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News and Interesting Information from Around Greater Gardner and Beyond

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News Around Greater Gardner MA

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  • Mayor gets Chair
    Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson and Gardner Wood
    Gardner Chair painting
    Artist Gardner Wood’s painting of the Big Chair
    Gardner MA Big Chair August 2021
    Gardner Big Chair August 2021
    The Gardner Big Chair
    The Gardner Big Chair

    Gardner Magazine would like to cover more stories about Art and Music in the area. For any story ideas about any subject email News@GardnerMagazine.com

    Local Artist Gardner Wood presents Gardner MA Mayor Nicholson with Big Chair painting – Has another Patriotic painting hidden underneath!

    The Mayor stated, “This was a great surprise today!  Thank you to local artist Gardner Wood for stopping by today to donate this painting of the Big Chair to hang in the Mayor’s Office!” Gardner Magazine was able to interview artist Gardner Wood.

    About the Artist

    Artist Gardner Wood randomly donates his work to area businesses including a local diner in Winchendon.  He earns a living by working at Mount Wachusett Community College which is where he says he met Mayor Nicholson while adding a cowboy to another work for the VetTech class at MWCC. 

    Story of the Big Chair Painting

    He utilized various online photos in composing the painting, which is a 16×20 acrylic and took him about 4 hours on a Saturday to complete.   But, there’s even a more interesting story behind the painting, it’s not the only one on the canvas.  Gardner Wood took an existing painting featuring a nature scene and an eagle and painted over it.   So what the Mayor just hung in his office prior to the Memorial Day holiday also  honors those who have given their lives for our country, a painting with an American Eagle hidden under a painting of Gardner’s iconic Big Chair.   Gardner Wood also states that he usually signs his paintings “G. Wood”, but in this case had to use his full name since it was for the City of Gardner and that’s his first name.    Thank you to Gardner Wood.

    The Inspiration of the Work

    We asked, What inspired you to paint the Big Chair and Gardner Wood responded, ““I work in Gardner, I live in Winchendon, I do have my artwork in a local diner….  I started a personal project…  My main goal is I want to randomly donate a painting to local businesses.  I’ve already started in Winchendon.  That led me to be inspired to do the Chair for the Mayor.  I met him and he’s very friendly, very nice.  We basically talked about it. …It’s just my personal thing that I’ve taken upon myself  to do….He seemed very excited about it.”

    First Time’s a Charm

    Gardner says this is the first time he’s ever painted the Chair.   “I went on the computer and pulled up various different pictures, so I got all the pictures of the Chair. I did it in a Saturday morning for the most part.” “I paint for the people. I don’t paint to make money.” In the diner, I will listen and see what people are looking for. I will randomly give them to children. I enjoy doing it.” Gardner went on to say, “The chair, that painting is very unique for me because of course my name is Gardner Wood and I sign all of my paintings, G. Wood, basically because it’s a long name.  But this one I felt I had to, so the bottom of that chair, the painting, I wrote Gardner Wood, my full name.

    Hidden Painting

    “Actually I can tell you a little bit more about it too.  I am a little on the impatient side, maybe that comes with being an artist.  I was at my house and I was looking and I didn’t have any 16 by 20s, I didn’t want to do a small one, I wanted to do a big one.  So basically I grabbed one of my old paintings. The  original painting was basically trees on both sides, and basically an eagle flying.  In the painting, the eagle was too small…it was one of my first types of paintings, so I said, ok here’s a 16 by 20, so I painted over it.  So if you were to actually xray through that, you’d actually see another painting under it.  …That’s what happens when you don’t have a whole pile of good canvas….The painting was ok, but the eagle was too small, then it just worked out good.”

    Let us note the historic Gardner Big Chair painting was placed in the Gardner MA Mayor’s office in May 2022. Thank you Gardner Wood for your generosity of time and of spirit.

  • Mayor’s update 5-27-22

    Gardner MA Michael Nicholson Focuses on Events and Progress – Alerts Citizens to Effects of Inflation on City Costs.

    The Mayor spoke of the upcoming Memorial Day Parade (see our previous article for details), the non-essential 9am-5pm water use ban (see article for details), various events, the new community garden to benefit the CAC (see our article for details), and Candor Realty’s outreach efforts.

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

    Mayor Nicholson spoke about the Fiscal Year 2023 City Budget and has made all documents available to us. See at left. See how your money will be spent.

    The Gardner City Council will meet in June and must approve the budget before the fiscal year begins on July 1st. Note that the City Council can reduce the budget, but it is not empowered to increase the budget.

    Rising Prices
    Fireworks Gardner MA

    Inflationary Pressures on City Budget are Ongoing

    To outsource the line painting of yellow and white lines has cost less than $18,000 in each of the past 5 years. This year, the minimum bid came in at $32,000. The Mayor said, ““that’s almost double what we normally pay.” The Fiscal Year 2023 Budget has been submitted by the City Council who will review it and act upon it before the new fiscal year starts on July 1, 2022.

    Countdown to Sidewalk Sales and Fireworks Display

    Sidewalk Sales will be held on Saturday June 25, 2022 in Downtown Gardner, and the Fireworks Display at the PACC is that evening at Dusk. It’s all part of Gardner’s birthday celebration. On June 27th, John Philip Sousa Honor Band will be performing FREE at Monument Park.. And next year will be Gardner’s 100th as a City, a celebration committee will be forming soon to start planning the City Centennial.

  • Fall Sports

    Fall Sports Registrations open in Gardner MA

    It may be barely summer, but planning is already underway for Gardner MA Fall Sports. All Sports registrations are now open for Football, Cheer, Soccer, Field Hockey, Golf, and, Cross Country. It’s done online at this link: CLICK HERE.

    If you have any questions, you can contact Athletic Director Dan Forte via email at fored@gardnerk12.org. Phone: 978-632-1600 ext. 1800, or Cell: (978) 340-2268

    Here is also a link to the Gardner MA Athletics page.

  • Car Hatching
    4 white cars at Pulaski Park
    5 white cars at Pulaski Park
    5 white vehicles in a row at Pulaski Park – What are the mathematical chances of this happening again?

    Spontaneous Gardner MA Car Hatching or Mathematical Anomaly?

    A curious scene at Pulaski Park in Gardner on May 26, 2022.   4 White vehicles seemingly appeared out of nowhere near the Basketball Courts.  And then a 5th one!   Did they spontaneously hatch in some universe-correcting miracle?  Or was it simply a random event with mathematical implications?    We believe it was just a random event, but read below about something else very curious that day.  

    According to facts we can find, 24% of cars on the road are white. The odds of 5 of them parked in a row at one time is calculated to be 8 out of 10,000.

     

    Herbie the Dog at the Dog Park

    One of the dogs at the park who witnessed these vehicles was named “Herbie”.   Remember, Herbie the Love Bug from the Disney movies? – the living car! Here’s an article about Herbie the Love Bug.   It just goes to show that if you look hard enough and have a big enough imagination, you can always find something of wonder in the Chair City of Gardner MA. 

    Business Hatch in Gardner MA
    Business Hatching in Gardner MA

    Hatching Cars. Probably Not.

    But, NEW businesses are hatching on a regular basis in the City of Gardner MA.

    5 white sedans and 1 white service truck

    Another Math Anomaly?

    And then, the math mold was broken again. Just as we were about to leave the Dog Park, a white service vehicle pulled in between the other 5 white vehicles. What are the odds of that happening at exactly that moment?

  • Water Restriction
    Massachusetts Water Map
    Massachusetts Water Map

    The Massachusetts Water Map shown is generated by the USGS National Water Dashboard. Some areas around Gardner MA show streamflow much below normal. A red dot indicates much below normal and an orange dot indicates below normal.

    Water Use Restricted in Gardner MA

    As of May 25, 2022, there is a mandatory water use restriction in effect in Gardner MA.   Nonessential water use is prohibited from 9am to 5pm.    The MassDEP notified City officials that this is due to a USGS streamflow being below trigger for 3 consecutive days. 

    Steamflow Status

    According to the Streamflow Status legend, a few streams near Gardner MA are much below normal. The USGS National Water Dashboard shows various water conditions throughout MA. CLICK HERE.

  • Bear Spotted
    Bear in Backyard on Clark Street Gardner MA

    Bear Spotted in Clark Street, Gardner MA Backyard and all about Bears in Massachusetts

    On May 26, ,2022, a bear was spotted on Clark Street in Gardner.   A resident posted the picture to Social Media.  The post has received plenty on interest with dozens of likes, wows, and love expressed by other members.  

