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October 2009 Town Newsletter

Sponsored by the Wendell Selectboard

The Town of Wendell is an equal opportunity employer.

The Neighborhood Emergency Planning Committee is in the process of training over 50 co-captains for their first year of service! Starting in October, co-captains will be visiting the households in their neighborhood. They may send a letter first to each household to introduce themselves. During the visit, co-captains will give their neighbors a survey (optional) in order to gather information about the household’s needs and resources that might be important during an emergency.
Once these visits are complete, Wendell will be ready for an emergency! Should an emergency be declared in town, or if co-captains perceive a local emergency, co-captains will visit their neighbors as soon as possible to check on their welfare. They will report their findings to the Emergency Command Center.
All parts of this emergency plan are voluntary. Co-captains are volunteers who have agreed to serve for at least one year. And all neighbors’ participation is also voluntary. The planning has been done by a small but dedicated committee of citizens, who felt the need for a neighborhood emergency response after our two recent emergencies, the tornado in July 2006 and last December’s ice storm. If you are not interested in being part, please let your co-captains know in a courteous manner. Otherwise, welcome these volunteers and know they stand ready to help you in case of another emergency!!

The Wendell Historical Commission is putting out a call for any local historical records, documents, maps, news clippings and identifiable photographs. Wendell is one of the least historically documented towns in the area. The goal is to assemble all pertinent historical information in the town library so that it is accessible to the public.
Original or copied material may be either dropped in the "Audio-Visual Return" box by the front door of the library or given to the librarian.  Alternatively, material may be given directly to the Historical Commission by calling Jean Forward at 544-7502. Thank you!
The Wendell Council on Aging maintains an expanding collection of medical equipment available for borrowing by Wendell seniors and others, thanks to the generosity of several local people. The collection includes wheel chairs, walkers, shower stools, portable commodes, crutches and the like. If you wish to borrow some of these items, please call Kathy Swaim (544-2020).
The house at 46 Wendell Depot Road, previously part of the Maple Valley School, is being rented by a private organization as a halfway house for five adult men. Of the three men who were scheduled to move in on September 21st, two of them are level three sex offenders. The Selectboard has been assured the house is alarmed, and none of the clients will be able to leave the house without being escorted by a staff member.
The Herrick Meeting Room Art Gallery at the Library is designed to provide opportunities for local artists to show their work to the public. The Wendell Library Trustees consider art displays as part of the cultural and educational mission of the library.
The library gallery is curated and scheduled by an arts exhibit committee including representatives from the Library Trustees, the Friends of the Wendell Free Library, and the Wendell Community. The committee is appointed by the Wendell Library Trustees.
The first round of applications for showing work in the Herrick Room will be accepted from now until Oct 31st.  The arts exhibits committee will review these applications in early November. During this first year they may choose to review additional submissions periodically through the winter. Starting in the spring of 2010 application will be accepted twice a year - in March and in September.
Generally, exhibits will run for one month and there is no charge for the use of the space. The Herrick Meeting Room Art Gallery has approximately 140 square feet of available display space for work that can hang on walls. The space is not available to display sculpture.
Interested individuals can pick up a copy of the two page Gallery Policy/ Application at the library. It will also be available online at the library section of the town webpage.
Call or stop by the Library for details and complete listing
978 544-3559
Kids Movie Night
   Friday October 2 Monsters vs. Aliens    (first Fridays of the month at 6pm) BYOPopcorn
Piñata Making for Birthdays and Holidays
 Weds. Oct 14, 21 & 28   1:30-3:30pm     ages 8-adult.   Limited to 12 participants. Please preregister.
Mostly Yoga
  Sunday 10-11:15 am     Resumes on Sunday Oct 11- May 2010
Preschool Play Group
  Wednesday mornings 10-11am. Drop in session for parents and kids
Pokemon Club
    Tuesdays 4-5pm and Friday 3:30- 4:30   All ages welcome.
Sci-FI/Horror Movie Night  Oct 17th 7:30pm:Gattaca
Afternoon of Middle Eastern Music for Families with Ed Hines
    Sunday Nov 15   3:30pm
If you are a Wendell resident and property owner who is over 70 with limited assets and income, there are two exemptions offered by the Town of Wendell which might benefit your situation. An exemption is a reduction of property tax for the fiscal year.
A 17-D exemption is for a reduction of $175 from your taxes. The age requirement for this exemption is that you must have reached age 70 by July 1, 2008 for a FY09 exemption.   There are no income restrictions, however, your total assets cannot exceed $40,000, excluding house. There are no income restrictions for this exemption. You must also have owned and occupied for at least five years.
A 41-C exemption is for a $500 reduction of your total tax liability. The age requirement is the same as for the 17-D. To qualify for the 41-C your total assets, excluding house, cannot exceed $28,000 (if single) or $30,000 (if married) and income cannot exceed $13,000 (if single) or $15,000 (if married). Social Security income up to $6237 (married) is excluded from total income. You must also have lived in Massachusetts for the last 10 years and owned and occupied for the last five years.
Exemptions do require documentation and assessors may ask you for your federal or state tax returns and bank statements, birth certificate, etc., to verify your application  All financial information is confidential and never released to parties outside the assessors’ office.
Applications may be obtained from our office during normal office hours. Any application for 2009 must be received no later than December 3rd of this year.
Wendell Board of Assessors
There are several openings on Town Boards and Committees, including the Zoning Board of Appeals, Cemetery Commission, Recreation Committee, Open Space Committee and others. Please contact the Selectboard if you are interested in serving.

