The Common Thread The Common Thread A publication of the North Quabbin Community Coalition Page 1 May 2015 ~ Volume 31, Issue 10 Heather’s Highlights Dear Readers, Next Coalition Forum: May 15, 2015 9-10:30 am Responding to the Opioid Crisis in Our Community Athol-Orange Elks Club 92 New Athol Road Orange, MA (Driving directions at www.nqcc.org) ~ 978-249-3703 [email protected] 251 Exchange Street Athol, MA 01331 “LESS SCREEN TIME, MORE GREEN TIME!” This catchy quote seemed to really sum up the presentation by Dave Small of The Athol Bird and Nature Club at this month’s forum. Dave gave a dynamic presentation about the activities of the club, as well as a whole-hearted plug to what hands-on experiences with nature can do for the development of children. He mentioned all that the Miller’s River Environmental Center has to offer and a new partnership with North Quabbin Rehabilitation and Education using the site as well. The club is known nationally for their unique work, and has connections to some of the most recognized experts on nature. Once again proving North Quabbin to be a place of pioneers and innovators! NQCC is a proud member of the Bird and Nature Club, and suggests you think about supporting their work as well! Thank you for all that you do, Heather Bialecki-Canning Executive Director Next newsletter submission deadline is May 20! Email details to [email protected] Above: NQCC canoe paddlers Priscilla Reinertsen and Cheyenne Voudren placed 3rd in the Annual River Rat Race this year! Right: NQCC Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force & Project Purple march in the parade. Page 2 The Common Thread Opening of Alyssa’s Place: Peer Recovery and Resource Center Addiction support for those in recovery and for families Alyssa’s Place: Peer Recovery and Resource Center opened April 19 to provide community peer recovery support to those recovering from addictions and provide resources and support to families. The A.E.D. Foundation will operate this community peer recovery and resource center that will provide assistance to people seeking help for substance use issues, people in peer recovery, and people affected by the substance use of a friend or loved one. For people in early recovery and their loved ones, the resources available post treatments are minimal. A facility that would serve to educate the community, provide safe and substance free social and recreational opportunities without fear of stigma or judgment, and social assistance via connectivity to new and existing services to these people will fill a huge void in the substance use treatment continuum. Like us on Facebook for regular updates on NQCC happenings In spite of the well documented elevated rate of substance use and abuse, the North Central Massachusetts has a disjointed, patchwork system of services available to area residents. Alyssa’s Place will meet a need in our communities for individuals and their loved ones to have the opportunity to seek guidance and assistance from compassionate peers who have had personal experience with treatment, recovery, and loved ones who are/were afflicted with substance use disorders. Some activities scheduled will include movie nights, karaoke, resume and job skills assistance, yoga, health and wellness, narcan training, clothing exchange, and resources. Alyssa’s Place is currently located at GAAMHA, 208 Coleman Street Extension, Gardner, MA, until a permanent home is found. Initially it will be open three days a week. Contact Michelle Dunn, A.E.D. Foundation, Inc., for more information at 978-314-7889 or [email protected] www.aedfoundationinc.org. The Common Thread Page 3 Visit www.nqcc.org/events.html often for our comprehensive Calendar of Events!! Page 4 The Common Thread The Common Thread Page 5 Page 6 Join the Free TD Bank Affinity Membership Program Help raise money for the NQCC by opening an account at TD Bank, or, if you already have an account with them, letting them know you want to join. TD Bank will make an annual contribution to NQCC based on the average balance in all NQCC members’ accounts. Eligible accounts include: Checking Money Market Savings Certificate of Deposit IRA Your accounts are not affected in any way by this contribution. For more info, visit www.nqcc.org. The Common Thread Wildlife Rehabilitation and You Have you ever found an injured wild animal and wondered what to do about it? Join Sarah, President of North Quabbin Wildlife, in a presentation on wildlife rehabilitation. Sarah will address this question, talk about her newly formed organization, and tell stories about the animals she’s worked with on May 13 at 7:00 pm at the Millers River Environmental Center, 100 Main Street, Athol. Wildlife rehabilitators offer more than just emergency services to wild animals. Find out what other tricks they have up their sleeves, and how they benefit you and your community. Call Sarah at 978-407-4289 or [email protected] to schedule events and educational workshops, or for information on wildlife rehabilitation. They are also starting to collect donated items to prepare their clinic to start caring for wildlife. Here is a preliminary list of the types of items they are looking for. Please share this list if you can: Pet carriers, aquariums, animal cages, terrariums/reptariums, pet food dishes, dog igloos, aquarium thermometers, fish nets, hav-a-heart traps, storage totes with lids, Tupperware containers, drawer organizers, clip boards, large binder clips, dry erase marker boards, medical supplies, stuffed