    For those interested in Bear pictures, there is actually a public Facebook group entitled, “Awesome Bear lovers.”   Members post Bear pictures and even Bear videos.

    The rest of our article is about Bears in Massachusetts with Bear tips for Greater Gardner MA residents.

    Mama bear and cubs
    Mama Bear and Cubs
    Black Bear Range in Massachusetts
    Black Bear Range in Massachusetts – CLICK IMAGE for larger view
    Bears in hammock
    Mama bear and cubs

    Bears in Massachusetts

    According to the State of Massachusetts website Mass.gov, black bears have been increasing in numbers and distribution for the past 50 years, with an estimated current statewide population exceeding over 4,500 animals.  Black bears live and breed in Worcester County, northern Middlesex County, and west to the Berkshires.   Black bears are black overall, typically with a brown muzzle and sometimes with a white chest patch.  Males weigh from 130 to 600 pounds and females are 100 to 400 pounds. Bears eat both vegetation and meat.  They are often attracted to yards by bird feeders and unsecured trash.  

    Bear Tips

    Mass.gov has some tips for residents:  Remove bird feeders if you live in an area with bears.   Put out  your trash the morning of trash pickup rather than the night before.    Feed your own pets indoors.  Clean barbecues and grills after each use and don’t leave any food scraps around.   If you see a bear in your yard, yell, and make lots of noise and the bear and its young will usually leave.   If you see a bear in the wild, make the animal aware of your presence by clapping, talking, or making other sounds while slowly backing away.   Obviously, don’t approach bears, especially a female bear with her cubs, keep a respectful distance away.

    Some other resources in printable pdf format: Prevent Negative Encounters with BearsCoexisting with black bearsLiving with black bears fact sheet

    If you need to reach Gardner MA Animal Control, here is the page. CLICK HERE.

  • Community Garden

    Gardner MA St. Paul’s Episcopal Church establishes Community Garden to benefit CAC

    The Community Garden is located at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Cross Street in Gardner where the sign states, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat” – Matthew 25:35. Distribution of food grown will occur through the Food Pantry of the Community Action Committee. The CAC serves disadvantaged individuals in Gardner, Ashburnham, Baldwinville, Hubbardston, Otter River, Templeton, and Westminster. Gardner CAC website, CLICK HERE. To donate to the CAC securely click here. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church website, CLICK HERE.

    garden at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Gardner MA
    Garden at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Gardner

    The garden was funded by a $3,000 grant from the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and will contain vegetables most commonly used by patrons of the CAC.

    Mayor Nicholson at garden
    Even Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson helped plant the garden.
  • Sewage Sludge
    Gardner MA Landfill
    Gardner Landfill Gardner MA

    Sewage Sludge Decisions in Gardner MA

    A byproduct of the Gardner Wastewater Treatment Plant is Sewage Sludge, a solid material which has been disposed of at the Gardner landfill.    Gardner has proposed to increase the size of the landfill to allow for more sludge.  Environmental groups oppose the move due to concerns over how the sludge might affect the surrounding area.    

    The first step in understanding the issue is to understand what Sewage Sludge is and what can be done with it.   Penn State offers the most complete explanation we can find, and it’s useful because it offers a number of solution alternatives…  View Sewage Sludge Guide.

    Sewage Sludge

    We reached out to the Gardner DPW to get Gardner’s perspective on the matter, but have yet to receive a response.   The Millers River Watershed Council opposes the expansion of the Gardner Landfill to add more sludge because they state, “this ill-conceived project, which will, if approved, have substantial negative consequences for our region and beyond.”  They have devoted an entire webpage to the issue.  CLICK HERE.   Printable pdf, CLICK HERE.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    Gardner needs to decide whether it wishes to store the Sewage Sludge locally or have it trucked elsewhere. If stored locally, it needs to choose from various available options. In order to proceed with any of these local storage options including a landfill expansion, it must receive approval from the State of MA. Given opposition from Environmental Groups, it is reasonable to assume an eventual decision will take some time to reach. Gardner Magazine will update you when more information becomes available.

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  • WGAW Broadcast

    WGAW to broadcast LIVE from Hubbardston MA Memorial Day Parade

    Gardner MA Radio Station will be broadcasting live on Monday, May 30, 2022 from 11am to noon from the Hubbardston Memorial Day Parade. Starts at the Curtis Recreational Field and will end up at the Town Square for the unveiling of the new Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Monument. Hosts for the broadcast will be Steve Wendell of WGAW and the Hubbardston Town Clerk. It has been described as potentially the biggest parade in Hubbardston history. WGAW is heard on AM 1340, 98.1 FM, and live on the internet, CLICK HERE

    The Town of Hubbardston unveils not only the new Vietnam Veterans’ monument, but also the restored Civil War monument and the freshly cleaned memorials that honor those who fought in the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. The Lions Club, The Golden Agers, Friends of the Hubbardston Senior Center and the Council on Aging invite you afterwards to join them at the Senior Center across the street for a complimentary American Patriotic Celebration where hot dogs and ice cream will be served.

    .

  • Meeting Minutes

    Publisher’s Note: Purpose of my news story is to create awareness that any meeting summary needs to be accurate.  Doesn’t need to be a complete transcript, but at least needs to be factually correct.  And any group approving minutes including the School Committee needs to say NO if the minutes are wrong.  Problem will get fixed very fast in that case. Article has links to MA law and a comparison of Minutes of recent meeting vs. actual transcript. ——- We need to show our kids that TRUTH MATTERS.

    Time for Transparency Gardner MA

    Law on Meeting Minutes Pertaining to Gardner MA Meetings

    Gardner Magazine makes an attempt to accurately transcribe what people say at City Council, School Committee, and other meetings as well as any time we quote local officials in any fashion.   We have noticed that certain meeting minutes, particularly those of the School Committee, are not always accurate, in some cases reflecting statements that a member never said.  This is a potential problem because the law states that “a public body shall create and maintain accurate minutes of all meetings…..a summary of the discussions on each subject, a list of documents and other exhibits used at the meeting.”  

    As a specific example, we cite the meeting of March 14, 2022. We compared the Meeting Minutes with the actual Final Comments of the School Committee members and found the minutes to be completely inaccurate and not in compliance with State law. See the complete rundown right here.

    Here is a pdf of the actual Massachusetts law, relating to Minutes of Meetings. CLICK HERE.  And here is a copy of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law. We are hoping that corrective action will be taken so we don’t have to write a lengthy article comparing the minutes to the actual statements made in all the recent meetings. In addition, we are hoping that in the spirit of true transparency, that the School Committee packet be included in the public disclosure of the Agenda prior to the meeting, as state law does require them to be part of the later official minutes of the meeting, and the Gardner City Council has made a practice of making these materials available ahead of time. Having the materials in hand has been very helpful in understanding what the City Council is voting on. Because the packets are so inclusive and prepared in such a highly professional fashion, very often there is little discussion over a specific item. Not a problem if you have in hand what the City Council sees. In the case of the School Committee, references are often made at meetings to items in the packet which have not been similarly furnished in advance to the public.

    Publisher’s note: This is a very simple problem to correct immediately and we urge the Gardner School Committee to do so. We also urge the Gardner School Committee to demand that meeting minutes be prepared accurately in accordance with the law. We have emailed Mayor Nicholson regarding the issue and are sure that he will take corrective action as transparency and accuracy has been a hallmark of his Administration.

    .

  • Gardner Panel
    Panel of Gardner Five Gardner MA

    Panel of 5 Gardner MA Individuals to Help Select Who’s the Deputy Chief and maybe even Who’s the Chief

    Appearing on WGAW’s Hotline Radio on Saturday, May 22, 2022, Mayor Michael Nicholson was very clear that, “for the position of Chief, nothing’s official until the investigation is done. For the position of Deputy Chief, I can tell you exactly….There’ll be a panel of 5 individuals to review all applicants.  They’ll send the top 2 candidates to my desk.  I will interview them myself and then make an appointment to send up to the Appointments Committee of the City Council for full Council confirmation.

    Mayor Mike Nicholson Gardner MA
    Gardner Mayor :Michael Nicholson

    “The way that appointments of Police Chief and Fire Chiefs work are specifically governed by State law.   And those two positions are protected by State Law, …..same thing with the Deputy chief of the Police Department. …We do have the Dispatch Director position currently posted, so we are receiving applications for that as well.   We have a little different hiring process in that it doesn’t start with the full 5 member board, but rather a couple members from each of the groups of the Gardner Police Department and the Fire Department that the Dispatch Center assists with their operations.” ….“We do have all of the plans in place to move forward, but in terms of the position of Police Chief, specificially, nothing is finalized for that yet as we’re still ongoing in that realm.”

