New Salem Town & Local Events,

Opportunities & News

Library News

Book Discussion of Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. January 4, 7:00 p.m.

Relax and Color Tuesdays @ the library, 6:30 to 7:00 pm

Tween & Teens Program Wednesdays 1:30-5:30 p.m. Dog Training with Ray DuCharme, date to be announced. 

Mindful Eating Program: Mindful Eating integrates mindful practices with the science behind eating habits The program is free but requires that participants can access an app on a smart phone. The instructor is Michelle Miller, who is training to become a facilitator of the Mindful Eating program at UMass Medical School. She is apprenticing under Judson Brewer, Director of Research at the medical school’s Center for Mindfulness. Dr. Brewer is an addiction expert who developed Eat Right Now®, an app for mindfulness training.

Introductory Session January 8 at 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. For people who decide to continue, the course will continue January 15, 22, 29, and February 5, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

As part of the mindfulness training, participants learn the scientific basis of how eating habits are formed and how to use this knowledge to change them. Concrete mindfulness skills will be taught to help raise awareness of, and gain control over, eating and how to activate these skills at your convenience and pace. Sign up at the Library Circulation Desk. 978-544-6334. The librarians will give you instructions on how to access the app.

This program is made possible thanks to a federal IMLS grant to promote Libraries as Science Literacy Centers and made possible thanks to matching funds from the New Salem Library.


Friends of the New Salem Public Library
Community Reads”
The Friends of the New Salem Public Library will once again be sponsoring “Community Reads” at the Swift River Elementary School on Wednesday morning, January 25. Volunteers from the communities of New Salem and Wendell will be reading to students in each of the grades from Preschool through 6th grade.

Edwardian Christmas Tea & Raffle Winner
Over fifty people from New Salem and neighboring towns attended the Friends’ special Edwardian Christmas Tea event on December 3 in the historic New Salem Academy Building, now the private residence of Joan & Robert Abboud. It was a fun-filled afternoon in which some people came dressed in period clothing and everyone filled the living room to listen to “Mrs. Gordon” (aka Rita Parisi of Amesbury) talk about what it was like to shop and prepare for the holiday in 1908. The program was covered by the Greenfield Recorder and was a front page “About Town” story. Color photographs taken at the tea will be displayed on the Friends’ bulletin board this month. The Friends extend a special thank you to the Abbouds for so graciously sharing their beautiful home for this holiday program. Janet Kraft of New Salem was the lucky winner of the tea themed basket, which was raffled after the program. Congratulations, Janet!

2017 Annual Appeal
The Friends of the New Salem Public Library are asking for your support in their 2017 Annual Appeal. In the Winter Newsletter, mailed in November to many residents, there is a form to be filled out and returned with a check made out to the Friends of the New Salem Public Library...the mailing address is P.O. Box 5, New Salem, MA 01355. If you did not receive a newsletter and would like to join and support the Friends organization, extra newsletters and envelopes are available at the library front desk. Your contributions enable the Friends to buy extra books, furniture, and equipment for the library as well as sponsor a number of special programs for adults and children. Thank you for your continued support!

The Reading Aloud for Grownups” program kicks off on Wednesday, January 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the New Salem Public Library. Please join us for an evening of short stories chosen by the readers and read with expression and delight. Deb and Andy Lichtenberg and Doug Turner are the first readers this season. This is a wonderful opportunity to escape the winter weather and have fun with other adults! Wine, cheese, coffee, tea and desserts will be offered during the program. Donations to benefit the Friends organization are gratefully appreciated. Please note that in the event of a snowstorm the program will be rescheduled for January 18th.

Council on Aging

Our luncheon in January will be on Friday the 13th, with a snow date of the following Friday. We will gather at 10 for coffee and visiting with lunch at noon. The lunch for January will be homemade soup and muffins. Please call Hendra Reidy, (968) 544-2178) to sign up.

