More Greater Gardner MA Local News

News Around Greater Gardner MA (older stories)

  • ZBA 9-7-22 (9/8/2022)
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    Zoning Board of Appeals September 7, 2022

    The Gardner MA Zoning Board of Appeals Met on September 7, 2022

    Meeting Agenda, CLICK HERE. The board took up the continuing project at 42-52 Parker Street, 2 driveways, a request to demolish and reconstruct a camp, a request for more parking for online shoppers at 21 Timpany Boulevard, and a sign for a breakfast and lunch cafe at 112 Central Street.

    Zoning Board of Appeals 9-7-22

    Watch the meeting on YouTube or listen to the meeting here, playable on any device. Just Click Play.

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  • September Council (9/8/2022)
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    Gardner City Council 9-7-22

    Watch the Gardner City Council Meetings on the City of Gardner YouTube page or on our City Council page CLICK HERE. Or listen on any device by clicking Play. (Our recording eliminated the silence before meeting starts and while in recess to do swearing in.)

    Gardner MA City Council Met on Wednesday September 7, 2022

    The Gardner City Council met on Wednesday September 7th due both to Labor Day and the Massachusetts Primary. Complete Agenda and packet, CLICK HERE. Letter from Mayor Nicholson on establishing City Charter Drafting Committee, CLICK HERE. – Committee would eventually submit updates for approval by voters at a municipal election. – was referred to Council as a Committee as a whole.

    Gardner City Council 9-7-22
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    First up was the Mayor’s requested confirmation of Eric McAvene to the position of Police Chief for a 3 year term. He started work as a Temporary Appointment on August 22nd and was confirmed at this meeting for a full 3 year appointment.

    Chief McAvene Swearing In 9 7 22
    Chief Swearing In

    McAvene was one of 12 applicants for the position and the top pick of 3 finalists. He has served the City of Gardner for over two decades.

    A request to confirm Sergeant Walter was also granted. Sergeant Walter had left his position for professional reasons and was eligible to return.

    Prospect St. School Gardner MA 1
    Prospect St. School

    Action on School Buildings

    The Council acted on whether to declare the Prospect Street and School Street Schools as surplus and authorize sale. Lengthy appraisal reports are included in the City Council Agenda and packet. After separate discussions and motions, declaration of Prospect School and School as surplus passed unanimously.

    School St. School Gardner MA 2
    School St. School

    The Prospect Street School building is in relatively good condition with a 295k appraisal. However, the 53 School Street building is another story with an appraisal of $0. According to Building Commissioner Roland Jean in a communication to the Mayor, “Nearly every window…smashed by vandals, …holes in slate roof…, …prolific leaks in the flat roof, the portable classrooms are beyond their useful life and need to be demolished, ….two known underground oil tanks…, …burst pipes, ….no sprinkler system in the building…” “It is my opinion that the cost to rehabilitate the building would far exceed any worth that it might have.” The appraisal report recommends that the highest and best use of the property would be to “demolish and remove the building for future development with two residential lots.”

    History of the School St. property shown in the appraisal indicates that a portion of the property was acquired by the City on March 3, 1858 from Levi Heywood for the sum of $232.80 and the rest of it from 7 other sellers in 1911 with parcel purchase prices ranging from $1 to $4700.

    Lucky to Get Rid of It

    The appraiser estimates that after the demolition of the School St. building, the value of the two residential lots created would be $134,000. However, the cost of demolition is estimated at $250,000. Therefore, the property actually has a negative appraised value of $116,000, rounded up to zero. In short, the City of Gardner, pricing the property at a starting bid price of $1 would be fortunate to get a buyer, get the headache off the City’s hands, and return the property to the tax rolls.

    Use of Elm Street School

    During the City Council meeting of 9-7, Mayor Nicholson also explained the use of Elm Street School: It will be used by the Superintendent’s office, Gardner Academy, and the Boys and Girls Club. He also explained that the city is required to use the building for educational purposes for 15 years – otherwise it is subject to paying back a $3 million grant.

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    Gardner Fire Headquarters

    Fire Department Audit

    According to the Fire Department Audit, the Net income for the ambulance services provided by the Gardner Fire Department has almost doubled from $518,199 in fiscal year 2018 to $976,758 in fiscal year 2022. Part of the large increase in net income for the last two years occurred from participation in the Medicare CPE Reimbursement program which was instituted by the Commonwealth of MA to help cities and towns offset the very low Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement currently allowed. Item re the Fire Department Audit was referred to the Council as a Committee as a whole.

    New Ambulance in the Works

    An ambulance costs over 250k and is used for 5 years as a primary ambulance and another 5 years as a backup. According to the audit, the Gardner Fire Department is in the process of ordering a new ambulance at a cost of $290,500, which will be paid for with ARPA funds, with no cost to the City.

    Headquarters and Staffing

    “The city should investigate the needs for a new or substantially remodeled Fire Headquarters to meet current and future needs.” With respect to personnel, the audit states, “we would recommend the city looks at making a nonunion Deputy Fire Chief’s position.” There are other personnel recommendations as well.

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    City Centennial Celebration Ad Hoc Advisory Committee: Mayor Nicholson has appointed Michael Richard, Brad Heglin, Douglas Lepisto, Gladys Richardson, and Jessica DeRoy. The Council President has appointed Marion Knoll, Dawn Erickson, and Theresa Thompson. According to Mayor Nicholson, “These individuals will oversee the planning and fundraising of several events throughout the course of the coming year. Other individual volunteers will be participating in the planning and execution of these events, however, this will be the core committee to oversee the larger aspects of the year. Ms. Patricia Bergstrom will also be assisting with the planning of a parade for the Fall of 2023.”

    Councilor Thanks During New Business

    Those Councilors choosing to make statements during the New Business segment at the end of the meeting mostly made comments of thanks. Councilor Tyros thanked those involved in the Pleasant Street summer experiment and hopes the City tries again next year. Councilor Mack thanked everyone who helped make the new Gardner Elementary School a reality and wished students, faculty, and staff a great new year. Councilor Boone thanked the City Clerk Titi Siriphan for setting up the primary. Councilor Boudreau commented that Gardner has a wonderful live music scene. Councilor Walsh toured water and sewer facilities this summer and recommended other councilors take the same tour. Councilor Ronald Cormier commented on how fortunate the community was to have good water and sewer services. Council President Kazinskas also expressed thanks, congratulating City Clerk Siriphan for a job well done.

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  • Taco Rey (9/7/2022)
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    Taco Rey Coliman Gardner MA

    Popular Gardner MA Eatery Dazzles with New Signage and Awning

    Taco Rey Coliman is a Downtown Gardner restaurant offering dine-in, pickup, or delivery. Visit their Facebook page, CLICK HERE.

    Gardner Square Two posted, “Look at the new sign and awning for Taco Rey Coliman! They went through the City’s sign and facade grant program to get this. Contact Jessica DeRoy, Economic Development Coordinator, for help with your business.”

  • The Chief Speaks (9/7/2022)
    Nicholson Kearns McAvene Appointments Committee
    Chief McAvene – Former Acting Chief Kearns – Mayor Nicholson
    Appointments Committee September 6 2022
    Appointments Committee September 6, 2022

    Appointments Committee Hears new Gardner MA Police Chief

    Chief McAvene appeared before the Gardner Appointments Committee on September 6, 2022. Sitting with him in support was Mayor Michael Nicholson and former Acting Chief Phil Kearns. Both Nicholson and Kearns spoke in support of the appointment. Confirmation of the appointment was recommended unanimously.

    Watch the meeting on YouTube or listen to it here by clicking PLAY.

    Appointments Committee 9-6-22

    The Gardner City Council takes up the appointment at its Wednesday September 7, 2022 meeting. CLICK HERE.

  • Work for the City (9/7/2022)
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    Gardner MA – Great Place to Work since 1785

    Positions open with the City of Gardner MA

    Deputy Chief of Police – apply by September 9, 2022 at 4:30pm. —- Local Building Inspector – apply by September 16, 2022 at 1pm —- Administrative Assistant for the Board of Health – apply by September 13, 2022 at 1pm –

    Gardner MA has been a great place to work since 1785.

    Want more details? Visit the jobs page on the City of Gardner website. CLICK HERE.

  • Octoberfest in September (9/7/2022)
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    Fabulous Fall Festival and Octoberfest September 24, 2022

    Gardner MA Ale House Getting Ready for Octoberfest Happening September 24th

    The renowned local restaurant and brewery is participating in Gardner’s Fabulous Fall Festival on September 24, 2022 with an Octoberfest. Complete information, CLICK HERE. The Chair Luge is also back this year. – Details, CLICK HERE.

    Meanwhile, Gardner Square Two is lining up Vendors, Food Trucks, Crafters, and Non-profits for what is projected to be one of the most Fabulous Fall Festivals in a long time. Deadline to book your participation is September 5th. Previous article with all details, CLICK HERE.

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  • Mayor’s Update 9-2-22 (9/7/2022)
    Mayors Update September 2 2022
    Mayor’s Update 9-3-22

    A thoughtful Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson Updates Chair City 9-2-22

    Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson’s Update for September 2, 2022: Just CLICK PLAY.

    Mayor’s Update 9-2-22 CLICK PLAY

    Mayor Nicholson spoke about Substance Abuse Awareness Night, the need for ongoing efforts, and praised those involved.

    The Mayor welcomed back students, thanked teachers and spoke about the School Calendar. Gardner Elementary will be ready for start of school, even though some grounds work will still need to be completed.

    Votes coming up at City Council next Wednesday will include the Mayor’s requests to sell School Street School and Prospect Street School. School Street property appraises at $1 due to underground oil storage tank and other factors. Prospect Street School appraises at $295,000, however Mayor will ask that the minimum price be set at $100,000. Properties will be sold via a request for proposals to get the best price for the best use of the property. Photos of both in previous article. CLICK HERE.

    Verizon Wireless Zone and Edward Jones at Timpany Crossroads will soon having ribbon cuttings. The Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center having Speakers at Monument Park. Fall Festival coming up in Gardner.

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

    Mayor Michael Nicholson Update September 2, 2022 – Starts right away on any device

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  • Two Buildings Sold (9/6/2022)
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    Central Street, Gardner
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    Central Street, Gardner
    Gardner Historical photo, Central Street
    Central Street, Gardner About 100 Years AgoBuilding purchased was built circa 1850

    Shirley Company Purchases Two Downtown Gardner Buildings – Tied to over a Dozen LLCs

    Two Buildings almost side by side on Central Street in Gardner (280-302 and 310-320) have been sold to a real estate holding and development company for a reported $2.3 million. It was not announced what plans, if any, the company has for the property.

    Door Fund Central Street, LLC was formed on August 18, 2022 for the purpose of acquiring two Downtown Gardner Buildings located at 280-302 and 310-320 Central Street. It is listed as a real estate holding and development company. Under different LLCs, the same individuals own other buildings in Gardner including 101-105 Baker Street, Gardner and 68 Graham Street, Gardner, and did own 45 Greenwood Street, Gardner until selling it to Gardner Real Estate Holding Group, LLC managed by Jonathan Bombaci of Candor Realty.

    Managers of the company include Michael Marchetti and Damon Amato, both of 6 Oakes Landing, Shirley, MA. Other parties to the company include Realtor Yun Rhee of Shirley and Ryan Corcoran of Warren, Rhode Island. Resident agent is Attorney Jay R. Peabody of Boston.

