The Merrimack River Watershed Council is hosting its first ever Merrifest, a celebration of the Merrimack River and all it has to offer. There will be a lot of good food and music for everyone to enjoy as well as kayaking races, fun activities for kids, and educational information from diverse river groups. The event is Saturday August 3rd from 11-3 in Lowell, Massachusetts. Check out Merrimack River Watershed Council website for more information in the coming months.

YMCA Family Fun Day

Lots of fun activities and special guests for this fun annual event.

UMass Lowell ‘Day Without Violence’

An outspoken author and journalist, Boston’s police commissioner and a former prison psychologist will take on the issue of guns and violence in a panel discussion. UMass Lowell’s “A Day Without Violence” will feature keynote speaker Craig Whitney, author of “Living with Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment”; Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis; and Cathy Levey, a member of UMass Lowell’s criminal justice faculty who has more than 20 years of experience working as a Connecticut prison system psychologist.

Each year, college and university campuses nationwide observe “A Day Without Violence” in honor of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s quest for social justice and equality. UMass Lowell’s observance is presented by the university’s Peace and Conflict Studies Institute, the Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies Program and the Center for Arts and Ideas. The program is free and open to the public.

‘Disable the Label’ Week

UMass Lowell’s “Disable the Label” Week engages the university community and the public in promoting understanding of people with disabilities and raising awareness about local resources and support services. The event series is presented by the UMass Lowell Office of Student Disability Services, the Disable the Label Club and Psychology Department with other partners. Events include:

– “The Importance of Service Animals,” Monday, April 1, 3:30 p.m. UMass Lowell student Katerina Simpkins will discuss her experience with her service dog Graham, service animals’ important work and how best to interact with them. Weed Hall, Lecture Room I, South Campus, 3 Solomont Way, Lowell

– “Light it Up Blue for Autism,” Tuesday, April 2, 6 p.m. UMass Lowell will illuminate the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center in blue and host a reception in the center’s atrium to promote World Autism Awareness Day. Saab Center, North Campus, 40 University Ave., Lowell

– “Adam” film screening, Wednesday, April 3, 6:30 p.m. Hugh Dancy stars as a man with Asperger’s syndrome who falls in love with his neighbor, played by Rose Byrne. After the film, an expert in autism-spectrum disorders will offer insights into fostering personal relationships with people with these disorders. Weed Hall, Lecture Room I, South Campus, 3 Solomont Way, Lowell.

Night at the Museum – Lowell Kids Week

Find out what goes on after-hours in the Boott Cotton Mills Museum! Explore the museum for free and enjoy all kinds of special evening activities for families with the Tsongas Industrial History Center on Tuesday 2/19. We are planning lots of hands-on fun! Bring the whole family from 5:30pm-7:00pm. Reserve your spots today by calling (978) 970-5000.

How To Recruit Sales Staff

Sales staff are a peculiar breed. They stalk the job market often applying for dozens and dozens of jobs looking for the best commission structures and for products that they think that they can easily sell. It can quickly become hard work to fill sales vacancies.

When filling a sales role there are two common results. The first result is to have dozens and dozens of applications only to waste hours or even days sifting through CV’s and conducting interviews, only to find out that nobody is suitable or the one person that you want to recruit has suddenly decided to work somewhere else. The other result is that you simply get no reaction to your advert and are left with nobody to recruit at all.

Sales recruitment consultants have capitalised on this phenomenon and have created an industry that really can help any business that relies on sales staff. They are experts in filling sales vacancies. This can mean that you no longer have to think of catchy job adverts or search the internet for numerous sites to place your ad. It is also a great time-saver.

If you wish to maintain focus on your business then it is worth using sales recruitment consultants. These people will effectively take the recruitment process out of your hands. This helps you to keep the business moving forward However, the benefits do not end there.

Sales recruitment consultants often already have access to the right sales person for your business. This means that, in many cases, sales recruitment consultants will already have the perfect sales person for you waiting in the wings. This can mean that your vacancy is filled almost instantly without any worry of placing adverts and checking CV’s. It can also mean that they have sales staff more specialised for your needs. It is not necessarily hard to find a sales person. But finding sales staff that are actually any good and have experience in your own industry or range of products can be a lot harder. Sales recruitment consultants will have sales staff who may have already sold in your sector. So, not only does this speed things up but it also allows you to recruit much more suitable people. That is definitely beneficial for you and your business!

Sales recruitment consultants charge in various different ways. Some companies will charge you an upfront fee to fill your vacancy for you. Other companies will charge you nothing until they actually fill the vacancy and will then charge you a pre-agreed fee. The most common form of charge is a percentage of the earnings made by the sales person. The best thing to do is to find the best option that works for you and your business.

The quicker you can fill sales vacancies, the better. It therefore makes sense to use sales recruitment consultants who can fulfil this. They will handle all the recruitment needs for your company. You are only ever as good as the people around you and so sales recruitment consultants can help your business to be the best.

Jack Kerouac Exhibit Opening in Lowell

Lowell, MA – A new exhibit on Lowell native and writer Jack Kerouac will open to the public on Thursday, October 6, at 5:00 pm in line with the annual Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival. The exhibit is a new permanent installation at Lowell National Historical Park’s Visitor Center.

