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Proposed Solar Farm

Nichewaug Video Tour 1993

Hogwarts for the Holidays

Parents, grandparents, Harry Potter fans: this holiday season, enter to win a Harry Potter Great Hall LEGO kit at the Petersham Memorial Library. Drawing running now until Wednesday, December 18. Tickets are a suggested donation of $2 each. This LEGO kit is valued at $100. All proceeds support the Petersham Memorial Library's operating budget. The Library is located at 23 Common Street and is open Tuesday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Wednesday 2 - 7 p.m., Friday 2 - 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. For more information, call (978) 724-3405 or visit petershamlibrary.net.

Congregational Church Fair

The annual church Christmas fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on November 23rd. Raffle baskets, Christmas treasures, baked goods and a homemade craft table. Come and join us come shop and get some lunch. We have all your Christmas needs in one place.

Petersham Jams Again on Saturday

Petersham Jams again this Saturday, November 16 starting at 7 p.m. at the Davis Hall in Petersham. The sign-up board for open mike musicians will open at 6:30.

Town Hall Christmas Holiday Art Fair

The annual Petersham Art and Fine Craft Holiday Show will be held on Saturday, December 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Petersham Town Hall. The event, now in its 17th year, features a variety of gifts created by local artisans, including paintings, jewelry, wood carvings, stained glass, photographs, cards, books, nature illustrations, baskets, holiday greens and spices, children’s gifts, and more.

The lower level will feature a Frontier Girls bake sale and demonstrations by Kathy McCrohon’s dance students. The Petersham Memorial Library will have a table to benefit library projects. Photographs with Santa will be available from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

For further information please see the Facebook event page or contact: jbphotos2002@yahoo.com or cahvah@gmail.com..

Status of Women and Girls Speech

Bonnie MacCracken, chair of the Hampshire-Franklin Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (HFCSWG) will speak on the mission of the organization at the First Congregational Parishalthea bramhall Unitarian in Petersham at 10:30 a.m.  on Sunday, November 17. The commission is working to expand the public discussion of gender-based inequality in Western Massachusetts.

MacCracken is a state committeewoman with the Massachusetts Democratic Party and a former candidate for state representative for the 3rd Hampshire District.

Fall at the Petersham Art Center

.hardwick coop

Nov 7th 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. ADULT COLORED PENCIL DRAWING CLASS - Mathilde Duffy. Ms Duffy is an award-winning artist who will teach students the skills of drawing beautiful creations with colored pencil techniques. Cost: 12.50 members/ $32.50 nonmember

Thursday, Nov 14th 6:30-9 p.m. CHILDREN’S COLORED PENCIL DRAWING CLASS – Mathilde Duffy. Learn fun skills and techniques from an award winning artist to make beautiful colored pencilwell domes drawings. Cost: $10 members/ $30 nonmembers

Saturday, Nov 16th 10 a.m.-12 Noon PAPER CLAY ORNAMENTS – Marcia Berkall
During this fun class you will learn how to use paper clay to make cookie cutter and free form ornaments. The clay takes 2-3 days to dry, so the artist will demonstrate how it's done and so that you can paint them at home. Cost: $10 members/$30 nonmembers

Saturday, November 16th 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. PAINT YOUR PET HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS – Jen Niles Paint your pets on whimsical wooden ornament shapes. It’s a great gift idea! Mini 4”x4” canvas boards also available for those who prefer a painting vs. an ornament.
Cost: Member $10 / Non-mem. $30 Materials Fee: $5 For info call 978-724-3415.

Petersham Jams Are on Tap

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.

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UU Church Schedule Ahead

All services at 10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary unless otherwise noted.
October 27 - Pledge Sunday Brunch - in the Dining Room
November 3 - Rini Kilcoynesolar installations
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 Kilcoyneoriginal tire
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"

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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

Wednesday Nov. 27th
1:30PM-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

and A Place to Stay the Night


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Harvard Forest - Fisher Museum

"Great Plates, Eat Out."




Selectboard Suggests a New Nichewaug Committee


Faced with a letter from 40 residents asking for a professional evaluation of The Nichewaug, Selectman Henry Woolsey said the board will instead appoint a five-person study committee. The resident's group is asking the town to seek state money for a  planning grant to suggest solutions.

The town remains deeply divided on whether to demolish the buildings or plan to reuse them in some way. Previous study groups and community meetings have not produced a way forward for the historic in and attached school building siince the town took ownership a decade ago.berube real estate

Realtor Chuck Berube of West Street told the board, "We are a town well divided about what should be done. We need to be open minded to find the proper solution. There is a lot to be gained by getting a further professional opinion." Resident Sandy page of East Street said there "...are a lot of people who would like to see something done with the building." She said it seems the town's current  policy is to let the buildings collapse. Ann Lewis of North Street said she could research solutions that could work without costing the town's taxpayers.

Woolsey said, "We all want to solve this thing," and said he will bring suggested names of five people to the Selectboard meeting in two weeks.

Stephanie Selden of Phillips Drive, a member of that group, said the group asks the town to apply for state funds to evaluate potential uses of the site (including aging-in-town residential options, senior services, child-care and after-school programming, to name just a few of the ideas discussed at the sessions of the Public Forum) and determine what potential uses would warrant and financially support the redevelopment of the site;

The town should also determine best ownership scenario(s), e.g., non-profit (where the owner would not need to meet overhead for profit-making) vs. for profit; and
 identify public and private monies available to fund either full demolition of the building, partial demolition with the re-use of a part, or re-use of most or all of the existing building, and assist the town with the documentation and other requirements necessary to secure them.

