This coming Thursday, 6:30 at the Leverett Library members of the Friends of Leverett Pond will be giving a presentation describing all sorts of activities in and around the pond. We will be talking about the new dam, our weed Integrated Pest Management Plan, the new Boat Loan Program and some new ideas. Please plan to join us. There will be refreshments that may remind you, of all things, the Leverett Transfer Station!
Announcement to All Members of the Leverett Village Co-op
PLEASE COME TO AN IMPORTANT BOARD MEETING OPEN TO MEMBERS
TUESDAY OCTOBER 29TH FROM 7:30-9:30 PM (Place to be announced, probably the Leverett Town Hall)
Recently it has become clear that the Leverett Co-op is in a severe financial crisis, since we now owe nearly $200,000 to our vendors, our bank and for other services. This has meant that we have a serious cash flow crisis and cannot pay our vendors on time. A number of them will no longer deliver products to us without cash on delivery. Since we do not have the money to pay them in cash, we have had to negotiate with some for extended payment options and others are no longer delivering us products, which explains our reduced level of stock in the store. Loyal members have been helping out by purchasing pre-paid cards to help with our cash flow problem but we don’t have enough products on the shelves for them to buy! As a result, we simply do not have enough people shopping at the store or the restaurant to solve the problem without an extra infusion of capital. And unfortunately the bank and other lending groups that we have been working from to re-mortgage the store have recently turned us down in our requests for loans.
At the emergency Board meeting last Tuesday October 15, Board member Jono Neiger put forward the sketch of an interim plan to cut costs by various means, including volunteers to purchase stocks directly from BJs or Restaurant Depot or other alternatives. His plan also suggests a re-assessment of staff and professional consultant costs, increasing the use of volunteers, and expanding the Co-op Board. Other options unfortunately may include selling the building (our only asset) in order to keep the Coop in business as a renter, or going into bankruptcy and trying to re-organize the business after paying off some of our debts. Some of these options will be discussed further at this upcoming Board meeting.
Most of these choices are difficult ones and should include as many members as possible since this is a democratically-owned business! In a Co-op, member-owners should have regular input and the final say over such tough choices. At the upcoming meeting we will discussing new candidates who have applied to join the Board, will hear from the President of the Board about her recommended options, and will have a report from the accountant about the financial situation of the Co-op.
Please make your voices heard and try to come to this meeting!! Spread the word! We need your help and input in order to have this valuable community center and service survive.
From Ann Ferguson, chair, Membership Committee
Leverett Village Co-operative Board
PS Spread the word about the date and I will send another message confirming the place of the meeting, either at the Leverett Town Hall or at the Co-op store. You can contact me at: ferguson3638[at]gmail.com
Here’s a a plea from Jono Niger alerting us all to the need for help to save the Village Co-Op in Leverett as a market as well as a cafe/restaurant.
Jono Niger is on the co-op’s board.
> The Leverett Village Co-op is a special place for many of you and it needs your love now more than ever.
> The Co-op is in a severe financial crisis. If you want to see the co-op survive we need all hands on-deck. Our little neighborhood grocery and hang-out space will be gone in months or even weeks if the community doesn't step up.
> We know that the many changes at the co-op have been challenging; lunch menu, bakery, layout of store, new management after a long-serving manager. The changes have been intended to attract as many people as possible and to reach out to those who not only have shopped there for years, but to those who have not, and are looking for a local place to eat and shop. The food store retail and co-op culture has been changing rapidly these last years. It has become harder to maintain a small grocery without expanding the food service. Most co-ops (especially our style of small rural ones) have needed to do this kind of food service to stay afloat. But we know that maintaining the grocery aspect is essential for local needs.
> We attempted to get loans from lenders and have been turned down.
> But…We have begun a Capital Campaign and already gotten almost $30,000 in loans and donations; but we’ll need more. Right now the store is in debt over $200k to vendors. We are in active negotiation with them in order to restock the shelves so we have a good selection for people to buy from again. We need to pay down that debt to get inventory flowing again and raise more funds to improve the store with new refrigerators (to lower the electric bill), an espresso machine, expanded kitchen menu, patio, solar panels for energy, and much more.
