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When a rural road goes bad: Leverett’s unpaved Dudleyville Road illustrates challenges facing local towns
02-07-2024 2:06 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

LEVERETT — Restoration of a 1.4-mile section of the mostly gravel Dudleyville Road from Moore’s Corner to the Shutesbury town line could cost at least $2 million, and possibly as much as $4 million, according to a draft evaluation recently completed...

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Athol principal selected as superintendent for Erving School Union 28
02-20-2024 3:57 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

ERVING — Athol Community Elementary School Principal Shannon White-Cleveland is being tapped as the next Erving School Union 28 superintendent, overseeing four K-6 elementary schools attended by children in Shutesbury, Leverett, Erving, Wendell and...


Interviews for Union 28 superintendent set for Friday
02-15-2024 2:13 PM

NEW SALEM — Public interviews with the three finalists to become the next superintendent of Erving School Union 28 will take place Friday at Swift River School, with a possible selection by the Joint Supervisory Committee later that evening.The...


South County Notebook: Feb. 12, 2024
02-10-2024 5:56 PM

Conway pens ‘thank you’ letter for state aid CONWAY — The Selectboard has sent out a “thank you” letter to state and federal legislators, as well as a variety of state agencies, for helping bring disaster relief funding to the town to help pay for...


Guest columnist Gene Stamell: Is my friend Peter a narcissist?
01-31-2024 6:30 PM

By GENE STAMELL

For the great majority of my life, I haven’t given the term “narcissism” much thought. The condition simply didn’t cross my radar. Certainly, I have known a number of people who possessed large, overinflated egos, but it wasn’t until I started...


10 Franklin County communities get state funds for storm damage repairs
01-22-2024 4:34 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

BOSTON — With the long-awaited announcement of storm damage relief funding at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual conference this past weekend, Deerfield and Conway, as well as 35 other communities around the state, are finding themselves...


My Turn: Losing my tribe over Gaza
01-22-2024 8:29 AM

By SARENA NEYMAN

For me, being Jewish was never about religion or Zionism. My Holocaust survivor parents sent me to Jewish day schools and Zionist summer camps, but none of that stuck. I haven’t set foot in a synagogue for decades and have always been critical of...


Three finalists named for Union 28 superintendent
01-21-2024 12:30 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

ERVING — Gateway Regional School District’s curriculum director, the principal at Athol Community Elementary School, and the director of assessment and accountability for the Westfield Public School District are the finalists to become the next...


My Turn: Opposing Leverett megaproject only common sense
01-18-2024 6:45 PM

By JOHN VARNER

While it is true that racism has been behind some zoning restrictions, racism is not the only reason zoning restrictions exist.Is all zoning racist? This is certainly what some real estate people want you to think, based on nearly a full page of...


South County Notebook: Jan. 17, 2024
01-16-2024 11:40 AM

Mount Toby Concerts welcoming Windborne quartet LEVERETT — Mount Toby Concerts is continuing its long-running concert series by welcoming folk quartet Windborne on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m.The quartet is presenting its “Song on the Times” project,...


Faith Matters: Awakening from slumber
01-05-2024 3:13 PM

By GURUJIMA

The year of awakening from slumber is upon us, and many new things will happen that will create this awakening. Open your eyes, beloved ones, and see what we need to awaken to. It is to the preciousness of each day of life and our responsibility to be...


Valley Bounty: Community has kept Leverett Co-op beacon burning for half-century
01-05-2024 2:20 PM

By JACOB NELSON

This year, the Leverett Village Co-op turns 50. Over half a century, it has grown beyond a grocery store to become a cultural institution and hidden gem on North Leverett Road. For many it is an indispensable source of food to eat and food for the...


Guest columnist Gene Stamell: Imagine no opinions
01-04-2024 5:24 PM

By GENE STAMELL

One morning, a number of years ago, I found myself standing in line at a Starbucks counter.The woman in front of me was screaming into her phone, arguing about what seemed to be a rent dispute. Obviously irate, she was completely unaware of her impact...


Philip Carter: Leverett housing column missed details 
01-02-2024 4:31 PM

In a Dec. 29 guest column, writer Michael Seward suggests that opposition to the proposed housing development in Leverett is racist and immoral (“Leverett housing a counter to injustice”). However, he neglects to describe the project being proposed.It...


Patricia Crosby: Support nuclear disarmament policy resolutions
12-29-2023 7:30 PM

In these very uncertain times, full of conflict and violence but also resolution and hope, Mount Toby Monthly Meeting of Friends strongly endorses a set of policy solutions regarding nuclear disarmament that have been proposed by the grassroots...


My Turn: Leverett housing a counter to injustice
12-27-2023 3:51 PM

By MICHAEL SEWARD

After about 100 years of exclusionary zoning, there was bound to be a reckoning. Antiquated and discriminatory housing policies among the towns of the Pioneer Valley resulted in a severe housing shortage. The housing proposal presented at a recent...


Hollie Kalkstein: No military answers in Gaza
12-26-2023 3:44 PM

In the Bible story of King Solomon and two women claiming to be the mother of one baby, wisdom shines when Solomon asks for a sword to cut the baby in two. One mother relinquishes her claim so that the baby may live. Solomon knows the baby must belong...


Unveiling of Town Hall mural to conclude Deerfield’s 350th anniversary events
12-22-2023 1:19 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SOUTH DEERFIELD — As Deerfield’s 350th year comes to an end, there is one final community event scheduled before the calendar flips to 2024.In the theme of celebrating Deerfield’s long history, a new, permanent mural highlighting the town’s eras will...


John Varner: ‘Leverett is not Florida’
12-18-2023 4:08 PM

In Florida, it is common for developers to plan and build entire new communities. A few political favors are done, a new exit ramp springs off the closest highway, and regulatory concerns are bulldozed along with the land.Within the span of a few...


Expansive housing vision unveiled for Leverett estate
12-14-2023 4:15 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

LEVERETT — Should redevelopment of the estate built for late Yankee Candle founder Michael J. Kittredge II move forward, those living in the future homes and apartments could access amenities including a trout pond, an indoor water park, an arcade and...


Greenfield Cooperative Bank donates $20K to rehab sawmill building in Leverett
12-12-2023 11:45 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

LEVERETT — A future overhaul of the historic North Leverett Sawmill, possibly into a museum of 18th to 21st century industry, is receiving a multi-year grant in support of the project.Greenfield Cooperative Bank announced this week that it is donating...

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