Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays and some important dates to know - Click HERE for January 19 Senate election information

Dear South Hadley Democrats,

Well, this was the Storm That Wasn't of 2009! Most of you are probably rejoicing... I'm very happy for you. For those of us who were hoping for a whopper, soon, very soon...

In the meantime, here are some dates for you to jot down:

Our next DTC meeting:
Tuesday, January 12th, 7:00pm at the South Hadley police station

MA U.S. Senate Election:
Town of South Hadley Election: - Two Selectboard members
Monday, January 19, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m

South Hadley Caucus:
Saturday, February 13th at the South Hadley Public Library, 27 Bardwell Street
Registration will begin at 11:30am
The caucus will begin at 12:00pm

MA Democratic State Convention:
Friday and Saturday, June 4th and 5th in Worcester
(The Convention itself is on Saturday the 5th - there are usually parties and such on Friday, but you do not need to attend those if you don't want to.)

Looking forward to seeing all of you at these events!

Happy Holidays!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Bob Robertson and Bob Judge support Mike Capuano for Senate

Below is a message from Bob Robertson:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Robert Robertson
Date: Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 3:34 PM
Subject: Senate (fwd)
To: Bob Judge

Bob Judge:

I would be pleased to have you post my opinion below on the SH Democrats blog. I might add that a further reason for my preferring Capuano over Coakley is the flipflop that she did on the crucial issue of the death penalty.

Bob Robertson

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2009 09:47:05 -0500 (EST)
From: Robert Robertson
To: Sarah Etelman, Bob Judge
Subject: Senate

Good morning, friends:

After our email exchange last week (and a conversation with Bob Judge...), I spoke with Ellen Story on the phone. I've never met her, but have been impressed by what I've read of her over the years -- a progressive, thoughtful state rep., I believe... She is for Mike Capuano in the primary.

She likes what she's seen of Mike and also had a former asst. go to DC to work in his office, yielding a rave review of him. They say he's plain-spoken but able to build coalitions. Obviously he's a liberal. I know that Bob (Judge) has some things on which he's uncertain or at odds with Mike. I don't have those reservations, so will support him.

... I want to believe that the Coakley lead is weak and overstated. The misleading polls on Bloomberg for NYC mayor suggest that an early lead can be misleading if the leader hits a ceiling. Who knows in our case? So a vote of public preference for Khazei might be a mistake. Again, who knows?

Thanks for sharing your earlier ideas with me. On to Tuesday, however.

Bob Robertson

REQUEST: MHC Dems 'blurb' for blog

Dear Mr. Judge and whomever may be interested,

My name is Elisa Loeser and I am the Parliamentarian for the Mount Holyoke College Democrats. The MHC Dems will soon be launching a political blog called "The Sententia" to encourage political debate in the Mount Holyoke and South Hadley community. We are asking for submissions or 'blurbs' to post on the blog that are 250 words or less. Feel free to write about a national or local issue about which you are passionate. Writing about a political issue concerning the Mount Holyoke or South Hadley community is encouraged!

Questions? Or to submit a blurb please email Elisa:

Check out the site! be launched w/ articles soon... (

Thank you!
- Elisa Loeser
Parliamentarian, MHC Democrats

Thursday, December 3, 2009

If you don't belong to Know Your Town, please read this post, then click HERE

Know Your Town (KYT) is a fine organization that serves S. Hadley well. If you are not a member, you are missing out on what will be KYT's terrific progessive dinner on December 12, never mind KYT's excellent public affairs programming. However, Martha Terry tells me that it is still not too late to join KYT in time for December 12. If you are not a member of KYT, I encourage you to join today!

Please see below for more information and please click on the link in the "Title" to access the KYT member application.

- Bob Judge

Hi Bob,

Yes, this is a wonderful idea! I have attached the KYT brochure. There is a membership form on it that they can fill out and mail back with their dues.

Thank you for encouraging people to join KYT!

And thank you for all you do for the town.


Martha Terry

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Judge
To: Martha Terry
Cc: 'Robert Judge'
Sent: Thu, Dec 3, 2009 9:54 am
Subject: RE: Final reminder of Know Your Town Progressive Dinner

Is it too late for someone to join KYT and attend the dinner? If so, I understand.

If not, I would happy to forward this email to a few people as a way to encourage them to join KYT.

Please advise.