    The Mayor stated that the hiring process typically takes from 30 to 60 days from post to hire. The Mayor was asked about whether Former Chief Braks was still getting paid and Mayor Nicholson responded, “Yes, because by law it is a paid administrative leave. “ Steve Wendell asked, “Has he submitted any information as to whether he wants to come back or not?” The Mayor responded. “That’s something that is still privileged at this point as a personnel matter, but I can tell you we have not received anything yet.”

    The mayor made other comments relating to the Police Department. ““People at the Police Department are still doing a good job, day in and day out, shows the resiliency of who we have working here in the City. …The two lieutenants didn’t receive an extra penny for the work they were doing when they were running the department.”

    Hotline Radio

    Heard on Gardner’s Hit Radio Show!

    Hotline Radio is heard every Saturday from noon to 2pm on Gardner MA WGAW. WGAW is on AM 1340, 98.1 FM, and available 24/7 over the internet. Host Steve Wendell interviews many area newsmakers every week. To hear the station right, now, CLICK for the LIVE STREAM. WGAW has a News/Talk format.

  • Memorial Day Parade

    Memorial Day Parade Heads to Gardner MA Monument Park on May 30, 2022 at 10am

    Anne Marie Blake, President of the Gardner Veterans Council told Gardner Magazine that the muster will be at 9:15am at the American Legion on Elm Street, Gardner with the goal of being at Monument Park for the 10am Memorial Day Ceremony featuring various dignitaries, guests, speeches, military medley by the Gardner High School Band, placing of poppies, firing squad (VFW), taps, and readings in the spirit of honoring all who served.

    Parade Details

    Marchers will meet in the Elm Street Parking Lot, Rider meet in the small city lot at the Legion Rotary. From Anne Marie Blake, ” MARCHERS: PARADE ROUTE IS FROM THE PARKING LOTS AROUND THE LEGION ROTARY, DOWN CENTRAL, ONTO PARK AND LEFT ONTO COTTAGE ST.  ALMOST AT THE FAR END OF COTTAGE ST. MAKE A COLUMN LEFT AND CONTINUE SINGLE FILE UP THE STAIRS AND TO WHERE YOU WILL BE STANDING/SITTING.  PLEASE DO NOT FALL OUT PRIOR TO BEING IN THE PARK OR EVERYONE BEHIND YOU WILL FOLLOW. WE WANT EVERYONE IN THE PARK TO ENJOY THE WHOLE PARADE. RIDERS: FOR VETERANS, LADIES AUXILIARY MEMBERS OR ANYONE WHO CANNOT WALK BUT WOULD LIKE TO RIDE, THERE WILL BE 2 VANS AVAILABLE COURTESY OF MONTACHUSETT VETERAN OUTREACH CENTER AND THE DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS, OR YOU CAN USE YOUR OWN VEHICLE(S). MEET IN THE CITY LOT AT ROTARY. Parade Orders: Gardner Police, All American Flags, All Veteran Organizations Flags, All Marching Veterans, All Marching Ladies Auxiliary Members, Gardner High School Band, Mayor, Representatives of City, State, Order of the Elks, Scouts, Cars and Vans with Veterans and others, Patriot and Elk Riders, Gardner Fire Department. Parking immediately behind the band stand is reserved for parade vehicles. In case of rain, proceed to City Hall Auditorium.”

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  • Mosquitos Out
    out they go

    Mosquitos to be Evicted by the Spraying of Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project

    Gardner Dates are May 31 and June 9, 16, 21, 30. CMMCP says the dates are subject to change due to weather conditions, mosquito populations, mosquito virus activity, and/or special event spraying.

    From CMMCP site, “Mosquito control in Massachusetts operates under M.G.L. Ch. 252 (Improvement of Low Land & Swamps) and the State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board.  The Project was created by the Massachusetts State Legislature in 1973, and currently consists of 44 cities and towns in Central Massachusetts, from both Worcester and Middlesex Counties, covering over nearly 810 square miles.”

    Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project

    Information about the service area:  CLICK HERE.

    For more information on the project, view the website,  CLICK HERE.

    Mission statement, “The objective of the Project is to attain an efficient, economic mosquito control operation which will provide the best results possible and be consistent with all ecological aspects and the best interests of the member towns.

    From the CMMCP website, “Our goal is to reduce mosquito exposure to the public, and the potential for disease transmission by mosquitoes, by utilizing proven, sound mosquito control techniques. CMMCP believes the best way to accomplish this task is by practicing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach as it relates to mosquito control in Massachusetts. IPM utilizes a variety of control techniques and evaluation procedures. Control efforts are undertaken only after surveillance data has been collected and analyzed. Training, experience and common sense dictate our response in any given situation. It is our desire and responsibility for this Project to have the best mosquito control for the communities that we serve.”

  • Gardner City-Wide Yard Sale

    GardnerYardSale.com

    The City of Gardner welcomed many to its Spring 2022 Yard Sale. We’ll advise you of Fall 2022 plans as they are announced.

    Yard Sales Gardner MA Panorama

    It Happened and people came!  Gardner MA City-Wide Yard Sale had 133 participating homes May 21, 2022 from 8am to 2pm

    On some roads in Gardner Saturday May 21, 2022, a parade of cars could be seen traveling to Yard Sales in the Chair City. With a total of at least 133 participating homes who appeared on the map, many items were up for sale. As of the end of the sale, the online map showed 4,240 views. The City-wide Yard Sale took place this Saturday May 21, 2022 from 8am to 2pm. Cars could be seen with out-of-town and even out-of-state license plates.  

    Ways to view the list: Complete map on Google.

    Gardner Spring Yard Sale 2022 PSA
    yard sale 5-21-22
    Yard Sale Gardner MA
    Yard Sale Gardner MA

    Click any image for larger view.

    Yard Sale Gardner MA
    Yard Sale Gardner MA
    Yard Sale Gardner MA
    Yard Sale Gardner MA

    Super Computer Utilized to Plot Route to all Gardner MA Yard Sale Stops

    With 133 Homes having Yard Sales in Gardner on Saturday May 21, 2022 from 8am to 2pm, we needed to find a way for you to see them all.

    The route plotted by computer starts at the Blue Moon Diner (thought you might like breakfast before shopping) and then plots out all the stops which are completed in less than 4 hours. Printable in pdf format, Directions only. 41 pages of Turn by turn maps.

  • Mayor’s Update – Colin Smith
    Colin Smith

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

    Executive Aide Colin Smith filled in for Gardner MA Mayor Nicholson Friday May 20, 2022

    Smith reported that the Mayor is on the Cape for the Massachusetts Mayors Conference.  Colin Smith indicated he would be attending the Mount Wachusett Community College Nursing graduation representing the Mayor and congratulated the students.   Smith related his tour of the new Elementary School with the School Building Committee this week –  “It’s incredibly impressive already and it will be absolutely beautiful when it’s finished and I may be more than a little envious of the students who will be able to attend.  It’s been so cool seeing this project come to fruition knowing how many individuals around the City and outside of it have worked so hard to make it happen.”

    Smith stated that Gardner’s City-wide Yard Sale will be held this Saturday from 8am to 2pm Website. 

    “Gardner’s Junior Police Academy is now accepting applications for the 2022 class.  The academy will run from July 18 to July 22nd from 8am to 3pm with graduation on Saturday July 23rd.  This is open to students ages 12 to 17, and you do not have to be Gardner residents, although preference will be given to residents.  Class is limited to 20 cadets.  And they would like to mention that it’s FREE.”

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  • Water Quality
    Annual Water Quality Report 2021 Gardner MA
    Water Quality

    Gardner MA 2021 Water Quality Report Shows High Manganese, Water Safe to Drink

    The Gardner MA 2021 Water Quality Report has been released.  CLICK HERE.  For many years, the manganese level in Gardner Massachusetts water has been higher than desired, resulting in some local complaints of bad taste and the visible staining of toilets etc.   While Gardner water overall has been deemed safe, we have obtained detailed information regarding Manganese for those who are concerned about the issue.   Ten years ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a 556 page report on Manganese which you can view from Gardner Magazine.  CLICK HERE.    In 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency produced a Manganese Report.  CLICK HERE.

    Gardner Water Corrosion Issue

    For those concerned about corrosion caused by Gardner water,  Corrosion Testing Laboratories Inc. produced a document dated August 18, 2015 and entitled, “City of Gardner Leaking Copper Coils Failure Investigation”  CLICK HERE.   The reports indicate that “failures were centralized around the water treatment facility that uses surface water as a source.”   For those citizens wondering why Gardner is defending itself against homeowner claims, it is because  the City of Gardner is located in a region of the US that has surface water with a low alkalinity and it is still undetermined whether the City has any liability over the issue.  While City officials are not commenting publicly about Gardner water at all, our investigation shows that over the years Gardner has been making attempts to solve the issue, but just hasn’t been successful.   The truth: Sometimes a problem is not easily solved despite best efforts.  Unfortunately that doesn’t help the homeowners  who have had uncovered heating system expenses and why the problem is the subject of an ongoing court case.

  • Wednesday Afternoon
    Park Downtown Gardner MA

    Simultaneous events in Gardner MA, the Chair City are chronicled for one Wednesday afternoon.

    DPW at Gardner Dog Park
    Sports at Gardner MA High School

    It was a Great Wednesday Afternoon in Gardner MA

    On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 18, 2022 in Gardner Massachusetts, Gardner was quietly being a Great place to Live, Work, Play, and Visit.   People were going about their business on City Hall Avenue.   Shoppers were enjoying stores on Main Street.  The Lion made it to a new location on Parker Street.  The Downtown Garage was being used for vehicles, but there were plenty of easy spaces for more Downtown Shoppers to enjoy.

    The DPW was sprucing up the Dog Park and the dogs were having a good time.  A Downtown park was green with life.  Senior Center Director Mike Ellis met people at the job fair. Priscilla’s Candy Shop looked inviting from outside.  Across the City at the Uptown Rotary, the flowers were blooming.  People were shopping at Walmart, Timpany Plaza, and the Gardner Plaza.  People were enjoying food at their favorite eating places.   The construction site at the new Gardner Elementary School was quiet, with the outhouses resting after a long day of use and construction had completed for the day.   Gardner High School was active with many students enjoying the outdoors.

    It was an ordinary afternoon, but there wasn’t really anything ordinary about it.  It was actually pretty great.  People just weren’t thinking about how awesome it was!  Enjoy Gardner, the Chair City.      All Wednesday afternoon photos in the Chair City, click here.

  • City Council 5-16-22
    Gardner City Council
    Gardner City Council Meeting May 16, 2022

    Gardner MA Councilors Debate Scooters and Approve Outdoor Dining Space.

    The first item was according to Councilor Craig Cormier, ““a very simple ordinance, just a move from 9am to 8am, brings into line with how yard sales actually work and brings into line with the City-Wide Yard Sale that’s already been advertised.” City Council approved for first printing.

    Bird Scooters
    Bird Scooters is a company mentioned by Mayor Nicholson

    Watch the Gardner City Council meetings on the City of Gardner YouTube page or on our City Council page.

    The complete City Council and packet is available. CLICK HERE

    The Fiscal Year 2023 School Budget Presentation is available. CLICK HERE.

    Gardner Magazine reached out to Councilor Ron Cormier’s telephone number to ask whether he plans to resign from the Council following his objection to the free speech discussion over the scooters. We are awaiting a reply.

    Scooter Stirs Debate and Discussion, and even an attempt by one Councilor to silence free speech.

    Mayor Nicholson has proposed bringing shareable dockless mobility devices to the Chair City, otherwise known as “scooters”. There was considerable discussion. Councilor George Tyros had concerns., opposing the use of the devices for respect and safety reasons in the cemeteries. 

    Councilor Boone was asked by Tyros about his concerns and Boone stated “there was some question on fees…one of the things is that our DPW is gonna have to pick up these things if they are left, and there was no fee structure for that, ….I think as a City we need more time to absorb what’s going on.  I know these things are coming, do I think it’s gonna be a little chaotic, maybe, maybe not, so I just think we need more time to make a proper decision on the matter.”

    Councilor Nick Boudreau, “ to speak to Councilor Boone’s thought, when I worked in the City of Marlborough, we implemented this during my tenure there, and there was a big  ooh and aah phase at the very beginning, but then it did die down, almost to the point where it was just second nature to these people.  So I don’t think necessarily people are going to be leaving them out for an extended period of time, maybe it may happen a couple of times towards the beginning, and you can find out exactly who it was based off of different apps and different ways of payment and that kind of stuff which would differ based on the vendor that we would use, but I don’t think it’s going to be, we’re not Nashville, so they’re not going to be throwing these scooters everywhere all year, or bikes, of whatever we were to get.”

    Councilor Heath, ”I’ve rented a number of these, when I was out in Baltimore, when I was out in Los Angeles, you do have to be licensed, you’re supposed to be over 18 to go ahead and ride these, so it depends on which ones, my kids rode them with me.  I signed off on all of them.  However, they couldn’t do it themselves, I had to go ahead and do it as an adult. So have they been left around and things and such,  yes, but you’re supposed to go ahead and take a photo of where you leave it, when you get off of it. “

    Councilor Mack, “ I was wondering, seeing he’s present, if the Mayor could just address, he did send us documentation this afternoon addressing Councilor Boone’s concerns, …I would just like to give the Mayor the opportunity to present what’s he’s giving to us in regards to those concerns.”

    In a somewhat bizarre outburst, Councilor Ronald Cormier actually objected to the City Council discussing the matter and had to be reminded by the City Council President that Councilor had an right to discuss it. Councilor Ronald Cormier stated, “this is inappropriate., the conversations.”

    Council President Kazinskas stated, “this is on the motion.  Councilors can speak before the motion is seconded. …  Councilors asked whether the motion had been seconded and Kazinskas responded no, “we’re going to continue with the motion.”

    The motion was seconded to refer to the Public Safety Committee. 

    Councilor Cormier, “To Councilor Tyros, we do intend to have a meeting on this week, and hope to have it back before the Council at our next meeting.

    Councilor Walsh, “I’m going to support the motion to refer.  This is a lengthy amendment …a lot to absorb, when it’s on our agenda for the very first time….I think a little more time to do it right as best we can in advance of these vehicles becoming part of the city’s landscape is a good idea.”

    rendering of outdoor dining
    Outdoor dining rendering

    Motion was approved to temporarily close a portion of Pleasant Street for outdoor dining.

    Craig Cormier  “We did have a chance to discuss this…would give a 3 month closure to Pleasant Street to try out some outdoor dining on the streets for the summer months. If we don’t like it, we can obviously let it expire and not keep doing that.   Businesses involved signed a letter in favor of the motion.”

    The Gardner Police Department indicated the dates of closure would be June 20, 2022 from 7am through October 1, 2022 at 7am.

    letter from Gardner pd

    Councilor Comments

    Councilor James Boone Gardner MA
    Councilor James Boone holds up 100 year old Yearbook he found in attic.
    Judy A. Mack
    Councilor Judy A. Mack suggested Handicapped Parking

    Dana Heath, “ I just want to say thank you to the DPW.  I sent a request today at 12:40 …Ovila Case playground…the bottom floor was busted open, so kids could fall through it.  It was fixed within an hour. So I just want to say thank you” George Tyros, “Nothing this evening.” Alek Dernalowicz, “ I have nothing this evening.” Judy A. Mack, “I just want to mention.  With the planned improvements to the Downtown area including areas of outside seating, I would like to suggest that the traffic commission and the disabilities commission look into creating some handicapped accessible parking spots on Parker, Central, Main, or Pleasant Street for disabled people.  With the recent roadwork downtown there are curb cuts to allow for accessibility for the sidewalks, but we have not made parking accessible., other than what I can see in parking lots. So, I would just like to see this considered for those people who need the accessibility to our downtown businesses.” Craig Cormier, “ I have no Council business this evening.” James S. Boone, “I saw several of the committee members and I discovered this Argus Yearbook, 1922, it was on 76 Osgood Street in an attic we were currently clearing out…” Nathan Boudreau, “Can’t wait till my yearbook is brought to a City Council meeting as a historic relic, I have no new City Council business this evening.” Karen G. Hardern “Nothing new this evening.” James M. Walsh, “Two items.  Councilor Boone might want to consider if he wants it in a safe place to put it back in the attic where he found it.  …The other thing I wanted to mention is a follow up to these National Grid petitions.  It used to be the practice of the City Engineer to review these petitions in advance of their being presented to the City Council so that the kind of errors that occurred in the petitions we just considered would not occur….and I’m happy to say that newly appointed and confirmed City Engineer Mr. Oliver is going to be doing that as we go forward, …” Ronald F. Cormier, “I have nothing this evening.” Elizabeth Kazinskas, “ I have no new Council business.”

  • Strength of Character

    A Gardner Magazine Editorial, Mayor Nicholson, Strength of Character.

    During the course of holding Political Office, every office holder encounters that moment when character is tested.  Mayor Nicholson is having his moment with the Gardner Police Department situation.  

    Despite enormous pressure to speak more openly about various details involved in the ongoing Police Department challenges, the Mayor has elected to stick with his plan – protect the taxpayers of Gardner, honor the due process rights of all involved, and stay the course with untold patience.    While the Press may be irritated with the lack of information and citizens speculate about the who, what, when, where, and why, the Mayor is doing what a great manager does – the right thing as he sees it on a daily basis, making sure that the citizens of Gardner have a well-functioning Police Department which serves their daily needs and keeps the citizenry safe.    In our opinion, the Mayor’s actions in this process including his unwavering resolve to handle the situation without giving in to political pressure shows a tremendous strength of character.    It would be easy to do a tell-all interview and it would get lots of attention.   It is much harder to be reserved with information, but in the end what is important is the best interests of the City of Gardner.   So our advice to the community and other members of the press is this:  Be vigilant, hold your leaders accountable, but also recognize when you’ve finally got someone with Strength of Character who doesn’t take the easy way out, but who’s actually looking out for you:  Mayor Michael Nicholson.    

    We reached out to the Mayor’s office on May 18, 2022 and spoke with the Mayor’s aide Colin Smith at length.    The Mayor is committed to following the process to its conclusion and will provide more information when it is in the best interest of the City to do so.   We will publish any Press Release in its entirety when available.  

    Werner Poegel, Publisher.

  • Puzzle Awaits
    Gardner MA Police Department Puzzle

    Here we go again! Another Acting Police Chief in the City of Gardner and more speculation as to who, what, when, and where as it relates to the future of the management of the Department.

    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson Holds Key to Gardner Police Department Puzzle

    Update 5-17-22: Gardner has another Acting Police Chief. Mayor Nicholson informed the Appointments Committee –View Meeting – that retired Deputy Chief Phil Kearns from the City of Fitchburg has been appointed Acting Police Chief. He retired from the City of Fitchburg in 2015 and according to Mayor Michael Nicholson, “has been the acting chief in 5 different communities since his retirement.”  According to Mayor Nicholson, he was to start the role on Monday, May 16, 2022, “for a period of 30 days at most.”  However, the Mayor indicated that the official appointment was for 60 days, just in case, “because the ordinance says you can’t have two consecutive temporary appointments…so we did this just as a buffer.”  Mayor Nicholson responded affirmatively when asked by Councilor Walsh if he anticipated a more permanent solution to the Chief’s position within that 30 day period.

    Although publicly leaving the door open in recent interviews, it seems increasingly unlikely that Mayor Nicholson will reappoint Chief Braks. He can also promote from within or search from outside the Department. One thing is certain: 41 hard-working officers of the Gardner Police Department will be affected by the decision, and, the Gardner City Council has final say in approving or rejecting any appointment. Both the Chief and Deputy Chief were placed on paid Administrative Leave at the beginning of February following a no-confidence vote from 40 out of 41 officers. The Deputy Chief has since retired.

    This is the second time this year an Acting Police Chief has been appointed. Management of the Department was handled for a short period by Vincent Alfano as Acting Chief, but for the past two months management duties have been handled by the two lieutenants, who according to Nicholson, have not received extra pay for the extra responsibilities. Gardner Magazine will keep you posted as the Gardner PD Puzzle continues….

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  • GHS Concert
    Gardner High School MA Spring Concert

    Gardner MA High School Spring Concert Thursday May 19, 2022

    Come enjoy an evening of music in the newly reupholstered, carpeted, and painted Landry Auditorium at Gardner High School. The concert will include the Jazz Band, 8th Grade Chorus, 8th Grade Band, Select Choir, HS Chorus, & HS Band.  Admission is $4 adults, $3 students at the door.

    GHS Music on Facebook, CLICK HERE. – GMS on Facebook, CLICK HERE.

    Publisher’s note: We searched for a Music page on the Gardner School District website and couldn’t find one. We apologize if we missed it. Otherwise, time to add one.

  • Gardner Yard Sale

    Gardner MA is poised to get a huge influx of visitors on Saturday May 21, 2022 as bargain hunters will have many homes to visit for Yard Sale items!

    Gardner May 21, 2022 Yard Sale Map as of 5/15/22 – Already over 100 homes signed up.

    Gardner MA City-Wide Yard Sale on May 21, 2022 from 8am to 2pm headed for huge participation success!

    Event organizer Julie Mazza reports that the definite number is 126  houses who have signed up.    Gardner Magazine registered GardnerYardSale.com to help and it has a link to Julie’s latest map and even posters you can use at your house to advertise your participation.  If you’re thinking of having a yard sale in Gardner this  year, don’t miss this event. 

    The deadline to sign up was Wednesday, May 18, 2022 – all you had to do was email your home address to gardneryardsale@gmail.com and get a free Yard sale permit from the City of Gardner.   CLICK HERE  Note that Mayor Nicholson has stated that even though the City Code only allows yard sales to start after 9am, the City is making an exception and allowing this sale to start at 8am and the City Council just sent a corrected ordinance to First Printing.

    Yard Sale supplies. If you need some pricing stickers or sign materials we suggest the Dollar Tree in the Timpany Plaza, Walmart, Staples, Ocean State Job Lot, or Big Lots.

    Gardner Yard Sale Audio Ad

    As of 8pm on May 19 2022, the Gardner Yard Sale Map showed 126 participants and the online Gardner Yard Sale Map had been viewed about 2200 times. Gardner Businesses should be prepared for a large influx of people to the Chair City this Saturday.

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  • Mayor’s Update 5-13-22
    Nicholson gardner ma
    Gardner MA Michael Nicholson with weekly update and well-dressed man captured in reflection and enlarged at upper left.

    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson Updates City with either Secret Service Detail OR Attentive Aide.

    Captured just to the left of Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson is what appears to be a scene out of the movies. Given that the Mayor is still too young to run for President, we believe the individual is hard-working aide Colin Smith. This appears to prove what has been suspected – The entire team at the Mayor’s office is highly committed to working for the betterment of the City. Watch the video update yourself on the City’s YouTube page or on our Mayor’s Update page and see if you can identify the mystery man in the reflection.

    Candor Realty, Mayor Nicholson, Kazinskas
    Picture by Colin Smith- City Council President Elizabeth Kazinskas and Mayor Michael Nicholson stand with Jonathan Bombaci and Matthew Perimian of Candor Realty following the closing of the sale of 25 Main Street

    At the Building: One of the matters discussed by the Mayor is the very building he is standing in front of – the Flat Iron Building by Bull Nose Park which was recently sold to Candor Realty by Dean Marcus and which will soon be rehabbed and returned to its full potential. The Mayor announced that Candor Realty’s other property purchase on 88-98 Main Street will soon feature a Candor Realty office in one of the open storefronts. The City has been involved in facilitating several transactions recently which will result in former blighted buildings in Downtown Gardner becoming productive again, with either business or residential space. The Mayor stated,, “this building has officially been sold.”… “The City Council will vote on my proposal to close a small section of Pleasant Street to increase outdoor seating options.” View Mayor’s complete Press Release, CLICK HERE.

    man escaping grille fire

    Fire Safety: Mayor Nicholson stated, “We had a notice from the Gardner Fire Department asking us to remind people that as the weather gets warmer, do remember to be careful with grilles….or where you are depositing your cigarettes…. We had 4 different fires this past week, 2 of which happened because there were grilles on 2nd or 3rd floor portions that were enclosed, That is actually illegal here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In both of those instances, the grille started a fire on the porch, and in one case causing upwards of $20,000 in damage to the building. Two other locations, we had a mulch fire in which an individual threw a cigarette into some mulch over at Old English Village….or another one left a cigarette on a railing near a building and that caused a fire as well.” Here are some Grille Safety tips from the State of MA. CLICK HERE.

    Thanked Nurses: Mayor Nicholson thanked nurses at Heywood Hospital and noted that this week was Nurses Appreciation Week. “We really do owe our nurses a great deal of thanks.” The Mayor also congratulated various other individuals. Here is some more information on Nurse’s Week from Nursing World. CLICK HERE.

