The Opinion Page
Create a Floral Head Wreath
Sat, June 11, 9
a.m.-11a.m. Create a festive floral head wreath with
Heidi Strickland at the Petersham Art Center. All the
fresh flowers will be provided. $10 members/$30
The class is filling up fast! Call
978-724-3415 to register.
Music at Mahar
The Ralph C.
Mahar Regional School's performing arts program will
hold its Spring Concert Thursday, May 26th at 7 p.m. in
the Charlotte Ryan Theater, 507 South Main St., Orange.
This concert will feature Middle School and High School
music ensembles (bands and choirs) performances. It is
free and open to the public.
Take Me Out to a Ball Game
The Age Council is Planning a trip
to a Woo Sox game in July.
To reserve your tickets WooSox game,
make out your check to:
Please write “WooSox
Game” in the memo line.
to: The Petersham COA, P.O.
Box 486, Petersham, MA 01366.
questions? call Kathy McCrohon 508-404-7552
July 10, 2022
Price $ 25.00 per person plus gratuity for bus
Time: 10:45 a.m
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Game Time: 1:05
Lost Towns & the Rabbit Run
Friday June 3, 2022
Brief business meeting at 6:30 PM
program at 7 PM
At Petersham Town
Hall, 1 South Main Street
FREE ~ ALL WELCOME!
Artist Ken Levine will
present his Quabbin
Art & History Project, a new diorama focused on
the lost towns of the Quabbin Valley. The project is
inspired by the Rabbit Run Rail which connected
Springfield and Athol from 1871 to 1935. At nearly 25
feet in length, the intricate model depicts the Rabbit
Run chugging thru the Quabbin towns as the seasons
Join Ken for his program
which includes a vast array of historic and contemporary
photos, models, information, reminiscences, and video of
his research, planning, and model making. The Rabbit Run
diorama will be on permanent display at the Swift River
Historical Society in New Salem beginning in June 2022.
Heywood Weekly Update May 20
Library Events in May
Youth Dungeons and Dragons Club.
Children ages 11-14 are encouraged to register for
the Petersham Memorial Library's Virtual Dungeons
and Dragons club. Our next meeting is on
Saturday, May 28 at 6 p.m. Space is limited, so
PetershamLibraryRequests@gmail.com to register.
Photo Classes at the Art Center
Smith of Petersham will offer offer two photography
classes at Petersham Art Center, one for kids and one
for teens to adults. Smith has many years of experience
teaching creative photography to youth and adults. Each
class will introduce ideas that spark imagination and
experimentation. Either a camera or cell phone can be
used for the class.
Camera Kids, Ages
Saturdays, June 4, 11, 18, 25 9:00 - 10:00 am (4)
Cost: $20 mem; $40 non-member
Taking Better Photos, Ages Teen to Adult
Sundays, June 5, 12, 19 1:00 - 3:00 pm (3) two-hour
Cost: $30 Members / $50 Non-members
Call PAC at 978-724-3415 for more information and to
New Congregational Church Discussion Group
The Orthodox Congregational Church is
starting new Adult Christian Education programming with an
ongoing Discussion Group Series meeting on the Second & Fourth
Wednesdays of the month (except March, which will be the Second
& the Fifth) at 6:30p both in-person and remotely via Zoom &
Facebook Live. This Discussion Group will address a variety of
topics, the first being "What's the Difference? Christian Church
Edition," which will discuss what makes one church tradition
different from an other, like pastors or priests, decorations,
the layout of the sanctuary, views on the sacraments, and more.
Other topics will follow, like Books Excluded From the Bible,
Church Architecture, Congregationalism, Biblical Archaeology,
Inter-Faith Topics, Heresy in History (e.g. Gnosticism &
Prosperity Gospel), et al.
The transfer station is now open on Wednesdays from 1:30
to 4 p.m. as well as Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Petersham Telephone Directory
Surgical Pavilion Work at Heywood Hospital
Site work is set to begin on or
about February 28th, in preparation of the construction
of a new surgical pavilion at Heywood Hospital. Visitors
will notice fencing and heavy equipment on site, as
phase 1 site preparation includes erosion control,
drilling and blasting.
Hospital abutters will be offered pre-construction home
inspections, conducted by Falvey Associates as blasting
of ledge will be conducted on the site. Quarterly
abutter forums will provide ongoing communication and
The new surgical pavilion is designed to improve local
and regional access to surgical services, expanding from
the current four undersized operating rooms to a total
of six operating rooms. It will include modernization
and technology upgrades designed to optimize access to
high quality, low cost, surgical care. Completion of the
surgical pavilion is anticipated in the fall of 2023.
a Local Volunteer
It Is Often said ...
