, "Brunch w/Deb" on her Facebook and YouTube channels every Sunday, whether on the road or not. Her fans call themselves "Deb-Heads" and tune in from the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Israel and Australia.
 
Playing alongside Deb is musician and satirist Stan Lyness, a Boston-area songwriter with an unshakeable faith that, at its core, the universe is funny and can be forced to rhyme. Stan will leave you between stitches and tears with his witty repartee and sardonic humor. He was first moved to write by an excruciatingly dull high school social studies class, and has ever since taken up the pen whenever things get slow. He now finds himself in “an enormously productive period.”
 
Sit, chat, sing and laugh ‘til your sides ache during Seymour & Lyness’ fun concert at the Parish Center for the Arts (PCA), located at 10 Lincoln Street on Westford Common. Bring your own food and drink for a complete evening of entertainment. Limited cabaret-style seating. Doors open at 6:30pm; show begins at 7pm. For tickets and more information, call (978) 692-6333, visit pcawestford.org or visit them on Facebook.
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New Book Club at Reuben Hoar Library

LITTLETON: Introducing the Cookbook Book Club, debuting May 27 and meeting monthly on the last Saturday of the month from 11am-1pm. A book club for people who love all things food: love to make it, love to read about it, and, of course, love to eat it! For the kick-off meeting, please make a recipe from the last cook book you borrowed from the library, bought, or borrowed from a friend. so everyone can discuss future themes at this meeting. This is not a cooking competition: the goal is to have fun, share, and (maybe) learn. Please bring a copy of the recipe for the dish you prepare, and call out if it contains any of the top allergens: milk, eggs, fish, shell fish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, or sesame. Registration is required. Please bring serving utensils. The Library will provide beverages (coffee, tea and water), plates, and eating utensils.  Contact Susan with any questions at spalmer@littletonlibrary.org
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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 June 9, 10 and 11 in the library’s Meeting Room, 50 Main Street. June 9 is a Friends Members Only preview sale, from 6:30-9pm. Memberships are available at the door. 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. June 10 is the Public Sale from 10am-5pm. Most items are $1 or $2. June 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 June 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. Approximately 95% of the books offered at these sales are donated by Westford residents. 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.

Items are still being accepted for the June 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.
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Littleton Middle School Recognized as 'Spotlight School' for Effective Programming and Support for Students

LITTLETON: Superintendent Kelly Clenchy is pleased to announce that Littleton Middle School has been recognized as a Spotlight School by the New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) for its effective programming and support for students.

The NELMS list of Spotlight Schools recognizes middle schools across New England that have a record of powerful and research-based learning practices for students. Littleton Middle School was one out of six schools in Massachusetts, and one of 27 throughout New England, to be recognized. The school serves almost 400 students in Grades 6-8.

Littleton Middle School was praised for its positive learning environment, strong and cohesive special education team, thoroughly planned-out advisory program, well-documented Student Support Team (SST), empowered and effective teaching that leads to increased student learning, and a great sense of school pride from students and staff.

"The NELMS Spotlight School recognition identifies schools, educators, students, and partners that demonstrate excellence in middle level education. It takes great effort to accomplish this level of distinction," said Superintendent Clenchy. "We are very proud to see the hard work being done at Littleton Middle School be recognized."

To learn more about NELMS' Spotlight School recognition and view the list of recognized middle schools, click here.
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Earth Day May be Over, but You Can Still Make an Impact!

LITTLETON: Earth Day may be over, but it’s never too late for us to reduce our impact on this beautiful world.  Whether that means driving less, weather-proofing our homes, or using less plastic, all of us want to have a clean planet and fresh air to breathe.  There are probably some items that you usually toss in the trash – empty lip balm tubes, cell phone cases, an old manual toothbrush – but these items are actually recyclable through TerraCycle!  Please check the website https://tinyurl.com/littletonmarecycles to find out what other surprising items you can recycle right here in the Acton/Littleton area, and then bring them to the Acton or Littleton Donelan’s grocery store or the Reuben Hoar Library in Littleton and put them in the bin.  If you have a Littleton transfer sticker, there’s a yellow bin there, too.

