Vargas’ VOTES Act Amendment Helps Military Members Cast Ballots From Overseas

A recently passed state voting rights bill includes an amendment co-sponsored by Rep. Andy X. Vargas that allows uniformed and overseas citizens to vote electronically through a mobile voting system. The VOTES Act amendment by Haverhill’s Vargas and Beverly Rep. Jerry Parisella requires the mobile system to be approved by the secretary of the Commonwealth. A similar provision allows voters with disabilities to request appropriate accommodations, including an electronic ballot application, ballot and voter affidavit that can be submitted electronically. “Military service members face unnecessary challenges when voting. We’ve learned from conservative and liberal states alike that mobile voting presents us with the opportunity to give our active-duty service members and citizens with disabilities a fair shot at participating in our elections,” Vargas said.

Cummings Awards $100,000 Each to Buttonwoods Museum and Methuen Arlington Neighborhood

Haverhill’s Buttonwoods Museum and the Methuen Arlington Neighborhood were recipients recipients of $100,000 each from the Cummings Foundation. Buttonwoods Museum plans to use the money to provide “inspiring educational programs about Greater Haverhill by adding historically marginalized voices, thereby offering a more inclusive narrative of local and state history.” Methuen Arlington Neighborhood plans to provide and expand its educational, cultural and recreational programs at no cost to low-income youth and families of the Arlington Neighborhood. Since 1986, the Cummings Foundation has awarded at least $30 million each year to a diverse group of local nonprofits in Middlesex, Essex and Suffolk counties in eastern Massachusetts.

AHEPA-Haverhill Foundation Distributes 2022 Grants to Four Local Nonprofits

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The AHEPA-Haverhill Foundation recently awarded $4,000 in grants, including awards to Veterans Northeast Outreach Center of Haverhill and Bay State District 8 Daughters of Penelope. Veterans Northeast Outreach Center Executive Director Scott M. Forbes, U/S. Air Force USAF (retired), and Elaine Kevgas of Bay State District 8 Daughters of Penelope, in support of a five-bedroom shelter called Penelope’s Place, were on hand to accept $1,500 each. Other awards went to TX Hockey Tournaments and Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church Youth Group, both of Haverhill. Theodore Xenakis, president of TX Hockey, and Greek church Parish Council member George Demestihas, representing the church youth group, accepted $500 each for their organizations.

Academy of Creative Arts at Trinity Plans Theater Workshop

The Academy of Creative Arts at Trinity is planning its annual Summer Theater Workshop for kids ages 6 to 16. Janet King, program director, said participants will be working on “Raise Your Voice,” a new musical review from MTI featuring songs from “The Little Mermaid,” “High School Musical,” “Guys & Dolls” and other popular musicals. “The emphasis is on fun and we welcome young people with little or no experience,” she said. The workshop runs Monday, July 25, through Friday, July 29 at Trinity Church, 26 White St., Haverhill. The program meets Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a 5 p.m. performance.

State Says Haverhill Schools Showing Dramatic Progress in Special Education and Civil Rights

The state says Haverhill schools have shown a marked improvement in the implementation of standards regarding special education and civil rights. On Thursday, Deborah Ibanez, executive director of student support services for Haverhill schools, told the Haverhill School Committee the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education completed its most recent review of Haverhill school’s compliance in those two areas. “Every three years, DESE want to look at two different things, special education, and there’s about 55 indicators that they look at. This time around, they picked 11 special ed indicators and, the same thing with the civil rights piece, 14 or 15 civil rights indicators,” she said. Ibanez said the review began with a self-assessment in the spring of 2021.

Haverhill City Clerk’s Office Looking to Hire Temporary Poll Workers for Upcoming Election Cycle

Haverhill City Clerk Linda L. Koutoulas’ office is looking to hire workers to staff poll locations during the upcoming election season. The clerk’s office said “Having an adequate number of poll workers to staff polling places on and before election day ensures voters receive the assistance they need at the polls and can help provide a positive and smooth voting experience for all.”

Inspectors are paid $195 per day and wardens and clerks $225 per day. Attendance at a training prior to the elections is required. Elections take place Tuesday Sept. 6, and Tuesday Nov.

American Red Cross Plans Haverhill Blood Drives Saturday and Wednesday

The American Red Cross has scheduled two Haverhill Community Blood Drives. The first takes place Saturday, June 25, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., at Cedardale Health and Fitness, 931 Boston Road, Haverhill. A second drive takes place Wednesday, June 29, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., at AmVets Post 147, 576 Primrose St., Haverhill. Appointments may be made online at redcrossblood.org.

State Democratic Party Names Sherlock, 2019 Haverhill Council Candidate, Acting Executive Director

A former candidate for Haverhill City Council was named Thursday as acting executive director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. Joe Sherlock, now of East Boston, unsuccessfully sought a City Council seat in 2019. “The work before us is important and urgent and I’m honored to take on this role at this pivotal moment,” Sherlock said in a statement. “Democrats in Massachusetts have a lot to offer but we can take nothing for granted. We will work hard to support the Democratic candidates in the general election this fall so that Massachusetts can continue to be a national leader on so many important policy issues.”

Democratic Party Chairman Gus Bickford said Sherlock becomes acting executive director, but he will be formally nominated for the permanent position at the next State Committee Meeting in September.