New Salem Town & Local Events,

Opportunities & News

Free Swimming Lessons

Every year the New Salem Recreation Committee sponsors free swimming lessons at Lake Mattawa. The child must be a resident of New Salem or Wendell and at least three years or older to participate. The lessons are provided by Athol YMCA swimming instructors. Week One is July 18-21 (make-up day is July 22nd) and the Week Two is July 25-28 (make-up day is July 29). There is a beginner and an advanced class at  9:30-10:30 and a beginner and an advanced class at 10:30-11:30. To register and to find out more information, contact the Athol YMCA at 978-249-3305 or

2016 Rabbit Run Report
This year’s Rabbit Run 10K Run and 3K Walk (The Toughest Little 10K in MA!) was held on Saturday, May 22. There was a record turnout!  About 102 registered; 91 showed up to race. The T-shirts designed by a Swift River student were a big hit. There were no extras left and some day-of-registration entrants did not get one.
Hugh Field and Bo and Janet Henderson were troopers.  There was also a good turnout of six volunteers from the Mahar Key Club. There were  extra prizes and people played "Rabbit Run Trivia”!.  This year was the second "green" year, composting all food waste and recycling as much as possible - there was hardly any trash! The event made a lot more money than last year, about $600-$700 total profit! Thanks so much to Carla Halpern for running the Rabbit Run.
This event can always use new sponsors. Let Carla know of anyone you think might be interested. Carla might be able to get Rabbit’s Repair going next year to improve the Rabbit’s Run route. She has been told that banks and credit unions can give more than $500. Contact Carla if you have any connections in that regard. She can always use more volunteers.

New Salem Library News
Lego Club: The Lego Club will be on Saturday, June
9th from 12:30-2:00 pm. This program is offered at the same time the second Saturday of each month.
Teens and Tweens: You must pre-register for this program by Every Wednesday, snacks, computers, games, movies, all free - only for 11 to 18 year olds from any town. call 978-544-6334 for information.
Free Lunch and activities:  “Got kids? Well, we have lunch! Free! So, there is such a thing as a free lunch after all. Available for all kids 0-18. We also have water balloon fights, a Playstation 4 (!) and 3-D Pens for making art. Lunch is from 1:00-1:30 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday all summer long. There are programs for little kids on Tuesdays and teens meet right after lunch on Wednesdays.
Hand Art: On July 5th at 1:30 pm, you can create beautiful Hand Art by painting with your hands, find the mystery equipment and play games. Be sure to wear clothes that can get paint on them!
Fun with Food: On July 12th from 1:30-2:30 pm come to Fun with Food where you can design your own marshmallow creation. Stories and games to follow.
Robot Races: On July 19th from 1:30-2:30 pm create  a robot for the race. Bubble and Balloon Party: On July 26th from 1:30-2:30 pm play games with bubbles and balloons. Wear clothes that can get wet! Free for ages up to 12 with snack provided.
Summer Reading Program: The Summer Reading Program at the New Salem Library is off to a great start and will continue on Tuesdays through July 26th. 

Friends of the Library News
Giant Book Sale: The Friends of the New Salem Library will be having our annual Giant Book Sale on Old Home Day, Saturday, July 16th from 9:00-3:00 pm (more or less).  Now is the time to look over your shelves and collect the gently used books you have already read or want to read, but know you never will. You can drop them off at the library between June 28 and July 12 (please no encyclopedias, magazines, or moldy books).”
Book organizers needed: If anyone is willing to help out with organizing the books for the sale, contact Mary-Ann Palmieri at

Friends of the New Salem Library Kindle Fire Raffle

Buy a raffle ticket and you could win a Kindle Fire plus a $25 gift certificate to Tickets are now on sale now can be purchased from any member of the Board: Betsy Bergantino, Lisa Finestone, Nansi Glick, Jan Henderson, Mary-Ann Palmieri, Julie Hubbard, John Ryan, and Monica Winters. Tickets will also be on sale on Old Home Day. The drawing will be held on Old Home Day at 2:00 pm. You don't have to be there to win.


Council on Aging News
“Our luncheons in July will be on the 8th and 22nd, both Fridays and both held in the Town Hall basement.  We will gather at 10 for Bingo and visiting with lunch to follow at noon. Please call Hendra Reidy (978-544-2178) to let her know you are coming.
On July 8th the menu will be: Grilled chicken, lemon piccata, penne pasta, tossed salad, and blueberry loaf.  On the 22nd there will be chicken meatballs, sweet and sour sauce, white rice, Oriental vegetables and an almond cookies.
Look for our table at Old Home Day with the Tin Can Auction.  There will be many great prizes!”

Dale Monette Photo Featured at Logan Airport and the Big Apple!
Dale Monette’s photo of the view from the Route 202 New Salem Overlook on Route 202 is featured on a billboard at Terminal B in Logan Airport. It is also in a promotional piece for the North Quabbin in Horizon Lifestyle and Travel magazine and it will be shown of the big screen in Times Square, New York.

