Rain barrel program
The town of Essex, in partnership with the Great American Rain Barrel Company, is offering rain barrels to residents at a discount ($69 vs. $119 retail) to help conserve water and save money. Each UV protected polyethylene barrel is made in the USA from a 39x24-inch recycled shipping drum weighing 20 pounds empty with a wall thickness of 3⁄16 inch, resulting in a rigid, heavy duty, long-lasting rain barrel, complete with overflow fittings, drain plug, screw-on cover, a threaded spigot with a choice of two ports to use with either a watering or gardening can, and instructions for easy installation. Visit www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com.
The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce offers free small-business counseling at its office at 33 Commercial St., Gloucester, on the first and third Thursday of the month. Anyone starting a business can make an appointment with a representative from the Small Business Development Center of Salem State College. Call 978-283-1601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blood pressure clinics
The Essex Council on Aging holds a blood pressure clinic the third Thursday of each month, 10:30 a.m., at the Senior Center, 17 Pickering St.
Seniors age 60 and over are invited to lunch at the Essex Senior Center on the first and third Thursday of the month. Lunch is provided by SeniorCare. A $2 donation is requested. For reservations, call 978-768-7932.
A women’s Bible study with Beth Moore, “James: Mercy Triumphs,” will be held Wednesdays, 10 to 11:30 a.m., at the First Congregational Church of Essex. Child care is available. Call Rama at 978-768-3319.
Beginner and advanced skating skills group and private lessons are available for boys and girls ages 5-12, tots ages 2 1/2 and up, teens and adults. Instruction is by professional coaches certified by USA Hockey and U.S. Figure Skating associations. Lessons available at Talbot Rink on Tuesdays, 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 1 p.m.; at Pingree School in Hamilton on Tuesdays and Fridays, 9:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., and Wednesdays, 1:30 p.m. Private lessons also available. Enrollment is ongoing. For a registration form, visit www.cafsc.org or call 978-546-2290.