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News

Early voting begins October 24

For the first time ever, Massachusetts registered voters can cast their votes before the November 8 general election. Early voting begins October 24 and continues through November 4 in three Peabody locations: City Hall, the West Branch Library and the Peter A. Torigian Senior Center.

Before the new law went into effect, voters’ only option for voting before Election Day was by absentee ballot — and only if they qualified. Now, however, every registered voter is permitted to cast his or her ballot early and in person. The advantages of early voting and no-excuse absentee voting include convenience, shortened wait times at polling places and reduced burdens on poll workers on Election Day.

As an alternative to in-person voting, registered voters may request a ballot by mail. Download the application on the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website (http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele) and mail it to Peabody City Clerk, 24 Lowell St., Peabody, MA 01960. This site also allows a person to see if he or she is registered to vote or learn how to register.

Any Peabody resident who is a U.S. citizen can register to vote with a license or an I.D. issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles. To vote in the November 8 General Election, one must register by October 19. Register or make changes to voter registration online at http://www.RegisterToVoteMa.com.

Once a person has cast his or her ballot in early voting — in person or via mail — the voter may not vote at the polls on Election Day.

Early voting locations in Peabody from October 24 – November 4:

 

Peabody City Hall, 24 Lowell St.

Mondays–Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

West Branch Library, 603 Lowell St.

Mondays–Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursdays, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

Peter A. Torigian Senior Center, 75R Central St.

Mondays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fridays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

 

Essex County Sheriff’s Department receives $750,000 grant for implementation of Second Chance Act program

MIDDLETON, Mass. – Essex County Sheriff Frank G. Cousins Jr. is pleased to announce that the Essex County Sheriff’s Department has received a three-year, $750,000 grant from the Department of Justice to lower criminal recidivism by providing work-based training and employment to incarcerated adults after their release. The grant is authorized through the Second Chance Act of 2007 (SCA), which provides a comprehensive response to the increasing number of people who are released from prison and jail and are returning to their communities by addressing the steps needed to be taken for offenders to achieve a successful reintegration.

Each year, for three years, the Essex County Sheriff’s Department will use its $250,000 allocation to provide technology-based career-training to 220 inmates in their facilities during the six-to-36-month period before release. Additionally, the department will work with local employers to secure placement for program participants following their release.

“We are very pleased to receive this grant award. Our goal is to ensure that the people who come through our facilities receive the training they need to earn good, technology-based jobs once they reenter the community,” Sheriff Cousins said. “Reducing recidivism has always been a priority for me as Essex County Sheriff, and I believe that this grant will help us achieve this and vastly improve outlooks for people who enter the criminal justice system.”

Other services that will be provided to support inmate employment success include the following: basic adult education; work readiness training; reentry planning; rehabilitation (domestic violence, sex offender, substance abuse, cognitive behavioral therapy and HIV/AIDS support); case management; peer mentoring; employment support (workplace learning and job placement/retention); and supportive services (behavioral health, medical, basic needs, housing, family reunification, transportation, childcare, financial benefits, insurance, medication assistance and legal services).

About the Second Chance Act

SCA was enacted to break the cycle of criminal recidivism, to improve public safety and to help state, local and tribal government agencies and community organizations respond to the rising populations of formerly incarcerated people who return to their communities. Since the first SCA appropriation in fiscal 2009, more than $475 million has been authorized for grants, training and technical assistance to state, local and tribal government agencies, along with community organizations, to provide services that help people returning from prison and jail to safely and successfully reintegrate into the community. SCA programming provides support to eligible applicants for the development and implementation of comprehensive and collaborative reentry strategies specifically designed to increase public safety by reducing recidivism.

 

 

How and When to Apply for Social Security Retirement Benefits

Dear Savvy Senior,

What is the easiest way to apply for my Social Security retirement benefits, and how far in advance do I need to apply before I start collecting?

Approaching 62

Dear Approaching,

The Social Security Administration offers three different ways you can apply for your retirement and/or spouses benefits, depending on your preference and how much help you need. Here’s a rundown of the options, along with a list of information you’ll need to apply, and when to fill out the application.

How To Apply?

The easiest and most convenient way to apply for your Social Security benefits is to do it yourself online at SocialSecurity.gov. It takes less than 15 minutes to complete the application, as long as you’ve gathered all of the required information and documentation (more on that at the bottom of the column).

If, however, you’d rather have a Social Security employee assist with the process, you can also apply by phone at 800-772-1213, or at your local Social Security office. If you apply in person, be sure to call ahead and schedule an appointment to cut your office wait time.

Whichever method you feel most comfortable using, your application will be reviewed and processed as soon as all necessary documentation and information is received. And, the Social Security Administration will notify you if it turns out you could qualify for higher benefits on your spouse’s record, or if other family members can receive benefits on your work record.

When To Apply?

While full retirement age is currently 66 (for those born between 1943 and 1954) you can start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70, but the longer you wait the larger your monthly check. See ssa.gov/retire/estimator.html to estimate your benefits.