9th Annual Hilltown Brewfest Cancelled!
New Salem General Store comment: “Due to state regulations for distributors, the 9th Annual Hilltown Brewfest has been cancelled. Yes, it threw us for curve as well. We were ramping up for another great year of brew, music and good food benefitting our local fire departments and emergency services.

The long and short of it is that distributors are severely limited in regard to contributions - even for events like ours. We support all our distributors including our local Girardi Distributors and understand that this is not their choice.

Options for the future? The most obvious is that we can purchase the brews for the fest ourselves. The downside to this is that in order to raise money we would have to raise ticket prices from $25 to $40 per person.

Would you still attend with this increase in cost? Still a fundraiser for a great cause that is full of brew, music and food....but we realize it is a larger expense for everyone attending. Please let us know your thoughts, feedback, alternate solutions that come to mind. Thoughts? Ideas? Email us: newsalemgeneralstore@yahoo.

Agricultural Commission Plans for Old Home Day
The Agricultural Commission and Community Garden want your plants and flowers on Old Home Day! We will have a lot going on:
Cordwood Auction: One cord of wood (local delivery included), generously donated by Bruce Spencer, will be auctioned.
Bouquet Tin Can Auction: Donate a bouquet that you make. Be creative! Bring it to the Agricultural Commission tent on Old Home Day. We will have vases. Win a bouquet with its vase in our Tin Can Raffle! 
Hanging Basket Raffle: Take a chance on a large, gorgeous, hanging basket, generously donated by Laurenitis Farm.
Plant Sale: If you have plants to donate, please see the Community Garden news below. 


New Salem Community Garden News
“We have cleaned and planted our gardens, with the Community Giving Garden now ready for picking (well, kale, anyways)! Please stop by and help yourself to any ripe vegetables in this marked garden (pink posts outline the space). Thanks to Joe Cuneo, tomato plants were recently added.  Peas, beans, tomatoes, kale, squash, and Brussel sprouts have been donated and are growing well, despite the dry weather! 

We are desperately looking for tool donations and have a barrel in front of the shed for all to drop seasoned tools that still function. We would be elated to have a wheelbarrow, tiller and lawnmower too. Our shed now provides a safe, dry storage space, so please consider upgrading your own, and donate your used tools to our little garden. Rakes, trowels, a spade, pitchfork, and any fandangled tool you've enjoyed would be most appreciated! Buckets, twine, and stakes are good. Straw, or a truckload of bark mulch is also needed. Please contact Sandy at 413-219-4458 or with questions. There are still 2 available plots if you are interested in planting this year. The cost is $10 each.

We are preparing for our Old Home Day plant sale! If you have plants that have multiplied beyond their space, I will come to your home to divide or pick up any perennials you can donate. Thanks to donations earlier in the season, our new Pollinator Garden has spring through fall blooming plants. This has left a shortfall for our fundraising event, so please consider dividing or calling about how to donate some plants from your yard. They will be well-cared for until Old Home Day!

Come August, you may notice Whitney Fence from Northfield installing a cedar post and steel fence around the entire Community Garden growing area. Thanks to a grant through Organic Valley, we now have the funds to complete our needed project. How fortunate are we!”

Old Home Day Committee Updates and Vendors and Bakers Wanted

Updates: There will be a concert/dance with the sax-driven “rocking” band, Trailer Park at this year’s Old Home Day. Stay tuned for details. Also, thanks to a New Salem Cultural Council grant.
The Pied Potter Hamlin: The Pied Potter Hamlin will be doing a special demonstration of all kinds of pottery making. 

Town Forest Tree Walk: The new New Salem Tree Committee is sponsoring a Town Forest Tree Walk. This will be easy walk of about one hour by Bruce Spencer, a former Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) forester, informing residents of the history of the town parcel and its trees.

The 1794 Meetinghouse Chicken Dinner Fundraiser is on again this year. Buy your tickets early to be assured you get in!

Vendors: Ten vendors have already reserved space on the Common for Old Home Day. Vendors set up at the northern end of the Common from 10:00-3:00 and offer their wares to to the Old Home Day visitors. The cost is $10 for a 10’ by 10’ area. If you are interested, email.

Cake Walk Cake Bakers: If you are interested in baking cakes for the annual Old Home Day Cake Walk, please contact Sunday LeFebvre at or 575-0116. As always, there will be a great prize for the cake voted the best cake by the tasters! 

