Happy New Year 2013 to all our friends and neighbors.
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Beth Souza and Bill Stapleton of Amherst won the winter postcard-from-the-greatest-distance contest with their card from Portugal. Gordon and Barbara Freed of Amherst took second place with their card from Iceland. Both received homemade cookies: chocolate chip, peanut butter, molasses, peanut butter blossoms (features a chocolate kiss on top), chocolate with peanut butter chips and oatmeal raisin. First-place winners receive more cookies than second-place finishers.
Postcards received from now until July are entered in the summer contest, with winners receiving tomatoes from the garden. If there is difficulty finding stamps or post offices, cards can be brought back and delivered to the office at 9 East Pleasant St. They still count. Also cards are noted in the column after residents return home. Happy travels.
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Saadya Chevan, the grandson of Janet and Al Chevan of Amherst, was on Northampton High School’s “As Schools Match Wits” team. His grandmother called me to let me know he was on the show Saturday night. He is a sophomore and helps lead the team. Congratulations to him and his teammates on their victory over Williston Northampton.
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Save the date: There will be a bell-ringing ceremony Jan. 1 at 2 p.m. on the Town Common to mark the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Select Board member Jim Wald asks all of us to ring a bell wherever we are at 2 p.m.
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Another save the date: The Grace Episcopal Church will host a unique Jazz Vespers program with the Sister City Jazz Ambassadors Jan. 6 at 5 p.m. The program is a benefit for Craig’s Place, the local homeless shelter at the Baptist Church. It’s on my calendar.