Middle East discussion Sunday
On Sunday at 3:45 p.m., Rabbi Avi Poupko will be leading a discussion at Congregation Ahavas Achim on the current situation in the Middle East with a focus on the aftermath of this past summer’s Hamas-Israel war and the upcoming Israeli Parlimentary elections. All are welcome and entrance is free of charge.
Also that afternoon, at 3 p.m. the Canton-based “Chubby Chickpea” kosher food truck will visit. The truck will be parked in front of Congregation Ahavas Achim located on the corner of Washington and Olive streets.
Holiday hours at library
The Newburyport Public Library will be closed today in honor of the New Year Day holiday. The library will reopen tomorrow at 9 a.m.
Scratch Saturdays for kids
Kids creating games and stories will be held on Saturdays during January, 1:30 to 4 p.m., in the lower meetinghouse of the First Religious Society, 26 Pleasant St. Kids 7-14 years old create games, stories, animations with Scratch. Participants can come any time during the session. Instruction at the beginning of the class for those new to Scratch.
Scratch is a kid-friendly programming environment for telling stories and doing animations, with sound and art. It was developed at the MIT Media Lab and is used world-wide.
Drop in — no registration necessary. For more information: Sandra Thaxter, 617-320-1098.
Ham and bean supper Saturday
A ham and bean supper will be held at the Masonic Hall, 31 Green St., on Saturday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. The menu includes three kinds of ham, hot dogs, brown bread and desserts. Admission is $8 for adults.
Two-part series on Karma at Belleville Church
Thoughtful Life Studies of Merrimack Valley will host Doug Veenhof in a two-part series of talks on Karma: a fresh look at explanations of why this particular experience arises at this particular moment. Talks will be on Wednesdays, Jan. 7 and 21, 7-9 p.m., at Belleville Church, Chapel Street Entrance, 300 High St. All programs are supported by donation. For more Information: www.thoughtfullifestudies.org or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book discussion group meets Jan. 4
Reading, plan to read, or have read the NYT bestseller, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate” by Naomi Klein? The Reading for Resilience discussion group will meet on Sunday, Jan. 4 at 4 p.m. at the Belleville Church, 300 High St., Newburyport, to explore the ideas in this controversial new book.
The group is hosted by Transition Newburyport and focuses on books that examine the climate, energy and economic challenges facing us and how we might respond to them. All are welcome. For further information email email@example.com.
Poverty Matters presentation
On Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m., Local Poverty Matters will present “Promising Approaches to Ending Poverty.” The speakers will be John Cuneo, executive director of Community Action, Inc., and Bob Gould, the director of Community Action in Amesbury.
Community Action is the federally designated anti-poverty agency in our area stretching from Newburyport and Salisbury to Haverhill. Their mission is to provide resources and opportunities for individuals, families and communities to overcome poverty.
Local Poverty Matters meets in the lower meetinghouse on the first Wednesday every month and explores the various aspects of local poverty. It is jointly sponsored by the Social Action Committee of FRS and by Pennies for Poverty, a local nonprofit trying to increase awareness of poverty in our community. The sessions are free and open to the public.
<\z14>The following new COA trips are planned for 2015.
<\z14>Jan. 12: Travel Club Seminar, 2 p.m., hosted by Amesbury COA. Hear details about the upcoming trip to Nova Scotia, presented by Tours of Distinction. Seven-day tour of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island is planned for Sept. 2-8. Light refreshments .Contact Amesbury Senior Center, 978-388-8138, to reserve a seat.
<\z14>March 10: Tony Kenny’s Irish Cabaret at Venus de Milo, Swansea. Direct from Dublin, an amazing Irish celebration with song, comedy and Irish dancers. Dinner choice of corned beef and cabbage or baked schrod; $89 per person.
<\zf”Times”>April 21: Neil Sedaka at Mohegan Sun. Includes premium seating for concert; $30 casino gaming/meal package; early signup/payment required for the ticketed event. $99 per person due by Feb. 13.
<\z14>May 16: Chocolate, Wine and Lobster. Tour one of N.H.’s best chocolate makers, with plenty of samples; visit N.H. winery, learn how a small winery makes and bottles wines; enjoy a lobster lunch at a local area restaurant; after lunch visit Zorvino Vineyards for a tour and tasting, learn how wine enhances the taste of food with a wine and food pairing demo; $89 per person.
