North Quabbin Notebook: July 7, 2022

  • Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem will perform at the 1794 Meetinghouse, located at 26 South Main St. in New Salem, on Saturday, July 9, starting at 7:30 p.m. Contributed Photo

Published: 7/6/2022 4:14:04 PM
Modified: 7/6/2022 4:11:26 PM
Friday concerts continue in Orange

ORANGE — The Orange Community Band’s next free concert will be held Friday, July 8, at 7 p.m. at the Butterfield Park bandstand. Concerts will continue on Friday evenings through July 29.

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem show set for Saturday

NEW SALEM — Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem will perform at the 1794 Meetinghouse, located at 26 South Main St., on Saturday, July 9, at 7:30 p.m.

The old-time string band consists of Rani Arbo (fiddle, guitar), Andrew Kinsey (bass, banjo, ukulele), Anand Nayak (electric and acoustic guitars) and Scott Kessel (percussion). The New England-based folk quartet is now in its 20th year.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youth ages 13 to 17, and free for children ages 12 and under. To purchase tickets, or to learn more about the performers or the venue’s COVID-19 protocols, visit

Village Neighbors volunteer
orientation set for July 12

WENDELL — Village Neighbors plans to host a volunteer orientation at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12.

The meeting will be via Zoom and in person at the Wendell Senior Center at 2 Lockes Village Road.

Attendees will learn about the organization and find out about the range of volunteer activities to choose from.

Email or leave a phone message at 413-345-6894, ext. 3, with a contact number to receive a Zoom link and additional information.

Village Neighbors annual meeting set for Aug. 27

WENDELL — Village Neighbors has planned its 2022 annual meeting for the backyard pavilion at Deja Brew Cafe & Pub at 57 Lockes Village Road at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27.

Masks are recommended, but not required. Refreshments will be served.

Board members Mary-Ann Palmieri and Dina Polizzi are up for reelection to two-year terms. You can nominate yourself or another for the Village Neighbors board by emailing by Aug. 1. All nominees will be vetted before the election.

Selectboard to offer tax collector job to Ayer employee

ORANGE — The Selectboard voted unanimously last week to offer the tax collector position to Christina Boudreau, with the job offer going to Damaris Cruz if Town Administrator Gabriele Voelker and Boudreau cannot reach an agreement during salary negotiations.

The Selectboard interviewed Boudreau and Cruz in succession at last week’s meeting and asked each candidate the same slate of questions. Members were impressed with both women and spoke of the dilemma of having to choose between a pair of qualified candidates.

Selectboard member Richard Sheridan said it was “a pretty tough choice,” as both gave great interviews. Clerk Pat Lussier echoed Sheridan’s comments.

“Both candidates are so appealing,” she said.

Vice Chair Tom Smith told the candidates they were “neck and neck” and Chair Jane Peirce said she would “be thrilled to have either of the two of you work for us.” Member Andrew Smith was not at the meeting.

Each member present, however, said they tended to favor Boudreau due to her experience in the field. Gabriele Voelker was authorized to enter into negotiations with Boudreau, who has worked as the assistant treasurer/collector in Ayer for five years. She was previously the principal account clerk in Lunenburg.

Cruz is fluent in Spanish, having grown up in Puerto Rico, and holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Orange takes Dexter Street property

ORANGE — The Selectboard voted unanimously to take by eminent domain a parcel of land at 26 Dexter St.

Town Counsel Donna MacNicol drafted a notice of taking for Selectboard members to sign. Chair Jane Peirce reiterated the point she made at the June Annual Town Meeting, that the timing of the vote is crucial to meet a state deadline for $3 million in revolving loan fund money. The acquisition is critical to sewer and water main work that precedes critical North Main Street improvements.

At the nine-hour, three-night Annual Town Meeting, resident Peter Carter stood up to say he has lived at that address for about five years and that land belongs to a trust of which he is a trustee. He said he received no notification about the acquisition and learned on Facebook about the warrant article. He was disappointed in how the town’s process played out. At last week’s Selectboard meeting, Peirce referred to Carter as “a lovely man” who must be fairly compensated for the land.

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