Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

February 28, 2013

News in brief: Shorter items from around town, region

The Andover Townsman

---- — MVCC’s GAC presents ‘The Massachusetts Economy’

Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce is providing an opportunity for people to hear from and question their state senators.

The group’s Government Affairs Committee will offer an event called “The Massachusetts Economy: A Report from the Massachusetts State Senate” on Friday, March 1 from 7:30 to 9:15 a.m. at Salvatore’s Riverwalk Conference Center, 354 Merrimack St., Lawrence.

Speakers include Andover’s state Sen. Barry Finegold, and Sens. Eileen Donoghue, Kathleen O’Connor Ives and Bruce Tarr.

The special guest moderator is former state Senator Steven Baddour.

A hot breakfast buffet included. Cost is $28 for members, $50 for nonmembers. For more information or to register, visit or call 978-686-0900.

Proposal calls for selling computers used by predators

Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian and state Sen. Barry Finegold (D—Andover) have proposed legislation filed by Finegold in the Senate to sell technology used in child porn and enticement cases, to raise money for crime-prevention and victim therapy.

The bill is modeled on the state’s controlled substances and human trafficking statutes, and would allow state and county prosecutors to petition the court for forfeiture of specific property in child pornography and enticement cases, reports Finegold’s office. “With the court’s permission, items used for the production, storage or dissemination of child pornography, such as cameras and computers, or of items used in the enticement of minors, such as cell phones and motor vehicles, could be seized and disposed of at the conclusion of cases,” says a release.

Under the legislation, the money generated would benefit programs “including Internet safety education efforts, victim rehabilitation and therapy and the purchase of technical equipment for law enforcement agencies.”

Respond by March 1 for AVIS dinner

AVIS will offer its annual dinner on March 12, at the Log Cabin, 212 Highland Road, on the Phillips Academy campus in Andover.

The Andover Village Improvement Society is one of the oldest conservation organizations in the country. It mission is to acquire land, preserve it in its natural state, and encourage public use and quiet enjoyment of the reservations.

On March 12, it will host a social hour beginning at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7. People are asked to respond by March 1 if they wish to attend the dinner at $28 per person. Those dining should make checks payable to AVIS and mail the check to: Elizabeth Poland, 22 Wolcott Ave., Andover, MA 01810.

There also will be a business meeting and presentation at 7:45 p.m. that will be free and open to the public.

For more information visit the group’s website at

Online auction to benefit St. John’s Prep

An online auction to benefit St. John’s Prep starts Monday, March 4 and runs through Monday, March 11.

Items include premier seating for Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins games; autographed sports memorabilia; a week at the Marriott Grand Vista Resort in Orlando, Fla; golf packages and gourmet dining, according to organizers. The auction is open to all.

Boy Scout Troop 79 Winter Food Drive

Andover Boy Scout Troop 79 of Saint Robert Bellarmine Church is participating in Scouting for Food Drive.

This annual event, sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America, will run March 2 through 9 and will cover the North Western section of Andover - approximately 1,300 homes, between Route 495 and Interstae 93.

In recent years, Troop 79 has been working with “Neighbors in Need,” a food bank that collects items in Andover.

In 2012, the Boy Scouts collected a total of 3,007 items, which were sorted and packed for the pantry. Last year, the Neighbors in Need pantry was almost bare when the troop delivered the supplies to the Dundee Park warehouse in town.

Neighbors in Need food pantries provide food for over 500 families every week.

Residents can look for the flyers and red bags on March 2, and place their donations in the bag for pickup on March 9.

Calling high school artists

Congressman John F. Tierney will serve as honorary chairman of the Annual 6th Congressional District High School Art Competition and Exhibition at Montserrat College of Art, 301 Cabot Street, Beverly, on Saturday, March 9, from 3 to 5 p.m.

The exhibition is a juried art show, open to high school students from public and private schools within the 6th Congressional District of Massachusetts, as well as high school students home-schooled within the district. Parts of Andover now fall within the 6th District as part of last year’s redistricting.

Students from every school in the district are encouraged to participate, and submissions will be accepted Friday, March 1, 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 2, noon to 5 p.m. to 301 Cabot St. Gallery, Beverly.

The exhibition will be open for public viewing from Wednesday, March 6 through Friday, March 8, 3 to 5 p.m. with the closing awards show held on Saturday, March 9, also from 3 to 5.

Firearm safety course in North Reading

The North Reading Rifle Club, 242 Central St. in that town, will host a firearm-safety course on Wednesdays, March 13 and 20, at 7 p.m. both nights. People must attend both dates.

Certified instructors will explain firearm operation, safe handling, storage, transportation and laws concerning gun use and ownership. Each participant will shoot a rifle, revolver and semi-automatic handgun. A certificate required by Massachusetts law when applying for a Class A or B license to carry, or firearms identification card, will be issued to everyone completing the course. A license is required to purchase, possess or carry a firearm.

To register or for more information, call Richard Morrissette at 978-657-7291.