> What You Can Do:
> •TELL your friends, family and local network what's happening and ask people to support the Co-op
> •SHOP at the store. Even if inventory is low, the store cannot stay open without business
> •GIVE. Buy pre-pay cards, give a donation or loan
> •VOLUNTEER. We are in need of people to step up in many ways. Can you help in some way to reduce an expense at the co-op or help raise funds? Can you organize volunteers to take on some tasks at the store?
> •MAKE SUGGESTIONS: Let us know what you see could help make the Leverett Village Co-op succeed
> There is a board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 15th at 7:00pm at the Co-op. Come participate. Give us your feedback and hear more about plans we are developing.
> This community has stepped up and done so much for this store over the last bunch of years; new roof, fixed the ice damming and leaks, schmooze space flooring, venting, painting, and more. And now our co-op needs some more help.
> Please Help in any way you can. We are all very busy—there is so much happening in each of our lives. But our little neighborhood grocery needs the community to survive.
> (feel free to forward this to your friends)
> (I can send loan or donation materials-please ask)
> Jono Neiger
> 163 Rattlesnake Gutter Rd
> Co-op Board member
The last Wendell Monthly Market will be Saturday October 5th for the 2019 season. Pull on your warm sweater for brisk fall weather when you go to the north common by the gazebo from 10-1 for a fun time with vendors, musicians and Shell Hines doing bodywork. The Friends of the Wendell Library will have their Table Top Sale and food too!
If you would like to join the Youth Climate Strike this Friday in Leverett the Leverett Energy Committee and Climate Action Group of the Leverett Alliance is planning to to support our children at the following places this Friday. Town Hall, Cave Hill & Montague and Route 63 & Montague. We will gather at the three places with posters as the school buses go by from 7:30-9:00 am and at Town Hall 4-6. At the LES at 1:00 pm the students will march from the school to the library. This has been organized by the students, with permission from the staff, and we will be at the library to greet them. Please join us: there will be extra posters but your own posters are welcome.
Organizing Team Leverett
The Wendell Monthly Market will be held at the gazebo on the Wendell town common this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will repeat the first Saturday of each month.
Come to buy, come to sell, come to browse, come to make music with neighbors and friends. Vendors will be joined by a bodywork practitioner in the gazebo.
For an idea as to what to expect, there will be organic veggies, cut flowers, starts, eggs, maple syrup, crafts, bric-a-brac, jewelry, locally made herbal remedies, artisan soaps, woodenware, native pollinator/wildflower plants and food, with a Table Top sale to benefit the Friends of the Wendell Library too!
Author Talk Book Signing: Deb Habib Ricky Baruch "making Love While Farming"
At Leverett Library on Tuesday, July 9, 6:30pm-7:30pm
With Seeds of Solidarity's Ricky Baruch and Deb Habib. https://seedsofsolidarity.org/
Ricky and Deb run Seeds of Solidarity Farm and Education Center. They are part of the group that founded the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival.
Making Love While Farming is their new memoir, released in March by work-owned Levellers Press in Amherst, MA.
Join us for their talk!
Come enjoy free live, local music under warm summer skies at Leverett Library!
Thursdays, 7-8pm (no music on July 4th), rain or shine (music moves indoors in the event of rain)
06/27: Bruce Colegrove
07/11: Beth Logan Raffeld & Jazz Trio
07/18: Little House Blues
07/25: Danse Cafe
08/01: Masala Jazz
08/08: Box Shop Blues
08/15: Same Old Blues
08/22: Machine Shop
08/29: Juggler Meadow String Band
Learn something new! At Leverett Library:
06/22: Cloud-based computing demystified: what it is, its limitations and benefits.
06/29: Android smartphone 101
Workshops run 1pm-2pm, including 40 minutes of presentation followed by Q&A.
These free workshops are introductory in nature, and assume no previous knowledge or familiarity with technology. Underwritten by OTELCO.
Instructor Jeoffrey Pooser is a recent transplant to Leverett from Wendell, where he served on the Selectboard for nine years, and continues his commitment to community involvement by offering several technology skills workshops through the Leverett Library this June.
His background is in the arts, and he has been professionally involved in the technology sector for 25 years, primarily as a Unix Systems Engineer, and currently works at Umass as an Information Risk and Compliance Analyst.
Happier Valley Comedy Show, Thursday 5/30, 7pm, Leverett Library
Happier Valley Comedy will present their short form improv show "The Fast & the Funniest" on Thursday, May 30, 7pm at Leverett Library! This show is free. Doors open 6:45pm. Expect content "rated" PG-13!
