New Salem Town & Local Events,

Opportunities & News

Broadband Update and Network Mapping

The Broadband Committee and Selectboard had a very productive meeting with representatives from Westfield Gas & Electric (WG&E) and Precision Valley Communications (PVC) who visited New Salem this week. WG&E is the company New Salem has contracted with to design and build our fiber network.  They are employing PVC to do the field engineering, which is mapping distance and showing how to feed fiber to each dwelling.


Starting Monday, September 25, and through most of the week, PVC will have 3-4 mappers in town to work on the field engineering.  They will be going down driveways and crossing properties wherever utility lines run. They will be using laser measuring devices (which look somewhat like cameras) to get detailed information to be used in the design of our network. The vehicles will have signs that say "Whip City Fiber" and the mappers will wear orange vests that say "Precision Valley Communications." Please do not be concerned if you see these vehicles and individuals.  This process is an integral part of designing our fiber network.


Please feel free to contact us at  – The New Salem Broadband Committee


Harvest Supper

Sunday, October 1, is the First Annual New Salem Harvest Supper! 4:30 p.m. behind the Town Hall. Please bring food or drink for the potluck supper to celebrate our community,  local farms, and the harvest of the season! Please RSVP by Friday, September 29, by e-mail to All are welcome! !


Programs at the New Salem Public Library

Workshop: “Essential Oils For Healing”  Friday, September 27, 7:30 p.m.  Join us as we learn how to use essential oils for healing! It's the perfect time of year as things cool down and colds are more likely. We will look at ways to deal with the most common of ailments, including insomnia, anxiety, and stress. There will be a formal presentation with lots of testing and smelling the oils, then there will be time for questions.  Our presenter is Nora Zinan, an Independent Wellness Advocate.


Movie Night: September 29 at 7:30 p.m.  Come watch a tale revolving around the unlikely friendship between a reclusive young woman with dreams of being a children's book author and a cantankerous widower, set against the backdrop of a beautiful garden in the heart of London. Please call the library at  978-544-6334 for the name of the film (rated PG) and more information.  


Cookbook Club and Local Author Talk October 18

A new Cookbook Club series starts at the New Salem Library on October 18, with local author Rob Chirico, author of  Not My Mother’s Kitchen: Rediscovering Italian-American Cooking Through Stories and Recipes.  Rob will be joining us to talk about his book. He will also join us for a meal that participants will cook from recipes in his cookbook!


This will be the kick-off event for a new Cookbook Club series, sponsored by the Friends of the New Salem Library.  More information on the Cookbook Club will come later.


All are invited for Rob’s talk at 7 p.m. (no registration or cooking required).  


If you wish to participate in the meal before the talk, preregistration is required.  You will be asked to prepare a recipe from Rob’s cookbook to share. Copies of the book will be available at the library.  The meal will begin at 6 p.m.  There will be a limit of 16 people.  To register for the meal, stop by or call the library at 978 544-6334.  With questions, email or call the library. 


Council on Aging News

New Salem Senior Luncheon Club

Our luncheons during September and October will be held at the Town Hall.  We will gather about 10 for coffee and visiting followed by lunch at noon.  Please call Hendra Reidy to sign up.  (978-544-2178)

The two luncheons in October will be on the 13th and 27th, both Fridays, and the menu will be announced in the New Salem News at the beginning of October when it becomes available.

Red Aces card game We plan to continue Red Aces on Mondays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Stowell Building, and we’ll explain the rules to newcomers before beginning.  All are welcome.  Come join in the fun!  For further information contact Jeanne Clayton at or at 978-544-7924 or Genie Casey at or at 978-544-7139.

Busy Bees continue to meet on Wednesday at the Stowell Building from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., when the weather allows!! Please bring your project and join us.