animals, pack and play, receiving blankets, baby bottles, plastic eye droppers, thermometers, fleece, sweatshirts, pillowcases, sheets, heavy leather gloves, welding gloves, buckets, fans, hip waders, microscope and chain link fencing. Second hand is acceptable! Lucky Dog Raffle—Win $1,500!! Adams Animal Hospital is running a raffle to purchase play equipment for the North Quabbin Dog Park in Orange. Tickets are $5.00 per chance with prizes of $1,500, $500, and $250 cash. Tickets can be purchased at the following locations: Grrr Gear, House of Paws Pet Salon, Millers River Café, Herrick's Tavern, New Salem General Store, Mt. Tully Kennels and Adams Animal Hospital. The winning ticket will be drawn when all 2,500 tickets are sold. The North Quabbin Dog Park is located at the Orange Municipal Airport, 80 Airport Street, Orange. It is open sunrise to sunset seven days per week. Visit northquabbindogpark.webs.com/ or www.facebook.com/FriendsOfNQDP for more information. The Common Thread Page 7 Barbara Corey Award Nominations Sought The 18th Annual Barbara Corey Award will be presented at the NQCC’s annual luncheon to be held on June 19, 2015. We are asking for nominations for this important award. The award is named for Barbara Corey, the first coordinator of the Coalition from 1984 until her retirement in 1997. Barbara embodies the spirit of the Coalition because of her passion, her values, her commitment to humanity and her love of the North Quabbin region. The award is presented to someone in the North Quabbin Community who has gone above and beyond in their commitment to improving the quality of life for those living and working in the region. To nominate someone, send us your name and contact information and their name and a description of why you nominate them to: [email protected] (please put Barbara Corey Nomination in the Subject line), or NQCC B. Corey Award, 251 Exchange Street, Athol, MA 01331, or fax to 978-575-0474 (deadline is May 5.) Visit www.nqcc.org/pdfs/corey.pdf for an online form. The award will be given at the NQCC Annual Luncheon. My Life, My Health Free Workshop My Life, My Health (Chronic Disease Self-Management) is a free six-session education program developed by Stanford University. Adults experiencing chronic health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, stroke and lung disease, as well as family members, friends and caregivers may attend. My Life, My Health gives people the tools, skills, confidence and motivation needed to manage the challenges of living well with a chronic condition. The next free workshop series takes place on Tuesdays at the Valley Medical Group, Greenfield Health Center, 329 Conway Street, Greenfield, May 5 through June 9 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Adults of all ages, family members and/or caregivers are all welcome! Preregister by May 1 by contacting Lesley Kayan, Healthy Living Program Coordinator, at 413.773.5555 x 2297 or [email protected] Page 8 Court Service Center and Probate & Family Court Assistance Available The Court Service Center (CSC) and Probate & Family Court will be available at the Orange District Court, One Court Square, Orange, on May 20 and June 17 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. The CSC provides legal information, not advice, in the following areas: Probate and Family Court: Divorce and custody-supportvisitation; child support and child support modification s (litigants whom have experienced a substantial change in circumstances should come in for assistance with this as child support cannot be modified going back); guardianship of a minor; grandparent visitation; and contempt. Housing Court: General information; community resources; transfers to housing court, and motions/answers. District Court: Section 35. The Common Thread De-Normalizing Tobacco Use by Youth By Tina Grosowsky, Project Coordinator Central MA Tobacco Free Community Partnership A recent study by the Institute of Medicine looks at the public health implications of raising the minimum legal age to purchase tobacco products. Experts at the IOM concluded that increasing the minimum legal access age from 18 to 21 will have a positive impact on reducing youth initiation of tobacco use; particularly in adolescents aged 15 to 17. If the minimum legal age was raised to 21 now, by the time today’s teenagers are adults, we would see a 12% decrease in smoking rates. Many municipalities in Worcester County have worked tirelessly to adopt a variety of policies—like eliminating the sale of single cheap cigars, limiting the number of new tobacco sellers and removing flavored tobacco from stores that minors frequent—that, when taken together, can have real impact on youth tobacco use. It’s encouraging to have another evidence-based strategy to employ. Most of the policies cities and towns use to prevent youth tobacco use are aimed at reducing the tobacco industry’s influence. Without local regulation, the tobacco companies target young people with products that are cheap, sweet, and easy to get. While raising the minimum sales age to 21 helps reduce youth access, it alone does not eliminate the sales to minors or impact other access channels. For this reason, the strategy of raising the minimum sale age to 21 is just one of several key strategies to be used by municipalities to reduce youth smoking. Spotlight Award The goal of the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program is to de-normalize tobacco use by youth. We know how to achieve a tobacco-free generation