Letter: Vote Shepard for Planning Board

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To the Editor:

I am writing to urge Williamstown residents to vote for Karen Shepard for Planning Board.

Karen, who teaches at Williams and has lived in the town for nearly 30 years, has a progressive vision for Williamstown that includes both economic development and open-space protection. She understands the two are connected, not opposed. She will promote affordable, mixed-income, and multi-family housing, all of which the town desperately needs.

Karen is the sort of person who gets things done. She's also good listener and has a great sense of humor. It's time for a change on the Planning Board, and Karen is exactly the right person to provide it.

Elizabeth Kolbert
Williamstown, Mass.



Tags: election 2017,   endorsement,   town elections,   

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Microcosm Holds Surprising Pollinators' Diversity

By Tor HanseniBerkshires columnist

Note the underwing camouflage gray and the upper-side wing of sky blue for this spring azure on a red maple.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — During May and June at various sites in the Berkshires, close examination of the floral bloom reveals some welcome surprises regarding pollinating insects.
Just pretend to drop down in scale until you are a tiny person, like in "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift, walking among the mushrooms and fleabanes in bold bloom towering above. What a dynamic environment is the microcosm surrounding you with its assorted insect fauna.
Before long you may encounter one of our smallest butterflies, a spring azure (Celastrina ladon) imbibing at red clover, appearing gigantic in reduced scale. Pause for awhile as you may become mesmerized by its stunning overall sky-blue upper wing scales, and become fascinated by its ability to suck up nectar with its uncoiled proboscis. Look for black ants not attacking with their huge powerful jaws, but with "antennae a twitter," tending the butterfly's segmented larva, that in appearance suggests a segmented gum drop. 
Well known in research literature, this association is an expected novelty since like other "blues" that exhibit the same phenomena, spring azure is also a lycaenid, in the family Lycaenidae, wherein a curious and complicated story plays out.
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