Town election set for March 26
Andover’s annual town election will be held on Tuesday, March 26, with all precincts voting at the Andover High School Richard Collins Field House on Shawsheen Road. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The entrance to the polling place is on the left side of the field house, the far left side of Andover High.
Parking will be available for voters in the parking lot next to the field house when school is in session and all parking lots after school closes.
There is one contested race, for Board of Selectmen. Three people are running for two seats on that board. They are Larry Bruce, 254 Chandler Road; Paul J. Salafia, 283 South Main St, a candidate for re-election; and Alex J. Vispoli, 7 Alison Way, a candidate for re-election.
Also on the ballot:
MODERATOR, one-year position, Sheila M. Doherty, 9 Juniper Road, a candidate for re-election;
SCHOOL COMMITTEE, two seats, each for three years, Paula M. Colby-Clements, 119 Chestnut St., candidate for re-election; and Barbara A. L’Italien, 5 Harper Circle;
ANDOVER HOUSING AUTHORITY, a five-year position, Janice Burkholder, 22 Arundel St., candidate for re-election; and
TRUSTEES OF THE PUNCHARD FREE SCHOOL, a three-year seat, Randall L. Hanson, 15 Pasho St.
People with questions can contact the town clerk’s office at 978-623-8255.
Resident named chairman of Nature Conservancy trustees
The Nature Conservancy has announced that Andover resident Thomas O. Jones is its new Board of Trustees chairman.
After joining the Nature Conservancy Board of Trustees in 2010, Jones has taken on the role of board chairman, replacing environmental attorney Jeff Porter, who served as chairman for four years.
Jones is president of eLanes, a food services company, and has spent over 12 years at Harvard Business School and Sloan School teaching service management and marketing. Since 2002, he has served on the board of the Walden Woods Project, a nonprofit committed to preserving the landscapes described in Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden.” He has served on the boards of the Greater Boston Food Bank and the Massachusetts High Tech Council.
League hosts Candidates Afternoon March 16
Learn more about the candidates running for local office at a Candidates Afternoon on Saturday, March 16, 1 p.m., at Andover’s Public Safety Center. Hosted by the League of Women Voters of Andover/North Andover, the event provides residents with an opportunity to meet and question the candidates in advance of the March 26 election.
All candidates for the following offices have been invited: Town Moderator, Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Andover Housing Authority, and Punchard Free School Trustee; however, not all candidates will participate this year. The participants include Sheila Doherty, running for another term as Town Moderator; Paul J. Salafia and Alex Vispoli, who are running for re-election to the Board of Selectmen against resident Larry Bruce; and Paula Colby-Clements (incumbent) and Barbara A. L’Italien running for two open seats on the School Committee. The format allows candidates to make statements as well as answer questions and discuss their positions on the important issues facing the community.
League member Heather McNeil, a resident of North Andover, will moderate the event. Questions for candidates may be emailed to voterServiceAndover@lwv-andovers.org. The forum is free and open to the public, and will also be televised live, rebroadcast on cable, and posted online. For more information, contact Stefani Traina at voterServiceAndover@lwv-andovers.org.
Senator Finegold, staff office hours
State Sen. Barry Finegold and staff will hold open office hours on Friday, March 22 from 11 a.m. to noon at Memorial Hall Library in the first floor activities room, 2 North Main St.
ENHC annual spring meeting
The Essex National Heritage Commission will hold its annual spring meeting on Wednesday, April 10 at Winnekenni Castle, 347 Kenoza Ave., Haverhill.
A continental breakfast reception will begin at 8 a.m., followed by a business meeting from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Essex Heritage Partnership Grant recipients will be announced. For more information or to RSVP, call 978-740-0444.
Cub Scouts Pack 79 recruitment night
The annual recruitment night for Andover Cub Scouts Pack 79 will coincide with the group’s March Pack meeting on Thursday, March 21.
Pack 79 will have a Civil War memorabilia presentation as part of the event at Saint Bellarmine Church, 198 Haggetts Pond Road in Andover, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. People should use the side entrance located to the right of the church.
Andona Society to $10,000 in scholarships
This year, the Andona Society will award $2,000 scholarships to five high school graduates of the Class of 2013 whose legal, primary residence is in Andover.
Seniors attending Andover High School, Greater Lawrence Technical School or a private school are eligible to apply. One of these awards will be designated as a 766 PAC scholarship for a student with special needs.
These scholarships are for one year only and are to be applied to the recipient’s first year of post high school education.
Applications are now available at the Andover High School guidance office, or online at andona.org or mhl.org/andover. All applications must be postmarked by April 1, 2013. For more information, visit andona.org.
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 glcac.org.
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.
Organizations can sign up now for fall’s 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 trailsandsails.org or contact Essex Heritage at 978-740-0444 to add an organization to the event host line-up.
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 501(c)3 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 pricelesspromgownprogram.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 glcac.org.
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.
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 mass.gov/ole.
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 email@example.com, with “Plan to Attend in the subject line.
For more information call MSL at 978-681-0800.
Breast-cancer group looks for salons to join fund-raising effort
In honor of Mother’s Day 2013, the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition will organize a statewide Cut-A-Thon event to benefit their work towards preventing breast cancer for future generations.
On the weekend of May 4 and 5, Massachusetts salons will devote one day to donate all proceeds from hair cuts to MBCC. Salons will charge $15 per haircut and events will bring communities together in an effort to make a difference and change the legacy of breast cancer, according to a release from the coalition.
Salons wishing to hold a Cut-A-Thon to help end the breast cancer epidemic in honor of Mother’s Day should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-246-3047. The deadline for salons interested in participating is April 1.
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.
Wildlife refuge seeks volunteer wardens
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, located on Plum Island, is looking for volunteer plover wardens for the 2013 plover season. Beginning in April of each year, the entire refuge beach is closed to all public entry to provide undisturbed nesting habitat for the federally threatened piping plover. The Volunteer Plover Warden Program significantly contributes to the breeding success of these birds.
Plover warden orientation will be held this Saturday, March 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at Refuge Headquarters, 6 Plum Island Turnpike, across the street from the Joppa MA Audubon building on the turnpike. The public is welcome to attend this meeting with no obligation to volunteer. Anyone interested in this opportunity or other types of volunteer positions for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Parker River, is encouraged to call the Refuge at 978-465-5754 ext. 208 for more information.
Gently used children’s items for sale
Nashoba Valley MoM, a nonprofit organization, will hold a sale of gently used children’s items on Saturday, April 6 from 8 a.m. to noon at Central Congregational Church, 1 Worthen St., Chelmsford.
Items for sale include baby equipment, toys, clothes, books and more. Only cash accepted. For more information, visit nashobavalleymom.org or call 978-376-2939.
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 heart.org/MACastingCall.