The Final Brass Band Concert of the Summer

The Petersham Brass Band will present its final concert of the summer season on Sunday July 30th at 7:30 p.m. from the bandstand on Petersham Common. The Band is pleased to welcome back former director Stuart Britton to the podium to direct this 818th performance.

Britton is a graduate of the Rochester School of Music and is a low brass player primarily on the Euphonium. In addition to directing the band for many years he has been music educator at Mahar Regional, Leicester, and North Attleboro High Schools, He currently is Music Director in the East Bridgewater High School and resides in North Attleboro.millers river realty

The band announced the following program for Sunday’s performance. Opening with the “Star Spangled Banner”, the band will then play the march “El Capitan” by Sousa. The overture for the evening will be “Light Cavalry” by Von Suppe, arr. by Filmore. Other selections in the first half will include; :’A Tribute to Glenn Miller” arr. by Gass, “Buglers Holliday” by Anderson, “Instant Concert” by Walters, “Now is the Hour” arr. by Choe, “John Williams in Concert” arr. by Lavender and “The Sound of Music” arr. by Bennett. The first half will close with “Hands Across the Sea” by Sousa.

After intermission, the band will open with “March Loraine” by Ganne. Rounding out the program will be “March to the Movies” arr. by Clark, “Amen” by Tichelli, “They Went That-a-Way” arr. by Jennings, “Valdres” by Hansen, “Lights Out” by McCoy and “March and Go Home” which was written for the band by Britton. The band will sign off for the season to “The Shadow of  Your Smile.”hardwick  farmers coop

Refreshment will be available at the Band Hot Dog Stand. Funds raised allow the Band to purchase new music each year. The “Unitarian Church will host the bake sale this week and the Lions Club will be popping up popcorn. In the event of rain the concert will move into the Town Hall.

Town Hall Access Plan on a Short Hold

The Selectboard delayed any action on plans to improve handicapped access at the town hall until its meeting of August 8. A Town Hall Access Committee is expecting to report on access options on that date. In the meantime, the board sought and received proposals from two companies for "temporary" ramps to restore code-compliant access to the main hall. The lower hall is already accessible but the two halls are not presently connected for disabled people.quabbin retreat

Proposals for temporary ramps include access to the front door or access to the southwest corner side door and would cost between $15,000 and nearly $20,000. A resident has offered to donate up to $15,000 for a temporary ramp on condition that it will lead to an interior elevator or lift solution being installed.  Members of the Access Committee plan to meet with an elevator company representative to get specifics.

Town Hall Access Committee Report: The five-member committee has been looking for the best ways to make Town Hall accessible to disabled people. Seniors and others interviewed have all said they would prefer an elevator of lift solution to an exterior ramp. Here's a link to the report the committee delivered to Selectmen on June 27. Click the link above to read the report.

Roy Nilson, who publishes, is a member of the committee.

In other business, the board voted to let the New England Equestrian Center of Athol install a way-finding sign atop the New Athol Road street sign on Route 122 to help people find their facility. The board worked on closing out the fiscal 2017 budget and accepted bids for highway department asphalt and other materials.witty

The board also voted to reset Selectboard office hours starting July 31 to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays.

Beautiful Music, Ugly Bugs and Blood Pressure Tests

The Friday Market on the town common will be back on July 28 with new vendors, the blues and  an assortment of fresh-grown local food.

The Barrett Anderson Band will take to the bandstand. The market will be presenting information about the Asian Long-Horned Beetles that are chomping on ash trees by the thousands in central Massachusetts.

Gardeners from a Friendship Garden at Quabbin Retreat are expected to add their fresh produce to the mix at the market this week.quabbin woods

Friday Market vendors offer local organic produce, fresh produce from the Pioneer Valley, locally raised meat, chickens, fresh local eggs, baked goods, home-baked dog cookies, local honey, handmade soaps and other craft items.

The market is open to both regular and occasional vendors and to information booths staffed by social service and health care agencies to share information about their programs and services. The Friday Market does not charge vendor fees.

The Friday Market offers a free program of music each Friday with major support from Heywood Healthcare, the Wild Geese Foundation, voters at the Petersham Town Meeting, the Petersham Cultural Council, the Country Store, Waterwheel Realty, and from Petersham Grange 95, the Memorial Library and individual local donors.
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Friday Market vendors vary weekly and include Petersham's Sweetwater Farm (organic produce, meat), Golden Egg Farm (fresh local eggs and chickens) Patsy Buck Handmade Soaps, The Little Chicken Factory (mobile chicken coops), Bob Hayward's local garlic, Pick and Shovel Farm (plants and produce), Kiwi Meadows Farm (produce), Walnut Kitchen Homestead (produce, meat and other items), Rick Wilkey from Orange (produce). Sunset Valley Farm produce, plants and herbs from Friendship Farm and more.