Transportation Issues for aging in place

An outgrowth of last year’s “Aging In Place” series, was the formation of an AIP Task Force. We have produced and distributed copies of a Transportation Resource Guide for New Salem Residents that was distributed with the March Council on Aging newsletter and is available at the library and at the church. We hope to replicate Shutesbury's volunteer Med-Ride program. Contact: Mary-Ann Palmieri,

New Salem Legacy Tree Program

Plant a sugar maple, white oak or other tree and establish a long-lived legacy.  The New Salem Tree Committee is announcing an innovative program that will help the town replace and revitalize our beautiful shade trees starting with the Common area this year.  By purchasing a young tree for $250 through the program, you can establish a legacy for your family or recognize a person or group that has made a special contribution to New Salem, in the past or in the present.  A permanent record of your recognition will be maintained on the town web site and in a periodically updated booklet that will map the tree’s location and species information and the reason your Legacy Tree was established.  Please pick up an application in the library and see the library display detailing the Legacy program and the species being planted this year.  For more information, contact Bruce Spencer,

Library News

 Look for the Tween and Teen program to start on Wednesday, October 4, from1:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Help us Reimagine our Library

The Friends and the Trustees of the New Salem Library see the need to reimagine the library space to adapt to its changing role. Together we want to create a welcoming, flexible, functioning space to accommodate all members of our community.  At this time we are hoping, through funding grants and private donations, to refresh and redefine the library. This is an opportunity to reconnect with our users and reposition our library for the future. Please help the New Salem Public Library to better serve our town by filling out this patron survey and returning it to the library by the end of June.  If you have trouble printing out a survey, there are copies available at the library.

Friends of the New Salem Public Library News

Free passes to great museums, gardens, and parks

The Friends of the New Salem Public Library have purchased a number of passes to area museums, which can be signed out at the front desk of the library.  Among the museums sponsored by the Friends are the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Tower Hill Botantic Garden in Boylston, Mass MoCA in North Adams, and Historic Deerfield.  In addition, the library has passes available to Magic Wings Butterfly Conservancy in South Deerfield and Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, and DCR parking passes for all Mass. State parks.  With the snow gone and the weather turning warmer, what a perfect time of year to take a drive to visit any of these special places not far from home!  For additional information, call the New Salem Library @978-544-6334

Research project seeking town elders

If you are 65 or older and own your own home in New Salem, a researcher would like to talk to you about your experience of “aging in place.” Travis Gagen is a graduate student in Public Health at UMass who is interviewing people for his dissertation titled “Aging-in-Community: The influence of Social Capital on Accessory-Dwelling Unit Access and Utilization,”  which he describes as “a research study examining alternative housing solutions for older adults. We want to listen to your thoughts and opinions on the community that you live in, learn about your social networks, and understand your opinions about alternative housing solutions and smart home technologies. There is no right or wrong answers to the research questions – we just want to listen to what you have to say!” The interviews take about 45 minutes and he will come to your home or meet you somewhere else.  You can reach him at (508) 277-6192 or .

Free Weekly Playgroup

Come and enjoy stories, songs and craft activities with your child(ren) and other families from your community at the Swift River School on Tuesdays, 8:45 to 10:15 a.m. This Playgroup, facilitated by Emily Joseph, is intended for children 0-5 years of age and is sponsored by the Swift River School and Union #28 Community Network for Children. Program not held during school closures. See the CNC Website for program and event schedules. For more information please contact Gillian Budine, (978) 544-5157 or email


Talk, Read & Play home visits for little folks

Talk, Read & Play is a free home-visiting program for families with children two years old and younger who live in New Salem, Wendell, Shutesbury, Leverett and Erving. Help build the foundation for your child's learning. Participants will receive free books, toys, and learning materials. When children talk, read, and play, they build skills that prepare them for a lifetime of success. To participate in this free program or to ask questions, call 978-544-5157.   Find flyer and more details at the Community Network for Children’s website.

SBroadband Stories

Our neighbors (and would-be neighbors) talk about why they need broadband. 

See their stories here.

New Salem Town & Local Events Calendar
Click on event in Calendar for details.

