Gardner Magazine has served Gardner Massachusetts and 18 surrounding communities since 2000

GARDNER WEATHER

News and Interesting Information from Around Greater Gardner and Beyond

News Around Greater Gardner MA

Local News by Topic: Arts & EntertainmentBusiness & GrowthCovidGeographyGovernmentHealthHolidaysLifeMoney & FinanceMusingsNon-profitsPublic SafetySchoolsWeather. Looking for specific Greater Gardner MA News content? Then, Search this site Email story ideas and Press Releases to News@GardnerMagazine.com —-

Stories on this page:  Oppressive Heat —- Maestro’s Men Polka —- Mayor’s Update 8-5-22 —- Education Puzzle —- Music Dream Job —- TerrapinFest ’22 —- Cooling Down —  No Sales Tax 8/13 and 8/14 —- Nicholson Citizen Concerns and City Departments Interview —-  City Council August 1, 22 MeetingGardner MA School Delay  —- Gardner Magazine Readership —- Parker House of Pizza Reopening and Pizza Polka —- Puddling Water at Dog Park –Hardern and Boone in Hot Seat —-  Mayor’s Update 7-29-22 —– Ideas>Concepts>Planning>Construction>Successful Conclusions in Gardner MA —- Junior Police Academy —- National Night Out —- K9 Frankie —- Mosquito Control —- Housing Market, Gardner —- Eating Eaton —- Action on Greenwood —- Chair City Centennial —- Genuine Gardner, Piece on Earth —- Fix It Fever —- Critical Drought –   Mayor’s Update 7-22-22  –Publishing AUDIO —- Chair City Chair Bear —- Chair City Café —-  Ryan Building Parker Street, Gardner  —-FREE Career Training —- Satellite Internet —- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline —- Fall City-Wide Yard Sale —- Elementary School Gallery —- Gardner MA Super Heroes —- Real Estate Taxes —- PACC Bands —- MART Expansion —- Dog Park Improvements —- Locally-owned Heart and Soul —- No Twiddling Thumbs —- Landfill Expansion —- Municipal Lower Power FM —- Project Bread —- Food Truck Festival Photos —- Tax Inversion —- WGAW 76th —- Projects Interview with Mayor Nicholson —-  And in other communities: Hubbardston Chief Retires —- Ashburnham Chief Retires —- Ashburnham Concerts —- Barre Summer Concerts —- Blueberry Picking in Templeton —- Winchendon Results —–Winchendon Board of Selectmen

  • Gardner Business

    Businesses are Opening in Gardner MA, and There’s room for you too in 2022!

    September 2nd: Chris Guerra Production Studio – website – 215 School Street, Suite 115, Gardner, September 7th: Grand Opening Celebration Wireless Zone – website – 308 West Broadway Unit 5. September 21st: Edward Jones – 380 West Broadway Unit2 – Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening.

    Chamber Event September 14th: Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce – website – Business After Hours at Southside Margarita Factory.

    Locations for Your Business

    Building For Sale at Elm Street and Pearson Boulevard
    155 Mill Street, Gardner for your Facility
    Inside 44 Main Street, Gardner MA
    Inside 25 Main Street, Gardner MA

    Just a Sampling of great spots for your business. Contact your Realtor for info or they are always helpful at Gardner Community Development and Planning, CLICK HERE.

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  • Great Place
    Gardner is a Great Place to Be a Puppy

    Gardner MA is a great place to Build, to Innovate, To Be a Brother, to Study Music, to Bring new Ideas, to Do Business, for Great Pizza, to Get in Shape, to Grow Industry, to be a Teen, and a great place to be a puppy. Great Place!

    Gardner MA, Is a Great Place to be

    For the complete Gardner is a Great Place to be page, CLICK HERE.

    Gardner Holds the Key to Success
  • Building Inspector

    City of Gardner MA Looking for Full-time Building Inspector 

    An opportunity to work for the Chair City. Only catch: You must apply by Friday August 12, 2022 at 1:00PM. Details, CLICK HERE.

  • Traveling Jones

    Country/Rock Outfit “The Traveling Jones” Playing at Monument Park, Gardner MA August 13, 2022

    Saturday August 13, 2022 at Monument Park the start time switches to 5pm.   This week it’s the Classic Country and Rock Outfit “The Traveling Jones”  Nick Langlois – Vocals/Guitar, Bobby Blue – Guitar/vocals, Corey Laine – Bass, Jimmy Bairos – Drums

    Complete Monument Park Schedule, CLICK HERE

  • OML Complaints

    Gardner Magazine has an Open Meeting Law Training page with AUDIO, VIDEO, and Written Materials. CLICK HERE.

    Scott Graves Sends Gardner MA City Council Back to School

    Despite Gardner MA City Council Having Good Intentions, Scott Graves Sends City Council Back to School on Technical Violations of Open Meeting Law.

    One allegation concerned an email sent by Council President Elizabeth Kazinskas in which she communicated to the  full City Council on December 30, 2021 informing them of her proposal to add an appointments committee because there would be 300 appointments expiring over the next 2 years.  Apparently by giving her opinion via this method, she technically violated the Open Meeting Law.   Another violation concerned the Council’s oversight in not approving 8/2/21 meeting minutes until April 19, 2022 which wasn’t considered timely.  And, yet another violation was found in which the Council President circulated via email a proposed response to a Scott Graves lawsuit – the AG’s office considered this transparency to be a technical violation, calling it a deliberation. Finding: Each member of the Gardner City Council needs to attend Open Meeting Law Training, which is offered monthly via webinar.   They must do so within 90 days of 8/1/22. 

    We are including the actual email from City Clerk to City Councilors and the full letters sent to Gardner by the Attorney General’s office.     First AG Letter    Second AG Letter    Email from City Clerk to Councilors. 

    Publisher’s Editorial Note:  Here’s my opinion of this nonsense with an analogy – If you inspect any sterile hospital room, you are bound to find a spec of dust.   All of the City Council’s actions were in doing good for the City despite the technical infractions, and the irony is not lost that one of the matters concerned Graves lawsuits, somewhat like getting caught in an endless loop of nonsense.  Our advice to City Council: From now on, dot the I’s and cross the t’s because this was an unneeded waste of City resources.  And to Scott Graves: You can always find a spec of dust in a sterile room, but is this litigation good for Gardner?  To City Councilors:  Pack a nutritious lunch, because you’re going back to School!

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  • Growing Places
    Growing Places Non-Profit

    Growing Places is in different communities on a daily basis. If you need food now, view the calendar. CLICK HERE.

    Growing Places Pop-Up Market Stretches Gardner MA Food Budgets

    This Summer and Fall, the Growing Places Refrigerated Van Pop-up Market brings fresh local produce to 74 West Street Gardner (across from the Gardner Ale House) every Friday from 10:00am to 11:00am.   You can pay with cash, credit/debit, Farmers Market Coupons, or SNAP/HIP dollars.   In fact if you have SNAP, you can get extra benefits for local produce.   Complete flyer, CLICK HERE.   Growing Places website, CLICK HERE.

  • Oppressive Heat

    Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Issues Statement on Oppressive Heat and Fire Danger

    The statement was issued just before noon on August 4, 2022 because of heat indices of from 95 to 105 degrees Thursday and Friday AND, from 95 to 100 degrees Saturday through Monday.

    There is a potential impact of heat-related issues for at risk populations and those doing outdoor physical activities AND the ongoing drought conditions may increase risk of wildfires.

  • Mayor’s Update 8-5-22
    Mayor Nicholson update of August 5, 2022
    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson

    View the weekly Mayor’s Update on the City of Gardner’s YouTube page, or on our Mayor’s Update page. CLICK HERE.

    Listen to the Mayor’s Update on any device. CLICK Play button below. Note that AUDIO starts after about 7 seconds. AUDIO of past updates, CLICK HERE.

    Mayor’s Update August 5, 2022
    Mayor Nicholson vote by mail
    Gardner Mayor Nicholson – Vote by Mail Application
    Nicholson at Dunk Tank
    Mayor Nicholson at the Dunk Tank – National Night out August 2, 2022

    Cheerful Gardner MA Mayor Nicholson speaks of Events and Various Local Issues

    In his Weekly Update of August 5, 2022, Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson spoke of past and future events and various local matters.

    National Night Out: The Mayor thanked Veronica Patty for Coordinating the National Night Out.  He also thanked others who helped.  Dunk Tank raised almost $300, (Mayor’s dunkers contributed $94).  He thanked the Massachusetts State Police for a helicopter flyover.  Nicholson noted that Dan Forte was named community hero.

    Dogs: The Mayor spoke of dogs: If questions on Dog Licenses, contact the City Clerk’s office. Nicholson also spoke proudly of Rocky: Police K-9 Rocky was barked in to office after completing about 3 months of training.  Rocky has already proven useful, tracking down perpetrators of a recent robbery.   The Mayor also thanked the town of Westminster for various donations including a bullet proof vest for Rocky.