    Art Shows: “Gardner High School and Middle School joined together this past week to host an Art Show for our students, just like we had the Gardner Elementary School Art Show that took place this past Thursday.” At the Gardner MA School Committee Meeting of 5-9-22, several members commented on students and the Art Show. View article.

  • Oil – Gas Prices
    oil gas hit roof ma

    Oil and Gas in Gardner MA Hit All Time Highs

    Fuel Oil and Gas prices have hit the roof. A site reportedly showing the cheapest fuel oil prices in Massachusetts shows a price of $5.49 per gallon, which is only 30 cents lower than being charged by local oil companies in Gardner MA. One year ago the price was around $2.50. See current prices. Gas prices are running close to or over $4.50 per gallon throughout the area.  One year ago, the price was around $3 per gallon, Two years ago, the price was around $2 per gallon. Massachusetts is less expensive than California, where prices are approaching $7.00 per gallon. See current local area gas prices on the Gas Buddy Map. .

  • School Committee 05-09-22

    Watch the meeting on the City of Gardner’s Youtube page or on our School Committee page. CLICK HERE.

    Great Students Focus of Hour-long Gardner MA School Committee Meeting on May 9, 2022

    During the meeting, a number of students from the Elm Street Student Council were recognized by Superintendent Mark Pellegrino. There’s was even a quick recess for a photo op with the students.

    Various reports were heard including from Robert Swartz of the Facilities Subcommittee: “Work on high school athletic fields continues, vendor is working very hard trying to bring them back to life again.  I’m getting reports that they’re looking better and better.” Mayor Nicholson noted that the painting in the Landry auditorium began on 5-9-22, hope is it will be done in time for concert next week. John Lafrieniere reported from the Finance Subcommittee,”We discussed student/staff meal pricing.   Will wait for more info to vote on possible price increase at June meeting.” Superintendent Pellegrino spoke about his goals including District improvement, increasing school and family partnerships, and creating a culture of dignity in the schools.

    School Committee Member Comments

    anne hurst

    Anne Hurst during meeting stated, “As a disability advocate for more than 30 years, these are the types of things with special education and inclusion of students, the social-emotional learning, has been stuff than I and many other parents have been advocating for many, many years, and I am thrilled to see this coming to fruition, finally, and everybody has really done a lot of work to make this happen.  And I just think people ;need to know the history too, that this has been a long time coming.  … There are a lot of districts who don’t have anything like this.  We are lucky to have the dedicated people that we have.”

    Anne Hurst in comments stated “ I just want to congratulate the guidance counselors and all the students who were here tonight.  It is just, it makes me feel so good to see kids being involved in taking initiative, and you know, they’re gonna be our future leaders, and that’s, it’s very impressive what’s been going on.  I also did want to mention that May is Mental Health Month, you know, don’t ever think that it can’t happen to you or someone you know…people kinda suffer in silence.  I lost my brother about 7  years ago now to suicide, and don’t be one of those people who says, I never saw it coming, ‘cause there’s things you can do, there’s resources out there, and people are not going to reach out to you. Thank  you.”

    ward leighton

    Shannon Ward Leighton stated “Echoing the same thing.  Just really happy to see all the positive things that are happening and I did want to mention: last week the Gardner Elementary School PTO put on at Art Show and it was huge, it was busy for the full 3 hours that I was there, and I know that there was a lot of funds raised to kind of pad the account next year, so when we open the new Elementary School, we have some resources available to do fun events for the kids, and just a big shout out to Missy Torez and Kelley Perkins, who it was kinda like, their baby to put this together and it was really cool. It was very cool, there was a lot of good raffle baskets.  There were bikes and a lot of parents donated a lot of money for their kids artwork which is very cool.  And the photo booth was a really big hit… “

    Jennifer Pelavin” I also want to thank the Elm Street School student council.  My daughter was a part of it, so obviously I know what little projects they did.  It was amazing how much they got to do.  I think they met for like an hour, maybe, I think it was every other week, and it was amazing what they accomplished in that short time period.  And also I did attend the art gallery last week and it was amazing to see how many parents, were there, I mean, it was packed.  For the people walking around purchasing the art, and I think it was a great idea and hopefully we can do it, hopefully yearly, would be nice, because I think it’s something that you know it’s neat for the kids to go and see somebody pay for something they created too.  It really gave them a sense of worth that way, so, that is all, thank you.”

    Robert Swartz

    Robert Swartz “I’m looking forward to… when I’ll be attending the Special Olympics on Watkins Field, I’m looking forward to that.  Special Olympics of May,… well the 26th.  I hope those kids don’t lose their ambition to volunteer.  As they’ll get older, they’ll be interested in other things, but I just hope the momentum keeps going. And it’s great for them to do all that volunteering.  Thanks for Seaman Paper and Garlock Industries for donating $5500 each to Junior/Senior Prom.  We haven’t had a prom for a couple of years, so it’s great to see the train rolling down the track again. That’s all I have.”

    John LaFrieniere, “Just thank the Elm Street School Student Council, that was really nice to see, and motivating I think, you know. To see that young and all they’re doing, is great.  Hopefully it does continue. And I know Rachael didn’t make it here tonight, but just let her know if she’s watching, she’s got some homework….a stack of things to sign.

    Mayor Nicholson

    Mayor Nicholson, “On my end I also want to thank the Elm Street School Student Council for coming tonight.  It was great to have that pizza lunch with them the other day too.  They went through a list of 22 questions that they have previously prepared beforehand, and they were very thoughtful in those questions too, I’ll say that.  It’s nice to see them getting involved.

    Just to give people an update as they are planning their commutes to and from school.: We did have to adjust our paving schedule to a more condensed season this year due to gas prices and our contract expiring at the end of June, which would cause the prices to go up further.  For us, we were locked in at a lower rate, but where that ends at the end of the fiscal year, ….work on Pearl Street will be completed by May 19th, Central Street, West Lynde, West and Monadnock will have work done between May23rd and May31st. Parker Street, West, and Monadnock will be paved on June 1st. And Woodlawn Avenue will have work done between June 13th and June 17th, so that’s a lot more condensed than we normally have our paving season. Our price of asphalt is going up 40% on July 1st.

    Nicholson continued, “Congratulations to all of our alum who are graduating from college over the next couple of weeks here…You can come home to Gardner after you graduate college, we have a lot waiting for you here. I want to thank the 30 to 40 volunteers from Gardner High School who helped in the citywide litter cleanup this past weekend. It was great to see so many of our students out, not only just around the schools but also on Rear Main Street and several other places around the City. it was really nice to see the younger generation of our city to be getting involved like that and having that be the example of other people to follow in the community.”

    Nicholson continued, “I did go to Boston today for the governor’s new Forward Bill…In the 3.5 billion dollars in ARPA funding…. there’s also increased funding for innovative pathways and early college programs that we’ll be looking at. I also plan to put up the money for the Snack Shack bathrooms, or at least a substantial portion at the June City Council meeting. And the City Budget will also be presented for that first June meeting as well.”

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  • Mural at Rotary

    From a grid of letters and symbols, sprouts a beautiful Mural in Gardner MA

    On April 29, 2022 Mayor Nicholson posted this on Facebook, “If you were driving by the rotary behind Hannaford today you may have seen Christopher Luke starting on his new mural as part of our new art initiative. While I believe the artist should be the one to reveal what they’re working on, I can tell you it’s going to look great and is a tribute to our old chair manufacturing past. (The letters and symbols are his version of grid painting to help correlate the wall to the preliminary sketch)”   Now, here is what this beautiful mural looks like today.

    Mural at underpass Gardner MA
  • Pot Farm

    Planning Board page on the City of Gardner website, CLICK HERE.

    Pot at Public Podium in Gardner MA on May 24, 2022Proposed location in Summit Industrial Park

    According to a Notice of Public Hearing published on May 10, 2022, the City of Gardner Planning Board will hold a Public Hearing and Public Informational Meeting on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 7pm to consider the Special Permit and and Site Plan Review Application by Jolly Green Inc. for a marijuana cultivation facility proposed at 246 Suffolk Lane in the Gardner MA Summit Industrial Park.

    Jolly Green Inc., was incorporated on April 30, 2018 and is owned by Kyle Higgins of Winchendon.

    Vacant land at Summit Industrial Park

    Summit Industrial Park

    Summit Industrial Park Gardner MA sign
    Summit Industrial Park stone sign

    The Summit Industrial Park located on Suffolk Lane, Gardner MA.