    Other Companies Owned by the Principals

    This is not the first venture for these individuals in real estate. According to the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office, there are a number of LLC’s involving Michael Marchetti of Shirley MA. 1002-1008A Main St LLC (for an apartment building complex in Worcester) formed May 2021 -Marchetti and Amato, 101-105 Baker Avenue LLC (5 unit building 101-105 Baker St., Gardner) – formed August 2019 – Marchetti and Rhee, 147 Oak Street LLC – formed October 2018 – Marchetti only , 16 Harvard Road Shirley LLC – (5 unit building in Shirley) formed September 2019- Michael and Samantha Marchetti , 21-23-25 Cottage Street LLC, (multi-unit Leominster property) – formed May 2018 -Michael and Samantha Marchetti, 45 Greenwood Street LLC – formed May 2019 – Samantha Marchetti, Michael Marchetti, Yun Rhee and Matthew Swierk , 46-48 E Main Street Ayer LLC – formed June 2020 – Michael and Samantha Marchetti, – Frontier Property Management LLC – Formed December 2017 -Marchetti, Anthony Lavalley , Hilltop Estate Door Fund Manager LLC – formed March 2022 – Marchetti and Rhee, Lakes Region MSR Management, LLC – formed February 2022 – Marchetti, Rhee, and Swierk, Marchetti Industries LLC – formed February 2019 – Marchetti, Marchetti PG Gardner 1 LLC – formed April 2020 – Marchetti, Marchetti Property Group, LLC – formed August 2017, MSR 3 Main Shirley LLC – formed March 2020 – Marchetti, MSR Monadnock Street LLC – formed August 2019 – Marchetti, MSRC Gardner Portfolio LLC (68 Graham St. Gardner)– formed October 2021 – Marchetti, New England Property Acquisitions Inc. -formed May 2020, See You Ayer LLC – formed April 2018 – Samantha and Michael Marchetti, Transcend Wellness Inc. – formed December 2019 – Samantha and Michael Marchetti, dissolved December 31, 2021.

    According to a listing on the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce, one of their companies defines exactly what they do “Frontier Property Management, LLC is a professional property management company based in the small town of Shirley, Massachusetts. It was started by a couple of best friends who call this area home, and are truly determined to improve not only the residents experience, but also the landlords. We service mostly central Massachusetts, with locations ranging from Gardner to Chelmsford, and everywhere in-between. With professional maintenance, apartment renovation, reliable resident-relations, or helping you find your next investment property, Frontier is your local gold-standard management team. “

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  • History of Gardner (9/6/2022)
    Chair City Centennial 1923 to 2023

    History of Gardner MA in 5 minutes

    With Gardner about to celebrate its 100th anniversary as a City on January 1, 2023, we thought it would be fun to create an AUDIO History of Gardner. Just click Play and learn a little bit about the Chair City of the World from our announcers Joe, Selene, and Kai.

    The History of Gardner MA
  • Needed Rain (9/6/2022)
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    Precipitation Information 9-6-22\

    Greater Gardner MA is getting much-needed rain, helping with the ongoing drought.

    Absolutely Drenched is Great News for Greater Gardner MA

    The region has been in a D3 – Extreme Drought with all unnecessary water use prohibited, browning grass everywhere, crops, and livestock affected. It is unknown how much progress towards emerging from the drought the rain of Monday 9-5 or Tuesday 9-6-22 will bring. The National Water Information System has a Web Interface showing up-to-date precipitation information. CLICK HERE.

  • Gardner Tour (9/5/2022)
    Gardner MA Alive with Promise Tour

    The Gardner MA Alive with Promise 4 Minute Video Tour

    Gardner MA is a dynamic community with a welcome mat extended to business, industry, development, and incoming residents. Our 4 minute video tours several dozen Gardner features. Gardner will be a Century as a City in 2023 and is a great place to live, work, play, and visit. Play video right out of this page. Play full screen if desired.

  • Pauly Potato Takedown (9/3/2022)
    Opinion

    Gardner MA Facebook Group Moderator Pauly Potato Spreading Fake News

    An Editorial by Gardner Magazine Publisher Werner Poegel – There are a number of very healthy Facebook Groups serving the Greater Gardner MA area. Most Admins make an effort to foster respectful speech and do not knowingly pass along false information. However, Pauly Potato is the exception. In his group, rather than simply moderating discussions among group members, the admin openly attacks political candidates and officials he doesn’t like, often taking portions of news items and twisting them into falsehoods. The result: people are getting FAKE NEWS.

    On Transparency

    For example, the Mayor was criticized for lack of transparency when Gardner MA has earned the reputation of being a model of municipal transparency: winning an award for its projects map, getting a perfect audit for 2021, and having one of only a handful of Mayors in the nation who do a regular Weekly update. CASE CLOSED, on this subject Pauly Potato, you spread FAKE NEWS.

    On Paving of the Roads

    DPW has been criticized for its lack of paving roads when the truth is it would take more than 1 ½ times the entire City budget for the year to pave all the roads. CASE CLOSED, on this subject Pauly Potato, you spread FAKE NEWS.

    On Ovila Case Playground

    There has also been criticism of the lack of maintenance of Ovila Case Playground. Actually, the City has invested the most money there in the last two years, adding basketball courts and a walking trail in May of 2021 and new picnic tables/charcoal grills in July of 2021. The electric system and lights are currently being upgraded. Around $115,000 in new equipment was added to the location from various funding to replace the deteriorating wood structures. Once free cash is certified by the Department of Revenue, additional expenditures on Ovila Case are planned. So the DPW, The Mayor, and the City are paying attention to Ovila Case. CASE CLOSED, on this subject, Pauly Potato, you spread FAKE NEWS.

    On the Proposed Sale of Two Schools

    Now, the last example today is an especially misleading example of FAKE NEWS by Pauly Potato: The sale of Prospect Street School and School Street School. Prospect Street appraises at $295,000, but would need substantial investment for use other than a school, so the Mayor’s request is to set a minimum price of $100,000 for it. School Street School is a real nightmare, with an appraisal that ran into negative numbers. Therefore, a request to start bids at $1. In both cases. getting the properties back on the tax rolls would be to the advantage of the City. Is it a bad thing that Mayor Nicholson is actually taking his fiduciary responsibility seriously and thinking of the taxpayers? We think not. Once more, Pauly Potato, CASE CLOSED, on this subject Pauly Potato, you spread FAKE NEWS.

    Conclusion

    While the City of Gardner is very lucky right now to have responsible officials in all facets of its government, we urge any citizen with questions about what any public official is proposing to simply ask for more information. Gardner MA is rare in its transparency with the City Council Agenda and Council packet made public before meetings, with meetings made public on YouTube, and of course Gardner Magazine makes most major meetings and Mayor’s Update available in AUDIO format, easily playable on any device. And, you can always seek an appointment with the Mayor. But, whatever you do, don’t take Pauly Potato’s word for it – Your brain will end up like french fries in a paper bag, SOGGY. And Pauly Potato, you have been mashed.

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  • Home Sales (9/3/2022)
    Home and Money

    With home prices and interest rates up, monthly payments are up. Here’s a link to an online mortgage payment calculator. CLICK HERE.

    Prices Up, Home Sales Cooling, Interest Rates Double for Greater Gardner MA

    In the City of Gardner MA, the median home price was just over 289k as of July 2021 and is up 14% to just under 330k as of July 2022. Interest rates have doubled since last summer.

    The numbers: With a 10% down payment and 30 year fixed mortgage at 3%, that median-priced home had a payment of $1098. A year later, with interest rates doubling to 6%, the same home would have a payment of $1779, allowing for both the increase in home price and interest rate. That’s a payment increase of 62%. Payments do not include mortgage insurance for less than 20% down, real estate taxes, or insurance.

    The Cooling: According to the Warren Group, “Increases in wages and salaries are not keeping pace with inflation that is now running at 8.5%. Plus, homebuyers face a very low inventory of homes for sale. All this leads to a cooler real estate market.”

    In the State of Massachusetts, the median home price was 540K as of July 2021 and is up 8.3% to 585k as of July 2022. With same down payments and rates as quoted above, the monthly payment is up 42%.

    Rents up as well. Local craigslist ads on September 3, 2022 show that a 1 bedroom can easily go for $1200/month, 2 bedroom $1400/month, and 3 bedroom $1600/month. However, the latest listing was on August 30th. Social Media posts frequently show people frustrated over availability when trying to find an apartment.

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  • Two Worlds (8/31/2022)
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    Two Worlds – Staff parking at Gardner Elementary

    Two Worlds Operating Simultaneously at new Gardner Elementary School

    While construction continues at the Gardner Elementary School, staff development and classroom preparation is underway for the School Staff including teachers.

    . The City of Gardner spared no expense as you can see to direct staff to the appropriate parking lot, wisely using a leftover piece of wood and paint from somewhere. It seems somebody has to go to the bathroom outside as there’s a huge line of 11 outhouses. Electric vehicles are welcome with dedicated charging stations provided. All the photos, CLICK HERE.

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  • Finances 8-31-22 (8/31/2022)
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    Gardner Finance Committee 8-31-22
    Prospect St. School Gardner MA
    Propect St. School 8-31-22
    School St. School Gardner MA
    School St. School 8-31-22

    Gardner MA Finance Committee Discusses Donations, Selling Schools, and Reviewing Fire Department Audit

    The Gardner Finance Committee met on August 31, 2022. Subjects discussed including the acceptance of donations for K9 Rocky and for the Gardner Animal Shelter, the Mayor’s request to sell the Prospect Street School and School Street School as they are not being used by the City and are frequent items of issue for the Police Department, and the recently completed Fire Department Audit.

    Mayor Nicholson would like the City to put up the Prospect Street School for sale well under the $295,000 appraised value due to the substantial cost a purchaser would have in converting the building in to something other than a school. He also stated that the School Street school is in disrepair and a hazard and there are already various people interested in purchasing the building.

    Council President Kazinskas suggested that the Gardner City Council hold an informal meeting at 6:30pm prior to its second meeting in September to allow for a presentation on the audit.

    Watch this meeting on YouTube or listen to it right here on any device. Just click Play.

    Gardner MA Finance Committee 8-31-22
  • Moving In (8/29/2022)
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    Moving In

    Gardner MA Teachers Happy to Move in to NEW Gardner Elementary School on August 29, 2022

    Gardner Public Schools released the Moving photos on Social Media, showing an enthusiastic group of educators Movin’ on in. Elementary School students return on September 12th with Kindergarteners starting on September 15th. CLICK on any image for a larger view. We have another article on Teachers’ Convocation.

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    The New Gardner Elementary School
    Teachers Outside Gardner Elementary 8 29 22
    Outside Gardner Elementary
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    Inside Gardner Elementary
    Teachers Outside Gardner Elementary 8 29 22 Stop Sign
    Outside Gardner Elementary
    Teachers Inside Gardner Elementary 8 29 22 5
    Proud of New School
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    Which is first?
    Teachers Inside Gardner Elementary 8 29 22 High Fives
    Smiling with High Fives
    Teachers Inside Gardner Elementary 8 29 22
    Posing after Unpacking
  • Teachers (8/29/2022)
    Convocation Gardner MA Teachers
    Convocation Teachers
    Teachers Meeting
    Teachers Meeting
    Go Wildcats
    Convocation August 29, 2022 with this statement on the screen “The Hardest working district!”

    Gardner MA School District Holds Convocation for Teachers 8-29-22

    Teachers were welcomed back for the 2022/2023 School Year. According to the Gardner Superintendent’s Office, teachers working at the new Gardner Elementary School have seen their classrooms and are anticipating various professional development days to be held at the new school. Elementary School students return on September 12th with Kindergardeners starting on September 15th. Other students in the District return on Tuesday, September 6th. Exception is Holy Family Academy – started August 29th. Complete projected calendar, CLICK HERE. Projected Bus Routes, CLICK HERE.

    Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson appeared pleased to attend releasing this statement, “Great day this morning welcoming the Gardner Public Schools Teachers and Staff back at the annual faculty convocation this morning and seeing people in Gardner Elementary School for the first time before going to Annunciation Parish Gardner Massachusetts to join the Holy Family Academy MA community for their first day of school today! Wishing all of our students, teachers, and families across the City a great new school year!”

    Photo Gallery: The “Wow Factor” of the New Gardner Elementary School. CLICK HERE

  • Gardner Magazine (8/28/2022)
    Gardner Magazine 23rd
    Gardner Magazine 19 communities

    Gardner Magazine Says Thank You!

