Sunday, April 27, 2008

Go Get Your Antiques, Come To This Rotary Show, Have A Good Time And Maybe Get Rich!

What does the Merrimack Valley Rotary and Antiques have in common? They both will come together on June 12 in Chelmsford when the MV Rotary will once again sponsor the very popular Antiques Appraisal night! The Show features Skinner's Stuart Whitehurst, who has is also one of the hosts of the famous Antiques Road Show on PBS.

This Show will be held at the Central Congregational Church just off of North Road in Chelmsford, Massachusetts starting at 7:00PM. Past Shows have featured items worth from $0 to as much as $80,000. It is informative, entertaining and $$$$$!

Ticket prices are $25 for an appraisal and admission and $10 for one general admission tickets and $15 for two general admission tickets. For more information contact Ken Masson at (978) 446-9366 or by writing to

Monday, April 21, 2008

New Site Designed To Help Centre For Special Needs In Bangladesh

Merrimack Valley Rotarian Carl Good continues to work toward raising awareness and Centre for Children For Special Needs in Bangladesh. Carl visited and was inspired by the efforts of this school during a recent Rotary trip to the area several months ago.

A matching grant application is being filed with Rotary International for the Centre and Carl is asking Clubs to help raise money for this important effort. Merrimack Valley Rotary is planning a fund raisers dedicated to this Centre. Carl has developed a web site about the Centre it is worth viewing:

Below is an excerpt from that web site:

Children in developing countries are more prone to suffer from many of the preventable causes of disability and are least likely to receive help and social understanding. Disability is closely associated with poverty. WHO and UNICEF estimates the prevalence between 5 and 10%. The prevalence of disabled persons per 1000 population of Bangladesh is 6.04; of this only 7.5% received treatment at upazilla complex and 4.5% at zilla health complex in the year 2002 (health and demographic survey, 2002, BBS) .

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

MV Rotarian Continues Goal To Raise Fund For Special Needs Centre In Bangladesh

Merrimack Valley Rotary member Carl Good, continues his mission to raise funds for the Centre for Children with Special Needs in Dhaka Bangladesh. Shown is the President of the Rotary Club of Banani Dhaka Bangladesh presenting my donation check to an official of the Centre Carl has visiting Rotaries from Massachusetts to North Carolina, trying to raise matching grants for the organization. Merrimack Valley Rotary is planning a number of fundraisers in the near future to further Carl's cause. The Centre specializes in helping children with all types of crippling diseases including polio survivors.

Their web page is: .

Friday, April 4, 2008

Local Rotary Gets The Scoop On Conversion To Digital Signals

Article In Lowell Sun, April 3, 2008

Could you go dark?
Local Rotary gets the scoop on conversion to digital signals
By Hiroko Sato,
Article Last Updated: 04/03/2008 01:05:45 PM EDT

CHELMSFORD — “Inventor” is Albert Jean’s middle name.

For many years, the Dracut accountant has captured analog TV signals through a V-shaped, tinfoil-covered antenna he made from scratch. The device even rotates to catch the waves when he pulls attached ropes and transmits signals to TV sets downstairs through the wires between the walls.

“But, with digital, it’s going to mess that (device) up,” Jean said of a federal law requiring most of the country’s TV stations to switch from analog to digital signals early next year. Instead of his hand-made antenna, Jean will need a signal converter resembling a cable box — and so will 34.6 million other households across the county if they want to continue using their analog TV sets without cable or satellite service.

On Feb. 17, 2009, all “full-power” TV stations will pull the plug on their analog signal transmitters. Full-power stations are those whose signals reach anywhere within a 40-mile radius, and all but a few stations in Massachusetts fall into this category, according to Alex von Lichtenberg, general manager for WUNI-TV 27 and WUTF-TV 66, Spanish-language stations out of Needham.

Von Lichtenberg, also a regional representative for the National Association of Broadcasters, spoke yesterday before the Merrimack Valley Rotary Club at Skip’s Restaurant. He said the national organization is concerned many people will wake next February 17 and wonder why their TV screens have gone black

No more analog means you won’t be able to catch free over-the-air television without a TV set that has a built-in digital tuner or signal converter. Those who subscribe to cable television, fiber optics and/or satellite services are not affected because providers will convert digital signals to analog, von Lichtenberg said.

However, there are 19.6 million households in the U.S., including 15,000 in Massachusetts, that use only analog TV sets to receive free over-the-air waves. An additional 15 million households, including 250,000 in the Bay State, have one or more analog TV sets that are not hooked up to cable or other systems, according to von Lichtenberg.

After next Feb. 17, these people must get a digital-to-analog signal converter, which costs between $50 and $100.

Von Lichtenberg said the federal government is offering up to two coupons worth $40 each toward the purchase of the box to any household that requests them. Coupons are available by calling 1-800-DTV-2009 or by visiting

So why has the Congress decided to mandate the switch? Von Lichtenberg said digital TV provides dramatically clearer pictures and better sound, and can carry more programs. Also, transmitting digital waves consumes one-third of the energy that analog does, saving TV stations considerable money, he added.

But the real push stems from the government’s desire to raise revenue and mobile communication companies’ eagerness to expand their bandwidth. The government recently auctioned off available wavelength to the industry for $19.6 billion, von Lichtenberg said. It was also important for the government to keep part of the available wavelength available for national emergency communications, he said.

Rotary members had questions for von Lichtenberg.

“(The change) is unfair to certain people that I know,” said John Carroll, an attorney who has a friend who adamantly uses only free over-the-air signals. The $40 coupons address the problem, Carroll added.

Debi Farnsworth, owner of Chamdry Carpet Cleaning in Dracut, was concerned about analog TV sets winding up in landfills. Von Lichtenberg said he doesn’t believe the federal government or Congress knows exactly what to do with the TV sets, all of which contain hazardous materials.

For more information, visit the Federal Communications Commission’s Web site at