- Bob Judge

From: Martha Terry
Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 9:43 AM
To: Bobbie Salthouse
Subject: Final reminder of Know Your Town Progressive Dinner

Dear KYT Members,

I'm emailing you one last time concerning the KYT Progressive Dinner, to be held on Sat. December 12.

If you have not already done so, please RSVP NOW to attend this festive event!

Below is the latest list of members who Barb Fisher has heard from and are coming. If you do not see your name below and if you had emailed her that you are coming, it means she has not received your reply.

Please send her an email at this address: (deleted) Or, if you wish to reach her by phone, her number is (deleted).

We are looking forward to seeing many of you at the Progressive Dinner. It will be a most enjoyable evening--

Many Thanks,

Bobbie Salthouse
KYT, Progressive Dinner Chair

*#** **Name** **Appetizers** **Entree** **Dessert*

2 Linda/Doug Young dip/crackers/veggies/wine pecan tarts/whipped cream
2 Patricia Kraske & son Seafood dish
2 Lucia/Bill Foley veggies
2 Bobbie/Robert Salthouse x
1 Ellie Kepacki Squash/apple casserole
1 Marion Pascone Chile/corn chips
2 Carol/Richard Constant smoked salmon/crackers
2 Bob Judge/Brenda Mathieu Lasagne
3 John/Pat/Sarah Scibak wine
(2) Martha/Tom Terry (App course only) hot dish
1 Julianne Roberts HOST
2 Barb/Mike Fisher HOST (ham/rolls/salad/etc)
2 Julie Miller/H.Boroff HOST

*24* (including 2 for appetizer course only)

Please bring the following if your name starts with:
A-I Appetizers: Hot or cold, chips and dips, veggie platter, beverages, etc.
H-P Dinner Buffet: Hot meat/vegetarian main dishes, pastas, cold cut platter; hot vegetables/side dishes, salads, rolls/butter, beverages, etc.
Q-Z Desserts: sparkling cider, coffee/tea with cream and sugar, etc. (NOTE: Julia Miller's daughter will be baking up a storm and will provide all the desserts, so Q-Z people can either provide drinks for dessert or if you prefer, wine for the appetizer or dinner locations...)

From Judith Ellenburg RE Capuano for Senate

Thanks for your message Bob and for all the time you spent on the phone.

I talked to Kate Crowther, a MHC Francis Perkins student, who is Capuano's Western Mass Coordinator.

She is bringing signs tomorrow, and I think I'll go out early Friday and Monday.

She is really looking for folks to phone.  You have been superb at phoning - and you appear to enjoy it - so I thought I should tell you that they need more folks to do phone banking.  I'll try to do some too.  Jim Reardon is the other person in South Hadley who has been very helpful to Kate.  You probably know him.  He has been phoning from his home.

All best wishes and many thanks,


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Local Dems host an evening with Congressman Frank - Click HERE for the story

Posted by Picasa

Drive for Jessie's House in South Hadley: Toys, Food and Clothing

With the holidays approaching, save these dates!  
The Helping Hand of the Chamber is conducting a toys, food and clothing drive for the kids at Jessie's House in South Hadley. They are in particular need of toys for the youngsters, so please dig deep and drop off whatever you can to make these kids happy on Christmas. Dropoff locations are at Family Cuts on East St., Florence Savings Bank at five corners, Easthampton Savings Bank on Rt. 202, Carey's Flowers on Newton St., Chicopee Savings Bank on Willimansett St., Town Hall on Main St., and Berkshire Bank on Lamb St. Mary Sudyka at Family Cuts will also accept cash and shop for gifts for you - what could be easier? The collection ends on December 11.
With Thanksgiving just next week, can the Holiday Stroll be far behind?  December 4th is the big day when Santa arrives and the special tree on the Common is lit to begin holiday festivities. Bring your kids or grandkids for a photo with Santa.  Details will be in the local papers.  Special activities are planned at Gaylord Library just before the Stroll for kids and adults, so beging your fun evening early! Also, plan to stop by Village Eye Care that evening for the Chamber's Holiday Party for members. Invitations will be in the mail shortly.
Visit Us, Advertise your Business:
Check our latest news:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

South Hadley, Easthampton, and Holyoke Democrats named Barney Frank as their "Democrat of the Year" on November 13, 2009 at the Log Cabin - Click here for story

Barney Frank, Joe McCoy (Easthampton Committee Chair), Sarah Etelman (South Hadley Committee Chair) and others

From the Sunday Republican
Political power seen in parties
Sunday, November 15, 2009

HOLYOKE - U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Newton, expressed strong support for the idea of political parties Friday night at the Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House.

