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Changes in works for bulk mailings

Businesses and organizations in the Hilltowns and elsewhere that depend on lower-cost bulk mailings will soon see some of those savings going into their gas tanks.

A centralization announced last month of bulk services by the United States Postal Service now means that such mailings must be taken to hubs, within 10 miles of towns, rather than to local post offices.

The change, which goes into effect on May 1, affects bulk mailings — that is, mailing that involve more than 200 pieces of mail — across the state, from New Bedford to the Berkshires, according to Christine Dugas, a postal service spokeswoman.

The changes already took place in Rhode Island and Connecticut. Existing bulk permits will still be valid at the new hubs.

In this area, Hilltown communities will use bulk mailing hubs in Huntington, which will serve the towns of Chesterfield, Worthington, Chester, Russell and Blandford, and Northampton, serving folks in Cummington, Plainfield, Goshen, Haydenville, Williamsburg and Whately.

The change, said Dugas, is due to the postal service’s fiscal problems. “As most people are aware, the post office is in severe financial straights,” she said.

“It provides for a more full truck. Sometimes we’re sending trucks to the plant partially full. More centralized locations require less stops,” she said.


Got woods?

The Franklin Land Trust in Shelburne Falls will offer a free program for landowners who have wooded areas on their properties on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Warfield House Inn at 100 Warfield Road in Charlemont.

People who own land that is partly or entirely wooded are invited to this informal discussion forum, which will offer an opportunity to ask questions and share experiences with foresters and Land Trust staff. Advice and recommendations on forest management, invasive pests and plants, land conservation, property tax programs and other woodland questions will also be available.

This program is co-sponsored by the MA-VT Woodlands Partnership, a group of land trusts and state agencies working together for woodland preservation.

Refreshments will be served. Seats can be reserved by contacting Wendy Sweetser Ferris of the Franklin Land Trust at 625-9151 or emailing wferris@franklinlandtrust.org.


Rescheduled COA lunch

The St.Patrick’s Day potluck lunch put on by Cummington’s Council on Aging, originally scheduled for March 19, was cancelled due to weather.

The corned beef and cabbage lunch will now be held Tuesday at noon at the Cummington Community House at 33 Main St. West Cummington resident Margaret Daniels will give a presentation of her recent trip to Ireland.

Think green and bring a shamrock and a side dish.

Laura Rodley can be reached at lrodley.gazette@gmail.com.

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