    School Delay: Mayor Nicholson spoke of the delay in the start of Gardner Public Schools due to construction delay of new Elementary School.   If there are any questions, please contact the Superintendent’s office.

    September Events: Events coming up in September.  The Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center is having their summer speaker series September 15th at Monument Park.   The Fabulous Fall Festival and Octoberfest is taking place Saturday, September 24, 2022.  Fall Festival is 10am to 4pm and Octoberfest is 11am to 8pm. The famous Gardner Chair Luge is back this year!

    Scooters Soon Available: The Mayor announced that Bird Scooters will be opening up in 2 weeks in the City of Gardner.  Bird is a private company opening a brand-new business. 

    Skateboard Issues: The City has been notified of issues with skateboards in the Pleasant Plaza seating area.  In response, the DPW has installed No Skateboard signs.

    Early Voting: The Mayor reminded citizens that the City Clerk’s office has already mailed out early voting applications, and even some ballots.  State has also mailed applications out.  You only need to fill out one application to be eligible. 

    Rocky at National Night Out
    Newly Sworn in Rocky was at Gardner National Night Out
    Gardner National Night Out
    Gardner National Night Out

    Listen to the Mayor’s Update on any Device. Just click Play.

    Gardner MA Mayor’s Update August 5, 2022
  • School Puzzle

    Gardner MA Successfully Tackling Education Puzzle in Gardner Public Schools

    Employees of the Gardner School District have received praise from Administrators, Public Officials, and School Committee members for their work during the pandemic. However, much of the superior work done to improve the learning experience in Gardner Public Schools has gone unreported.

    Gardner MA Public School Ratings should now be listed as Good to Excellent. Gardner has significantly updated its curriculum in the last couple of years or so for every grade level from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Measurable Statistics show that Gardner Public Schools are increasingly becoming EDOCs, (Education Destinations of Choice). Gardner Superintendent Mark Pellegrino will be interviewing with us soon to go over details of Gardner successes.

    Gardner publishes its Curriculum Guide for each grade and exceeds State of MA requirements. Gardner has a system in place for ongoing Curriculum review. It even has a Social/Emotional Learning Framework. There’s a renewed focus on the Arts. Student Indoctrination is specifically prohibited as students are taught how to think, but not what to think. And there’s a responsible technology policy in place for students, teachers, and staff. For our complete article on Gardner Public Schools, please CLICK HERE.

    Summer Vacation has been extended as the opening of the new Gardner Elementary School has been delayed. For the complete article, CLICK HERE.

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  • Music Job

    Gardner MA Has Opening for Dream Job

    As of August 4, 2022, Gardner needs a Gardner Middle School Band Director and a Marching Percussion Instructor at Gardner High School.  Doesn’t have to be the same person.    The Middle School Band Director is a full teacher position.  The High School Percussion Instructor is part-time throughout the marching band season.

    The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work in one of the Commonwealth’s most wonderful School Districts – The Chair City.  

    These are highly prestigious jobs in this sought-after School District so the positions are expected to be filled rapidly. Here is a link to the General Employment Application. CLICK HERE.

    The City of Gardner MA has other positions available. For more information, CLICK HERE – For private sector jobs available within 5 miles of Gardner MA and listed on Indeed, CLICK HERE

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  • No Tax

    No Sales Tax in Greater Gardner MA on Saturday August 13 and Sunday August 14

    The Massachusetts State Legislature approved the break from state sales tax on most retail items less than $2,500.     If  you can wait for that $200 air conditioner, you save $12.50.   If you can wait to buy that $1500 washer/dryer combo, you’ll save close to a hundred bucks!  Schedule a purchase of that furniture you’ve been wanting which costs 2 grand, and you’ll save a whopping $125.   Wait a few days to buy that $500 laptop for school, and you save over 30 bucks.

    The Sales Tax Holiday in Greater Gardner MA will give you just a little bit more money in  your pocket for those school supplies, that brand new toaster, or even a TV!

  • Departments Interview
    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson
    Citizen Concerns and Departments – Interview 8-3-22

    City of Gardner Department Links:

    Departments A to G, CLICK HERE

    Departments H to Z CLICK HERE.

    City Transparency, CLICK HERE

    City of Gardner website, CLICK HERE

    City of Gardner Facebook, CLICK HERE.

    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson Interviewed on Citizen Concerns and City Departments

    On August 3, 2022, Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson answered our questions regarding Citizen Concerns and the Interaction of City Departments with Community Members.   We present the AUDIO of the complete interview in mp3 format. Listen on any device.   

    Interview with Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson 8-3-22

    Subjects covered included National Night Out, the Timeline of Gardner Public Schools, Social Media Posts, Water Pooling Issues at the Dog Park, the DPW, Addressing Citizen Concerns and needs, Parks and Recreation, Job Openings with the City, DPW Vacancies, Gardner Housing Authority, Department Heads and the Press, the Building Department, Animal Control, Reappointment of City Treasurer, Assessor/Tax Collector and Taxes, City Clerk, Various Departments working together, Public Safety, Health Department, Funding for positions, Purchasing Department, Human Resources, School Staffing, Gardner Sludge, and Praise for Departments.

    Complete Article with text of entire interview, CLICK HERE.

  • City Council 8-1-22
    Gardner City Council August 1, 2022

    Watch Gardner MA City Council Meetings on the City of Gardner YouTube Channel, or on our City Council page, CLICK HERE.

    You can also listen to this meeting as we publish the AUDIO. Click Play below. AUDIO and articles on older meetings, CLICK HERE.

    Meeting starts at 1:27 in. You can move slider to advance. There is a recess a few minutes in to swear in Rocky. Meeting is called back to order at 10:25 in.

    Gardner City Council August 1, 2022

    Transfer Station Trends

    Free Cash 2022

    Gardner Free Cash Expenditures 2022

    Gardner MA City Council has Meeting on First Day of August

    The Complete Agenda, CLICK HERE

    The Highlight of the meeting occurred at the beginning as Rocky was confirmed unanimously to a permanent appointment at a Police K-9. Interim Police Chief Philip Kearns was recognized at the podium to speak about Rocky.  He spoke of Rocky’s successful first day in aiding the capture of 4 suspects charged with theft of property from an apartment.  Rocky barked loudly to the City Clerk to confirm the acceptance of his permanent appointment.

    K9 Rocky on leash Gardner MA PD
    Rocky about to be sworn in

    Mayor Nicholson stated, “looking forward to seeing him to continue the good work that he has already done.”

    The agenda references the following items the Council considered at the meeting: Various routine money transfers, 14 different communications to the Council, 6 appointment items, the State Primary, and the reports of standing committees.

    Efficiencies at the Transfer Station.

    Mayor Nicholson reports success in staffing and procedure adjustments made to try to increase efficiencies in operations and better monitor what is being dropped off.    The average is approximately $50,000 more a year in revenue at the transfer station. (see chart at left)

    Free Cash Expenditures for Fiscal Year 2022 shown at left.

    Ambulance Reimbursement

    In another communication, Mayor Nicholson informed the Council the state had reimbursed the City $255,573.00 for the Commonwealth’s Fiscal Year 2021 Ambulance Certified Public Expenditure cost Settlement program.  Last year, the city received 230,000.  The MA program is in place to offset the low patient transport rates paid by Medicaid.

    Open Meeting Law Complaints

    An open Meeting law complaint filed by Gregory Deehan (covered in previous article), Letter from Mayor on matter -pdf. Letter from Attorney General on matter -pdf and a Ruling from the Attorney General relative to an Open Meeting Law complaint (finding in favor of City)

    City Treasurer Re-elected

    Current City Treasurer and Collector of Taxes Jennifer Dymek was elected  unanimously to a 3 year term to commence August 19, 2022. She was praised for the City’s recent perfect audit.  Letter to City Council from Jennifer Dymek.

    Dead people can vote in MA

    As ballots are processed before Election Day, the law against counting the ballot of someone who dies before Election Day has been repealed.  Ballot can be counted as long as the voter was alive when it was cast, which means as of the postmark date or when it was hand-delivered or deposited into a drop box. This is from an election advisory of June 23, 2022 from William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth.

    The Next Meeting of the Gardner City Council will be on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 due to Labor Day being on Monday 9/6 and Election Day being on Tuesday 9/7.

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  • School Delay
    New Gardner Public School Schedule – CLICK IMAGE for larger view – a new complete Calendar will be published soon.
    NEW Gardner Elementary School 7-15-22

    Summer Vacation Extended as Supply Chain Issues Delay NEW Gardner MA Elementary School Opening

    Two weeks ago on July 15, 2022 Gardner Magazine published an article quoting the Project Supervisor at the NEW Gardner Elementary School. At the time he stated that “They hoped to be ready for the start of school with 6 weeks left to go.”, implying that the start of school might be delayed. Our 7/15 story. Today, August 1, 2022 apparently Bacon Construction assured the Gardner School System that they can get everything done in just 2 more weeks. As a result, the opening of Gardner Schools will be delayed according to the timeline at left. (CLICK IMAGE for larger view.)

