New Salem Town & Local Events,

Opportunities & News

Hilltown Brewfest

The 7th Annual Hilltown Brewfest will be held on Saturday, September 6th this year from noon to 5:00 p.m. As in years past, it will be held at 837 Cooleyville Junction on Route 202 in New Salem. Price of admission includes sampling of a large selection of craft beers, ciders, wines, meade and entertainment provided by three live bands. Local food vendors including Diemand Farms, Cliff's Backyard BBQ and the Petersham Lions Club will also be onsite supporting the event.  All event profits are donated to our local fire departments for much needed equipment and supplies.  Last year's Hilltown Brewfest raised a record $17,000 for our local departments! Don't worry, be “hoppy” and join us again on September 6th for a great fun-filled day for a great cause! For more information or online ticket purchase visit


Memorial to Jean Stabell – The Flying Flutistas Concert at the 1794 Meetinghouse
The 1794 Meetinghouse will present a concert of flute music by The Flying Flutistas as a benefit for the Meetinghouse Sunday, Sept. 7th at 4:00 pm. This concert, in memory of longtime New Salem resident Jean Stabell, honors her longtime support of the Meetinghouse. Her photography will be on display in the foyer during the concert. The Flying Flutistas, Vanessa Mulvey and Lynne Krayer-Luke are a dynamic duo from the Boston area. Vanessa is a niece of Jean Stabell and has concertized at the Meetinghouse before. Also playing in the program are Janet Kraft, piano, and Julianne Mulvey, bassoonist. Tickets for adults are $10. Children under 12 are admitted free.


New Salem Library News
August Angst Mental Triathlon Results

The Friends of the New Salem Public Library would like to thank all those who participated in the August Angst Mental Triathlon.  The studio audience had a great time along with the participants and judges. Six teams competed for the top three prizes.  The winning teams were:
First Place (Hot Tubs at Elements in Amherst): Margot Parrot, Sue Blake, Candi Fetzer
Second Place (Gift Certificates to Deja Brew): Jack Sidar, Zara Dowling, Tessa Dowling
Third Place (A gift basket with fine wine): Jeanne Clayton, Sarah Kohler, David Cramer
New Books Based on Library Survey
You get what you want at the New Salem Public Library!  Keep your eyes open for new books that reflect the suggestions you made in the recent library survey.  Thanks for your help in creating an even better patron friendly collection.
Museum Passes Coming Soon: The New Salem Public Library is in the process of purchasing Museum Passes for this year.  Don't forget, there is a list of museum passes available through other libraries at the front desk. 
Summer Reading and Raffle Program Winners:  Winners for the July 29th drawing are:
Children:  Adriana Gaulzetti, Bruce's Browser Gift Certificate
Teen: Cady Black, Bruce's Browser Gift Certificate
Computer Skills Workshop: On September 2nd at 6:00 pm and the first Tuesday of every month, our own Sue Dunbar will hold a workshop for improving your computer skills.  Sue will also explain procedures such as downloading materials from the internet to your personal device. 
Pizza and Pages: On September 9th from 5:00-6:30 pm Pizza and Pages will be discussing Chronicles of Ancient Darkness #2: Spirit Walker by Michelle Paver.  The yummy delightful pizza is from the New Salem General Store.  Thank you Rick.
Book Discussion Group: At 7:00 pm on September 10th, the group will discuss Following Atticus by Tom Ryan.
A Library for All Seasons: On September 20th, The Friends of the New Salem Public Library will present Find Your Equilibrium on the Equinox. Getting ready for Autumn fun is the idea and here are some fun things to do.  First of all "Having fun isn't hard....When you've got a library card."  Do you?  You can get one anytime, but now is a great time.  Next join in the fun of these two afternoon events:
1:00-2:00 pm: Heads and Spines – Team up in a contest to find out who in New Salem can walk the farthest with a book on their head.  You and your book are a head and spine team! Three categories of contestants. Elementary school age, middle and high school age, college age and up.  The winner of each category receives a Friends of the New Salem Public Library Book Bag and the opportunity to fill the bag with your choice of books from our gently-used book shelf.  Start practicing your poised book bearing posture perfect walk!
2:00-3:00 pm: Yoga Class - Teens and adults are invited to a yoga class featuring instructor Connie Pike.  Mats will be available.  Sign up at the Front Desk for this event as space is limited.
Lemonade, iced tea, and water will be provided for both events.
Green Burials Presentation
On September 23rd at 7:00 pm Judith Lorei will give information about Green Burials.
Library Garden Input Sought
Gardeners, come one, come all! The library is seeking a few people to meet and talk about the library gardens. If you have some interest and ideas about beautifying the library grounds, please join us at the library on September 18 at 5:00 pm or contact Lisa at or 978-544-6710.


Council on Aging News

Bingo and Lunch: We will continue to meet in the Town Hall until the end of October. We gather will at 10:00 a.m. for coffee and Bingo followed by lunch at noon. Please call Hendra Reidy by the Monday prior to sign up at 978-544-2178.
On Friday, September 12th, we will have a cold plate of roast beef, rotini salad, 3-bean salad, hamburger roll and applesauce. On September 26th, there will be a spinach lentil soup, roast turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes and chocolate pudding. Wanda Landry (Quabbin Valley Healthcare) will give an Alzheimer’s update.
New Members Sought: The Council is looking for some new they have had several resignations this year.  Please call Hendra if you are interested.  (You do not even have to be a senior to be a member!!)
Help with Computers and E-readers: Diana Smith and Sue Dunbar at the Library will schedule visits with you in your home or at the Library to learn how to use email, Word, attach pictures or learn basic computer skills. If you have an e-reader, you can learn how to download books that can be “borrowed” from the Library system. Please call the Library to set up an appointment at 544-6334.
Busy Bs: The Busy Bs continue to meet every Wednesday, weather permitting, at the Stowell Building from 1:00-3:00 p.m.  Bring your project and join us.  We have knitters, crocheters, embroiderers, and other crafters all enjoying each other's company and admiring each other’s work.

New Salem Academy Building Hours

The newly restored New Salem Academy Building at 3 Academy Drive (just off the Common) is open from noon until 5:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month. Come for a tour of the building constructed in 1838 or just sit and enjoy the unique space.


Swift River Valley Historical Society News

Thanks to everyone who celebrated Swift River Valley Day with us on August 10th, and especially Theresa, at Seren-dip-ities Dairy Bar, for providing free Maple Valley ice cream the whole afternoon; and to the Local Cultural Councils of the Massachusetts Cultural Council for their support: New Salem, Athol, Orange, Petersham, Warwick, and Wendell. Note: SRVHS is seeking new Board Members. Information at
Swift River Valley Historical Society Feltscaping at the Garlic & Arts Festival
Visit the Swift River Valley Historical Society booth at the Garlic & Arts Festival for an encore of the feltscape activity we led on Old Home Day. From 11:30 am to 12:30 pm on Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, September 28, we'll make small felted landscapes of the valley before the Quabbin Reservoir. The Swift River Valley Historical Museum will also be open both Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 pm on this last weekend of the 2014 open season. Stop by to say hi at the festival, then visit the museum just down the road
Free Museum Day
Saturday, September 27 is Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day. In celebration of our nation’s museums, the Swift River Valley Historical Society will join museums across the country to be open and free to the public on this day.
End of the Museum’s 2014 Open Season
Sunday, September 28 is the last day of the open season at the Historical Museum.
Hardwick Hike
On Sunday, October 5th there will be a Hardwick hike with Marty Howe. Meet at Hardwick Common at 11:00 am to carpool to Gate 45 (Lyman Rd.)
Bus Trip to Prescott
On Sunday, October 19, there will be a bus trip to Prescott with Marty Howe. The bus trip has filled and we cannot accept any new registrations. If your check arrived after the maximum number was reached, Marty Howe will mail it back to you.

Transfer Station News
July Winner of Transfer Station Trash Bags
Jane McKay won a package of yellow New Salem trash bags for picking up the trash on the side of the in the month of July. If you would like to try and win some bags for the Transfer Station, talk to Bob the attendant at the Transfer Station. Thank you Jane from the Board of Health.
Suggestion Box at Transfer Station
There will be a suggestion box at the New Salem Transfer Station. If you have any suggestions for ways to improve the Transfer Station just leave it in the box.


Agricultural Commission News

The Agricultural Commission is looking for new members, as we only have five and need more members for generating ideas, assisting with planning and development of new ideas. If you are interested, our next meeting is September 4th at 6:00 pm in the New Salem Public Library. The meeting lasts about an hour, so please join us!
Also, the Agricultural Commission is interested in having guest speakers join our meetings to discuss pollinator development, amending soil, best organic practices, etc. We hope other community groups and individuals will join any presentations we organize.  We want public input on specific topics you may want more information on, and any recommended presenters you know about. Send an email to, join our meetings, or "like" our New Salem Community Garden page at ( on Facebook. Thanks and we hope to see you at the library on September 4th at 6:00 pm!


