Holy Snowly – that’s a LOT of Snow!

This Pepperell house, the home and studio of Squirrel-Eze artists Jim Bellows and Helen Yetman-Bellows, is covered in snowdrifts. Jim snapped several photos before beginning cleanup. This one shows the back of the house where the snow drifts have covered all but one second story window. Of the 4 skylights on the first floor roof, just one remains slightly visible. Helen says the snow at the front of the house is halfway up the first floor windows. The upside? With all the extra insulation their house is warmer than ever!

Hang on to your shovels and snowblowers folks – there’s more on the way. What a wild and crazy season it’s been here in our unpredictable New England!

Stay Safe and REMEMBER – 32 days until spring equinox!!

Volunteers wanted for food packaging event

Goal is to package 20,000 meals for local food pantries on Wednesday, Feb. 18

Leominster, Mass. – United Way of North Central Massachusetts is hosting a food packaging event for local food pantries on Feb. 18. This is the first time this year that volunteers are wanted to help package meals that will be given to food pantries in Gardner, Templeton, Winchendon, Fitchburg, Leominster, Devens, Townsend and Pepperell.

Participants will assemble packaged meals at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 99 Erdman Way, on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“What is great about these events is that in less than four hours, we can create 20,000 meals thanks to the volunteers and the sponsorship provided by a generous anonymous donor and the DoubleTree, said Fran Longton, volunteer coordinator of United Way’s Volunteer Center.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering should contact United Way of North Central Massachusetts at 978-345-1577, ext. 311 or email Fran Longton at fran@uwncm.org.

The United Way of North Central Massachusetts serves the communities of Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Ayer, Baldwinville, Devens, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Harvard, Hubbardston, Leominster, Littleton, Lunenburg, Petersham, Pepperell, Phillipston, Royalston, S. Lancaster, Shirley, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster and Winchendon.

Messenger Delivery

Due to Mother Nature’s most recent generous gift of several feet of snow in our area, and more on the way this week, delivery of the Messenger will take longer than usual so some businesses may not receive it until early next week, providing Mother Nature calms down a bit. It’s February – in New England – who knows how much more is in store? In the meantime, we’ll continue to post announcements that don’t make it into the paper here. If you have free events or fundraisers to announce, send them to parkerpondpub at gmail dot com. Stay safe, warm and dry!

From StopNED Coalition: Pipeline Opponents Form Multi-state Alliance

Read about and get a list of rescheduled Open House Meetings being held by Kinder Morgan for the general public at stopned.org

Concerned citizens from three states and over two dozen organizations have joined forces to fight the proposed Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas Pipeline Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project. The group’s current members hail from New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and call themselves The StopNED Coalition to reflect the regional scope of their mission. “NED is a massive pipeline, extending over 350 miles from Pennsylvania to eastern Massachusetts, and the impacts to homeowners, open spaces and conserved habitats is equally massive.” said Wilmington, Massachusetts resident Suzanne Sullivan, one of the coalition’s members; “In Wilmington, the route is proposed through a Zone 1 Water Supply Protection Area, appearing to be literally only a few feet from the town’s public water supply well. This Coalition has been organized specifically to fight this travesty-in-waiting on a regional level. ”

The Coalition’s founding members, many of whom are already active in local and regional groups opposed to the pipeline, met recently in Greenfield, MA to strategize and coordinate efforts across the region. A major focus will be working with affected residents, especially the many towns in Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire who find themselves suddenly drawn into the NED project as a result of Kinder Morgan’s recently filed proposed route. “Kinder Morgan moved a significant portion of the route into New Hampshire adjacent an existing transmission corridor claiming it would minimize impacts when, in reality, it will still require the acquisition of an additional 100-foot wide right of way, directly affecting hundreds of homeowners in seventeen towns.” said Doug Whitbeck, a Mason, New Hampshire resident whose town is not only on the new pipeline path, but potentially the location of a massive compressor station.

While much of this project’s attention has been focused on New England, over half the NED pipeline would be sited in New York from Wright to the Massachusetts border town of Hancock. “We are thrilled to combine our efforts with those of the pipeline opposition in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. So many of our issues are the same across the region with this interstate project that it makes perfect sense to form a regional collaborative,” said Bob Connors of Canaan, New York.

In addition to working with directly affected homeowners and towns The StopNED Coalition will address the broader environmental and economic impacts of the pipeline. “Increasing the region’s dependence on natural gas will hold businesses and homeowners hostage to this volatile commodity’s price swings, as well as price increases arising from possible export” said Cummington, Massachusetts resident Rosemary Wessel, “We all will benefit far more from clean energy solutions that fight climate change, offer stable prices and create thousands of local, permanent jobs.”

To date, organizations represented in the StopNED Coalition include 350MA, 350NH, Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), Clean Water Action, Climate Action Now (CAN), Dracut Pipeline Awareness, Hilltown Community Rights (HCR), Massachusetts Pipeline Awareness Network (MassPLAN), Millers River Watershed Council, Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, Nashoba Conservation Trust (NCT), No Fracked Gas In Mass (NFGiM), New Hampshire Pipeline Awareness Network (NHPLAN), No Pipeline In Southern New Hampshire, Northfield Against the Pipeline (NAP), North Quabbin Pipeline Action (NQPA), Pipeline Study Committee- Berlin, Stop New York Fracked Gas Pipeline (SNYFGP), Stop the Pipeline Coordinating Committee (SPCC), Stop NH Pipeline: Fitzwilliam, Troy, Richmond, Stop the Northeast Energy Direct (StopNED ), Stop The Pipeline Boylston, MA, Toxics Action Center, and Wilmington Pipeline Awareness.

5K Snowshoe Race

Beaver Brook 5K Snowshoe Race
Sunday Feb 1 10 am
Beaver Brook Nature Center
117 Ridge Road Hollis NH
603-465-7787
www.beaverbrook.org

Before the big game and all it’s calories, get in shape yourself with a walk or run on snowshoes at Beaver Brook Nature Center.
This 5K trail exploration will take you by some lovely scenery, woods, streams and fields of Beaver Brook. The course is not too hilly. Colorful Beaver Brook Snowshoe tshirts will be given to the 1st 100 entrants. At the finish line all entrants get to enjoy Amarello’s Famous Kale soup! Reserve snowshoes in advance if you do not have your own. Both 3C Race Productions and Beaver Brook have snowshoes for rent for $8 per pair. Register in advance for $25 or $30 on race day. Registration is available online at https://g2racereg.webconnex.com/bbss2015

Photo courtesy Beaver Brook: Walkers and runners at Beaver Brook 5K Snowshoe Race Hollis NH

Postponed! Fifth Bolton Repair Café

Due to the impending storm, Rotary Club/Bolton Local’s Repair Cafe’, originally scheduled for Saturday 1/24, will be postponed. The Repair Cafe’ will take place on Saturday, 1/31, same time, same location:

Do you have a lamp with a frayed cord or a bike with a broken brake? Maybe a shirt or blouse with a loose or missing button? Don’t toss it! Bring it to the Bolton Repair Café on Saturday Jan. 24, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will be held in Davis Hall at the First Parish of Bolton Church, 673 Main St. in Bolton. Residents of Bolton and surrounding towns are invited to come and find out what a Repair Café is all about.

At the Repair Café, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, everything centers on making repairs. Knowledgeable volunteers will help repair items such as small appliances, computers, lamps, bikes, jewelry, and clothing — free of charge. (Some small parts may be supplied, such as wire or thread; you will be asked to pay for other parts.) If you know what parts are needed, please get them ahead of time and bring them to the Repair Café to save time. Outdoor power equipment cannot be worked on at this event. Please bring outdoor power equipment to our spring or fall event.

Volunteers at the Repair Café will look at all items brought in and try to repair them. Volunteers will sharpen knives, scissors, and garden tools, repair lamps and small appliances, repair furniture, and mend clothes. You can also bring your bike in for a checkup and minor adjustments and repairs. If the volunteers cannot repair something, they will offer suggestions about where you could go for repairs.

Unlike a “fix-it” shop, where people drop off items to be repaired and continue about their day, the Repair Café is meant to get people involved with the repair process and create connections with others in the community. People bringing in items for repair are asked to stay while your items are being fixed. You can just watch, help with the repair, fix the item yourself with help from volunteers, or just have a snack and visit with neighbors.

Promoting repairs will help reduce mountains of waste. According to organizer Ray Pfau, “We throw away lots of things that often have almost nothing wrong with them, things that could easily be used again after a simple repair. Unfortunately, many people have forgotten that they can fix things. Repair Café wants to change all that.”

Repair Café is also meant to put neighbors in touch with each other in a new way, save money, and discover that a lot of know-how and practical skills can be found close to home. Pfau added, “If you repair a bike, a CD player, or a pair of trousers with previously unfamiliar neighbors, you look at them in a different light the next time you see them. Jointly making repairs can lead to connections in the community.”

