NoteWorthy – 6/6/21
AROUND THE VALLEY
MRWC Recognized by New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau recently recognized the Merrimack River Watershed Council (MWRC) at its annual Drinking Water Source Protection Conference on Wednesday, May 19. The award was presented as part of a two-day conference held on May 19 and 20.
The MWRC received the agency’s Source Water Protection Award for work to protect New Hampshire’s drinking water. The organization was also recognized for its work to secure $6.9 million dollars in federal funding to coordinate water supply and conservation partners in a statewide effort to permanently protect critical water supply lands and improve land management practices, primarily on land protected by easements.
UML Geologist Identifies New Form of Quasicrystal
A UMass Lowell (UML) geologist is among the researchers who have discovered a new type of human-made quasicrystal created by the first test blast of an atomic bomb.
The formation holds promise as a new material that could one day help repair bone, insulate heat or convert heat to electricity, or aid in the use of prosthetics, according to UML Prof. G. Nelson Eby, a member of the university’s environmental, earth and atmospheric sciences department.
Eby is a member of the research team that identified the quasicrystal substance inside samples of trinitite they examined that were collected from the debris of the first atomic bomb detonated by the U.S. Army on July 16, 1945 in the New Mexico desert. Also known as atomic rock, trinitite is a glassy material produced by the extreme heat and pressure unleashed by detonated atomic devices.
The research team’s findings were published last month in the academic journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces $109 Million in Direct Federal Aid for Four Communities
The Baker-Polito Administration announced a total of $109 million in discretionary funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will be distributed today to Methuen, Chelsea, Everett and Randolph. These four communities were amongst the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but due to shortcomings in the federal ARPA funding formula, were set to receive disproportionately smaller amounts of federal funding compared to other hard-hit communities.
Methuen received $26.3 million in funding.
These municipalities will be able to use these funds to support costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including direct response efforts, addressing negative economic impacts, replacing revenue lost during the pandemic, making investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, as well as other eligible expenditures.
DiZoglio Secures State Funds for Lake Gardner Beach Renovations
Among the local funds secured by state Sen. Diana DiZoglio in the fiscal year 2022 Senate budget is $100,000 toward renovations at Lake Gardner beach in Amesbury.
Recently, local stakeholders have been working to address a variety of issues at Lake Gardner. The city will be hiring a beach director this season to ensure a consistent presence at the beach and the local department of public works has been making improvements to the bathrooms. They are also considering a potential tenant, such as a coffee shop or kayak rental company, to use the small commercial space in the building.
However, the city needs improvement of the parking area and in particular access to the beach and surrounding park in order to ensure compliance with Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
MCC Staff Members Awarded for Excellence During Pandemic
Two Middlesex Community College (MCC) staff members from their office of online learning received League Excellence Awards from the League for Innovation. Roxanne McCorry, MCC’s director of online learning and Blackboard support, and Daniela Loghin, MCC’s coordinator for academic resources, were recognized for supporting the college throughout the pandemic in the transition of coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems.
Phil Sisson, MCC’s president-elect, calls McCorry and Loghin “consistently instrumental” to MCC’s success throughout the pandemic. Their support of faculty in the adjustment to online teaching has continued to be a valuable resource.
MRT Young Company to Switch to All In-Person Programs for Summer 2021
The Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s (MRT) Young Company, a summer intensive for teenagers, will return to in-person workshops this year, from July 12 to 30. The Young Company is an educational theater experience for students 14 to 18 years of age with an interest in all aspects of the performing arts and new play development. Director Robert Cornelius will return to lead the course.
Students will explore acting and performance, scene analysis and monologue work, as well as collaborative playwriting of their own original scripts. The students will be joined by nationally recognized playwrights, actors and directors.
Bread & Roses Awards Inaugural Robert Lanzoni Scholarship in Support of Education in Lawrence
Established to honor longtime Bread & Roses volunteer and executive director Bob Lanzoni, who passed away in Nov. 2020, the Robert Lanzoni Scholarship reflects his commitment and dedication to improving the lives of the people of Lawrence, particularly the many student volunteers who served with Bread & Roses.
Reflecting the educational challenges for students and their families in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of $6,000 was distributed to Si Se Puede, Esperanza Academy and Notre Dame Christo Rey High School.
UML Program for First-Generation College Students Receives $100K Grant
UMass Lowell’s (UML) nationally recognized program for first-generation college students is expanding its services with the support of a $100,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation.
The award will allow the UML River Hawk Scholars Academy (RHSA) to grow the academic and support services it provides to enhance educational, campus and community experiences for full-time UML students who are the first in their families to attend college.
