|Adams ZBA Avoids 'Oversaturation' of Asian Cuisine
A potential Asian fusion restaurant owner seeking a special permit at Tuesday's Zoning Board of Appeals was upstaged — by another potential Asian fusion restaurant owner just two doors away.
The first was Xing Li, who had applied to operate a restaurant at 131 Columbia St., the former Berkshire County Stove property.
Pittsfield Council Rejects Funds to Start Demolition of JB Paper Site
The City Council rejected a request to add funds to the property demolition budget line Tuesday night, which was eyed to start moving toward securing the JB Paper Company building, which burned earlier this year.
Mayor Linda Tyer put in a request to add $25,000 to the property demolition budget, a budget which the City Council had cut during the budget process by that much. Tyer said the increase would go to performing a hazardous materials assessment and creation of specification for the dem
Gilbane, City Settle On 'Guaranteed Maximum Price' For Taconic Construction
The city and Gilbane Building Company has settled on a guaranteed maximum price for the construction of the new Taconic High School.
The price for construction only is $97,757,373, which is equal to the project established months ago by the state. Now that the bids for the construction are in, Gilbane and the School Building Needs Committee finalized that construction budget, outlining the cost of each item and subcontracts.
North Adams City Council Approves Funds Toward Church Repair
The City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to match a $50,000 state grant to begin emergency repairs to 140-year-old Notre Dame Church.
The emergency preservation grant was awarded by Secretary of State William Galvin, as part of his oversight of the Massachusetts Historic Commission, will be matched with $50,000 from the city's stabilization fund. The stabilization fund has about $970,000 in it.
Alcombright Hopes to Share Trendsetter Award With Community
City Hall is looking to share the love when it comes to the city's recent Berkshire Trendsetters award.
Mayor Richard Alcombright said last week that he and Suzy Helme, the city's event coordinator, are considering ways that local businesses and organizations might host the award.
Pittsfield Fire Now Carrying Narcan
The Fire Department is now equipped with Narcan.
The firefighters are being equipped with the overdose reversing drug through a Massachusetts Department of Public Health grant. All of the engine companies were issued nasal Nalozone - Narcan - on Tuesday morning.
Adams-Cheshire District to Creating Plan to Increase Test Scores
Another year of subpar standardized test scores has administrators in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District seeking ways to improve performance.
"What we need to do is more parent outreach and work with students, teachers and administration because it is going to have to be a broad initiative if we want to be successful because we have to turn around what has been a steady trend for a long time," interim Superintendent Robert Putnam told the School Committee on Monday.
Pittsfield Licensing Board Considering New Processing Fees
The Licensing Board is looking to add on a processing fee for alcohol license holders who make changes mid-year.
The fees would be tacked on to such transactions like changing of hours or changing of managers which are done outside of the annual renewal or up all of the annual renewal fees.
Commission Listens to Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
The gathering was the first of eight listening sessions across the state by Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. The panel included Chevers and fellow Commissioner Ilene Mitchell, an assistant deputy court administrator for Probate and Family Court in Boston; Catherine Madden, project manager of the Opioid Task Force for the Office of the Attorney General, and Abigail Taylor, assistant attorney general for the Child and Youth Protection Unit for the AGO.
Middle East Refugee Plan Outlined to Overflow Pittsfield Crowd
An overly packed library auditorium heard an overview of the organization looking to resettle 50 Syrian and Iraq refugees in the city's plans. But, did not field questions.
The meeting only lasted an hour with more than 300 people, in standing room and overflowing into the back, with Jewish Family Services providing an overview of the program. The plan will bring the 15 or so Arab speaking families from the Middle East to Pittsfield and volunteers and the JFS will work closely with the famili
Unistress Volunteers Build Shelter For Dogs At Sonsini Shelter
There are some cool dogs at the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter thanks to local businesses.
Some 30 Unistress employees were at the volunteer-run shelter building a shelter for the dogs to protect them from the elements. The project allows the dogs to be outside without overheating from the sun which beats down onto the kennels.
End of Session Review: William 'Smitty' Pignatelli
State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli said despite a slow start to a short session, the Legislature was able to make some progress on big issues.
"It was an interesting session. We have two-year legislative sessions and it was a slow start to the session mainly because of the change in leadership in the Senate and we had a lengthy dischord that is still going on about the rules and the joint rules of the Legisture. That slowed our process down a little bit," Pignatelli said.
Annual Fall Run Fundraiser Returns For 35th Year
The rumble of engines echoed through Adams on Sunday morning as more than 1,000 motorcycles queued up at Bowe Field for the 60-mile Fall Run motorcycle ride.
Q&A: Pownal Woman Conquers Appalachian Trail After Detour
Hannah Cochran is a hiker through and through, but she is not a "thru-hiker," not technically, at least not in her opinion.
Others would differ with the Pownal, Vt., resident and Mount Greylock Regional School graduate.
North Adams Recovery Event Hears Voices of Recovery, Pain
The goal of the annual recovery vigil has been to shine a light on a scourge that's affected families and communities across the nation: Addiction.
"I have kept my demons at bay for 13 years and six months," said Rebecca Dodge, recalling her fall into drug abuse in the early 2000s. But many of her friends haven't been as successful, she told the gathering Noel Field Athletic Complex for the Voices of Recovery event on Saturday afternoon.
Lanesborough's First New Firetruck in 20 Years Has Arrived
The Fire Department's first new truck in 20 years has arrived.
On Friday the brand new 2016 Emergency-One Typhoon was delivered to headquarters and will serve as the new frontline vehicle for the volunteer Fire Department. The engine replaces a 29-year-old E-One, which will be sold. The town had stashed some of its free cash for the last three years aside to make a large downpayment and financed the remainder. The truck cost $475,500.
Buddy Walk Unites Families — And Athletes, Too, This Year
That group included the girls soccer team from Westfield High, which had a game scheduled for 1 p.m. against Dalton's Wahconah Regional. Problem was, many of the girls on the Wahconah team are long-time Buddy Walkers, going back to their days as Craneville pupils.
Adams to Test Memorial Building for Mold
The Selectmen tabled a request Wednesday from the Berkshire Arts and Technology Public Charter School to use the former middle school building, which has seen limited use the past few years, because of concerns over mold.
BRTA Considering New Loop Route for North Adams
he Berkshire Regional Transit Authority is considering a new loop in North County as a way to get its riders where they need to go in a faster and cost-neutral manner.
The loop route would hit the Ocean State Job Lots plaza (turnaround), Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Main Street, two stops at Mohawk Forest, Berkshire Medical Center North, and then the reverse.
Adams' Fourth Annual Great Chair Auction Open For Bids
From comic and cartoon characters to paeans to nature, this year's Great Chair Auction offering up some fantastical seating for enjoying — or just viewing.
The annual fundraiser for Youth Center Inc. commenced after an official ribbon cutting Wednesday at the former Simmons Furniture Store on Park Street, now being transformed into work/live space by owners William and Francie Anne Riley.
Village Ambulance Launches Fund Drive at Time of Critical Need
Because of changing trends in its industry, VAS is operating in the red and dipping into its reserves. It hopes the fund drive it kicks off this week will help make for a healthier bottom line.
"I don't think a lot of people in town realize that we are not subsidized by any town organization or any other organization," explained Dr. Erwin Stuebner, the president of the board of directors.
Traffic Commission Sets Rates on Pittsfield Switch to Metered Parking
Parking on North Street will cost $1 an hour as of Nov. 1, pending City Council approval, with the implementation of metered parking.
For the downtown core, the rate for the areas of North, South and Depot streets will be $1 per hour. In a secondary zone, which is the municipal lots and garages, the fees will be 50 cents an hour. And in the future, the areas around Berkshire Medical Center will jump to $3 an hour.
North Adams Windsor Lake Panel Looking at Marketing, Packages
The Windsor Lake Recreation Commission is hoping to come up with new marketing and camping packages that would attract visitors to what they feel is a hidden gem.
"We should be looking at the entire Windsor Lake complex," said Commissioner Nancy Bullett.
Adams Firefighters, Red Cross Install Free Smoke Detectors
Firefighters took to their trucks Tuesday evening not to put out a fire, but to hopefully prevent one by installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
The Fire Department teamed up with the Red Cross to install free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in 12 homes this week through the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign.