The Bolton Repair Café is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley with support from Bolton Local and the Repair Café Foundation. The Repair Café Foundation has been organizing Repair Cafés in the Netherlands since 2010 and has provided support since January 2011 to local groups in and outside the Netherlands wanting to start their own Repair Cafés.

Wine Tasting in Pepperell

Lawrence Library Wine Tasting: A Fine Vintage
Tickets currently on sale for popular February 7th event

PEPPERELL, MA – The Lawrence Library’s annual wine tasting event has gotten sweeter with age.While details have changed throughout the years – from sponsors to caterers – one fact hasn’t. The popular event, currently in its 7th year, consistently sells over 200 tickets and is a much anticipated night out for everyone involved. After all, how often does one get to dress up a bit, splurge on a babysitter, and drink wine in the stacks of their local library? It’s a rare – and delightful – occasion.

“It’s the only fund-raising event held at the library that is truly focused on adults,” explained Library Director Deb Spratt. “We do so much throughout the year for families and children, but this one night is just for grown-ups and people love it.”

The Wine Tasting takes place Saturday, February 7th from 6:30 to 9:30 PM. Tickets are now on sale at the library, which is located at 15 Main Street, Pepperell, MA 01463. A beautiful stemless wine glass is given to every ticket holder, as well as a raffle entry to win the original drawing that is featured on the glass. The design, each year of a different Pepperell landmark, is not revealed until the evening of the wine tasting. This year’s design is by Nan Quintin, the artist who did the Historic Pepperell mural in the library.

Thanks to local food establishments generously donating snacks, hot entrees and hors d’oeuvres, the $25 ticket price goes directly into the budget of the Friends of the Lawrence Library. With the library budget tighter than ever, and an average of 370 people using the library each day, the library relies heavily on the efforts and generosity of the group.

“The Friends paid $10,000 toward the purchase of childrens’ books last year alone, and has also secured 15 museum passes – which are very popular and well used by patrons,” said Friends President Diane Temple. With a programming budget of $0, the library also relies on the Friends to sponsor exciting programs throughout the year – serving over 10,000 people in 2014.

While various liquor stores have sponsored the event in the past, this year the Friends welcome Pepperell Beverage as their partner in sponsorship. Shop owner Randy Brubaker is looking forward to offering tastings of some unique wines from various regions.

“I think people will enjoy the selection of wines from around the world they will be tasting,” he said. All of the products at the tasting are sold at Pepperell Beverage, located at 2 Tarbell Street in Pepperell behind the 7-Eleven. As an added bonus, tasters will receive show specials on the wines they enjoy when they visit the shop. “I work with some excellent small vineyards and have a great selection of varietals and regions people will enjoy.”

The Lawrence Library is a vivid community center for more than 3,000 families in Pepperell, Mass. The building, dedicated in 1901, was a gift of Charles Farrar Lawrence, who bequeathed the funds for the purchase of the land, design, construction, and the furnishing of the building.

Please email Deb Spratt at dspratt@cwmars.org with any questions.

GO PATRIOTS!!

When folks talk about the one-percenters I’m never quite sure if they mean those who control the majority of the world’s wealth or those in New England who are not football fans. I would fall into the latter one percent. HOWEVER, when the Patriots get this far, it’s hard to not get caught up in the adventure. Sort of like buying a lottery ticket when the prize reaches a gjillion dollars. So, to all you football fanatics out there GO PATRIOTS!! Stay warm and Enjoy your Sunday ;-)

From Pipeline Opponents

 “Stop Article 97 Transfers for Pipelines”Campaign at Environmental Bill Co-sponsorship Event

Photo attached is of a pipeline installation in PA

Media Advisory
Contact info:
Leigh Youngblood
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust
o: 978.248.2055 X20
c: 413.262.7850

Cathy Kristofferson
StopNED (Northeast Energy Direct)
c: 978.204.3940

Kinder Morgan’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct and Connecticut Expansion Projects both require a disposition of public conservation lands whose protection is guaranteed by Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution. For Kinder Morgan, a successful disposition vote would require support from 2/3rds of both the Massachusetts Senate and House.

