NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — David York hopes to have his Museum of Dog open by the end of February.
The Planning Board on Monday approved a special permit to allow York to operate a museum in an Industrial 2 zone at 55-59 Union St.
"It's really an art gallery for a lot of dog everything," he said. "Painting, sculptures, video installations and all kinds of other things."
The largely private collection of 180 dog-inspired artworks will also include featured local artists in temporary exhibits.
The collection, currently warehoused in a temperature-controlled facility in Connecticut, will be placed in the 8,000 square-foot former Quinn's Paint & Wallpaper Co. York purchased the property, more recently used as a bar and antiques store, from Todd and Nancy Hebert in September for $220,000.
The plans were drawn up by Vince Guntlow of Guntlow & Associates and York plans to restore the structure back to its original facade. Quinn's main entrance used to face Union Street and had three floors of windows. Much of that has been covered with exterior paneling since at least the 1970s.
"When we started looking at ... it's going to take a long time to do it," he told the board.
The planners main questions dealt with parking and access, particularly plans to have private tours of up to 50. York said he had an agreement, as had Hebert, to use the parking across the street owned by Charles Ransford but did not have the agreement on him. The board approved the museum with conditions that York work with the Building Department on signage and provide the parking document.
York opened Atlanta's first doggy day-care facility and a couple facilities in Texas. He also had been active with animal rescues in the Atlanta area.
He said the response since announcing the museum and the subsequent articles about it has been overwhelming, with almost 18,000 email inquiries.
"This dog art is really crazy right now and this is the perfect spot," York said.
In other business, the board:
• Approved a special permit application for Burnham Gold Real Estate LLC to operate a real estate office at 33 Main St. in the Berkshire Plaza. The office has maximum hours of Monday through Saturday from 10 to 7.
• Continued, again, two old cases of David C. Atwell's application to operate a package store in the old LoPardo's building at 8 River St. and a special permit request from Boon Properties for construction at 40 Eagle St., the former BP station.
• Extended a special permit for Barry Garton to move Brewhaha to the West End Market to Jan. 31, 2019. Garton purchased the historic building in 2007 and the board has continually extended the special permit as Garton has attempted to move his own or another business into the commercial building.
• Approved a sign change for Security Plumbing at 50 Roberts Drive.
Chairman Michael Leary appointed Kyle Hanlon and Lynette Bond to serve as the nominating committee for officers to be elected at next month's meeting. The longtime vice chairman of the board, Paul Hopkins, was elected to the City Council. He is expected to be replaced by former Councilor Lisa Blackmer, whose name will be presented to the council on Tuesday.
"I wish mr. Hopkins the best," Leary said. "He served on this board for many years and I wish him all the best and the City Council, I know, is all the better for having his experience."
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As 2019 draws to a close, you may be anticipating – or have already received – a year-end bonus from your employer. Or you might be receiving a substantial cash gift for the holidays. (If you're really lucky, you might get both.)
You can doubtlessly think of many ways to spend this money right now, but how can you use it to help yourself in the long run?
Here are a few suggestions:
* Pay off some debts. Virtually all of us carry some type of debt, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. For example, your mortgage not only gives you a place to live and a chance to build equity in your home, but the interest payments are typically tax deductible. Other debts, though, such as those on consumer items, are not so positive – you generally can't deduct the interest payments, and the items themselves probably won’t enhance your personal wealth. Plus, the bigger your monthly debt payments, the less you’ll have to invest for your future. So, you might want to use your bonus or monetary gift to pay off, or at least pay down, some of your less productive debts.
The Planning Board on Monday approved Moresi Commercial Investments' request Monday for a change of use to operate mixed occupancy of commercial and residential use in an I-2 zone at 26 Union St.
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There can be several pages involved, particularly at the beginning and end of the school year as grant funded positions are listed, new hires and retirements are posted and non-permanent jobs like coaches and after-school staff are added.
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A number of school districts have canceled after-school programs for Friday: Hoosac Valley Regional; Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter; Mount Greylock Regional School District; and Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (early dismissal, too).
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Charli Cook, 41, died at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield on Sunday, Dec. 1. She'd been hospitalized there since July 11 after what authorities say was a brutal attack by her husband, Michael Cook Sr., at their Chase Avenue home.
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