<\z14>May 24-28: Spotlight on San Antonio. Highlights include Mission San Jose, The Alamo, LBJ Ranch, Mayan Dude Ranch, Paseo del Rio Cruise. Five days (six meals), includes round-trip air and transportation to/from airport. $1,799 per person double; $2,099 single; $250 deposit due on signup payable to Collette Tours. Contact COA for brochure.
<\z14>Sept. 2-8: Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island: Seven days (10 meals). Overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Yarmouth. Highlights include Lunenburg, Peggy’s Cove, Halifax, PEI, New Brunswick and duty-Free shopping. $1,637 per person double, $2,217 single.
All are welcome to join COA tours; for further information, contact Newburyport COA, 978-462-8650, or Amesbury COA, 978-388-8138.Low Vision Support Group meeting
Low Vision Support Group meetings, sponsored by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has openings available for vision impaired citizens from Amesbury and Newburyport. The group meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Newburyport COA offices at 40 Water Street. Transportation is available. Call the Council on Aging to register at 978-462-8650.
Story hours at Emma Andrews Library
Story hours at Emma Andrews Library, 77 Purchase St., are as follows:
Toddler Group: Monday. 9:30-10:30 a.m., 18-36 months
3-to 4-year-olds, Wednesday, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
4- to 5-year-olds, Wednesday,1:30-2:30 p.m.
3- to 6-year-olds, Saturday, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Visit the website, www.emmaandrewslibrary.org, and follow on Facebook.
Retired Readers Club
The Council on Aging Retired Readers book club meets at the Newburyport Public Library on State Street on the second Wednesday of each month at 1:45 p.m. in the first floor Director’s Room. The group meets for an hour.
Tween program at Emma Andrews
The Emma Andrews Library & Community Center runs a free ‘Tween group for girls in grades 5 to 7 who are ages 11 and 12. The group will meet every other Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. Participants will complete arts and crafts projects, including bracelet-making, using Sculpey clay and painting with watercolors. Olivia Shea, an art-loving junior at Newburyport High School, runs the program.
Call or stop by the library at 77 Purchase St. to sign up or for more information.
COA partners with ‘Recycle That’
The Friends of the Newburyport Council on Aging has signed a new agreement to collect books, CDs and DVDs with “Recycle That,” the firm that recently bought “Got Books?,” which the group had been using.
The gray box will be replaced by a blue-green container at Cushing Park, corner of Kent and Congress streets. Donations should be placed inside the box and not left sitting next to it.
Proceeds from the contributions benefit programs of the local Council on Aging and provide a revenue stream for the Friends.
Expanded recycling program benefits library
The Friends of the Newburyport Public Library announces an expanded recycling fundraising program. The Friends of the Newburyport Public Library has successfully raised hundreds of dollars for much-needed programs and services by recycling cellphones that no longer work properly or are needed.
The collection continues and has expanded to include iPads and iPods. Every item turned in for recycling earns something for the Friends and all parts are recycled regardless of age or condition.
The group earns up to $30 per phone and up to $100 per smartphone depending upon condition.
The Friends have partnered with GRC Wireless Recycling (www.grcrecycling.com), the largest grass-roots cellphone recycler in the United States.
The cellphone/iPod collection “drop box” is in the lobby of the library, 94 State St. Leave donated iPads with the library staff at the Circulation Desk for proper handling.
‘Gloves for Love’ winter gear drive
The nonprofit organization Patriots for American Veterans is holding a “Gloves for Love” winter clothing drive for area veterans. Needed items include gloves, scarves, hats and sweaters. All donations will be distributed to the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, VA hospitals and local veterans agents.
Collection boxes are set up at Port City Sandwich, Newburyport Five Cents Savings bank branches, Newburyport City Hall, Newbury Town Hall, Amesbury City Hall, Coastal Customs, 193 Elm St., Salisbury, and PNK Sales, 61 Bridge St. Salisbury.
Monetary donations can be sent to PAVO, 11 Doe Run Drive, Newburyport 01950. Checks can be made payable to PAVO.
PAVO looking for members
The nonprofit organization Patriots for American Veterans is looking for members. The all-volunteer group meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Port City Sandwich Co., 40R Merrimac St., Newburyport. All are welcome.