Summer weather has finally arrived and many homeowners are getting their pools ready. State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey wants pool owners to take a moment to double check that pool chemicals are stored safely.

“Pool chemicals may become a hazard when they get damp or wet with a small quantity of water," Ostroskey said. "Or when they are improperly mixed with each other, other chemicals, or reactive materials.”

He said it is important to keep pool chemicals dry, store them in separate containers with lids in a locked shed away from the house and pool.

Local fire departments and hazardous materials teams often respond to emergencies involving swimming pool and hot tub/whirlpool chemicals. The potential costs incurred by the pool owner for emergency measures can be extremely expensive. Take the necessary measures to prevent or address any injury to people or harm to the environment, Ostroskey said.

Last year, the state hazardous materials team responded to a Sharon home. The owner mixed pool chemicals inside. When they got wet, dangerous chlorine vapors were created. Two people went to the hospital after breathing in the chlorine gas.

Every year more than 5,000 people nationwide visit the hospital with pool chemical related injuries, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Residents should take care and follow these safety tips: Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions very carefully; Make sure when you dispose of chemicals that you follow the directions provided; Children and teens should never handle pool chemicals; Put a lid on chemical containers every time; Remember: powder in the water, not water in the powder.

Do not dispose of old pool chemicals in the trash or down the drain. Take old chemicals to a household hazardous waste collection day in your community or to a commercial hazardous waste facility. Since sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is the same chemical used in most water treatment facilities, check to see if your local plant will accept the chemical.

For more information about how to store and use pool chemicals safely, visit or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at

Andover native honored at Salem State

ANDOVER — Salem State University’s Center for Creative and Performing Arts honored an Andover resident and eight other students at its 38th annual Creativity Awards ceremony, which was held in the Sophia Gordon Center on May 13.

Andover native Annie Hudak was recognized for her exceptional creative work and outstanding contribution to Salem State’s art and design department.

Hudak, who is positioned to graduate from the university this coming December with a bachelor’s degree in art with a concentration in painting, was nominated for the Creativity Award by Salem State art and design professor Mark Malloy.

“Annie is inquisitive and an independent thinker,” Malloy said. “She is an unrelentingly creative person, able to get into her work with a fearlessness and dedication that is an inspiration to me as an artist.”

Each student presented a performance or offered a display of work during the ceremony. Hudak chose to display selections of work from her Honors in Art Exhibition., which ran from April 22 through May 8 in the university’s Winfisky Gallery at the Ellison Campus Center.

Other students awarded were Jeff Gately, Connor Perry, Linnea Thorne, Theophile Victoria, Connor Barry, Michelle Dumas, Rachel Burke, and Stephen Zubricki IV.

Showing of 'If It Fits'

HAVERHILL — Join the annual meeting of the Buttonwoods Museum on Tuesday evening, June 25, for a showing of the 1976 documentary film, “If It Fits” by award winning filmmakers John Marshall and Mark Erder.

This hourlong documentary looks at the city of Haverhill during the period of the “dust bowl” and urban renewal as Mayor George Kay Katsaros and Fire Chief Lewis Burton run for the mayor’s office.

Admission is free at HC Media Harbor Place Studio at 2 Merrimack Street at 7 p.m. The even is sponsored by the Buttonwoods Museum and Haverhill Community Media.

Free Medicare info session offered

METHUEN — All are invited to the Methuen Activity Center, 77 Lowell Street, for a free Medicare information session on Thursday. June 27 at 10 a.m.

The program is put on by Fallon Health and will answer questions like: When can I enroll in Medicare? How much does it cost? What does it cover? What are plan options?

Haverhill photo program planned

HAVERHILL — Local author and historian Arthur Veasey will present his program, "Haverhill Yesterday and Today" at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St. Enjoy a visual tour of Haverhill that includes comparison photos of buildings and architectural examples from the 19th century and today. This program is sure to capture the interest of Haverhill natives as well as newcomers to the city. To register for this free program, call 978-374-2390.

Fashion show raises $1,800 for Ruth’s House

HAVERHILL — Ruth’s House recently celebrated the life of Robin Kelly Frans with a "Be Fierce" fashion show that raised more than $1,800 for Ruth’s House.

Taking part were Georgetown shop owners Rita Stone of Vintage Vault, Miranda Prosniewski of Bent Emporium, Lisa Scala of Lisa Scala Handmade Jewelry, and Madeline Celletti of Bohemian Boutique.

Frans, owner of Bent Emporium, was a long-time Ruth’s House volunteer. The event celebrated her life and her contributions to both the fashion and local communities.

At Ruth’s House, customers find clothing and houseware items at a great price, and more importantly, purchases directly supports the organization's mission. Ruth’s House relies on community-donated items to sell in its thrift shop. Every piece of donated clothing is handled by a donation receiver, unpacked, inspected for quality, placed on hangers, priced, and then moved to the store floor to be available to both families receiving vouchers, and customers who purchase clothing. Ruth’s Thrift Shop is located at 111 Lafayette Square. Visit online at

Library hosts sexual orientation discussion

HAVERHILL — The public library will host a talk from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on June 18. Join SpeakOUT Boston for a panel discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity. SpeakOUT is a community of speakers working to create a world free of homo-bi-transphobia and other forms of prejudice by telling the truths of their lives. Register online at under Calendar of Events or call 978-373-1586, ext. 608.