Samurai! and Star Wars Day at Worcester Art Museum

Beginning April 18th, the WAM Samurai exhibitDSCN0193opened an exhibit of pieces of Japanese arms, armor and weapons called “Samurai!” The pieces come from the old Higgins Armory collection, and the museum uses these as a jumping off point for showcasing modern interpretations of this ancient tradition in paintings,  DSCN0192drawings, paper sculpture, and a variety of other media from Japanese and American artists. That exhibit runs through September 6th.

Last week, from May 5th through May 9th, artists Andrew Hem, Mari Inukai, and Audrey Kawasaki painted a gigantic Samurai themed mural in the Lancaster Lobby of the museum. Definitely worth seeing! And as if to take the Samurai legend and tradition further, Sunday, May 17th is Star Wars Day. The event runs from 11am-5pm, and is free with Museum admission. Featured will be Jedi Knights and Imperial Stormtroopers as well as the Rebel Legion and 501st. Should be a fun time. The weather looks great for Sunday. If you’re in town, come check it out. For those of you in Northern Worcester County, it’s not a long ride, 40 minutes to an hour. Definitely worth the trip. See you there.

This piece provided by Ken Dyier, more of his work may be found at


Unitil Protest During Antonucci Dedication Ceremony at FSU

A protest of Unitil’s highest-in-the-state rates occurred during the dedication ceremony of the Science Complex at Fitchburg State University today. FSU Science Complex

With Congressman McGovern and Tsongas in attendance as well as the mayors of both twin cities and Representative DiNatale, a six foot banner was displayed linking Dr. Robert Antonucci, President of Fitchburg State University, to his position as chairman of Unitil’s board of directors as well as his membership on Unitil’s audit committee. The most recent rate hike has made Unitil the most expensive electricity distributor in Massachusetts and the hike is popularly viewed as being a means to pay for new gas pipeline infrastructure.



The banner was barely unfurled when at least a dozen campus police and other security were surrounding Aaron Arsenault of Leominster. All contact between the authorities and Mr. Arsenault was polite, cordial, professional and courteous. The protester was escorted onto city property (the sidewalk) and was cited with a verbal no-trespass order to prevent him from trespassing on FSU property in the future.

However the statement intended by holding the protest, although short, was made and the response of security personnel, FSU Campus Police and the Fitchburg Police Department was commendable in regard to professionalism.

Apr2815Messenger 8-page-0

Worcester’s NU Cafe

For those with an adventurous palate that like to get out of north central mass once in awhile to try out some different restaurants, Worcester is a popular choice. One of the best cafe restaurants is the NU Cafe on Chandler St., just a few minutes off 190 (with little traffic).


The atmosphere is hipster and filled with college students and business people. The service is fast, you’re given a buzzer and it’s buzzin’ in no time. No waitstaff.

welcoming and eclectic atmosphere
welcoming and eclectic atmosphere







The food is award winning and according to the staff much of the product used is sourced at local farms. The smoothies are made-to-order with real fruits and vegetables. Nu’s Facebook page attests to the farm-to-table quality of many of its menu items with a post about a partnership with Lettuce Be Local,  a Sterling farm that links mass farmers with mass businesses.

Turkey Bacon Advacado wrap with mango and beet juice smoothie.
Turkey Bacon Avocado wrap with mango and beet juice smoothie.



PACH Outreach Announces USPS Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive May 9th


“If we all work together we can deliver a whole bag full of hope” reads the poster announcing the National Association of Letter Carriers’ annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive which takes place Saturday, May 9th. In Pepperell, simply place your donated food items on your mailbox and the Pepperell Post Office will deliver them to the PACH Outreach food pantry.

Suggested canned items include: tuna fish, soup, vegetables, fruit, spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, ravioli, beans, jam, and peanut butter. Also needed are cereal, pasta, macaroni and cheese, side dishes, jello, and toiletries.


Your generosity is greatly appreciated by the many families in Pepperell who are served by PACH Outreach each month. In March 2015, 74 households received grocery “bags full of hope.” These households comprised 161 individuals of whom 29 were age 65 and over, 45 were children under 18, and 87 were 18-64 years old.

