NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Lifeguards will be on duty this holiday weekend at Windsor Lake.
The city has contracted with Northern Berkshire Family YMCA to provide lifeguards for the public beach three days a week this summer and on the Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays.
Lifeguards will be on duty from noon to 5 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays beginning on Thursday's holiday.
"It will be a guarded beach during those hours and unguarded at the other times, when it will be swim at your own risk," said Administrative Officer Michael Canales on Wednesday.
The administration had decided against using lifeguards this summer in part because of the difficulty in scheduling them and the general trend of states and municipalities making facilities "use at your own risk." State parks haven't had lifeguards in years and neither do many other local waters, including the city's own Historic Valley Campground at the lake, often known as Fish Pond. Pittsfield, however, still staffs Onota Lake's popular Burbank Park from 10 to 5 on Wednesdays through Sundays through Aug. 18.
While the Windsor Lake Recreation Commission had not lodged opposition to the move, the City Council was decidedly hostile to the idea. The information had come up at a Finance Committee meeting and the committee's chairman, Marie T. Harpin, attempted a financial maneuver during the approval of the fiscal 2020 budget to restore funds for the lifeguards.
Harpin's attempts to cut funds out of two line items for the airport to pressure the Mayor Thomas Bernard to restore the lifeguards succeeded: the mayor agreed to reconsider the idea and look at reserve funds as a possible funding source.
Canales said the local camps that use the public beach bring their own lifeguards — there are more rigorous requirements for camps in this regard. They usually swim during the early part of the week but Canales cautioned that while the camp lifeguards may be on site, the beach is still considered "unguarded" during those times.
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Estate Plans Can Help You Answer Questions About the Future
Submitted by Edward Jones
The word "estate" conjures images of great wealth, which may be one of the reasons so many people don't develop estate plans. After all, they're not rich, so why make the effort? In reality, though, if you have a family, you can probably benefit from estate planning, whatever your asset level. And you may well find that a comprehensive estate plan can help you answer some questions you may find unsettling – or even worrisome.
Here are a few of these questions:
* What will happen to my children? With luck, you (and your co-parent, if you have one) will be alive and well at least until your children reach the age of majority (either 18 or 21, depending on where you live). Nonetheless, you don't want to take any chances, so, as part of your estate plans, you may want to name a guardian to take care of your children if you are not around. You also might want to name a conservator – sometimes called a "guardian of the estate" – to manage any assets your minor children might inherit.
* Will there be a fight over my assets? Without a solid estate plan in place, your assets could be subject to the time-consuming, expensive – and very public – probate process. During probate, your relatives and creditors can gain access to your records, and possibly even challenge your will. But with proper planning, you can maintain your privacy. As one possible element of an estate plan, a living trust allows your property to avoid probate and pass quickly to the beneficiaries you have named.
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