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Kayaker’s delight: Best day-paddles along the Connecticut River in Massachusetts
05-23-2024 5:05 PM

By ANNA LAIRD BARTO

Last summer, I chronicled my 68-mile paddle of the Connecticut River through Massachusetts. Along the way, I became very well acquainted with the river, its bends and currents, dams and bridges, trees and wildlife — even its sewage overflows! Here are...

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Mystery shrouds case of injured moose euthanized in Sunderland
05-22-2024 12:42 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — Police responded to the area of Bull Hill Road and Route 116 Tuesday morning for a report of a moose struck by a vehicle. Upon arrival shortly after 7 a.m., though, there were more questions than answers, as first responders found an...


No surprises in uncontested Sunderland races
05-13-2024 4:49 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — With no contested races, there were no surprises in Sunderland’s annual town election on Saturday, as everyone on the ballot was elected to their positions.Of the 2,493 registered voters, 301, or roughly 12.1% of voters, cast their...


Sunderland voters OK battery storage bylaw, agree to ask Legislature to lower municipal voting age
04-29-2024 12:31 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — Nearly 90 voters overwhelmingly approved 18 articles on Friday’s Town Meeting warrant, including battery storage and structure conversion bylaws, as well as a citizen’s petition seeking to ask the Legislature to lower the municipal voting...


Frontier Regional School students appeal to lower voting age
04-27-2024 5:02 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

When Sunderland residents head to their Annual Town Meeting on Friday, they’ll vote on the town’s budget, some bylaw changes and a citizen’s petition with a unique twist, as the residents who brought the article forward can’t actually vote on...


Building conversion, battery storage bylaws up for vote at Sunderland Town Meeting
04-25-2024 1:03 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — Bylaw proposals concerning battery storage facilities and converting existing buildings into multi-family dwellings will come before voters at Friday night’s annual Town Meeting.Residents will decide on the 18-article warrant at...


Guest columnist Craig Felton: A new bridge over the Conn. River is not asking too much
04-08-2024 6:05 PM

By CRAIG FELTON

 I am grateful to the Greenfield Recorder for granting me space to add to Chris Larabee’s article: “Visioning workshop considers future of downtown (Sunderland)” [Recorder, April 2]. I am quoted, rightly, as saying: “Forget about the roundabout.” I...


Residents seek to balance intersection upgrades with preservation of Sunderland character
04-06-2024 10:58 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — With Stantec consultants back in town to gather feedback on potential changes to downtown Sunderland, streetscape improvements, traffic-calming measures, multi-use paths and other similar infrastructure were at the top of residents’ minds...


Residents air concerns on clean energy, particularly solar siting, at Sunderland forum
04-02-2024 4:45 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — Residents and clean energy advocates recently got the chance to discuss all things energy with the top House member of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, with the siting of solar arrays holding particular...


Guest columnist Michael Seward: Settlement could dramatically shake-up real estate industry
03-31-2024 12:32 PM

By MICHAEL SEWARD

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently agreed to rules changes as part of a massive settlement. The new rules will put more negotiating power in the hands of consumers. Despite what professionals stated in a recent article in this...


Sunderland open house seeks input on village center’s future
03-23-2024 1:40 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — As the town continues to develop its vision for its village center, residents are invited to a public workshop to get directly involved with the process and share their ideas for the future of downtown Sunderland.The workshop will be held...


Brian Cooper: Solution to ‘cult-like mentality of rural living’
03-20-2024 6:39 PM

As someone who grew up in Westhampton, I was saddened to read of a newcomer’s unhappy experience moving there from Philadelphia (“The cult-like mentality of rural living,” Gazette, March 15). I had no idea about the pervasive unfriendly and...


Streak of hardships plague valley farmers
03-17-2024 1:01 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

Farming is already a tough field to make one’s living. Throw in three consecutive years of extreme weather and personal burnout and you’ve got a recipe for what is shaping up to another difficult year for valley farmers, as they prepare their fields...


Longtime employees buy Kitchen Garden Farm in Sunderland
03-10-2024 10:39 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — The change of the seasons, as farmers know, often brings a slew of other changes along with it, and at Kitchen Garden Farm, this spring brings the largest change of all.Soon, the farm will change hands for the first time since its...


Guest columnist Michael Seward: Coaches failed students, not MIAA — and hypocritical for legislator to demand accountability
02-21-2024 9:10 PM

By MICHAEL SEWARD

Belchertown coaches failed to submit paperwork for the girls’ swim team, preventing them from competing in a tournament. Somehow it’s the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s fault, according to state Rep. Aaron Saunders.Although the...


Study for new South County Senior Center yet to be completed as deadline looms
02-10-2024 5:50 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

Despite the South County Senior Center’s three member towns having received a $75,000 grant in December 2022 to conduct a feasibility study on the South Deerfield Congregational Church to see if it could serve as the center’s long-term home, a study...


Amherst chamber boss Pazmany to step down
02-04-2024 12:31 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — In a region where most businesses are small, with 20 or fewer employees, having an organization to advocate on their behalf, market them and assist them through unforeseen challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic is critical, says Amherst Area...


Sunderland Elementary School unveils new mural on International Night
01-30-2024 12:04 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — In celebration of Sunderland Elementary School’s 15th annual International Night, the school unveiled a new mural inspired by students’ work to honor the school’s diverse community.Located in the hallway leading to the library, the mural...


New South County EMS chief starts Feb. 5
01-15-2024 9:49 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SOUTH DEERFIELD — With the Deerfield Selectboard’s vote Wednesday afternoon and contract signatures delivered Friday, South County EMS will welcome Auburn Fire Department EMS Coordinator Joshua Sparks as its second-ever chief.Sparks, 48, who has a...


Weekly Sunderland standout expanding for MLK Day
01-12-2024 9:03 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — With Martin Luther King Jr. Day designated as the only federal holiday dedicated to volunteer service, the public is invited to join the Sunderland Human Rights Task Force’s weekly standout.Each Monday, Human Rights Task Force members...


Sunderland Public Library closing for carpet replacement project
01-10-2024 11:50 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — The Sunderland Public Library will close for two weeks starting Wednesday as it undergoes an extensive carpet replacement project.From Wednesday, Jan. 10 through Tuesday, Jan. 23, the library will be closed and all in-person services will...

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