Mayor Thatcher Kezer is accustomed to speaking in front of groups of people, whether large or small, supportive or hostile, but Tuesday Kezer addressed one of the most intimidating crowds a person can face — a high school classroom.
Kezer was invited to speak to Kristen Walsh’s class at the high school on the subject of local government. Walsh’s class was learning about how towns and cities work, and Kezer came in to provide his real-world insight to the students and answer some of their questions.
The three main things he talked about with the students were the structures of local government, what’s the difference between towns and cities; the services they provide, in Amesbury’s case public safety, public education, infrastructure (DPW), land use and control (economic development and zoning) and social services (library, senior center, etc.); and taxes and spending, where does the money come from and where does it all go.
Kezer said the students, who were all upperclassmen, were attentive and asked a lot of good questions about ongoing political situations in Amesbury like the Lower Millyard project and the Green Communities Act. He added that none of them gave him a hard time, even though he invited criticism if any of them had some.
On Monday night Gary Bogoff, owner of the Berkshire Brewing Company, will be hosting a BBC Beer Dinner at the Ale House starting at 6 p.m.
The Ale House will be serving a five-course menu, and each course will be served with a particular Berkshire beer offering. Tickets for the dinner are $55 per person and will not be sold at the door.
Next Wednesday, local elected officials will join Amesbury Middle School members of the Rotary Interact Club downtown to honor the victims of the Newtown school shootings. Twenty students and six adults will be hanging heart ornaments on the Valentine’s tree at the gazebo, with each ornament inscribed with the name of a victim and a message of love on the back.
The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m., and everyone is welcome to come.
Good news for the technologically inclined seniors in town. The Senior Center announced this week that it will be continuing its popular computer education classes. The classes have been offered through UMass Lowell’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, and Council on Aging Director Annmary Connor announced that they had received an extension on the grant that funds the program, allowing an additional class to be held every week.
The Senior Center will also be hosting free AARP tax preparation services in the upcoming weeks, and a new intern will be coming in from Northern Essex Community College to help start new outreach programs for those living in Amesbury Housing Authority sites.
If any of that interests you, call the Senior Center at 978-388-8138.
On Friday, Maplewood Care and Rehab will be holding a farewell party for Veterans Service Officer Kristen Lucier, who is leaving Amesbury to take a job at the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.
Anyone who wants to come and wish Lucier farewell can come for a coffee and pastry breakfast starting at 9 a.m., and those interested should RSVP at the Senior Center this week.
One last thing: If you haven’t had a chance to donate already, the Amesbury Elementary School’s Destination Imagination team will be continuing their food drive to benefit Our Neighbors’ Table through Feb. 14.
The team is collecting nonperishable foods as part of their team challenge, which is to identify a community need and work to meet it. Donations can be dropped off in the AES lobby and the most needed items are canned fruit, baked beans, pasta sauce, tuna and canned chicken.
The following meetings are scheduled this week and are open to the public:
School Committee Budget Workshop, 5:30 p.m., Amesbury High School Library.
Planning Board Meeting, 7 p.m., City Hall Auditorium.
Mac Cerullo covers Amesbury for The Daily News. He can be reached at 978-462-6666, ext. 3238 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Mac on Twitter at @MacCerullo.