 Wendell resident and volunteer Cheryl Browning took on the big job of clearing brush from the earthen dam at Fiske Pond. A recent inspection by the Office of Dam Safety required that vegetation be kept off the dam to insure its integrity.
The Wendell Open Space Committee is still looking for another member. Please call Marianne at 978 544-8981 or for more information.
Do you have expertise relating to local environmental issues, the natural world, or strategies for ecologically sustainable living? The Wendell Open Space Committee is looking for Wendell residents to lead workshops and/or hikes on topics related to open space and conservation. We will be offering a small stipend for workshop leaders. If you have information and shills to share with your neighbors please contact Rebekah at 978 544-3060 or by October 24.
New Town Website in Development

For the past several months, designers Christine Texiera and Christopher Parker have worked with the Website Committee to redesign the Town website.  A photo contest was organized by the designers to solicit images for the website, and the public voted on the best photos at Old Home Day.  A Town Forum was held in early September to solicit feedback from the public, and training sessions were held in mid-September to familiarize town officials and volunteers with adding content to webpages.  The website, which is now in a test, or beta phase, is expected to be completed in early to mid-October.

June 2009 Town Newsletter

Sponsored by the Wendell Selectboard

The Town of Wendell is an equal opportunity employer.


The neighborhood emergency planning committee has been working since early March. Our goal has been to create a citizen emergency response for Wendell by neighborhood. This citizen committee has created 26 small neighborhoods in town; each neighborhood has 1-3 enthusiastic and willing co-captains and about 10 to 25 houses. Of course, neighbors’ participation in this project is completely voluntary.
In an emergency the co-captains are responsible for checking on their neighbors to see what help is needed. Immediate emergencies will be reported to the Emergency Command Center. Co-captains will also endeavor to connect neighbors with more long-term needs to other neighbors who can help them. For example, someone who has no water during a power outage could be connected with a neighbor who has a shallow well and can access water. If possible, they will communicate information from the Emergency Command Center to their neighbors.
Within the next month we hope to provide training for our co-captains who all have signed on for a one-year commitment. Once trained, we expect co-captains to visit all their neighbors, ascertain if they wish to be contacted during an emergency, and hand out a survey of needs and assets for neighbors to complete and return. We hope these visits will take place annually, so co-captains will have current information about their neighborhood. Look for a visit sometime this summer! Remember, participation is voluntary. 
If you have any questions, please call Christine Heard at 544-2282 or Asa de Roode at 544-8695.
Neighborhood Emergency Planning Committee
Asa de Roode
Laurie DiDonato
Christine Heard
Jonathan von Ranson
Nancy Spittle and Jenny Fyler also contributed.
The Wendell Council on Aging maintains an expanding collection of medical equipment available for borrowing by Wendell seniors and others, thanks to the generosity of several local people. The collection includes wheel chairs, walkers, shower stools, portable commodes,
crutches and the like. If you wish to borrow some of these items, please call Kathy Swaim (544-2020).
Thanks to the generosity of Kenny Wing, the Senior Center shelves are now graced by a sizable collection of jigsaw puzzles available for
borrowing. Again if you wish to borrow some, call Kathy Swaim (544-2020).
The Council on Aging has been running a series of free, uptodate, usually very cheerful movies at the wonderful facilities at the Wendell Library. Wendellites of all ages are welcome to attend. Sunday evenings at 7. Dates and film titles available on the town email list. If you
would like to receive regular information about these offerings, send along your email address to .
You are invited to an
to celebrate the
Second Anniversary
of the
Wendell Free Library
Saturday, July 11th
Cake served at 2PM, Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Library at 3PM
All day-Community Tag Sale with partial proceeds supporting the Library
There are currently openings on several boards and committees in town—the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Recreation Committee, the Open Space Committee, and the Finance Committee are all looking for new members.   Please contact a member of the Selectboard or the Town Coordinator if you are interested in serving. (978-544-3395)
At the end of June, the Maple Valley School will close its doors, leaving a substantial vacant property behind. The owner is looking to lease or sell the buildings and land. If you know of any potential tenants or buyers who might be interested and would be a good fit for the Wendell community, please contact the realtor through the following website:
                    Be a part of the
Library’s 2nd Anniversary Celebration!
When:  Saturday, July 11th,  9:30 am to 3:00   pm*