That there is a shortage of people who are willing to accept
positions - to make a contribution - to small
town governments like ours. It may be easy to believe that.
But here are the facts. Three people stepped up to run for a
single seat on our Selectboard recently. Not one or two but
three. And if you look a bit more closely at the numbers,
there are 25 municipal committees at the helm of our town
government. We have a Board of Health, Zoning Board,
Planning Board and more.
Together, those committees have a combined membership of 85
residents all willing to serve, to attend meetings and
deliberate important town issues. That is almost one in ten
of us. Nearly 200 residents attended a recent special town
And the numbers do not include churches and fraternal groups
like the Lions Club and the Petersham Grange or trustees of
the library and the craft center.
So the next time someone tells you that nobody is willing to
serve, feel free to correct them.
Heywood Hospital and Barre Covid Testing
Heywood Hospital Damon Building. ** Appointment
Testing available Monday-Saturday
Closed on Sundays. Physician order/referral is not required.
The Heywood Hospital Damon Building (234
Green Street, Gardner, MA) is located across from Heywood Hospital
(242 Green St. Gardner, MA).Enter through Matthews Street.
Barre Family Health Center, Rte. 122 in Barre. Call 978-355-6321.
Info for Residents Seeking Help With Heating Bills
A website that answers frequent questions is
A New Feature
An Occasional Column of Pastoral Thoughts:
recent Annual Meeting of Orthodox Congregational Church,
a Bicentennial Committee was formed, as the Church will
be celebrating that milestone next year. What does
history mean to you? In general, and in relation to our
worship service before the Annual Meeting, I gave a
sermon that was about the Church's history and then the
vignette of the “Discipline Committee.” It was the
supposition of one of my
predecessors who was relating those events in a speech,
that a couple hundred years ago, recording history was
not a big concern to the original congregation, and so
they did not see much need to record many milestones,
but did record the disciplinary issues.
records of that sort of thing would be useful to
historians for a snapshot of society and culture at that
time, but it is hardly something to celebrate. For
example, it took a major series of renovations and a
knowledge of Congregational architectural terms to
confirm that there used to be a balcony in the
details were not forthcoming, and the oldest members had
not even heard about this. I find this interesting
because of my background studying religious art &
architecture, but in reality may not be so important or
profound to other people.
this is why I ask, as Orthodox Congregational Church
prepares to celebrate its 200th
anniversary, what does the history of this Church mean
to you (assuming it is)? What is important? What should
be showcased? What should be highlighted for the larger
community of Petersham? and What has this Church meant
Please feel free to let me know!
There is the front light & a sign on the front door
denoting when I am in the building, so drop in; call the
Church; message me via the Church's Facebook page; or
email me at
Missing Dogs and Cats?
Handy Transfer Station Recycling Guide
Mike Seitz, transfer station assistant, provides this
short guide to recycling.
These items should go in the regular trash bin:
plastic bags, styrofoam, black plastic, glass and ceramic kitchenware,
plastic or combination coat hangars, all medical devices. Any other
items not marked for recycling. Questions? Ask
Paul or Mike.
Single-use household batteries go in the trash bin.
Give rechargeable batteries to the transfer station monitors along with
laptop batteries and button batteries. Auto batteries and the like can
often be returned to auto parts stores or scrap yards for store credit or
Switch to Amazon Prime and the Petersham Friday
Market can get a small donation for our music program from each
Food Pantries Serving Petersham Residents
Orange, MA Food Pantry
118 East Main Street (across from the Armory)
Open Thursdays 10-3
Evan Manning - coordinator
Salvation Army Athol
Food Pantry 107 Ridge Ave.
Open Tuesday, Friday | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
This food pantry is available twice a month or on an emergency basis.
Please call 978.249.8111 for details.
Take out meal program Tuesday nights.
Nichewaug Video Tour
Just for the Fun of It... click here
Something to Say?
Send it here:
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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
thoughts and comments from everyone -- just like Letters to the Editor in a
This website is NOT an official outlet for town government. It presents
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updated nearly every day, so please put us on your list when sending out
Simple text e-mails listing who, what, when, where and why do
nicely - no PDFs and no posters please.