He was there to accept the Democrat of the Year Award from the Democratic committees of Holyoke, South Hadley and Easthampton.

About 600 people attended the event, giving Frank a standing ovation with a few cheers thrown in before he even took the podium.

"I'm here with my partner, Jim. I'm continuing to be a member of a group that continues to be criticized and ridiculed - a partisan Democrat," said, Frank, who is the only openly gay congressman.

Being a member of a political party is the best way to get things done, he told his audience, decrying the fact that elections are often decided by citizens who are not enrolled in one.

"The election is often in the hands of people who don't know what they are talking about. ... They criticize candidates for positions they don't hold," Frank said, putting down the types of unenrolled people who are polled in focus groups.

Political parties are needed when large groups of people are going to govern themselves, he said.

Frank lamented what he believes is a paucity of moderate Republicans.

"There are still some of them around. They call themselves Democrats," Frank said. "The moderates have been driven out of the Republican Party."

The congressman went on to declare that capitalism works best in partnership with the public sector.

"In 41 years I have never seen a tax cut put out a fire," Frank said. "If you are an honest businessman you need laws to protect you from dishonest competitors."

Frank's appearance also attracted a group of protesters near the Log Cabin, about a dozen chanting and holding signs with slogans calling for equality for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people.

One of the protesters, James D. Fiorentino of Northampton, said Frank is not doing enough in that area.

Congressman Barney Frank and Brenda Mathieu of South Hadley

Brenda joined the hundreds of other western Massachusetts Democrats who celebrated Congressman Frank as their "Democrat of the Year" at the Log Cabin in Holyoke on November 13, 2009.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

From Martha Terry RE November 12 Know Your Town meeting

Dear Bob,

Would you kindly forward this flier to any email lists you have, for example, the Progressive Democrats of South Hadley, the Historical Society, etc?  Thank you for doing this.


Martha Terry

Know Your Town

"Comprehending the Comprehensive Plan"


A framework for how South Hadley can revitalize its base,
Plan for growth in housing and where to locate it,
Retain our open space and natural treasures,
Cultivate our historical and cultural assets,
Strengthen our schools and municipal facilities
And communicate our community's business

THURSDAY, NOV. 12   7 P.M.
So Hadley High School Library

Come hear, share and participate

Presenters will be members of the
Comprehensive Planning Advisory Committee

Monday, October 26, 2009

Candidate Forum at UMass, November 8th

Dear Fellow Democrats:

On Sunday, November 8th, the League of Women Voters and WFCR will be co-sponsoring a Senatorial candidate forum for the upcoming special election in January. This event will take place at UMass Amherst at 7:30pm in the Bowker Auditorium of Stockbridge Hall, and will be free and open to the public.

This forum will run roughly two hours and will be devoted to questions related to both domestic and international issues. The League has enthusiastically requested that those interested in attending the forum submit questions to the panel through an online form on the League’s website, which can be found by clicking Both Democratic and Republican candidates whose names appear on the primary’s ballot have been invited to participate.

For anyone who is interested, the League of Women Voters will also be organizing voter registration to take place in Stockbridge Hall beginning at 6:30 pm that evening. Additional details regarding the night’s forum or information on the League of Women Voters can be found online at


Susan Newton

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First Food for Friends delivery this weekend!

Members of the South Hadley Democratic Town Committee will be participating when the first delivery occurs on October 17th.

If you're interested in helping, or know someone who is in need of the group's services. please visit this link:

Looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Fwd: Meeting with State Director of Organizing for America

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Joel Spiro
Date: Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 12:20 PM
Subject: Meeting with State Director of Organizing for America

Just wanted you to call your attention to a meeting this coming Saturday with John Spears, the Massachusetts Director of Organizing for America, the follow up to Obama's grassroots campaign. A lot of us are asking what we can do to push for a good solution for health care and a lot of other things that have to be changed. Now we have a chance to hear John Spears and let him know what we think. Hope that you can make it and please send the invitation to friends. Regards, Joel

Massachusetts Organizing for America Listening/Organizing Tour

With State Director John Spears

2:00 to 4:00 PM on Saturday, Sept. 26th

MEF, Francis Crowe Community Room,
60 Masonic Street, Northampton, MA

In 2008, millions of Americans joined the political process – many for the first time – to fight for a new kind of politics.
Through one grassroots movement, built from the bottom up, millions of voices called for change and elected President Barack Obama. They proved that ordinary people, together, can achieve extraordinary things.
Those voices enabled a new beginning. But now it's time to make that promise of change a reality.
Through Organizing for America, Americans across the country will continue to organize in their communities and stand with President Obama to bring about a new era of security and prosperity.
The challenges we face can't be solved by one person alone. We need you to get involved.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Take and Eat in South Hadley is getting organized!