Free Weekly Playgroup

Come and enjoy stories, songs and craft activities with your child(ren) and other families from your community at the Swift River School on Tuesdays, 8:45 to 10:15 a.m.  This Playgroup, facilitated by Emily Joseph, is intended for children 0-5 years of age and is sponsored by the Swift River School and Union #28 Community Network for Children.  Program not held during school closures.  See the CNC Website for program and event schedules, For more information, please contact Gillian Budine, (978) 544-5157 or email


Talk, Read & Play home visits for little folks

Talk, Read & Play is a free home-visiting program for families with children two years old and younger who live in New Salem, Wendell, Shutesbury, Leverett and Erving. Help build the foundation for your child's learning. Participants will receive free books, toys, and learning materials. When children talk, read, and play, they build skills that prepare them for a lifetime of success. To participate in this free program or to ask questions, call 978-544-5157.   Find flyer and more details at the Community Network for Children’s website at:

Yoga at the Library
Evening Yin Yoga with Michelle Bisaillon begins Thursday, January 5, at 6 p.m. $4.00 donation. Michelle is a Hatha certified instructor and has been teaching students of all levels since 2010. Plan to spend an hour in class and please bring a mat, blanket, and pillow if possible. Call 978-544-6334 to sign up.

One Hundred and One Visual Haiku
A heads’ up for a February event: Feb. 14th, 2017 will initiate a month long “Love Your Library” campaign at the NSPL. Opening the event will be a book release of resident Amy (Ami) Fagin’s new book: One Hundred and One Visual Haiku Volume One, from 4-7 p.m. at the NSPL. Limited edition framed or matted archival prints of the series will be on sale at the library for one month beginning on the 14th. 50 percent of the proceeds from the sales for these prints will be donated to the Friends of New Salem Library. Love Your Library and come out for a book signing by a local author!

Prayer Shawl Ministry

The New Salem Prayer Shawl Ministry members are welcome to join Busy Bs to crochet or knit on Wednesdays afternoons from 1 to 3 p.m. during the winter. Regular gatherings for the Prayer Shawl Ministry will resume on the Friday, April 21, in the Stowell Building from 9 -11 a.m. For additional information contact Judy Jewett: (978) 544 2611.

Battery and cell phone recycling
Battery and cell phone recycling is available at the transfer station. Bring the batteries and cell phones in a plastic bag and give them to the attendant – don’t put them in the trash or recycling bins. Attached is a detailed flier from the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District about the various kinds of batteries, their dangers, and how they can be disposed of.

Agricultural Commission and Community Garden News
Best Managing Practices for Composting Your Garden: A free program with Amy Donovan on January 10 at 7 p.m. in the New Salem Public Library. Amy's "Composting 101" presentation covers why composting is important, the climate change connection, and three types of composting: indoor worm composting, garden/home composting, and commercial composting like New Salem Transfer Station and Swift River School have been doing since 2009. Amy will bring handouts, how-to's, and resources for more info. Amy Donovan is the Program Director at Franklin County Solid Waste Management District. The Solid Waste District manages recycling, composting, and hazardous waste programs for 22 member towns, including 17 transfer stations and 27 public schools. Contact Sandy at 413 219 4458 or for more information

Community Garden News
We would like to thank New England Natural Bakers in Greenfield for donating four 55-gallon barrels that we will be converting into rain collection barrels this spring! Amy Donovan assisted in helping us locate options, and Natural Bakers generously obliged. It takes a Community to raise a garden!

New Salem Academy Summer Arts Intensive
This summer the Friends of Historic New Salem will launch a summer learning intensive in the arts July 18 -22. With support from the New Salem Academy, the The “New Salem Academy Summer Arts Intensive” will launch its pilot project in the coming months. Several local artists will provide a week of introductory professional training in a variety of arts professions such as Photography, Digital Printmaking, Writing for Business and Intro to Commercial Film Making, among other subjects. Evening lectures and a gala closing on Old Home Day is planned. The courses are open to anyone who lives in Franklin County. A modest course fee will be requested and certificate of completion provided. For more information, contact Amy Fagin at 978-799-5332

SBroadband Stories

Our neighbors (and would-be neighbors) talk about why they need broadband. 

See their stories here.

New Salem Town & Local Events Calendar
Click on event in Calendar for details.

Job Opportunity
The New Salem General Store is looking to hire someone part time. One of their staff is moving out of state. People should apply in person, at the store. 410 Daniel Shays Highway, New Salem.


An Evening With Jack
The New Salem General Store has teamed up with the Boiler Bar & Grille to bring you an evening centered on Jack Daniel whiskey Saturday, February 18, at the Boiler Bar & Grille. “Be regaled with the legends, the lore, and the masterpieces of Master Distiller Jack Daniel as you partake of a menu of Jack Daniel inspired recipes and samplings of fine Tennessee whiskeys. Each person (or couple) attending will receive a bottle of the New Salem General Store’s latest single barrel selection etched with their name.” Tickets are on sale at the New Salem General Store, 410 Daniel Shays Highway, and the Boiler Bar & Grille, 245 Tully Road, Orange, Mass., (978) 248-9700. Call the store with questions, (978) 544-8177.