PACH Outreach office hours are Thursday afternoons from 2-4, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5-7 at the Peter Fitzpatrick School, 45 Main Street, Pepperell.


A nice easy local hike that has a lot to offer is at Farandnear on Center Rd. in Shirley just outside Old Shirley Village, a Trustees of Reservations property. The Trustees’ Facebook page just announced the demolishing of the residential structure that stood on the land. A pavilion is planned for completion in September of this year.

A sign in front of where the residence at Farandnear stood displays an image of the structure that will be completed for September 2015.
A sign in front of where the residence at Farandnear stood displays an image of the structure that will be completed for September 2015.








Apr2815Messenger 8-page-0Parts of the park are completely enclosed to keep out deer (good for dogs), there are massive hemlocks well over 200 years old, an old cranberry bog and beaver carvings.

A narrow land-bridge runs thru the bog.
A narrow land-bridge runs thru the bog.


Beavers are very active at Farandnear.
Beavers are very active at Farandnear.














Narrow planks keep the feet and paws dry.
Narrow planks keep the feet and paws dry.


Natural TotemTree Falls

Unitil First Annual Giving Trees Away and Kids Having Fun Day Resounding Success

Unitil held it’s aptly named First Annual Tree Give-Away and Kids Fun Day today, Saturday May 2nd 2015.Several Families attend Unitil's Event
Several families with kids of all ages attended. 

Asplundh held the Unitil banner high and helped ratepayers load trees onto flat-bed trailers, into cars and pick-ups. Trees labeled “replacements” for trees that were ripped from private properties in Fitchburg, Townsend, Ashby and Lunenburg regardless of age or any value the owner may have found in their tree.


Others also dropped by to take advantage of the free sapling give-away Unitil was able to do through a partnership with Arbor Day.

Unitil Most Expensive








There were even freshly made doughnuts on hand from the new favorite doughnut shop Doughnutty’s and everybody loved them.

Matt Arguelles tries a  Doughnutty for the first time.
Matt Arguelles tries a Doughnutty for the first time.






Though not many participants surfaced, as is common with first annual events, there were hundreds cruising John Fitch waving and honking their horns in support.

Honk if you agree.
Honk if you agree.









Maybe Unitil should invest in Tesla batteries and sponsor them on centrally located homes in neighborhoods with ineligible solar generation if it wants to further improve its stock.

Non-Profit Veterans’ Park Robbed!

The Johnny Ro Veterans Memorial Park in Leominster experienced grand theft of 12 6×6 pressure treated wooden poles with a value over $500 sometime last night according to its Facebook page. The stolen items were going to be used to build a barrier to prevent visitors from driving onto the grass at the park.

6x6 pressure treated pole
6×6 pressure treated pole

The page also goes on to state that a police report has been filed and the non-profit’s committee will be looking at implementing further measures to prevent visitors from driving around or climbing on the tank memorial displayed at the park. Fans of the Facebook page have encouraged interested parties to donate to the park’s Pay Pal using the email to help cover the costs of the stolen materials.



Shawarma and Haze in Worcester

We don’t have any middle-eastern or Arab places in north central mass that serve shawarma. You have to go down to central mass to Worcester to get the marinated, slow roasted vertical rotisserie lamb, chicken or beef. Shawarma

Bay State Shawarma & Grille is just about the best place you’re going to find in our region for authentic Arabic food and atmosphere. Family owned and operated, the business began as a bakery and has developed into a popular bakery/eatery/retail shop and soon to be authentic Arab hookah lounge.

Bay State Shawarma Hookah Lounge

Bay State Shawarma
Ambient lighting makes for a comfortable atmosphere.

The food is made-to-order in an open prep area. 

ddmsngradOpen Kitchen

Albert prepares the lamb shawarma after an order is placed.
Albert prepares the lamb shawarma after an order is placed.

The menu is very reasonably priced and with some things that are definitely a little different for the north central mass palette like a spicy garlic sauce and Kibbe and a spicy yogurt salad with garlic and cucumbers. Everything is prepared fresh daily and the food quality is very good.



Delicious desserts
Delicious desserts






















Just around the corner bar/music venue/hookah bar Electric Haze was featuring De La High, a group of local north central mass musicians, with special guest Lizzy Marquis

Electric Haze

Watch a video of the performance here.