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Planners review the proposal of Evergreen Strategies to establish a marijuana shop at the former Friendly's on State Road.

North Adams Planners OK Marijuana Shop, New Businesses

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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The board also approved facade plans for 85 Main St. by MountainOne, which is locating its investment and insurance divisions on the first floor. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A marijuana company has been approved to operate in the former Friendly's Restaurant on State Road. 
The Planning Board on Monday gave the OK to Evergreen Strategies LLC's proposal to develop a licensed marijuana establishment in the vacant 2,200 square-foot building, along with several conditions including disposal and lighting. 
"I don't want to be a bad neighbor, so that when the Price Chopper area gets built out, happy to do it until it's not wanted anymore," said Anthony Parrinello, principal of Evergreen, about maintaining rear lighting. 
The company plans to invest in renovating and rehabilitating the structure both inside and out. The restaurant closed in late 2014 after more than 50 years in the city.  
A few people attended the meeting to register opposition to the establishment, citing concerns over the two nearby schools, the residential area and traffic. 
However, the structure is well outside the school zone and the plaza is in an industrial zone. Evergreen anticipates 30 to 50 vehicles daily, well below the numbers when the restaurant and the grocery were functioning. 
The building will have extensive security and no one under the age of 21 will be allowed inside nor will loitering be allowed. Customers will be able to meet with trained representatives to discuss their conditions and will be limited in their daily supply. 
"To the passerby, the LME will appear as any other retail space," according to the proposal. 
According to the host agreement signed with Mayor Thomas Bernard, the company will provide the city with 3 percent of its gross sales profit and will participate in community outreach events including educational programs. 
"Evergreen is an experienced provider of cannabis for retail sale and is committed to providing unsurpassed service to customers and to those suffering from chronic, debilitating conditions," according to the proposal. The company deals in cannabis in the form of pills, balms, liquids, flowers, concentrates, tinctures, transdermal patches and salves. 
Parrinello, of Stow, was most recently chief executive officer of Temescal Wellness, which opened a medical marijuana location in Pittsfield. 
In other business, the board approved: 
An application for Berkshire Kettlebells to relocate in the Norad Mill at 60 Roberts Drive and operate a strength training gym in an I-1 zone.
• An application of Sarah Raschdorf and Ashley Priester to operate a gift shop and massage therapy business at 65 Main St. They will be open Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• An application of Matthew J. Tatro to open Tres Ninos, a buffet-style taco/burrito restaurant at 20 Marshall St. in the former BrewHaHa space. Tatro also plans to include a bodega section for convenience items and T-shirts, but not tobacco. Hours are Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.
• An application from MountainOne for facade work at 85 Main St. The financial institution is expanding into the east side of the Kimbell Building to locate its investment and insurance divisions close together. The facade will be a continuation of the current facade on the adjacent Hoosac Bank building, which is now MountainOne. 
• An application from Michael Dowling to construct self-storage units at 231 Eagle St. was continued withdrawn without prejudice at the request of the applicant because it will go to the Zoning Board of Appeals and David Valego's application to convert a two-unit property at 84 Washington Ave. into a three-unit dwelling was turned down for not following the proper appeal process. Valego's proposal had been previously rejected in July. 

Tags: marijuana,   MountainOne,   norad mill,   Planning Board,   

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North Adams School Officials Give Superintendent High Marks

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Principal Amy Meehan, left, thanks members of the Dowling family. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The School Committee on Tuesday gave high marks to the superintendent as she completes her third year leading the North Adams Public Schools. 
In their evaluation, committee members gave Barbara Malkas marks of proficient in all but one standard, where they gave her an "exemplary" rating.
The annual evaluation is given through a standardized rubric focusing on instructional leadership, management and operations, family and community engagement and professional culture. Each standard had subcategories that were marked as unsatisfactory, needs improvement, proficient or exemplary. 
Malkas provided the documentation to show what she had been doing to reach the goals she set out last year and on what she was being evaluated. She was offered comments and explanations throughout the hourlong evaluation.
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