    Update: 8/2/22: 9:10am – We are awaiting a call from Superintendent Pellegrino regarding the timeline, AND a call back from Project Manager Joe McDonald of Agostini/Bacon Construction regarding the reality of the timeline. We’ll update you as we have further information.

    Superintendent Dr. Mark Pellegrino wrote the following to the Gardner School Committee in an email 8/1/22: “Hi folks, Bacon Construction has said they will need two more weeks to finish the project.  I have been assured that it will ONLY BE TWO WEEKS. I explained that I am willing to break the bad news of the delay ONCE, but they cannot come back and asked for more time. I have been assured that it won’t happen. The attached letter explains the reasons for the delay.  So three things: 1. The elementary school will be delayed two weeks (8 school days) with a new start date of 9/15 for grades 1-4, 9/15 for kindergarten, and 9/19 for preschool. (All of these dates are two weeks later.  I will be requesting a waiver for 4 of the 8 days. 2. The middle school, high school and Gardner Academy will only be starting one week late (9/6).  3. We will need to vote on a new calendar at our first meeting.  Call or email me if you have any questions or concerns. Mark.”

    Dr. Pellegrino provided the following for the Media. 8/1/22 “Here is a quote from me about the delay: ‘We are disappointed that the construction was delayed due to incomplete deliveries resulting from the same supply-chain issues that have plagued the entire nation, and understand how difficult this is for families. However, this decision balanced the importance of getting students in school right away, with the challenge of unpacking, starting the school year in our old schools, repacking, and moving to the new school.  This seems to be the best option considering all factors.

    I have been assured that this delay will only be two weeks, and no more. Although this poses a great difficulty for my families and staff, I am thrilled that children will be able to start school in our brand new facility!’”

    A letter was prepared for Gardner School Families. 8/1/22 Read the entire letter in PDF Format. CLICK HERE.

    The letter to Gardner Public School Families contains the following information:  Since we began construction of our new school, the building committee, business office, maintenance department, and outside contractors have overcome many obstacles to keep us on-time and on-budget while COVID continues to impact staffing and our supply-chain significantly. This past Friday, during our weekly scheduled check-in meeting, we learned that two supply-chain issues will require us to delay the opening of Gardner Elementary School by two weeks. This change requires that we also delay the opening of Gardner Middle School, Gardner High School, and Gardner Academy by only one week. Specifically: The elevator team had to stop work because part of a shipment of electrical fuses, elevator buttons, and some electrical panel boards was incomplete, and Our order of electrical panel boards (part of the main power distribution equipment) did not contain all of the necessary panels to power the building. Both of these recent issues were a direct result of supply-chain issues and caused subsequent delays in the project’s overall timeline. Until Friday, our expectation was to move in on time. Fortunately, we have been proactively planning for this situation. The following schedule considered: ● Balancing the importance of getting students in as soon as possible and providing teachers with the time they need to prepare for the opening of a new school; ● The impact on our sports programs and MCAS curriculum timelines; and ● Allowing the bus company to settle issues caused by having entirely new bus routes and start times. We apologize for this significant inconvenience. Please contact your school if you have questions or concerns. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we finish the lengthy, exciting process of building a new school for our children.   Sincerely, Mark J. Pellegrino, Superintendent of Schools. PDF format, CLICK HERE.

    Publisher’s Note: Parents should have a contingency plan for a longer delay, just in case it is necessary. As we stated in the opening to the story, we were advised on July 15, 2022 that 6 more weeks was needed as of that date and we fully expected to publish a story such as this at some point. While it is believed that both the construction company and School District are acting in good faith, neither has complete control over the Supply Chain which they both hope will cooperate with their needed timeline.

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  • Gardner Magazine

    Links to our AUDIO pages: Mayor’s Updates, City Council, School Committee, Special Events. We also feature other AUDIO pages of historical value: Historical AUDIO, Vintage Radio.

    Thank you for your readership to GardnerMagazine.com for Greater Gardner MA

    As promised, we are releasing Statistics related to GardnerMagazine.com for July 2022.  Unique households (Circulation) 16,538.   Pageviews 131,783.   Files served (Hits) 534,794.  Gardner Magazine has consistently averaged 12,000  unique households.  June jumped to 14,000.  July jumped to over 16,000.  We thank you for your readership and we will continue to cover as much as we can. Gardner Magazine is unique in that we try to provide additional resources in our articles such as web links, document links, and even AUDIO. We are pleased these efforts have been well received.

    The addition of AUDIO

    After the July 6, 2022 Projects Interview with Mayor Nicholson, we posted the entire interview in mp3 format so all could listen to it.   It has thus far received in July 2022, 3,245 listeners. On July 22, 2022 we made all Mayor’s Updates, City Council Meetings, School Committee Meetings, and various Special Events available in mp3 format:  Here are the listener totals for the Mayor’s Updates: 7/29/22: 523, 7/22/22: 3,385, 7/15/22: 2,064, 7/8/22: 43.   All of the updates from 12/24/21 to date have been published and the older updates have received between 41 to 50 listeners.

    Other Meetings

    Here are the total July 2022 listeners for other Meetings:  Public Safety 7/29/22: 373, Zoning Board of Appeals 7/19/22: 1,163, City Council Meeting 7/5/22: 65, most other older City Council meetings in single or low 2 digits, School Committee 6-16-22: 50, most other older School Committee meetings in single digits.

    Other Items and July Numbers

    Pizza Polka (put on site 7/31/22): 94, We Have No Bananas: 870, Bye Bye Blackbird: 892, Gardner Spring Yard Sale PSA: 309, Poem, Sentient Soul of American Freedom: 1,419, Gardner Brand intro: 90, Abbott and Costello; 58.    Dozens of other audio files have from single to low double digit listeners.

    July 2022 Handout Standouts in pdf format:  Gardner Food Truck Festival: 1013, Annual School Calendar: 104, Vacant Storefronts: 82, Monument Park Concerts: 123.   Dozens of other handouts in pdf format have double digit downloads.

    Conclusion

    on AUDIO: Gardner Magazine will continue to publish AUDIO files of Mayor’s Updates, City Council Meetings, School Committee meetings, various events, and topical novelty items.   Listenership is obviously greatest when the event is current, however we will maintain the archive in the public interest.   We have begun to add Winchendon meetings – their AUDIO is OK, but they have significant challenges with the quality of their video and have negligible viewership.     Let us know if there are meetings from your community you would like to listen to and we’ll see if we can make AUDIO available.  If there’s a YouTube file, our software can make an easy conversion.   Otherwise, it depends if the community has made a recording and will release it to us. on Documents: Gardner Magazine will continue to publish Agendas, complete Press Releases, booklets, publications, photos, and links to as many resources as possible to make your readership of our publication valuable. Reach us at anytime via News@GardnerMagazine.com or use our News tip line at (978) 632-6324.

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  • Pizza Polka
    Charles Magnante – Pizza Polka More Info, CLICK HERE

    Parker House of Pizza of Gardner MA Reopens in time for Polka, offers $3 Discount on every order….

    On Thursday, August 4, 2022 the Parker House of Pizza may just be the most popular pizza place in town. That’s the day they reopen after vacation. In a radio ad run on WGAW, the restaurant is offering a $3 discount on any order for a whole week.  That’s just in time for the Monument Park Polka Concert on Saturday August 6, 2022 at 6pm so patrons can literally have pizza and polka. 

    To put you in the Pizza and Polka spirit, we are featuring the Pizza Polka right here.   Just click play.    And so you can take advantage of getting your pizza whether you take out or eat at the outdoor dining area at Pleasant Plaza, here’s a link to their site.   CLICK HERE.   FREE Concert info here.

  • Terrapinfest

    TerrapinFest ’22 Saturday August 6 2022 at PACC in Gardner MA

    Tickets are $30, kids free 12 and under.

    Tickets can be purchased at the gate or in advance down at Terrapin Traders or any of the bands. Music starts at noon. Lots of vendors. More info, CLICK HERE.

    Bands are playing inside and outside. Updated schedule: Inside: 12:00 The Swaying Trees, 1:30 The Ruthless Poe, 3:00 Nikki Howard, 4:30 Secret Sage, 6:00 The Quarry, 8:00 A Phine Connection – Outside: 12:00 Jared Moore & Ira Kittrell, 1:00 Klumpty Dumpty, 2:30 The Brü, 4:00 The Traveling Jones. 5:30 The Knot, 8:00 Way Up South

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  • Maestro’s Men
    Maestro’s Men – member of the Polka Hall of Fame

    Maestro’s Men Playing Polka at Monument Park on Saturday August 6, 2022 at 6pm

    This Polka concert by this Grammy nominated band will be the last of the summer starting at 6pm. Subsequent weeks, the concerts will be at 5pm. Complete schedule, CLICK HERE.

