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Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

There will be an Interfaith Thanksgiving Worship Service at 3 p.m.  on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the First Congregational Parish Unitarian, on the Common. This annual gathering celebrates Thanksgiving with members of the other Petersham churches: the Orthodox Congregational Church and St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church. There will be a time of fellowship and light refreshments after the service. All are welcome to attend.

St. Peter’s Christmas Bazaar

Do your Christmas shopping and get your loved ones a beautiful handmade gift.
Saturday - December 8, 2018
10:00am – 2:00pm in the church hall.
St. Peter’s Church - 18 North Street, Petersham
Items for sale: Christmas cookies by the pound, baked goods, cookies/cocoa in a jar, dog/bird treats, Christmas swags, table greens, dried fruit ornaments, large handing ball and star ornaments, handmade Christmas decorations, grab bags, treats/crafts for children and much more!
Coffee, tea and cider available for purchase.

Contact Islay Boeri 978.724.0205 with questions.

16th Annual Fine Art and Craft Show

16th Annual Petersham Art and Fine Craft Show
Saturday, December 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Petersham Town Hall on the Common. Santa will be there from 10:00 to noon. Live music by Myra and Bill MacLeod. Admission is Free!

Statewide Vote November 6

The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 State Election was Wednesday, October 17, 2018. The Town Clerk’s Office will be open on that date from 2 – 4 and from 7 – 8 p.m. Voters may register to vote or change their party.witty funeral home

Three Petersham residents, Jane Lynch Gilbert, Diane Nassif and Stephanie Selden have offered to drive Petersham voters on Nov. 6 by arrangement. Lynne Feldman has offered to link voter with driver. The number to use to reach her for this purpose is 978 340 2121.
Absentee ballots are available  in the Town Clerk’s Office. If you will be out of town on Election Day, if you have a disability or if you have a religious belief which prevents you from going to the polls, you qualify for an absentee ballot. Absentee ballot applications are available from the Clerk’s Office or going to https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/absentee/Engligh-Absentee-Ballot-Application.pdf. The deadline to apply for an absentee is noon on Monday, Nov. 5.
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Early voting will take place from Monday, Oct. 22 through Friday, Nov. 2. The hours to early vote are Monday, Oct 22 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Oct. 24 8 a.m. – Noon, Oct. 26 8 a.m. – Noon, Oct. 27 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Oct. 29 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Oct. 31 Noon – 3 p.m. and Nov. 2 10 a.m. – 2pm. An application to early vote by mail must be filled out in either the Clerk’s Office or by going to https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/2018-Early-Ballot-Application.pdf. Voters who choose to vote in person do not need to fill out an application.

For questions, please contact the Town Clerk, Diana Cooley at 978-724-6649.

November Classes at the Art Center

Two crafters return to Petersham Art Center for November classes.

On Saturday, November 10, from 9 a.m. to Noon, Trish Miller will teach a class on needle felting. Students will create “Thomas the Turkey” needle-felted out of colorful fiber. Ms. Miller is a member of the Petersham Art Center who has been teaching fiber arts throughout the area for many years. The cost is $15 for members/$35 for non-members, with a materials fee of $15.atholhospital

Jen Niles will instruct a “Paint a Pet” class on Saturday, November 10, from 2p.m.- 4 p.m.. Participants will paint whimsical images of their pets onto wooden ornaments. These sentimental keepsakes are perfect for gift giving. Students will paint up to three ornaments. Ms. Niles is well known for her fanciful pet portraits and maintains her own art studio. Cost: Member $10 / Non-mem. $30 Materials Fee: $7.50

Sweats for Vets Clothes Drive

Petersham Frontier Girls Troop # 448 will be holding a Sweats for Vets collection at the Center School during the month of November. The regional group hopes to collect 1,200 Boston Team sweats for homeless veterans in New England. A collection bin will be at the school. Send or drop off unwrapped team sweatshirts Medium or larger. The troop will wrap them as gifts. For info e-mail alexisharrington804@yahoo.com

University of the Wild Programs

UofWild is offering its slate of Fall programs.   

