COVID-19 community updates

  • The Garden Cinemas in Greenfield. RECORDER FILE PHOTO

Published: 8/12/2020 7:08:07 PM
Access restored for Greenfield Garden

After multiple delays primarily related to COVID-19, the new chairlift at the Greenfield Garden Cinema, 361 Main St., Greenfield, is now complete. The state elevator inspector approved the lift on Aug. 7 — it now allows a weight limit of 750 pounds and is capable of handling motorized wheelchairs. The installation of the lift makes five of the seven screening rooms fully handicapped-accessible.

Isaac and Angela Mass say they have been working on other ADA improvements to the theatrical experience as well. In addition to the closed caption readers and audio amplification devices in operation at the theater, the new owners have added noise-canceling headphones for those with auditory sensitivity. “We love the Dolby 5.1 surround sound our system provides but understand that some patrons with autism or other auditory sensitivity are not comfortable with that level of sound, now we have a way for them to enjoy the movies,” explains Angela Mass.

The lift was installed by building owners George Gohl and William Gobeille through a federal loan program administered by the city of Greenfield’s department of Community and Economic Development. The completion of this project was required to meet requirements of the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (AAB). Now Gohl and Gobeille will be able to obtain a certificate of good standing with the AAB meeting all the conditions for new owners Isaac and Angela Mass to purchase the historic Garden Block, which is scheduled for later in the month.

Interlink to donate 30% of sales from Lebanese writers

Michel Moushabeck is a Beirut native and owner of Interlink Publishing, 46 Crosby St., Northampton. Beirut, once the jewel of the Mediterranean, is today a city in mourning, wrecked by a massive explosion that caused numerous deaths and thousands of injuries, the total destruction of the port of Beirut — the country’s lifeline and grain storage facility — and much of downtown, and left more than 300,000 people without homes. Moushabeck says his heart aches for the people of Lebanon and that they need urgent help. Interlink will help provide urgent relief to people affected by this catastrophic explosion by donating 30% of the proceeds from all book sales of the 26 titles they’ve published by Lebanese writers to the Lebanese Food Bank.

In addition to helping with disaster relief, they aim to amplify the voices of Lebanese writers and raise awareness about the situation in Lebanon through literature. If you do not wish to purchase books, please consider donating directly to one or more of the following trusted and transparent organizations, which are apolitical and non-sectarian and are not tied to the Lebanese government or any political parties.

Lebanese Food Bank:

Impact Lebanon:

Lebanese Red

World Central Kitchen:

Books being sold to provide funds for Beirut are available at

Forbes Library seeks community participation

Forbes Library, 20 West St., Northampton, has formed a committee of trustees and staff to lead a racial and social justice effort, and is seeking community members to participate in an advisory board to work toward an action plan including these initiatives:

Continuously promote anti-racist education through the library’s services, materials and collections;

Hire, mentor, and develop library staff that reflects the diversity of the Northampton and area community; and

Establish ongoing educational library programs that challenge and dismantle structural racism, expose, confront and, challenge our own implicit biases, and prioritize BIPOC voices.

Please contact or call 587-1016 to offer to participate in the advisory board by the end of August. Black and brown people, indigenous people, and people of color are especially encouraged to participate.

Forbes Library will continue to seek out and eliminate underlying structures of white supremacy, and promote racial and social justice in our policies, procedures, and programs. We make this commitment to our community understanding the deep and long-term nature of this work.

Agawam COVID-19 testing extended

Tapestry will be providing additional COVID-19 testing in Agawam to support Gov. Charlie Baker’s Stop the Spread testing initiative. “This is a critical time to ramp up testing in order to contain the virus and hopefully avoid the secondary surges that have happened in other states,” said Cheryl Zoll, Tapestry CEO.

Testing will be drive-thru, free, and available for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Testing will be done via a self-administered nasal swab and results will be available within 48 hours. Appointments and pre-registration are encouraged, but walk-ins will not be turned away if there is capacity.

Please call 364-2149 for scheduling. More information available at or

Where: Agawam Junior High School, 1305 Springfield St., Feeding Hills

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, Aug. 18 to Sept. 10, 3 to 6 p.m.

Foundation offers nonprofits grants

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts has announced its next stage of its COVID-19 response effort in the Pioneer Valley, launching stabilization grants for nonprofits that have been financially impacted by the pandemic. With these new stabilization grants, the foundation is also committing to a multi-year approach to focus on the resilience, re-envisioning and rebuilding of nonprofits in the region.

Applications for Stabilization Grants are currently being accepted, and the deadline for applications is Sept. 1. Maximum grant awards will be $50,000 and will provide for up to six months of operation.

Organizations with various missions and target populations will be eligible to apply for stabilization grants, though organizations that serve the most vulnerable populations in the region, work to advance equity and opportunity and have deep roots in the community will be prioritized.

In the coming months, CFWM will provide workshops and trainings to assist nonprofits as they evolve to remain active and viable during and post COVID-19.

The foundation will also commit a portion of funding to support organizations whose missions align with the CFWM’s strategic priorities for the coming years: A strong start for all children through high-quality early education and care; accessible and more affordable post-secondary education and training, providing pathways to completion and employment; and a vibrant local arts and creativity ecosystem to support self-expression, economic vitality, and connection.

The stabilization grants serve as a next phase to CFWM’s COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley, which to date has awarded more than $6 million in grants to nonprofits in western Massachusetts that are on the front lines of serving vulnerable populations affected by the crisis.

To learn more about CFWM’s Stabilization Grants and to apply, visit

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