Mass Humanities to Honor Pioneer Valley Man

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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — Mass Humanities has announced that Al Griggs as a recipient of a 2020 Governor's Award in the Humanities. 
The awards event is the organization's major annual fundraiser, and will be held virtually on Sunday, Oct. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m.
For the past two decades, Griggs has worked to enhance the lives of people in the Pioneer Valley through organizational leadership and philanthropy. He served as chairman of the Tuition Management Systems board, which helps individuals and families reduce the student loan debt burden. 
This experience opened his eyes to the disparities of access to higher education. It is also why he has been such a huge champion of the Clemente Course over the years, which Mass Humanities runs in partnership with Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services and UMass Amherst in Springfield. 
Another of Griggs' achievements was as a co-founder of the Valley Gives program, which spotlighted the numerous nonprofits in the Pioneer Valley, helped small organizations enhance their fundraising capabilities in the digital age, and channeled millions of new dollars to the region's nonprofits. He recently completed a six-year term on the Mass Humanities board and is currently chair of the board of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture), and is also a member of the board of the John Hay Estate at the Fells in Newbury, New Hampshire.
"The Humanities have given me a lens to view the world in a different way, especially now in terms of the pandemic and the issues of racism facing our country," Griggs said. "I'm thrilled to be a recipient of a Governor's Award this year. We are living in challenging times and I am thankful that Mass Humanities is doing such important work to help support organizations and individuals as we grapple with the fallout of COVID-19."
Established in 2014, the Governor's Awards in the Humanities recognize individuals for their public actions, grounded in an appreciation of the humanities, to enhance civic life in the Commonwealth. The Mass Humanities Board of Directors selects nominees who are confirmed by Gov. Charlie Baker. 

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Pittsfield Developing Plan for Bicycle Network

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

The first public meeting on the master plan was held Wednesday.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is developing plans to make Pittsfield safer and more accessible to bicycling. 
The first public meeting for the Pittsfield Bicycle Facilities Master Plan was held on Wednesday but the plan has been in the works for the last year or two, said City Planner CJ Hoss.
Though Pittsfield has a few areas with bike lanes or shared road lanes, the city would like to take a more progressive approach with simple roadwork projects or more extensive plans in the future to try and take on more ambitious, safer bike facilities.
"There's a need to take a citywide approach," Hoss said.
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