From: Charlotte Buijnarowski
Date: Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 8:23 PM

Hello All,
Just a reminder that we will meet tomorrow night 7:00 pm at the Center Church for our next round of organizing. It's time to put the final plans in place for our first meal on October 17th!!
We are still looking for volunteers for all jobs; also, please see the updated chart below for our open coordinator positions.
Looking forward to seeing all interested tomorrow!!
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 6:14 AM
Subject: Take and Eat in South Hadley is getting organized!
Hello All,
You are receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in being part of the ecumenical Take and Eat program in South Hadley and Granby. Several churches, including the Center Congregational Church, the United Methodist Church, the South Hadley Falls Congregational Church, Our Savoir Lutheran Church and the Granby Congregational Church, will be coming together to prepare and deliver meals to homebound members of our community on one weekend day a month.
There have been several meetings recently, which some of you may have participated in, that have brought us several steps forward in getting this effort up and running. I wanted to let you know what we have accomplished, and what is still needed.
Please read the below information, actively solicit coordinators and volunteers from your church, and join us for our
Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 2nd, 7:00pm Center Congregational Church on the common in South Hadley

Take and Eat Logistics
We will be preparing the meals on the third Saturday of each month, in the morning, starting (hopefully) on October 17th. This will be an on-going monthly commitment that we are making to the residents who receive these meals.
The kitchen of the Center Congregational Church will be the primary preparation site. On occasions when this kitchen is unavailable, the Granby Congregational Church kitchen will be used. Any specialized equipment can be transferred from the primary to secondary site.
Each church will contribute $50.00 per month to cover the cost of food and supplies. This amount will be adjusted going forward based on our actual experience. Center Church is applying for membership to Western Mass Food Bank, and will cover the $125.00 fee. The application process takes 6 to 12 months, but once received will provide low- to no-cost food to us.
I have attached a listing of the volunteers identified to date. Please take a look at your information, and send me any updates. Also, please circulate information about the program to others you feel may be interested.
We would love to add more names to this list! Please contact me with name, contact information and task.

We are still looking for additional people to be coordinators for this program. We cannot start without these key people in place.
Coordinator positions are:
Coordinator Role
Overall Coordinator
Program Oversight
Contact for Take and Eat
Coordinate the Coordinators
Training of volunteers

***Charlotte Buijnarowski***
Kitchen Certification
Head Cook
Board of Health regulations
Plan the menus

Work with Shopping Coordinator, Kitchen Staff Coordinator

Direct the food preparation
Cathy Irish
Center Congregational Church


Food Bank application
Collect and mange money
Allan Patriquin
Center Congregational Church
Shopping Coordinator
Work with Head Cook
Maintain shopping list monthly
Coordinate shoppers monthly

Kitchen Staff Coordinator
Confirm kitchen staff monthly
Work with Head Cook
Coordinate food prep and cleanup

Baking Coordinator
Confirm bakers monthly
Provide info on what to bake
Provide packaging materials
Coordinate pick-up / delivery

Bev Pead
United Methodist Church
Packaging Coordinator
Manage inventory of materials
Coordinate packers monthly
Bobbie Ayers
Center Congregational Church
Driving Coordinator
Manage CORI applications
Train drivers on procedures
Maintain route list
Confirm drivers monthly
Bob Judge
Center Congregational Church
Cards Coordinator
Develop Card Template
Update monthly with menu
Coordinate greetings monthly (from children, etc.)
Sarah Smith
Center Congregational Church

Monday, August 17, 2009

Update on "Take and Eat" Program

Posted by Susan Newton, S. Hadley Town Democratic Committee:

From: Allan Patriquin (Center Church)
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2009 10:20:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Take and Eat, Inc...
To: Kathleen Ryan

