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Grants for Local Cultural Programs

The Cultural Council has set an October 15th deadline for organizations, schools, and individuals to apply for grants that support cultural activities in the community.

Grants can support a variety of artistic projects and activities in our region -- including exhibits, festivals, field trips, short-term artist residencies, or performances in schools, workshops, and lectures. The PCC also gives grants for historical or environmental education.

Direct questions about the application process to Jeannette Martin at jeannettemartin326@gmail.com or Jane Lynch Gilbert at jelynchg@umasss.edu

Petersham Jams Are on Tap

The next Jams is Saturday, October 5th starting at 7 p.m. at the Davis Memorial Hall (next to the Unitarian Church in Petersham).  Show up to play, to sing, to listen, to dance!  Future Jams! are planned for Saturday, November 16 and Saturday, December 14, so please mark your calendars.

Ping Pong in Petersham Redux

Petersham now has two new ping pong tables (plus paddles and balls) for community use. The playing venue will be the main floor of the Town Hall. witty funeral home

Use of the tables will be at designated times on a set day with a monitor present. The next ping pong session is set for
Monday, September 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 
upstairs in Town Hall.
 Please come by for a few games and invite a friend and neighbor. Anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Library Program on Social Security

The library will host an hour-long information session on navigating the ins and outs of the Social Security System at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the library. This program is geared toward people close to retirement age, specifically in their 50s or 60s, but all are welcome to attend. godin

Terry Liu, CPA and Certified Financial Planner, has a focus on retirement planning and is a Petersham community member. She will provide tips and answer questions. Registration is preferred, so please contact the library at (978) 724-3405 or stop into the library for more information.

Police Chief Will Walk for Cancer

Police Chief Dana Cooley will walk one of the four designated distances along the Boston Marathon® course in the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai. The walk raises the most money of any one-day walk in the country. jeromy

Chief Cooley will join 9,000 expected participants in the annual event on Sunday, September 22, 2019. Money raised from the Jimmy Fund Walk will support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event has raised more than $135 million over 30 years.

Town-Wide Yard Sale

A town-wide yard sale is being planned for Sept. 14 starting at 9 a.m. List your location at the town offices or sign up there for a  free s pace on the town common.

Wood Bank Volunteer Days

Fall is fast approaching and the Wood Bank can use your help. Sean and Bill have been busy cutting and splitting. We have lots of empty crates to fill and need your need your help splitting and especially stacking. The goal is to get all the crates filled before the snow flies and possibly get a start on next year’s wood. Also, thanks to the efforts by the Petersham Highway Dept. we now have a safer space to work. Our Fall 2019 schedule:

2019 Saturday dates:
September 21
October 12
October 26
November 16
December 7 – snow dependent

Time: 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon (Come for an hour or two, many hands make light work!) Location: Petersham Transfer Station (off Route 122) Needed Volunteers: all ages welcome; please dress appropriately, bring water and food if you need it. Also please bring work clothes and a wheelbarrow if you have them. Jobs Needed to be done:
- Wood splitting
- Transferring rounds to splitting stations
- Move wood to any empty crates
- Stack any empty crates

UU Church Schedule Ahead

All services at 10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary unless otherwise noted.
Services with Rev. Arthen will include one of our wonderful musicians.
Coffee, sweet treats and conversation in the Dining Room after service.

