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The Ashfield News
Ashfield, Massachusetts
February 1, 2021     The Ashfield News
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February 1, 2021

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Observer BY ANN BOLTZ Statistics, Facts and Comments January 1—26 ‘ High 47, Low 14 Precipitation 0.98 inches (liquid) Temperature Wind Speed High 27 mph, Avg. 1.9 mph Humidity High 98%, Low 48%, Avg. 81% Full Moon February 27 New Moon February 11 (Bear Swamp Weather Station KMAASHF14) 1 You may have guessed that February’s full moon is commonly known as the Full Snow Moon. Native American cultures “named this moon after the way trees cracked in the cold, or how people had to sit shoulder—to-shoulder around the fire for warmth.” 2 Snowfall: one inch of slush on Jan. 2; 1.5 inches on Jan. 3; flurries on Jan. 5; inches on Jan. 16; flurries' on Jan. 20 ; one inch on Jan. 21. 3 Mycelium 2021 facts: Mushrooms are not plants. “The mushroom is neither vegeta- ble nor animal but somewhere in between, a separate kingdom altogether. They are mostly water and fiber-like plants, and are reproductive organs like fruits, but evolutionarily speaking, they are closer to us on the tree'of life.” (Eugenia Bone) 4 Birds hanging out at my feeders: Blue jays, black-capped chickadees, hairy and downy woodpeckers, white- and red-breasted ‘ nuthatches, tufted titmice, and occasion- ally a male cardinal. Select Board Notes continued from page estimated to cost about $50,000. The board unanimously directed Morse to repair the fire station floor with all haste. Select Board January 19 Costly Property Grievance Chief Beth Bezio provided the Select Board with an updated list of logged actions by her department in response to an on—going property boundary dispute between William Stader and Gregory Shea on Pfersick Road. Bezio’s list included 85 items since 2015 and 23 actions in the current fiscal year. Bezio requested the Select Board to take action because the dispute was a drain on the police and town administrator budgets and that the town has no jurisdiction on the civil matter. The board directed Gougeon to send a letter to both parties advising them to file a lawsuit or pursue mediation. Dysfunctional Board of Health Board of Health member Evelyn Resh expressed her frustration with the board and asked the Select Board to help. Resh noted that one member is not participating and that commu- nication is poor for her, the chair and the health agent. Resh focused much of her concern over the statewide MAVEN database of communicable diseases. She believed that HIPAA compliant privacy was not adequate. The town hired a HIPAA compliant pharma- cist, Carol Kazuba, with CARES Act funding to monitor the database on behalf of the town, but that effort was duplicated ineffi- ciently by the health agent. A Resh said that she would like the town to join the rest of the West County towns and contract a certified public health nurse through the Franklin Regional Council of Governments. Morse reported that she had requested a cost estimate. ackmer BANCE AGENCY, lNC some 1934 I 1147 Mohawk Trail, Shelburne MA 01370 . (413) 625 6527 www.blackmers.com Representing a wide variety of insurers to meet your needs, including: Travelers, NGM, Commerce, Hartford, Peerless, Hanover, Preferred 5 Wanted: Birders willing to join the spring bird count. So far we have two volunteers. We’d love to have many more. (Contact: anniebolt226@gmail.com) Ashfield Winter Almanac: Activity on the Ashfield Lake: Ice Fishermen On the winter weekends when I watch my grandchildren, they want me to drive past the lake to see if it’s frozen yet. They love to walk across and slide on it. On January 10, a Sunday,'I ventured there with them and my youngest daughter, Liz, who was my proxy for ascertaining names of folks to interview, as currently I am unable to venture out on the frozen lake. There were more than two dozen ice fishermen, a half-dozen tents, teens cross-country skiing, and 'skaters and sledders on the lake. ' The focus is on the ice fishermen, who seem to have one thing in common: they love the sport. Take 9-year~old Everett Hubach and his father, Tyler Ciecko. They were fishing with Tyler’s father, Marc. Everett told me ice fishing is his favorite sport. His father proudly ANN BOLTZ Tyler Ciecko and his 5011, Everett H ubach The board noted'that the Select Board has little say over other elected officials who must “run their own boat.” New Senior Services Committee Morse reminded the board of their intention to form a committee to determine what services residents wanted for seniors. The town held a well—att'ended forum in the fall of 2019, when many residents said they were not aware of the services offered by the Senior Center and others expressed an interest in those and additional services to be made available in town. . Olanyk said that expansion of a facility in Shelburne Falls was not the right path, that the establishment of a senior center district may be appropriate, but that Ashfield needed to collect more informatidn on what its residents need. Carter said that he would submit to the board a list of possible candi— dates to participate in a committee — taxpay— ers, users, and residents that are not necessar— ily “hip deep” in the current senior center. EV Charging Station Morse received approval from the board to continue to pursue grant funding for an electric vehicle charging station in Ashfield. She said that funding may be available for the construction, but that the town would have to pay for on—going maintenance and power. EASY MATH RHO SOLUTION nun 7 nannnaun unannnn unnnau <5 FEBRUARY 2021 THE ASHFIELD NEWS 5 With no ice in Northampton this fishing pod came to Ashfield Lake. related that last year Everett caught a 27" pickerel. Tyler said he’s been ice fishing with his father since he was two. Back then, he also fished with his grandfather, though mainly in the Chicopee River. Tyler has caught trout, bass, pickerel, pike and perch. He catches and releases. . Tom Woron, who was fishing with his buddy, Brian Michud, declared that ice fishermen are “definitely a different breed.” Tom said that they cheer for cold weather, much to the dismay of their families, friends, and co-workers. He’s been ice fishing since 1986 and said that it only took him one time . to get hooked. There have been times When he’s been totally mesmerized by the scenery all around him. ‘ In Tom’s words: “Fishing can be exciting. We usually use a device called a tip—up, which rests on top of a hole in the'ice. A shiner for‘ bait is lowered from the tip-up down into the water. When a fish takes the shiner, a flag on the tip-up pops up, signaling that a fish below took the bait. Then you take the tip-up out of the hole and pull the line hand over hand, hopefully ending up pulling a big fish out of COMMENTARY the water up onto the ice. We have sonar fish—finders on which you can see when something is about to grab the lure. That too can be very suspenseful.” Matt Thrower from Charlemont was also there with his two children, Ethan and Emma. He commented that the ice was thick, thus safe, but that the lake Was low. Fishing was slow. He has been ice fishing for six or seven years. For him it’s fun and he thoroughly enjoys being outdoors. Reflections Spring and fall are a tie for my favorite seasons. But if the seasons were in a horse race, there would have to be a photo-finish with winter and summer, for each of the seasons comes bearing its own presents. I see the seasons —- all of my life — with a Celtic imagination that “articulates the inner friendship that embraces nature, divinity, underworld, the human world as one.” (John O’Donohue) A key word there is “friendship.” May you find much to befriend in the‘remainder‘of winter. On Marauders, Whether They Come on Wing or by Foot BY GAIL ABBOTT As he stuffed his cheeks with my blueberries, and boldly ran up my deck stairs, right past me, to take them down into his den store— house, I used to chide the chipmunk. Then I met the wily woodchuck. He is fast and scared of nothing. He happily chews down every new zucchini sprout and disappears. How benign the chipmunk seems now. “Ok, Mr. Chips. I give up. Make yourself at home; Sure take a little sunbath on my deck (at the same place every day.) It’s okay. I can live with you.” As they raucously swooped down in huge gangs to be first to gobble up the‘birdseed I put out, I used to berate the Blue Jays. But after watching on January 6 as ugly human marauders stormed and entered the US. Capitol, the Blue Jays now seem relatively harmless. Moreover, I have come to realize that Blue Jays perform some useful functions within the ecological .web of life. For one thing, if they spy a hawk in a nearby tree or circling the bird feeder area, they scream and dance and warn the other birds, especially the hapless mourn- ing dove, of danger from above. Of course, on the other side of it, you might say, “Hey,_the hawk’s gotta eat, too!” At any rate, jays are also useful in that they bury acorns, the seeds of one of our most valuable trees. These may sprout to new trees or furnish future food for other creatures. Likewise, if the gray fox is coming through, they warn other animals of its presence. (Their loud warning calls also give me the chance to spy one .of my favorite animals). Nothing, no one (including myself) is totally benign. Cute little chipmunks eat bird eggs. Blue Jays attack nests and eggs of other birds. I like the otter, a friend does not. I do not like the beaver. Others love the beaver. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Both in politics and in nature, it’s all relative. Draw your comparisons where you may. People see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe. As my niece would say of travel glitches, “It’s all part of the adventure.” . Locally Owned & Operated - Automatic Fuel Delivery. Above and Below Ground Tanks- Plumbing and Heating Services - Budget Plans Free Estimates . Residential. Commercial Industrial- PROPANE Cass» Anemone! alerts?” HEATING #3 Berkshire Trail West - PO Box 102 - Goshen o MAQOIO32-0102 Tel 413-268-8360 Fax 413-268-0206 oToll Free 800-464-2053 eorgepropane.com Propane Gas Water Heaters Can Provide Twice As Much Hot Water As Electric And SAVE You Up To 50% In Energy Costs! 227804 — VISA ‘A! ".'