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ANDOVER | Community Briefing

Transit forum

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November 18, 2007

Transportation planners from Massachusetts and New Hampshire will hold a meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 27 at Memorial Hall Library on Main Street to discuss transit ideas inside the Interstate 93 corridor. The public is invited to hear about alternatives being reviewed, including rail and bus options, and offer suggestions. A second hearing will follow the next day at the same time at Salem High School in New Hampshire. More information on the two-year transit study is available at the project website, I93transit.org. - Dan Tuohy

CHELMSFORD

STUDENT WINS DOCUMENTARY AWARD - High school senior Maxwell Scott's documentary won first place last week in the student category of the Alliance for Community Media-Northeast Cable Awards Competition. Scott's work, "Any Road Will Do," depicts the start-up operations of the first privately owned television in communist Laos, where until recently the country had only a government-owned station. Scott's father, Matt, heads Chelmsford Telemedia, the town's cable access station. He and partner Jeff Hino provided volunteer consulting services to the new Laostar Channel. The film is being shown on the town's cable access Channel 8. - Joyce Pellino Crane

DRACUT

WINTER PARKING - The Department of Public Works has announced its snow and ice removal program for the winter. Town bylaws will be strictly enforced, stating that from Dec. 1 to March 15, no cars may park on any public street between midnight and 6 a.m. unless in an emergency. Violators may be punished with a $15 fine. - Rocco Colella

DUNSTABLE

EARLY GRADES GET SCIENCE GRANT - The Library Services and Technology Act, a federal program to support school and public libraries, has awarded the school district $5,000 to bolster science curriculums in the second and third grades. The grant will help purchase books, DVDs, and other materials. - Matt Gunderson

GROTON

FREE FLU SHOTS - The Board of Health will host free flu shot clinics on Nov. 28 and Dec. 26 at the senior center. Both clinics will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Flu shots are recommended for those who may be highly susceptible to health problems, such as children under 6 months old or adults older than 50. Contact the Board of Health office at 978-448-1120 for more information. - Matt Gunderson

LAWRENCE

TREE LIGHTING - The annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony will take place Dec. 7 at 4:30 p.m. in front of City Hall. Mayor Michael J. Sullivan is expected to attend, along with city councilors, the police and fire chiefs, and, of course, Santa Claus. - Alex I. Oster

LOWELL

BRIDGE FORUM - The state Highway Department will hold a public meeting and accept public comment on the proposed replacement of the University Avenue Bridge at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at Alumni Hall at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Project plans will be on display and an engineer will be on hand to answer questions. The historic bridge, built in 1895, last received a major overhaul in 1965. Planners hope the new bridge, to be constructed 200 feet away from the existing one, will be safer and more convenient. The new bridge will have one lane running in each direction, wide sidewalks, and a shoulder that will double as a bicycle lane. The cost of construction, expected to begin in late 2009, is estimated at $21 million. - Alex I. Oster

METHUEN

HEARING SET ON AUCTION - The City Council will hold a public hearing tomorrow at 6:45 p.m. in the Great Hall at City Hall to discuss plans to auction off two city-owned parcels on Clinton Street. Before the land is sold, the council must classify the property as surplus land. - Christine McConville

NORTH ANDOVER

NEW HEADMASTER AT BROOKS - John R. Packard is the new head of Brooks School. The school's board of trustees announced the unanimous appointment of Packard, currently dean of faculty at the school, earlier this month. Packard will take office July 1. He previously served as assistant director of admissions, assistant dean of students, and history teacher at the school. He is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College. The search began a year ago when headmaster Larry Becker announced he would be stepping down after this year, his 22d at the school. - Dan Tuohy

PEPPERELL

HELP WITH HEATING - Seniors and other residents can now apply for federal fuel assistance, the Council on Aging announced. The maximum income for a single resident to qualify is $20,420; for two residents, their combined income cannot exceed $27,380. Call the senior center at 978-433-0326 to apply or for more information. - Matt Gunderson

TEWKSBURY

99'S RENOVATIONS BOOST MATH AND SCIENCE - The 99 Restaurant on Main Street donated more than $10,000 to the schools from an auction last month of items left over after renovation, according to School Committee chairman Keith Rauseo. Rauseo said the money would likely go toward purchase of five or six additional light boards for interactive lessons in math and science. - Connie Paige

TYNGSBOROUGH

AT ISSUE, WASTE MANAGEMENT - The town averaged about 4,400 tons of waste during fiscal 2007, which ended June 30, according to Joan Ferrari, health administrator. This year's contract with Allied Waste Services of Tyngsborough will cost the town about $490,000 plus a $74 per ton tipping fee, so called because the trash trucks tip their loads at the disposal facility. The extended contract with Allied ends June 30, and officials will be advertising for proposals from waste management companies. The town's website reminds residents that no more than four curbside trash barrels per household, each weighing 50 pounds or less, are collected each week. - Joyce Pellino Crane