Members of S.T.O.P. (Sandisfield Taxpayers Opposed to Pipelines), StopNED (Stop the Northeast Energy Direct), Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, Boston Climate Action Network, 350MA.org, Toxics Action Center, amongst others will participate in Wednesday’s Environmental Bill Co-sponsorship Event 10am-1pm in the Grand Staircase of the Massachusetts Statehouse. The groups will be speaking with state legislators about Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s legislation anticipated for February. The Campaign’s goal is to ensure that our legislators preserve past commitments to future generations.

What: Environmental Bill Co-sponsorship Event
When: Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 10 am – 1 pm
Where: State House, Grand Staircase

Article 97 promises the citizens of the Commonwealth that “The people shall have the right to clean air and water, freedom from excessive and unnecessary noise, and the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic qualities of their environment; and the protection of the people in their right to the conservation, development and utilization of the agricultural, mineral, forest, water, air and other natural resources is hereby declared to be a public purpose.”

The campaign believes Kinder Morgan is ready to clobber the Massachusetts Constitution and private property rights with federal eminent domain for pipelines we do not need. Instead, the Commonwealth should fix leaking pipelines first and keep building a green energy future that doesn’t compromise our common wealth, our Constitution, or our precious conserved lands. Citizens should urge their legislators to Vote No on Article 97 land and easement transfers for the Northeast Energy Direct and Connecticut Expansion pipelines.

Editor’s Note: Received today is a stunning report put out by the Sightline Institute outlining Kinder Morgan’s history :  http://www.sightline.org/download/2547/

Local Art on Display in Pepperell & Shirley

In the Lawrence Library Art Gallery -

Lev Rozman, Drawings and Photographs
Pictured is Rozman’s “Person of the Century” from 1999 – courtesy Lawrence Library

The first art exhibit of 2015 in the Lawrence Library Art Gallery is drawings and photographs by local artist Lev Rozman. Rozman, originally from the Crimean Peninsula, earned a PhD from the State (then Federal) Oceanographic Institute in Moscow, and worked for the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Though a scientist professionally, art has always been his love and passion. He studied drawing and watercolor painting as a teenager, and has visited the great art museums of the world. He has a talent for capturing the essence of a person in his sketches. In his own words, “When I draw the portraits I feel that somebody moves my hand, my head works automatically, and in the end of just a half hour of work I am completely exhausted because I am a middleman between upstairs and paper. That helps me to catch the character of people sometimes even not knowing them.”
Sponsored by the Friends of the Library, the show will run through Saturday, January 31st. For more information, call the library at 978-433-0330, or visit www.lawrencelibrary.org. The library is located at 15 Main Street in Pepperell, MA.

At the Bull Run

Former high school chemistry teacher Marston Clough began drawing and painting in the 1980s and has been in love with creating artwork ever since. The artist will exhibit his work at The Bull Run restaurant in Shirley starting on Jan. 18 and will continue through the first week of February.

A compulsive sketch artist who always has a drawing pad handy, Mr. Clough traces his career as an artist back to a drawing course he took at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. From drawing he moved on to a variety of media and techniques, including etching and printmaking. Etching, with its clean, clear lines, especially appealed to his logical, scientific orientation. He also began working in monotypes, a printmaking process that allows for a looser, more spontaneous approach to the image than etchings, woodcuts or linotypes. Later on, Mr. Clough became a prolific painter in oils, producing “both real and imagined” Martha’s Vineyard seascapes and landscapes.

The artist’s feeling for the magic of the sea is something he comes by naturally, having grown up in Vineyard Haven. He still enjoys drawing and painting seascapes inspired by the quiet beauty of the docks in Vineyard Haven and other spots on the Island.

Thanks to his work with fellow Island artist Marjorie Mason, Mr. Clough does some oil painting en plein air (in the open air), but he does most of his work in his studio at home. He has also worked in pastels with artist Ellen McCluskey and at Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs. He exhibits at the Old Sculpin Gallery in Edgartown and the Gay Head Gallery in Aquinnah. He donates to the fundraising efforts of causes and organizations he supports, notably Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, Windemere Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, and the Island’s Chicken Alley Art Show. Some of his works are in the permanent collection of the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

The artist tests the value of a finished piece of work by whether he is pleased with it, but perhaps more importantly if his wife likes it or if an art lover validates it with a purchase.

This event will take place at The Bull Run, 215 Great Road, Shirley, Mass., on Sunday, Jan. 18, 12 – 3 p.m. Photographer Lawrence Libby will be on hand to record the event for posterity.

For more information, go to www.marstonclough.com  and www.sitkacreations.com