The New Salem Community Garden News
As the summer air turns cooler, and the daylight lessens, gardeners at the Community Garden harvest the last of their tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers and squash. Thanks to all for making this growing season a success! Please help yourself to any of the remaining vegetables ripening in the free giving plot designated by the blue rope and flags, and we'd love if you'd leave a message on our notepad!
     Most recently, we were awarded a$500 grant through Massachusetts Agricultural Commission (MAAC) which will be used towards our shed project. On August 27th we were interviewed by the CROPP organization through Organic Valley in Wisconsin in response to a grant proposal submitted at the end of July. Cross your fingers they are interested in supporting our garden project efforts!


National Preparedness Month
September’s 2014 National Preparedness Month provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the important work we all do making sure our communities are safe, healthy, and ready for emergencies. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management is sponsoring a statewide campaign to encourage Massachusetts residents, families and communities to make plans and to prepare for public health and medical emergencies, threats, and disasters. The DPH has established one central web page at to provide information, tips and links for the public.

New Salem Library News
New Salem Public Library Board of Trustees Opening
: If you are interested in being a behind the scenes advocate for the New Salem Public Library there is an available spot on the Board of Trustees. For more information see Diana at the library.

Notes on "Lost" Wildlife from Mass Wildlife

See links below for information:

Notes on lost wildlife /rehab/wildlife_rehab_index.htm

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

Writing the Land with Mira Bartok
On Saturday Oct 11th, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, please join Mira Bartók for an inspiring nature writing retreat this fall at Seeds of Solidarity Farm in Orange. This one-day retreat will include nature walks, guided writing exercises, and shared reading of work in a supportive environment. It is a wonderful opportunity to deeply explore the resonances between sense of place, memory, imagination and your own relationship to the earth. No experience necessary. Seeds of Solidarity is offering this workshop at a very special price of $100, which includes a delicious farm-fresh lunch! Space is limited to 20; preregistration is essential and we expect the day to fill. Contact or 978-544-9023 to register. For more info, please go here:

Mira Bartók is the author of the award-winning memoir, The Memory Palace, and has taught nature writing workshops for many years. She is an alum of the University of Massachusetts MFA Program for Poets & Writers and has studied nature writing at the University of Montana’s Environmental Writing Workshop, Orion Magazine’s Wildbranch Nature Writing Institute at Sterling College, and the Bread Loaf Writing Conference, among others.

Central Congregational Church Events
On Sunday, September 7th, at 10:00 am the New Salem Central Congregational Church is holding a Homecoming Service to welcome the community back from vacations and general summer fun. The service, officiated by Rev. Jim Ewan, will be from 10:00-11:00 am.  It will be followed by a good old-fashioned cookout. Burgers, dogs, rolls, and condiments will be provided.  People are encouraged (not require!) to bring a dish to pass around.  A hootenanny featuring the New Salem Central Congregational Church HootenZanies will cap off the fun.  All are welcome.
New Salem Central Congregational Church holds service every Sunday from 10:00 - 11:00 am.  Reverend Jim Ewan officiates, Janet Kraft leads her "Joyful Noise," choir and all share concerns, prayers, hymn singing, and the comfort of community.

New Kitchen Compost Pails Available at Transfer Station!

The Franklin County Solid Waste District recently purchased a large number of “Sure-Close” kitchen compost pails. These 1.9-gallon pails are meant to collect food waste in the kitchen, and the materials then emptied into backyard or municipal compost bins. The lid latches securely and can be made to stay open for ease of use. The vented lid has pinholes that act as a filter (but with no expensive or hard-to-find filter); moisture can pass through the lid, which reduces odors.


New Salem was among 15 district towns received varying amounts of pails: Bernardston, Colrain, Conway, Erving, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Orange, Montague, New Salem, Rowe, Shelburne, Sunderland, Wendell, and Whately. They are available free at our transfer station while supplies last.  The kitchen pails are also offered for sale to District residents for $5 at the District Office, 50 Miles St., Greenfield; call 413-772-2438 for hours or more info. Earth Machine outdoor compost bins are also for sale for $45 at the District office


These municipal compost programs are available free to permit holders at the transfer stations in Leverett, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, and Whately. The majority of this purchase was funded by Mass DEP’s Sustainable Materials Recovery Program  (SMRP) small-scale initiatives grant. The grant requires that funded items contain 35% recycled content; therefore these pails are an avocado green color to mask any color variations in the recycled product. The District previously offered a beige version of the same pail. District Towns also received a total of 44 Earth Machine compost bins, funded by the SMRP grant. For more information, please call (413) 772-2438.

