Teen Pilot on Trip Around Country Stops In North Adams
photo courtesy of Trevor Gilman, a member of the Airport Commission
California teen Taylor De Ley stopped by the North Adams airport on Monday on his trip around the United States in a plane he built with his father.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Many planes fly in and out of the Harriman and West Airport but the pilot of one of those on Monday had an interesting story. Taylor De Ley, a 17-year-old with high ambitions, stopped in for a brief visit on his trip around the country.
The California pilot is promoting teenage aviation and hitting all four corners of the country, starting with Harbor, Wash., then up to northern Maine, down to Key West, Fla., and then back home to California. Additionally, he is flying a plane that he built with his father.
De Ley reeled in some sponsorship and has been updating his Facebook fan page with photos and notes from his trip.
De Ley only dropped in for some gas and food before taking back off for Maine.
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Airport Hosting Big-Screen Movie Night
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Remember movie nights at Coury's Drive-in, or its sister the Hoosac Drive-in just south of the border?
Ahh, those days are long gone for the city. Or are they?
Area residents can get a taste of what it's like to watch a movie under the stars on Friday, Aug. 5, when "The Great Waldo Pepper" screens on what Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is touting as the "largest movie screen in the Berkshires": the airplane hanger at Harriman & West Airport.
The museum is sponsoring the 1975 Robert Redford film on the 90-by-22-foot airplane hanger door. Seating will be on the tarmac, so moviegoers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.
"The Great Waldo Pepper" appropriately features then-hearthrob Redford as a World War I flying ace turned 1920s barnstormer and offers up some daring pre-CGI flying feats (all on a $5 million budget!).
To get in the mood, the evening will begin with a display of planes and antique cars. The first 100 kids will receive balsa-wood gliders and will be able to compete for prizes for the longest flight, best acrobatics and worst crash.
Local vendors will be selling hot dogs, hamburgers, snacks, soft drinks, beer and wine, and, of course, popcorn.
"It's not quite a drive-in since you can't watch the film from your car, but it's close," said Joseph Thompson, director of Mass MoCA. "Pack your cars with family, friends, chairs and blankets, see a spectacular film under the stars, and check out the airport scene."
Gates open at 7; a selection of flying cartoons begins at 8:15 and the main feature starts just after 8:30.
Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for kids; or load up the car for a special price of $14. Tickets are available only at the door.
In case of rain, the film and all activities will be moved to Sunday, Aug. 7.
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Pocket Park Restored on Main Street
An unnamed volunteer, left, Barbara May and Kait Cornell look over plans for the park. Behind them is Lorraine Maloney, in red.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — On Saturday morning, if you drove down Main Street or past the post office you probably noticed a lot of activity going on at the corner of Main and Ashland streets.
A local group, Develop North Adams, and volunteers were hard at work rejuvenating a pocket park for the whole community to enjoy.
Coordinators Glenn Maloney and Kait Cornell worked for three months to plan the day. With the help of donors and volunteers, in the span of one day they transformed what had been a plot of overgrown bushes back into an inviting urban gathering place complete with chess table.
Why? "We realized that rejuvenating the life in our downtown was imperative," said Maloney. "As a community we need to have simple reasons to come together, we need to have a reason and a place to interact and get to know one another. If we are going to grow as a community we need to have a sense of community and make an attempt to know and like each other. We have a beautiful city center, a perfect place to walk, sit, chat.
"We also hope by learning to gather we could begin to support our local small businesses and shops better. We talked about benches and flowers. People came to me wanting to donate money for benches; we then realized that there was a huge amount of interest in the project."
A number of benches have been installed around the downtown in the past year and a pocket park created on Eagle Street in a lot left vacant after the Tropical Gardens pet shop building burned.
DNA has plans to continue, Maloney said.
"We have a growing base of muscle. MCLA's Community Day of Service is a part of the Greenspace Initiative, helping to maintain the spaces. Pat Wol has joined our group and will be working with the veterans agencies to put together a plan to better maintain the veteran's park. She helped us discover an unused park improvement donation fund; there will be some improvements coming to the veteran's park very soon."