Free Home-Visiting Program
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 have questions call 978-544-5157.   Find flyer and more details at the Community Network for Children’s website at:
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June 2016 Broadband Update
Members of the Broadband Committee, Selectboard and Finance Committee are currently working with Massachusetts Broadband Institute and the Massachusetts Department of Local Services on a process to assess New Salem’s financial viability to own and operate a sustainable broadband network.
As the state will not fund shared regional ownership, all towns must build and own their own network. WiredWest has developed and is modifying an alternate plan to regionalize management, maintenance and share a common Internet Service Provider in order to comport with state guidelines and benefit from a regional operations model – but not ownership.
In the meantime, we are moving forward with steps that the state has set forward in order to proceed with the build so that our participation in the project is not delayed. 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.
It is yet unknown what changes this will bring to residents in terms of monthly subscription costs and service. We will hold a townwide information session when we know enough to make such an event meaningful and productive.
MaryEllen Kennedy and Kathy Soule-Regine, Co-Chairs, New Salem Broadband Committee

New Salem Town & Local Events Calendar
Please note:  Click on the event in the Calendar for event details.

New Salem News Needs New Editor:  

Jane Clukay will no longer be doing the New Salem News after the July Newsletter. It is hoped that someone or some organization will step forward to continue it, as it is important to this town. If you or your organization is interested, please contact Ta Mara Conde, chair of the New Salem Recreation Committee, the town committee that sponsors the New Salem News, at

Thank you to Jane for all her work to bring us the New Salem News!

New Spring Schedule for Worcester to Northampton MaxBus
The Maxbus that stops in New Salem on the way to Worcester and Northampton has a new spring schedule. The bus leaves about an hour later in the morning and returns an hour or so earlier in the afternoon. The schedule can be found at or at the New Salem General Store.


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.


Note: See link for the full 1794 Meetinghouse 2016 Schedule

Definite Maybes - Thursday, July 7
The Definite Maybes fashion a dynamic blend of rock, blues, and R&B and are driven by the sweet soulful voice of Melanie Mangum and spirited guitar from Charlie Mallet (Melanie and the Blue Shots). Their new release Leaving the Station features original songs that cross musical boundaries and styles. The band also features Scott "Ottomatic Slim" Monette on bass and Mark "The Nines" Jennings on drums. Come and listen to this great band; our wonderful acoustics will help their music to shine. They'll be playing all the originals off their debut CD, plus a few acoustic tunes that have yet to be released, and a bunch of fun covers. The Definite Maybes might hop genres, but they always deliver heart and soul with every performance.

Samantha Farrell - Saturday, July 9th
The Meetinghouse welcomes nearby Orange native Samantha Farrell home on Saturday, July 9th. Often, the first thing people say they notice about Farrell is a blonde shock of extremely curly hair. The second thing that people notice and the thing they never forget - is her voice. She’s looking forward to sharing her jazzy, folk-flavored pop with her friends, relatives, and fans in the North Quabbin area.

Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy - Thursday, July 14
Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy are a Brattleboro–based duo who will perform traditional music from Canada, Ireland and more on Thursday, July 14th. Tracy’s fiddling pulses through tasteful dance tunes and resonates with beauty on traditional slow airs. Keith’s gentle and expressive singing in English and French is balanced by the drive and power of his guitar playing and foot percussion.

Gathering Time with Mara Levine - Sunday, July 17th

New York-based Gathering Time returns to the Meetinghouse on Sunday afternoon, July 17th. Gathering Time is like a high-energy Peter, Paul and Mary or a co-ed Crosby, Stills and Nash, with various parts of The Byrds, Joni Mitchell, the Eagles and America mixed in; a head-turning folk-rock harmony trio described recently as "getting a whole beehive-full of buzz" on the northeast regional folk scene. They’ll be joined by guest vocalist Mara Levine.

Patrick Coman Band - Thursday, July 21st 

The Patrick Coman Band plays the reds and the blues at 7:30 pm on Thursday, July 21st. This Boston-based band merges bluesy bar room shuffles with the red dirt of Coman’s native Oklahoma, garnering fans for their upbeat and contemporary take on traditional American music.

Adult tickets are $15 (except the Opening and Closing concerts when they are $20).
Teens 13-17 are always $10. Children 12 and under are always free.


Editor’s Note: I hope you will support this summer’s 1794 Meetinghouse events. As the building is owned by the Town of New Salem, the 1794 Meetinghouse events benefit us all. Please print the attached schedule and, if I may make a suggestion, post copies everywhere.


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. 

Bus Service for New Salem from Worcester to Northampton
There's a new bus service that stops in New Salem. The service which is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation goes from Worcester to Northampton twice daily. Maxbus that stops in New Salem on the way to Worcester and Northampton has a new spring schedule. The bus leaves about an hour later in the morning and returns an hour or so earlier in the afternoon. For more information pick up a schedule from the New Salem Store or go to

Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op

Quabbin Harvest, the co-operative food market located at 12 North Main Street in downtown Orange, is open from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm on Saturdays, as well as Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 am until 6:30 pm.

Hazardous Waste Day is October 1st

Saturday, October 1st is Hazardous Waste Day. Pre-registration is required between August 25th and September 26th. For more information go to:

Please note that this event takes place concurrently at two collections sites - Greenfield Community College and the Orange Transfer Station.