    Located at the Summit Industrial Park is Vivitide, a leading partner for high quality peptides manufacturing – Website, ACT – Advanced Cable Ties Inc, leading cable tie manufacturer – Website, F.E. Inc., a machine workshop, Website, Woods Equipment Company,Web info, gshiis Intelligent Integrated Systems, Website, Blessington Corporation– specializing in lab furniture, Website, Higgins Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning, HVAC contractor, Terratherm Cascade, thermal remediation of soil, rock and groundwater, Website, and Segger, development and production solutions for the embedded market. Website.

    The #10 spot on the sign may be occupied soon by Jolly Green Inc.

    ACT Successful in Gardner MA

    advanced cable ties gardner ma
    American Flag flies at Advanced Cable Ties Inc. Gardner MA

    As one of Gardner’s successful companies, Advanced Cable Ties Inc. is located at the Summit Industrial Park.

    According to their website. “We manufacture our cable ties to be superior in strength, far exceeding the required tensile strengths used in industry standards, such as Type 21S. Using high quality raw materials which are always inspected by Advanced Cable Ties (ACT) to insure they meet our standards, we proudly make our cable ties in the USA.

    Advanced Cable Ties provides the convenience of having all the cable ties and cable tie accessories any homeowner or tradesperson will ever need.”

  • Cupcake Fundraiser
    Cupcake Wars Orange MA

    Bakers to Battle for a good cause in Orange MA

    Cupcake Wars is slated to take place Sunday, May 22, 2022 at the Orange American Legion. The event benefits the Mahar After Prom Party which is run to keep students safe.  Professional and amateur bakers can compete. And the public enjoys cupcakes!  For the complete article click here:

  • Police update 5-8-22
    Gardner MA Police Headquarters

    Deputy Police Chief Trifiro retires, Chief Braks Fate still up in the air in Gardner MA

    Interviewed by host Steve Wendell on WGAW’s Hotline Radio (airs Saturdays noon to 2pm on AM 1340 and 98.1 FM) Mayor Michael Nicholson stated, ” As we do move forward here, there are still some processes that are currently being done.” 

    “However, I can tell you that our Deputy Chief Jim Trifiro has decided to retire from his time here at the Gardner Police Department after 27 years of service.  He just felt it was time to move on.  With everything that was going on.  There was communication that happened that led up to this, he just decided to step back and retire there.  So I do wish him well on his retirement and his endeavors there, and everything else is still continuing as we move forward, and we’ll let the public know as things progress even further.”

    Host Steven Wendell asked if there will be a Commission set up to actually study the situation? The Mayor responded, “It is being studied now as we speak.  We will review the best way to move forward as things continue.  We’re working constantly with the City’s law department and Human Resources Department as well as keeping all the stakeholders involved in this abreast of different conversations that we’ve had here.” Wendell asked, “Now what happens if the city offers Chief Braks an opportunity to come back. Is that a possibility? Nicholson responded: “Yes, it is.  There’s always a possibility.” Wendell asked, “We should hear something when?” The Mayor responded, “I believe by next week.”

    Gardner’s Hit Radio Show

    Readers please take note: WGAW is a local radio station licensed to Gardner MA since 1946. Hotline Radio airs every week on the station on Saturdays from noon to 2pm and features a number of local guests from around the area. Radio station website: CLICK HERE. Listen on AM 1340, 98.1 FM or through the live stream on the station’s website. To listen to the station live right now, CLICK HERE

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  • Keep Gardner Beautiful
    Keep Gardner Beautiful gardner mA

    Keep Gardner MA Beautiful Successful Event

    Regarding the Keep Gardner Beautiful effort held Saturday 5-7-22 Mayor Nicholson was quoted on WGAW’s Hotline Radio program as saying, “We had a ton of individuals out today just helping Keep Gardner Beautiful as their organization’s name says.  It is our annual Nip Hunt and Litter Cleanup Day.”

    Mayor Nicholson continued. “There’s several dozen people out in the community right now…it’s really a great event.”   “More  hands make for lighter work, we’ve got plenty of  hands out there, but there’s still quite a  heavy lift.”

    City Council President Liz Kazinskas stated, ““It was nice to be able to go give out the kits to volunteers and speak with Dianne Leblanc, this morning, and her husband, she really does such a fantastic job with the Keep Gardner Beautiful initiative, and the City-wide cleanup is such a wonderful event to get so many people involved…I think it’s wonderful to help take some pride in the community.  Councilor Judy Mack was there as well as the Mayor of the City, many different groups, there was some students from Gardner High School as well, there was a Boy Scout Troop that was going to be doing Jackson Playground.  I think it’s such a wonderful thing.”

    Kazinskas also had praise for James Kraskouskas of Anthony’s Liquor Mart who is providing financial support for the Nip Hunt part of the event.    Money raised will be used to help an organization involved in rescuing hundreds of orphans from the Ukraine War situation.

    Event organizer Dianne Leblanc stated, “We’re looking forward to getting more and more volunteers every time we come out here…any litter we take off our streets is always a good thing.”  

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  • Covid Trends
    Covid Trends 5-7-22

    Covid Cases Up, Covid Deaths Down

    In a sign that America is learning to better deal with the Covid virus, National death trends are down while overall cases rise. And 82.6% of people 5+ nationally have received at least 1 dose of a Covid vaccine. Currently in the state of MA, the overall positively rate is just under 7%, average age of death is 79, and the incidence rate in Gardner MA is 18.7 per 100,000 people for the past 2 weeks.

  • Mayor’s Update 5-6-22
    Nicholson 5-6-22

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

    With the City Seal behind him, Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson updated the Chair City on May 6, 2022.

    Mayor Nicholson spoke about a commitment to Children’s mental health in the Gardner School system.  The mayor went over paving updates and sidewalk updates.  Heywood Hospital and the UMass Memorial System have entered into a letter of intent to explore aligning in the future.  However, he stated, “Heywood Hospital is still the same-old Heywood Hospital.”  The Mayor did not mention the Gardner Police Department in his update.

  • Town Election Results
    Results, meetings, 2022 Greater Gardner MA

    This time of year, many communities in the Greater Gardner MA area have town meetings and elections. We have compiled pdfs of warrants and results when available and posted them at right.

    Some Election Results In, Some Meetings Coming Up in Greater Gardner MA

    Ashburnham 4-26-22 Election Results: CLICK HERE.Ashby 4-25-22 Election Results: CLICK HERE.Athol Election Information: CLICK HEREHardwick 4-11-22 Election Results: CLICK HEREHubbardston election is coming up 6-14-22 CLICK HERE – Phillipston Annual Town Meeting 5-4-22 Warrant CLICK HERE Princeton Annual Town Meeting 5-14-22 Warrant CLICK HERERoyalston 4-4-22 Election Results CLICK HERERutland Town Meeting 5-7-22 Warrant CLICK HERE (Rutland town election is 5-9-22) – Templeton Annual Town Meeting 5-11-22 Warrant CLICK HERE – Templeton Voter’s Guide, CLICK HEREWestminster Special and Annual Town Meetings 5-7-22 Special Warrant, CLICK HERE, Annual Warrant, CLICK HERE Westminster 4-26-22 Town Election results, CLICK HERE. Winchendon 5-16-22 Special and Annual Town Meetings Special and Annual Warrant, CLICK HERE Winchendon Proposed Zoning Bylaw Provisions, CLICK HERE.

  • Mother’s Day
    Mother's Day Gardner MA

    Greater Gardner MA Celebrates Mother’s Day Sunday May 8, 2022

    Traditionally the 2nd Sunday in May, Mother’s Day has been a fixture in American society for over 100 years. More on the holiday. Mother’s Day is celebrated throughout the world.

    Thank you to our mothers who brought us into this world. Please remember your Mom on Mother’s Day.

    Whether you send flowers or chocolates, call your Mom who lives far away, or enjoy a Mother’s Day meal, think of your Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Gardner Brand
    The Gardner MA Brand Collage
    The Gardner Brand Audio Introduction

    Gardner Magazine launches Gardner MA Branding Initiative

    We’re asking for input from the greatest minds of Gardner MA for details on Vision, Successful Projects, Successful Startups, Active Development, Infrastructure Improvements, Government Transparency, Sound Fiscal Management, Cooperative Relationships, Community Amenities, Quality Education, Quality Health Care, and Resident Pride. Visit the page in progress, CLICK HERE

    The Plan is to also create Written Content espousing Gardner’s assets, Companion Audio, and High Definition video emphasizing the Gardner Brand and Gardner as a great place to Live, Work, Play, and Visit. Gardner MA is a quality brand. Thinking of coming to Gardner? Good Choice.

