FSC to hold forum on gay marriage

FITCHBURG -- The political battles that preceded the recognition of gay marriage in Massachusetts will be the focus of discussion when the Center for Conflict Studies at Fitchburg State University presents Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus, at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 29 at Percival Auditorium, 254 Highland Ave.

"Over the course of the past decade, gay marriage has gone from being an issue that was not even a topic of discussion to being legal in a growing number of states, thanks to activists like Arline Isaacson and others," said Eric Budd, a professor in the university's department of economics, history and political science. "During the talk she will discuss the challenges she faced, how those obstacles were overcome, and her thoughts on the future prospects for marriage equality nationwide."

Admission is free and the talk is open to the public.

Mental health referrals available

MSPP INTERFACE Referral Service is available in Groton-Dunstable and coming soon to Ayer-Shirley. If you need a mental health referral call the helpline during business hours at 888-244-6843 ext. 1411 and they will set you up with a mental health specialist who has an opening with your insurance within two weeks.

Teenage Anxiety & Depression Solutions (TADS), www.tadsma.


Flea market and craft fair

Christmas Flea Market & Craft Fair to benefit the Pat Brody Shelter for Cats will be held Saturday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the United Parish Hall, 39 Main St., Lunenburg. Lots of Christmas gift items, flea market items, decorations, handmade cat crafts, costume jewelry and homemade baked goods. Come support a great cause in your community. All proceeds support the rescue and care of homeless cats and kittens.

Saturday Science Adventures for ages 7-11 at NRWA

Join other young scientists at the Nashua River Watershed Association for "Science Saturdays,"at the NRWA River Resource Center, 592 Main St. (Route 119) in Groton on Saturdays, Dec. 1, from 1-2:30 p.m. Open to youth from all communities, ages 7 to 11; cost $25.

Pre-registration is required. To register, contact Mary Marro at 978-448-0299 or email MaryM@NashuaRiverWatershed.org.

Boys & Girls Clubs can use that old vehicle

With fall in the air, people may be thinking of donating their old cars as part of a year-end clean-up before the winter months. The Boys & Girls Clubs would be happy to take their old cars. People donating to the clubs will not only get rid of the unwanted vehicle but will be contributing to the place that works with kids in most communities and offers an enriching environment.

If you have questions or wish to donate a car, call 800-246-0493.

Coats for kids

It's time to search your closets for warm, gently used coats for men, women and especially children that you don't use. The Ayer-Shirley Lions Club will be conducting a coat drive through Jan. 12. North Middlesex Savings Bank in Ayer, Groton and Shirley, Hanscom Federal Credit Union -- Devens and Phoenix Park, Shirley, are drop off locations. If you have any questions, contact debm@ayershirleylions.com or at 978-772-8502 (ext. 1156) or any member of the Ayer-Shirley Lions Club.