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
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
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.
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
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,
The Village Co-op Board has launched the Village Co-op Community Survey- Take 2! via Survey Monkey. Please take a moment to answer this brief survey about the store; it’s offerings, and the general vibe of our great collective resource. We are seeking everyone’s feedback and ideas as users of the Co-op. Thanks! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SFDNTPV
PS- Please come to our ALL-Community meeting 2/24/18 at the Leverett Library 12:30-3 to share your thoughts in person! Let’s Grow the Community TOGETHER at the Village Coop.
Dear Village Cooperative Community and Membership,
The Board of Directors is currently planning an opportunity to meet with all of you. We hope to build a stronger collective future, together, with you, going forward. We will invite you to share, bring your ideas, and your energy to make the Village Cooperative a TRUE community resource!
February 24th 12:30-3 Leverett Library Community Room.
Dear Village Cooperative Community and Membership,
Hello my friends, neighbors and members! I’d like to share that Paul Rosenberg, our committed General Manager of over 18 years, has decided to step down from the general manager position of the Village Cooperative this April. He has provided many years of dedicated service to the community through his loyal commitment to the operations of this wonderful community supported store. He is a community organizer and has been involved in many, many member appreciation days, early Spring Flings and other community outreach initiatives. You could find him sharing a story, a smile, or some positive words with YOU all, as you stood at the check-out over the years. While his gift for creating a welcoming atmosphere was phenomenal, his management ability to maintain a lean organization through trying economic times is also commendable! We wish to thank him for his years of dedicated service and hope you share your appreciation with him.
The Board of Directors is currently planning an opportunity to meet with all of you. We hope to build a stronger collective future, together, with you, going forward. We will invite you to share, bring your ideas, and your energy to make the Village Cooperative a TRUE community resource! February 24th 12:30-3 Leverett Library Community Room. Please feel free to get in touch with me.
Kenmore Washer/Dryer~Heavy Duty~Super Capacity Plus - $195 for both
They work great, but I’m changing to a front loader.
Here’s the Craig’s list link with the model #’s and photos.
Private message me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
During the weekend of Oct. 27-29, a small group of concerned citizens in Leverett are welcoming 15 Kentuckians from Appalachian coal country into our homes — and we hope into our hearts.
Their two vans will arrive in the dark after a 15-hour journey. We think they are brave to come into our homes and community, and we will be there to welcome them. Their culture and politics vary vastly from ours — yet both groups are committed to discovering our common dreams and ways to realize them that serves all of us.
How did this weekend come about? When the Leverett Alliance formed out of the despair over the 2016 election, one subgroup, the Bridging Committee was determined “to bridge” with Americans whose histories and perceptions are different from our own. We found a remarkable partner in Appalshop, a nonprofit community and cultural organization in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Eighteen of us in Leverett and 15 in Kentucky have been planning ever since and have named our endeavor “Hands Across the Hills.”
We plan to enhance our understanding of each other in a series of structured dialogues, as well as share activities that include participatory theater, an art project on ancestry, music jams, meals, sightseeing in the Pioneer Valley, and home stays.
On Oct. 28, a full day of events is open to the public, including a morning community forum where our guests will first present their history, culture, and challenges, and then engage with the audience in small groups. In the evening, everyone is invited to a contra dance.
Next spring, our Leverett group will make a reciprocal visit to Whitesburg.
We began this effort hoping for camaraderie and connection for all 33 participants over the weekend, as well as increased awareness and learning for the public that participates on Oct. 28. Over the months, however, this project has unexpectedly grown in dimension. Now some of us ask if our coming together, our exploration, and our documentation of the project can be a model for dissemination and encouragement for others to try a similar experiment in their own communities.
For decades, I have worked with people in war-torn countries who afterward learn to interact effectively and rebuild their communal lives. If it can happen in those circumstances, I believe people-to-people programs here in our own fragmented country can do the same, using this model or one like it.
We understand the vast gaps in our lives and views. We do not expect to agree with our guests and we will not avoid the difficult topics, but we expect to listen and be listened to. We seek a way to find common purpose before we fracture even further, and that is what we hope our project will accomplish.
This bridging project offers an alternative to the despair and disempowerment we have been feeling — that we are helpless in the onslaught of history rolling over us. So often it seems like there is nothing we can do. But here is something we can do. The process and the growing connections feel right, healthy, and empowering. We now live in anticipation of their arrival, our dialogues and our shared three days of activities.
Transformation? Do I expect others may change? First of all, I’ve changed. For the first time in my life I’ve read a half dozen books about Appalachia and watched relevant videos. I’ve also had many conversations with my Kentucky counterpart Ben Fink and become sensitized to their issues and concerns. I am in deep transformation and I believe our Bridging Committee is too. This transformation gives me hope that we can move from demonization to humanization, first with our fellow citizens from Trump country, and later with others.
The Leverett Alliance welcomes your participation at the public events on Oct. 28. This is a great opportunity for you to share in a meaningful grassroots learning experience with some people from a different part of the country who are taking a risk for understanding and connection.
Paula Green, of Leverett, is founder of the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding in Amherst and professor emerita of the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont. She has worked extensively in conflict transformation in Asia, Africa, the Mideast and Eastern Europe.
A very happy, young female cat, striped tiger with a long tail has been hanging out with us for 3 days. She is friendly. She must belong to someone? Our own kitty is almost out of spit with all the hissing. She's having an unhappy time.
