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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Williamstown Sets Mid-August Outdoor Town Meeting Date

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — There will not be any football at Williams College's Weston Field this fall.

But there will be some action there this August if the town stays with the current plan for its annual town meeting.
 
On Wednesday, the Select Board approved Town Manager Jason Hoch's proposal for an outdoor town meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m. The planned location will be the college's football field, which has a seating capacity of 1,400 in its permanent bleachers, not counting temporary seating that can be added on the east side of the field.
 
This will allow the town to take advantage of the facility's lights and sound system while maximizing the potential to give attendees an opportunity to participate in a socially distanced manner.
 
The meeting, normally held in mid-May, was postponed in April because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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