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Statewide Vote November 6

The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 State Election was Wednesday, October 17, 2018. The Town Clerk’s Office will be open on that date from 2 – 4 and from 7 – 8 p.m. Voters may register to vote or change their party.witty funeral home

Three Petersham residents, Jane Lynch Gilbert, Diane Nassif and Stephanie Selden have offered to drive Petersham voters on Nov. 6 by arrangement. Lynne Feldman has offered to link voter with driver. The number to use to reach her for this purpose is 978 340 2121.
Absentee ballots are available  in the Town Clerk’s Office. If you will be out of town on Election Day, if you have a disability or if you have a religious belief which prevents you from going to the polls, you qualify for an absentee ballot. Absentee ballot applications are available from the Clerk’s Office or going to https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/absentee/Engligh-Absentee-Ballot-Application.pdf. The deadline to apply for an absentee is noon on Monday, Nov. 5.
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Early voting will take place from Monday, Oct. 22 through Friday, Nov. 2. The hours to early vote are Monday, Oct 22 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Oct. 24 8 a.m. – Noon, Oct. 26 8 a.m. – Noon, Oct. 27 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Oct. 29 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Oct. 31 Noon – 3 p.m. and Nov. 2 10 a.m. – 2pm. An application to early vote by mail must be filled out in either the Clerk’s Office or by going to https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/2018-Early-Ballot-Application.pdf. Voters who choose to vote in person do not need to fill out an application.

For questions, please contact the Town Clerk, Diana Cooley at 978-724-6649.

Sweats for Vets Clothes Drive

Petersham Frontier Girls Troop # 448 will be holding a Sweats for Vets collection at the Center School during the month of November. The regional group hopes to colect 1,200 Boston Team sweats for homeless veterans in New England. A collection bin will be at the school. Send or drop off unwrapped team sweatshirts Medium or larger. The troop will wrap them as gifts. For info e-mail alexisharrington804@yahoo.com

University of the Wild Programs

UofWild is offering its slate of Fall programs.   

Tuesday, October 30th conference call on the "Semester-on-Earth" program. The UofWild will launch its first semester-long program of Earth-based living and learning in the Fall of 2019.

Saturday, November 10th 10:00 a..m. - 4:00 p.m. Earth Writer's Workshop for experienced and beginning writers.WATERWHEEL

Sunday, November 25th the Annual Earthlands Thanksgiving Gathering and Potluck Meal. "Meet and Greet Reception" at 2:00 p.m. with the Potluck at 4:00 p.m. 

For information and registration of the programs go to: wwwuniversityofthewild.org  or contact Larry Buell directly at <larrybuell@earthlands.org 


New Dump Stickers Available

New resident stickers for the transfer station are available at the Selectboard office. The cost is $25.00 cash or check made out to Town of Petersham for 2 stickers only. The new stickers are yellow.

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Send it here: info@petershamcommon,com

Petershamcommon.com has been putting local Petersham news and information online since 1996. This website records between 8,000 and 10,000 page views each month - more than anystone harvest farm other source of local Petersham news. It is a good place to spread the word about community events so all can see. There is an Opinion Page open for polite thoughts and comments from everyone -- just like Letters to the Editor in a newspaper.

This website is NOT an official outlet for town government. It presents fact-based reporting about town government and news about local events, It is updated nearly every day, so please put us on your list when sending out your news. Simple text e-mails listing who, what, when, where and why do nicely - no PDFs please.
Send it here: info@petershamcommon,com

Friday Market Totes Are Here

Sturdy and stylish, reusable Friday Market shopping tote bags that can be used on any shopping trip are now available at The Country Store, at Quabbin Woods and at the Memorial Library. Or request a bag by e-mail to fridaymarket@petershamcommon.com.earthlands

These commodious totes are available for a donation of $10 or more to support the 20-week Friday Market music program on the common. The market opens again on June 8 and each Friday through October.small tote

Get Some Free Stuff
You Can't Beat These Prices
At the Dump

Transfer Station (DUMP) Fees

Calendar of Town Committee Meetings

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Free Property Valuation Booklet

The Valuation and Taxes of the Town of Petersham for the Year 2016 booklet is available at the Petersham Town Offices at the Board of Assessors Office, the Selectboard Office and the Petersham Memorial Library during regular business hours. Interested Petersham taxpayers are invited to pick up a free copy.

