Area briefs: Energy assistance applications, 3 communities land ‘green grants’

  • A woman's hand setting the room temperature on a modern digital programmable thermostat DS011

Published: 1/25/2023 1:05:54 PM
Good Neighbor Energy Fund accepting applications

CANTON — As winter temperatures drop, the sponsoring energy companies of the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund and its administrator, The Salvation Army, encourage those impacted by inflation or other financial pressures to apply for home energy assistance by visiting their local Salvation Army Corps Community Center.

The Good Neighbor fund is often the last resort for families who are in temporary financial difficulty and do not qualify for federal and state fuel assistance programs such as Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The fund’s grants are paid directly to the energy provider for households whose gross income falls between 60% and 80% of the state’s median income levels. For example, a household size of four would need to have a total gross yearly income of between $81,562 and $108,748 to qualify. This campaign year’s fund disbursement is $500 per eligible household per heating season.

For more information about how to apply for the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund, visit a local Salvation Army Corps Community Center, call 800-262-1320, or visit

Science of Snow event for girls

Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusets will host a free Science of Snow event for Amherst area girls on Thursday.

Kindergarten and first-grade girls in the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District who are not currently Girl Scouts are invited to the event, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., to learn about the different types of snowflakes, learn why it snows, make their own snow and earn their official Girl Scout patch.

The event will take place at Bangs Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst.

Towns land Green Communities grants

BOSTON — Three communities in Hampshire and Franklin counties recently received a small portion of $6.1 million in grant money through the Green Communities program.

Shutesbury will receive $178,502 to fund energy conservation measures, weatherization and lighting in municipal facilities including its elementary school, fire station, public works building, library and town hall.

Leverett will get $97,080 to fund energy conservation measures and air source heat pump in municipal facilities including library and town vehicle fleet.

 Northampton has landed $60,283 to fund energy conservation measures, attic air sealing and insulation and crawl space insulation in municipal facilities, including Forbes Library, Leeds Elementary School, Academy of Music, and James House Learning Center. 

Catch up with Northampton Neighbors

 NORTHAMPTON — Northampton Neighbors will meet at The Barb & Olive, 319 Pleasant St., on Jan. 31 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. for a chance to enjoy the company of old friends and meet new ones. Everyone is welcome. Masks are encouraged, but not required.

Author to discuss new book on public libraries

AMHERST — Author Thomas E. Johnson Jr. will discuss his forthcoming book, “Common Place: The Public Library, Civil Society, and American Values,” in the hall of the Munson Memorial Library in South Amherst on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 11 a.m. In the interest of public health, masks are strongly encouraged.

“Common Place” tells the story of the first public libraries in America, all of which were founded in New England through civil society efforts, their current operations, and their future. Focusing on libraries in smaller locales instead of more urban settings enabled Johnson to examine the more prominent role the library plays in the community and the important “third place” function that all public libraries hold. The Munson Memorial Library in South Amherst served as one of the case studies, and the lone branch library, in his research.

Learn more about the book at

This free event is sponsored by the Jones Library &  Branches and Levellers Press. For more information, contact Janet Ryan at 413-259-3223.

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