and, with coordinated actions and investments, we can get there. April's NQCC's Spotlight Award went to the North Quabbin Food-A-Thon Committee for their tireless work over the years raising money and collecting food for area food pantries. This year's Food-A-Thon will take place on May 19. To nominate someone, email [email protected] with Spotlight Award in the Subject line. The Common Thread Page 9 Dual Recovery Program Now Offered in Orange Dual Recovery Anonymous, a 12-step program for people who have a mental health diagnosis and an addiction, is now offered in Orange. There is a group discussion and time for everyone to talk. The program is located at the Quabbin House, 25 West Main Street, in Orange. The meetings are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 to 7 :00 pm. Contact the Quabbin House for more information at 978-544-1859. Athol-Royalston School Depar tment Considering School Nurse Narcan Training Peter Buck from the Athol Police Department and Sue Christensen from the Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative met with the Policy Subcommittee of the Athol-Royalston School Department regarding the importance of school nurses being trained in Narcan use and having it accessible at the schools. The full committee is expected to vote on the issue. The Common Thread Page 10 Court Service Center and Probate & Family Court Assistance Available The Court Service Center (CSC) and Probate & Family Court will be available at the Orange District Court, One Court Square, Orange, on May 20 and June 17 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. The CSC provides legal information, not advice, in the following areas: Probate and Family Court: Divorce and custody-supportvisitation; child support and child support modification s (litigants whom have experienced a substantial change in circumstances should come in for assistance with this as child support cannot be modified going back); guardianship of a minor; grandparent visitation; and contempt. Housing Court: General information; community resources; transfers to housing court, and motions/answers. District Court: Section 35. Changes to Community Action’s Youth Programs WIA Enrollment Community Action Youth programs would like to inform community partners and other youth serving agencies of the recent changes in federal law that impacts the Workforce Investment Act (WIA ). The Workforce Innovations and Opportunities Act (WIOA ) will be enacted on July 1, 2015, eliminating the WIA program. The change in the law will have a significant impact on enrollment of youth and young adults in the program. Key changes include: WIOA requires that 75% of youth that are enrolled in the program are out of school youth. WIOA eliminates the income eligibility guidelines for out of school youth 18 to 24 that have a barrier which includes youth that are pregnant/parenting, disabled, juvenile/adult law enforcement involvement, homeless, DCF involved, and DYS involved. Youth Programs will not be enrolling any in school youth in the 2015 calendar year, having reached the maximum number of in school youth that we can serve. We are very aware of the loss of accessibility of the WIOA program for in school youth who need support to graduate from high school. We are committed to fostering and supporting relationships with young people who are at risk of drop-out and offering opportunities through programming provided by Youth Programs staff to receive short term support. Our goal is to build relationships with in school youth, provide support, and enroll eligible high school graduates into the WIOA program as out of school youth upon graduation. Youth Programs values the relationships we have built with our school and community based partners and is committed to continuing to provide quality workforce development programming to youth and young adults in our service area. We appreciate your continued support during the transition to the WIOA program and welcome any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this matter. Please contact Jen Hansen, Workforce Development Coordinator at 413-7747028 x796 or [email protected] for information regarding the recent changes or to refer a young person. The Common Thread Page 11 Page 12 MOC Childcare & Head Star t Services MOC Childcare & Head Start Services is taking applications for three and four year old children for the 2015– 2016 school year. These are free services for those who qualify. Please bring birth certificate, proof of income, and immunization records. Call 800-523-6373 for an appointment or come to the Open Recruitment Days (until May 18), Monday through Friday listed below: Mount Wachusett CC Call Lise for an appointment at 978-630-9446 Athol, 12 Riverbend Street 978-249-6735 Gardner, 68 Coleman Street 978-630-2290 Winchendon Memorial School 978-297-9832 MOC Childcare and Head Start also has full day/full year center-based and family childcare options available for eligible families year round. Please call 1-800-523-6373 or 978-630-2209 for more information. The Common Thread Athol Bird & Nature Club All events take place at the Millers River Environmental Center, 100 Main Street, Athol, unless otherwise noted. More information is available at atholbirdclub.org. Accessible Birding with Joe May 12 from 8:00 to 10:00 am. Open to birders of all abilities. Call ahead for wheelchair van access, 978-248-9491. Birding and Habitat Restoration Field Trips May 30 from 8:00 to 11:00 am. Arthur Iversen Conservation Area, Gale Road, Warwick. June 6 from 8:00 to 11:00 am. Fox Valley Conservation Area, 160 Lincoln Road, Phillipston. Visit http://atholbirdclub.org/abncevents for details. Wildlife Rehabilitation and You ABNC Monthly Meeting May 13 at 7:00 pm at the Center. Join Sarah, President of the Quabbin Wildlife, in a presentation on wildlife rehabilitation. Sarah will address this question, talk about her newly formed organization, and tell stories about the animals she’s worked with. Wildlife rehabilitators offer more than just emergency services to wild animals. Find out what other tricks they have up their sleeves, and how they benefit you and your community. You’re Invited! Like local food? Farms and gardens? Healthy communities? Come to the next bi-annual gathering of the Greater Quabbin Food Alliance! Meet new people and make connections with others working to strengthen our regional food system. Ongoing projects include a regional effort to get more local food in cafeterias, jumpstarting more food businesses in our area, establishing a regional gleaning network, and coordinating efforts to protect farmland and help farmers. Bring your ideas! Everyone is welcome; snacks and a locally-made lunch will be provided. Date: Tuesday, June 9th Time: Registration & coffee at 8:30 am. Meeting from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. A tour of Clear View Compost will take place at 1:30 pm. Cost: FREE; donations greatly appreciated. Place: Orange Innovation Center, 131 West Main Street, Orange MA Details & Registration: quabbinfoodalliance.wordpress.com Questions? Call 978-248-2055 x29 or email [email protected] ntgrace.org Director of Community Outreach & Education Sought by NW District Attorney’s Office The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office is seeking candidates for a Director of Community Outreach & Education. The Director of Community Outreach & Education works in collaboration with other NWDA units, community coalitions, schools, law enforcement, area social service providers and state organizations to develop and implement a broad range of outreach programs and trainings to prevent violence and crime and promote health and safety. For a full description and application, visit http://www.northwesternda.org/employment-opportunities. The Common Thread Page 13 State Government Task Force Meetings (for the North Quabbin Region) Governor Charlie Baker 617-725-4005 or 888-870-7770 (in state) Office of the Governor Massachusetts State House, Room 280 Boston, MA 02133 Email: [email protected] Senator Anne Gobi 617-722-1540 Athol, Orange, Petersham, Phillipston, and Warwick Massachusetts State House, Room 410 Boston, MA 02133 Email: [email protected] Senator Stanley Rosenberg 617-722-1532 Erving, New Salem, Royalston, Wendell Massachusetts State House, Room 320 Boston, MA 02133 Email: [email protected] Representative Susannah Whipps Lee 978-895-9606 Athol, Erving, New Salem, Orange, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, Warwick, and Wendell 352 Main Street Athol, MA 01331 Email: [email protected] U.S. Congressman James McGovern 508-831-7356 34 Mechanic Street Worcester, MA 01608 Website: http://mcgovern.house.gov/ U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren 617-565-3170 2400 JFK Federal Building Boston, MA 02203 Website: http://www.warren.senate.gov U.S. Senator Ed Markey 617-565-8519 15 New Sudbury Street Boston, MA 02203 Website: http://www.markey.senate.gov Substance Abuse Prevention: May 5 @ 10-11:30 am NQ System of Care: June 15 @ 10-11:30 am Childrens Health & Wellness: May 26 @ 10:00 am Economic Development: May 27 @ 3:00 pm NQCC Board of Directors Chief Tim Anderson, President - Athol Police Department Brian Gordon, Vice President - Mental Health Representative Marc Ostberg, Treasurer - Hometown Bank Chief R. Dana Cooley, Jr. - Petersham Police Department Glenn Eaton - Montachusett Regional Planning Commission Lynne Feldman - Franklin County Home Care Corp. Frances Graziano - Community Representative Michael Grimmer - Athol Memorial Hospital Lt. Elliot Higgins - Salvation Army Pat Moore - Community Representative Steve Raymond - Athol Selectboard Sharon Tracy - Quabbin Mediation Jeanette Robichaud - Athol Area YMCA Charles Winters - Community Representative Coalition Membership Membership in the Coalition is open to all agencies, religious communities, business and industry, government officials, civic groups and other interested individuals and organizations. The Coalition holds monthly meetings (the third Friday of every month except July & August) on relevant topics, facilitates monthly task forces on critical local issues, publishes a monthly newsletter, provides resource materials, networking services and advocacy efforts on behalf of Coalition issues. The North Quabbin Community Coalition is an affiliate of Valuing Our Children. The Coalition is funded in part by the generous contributions of members and its funders: Massachusetts Department of Public Health; the Department of Children & Families’ Community Connections; F/H REB School to Careers Partnership, Town of Athol—North Quabbin Loan Fund; Clinical & Support Options System of Care, and New England Rural Health Roundtable. North Quabbin Community Coalition 251 Exchange Street Athol MA 01331 www.nqcc.org Mission Statement: The North Quabbin Community Coalition is a community-wide alliance committed to improving the quality of life for all those living and working in the North Quabbin since 1984.
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