Hello Kathleen...
Thank you for your reply to the several questions I raised earlier. I have received an application form from Hector Figarella at the Food Bank, which has raised some new questions:
1) Should we apply as an "affiliate" of the Take and Eat program, or as an independent organization? One advantage of affiliating with you is the existence of an established program that can perhaps speed up the approval of our application.
(Kathleen): You will need to apply as an independent - Take and Eat no longer is a member of the Food Bank as our Program does not directly prepare any meals and therefore does not utilize those services. As mentioned in my earlier e-mail, the process is currently not very expedient but don't be frustrated by that as you will reap the benefits once a member.
2) In addition to the several churches that will be participating, the local Democratic Committee has expressed some interest in participating. Would this be a problem in combining religious and non-religious organizations? Is there a requirement that all volunteers must be members of the churches that sponsor the program?
(Kathleen): This is not a concern - we reach out to all who are interested in assisting in this program to feed and do a wellness check on the homebound senior population during the weekend. We don't proselytize to the clients as we extend this service to all, regardless of religious affiliation or not.
3) If the application process takes several months to complete, we would like to begin on Saturday, October 17th, and, if necessary, purchase food from other sources until Food Bank food becomes available. Would you have any recommendations about such other sources?
(Kathleen): The client count in S. Hadley is currently 60 - 65. Based on those numbers, the most cost effective and quality purchases would be through BJ's, Price Rite, Sam's Warehouse, and Costco. If any of the congregants have a connection to some of the local farms - that might be a good resource at this time for veggies/fruits. We certainly appreciate your help as we begin to take flight!
-----Original Message-----
From: Allan Patriquin
Sent: Friday, August 07, 2009 10:17 AM
Subject: application form to the Food Bank...Center Church will pay the $125 membership fee, and I will set up a financial donation arrangement with the local churches to underwrite our ongoing expenses.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Republican: "Block grants get jolt from stimulus aid"

BOSTON - Gov. Deval L. Patrick on Thursday awarded $40.4 million in grants, including $16.5 million for Western Massachusetts, for improving public housing, providing social services and upgrading roads. The governor unveiled federal Community Development Block Grants for communities with populations of 50,000 or less.

Patrick said $31 million came from annual block grant financing and another $9 million from federal stimulus dollars. "By leveraging state and federal recovery funds, we can continue to move our economy forward, put more individuals back to work and fund more projects now and in the future," Patrick said.

The stimulus dollars will go to communities for projects that were turned down for funds last year... The state receives a pot of federal money and then apportions it to cities and towns, which compete for grants.

Amherst, Chester, Greenfield, South Hadley, Ware and West Springfield are among the Western Massachusetts communities that received grants. According to the state, 88 communities applied for grants and 75 received them...

South Hadley netted $800,000 to upgrade two housing units, design a senior center and improve Canal Street...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Vacancies on the Board of Community Action


I serve on the board of Community Action ( Below is a message from the Executive Director, Jane Sanders.

If you know an individual who is qualified for and interested in serving on the Board, I would happy to speak with him or her about this fine organization, which serves South Hadley and every community in Hampshire County.

- Bob Judge


-----Original Message-----
From: Jane Sanders []
Sent: Thursday, August 06, 2009 1:20 PM
To: Linda Ackerman; Penny Davis; Tina Elzeneiny; Elizabeth Evans; Kate Finnegan; jerri higgins; mindy kelly; Dr. Sarah Kemble; evelyn mccoy; Sheila Mammen; Andrew Morehouse; Tony Motyl; Carla Oleska; Laura Reichsman; Maria Tarajano Rodman; Christopher Sikes; Andee Williams; Roseann Martoccia; Tracy Gaudet; Daisy Jimenez; Robert Judge; Susan Mareneck; Wynema Phillips-Horve
Subject: We need your help!

Eight of the 24 seats on Community Action’s Board of Directors will be up for election in late October. These Community Representative slots are reserved for people who have or have had lower incomes, and live in either Hampshire or Franklin County. We will have a separate election in each county and elect four of the candidates in each. Only residents who earn up to 175% of the Federal poverty rate and are 18 or older may vote in the election.

Please think about program participants or anyone in the community who you think would be a good addition to our Board. We’d like to have candidates from all geographic areas of the counties, so please think far and wide. Candidates should be people who can reliably attend one evening meeting every other month. We will reimburse them for child care and travel expenses. The Board meets on the first Wednesday of the month in December, February, April, June, August and October from 6 - 8 pm. We are interested in people who care about our programs, will attend regularly, and will conduct themselves appropriately at meetings. It’s a very informal and friendly group!