☔September 8 - Water Communion - Rev. Inanna Arthen - bring water you have collected from special places since we last gathered together
September 15 - Carol Mays - Poetryquabbin retreat
September 22 - Harvest/Autumn Equinox - Rev. Inanna Arthen
September 29 - Katja Esser (meet in the Ladies Parlor)
October 6 - Immigration - Rev. Inanna Arthen
October 13 - Robert Rocheleau "Truth, Beauty and Goodness"
October 20 - Inanna Arthen
October 27 - Pledge Sunday Brunch - in the Dining Room
November 3 - Rini Kilcoyne
November 10 - Veterans' Day - Rev. Inanna Arthen
November 17 - Bonnie MacCracken - Chairman of the State Commission on the Status of Women and Girls
November 24 - Interfaith Thanksgiving - Rev. Inanna Arthen
December 1 - Hattie Nestel "Reconsidering Siddur"
December 8 - Rev. Inanna Arthen
December 15 - Rini Kilcoyne
December 22 - Winter Solstice - Seasonal Celebration - share your winter traditions
December 24 at 7 p.m. - Christmas Eve - Rev. Inanna Arthen
December 29 - Fellowship Discussion "Personal dreams, successes and frustrations in our efforts to make a difference in the world individually"

Fall Art Center Classes

Petersham Art Center is starting up the Fall season with two classes by Karen Healey of the Dappled Ewe Studio. Ms Healey is a juried fiber artist who has created and taught about wool fabric artwork for decades. These classes are suitable for ages 16 and up.

FELTED PUMPKINS AND ACORNS – Karen Healey Sept. 7th, Saturday 9am – 11am. Use a felting needle to create a patchwork pumpkin and a trio of acorns from wool fabric and wool roving. A wonderful fall table decoration! Cost: $10. Members/ $30.althea bramhall Nonmembers

HOOKED WOOL INDIAN CORN DECORATION – Karen Healey October 19, Saturday 9am. – 1pm. Use traditional rug hooking techniques and wool fabric strips to create a 3-dimensional ear of Indian corn. Great front door decoration! Cost. $20 members/ $40. Nonmembers/$7 materials fee. Additional kits available for $10. Students should plan to bring a 10" embroidery hoop, fabric scissors, heavy duty thread and needle, and a rug hook, if able.

Call the Art Center at 978-724-3415 for more information and to register.

Just for the Fun of It... click here

Cell Tower Hearing Re-Scheduled

The ZBA continued its hearing on the a proposal to raise a  proposed 90-foot cell tower to 160 feet to Wednesday, October 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the lower town hall. Proponents are saying that a taller tower at the Hall Road site will allow better coverage and allow up to four cell companies to use the planned "monopine"  tower. The company needs extra time to decide where to locate an access road.

Conservation Comm Hears Solar Plan

The Petersham Conservation Commission took no action at a public hearing on Tuesday, August 6, in the Lower Town Hall. on the Notice of Intent by Sunpin Solar Development, LLC for construction of a 4.568-megawatt ground-mounted solar development project on property owned by Ralph Lapinskas on New Athol Road.

Members asked for more information on potential runoff problems and continued the hearing to 7:30 p.m. on September 3 in the Lower Town Hall.

A cleared and fenced area of 14.4 acres for the ground-mounted solar photovoltaic will require building of a 20-foot wide and approximately 1,150 feet long gravel access road with a wetland crossing and a replication wetland of 3,335 square feet. A copy of the Request can be inspected in the Selectboard office at 3 South Main Street. All interested persons are invited to attend..

Dump Stickers Available

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 red.

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Petershamcommon.com has been putting local Petersham news and information online since 1996. This website averages 10,000 page views each month - more than any stone 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  thoughts and comments from everyone -- just like Letters to the Editor in aearthlands newspaper.




This website is NOT an official outlet for town government. It presents fact-based asdf reporting about town government and news about local events. The site 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 and no posters please. Send it here: info@petershamcommon,com

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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.

February Selectboard Office Hours

Monday 8  a.m. – 4  p.m.
Tuesday 8  a.m. – 4  p.m.
Wednesday, Thursday
8  a.m. – 4  p.m.
Friday Closed

Sen. Anne Gobi
August 28
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. – Petersham Town Offices

Rep. Susannah Whipps

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Official Town Website -

Committee meeting notices are posted at  www.mytowngovernment.org

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

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Harvard Forest - Fisher Museum

"Great Plates, Eat Out."




Nipmuc Land Ceremony at Earthlands Sept. 21

You are cordially invited to JOIN the Nipmuc Land Return Ceremony on Saturday, September 21st, at 4:00 p.m. in Petersham, MA, to acknowledge the return of Nipmuc ancestral land to tribal stewardship after 344 years (1675 - 2019). Please Park at 73 Glasheen Road and follow signs to the ceremony.

The ceremony will include a brief history of the land and its stories, acknowledgment by selected guests, and a time of gift-giving and ceremony to mark the historic occasion of indigenous territorial empowerment.well domes

This gathering is part of an international movement to return land to the descendants of the original indigenous people who once stewarded the land and lived within regenerative cultures. The land in Petersham is now under legal ownership of the Nipmuk Cultural Preservation, Inc. (NCP), a non-profit corporation with its plan to construct a Nipmuc Cultural and Education Center. The Center, according to Fred Freeman, Chair of NCP, "...will allow our Nation to have a place for teaching, interacting with the greater community, and provide a place for tribal members to heal and return to the teachings of our culture."

The Nipmucs, the Earthlands Community, and the Buell family have been working since 2001 to assure that the land be returned to the local indigenous tribe - It is a dream come true for so many!

Buell said the late afternoon ceremony takes place on the weekend of the Fall Equinox: the International Day of Peace and various International demonstrations and actions for Planetary Sustainability and Social Justice. "It is well documented that the lifestyle and culture of indigenous peoples can offer a philosophy and practice that can assist humanity to return to a deeper connection and harmony with the Earth and All Life.rices roots farm

The ceremony will help restore indigenous culture and allow communities, like Petersham and other villages, to examine their own deep history of colonialism and land entitlement, a capitalist, industrial, and colonial trauma that has come down through the ages that can be healed through common understanding and cooperative cultural community events."

Bunnies, Dogs and a Woodchuck, No Bears Last Month

8/2   @ 11:30a Report of loose dog on West Road, PPD saw dog on routine patrol and returned to owner

8/3   @5:15p Several domestic rabbits seen near cemetery on East Street, contact with residents in area revealed no owner. One resident thought they may have released in the cemetery the night before.hardwick coop
8/4  @7a Attempt to move rabbits from above to fenced area
       @11a Traps set for rabbits
       @1:00p Report of 5 goats and 1 llama missing from pasture, to area to help owner
      @2:30p Call from Heywood Hospital regarding dog bite situation, dog placed on quarantine and requirements explained to owner
      @4:15p Resident contact to report unusual looking cat seen walking on West St
      @5:15p Dispatch call regarding passerby who found 2 dogs and is waiting at PPD for advice; dogs reunited with owner

8/5  @11:15a Resident report of small dog running on 101, unable to secure, gone upon arrival
       @8:30p Report of woodchuck acting aggressively toward people

8/6   @9:30a Follow up on above

8/7    @3p Resident from out of town stopped in with 2 Chihuahua like dogs found in Hubbardston (no local authority able to assist), contact made with appropriate animal control

8/11   @9p Acting as a good Sam, resident call to report a found large white rabbit on east side of town, able to secure, PAWS alert sentoriginal tire

8/12    Set up for care of above rabbit at home of good Sam

8/15   @2:30p Resident call regarding wood chuck that has established a burrow along foundation, advice given

8/16   @8a-12:30p Two round trip excursions to Worcester Animal Rescue League with dogs in kennel for anticipated re-homing
         @1:30p Dog in town off quarantine after home visit, paperwork to owner and MDAR
         @2:30p Finder of above New Zealand white rabbit to adopt animal, discussed plan
8/17   @9a Raccoon in dumpster at transfer station, ladder placed, sign placed

8/17   @1:30p Resident call regarding neighbor cat in tree; suggestions given, owner to follow up

8/18   @1p Resident call to report an owl strike to car in the early morning hours, owl appears to be unable to fly, informed resident to not disturb at this time, call placed to wildlife rehab at Tufts. Spoke with homeowner re: options, suggested we observe for a few hours as owl did fly to a low branch. Improvement noted at 5:30p and owl flew off at 8:30p
         @2p Former Petersham resident call regarding dog issue, suggestions given, situation resolved at 4:30p
         @7:15p Follow up on cat in tree, tree climber calledtune up

8/19   @12:15p Dog released from quarantine, paperwork to owner and MDAR
@3p Cat successfully rescued from tree

8/22   @1:30p Resident complaint about dog waste in road
         @2:30p Issue addressed

8/24   @7:30p Resident call regarding juvenile hawk that flew down chimney, hawk removed through chimney clean and place in humane trap, appropriate food left and trap placed in secure location
         @9p Resident call regarding issue with goat, owner of animal on vacation, suggestions given

8/25   @1p Dispatch call to report PPD officer picked up and dog and returned to owner, wanted it recorded
         @3p Hawk in light and appears to be doing well

8/26   @9a Resident call seeking suggestions for animals believed to be in chimneyOVERLOOK

8/30   @9:30a Call from local veterinary office regarding found dog traced to a Petersham AC rabies tag, assistance given to CT resident

8/31   @10a Dispatch call re: lost dog, dog reunited with owner at 10:30a
         @8p Resident call regarding lost cat, PAWS alert and FB flyer posted

Fisher Museum to Host Lecture on Ecology of Towns and Villages

On September 17, Harvard professor emeritus Richard Forman, widely considered a father of the field of landscape ecology, will travel to Petersham to give a public lecture about the unique ecology of towns and villages. The lecture is at 7:00 p.m. in the Harvard Forest Fisher Museum, 324 North Main Street.

Forman’s new book, Towns, Ecology, and the Land (Cambridge University Press), describes towns and villages as important, dynamic environmental hotspots. Speaking ecologically, “towns are not just small cities,” says Forman. Unlike cities, they often preserve rather than bury their streams, he says, and they exude far less heat. He notes the unique dynamics of wildlife: at edges,mann lumberyou see a “rain of species” from surrounding rural areas—drawn by scattered bright lights, ample water, and diverse plant life.

Forman has analyzed towns and villages the world over, and still considers New England unique. In our region, glacial silt and sand made widespread colonial agriculture possible, but today many of those towns are transformed by rich forests. Despite differences in history, though, common characteristics emerge in small towns across the globe, such as orchards, fields, small family forests, and livestock in close proximity to houses. Trails radiate through the land, small-scale irrigation is common, and bird feeders attract forest birds (and bears). There are downsides, too: dogs and cats degrade wildlife habitat or populations, road salt pollutes wells.

“Opening the town ecology frontier catalyzes research for both nature and us,” says Forman. With a better understanding of how these landscapes function and change over time, he suggests, residents and professionals can step forward to mold better towns for the future.

Forman’s September 17 lecture, held at 7:00 p.m. in the Harvard Forest Fisher Museum (324 North Main Street, Petersham), is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Forman will sign books at the conclusion of the event. Please direct questions about the event to Clarisse Hart, 978-756-6157, hart3@fas.harvard.edu.solar installations

The Harvard Forest, founded in 1907 in Petersham, is Harvard University's outdoor laboratory and classroom for ecology and conservation, and a Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site funded by the National Science Foundation. Its 4,000-acre property is one of the oldest and most intensively studied research forests in the U.S. Open to the public year-round, the site includes educational and research facilities, the Fisher Museum, and recreational trails. Learn more at http://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu.

Council on Aging Informational Program Sept. 30

Diane Coburn from Athol Hospital will present an informational session on the Lifeline program at 12:30 p.m. September 30 at the senior lunch in the lower town hall. Lifeline is a personal emergency response system that calls for help when you can't get to the phone. It allows you to move freely around your home and never be more than an arm's length away from assistance. (http:www.lifelinesys.com/)

The Lifeline program is one step in helping our elders live an independent and healthy life. Lifeline is a practical tool for individuals or couples who wish to live independently in their own homes and for physically disabled persons who spend a portion of the day alone.atholhospital

Whenever you need help, you simply press your Personal Help Button, a waterproof transmitter you wear around your neck or on your wrist. This sends a signal to your Lifeline Communicator (hooked up to your phone), which automatically calls a 24-hour Response Center. Within seconds, highly trained personnel will speak with you. If they can't reach you, help is sent.

