Letter: Support Pollinator Resolution

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To the Edtor:

I'm greatly encouraged by the citizens in Williamstown who want to make the community more pollinator friendly. Stephen Dravis' article, "Williamstown Resolution Looks to Change Bee-havior" (iBerkshires April 9) reports how bees are a vital natural resource for food production and biodiversity protection.

Bees are disappearing at an alarming rate, as emphasized by Williams College Biology Department Chair Joan Edwards, who spoke at the town's recent Agricultural Commission meeting. Sharing this concern, a number of other communities launched Western MA Pollinator Networks six months ago to expand pollinator safe habitat through education, tours, and collaboration.

Along with Williamstown voters supporting this non-binding resolution at the May town meeting, all North County residents can help advance pollinator-friendly policies in the state legislature.

An Act to Protect Massachusetts Pollinators (H-2113), filed by state Rep. Carolyn Dykema, D-Holliston, advocates common-sense restrictions on neonicotinoid (systemic) pesticides that have been scientifically shown to harm honeybee populations, including contributing to bee colony collapse. This bill now has 135 Democratic and Republican co-sponsors including North County state Rep. Gailanne M. Cariddi.



Though not banning neonics, H-2113 would inform consumers if the plants they buy from retailers have been treated with them. It would also require that only licensed applicators be allowed to apply these pesticides in a residential setting. This is an approach that manufacturers, homeowners and users should be able to live with, if we are serious about stemming the alarming rate of pollinator species decline.

Please contact your legislators, especially Representative Cariddi, chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture and thank her for co-sponsoring the bill. Most important is to urge her to hold a hearing on the H-2113 and pass it favorably out of committee as quickly as possible.

With your help, we can stem bee colony collapse, help preserve our local sources of fruits vegetables, and honey as well as protect our environment for future generations.

Peggy MacLeod
Florence
Western MA Pollinator Networks

 

 

 

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New Williams Inn Opens on Spring Street

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Chef Kevin DeMarco has put together a menu informed by local produce. He is part of leadership team appointed by Waterford Hotel Group, which manages the hotel for Williams College.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The new Williams Inn is positioned to be a catalyst for the town's retail center on Spring Street as well as a bucolic retreat for guests — as exampled by the deer grazing near the patio this week.  
 
"We really want to be an indoor/outdoor experience," said Kevin Hurley, the inn's general manager, during a press preview just days before the hotel's opening on Thursday. "We will see a lot of those features, again with the windows, and just the way the hotel feels is really connecting ourselves to the outside." 
 
The $32 million, 64-room hotel at the bottom of Spring and Latham streets replaces the 100-room original hotel at Field Park that closed on July 31. The older inn, purchased by Williams College in 2014, was considered outdated and energy inefficient for an institution that's committed itself to sustainability. 
 
That commitment can be seen throughout the 58,000 square-foot three-story New England-style structure — from its reclaimed wood to its high-performance facade and solar PV array. 
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