Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

March 7, 2013

News in brief: Short news items from around region

The Andover Townsman

---- — Merrimack Valley Tea Party to discuss 2014 outlook

The Merrimack Valley Tea Party will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. at the VFW Hall, 32 Park St. in North

Andover. The speaker will be Paul Craney, executive director of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, who the local Tea Party group reports is set to talk about the election outlook for conservative candidates in 2014.

The public is welcome.


Talk March 7 on children’s body image and nutrition

Psychologist Jodi R. Galin and nutrition therapist Amy Aubertin will present “Talking to Your Child About Body Image and Nutrition” today, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Pike School, 34 Sunset Rock road.

Jodi R. Galin, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist with over 15 years of experience specializing in the treatment and prevention of eating disorders, according to Parent to Parent, the group sponsoring the talk. She co-authored Growing Together (2004), an obesity and eating-disorders awareness and primary prevention program that teaches protective measures that promote health and help children grow in to their own healthy sizes.

“Amy Aubertin, MS, RD, LDN is a registered dietitian and nutrition therapist who specializes in eating issues, weight issues and mindful eating,” according to the group. “She helps individuals and families develop a balanced approach to food and body.”

She has a private practice in Lexington.

Parent to Parent reports: “Our culture is bombarding us with confusing nutrition and skewed body image messages. How can we expect our children and teens to make sense of these messages that we struggle to understand ourselves? Jodi R. Galin, Ph.D. and Amy Aubertin, M.S., R.D. will help you talk to your child or teen about body image, counter-act the idealized images in the media, and emphasize healthy food without going overboard. This panel discussion will bring to life key protective factors that parents and caregivers need to know in order to help their growing children develop healthy eating and exercise habits.”


GLCAC Inc. urging state to fund home-heating aid

The Greater Lawrence Community Action Council Inc. is urging state lawmakers to approve $20 million for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help the state’s poorest residents weather the rest of the winter.

As of mid-February, 95 percent of GLCAC Inc.’s fuel assistance clients had exhausted the federally funded benefit.

Nearly 6,000 clients have received assistance with paying a portion of their heating bills for natural gas, oil and other deliverable fuels, a figure that is equal to last year’s need. However, the agency expects to see additional applications from low-income residents who are struggling to keep warm.

Applications for home heating assistance are now available from the GLCAC Inc. Families meeting federal and state income guidelines may be eligible for financial assistance in paying part of their winter heating bills and are encouraged to contact GLCAC at 978-681-4950 or visit

Households where heat is included in the rent may be eligible for assistance. The amount of heating assistance is based on a sliding scale and determined by the gross household income.

GLCAC is required to follow the federal program rules. To be eligible for assistance with paying a portion of their heating bill, applicants must prove they meet federal and state income guidelines by providing documentation of the gross household income for all household members 18 years and older for a minimum of four weeks prior to their application date.


2013 Go Red For Women Casting Call set for March 15

Join the American Heart Association at this year’s Go Red For Women Casting Call on Friday, March 15 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the AHA’s Waltham Office, located at 300 5th Ave., Suite 6, Waltham.

Too many women die each year because they are unaware that heart disease is their No. 1 killer. Go Red For Women is looking for women to share their heart stories and the choices they make to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, empowering others by example. Whether you are a survivor, have made a significant lifestyle change, or have another personal connection to heart disease, you are encouraged to come and share your story, according to the AHA. Women who share their stories have the chance to become a local spokesperson for the cause – representing Go Red For Women in marketing materials, at events, online and in the media.

For more information or to register, visit


NECC College for Older Learners showcases seminars

Adults 50 and older who are interested in learning for the fun of learning are invited to attend Northern Essex Community College’s College of Older Learners seminar showcase on Tuesday, March 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. in Room 103B in the David Hartleb Technology Center on the Haverhill campus, 100 Elliott St.

Attendees will learn more about each seminar and meet the seminar leaders. This event is free and open to the public.

Seminar topics for the spring include Making Mandalas and Kaleidescopic Designs, Six More Countries in Six Weeks, Gardening with Perennials, Exploring Poetic Form, The Lives of the Impressionists, Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation, From the Small Screen to the Silver Screen, Aging as a Spiritual Journey, What’s Mine is Mine or You Earned It, You Keep It, Journal Writing for Beginners, Why is the Sky Blue?, and Exotic Destinations.

All of the seminars meet from 2 to 4 p.m. on a designated week-day for six consecutive weeks, unless otherwise noted, in a Haverhill campus building.

The cost is $25 for each seminar.

For more information, visit or call 978-556-3110 and leave a voice-mail message.


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.


Organizations can sign up for Trails & Sails weekends

The Essex National Heritage Commission has issued a call to all area non-profit and community organizations, as well as recreation- and heritage tourism-based businesses, to participate as site hosts for the 12th annual Trails & Sails: Two Weekends of Walks & Water, to be held Sept. 20-22 and Sept. 27-29.

“Join over 100 other sites to showcase the best of the region. Trails & Sails is the region’s premier partnership event, organized by Essex Heritage to promote and sustain the region’s heritage resources,” encourages a release from the commission. “Popular events offered in previous years include guided hikes, walks, sails, paddles, as well as historical tours and behind-the-scenes adventures for all ages, skill levels and interests. Showcase your site – organize a unique, fun and free event to build public awareness and audience for your cause, mission and organization, and further enhance your visibility on the North Shore.”

Trails & Sails event submission begins online this month, March. Those interested in hosting an activity, demonstration, lecture, or any other type of historic, cultural or outdoors event, can learn more about Trails & Sails online at or contact Essex Heritage at 978-740-0444 to add an organization to the event host line-up.


Andover Choral Society seeks 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.


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.

Upcoming boutique dates for the Priceless Prom Gown Program will be held March 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.


High school artists competing

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.

The exhibition is 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.


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


Help replace veterans’ 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 off 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