You can email me with names, addresses (email or street address) and phone numbers of anyone you’re recommending. We will contact them to invite them to enter to run in the election. It would be great if you can talk to them first to make sure they’re interested. Potential candidates will be asked to attend an information session in late September/early October so they can learn more about the organization and what the Board does.

Having people with lower incomes on our Board is one of the most important ways we ensure that the people we serve have a voice in our programs and policies. We are especially interested in having people of color and people with disabilities as Community Representatives on the Board. Please do your part to make this election a success - thanks!

Monday, August 3, 2009

RE: South Hadley Girls Treatment Program - Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps

Dear Mary:

First, congratulations on the fine fundraiser on June 6. Bill and Lucia Foley, John and Pat Scibak, and Brenda and I enjoyed it very much!

The South Hadley Democratic Town Committee (SHDTC) met on July 16, 2009. Below is an excerpt from the minutes:

"Community Involvement Subcommittee. Having considered a number of organizations and initiatives for community involvement, the Subcommittee endorsed local food programs as the best option for participation by SHDTC members…. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has launched Hunger Champions, a new campaign designed to step up educational programming and enhance the ways in which volunteers can take part… Other community efforts considered by the Subcommittee included the South Hadley Council on Aging, and the Robert F. Kennedy Girls Program, which serves adolescent girls who have been involved in the court system. Information about these and other community organizations will be posted on the SHDTC Blog."

I have put a link to your program at (Scroll down to "Other links of interest"). Please send me any information that you would like us to post there, including any information about volunteer opportunities.

Thanks again for your hospitality and I hope we can find ways to collaborate!

- Bob Judge


South Hadley Democratic Town Committee

From: Mary Rice []
Sent: Friday, May 22, 2009 2:17 PM
To: Bob Judge,Sarah Etelman...
Subject: RE: South Hadley Girls Treatment Program - Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps


Thanks so much. We look forward to working with members of the committee in the future. We are holding a fundraiser on June 6th, 2009 at the Knights of Columbus Castle in Chicopee. I have ½ dozen tickets which I'd like to donate to members of your committee. If anyone is interested, these can picked up at our facility during Mon-Fri. business hours (8-4pm) over the next 2 weeks.

From: Bob Judge []
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2009 10:52 PM
To: Members of the Community Involvement SubCommittee
Cc: Mary Rice; 'Robert Judge'
Subject: South Hadley Girls Treatment Program - Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps


I had a good meeting on Friday afternoon with Mary Rice, the Program Director of the South Hadley Girls Treatment Program, at the program location at 87 Canal St. in S. Hadley.

Mary told me that the program's capacity is sixteen girls, who usually are between 14 and 16 years old. She would welcome volunteers from the South Hadley Town Democratic Committee. She said the timing is good, because she is trying to reach out to the community more than has been done historically.

Mary said the girls have all been in court. Some of the girls are mothers. Many of the girls are from Springfield or Holyoke but they come from across the state. They usually stay there for 3 to 6 months before returning home, sometimes to a foster home. The program delivers psychological services, medical services as needed, and it operates an accredited school in coordination with the S. Hadley schools.

Some of the girls have recently started visiting seniors at Hubert Place, next door, to the benefit of the seniors and themselves.

The staff ratio is one staff per four girls. Mary said we could assist by accompanying the staff on field trips for the girls. Or, we could help by working with the girls with crocheting, which is apparently a popular activity there, as the girls got involved in a project to knit for newborns at Mercy Hospital in Springfield. We could help the girls who work in the kitchen.

Mary said the best times for volunteering, because of the weekday schooling, would be the weekend. She would prefer female volunteers, but there are male staff and men can volunteer, too. To become a volunteer, you must complete an application and pass a criminal background check.

I was impressed by the facility and the atmosphere there. I explained to Mary the process that we are using, wherein each of us is gathering information about a potential community involvement idea. I told Mary that we will then recommend one or more efforts to the full Town Committee, and that I would be back to her after we consider all of the possibilities. She said she would be happy to meet with our sub-committee if we wished.

Below is a story from the December Republican about the Program. Mary said that in response to the story, people and businesses from S. Hadley and the surrounding area contributed generously to the program.

- Bob

Teen girls ask gifts for winter

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


SOUTH HADLEY - Staff at the South Hadley Girls Treatment Program want to make sure the girls in the program are not forgotten this holiday season. Many of the girls do not have families and won't receive the presents that most teenagers receive on the holidays.

To make sure they receive some Christmas cheer, the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps, which runs the program here and at three other sites in the region, has started its "Winter Wish" drive. It seeks new hats, mittens and coats for teenagers who may not have any winter clothes.

It also welcomes CDs, board games, makeup, personal care items and other gifts appropriate for teenagers. "One thing they really like is yarn. It goes fast. They all crochet," said Mary L. Rice, the program's director here.

The girls are playing Santa Claus, themselves, by crocheting baby hats and booties for the Welcome Baby Basket program of the Springfield Infant Toddler Services at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield.

Some of their own requests for Christmas presents are very modest. Fourteen-year-old Brenda just wants a teddy bear. "I like stuffed animals," she said. "(A teddy bear) could be a friend to you."

Seventeen-year-old Rosie, who is nine months pregnant with her second child, a boy, just wants baby clothes. "This is my second baby. I put my kids pretty much before myself," Rosie said.

The youths have been sent to the South Hadley program by the state Department of Youth Services.

"Our students are often the victims of abuse or neglect, were exposed to violence and were generally not supported at home, leading them to paths of self-destruction," Edward P. Kelley, president and chief executive officer of the corps, stated.

Although studies show that most children who hurt others have been hurt themselves, Kelley said the public rarely thinks about the reasons why teens break the law or became unlawful and instead see only the unlawful acts.

Rice said the drive will accept pretty much anything with the exception of used clothing. Donations of presents or money may be dropped off weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the center at 87 Canal St....

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Governor Patrick in Chicopee August 6th

Not trying to overwhelm you with Deval Patrick stuff, as that's really not the point of this blog, but did want to make sure everyone's aware of this event:

Deval Patrick Committee


Governor Patrick will be holding a town hall forum in Chicopee on Thursday, August 6 from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM at the Chicopee Public Library Amphitheater (Main Branch) located on 449 Front Street in Chicopee. In case of rain, the event will be held in the Public Library Community Room.

Keeping to his commitment to encourage civic engagement, Governor Deval Patrick has embarked on his second annual town hall-style meeting tour. All are encouraged to come and talk directly with Governor Patrick about issues they care about.

To RSVP, click here: (Note: you will be required to create an account if you do not already have one on aPebble, our online tool for community organizing.)

Hope to see you there.

The Deval Patrick Committee

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Email from the Deval Patrick Committee

Deval Patrick Committee

Dear Friends,

This week, the Governor participated in a series of announcements that will help us not only endure this economic downturn, but come out better positioned on the other side.

First, I wanted to be sure you saw this very important development regarding the Assembly Square Mall Project in Somerville. Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation have committed more than $65 million in state and federal funds to move the project forward. This project, part of the Massachusetts Recovery Plan, will create thousands of permanent jobs and drive long-term regional economic growth.

Click here to watch the video.
Watch the video of Senator Kerry, Congressman Capuano, Mayor Curtatone, and the Governor, as they announce the funds for the Assembly Square Mall Project.
Massachusetts led the country in job growth in May, and a recent MSNBC and Moody's study concluded that, of the only 23 metro areas in the country that showed a moderation of the recession, two were right here in the Commonwealth. The work of the Governor and the Delegation on projects like the one at Assembly Square is part of the reason why.

Second, be sure to check out the Governor's personal blog post on Blue Mass Group about his launching of the Community Counts initiative in Worcester. Introduced at the end of last month, Communities Count works with areas that have been hit hard by foreclosure and disinvestment during the economic downturn. This particular effort will leverage more than $6 million in federal and state dollars to create jobs and stabilize neighborhoods in the region.

Click here to read more and join the conversation on BMG.

Finally, as a sign of the Governor's and the state's deep commitment to making Massachusetts a global leader in the manufacturing, research and development of clean energy, the Governor attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Vestas Wind Systems. Vestas, one of the world's biggest wind energy companies, is creating a new research center in Hudson, MA.

Click here to read an article on the story in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette:

Patrick helps wind turbine subsidiary start spinning.

These are the kinds of positive efforts occurring across the Commonwealth that will help us not only endure this economic downturn, but come out in a better position on the other side. Please, forward this message to everyone you think might be interested.


Charlotte Golar Richie
Executive Director
Deval Patrick Committee

Please join me to help food support efforts in South Hadley

The "Take and Eat" program provides weekend meals for homebound people in our community. Volunteers are welcome for an ecumenical group comprised of people from several churches (or no church) in South Hadley and Granby, for a one-meal-a-month commitment.

For more information, read the post which contains our letter to Rev. Lori Souder RE our support for food support effort in S. Hadley (below).

If you are interested, there will be an organizational meeting on Thursday, July 30th at 7:00 pm at The Center Church in South Hadley, where people will be organized into jobs which suit their abilities and interests.

Click here to read our letter to Rev. Lori Souder RE our support for food support effort in S. Hadley

Friday, July 17, 2009

Click here > Facts about Hunger in western Massachusetts

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Community Garden Now Open In South Hadley!!

Please see attached flyer advertising GRO South Hadley's Community Garden Project! We are very lucky to have this opportunity to grow fresh vegetables and flowers alongside our neighbors! Gardening plots are limited and are on a first-come-first-served basis, so reserve yours today before they are all gone!! Plots measure 10 feet by 20 feet, and are available for $20.00. For more information email:

Don't forget to forward the attached flyer to other South Hadley residents who may be interested, and feel free to print it out and post it!!

See you in the garden!

Jessica Levy


GRO South Hadley Announces Opening of Community Garden!!

GRO South Hadley encourages local residents to become involved in this fun and healthy new project by growing their own fresh veggies and flowers in one of the limited number of gardening plots available. Individual plots are 10 feet x 20 feet, and are $20.00, however no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Location: Town Farm, Route 47, South Hadley

To reserve your gardening plot contact Jessica Levy at

For more information about the
GRO South Hadley Community Garden Project
please visit our website at,
or contact Larry Dubois or Linda Young at

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. It will be hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough. So let there be no doubt, Healthcare reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.
-President Barack Obama


Dear Activist,

If you have been watching the healthcare reform debate and wondering when you should get involved, the time is now! Even here in Massachusetts, there are several key ways you can become active and have an impact in this debate. Organizing for America - Massachusetts (OFA-MA) is focused on EDUCATION and ACTION as we activate volunteers to support President Obama's priorities of meaningful healthcare reform that guarantees affordable healthcare coverage for ALL Americans, and choice that includes a STRONG public option.

The more knowledge we have about the complex issues involved in national healthcare reform, the more powerful we can be in impacting the debate. OFA-MA has joined with 1199 SEIU, Healthcare for America Now (HCAN) and Doctors for America to provide you with a healthcare reform education opportunity you will not want to miss:

Education and Action
Saturday, July 18
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
SEIU 1199, 150 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester 02125
(Next to the Bayside Expo, near the JFK/UMASS Red Line T Stop)

For more info:

Equip yourself with the tools you need -- including an informed perspective -- to actively work for meaningful healthcare reform. Experts, including people who have been involved in the legislative process, will answer questions such as:

  • What are the different bills being forumulated in Congress? How will they be reconciled? What is the legislative timeline?
  • What are the options for healthcare reform?
  • What is the "public option?" Are there different versions of a public option?
  • Who are the stakeholders and what do they favor/oppose?
  • How will national healthcare reform be financed?
  • What can we do now to organize?

Space is limited! Please sign up here:

If you have questions, send an e-mail to
There is plenty of free parking and the space is handicapped-accessible.

During the campaign, you were part of one of the strongest grassroots movements in history. And now we have an opportunity to impact one of the most important debates in our lifetime. The Massachusetts Congressional delegation, especially those who serve on key committees, needs to hear from you. They must know that we strongly support a public option. The more they hear from us, the firmer they will be and the more likely to take leadership.

In the coming weeks, OFA-MA will collect thousands of signatures on petitions and postcards, and work to educate and mobilize around healthcare reform. You can collect signatures and hand out materials at your local supermarket, farmers market or other location, help us recruit volunteers to collect signatures, or join us when we bring signatures to members of the MA Congressional delegation on July 28. To help us make our voices heard through this signature drive, please write to We will get you materials and guidelines.

Come to the forum on July 18 to learn more about the issue and the evolving organizing strategy - including the National Healthcare Reform Week of Action, beginning July 20.

Thank you for staying involved,

Organizing for America - Massachusetts (OFA-MA)

For more information about OFA-MA, go to: