Neighbors: A busy February ahead

Hello neighbor.

We had another dusting this weekend, so we are more than halfway to the 23 snowstorms Farrah Pomeroy has predicted will fall on Franklin County this year. Remember, as far as Farrah is concerned, all you have to do is track a cat in the snow for a snowfall to count. Hooray!

It was a cold weekend, but beautiful days. I have to admit, I didn’t watch the Super Bowl, but I heard the commercials were decent and the entertainment was good — though, from what I was told, some of our neighbors were more pleased with Beyonce’s performance than others.

We’ve got a lot ahead, but for now, the next big day is Valentine’s Day, which is next week. Make sure you don’t forget your sweetie this year.

I have three sweeties I’ll be thinking about this year: Justin, Owen and Travis. And because they are too young for candy, they’ll just have to settle for lots of love from Grandma.

Before I tell you about several things going on in the county, I want to tell you about what proud parents-grandparents in Northfield shared with me this week.

Mike and Natalie Noble of Northfield wrote to tell me about their daughter Wesley Noble Janssen and her children, Anders and James, who all dressed as Star Wars characters this year for the annual “Chewbacchus” Mardi Gras parade held in New Orleans, La., where Wesley, her husband Levi, and her children live.

A photo of Wesley, who is a Northfield native, holding her son Anders — she was dressed as Princess Leia and he was dressed as Chewbacca — ended up in the New Orleans Times Picayune.

For those of you who know Wesley, she moved to New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina and met her husband there. She is the director of marketing for Dickie Brennan & Co.

THE BEACON FIELD PLAYGROUND COMMITTEE will hold a benefit on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. to raise money for a fence and some trees to be added to the playground on Beacon Field in Greenfield.

Roundabout Books at 26 Kenwood St., a discount-used book store, which has more than 15,000 titles, including a large selection of children’s books, will hold a one-day book sale. Most of the books will be priced between $1 and $3 and 30 percent of sales will be donated to the Beacon Field Playground Fund.

Just think, you’ll be getting something to keep you and your children busy on these cold winter nights, while helping improve a wonderful playground and keep the children who play there safe.

For you folks who can’t make it to the book sale on Saturday, but would like to donate to the cause, visit:

TEMPLE ISRAEL WILL HOLD a fundraiser on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the temple at 27 Pierce St., which will feature folk singer-songwriter and humorist Don White in concert.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. You should enter on Myrtle Street.

Tickets are $15 either at World Eye Bookshop on Main Street in Greenfield, or at the door on Saturday.

Refreshments will be available.

Organizers would like you to know that you don’t need to be Jewish to attend and enjoy good music, laughter and good cheer.

For more information, contact Marsha at 413-773-0201 or 617-538-7478.

I TOLD YOU LAST WEEK ABOUT Arms Library celebrating Valentine’s Day by asking patrons of Arms and other libraries across the county to send cards explaining why libraries mean so much to them.

What Maureen Moore forgot to tell me was that Arms is holding a “Hug the Arms” Open House event on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the library in Shelburne Falls. There will be a cake by Marty Yaffe, live music by Les Patlove’s jazz group, gift chocolates for sale from Mo’s Fudge Factor, and lots and lots of valentines to admire, as well as romance novels to browse.

Go, enjoy, and celebrate libraries.

IF YOU LIKE TO DO SCRAPBOOKING, but can’t ever seem to find the time, join others on Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Fellowship Hall in the Trinitarian Congregational Church on Main Street in Northfield for an evening of scrapbooking.

The evening will be a family event, with children over the age of 8 welcome to join. And, since it will be the day after Valentine’s Day, participants are being asked to bring a cupcake with a recipe to share.

Scrapbookers have been meeting at the church since December and say they welcome newcomers.

RELAY FOR LIFE TEAMS ARE GEARING UP for this year’s cancer research fundraiser, and the first to contact me is the Wall “Nuts” Relay for Life team, which will be held Feb. 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Shelburne Falls VFW on Water Street.

The team is holding a Chowder Cook-Off Extravaganza.

For a $5 admission fee, people will be able to sample all of the chowders entered in the contest and will vote for their favorite.

All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society to help fight against cancer in our community.