Boar’s Head Festival
The Choir of the New Salem Central Congregational Church is sponsoring a trip to a performance of the Boar’s Head Festival on Sunday afternoon, January 15. The trip will leave from the church at approximately 1:15 p.m. for the 3:00 performance at the Trinity Methodist Church in Springfield, and will return to New Salem Central at approximately 7:00 p.m.

The Boar’s Head Festival is a joyous musical celebration and festival of the Nativity founded in 14th century English traditions. It became embellished with additional carols, customs, and “accoutrements” Mince pie and plum pudding, good King Wenceslas and his pages, a yule log lit from the last year’s ember – all found a place and a symbolic meaning in the procession. The cost is $25 per person. The trip is open to anyone from New Salem and their friends. Checks should be made out to Central Congregational Church. For tickets, call Janet Henderson 978-544-3410. Tickets can be can delivered to those who want them.

October 2016 Broadband Update

On March 14, the Baker-Polito Administration with the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) issued a joint letter to participating towns supporting the concept of “last mile” broadband projects.  This effectively signaled the end to the Governor’s months-long “pause” on the broadband project.

Our participation in a May petition to the Governor and other political action paid off in a clear directive from the governor for the project to begin. New Salem was chosen as one of the six first round towns.

As it has been MBI’s policy not to fund a shared regional ownership, all towns must build and own their network. In response, WiredWest has developed an alternate plan to regionalize management, maintenance and a shared Internet Service Provider to comport with state guidelines and benefit from a regional operations model – but not ownership.

Members of the Broadband Committee, Selectboard, Finance Committee, and the Town Clerk have been working since June with MBI and the State on a process to assess New Salem’s financial viability to own and operate a sustainable broadband network. We are pleased that MBI is assisting us in these efforts and that WiredWest is providing advice and support as we move through this process.

We completed our town readiness profile assessing financial viability and received our “green light” letter from the State and Bond Counsel in August.

In September, we received our final approval from MBI and can proceed with the preliminary step of the construction project, which is a pole survey.

New Salem is scheduled for pole surveying to begin on November 13. This is expected to take four to five weeks to complete and is paid for entirely by funds from MBI. You may see workers and trucks marked “Osmose” along town roads during this time.

Further details of our plans will be laid out through additional communication and informational sessions in the coming months. We do not want to miss this chance to bring broadband to New Salem, as it will not come around again.

The New Salem Broadband Committee

Our Region in the News
An animated clip featuring the “Sunrise Over Quabbin” image by New Salem photographer Dale Monette is running on the Good Morning America jumbo screen in Times Square in New York. It’s part of the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau advertising campaign for our region. The spot will also run in Toronto in October and be followed by ads in Horizon Magazine print and website.  For more information, see  

New, Free Magazine about the Quabbin Towns - Uniquely Quabbin
There is a new, free, 56-page magazine with a glossy cover and a photo of the New Salem Route 202 Look-Out by Dale Monette on the back cover. Look for it at New Salem General Store. It contains articles by 20 local writers and has Calendar Listings of Events in the area from for May to September. Note: New Salem resident, Jane Clukay, is the Associate Editor and Calendar Listing Editor.

Democrat Outreach

Any New Salem Democrat interested in finding out more about the local committee and its activities should contact John Ryan, chair ( or Sharon Tracy, co-chair (

Service Forestry Program

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Service Forestry Program provides technical assistance to private landowners and municipalities in forest resource planning, forest management, and forest protection within districts across the state. 

With 235,000 non-industrial private landowners in Massachusetts and approximately 78% of the Commonwealth's forest land in private ownership, private lands play a key role in sustaining clean water, protecting our soil, providing wildlife habitat and producing quality timber resources.

The Service Forestry Program meets the needs of these landowners through: 

The Service Forestry Program is based on the belief that we can best serve the citizens of the commonwealth by helping landowners make educated decisions about their woodlots, and protecting our valuable forest resources through fair and consistent application of environmental regulations. For more information contact one of our regional administrative offices or contact the service forester working in your town. 

Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op hours increased.

Quabbin Harvest, the co-operative food market located at 12 North Main Street in downtown Orange, is now open from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm on Tuesdays thru Saturdays, and from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sundays.