North Adams Airport to Replace Fence
The Airport Commission will seek city funds to repair a downed fence.
Airport Manager Bill Greenwald told the commission Tuesday that a portion of the northern fence is in bad shape and partially knocked down.
North Adams Public Library Book Sale This Weekend
The North Adams Public Library's annual book sale returns this weekend with nearly 6,000 titles to select from.
Member of the Library Friends Judy Noel said the book sale has been an annual event for some time now but it is in its seventh year at the St. Elizabeth's Parish Center.
Pittsfield to Welcome Syrian Refugees
Some people can't go home. They are in fear for their lives and all they want to is be productive and happy.
They come from war-torn countries or area wrecked by natural disasters. They come running from prosecution because of their religious or personal believes. They come wanting life, liberty, and happiness and they hope to find that in the city of Pittsfield.
Adams Sets Flat Tax Rate
The town's residential property tax will stay flat and the commercial tax rate will decrease $1.40 per $1,000 valuation.
The Selectmen approved an 112 percent shift for commercial rates on Wednesday night that would keep the residential tax rate near $21.39 per $1,000 valuation and lower the commercial tax to $24.60. This is about a 5.38 percent decrease.
Williamstown Public Safety Group Finds No Option to Combine Police, Fire Facilities
If the Public Safety Building Study Committee has its way, it may not be the Public Safety Building Study Committee much longer.
The panel Tuesday decided to ask the Board of Selectmen to give the committee a new focus: developing a plan for a new police station.
Event-filled Weekend Tested Regional Emergency Managers
This past weekend provided an opportunity for emergency management officials to work countywide.
With a plethora of events bringing thousands of people the Berkshires, the three Regional Emergency Planning Committees pre-planned responses and allocation of resources should there be a mass casualty incident.
BCC, Springfield College Sign Articulation Agreement For Exercise Science
Jeffrey Moulton was approaching graduation and he wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life.
He sat with his advisers multiple times and they urged him to continue his education. He applied and was accepted to Springfield College and there he found the same level of support and "family atmosphere" he had at Berkshire Community College. Moulton graduated BCC with a degree in physical fitness and entered Springfield College's applied exercise science program. Fresh off of getting his Bache
AG: No Open Meeting Law Violation by Williamstown Planning Board
The attorney general's office determined there is no evidence of an Open Meeting Law violation by members of the Planning Board with respect to its deliberations on the Waubeeka Golf Links zoning bylaw earlier this year.
Berkshire Works Job Fair Connects Job Seekers With Open Positions
Hundreds of people looking to advance their careers or get into the workforce browsed through an array of available jobs at the Berkshire Works annual job fair Wednesday.
The annual event had such a demand for employers to showcase their opportunities that Stephanie Hambelton, business service representative for Berkshire Works, said there was a wait list. The Crowne Plaza's space restricted the number of vendors to 66 and there were still employers looking to participate.
Marijuana Dispensary Planned For Former KFC Receives First Approval
The Community Development Board has signed off on the plans to turn the former KFC on East Street into a medical marijuana dispensary.
The board approved the site plan by Happy Valley Compassion Center Tuesday night and the company now needs approvals from the Zoning Board of Appeals and a license from the Department of Public Health.
North Adams' Recovery Rally Focusing on Family, Hope
Grown from a walk and vigil based on a national event, this annual rally will include both those things but also provide space for information booths, speakers, music, food vendors and children's activities. The theme is "Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery" to acknowledge "that we all have a story to tell and a role to play to support recovery."
Williamstown Zoning Board Approves Cable Mills Special Permits
The Zoning Board of Appeals last week approved special permits that will keep the Cable Mills housing project on track to add 14 more housing units.
Phase 1 of the Water Street project — the renovation of the existing mill building — was completed in the spring and is nearly fully occupied, the developer told the ZBA at its Thursday meeting.
Cheshire Town Hall Accepted Into Register Of Historic Places
Town Hall has been accepted into the National Register of Historic Places, which will allow the town to apply for historical restoration grants.