Maloney said as the details are finished and the last bench installed downtown for this year, the group will begin to identify to the next project, possibly small quick projects and maybe one larger project.
"Our goal is simple: Get people to come together, give whatever it is they can give, be it money, time or positive energy and use it to make our community a bit prettier."
If you'd like to get involved, donate or just keep tabs on the group you can visit the DNA website.
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Musical Summer in North Adams
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Music's in the air this summer in the city as two free concert series — downtown and lakeside — offer up live music.
Party in the Park at Noel Field kicks off Thursday night, July 7, from 6 to 8 with the touring act Who Are You, a tribute show offering covers of the Who's greatest hits. Upcoming at the free concerts are Harbour Grace, Rock Hounds, Tony Lee Thomas, Loose Change, Sirsy, Grind and, wrapping up the series on Aug. 25, Whiskey City.
This is the second year for Party in the Park, which has expanded to six nights, covering Thursdays in July and August. The evening includes classic cars and lots of food vendors.
It is being presented by the city, WUPE (Whoopee Radio), WNAW 1230AM, Bedard Brothers and Greylock Federal Credit Union.
The free six-week concert series sponsored by the city at Windsor Lake (Fish Pond) started on June 29 (with the Drury band) and will continue on Wednesday evenings through Aug. 3 at the pavilion. This Wednesday is local favorite Champagne Jam offering up an eclectic repertoire of modern country, rock'n' roll and big band; check our Facebook page for weekly updates.
The music begins at 7 p.m. so bring a lawn chair and sit by the lake or under a tree and enjoy the scenery.
Editor's Note: The North Adams Public Library also offers a summer concert series, Music at the Mansion, on the library lawn at 6:30. This Friday features John Root with "The Golden Years." Check the library's website for upcoming concerts.
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Land Auction Unloads City-Owned Tracts
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city unloaded some excess land on Wednesday night as bidders blew through some 50 lots in about 90 minutes.
People packed into the City Council Chambers to try for vacant lots large and small that had been taken by the city over the years for back taxes. Although many had once had houses on them, only a few now fell under the zoning requirements for new construction.
Quite a few parcels went to single bidders at the $500 starting price, more than a few found no takers and a handful sparked some spirited bidding wars.
Michael Nuvallie was battling a woman a few seats away from him for a plot on Galvin Road assessed at $32,600. Egged on by the auctioneer (who frequently urged "you came here to buy this, don't lose it now!") the price hit around $11,000 or $12,000.
That's when Richard Pellerin decided it was time to jump in — and the woman dropped out, shaking her head at the price. Pellerin and Nuvallie went toe-to-toe but Pellerin emerged victorious at $20,000 — one of the highest, if not the highest sale in the auction. Pellerin said his strategy was to bid later "to show I was serious."
Michael Nuvallie, second from left, was bidding against the woman in white for a Galvin Road plot until Richard Pellerin and John Sherman, in the photo at right, jumped in.
"That was the best lot in the auction," said Nuvallie. "That was still a building lot."
It was a building lot Pellerin didn't want anybody building on, he said. The parcel sits between his land and his neighbor, John Sherman, so they decided to partner and split the price and the lot down the middle.
"I don't want anymore neighbors," said Pellerin, as Sherman joked, "I'm close enough." Sherman needed more space to build a garage, to which Pellerin has no objection — there'll still be space between them.
Most of the bidders seemed to be abuttors looking to increase their yards. Jason Griffin and Julia Budway were eyeing a lot on Tremont Street that would significantly expand their property. But they walked away empty handed when someone else with more money in their pockets liked it, too.
The lots not sold will be rolled into the next round of tax takings, probably next year, said city Assessor Ross Vivori on Thursday. Collar City Auctions and Realty Management Inc. of Albany, N.Y., which ran the auction, was expected to have the final numbers of the sale by Tuesday.
"I think everyone who attended and got what they wanted, walked away happy," he said.
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