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Senior Safety Seminar
robinson lumber

The Council on Aging will host a Senior Safety Seminar with members of staff from
district Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.'s office at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 25 in the lower town hall. All are welcome.

Annual Rabies Clinic

Petersham will hold its annual rabies clinic on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Highway Barn on South Street. Snow date Feb. 17. Cats in cages fromoriginal tire co 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Dogs on a leash from 11:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The clinic is sponsored by the Board of Health and Deb Bachrach, our Animal Control Officer, with help from Dr. Heidi Langendoen, DVM. Suggested Donation $12.00 per animal.

Classes at the Art Center

Karen Healey from the Dappled Ewe will teach a class on how to make a Hooked Wool Flower Pin on Saturday, February 16, 12:00-3:00 p.m. Bring your own hook and 10" hoop, or borrow one from Karen. Learn the basics of wool hooking, and create a 3 1/2 inch  pin Cost: $15 members / $35 non-members, plus $7.50 Materials Fee.computer repair

Bill Manser will be teaching a six week Fly-Tying Class on Wednesday evenings, March 27, April 3, 10, 17, 24, and May 1, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  Bill has been tying flies for 28 years and can accommodate beginners and experienced levels in this class. He will start with the classic ties that work best for northeast trout, and then teach alternate styles of your choosing. Cost for the six classes: $60 membersalthea bramhall / $80 non-members, plus $20 Materials Fee.

Nature artist and illustrator, Gordon Morrison, will teach an adult drawing class on Friday, March 22, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Petersham Art Center. This is an opportunity to study with a master artist. There are only a few spaces left in this class, so call PAC soon at 978-724-3415 for more information and to register. Cost is $10 members/$30 nonmembers.

PCS Spaghetti Dinner

On Friday, March 1st, the school will hold its annual PCS Spaghetti Dinner from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Please attend and support the upcoming 5th & 6th grade field trip.
Card Jamboree Planned

The Petersham Council on Aging will sponsor a free Card Jamboree the second Monday of the month on January 14, February 11, and March 11 starting at 12:30 in the lower Town Hall. Everyone isatholhospital invited to play whist, cribbage, gin  rummy or any other games of choice. Beginning and experienced players are all welcome. The Senior Lunch will precede the card games at 12 Noon. Anyone who would also like to attend the lunch must call ahead by the preceding Friday to reserve a spot by calling 978-724-6610. There is a $3 charge for the lunch. The Card Jamboree is free to all and no reservations are required.

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 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 averages 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  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-basedasdf 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.well domes
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

what's open

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 2019

Petersham Selectboard Regular Meeting Dates
January 2019–April 2019
Regular start time at 6:30 p.m. unless determined otherwise for circumstances.
Additional meetings may be scheduled as the need arises.
January 2019
Tuesday January 8 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday January 22 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday January 29 6:30 p.m.

February 2019
Tuesday February 12 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday February 26 6:30 p.m.

March 2019
Tuesday March 12 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday March 19 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday March 26 6:30 p.m.

April 2019
Tuesday April 9 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday April 16 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday April 23 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday April 30 6:30 p.m.

Sen. Anne Gobi

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

and A Place to Stay the Night


eddies wheels


Harvard Forest - Fisher Museum

"Great Plates, Eat Out."




Contract Signed for Town Hall Access Lift System

Selectmen Feb. 14 signed a contract with Centrepoint Architects of Sommerville for services related  to a planned handicapped lift system for town hall. The lift will serve both the upper and lower halls and provide access to both from the south side of the building. After installation, a temporary ramp serving the main hall will be removed.

A Town Hall Handicapped Access Committee will present plans for the lift to the Historic District Commission at the end of February. The project is being funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Office on Disability.


winter tea

Town's Administrative Coordinator Dies Unexpectedly

Selectmen began laying plans Feb. 6 to replace administrative coordinator Steven Boudreau who died unexpectedly over the weekend. hardwick coop

Chair Nancy Allen said Boudreau's assistant, Sherry Berube of West Street, has been contacted and is willing to discuss taking over the post. Berube, a retired former state worker, is on vacation  for the next three weeks, Terms of Berube's state retirement limit her to working no more than 960 hours a year so any shortfall will likely have to be covered by filling the office assistant post.

For the rest of the month Selectmen plan to keep the office open themselves or with help from volunteers and other town employees. At one level, part of Boudreau's work involved fillingberube real estate requests for town trash bags, dump permits and wood bank vouchers and directing residents to other town offices as needed. He was the main contact for public record requests and served as Americans with Disalities Act (ADA) coordinator. He also created the minutes of Selectboard meetings.

Boudreau, of Barre, died on Saturday, February 2, at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. He was 62. Steve spent his career working in town governments, most recently as the Petersham Administrative Coordinator and formerly as Town Manager of Ware. He worked in Petersham for nearly six years.

Greater Petersham Community Chorus Planned


Do you love to sing? Are you interested in joining your voice with those of others to create music under the direction of a talented and energetic director?caledonia

A group of residents from Petersham and Barre met recently with Nym Cooke, a choral director and teacher at the Eagle Hill School in Hardwick. He has experience directing choruses and an interest in bringing a community chorus to the Petersham area. He is looking for a critical number of committed people (at least 20 – 30 singers, with 8 – 12 men) to sing music of all genres in four-part harmony.

The group would expect members to pay some dues, to be willing to work pretty hard, to attend rehearsals regularly, and to perform in at least 2 concerts per year. The plan is to have a musician to accompany rehearsals and at performances. Young people are welcome to join if they loverices roots farm music and the chance to share their voices. Rehearsals will be at the UU church in Petersham and chorus members are welcome to join from all of the local towns.

The group plans to get together with Nym in early Spring of 2019 to let him know about the level of interest in the greater Petersham community and make further plans.
If you or your friends and family would like to participate or even just express  interest, get in touch with Diane Nassif at dianenassif@gmail.com or 978-724-3436.

Broadband Project Timeline Detailed

The Broadband committee said Feb. 1 that the state has signed an agreement that guarantees an $880,000 reimbursement for Petersham's local broadband system.

Broadband chairman Chip Bull said, "The state has (now) guaranteed Broadband reimbursement in the amount of $880,000 even though our borrowing amount was voted for $800,000. This will provide a final reduction to the previously approved $560,000 making our out-of-pocket cost $480,000 -- by far the lowest cost among the state's 40 plus "unserved communities."

The payment will be made after the system is up and running.  Town meeting voters agreed to borrow $800,000 for the work only after the state agreed to reimburse the money after the system is installed.  WATERWHEEL

Chairman Chip Bull said some homes could be connected to the planned new system in time for the June town meeting. Chris Lynch from Matrix Design said 75 percent of town will be hooked up by the time school opens in the fall. He said the system will serve nearly all properties in town and could be fully operational by Christmas.

Utility company "make-ready work" is scheduled to start in early February and be done by the end of April, he said. Bull said the town may decide not to connect to the state's "middle-mile" fiber cables because the cost is prohibitive but will still bear the expense of relocating those cables on utility poles to make room for the town's high-speed cables.

Sweetwater Farm Calls Locals to Join 2019 Vegetable CSA!


 Sweetwater Farm has supplied fresh produce and herbs to Petersham and the surrounding area in past years with a successful CSA. This year the Cherry family has taken responsibility of the fruit and vegetable production of the land and strives to preserve SWF’s longstanding initiative of growing sustainably sourced, delectable food. Their 2019 CSA membership offering will include solar installations22 weeks of vegetables with an eclectically fresh assortment of fruits, herbs, and gorgeous flowers sprinkled throughout. Weekly shares are offered in small, medium, or large boxes.

The Cherry family, including Maddie, Jess and baby Soma, started their operation in Southern Oregon growing certified organic food and flowers for local farmers' markets, restaurants and stores. They also supplied their vegetable and flower seeds to companies across the country to companies like Fedco and Baker Creek which they will continue to do this year. Now in the North Quabbin and growing at Sweetwater Farm, they are excited to offer food to this community through CSA membership shares, farmers' market, produce at the Country Store, and to local restaurants.

Arugula, asparagus, apples, blueberries, carrots, lettuce, squash, and tomatoes are just a taste of what is to come this year. To sign up for your 2019 Sweetwater Farm CSA Membership or to inquire more, please contact Maddie at madronaseeds@gmail.com

Solar Guidelines for Historic District Discussed

The Historic District Commission Jan. 10 began a review of proposed guidelines for prospective solar panel installations on buildings in the center of town. Changes to buildings in the district, which runs north and south along Main Street from the common, are evaluated by the commission.

witty funeral homeBoard members said they have been talking about such guidelines for some years and have studied such rules in other communities. The review was prompted when East Quabbin Land Trust, which owns the Country Store building, told the commission it is planning a solar array at the property. Cynthia Henshaw from the land trust said in an e-mail, "We are preparing an application right now. Not sure if I'll have it together for the (January) 17th or the February meeting date." The next meeting is Thursday February 21, 2019 at 7 p.m. at the library.

Chair Nancy Allen said the commission will likely require property owners in the district to demonstrate that they have made other energy-saving improvements before adding solar. Members said the Commonwealth advises cities and towns to allow solar installations in historic properties. Allen said some communities impose no oversight over solar installations, some have added solar permissions to existing by-laws and some have adopted guidelines.  "It seems we might land on guidelines. This is always going to be on a case-by-case basis," she said.

Accessibility Grant Moves Ahead for Town Hall

The Selectboard Jan. 8 voted to sign and accept a state grant from the Massachusetts Office on Disability for $70,000 to install a lift that will connect the upper and lower town halls. The project must be completed in six months and will provide access to both halls and from the outside. godinIt will allow removing a temporary ramp to restore the exterior look of the building to its original classic appearance.

The lower town hall is presently accessible but without an accessible connection to the main hall. Town Hall Access Committee Chairman John Woolsey told the board the committee will reach out to two architects and begin preparing bid documents. The project will be brought to the Historic District Commission on Feb. 17. The main hall is now served by a temporary outdoor ramp donated to the town by Stephanie Selden of Phillips Drive.

A Squirrel in the Stove, an Owl Near the Road

Petersham Animal Control
December 2018

3Dec@7a Resident request for help with known dog that is in yard and will not come in to house. Assistance given.

6 Dec@7p Nichewaug resident reports lost dog. Alerts sent. Assist resident in search. Dog located at 10:30p. Owner to bring to vet, appears fine.quabbin retreat

7 Dec@11a Call from motorist with report of injured large bird on Monson Turnpike, caller states owl. Owl located, appeared fine, though not leaving area. Owl flew off several minutes later.

12Dec@3:15p School bus driver and motorist report loose dog on Route 122. En route, another resident call to say they had picked up a dog near 32 and 122. Met finder and retrieved dog. Alerts sent, possible owners called. Owner to pick up dog at 5p.

12Dec@9p Dispatch call regarding dog bite to another dog. Follow up with residents and veterinary hospital.

13Dec Additional follow up regarding above. Quarantine order placed on biting dog (10 day). Reviewed requirements with owner.millers river

13 Dec@8:15a Resident reports cat running between 122 and surrounding roads.

19 Dec@10p Resident call to report dogs ran off. (Early 20 Dec dogs appeared at PPD)

22 Dec@12:15p Owner returned home to find squirrel in unlit woodstove. Attempts to remove failed. Suggested a small trap or contact PAC. Owner will contact PAC agent.

23 Dec@12p Quarantine lifted for dog held for dog bite issue. Paperwork exchanged with owner.

28Dec@10a ACO from surrounding town needs immediate transfer of dog from area to a safe holding zone. Canine moved to shelter for temporary housing.

29Dec@1p ACO from surrounding town to pick up dog housed in shelter.


solar panels

Annual Town Election Set for March 4

The Annual Town Election will be held on Monday, March 4, 2019.

Nomination papers are available through the Town Clerk's Office at 3 South Main Street. The office is open on Monday evenings 5:30 p.m.; 7:00 p.m.

The following offices (all 3 year offices) are up for reelection: Board of Selectmen currently held by Nancy Allen, Board of Assessors currently held by Jean W. Robinson, Board of Health currently held by Fifi Scoufopoulos, Constables – Denis N. Legare, Richard N. Bartus, Larry A. Robinson (3 positions), Mahar Regional School Committee; Heidi Shortis, Petersham School Committee currently held by Lynn Jones Peredina, Planning Board currently held by Donna K. Byron and Trustees of Public Library currently held by Hilary L. Loring. The last day to obtain nomination papers is January 14, 2019.

The last day to return papers is January 14, 2019. The last day to register to vote is February 12, 2019. Any questions may be directed to the Town Clerk.

OPINION: Send Us Your Opinions About the Nichewaug MORE

State Certifies 2019 Local Tax Rate

Mass Department of Revenue has certified the town's fiscal year 2019 Tax Rate at $16.93 per thousand. The 2018 rate was $16.37 per thousand of assessed value. The increase is .56 cents per thousand of value.

property tax chart

The Friday Market  -- MORE


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