    According to their website, “Each member of our band has added their own style and musical influences that together makes our unique blend. We are proud to be able to entertain many audiences over the years with our own style and presentation of Polka music. Together, it’s all about our love of the music. Thank you for all your support we appreciate it”..Dennis Polisky – for the Maestro’s Men website, CLICK HERE.

  • Dog Park Problems
    Pooling Water at Gardner Dog Park
    Pooling water at Gardner Dog Park
    Dog Park water pooling

    Photos at Gardner Dog Park taken Friday, July 29, 2022 show persistent drainage and water puddling issues.

    Puddling Water Persistent Problem at Gardner MA Pulaski Dog Park

    For a couple years now, puddles of water, sometimes muddy, have been problematic at the Gardner Dog Park. Owners have consistently complained to the DPW, but nothing has been done. Recently, park visitors were hopeful as new mulch was spread in the agility area. However, as is now apparent, no drainage work was done ahead of time, so the rainstorm of July 28, 2022 created a stream across the section and the pond of water is back. Gardner Magazine has reached out to Mayor Nicholson, seeking comment.

    In the other section of the large dog area near the water station, pooling water has continued to be a problem and has never been addressed, despite dog owners reporting calls to DPW. We have attempted to reach out to the DPW Director for over a year now and have yet to receive a return call. Dog owners report high vet bills due to Guardia transmitted by bacteria in the standing water, and some have openly stated they have avoided coming to the Gardner Dog Park as a result of the unresolved issue.

    In an interview on August 3, 2022, Mayor Nicholson responded to our questions regarding these issues. The text of the Dog Park portion is below. Complete Interview, CLICK HERE.

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    Poegel:  Mayor Nicholson, as you are aware, citizens have raised concerns about continued water pooling issues at the Dog Park.  Did it rattle your Nicholson that you were not fully informed about continued challenges of water issues at the Gardner Dog Park? Nicholson: You know it is something that we are going to continue looking at.  I think it was just an oversight that was done on the construction work there.  We do have some money that’s left over in the grant that we can certainly put towards addressing those drainage issues that are there.  We did receive more from the Stanton Foundation than the cost came in under for those Shade Pavilions that  you have there.  So we’ll certainly be taking a look at it, and, be sure to make sure that those issues get fully addressed that’s over there. Poegel:  So aside from grant funding in these types of situations, does the City have its own funds to, for example, buy crushed stone for drainage, repair a fence at one of the other parks… Nicholson: Yep. Poegel: Or could the City for example, ask Heywood Hospital, can we have some of that crushed stone from all that stuff you blew up and can we use it at the Dog Park? Nicholson: I mean, all the above.  We always accept donations from different people, especially if there is you know, surplus items, like we just talked about with Heywood Hospital. Whenever we go out and we repair a road, we dig up something up or something like that, we save all of that over at the City’s gravel mine that we have. So all of that we have in house too, on hand, and if we need to pay for a fix, we certainly can use money in our own budget, but if we can get someone else to pay for a project that we have going on, …that’s always certainly the best option. But we won’t have to wait and rely on that for something like this.

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  • Public Safety
    Gardner MA Public Safety Committee
    Gardner MA Public Safety Committee Friday July 29, 2022 Seated from left to right: Karen Hardern, Craig Cormier, and James Boone.

    Watch the meeting on YouTube, CLICK HERE or listen to this meeting by clicking PLAY below.

    Gardner MA Councilors Hardern and Boone in Hot Seat After Admitted Open Meeting Law Violation

    An Open Meeting Law Violation was filed regarding a conversation Councilor James Boone had with Councilor Karen Hardern outside of a Public Safety Committee meeting. The conversation concerned scooters, a subject which came before the committee.   Both Councilors admitted to the violation and were asked to recreate the contents of the discussion for the public.

  • Mayor’s Update 7-29-22
    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson

    Watch the Mayor’s Update on the City of Gardner YouTube page or on our Mayor’s Update page, CLICK HERE.

    Listen to the Update on any device by clicking Play below. (Audio starts after 8 second delay)

    Listen to previous Mayor’s Updates on our AUDIO page. CLICK HERE

    Mayor Nicholson Records Weekly Update at Dog Park on July 28, 2022 for July 29, 2022 Release

    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson Speaks Paw -sitively about the Chair City from Gardner Dog Park

    Nicholson speaks Paw-sitively about a busy week in the City of Gardner and about growth in the Chair City in general.

    He spoke about a letter taxpayers should have received explaining recent real estate tax bills. The Mayor spoke about Paving Updates including the expectation that Parker Street should be paved sometime within the next 3 weeks as the concrete sidewalks have been fully poured.  Nicholson spoke of the opportunity of open storefronts and the increased amount of apartment  units.

    The Mayor talked about the critical drought condition in Gardner and Worcester County.   Stated Crystal Lake and Snake Pond are doing quite well.   Advised residents to do their part to conserve water.

    National Night out is coming Tuesday August 2, 2022 at Gardner High School.  Wachusett Mountain has agreed to sponsor bus transportation from Monument Park.  Event 5:30pm to 9:00pm.

    Mayor Nicholson announced that the update was being done from Gardner Dog Park and spoke of the mulch at the Dog Park which was made by DPW from trees and of the construction of concrete pads which will soon be covered. He referenced that the puddling situation had been fully resolved. However, Dog Park users report that a dangerous situation still exists on the large dog side with standing water and mud. Despite repeated requests to DPW, the issue has not been resolved even though dog owners have reported illnesses and resulting vet bills over the past two years. Update 7/29/22 5pm: Issue worse than first thought, warranted a separate article. CLICK HERE.


  • Progress
    Houses Route 2A April 2022
    Houses Route 2A April 2022
    Houses Route 2A July 28, 2022
    Houses Route 2A July 28, 2022

    Ideas > Concepts > Planning > Construction > Successful Conclusions in Gardner MA

    There’s pent-up impatience in Gardner MA for approved projects to be completed. At left we show the results of a completed construction project started in 2021 at the Gardner/Templeton line. First, there was land, which was subsequently cleared. Now, there are families living in these homes, adding to Gardner’s “New Growth.” All projects take time and when successful, they are a beautiful thing. Patience is too.

    Main Street project
    Project Underway on Main Street, Gardner Progress 7-28-22
    Parker Street project
    Project Underway on Parker Street, Gardner Progress 7-28-22

    In the next couple of years, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised as already approved projects get underway or reach completed status, additional projects get approved, and new project ideas are revealed for the very first time. It’s an exciting time for PROGRESS in the Chair City and its citizens are living witnesses to it. Note that in an interview with Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson on July 6, 2022, he told us that he has 5 to 6 ideas in his head he hasn’t told anybody about – we’ll keep you posted…

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    Want to hear exactly what the Mayor said about projects? Drag the slider to 45 minutes in. Click the Play Button.

    Nicholson On Projects 7-6-22
  • Junior Police Academy
    Graduates of Junior Police Academy, Gardner PD Officers, and Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson
    Gardner Police Headquarters
    Gardner Police Headquarters

    Gardner PD – Junior Police Academy – Why It’s Such a Big Deal

    20 students have been congratulated for completing the Gardner Police Department Junior Police Academy and the officers have been thanked for putting it on.  This is the third year the Gardner PD has run the program and its largest class to date.  The Academy was fully funded from the Commonwealth’s Shannon Grants, which totaled $11.2 million dollars across the State of Massachusetts.

    Community Safety Initiative Grant

    In February, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the Senator Charles E. Shannon Jr. Community Safety Initiative Grant (CSI) would fund 15 municipal grants consisting of 27 cities and 14 research partners.  Governor Baker in February 2022 stated,” “The long-term positive impacts of the programs funded by Shannon grants demonstrate the importance of a collaborative approach to addressing youth violence and improving the safety of our communities.” And Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito stated, “Shannon grants support the collaborative spirit and vital teamwork that achieves safer communities, violence reduction, and sustained positive life decisions for at-risk youth.”  The 2022 award for Fitchburg with Gardner as a partner community was $416,812.00  More details, CLICK HERE.

    Why Demographics Prove it is so Important to Engage Youth

    The percentage of the population which lives in poverty in Massachusetts is: 9.4%, Fitchburg: 15.7%, Gardner: 13.9%.    There have been changes in crime for young people ages 10 to 24 from 2017 to 2021.  Simple assaults in Massachusetts decreased 25%, but in Fitchburg/Gardner decreased 37%.    Aggravated assaults in Massachusetts decreased 20%, but in Fitchburg/Gardner decreased 61%.   It’s important to productively engage youth as the High School Dropout Rate in Massachusetts was 1.6%, Fitchburg 3.7%, and Gardner 3.6%.     Details in pdf, CLICK HERE.