Friday, August 25, 2017 6:30 pm, The Center at Eagle Hill School, Hardwick, MA
Tickets: Dinner + Concert=$50 :: Concert Only=$30
To purchase: http://www.thecenterateaglehill.org/ or 413-477-6746
HARDWICK, MA—On Friday, August 25 at 6:30 pm, the Friends of the Mathieson School will present Give Them Music, a concert in memory of baritone Donald Lee Boothman, to benefit the Mathieson Music School (MMS) of Kolkata, India. International cellist and music educator Anup Kumar Biswas, founder and director of the Mathieson Music School, will lead a broad range of professional musicians through an eclectic program including Western classical music, Broadway show tunes, jazz, Indian classical and folk music, rock n’ roll and even a little country music.
The concert will commemorate baritone and long-time MMS supporter Donald Lee Boothman, who died of cancer on July 6, 2016. Boothman was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Following formal education at Princeton University and Oberlin College, he joined the United States Air Force Band and Singing Sergeants as soloist and announcer. A singer, teacher, and musical commentator, he performed opera, oratorio and concerts throughout the United States Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. He moved to Hardwick, Massachusetts in 1983 and married his wife Kaye in 1987. He met Biswas 17 years ago, when the cellist came to the U.S. to prepare for a concert at Carnegie Hall. The two began performing together, and for many years, Don and Kaye traveled to England and Wales annually to raise funds for MMS. He became a patron “uncle” to the school and its very special students.
Each August, Boothman would bring together talented musicians from Western Massachusetts to give fundraising concerts for MMS. Dr. Peter J. (PJ) McDonald, headmaster of Eagle Hill School (EHS), has long supported these fundraising efforts by sponsoring concerts on the school’s Hardwick campus. This year, Eagle Hill School is entering into a partnership with the Mathieson Music School, bringing together students from these two unique centers of learning, in a musical and cultural exchange that will offer unprecedented educational opportunities to both institutions. Eagle Hill School is sponsoring this concert as a first step in this exchange, reaching out to help MMS raise funds to build new classroom and dormitory buildings at its Kolkata campus.
The performance will feature Anup Kumar Biswas (cello) and his two children, Geetanjali (vocals, cello) and Satyajit (cello, mridangam), along with seven U.S. musicians who are donating their talents: Clifton “Jerry” Noble, Jr. (piano & guitar), Kara Noble (bass), Bob Sparkman (clarinet), Peter Shea (baritone), Jennifer Fijal (mezzo-soprano), Danny Brevik (baritone), and Ben Peterson (cello). They will present a diverse program including classic Broadway love songs such as Some Enchanted Evening and If I Loved You; traditional jazz standards like Honeysuckle Rose and Night and Day; original compositions including Biswas’s rock-and-raga inspired improvisation, Celebration; showstoppers by Sousa and Paganini and a country tribute to our Friends with Tractors.
Tickets are available through the box office of The Center at Eagle Hill School beginning on August 1, 2017. They can be purchased online at The Center’s website at http://www.thecenterateaglehill.org/ or by calling 413-477-6746. Tickets including the dinner must be purchased no later than Friday, August 18, 2017.
Long-awaited Breast Documentary Comes The Academy Music
Easthampton, MA (date): For the past four years, Easthampton resident and documentary filmmaker Meagan Murphy and her team have worked to create The Breast Archives, a groundbreaking documentary about women and their breasts. The film features nine women, most of whom were filmed with their breasts exposed. In a series of interviews, they explore, critique and celebrate the complex role of the breasts and their role in body image, health and social identity.
Private screenings of the film have been met with inspired and thoughtful dialogue. When the lights come up, audiences are moved to share how the internalization of media images, religion and cultural contexts have influenced their relationships with their bodies and one another. The enthusiastic testimony isn’t limited to breast-havers: men often rave that The Breast Archives has connected them more deeply with the experiences and feelings of their partners.
Murphy is hopeful that the local community will support the film and its aim of engaging all people in a liberating, compassionate and expanded relationship with breasts. The honesty and generosity of the nine women in the film empowers all women to resist and rise above the media’s demands that our womanhood be conformist and that our breasts be perfectly formed, exclusively sexual or solely nurturing.
As the project plans for its first public showing, Murphy is launching an ambitious IndieGoGo fundraising campaign on September 14th in order to raise funds to market the film internationally.
Every Thursday during July at Leverett Crafts and Arts from 2-5 PM, the Barnes Gallery becomes a pop-up fiber studio. children with Adults are welcomed to weave, spin and make rope. No money, but smiles and some know-how are exchanged.
Call me with questions, at 413 409-1609. Leonore
Exhibit at LCA: Crafted Cloth tells stories about cloth for every day use, and about the people who grow fibers, weave, make felt, surface-design and sew cloth. They follow their vocation in New England and distant lands, making yardage, garments, shoes, chair covers, blankets, rugs, accessories, even masks.
Conceived and curated by Leonore Alaniz, this exhibit traverses segments of global textile history and fiber-scapes. While indigenous
textile arts are endangered, re-generative practices implemented by members of the “fibershed” movement for example, steady this decline and foster the emergence of modern fiber economies. Members subscribe to permaculture practices, cooperative product development and dialogue with consumers. Cloth as metaphor teaches that the regard a society affords to artful cloth making, is a reflection of that society’s stability and potency.
Through July 31st 2017.
OPEN Thursday - Sunday from 1:00 - 6 PM and by appointment.
The POP-UP classroom is open Thursdays 2 - 5 PM for children and adults wanting to try their hands at spinning, weaving and rope making.