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Adams, Mount Greylock Featured On Boston.com

Staff Reports

A look at Mount Greylock's summit in the winter time.

Boston.com posted an informative article today, shedding some positive light on Adams' efforts to build a resort at the Greylock Glen.

The write-up provides some history of the various developmental plans that have been proposed for the Glen, dating back to the 1950s. Did you know that, in 1980, MGM Grand expressed interest in building a casino in the Glen?

The new project is said to include "a conference center and lodge, 140-site campground, and revamped trail system in the first phase, and possibly later an environmental education and Nordic ski center, and an outdoor performance amphitheater."

The Glen project took a giant step forward last month when state environmental regulators gave Adams the go-ahead to proceed with planning and development.

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Names From the Traveling Wall

Staff Reports

Susan Macksey, formerly of North Adams, sent us some photos of a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, better known as simply  "The Wall."

This particular 250-foot-long traveling replica is called "The Wall That Heals."  It was situated at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.

She sent pictures of the names of five Northern Berkshire men that are engraved on the wall: Peter Foote of North Adams, Russell Roulier of Adams, Tristan Hayes and Francis Bissaillon of Williamstown, and Peter Cook, who is listed under North Adams but was actually from Clarksburg. The Clarksburg VFW Post is named for him.

"Last month, some friends and I rode down to Bethel Woods, N.Y. to see the "Wall That Heals" — the traveling Vietnam War Memorial," Macksey wrote us this weekend. "I'm sorry that they are a little late for Memorial Day but I hope you can use them for your website."

We told her we'd find a way to use them. After all, any day is Memorial Day. So here are the photos she sent:

  From top left clockwise, Francis H. Bissaillon, Peter A. Cook, Peter W. Foote, Tristan W. Hayes and Russell R. Roulier, all casualties of the Vietnam War. For more information about Massachusetts names on the wall, click here.  



 

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Williams Student Dies in Avalanche

Staff Reports

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A Williams College junior was killed when he and other students in the college's Williams-Exeter Programme were caught in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps on Sunday.

According to a letter to the Williams community by President Adam Falk, 20-year-old Henry Lo of Franklin Square, N.Y., fell to his death and his classmate Amy Nolan of Williamstown, also a junior, suffered a blow to her head while hiking near Kandersteg, south of the capital Bern.

Falk wrote:

While walking yesterday, they were hit by an avalanche of snow, ice, and rocks. Henry Lo ’11 was swept to his death, and Amy Nolan ’11 suffered a blow to her head. Swiss rescuers responded quickly, retrieving Henry's body and taking Amy by helicopter to a hospital in Bern. We're told that she never lost consciousness. She was operated on yesterday, and the student who was allowed to visit her today reports that she was talking and smiling. Her parents, Cathy and Jim Nolan, professor of sociology, are now there with her.

There were five other Williams students and two Oxford University students in the party. No one else was injured and the rest of the students were taken back to Oxford, where the program is based. Lo was a math and religion major whom his classmates described as gregarious, hard working, competitive and fun loving.

"At this profoundly sad moment our hearts are first with Henry's family for their sudden and devastating loss," wrote Falk. "No plans have yet been set for any services."

The Swiss Avalanche Institute says an average two dozen people die each year in avalanches there.

For Falk's full letter, click here.

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Pet Food Pantry Seeks Donations

Staff Reports

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.

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Be on the Lookout for Invasive Species

Staff Reports

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), wants boaters to know that they should "check to be sure they aren't giving a free ride to non-native aquatic plants or animals." According to MassWildlife's June newsletter, boats, motors, trailers, fishing equipment, anchors, bait buckets, live wells, swimming and diving gear, and other aquatic equipment can transport aquatic, exotic invasive species between water bodies.

Once established, invasive species can choke waterways, foul intake and discharge structures, lower lakefront property values, impede boating, swimming and fishing, and reduce biodiversity by crowding out native fish, insects, other animals and plants. After they've settled in their new homes, it's nearly impossible to eradicate them.

Last July, invasive zebra mussels were discovered in in Laurel Lake in Lee and Lenox, prompting the City of Pittsfield to coordinate a boat-ramp monitoring program, in an effort to prevent the spread of zebra mussels into its water bodies.

Zebra mussels are small 1-2" D-shaped mussels with alternating light and dark bands. They have a microscopic larval stage and can travel undetected in bait buckets, live wells and cooling water. According to Mass Wildlife, there are no known methods of control for zebra mussels once they've invaded a water body. To prevent an introduction of zebra mussels, boaters must empty all bait buckets, live wells and cooling water on dry land away from the shore.

This year, the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) wants to make boaters aware of new procedures that must be followed for any watercraft to be launched at Berkshire waterbodies determined to be at high or moderate risk for zebra mussel colonization. Anyone launching watercraft at Ashmere Lake, Cheshire Reservoir, Housatonic River, Lake Buel, Lake Garfield, Lake Mansfield, Laurel Lake, Onota Lake, Plunkett Reservoir, Pontoosuc Lake, Prospect Lake, Richmond Pond, Shaw Pond, and Stockbridge Bowl must fill out a Clean Boat Certification Form. The form is available at the boat ramp kiosks, or you can find it here.

For more information on preventing the spread of invasive non-native plants and other organisms, click here.

If you see a zebra mussel in a Massachusetts waterway, report it to Tom Flannery at tom.flannery@state.ma.us, call 617- 626-1250 or visit www.mass.gov/lakesandponds for fact sheets. DCR is seeking volunteers for its Weed Watchers Program; more information can be found here.

(Launching requirements are different in central Massachusetts; click here to find out more  or call the Quabbin Visitors Center at 413- 323-7221).

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