Forty-one percent of UML undergraduates are first-generation college students. Over the last academic year, the River Hawk Scholars Academy assisted more than 400 participants and anticipates serving more than 400 students this fall. Since it began in 2017, more than 1,000 UML first-generation college students have benefited from the program.
Community Teamwork and MCC Awarded $100k Cummings Grants
Community Teamwork and Middlesex Community College (MCC) are two of the 140 local nonprofits that will receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program.
Community Teamwork will use the funding from the Cummings Foundation, to support its culinary arts vocational tract for at-risk youth interested in entering the hospitality industry. After a recent successful capital campaign, Community Teamwork was able to install a commercial kitchen at its Youth Opportunity Center.
For MCC, funding from the Cummings Grant will go toward helping students enrolled in MCC’s entrepreneurial or certificate programs launch and grow their businesses. MCC can also connect students with resources such as mentors, networking, budget review and personal support.
GLCF awards $180K in additional COVID-19 Response Grants to Address Youth Food Insecurity
The Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) announced it deployed a new round of COVID-19 related grants, providing an additional $180,000 to 17 area nonprofits in greater Lowell addressing youth food insecurity needs. These grants were part of the latest round of distributions from the commonwealth COVID Grant Program and GLCF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.
The 17 nonprofits receiving grants in the latest round of the GLCF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to address youth food insecurity include the Billerica Community Pantry Inc., the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell, Community Teamwork Inc., Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell, Greater Lowell Family YMCA – Merrimack Valley Food Bank Inc., Middlesex Community College, Mill City Grows, YWCA of Lowell and more.
Since March 2020, through grants from its GLCF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, Massachusetts COVID Relief Fund, and Commonwealth COVID Grant Program, the foundation has supported 127 local nonprofit organizations with 301 grants totaling over $4.1 million.
Museum of Printing President Celebrates 80th Birthday
Museum of Printing President Frank Romano is celebrating his 80th birthday this year and the museum is asking everyone to join in the celebration of what they are calling a Year of Frank.
Romano, who spent over 60 years in the printing industry, generously donated the building and his voluminous library to the museum. He founded the publication TypeWorld and has been the editor for many editions of “Pocket Pal: The Handy Book of Graphic Arts Production.” He also spent years as a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology and California Polytechnic State University, and is the author of more than 60 books on topics related to the printing industry.
Haverhill Mayor Announces $462K in Southwick Tax Breaks Returned to City
The city of Haverhill has successfully recovered $462,000 in tax breaks it gave the owners of the former Southwick Clothing factory in exchange for opening a manufacturing facility in Haverhill’s Broadway business park in 2014.
The 2014 agreement, approved by the mayor and city council, granted Southwick’s parent company, Golden Fleece Manufacturing Group LLC, the tax credits in exchange for moving from Lawrence to Haverhill, keeping 468 permanent local jobs and adding another 70 new jobs by 2018. The company was in talks at the time to move its jobs and the plant, which was known for making Brooks Brothers suits, outside the United States.
When Southwick abruptly announced last year that it was declaring bankruptcy and closing the Haverhill factory, Fiorentini declared he would fight to recoup the back taxes. After the city filed a claim in federal bankruptcy court, the parties were able to reach an agreement and the city received a check for $461,924.72 last month.
The city cannot spend the funds until they are certified by the state Department of Revenue as so-called free cash, which is expected in October or November.
The court’s bankruptcy court ruling paved the way for the owners of the former Southwick factory to sell the property at 25 Computer Drive for $14 million to Boston-based Eastern Real Estate. The new owners are leasing the property to Amazon, which is currently renovating the building with plans to open a “last-mile” merchandise delivery hub there. Amazon is one of three companies, including a high-tech center and a large food-making plant, that are brining approximately 750 jobs to Haverhill this year.
Martha Velez of Lawrence Chosen to Receive Community Leadership Award
On Thursday, the Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA) announced that it will present its Community Leadership Award to Martha Velez of Lawrence for her outstanding service to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic and following the 2018 Columbia Gas explosions. The Community Leadership award is given to an elected or appointed official who has made a major contribution to the health of residents in their community.
Velez is the director of human services for the city of Lawrence, overseeing the council on aging, veterans’ services office, recreation department, Mayor’s health task force, and the human rights committee.
Lowell General shifting vaccination program from regional site into hospital operations
As the demand for a large-scale regional mass vaccination site diminishes in Greater Lowell, Lowell General Hospital (LGH) will shift its Mass Vaccination Program into normal hospital operations at its Saints Campus beginning Tuesday, June 22.
Since December, 2020, the MVP program has administered more than 140,000 doses of the vaccine, first at Lowell General’s main campus and then at the Cross River Center, where as many as 3,000 doses per day were administered at the peak of demand.
