The COOL Factor

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On Wednesday, July 5th, the Williamstown COOL (CO2 Lowering) Committee and Images Cinema are co-sponsoring a Community Conversation in connection with "An Inconvenient Truth," the global warming documentary starring Al Gore. The discussion will take place at Images from 6:05 - 7:00 p.m and will be hosted by Betsy Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change; Nancy Nylen, Associate Director of the Center for Ecological Technology (CET); and other members of the COOL Committee. "We are finding that many people who see the film are concerned and want to take immediate positive action," Nylen said. "We are also finding that they want to talk about what they've seen and heard-because it has such far-reaching implications at home and across the globe. The 'Community Conversation' is an opportunity to learn from each other about positive actions that we can take on the local level and beyond." On Wednesday, July 12 at 6:30 at the Milne Public Library, the COOL committee is sponsoring a workshop to help people save energy in their homes. The Town of Williamstown received a grant to purchase "Kill-a-watt" meters that individuals can check out of the library. Mike Tillou will lead the workshop, teaching people how to use the meters to learn how much their appliances and electronic devices are using energy-even when they're turned off-and what to do about it. CO2 emissions attributed to burning fossil fuels for electricity, transportation and other energy use are the major cause of climate change. Williamstown is a member of Cities for Climate Protection. The town has pledged to reduce its emissions by 10 percent by 2010. "An Inconvenient Truth" is playing at Images through Thursday, July 6th. For more information, contact Wendy Penner at wendypenner@hotmail.com or Sandra Thomas at sandra@imagescinema.org .
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Flag Meant to Represent Inclusion Sparks Debate in Williamstown

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — One of the authors of a proposed bylaw amendment to allow the display of the Progress Pride on town flag poles said he welcomes more dialogue about the proposal.
 
"It's been a good learning experience through all of this," Mount Greylock Regional School sophomore Jack Uhas said last week.
 
"Any attempt to hinder a conversation in our community would be disappointing to me. I'm excited to hear what people have to say."
 
Uhas is the vice president of the middle-high school's Gender Sexuality Alliance, which developed the bylaw proposal that will be before Thursday's annual town meeting at Mount Greylock.
 
The advocacy group has been talking for some time about how to foster a public display of support for the LGBTQ-plus community.
 
"Last [school] year, we started thinking of ways we could make an impact in the wider community beyond Mount Greylock," Uhas said. "We talked about doing something like painting a crosswalk like they do in other communities.
 
"[Select Board member Randal Fippinger], who was the father of the GSA president last year, came in and talked to us. And, apparently, there were some Department of Transportation regulations that meant it wasn't feasible [to paint a crosswalk]. We pivoted to other strategies."
 
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