    Core Strategies

    The OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model is “a set of five core strategies—community mobilization, opportunities provision, social intervention, suppression, and organizational change and development—that offer a comprehensive, collaborative approach designed to prevent and reduce gang violence.”

    Overview

    Here’s an overview of the Five Core strategies, CLICK HERE.   And here is a Law Enforcement Guide, CLICK HERE.   Fortunately, Gardner is blessed with a community not filled with all of the negative experiences of elsewhere, and even discussing it may come as a surprise to some, but as much as Gardner would wish it, it’s not totally crime free.    That’s why efforts like the Junior Police Academy are such a Big Deal – Gardner wants the character of the Chair City to continue moving in a positive direction and for there never to be a huge gang problem.

    Cadet Training

    Handouts for Cadets from the Junior Police Academy are intense and include many aspects of law enforcement training. CLICK HERE.    Graduates certainly have an appreciation for the rules of society and perhaps some will decide to become Greater Gardner MA Police Officers as adults.

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  • Night Out
    National Night Out

    Greater Gardner MA National Night Out 2022 Taking Place at Gardner High School Tuesday August 2, 2022

    The Greater Gardner National Night Out is being held  Tuesday August 2, 2022 from 5:30pm to 9:00pm with a rain date of August 9th.   The event is a cooperative effort among the Gardner Community Action Committee, the Gardner Police and Fire Departments, and the City of Gardner.

    The event has been held nationally since 1984 and is aimed at heightening crime and drug prevention awareness in the community.  This will be Gardner’s 9th year participating.  It’s slated to be an evening of fun for the entire family.  There will be a live band, resource tables, a pizza contest, raffles, kids games, an obstacle course, a climbing wall, helicopter landing, touch a truck and more. —- Printable poster pdf, CLICK HERE.

    Wachusett Mountain has agreed to sponsor bus transportation from Monument Park to Gardner High School.

    National Night Out is meant to increase awareness about police programs in communities such as drug prevention and other anti-crime efforts.  According to the National Night Out website, “National Night Out culminates annually on the first Tuesday in August. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.”  For the website, CLICK HERE   To support the national effort, there’s even official merchandise.  CLICK HERE.

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  • K-9 Death

    K9 Frankie Killed in Line of Duty – Massachusetts State Police

    Statement of Massachusetts State Police Colonel Christopher Mason on the July 26, 2022 K9 Line-of-Duty Death of MSP K9 Frankie: “It is with tremendous sadness that I announce that a Massachusetts State Police K9 was killed in the line of duty today. K9 Frankie was fatally shot during an attempt to apprehend a wanted fugitive who had barricaded himself inside at residence. Frankie’s handler, Sergeant David Stucenski, was not physically injured.

    Sequence of Events

    The sequence of events that led to this tragic line of duty loss of a member of the Massachusetts State Police family began this morning. Shortly before 9 a.m. today members of the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section established surveillance of a three-story multi-family house at 40 Oliver St., Fitchburg after developing information that fugitive suspect MATTHEW MACK, 38, was at that location. MACK was wanted on warrants charging him with firearms offenses and accessory after the fact stemming from a shooting incident July 21 in Fitchburg. State Police fugitive unit Troopers joined the investigation to assist Fitchburg Police locate MACK.

    Fugitive Unit Troopers made verbal contact with MACK, who refused to exit the house. Based on information developed by Troopers indicating that MACK was currently armed, as well as current intelligence that indicated a propensity for violence, the Massachusetts State Police Special Tactical Operations responded to the scene at approximately noon and established tactical positions. Negotiators from the State Police Crisis Negotiation Unit also responded to the scene and established communication with MACK via telephone. Negotiators had multiple conversations with MACK, as well as with members of his family whom they contacted, in an attempt to persuade him to surrender peacefully.

    At approximately 2:48 p.m., MACK was observed at a rear exit of the residence and a decision was made to try to apprehend him. Sergeant Stucenski and K9 Frankie, who are assigned to the STOP Team, approached the area where MACK was observed. During the attempt to apprehend him, MACK fired multiple shots toward team members and struck Frankie. The suspect then retreated back into the residence. STOP Team members immediately picked up Frankie and evacuated him from the scene to an ambulance, at which point he was transported to Wachusett Animal Hospital in Westminster, where he was pronounced deceased.

    Meanwhile, negotiators were not able to establish further contact with the suspect. At approximately 5:20 p.m., while the STOP Team was planning further operations to resolve the situation, the State Police Drone Unit deployed an unmanned aerial vehicle on the exterior of the building at 40 Oliver St. The drone made visual observation of the suspect deceased inside the house from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot. No police officers fired their weapons during this incident.

    About Frankie

    Frankie was a Belgian Malinois. He would have turned 11 years old next month. He was a member of our Department for about nine years. Frankie was a highly decorated member of the Massachusetts State Police. In 2017, he and Sergeant Stucenski were awarded the Medal of Valor at the state’s annual George L. Hanna Awards for Bravery, the state’s top law enforcement award ceremony. They were honored for apprehending a hit-and-run suspect who, during a foot chase, turned and fired a shot at Sergeant Stucenski and Frankie as they pursued him on a Springfield street. The shot missed the Sergeant and Frankie and Frankie apprehended him. Sergeant Stucenski and Frankie won the State Police Medal of Merit for that same incident.

    In 2014, then Trooper Stucenski and Frankie won three awards from the United States Police Canine Association for evidence recovery, agility, and other law enforcement skills. And only last month, our Department honored Sergeant Stucenski and Frankie and other members of the Special Tactical Operations Team for apprehending an armed child pornography suspect who had opened fire on them when they went to arrest him at a West Springfield motel in 2019.

    When Frankie was transported by Fitchburg EMS via ambulance to an animal hospital this afternoon, it was the first instance of such emergency care made possible by Nero’s Law, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Baker last year. Frankie is the first Massachusetts State Police canine killed in the line of duty. His sacrifice will never be forgotten. Frankie had every trait we seek in a good law enforcement officer, canine or human: intelligence, immense courage, and dedication to protecting the public. He was as loyal a partner as any Trooper ever had. He was a beloved member of the Massachusetts State Police family and the Stucenski family. He was, as much as any human of the member of the Department, one of us and part of us.

    When one of our K9s pass – until today, never in the line of duty – our K9 handlers have a saying. “Free Time.” It means that these brave dogs who work so hard to protect the rest of us have earned their eternal peace. Free time and Godspeed, Frankie.”

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  • Mosquitos

    Mosquito Control Team Back Again to Greater Gardner MA

    The Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project is sending its team to the area on August 4, 11, 18, 25, and September 1.  Dates are tentative and weather permitting.   Requests for service may be recorded by calling  the CMMCP office at (508) 393-3055 between 7am and 3:30pm weekdays.   For more info visit the website.  CLICK  HERE.

  • Housing Market
    Gardner MA Homes bring coin
    Gardner MA Homes are in Demand
    Mortgage Rates are starting to effect housing market

    Housing Market Stats Show Wide Appeal of Gardner MA

    According to Redfin: “In June 2022, Gardner home prices were up 12.4% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $340K. On average, homes in Gardner sell after 20 days on the market compared to 11 days last year. There were 33 homes sold in June this year, up from 26 last year.”

    Redfin rated the Gardner Housing Market as 85/100 or Very Competitive, a higher score than Fitchburg and just 1 point behind Leominster.  Here’s why:  Many homes get multiple offers, some with waived contingencies.   The average homes sell for about 8% above list price and go pending in around 18 days. Hot homes can sell for about 13% above list price and go pending in around 8 days.

    Gardner is hotter than Fitchburg, with Fitchburg home prices up 7.7% in June 2022, selling for a median price a little lower than Gardner at $334k.   50 homes sold in Fitchburg this June, down from 51 last year. Score 81/100.  Gardner home prices went up slightly more than Leominster with Leominster home prices up 12.1% compared to last year.  However, the Leominster median home price is higher at $380k. Score 86/100

    Nearby Communities: Winchendon, up 1%, Ashburnham up 0%, Templeton up 9.1% with a median home price of $450k, Westminster up 24.2% with a median price of $655k, Hubbardston up 27% with a median price of $463k.   Athol, up 2% with a median price of $260k.  In Phillipston with a total of 5 homes sold, the home prices were down 15.9% with a median price of $290k, however it’s still considered very competitive with a score of 81/100.

    Future Not as Rosy

    However, not all is rosy when it comes to the future housing market, due to market uncertainty.  Business Insider reports that since mortgage interest rates began rising, the nation’s largest homebuilder. D.R. Horton says more buyers are cancelling deals amid growing real-estate market pessimism. The builder says a growing number of would-be homebuyers are backing out of deals for newly constructed  homes as they confront higher mortgage rates and an  uncertain future for the housing market, stating that in its recent quarter, 24% of its contracts fell through – up 7 percentage points from a year prior.  

    Mortgage Rates Up

    According to Freddie Mac, the average US fixed rate for a 30  year mortgage came in at 5.54% this week, notably higher than the pandemic low of 2.68% in December 2020.  See our graphic of today’s mortgage rates. June’s inflation report shows 9.1% inflation, the highest level in 40 years.  The Federal Reserve increased its benchmark short-term interest rate by 50 basis points in May, 75 basis points in June, and is expected to raise them again by 75 basis points in late July.   Mortgage rates went up as a result.

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  • Eaton Street Paving
    Surface of Moon facing Eaton Street, Gardner on Planet Earth.
    Surface of Moon Facing Earth – Red Dot is approximate location of Eaton Street, Gardner MA CLICK any IMAGE for larger view.
    Trees on Eaton Street, Gardner
    Tree Roots on Eaton Street, Gardner MA disturb soil under road, causing potholes up top.
    Trees on Eaton Street, Gardner
    Trees are very well established in their positions. Note potholes caused by these trees.
    Close up of Eaton Street trees
    Closeup of Trees on Eaton Street near Road
    The “pothole pile” DPW has to leave on Eaton Street due to the ongoing battle with the trees.

    Eating Eaton: The Challenge of Paving – Battling Stubborn Trees in Gardner MA

    Sometimes when trees put down their roots, they’re not ready to leave without a fight.  Such is the case on Eaton Street in Gardner.   The street near the Gardner Municipal Golf Course was paved 5 years ago, but according to Mayor Nicholson, “right now it looks like the surface of the moon.”   Stubborn tree roots near the road push up the pavement causing potholes.  However, these trouble-making trees are still taking in carbon dioxide and producing oxygen for us to breathe.   

    Mayor Nicholson says they’ve actually had the pothole issue studied, “…we had an environmental consultant come out and the number of trees that line that street, the way that the roots have grown, has pushed the soil out of the way, that have artificially created potholes there, brings the pothole situation that we have there.  So I could go back and have them pave that road again this  year, but then in two year’s time we’re going have the same situation , because the roots are still there.  So we have to come up with a longer plan solution there. “

    Paving in Gardner – Interview with Mayor Michael Nicholson.

    Gardner Magazine Publisher Werner Poegel asked Mayor Nicholson on 7-6-22 about paving in Gardner:

    Poegel: One of the complaints that residents constantly come out with is about paving.  And of course, that’s been a challenge with the budget.  It’s been a challenge getting the product.  How many miles of roads does Gardner have, and realistically, how many miles of roads can Gardner pave every year?

    Nicholson:  We have 101 miles of roads and we can probably do, if we’re lucky ,3 ½ miles per year, because it does cost us about a million dollars per mile to pave.  And that covers all the costs of police detail, that’s the trucks, equipment, and labor, to put the pavement down, pull the old pavement up, haulaway costs, the cost of asphalt.  It costs about a million dollars per mile.  We can probably do about 3 ½ miles a year, of that 101 miles that we have.

    Paving It All More Than a Year’s Budget

    Poegel: So the total City Budget is what $74 million?  Nicholson: Yes.  Poegel:  So you’re telling me that you’d have to spend the equivalent of more than a  year’s city budget to do all the roads, like instantly. Nicholson: Yup.  Poegel:  You’d have to more than double everybody’s taxes to do all the roads all at once.  Nicholson:  That’s 100 percent true. Poegel:  So, obviously, you can’t do that.  Nicholson: Yeah, that’s it.  Would we love to have all the roads done in one year, it would be a great two year project.  In the year, everyone would  be complaining about the traffic detours that come from it.  But, we’d like to get all the roads done, it’s just cost prohibitive. We do what we can, every year since 2012, Gardner has received $600,000 from Chapter 90 State funding for road surfacing.  Well, $600,000 in 2012 is probably half the purchasing price of what it is in 2022.  But, we’ve received the same flat line amount every year for that decade. Poegel:  So that’s basically a half a mile.  Nicholson: It is, it is.  And so we’ve lost that purchasing power, while our costs have just continued to go up.  We do what we can with what we can.  I was happy to see Governor Baker put in the winter recovery funding this year which added an additional $313,000 to what we’re able to do, but we will never be able to fully catch up to what we need to. 

    Photos at left show the challenge of having mature trees near a road with a root structure extending underneath.

    How Roads Get Prioritized

    Poegel:  So how does it work. Obviously you interact with the DPW.  How do roads get prioritized?  Is there some sort of system in place?  Nicholson:  There is.  It’s a formula that the DPW Director and the City Engineer go through, it’s based off of the number of houses on a street, average number of cars that drive over that road, that’s why we have those ticker lines that we count those, the number of cars that go over a road, and the length of the road itself as well.  So all of those are compiled into priority lists that we have.  I receive an updated version from the DPW and City Engineer’s office every July, around July 15th.  When we get that this  year, I can certainly send that to you. … The number of businesses on a street, the number of houses on a street, the number of cars that travel that street, and then the length in miles of that street.  So those are the different factors in the formula that determine the priority list the we have. And then, the final factor of that is: when was the last time that we paved that road? “   Gardner Magazine will publish the Gardner MA Paving Priority List as soon as it is released.   

    The Cost of Paving

    Curious about the cost of paving various types of roads and highways?  The U.S. Department of Transportation has a dedicated page.  CLICK HERE.

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  • Greenwood Action
    Greenwood Bathhouse on Park Street, Gardner MA
    Greenwood Bathhouse Gardner MA
    Greenwood Bathhouse Roof
    Greenwood Bathhouse Roof Falling In
    Greenwood Bathhouse Roof Falling In

    Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson was interviewed July 6, 2022 about various topics including Greenwood.

    “It’s Embarrassing to call a Memorial.” Gardner MA Mayor Nicholson calls for action on Greenwood.

    The Greenwood Pool is popular and the Swim Meets draw people to Gardner. But the old Greenwood Bathhouse looks bad, really bad. And Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson wants something done about it.

    Regarding blighted properties in other sections of the Chair City besides Downtown, Nicholson stated,” “….There’s buildings in there that are safety hazards that we need to look at as well. And I think we need to not just look at those that are privately owned, but we need to start  holding the City to the same standard that we’re holding the private sector.  That’s one of the reasons that I’ve looked at the Greenwood Pool, we have a building where the roof is quite literally caving in on itself.  If that was owned by a private citizen, we’d be fining every week for the nuisance code.  But, because it’s us, we’ve let it sit in the background.  We need to hold ourselves to the same standard we are holding the private sector.  Because if I tell someone else that their lawn needs to be mowed, their property needs to be kept to a safe standard and things like that, I should be doing the same for my own property here.”

    When asked what the Mayor suggests the City Council approve as far as the Greenwood Bathhouse, he stated, “We’re working on a plan utilizing Community Development Block Grant funding.  To put that in the plan there too, so we are making a least a good faith effort that we go forward with the bathhouse.  And it’ll involve the demolition of the building and the installation of a pavilion in the area, that utilizes portions of the existing building in the construction of that pavilion, the cupola, the signs. Having it be over the body of where the pool is and filling it with a blue-dyed concrete so you can see where the pool itself was, and finding ways to make a new memorial , not one that is quite frankly embarrassing to call a memorial.” We are told that a decision on grant funding may be months away.

    A study done in 2018 for the City of Gardner showed that restoring the indoor facility to complete functionality would cost millions. SEE STUDY.

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  • Song of ’23

    Here’s an online link to a list of other hit songs from 1923. CLICK HERE.

    Hit Song in Gardner MA in 1923: Yes, We Have No Bananas

    Gardner MA celebrates its Centennial as a City on January 1, 2023. One of the hit songs 100 years ago was “We Have No Bananas”. We found the original song, digitized it, and you can play it right here.

    We Have No Bananas – Hit Song 1923

    Another song enjoyed in the period was Bye Bye Blackbird, and here is the original.

    Bye Bye Blackbird – released 1919
  • Circulation

    Gardner Magazine was first established as GreaterGardner.net August, 4, 2000.

    Gardner Magazine Circulation at All time High in Gardner MA

    In the first 23 days of July, Gardner Magazine eclipsed its Unique Households record achieved in June 2022 which was 14,000 unique households.   We will report this month’s total when the month is concluded.  We also report that our readers like to use the new AUDIO features.  Total downloads so far in July up to July 23, 2022 are: Mayor Nicholson Projects Interview – 2,586 —- Weekly Mayor’s Update July 15, 2022: 1,241 —- Gardner Zoning Board of Appeals July 19, 2022: 229 —- Weekly Mayor’s Update July 22, 2022: 632 —- City Council Meeting July 5, 2022: 30 —-Many early Mayor’s updates have gotten 20 or more downloads.    We have separate pages of  AUDIO for Mayor’s Updates, City Council Meetings, School Committee Meetings, and Special Events.  

  • Peace on Earth
    Let There Be Peace on Earth – Church Bells

    Genuine Gardner MA – Church Bells Play “Let There Be Peace on Earth”

    At around 10:15am on Sunday July 24, 2022, Church Bells at Mission of Grace Church at 358 Pleasant Street, Gardner captured the moment with “Let There Be Peace on Earth”.   This is Genuine Gardner and qualifies for our theme of positivity as it matches well with Gardner’s History of faith-based life since 1785.   We missed recording this beautiful rendition, but we have the song from Church Bells elsewhere.  Just click PLAY.  And may peace be with you…

  • Gardner Fix It
    Construction Continues on the new Community Health Center

    I CAUGHT FIX IT Fever Gardner MA printable pdf.

    Gardner MA Hit with “Fix It Fever”

    The condition is highly contagious and is prevalent throughout the Chair City.   Grant money, Investor money, Taxpayer City money – it’s being spent.   First it’s the roads and the sidewalks.  Then entire buildings are getting complete overhauls.   New buildings are being built.   Parks are being constructed.   Lighting is being enhanced.  Even fire hydrants are being repurposed.  Building Permit Applications –  setting records. It’s all at a fever pitch.   What’s happening in Gardner?   Everybody’s noticing it and everybody likes it. Gardner MA doesn’t need a cure for “Fix it Fever.”   This contagion is actually a blessing.

    Green and Woodland Street
    Intersection Fixed to cut down on accidents.
    Fire Hydrants Repurposed at Dog Park
    Fire Hydrants Repurposed at Dog Park
    Building Connors Street, Gardner.
    Fixing It on Connors Street in Gardner
    Growing Together
    Growing Together in Gardner MA
  • Critical Drought
    Map Showing Worcester County in Critical Drought Area COMPLETE MAP, CLICK HERE

    Current Drought Status from the State of MA, CLICK HERE.

    Greater Gardner MA now in Critical Drought – Non essential water use banned July 23, 2022

    From the State of MA, “With the majority of the state currently experiencing elevated temperatures and forecasts predicting little to no meaningful precipitation, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Beth Card today declared a Level 3-Critical Drought in the Northeast and Central Regions of the state. The Southeast, and Connecticut River Valley Regions will remain at a Level 2-Significant Drought, and the Cape Cod Region will join the Islands and Western Regions at Level 1-Mild Drought.”

    Non-essential Water Use is Completely Halted

    What this means is people who were watering their plants or lawns after 5pm or before 9am have to stop that too. No non-essential water use is advisable during a Critical Drought. Water Restrictions Map from 7-6-22

  • Mayor’s Update 7-22-22
    Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson July 22, 2022 Update

    Watch the Mayor’s Update on the City of Gardner’s YouTube page or on our Mayor’s Update page, CLICK HERE. Listen to the update by clicking play below. Playable on any device. There is about a 6 second delay before sound starts. AUDIO of all updates, 2022, CLICK HERE.

    AUDIO: Mayor’s Update 7/22/22
    Junior Police Academy
    Printable PDF CLICK HEREComplete Article click here.

    Gardner MA Mayor speaks of Issues, Voting, Events, and Applicants in Info-packed Update.

    Spray Park: In his weekly update of Friday, July 22, 2022, Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson explained the issues with the Spray Park at Greenwood Pool.

    Dog Licenses: Nicholson reminded residents over 70 that Dog registration is still required even though the license is now free for those over 70.

    Voting: The Mayor explained that citizens may be receiving mail-in ballot info both from State and the City. Fill out one and you’ll be set for the State Primary in early September and General election in November.

    Academy: Mayor Nicholson related that the Junior Police Academy was very successful with various officers involved in helping students.

    Police Chief: 2 applications slid in at the last minute to increase the total to 12 applicants for the Chief of Police job. Search Committee of the Panel of Five will meet next week, decide on first round of interviews and eventually send top two choices to the Mayor who will interview further. Then comes a 60 day temporary appointment for his choice, later approval by Appointments Committee, and confirmation for 3 year term by City Council.

    National Night Out: The Mayor announced that buses will be available to help transport people to Gardner High School for this year’s National Night Out which is Tuesday August 2nd starting at 5;30pm. Our Article, click here.

    CLICK Play button, use slider to advance AUDIO, Adjust volume, download file, even change playback speed using controls above. Mayor’s Update 7/22-22

Looking for an older story? Or just want to read them? CLICK HERE for more Greater Gardner MA Local News Stories.

News Around Massachusetts – New England – Nation

More News Around Gardner MA

Massachusetts News This Week

Greater Gardner MA News Extras

  • Gardner Tops 21K
    Complete Gardner Census Data from 2020.

    Gardner MA Population Statistics

    According to the U.S. Census, Gardner has a population of 21,287.    Median Household Income is about $50,000.   Those with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher is close to 1 in 5.   More than half of the population is employed.  98% have health care coverage.   There’s 9,411 total housing units with 691 vacant according to the Census Bureau.  Gardner’s median estimated age of 41 is slightly above the median age in Massachusetts.  One statistic to note: Average Gardner commute time is just under ½ hr. so there’s room for more local employers.  For the complete census data, click here.

  • Visit Gardner

    Visit Downtown Gardner Video Released

    To celebrate a great place to shop, Gardner Magazine has released a Downtown Gardner MA video. Watch it in full HD. CLICK HERE.

  • Shop Local

    Save GAS, Shop LOCAL

    Shopping Locally in the Greater Gardner area is the new vision for the 2020’s. It’s a way to support the local economy and another way to LOVE Your Neighbor. Start shopping locally now, well before Small Business Saturday.   We have a great list of reviewed local businesses for you to shop. (Hint: Most of downtown and most of the city!)  Save GAS, Shop LOCAL. Sure, online can be easy, but shopping at a store in  your community is much more thrilling.  For a list of reviewed businesses in Gardner, CLICK HERE.

  • Open Business in Gardner

    Want to open a business in Gardner? Here’s what you need to know.

    Gardner MA welcomes new businesses.
    Business Startup
    Business
    Business Words

    Gardner Massachusetts is a city in Massachusetts with a population of 21,287 as of the 2020 census. Gardner was incorporated as a town in 1785 and became a city in 1923. Gardner is known as the Chair City. People really love businesses in Gardner. Here’s proof.

    Gardner Magazine spoke with Jessica DeRoy, the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Gardner MA. Jessica tells us Gardner is poised for a period of growth based on the desirability of bringing a business to Gardner and she has some suggestions on where to start.

    The Economic Development team maintains a list of available rentals and properties for sale and will release the current list upon request. Under Mayor Nicholson’s leadership, Gardner is continuing efforts to help facilitate the sale of properties in need of repair to new owners who may have the desire and/or resources to improve the buildings, thus making them more appealing to potential renters. In addition, Jessica says, the Gardner Building Department can assist people in obtaining information on what to do in constructing a new business building.

    Reach the Economic Development Coordinator Jessica DeRoy at (978) 630-4074 ext. 1 or via email at jderoy@gardner-ma.gov. The Building Department suggests a phone call to them is a great place to start. They suggest calling them before buying a property. Roland Jean Jr., the Building Commissioner, can be reached at (978) 630-4007, via email at rjean@gardner-ma.gov, or via fax at (978) 632-3313. You can send a fax without a fax machine by using gotfreefax.com Visit the Gardner MA Building Dept. official page. Visit the Gardner MA Starting a Business page.

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  • Pomeranian Abandoned in Dedham Up for Adoption Soon; Police Exhaust All Leads
    by Matt Fortin on August 9, 2022 at 9:22 am

    Police in Dedham say they’ve exhausted all leads into an investigation to learn who left a Pomeranian in a cage by the side of a road during last month’s heat wave. Someone found the dog in a black crate by the side of Bussey Street on July 23, when the temperature was close to or already had reached 90 degrees, according to Dedham police. Animal Control Officer Deni Goldman told NBC10 Boston at the time she wanted to get justice for the dog, who is now being called “Buzz,” by finding out who abandoned him and why. Abandonment is considered animal cruelty in Massachusetts. A few weeks later, Dedham police now say that none of the leads have led officers to who left the dog in the crate, nor the circumstances surrounding why he was there. Buzz is now being cared for by the Animal Rescue League of Boston. He’s getting a comprehensive veterinary exam, vaccines and preventatives. After that, he will be transitioned for adoption. Once he’s available, you can find him on the ARL’s website. Dedham police remind people that there are resources available if someone needs to surrender a pet. Clear The Shelters clear the shelters Aug 8 Clear The Shelters: Here's How to Help Even If You Can't Adopt clear the shelters Aug 1 Clear The Shelters: Participating Shelters in New England This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

  • Michelle Carter's Probation Has Ended. Where Is She Now?
    by Marc Fortier on August 9, 2022 at 8:53 am

    Michelle Carter, whose story was chronicled in the Hulu series “The Girl From Plainville,” is no longer on probation after being convicted on an involuntary manslaughter charge related to the death of her 18-year-old boyfriend Conrad Roy. A spokesperson for the Massachusetts Probation Service told Masslive this week that Carter’s probation ended on Aug. 1. She had been on probation since being released from prison early in January of 2020 for good behavior. While on probation, Carter was prohibited from profiting from her story. But now that her probation has ended, that is no longer the case. Michelle Carter case Carter’s texting-suicide case garnered national attention, as it raised thorny legal questions about free speech and provided a disturbing look at teenage relationships and depression. It also sparked legislative proposals in Massachusetts to criminalize suicide coercion. Roy’s body was found in his pickup in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, on July 13, 2014. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning and police found a gasoline-operated water pump in the back seat. A judge determined that Carter, who was 17 at the time, caused Roy’s death when she ordered him in a phone call to get back in his carbon monoxide-filled truck. The phone call wasn’t recorded, but the judge relied on a text Carter sent a different friend in which she said she had told Roy to “get back in.” In text messages sent in the days leading up to Roy’s death, Carter also encouraged Roy to follow through with his suicide plan and chastised him when he didn’t, Massachusetts courts found. Carter opted for a bench trial, an unusual legal strategy that meant a judge decided her fate rather than a jury. She also did not testify in her defense at the trial. The state’s highest court upheld Carter’s conviction in February of 2019 and she was ordered to begin serving her jail sentence. Michelle Carter’s texts The case against Carter centered around text messages sent in the days before Roy’s death where she encouraged him to follow through with his suicide plan and chastised him when he didn’t. She reportedly sent Roy more than 1,000 texts in the week leading up to his death alone. In text messages revealed during her trial, Carter pushed Roy to end his life and chastised him when he hesitated. As Roy made excuses to put off his plans, her texts became more insistent. “The time is right and you are ready … just do it babe,” Carter wrote in a text the day Roy killed himself. Prosecutors say one string of text messages between the two show that Carter spent days convincing Roy to kill himself. In one discussion, Roy appears worried about how his parents would respond to his suicide, and Carter purportedly tries to calm that fear. “I think your parents know you’re in a really bad place,” she said, according to the documents. “I’m not saying they want you to do it but I honestly feel like they can accept it. They know there is nothing they can do. They’ve tried helping. Everyone’s tried, but there is a point that comes where there isn’t anything anyone can do to save you, not even yourself. And you’ve hit that point and I think your parents know you’ve hit that point. You said your mom saw a suicide thing on your computer and she didn’t say anything. I think she knows it’s on your mind and she’s prepared for it. Everyone will be sad for a while but they will get over it and move on. They won’t be in depression. I won’t let that happen. They know how sad you are, and they know that you are doing this to be happy and I think they will understand and accept it. They will always carry you in their hearts … You have to just do it. You have everything you need. There is no way you can fail. Tonight is the night. It’s now or never.” Where is Michelle Carter now? So where is Carter now? No one knows. Carter, now 25, has stayed out of the public eye since her release in January of 2020, although it’s possible she’s still living with her family back in Plainville. She has yet to publicly address the Hulu series or the two-part HBO documentary about her case released in 2019. Lifetime also released a movie based on her story in 2018. If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling 988, the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741, anytime. More on the Michelle Carter case Michelle Carter Jan 23, 2020 Michelle Carter Released From Jail Early in Texting-Suicide Case Michelle Carter Mar 30 Where Is Michelle Carter Now? ‘The Girl From Plainville' Story Michelle Carter Mar 29 New Michelle Carter Series ‘The Girl From Plainville' Premieres on Hulu

  • Police Investigation Underway in Everett
    by Matt Fortin on August 9, 2022 at 7:51 am

    Police in Everett, Massachusetts, were conducting an investigation late Monday night near Cherry Street. Officers were called to that area around 11 p.m. Monday. A crew with NBC10 Boston saw a fairly significant response from police around an area that was taped off. NBC10 Boston has reached out to authorities to learn more information about the investigation. More Everett Headlines everett Jul 19 Man Found Dead in Everett Home Jun 14 Everett City Councilor Speaks Out After Alleged Indecent Assault by Colleague

  • Mass. Said to Be Best State to Have a Baby in New Study
    by Olessa Stepanova on August 9, 2022 at 6:10 am

    There’s no denying that having a baby can come with a lot of questions for parents. One of those questions may be, “Is my community a good place for my child to grow up?” For Massachusetts residents, it turns out the answer is “yes.” In a new study by Wallethub, the Bay State was ranked as the overall best state in the country to have a baby in. The study followed key factors like cost of healthcare, accessibility, hospital delivery charges, the average cost of pediatricians and family-friendliness. Based on all of that, Massachusetts took the overall top spot. The rest of New England also had an impressive showing. Vermont came in at number two overall, followed by Rhode Island, Minnesota and New Hampshire at number five. More Massachusetts News Charlie Baker 4 hours ago Baker Returns Bill Addressing Local Public Health Standards mbta 17 hours ago Wu Favors Partnership To Improve MBTA

  • Baker Returns Bill Addressing Local Public Health Standards
    by Chris Lisinski and Michael P. Norton on August 9, 2022 at 5:42 am

    Gov. Charlie Baker late Monday returned a local public health overhaul bill to lawmakers with substantial changes and shot down another bill dealing with student diabetes treatment in schools. Baker sent back the bill calling for foundational local and regional public health standards and regular state funding to health boards (H 5104). The bill’s supporters say it aims to ensure that everyone has access to quality services, regardlesss of where they live, with House Speaker Ron Mariano saying the COVID-19 pandemic had highlighted “the regional and racial inequity that exists within our public health infrastructure.” Baker’s amendment would would allow cities and towns to opt in to the new epidemiology, investigation, credentialing, data-collection and other standards. Municipalities could only access Department of Public Health aid toward those new baselines if they maintain the funding they contribute to public health programs at the same level as the most recent year before they adopt the standards. “I strongly support the aim of this bill, which is to provide high-quality, coordinated and more uniform public health services across the Commonwealth, supported by targeted state investments,” Baker wrote. “However, this legislation requires all local boards of health to comply with the new foundational standards that will be set by DPH, whether or not state funding is provided. While the bill clearly contemplates the provision of state support for boards to implement these standards, such funding is not guaranteed.” The House and Senate rushed the bill to Baker’s desk during the last week in July, passing it on consecutive days in both branches. While the unanimous votes suggest it might be possible for lawmakers to work with the governor on the bill this session, Baker in his amendment letter also suggested a path for next session. “I remain concerned that changing the funding structure for local boards of health will produce only limited improvement in effectiveness if the Legislature also does not reconsider the variety and breadth of governance structures that are present in our local board of health,” Baker wrote. “The experience of COVID-19 over the past two and a half years has highlighted the challenges that the current structure presents to delivering an effective and coordinated, statewide public health response. I urge the Legislature to prioritize that issue in the next legislative session.” In December 2021, the Legislature approved over $200 million in American Rescue Plan Act and fiscal 2021 surplus funding to support local and regional public health infrastructure, according to House officials, and the fiscal 2023 budget signed last month includes $15 million for grants to support local and regional boards. The governor also vetoed another bill just after 5 p.m. Monday that would have allowed school nurses to delegate authority to administer glucose monitoring tests or insulin delivery systems to students who are unable to self-administer. Baker wrote that the administration of insulin “requires specific dosages that are determined through calculations based on food consumption and blood sugar levels at the moment of administration” and said that the Institute for Safe Medications has identified insulin as “high risk,” or “indicating a heightened risk of significant patient harm when used in error.” “Because of this level of complexity and the clinical assessment skills needed, allowing the delegation of insulin administration to unlicensed school personnel would create an unnecessary risk of error which could lead to serious injury or even death for a student with diabetes,” Baker wrote. “In general, the Department of Public Health does not allow school nurses to delegate the administration of medications other than those administered by mouth or topically because of the special training required to administer these medications.”The House and Senate also sped the insulin delivery bill to Baker on voice votes during its last week of July. Because they waited to send Baker the bill until just before formal sessions ended, Democratic legislative leaders didn’t leave themselves time to attempt to override the governor’s veto. The bill is based on a Rep. Frank Moran of Lawrence bill (H 665) governing diabetes management in schools, legislation that was endorsed last year by the Joint Committee on Education and then the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. Sen. Sal DiDomenico is the sponsor of the Senate version of the bill (S 315). On Tuesday, Gov. Baker will join other state leaders for a ceremonial signing of the newly passed state law that protects reproductive healthcare. The governor first signed the legislation at the end of July. More Headlines Registry of Motor vehicles Jun 8 Mass. Driver's License Bill: House Votes to Override Baker's Veto Massachusetts Jul 11 Massachusetts' Highest Court Upholds New Mail-In Voting Law

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