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Leverett Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Leverett Town Meeting April 27th 9:00 Please Vote! Article
Leverett Town Meeting April 27th 9:00 AM Please Vote!
I am writing to urge Leverett Citizens to partake in our 'little d' democracy this coming Saturday at the Town Meeting, Leverett Elementary School, 9AM
My environmental group CLEAN! (Citizens for Landfill Environmental Action Now!) has been working with the town for the past year to get an article on the Warrant to address the five homes in E. Leverett whose water has been contaminated by the chemical plume coming from the unlined landfill.
We believe it truly is time for the Town to take positive action and relieve the daily suffering, inconvenience, and property devaluation that the contamination has caused. There are some families who have been mandated by the Department of Environmental Protection to get bottled water for 10 years. Others have tried to sell due to illness but were unable to because of the water. We cannot access the nest egg we thought our homes would provide us.
We are urging people to vote YES to all 3 options on Article 16.
1) Appropriate funds to connect a water line to Amherst ($2 million plus; possible grant
2) Fund a hydrogeologist study of local water sources ($150,000)
3) Appropriate $20,000 to hire an appraiser to assess fair market value and have the
town purchase homes as they come up for sale.
We are urging yes votes so that as the best possible solution presents itself, the town can then act. We need the numbers to get 2/3 majority votes. Every vote counts.
Please understand that the implications of hidden poisons in our water are far reaching and affect out daily lives and our future. The bottled water jugs weigh 40 lbs and handling them is getting too cumbersome for people as they age. As things deteriorate we are less or unable to access the equity in our homes that we have carefully built.
This is certainly not an exciting or fun expenditure such as broadband or funds for a library but we all need to realize that trash doesn't just disappear once it is thrown away.
Thank you and I hope to see you at Town Meeting!
Hi folks ... I'm looking for a licensed plumber who would be interested in helping me with a composting toilet installation. Any recommendations, or is that you? Please get in touch. Thanks ... Ben - 413-237-7060 Ph/Txt.
Hi folks ... I am looking for any and all old, retired, or unusable skis for a sculptural fence project in Sunderland. If you have any, or know of a ski shop near you that may have some junkers they want to get rid of, I will happily pick them up or meet you somewhere. I will be even happier if you were somehow able to drop them off by the yellow doors at 195 River Road, Rt 47, in Sunderland, if your travels took you near there. Thanks snow much!
Ben - 413-237-7060 Ph/Txt
Magical Shutesbury Holiday Shop returns for its 7th year!
December 7, 6-9 pm; December 8, 10-8:30; December 19 11-6
Shutesbury Athletic Club Function Room
282 Wendell Rd., Shutesbury, MA
his fabulously magical three-day event transforms the Shutesbury Athletic Club Function Room into a veritable wonderland of handcrafted gift-giving options! This year the shop features an affordable array of work from 40 local artisans, artists, crafters, authors and musicians. An amazing selection of options for all celebration!.
Now in its 7th year, the Shutesbury Holiday Shop is known for its incredible inventory of extraordinary and affordable handmade gifts. There will be beautiful jewelry, quilts, ornaments, food (fudge, jam, maple syrup, honey), soap, handmade bags, tie dyes, wind chimes, baskets, books by local authors, health and wellness products, music & storytelling CDs, woodcrafts, mushtache cups, fiber art (knit, crochet, woven, sewn, organic, plant-dyed), therapy pillows, photography, fine art cards & prints, tea, stuffed animals, and more to come! Something for everyone! The artisans, artists, authors, musicians, and cooks are all from Shutesbury or one of its bordering towns.
Opening night on Friday 12/7 features a Shop & Dine option with a dinner of Soups & Stews to benefit the Friends of the M.N. Spear Memorial Library.
From 4-6 pm on Saturday 12/8 there will be a book signing by local authors who work is included in the shop. See FB page and website (listed below) for details.
The Shutesbury Holiday Shop was founded in 2011 to provide a welcoming venue for talented local artists, artisans, crafters, authors and musicians of all ages to show and sell their work and to create a one-stop shopping experience for people who enjoy buying handmade for the holidays. Started by Melinda LeLacheur of Dragonfly Designs it is now run by a volunteer committee of local artisans who work hard to create a warm, wonderful gift shop for the community to enjoy.
