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Ann and John Bartlett, and George and Jackie Haddad with the Adams Selectmen and Town Administrator Jay Green. The Haddad family was honored during the meeting Wednesday night.
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Jay Sheerin, owner of proposed cigar lounge Original Seed, receives his victualer license and updates the board on his progress.

Adams Selectmen Say Farewell to Landmark Red Carpet

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
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Former selectman George Haddad thanks  the town and its government for all the support his family's restaurant has received over the years. 
ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen took care of the usual business at their last open meeting of the year Wednesday night. 
 
They approved a couple common victualer licenses, a facility use request for a ski race at the Greylock Glen, and the United Way's request to put a fundraising sign in front of the Memorial School. 
 
First and foremost on the agenda, however, was the formal recognition of the Haddad family for their nearly 70-year run on Park Street as owners of the Red Carpet Restaurant. George Haddad and his co-owner and sister Ann Haddad Bartlett are retiring at the end of the year after 69 years in business
 
The town literally rolled out a red carpet in the Selectmen's Meeting Room for the Haddads and the board member were effusive in expressing their affection for the entire extended Haddad family and their mixed feelings about seeing the venerable eatery close.
 
"We are delighted that we get to celebrate your retirement, although I think I speak for all of us when I say that we're also sad that we won't have the Red Carpet to go to," Chairwoman Christine Hoyt told the crowd. "I always know how I'm doing when I walk in and Ann or George will ask to have a word. I know all of the politics that are happening in town."
 
Hoyt read the official proclamation presented by the town that recognized them for their commitment and dedication to their customers and the community. The individual members of the board followed that with heartfelt well wishes and thank yous for George and Ann.
 
"I believe strongly that all long lasting businesses are built on friendships, and a business that stays open that long has gained a lot of friends," Selectman Joe Nowak said. "I'm truly one of them. I'm going to miss going to the Red Carpet but I'm happy for you because everybody deserves a retirement."
 
Selectman Rick Blanchard offered, "congratulations on your retirement and I hope it's as successful as your business was. And thank you so much for everything."
 
Vice Chairman James Bush said he was "gonna miss going there in the morning and having my coffee and listening to the scuttlebutt and getting the correct answers. Congratulations and I hope everything is wonderful in your retirement."
 
"Community service comes in many ways, and George of course has given most of his life to community service," Selectman John Duval said. "But all of you, the Bartletts, the Haddads, have all done it and had kids go through the school systems and were athletes and bled Hoosac red. 
 
"Conversations with George ... it was the old way. You'd have disagreements and afterward you'd shake hands and walk away smiling. I have a lot of respect for the advice you've given over the years."
 
 Town Administrator Jay Green said the Haddads had made him welcome in the community. 
 
 "When my wife and I moved to the Berkshires it wasn't long before we discovered the Red Carpet and found out what it meant to the community," he said. "For a person who didn't grow up here, I felt as though I did vicariously through other people because of that community spirit that you have. For my wife and I ... it made us feel at home."
 
Haddad, a former selectman, took his familiar place at the lectern, a place he has occupied during hundreds of meetings, and told the board the part the town played in his family's success.
 
"To be in business 69 years requires a lot of changes to keep up. If you read all the articles about all the changes to the restaurant over the years, that was because of the help of this town. This town and Community Development has been a great asset to us. If you're in business and you need help, this is the place to come," he said. "Over the years, I've heard how you can't do any business in the town. Well let me tell you what ... 69 years. I just want to thank the town for the kind of support they've given us over those years."
 
Bartlett took a different tack as she got personal and a little teary eyed when reflecting back over her life running and working at the restaurant.
 

Anne Bartlett says her brother has been a good partner and that their customers have all been their friends. 
"I can remember when we first were going to go into business ... Frank McBride used to come into the restaurant all the time and he said, 'Never take a partner. It'll never work.' Well I'll tell you, I had one heck of a partner," she said looking back at her brother. "I'm proud that I worked with these people, I'm proud that my brother and I are still friends. This place is awesome, the people in town are awesome, and we are thankful they are all our friends."
 
The siblings have run the restaurant since 1980 when they took it over from their parents James and Ida. It believed to be the longest standing full service family restaurant in Berkshire County.
 
In other business, Arts Advisory Board President Richard Tavelli clued the board in on a new project his team is working on. The board's previous works include art installations along the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, and various projects throughout Adams.
 
Titled "Project Sunflower," the initiative will dovetail with the upcoming Susan B. Anthony Centennial Celebration next year. Tavelli explained the connection.
 
"Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other suffragettes fought a very tough battle in 1867 about [voting] rights in the state of Kansas. After that they decided they would adopt the sunflower as a symbol of their movement. The sunflower happens to be the state flower of the state of Kansas," he said. "We want to encourage people, artists, property owners, and businesses to post images of the sunflower or grow them throughout the community leading up to the three day event in August when the major celebration will take place."
 
2020 will see a yearlong celebration of Susan B. Anthony in recognition of the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. Anthony was born in Adams in 1820.
 
The owner of a proposed cigar lounge was on hand to see his common victualer license approved and also took some time to address the board and update them on his progress.
 
Jay Sheerin intends to open a retail cigar shop and smoking lounge at the former Rascal's Lounge location on North Summer Street. Sheerin said there have been a few hiccups but overall it's been a fairly navigable process.
 
"When we first announced it we heard a lot of the negativity via social media … 'Adams will never allow it,' 'you'll never be able to do business in Adams,' 'don't even bother.' If it was not for the people of the town there is a very good chance we would not have gone through everything," he said. "Jay [Green] and his team have been supportive of everything. Being able to be part of a team with the town, making sure all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed is what is gonna make this business successful. Ultimately the business falls on me but the town has been very very good partner."
 
The cigar lounge will be called Original Seed and Sheerin said he is aiming for a March opening.
 
Robert Tober has officially accepted the job of Department of Public Works director and is expected to start sometime in January. Tober and his wife are currently looking for a place to live in town.
 
Town Hall will close at 12:30 p.m. on both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve and it will be closed on Christmas and New Year's Day.
 
Because of the midweek holidays, the next regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen will be Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m.
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Adams Resource Officer Makes Spirit Week Videos

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Officer Dabrowski has a lot of sports jerseys for Jersey Day. 

ADAMS, Mass. — Police Officer Nicholas Dabrowski spent last week connecting with homebound Hoosac Valley Elementary pupils through a series of daily broadcasts. 

Schools have been closed for two weeks and won't reopen until May because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. But Dabrowski, the school resource officer, wanted to make sure no one missed out on some school spirit. 
 
"Social media has been so negative and I'd just wanted to let the kids know we're thinking of them and give them something to do each day," he said.
 
Dabrowski said although he tends to keep to himself he does have a "goofy side." One night during dinner, his wife encouraged him to utilize this to let the kids know he was thinking about them.
 
"My wife knew that I missed my time at the school," he said. "Much of our dinner conversations are centered around my conversations with the kids at lunch."
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