2015 May

Falls Cable and the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association invite you to join us in Village Voices. Show up, speak up, and have your voices be heard.

On Monday June 8, from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM and again from 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM, Falls Cable will have a video camera set up in the Community Room at the Greenfield Co-Operative Bank located at 33 Bridge Street in Shelburne to record your thoughts on life in the local area. In 5 minutes or less you can say why you love living here or offer suggestions on how things could be improved. Not everyone has the time to attend Board and/or Committee meetings to voice an opinion on an issue they feel strongly about. Village Voices offers an opportunity to be seen and heard.

A compilation video of all comments will be created for broadcast on Falls Cable Channel 17 and to be seen on the Falls Cable web site – and on the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association’s web site

Local boards, committees, organizations, property owners and business owners will be made aware of these broadcasts. We hope they will appreciate having access to valuable feedback from local citizens on life in the Shelburne Falls area.

For more information call James Sullivan 625-8371

This year Ballet Renversé is celebrating its 9th Anniversary in Shelburne Falls, and for the second year in a row is bringing an exciting professional guest artist here to the micaelacommunity. Flamenco dancer Micaela (Michelle Paule), director of Micaela y Fiesta Flamenca of New Orleans, will be in residence May 23-29, culminating in her performance in Ballet Renversé’s 9th Annual Spring Recital. The program, including residency and recital, is entitled “Many Cultures, Diversity in Dance.” Other cultures represented in the recital will include English (Marlboro Morris Men), Irish (dancers from Celtic Heels), and dance interpretations based on Chinese, American, Russian, and European traditions. The performance will take place on May 29th at 6:30 pm at Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School and is free and open to the public.

Micaela is one of New Orleans’ leading flamenco artists. As dancer and director of Fiesta Flamenca, she has performed with the company in concert and college venues throughout Louisiana, at eight Jazz and Heritage Festivals, as a featured performer in flamenco-centered clubs, and at this year’s French Quarter Festival. Fiesta Flamenca is the recipient of a Big Easy Classical Arts Award. Micaela and Ballet Renversé director Karen Shulda have a long artistic association; Micaela collaborated with Ballet Renversé in performances for its New Orleans series “Ballet at the Hit & Run Café,” 2002-2006.

While in residence, Micaela- an experienced teacher as well as dancer- will work with Ballet Renversé dancers, Buckland-Shelburne Elementary and Colrain Central students, and be a resource for Mohawk Trail Regional High School.

Flamenco dancing is rarely seen outside of large cities, so this is a unique opportunity for our schools, for Ballet Renversé, and for the greater community.

This program is supported in part by grants from the local cultural councils of Buckland, Colrain, and Shelburne, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

“Many Cultures, Diversity in Dance” is also sponsored by the following local businesses: Greenfield Savings Bank, Keystone Market, The Optician, The Bridge of Flowers Business Center, and Mayhew Steel.

For more information please visit us on the web at and on the Ballet Renversé facebook page.

The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum will re-open for the 2015 season on Saturday, May 23rd. Visitors will be able to take a fifteen minute ride back in time on the beautifully IMG 0054 Customrestored trolley #10 which was restored to service in 1999. This 116 year old trolley carried freight and passengers on tracks between Shelburne Falls and Colrain until 1926.

The car was built by the Wason Manufacturing company in Springfield, Ma., and was delivered new to Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway and served its namesake towns for 30 years. For 20 years it crossed the Deerfield River on what is now the world famous "Bridge of Flowers". When the trolley company ceased operations in 1926, a local farmer was able to save #10 and for the next 65 years it served as a chicken coop, tool shed and playhouse. Visitors can now ride the restored trolley in the same freight yard where it use to load and unload passengers, apples, mail, milk and other freight a hundred years ago.

The museum's newly remodeled Visitors Center has pictures of the bridge, which was built by the local trolley company, and other local scenes from the trolley era, a display of the restoration process that brought this rare car back to life, a children's corner with wooden and electric toy trains and the Trolley Shop Store with books, magazines and gift items.

The museum also features a caboose that can be explored, and an old fashion pump car that is often available for rides. The museum is operated by volunteers and is open every weekend and holidays from Memorial Day until the end of October from 11 am until 5 pm. Additionally, during July and August, the museum is open from 1 pm until 5 pm on Mondays. Tickets for adults are $4.00, and $2.00 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 and under.

The museum is always looking for new volunteers to join our team in helping to keep over 100 years of magic alive and moving forward. Men and women of all ages and skills are welcomed and training and guidance is provided as needed. Visit for more information.

Tourism U is an ongoing series of free workshops offered by The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) year-round across the Commonwealth.

The next Tourism U session will be:tourismU

When: Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Where: Williams Inn
1090 Main Street, Williamstown

Time: 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. (International Tourism) & 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. (Group Tour Industry)

10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. session

International Tourism - Lesley White, Manager of International and Group Tour Marketing
This session will provide information about what's new in international tourism and how local businesses can prepare for this expanding market.

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. session

Group Tour Industry - Lesley White, Manager of International and Group Tour Marketing
This session will help attendees understand how the group tour market works. The presenter will speak about how local attractions can assess their capacity and readiness for large and small groups of tourists.

RSVP to by Tuesday, May 26th, 2015. Please include your complete contact information (name, role, company, address, telephone number and email address).

The Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association is sponsoring the free “QuickBooks Accounting Series” presented by John Baldwin of Stepping Stone Accounts.
The Third session will be "QuickBooks Reports: Getting the Information You Need from Your QuickBooks System". This session will help you configure your data from QuickBooks into meaningful reports.

Register at:
When: Tuesday May 26, 2015
Time: 9:00 - 10:00 am
Where: Greenfield Savings Bank Conference Room, 58 Bridge Street, Shelburne Falls, MA

Contact John Baldwin with any questions at:

The Lamson & Goodnow Outlet Store Lamsonis very happy to announce it will remain in Shelburne Falls with plans for expansion and extended hours.

Lamson & Goodnow remains committed to the retail base of our Village and the surrounding towns.

So please stop in and tell your friends the Outlet Store is here to stay!

10-5 Monday – Saturday, Sunday Noon – 5 PM
Phone 413-625-2521

The Independent has hired Matt McCloghry as marketing director for the paper, which has been publishing bi-weekly in the community for more than a decade and, with its predecessor, for more than 35 years.

Matt has more than 30 years experience in publishing and business development. He has worked for the past 10 years consulting with small and growing businesses in western Massachusetts.

A graduate of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and Trinity College, Ireland, Matt started his newspaper career as a reporter for Brooks Community Newspapers in Connecticut. No stranger to small town journalism, Matt won four New England Press Association awards and two Society of Professional Journalist honors for his insightful writing and community understanding.

He later worked in New York City as an advertising executive and covered four World Cup challenges for several national and international soccer publications. He purchased the Connecticut and Western Mass. franchises of TravelHost magazine more than15 years ago and rebuilt those publications.

He has spent nearly a decade helping area businesses and also has devoted time to his passion of soccer by coaching the girls’ program at Smith Academy in Hatfield for the past five years.

He comes to us as director of marketing with goals and objectives of growing The Independent’s advertising and circulation base to best serve the business community and our readership.

The Mohawk Trail Association, one of 16 Regional Tourism Councils in the state, awarded our very own Executive Director Mary Vilbon with a Hospitality Award at the 2015 FullSizeRenderTourism Day at the state house last week.

Vilbon received her award along with others that were nominated by each by the Regional Tourism Councils. Mary was honored for excellence in tourism for welcoming leisure travelers and bus tour groups, coordinating iconic annual events, and her outstanding efforts in film tourism. “I am very grateful to the Mohawk Trail Association for their ongoing support of the work that we do promoting the Shelburne Falls area.”

In this 28th year of The Village Information Center we the volunteers who have kept open the doors of the information center are requesting that the business community become involved. The information center has been open Monday thru Saturday 10 to 4 (in two three hour slots) and Sunday 12 to 3 from May 1st thru October 31st and for special community events, such as the Road Race and Art Walks. It has become increasingly difficult for those who have volunteered over the last 27 years to fill 3 hour slots so we are reaching out to you for assistance. During the 2014 season there were several 3 hour time slots that could not be filled and the center was closed. This season we have already had to remain closed on one Sunday.

In 2014 over 9,500 visitors signed the guest book and our community has become known as a welcoming community for tourists and shoppers. The center provides information about local businesses located in all of the towns, directs visitors to businesses and attractions, as well as providing public restrooms.

Stop by the center and meet our volunteers, they can answer any questions you have about the center and volunteering. It is fun meeting people and sharing our knowledge about our unique area. We have found that folks do return, bring their friends and return to purchase products that come from our area.

Thank you

Marion Taylor, Paul Gifford, Sue Rice, Sue Roberts, Cheryl Faufaw, Tom Massa & Nikki Welsh

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