Bee Swarms Welcomed

This time of year, honey bees are evaluating their housing and may feel their current situation is not ideal. About half the hive population leaves with the current queen in search for greener pastures. A swarm is typically very docile, even though they are a noisy bunch. The swarm generally stays in temporary location, such as a tree branch, for about 24 hours while the scouts find a new dwelling. We would love to provide a home for them on our New Salem property. Please call Harmonie or Dennis at 978-544-3869 if you see a swarm in your neighborhood.

A Home for Bats

The Friends of Historic New Salem which oversees the New Salem Academy Building, are preparing a home for bats. As you may know the bat population has been struck by the White Nose Syndrome and the numbers are diminishing.  We have many migrating bats which have chosen to nest in the attic of the Academy building which we discovered after the building had been restored. After consulting with Dr. French of the Massachusetts Wildlife, we have taken measures to change their nesting spot.  It was suggested we add lights and maybe a radio on a timer to discourage the bats from nesting in the attic, but this must be started before they nest on June 1st. Dr. French also offered plans for a bat house large enough to hold the migrating population and construction has started. The bat house will be placed near the garden area behind the town hall.

The Friends have begun the process to direct the bats to another nesting place and warn that they may try to nest in homes and buildings surrounding the common. If you are concerned that the bats may find your home inviting, we suggest you follow Dr. French’s advice and add a light and radio connected to a timer to any dark, inviting places before June 1st. After the bats have begun to nest the lights and radio are not necessary.

North Quabbin Food Co-op
COMING SOON! A Food Co-op in downtown Orange! The North Quabbin Community Co-op, a member-owned grocery store, will be moving to downtown Orange this summer and will serve the region with healthy and locally produced products.  Join Amy Borezo and Michael Skillicorn for an informal gathering at the New Salem library to hear more about it on Tuesday, May 20 at 7:00 pm. Go to: for more information about the co-op.

Hatha Yoga Class
Janice Doubleday is offering an on-going Hatha Yoga class for beginners and intermediate on Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Wendell Senior Center. She has a 200 hour certificate. Classes are $10. Contact her at or 978-544-7079 with any questions.

Board of Health Litter Drawing Awards
In the month of April, Jeffrey Duga and children walked the sides of the roads in New Salem  and picked up 15 bags of rubbish. They won the drawing for the free bags for that month. Hugh MacKay won the May drawing for the free bags for his part in keeping New Salem clean. Thanks to all of you from the Board of Health and the Town of New Salem for helping to keep New Salem clean. If anyone is interested in participating in the drawing for the free trash.

North Quabbin Community Garden Offering Garden Plots

The North Quabbin Community Garden’s Steering Committee invites local gardeners and would-be gardeners to the garden on Holtshire Road in Orange on Saturday, May 10th, from 10:00-3:00 p.m. for a day of planting in preparation for a summer of gardening. Organic garden plots will be available on a first come first served basis.  The garden is located on land owned by Connie Pike and Mike Magee on the northwest end of Holtshire Road between the Route 2 interchange and Wendell Depot Road.  The family hosted a community garden at the site for years in the 1990s.  For more information, directions, or to sign up for a plot, contact Kristin Grenier, who serves as Community Outreach Coordinator at Mount Grace as part of the MassLIFT-AmeriCorps program.  She can be reached at 978-248-2043 or

Wired West Needs Responses

     Have you taken a minute to complete your support card for WiredWest broadband service yet?  If you do not have a card and have not completed a survey online, the post cards are also available at the Town Hall Annex (Old Libary) and the New Salem Library.  Or you can complete the form online
     Only one response per household will be counted.  If there are multiple households in your building, please indicate a separate apartment number for each.  WiredWest is a municipal cooperative of 40 towns working together on a fiber-optic network in the region to provide state-of-the-art and affordable internet, phone, video and other services to homes, businesses and institutions.  See the website at for more information.
     The support card is an important demonstration of interest in the network in each town.  We hope you will consider expressing your interest in service from the WiredWest network.  Even if you already have services from another provider, note that WiredWest will not only deliver superior internet service, but your expressed support also helps to ensure access for your fellow residents who currently have no high-speed internet options.
     If you have any questions, please contact the New Salem delegates, MaryEllen Kennedy at or Kathy Soule-Regine at