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How did Newburyport put together such a prestigious festival each year?  After a friend connected me to one of the directors and I found myself joining monthly meetings to help plan the following year’s festival, the answer soon became clear: a small group of passionate and dedicated volunteers, who love both literature and the North Shore of Massachusetts.

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In his recent op-ed piece (What You Haven’t Been Told: We Don’t Have a Revenue Problem, We Have a Spending Problem, February 19), William G. Shipman argues that Manchester has a spending problem. Given Mr. Shipman’s 48-year perspective and his past service to this community, his opinions and proposals merit consideration. After evaluating Mr. Shipman’s analysis, I offer a different perspective.

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In the average year, co-op teams tend to need a bit more time to work on team chemistry and simply getting to know one another. This can range from team-building activities off the ice to bonding time during off-hours practicesmaking that extra time taken crucial in helping to form a cohesive unit out of athletes hailing from multiple communities. 

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Funny thing about meeting houses.  In early New England, they can tell us an awful lot about the history of a community like Manchester, according to a new 56-page book published this week by historian and author Robert Booth.  The project coincides with the close of Manchester’s 375th Anniversary celebration and sponsored by the Manchester Historical Museum.