Where:  On the Wendell Common across from the Library
Why:  To benefit you, and to benefit the Wendell Free Library
Give whatever you can to support the Library, a minimum of 10% of your sales is requested

Holding the tag sale together with the Library’s Open House and other events will bring more people to the sale
Good for you – clean out the closets or garage, make some $$$
Good for the Library – supports library programs, museum passes, internet access, and more
How:  Bring a table or blanket and items to sell – crafts, baked goods, and produce also welcome
–  No set-up fee!
          Take home what you don’t sell save it for Old Home Day and the “Silver Tarp” on August 15th.
Plan now to participate in this fun, community happening!
For more information contact Nini Melvin at 978-544-7960
Sponsored by the Friends of the Wendell Free Library
*(Rain Date: Saturday, July 18th,  9:30 am to 3:00 pm, for Tag Sale only)
Franklin County Solid Waste Management District’s Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Sites are open year-round for convenient disposal of many hazardous wastes. These permanent “Supersites” are located at the transfer stations in Bernardston, Colrain, and Conway. The sites in Bernardston and Conway are normally open the first Saturday of each month; the Colrain site is open every Saturday.
Since Independence Day falls on the first Saturday in July, and some of the transfer stations will be closed due to the holiday, the three Supersites will instead be open on Saturday July 11th.
            The Supersite in Bernardston is located at the town transfer station on Nelson Drive (off Merrifield Road). This site is regularly open the first Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. until noon in the summer and 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. in the winter. The transfer station will be closed July 4th and so the Supersite will instead be open from 8 a.m. until noon on July 11th.
The Conway facility is located at the town transfer station on Old Cricket Hill Road. The Supersite is normally open from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. the first Saturday of each month. The transfer station will be open on July 4th but the Supersite will not be open that day. Instead, the Supersite will be open on July 11th.
The Colrain facility is located at the town transfer station on Charlemont Road (off Rt. 112). The Supersite is usually open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. every Saturday. However, the transfer station, including the Supersite, will be closed on July 4th. The Supersite will be open 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. on July 11th.
The Supersites provide District residents with the opportunity to dispose of the most common hazardous materials, including: motor oil, oil filters, anti-freeze, oil-based paint, fluorescent light bulbs, ballasts, rechargeable batteries, thermometers, thermostats and mercury-containing switches. Charges apply for disposal of some items.
District residents are from the towns of Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Rowe, Shelburne, Sunderland, Warwick, Wendell and Whately; all residents of those towns may use any of the Supersites. 
For more information on disposal of hazardous materials, recycling, composting or other solid waste issues visit the District’s website at www.franklincountywastedistrict.org or call 413-772-2438. Hearing impaired individuals can use the Massachusetts Relay at 711 or for TTY/TDD access dial 1-800-439-2370.   The District is an equal opportunity provider.
The Wendell Open Space Committee is looking for a few new members. The seven member committee meets monthly and focuses on environmental stewardship and land conservation issues. As WOSC is a large committee, membership does not involve a large time commitment. We welcome people with related expertise as well those who are interested in learning about conservation issues.
Our work is guided by the Town’s Open Space Plan as well as the interests of our members. Some of our pas t efforts have included doing legwork for the Town to buy Fiske Pond and establishes several other conservation areas in Town and helping create stewardship plans for Town conservation lands. We have been sponsoring an Earth Day Celebration for the last two years and plan to sponsor more events related to environmental education and conservation issues. 
The WOSC currently meets on the forth Monday night of the month, but would consider meeting at a different time to accommodate new members. To volunteer or learn more about the committee please call Marianne at 978 544-8981.

Wendell Selectboard

Town Offices
Wendell, MA 01379
Now that school is out for the summer, there is an increase in pedestrian traffic, especially near the Library.  Please slow down as you approach the center of town.  Thank you. 

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