Local artist book launch

New Salem author-illustrator Mira Bartok will be celebrating the global launch of her new book, The Wonderling, the first in a fantasy series for middle-grade age children. The Wonderling is also in development for a major motion picture, directed by award-winning British director Stephen Daldry (The Crown, Billy Elliot, The Reader, etc.). Mira will be reading from her book and signing copies at 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 30, at the Odyssey Bookshop at 9 College St., South Hadley. There will be a fun raffle, cupcakes, cider and donuts from New Salem Preserves, and more! It's HIGHLY recommended that you RSVP if you are coming because they expect the event to be YUGE! or call (413) 534-7307 For more information about the event, go here:


New Salem Arts Intensive Fall Session – Quilting and Graveyard Art

The New Salem Arts Intensive is pleased to announce two courses available for the fall session, October 30 through November 4. These exciting new courses are Quilting with Lynn Dudley and Graveyard Art with Ta Mara Conde. Both of these instructors are masters at their crafts.

Lynn Dudley is famous for the beautiful, handmade quilts the 1794 Meetinghouse auctions off each Old Home Day. This course will teach all the basics of quilting and each student will make a wall-hanging quilt as the course project. You should have some experience running a sewing machine.  A list of materials will be issued at the time of registration. Please make sure your fabric is washed and pressed and ready to be cut. Quilts will be displayed during the gala finale event on November 4. Course fee is $50.

Gravestone Art is being taught by Ta Mara Conde, President of Historic Gravestone services in New Salem. Ta Mara has worked in many historic cemeteries throughout the United States and Canada including the burial ground in Plymouth, which Ta Mara worked on for the 400th anniversary. This course will travel to local cemeteries to observe the many beautiful designs incorporated into the gravestone. Students will incorporate the art into a project to be displayed at the gala finale event on November 4th. Course fee is $50.

To sign up today or for more information please contact Lisa DeWitt or 978-544-1912 or Amy Fagin at or 978-799-5332.

New Salem Arts Intensive Calling Out to Local Artists

New Salem Arts Intensive is calling on all local artists to display their art work and crafts during the Gala Finale on November 4. The Intensive is interested in highlighting our local area artists during our gala finale and will provide display room and display fixtures for artists to use. Please contact us early and let us know what you need to view your art at its best. For more information please call Amy Fagin at 978-544-5332 or email her at We look forward to your participation.

New Salem Arts Intensive Gala Finale November 4 in the OAB

The Intensive is interested in highlighting our local artists during our gala finale to be held in the Old Academy Building November 4th from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. If you are local artist and are interested in displaying your work during our gala please get in touch with Amy Fagin. The gala which will focus on local, seasonal foods and wines that will delight the palate. The food and wine will be coupled with art work from local artists. Bring your friends and come and enjoy the fine arts and good foods New Salem and our neighbor towns have to offer. For more information please call Lisa DeWitt at 978-544-1912 or email or Amy Fagin at 978-544-5332 or email We look forward to seeing you then.

Prayer Shawl Ministry
The New Salem Prayer Shawl Ministry members are welcome to join Busy Bs to crochet or knit on Wednesdays afternoons from 1 to 3 p.m. during the winter. The next gathering for the Prayer Shawl Ministry is Friday, August 18, in the Stowell Building from 9 -11 a.m. For additional information contact Genie Casey

Service Forestry Program

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Service Forestry Program provides technical assistance to private landowners and municipalities in forest resource planning, forest management, and forest protection within districts across the state. 

With 235,000 non-industrial private landowners in Massachusetts and approximately 78% of the Commonwealth's forest land in private ownership, private lands play a key role in sustaining clean water, protecting our soil, providing wildlife habitat and producing quality timber resources.

The Service Forestry Program meets the needs of these landowners through: 

The Service Forestry Program is based on the belief that we can best serve the citizens of the commonwealth by helping landowners make educated decisions about their woodlots, and protecting our valuable forest resources through fair and consistent application of environmental regulations. For more information contact one of our regional administrative offices or contact the service forester working in your town. 

Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op hours changed

Quabbin Harvest, the co-operative food market located at 12 North Main Street in downtown Orange, is now open from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm on Mondays thru Fridays and 9:00 am thru 5:00 pm Saturdays.