The last day of operations at Cross River Center will be Tuesday, June 15.
To schedule an appointment, members of the community should to continue to visit LowellGeneralVaccine.com and click the SCHEDULE MY APPOINTMENT button. The website will redirect patients once appointments are shifted to the hospital’s central scheduling phone line in the coming weeks.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
NECC Grad Selected for State Department Fellowship
Enoch Masih of Andover, a Northern Essex Community College (NECC) computer and information science program graduate, is one of only 15 students from across the country to be selected for the prestigious Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship program, funded by the U.S. Department of State. While working at a nearby Apple store, Masih discovered that he might have a future in the technology industry. Masih was involved on-campus as peer tutor and a member of the National Society of Leadership & Success. Masih graduated from NECC in Dec. 2020 and will transfer to UMass Lowell this fall to get his bachelor’s in information technology.
GLCF Annual Meeting 2021
Open to all community members, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation is set to host its annual meeting virtually on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 12 p.m. The event will highlight the inspirational work and great strength exhibited by Greater Lowell nonprofit partners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to register for the event.
Greater Haverhill Chamber 105th Annual Dinner
The Greater Haverhill Chamber’s annual dinner is their flagship event celebrating four outstanding individuals with the Chamber Service Award, Community Leadership Award, Jerry Loy Award, and the Charles E. Billups Award. The event takes place Thursday, June 10, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Click here for details.
ECCF Rising Together Virtual Event
Join the Essex County Community Foundation virtually to celebrate the hope, resilience and collaboration that emerged in our communities through the COVID-19 crisis. You will hear from community leaders, nonprofits and donors across Essex County about how working together is helping us recover and rebuild from the pandemic. The main event takes place Thursday, June 10, from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Stay until 10:45 a.m. for a live Zoom session about ECCF’s latest systems philanthropy initiative to advance digital equity in Essex County. Click here to register.
Lowell Together: Virtual Gala
The Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) and Free Soil Arts Collective (FSAC) are coming together for a vibrant virtual gala to celebrate the two Lowell arts organizations in a night that you can enjoy from home. The event features performances of new works featuring MRT and FSAC artists, a live auction and a sneak peek of future programming, your support will ensure a strong return in the fall of 2021 for both companies. Cocktail hour begins on Friday, June 11, and the Gala officially starts at 7 p.m. Click here to reserve your tickets.
Haverhill’s Art Walk Celebrates Pride Month
The Haverhill Art Walk will bring an eclectic mix of offerings to downtown on Saturday, June 12, from 3 to 7 p.m. in celebration of Pride month. Check out the works of artists including Angie Cheung, Mike Mai, Alexandra Yattaw, Atlas Moon Rodriguez-Decker, photographer Nick Rao and Amy Roberts. Many local businesses in downtown Haverhill will be participating in the Art Walk, and featured events include drag shows, en plein air paintings, live music, a community hula hoop jam and much more. Visit here for more information.
Megan House Foundation 7th Annual Golf Tournament
The Megan House Foundation Inc. will host their 7th annual “Fore” Hope and Recovery golf tournament on Monday, June 14. The tournament will be held at Four Oaks Country Club in Dracut, and tee time starts at 7:30 a.m. Click here for details.
UML Holistic Health: Women, Wellness & Leadership
Join the UMass Lowell (UML) Women’s Leadership Conference on Tuesday, June 15 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for Holistic Health: Women, Wellness & Leadership, a virtual event that explores the unique ways that women, especially those in leadership roles, can make a positive impact. Click here to register for the event.
MCC Virtual Open House – Summer Series
Middlesex Community College (MCC) will host two virtual open houses as part of their summer series. The first session, called “How to Make College Affordable” will take place from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15. The second session, titled “New Students – Get Ready for Fall” will run from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, June 30. Click here to learn more.
GLFHC 16th Annual Making a Difference Gala
The Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) will host its 16th Annual Making a Difference Gala virtually on Thursday, June 17, at 6:30 pm. The event will honor Marylou Sudders, Secretary of Health and Human Services, for her work to protect the residents of the commonwealth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S Rep. Lori Trahan is also scheduled to give a keynote address at the event. For more information, click here.
Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence 42nd Annual Golf Tournament
Help the Boys & Girls club continue to provide a safe, after-school home to more than 4,000 of the city’s most disadvantaged youth during their 42nd Annual Golf Tournament on Monday, June 21. For more information, visit the website here, or view the tournament flyer here. If you can’t make the tournament on June 21, save the date for their next event, the 36th Annual Horseshoe Jimmy Fund Golf Tournament on Monday, Sept. 20. Email email@example.com for more information.
