News from our members

Five Dirt Dawgs Headline the 2017 All-FCBL Team

Five Wachusett Dirt Dawgs players were recognized by the Futures Collegiate Baseball League office on Wednesday afternoon, as the conference announced its 2017 All-FCBL teams. The individuals chosen for the First and Second teams are those who have showed excellent skill on the field throughout the 2017 summer season. The First team is comprised of 18 players: 13 from the East and five from the West. 21 players represent the Second Team: nine from the East and 12 from the West.


Zack Tower (Franklin Pierce) was the lone Dirt Dawgs on the first team with his appearance at first base/DH. Tower’s bat was the offensive driving force for the Wachusett offense. Earlier this off season, the Auburn native was named the FCBL MVP, and was one of the Collegiate Summer Baseball’s Top National hitters this summer. He paced the FCBL with a team record 18 homeruns and 50 RBI’s, while finishing in the top 15 in batting average with .319. Tower also lead the league with a 1.079 on-base percentage over the course of the season.


On the second team, Wachusett had four members represented.  Bradley Wood (Northern Ill) maintained a .319 batting average, with five homeruns and 22 runs batted in. The Husky had 13 games this season with multiple hits, including a stretch of 8 out of 10 games that he had multiple hits. Joining Wood on the second team, was leadoff hitter Jack Gethings (Fairfield). Gethings had three five or more game hitting streak. He lead the Dirt Dawgs and finished 11th in the FCBL with his .323 batting average, which included five homeruns and 32 RBI. He finished eighth in the league with 23 walks, while also the third Wachusett player with 15 or more stolen bases.


Kyla Cala (Wagner) got the call to the second team with an outfield position. Cala batted .313 with five longballs and 27 RBI. In the field, he had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with 47 putouts and a pair of outfield assists. On the hill, Mike Demarest (Adephi) got the nod. In 20 appearances in the regular season, Demarest pitched 24.0 innings and had a team record 0.75 ERA with 32 strikeouts to just nine walks. All season long, the right hander only allowed one extra base hit to go along with one save.

Fitchburg Residents Invited to Visit Historical Society Annual Meeting on Wednesday, September 13

The Fitchburg Historical Society has announced the date of its Annual Meeting, which will be Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting is open to the public, and free to attend.

The Fitchburg Historical Society has been welcoming the public to learn more about local history for 125 years. The Annual Meeting is a wonderful way for Fitchburg residents to learn something new about their city, and meet new people who are interested in local history. A longtime leader in documenting the history of culture and industry in central Massachusetts, the Fitchburg Historical Society has been based in new headquarters in the historic Phoenix Building at 781 Main Street since 2012.

The new exhibition hall has allowed the Historical Society to offer new changing exhibitions on Fitchburg history, drawn mainly from its large collection of documents, artifacts, and photographs. This fall, the exhibition is entitled “Fitchburg Immigrant Experience.” Visitors to the exhibition can learn more about their Fitchburg’s history of immigration and the way it shaped Fitchburg’s neighborhoods throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The exhibition will highlight new acquisitions in the Fitchburg Historical Society collections.

The Fitchburg Historical Society is located at 781 Main Street, Fitchburg in the historic Phoenix building. There is abundant on-street parking near the Historical Society and free parking behind the building. The building is handicapped accessible.

A slate of officers that will be considered at the Annual Meeting elections and two new Board members will be voted upon. Current board member Kay Alverson-Hillman, a Fitchburg resident and retired Spanish and History teacher from the Lunenburg Public Schools, will stand for re-election.

For more information on the Annual Meeting, upcoming Fitchburg history programs or local history research, call 978-345-1157, email welcome (at), visit or

Next License to Carry Class

If you’re looking to get your LTC (License to Carry), I have a class on Saturday, August 19th from 9am to 4:30pm at the South Fitchburg Hunting and Fishing club in Townsend.  And another one on Wednesday, August 30th.

The class fee is $125.