There will be a can auction, snacks and music throughout the two-hour event.

You can submit your chowder, famous or not, for the competition, by sending your name, phone number, email address, and name of chowder to: Jennifer Wall, 30 Avery Road, Charlemont, MA 01339 or by email her at

A list of ingredients must be written on a 3-by-5 index card at registration on the day of the event.

Contestants must bring one crock pot and two additional gallons of their chowder for the tasting.

Additional rules and information will be provided with your registration acknowledgement.

The registration deadline is Saturday, so get those registrations to Jennifer.

I’m told “celebrity” judges will determine the winners in three categories, but their identities, it seems, are a secret.

PAMELA LESTER OF THE GILL ENERGY COMMISSION tells me that Gill has been designated a “Green Community” by the state and has been awarded a $139,000 grant to spend on reducing the town’s energy use and promoting sustainable practices.

Gill is planning an educational Energy Fair at the Town Hall, 325 Main St. on April 6 from 9:30 p.m. to noon to kick off a campaign to reduce energy use by 13 percent this year.

Pamela said the commission is looking for local businesses to promote themselves by donating $10 to $50 gift certificates for prizes at the fair.

For more information, contact Janet Masucci at 413-863-8694 or Pamela Lester at 413-222-9674.

THE ROWE HISTORICAL SOCIETY is collecting antique photos, most of them related to the town and its history.

The photos, Kathy Heiligmann told me, provide a view of what life was like in the past throughout Franklin County — a “do you remember when ...”

The society will be adding photos to its home page throughout this winter, so even though you can’t visit the Kemp-McCarthy Museum until May, you can take a virtual tour on the society’s Web site at:

It’s a great place to learn a little more than you already know about Rowe and Franklin County.

IT’S STILL A LITTLE EARLY, but I wanted to remind you that the Friends of the Greenfield Public Library is once again preparing for the Annual Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest.

This contest, which has been sponsored by the Friends since 1991, is celebrating its 22nd year this year.

The competition is held in honor of poet Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, who lived in Greenfield from 1847 until his death in 1873.

First-, second- and third-place awards will be given in adult and youth divisions.

An awards ceremony will be held April 23 at 7 p.m. in the Capen Room at Stoneleigh Burnham School in honor of National Poetry Month.

Entries are going to have to be postmarked by March 11.

For more information, contact Hope Schneider at 413-772-0257 or Cynthia Snow at 413-625-0105.

I will give you more details as the contest deadline approaches.

AS PROMISED, HERE IS A LIST of some of the items needed by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dog Shelter: skip leads, dog poop bags, kong (rugged, rubber) toys, kitchen trash bags, stamps, head lamps for night walking, dog first-aid kit, Heart Guard and K-9 Advantix medications, pet safe ice melt, hand, dish and laundry soap, computer paper, stainless steel exam table, a dog stretcher, folding chairs, office supplies, dog gates, flashlights and batteries, roofing material for outdoor shelters, and more.

The shelter also accepts donations of money and is always looking for volunteers to make phone calls and run errands.

You can make your check payable to: FCSO-Shelter, 10 Sandy Lane, Turners Falls, MA 01376.

The towns participating in this shelter are: Montague, Greenfield, Gill, Colrain, Heath, Bernardston, Warwick, Erving, Buckland, and Deerfield.

For more information, call Leslee Colucci at 413-676-9182.

If we each donated one item, or a little bit of money, imagine what the shelter could do for our stray, four-legged neighbors.

FINALLY, POET’S SEAT HEALTH CARE CENTER announced the passing of its cat and friend, Theodore Roosevelt, more affectionately known by the facility’s staff and residents as Teddy.

Teddy was a dear companion to so many at the nursing home — I know because I saw him every day for the almost five months I visited my mom there before she died in 2011.

I know his presence will be missed. He was a comfort to so many — just a rub or a purr from him would bring a smile to people who found it difficult to be happy at times.

It is so very true that animals have a positive and healing effect on us, sometimes like nothing or no one else.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280 or call her cell at 413-388-6950. You can also reach Anita on Facebook at Anita’s Neighbors. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: up to noon on the day before you want it to up to noon on the day before you want it to run.

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