NEWBURYPORT — The Newburyport Chamber Music Festival returns on Monday, Aug. 5, with two weeks of remarkable music, featuring three concerts, 12 free events including open rehearsals, lectures, panel discussions, family concerts, storytelling, and puppetry; as well as three sold-out Hausmusiks.

Using the city’s unique architectural spaces as backdrops, the annual festival, founded in 2002, has become a highlight for many.

This year the festival will feature string quartets by Mozart, Shostakovich, and Bartok as well as the world premiere of “A Day in the Life of Newburyport,” by composer-in-residence Robert Bradshaw, a collaborative effort that includes eight paintings by members of the Newburyport Art Association, along with new poems by local poets Rhina P. Espaillat and Alfred Nicol.

Tickets are $32 (students, $16) in advance and may be ordered online at, and $35/ $18 at the door.

Old cats need homes

METHUEN — Wednesday is the final day of the MSPCA’s “Classic Cats” Fee-Waived Adoptions. Summers are especially difficult, as a higher number of cats and kittens are surrendered during the warmest months of the year. While kittens and young adults cats are often adopted quickly, many older cats may remain homeless for weeks or even months before finding homes.

Thanks to the generosity of Catvocats, who are subsidizing the adoption fee, the MSPCA will waive the entire adoption fee for cats 12 years of age and up. The goal is to encourage potential adopters to give a cat in his/her “golden years” a new forever home.

Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at MSPCA/Nevins Farm, 400 Broadway, Methuen. For more information, call 978-687-7453, ext. 6101 or visit

Drop-in historical games and crafts 

HAVERHILL — The Buttonwoods Museum is hosting historical games and crafts every Tuesday through Aug. 20. This drop-in program changes weekly and is held rain or shine from 10 a.m. to noon. Activities include Colonial rolling hoops and loom weaving, 19th century base ball, 20th century “cootie catchers,” board games and more. No registration is required. This is a free program series, but donations are appreciated.

The Buttonwoods is at 240 Water St. Enter via John Ward Avenue. Visit online at

Whittier inspired book released

HAVERHILL — “Wittier Than Thou,” a collection of 20 short stories of humor and whimsy inspired by the life and works of John Greenleaf Whittier is now available for purchase on Amazon. All proceeds benefit the Whittier Birthplace museum in Haverhill.

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) is best recalled either as  a fiery abolitionist or as one of New England’s beloved fireside poets. But along with impassioned anti-slavery verse and the later songs of faith and rural domesticity, Whittier had a sly and subtle sense of humor, most evident in poems composed for friends and correspondents, according to David Goudsward, who edited the book. 

“Witter Than Thou” is the third and final book in a series related to Whittier, which also raise money for the birthplace. The first was “Snowbound with Zombies,” a horror/supernatural anthology, and the second was “Murder Among Friends,” a mystery anthology. 

Contributing authors in this series include Christopher Golden of Haverhill and Edith Maxwell of Amesbury.

Friends Shopseeking volunteers

HAVERHILL — The Friends Shop at the public library are seeking volunteers for two hour shifts to work in the newly renovated shop. This is a great volunteer opportunity to work in a pleasant environment and meet library patrons and shoppers. If interested, please call the Friends Shop at 978-373-1586 ext. 601.

New Hampshire samples well water

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is conducting private well testing to give residents information on their groundwater.

Across the state 500 randomly selected private wells will be tested for 250 chemicals and parameters including volatile organic compounds, metals, radionuclides, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and pesticides.

State officials and scientists will also use this information to evaluate the occurrence, concentration and sources of certain emerging contaminants in drinking water. Additionally, this sampling program will provide the first statewide assessment of bacteria, nitrate, lead, salt, fluoride, manganese, arsenic, radionuclides and salt in water.

obtained from private wells, and it will build upon previous statewide assessments that have been conducted on other contaminants such as arsenic and radon.

The information will provide a holistic snapshot of the quality of water in private wells and identify trends and patterns of the water quality relative to location of the well, nearby land uses, geology, well type and other factors that can impact water quality.

Homeowners can expect information about the quality of their drinking water and when necessary, steps that can be taken to improve water quality, in the next 12 months.

This collaboration will provide information about the relationship between chemicals measured in drinking water and in the bodies of study participants


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