ADAMS, Mass. — With Thanksgiving tables now cleared, the Christmas season is here.
Hundreds of people gathered at the town common on Sunday to usher the season in with caroling, carriage rides and a visit from Santa Claus, who lit the town's tree.
Girl Scouts caroling and lines for the horse-drawn carriage (only one carriage this year) began to form at 2 p.m. At 3:30, the Fire Fepartment escorted Santa Claus, who had a long line of children waiting. Led by Santa, the crowd counted down and the town's was lit with thousands of multicolored bulbs. Santa also lit a second tree on Summer Street.
Photos clockwise from top: People pose in front of the tree; Santa arrives; the wagon ride was popular; the tree.
The cupboard is bare again at the Adams Friends of Animals' Pet Food Pantry. The year-old group of volunteers has been providing pet food to families in distress in cooperation with the Berkshire Humane Society.
Board member Roy Thompson said the pantry serves up to a dozen pet owners each week, helping them ensure the four-legged members of their families are fed properly.
But the donations have dropped off even as the need has increased; people on fixed incomes or those out of work are having trouble caring for their pets.
"We run out every week now and when we get it, we get it in small doses," said Thompson of food donations. "We use to give it out every 30 days, now we're considering 60 days."
People can drop off food at 64 Summer St., the Berkshire Visitors Center or at the transfer station, where Thompson works part time.
"What we're finding out from the Berkshire Humane Society is a lot of people are turning in their animals because they don't have the money for food," he said. "They say they don't have time but it comes down to money."
Too often, people don't realize the costs associated with having a pet, said Thompson, especially dogs. "I have a TV show (on Northern Berkshire Community Television) and I tell them, 'don't take an animal unless you can do it.' It's sad, it really is."
Those in need of food can pick it up at 64 Summer St. or at the Berkshire Humane Society on Barker Road in Pittsfield.
For more information about the Adams Friends of Animals can be found here.
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.
ADAMS, Mass. — The Town Clerk's office wants to remind residents that it's time to license your dog.
All puppies age 3 months and older must be licensed, and all dogs over the age of 6 months must have an active rabies vaccination in effect in order to get a license. The town will not issue a license without proof that the dog has received a rabies shot.
Licenses for non-spayed or non-neutered dogs are $20 each; the cost for spayed or neutered dogs is $8 each.
If your dog is newly spayed or neutered, bring a statement from your veterinarian, and you'll be eligible to receive the lower-priced license.
Licenses not purchased by June 15 are subject to a $10 late fee in addition to the cost of the license. To purchase a license, visit the clerk's office at 8 Park St.
Want to avoid a knock on your door, and get a thank-you besides? This Saturday, April 10, the Berkshire Census Partnership in collaboration with the United States Census office, will kickoff of the "March to the Mailbox Campaign" in North Adams and Adams.
The aim of the event, which runs from 11 to 2, is to thank people for participating in the census and to encourage those who haven't done so to "march to the mailbox and mail in your Census form." Balloons, T-shirts, hats and more will be given away.
This is the final campaign for mailing back the census forms before census workers (enumerators) are sent out to knock on doors of non-responding households. The event will be going on in the following locations: Rite-Aid in North Adams; Price Chopper in North Adams, and Val’s Variety Store in Adams.