2018 Selectboard Office Hours

Monday 8  a.m. – 7  p.m.
Tuesday 8  a.m. – 4  p.m.
Wednesday, Thursday
8  a.m. – 4  p.m.
Friday 8  a.m. – 12 noon

Selectboard Meeting  Dates

Tuesday October 9 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday October 23 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday November 13 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday November 27 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday December 11 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday December 18 6:30 p.m.

Sen. Anne Gobi

Tuesday, October 9th  
Petersham Town Offices, 10:30 to 11:30

Rep. Susannah Whipps

 our hisory

Official Town Website -

Committee meeting notices are posted at  www.mytowngovernment.org

Colorful Fish

If only the river were this blue...
Photos from Petersham, Surrey, England


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Harvard Forest - Fisher Museum

"Great Plates, Eat Out."




Town-wide Nichewaug Meeting Held

Fifty-one residents attended an open discussion of options for the Nichewaug property at the town hall at 6:30 p.m. on October 17. Town Moderator Bart Wendell ran the meeting as residents shared ideas for the property from open space to mixed uses to senior housing. Wendell opened the meeting by saying the town has been seeking ideas for the property for nearly ten years and  "It is time to have a conversation."original tire co

A town-wide mailing was sent to 900-plus voters to announce the meeting. Wendell said a series of  meetings could determine a consensus -- an agreement to suggest what, if anything, to do about the complex. The next session will be held in three weeks.

Wendell said the planned meeting was not a formal public meeting even though several town officials were present.

New Broadband Borrowing Could Reach $800,000

The Board of Selectmen plans to ask voters for more broadband borrowing at a November special town meeting and set the amount at about $800,000 while the town waits for a definite reimbursement promise from state agencies. A draft document outlining the promised payback, which won't happen until the local system is built and running, is in the hands of the lawyers for review.

If the deal is not final by the November town meeting date, Selectboard chair Nancy Allen told the Finance Committee on Oct. 9, that meeting will have to be scrubbed. "If we don't get a signed agreement from MBI (Massachusetts Broadband Institute) we will cancel the town meeting," she said. FinComm member Mark  Bishop asked, "You could lose your $560,000 ante?" Allen said, "Yes."  hardwick coop

Broadband committee member John Blum told the meeting that the town will have to pay the utility companies to  upgrade utility poles and pay to relocate fiber optic cables that MBI installed all along East and North Main Streets to make room for new cables.

About 15 residents attended an information meeting to bring residents up to date on the town's broadband project for 7 p.m. October 10 in town hall. The Selectboard recently scheduled a  special town meeting to propose borrowing about $800,000 for the project and expects that the town will be reimbursed by the state when the system is completely built and operating.

2019 Tax Rate Estimate Heading Upward

Assessor Dana Kennan told Selectmen Oct. 9 that the 2019 tax rate will be up about four percent from $16.37 to $17.07 and an average single family home tax  bill will rise from $3,919 to $4,128 in the coming months. millers river

In other business, the board voted to open the wood bank at the transfer station on Nov. 3. Vouchers for firewood will be available at the town office starting October 15. Volunteers will be stacking wood at the dump on Sunday Oct. 14

The board appointed David Boeri of North Main Street and Anne Cavanaugh of East Street to vacant seats on the Conservation Commission.

Mostly Wandering Dogs and Hatching Turtles

ACO Call Log September 2018

09/02@3p Report of loose dog near 122 and New Athol Road. Dog located and returned to owner.

09/03@11a Resident update regarding hatched turtles in yard. Advice given.

09/04@8a Resident reports unknown dog walking in middle of West Road. Owner located and notified.quabbin retreat

09/07a@9a Resident requesting information about turtle rehab options for HBC turtle on Route 122. Resident willing to transport to Tufts Wildlife.

09/08@1p Resident request to borrow trap for lost cat. Trap loaned.

09/14@8:45p Resident call to inform circumstances regarding raccoon in shed. Advice given. Deceased animal retrieved using rabies precautions. State Lab notified and disposition advice followed.

09/17@2p Resident reports house cat is missing. Does not want a PAWS Alert sent. Suggestions given to help locate.