And THANK YOU for your help in keeping our blue-dot planet just a little cleaner!
 
Terracycle gives points for each item which translate into cash for non-profits such as 4-H, schools, and libraries.  This recycling stream helps fund the Acton C.R.A.F.T. 4-H club’s community service activities.  Still have questions?  Email littletonma.recycles@gmail.com.
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Society of St. Vincent de Paul Sponsors Clothing Drive

LITTLETON: St. Vincent de Paul Conference at St. Anne Parish in Littleton is holding its annual clothing and shoe collection called “Bundle Sunday”.  The conference is looking for clean gently worn, but still usable clothing and shoes to assist those in need. At this time, only clothing and shoes are being accepted; no household items, appliances, or knick-knacks. A SVdP truck will be located in the back corner of the church parking lot at 75 King Street on June 10 and 11.  Donations will be accepted both days from 9am-5pm. Tax deduction receipts will be distributed.
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PEI Comes to Town with Fiddler Cynthia MacLeod & Gordon Belsher

WESTFORD & LITTLETON: Mark your calendars for May 12 and 20!  Grab a taste of Prince Edward Island (PEI) will be visiting the region when Cynthia MacLeod and Gordon Belsher bring their Celtic fiddler extraordinaire experience to the Congregational Church of Littleton and the Parish Center for the Arts in Westford.

Stop by the Parish Center for the Arts on May 12 for some finger-snappin', toe-tappin' tunes from MacLeod and Belsher.  Tickets are $18 (in advance); $20 (at the door, if available) for the 7:30pm (Doors open 7pm) performance at 10 Lincoln Street. For ticket reservations and more information, visit pcawestford.org. At the Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) you can bring your own food and drink for a complete evening of entertainment!

Congregational Church of Littleton is also pleased to welcome their favorite Canadians back to sing and play a delightful evening kitchen concert or Ceilidh (pronounced, of course, KAY-lee.)   This show will be May 20 at 7pm (Doors open at 6:30pm).
Ticket are available via Eventbrite, $22 per person + fees. Visit https://ccolpeiMay2023.eventbrite.com to reserve yours.

Cynthia MacLeod is one of Prince Edward Island’s finest ambassadors of traditional music carving a distinct style of fiddling that embraces both her local roots and her ancestral connection to the Scottish highlands. Since the beginning of her career as a young teenager,Cynthia has spent more than 15 years on stages on PEI, across Canada, into the U.S., and as far abroad as Cuba and Japan, astounding audiences with her entertainingly unique performance style. Live performances are where Cynthia truly shines. Her joyful, charismatic personality is exuded in her playing, and her natural way with audiences of any size turns strangers into instant fans. For more information about Cynthia, visit her online.

Gordon Belsher has been performing in Canada and around the world for more than 40 years. He is a fixture of the Prince Edward Island music scene and has toured across Canada, the U.S., theU.K., Europe, Australia and Japan. His solo CD’s have been up for and won PEIMusic Awards and ECMA’s.

Do not miss your chance to catch these  upbeat shows that’ll keep your toes tappin’, your heels clickin’ and your body completely unable to stay still!
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Sweet Results: St. Mark’s Donates $1,200 to Westford Food Pantry from Chocolate Festival TO GO! Proceeds

WESTFORD: Joan O’Hare of the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Outreach Team recently presented Westford Food Pantry Board of Director President Tim Baker with a check for $1,200, money raised through the 2023 St. Mark’s Chocolate Festival TO GO! More than 200 boxes of homemade chocolate desserts were sold during the annual festival to raise money for local food pantries. Local businesses also donated prizes for two raffles. Baker said the money will go toward purchasing personal care items, such as toothbrushes and feminine products, that are not covered under government food programs. The donation will also help fund the purchase of fresh produce for those in need. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church is located at 75 Cold Spring Road. For more information, visit www.st-mark.org.
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Happy 100th Birthday Shattuck Street Building!

LITTLETON: Join the Littleton Historical Society for a birthday party celebrating the Shattuck Street Building (37 Shattuck Street) on May 13 from 11am-1pm. Birthday cupcakes will be first-come, first-served on the front lawn along with displays showing the history of the building.
   
Opened as a school for classes in 1923, it soon became Littleton's only school building for the growing town. This building has served Littleton well, as a school and more recently the library and town offices. As we move toward the possible re-imagining of the building, we salute this Hidden Treasure of Littleton that holds many memories for generations of Littletonians. Learn, tell stories, reminisce, and strengthen our appreciation of this iconic, historic brick building. (In case of rain, the party will be held in the Multi-Purpose room in the rear of the building.)
   
This program is offered in partnership with Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area during the Hidden Treasures Festival of Nature, Culture & History. Learn more at freedomsway.org.
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Westford LWV to Host Evening with State Rep. James Arciero

WESTFORD: The League of Women Voters of Westford’s next Civic Social is an evening with Massachusetts State Representative James Arciero. Join the League for an informal conversation on May 17 at 7:30pm via Zoom. This Civic Social will give residents an opportunity to ask questions and to hear what Rep. Arciero is currently working on. To join the Civic Social, register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUudeyorzkiHNMmvyqxINwR9B8_ufRG6TxQ.

Since 2009, Rep. Arciero has served the 2nd Middlesex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, representing the towns of Chelmsford (Precincts 5, 7, and 8), Littleton and Westford. In 2021, Rep. Arciero was named House Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing. He continues to lead the committee as it addresses housing issues across the state, including increased housing production, stability, affordability, rental assistance, and homelessness. 

Rep. Arciero has served on a number of other committees, including Higher Education (vice chair); Export Development (vice chair); Ways and Means; Veterans and Federal Affairs; Labor and Workforce Development; Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture; Revenue; and Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure.  Rep. Arciero earned a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He is a graduate of Westford Academy and the recipient of the Eagle Scout Award, the highest rank in Scouting. A lifelong Westford resident, he resides in town with his wife Bridget and their daughter Angelina. 

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, issues-oriented organization 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 lwv.westford.org.
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Westford's Parish Center welcomes
W. Marc Bernsau as May's
"Artist of the Month"

WESTFORD: The Parish Center for the Arts is pleased to welcome W. Marc Bernsau as their “May Artist of the Month” with an exhibition of photographs of diverse subject matter entitled “Photographic Potpourri.” The images presented demonstrate an eclectic variety of subject matter, from still lifes, to scenics, to a series of photos taken with an iPhone and manipulated with the app ToonPAINT. This exhibit runs May 2-28. There will be an opening reception on Sunday, May 7, 12-3pm at 10 Lincoln Street. Otherwise, the Gallery is open to visitors each Sunday from noon until 2pm.

W. Marc Bernsau is an award-winning photographer, having worked as a freelancer, photojournalist, studio owner, and corporate photographer. His work has appeared in The Professional Photographer, Studio Photography, Travel Holiday, Yankee Publishing, Business Digest, Time, Woman’s World, Macmillan Publishing, Reader’s Digest Books, Eastman Kodak, plus numerous trade publications as well as appearing on CBS, CNN, and PBS. He holds the Photographic Craftsman Degree for service to the profession and the Master of Photography Degree for achievement in the profession as awarded by the Professional Photographers of America. His work can be found online at www.wmarc.com.

To learn more about the PCA and its wide array of artistic endeavors, visit them online at pcawestford.org
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Ayer, Boxborough, Littleton, and Westford Police to Share Co-Response Clinician

WESTFORD/LITTLETON: Ayer Police Chief Brian Gill, Boxborough Police Chief John Szewczyk, Littleton Police Chief Matthew Pinard, and Westford Police Chief Mark Chambers are pleased to announce that their police departments will share a new co-response mental health clinician to help improve police services to those suffering from mental health crises and substance use disorder. Co-response clinician Susan Lemere, who has a masters degree from Smith College, and who is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will be available to respond with police to calls for service involving mental health or substance use disorder issues to provide on site counseling and services, as well as follow up care and resources for community-based support.

The addition of Lemere as a co-response clinician is an expansion of the COIN jail diversion program, of which the Ayer, Boxborough, Littleton and Westford departments are members. COIN, a program of Family Continuity, has been working in the community to support residents in getting mental health, substance use disorder, and community-based supports since 2016. This expansion will allow a clinician to respond to 911 calls at the time of crisis to offer more immediate support when needed.

Lemere has worked as a co-responder in Vermont, where she worked with the Montpelier and Barre City Police Departments, as well as Washington County Mental Health Services.

"I believe strongly in the co-response model and look forward to collaborating with police here to serve the community," Lemere said.

"We are very fortunate to have a co-response clinician of Susan’s high quality working with us and enhancing the services we have available through our partnership with the COIN program," said Chief Chambers. "We owe it to our residents to take advantage of these opportunities to provide additional support to those experiencing a mental health or substance misuse crisis."

“When we can provide proper services for an individual experiencing a mental health crisis thereby keeping that individual out of the courts because of an arrest, then we are doing our job promoting the guardian mindset in policing, as opposed to the warrior mindset”, said Boxborough Police Chief John Szewczyk. “What set Susan apart from other candidates was not only her fine work history and impressive educational qualifications, but her empathy and compassion. We are looking forward to having someone of Susan’s caliber become part of the Boxborough community and welcome her to town.”

“This is just one more step we are taking to ensure we are doing our part in assisting with those in need of assistance with mental health needs," said Chief Pinard. "The challenge of our nation's mental health crisis has been thrust upon us, and we are working to meet that challenge with professionalism and compassion."

“Working with Susan as our shared co-response clinician will be a progressive step forward in providing much needed services to those experiencing mental health crisis and/or substance use disorder," said Chief Gill. "It is our hope that by triaging crises in the field with Susan and using the follow-up referral services through our COIN program, we will be able to better serve those in need in our communities.”
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Nashoba Players Presents
"The Lifespan of a Fact"

WESTFORD: Jim Fingal is a fresh-out-of-Harvard fact checker for a prominent but sinking New York magazine. John D’Agata is a talented writer with a transcendent essay about the suicide of a teenage boy—an essay that could save the magazine from collapse. When Jim is assigned to fact check D’Agata’s essay, the two come head to head in a comedic yet gripping battle over facts versus truth in "The Lifespan of a Fact."  Nashoba Players will bring this play to life April 28, 29, May 5 and 6 at Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street.
 
This play was written by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell, based on the book by John D'Agata and Jim Fingal. Featured in the cast are Jason Norman, Beth MacElhiney Venuti and Chris Rose, all directed by Douglas Cooper.
 
The Players last production in October'22 was a complete sell-out, so don't wait to get your tickets ($23.75 online; $25 at the door, if available).  For more information, visit www.nashobaplayers.org, or visit them on Facebook.
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Littleton's Shaker Lane School Invited Into Feasibility Phase by Massachusetts School Building Authority

LITTLETON: Superintendent Kelly Clenchy and the Littleton School Committee are pleased to announce that the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) has invited Littleton Public Schools into the Feasibility Phase for the Shaker Lane Elementary School Project.
The MSBA Board of Directors voted unanimously on Wednesday, April 26 to advance the Shaker Lane proposal. Acceptance into this phase means the Town and District will collaborate with the MSBA on working toward the most cost-effective and educationally appropriate solution for Littleton students.

The Feasibility Phase includes documenting existing conditions, generating a space summary, establishing design parameters, and developing and evaluating renovation and construction alternatives.

The District and the Shaker Lane Building Committee also will collaborate with the MSBA to select an Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) and a design firm.
The Feasibility Phase takes 20 to 24 months to complete. Work in this phase will be submitted to the MSBA, which will then consider whether to admit LPS into its Design Phase.

Shaker Lane Elementary School serves all Littleton students in grades PreK-2, about 430 students. Shaker Lane opened in 1961 and was last renovated in 1998. The building faces numerous capital and maintenance issues due to its age. Shaker Lane’s spaces are inflexible, limiting the District’s efforts to effectively deliver a broad range of programming and provide a 21st century education.

“We are extremely grateful for this vote from MSBA, and thankful for the support we have received from the Littleton community,” Superintendent Clenchy said.
Superintendent Clenchy and the School Committee wish to recognize staff and members of the Shaker Lane Building Committee, who have devoted countless hours ensuring its proposal met all MSBA requirements for invitation to the Feasibility Phase.