The board also plans to schedule one or two information sessions to ask voters whether Petersham should enact a Right to Farm bylaw.

Quabbin Retreat Will Host Narcan Training Session

Quabbin Retreat is hosting a Narcan (naloxone) training session at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 21. at the Dana Day Treatment Center, 211 North Main Street, Petersham. The session is open to the public. Pre-registration is recommended but is not required.

Narcan (naloxone) is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent overdose by opioids such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. Narcan blocks opioid receptor sites, reversing the toxic effects of the overdose, and is administered when a person is showing signs of opioid overdose. The medication can be given by intranasal spray, intramuscular (into the muscle), subcutaneous (under the skin), or intravenous injection. Narcan is available without a prescription at most major pharmacies.

For more information, contact: Morgan Ban-Draoi, Program Manager at the treatment center

Chimney Hill Cell Tower Permit Delayed Again

A proposed cell tower at Hall Farm off Quaker Drive will wait another month for permission to get taller. Tower North, the developer, is seeking permission to build a 160-foot tall tower to provide more and better cell coverage than the 90-foot tower already approved by the zoning board. Seven residents attended the continuing hearing which will resume at 7 p.m. December 12 in the lower town hall.godin

The company has relocated a service road to the tower location on the farm property to avoid conservation land near the site. Zoning board member Brian McEwen asked the company to provide more details about the road and potential rainwater runoff. Member Maryanne Reynolds cited the town's commitment to protecting land from development and asked if the company was considering aesthetics. " I am asking you to provide (cellular) coverage in a way that does not harm the town." she said.

Company spokesman Joseph Perrera said a single tower at 160 feet could expand cell service in town and allow multiple cell carriers to bring reliable cell service to Petersham. An alternative could prove to be building several shorter towers at multiple locations. Michael Dolan, a company attorney said, "You can have competing interests that can co-exist." He said the Hall family and developer are going a good job of minimizing impact of the site and tower on the surrounding landscape.

Shorter or Taller, from Archers to Zombies - and a Penguin Family

Concerned about possible high winds and heavy rain on Thursday, town officials joined other area communities in moving Halloween to Saturday. Trick or treat came to town at 4:30 p.m. on November 2 as dozens of ghosts and goblins joined more than a dozen scarecrows on the town common. There were plenty of treats and no reported "tricks." Treats were available at numerous homes, at the library and at The Country Store.

A parade of horribles led by a fire truck started near the town common at 6 p.m. and ended at the Lions club annual Halloween party in the town hall from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Photos  courtesy of Stephanie Selden.

HALLO hallow halo hallow

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 hallo hallo

Selectboard, Assessors Set 2020 Tax Rate

In a brief October 30 meeting, Selectmen and Assessors set the fiscal 2020 tax rate at $17.37 per thousand of assessed value. an increase from the current rate of  $16.93. Assessor Dana Kennan told the board the town's total valuation increased $6.7 million as properties rices roots farmwere revalued and rose to $159,310,618. Kennan said the average home, is now assessed at $251,312, up from $241,830 and an average home will pay $271.11 more in taxes in the coming tax year. Some 89 percent of the total tax base is found in residential property, he said.



Scarecrows Arrive in Petersham

Scarecrows will hover in front of the library and on the lawn of the Unitarian Church from October. 27 through November 3. Awards will be given for the funniest, scariest, most original, greenest, etc., with one grand prize winner.quabbin retreat

Set up will take place on Saturday, October 26 from 9-11 with winners announced on Sunday, October 27 at noon. Stakes will be provided or bring your own set up. The contest is open to Petersham residents, students, town committees and departments (fire, police, selectboard, etc.)

Creativity and fun for all! Questions? Email: petershamculturalcouncil@gmail.com Sponsored by the Petersham Cultural Council and Mass Cultural Council.

Wood Bank Volunteer Day Seeks Volunteers

The Wood Bank needs your help. The Fall season is here, vouchers are being issued and bins are being emptied. Lots of new trees have been delivered to the site. We now have newly empty crates to fill and we need your need your help in splitting and stacking. The goal before the snow flies is to get as many bins refilled and wood split to dry for next year. Please find below our updated Fall 2019 schedule: November 16 and 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/gloves and a wheelbarrow if you have them.
The Selectboard voted Sept. 24 to provide a yard truck for the wood bank at the transfer station. The former fire department Dodge pickup will be refurbished by the highway department and will be used off road at the transfer station to move wood to storage bins after it is cut and split.    

Jordan O'Connor from the Forest and Shade Tree Committee said wood vouchers for residents will be available from the Selectmen's office and pickup began Nov 2.tune up
O'Connor said the town's first in the state wood bank needs volunteers to cut split and stack wood. He said the fall schedule is November 16 and December 7 – snow dependent

Vouchers for the Town of Petersham Community Wood Bank are available to Petersham residents starting on Friday, October 4, 2019. The vouchers may be obtained at the Town Offices, 3 South Main Street in the Selectboard’s office (open Monday through Thursday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm). The vouchers will be made available on a first come, first served basis with priority given to residents receiving fuel assistance. Vouchers will be issued for one (1) crate of dry, split & stacked wood stored at the Transfer Station (open every Saturday from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm). One voucher per household may be applied on a monthly basis if needed and as supplies last.

The moisture content of the wood is monitored to ensure that only suitably dry wood is safe for release. jeromy

Wood may be picked up at the Transfer Station (route 122) after Saturday, November 2, 2019. Simply bring your voucher and give it to the Transfer Station attendant. Each voucher will have a number that corresponds to a numbered crate. Please remove your wood within a three week time period after voucher issuance. For more information contact Jordan O’Connor joconnor@JOAarchitects.com.

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