South County Notebook: Oct. 10, 2020

Published: 10/9/2020 2:42:43 PM
Women’s Club plans bake sale

SOUTH DEERFIELD — The South Deerfield Women’s club is holding a bake sale on Saturday morning.

The bake sale, which is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon outside the South County Senior Center, will benefit scholarship programs and other groups and organizations in the community, such as the local Girl Scout Troop.

Forum scheduled to review Hazard Mitigation Plan

SUNDERLAND — A virtual public forum is set for Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. to discuss the town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, which identifies “top priority actions” in addressing natural hazards and other impacts of climate change.

The meeting is open to all town officials, stakeholders and community members.

Anyone who is interested can participate via Zoom at, or by phone at 415-762-9988 or 929-205-6099 and when prompted, entering Meeting ID 612780253 and pressing #.

Education group encouraging outreach to state officials

LEVERETT — The Leverett Education Foundation is campaigning to encourage community members to send letters to the state Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to express concerns about the current education funding formula and the negative impact that Proposition 2½ restrictions have on the ability of towns to meet their schools’ needs.

“Health care costs, transportation costs and special education costs are rising every year,” said Leverett Education Foundation President Steve Weiss. “But the state has a funding formula in place that grossly penalizes small, rural towns like Leverett that have lower school enrollments and that rely solely on property taxes to pay for town services. Meanwhile, Proposition 2½ places an arbitrary limit on what the town can do to close the ever-widening gap.”

Weiss said in a press release that he hopes residents will share their concerns and ideas with state officials, as he knows “many people in Leverett are deeply troubled over the fiscal crisis facing our elementary school.”

To raise awareness, the foundation has posted announcements with links to materials related to education funding on the town listserv, Leverett Connects, as well as on the Leverett Education Foundation website at

“The flawed state response to the commonwealth’s education needs is not just Leverett’s problem,” Weiss noted. “The municipal contribution cap, for example, disproportionately burdens low- and middle-income towns.”

While he said that efforts by Western Massachusetts legislators like state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, and state Rep. Natalie Blais, D-Sunderland, to get changes to the state funding formula are vital, Weiss added, “we just felt it was also time for the people’s voices to be heard.”

Cultural Council grant applications now open

DEERFIELD — The Deerfield Cultural Council is accepting grant proposals for community-oriented arts, humanities and science programs to be held in 2021. The deadline for individuals, schools and organizations to submit funding requests is Nov. 16.

Guidelines for developing programs, details about preparing and submitting proposals, and an online application form can be found at Information specific to the Deerfield Cultural Council can be found at

According to a Deerfield Cultural Council press release, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways it is affecting our ability to convene large, indoor events, the Cultural Council will give preference to events and programs that can be offered online and/or to outdoor events that lend themselves to social distancing. The council emphasizes that proposed projects must adhere to all COVID-19-related safety protocols.

In addition, projects selected for funding must be accessible to all, of interest to a diversity of patrons and a wide range of age groups, have a pre-arranged venue and a detailed budget, according to the release.

Deerfield Cultural Council Chair Jennifer Marrapese said the council will also give preference to events that take place in town or have free or reduced ticket prices for Deerfield residents, and will prioritize projects that increase awareness of cultural diversity or elevate the voices of marginalized groups. Projects may include coalition building, research, leadership and youth development.

For more information, contact Marrapese at

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906


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