Free Medicare Virtual Fair
Learn about signing up for Medicare from the safety and comfort of your home or office. This online Medicare fair is for people turning 65 or becoming eligible for Medicare because of a disability. Attend for any length of time learn about Medicare – and all its parts – to assist you in your initial enrollment decisions. The event takes place Wednesday, June 23, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Visit here for more information or to register.
Parker River NWR Film Screening
The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is offering a free online screening of the conservation film “Guardian” on Thursday, June 24 at 7 p.m. “Guardian” chronicles the work of wildlife stewards who are part hermit, part biologists who live on boats in one of the last pristine frontiers of the world. They monitor salmon, the backbone of the ecosystem, economy, and culture along British Columbia’s coast. Preregistration for this program is required. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and write “Guardian” on the subject line and include your full name to register. The registration deadline is Wednesday, June 23 at noon.
10th Annual LGBT Elders 2021 Conference
This year’s annual LGBT Elders Conference will be a virtual, one-day event focusing on interdisciplinary practice and community engagement for people working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults and caregivers. Consumers who are looking for alternative resources, services or community programs to help support their individual aging or caregiving needs are also invited to attend. The virtual event takes place on Friday, June 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit here for more information
Windham’s 1st Pride Festival
The Windham Citizens for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will be hosting Windham’s first Pride Festival celebrating and supporting our local LGBTQ community on Saturday, June 26, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. outdoors at the Searles School. Visit here for more details.
WSCW Spring Craft Fair 2021
The Woman’s Service Club of Windham will hold its 9th Annual Spring Craft Fair on Saturday, June 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside at Windham High School. The fair features more than 85 artisans from Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont who exhibit a wide variety of handmade crafts. The fair benefits the club’s scholarship fund and its many contributions that benefit area residents. Click here for more information.
NMYO Symphonic Summer Music Camp
The Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestras will hold its first-ever summer music camp the week of June 28 – July 2 at the Gould Barn in Topsfield, Mass. Youth musicians, with at least two years of instrument study with a private teacher, can register with no auditions are required. Musicians will play music in small, socially distanced groups both in the open-air barn and under canopies on the grounds. Strict COVID protocols will be followed. Click here for details.
MVCC Annual Golf Spectacular
Join the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Bank of New England for the annual Golf Spectacular at Indian Ridge Country Club on Monday, July 19. Breakfast, lunch and raffles are also included in the event. Click here to register.
MCC’s College for Kids Online Summer Classes
This year, Middlesex Community College (MCC) has transitioned College for Kids to online formats for this summer’s programming. These summer programs aim to provide children and teens with unique opportunities to explore careers, learn new skills, meet new friends and boost self-confidence while keeping them safe and having fun. The program will feature seven weeks of half day programs taking place from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., or 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for children and teens ages 8 to 17. The program will run from July 6 through August 19. Click here to register.
LGH TeamWalk for CancerCare
Last year, Lowell General Hospital transitioned their annual TeamWalk for CancerCare to TeamWalk on your terms, and the will be continuing this tradition this year. TeamWalk on Your Terms allows you to hold TeamWalk on your turf and on your time. When it is safe and you feel comfortable, simply choose when and where you want to walk. Get your team together for a three or six mile walk on the date and time of your choosing. You can walk anywhere between May 23 and September 1. For details, click here.
25th Annual Elder Services Golf Classic
Bring out your inner Phil Mickelson and support a good cause during the 25th Annual Elder Services Gold Classic on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at the Haverhill Golf & Country Club. This event sells out on a regular basis so visit here to save your spot today.
Emmaus Annual Cycle for Shelter
Registration is now open for the 2021 Cycle for Shelter. Join the ride to help raise money to defeat homelessness. This year riders have the option of riding virtually or joining in-person on Sunday, September 19, if COVID restrictions allow. If the in-person ride is limited in numbers due to state restrictions, the event will operate under a “first-come, first-served” model and those who registered first will have the opportunity to participate. Click here to register.
Merrimack Valley Hospice’s Virtual Silent Auction
This year, Merrimack Valley Hospice’s annual food, wine, beer-sampling and silent auction is going virtual. Enjoy a snack and your favorite beverage browsing their auction items from the comfort of home. Proceeds will benefit Merrimack Valley Hospice’s comfort care and supportive services for patients nearing the end of life and bereavement services for their families and loved ones. The auction will run from Thursday, Sept. 23, to Saturday, Sept. 25. Click here for more information.
Greater Lawrence Summer Fund
Consider providing opportunities for thousands of children this summer by donating to the Greater Lawrence Summer Fund. The fund gives children from low-income families a chance to experience life-changing summer activities that not only keep them safe but provides them with opportunities that open doors for a promising future. Click here to consider helping this community organization.