Announcements from Feb. 15, 2021

Published: 2/19/2021 11:26:08 AM
VITA tax prep available for some

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Granite United Way and Citizens remain committed to bringing the successful free tax preparation program back. Granite United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program launched their program on Jan. 29, National Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day, with support from Citizens Bank in the form of a $50,000 contribution. This free tax preparation program is available to individuals and families with household incomes up to $56,844, the upper income limit for the EITC, annually. Taxes are prepared by IRS-certified volunteers who assist low-to-moderate income residents to access the greatest amount of refunds. Both Granite United Way and Citizens share a common goal of encouraging financial stability and recognize the importance of programs like VITA to families and individuals.

Some of the changes individuals will see this year include:

■Free tax filing through VITA will not happen face-to-face as in years past. Taxpayers can go to or dial 211 to connect with a VITA program that can assist them “virtually”.

■Several of the COVID-19 relief measures are being addressed through tax filing, including the stimulus (Economic Impact Payment); this is considered an advance payment on the new “Recovery Rebate Credit”. People who did not receive their full stimulus are able to claim it when they file a 2020 tax return.

■Unemployment affected many people this year and that may affect the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Tax filers may use their 2020 earned income or look back to their 2019 earned income to calculate the most favorable EITC.

The EITC is a support for working people who don’t make a lot of money. According to the IRS, about 1-in-5 eligible New Hampshire residents fail to file for the EITC, leaving an estimated $37 million unclaimed. Volunteers are the foundation for the program, and this year they will play a critical role in ensuring questions regarding COVID-19 are answered.

Volunteers are still needed, and those interested can reach out to Cary Gladstone at 625-6939, ext. 128.

NewburyTown poet laureate explores Italy in book

In an age where travel can feel like a memory, Dianalee Velie, the Poet Laureate of Newbury invites readers to take a trip of words with her forthcoming book of poetry, Italian Lessons. Rich with the atmosphere and culture of Italy, Italian Lessons explores Velie’s experiences traveling through Northern Italy, the Amalfi Coast and Sicily during her time as a poetry instructor in 2009 and 2011. The poems invite us to visit with cousins in Santa Croce di Camerina, Sicily, experience the familiar tastes of Italian cuisine and even take jaunts through Italy’s storied past. Her poetry is a celebration of the senses, asking readers to experience the simple pleasures of life. Her poems are playful both in imagery and in form, using ottava rima, terzanelle, and Petrarchan sonnets to explore her subjects. In Velie’s poems we taste “rich, dark expresso” or “hot chocolate/sprinkled with cinnamon/and slim slivers of orange peel”, glimpse Roman soldiers marching, and view scenes from Italian life and the beauty in the everyday. She conjures an impressive sense of place and we as readers are drawn into the sights, sounds and smells of Italy. Velie, who has previously published five books of poetry and a collection of short stories, has taught poetry, memoir and short stories both in New England, New York and abroad, and has had poems and short stories published in hundreds of magazines and journals, many of which being translated into Italian. In addition, she leads the John Hay Poetry Society, which has been meeting for close to 20 years, and has created a permanent poetry path in Newbury that honors New Hampshire Poet Laureates. Italian Lessons is available for pre-order, to be released in April of 2021 at

AndoverLearn about Kearsarge Council on Aging

Want to learn more, from the comfort of your own home, about a wide and growing variety of services and activities available to all Kearsarge-area senior citizens? Then join in a “virtual” presentation by, and conversation with, the two senior staffers at the Kearsarge Council on Aging, beginning at 3 p.m. on Feb. 23. Because of the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the event will be delivered “live” over the internet to local residents via an easy-to-use videoconferencing technology called Zoom. There it can be viewed interactively and at no cost via home computers and hand-held devices. Information and a link to join the session can be gained by sending an e-mail request to the event sponsor, The Andover Community Hub, at What is KCOA all about? Kelley Keith, its executive director and presenter will explain.  Keith will be joined in the Zoom presentation and discussion by Karen Lester, KCOA administrative manager. The event will be the second in what is planned to be a year-long series of public Hub-sponsored offerings aimed at increasing awareness of the wide variety of services offered by area organizations and agencies and available to local residents. For more information about this event’s partnering organizations, go to and, or send an email to, or 

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