Ruth Maxant Schultz owns goats and has teamed up with the town to employ them to clear unwanted greenery across from the transfer station for the summer.
Last fall, Schultz proposed the idea to Mark Wetzel, director of the Department of Public Works. She had been reading articles about how the government was using goats to clean up federal land and thought her goats could provide similar services.
“I kept sending him (Wetzel) links and articles about the goats,” Schultz said. “He was very appreciative and receptive when I mentioned the goats and having them clean up the transfer station.”
The goats started working for the town this past fall and it was decided they were needed again for the summer.
“It’s relatively easy and inexpensive to have the goats out there,” Wetzel said. “It’s better than mobilizing heavy equipment, which is hard to get into that area anyway.”
The goats are out at the transfer station chowing down on greenery almost every day. Schultz brings them in the morning and picks them back up at night.
“It’s so easy for me to get them here,” Schultz said. “I don’t have to bring water or food or anything. It’s a perfect situation.”
Each goat earns $1 an hour. Wetzel said there are 7-25 goats at the transfer station.
“When they work they eat the greenery, twigs, poison ivy, so you don’t need to come in with a shredder or anything else,” Schultz said.
“If they eat it often enough, it just won’t exist anymore and you’ll have a nice manicured lawn.”The goats are protected in the area due to a chain link fence keeping them inside. But they have escaped a few times.
“Last year, they did find a place where the fence was a little too high and they crawled underneath it,” Schultz said. “I’ll have to do a little patching but they’re really good at getting out of places. ”
Schultz’s goats not only work for Ayer but have begun clearing greenery in Littleton. She also has had people from town reach out to her about having the goats clear in their yards.
“Last year, I took the goats over to people’s houses to eat the poison ivy,” Schultz said. “I’d be happy to have the goats going out to eat ivy or whatever people want them to.”
Although the goats are able to eat a lot of different things, they can get sick from overeating, said Schultz. She said if people see them, it’s okay to pull greens from the side of the road for them, but she does not encourage giving them human food.
“Even though they eat a lot of stuff they still can get sick and die from it,” she said.
The goats are expected to work all summer, except for rainy days.
“The goats like to eat and we have a lot of brush for them,” Wetzel said. “They’re happy to be there.”
And the DPW is happy to have them.
By Stephanie Michaud, Correspondent
Read more: http://www.nashobapublishing.com/community_news/ci_28600897/goats-payroll#ixzz3ibU6TMrA
Reserving Museum Passes
The library offers passes for free or reduced admission to many New England museums.
* Museum passes from Ayer Library are available to anyone with a library card in good standing, and no outstanding fines.
* Reusable passes must be returned to the library the day after use. There will be a fee of $1 per day for overdue passes. Lost passes have a $5 replacement fee.
* Some passes are date specific so please reserve passes in advance by visiting the library or by calling us at 978-772-8250.
Passes to the following museums are available to Ayer residents or other locals who have library cards in good standing. They must be reserved in person or by phone. Select passes must be returned to the main desk at the library or in the book drop the day after use.
* Ecotarium: 222 Harrington Way, Worcester, www.ecotarium.org; 508-929-2700. Admits 2 adults at $7 and 2 kids at $4.
* ~Fitchburg Art Museum: 25 Merriam Parkway, Fitchburg, www.fitchburgartmuseum.org; 978-543-4207. Admits 2 people for free.
* Museum of Fine Arts: 465 Huntington Ave. Boston, www.mfa.org; 617-267-9300. Admits 2 people for $10 each.
* *Museum of Science: 1 Science Park, Boston, www.mos.org; 617-589-0100. Admits 4 people for $10 each.
**New England Aquarium: 90 East India Row, Boston, www.neaq.org
; 617-973-5281. Admits 4 people for $10 each. Aquarium pass not available during July and August.
* USS Constitution Museum: Building 22 Charleston Navy Yard Boston, www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org 617-426-1812. Admits 9 people for free.
* ~Worcester Art Museum: 55 Salisbury St,. Worcester, www.worcesterart.org; 508-799-4406. Admits 2 people for free.
* Zoo New England: 1 Franklin Park Rd. Boston, www.zoonewengland.org; 617-989-2076. Admits 6 people, $6.
~ Signifies a pass that must be returned to the library.
* Signifies a pass that is date specific.
Ayer Library ~ 26 E. Main St. Ayer, MA 01432 ~ 978-772-8250 ~ www.ayerlibrary.org
Read more: http://www.nashobapublishing.com/community_news/ci_28532485/museum-passes-available-at-library#ixzz3hHXS0mgJ
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
The recovery in the housing market is driving a turnaround in the labor market as well.
The better-than-expected February jobs report got a big lift from 48,000 new jobs in the construction industry. Builders have added 151,000 jobs over the last five months, the sector’s best hiring surge since the 2006 housing bubble.
The employment numbers reiterate what other housing reports have found: Home prices are up, as are home sales. Near record low mortgage rates and a drop inforeclosures have created a much better market for builders. In January, they filed for the greatest number of building permits since 2008.
“Our members are hiring so much that they’re starting to get worried about finding enough labor out there,” said Paul Emrath, economist with the National Association of Home Builders. “Most are talking about adding people.”
Related: Housing to drive economic growth (finally!)
He said his group’s forecast is that residential construction hiring in 2013 will be about five times the pace of last year.
Employment levels in construction are still very low compared to not just the housing boom years but also to employment even before the bubble started to inflate. The industry would have to add about 1 million workers overall to return to levels seen in early 2003.
Related: Housing recovery gains strength
“We are coming from a very, very low trough,” said Emrath. So many workers left the field during the downturn, that it’s become more difficult to find skilled construction workers, he said.
The jobs report also showed a pick-up in real estate hiring, as that sector added 13,400 over the last three months, the best three-month rush of hiring in the sector in seven years. Building supply stores also added 4,300 workers in February, making it one of the hottest retail segments to add workers.
READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE