Retiring Selectman Joseph R. Dean Jr. poses with current board members Arthur 'Skip' Harrington, left, Donald Sommer, Michael Ouellette, Jason Hnatonko and Town Adminstrator Jonathan Butler.
ADAMS, Mass. — Selectman Joseph R. Dean Jr. was lauded for his long service to the town at his next-to-last meeting on the board.
The Wednesday night session was the last televised one he was to be at, so his colleagues, including several former board members spent a few minutes at the end of the meeting to thank the longtime selectman for his efforts.
Dean, 72, joined town government in 1964 through appointment to the Planning Board, after losing his first campaign for office to that very board just months earlier. Through the years, he's rarely been out of service, toting up some three decades on the Board of Selectmen; this term concludes his fourth straight.
He's also served on the Northern Berkshire Solid Waste District, as a firefighter with the Alert Hose Company, on the board of the Adams Ambulance Service and other civic boards and committees. A mechanic, he still operates the business started by his father on West Road; one of his sons is a police officer, the other a teacher.
That service has had a direct affect on others, said his current and former board colleagues. "He was the inspiration for me getting on the board," said Edward Driscoll, a former selectman who followed in Dean's footsteps to the NBSWD board.
"It was such a pleasure working with you," said former Selectwoman Myra Wilk, who called Dean "a great leader."
Selectman Jason Hnatonko thanked Dean for encouraging him to run for office and setting an example not only for him but for his 2-year-old son.
George Haddad said their first meeting wasn't too friendly, but that changed when they met again in 1984 when Haddad was elected to the Selectmen.
"I have to say Mr. Dean's worked extremely hard for this community," said Haddad. "He has always shown extreme love and devotion in helping this town. ... and everything [he's] ever done was done because he felt it was in the best interests of the community."
"I hope the younger people in this community will be inspired to step up and run for these offices."
But Dean's not really stepping down, he's just moving to a new, less demanding position. He's running unopposed on May 3 for town moderator, to replace the retiring Anthony McBride. Chairman Donald Sommer presented Dean with a gift on behalf of the board to help in his new position: A gavel with the inscription "To Joe Dean for your years of service to the town of Adams 2010."
"We're glad you're not leaving office," said Sommmer. "We're glad you're going to be the town moderator."
Dean rapped the gavel a couple times to get the feel. "I couldn't have done it without your help," he told his fellow board members. "It's nice to have friends in high places."
Former Selectmen Edward Driscoll, Myra Wilk and George Haddad all served with Dean.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Little Red Schoolhouse will hold its second annual juried craft and tag sale Saturday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to benefit the Williamstown Cooperative Nursery School.
The event will feature more than 40 crafters and vendors selling a variety of items, from jewelry to clothing to artwork to beauty products, just in time for Mother's Day. Each participant has contributed an item to raffle; tickets will be sold at the event.
If you're looking for a bargain, you can browse several tag sale tables, including the school's own table, which will offer a variety of children's clothing, books and toys, as well as adult clothing, housewares, holiday items and more.
Lunch food also will be sold, and bake sale goodies will be sold for dessert or to bring home.
Bowey the Clown will perform a magic show at 11:30, and will stay after the show for balloon-making; Magic Brushes will provide face painting.
Admission is free. The school is located on Route 7, just south of Route 43. For more information, contact Jennifer Welch at 413-458-9162 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Rebecca Davis
Bowey the Clown will perform a magic show.
Bowey's wife was a big hit painting faces last year.
Know someone who's got a strong commitment to their community, a generous spirit, and has made a significant contribution to Adams, Cheshire or Savoy? You have until May 1 to nominate him or her for the Margery and William Barrett Public Service Award.
Nominations for the award, which was established in 2000, willl be reviewed by a committee of local residents. Criteria for the award include leadership, perseverance and innovation as well as the impact of the nominee’s work on the community. The selected nominee will get to choose a nonprofit organization to receive a cash award of $500 in his or her name.
Applications and previous award winners are available on Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Web site or by calling 413-528-8039.
Next month, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will begin its annual farmers market program, which brings farmers markets to 18 highway service plazas throughout the commonwealth. MassDOT says it's expanded the 10-year-old program from 11 turnpike locations last year to all 18 state highway service plazas this year.
MassDOT invites local farmers to take advantage of free vending space to sell their home-grown produce and made-in-Massachusetts products. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Massachusetts Turnpike service plazas located in Lee (east /west), Blandford (east /west), Ludlow (east /west), Charlton (east /west), Westborough, Framingham and Natick. New this year are service plaza locations on Interstate 95 in Newton, Lexington , Route 128 Beverly, Route 24 Bridgewater (north /south), Route 3 Plymouth and Route 6 Barnstable.
Farmers can sell their goods as long as they do not compete with the businesses that operate within the service plazas. MassDOT also assists in setting up and promoting the markets.
To date, there are farmers already signed up for Charlton East and West, Lee East, Blandford West and Westborough. Local farmers or customers who want more information should contact program coordinator Dave Fenton at email@example.com or 413-572-3171.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Outreach worker Aldona Adams is looking for leaders to represent Mill Street, Hall Street, Maple Street and Linden Street for a recently formed neighborhood organization in the Mill Village Historic District.
The Northern Berkshire Neighbors Program, through the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, recently formed the neighborhood organization, training area outreach workers to help neighborhoods and neighbors come together and learn about area social services and events.
The next neighborhood meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m., at the Williamstown Youth Center, 270 Cole Ave. Lauren Gaherty from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and Williamstown Selectwoman Jane Allen will speak about the prospective bike path that will lead through this neighborhood and surrounding areas. Adams also is looking for ideas that may help beautify the neighborhood, and seeks ideas for fun summer activities.