Greenfield Notebook: Dec. 29, 2022

  • Assistant Librarian Pamela McBride shows Christine Serrentino how to use the self checkout at Greenfield Public Library. The library offers access to Transparent Languages, an online resource with courses and supplemental resources in more than 110 languages. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

  • Holiday lights, snow removal and package delivery, pictured on Highland Avenue in Greenfield. The city is issuing a series of winter snow reminders to residents, businesses and visitors. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Published: 12/28/2022 3:34:31 PM
Modified: 12/28/2022 3:31:35 PM
City issues winter snow reminders

GREENFIELD — The city is issuing a series of winter snow reminders to residents, businesses and visitors.

Emergency Winter Parking Ban: When Mayor Roxann Wedegartner or Public Works Director Marlo Warner II declares a parking ban, vehicles are prohibited from parking on city streets and overnight parking in municipal lots is prohibited, with the exception of designated areas of the lot between Chapman and Davis streets. In addition, the first three levels of the Olive Street Parking Garage will be available for free overnight parking. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense. Parking ban information is released through the Greenfield alert system and online through and the city’s social media pages.

Sidewalks: Owners of property that abuts public sidewalks are responsible for the removal of snow from sidewalks within 24 hours after the end of the snowfall, as set forth in City Ordinance 159-16.

Fire Hydrants: Owners of property that abuts public fire hydrants should remove a 2-foot-wide path of snow to and around the hydrant within 24 hours after the end of the snowfall, as set forth in City Ordinance 159-25.

Trash and Recycling: Trash and recycling items placed at the curb must be accessible from the street side of the snow bank. In most cases, residents can shovel out a spot in the snow bank to provide a suitable place for containers and bags, or items can be put at the end of the driveway. Trash and recycling located on the sidewalk behind snow banks will not be collected.

Sand: Greenfield residents can pick up free sand at the Department of Public Works at 209 Wells St., Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and during storm operations. The sand is located to the right when entering the parking lot.

While the city’s goal is to keep roads passable during winter weather events, motorists are urged to stay off the roads at the height of storms if possible to enhance safety and to allow emergency responders and DPW crews to work more efficiently. With a fleet of 27 vehicles, the DPW works to keep the city’s 110 miles of roads and 7.4 acres of parking lots clear of ice and snow.

“Winter weather means all hands on deck at the DPW. It involves coordinating plow routes, customer service operators and route supervisors to inspect and control plowing activities, and staffing mechanics and other support personnel,” Warner explained in a statement from the mayor’s office. “We ask that residents use extra care around plow trucks and recognize that winter storms mean extra long hours for DPW staff who are doing their absolute best to maintain the roads.”

Although the city adjusts its winter weather response strategy based on the forecast and timing of the storm, crews may pretreat the roads with salt brine solution and treated salt in advance of the storm, conduct plowing during the storm and remain deployed for post-storm cleanup. It takes roughly seven hours to plow all 110 miles of roadway once. During a long-duration storm, the streets may be plowed two or three times.

Monthly stakeholder meetings help shape virtual school

GREENFIELD — The Greater Commonwealth Virtual School Council meets monthly with students, parents, educators and community members to help bring all stakeholder’s concerns and ideas to the forefront of planning for the school’s future.

The School Council — consisting of Principal Andrew Costa, five staff members, seven parents and five students — meets virtually to discuss concerns about the school, its needs, and the needs and desires of students, teachers and parents. Meetings are typically held the second Tuesday of each month.

“We focus on all things regarding school improvement, with a lot of focus on family and student engagement,” Costa said in a GCVS statement. “We’ve had a lot of rich discussions about ways to further engage students and families outside the classroom, and a lot of rich discussions about school culture and services the school provides.”

According to GCVS, the council also provides input on educational goals for the school, identifies educational and emotional needs of students, and provides input to the board of trustees as part of the annual budget process.

Costa said one of the first things to come out of the School Council meetings — there have been four so far — is that students would like more opportunities to interact with each other outside the classroom, and not just through major events like student meet-ups. Realizing that desire existed led the School Council to begin planning a “lunch bunch” group that will meet virtually to talk while eating lunch. Roughly 40 students have already signed up for the group, which will officially launch in January.

“It helps to really build our school community up,” School Council secretary and high school science teacher Mary Beth Berrien said in a statement. “Our stakeholders actually have ownership in our school, and when you’re really invested in the school, that’s when you want to make it the best that it can be.”

Library author talk to feature Namina Forna

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Public Library will host a virtual talk with author Namina Forna on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 2 p.m.

In Forna’s first New York Times bestselling book, “The Gilded Ones,” readers are introduced to 16-year-old Deka, who lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. The second installment, “The Merciless Ones,” picks up six months after Deka freed the goddesses in the ancient kingdom of Otera, but war is ongoing.

For more information and to register, visit Each author talk features the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session or submit questions during the registration process. Copies of Forna’s books are available at the Greenfield Public Library.

‘Transparent Languages’ available through library

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Public Library offers access to Transparent Languages, an online resource with courses and supplemental resources in more than 110 languages for language learners who are looking to build their vocabulary; practice their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills; and maintain what they learn.

For more information about Transparent Languages and other digital resources, visit With questions, email or call 413-772-1544.

Monthly brown bag distribution set for Jan. 5

GREENFIELD — The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ monthly brown bag program for qualifying seniors will be held Thursday, Jan. 5, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Greenfield Senior Center at 35 Pleasant St.

According to a notice from Senior Center Activities Director Kathy Dunn, seniors who receive fuel assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or other benefits will qualify. To apply, call the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts at 413-247-9738. Applications are also on hand at the Senior Center.

Chair yoga classes to start Jan. 13

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Senior Center will offer chair yoga with Libby Volckening during a seven-week program that starts Friday, Jan. 13. Sessions will be held each Friday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. through Feb. 24.

According to a notice from Senior Center Activities Director Kathy Dunn, the program involves stretching and strengthening exercises that can alleviate sore joints, tight muscles and symptoms of arthritis — all done on or next to a chair. The class is suitable for people of all abilities, including those with joint replacements and those in wheelchairs. Each session ends with breathing exercises and meditation.

Registration with $35 payment is required by Jan. 6. Greenfield Senior Center membership is required to participate. For more information, call 413-772-1517.


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