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

Greater Gardner MA News Extras

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

    Gardner MA Population Statistics

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

  • Visit Gardner

    Visit Downtown Gardner Video Released

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

  • Shop Local

    Save GAS, Shop LOCAL

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

  • Open Business in Gardner

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

    Gardner MA welcomes new businesses.
    Business Startup
    Business
    Business Words

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

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

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

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

  • Expanded News

    Gardner Magazine news pages are generally updated twice per day and contain about 10 news stories per page. Let us know how we are doing. Contact Us.

    Announcing Expanded NEWS Coverage

    Added News pages include: About the U.S.: Breaking, FDA, Top Showbiz Stories, Top U.S. Stories, U.S. Economy News, U.S. News Alternate Sources: CNN, Fox, BBC. Countries of Interest: Australia, Canada, China, European Union, Mexico. Health: Health, Cancer, CDC, Climate, Covid. Neighboring States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York. Politicians and Politics: Bernie Sanders, Capitol Hill, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, U.S. Politics. Topics: Aliens, Money, Science, Travel, UFOs.

    All News pages are listed under the tab LOCAL-STATE-U.S.-WORLD NEWS

In-Depth Massachusetts News Stories

Massachusetts – NECN The latest news from around the state

  • Police Warn of Man Disabling Young Women's Vehicles in Mass.
    by Mike Pescaro on May 28, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    Police in multiple Massachusetts communities are warning the public that a man has been disabling young women’s vehicles and offering them rides home. The Milford Police Department said in a Facebook post Saturday that a man in his late 30s has been flattening tires in the area and filling gas tanks with water. He is reported to be driving a blue Chevrolet Impala with Massachusetts plates. “If your vehicle has a flat tire DO NOT try and start it,” the department wrote. “Call Milford Police at 508-473-1113.” Police departments in Franklin, Bellingham and Holliston also put out warnings. “Over the past week there have been local reports of an individual seeking to disable cars being operated by young females. In these situations, the individual may let air from a tire or add a gas tank contaminant, then approach the female to offer help in the form of a battery pack, air compressor or a ride,” police in Holliston said. “As in all situations, be aware that individuals offering help may have in fact been involved in orchestrating the situation. If your car becomes disabled, wait in a safe place for a friend, family member, or AAA to respond.” “The individual currently being investigated into this matter was spotted in town yesterday afternoon,” Franklin Police said. “If your vehicle is tampered with or breaks down shortly after starting, give us a call.” “Bellingham Police are also investigating an incident involving this individual,” that department said in a Facebook post. “It is suspected that he tampered with a vehicle in the Charles River Center then approached the female owner when she found her vehicle was disabled.” Bellingham Police warned the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity, recommending parking in well-lit areas and not to walk to vehicles alone if possible. Police in Holliston also tagged the Medway Police Department in their Facebook post, but that page had not posted about the investigation as of Saturday afternoon. More Massachusetts news COVID-19 3 hours ago Mass. Announces Major Changes to COVID Testing, Quarantine Protocols in Schools Fatal Shooting 8 hours ago Man Dead in Overnight Shooting in Lynn, Mass.

  • Mass. Announces Major Changes to COVID Testing, Quarantine Protocols in Schools
    by Mike Pescaro on May 28, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    Massachusetts will end its state-run school COVID-19 testing program after this school year, state officials announced, with other educational testing and isolation policy changes being put into effect this week. Beginning in the fall of 2022, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says the state will stop supplying self-tests “or other COVID testing services” to schools. “The end of the 2021-22 school year will mark the end of the state-run, state-coordinated K-12 testing program, although districts and schools will have access to state-provided self-tests to conduct symptomatic testing themselves during summer school,” DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley said in a memo to school officials Tuesday. For the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year, “self-tests may now also be made available for the school community more widely,” the memo said, adding that they may be provided before in-person, school-sponsored events like proms and graduations. For summer programs, “staffing, software, and all other services currently provided through CIC health will no longer be available through the state-run program,” meaning school districts will need to provide staffing for in-school symptomatic testing, DESE said in the memo. Next school year, when the state stops providing self-tests, “DESE and [the Department of Public Health] strongly recommend that schools and districts interested in implementing their own testing program limit that program to symptomatic rapid testing only,” according to the memo. “Schools and districts may purchase self-tests through the statewide contract.” Additionally, the Department of Public Health has announced that effective May 25, children exposed to COVID-19 who are not experiencing symptoms are no longer required to quarantine from K-12, child care or recreational camp settings. Testing is also no longer required. “Children who are identified as close contacts may continue to attend programming as long as they remain asymptomatic,” the department said in updated guidance on the state website. “Those who can mask should do so until Day 10. A test on Days 2 and 5 is recommended, but not required.” The new policy does not outline any difference in protocols between vaccinated and unvaccinated children in these settings, a distinction that remains in effect in the state’s isolation and quarantine guidance for the general public. Children must isolate at least five days if they test positive, the state said. If they are able to mask, they may return after five days if they are asymptomatic or if their symptoms have improved and they have been fever-free for 24 hours. “If the child is unable to mask, they must have a negative test on Day 5 or later in order to return to programming prior to day 11,” the state’s guidance reads. If children have symptoms but test negative for COVID-19 onsite, they can stay at school or in their programs. “Best practice would also include wearing a mask, if possible, until symptoms are fully resolved,” the state added. If a symptomatic child cannot be tested immediately, “they should be sent home and allowed to return to their program or school if they test negative, or they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their symptoms have resolved, or if a medical professional makes an alternative diagnosis,” the state said in its guidance. ”A negative test is strongly recommended for return if the latter two conditions are met.” Additionally, the state says rapid antigen tests are preferred to PCR tests in educational settings “in most situations for the purposes of exiting isolation or quarantine.” The state notes that staff should continue to follow protocols of DESE or the Department of Early Education and Care, depending where they work. More on the COVID-19 pandemic COVID-19 May 26 New COVID Cases in Mass. Schools Down Over Last Week After Rising for Months COVID Q&A May 27 Can You Get COVID Twice in One Month? Here's What Boston Doctors Say This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

  • Boston Calling Resumes After Pause Over Severe Weather
    on May 28, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    After people attending Day 2 of Boston Calling were told to seek shelter due to severe weather, the music festival is back on. Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued in parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut Saturday afternoon, but have since expired. Click here to see the latest weather alerts. “For your safety, everyone onsite should calmly proceed to the main entrance to seek shelter in Harvard Square or other locations,” Boston Calling said in a tweeted statement. “Fans who exit the festival grounds will be permitted to re-enter.” The festival said in a later new tweet that it would reopen at 5:30, with music resuming at 6 p.m. This weekend’s festival comes after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Strokes, who were scheduled to perform Saturday, had to cancel due to a positive COVID-19 case. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard also had to cancel their performance because of a COVID case in the band, Boston Calling said in its tweet announcing the resumption of the festival. This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

  • Man Dead in Overnight Shooting in Lynn, Mass.
    by Evan Ringle on May 28, 2022 at 12:02 pm

    A man is dead after a shooting late Friday in Lynn, Massachusetts, authorities said Saturday. The shooting, on Western Avenue near Anoka Place, was reported about 11 p.m., according to Massachusetts State Police. The slain person was found in a lot behind a building. The shooting is currently under investigation in conjunction with Massachusetts State Police, Lynn police said. Officials didn’t immediately release any information on what took place in the shooting or give the name of the man killed. He was 32, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office. The killing does not appear to be random, prosecutors said, adding that there is no danger to the general public. No arrests have been made.

  • Early Morning Fire in Gloucester Displaces 3 Families
    by Evan Ringle on May 28, 2022 at 11:46 am

    A building in Gloucester, Massachusetts, that three different families called home caught fire early Saturday, authorities said. Firefighters arrived at the three-story building on Western Avenue near Burke Playground at about 1:50 a.m. and found the second and third floors engulfed in flames, according to the Gloucester Fire Department. The residents of the building already safely evacuated. After initially entering the building to extinguish the fire from the inside, firefighters were forced by the severity of the flames to evacuate and fight the fire from the outside, officials said. The fire became so severe that 20 off-duty Gloucester firefighters were called to help. With the additional help, the fire was under control by 4 a.m., according to the fire department While there were no injuries, at least eight people are now displaced according to authorities, firefighters said. As for the condition of the 102-year-old home, the building received extensive structural damage, officials said. The siding of the home next to the building also caught fire during the blaze but was extinguished by firefighters soon enough to prevent the fire’s spread. The cause of the fire was still unknown and under investigated, firefighters said.

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