Saturday, November 10th 10:00 a..m. - 4:00 p.m. Earth Writer's Workshop for experienced and beginning writers.WATERWHEEL

Sunday, November 25th the Annual Earthlands Thanksgiving Gathering and Potluck Meal. "Meet and Greet Reception" at 2:00 p.m. with the Potluck at 4:00 p.m. 

For information and registration of the programs go to: wwwuniversityofthewild.org  or contact Larry Buell directly at <larrybuell@earthlands.org 


New Dump Stickers Available

New 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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Petershamcommon.com has been putting local Petersham news and information online since 1996. This website records between 8,000 and 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 polite 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-based reporting about town government and news about local events, It 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 please.
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

Tuesday October 9 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday October 23 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday November 13 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday November 27 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday December 11 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday December 18 6:30 p.m.

Sen. Anne Gobi

Tuesday, October 9th  
Petersham Town Offices, 10:30 to 11:30

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


eddies wheels


Harvard Forest - Fisher Museum

"Great Plates, Eat Out."




Final Meeting Held Before Broadband Loan Request

Twenty residents attended the final broadband update meeting in town hall Nov. 10 before the Broadband Municipal Light Plant asks a special town meeting Nov. 19 to approve borrowing $800,000 to pay for building the planned local internet system.

Chair Chip Bull said if the measure is approved, the project can proceed and all homes in town will be connected by the end of  2019. If the measure, which needs a two-thirds vote, fails, the project will come to an end. An agreement with state agencies regardingmillers river reimbursement must be finalized in the next 10 days or the meeting will be cancelled. Petersham is the only town presently in a "funding in arrears" category for a broadband project. Bull said Petersham will spend much less than other rural communities even if the state's promised reiimbursement does not materialize.

Bull said the cost of making utility poles ready to carry new cabling is higher than originally expected in part because Petersham has some 1,985 utility poles but it was originally thought there were only 1,375 poles to contend with.

Committee vice chairman John Blum said, "If we don't get this funding, Petersham doesn't get broadband."  Bull urged those at the meeting to get their neighbors to come to the special town meeting and vote in favor of the borrowing. 


Neighbors Nudge the Nichewaug

Thirty seven residents attended a second informal meeting in town hall Nov. 7 to discuss possible futures for the vacant Nichewaug buildings on the common. Ann Townsend contributed a seven page list of historic moments in the history of the complex including previous owners and attempts by several private groups to redevelop the buildings.

The town took ownership of the 6.6-acre property in 2007,  has had consultants study the options and has issued two requests for development proposals. Moderator Bart Wendell led  the group to create a list of Nichewaug "facts." He said the informal meetings are intended to determine whether there is a consensus about the fate of the vacant complex.

Several residents said the historic inn at the front of the property is an important part of the appeal of the town common. Some said preservation efforts have returned properties like Wentworth by the Sea in New Castle NH and Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth to appropriate and productive uses. Others are concerned that an increase in activity related to development would diminish the appeal of the town center. Ann Lewis, who chaired the first town study group, said modern technology is available to provide ways to meet today's septic system requirements.

Wendell said a third informal meeting will be held in town hall at 6:30 p.m. November 28. He invited residents to submit one-page plans for the property by Nov. 24.

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

$800,000 Borrowing Request on Tap for Special Town Meeting

Selectmen, FinComm and broadband committee members agreed Oct. 30 they will be asking voters to approve borrowing another $800,000 to pay a promised state share of building a town-wide high-speed internet system. Broadband committee Chair Chip Bull said a written agreement from the state to repay the town after the system is completely built and operating is in the works. So far, Petersham is the only underserved community to be put into a "Funding in Arrears" category by the state. Bull said, "We are unique because we have decided to have the network built and operated by a third party."hardwick coop

The loan request will require a two-thirds vote at a special Nov. 19 town meeting as well as a ballot measure to designate the money as excluded from the tax rate. The Broadband group will hold another information session to update voters on the plan at 4 p.m. Saturday Nov. 10 in town hall. He said two state agencies have voted to favor the promised reimbursement and final details are being worked out. When the reimbursement is paid, the borrowing will be paid off.

The town's contractor Matrix Design of New Jersey, is expected to shoulder  $1.75 million of the total project cost. The town has already spent $560,000 for anticipated "make ready" work and is expected to commit the remaining $800,000 to pay for installing the system. Selectboard chair Nancy Allen said National Grid has raised its projected cost of upgrading utility poles so an anticipated $160,000 budget surplus will not materialize.

Bull said the town must shoulder the cost of moving cables previously installed by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute because MBI has refused to move those cables to proper positions.

Quabbin Retreat Program Closing in Town, Moving to Heywood

Quabbin Retreat, the first program of a three-unit drug and alcohol treatment project run by Heywood Healthcare, will close and move to Gardner temporarily. Heywood president Win Brown told the program's community advisory board Oct. 29 that the move is necessaryoriginal tire co because the day counseling program is not supported by insurance payments at its current location.

A 40-bed second treatment unit, also at the 211 North Main Street site but managed by MacLean Hospital, is not affected by the move, Brown said. The insurance payments problem could be resolved by spring and the program will return to Petersham, Brown said.

Mostly Wandering Dogs and Hatching Turtles

ACO Call Log September 2018

09/02@3p Report of loose dog near 122 and New Athol Road. Dog located and returned to owner.

09/03@11a Resident update regarding hatched turtles in yard. Advice given.

09/04@8a Resident reports unknown dog walking in middle of West Road. Owner located and notified.quabbin retreat

09/07a@9a Resident requesting information about turtle rehab options for HBC turtle on Route 122. Resident willing to transport to Tufts Wildlife.

09/08@1p Resident request to borrow trap for lost cat. Trap loaned.

09/14@8:45p Resident call to inform circumstances regarding raccoon in shed. Advice given. Deceased animal retrieved using rabies precautions. State Lab notified and disposition advice followed.

09/17@2p Resident reports house cat is missing. Does not want a PAWS Alert sent. Suggestions given to help locate.

09/20@6p Owner of above called to say cat was at home when she returned from work. Though cat appeared fine, suggested she contact her veterinarian.SENIORS

09/24@2p Dispatch report of loose dog on New Athol Road. Dog identified, owner contacted.

09/26@3p Resident call to discuss options for nuisance wildlife getting into trash. Options given.

09/27@4p Resident call to follow up on nuisance wildlife and discuss best option.

09/30@12:30p Dispatch and resident call for loose dog on Route 32 near Athol Line. Dog brought to a Petersham location by finder. Dog picked up and brought to Petersham Animal Shelter. FB post/PAWS Alert. Owner called at 1:30p stating she is visiting a relative in Petersham and dog wandered off. Met owner at Shelter at 2pm, dog returned to owner..

Helping People Age in Place in Petersham

Members of a "Petersham Committee" held an informational meeting to explain their plans to create a way to help residents age in place in town. Forty community members attended the  meeting at the center School cafeteria September 26. Petersham presently  has limited services for elders.godin

Jim Reagan told the group the plan is to follow a "Village to Village" model to recruit subscribers and volunteers who might provide services like home making, yard work, trips to the grocery store and more. He said the nearest similar working model of such a group is Monadnock at Home in Southern New Hampshire. Such groups began with Beacon Hill Village in Boston and have spread across the country. With volunteers and paid staff, they collect information about available services and service providers and volunteers to hep senior members of their communities.

The group plans a follow-up organizational meeting after the Age Council luncheon on October 22 and will discuss forming an advisory council.

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Town Hall Access Committee Report

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