News Brief

Mass. Tomato Contest to be Held Aug. 24

The 36th Massachusetts Tomato Contest will be held in the Kitchen at the Boston Public Market in downtown Boston on Tuesday, Aug. 24.

Tomatoes will be judged by a panel of experts on flavor, firmness/slicing quality, exterior color and shape. Always a lively and fun event, the day is designed to increase awareness of locally grown produce. 

Farmers can bring tomatoes to the market between 8:45 and 10:45 a.m. on Aug. 24 or drop their entries off with a registration form to one of the regional drop-off locations on Monday, Aug. 23.  Drop off locations include sites in Great Barrington, South Deerfield, Worcester, Dighton and West Newbury. These tomatoes will be brought in to Boston on Tuesday.

Be sure to include a  registration form with all entries.

The 36th Tomato Contest is sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and Mass Farmers Markets in cooperation with the Boston Public Market. 

For more information, contact David Webber, [email protected]

AFT Mass. Mask Wearing in K-6 Schools This Fall

In response to new guidance from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that contravenes CDC recommendations by suggesting that only unvaccinated students, educators, and staff members in Massachusetts schools should wear masks indoors this fall, the 23,000-member AFT Massachusetts released the following statement from AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos:

“The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education needs to listen to health experts, including the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and require – not just recommend – universal mask wearing in K-6 schools this fall. If DESE continues to reject public health guidance and fails to act, local school committees need to step up and require universal mask wearing to keep us all safe and to maximize the likelihood of schools staying open this school year.

“We all want a safe and productive return to school in September, and with the surge of the incredibly contagious Delta variant and vaccine disinformation threatening the progress we’ve made against COVID, we need to use all the public health tools we have to stop the spread and keep schools open for in-person learning. Until we can get all school-aged kids vaccinated, basic public health precautions like masking are the bare minimum needed to keep our students and their vulnerable family members safe.”

Seemore the Seagull Book Signing

Ralph Tufo’s children’s book, Seemore the Seagull , is now available on,, and Type in “Seemore the Seagull” in the search box. It will also be available at Squeezbox Stompers’ gigs The book signing will be held outdoors at the Winthrop Cul-tural Center, 45 Pauline St., Winthrop, MA on 8/15 from 2-3:30PM. The rain location will be in-doors. Meet Ralph, the illustrator, and the publisher at the children’s event. There will be reduced book prices, art displays,  a sea chantey sing,  a children’s drawing/coloring table, and light re-freshments. In Winthrop, the book is available at Simon’s Winthrop Bookstore, Robin’s Nest, and the Book Depot. 

Mosquito Spraying to be Conducted Thursday, Aug. 5

Point Shirley, Pico Beach, and Short Beach Areas in Winthrop

Due to the extreme activity of the salt marsh mosquitoes along the salt marshes (due to heat and rain), the Winthrop Board of Health is ordering a one-time Mosquito adulticide spraying for these localized areas to give residents some relief.

The target areas include Point Shirley, Pico Beach, and Short Beach Areas in Winthrop.

Spraying will take place between 8:15 PM and 9:30 PM

If any questions, please contact the Health Department at 617-846-4344.

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