2013 Priceless Prom Gown Program

Teens looking for some help in attending their prom have a local organization to which they can turn: the Priceless Prom Gown Program.

The 2013 boutique dates for the Priceless Prom Gown Program will be held March 2 and 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and April 6 and 27 from noon to 5 p.m. The program’s boutique is located behind the Everett Mill in the historic Stone Mill at 15 Union St. in Lawrence.

The PPGP is a non profit 5013C program that is in its seventh year that helps local high school students to attend their proms who otherwise might not be able to do so due to financial hardship or family circumstances.

“Local financially challenged teenagers are encouraged to come and choose the perfect prom gown and accessories for a nominal donation of $10. We even have a few tuxedos for the boys,” the group says in a release. “We are proud to be able to offer this opportunity through the help of private and local business donations and tireless volunteers.”

For information about Priceless Prom Gown Program, or to make a donation, visit the website or contact

MSL’s annual Animal Rights Day

Massachusetts School of Law will host its seventh annual Animal Rights Day on Saturday, March 30 beginning at 8 a.m. at the law school at 500 Federal St. in Andover.

The event is free and open to the public.

Legal issues related to animal rights and animal cruelty will be addressed by recognized legal experts in the field of animal rights law.

A police dog demonstration will be presented by the Essex County Sheriff’s department.

Kids’ activities will also be available, including an Easter Egg Hunt with the Easter Bunny, face painting, animal crafts, and Boo the Pony.

The Andover Fire Department will be on hand with a fire truck to demonstrate its equipment to attendees.

NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled American, an organization that provides independence to people who are deaf or have a disability through the use of canine assistance, will also be at the event, as will BlueDog, a local company that provides a full range of canine-related services.

A complimentary breakfast at 8 a.m. will kick off the event. A complimentary lunch will also be provided.

Copies of the “Please, Can We Keep the Donkey?” book, written by MSL professors Diane Sullivan and Holly Vietzke, will be on sale at the event. All proceeds from book sales will benefit the Shadow Fund, established by MSL to assist animals with medical needs.

Although not required, MSL organizers request an e-mail from anyone interested in attending at, with “Plan to Attend in the subject line.

For more information call MSL at 978-681-0800.

AGC seeking applications for memorial scholarship

The Andover Garden Club is seeking qualified students to apply for the Ruth I. Cleveland Scholarship Fund, which memorializes the late Ruth Cleveland, a long-term resident of Andover who served as president of the Andover Garden Club from 1954 to 1956.

The memorial scholarship is given annually in recognition of Cleveland’s efforts to enrich the lives of garden-club members in the pursuit of all the arts and sciences.

Applicants for the scholarship must be graduate or undergraduate students pursuing the study of the arts and/or sciences.

The deadline for submitting applications is March 1, 2013. Applicants must be residents of Massachusetts, have a minimum grade average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale), exhibit good character, and demonstrate financial need.

Applications, financial aid forms and scholarship descriptions can be downloaded at

GLCAC Inc offers free tax services to low/moderate-income families

Free tax services for low- to moderate-income families and individuals are available from the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council Inc., which is participating in the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.

GLCAC Inc.’s volunteers will offer free tax help to people earning $51,000 or less and who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.

The tax preparers will also help families file for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which could mean a tax refund for families.

Tax return services will be available Tuesdays and Thursdays between 4 and 8 p.m. through April 11.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 978-620-4669. Clients are expected to bring financial records to their appointments, and if filing jointly, both individuals must be present. A full list of required records is available at

Andover Choral Society seeks new singers

The Andover Choral Society invites new members to join it for its final concert of the group’s 83rd season.

A gala performance of arias, choruses, and ensembles from favorite operas will be presented on Sunday, April 28, at 3 p.m. at the Rogers Center for the Arts at Merrimack College. Professional Boston-area soloists will add to the festivities.

The rehearsals are Mondays at 7:20 to 9:30 p.m. at Christ Church, 25 Central St. in Andover. For more information call 603-893-5636. The Andover Choral Society is sponsored in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Event to replace veteran grave flags

On Sunday, April 14, Andover veterans, cadets, boy scouts, cub scouts, girl scouts and interested citizens will meet at 11 a.m. at Spring Grove Cemetery on Abbot Street to replace 3,600 flags on the graves of deceased Andover veterans.

The process takes about 90 minutes and affords an opportunity to see parts of Andover’s history up close., according to the town veterans services office.

In case of inclement weather the flags will be placed on graves at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 21.

For more information, call the Andover Veterans Services Office at 978-623-8218.

Mass. boating basics course

The Massachusetts Environmental Police and Andover Sportsman’s Club will offer a boating basics course at the Andover Sportsman’s Club, 655 Middleton Road, North Andover.

Classes are April 30, May 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. Participants must attend all classes.

Students must be at least 12 years of age. Youth 12 through 15 years of age who successfully complete the course will be issued a safety certificate allowing them to operate a motorboat without adult supervision, as required by state law. This course will also satisfy the state requirements for personal watercraft users who are 16 or 17 years of age.

All graduates will be issued a safety certificate.

Registration is required at