Five College Early Music Program Painless Auditions
The Five College Early Music Program will be holding its patented Painless Auditions the first week of classes. These are open to students, faculty and members of the community. The relevant information follows. We would be grateful for any publicity you can provide.
The Five College Early Music Program welcomes students, faculty, and community members interested in auditioning to SING or PLAY in one or more ensembles, including the COLLEGIUM choir, BAROQUE ORCHESTRA (modern string players and adventurous pianists are encouraged to try this!) and chamber music, MEDIEVAL and RENAISSANCE ensembles and VOCES FEMINAE. The auditions are "painless" experiences, held at all the campuses. Performances sponsored by the program feature baroque and Renaissance music played on modern and period instruments and sung in historically-informed style. Consider beginning RECORDER, VIOLA DA GAMBA, LUTE or RENAISSANCE TROMBONE! We also offer instruction on period instruments (recorders, sackbut, viol, lute, etc.) for modern players, in beginning ensembles and lessons. Credit is available for ensembles and lessons for MHC, UMass and HC.
Tuesday, September 4:
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 3:00 – 4:30 PM: Room 170 Fine Arts Center, UMass
5:00 – 6:30 PM: Room 7 Music Center, Amherst College
Wednesday, September 5:
1:00 – 4:00 PM: Room 210 Pratt Hall, Mount Holyoke College
Thursday, September 6:
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Music Lounge, Hampshire College
Friday, September 7:
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Room 170 Fine Arts Center, UMass
4:00 – 5:30 PM, Room 103, Sage Hall, Smith College
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE GENERAL MANAGER SEARCH IS NOW CLOSED, AS WE HAVE CHOSEN A NEW GM!!
Save the Date!! Meet and Greet with New General Manager Ann Walsh
SUNDAY JUNE 24TH FROM 10-12 NOON AT THE COOP!!
The Leverett Coop Board has been operating in emergency mode in May and June, in order to respond to the retirement of Paul Rosenberg and the transition to a new General Manager. We have had two Board meetings in executive session in May (May 14 & 31). At these meetings we met together with the Search Committee to interview top candidates for the position. Five applicants were invited to interviews, and four accepted.
At the May 31 meeting after the interviews, the Board voted to offer the position to Ann Walsh, pending further negotiations, including Meet and Greet sessions with Coop staff. Ann Walsh is a long time resident of the Lake Wyola community in Shutesbury, and has worked as Store Manager in the Mill Valley Milk Co. Store Farm, as well as for a number of years as Marketing Team Leader at Whole Foods in Hadley. She has also been one of the organizers of the annual Jazz and Roots festival in Springfield and President of Connected Marketing, a consulting company involved in event management.
We are planning a Coffee and Pastry Meet and Greet with Ann Walsh and the Coop community, open to the general public. This will take place at the Leverett Coop on 180 Rattlesnake Gutter Rd., Leverett on Sunday, June 24 from 10-12 noon. We are excited to welcome Ann and her creative visions for improving the Coop, and hope many of you will attend!
Our next Board meeting will be on Thursday, June 21 at the Leverett Town Hall from 7-9 pm. We will post the agenda at the Coop, which will include reports from the new volunteer committees on events/fundraising/member outreach, strategic visions, and finances. Please feel free to join us!!!
News from the Leverett Coop Board of Directors
May 30, 2018
From Ann Ferguson, President
As many of you know, we have begun the hiring process to find a new General Manager to replace Paul Rosenberg. The Board has been meeting in executive session for the last two meetings discussing and interviewing candidates, and we have another meeting of interviews scheduled this Thursday May 31. We hope to have a candidate meet with the staff sometime within the next week or so. We will be letting you know as soon as possible some tentative dates and times for that meeting. When a new manager is hired, we plan to announce a Meet and Greet event at the Coop for the community.
Compiled by Ann Ferguson, President and Pat Fiero, Clerk
1. Process and Agreements: The Board had preliminary discussions on communication process rules and member agreements. They will be discussed and decided on in more detail at a subsequent meeting where we will also discuss the adoption of a Board manual.
2. Search Committee for New General Manager: The deadline for the search is now extended to July 15. Please spread the word and have any interested candidates send their resumes and cover letters to LVCoopboard@Leverettnet.net.
3. New Board Committees as of 5/14/18: We discussed the list of the committees people had volunteered for at the Special Member’s Meeting. After discussion, the following is the revised list of committees and members.
