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March 16, 2015 - Winter's Curtain Call

As winter takes its final bow, some of us are still waiting for it to make a curtain call.

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February 22, 2015 - The 2015 Meltdown Contest Has Begun!

It’s well past time to starting thinking about spring.  The 11th annual Meltdown has begun again.

The block sits on a wooden pallet that holds a flag.  The flag is simply a marker that shows where the block is in the event it gets completely covered in snow.  The block is connected to an electric clock by a rope.  The clock is plugged into an outlet in the gatehouse on the dam holding back Hammond Pond.  Once the block falls through the ice or the ice floe moves away from the dam, the tension on the cord will pull the plug out of the wall socket and stop the clock.  It’s that straightforward.
 

2015 Meltdown as of 02/08/2015

This year’s fundraiser will benefit the Highland Ambulance Building Fund.  Highland Ambulance, the successor of the Goshen Fire Department ambulance service, was created in 2004 when it combined with the Cummington and Ashfield ambulances services.  Since that time, their two ambulances were housed in the Goshen firehouse.  Plans are now under way to build a new facility in Goshen so Highland Ambulance can continue to serve the towns of Ashfield, Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Plainfield and Williamsburg.

2015 Meltdown as of 02/10/2015
2015 Meltdown as of 02/08/2015

The deadline for ticket submissions is April 1st.  Back in 2012, the block fell through the ice on March 19th – almost two weeks before the deadline.  While I can only do so much to regulate the impact climate change is having on our contest, my sense is that it will be some time before we’ll have open water on Hammond Pond.  Tickets received after April 1st (unless they were postmarked on or before that date) will be returned.  This date is weather dependent and will be irrelevant if the block falls through the ice before the deadline.

Here are some statistics from the past 10 years of Meltdown events to consider as you make your selections:

- The most popular dates were 4/10 (552), 4/12 (542), 4/1 (527), 4/4 (513) and 4/15 (512).

     – The ratio of morning to afternoon picks was 25% and 75% respectively.

     – 73% of all guesses were for dates between April 1st and April 21st (hint, hint).

     – Daylight savings time starts on Sunday, March 8th.  Keep that in mind when making your selection.

The official ends of the previous contests were as follows:

YEAR     DATE     TIME
2014      04/14    11:51 AM
2013      04/16    12:19 PM
2012      03/19     2:14 PM
2011      04/14    12:44 PM
2010     04/02   11:52 AM
2009     04/05   11:02 AM
2008     04/16     3:04 PM
2007     04/21   12:00 Noon
2006      04/01     8:18 PM
2005      04/12     4:47 PM

Other significant dates to consider are as follows:

 – 3/20 at 6:45 PM – First day of Spring (it’ll never go this early)
 – 4/06 at 1:00 PM – First pitch on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium against the Toronto Blue Jays
 – 4/13 at 1:10 PM – First pitch on Opening Day at Citi Field (Mets) in New York.
 – 4/13 at 3:05 PM – First pitch on Opening Day at Fenway Park in Boston against the Washington Nationals.
 – 4/15 at 2:45 AM – Day and time the Titanic sank in 1912.