09/20@6p Owner of above called to say cat was at home when she returned from work. Though cat appeared fine, suggested she contact her veterinarian.SENIORS

09/24@2p Dispatch report of loose dog on New Athol Road. Dog identified, owner contacted.

09/26@3p Resident call to discuss options for nuisance wildlife getting into trash. Options given.

09/27@4p Resident call to follow up on nuisance wildlife and discuss best option.

09/30@12:30p Dispatch and resident call for loose dog on Route 32 near Athol Line. Dog brought to a Petersham location by finder. Dog picked up and brought to Petersham Animal Shelter. FB post/PAWS Alert. Owner called at 1:30p stating she is visiting a relative in Petersham and dog wandered off. Met owner at Shelter at 2pm, dog returned to owner..

Loss of Tree Species Prompts Reflection and Action
The Harvard Forest Fisher Museum will host a public event from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday October 20, 2018, to explore species loss and encourage community action. A panel discussion and Q&A by experts on invasive species and human decision-making will augment guided tours of Hemlock Hospice, a field-based sculpture installation created by Harvard Forest Fellow David Buckley Borden. A short documentary film will also premiere.atholhospital

The program will focus mainly on eastern hemlock, a widespread tree in southern New England forests that has been the focus of intensive study at the Harvard Forest for many decades. Hemlocks are now dying across the East coast and throughout southern New England, due to an invasive, aphid-like insect called the hemlock woolly adelgid. Scientists project that hemlock forests in Massachusetts will be functionally extinct by 2025.

Hemlock woolly adelgid is not the only destructive insect to invade local forests in recent years. Gypsy moth, emerald ash borer, and other pests have heavy impacts in the region and will also be addressed by the speakers.

Doors will open for the Oct. 20 event at 10:00 a.m., and the first guided tour of Hemlock Hospice sculpture exhibition will begin at 10:15 a.m. The exhibition tells the story of the loss of eastern hemlock, and addresses larger issues of climate change, human impact, and the future of New England forests. It is embedded in a primary research area at Harvard Forest and involves about 1.5 miles of walking on uneven ground in the woods, so guests should plan to dress accordingly.godin

In a speaker program beginning at 12:00 p.m. in the Fisher Museum, scientists Dave Orwig, Laura Meyerson, and Valerie Pasquarella from Harvard Forest, the University of Rhode Island, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, respectively, will discuss the ecosystems we’re losing due to invasive species in New England, the impacts this loss has on our landscape and human well-being, the changes we can expect to see in Central Massachusetts, and the range of actions community members can take.

The panel discussion will be followed by the premiere of a new documentary film by Faizal Westcott, Devin Chaganis, Casey Keenan, David Buckley Borden, and Aaron Ellison, about hemlock loss in New England and the Hemlock Hospice exhibition.

The film screening will be followed by a second guided tour of the art exhibition from 2:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Hemlock Hospiceexhibitwill remain on view at the Harvard Forest through November 18, 2018.

Helping People Age in Place in Petersham

Members of a "Petersham Committee" held an informational meeting to explain their plans to create a way to help residents age in place in town. Forty community members attended the  meeting at the center School cafeteria September 26. Petersham presently  has limited services for elders.

Jim Reagan told the group the plan is to follow a "Village to Village" model to recruit subscribers and volunteers who might provide services like home making, yard work, trips to the grocery store and more. He said the nearest similar working model of such a group is Monadnock at Home in Southern New Hampshire. Such groups began with Beacon Hill Village in Boston and have spread across the country. With volunteers and paid staff, they collect information about available services and service providers and volunteers to hep senior members of their communities.

The group plans a follow-up organizational meeting after the Age Council luncheon on October 22 and will discuss forming an advisory council.

Walk-In Medical Care Center Open in Athol

Heywood Healthcare has opened a Walk-In Care Center in the North Quabbin Commons Plaza at 81 Reservoir Drive, near Market Basket in Athol.

The new center offers walk-in treatment for everyday illness and injury, including cuts, sprains, fever, sore throats, ear aches and cold symptoms, with no appointment required. Tully Walk-In Care, shares an office with Tully Family Medicine to provide care seven days-a-week. As an urgent walk-in care center Tully Walk-In Care will help patients who may not be able to see their primary care physician, who don't have a primary care physician or who don’t need true emergency treatment.

Tully Walk-In Care operates 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
For more information, please call (978) 248-8558.

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