This week be extra cautious on the roads as Tewksbury students and staff head back to class on Sept. 1. Extra kindness would also go a long way for a school community — children, parents, staff and officials — facing a stressful and contentious situation with COVID protocols.
A wet summer has yielded a bumper crop of mosquitos. If your yard has turned into sting central, note that Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project personnel will be in Tewksbury on consecutive Tuesdays, Aug. 31 and Sept. 7, weather permitting, to spray. If you would like your property treated, you may submit a request for service via an online form or by calling the CMMCP office at (508) 393-3055 between 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. weekdays.
A detailed spray schedule for the next day is posted by the CMMCP after 3:30 p.m. each day. It’s accessible at that same phone number or on the website: Click the “2021 Spray Schedules” button on the right.
Residents may also expressly opt out of spraying. Per 333CMR13.03(1)(a): “Wide Area Applications of pesticides and mosquito control applications of pesticides approved by the State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board shall not be made to private property which has been designated for exclusion from such application by a person living on or legally in control of said property.”
If you would like to make your yard a no-spray zone, click here to begin the process.
Also on Tuesday, the Tewksbury Public Events & Celebrations Committee meets at 7 p.m. in person in the first-floor meeting room at Town Hall to work on plans for the 7th Annual Tewksbury Fall Harvest Festival, planned for Sunday, Sept. 26 from noon to 5:00 p.m. The committee is accepting applications from crafters, food trucks and other vendors; see the links in the upper-left corner. At this week’s meeting, interested residents can learn about the food permit application process and get updates on plans for music, lawn games and a petting zoo. These meetings are not televised.
Want to get involved in your community? The Town accepts applications for a variety of boards and committees on an ongoing basis. Find openings.
Tewksbury Public Schools start up again on Wed., Sept. 1. Because the USDA has extended universal free school lunches through the 2021-2022 school year, all Tewksbury students are eligible, regardless of family income.
The Tewksbury Police Department provided tips for staying safe around school buses. Note that in Massachusetts, failing to stop for or illegally passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights can result in a minimum fine of $250 fine. A second offense will cost not less than $500 and could result in a suspended license.
In a letter, Superintendent of Schools Chris Malone reminded parents of the DESE mask mandate stating that, effective immediately, public school students age 5 and above and all staff and visitors are required to wear masks while on buses and indoors in schools, with a few exceptions. Masks are not required when outdoors.
This requirement supersedes the local School Committee determination and will be in place until at least Oct. 1, when officials will review public health data. In schools with vaccination rates of 80% or more for students and staff, vaccinated individuals in that school would no longer be subject to the DESE mask requirement.
Malone asks parents to respect the mandate, a request that comes in the wake of a contentious recent School Committee meeting.
“When it comes to mandating masks on students, it certainly creates emotions and divisions among many people,” he wrote. “As Superintendent, I am pleading with all parents to please refrain from utilizing our schools as a platform to play-out these emotions and divisions. Simply put, the schools are for learning in a safe environment, not a place where students and staff members should be interjected into this debate. This is no more evident in the fact that this is now a State issue, not a local issue. Last year we had very few, if any, issues with the mask mandate and we hope this continues for this school year.”
The Tewksbury Conservation Commission meets on Sept. 1 in person at Town Hall at 7 p.m. to consider requests for certificates of compliance for 80 Sawyers Lane, 100 Frasier Lane and 77 Armando Way. The Commission will also hear a notice of intent for construction of a single-family home at 30 Mill St.
That meeting will be televised on Comcast Channel 99 and Verizon Channel 33 or on Tewksbury TV’s YouTube channel.
Also on Sept. 1, the Zoning Bylaw Committee meets at 6 p.m. in person in the main Town Hall meeting room to reorganize and elect new officers, hold a debrief on the failure of the new bylaw to pass at Town Meeting and come up with an outreach strategy for 2022.
That committee comprises Planning Board members Stephen Johnson and Bob Fowler, selectmen Todd Johnson and James Mackey and citizen members Richard Cuoco and Erin Wortman. There is one vacancy; those interested may apply here.
Residents may recall that the proposed bylaw update failed by a narrow margin earlier this year despite five years of effort and a significant investment by the town in outreach, staff time and consulting fees.
Additional happenings around town:
On Tuesday, those dealing with separation or divorce can get some expert advice at Luna Rossa from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Registration is required.
Tuesdays through Sept. 14 are Bike Night for the Jimmy Fund. Motorcycle enthusiasts gather on the banks of the Merrimack River from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m at Heritage Farm ice cream in Lowell.
The Tewksbury Public Library has a diverse slate of events this week for all ages, including Barks & Books with Thor on Sept. 1 to get a doggone good start on reading for the school year.
Finally, remember that the Tewksbury Community Market moves to its new home at Livingston St. this Thursday.