St. Stans to Host Color Run Fundraiser
St. Stanislaus Kostka School will host a "My School Color Run" this weekend to raise funds for the parochial school.
Principal Linda Reardon said the color run is not your standard race or really a race at all, but a chance for the community to get together for a 5k fun run in which participants will be blasted with color.
Kmart Closing in Great Barrington; Marshalls Eyed for Location
The Kmart department store, No. 9146, the only one left in Berkshire County, is slated to close by the end of the year.
Residents Pepper Walmart Developer With Questions at Ward Meeting
If Anton Melchionda, principal with Waterstone Retail, had a manufacturer looking to move to the teens complex of the William Stanley Business Park, he'd build the building. But, he challenged anyone and City Councilor Melissa Mazzeo to find it.
"Based on the economics. It goes back to the dollars it needs because of the mess that was left here. You guys were left with a mess, a toxic mess from people that completely disregarded the community, packed up their bags, put a chain link fence, and
North Adams Recognizes Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Some 43 children are diagnosed with cancer every day. More than 100,000 children under the age of 15 are diagnosed with cancer every year in the United States alone.
The figures are staggering. More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer every day and, while the survival rate is high at 83 percent, more than half of survivors develop health problems related to their treatment.
Adams Parks Commission Talks Field Needs With Lassie League
The Parks Commission welcomed the Lassie League softball league for opening more direct talk about their field use and needs.
Commissioner James Fassell said because of recent communication issues between the commission and the youth softball league, there have been scheduling and field concerns, however, he was glad to see league representation at Monday's meeting.
Emergency Funding Proposed for Notre Dame; St. Francis' Demo to Ramp Up
The City Council next week will be asked to appropriate $50,000 in emergency funding to match a state grant to fix Notre Dame Church.
Mayor Richard Alcombright sought $50,000 from Secretary of State William F. Galvin, who oversees the Massachusetts Historical Commission, to help in stabilizing the rear buttresses of the church. One buttress has partially collapsed and others show mortar weakness.
St. Joe Convent Demolished in Pittsfield
The former convent at St. Joseph's Church was reduced to a pile of rubble on Monday.
The demolition comes six years after the Diocese of Springfield said it had run out of options for the vacant structure and nearly six months after the Community Development Board overrode a recommendation to halt the razing.
Mayors Support Employment of Older Workers
Boulger was joined by representatives from Elder Services of Berkshire County and BerkshireWorks Career Center in North Adams in the morning, where Mayor Richard Alcombright read and signed an official proclamation, and Pittsfield City Hall in the afternoon, where Roberta McCulloch-Dews, on behalf of Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, also read the proclamation that Tyer previously had signed.
Walmart Proposal Draws Curious to Business Park Open Houses
These three open houses follow an event in May focused specifically on the Waterstone Development proposal to site a 190,000 Walmart Supercenter on a challenged lot in the small urban business park near Tyler Street. Another public presentation will be held by Waterstone on Monday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. at Morningside School.
Adams Library to Apply For State Waiver on Funding
The Adams Free Library will have to apply for a waiver in order to keep its state certification because the town has not funded it to the municipal minimum.
Library Director Holli Jayko told the trustees Thursday that the town is $43,000 short of the minimum the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, or MBLC, expects the town to provide.
Williamstown Selectmen Consider Procedure for Resolutions
Selectman Jeffrey Thomas has clarified his objection to a resolution that came before the Board of Selectmen last month and suggested a procedure to deal with similar requests in the future.
Thomas, this past Monday, again emphasized that his decision to vote against a resolution calling for increased access to opioid treatment for North County residents was not about the substance of the resolution.
Adams Looking to Privatize Wastewater Treatment Plant
The town is looking to enter into a public-private partnership agreement to operate the wastewater treatment plant.
Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco told the Selectmen at its Wednesday workshop meeting that by October he would like to send out an request for proposals soliciting bids from private companies interested in running the plant.
Concerns Raised With MassPike Tolling Plan
For 17 years residents in the Berkshires could take the turnpike for six exits before having to pay anything. For many, there was little bother to get an E-Z Pass transponder and rather, just pay for five or six bucks for the rare trip to Boston.
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