WESTFORD — Welcome to the Dec. 18 edition of Weekend Wrap-Up. Here, we highlight the most important news you may have missed this week in Westford.
Former Day School teacher passes away
A longtime Westford Public Schools teacher has passed away.
Dr. Carol Shestok, who taught kindergarten through fifth grade at Day Elementary School passed away peacefully on Dec. 8.
Shestok, whose legacy includes The Living Lab, a program where Day School fourth grade students were granted adoption of Reed Brook for preservation. An outdoor classroom, which was installed by Eagle Scout Derek Lyman, is now used by students to study science in the field.
Shestok retired from her teaching position after 27 years in 2013.
Donations can be made in Shestok’s memory to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
A full obituary can be found online.
WestfordCAT’s Holiday Auction a Big Gift for Youth Programming
To all of you that helped make our 2022 Holiday Auction a success, we thank you! With the help of our generous donors, event sponsors and auction bidders, we raised just over $5,000 to support WestfordCAT youth programs. What a great way to finish off 2022!
If you participated in the auction and were lucky enough to be a winning bidder, please contact us to arrange pick up of the item and payment.
From all of us at the WestfordCAT family, thank you and Happy Holidays!
Westford’s annual Festival of Trees could bring holiday spirit to your home.
A number of trees and wreaths donated by local organizations are up for silent auction. Organizations such as the Westford Girl Scouts, Westford Police Department, First Parish Church United and Westford Historical Society are among those who submitted a donation.
The event is hosted by the Westford Family FunFest at the Westford Regency Inn. Trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses are displayed in the atrium and lobby of the hotel.
A brunch with Santa will be held on Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations can be made at 978-692-8200 ext. 520.
The Festival of Trees concludes on Dec. 31.
Following below normal precipitation in November, the Northeast Region of Massachusetts, which includes Westford, has been downgraded to a significant drought.
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Bethany Card announced the downgrade from a critical drought to a significant drought on Dec. 12. She cited a a lack of rainfall events that caused conditions to regress in the region.
Northeastern Massachusetts joins Cape Cod and the Island’s regions as three regions in a significant drought. The Western, Central and Southeastern regions maintained normal conditions while the Connecticut River Valley Region remains at a mild drought.
Additional Electronic Vote Tabulators, ‘calming kits’ among recent requests approved with ARPA funding
A complete list of funded projects can be found below:
- $50,000 for an additional supplemental appropriation for gasoline and diesel fuel for the town’s fleet of vehicles.
- $8,825 to purchase an additional 300 Electronic Vote Tabulators for Annual Town Meeting. The town currently owns 500 tabulators, but notes a number of registered voters did not receive tabulators at the Oct. 17 Special Town Meeting.
- $7,939 to supplement funding for hybrid vehicle for the building Department. $31,359 was originally approved at an Oct. 17 Special Town Meeting.
- $151,752.57 to supplement unanticipated bus transportation costs. The schools must pay a fuel surcharge for any amount in excess of $3.177 per gallon of diesel fuel. The projected amount to cover the current fuel surcharge is $97,931.57. Additionally, Dee Bus Service has quoted Westford Public Schools at $53,820 for bus service as a result of the Beaver Brook bridge closure.
- $49,250 for Westford Public Schools to purchase educational materials supporting trauma-sensitive classrooms, anxiety support groups and “Calming Kits” for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
- $4,509.11 for supplemental funding for a one ton dump truck with plow for the Highway Department. $65,000 was originally approved at the Oct. 17 Special Town Meeting for the vehicle.
- $5,000 to upgrade the town’s GIS system.
- $21,900 for entry level commercial drivers license training for the Department of Public Works.
- $6,000 for rental, mortgage and utility assistance for FY23.
s over 8 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February, a number of Westford residents hope to support one family reallocate to the United States.
Mycola and Yana Murzaieva, along with their two children Nikol and Erik hope to relocate from Kyiv to the Merrimack Valley in the coming weeks.
According to resident and Board of Health chair Stephanie Granger, the family currently shelters in their basement without reliable electricity or heat.
Granger, along with Alicia and Brian Wahlquist and Elizabeth Stone, began fundraising for housing, food and other necessities for the family once they arrive in the United States.
Local journalism is vital to our communities. As other publications shift focus toward regional journalism, WestfordCAT continues to provide high-quality hyperlocal reporting to our town, free for everyone to read. So — we have a small favor to ask. Every contribution, no matter how big or small, helps us sustain our journalism and keep our community informed. Please consider supporting WestfordCAT for as little as $1 on PayPal.