• Events, Fundraising, Membership and Community Outreach
Chair: Julio Mendez <email@example.com>
Members: Ruth West, Peter d’Errico, Peggy Wolff, Jeff Lacy, Carole King, Cheryl Howland
You are invited to my
Spring Pottery Sale!
Sat. May 5 th 10-5pm
Joy Friedman's studio at
Leverett Crafts & Arts
13 Montague Rd. Leverett, Ma. 01054
Micro-wave and dishwasher safe pottery!
Good low studio prices!
Refreshments and drinks will be served.
Come by and see my latest pottery with lots of colorful glazes!
Lots of 2nds!
There will be lots of mugs, bowls of all sizes, lace bowls,
garlic graters, berry bowls, dip and chip platters, yarn bowls, vases, sponge holders,
pie plates, and lots more!!
It would be wonderful to see you!
Blessings of spring,
Special Member Meeting Agenda
Leverett Village Coop
May 2 5-7pm Leverett Town Hall
Welcome! Thank you for coming. 10mins
Communication Guidelines: 5mins
• Respectful Speaking, Stay concise,
• Attentive Listening, Please don’t interrupt others
• Raise Your hands to speak,
The Purpose of today’s meeting is 1. Adjust the bylaws to expand the BOD, and to clarify the wording referencing when the board can fill vacancies. 2. The current Board of Directors will vote additional members on to the BOD to fill vacancies until the next annual meeting when Co-op members will vote to approve the nominated board members to a full term. We currently have 6 applicants to the BOD. 2mins
Bylaw Change with Membership Vote: 20mins
• Section 1. The administration of the cooperative corporation shall be delegated to a Board of
Directors consisting of no more than seven members.
• Membership Vote:
Please raise your hand- 9 (count votes) 11 (count votes)
• Section 5. In case of vacancy other than expiration of a term when there are two or fewer months until the Annual Meeting, the remaining members of the Board of Directors may at their discretion fill the vacancy.
• Membership Vote:
The board proposes to change “when there are two or fewer months” to “when there are two or more months.”
Member Engagement: 15mins
• members tell us about their vision for the future of the Coop
Voting by Board of Directors: 30mins
Candidates come forward introduction & why they would like to join the Village Cooperative Board of Directors.
Jono Neiger Paula Green
Pat Fiero Susan Mareneck
Apple Ahearn Ann Ferguson
Welcome on Board! There’s so much to do going forward. Thank you in advance for your time and willingness to bring your talents to help the Village Cooperative.
Board of Director Vote for executive board positions: 15mins
Hello Everyone! We wanted to give you another update on our progress as we seek candidates to fill the General Manager position at the Village Co-op. 4/17/18
Please Help us Spread the Word by directing people to Leverettma.net for more information. Thanks!
We have received 15 applications and we have finalized the interview questions for our potential applicants. We will be contacting 6 of our top chosen candidates shortly.
Please get involved by attending the April 29th (1-2:30pm) meeting at the Co-op, filling out an application to be considered to join the board, and voting for new board members at the special member meeting May 2nd (5-7pm Town hall).
Thanks for your continued support of the Village Cooperative as we Grow our Community Together!
Jono Neiger, Apple Ahearn, Pat Fiero, Ruth West, Carol King, Raymond Bradley, Rich Nathhorst, Ken Brownell, Heather Hutchinson
We will be holding our monthly Board of Directors meeting on April 29th at the Village Co-op, from 1-2:30. We are working on expanding the board. Applications are available at the Co-op or contact Heather if you'd like to apply.
The Board of Directors will be expanding to 9 or 11 members at the General Membership meeting scheduled on May 2, 2018 from 5-7 pm at the Leverett Town Hall.
We will be voting to change the Bylaws, and fill Board seats.
The expanded Board of Directors will elect new Executive Officers - President, Treasurer, Clerk (Secretary) - at this meeting. Heather, Richard and Ken will remain Board Members but will not continue to serve as Executive Board Officers.
If you are a Co-op member and would like to join the Board, please attend the April 29, 2018 Board of Directors public meeting from 1pm - 2:30 pm at the Village Co-op and submit an application for Board Membership. An application can be found on the Leverett Village Co-op website: www.leverettma.net. Any member who has previously attended a Board of Directors public meeting and already submitted an application need not reapply.