If you are planning on attending, call ASAP to register to ensure a seat in the class.  We will take cash, check, or credit card.  Must be registered, and paid in full, by Wednesday this week by 5pm.

This class is the NRA Home Firearm Safety, loaded with much more material and an added Live-Fire segment.  This is one of the best classes available for the money.

Leominster Credit Union Helps Local Students Pay for College

Leominster Credit Union has introduced a NEW alternative student loan program that helps students fill the funding gaps that federal aid can leave behind. Unlike other alternative loan products, Leominster Credit Union’s Student Choice private loan solution offers significantly lower rates, zero origination fees and more flexible repayment terms.

“As a not-for-profit credit union serving Central Massachusetts, we have the unique ability to design products that are truly in the best interest of the student and their family,” said John O’Brien, President & CEO. In addition to student loans, the credit union offers financial management resources for young adults and a full-range of products and services to help develop and maintain good financial habits. Free checking, thousands of surcharge-free ATMs, first car loans and free online banking and bill pay are just a few of the services available with our Student Choice Loan Program.

Leominster Credit Union has over 50,000 members and more than $600 million in assets. Membership is open to those who live, work, or have business in Worcester, Middlesex, Norfolk, Hampden, Franklin, or Hampshire Counties in Massachusetts. To find out more about becoming a member or applying for a Credit Union Student Choice loan, visit or call 800-649-4646.

Founded in 1954, Leominster Credit Union (LCU) is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with a full range of deposit, lending and other financial services. Headquartered in Leominster, Massachusetts, LCU is proud to claim over 50,000 members and more than $600 million in assets. LCU has seven branch locations in Leominster, Worcester, Clinton, Holden, Sterling and North Leominster with ATM services at all branch locations. LCU also provides 24 hour banking via Mobile and Online services. Visit or call 800-649-4646.


A Roller-coaster Ride of Images and Wordplay: Solo Show of Imaginative Painter at Gallery Sitka Opens Aug. 12

David L. Smith likes to make people laugh. And he’s good at it.

Not a lot of visual artists are interested in words and wordplay. Many scrupulously avoid the verbal realm altogether and seem to operate in the murky, mysterious world of pure imagery at all times. Not Mr. Smith. He takes titles of novels, famous lines from movies, and common figures of speech and twists them to fit an image that is just as familiar. This one-two punch of the right picture with the right words is meant to raise a chuckle or a belly-laugh, and constitutes the bulk of the artwork in David’s solo show set to open on Saturday, Aug. 12 at Gallery Sitka West in Fitchburg.

Even the title of the artist’s show—“One-Liners: The Art of Irony”—contains a play on words. The “Art” refers to the Mr. Smith’s long-cultivated skills as a painter and digital artist, but it’s also about the art of deftly delivering a punch line as a comedian or a storyteller does.

Imagine, for example, a striking, immediately recognizable portrait of Margaret Thatcher imbedded in a slice of brown bread. The title, of course: “Thatcher in the Rye.” Or think of one of Hollywood’s best-known faces, that of Jack Nicholson. Superimpose that portrait on a smooth, white surface in the shape of a tooth. The title of the piece takes the famous line from the early ’90s drama “A Few Good Men” and alters it slightly. The result is a painting called “You Can’t Handle the Tooth.”

Woodworker, sculptor, painter, digital artist—it’s hard to classify David L. Smith because he works in many diverse media, including glass etching in recent years. David takes art lovers on a roller-coaster ride of images, employing a bewildering array of media and techniques.

Painter Paul Gauguin, always ruthlessly blunt, once remarked: “Art is either plagiarism or revolution.” Mr. Smith does not apologize for what some might say is plagiarism in his most recent paintings. “My work has evolved a lot in the last four or five years,” he says. He is having a lot of fun doing take-offs and put-ons of popular images, and for the time being he has left revolution to other artists.

Mr. Smith created the pieces for this show by way of a fairly complicated four-step process. He begins with a photograph purloined (or, umm…plagiarized) from an online source, usually a headshot of a well-known pop-culture personality. But right there the plagiarism ends. David then takes that image, which is more likely than not composed of pixels, and converts it into a vector image, teasing a line drawing out of the original photo using Adobe Illustrator. Then the artist melts this drawing down to its essence in the form of a stencil, which he then finally uses as the outline into which he pours color. Various distortions or modifications take place at each step, and the final piece is nothing like “cut-and-paste” collage or decoupage. It’s a painting that has a lot more in common with the surrealist and pop art traditions of such figures as Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol than with collage.

Beginning his career by earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Boston University’s Program in Artisanry in 1987, Mr. Smith has managed a furniture restoration business for the past 23 years. He and his wife of 28 years, ceramics artist Collette Shumate Smith, relocated to Fitchburg in 1991, where David earned a teaching certificate in Technology Education at Fitchburg State College. He has been exhibiting his furniture and wood sculptures regionally and nationally for three decades. His early work emphasized functionality but in recent years has become much more decorative and conceptual. He concedes, in his refreshing way, that sometimes he is “just trying to get a laugh” by way of his artwork.

The opening will take place at Gallery Sitka West, 454 Main St., in Fitchburg, Mass., 2 – 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 12. While Mr. Smith’s work will grace the Solo Wall, the engaging work of portrait photographer Jonathan Route will be featured on the south wall. Mr. Route, with studios in both Leominster and Clinton, specializes in bringing out the personalities of his subjects in a natural, relaxed atmosphere. He is also known for creating explosively colorful and playful images. Photography fans will want to check out in advance of the show.

Leominster Ladies Night Out With A+ Firearms Training of MA

This Thursday (8-10-17) we will have a vendor table in Leominster at the City’s “Ladies Night Out” event.  We will be at Monument Square from 5pm to 9pm.


A free “NRA Home Firearm Safety w/Live-Fire Segment” class will be raffled off (a $125 value), as well as a very nice ladies gift basket.


We will also be giving out dark chocolate Glocks.  Come early to be sure you get one.  Very yummy!


Ladies, register at our table and pay in full for the Saturday, August 19th “NRA Home Firearm Safety w/Live-Fire Segment” class and pay only $112.  That’s more than 10% off the normal price.

Dirt Dawgs split regular season home finale against the Bravehearts

With their backs against the wall, the Worcester Bravehearts pick up the win in game one, but the Dirt Dawgs make a statement in game two with a 8-1 decisive win, Thursday night at Historic Doyle Field.


The Basics

Records: Wachusett Dirt Dawgs (28-22) | Worcester Bravehearts (23-28)


How it Happened


Game One: Bravehearts 6, Dirt Dawgs 3


Mike Demarest (Adephi) pitched two perfect inning in relief for the Dawgs, with three strikeouts. Mike Coggeshall (Assumption) led the pack with a 3 for 4 performance at the plate with a three RBI performance, including a three run shot in the fifth.


Worcester got the scoring started in the top of the third inning, as Rafael Bournigal (Florida State) scored on a Greg Kocinski (Marist College) single. Kocinski struck again in the top of the fifth as he hit a two run shot to right field.


Coggeshall tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with a three run shot to left field. The game would remained tied until the top of the eighth, as the Bravehearts hit two homeruns to give them the three run advantage.


Game 2: Dirt Dawgs 8, Bravehearts 1


The Dirt Dawgs got on the board in the second inning, as Jake Byrne (Assumption) hit a two run homerun over the left field fence. The lead was extended in the fourth inning, as Jack Gethings (Fairfield) hit a solo shot to left field, making it 4-0.


Zack Tower (Franklin Pierce) hit his 18th homerun of the season in the bottom of the fifth inning, extending the Wachusett lead to 6-0. Tower pushed the lead to 8-0 with a two RBI single to left field in the bottom of the sixth.


Inside the Numbers

  • Gethings’ solo shot in the fourth inning gives the Dirt Dawgs their 300 RBI of the season, further increasing the league record.

Up Next

Wachusett hits the road as they travel to Pittsfield, Mass to take on the Suns, starting at 7:00pm.