Social Security recommends that you apply for retirement benefits three months before you want your payments to start. So if you want your benefits to begin as soon as you turn 62, you should apply at 61 years and nine months old.

It’s also worth noting that if you start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits before age 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, and you’ll receive your Medicare card about three months before your 65th birthday. It will include instructions to return it if you have work coverage that qualifies you for late enrollment.

But if you decide to delay your retirement benefits, you’ll need to sign up just for Medicare at age 65, which you can also do at SocialSecurity.gov, over the phone at 800-772-1213 or through your local Social Security office.

If you do not sign up, in some circumstances your Medicare coverage may be delayed and cost more.

Need Information

In order to apply for Social Security benefits, you’ll need to be able to document some information about your identity and work history. So before applying, have the following information handy:

Your Social Security number.

Your birth certificate (original or certified).

Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States.

A copy of your U.S. military service papers if you had military service before 1968.

A copy of your W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax return for last year.

Your bank information (including your account number and the bank routing number) you want your benefits direct deposited to.

For a complete checklist of information you’ll need to complete your application, see ssa.gov/hlp/isba/10/isba-checklist.pdf.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

 

   

The Advocate HOROSCOPE

 

Aries (March 21st-April 20th): Your mind should be sharp and well-focused this week. Take advantage of this energy and study anything you have been putting off. Now is a great time to learn new skills that will better your career opportunities in the long run.

 

Taurus (April 21st-May 20th): This Friday’s new moon falls in your health sector. The time for change is now in regards to diet and exercise. Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself though, instead start making small changes and doing more research to better educate yourself.

 

Gemini (May 21st-June 20th): This weekend is all about showing off what you have learned through experience Gemini. Any problems you have been experiencing at home or work are likely to be issues you have experienced before. How did you deal with it back then? Repeat that solution.

 

Cancer (June 21st-July 22nd): Right now the planets are encouraging you to clear the air in your relationship. Anything that seems to be getting avoided in communication should be put on the table. Speak up and talk about your plans. There is a good chance you are both on the same page, and just didn’t know how to start the conversation.

 

Leo (July 23rd-August 22nd): The new moon on Friday will have you feeling motivated for self-improvement. Not necessarily the kind of self-improvement you may normally think of like diet and exercise. Instead the planets are encouraging you to love yourself more. Connect with your roots and true self this weekend by taking part in an activity you have loved your whole life.

 

Virgo (August 23rd-September 22rd): Green with envy this week Virgo? Keep on a happy face and think before you speak. The energy right now may have you feeling a bit sorry for yourself (so unlike you!) Be careful of accidently sounding dismissive or uninterested when someone you love is excited to share news with you.

 

Libra (September 23th-October 22rd): The new moon this week may cause some old emotional baggage to come up. Did you really let it all go when you thought you did Libra? Don’t suppress these feelings, but face them dead on. Let yourself feel it all, and then let it go completely.

 

Scorpio (October 23rd-November 22nd): Keep thinking positive this week Scorpio. The power of your mind to manifest everything you want is at an all time high. Venus, the planet of love, is in your sign and this will give you that little extra sparkle you need to attract your desires. Enjoy it while it lasts!

 

Sagittarius (November 23rd-December 21st): Be careful with your word choices this weekend when you see a good friend. Your intentions are good but may be easily misread. Review conversations after they happen and clarify when you can- a few corrections are all you’ll need to prevent problems.

 

Capricorn (December22nd- January 19th): The new moon this week will influence your relationship greatly. Has there been something bugging you for quite some time but now you are ready to snap? Communicate calmly and your partner will respond well. As annoyed as you are, this is going to be cleared up very soon.

 

Aquarius (January 20th- February 19th): This week may bring some suppressed emotions up to surface in regards to work. If you have been disappointed by a coworker or even your boss for some time now- it may be time to plan a resolution. Nothing will happen if you do nothing.

 

Pisces (February 20th- March 20th): Your work and social life are going to be very busy for these next couple weeks. Prepare for that this weekend and catch up on small things such as laundry, banking, and cleaning you have put off. Expect many invites these next couple of weekends, and possibly a raise at work!

Francesca Piazza is a Lynnfield native available for astrology consultations, tarot readings/parties, crystal healing, custom jewelry, and reiki. Check out SisterFranDesigns.com for more information or email her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

Oven Baked Pancakes

alt

Cut into 16 servings


  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 1-cup skim milk
  • 1-cup seltzer or sparkling water
  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2-tablespoon baking powder
  • 1-tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine first 4 ingredients and set aside.  In another bowl combine the remaining ingredients.  Add the liquid mixture to the flour until just mixed.

Line a jelly roll-baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the pancake batter and spread evenly. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes or toothpick comes out dry.

Remove from oven, cool and cut into 16 equal portions.

Each portion is the same as serving from the grains food group.

Idea: Freeze pancakes in a container with wax paper in between. Pancakes can be reheated in microwave, toaster or counter top. This makes a great on the go mini meal -  just add a 6 oz. container of plain yogurt and some fruit, or 8 oz of skim milk

   

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