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Bank buys South East Street land at foreclosure

Two parcels of land on South East Street that were the subject of a foreclosure auction have been bought back by the bank.

At the auction earlier this month, administered by Aaron Posnik & Co. Inc., Greenfield Savings Bank purchased the 7.5 acres at 650 and 652 South East St., most recently owned by Scott Nielsen.

Nielsen’s company, Levi-Nielsen Co., obtained a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals in 2008 to develop a project known as Strawberry Field. That development was to have featured 17 condominiums, including five single-family homes and six duplexes.

It is unclear what this means for the future of the property, though Carol Gray, a member of the South Amherst Conservation Association, said her organization remains committed to working to preserve the land for conservation.

Gray said the land borders the Norwottuck Rail Trail, would help complete a greenway, is listed as priority habitat with the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, and borders a certified vernal pool.

“Plus, it contains scenic mountain views that are some of the best in Amherst,” Gray said.

The minimum bid was $500,000, but the parcels combined are assessed at $277,300. More than $10,000 is owed in back taxes owed, according to town records.

Farmers Market doings

A series of workshops focused on health, homesteading and crafting will be part of Saturday’s Amherst Winters Farmers Market.

Lydia Irons of the Flexible Farmer in Hadley will begin the day at 10:15 a.m. demonstrating good mechanics for gardening.

At 10:30 a.m., Ben Goldberg of Leeds will lead an hour-long workshop on composting and vermiculture.

Linda Balk of Balky Farm in Northfield will teach needle felting using wool at 11:15 a.m.

Finally, at 12:15 p.m., Brittany Nickerson of Thyme Herbal in Amherst will show how herbs, food and lifestyle approaches can strengthen the immune system in her presentation titled “Building Deep Immunity.”

The workshops coincide with the Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture’s Winter Fare, in which people using SNAP benefits will have the first $10 worth of purchases matched.

Besides the vendors, local kora player Youssoupha Sidibe will perform during the morning, with French Press playing traditional Quebecois, Breton, French and Cajun songs in the afternoon.

There will also be a children-oriented scavenger hunt.

The market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the middle school, 170 Chestnut St.

For more information, contact Tamsin Flanders at 413-230-5920 or send email to manager@amherstwintermarket.com

Meanwhile, a photography contest is continuing in which people can submit pictures with the theme of the winter market.

The market will accept photos through March 18, with all submitted photos to be displayed at the market March 23 and voted on by customers that day. The top four finishers will get baskets filled with produce.

Horn history

A musical presentation and lecture focused on the history of the horn will be held at the Jones Library Feb. 9.

“Quattro Cor: From the Forest to the Concert Hall” begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Woodbury Room.

Hornists Jean Jeffries, Rebecca Krause-Hardie, Christine Mortensen and Margot Rowland will combine a lecture and demonstration on the horn from its early use outdoors to its playing in the concert hall.

The program, for children ages 4 to 10 and their families, is supported by the Friends of the Jones Library System and the Amherst Cultural Council.

Musical tryouts

“Youth on Broadway,” a new musical theater performance project of Leisure Services and Supplemental Education for children in grades 4 through 12, begins with auditions next week. They will be held Feb. 7 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and Feb. 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Bangs Community Center. Students should prepare a song, preferably from the musical theater repertoire, for the audition.

The performance project is taught by former New York City professional actress Becca Greene-Van Horn and award-winning musical director Cynthia Naughton.

For those cast in the show and class, the registration fee is $150. Classes will meet Sundays from Feb. 24 to May 31 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The program ends with a professional quality musical theater revue June 1 and 2.

For an audition appointment, call 259-3065.

Meetings

Tuesday: Historical Commission, 7:15 p.m., hearing on the demolition of the barn at 290 Lincoln Ave., Town Room, Town Hall

Wednesday: Police Subcommittee of the Regional School Committee, 5 p.m., superintendent’s conference room, middle school; Board of Assessors, 5:30 p.m., First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall; Planning Board, 7 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall

Thursday: Council on Aging, 9 a.m., Lower Meeting Room, Bangs Community Center; Zoning Board of Appeals, 6:30 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall

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