Send it here:
Get Some Free Stuff
You Can't Beat These Prices
At the Dump
Transfer Station (DUMP) Fees
Town Committee Meetings
Selectboard Office Hours
Monday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuesday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sen. Anne Gobi
Rep. Susannah Whipps
Official Town Website -
Committee meeting notices and minutes are posted at
If only the river were this blue...
Petersham, Surrey, England
and A Place to
Stay the Night
Harvard Forest - Fisher Museum
"Great Plates, Eat Out."
A Plan to Cover $400K Budget Gap
The Advisory Finance Committee has recommended steps to cover a $400K
budget gap created when town meeting failed to include state
reimbursements in a vote to appropriate money for the Center School
The Committee plans to use money ordinarily set aside for property tax
abatements ($73,923) and draw down the town stabilization fund to 2.4
percent of the total budget from its customary 8 percent level
($276,041) and also apply $87,559 from free cash to fix the problem.
Selectboard chair Nancy Allen said the budget "glitch" occurred when she
neglected to include state money with the $1.2 million in the local
taxation vote that pays for the Center School budget, creating a deficit
for the school.
The committee said other effects of the mistake will be dropping a
request for a new police cruiser ($89,000) from consideration and
cutting $10,000 for preservation of town documents. The committee
also asked Selectboard for assurance that a proposed Nichewaug Inn
demolition - also delayed when bond counsel rejected the town's
borrowing due to procedural errors - will not create principal or
interest charges in fiscal year 2023 which begins in July.
Memorial Day May 30
Petersham Post 415 American Legion will join forces with several
other local groups for Memorial Day on May 30. The line forms at 9:30
a.m. on the common. Honor rolls will be read.
The Petersham Brass Band provides the music for the Legion
Auxiliary, veterans of all wars, matrons and daughters clergy, police,
fire, Boy Scouts, Frontier Girls, Cub Scouts, Brownies, little league,
school children and citizens. Interfaith service at the
congregational church on May 29 at 10:30 a.m.
Parade Returns on the 4th of July
Lynn Scott of East Street and Susan Dougherty of
West Street will be organizing a return of the town's annual Fourth of
July parade this year. The event was formerly planned by the late Beth
Cummings and by the late Selectman Rik
Marsh. Save, fill out and
return this form.
Preparing for This Year's Town Meeting
The Capital Improvement Planning Committee told
Selectboard members on May 3 that it has approved buying two new police
cruisers at $85,952, a $27,900 replacement for Center School rain
gutters and $10,000 for a continuing project to restore and preserve
town records. The items will be presented to town meeting in June for
It remains uncertain whether spending plans will force a Proposition 2
1/2 override. Selectboard chair Nancy Allen said, "...it's a work in
progress." The proposed Center School budget is up seven percent to
$1.32 million and Mahar
Regional is claiming a 19 percent hike to $1.034 million in Petersham's share of expenses
Highway Superintendant Greg Waid was named Tree Warden to fill a
vacancy. Ed Simms resigned his long-held post as a member of the
Montachusett Vocational school committee. Rich Nicoletti was appointed
to the Cemetery Commission and Rebecca Davis was named to the Council on
The board approved a new utility pole location to
accommodate bridge construction on Quaker Drive.
University of the Wild Spring Programs
The University of the Wild has
returned with a creative slate of timely programs.
The UofWild is a 22
year-old-environmental program and educational curriculum that offers
“hands-on”, direct experience, and self-directed learning for those
seeking to live, learn, and act for the Earth and all life. For Larry
Buell, founder of the UofWild and the Earthlands community, “the work
of the UofWild is a continuation of the historic roots of the local
environmental initiations of Harvard Forest, Trustees of Reservations,
and Massachusetts Audubon and is so important at this time”.
The spring programs offer a range
information from local edible wild foods to pre-European history and
Ancient living skills to creating Earth-based community. Programs
Thursday, June 16th
8:00 PM PODCAST
Building a WECHI Community
Wild Earth Communities and Households International encourages
individuals and groups who already live and learn with sustainable and
regenerative lifestyles join together in a global network to support,
learn, and act for the Earth. ZOOM CALLMeeting ID 861 1777 3148 PassCode:
Saturday, June 18th
Shamanic Retreat –
Re-Rmerging into Life!”with
Cathy Pedevillano to reconnect to Earth, Self, Spirit, and Tribe. For
information and registration VISIT:
and a Word of Caution About Bears
Animal Control Call Log Summary
3/2 @11a Resident call
regarding loose dog often seen on South Common. Discussion about bylaws,
encouraged caller to report any future incidents at the time of
3/11 @3p Extended conversation with resident regarding several
dog issues on street, including barking dogs at night, wandering dogs in
road, and unknown dogs in yard. Each topic discussed, with action plans
3/15 @8p Barking dog complaint, action taken
3/18 @7p Resident request for animal welfare check as barking
heard in a house and no one has been at the location for a few days.
3/19 @5p Follow up on above
3/20 @12p Resident call with questions regarding avian flu and
information read online. Additional information provided to caller
3/22 @7p Resident reports loose dog running in an area and would
like someone to come out to locate dog and restrain. Caller reports the
dog is not one previously seen in the area
@9p Above dog located,
owner contacted, dog escorted home
Dispatch call for loose dog, PPD asking for assistance. Upon arrival dog
3/26 @11:40a Dispatch call and text regarding dog incident at
PCS, PPD requests assistance. To area, spoke with parties involved and
info taken. Information passed on to animal control in another
@1:30p Resident call regarding odd acting porcupine. General discussion
about behavior; follow up calls during the afternoon, animal continued
into woods and did not return.
3/27 Several phone calls regarding follow up on above situation
that occurred at PCS on 3/26.
Over the course of the month there were several random calls of bears at
bird feeders (callers advised as to best course of action) and coyote
seen during the day. It is the time of year to take in bird feeders and
not leave any food out of doors that could attract other wildlife.
Nichewaug Demolition Project Update
The Capital Improvement Planning Committee April 21 approved
sending a $721,0000 Nichewaug property demolition proposal to town
meeting. The committee is the last stop to review large spending items
on the way to town meeting.
The committee took no action on a request for funds to replace
wooden rain gutters at the center school and a police department
request to purchase one or two new police cruisers and will get
more information on those items in a week. One cruiser could cost
$59,500 -- two $119,
Committee member Jim Dowd asked Police Chief Peter Buck if the
department could get along without one or two new vehicles this year since the upcoming budget could force a $200,000 Proposition 2 1/2
override due to increased regional and local school appropriations. Buck
said the department could make due if necessary.
Town Treasurer Dana Robinson told the Selectboard April 13
that an error and an oversight will prevent the town from borrowing for
Nichewaug demolition until the loan is approved at our next town
meeting. He said bond counsel noticed that voters were not
informed about the Dec. 6 meeting as required by local bylaws
and the proposal was never sent to the Capital Improvement Planning
Committee - also a bylaw requirement.
Committee chair Nancy Allen said she would inform the contractor about
the problem on April 13. Robinson also said any delay could raise
borrowing costs as the Federal Reserve will be raising interest rates
Should Petersham Take Online Payment for Taxes?
More than 300 small and large communities across
the state have easy systems to accept online payments for town fees (dog
licenses and dump permits, etc.) and for tax payments (excise and property
Should Petersham offer this convenient service to residents? Tell us
what you think.
Send an email to
email@example.com with a subject line "E-Payments" stating simply
Yes or No or include more thoughts.
Covid Updates from the State Dept. of Public
Link to town by town data
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party - not ever.
Monthly Foot Screening for Seniors
The Council on Aging now offers monthly “Foot Screening” for
seniors. The treatment will
be provided by Melinda Powling, owner of “Nails
in Orange. Treatments will include a
foot soak, then clipping toenails (no polish). Melinda will then
inspect your feet, and let each person
know if they should consult a doctor about anything.
The Foot Screenings
will be available on the first Thursday of each month in
the lower town hall.
Each person will pay $5.00
directly to Melinda when the appointment occurs, with the
balance of $10.00 being paid by the
COA. Appointments are required. Appointments will be available
a.m. until 10 a.m.
Clients must bring their own towels.
Melinda will follow Petersham Board of
Health approved guidelines. For Questions or Appointments:
Contact Marilyn Fisher at: 978-724-3223.
The Memorial Library Is Open
The Petersham Memorial Library welcomes
patrons back for in-person browsing with no appointment
necessary. The library would like to thank the community for
bearing with us as staff adjusts to providing
service during this complicated time.
Tuesday 10-5 p.m.
Wednesday 2-7 p.m.
The library requires everyone over the age of two to
properly wear masks or face coverings in the building at all
times in order to help ensure the health and
safety of our
patrons, community, and staff. Without vaccine coverage for
our youngest patrons, a large indoor footprint for people to
really spread out, or an HVAC system, masking remains a
useful and important health and safety tool at the library.
The staff looks forward to continuing to safely serve the Petersham community.