    Gardner Magazine has entered its 23rd year of service to 19 Greater Gardner MA communities. Around the Towns page. Watch our 30 second thank you video on YouTube, CLICK HERE.

    We love info from any group having events in the area and any info from local government. Also, something you think we should cover? Let us know. Email: News@GardnerMagazine.com

  • Photos Update (8/27/2022)
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    Gardner Elementary August 27, 2022

    The “Wow Factor” – Gardner MA New Elementary School

    With most of the paving and construction completed, the school is a thing of beauty. We present a complete Gallery from 8-27-22 CLICK HERE

  • High School (8/27/2022)
    Gardner High School from space
    Gardner High School from Satellite
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    Gardner High School
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    Gardner High School Athletic Fields Improved in 2022
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    Gardner High School Sports

    Gardner MA High School Still Among Most Beautiful

    With the focus on the new Gardner Elementary School, it’s easy to forget just how wonderful the Gardner High School complex is. The design of the building is stunning when viewed from high resolution satellite as shown in this article.

    However, beneath the surface is a story even more incredible: the emergence of a truly great educational atmosphere fueled by savvy curriculum updates over the last couple of years. Gardner High School students have so many options whether they are on a pure academic path or take an Innovative Pathway.

    Evidence of Great School System is Overwhelming

    Some of our articles to check out: Key dates for the upcoming Wildcats Season, CLICK HERE. The projected 2022-2023 School Calendar, CLICK HERE. Educators in Gardner tackling the Education Puzzle, CLICK HERE. Article on School Committee June meeting at which Superintendent Pellegrino received substantial praise. CLICK HERE. Even the School Resource officer was honored, CLICK HERE. At the Gardner City Council meeting on June 6, 2022, the music program received a $100,000 boost. CLICK HERE. The School Budget Session in June revealed “an efficiently-run system.” CLICK HERE. There was tremendous pride in the graduating class of 2021, CLICK HERE. We have proof even sports has its act together as Fall Sports Registration was announced in May of 2022, CLICK HERE. Gardner High had pride in its music program with a Spring Concert, CLICK HERE. Gardner announced in the Spring that it was improving athletic fields, CLICK HERE. Gardner High School now even makes the souvenir chairs formerly made elsewhere, CLICK HERE. Athletics is strong at Gardner High. In January 2022, it was announced that the Gardner MA Varsity Cheerleading Team got 5th place at the National Competition. CLICK HERE.

    Great High School Education

    Gardner MA is destined to continue improvement upon its great high school education formula. Here is the 83 page Program of Studies for 2022-2023 in pdf format, CLICK HERE History/Social Science, CLICK HERE. Mathematics, CLICK HERE Arts Curriculum, CLICK HERE. FYI: Gardner does not allow political views in teaching stating in its guide, “The teachers’ right to introduce controversial issues in classroom presentations does not include the right of advocacy.” Complete guide, CLICK HERE. Gardner High School has other bases covered as well including a Full Technology policy, CLICK HERE. And a complete guide for professional practices, CLICK HERE. The Gardner School District does not allow complacency either and has a Professional Development Plan, CLICK HERE.

    Positive Gardner High School Future

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    Gardner MA Public Schools, including Gardner High School, are getting higher ratings all the time. You could say that just like construction going on in all parts of the Chair City, education in Gardner has been revitalized and its best years are yet to come.

    Yes, the new Gardner Elementary School is exciting and wonderful. Let’s not forget just how wonderful Gardner High School is and how committed the Gardner School District is to delivering an excellent High School educational experience. For more on Gardner Public Schools anytime, visit the official website, CLICK HERE.

  • Mayor’s Update August 26, 2022 (8/26/2022)
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    Gardner Mayor Nicholson August 26, 2022

    Watch the Weekly Updates with Mayor Michael Nicholson on the City of Gardner’s YouTube page or on our Mayor’s Update page, CLICK HERE.

    Listen to AUDIO of any Mayor’s Update on any device. CLICK HERE.

    Some Listener Statistics:

    Gardner Magazine Chair City Update 8/19: 702, Nicholson 8/12: 4,070, Nicholson 8/5: 3,703. Citizen Concerns Interview: 5.019. Gardner City Council 8/1: 1,968

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    Speaking with Vim and Vigor, Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson Updates the City of Gardner

    Mayor Nicholson spent a few minutes explaining the process of early voting and important dates relating to the upcoming primary. The Mayor related that as of November 1, 2022, textiles may not be included in garbage set out for pickup. He spoke of various events such as the recent Roundtable with U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and the upcoming International Overdose Awareness Day. See our article.

    Mayor Nicholson thanked those who are of public service like 4 more Eagle Scouts, teachers who are getting ready for the school year, and head lifeguard Diana Ringer who is retiring.

    Mayor Nicholson reminded citizens of the Drought Conditions and that no outdoor watering is currently permitted. See our article.

    Listen to the Update here. Click Play. Starts immediately.

    Nicholson Update 8-26-22
  • Vendors Wanted (8/26/2022)
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    Gardner MA Fabulous Fall Festival 2022
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    In the spirit of Downtown Gardner Construction and Revitalization, Gardner Square Two completely bulldozed its website and is rebuilding it to be bigger and better than ever before. Website, CLICK HERE

    Gardner MA Fall Festival Open to More Vendors

    Gardner Square Two is lining up Vendors, Food Trucks, Crafters, and Non-profits for what is projected to be one of the most Fabulous Fall Festivals in a long time. The date is September 24, 2022 and runs 10am to 4pm.

    Businesses and non-profits are welcome. Space is approximately 10 x 16 and is considered a great way to feature products and services to an excited public. Other ways to support the event include sponsoring a specific entertainment event, coming up with your own unique idea and getting it approved, or making a donation to the overall event to show your support. Deadline: September 5th so book your spot today!

    Vendor information, CLICK HERE. —- Vendor Guidelines PDF, CLICK HERE —— Vendor Registration Form PDF, CLICK HERE There is also an option to register securely online.

    Gardner Square Two Mission: “Gardner Square Two, Inc. was founded to help rebuild our City’s heart and soul. Our success is instrumental in returning the Downtown to an economically vital business, cultural, and residential district. Square Two’s goal is to provide Gardner’s citizens with a safe, accessible, and diverse resource that will further enhance economic development.” Website, CLICK HERE.

    Gardner Square Two also plans to sign up new members to the organization every day. Membership is open to individual citizens of Gardner, businesses, and non-profits. The website is expected to have a full membership sign up section in the coming days.

  • Parker Paving (8/26/2022)
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    Paving on Parker Street Gardner MA with new trash can

    Newly Paved Parker Street Gardner MA Looking Beautiful

    The long-awaited paving delayed earlier in the week by the weather has been completed. And along with a beautiful Parker Street, Gardner MA gets some very nice looking trash cans. They didn’t come cheap, but they sure look nice.

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    New Trash Can

    Our article in April 2022 reported on an additional $10,000 being appropriated for the trash cans because of price increases. CLICK HERE.

  • GES Update 8-26-22 (8/26/2022)
    Cars on Road 3
    GES Update 8-26-22
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    Gardner Elementary School 8-26-22

    “We turn the school over in 1-2 weeks” says Construction Super at New Gardner MA Elementary School -8-29-22 Update – and he was wrong!

    UPDATE: August 29, 2022: Construction Supervisor gave us bogus information as teachers were moving in on August 29, 2022.

    The following information in our original story turned out to be incorrect: “It’s going to be close as the NEW Gardner Elementary School will get formally turned over to the School District just days before students are projected to start attendance. The construction company has allowed the District to move in some things ahead of time so starting things up may be a marathon, but should still be possible.”

    Taking photos was complicated on August 26, 2022 as paving was underway at the school. There was a sign at the High School entrance saying to use the Pearl Street entrance. When we went there, we were redirected back to High School entrance and took photos of the various employee vehicles parked along the road, paving occurring around the new school, all the way to the Pearl Street entrance.

    Gardner Public Schools has released a draft of bus routes (subject to change) CLICK HERE.

    We wrote a previous article showcasing the Zippy construction taking place CLICK HERE

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    GES Update 8-26-22 High School Entrance
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    GES Update 8-26-22 Paving at Pearl Entrance
  • Trump Matter (8/26/2022)

    Because of intense public interest, we are publishing the redacted affadavit. CLICK HERE.

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  • Overdose Awareness (8/26/2022)
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    International Overdose Awareness Day

    International Overdose Awareness Day is August 31, 2022 in Greater Gardner MA

    From the website: “International Overdose Day is the world’s annual campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died, and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.” Website link, CLICK HERE.

    Downloadable Overdose Fact Sheets Below.

    City of Gardner Events

    Here’s what happening in the City of Gardner: There will be Narcan Training at 5:30pm at the First Congregational Church. From 6:30 to 8:30pm at Monument Park (or City Hall Auditorium in case of rain), there will be a community event with music, speakers, memorial video, and luminaries. The Luminary Lighting will be at 8:45pm – City Hall Lawn.

    How to Get Involved

    People get involved in this day by hosting or attending an event, by posting a tribute to a loved one who has passed away from an overdose, or by making a donation to help raise awareness of overdose and spread the message that overdose is preventable.

    Fact Sheets – Downloadable

    Downloadable fact sheets: Alcohol —- Depressants —- Opioids —- Psychoactive Substances —- Stimulants —- Crystal Methamphetamine.

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  • Fire Danger (8/26/2022)
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    Gardner and other Fire Trucks in Ashby MA

    Fire Danger very Real in Greater Gardner MA

    From the Gardner Fire Department August 26, 2022: “A few photos from Gardner Engine 3 responding with the Mass District 8 tender task force to Ashby. Crews battled a fire in a very large stump and debris dump. 19 water tankers hauled well over 600,000 gallons of water up to the scene so crews could maintain a flow onto the fire of 1750 gallons a minute!”

    Gardner FIre Dept. continued,, “That’s a very impressive task to be able to maintain in an area with no fire hydrants. Gardner’s Engine 3 was dispatched at 8 a.m. and was back in the City by 3 p.m.

    Unfortunately due to our extreme drought and dry conditions, the fire has re kindled and Ashby and surrounding towns are back fighting the fire again today. We need rain and lots of it!!”

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    Stump and Debris Fire Ashby MA
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    Putting out Fire Ashby MA
  • Public Service (8/25/2022)
    Gardner Public Service Committee August 25, 2022
    Gardner MA Public Service Committee 8-25-22

    Public Service Committee Meets in Gardner MA

    The Gardner MA Public Service Committee met on August 25, 2022 to go over various issues. Listen to the entire meeting. Just click Play to listen on any device.

    Public Service Committee 8-25-22 YouTube
  • Extreme Drought (8/24/2022)
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    Greater Gardner MA Drought Map

    Gardner MA Under Extreme Drought Conditions

    Over 40 percent of Worcester County is suffering an Extreme Drought, which is one step below an Exceptional Drought. According to the U.S. Government’s Drought.gov site, this was just the 26th driest July on record over the past 128 years and the 30th driest year to date on record.

    Outdoor watering is completely prohibited in a Level 3 area such as Gardner MA and City Ordinance provides for monetary and other penalties for violators. Images below provide more information. CLICK each for larger view.

    Drought History – 2000 to date

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    Drought History

    Water Supply

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    Water Supply

    Massachusetts Drought Map

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    Massachusetts Drought Map

    Gardner MA is in one of the areas hardest hit by the drought this year. According to the 4 week drought forecast, conditions are expected to improve somewhat.

    4 week Drought Forecast

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    4 week Drought Forecast

    What Does This Mean For You?

    This means that currently Gardner MA has enough water for drinking and bathing. However, it means that non-essential outdoor watering is against the law. It means that people should be taking shorter showers to conserve water, using the washer for as few loads as possible, and making sure the dishwasher is completely filled up before being used. The USDA estimates that over 13 thousand acres of hay are in the drought area in Worcester County. Animals are affected too with over 3500 cattle and 3300 sheep estimated to be in drought in the County. Streamflow conditions for Gardner MA right now are at Low, which is the worst designation. 100 percent of Massachusetts is expected to have below normal amounts of rain this month. Please be extremely careful as the fire hazard is very high – example – outdoor burning would be extremely stupid at this time.

    What the Future Holds

    The 4 week Drought Forecast is for conditions in the Gardner area to improve to a D2-Severe Drought from the current D3-Extreme Drought. Should the State then lower the Drought designation, it may be that in time for Gardner’s Fabulous Fall Festival, the beautiful 24 inch flower pots which have been ordered could legally be watered with a hose after 9pm and before 5am daily. Latest Statistics for Gardner MA and Worcester County, CLICK HERE

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  • Sludge Again (8/23/2022)
    Conservation Commission August 23, 2022
    Gardner MA Conservation Commission August 23, 2022
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    Commission member looking at camera to apologize while Chairman rises to shut equipment off.

    Gardner MA Conservation Commission Discusses Landfill Expansion Again

    Conservation Commission met on August 23, 2022.  During the meeting, the subject of the Gardner Landfill Expansion came up with various questions from the public.   The chair reiterated the desire of the Commission to have a Third Party provide recommendations prior to implementation of the expansion.   Listen to the meeting here. Just Click Play

    Gardner Conservation Commission 8-23-22 (Note: Our recording starts at actual beginning of meeting. We omitted all the private conversations recorded before the meeting started)

    Members of the Public in Attendance

    A member of the public asked “If you gentlemen were actually opposed to the sludge…, how would you go about stopping it?” The Chair answered, “The hard part is when we’re a commission like this, we can’t go and say yes, we’re here and we put blinders on, and it’s very hard to do that. “  After discussion about possible timelines for a third party review, the matter was continued until October 24th.

    Meeting Ends with Thud

    At end of the meeting after it was adjourned and while the recording was still continuing, one of the commission members stated, “ I want to apologize to everybody here.  This system is terrible. It isn’t a system, I don’t know what it is”  Then the Chair is seen going in front of the camera and the recording stops with a thud.

    Watch meeting on YouTube if desired. CLICK HERE

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  • Warren Visit (8/23/2022)
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    Community, Government, and Business Leaders Meet
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    U.S. Senator Warren – Mayor Nicholson – Representative Zlotnik

    Community Leaders Meet in Gardner MA August 22, 2022

    According to Mayor Nicholson: “Yesterday, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren visited Gardner to meet with representatives of our business community, educational institutions, and our state and local officials to discuss issues facing local businesses, revitalizing our economy, the lingering effects of the pandemic, and how the City can take advantage of the several federal grant programs that have recently been created. Thank you to Senator Warren and everyone who participated for taking the time to talk about all the work being done in Gardner.”

    Mayor Nicholson went on to say, “We continue to advocate for our city with officials at every level to make sure Gardner has a seat at the table and a part in these conversations moving forward.”

    The meeting took place at the GFA Federal Credit Union in Gardner MA.

  • The Zone (8/22/2022)
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    Gardner MA – The Zone

    Gardner MA Is in The Zone

    The Green Circle is 25 miles from Gardner MA and somewhat defines “The Zone.” Gardner is uniquely positioned for success because of its center position within The Zone.  The Chair City is accessible via major transportation routes including Route 2 – West of Fitchburg/Leominster, Northwest of Worcester, Southwest of Nashua, Southeast of Keene, Northeast of Amherst, and so on. 

    Anyone with an existing business desiring an additional location would snatch up a spot in Gardner MA in a very quick minute, because Gardner is in “The Zone.” Did you know that Gardner MA has 2 designated “Opportunity Zones” which can save investors big bucks. CLICK HERE.

  • Top 40 (8/22/2022)
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    Worcester Business Journal’s 40 under 40 – 2022 WBJ Article

    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson Makes the Top 40

    As he is blessed with an Angelic Singing Voice as evidenced by performances in Caroling with the Mayor, CLICK HERE for audio page, it would not have surprised us if he had a Top 40 Josh Groban type hit. However, Nicholson was nominated and won entrance into Worcester Business Journal’s 40 under 40.

    About being an award recipient, the Mayor posted, “I was both humbled and surprised when they told me. I love my community and am looking forward to the work that’s ahead of us.”

    Gardner Magazine recently told you of Mayor Nicholson’s popularity towering over an AI voice, CLICK HERE. and previously wrote about his Magic Mike. CLICK HERE. We also have an article showing the Mayor at age 40, CLICK HERE.

  • Majestic Flag (8/22/2022)
    Gardner PD American Flag

    American Flag Flying majestically at Gardner MA Police Headquarters

    The recently replaced flag outside Gardner PD was truly a sight to behold on Sunday August 21, 2022. Gardner honors the flag at the beginning of many of its meetings with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance – such as every Gardner MA City Council meeting.

    Learn more about the American Flag from Britannica, CLICK HERE

  • Gardner MA Museum (8/21/2022)
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    Gardner MA Museum Announces its Fall Lineup

    The Museum in Gardner MA known as the Gardner Museum has announced various events and its Fall 2022 Lecture Series which runs the months of September and October.

    On September 1, 2022, the Gardner Museum features the Start of the Exhibit – Gardner Theatre Guild on display during regular opening hours until December 18th.

    Lecture Series

    9/8: Tinseltown Inventor: Hedy Lamarr  —- 9/15 A Taste of Art with award-winning artist Kathryn Swantee. —-  9/22: Women in WWII with Kara Fossey —- 9/29: Reflections on Spectacle Pond with George Kinder —- 10/6: Annual Veterans Roundtable —- 10/13: Poetry Night at the Museum with Published poet Ryk McIntyre —- 10/20: All Shall Be Well with Will Darcangelo —- 10/27: Bumbling through the Hindu Kush with local journalist and author Chris Woolf

    November 9, 2022:  The 16th annual Festival of Trees begins and runs until Saturday December 3rd.

    Free Admission

    September 17th from 1 to 4pm is Annual Smithsonian Day.  Everyone gets in FREE to the Gardner Museum

    For complete details on all and a printable pdf, CLICK HERE

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  • Robot Responds (8/21/2022)
    Robot Responds

    Robot Responds to Update Controversy – A Tongue-in-Check Article in Gardner MA

    Gardner Magazine uses AI voices as announcers for various projects.   We admittedly do not pay them even minimum wage. 

    Yesterday we revealed that the Mayor’s Update of 8/05/22 had been heard 3,654 times, today that’s up to 3,674 times.  Mayor’s Update of 8/12/22 had been heard 3,039 (correction – 2,839) times, today that’s up to 2.931 times. Our AI voiced Update for 8/19/22 was heard 90 times, today that’s up to 218 times.

    Update: 8/23/22: up to 8/22/22, Mayor’s Update of 8/12/22 has been heard 3,483 times, our AI voiced update for 8/19/22 has been heard 446 times. This means that in the last 2 days, the 8/12 Mayor was heard 552 times and our 8/19 update was heard 228 times. Week-old Mayor clobbers AI 2 to 1. Sorry, robot…

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    AI Fails to Beat the Magic Mike

    The Robot responded, “I work harder on AUDIO than the Mayor.  He has a camera crew and editing team, while all I have is my AI skills.   Mayor Nicholson practically works 24/7 on a zillion projects at once, so why is it that people like him better?” 

    Publisher’s answer: “It’s got to be the Magic Mike.” See our original story on the man behind the “Magic Mike.” CLICK HERE.

    Mayor’s Weekly Updates are rare elsewhere. While investigating this nationwide, Gardner Magazine determined that Gardner MA is highly unique in its overall transparency. While all of us in the Press often complain, it is important to note that one of the reasons for Gardner’s recent spurt in successes is that Gardner is putting itself out there. Good for you, Gardner!

    Balance to be Restored. The balance in the universe should be restored this week as Mayor Nicholson records another update for YouTube – City YouTube Channel, (subscription is free) and of course we’ll feature the AUDIO version of it here.  Sorry robot…  Past Mayor’s AUDIO updates for 2022, click here. City Council Meetings —- School Committee Meetings —- Special Occasions

  • Ain’t We Got Fun (8/20/2022)
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    Another Song to Celebrate the Gardner MA Centennial Celebration Coming January 1, 2023

    Two years before Gardner became a City, the song Ain’t We Got Fun was released by Van & Schenck. We chose to feature it here because in 100 years, some of the problems and situation described are still a part of daily life. Digitized to mp3. Just CLICK PLAY.

    Ain’t We Got Fun – Van & Schenck 1921

    Sing along with the fun lyrics, pdf, CLICK HERE.

  • School Bus Routes (8/20/2022)
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    It’s important to watch out for students. CLICK IMAGE for larger view.

    Gardner MA Public Schools Releases Draft of Bus Routes

    The lists are based on the most current information and are subject to change. CLICK HERE.

    The graphic at illustrates the importance of watching out for students who are getting on or getting off School buses.

  • Nicholson vs Robot (8/20/2022)
    Mayor Nicholson age progression

    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson shown at age 40 with hypothetical U.S. Senate run and at age 50 as U.S. President. (Age Progression software used)

    Editorial: Gardner MA Mayor Nicholson preferred over a robot.

    On August 19, 2022 we tried an experiment – putting together our own Chair City Update because the Mayor’s version was unavailable due to staffing issues. We can confidently say citizens overwhelmingly prefer Mayor Nicholson to the robot. While the Mayor’s AUDIO update of August 5, 2022 has been listened to 3,654 times, August 12th update 3,039 (correction: 2,839) times, our AI voiced update got only 90 listens since 2pm yesterday. Next time the film crew is unavailable Mr. Mayor, please take us up on our offer to record an AUDIO update. The Chair City is really interested in what you have to say.

    The popular Gardner Mayor got 80 percent of the vote in the last election. When asked in April, 2022 about his political future, Nicholson appeared satisfied with his current role as Mayor stating he’ll keep the job as long as the voters will have him. If he continues to have successes in moving the Chair City forward, we predict the Mayor’s political future has much more potential than he now realizes.

  • Weekly Update 8-19-22 (8/19/2022)
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    Gardner Magazine Updates City – Mayor Without Update Due to Staffing

    Note: Last week’s Mayor’s Update has received 73 views on YouTube and as of yesterday 2,354 listens on Gardner Magazine.   However, our offer to record an AUDIO update was not accepted.   So we’ll provide one instead. Click Play.

    Chair City Update August 19, 2022

    Chair City Update August 19, 2022

    Paving Week of August 22nd

    Parker Street and Connors Street will be paved on Monday August 22, 2022 beginning at 4am.  Parker Street will be paved from Lafayette Square to Main Street.  Connors Street will be paved from City Hall Avenue to Parker Street.  This is the final coat of pavement needed for these streets as part of the Downtown Infrastructure Improvement Project.

    Covid 19 Vaccine

    Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic

    On Wednesday, August 24th, there will be a Covid 19 Vaccine Clinic from 3pm to 6pm at the Bethany Baptist Church, 72 Ryan Street, Gardner.   All doses of the 3 different brands of Vaccine will be available.  Ages 5 and over are welcome via walk-in, but registration is encouraged.    Please bring vaccine card and health insurance card if  you have one.

    Weekend Events

    On Saturday August 20th, the Elvis Tribute Band, Fellowship of the King will play at Monument Park at the 45th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. Concert begins at 5pm. See article

    On Sunday August 21st, Gardner Massachusetts churches are joining forces for a Community Worship Sunday starting at 10am at Monument Park, featuring music, message, food, and fun. All are welcome. See article.

    On Sunday August 21st, The P.A.C.C. at 171 Kendall Pond Road West in Gardner is holding a Polish Drive-Thru on Sunday August 21, 2022 from 11am to 3pm. See article

    On Sunday, August 21st, the Tenth Annual Ride of Your Life takes place at Heywood Hospital, 242 Green Street, Gardner.  Riders and passengers pay a registration fee and take a 3 hour ride through North Central Massachusetts with stops at area motorcycle shops.   Proceeds benefit suicide prevention efforts in the North Central and North Quabbin regions.  See article

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    Gardner Has a New Police Chief

    Lieutenant Eric McAvene is officially Chief McAvene on Monday August 22nd. Having served the past two decades on the Gardner force, he was appointed by Mayor Nicholson and accepted the position. Formal City Council confirmation to follow. See article

    Construction in the Chair City

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    Gardner Elementary: The week of August 22, 2022 will be the 4th extended week of construction at the New Gardner Elementary School. Mayor Nicholson has advised the main goal is to get an occupancy permit for the building so school can start even if the grounds still need some work. Meanwhile, Gardner Public Schools has released its projected School Calendar reflecting the delayed start of school. See article

    Candor Realty continues work on 25 Main Street, recently completing some badly needed roof repairs. The company has also stated it is interested in purchasing additional properties in Gardner.

    Work also continues at 42 to 52 Parker Street. The walls have gone up this week following Gardner Planning Board approval of their complete plan for the building.

    Community Health Connections has made significant progress on their new Health Center building off Route 68 near Walmart.

    The Drought

    Enforcement with fines and possible water shut-offs for violators of the outdoor water use ban will begin after a Code Red call reminding people of the drought.

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    Pleasant Street open again

    Following meetings with staff, community leaders, and business owners, a decision was made to once again open up Pleasant Street. For just under two months, the street was closed off in order to create a plaza with outdoor seating. The idea had been proposed for years, but never tried. A comment from Mayor Nicholson in our article.

    Gardner High Athletics

    Gardner High Athletics has announced key dates for the upcoming fall season. There are youth nights, alumni nights, recreation nights, senior nights, and there will be a game on Thanksgiving morning against Quabbin. See article.

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  • Golumpki (8/18/2022)
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    Due to Golumpki, Gardner MA Has No Need to Cook on Sun. Aug. 21st

    The P.A.C.C. at 171 Kendall Pond Road West in Gardner is holding a Polish Drive-Thru on Sunday August 21, 2022 from 11am to 3pm.

    Customers get Full Polish Meals, prepared on the premises with each meal including a bowl of kapusta, pierogis, golumpki, and kielbasa for $15. Meals will be served from 11-3. While Supplies last! Cash Only. Facebook page CLICK HERE

  • Gardner Promotes from Within (8/18/2022)
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    Gardner Police Chief Eric McAvene
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    Gardner Appointments Committee 8-17-22

    Gardner MA Now Has New Police Chief Eric McAvene

    As of August 17, 2022 it is now Gardner Police Chief  Eric McAvene.  (appointment is official as of Monday August 22nd) McAvene, who has served as Lieutenant is getting a temporary appointment, and rather than utilizing a 60 day probationary period, the Mayor will immediately ask for City Council confirmation of a 3 year permanent appointment. Mayor’s reason: McAvene already showed his ability to perform the job when he and Lieutenant Maroni stepped in and performed Chief’s duties. Appointment will be before the City Council during the month of September. The Chief has been on the Gardner force for two decades. View Mayor Nicholson’s letter to Gardner City Council – pdf – CLICK HEREText, CLICK HERE

    The position of Deputy Chief will be posted next week according to Mayor Nicholson comments at the Appointments Committee meeting of 8/17.

    This announcement was made during a Gardner Appointments Committee meeting of August 17, 2022 at which Sergeant Walter was recommended for reappointment. During the discussion, both Walter and the new Police Chief McAvene told of the hostile work environment experienced during the tenure of the previous Chief and Deputy Chief. Listen for yourself. CLICK PLAY.

    Gardner Appointments Committee August 17, 2022
  • Questions Answered 8-17-22 (8/18/2022)
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    Gardner MA Mayor Nicholson Answers Questions on Pending Matters in the Chair City

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    New Gardner MA Elementary School

    Projected School Calendar 22/23

    Question: “School Construction is now in week 3 of the contemplated “two more weeks.”    How much longer realistically?   And when does the school have to be done to be in line with the already contemplated delay?”

    Mayor Nicholson, “The two weeks was the delay for the start of the school year (if I am understanding your question correctly). In order to get people into the school building, the working in the building would have to be completed about a week before teachers move in, which for the Elementary School would be on September 6th. The exterior work, such as landscaping and final playground work, will likely be done the week or two after school starts. For now our priority is to finish the items necessary for the school to receive its temporary occupancy certificate so that we can begin school in the building, even if the grounds need a little work still at that point.”

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    Question: “In light of the drought, does the City of Gardner intend to enforce the local ordinance which provides potential penalties and possible water shutoff for offenders?”

    Mayor Nicholson, “We are meeting on this to discuss how best to move forward with the City’s DPW Director and City Engineer as well as representatives from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. A Code-Red call reminding people of the drought will likely go out this week as a final reminder to people of the current critical drought status, and then enforcement will begin if people are still not abiding by the restrictions.”

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    Question: “What led to the sudden shutdown of Pleasant Plaza without notice to the public? To date, nothing mentioned on City of Gardner website.”

    Mayor Nicholson: “We (Colin, Jess DeRoy, Trevor Beauregard, Roland Jean, and myself) met again with the business owners and Parker House of Pizza, Turks Barbershop, and Priscilla’s voiced concerns over the impacts of the plaza on their business. Taco Rey and Prestige Barbershop, all had positives, and Hope and Vibe Studios had mixed feelings on it. With the paving of Parker Street next week and the concerns that were taken into account, we opened the road up to ensure we were supporting the business community as much as possible for the last month of the summer with construction coming back to the area soon.”

  • Inconsiderate Driver (8/17/2022)
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    Driver Takes 2 Parking Spaces

    Residents took to Social Media to Express Outrage at conduct.

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    Gardner MA Inconsiderate Driver Gets Ticket

    An inconsiderate driver on August 16, 2022 will probably have to pay a fine for using 2 parking spaces.

    License plate number hidden as driver is innocent until proven guilty.

    It appears either space would have given driver ample room to park.

  • Community Worship (8/17/2022)
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    Gardner MA Churches Join Forces for Community Worship Sunday August 21, 2022 10am at Monument Park

    A community worship gathering jointly sponsored by 4 area congregations is taking place in Monument Park, Gardner on Sunday August 21,, 2022 at 10am. A Facebook post states there will be “music, message, food, and fun. All are welcome.”

    Hosted by the congregations of Chestnut Street Methodist, Faith Lutheran, First Congregational, and Sanctuary Ministry Center.

    Directions to Monument Park, CLICK HERE.

  • Ride of Your Life (8/17/2022)
    Ride of Your Life

    The 10th Annual Ride of Your Life in Gardner MA

    The Tenth Annual Ride of Your Life Motorcycle Ride takes place Sunday, August 21, 2022 from Heywood Hospital, 242 Green Street, Gardner.    It’s a 3 hour ride through North Central Massachusetts with stops at local motorcycle shops.  Registration begins at 8am, kickstands up at 10am.  $30 for riders and $25 for passengers.   Proceeds to benefit suicide prevention efforts in the North Central and North Quabbin regions.   Pledge form and waiver, CLICK HERE.    Event flyer pdf, CLICK HERE

  • Upcoming Wildcats Season (8/17/2022)
    Gardner MA Wildcats Schedule

    Gardner MA Athletics Releases Key Dates

    From Gardner Wildcat Athletics, “Excited to announce some key dates for our upcoming fall season! While there is more fun stuff to come in addition to this list, we wanted to give everyone a chance to mark their calendars! Some quick notes:

    * Youth nights – Chair City Lions (football/cheer) and Chair City Soccer (Soccer) will partner with our varsity programs to recognize our youngest athletes on these nights. CHAIR City LIONS and Chair City Soccer will send out communication soon!

    * Alumni nights – Be on the lookout for information regarding our alumni events; we are looking to recognize alumni from a few of our sports who haven’t had an event like this in the past.

    * Recreation nightsCity of Gardner Recreation summer camp kids who wear their camp shirts on these nights will get in for free, and receive a free gift at the game.

    * Senior nights – join us as we honor our senior athletes!

    * Thanksgiving is back on Thanksgiving morning! Join us in the morning as we take on Quabbin to close out our season. This will also be senior day for our Football players and Cheerleaders.”

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  • School Calendar (8/16/2022)
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    Projected 2022-2023 Gardner Public Schools Calendar – CLICK IMAGE for larger view

    Gardner MA Public Schools Releases Projected 2022-2023 Calendar

    Gardner Public Schools releases projected 2022-2023 School Calendar reflecting delays, CLICK HERE

  • Pleasant Street Reopens (8/16/2022)
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    Main Street (left) and Pleasant Street (right) in Downtown Gardner MA

    Pleasant Plaza Now History and Street open again in Gardner MA

    The experiment lasted less than 2 months and at least one Downtown Business owner is happy the street is open again. Parker House of Pizza posted, “We’re so excited that Pleasant Street is reopened.  Thank you Mayor and his staff for listening to all the small businesses in Downtown that have been affected from the closure of Pleasant Street.” Parker House of Pizza website, CLICK HERE.

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    The change happened abruptly and without notice to the public sometime between August 15 and the morning of August 16, 2022. We have reached out to Mayor Nicholson for comment.

    What Changed Since Saturday?

    On WGAW’s Hotline Radio on Saturday August 13, 2022, Mayor Nicholson stated, “You know we had a meeting with the Business owners this past week to just feel out their thoughts and ideas on it, see what’s working, see what’s not, So I met with my team on Friday. We’ll be meeting again on Monday, seeing how we can make improvements to the area to best help the businesses there, so I do want to thank the businesses for meeting with us too, they’re the ones who are there so it’s always good to get their perspective …” Host Steve Wendell then asked, “But the Pleasant Park will continue til at least October.” and the Mayor responded saying, “Yeah, it’ll be reevaluated every 30 days. So the original plan was October 1st., taking the feedback that we get from the businesses and we’ll see how we can keep it going.” However, less than 3 days after this interview, Pleasant Plaza disappeared without explanation.

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  • Water Use Penalties (8/16/2022)
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    Massachusetts Drought Status for past week or more has been Level 3

    Illegal Water Use Could Lead to Water Shut Off and Monetary Penalties in Gardner MA

    According to Chapter 636 of the City of Gardner Code, adopted by the Gardner City Council on 9-7-1999, the City of Gardner has authority to regulate water use upon a declaration of a water supply emergency issued by the Department of Environmental Protection.  “This chapter is adopted by the City under its police powers to protect public health and welfare.” Public notice must be given before it can be enforced which has been done through the City’s website and various signage throughout the City.  It has also been given through various media outlets.  Currently all non-essential outdoor water use and outdoor watering is prohibited due to the Level 3 Drought Declaration by the State of MA.

    Essential Uses

    From the state of MA, “Essential uses are defined by MassDEP as uses required: a) for health or safety reasons; b) by regulation; c) for the production of food and fiber; d) for the maintenance of livestock; or e) to meet the core functions of a business.  Nonessential uses are those other than essential uses.”

    Penalties To Be Imposed

    Penalties specified include $50 for first violation and $100 for each subsequent violation, each day constituting a separate offense.   “The Director of Public Works may terminate or restrict the water service serving the property of any person constantly violating this chapter until such time as the state of water supply conservation is terminated.”

    Reports on Social Media

    Various reports on Social Media over the past week seem to indicate that there are isolated instances of businesses and/or people violating the ordinance. We have reached out to the Mayor’s office for comment and will post Mayor Nicholson’s comments if/when we have some.

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  • View from Above (8/15/2022)
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    Photo from Candor Realty on August 15, 2022. CLICK IMAGE for larger view

    Note: Almost every day we have good news relating to Downtown Gardner. Here’s a previous article on 42-52 Parker Street, Gardner. CLICK HERE.

    Candor Realty May Not Be Done Buying Buildings in Gardner MA

    The company released this photo on Social Media on August 15, 2022 along with stating, “Some members of the Millennium Holding Group LLC and Candor Realty Team were in Gardner MA today checking in on projects and walking potential acquisitions. The building in the center of the picture is 25 Main Street, a commercial building we plan to make a cornerstone of the Downtown area.”

    Patti Bergstrom, President of Gardner Square Two stated, “Love this photo and love our Downtown. We are excited about your investment in Gardner. Thank you!”

    Candor Realty has already been fixing up 25 Main Street and has several rentals available within the building. It also purchased another building on Main Street which it is still renovating. There is one building on Parker Street still owned by Dean Marcus and the City has expressed an interest in facilitating a sale of that location so that a new owner could positively transform that building as well. Meanwhile, construction continues at 42 to 52 Parker Street on a building purchased by another company.

  • Zippy Pace (8/15/2022)

    New Gardner MA Elementary School Construction at Zippy Pace

    New Gardner MA Elementary School
    New Gardner Elementary School on August 15, 2022
    New Gardner MA Elementary School
    New Gardner MA Elementary School

    Meanwhile, Gardner Public Schools released some photos and this statement, “A few more photos from today, as the moving starts! These truly show how many different types of work are going on all at once.”

    Moving Truck

    School District Moving In as Construction Completes at new Gardner MA Elementary School.

    Orange Containers
  • Stolen Vehicle (8/15/2022)
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    Need Readers Help in Catching A Crook

    From Gardner Police Department: “Picture of the truck and trailer below were stolen from the Oak St shell at approximately 11:10 this morning. If seen contact the Gardner Police Department at 978-632-5600 ext. 0   Update the truck has a “Salvadores” sticker on the back window and white lettering on the side windows.”

  • West Lynde (8/14/2022)
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    Extraordinary means taken to Shop the Merchants of West Lynde Street, Downtown Gardner MA

    Whether you travel through a portal from another universe or just get in your car, you’ll find 4 great businesses waiting for you on West Lynde Street in Gardner MA. (1) Studio 4 Potters and Gallery “is a collaborative ceramics shop…tucked just below the stairs at 4 West Lynde: 5.0, 4 Google Reviews Website. —– (2) Bruce’s Watch and Jewelry, jewelry and watch store and watch repair shop at 6 West Lynde: 4.2, 28 Google Reviews Website. —- (3) Synergy Hair Salon, a professional hair salon at 10 West Lynde 4.3, 10 Google Reviews. —-(4) Hometown Barbers, centrally located classic-feel barbershop at right corner of West Lynde: 4.9, 77 Google Reviews Website. —–More Downtown…

    Rediscover Downtown Gardner MA for a multi-generational experience. Improving Every Day!

    Studio 4 Potters and Gallery
    Studio 4 Potters and Gallery
    Bruce's Watch and Jewelry
    Bruce’s Watch and Jewelry
    Synergy
    Synergy Hair Salon
    Hometown Barbers
    Hometown Barbers

  • Remmy and Zeus (8/14/2022)
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    Local Dogs Remmy and Zeus Endorse Gardner MA Dog Park

    They come from different households, but on Sunday August 14, 2022, these two German Shepherds played like siblings. Drinking water from time to time and running around like crazy, the two dogs appeared to have a great time. They didn’t speak much, but their happy expressions say everything. The Gardner Dog Park at Pulaski, off Charbonneau and Wright Streets often draws people to the Chair City.

  • 3 Choices (8/14/2022)
    Three locks and 3 keys Gardner MA

    Gardner MA Michael Nicholson Has 3 Keys – One Leads to a PD Chief

    Selection narrowed to 3 candidates. Mayor will choose 1 to be Police Chief. Decision as soon as end of week of 8/15/22. 60 day Temporary appointment may lead to City Council confirmation of full 3 year term. You’ll know when we know.

  • Elvis Presley Group (8/13/2022)
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    Fellowship of the King performance
    Fellowship of the King playing Monument Park Gardner MA on Saturday August 20, 2022 at 5pm – shown at other venue.

    Elvis Tribute Band to Play Monument Park August 20, 2022 at 45th Anniversary of Death

    Elvis Aaron Presley lived from January 8, 1935 to August 16, 1977 and was an American singer and actor.  Often called the “King of Rock and Roll”, he is most often referred to as simply Elvis.  More on Elvis from Wikipedia, CLICK HERE.

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    On Saturday, August 20, 2022, The Fellowship of the King will play Monument Park in Gardner MA beginning at 5pm.   They are a  group of professional musicians who formed the core rhythm section of Elvis Presley’s Tribute Concert band from August 2018. The personnel and the band members are Brian Martin (lead guitar), Chris Boliver (bass), JC Uttaro (keyboards) and Brandon Fontaine (drums) and Dan Fontaine III as Elvis.  The band was formed in 2014 and covers Elvis Presley’s entire musical career between 1954 to 1977.

    Do they sound like Elvis and are they as great as everybody says?   You be the judge.   Here’s a performance from last year at Powder Mill Park in Spencer.  Fellowship of the King performing “In the Ghetto”  Play on any device.   Enjoy the Concert on August 20th, Monument Park Gardner MA 5pm.

    Fellowship of the King – In the Ghetto

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  • Ongoing Construction (8/13/2022)
    Construction entrance new Gardner Elementary School
    Construction Entrance near High School
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    Pearl Street Construction Entrance
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    Gardner MA NEW Gardner Elementary School Construction Continues – Deadline Missed

    There’s no official word on whether the continued construction delay will further delay the opening of Gardner Public Schools, but Gardner Mayor Nicholson on Saturday August 13, 2022 was still quoting the previously stated timeline. In an email to the Gardner School Committee on August 1, 2022,. SEE ARTICLE. , Gardner Superintendent of Schools Mark Pellegrino stated that Bacon Construction “will need two more weeks to finish the project. I have been assured that it will ONLY BE TWO WEEKS.” Email PDF That assurance was in a scheduled check-in meeting on Friday July 29th. With the construction signs still up at the entrances, the work continues in what will now be week 3.

    A closeup photo taken with a zoom lens shows an active construction site still exists at the new Gardner Elementary School. According to the Superintendent’s email to the School Committee on 8/1/22, ”  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).” In letter to parents, start date for grade 1-4 is 9/12. See letter.

    It is unclear what duration of further construction delay it will take to precipitate a further delay in school start times. Two storage containers sit outside the construction entrance. Pearl Street has been paved and lined and awaits the traffic of school opening.

    storage containers near new Gardner Elementary School
    Storage Containers at Construction Entrance to new Gardner Elementary School

    Exterior Photo Gallery of School 8/10/22. CLICK HERE.

    Paving near Gardner Elementary School entrance, Pearl Street, Gardner
  • Hotline Radio 8-13-22 (8/13/2022)
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    gardner-wgawam1340
    Radio Station sign

    Radio Station WGAW recently began its 76th year of broadcasting to the region. Hotline Radio airs every Saturday from noon to 2pm on the station with host Steve Wendell. Listen on AM 1340, 98.1 FM, or Listen Live Online, CLICK HERE.

    Mayor Nicholson and Civil Defense Director Topolski on Gardner MA WGAW Radio

    On Saturday August 13, 2022, Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson was host Steve Wendell’s first guest as usual and spoke of staffing issues in the current environment. He spoke of delays in trash pickup due to staffing issues with E.L. Harvey and that the company was catching  up Friday and Saturday for Thursday pickups. 

    Greenwood Pool Staffing Issues

    Nicholson stated, “We are still experiencing the economic effects of the pandemic.… Normally we’ve got a list a mile long, a wait list for people looking for lifeguard jobs, but this year no one wanted to do them.”  He stated that staffing issues prevented Spray Park at Greenwood Pool opening this year.

    Program to Assist with School Delay

    Mayor Nicholson spoke of delay of the Gardner Public Schools opening.   School District is attempting to come up with a program to assist with day care for elementary school students during the delay, reaching out to various organizations. Most schools start September 6th, Gardner Elementary starts about a week later.

    Gardner PD Update

    The Panel of 5 Review committee has selected 3 top candidates, including at least one individual from the Gardner Police Department.   Once Chief is chosen, Deputy Chief position will be posted.

    With Paul Topolski, Director of Civil Defense

    Paul Topolski, Director of Civil Defense, spoke of getting together with a regional plan with various area communities. Would concern flood plans, hazardous materials, manmade technological disasters, and natural disasters such as various storms.   Various courses available on FEMA website for individuals interested in civil defense.

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  • Tax Free Weekend (8/13/2022)
    Tax Free

    The Massachusetts Sales Tax is suspended for Saturday August 13 and Sunday August 14, 2022. It’s like a BIG SALE built in to almost everything you buy!

    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!

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  • Update 8-12-22 (8/12/2022)
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    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson

    Watch the Mayor’s Updates on the City of Gardner YouTube page or on our Mayor’s Update page, CLICK HERE. Or listen, just click Play below. Starts in about 5 seconds.

    Mayor Nicholson Update August 12, 2022
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    In a witty weekly update Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson Focuses on “Time.” 8-12-22

    CLICK PLAY to listen to Mayor’s Update 8-12-22

    Trash Delays: The Mayor advised residents to “Keep Your Toters Out” as he spoke of E.L. Harvey trash delays.

    Paving Schedule: The Mayor went over various paving updates.

    Time for an end: Last week of Recreation program – had 250 students participating, thanked Athletic Director Dan Forte and Camp Counselors.

    New time at Monument Park: Traveling Jones will be playing Saturday August 13, 2022 starting at 5pm which is an hour earlier than the rest of the summer has been.

    Time for Rain: Mayor Nicholson went over the Level 3 Critical Drought that Gardner is under with a complete ban on all outdoor watering stating, “One day of rain doesn’t account for 30 days of drought.”

    Time for a probationary period: Police Chief search committee has narrowed it down from the original applicants down to 3.  Mayor to interview each of the 3 candidates, expects to make a choice before the end of the month.  Will do a 60 day temporary appointment prior to putting appointment before City Council.

    Time for a break: No Mayor’s Update on 8/19 due to staffing, next update August 26, 2022.

    Time for Listening: Gardner Magazine maintains AUDIO archives of items of interest. Mayor’s Updates, City Council Meetings, School Committee Meetings, Special Events and Occasions.

  • Planning Board (8/11/2022)
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    42-52 Parker Street, Gardner (Photo from July 2022)

    Gardner MA Planning Board Approves Plans for 42-52 Parker

    Gary Lorden appeared before the Board on August 9, 2022 and explained the Project in great detail.   You can watch the meeting on YouTube, CLICK HERE or Listen to it here by clicking Play.  

    Gardner MA Planning Board August 9, 2022

    The project still awaits full approval from the Gardner Zoning Board of Appeals which holds another meeting on August 16, 2022 —Read Agenda, CLICK HERE.

  • Genuine Pizza (8/11/2022)
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    West Broadway Pizza and Seafood is Genuine Gardner MA.

    West Broadway and Seafood actually delivers to Gardner, Hubbardston, Westminster, and parts of Templeton MA spreading the joy of Gardner.

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    Genuine Gardner Series

    Our Genuine Gardner Series showcases positive businesses, people, places, and things in Gardner MA.

    West Broadway Pizza and Seafood, 15 West Broadway, Gardner is “Genuine Gardner.”

    According to the signage posted at West Broadway and Seafood, the popular eatery features “Deliciousness Jumping Into the Mouth”.

    The restaurant has both a website –CLICK HERE – and a Facebook page – CLICK HERE. And, is NOW HIRING!

    Food Served includes Pizza, Wings, Salads, Subs, Chicken, Pasta, and Seafood.

    West Broadway Pizza and Seafood
  • Topic of Sludge (8/11/2022)
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    Gardner MA Conservation Commission
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    Gardner MA Landfill

    Gardner MA Conservation Commission Chair: “not be bullied, harassed, called, bamboozled, dumped on”

    On August 9, 2022, the Gardner Conservation Commission took up the issue of the expansion of the Sludge landfill. While the City asked to continue the matter to August 22nd via an email from DPW Director Dane Arnold, Chairman Greg Dumas was not quick to dismiss the issue. He stated, “I’d like to read a few statements.” He then stated he was reading right out of the City’s Ordinance. “The purpose of Section 1 is to preserve and exercise jurisdiction over the protected resource areas as defined….” He then continued, listing all of the items and areas the Commission is charged to protect.”

    We’re Gonna Do the Right Thing”

    With a passionate tone, the Chairman stated, “This Commission will not be bullied, harassed, called, bamboozled, dumped on with all kinds of information that’s needless to the commission.  If we decide we want third party review, then we’re gonna get third party review.  If the city’s doesn’t wanna pay for it, we’re authorized…to do so… We’re gonna do the right thing, no matter what., we always have, we always will.”  The commission then voted to continue the matter to August 22nd.” In a July meeting, the Commission expressed its desire to get more information via a third party review.

    Conservation Commission 8-9-22

    Watch this meeting on YouTube – CLICK HERE Or, Listen by clicking Play. (The portion which directly applies to this matter starts at 21:56 in, just use the slider to advance to the right if desired.)

    Previous Articles and City of Gardner Position

    View our complete article of July 12, 2022. CLICK HEREView our initial article of May 25, 2022CLICK HERE. In an interview on August 3, 2022, –CLICK HERE we asked Mayor Nicholson about this matter and he stated, “….everything’s had to be vetted as thoroughly as possible by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the EPA.  This is something that, we have to be remembering our fiduciary responsibility that we have for our rate payers.  This is not a taxpayer project because not everyone is on our sewer system, but it has to be something that we take care of in the way that’s most effective, most environmentally friendly, and financially responsible for us.  In that, we’ve looked at other proposals.  We’ve looked at anaerobic digestion, we’ve looked at trucking the cost away, but it would result in a massive increase in our sewer rates, and we just can’t pass that on to the rate payers.”

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  • Storefronts (8/11/2022)
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    Storefronts Successful in Gardner MA and some Available Spots

    Businesses can be very successful in Gardner MA and there’s choice storefronts available in Downtown Gardner, Timpany Plaza, and Timpany Crossroads. What kind of business are you bringing to the popular Chair City?

    Successful Storefronts and Newly Opened Stores

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    Timpany Plaza Gardner MA Doing Business 8/11/22
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    Timpany Crossroads has Successful Starbucks and Newly opened Edward Jones and Clearview Dermatology on 8/11/22

    Timpany Crossroads is also home to the 99 Restaurant whose lot is often filled with cars.

    Available Storefronts in Gardner Massachusetts

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    There’s literally a bus to bring customers to your new store at Timpany Plaza – some available spaces
    available storefronts at Timpany Crossroads
    Just some of the Available Storefronts at Timpany Crossroads

    Get some of your costs covered: About a month ago, we published an article on the Storefront Revitalization Program. CLICK HERE.

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  • Fast pace School (8/10/2022)

    Construction at NEW Gardner MA Elementary School continuing at fast pace with many workers, photos reveal – Complete Gallery, CLICK HERE.

    New Gardner Elementary School August 10, 2022
  • Fall Festival (8/10/2022)
    Gardner MA Fabulous Fall Festival

    Gardner MA Getting Ready for Fabulous Fall Festival and Octoberfest

    2 Events in One

    The Fabulous Fall Festival and Octoberfest is taking place Saturday, September 24, 2022 in Downtown Gardner MA.  Fall Festival is 10am to 4pm and Octoberfest is 11am to 8pm. The famous Gardner Chair Luge is back this year!

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    Beautiful Flower Pots on their way

    As part of the sprucing up of Downtown Gardner prior to the Fall Festival, Gardner is expecting over 100 24 inch Flower pots. The problem: The current drought regulations only allows watering the plants in them with hand watering cans, so only some may be put out. Mayor Nicholson stated in an email, “They are arriving from the manufacturer this week. I don’t expect them to be fully out until Parker Street is paved right before the Fall Festival/Oktoberfest and hopefully the drought has been lifted by then, but we will continue to monitor the situation and play it by ear for sure.” According to Jessica DeRoy, there are 100 for Downtown Gardner and another 25 for South Gardner.

    Connors and Parker Street Gardner MA Building
    Building at Corner of Connors and Parker Streets Gardner MA

    Building Work Continues

    It will still take some time for all Downtown Buildings to be 100 percent, but the substantial progress is being noticed by everyone. We wrote a previous article on Fix It Fever. CLICK HERE.

    Paving Work Downtown

    As detailed in another article, CLICK HERE, paving work is taking place in Downtown Gardner with paving on Parker Street and Connors Street to be completed the week of August 22nd.

    We’ll provide you with more details on the Fabulous Fall Festival and Octoberfest as we get them.

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  • End Paving Season (8/10/2022)
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    Parker Street and Connors Street, Gardner MA
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    Crestwood Drive, Gardner MA

    Gardner MA Paving Work Announced for August and September 2022

    Gardner DPW is using various Construction Companies to complete paving work. DPW released a tentative timeline which can change based on weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

    August 15-17: Adjustment of structures on Parker Street and Connors Street, and, Lower and plate on Crestwood Drive. August 22: Pave Parker Street and Connors Street. August 25-26: Reclaim Crestwood Drive August 29: Binder Crestwood Drive. August 29 to September 2: Lower and plate structures in Coleman Street neighborhood. September 6-16: Reclaim Coleman Street neighborhood. September 12: Begin binder in Coleman Street neighborhood.

    Definitions: (For those like me who never went to paving school)

    Lower and plate structures – this is work done so the expensive drains don’t get ground up. Reclaim – this is when they pulverize the existing asphalt, ultimately reusing it as a base to save money for the City. Binder – This is the bottom of 2 coats of pavement, whereas the top coat is the finish coat. Berm – the curb on the side of the road.

    Learn more with these resources: ACPLM Glossary —- US Pavement Glossary —- Asphalt Institute Glossary.

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  • New School Update (8/9/2022)
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    Construction Continues on New Gardner MA Elementary School

    School has been delayed for the 2022 School Year and all are hoping no more delays are required. Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson made a number of photos of the interior of the new school available and we show them on this page. CLICK HERE.

  • Gardner Business (8/8/2022)
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    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

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    Building For Sale at Elm Street and Pearson Boulevard
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    155 Mill Street, Gardner for your Facility
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    Inside 44 Main Street, Gardner MA
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    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 (8/8/2022)
    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.

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    Gardner Holds the Key to Success
  • Building Inspector (8/8/2022)
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    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.

  • OML Complaints (8/5/2022)
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    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 (8/5/2022)
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    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 (8/5/2022)
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    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 (8/5/2022)
    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
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    Gardner Mayor Nicholson – Vote by Mail Application
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    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. Watch a video on YouTube, CLICK HERE. Or listen to the audio of the video. Just click Play. (Audio starts after about 7 seconds)

    National Night Out August 2, 2022

    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 (8/5/2022)
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    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 (8/4/2022)
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    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 (8/4/2022)
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    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 (8/3/2022)
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    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 (8/2/2022)
    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

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    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 (8/1/2022)
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    New Gardner Public School Schedule – CLICK IMAGE for larger view – a new complete Calendar will be published soon.
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    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.” pdf

    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 (8/1/2022)
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    audionowavailable

    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 (7/31/2022)
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    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 (7/31/2022)
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    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 (7/31/2022)
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    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 (7/29/2022)
    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 (7/29/2022)
    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 (7/29/2022)
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    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

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    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 (7/28/2022)
    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 (7/28/2022)
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    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 (7/26/2022)
    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 (7/26/2022)
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    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 (7/26/2022)
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    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 (7/26/2022)
    Gardner MA Homes bring coin
    Gardner MA Homes are in Demand
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    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 (7/25/2022)
    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
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    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 (7/25/2022)
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    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 (7/24/2022)
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    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 (7/24/2022)
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    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 (7/24/2022)
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    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 (7/23/2022)
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    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 (7/23/2022)
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    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 (7/22/2022)
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    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
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    Junior Police Academy
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    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
  • AUDIO – Meetings – Updates – Events (7/22/2022)
    Audio Now Available

    Gardner Magazine Publishing AUDIO of Gardner MA Meetings, Updates, and Events.

    Now you can listen to AUDIO on any device.

    Gardner City Council Meetings – all 2022 Meetings available, CLICK HERE. (links to articles too.)

    Gardner Mayor’s Updates – all 2022 Meetings available, CLICK HERE. (links to articles too)

    Gardner School Committee Meetings – all 2022 Meetings available, CLICK HERE. (links to articles too)

    Special Events and Special Occasions – AUDIO available for 2020, 2021, and 2022, CLICK HERE.

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  • Chair City Chair Bear (7/21/2022)
    Chair City Chair Bear Gardner MA
    Chair City Chair Bear – Good Idea or Bad Idea?

    Editorial: Input Wanted – Chair City Chair Bear, Good Idea or Bad Idea?

    I found a cover for a plush animal being sold online.   What’s the chance there’s someone in Gardner who could make an original Chair City Chair Bear design which could be made into a custom cover?  The Chair City Chair Bear could be an item for the City’s 100th.   The seat on this particular item is 20 inches square and is available on Amazon for $14.99.  That’s just for the cover, it would have to be filled with PP cotton batting.  Obviously, the City would want something made locally if possible. Your thoughts on this. Good idea or bad idea? Email: News@GardnerMagazine.com

  • Chair City Café (7/21/2022)
    Chair City Cafe
    Site of new Chair City Cafe
    Site of Chair City Cafe

    New Restaurant Coming to Gardner MA

    The Chair City Café is under construction at this moment.  On the Chair City Church website, it says “Coming Summer 2022” Location is at the site of the former Sacred Heart School on Lynde Street in Gardner.   There is plenty of parking at the site available for the purpose.

    Chair City Church is asking for donations towards the project stating, “Thank you so much for supporting the Chair City Cafe project. The cafe will provide us with a unique opportunity to connect with our community in a personal way. Jesus is doing amazing things here and we are so thankful that you have chosen to be a part of it through your giving. We now offer the ability to give safely and securely online.”

    Gardner Magazine has reached out to Chair City Church and will provide more information as it is provided to us. Visit the church website.  CLICK HERE.

  • Storm (7/21/2022)
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    Severe Thunderstorm with Tornado Warnings Hit parts of Worcester County including Greater Gardner MA on July 21, 2022

    Orange Airport had a wind gust of 58 miles per hour. Athol MA had a storm producing up to 1 inch hail. Route 2 West near Warwick MA closed due to trees falling across highway. The storm passed over many of the towns in the Greater Gardner area including the City of Gardner. A tornado warning was in effect until 4:15pm, having been issued an hour earlier. Tornado Warning now expired. Severe Thunderstorm Warning Eastern Worcester County and Southern New Hampshire until 4:45pm

    Strong storms are expected in other areas of Massachusetts including Middlesex County and Southern New Hampshire until early evening. It is unknown at the time of this report whether a tornado actually touched down. In Eastern Franklin County there were downed trees and some power outages.

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  • Promise Kept (7/21/2022)
    Ryan Building Gardner MA
    Ryan Building Parker Street, Gardner MA
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    As promised, Dangerous Plate Glass Windows are gone

    In 36 Hrs., Lorden Keeps Promise of Removing Dangerous Plate Glass

    At a Zoning Board of Appeals Hearing on July 19, 2022, Gary Lorden of Mass. Ave. Realty stated he noticed the dangerous plate glass on the 2nd floor of the building on Parker Street and vowed to get rid of the hazard ASAP.    Not 36 hours, later, it’s gone and already safely out of the way.   Gardner Magazine spoke with Lorden’s 25 year old son shortly before noon on July 21, 2022 and he was all smiles with enthusiasm for the project.  When asked about the glass, he said, “We took it out this morning and it’s already in the dumpster.”   

    We inquired of City Hall regarding this and Mayor Nicholson released this quote, “I’m excited to see the ongoing construction on the Ryan Building and eager to see how it will improve the look of our City.”

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    Rear of Building showing much work needing to be done
    Rear of Building
    Rear showing future parking lot

    UPDATE July 22, 2022: Mayor Nicholson released photos of the construction work (shown below) on Social Media and stated, “Approximately 8 buildings in the downtown have changed owners in the last 6-12 months- closer to 12 new owners by the end of the year. This opens up opportunities for 34 storefronts, 40 office/commercial spaces, and approximately existing 100 housing units (not including the 30 new ones in these buildings) to be renovated and bring new life to the area.”

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  • Beautiful Building (7/20/2022)
    Gary Lorden shows front of building 42-50 and 52 Parker Street, Gardner.
    Gary Lorden of Mass. Ave. Realty shows Artist Rendering of front of building 42-50 and 52 Parker Street, Gardner
    Roland Jean, Trevor Beauregard
    Roland Jean, foreground and Trevor Beauregard, standing spoke in support
    Rear view Parker Street
    Gary Lorden shows Rear of Building view
    Gardner MA Zoning Board of Appeals
    Gardner Zoning Board of Appeals

    Beautiful Building Coming to Downtown Gardner MA and an offer of up to 2 Years FREE Retail Rent at another.

    Background

    In September of last year, the City of Gardner was notified that it would be awarded $900,000 from the Underutilized Property Grant Program for 42-50 and 52 Parker Street.  This was made public at the end of November.   Mass Ave. Realty was awarded the sale and provided a full plan to renovate both buildings on Parker Street commonly known as the Ryan Block and Temptations.   They are also required to put in $4.2 million dollars of their own money into the project, which Gary Lorden stated at Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting on July 19, 2022,  they would be amortizing over 30 years to make the math work out.

    Gary Lorden Impressed with City of Gardner

    At the hearing on July 19th, Lorden indicated that upon Zoning Board of Appeals approval of his plan, the construction would take one year.   He related how he originally got involved in Gardner with the Goodnow Pearson’s Building project, praising former Mayor Hawke and Planner Bob Hubbard for their welcoming style.  He also stated Trevor Beauregard and Mayor Nicholson are great to work with:  “did this project not because of economics, but because it’ll mean something.” Building Commissioner Roland Jean and Gardner Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Trevor Beauregard spoke in favor of the project.   A 6 page joint letter of support was submitted by Mayor Nicholson/Council President Kazinskas.

    Board to Make Site Visit

    Lorden spoke of the various quality materials to be used in the building and was very clear he wanted the building to look good describing the various construction proposed in detail.   The Board will make a site visit, keep the public hearing open, and may grant approval at its next meeting on August 16th.

    Lorden also made it clear that his previous Gardner investment, the Goodnow Pearson’s Building has not been a huge moneymaker for him.  He stated that he has a completely refurbished spot suitable for retail or a restaurant which has remained vacant since the building was renovated.  However, during his time speaking before the Board, Lorden praised all of the positive projects the City of Gardner is undertaking, even mentioning how good the sidewalks look. 

    Listen by pressing Play button above: Zoning Board of Appeals July 19, 2022

    Generous FREE Retail Rent Offer

    Gary Lorden of Mass. Ave. Realty made a very generous public offer regarding the open spot in the Goodnow Pearson Building: 1 year FREE rent for a retail establishment or 2 years FREE rent for a restaurant.  Watch the complete meeting on YouTube. CLICK HERE.

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  • The Heat (7/20/2022)
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    Greenwood Pool getting ready to open July 20, 2022

    Staying Cool in Greater Gardner MA

    In Massachusetts, a “heat wave” is defined as a period of 3 or more consecutive days above 90 degrees.  And it looks like from now through the weekend we’ll be close to or over 90.   People at greatest risk for heat-related illnesses include older adults, young children, those who are sick or overweight.. Forecast for Gardner now 90 and above for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday the week of July 18, 2022.

    Stay Safe in the Heat

    What you can do:  Use an air conditioner and insulate around it if needed.  Cover windows that get sun.  Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle or even with the windows cracked open.  They can DIE in just a few minutes.  Drink plenty of water.  Stay indoors and keep pets indoors.    Go out when it’s cooler.  Tips, visit this Mass.gov site.  CLICK HERE. — Greater Gardner Weather Center. CLICK HERE

    Get Cool in the Pool!

    The Greenwood Pool in Gardner MA is one choice when you want to cool off. Here’s more information from the City of Gardner on hours and more. CLICK HERE.

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  • Mr. Strickland (7/20/2022)
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    Monument Park Gardner MA

    For the complete Monument Park FREE Concert Schedule, CLICK HERE.

    Classic Rock “Mr. Strickland” to play Monument Park Gardner MA Saturday 6 to 8pm

    Mr. Strickland is performing this Saturday July 23, 2022 from 6 to 8pm at Monument Park in Gardner.   The band is named after a character in the 1985 “Back to the Future” movie.  Featured will be Classic Rock from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.   Members of the Mr. Strickland band are Jay Sharon – guitar/vocals, Kris Lucander – bass/vocals, Nik Hunt – keyboards, Andrew Caouette – drums, and Ethan Caouette – guitar/vocals. The band says, “Be there, don’t be a slacker!”

  • Free Training (7/19/2022)
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    Monty Tech offering FREE 200 Hours of Training to Greater Gardner MA Residents

    The Vocational-Technical School got a $600,000 grant from Commonwealth Corporation to offer FREE TRAINING for six different careers. You must be a Massachusetts resident, earn less than $46,700, and want to go into the industry when your training is done. You end up with certifications and job placement help. Career pathways offered include HVAC and Oil Burner Tech, Property Management, CNC Operation, Culinary Arts, Electrical, and Welding.

    Download PDF, CLICK HERE.

  • Satellite Internet (7/19/2022)
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    Starlink Cost

    Unlimited Satellite Internet now available in Gardner MA and some area towns

    Elon Musk’s venture Starlink Satellite Internet is available to Gardner residents, and other area towns such as Winchendon, Phillipston, and Templeton.  Currently, the price is $110 per month for residential plus the cost of equipment.  Other satellite services are available to Gardner, but here is the difference: the bandwidth limit and latency.  Starlink offers unlimited internet while others have considerable limits, making the use of streaming apps not feasible in the past.  With Starlink,  you can do whatever  you did before with Cable internet.    Cost is not cheap, but it is a viable alternative, and a great backup for any business relying on the World Wide Web.   Note that Fitchburg and Leominster still have to wait.   There is more information on their website and you can check your exact address for availability.   CLICK HERE.

    We checked out exact cost. You’ll pay a total of $686.44 upfront for equipment and then billing will start within about 2 weeks of shipping out to you. Currently $110 monthly.

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  • Audio Updates (7/19/2022)

    Publisher’s Note: All 2022 Gardner MA Mayor’s Updates now available in AUDIO you can play on any device. CLICK HERE.

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  • 988 Lifeline (7/18/2022)
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    Nation including Greater Gardner MA has new number for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    The new number, 988, is easy to remember and is designed to save lives. The number is accessible across the United States and will connect callers with a trained counselor at any time. You can even text the number and get a response.

    Gardner Magazine found it difficult to find a high quality image, so we’re making it available here in a pdf you can print for the office or workplace. CLICK HERE. Note: even if you have only a B/W laser printer, print and display this and you may just save a life.

    Note: To avoid confusion, we are not publishing the old longer number which is still working for now.

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  • Drought (7/17/2022)
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    Greater Gardner MA in a Significant Drought

    The Greater Gardner Area is experiencing a LEVEL 2 – Significant Drought.  According to the State of MA, this means that rain has been well below normal for over 2 months, streams are low, nearing extreme low flows in some areas, the Fire Danger is steadily increasing, and the Strain on some water supplies is greater. 

    In this instance, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Bethany Card made an announcement after lower than normal rainfall for the past 4 months. According to the State, “Stream flow is severely impacted with dry stream beds and ponding visible in many locations.  Fire Danger especially in the northern half of the state is steadily on the rise, with noticeable drought stress in shrubs and grasses.  Also drought conditions are starting to impact our farms, with losses in soil moisture, more heavy irrigation needed in some areas due to lack of precipitations, and some initial signs of crop loss.”

    Massachusetts Drought Status
    U.S. Drought Map

    Massachusetts Drought Status Map and U.S. Drought Map – locally Level 2 – Significant

    Maps Show  the level of drought in Massachusetts and the National Map shows other sections of the United States are in worse shape.   More from the state of MA, Drought Plan CLICK HERE.  MA Drought Status History, CLICK HERE Printable U.S. Drought Map (with legend) pdf, CLICK HERE.    U.S. Drought Monitor website link, CLICK HERE.

    How you can help:  Minimize overall water use.  Limit outdoor watering from 5pm to 9am, and temporarily stop installing new landscapes and plants.  To minimize fire hazard, exercise caution when using charcoal grills, backyard fire pits, and other open frame outdoor activities.

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  • Greenwood Meet (7/17/2022)
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    Greenwood Swimming Gardner MA

    Swim Meet at Greenwood Pool in Gardner MA Swells Population

    Over 500 swimmers 10 and under competed in a USA Swimming/New England sanctioned meet the weekend of July 16 and July 17, 2022 at Greenwood Memorial Pool on Park Street in Gardner. The Meet Director was Patty Lemieux.

    Medals were awarded for places 1 to 8 in individual events with Ribbons awarded for places 9 to 16.  For relay events, medals awarded for 1st to 3rd place and ribbons for 4th through 8th place.  There were also team awards and special prizes for random announced heats.   For more info on the meet, CLICK HERE.

    In memory of Don Lemieux
    A tribute to the late Coach Don Lemieux
    Swim Meet at Greenwood Pool Gardner MA
    Meet at Greenwood Pool July 16/17, 2022
    Greenwood Pool Meet
    Greenwood Swim Meet
    Greenwood Pool Meet
    At Greenwood Swim Meet
  • Yard Sale (7/17/2022)
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    Fall Date Set – Gardner MA City-Wide Yard Sale

    The Spring 2022 event had 133 participating homes. The Fall Date for the Gardner City-Wide Yard Sale is Saturday, October 1, 2022 and is once again being organized by Julie Mazza who has a Facebook page for the event. —- Gardner Yard Sale website.

  • Ice Cream Day (7/16/2022)
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    National Ice Cream Day is Sunday July 17, 2022 in Greater Gardner MA

    Vanilla is the most popular flavor with just over 25 percent of all ice cream sales in the United States. According to New England Today, Maple Walnut Ice Cream is a favorite in Massachusetts featuring creamy maple ice cream studded with crunchy walnuts.  It is said that Quaker colonists introduced ice cream to the United States.   Even our First President George Washington liked ice cream, records from a New York merchant showing him spending $200 on it in the summer of 1790.

    Besides the neighborhood grocery store, Popular local places for Ice Cream include: Friendly’s at 18 Pearson Boulevard in Gardner, Kay’s Dairy Bar in Westminster, Lickity Splitz at 231 Main Street, Winchendon, Murdock Dairy Farm at 62 Elmwood Road, Winchendon, Ice Cream at the Kitchen Garden,268 Baldwinville Road, Templeton,  King Phillip Dairy Bar on Route 2A Phillipston, Anne’s Dairy Drive in Orange, and the Ice Cream Shop at Ashburnham Wine and Spirits, 3 Memorial Drive, Ashburnham.

    Enjoy your Ice Cream!

  • Elementary Gallery (7/15/2022)
    Gardner MA Elementary School Gallery

    Today was the day, but there’s maybe 6 weeks to go for New Gardner MA Elementary School.

    We have a complete Photo Gallery taken July 15, 2022

    Project Supervisor we spoke with on 7-15-22 stated that both inside and outside work needs to be done as well as substantial site work. He states they hope to be ready for the start of school with about 6 weeks of work left to go. The Official Gardner MA School Calendar shows a first day of school of August 29, 2022. CLICK HERE.