WESTFORD

COMMUNITY CENTER HONORED - The Roudenbush Community Center was presented with the Roy L. Jeannotte Award for Community Service from the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce this month. Among the center's recent efforts was its support of the Westford Green Market Project, which launched a weekly farmers market on the town common this summer and fall with the First Parish Church United. The community center also partnered with various town and civic organizations to hold a symposium for seniors and their caregivers. Last year, Roudenbush helped launch the region's Nashoba Valley Special Olympic program for children with special needs. - Joyce Pellino Crane

NEW HAMPSHIRE

BROOKLINE

A SAFER STEEPLE - Nearly a year after it was removed for repairs, work crews put the Brookline Public Library's steeple back on top of the building Nov. 8. The steeple, which had been considered unsafe, is now reinforced and has aluminum siding. - Meg Villeneuve

HUDSON

FURNISHING THE LIBRARY - Last month, selectmen and library trustees accepted a $4 million donation to build a new library. With construction costs covered, it will be up to voters to approve spending money to furnish the new building. The money needed would come from the sale of two house lots that the town owns but cannot sell without voter approval. Town Administrator Steve Malizia said selectmen will discuss the wording of that warrant article at their meeting on Nov. 27. - Meg Villeneuve

MERRIMACK

SCHOOLS SEEK FASTER NOTIFICATION SYSTEM - A fire in a transformer at Thorntons Ferry School was a reminder, administrators said, of why the schools should have an emergency electronic communication system. Letters were sent home to parents that explained that students were evacuated and bused to Reeds Ferry School for the rest of the day. Had the communication system been in place, the district could have notified parents of the situation immediately. Superintendent Marge Chiafery said she will discuss the communications system during the School Board meeting tomorrow. "We are looking at both a short-term and a long-term solution," she said. For now, she said, she would like to have the ability to issue an alert from her office in case of an emergency. - Meg Villeneuve

SALEM

TOWN MANAGER RECEIVES BRONZE STAR - Town Manager Jonathan Sistare received the Bronze Star for his recent tour of duty in Iraq as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. He received the award at the Woodbury School's annual Veterans Day tribute. Sistare also gave the keynote address. Major General Kenneth Clark of the state National Guard awarded the medal, given for meritorious service, and Governor John Lynch pinned it on Sistare's uniform. - Meg Villeneuve

AROUND THE REGION

ARLINGTON

NO PLACE FOR HATE NO MORE - The town's No Place for Hate steering committee has decided to officially withdraw from the national program. The decision comes after the Anti-Defamation League declined to acknowledge the Armenian genocide. (The ADL has subsequently softened its position.) The local No Place for Hate program had just started, and there has been no decision on whether the group will simply call itself something else. The decision to not pursue national recognition was approved by the Arlington Human Rights Commission. - Melissa Beecher

BELMONT

INTERNET SAFETY TALK - The Parent Teacher Organization at Belmont High will host a discussion on cyber-bullying and cyber-safety at 7 p.m. Nov. 28 in the school library. A speaker from the Project Alliance of the Middlesex Partnership for Youth, a nonprofit community education agency established in 1988 by the Middlesex district attorney's office, will discuss online risks and safety. The program is tailored to parents and educators of middle and high school students. The agency is online at Projectalliance.org. - Dan Tuohy

BOXBOROUGH

GIFT OF HISTORY - The Boxborough Museum, usually open once a month on a Sunday, will be open from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 1 as part of an effort to boost holiday sales. Holiday gifts include historic town maps and books about the history of Boxborough. Boxborough Historical Society members will be on hand to discuss the town's history and exhibits. Admission is free. - Jennifer Fenn Lefferts

BURLINGTON

TRUST FUND FOR EDUCATOR'S CHILDREN - The School Committee has collaborated with friends and former colleagues of Katie Spinos, the Burlington superintendent who died unexpectedly in August at age 48, to create an educational trust for Spinos's two children, whom she raised as a single mother and who now live with their grandmother. Through the Burlington community, Spinos's home town of Arlington, the alumni network of her alma mater, Boston College, and other channels, the group hopes to raise $10 apiece from 10,000 donors, with a goal of $100,000 or more, School Committee chairman Stephen A. Nelson said. Information is available on the town website, burlington.org. - Eric Moskowitz

WILMINGTON

LIBRARY LOT FACE LIFT - The town is upgrading Wilmington Memorial Library's parking lots, said Donald N. Onusseit, superintendent of public works. The $77,000 project will add 25 parking spaces, and repave the existing lots, Onusseit said. Work should be finished next spring. - Laura M. Colarusso

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