The North Quabbin area Lifeline Program is co-sponsored by Athol Hospital and the Athol-Orange Rotary Club. Date: September 30, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. The program is FREE and open to the public. Registration is not required. Seniors and their families are invited to attend. Place: lower level of the Petersham Town Hall. This program will follow the weekly COA luncheon.
You do not have to attend the luncheon to attend. For Questions contact Sandy Page: 978-724-3273..

Nichewaug Liability Insurance May Be Cancelled

Selectboard members August 27 discussed what do do if  the liability insurance policy on the Nichewaug Property is cancelled by the insurer. After an inspection, the carrier let the town know that the roof of the complex is in bad shape and there is water in the auditorium and furnace room. The policy does not cover the property but only covers damages if someone enters the buildings and is injured while inside. Board members said both conditions existed when the policy was put in place about three years ago.berube real estate

Selectman Henry Woolsey said now that contractors have finished removing asbestos from the property, hardly anyone needs to go inside. He took a "wait and see" stance saying, "There has always been water in the auditorium" since the town took ownership of the complex a decade ago. That is because the town does not supply electricity to run a system of sump pumps that kept the space dry for decades. Woolsey said the pumping system may be inoperable. Selectboard member Nancy Allen does not participate in Nichewaug discussions as she is an immediate abutter.

Selectman Rik Marsh said he will reach out to roofing contractors who could assess the condition of roofs on the complex and see what it might cost to make repairs. Members of a small audience at the meeting said there are still residents working to present a proposal for re-using the property. A similar group, favoring demolition, has declined to attend more meetings intended to craft a compromise between re-use and demolition.

Selectmen voted to appoint Sherry Berube, administrative coordinator as the town's Americans with Disabilities coordinator in advance of reapplying to the Massachusetts Office on Disability for a grant to install a handicap lift in town hall.

The board said new stickers for cars using the transfer station will be available in September and required by October 1. They will be available at the Selectboard office and at the dump on  two September Saturdays.

Petersham Friday Market Opened June 7 for 20 Fridays
The Petersham Friday Market returned to the town common from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on June 7 featuring local produce, meat and eggs, craft items and healthcare information.

Coming Up: Drew Paton Sept. 20
More than a dozen local vendors offer organic and other produce from local farms and within the Pioneer Valley. Offerings include started plants of many kinds, locally raised meat, chickens, local eggs, baked goods, home-baked dog cookies, local honey, handmade soaps and other craft items. Friday Market vendors vary weekly and include Petersham's  Sweetwater Farm (organic produce, meat), The Little Chicken Factory (mobile chicken coops), Bob Hayward's local garlic, Pick and Shovel Farm (plants and produce), Kiwi Meadows Farm (organic produce), Rick Wilkey (Valley produce) and other local growers. Dry Brook Garden offers tubers and cut flowers. Starfire Bakery and Sweet Cottage Farm bring baked goods.   Elzire’s Acre brings goat milk soap. Other vendors offer greeting cards and wood carvings. Mindful Garden farm also provides organic vegetables.

The market is open without charge to both regular and occasional vendors and to information booths staffed by health care agencies and social services who share information about their programs. The market relies on donations and grants to cover expenses.

Petersham Friday Market music is offered with support from town meeting voters, Heywoodrobinson lumber Healthcare, the Wild Geese Foundation, Petersham Cultural Council, Petersham Grange 95 and from local donors. The town common is handicap accessible.

For information, contact Roy Nilson (978-724-6662) or by e-mail:
fridaymarket@petershamcommon.com or visit www.petershamcommon.com.


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