New this year, Tracey's Traditionals offers all-natural, non-toxic personal care and wellness products. Including pain relieving cream, tick and bug spray for humans and dogs, facial cleanser, body oils/perfumes, deodorant, sunscreen, bath salts and herbal remedies and herbal essences. farm aid
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Selectboard Reappoints Town  Hall Access Committee

The Selectboard July 11 reappointed four members of the Access Committee for the Petersham Town Hall and said they will seek to replace a fifth member, who decided to leave the committee for personal reasons.

Committee members will now refine their recommendation that a temporary ramp be installed so the hall can be used for assemblies while details of a mechanical lift solution that will connect the upper and lower halls and provide exterior access to both are worked out. The committee will work to apply for funds from a new state Handicap Access Improvement grant program.

Members of the committee are John Woolsey, Stephanie Selden, Jana Dengler and Roy Nilson.

2017 Parade Photos

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Twenty Years Ago, Beth Cummings Started a Parade

Beth Cummings of West Street passed away on January 3, 2017. but the parade that she began as a neighbors' stroll around the Old Maid's Mile continues and will celebrate its 20th anniversary in her honor on July 4 this year.beremco

In 1997, Beth thought there should be "something to do" on the holiday so she rounded up some family and the neighbors and took them for a Fourth of July walk.  Since then, she was joined by more townspeople, by new and antique fire trucks, police cruisers, politicians, antique cars, parade floats including the Petersham Grange "float with a goat," social groups, family groups, a horse color guard from Crimson Acres and a sizeable roadside audience. Beth's little neighbors' walk has turned into the North Quabbin's only Fourth of July parade. Marchers will celebrate the parade's 20th anniversary this year.stone harvest farm

Since the beginning, the parade route begins on the town Common and travels down West Street. Marchers turn onto Hardwick Road and onto Spring Street before returning to the Common via South Main Street. The parade forms on the common at  9:30 a.m. and steps off at 10 a.m.

Selectboard Considers Town Hall Access Plans

The committee studying improved Town Hall access for the disabled community has recommended Selectmen consider a solution that will provide access to the building and connect the upper and lower halls. Committee chair John Woolsey and members delivered the committee's 23-page report, including a survey of access plans in area communities on June 27.asdf

The lower hall is considered accessible, but the main hall has been closed to assemblies since an employee complained that a "temporary" access ramp was unsafe and the state agreed.

Woolsey told the board that a plan to connect the two halls with an internal elevator that also provides access from outdoors could avoid future state sanctions. Selectman Rik Marsh said installing a temporary exterior ramp could get the main hall back into service more quickly and would cost less than a lift or elevator construction project. The metal ramp in front of the administrative office building cost about $12,000, he said. In 2016, Town Meeting voters appropriated $35,000 to build an outdoor ramp into the main hall. That money has not been spent.

Committee member Candace Anderson reported that a committee poll of 14 Age Council members found that group unanimously opposed to a ramp solution. That group favored an access access solution connecting the upper and lower two halls and would not be reluctant to use an "elevator." Residents Polly Pillsbury and Bill Purple said exterior ramps are difficult to use and costly to maintain in the winter. Selectboard chair Nancy Allen responded and said fully half of all people would be reluctant to use an elevator or lift platform

The committee said the state recently announced an "access improvement" grant program that could defray the cost of installing an interior mechanical lift. Committee members Jana Dengler and Roy Nilson volunteered to author a grant proposal.

The board will revisit the  issue at its July 11 meeting.

Committee member Roy Nilson publishes this website.

Dana Day Treatment Center Opens at Quabbin Retreat

The Dana Day Treatment Center, phase one of Heywood Healthcare's Quabbin Retreat Project, is now accepting patients and providing outpatient services for adults with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

The program offers care coordination and family support in small-group settings to address specific patient concerns and needs.

Local transportation is provided, and most insurance plans are accepted. The Dana Day Treatment Center is a non-smoking facility, but smoking cessation resources are available.

Quabbin Retreat is Heywood Healthcare’s solution to a lack of mental health and substance abuse treatment resources in the North Quabbin. When fully open, the project will be an 86-bed facility providing outpatient, residential and inpatient services for adults and adolescents struggling with behavioral health and substance abuse.

Four phases of the project include an adult residential substance abuse center, slated for the fall of 2017, and a residential adolescent substance abuse treatment progr a.m.. The final part of the project will include an inpatient detox center.

Once completed, the Quabbin Retreat will offer services including group-based support therapies, life skills training, f a.m.ily education and vocational assistance.