The colorful exhibit of photos, text excerpts, and a Lowell map interprets Jack Kerouac’s works and life as a Beat Writer. The exhibit encourages visitors to explore Lowell by visiting places that Kerouac wrote about in his novels that were connected to Lowell.  Through an audio listening station you can hear Jack Kerouac read selections from his writings.

Professor Mike Millner of the UMass Lowell English Department and Paul Marion, executive director of community and cultural affairs at UMass Lowell, spearheaded the project for over a year with David Blackburn and Jack Herlihy of Lowell National Historical Park. Funding was provided by a grant from the Creative Economy Initiative of the University of Massachusetts President’s Office. John Sampas of the Kerouac Estate generously provided images and permission to reprint book excerpts. Chris Danemeyer of Proun Design created the exhibit’s design and fabrication, adapting the look he produced for the “On the Road” scroll manuscript exhibit at the Boott Mills Gallery in 2007, which drew 25,000 visitors to the city.

More information is available by contacting the Lowell National Historical Park at 978-970-5000. Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center is located at 246 Market Street, Lowell, Massachusetts and is open daily 9:00am – 5:00 pm, daily. Admission is free.

Making Quilts to Honor Fallen Heros

We honor our war heroes in many ways–with speeches, parades, plaques and monuments. Throughout history, American quilters have made quilts to comfort the troops who protect and defend us. Now, the folks at New England Quilt Museum are also making quilts for our Gold Star mothers and spouses, every stitch dedicated to honoring the service of loved ones who have fallen in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Join the NEQM between 10AM-3PM Veterans Day (Friday, November 11th) for a very special “sit and sew” event to create quilts for the Massachusetts chapter of the Home of the Brave Quilts (HOBQ) project. Since 2004, HOBQ volunteers across the country have been making quilts for this very worthy and non-partisan cause.

The Museum’s HOBQ effort is based on a Civil War-era autograph block quilt pattern and uses donated reproduction fabrics representing that other difficult time in our nation’s history. Perhaps you saw the pattern, or made a block or signed one at museum’s table during the IMAGES quilt show in August.

For full details on the Veterans Day event or other Collaborative Quilting days when they’ll be working on their HOBQ pieces, visit the New England Quilt Museum website.

Cool Down at The Splash Pad at Shedd Park

Lowell, MA – There’s a place in Lowell, Massachusetts where kids can go and cool off for free during the summer and early fall. Shedd Park has “The Splash Pad,” which is operated by the city of Lowell, Massachusetts and its Department of Parks and Recreation. This is a great area where supervised children can cool down with water sprays. The Splash Pad at Shedd Park is located at 433 Rogers Street in Lowell.

During the Summer of 2010 from Saturday May 29th – June 30th, the Splash Pad is open on weekends and holidays from from 12pm-4pm. Beginning July 1st until the first day of school for the Lowell Public School District, the Splash Pad is open seven days a week from 12pm-6pm. On Labor Day weekend, the hours are from 12pm-6pm (Saturday – Monday). Between September 11 – October 11, it’s open only on weekends and holidays from 12-4pm.

For more information about the Splash Pad or Shedd Park, please call the city’s Recreation Office at (978) 970-4175. You may also visit the city of Lowell website,

UMass Lowell DesignCamp Set to Begin Next Week

University of Massachusetts Lowell

UMass Lowell DesignCamp begins on July 5.

Past Campers Chose Science, Tech Majors 5 Times More than Other College-Bound Students

LOWELL, Mass. – Liquid-propelled rockets, arcade games, smart robots and remote-controlled submarines – all are just a few of the projects that students in UMass Lowell’s DesignCamp will build in the coming weeks.

Now in its 11th year, the summer camp annually attracts more than 350 students from 100 cities and towns in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The camp runs four week-long sessions throughout July.

Eleven workshops include interactive design-and-build projects such as “Electric Jungle,” “Carnival Contraptions,” “Inventions and Gizmos,” “Crime Science,” “Architect’s Studio” and “Flight School.”

DesignCamp was created to engage young people in fun design projects to encourage them to study engineering and other sciences. And data shows that DesignCamp works. Of students who attend camp for more than one year, 24 percent choose to study engineering and 16 percent choose science-, technology-, engineering- and mathematics-related fields. According to 2006 SAT data, students who participated in DesignCamp choose engineering at a rate five times more than other Massachusetts college-bound students.

“I think that the program has been successful because we engage kids in hands-on projects that are relevant to their lives,” said Michael Penta, associate director and program developer for the Future Engineers Center and DesignCamp. “We ask campers to solve problems on their own that many may not have much of an opportunity to do in normal life. A working solution generates a great deal of pride, confidence and motivation.”

Thanks to the generous financial support of companies like Raytheon, Goodrich, Tyco Electronics, 3M, Millipore and the Cabot Corp., more than 35 percent of the students will receive financial assistance and 25 percent will receive full scholarships.

The middle-school children don’t realize they are learning because they are having so much fun, according to Penta, who is teaching “Techcreation Food and Games” and “Game Makers.”

“DesignCamp is the only place I have taught where kids ask ‘Can we skip recess? I want to go work!’”

The first session of DesignCamp starts Monday, July 5. Parents and students interested in UMass Lowell’s DesignCamp summer program should, e-mail or call 978-934-4690. For more on the UMass Lowell Future Engineers Center, check

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