Common Folk: Folx To The Front

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Common Folk Artist Collective will be hosting a two-night poetry performance and workshop taught by Nisha Patel, City of Edmonton Poet Laureate, as the inaugural Folx to the Front featured artist. 
 
The performance and workshop will be held virtually on March 19 and 20 respectively at 6 P.M. each night.
 
Folx to the Front is an artistic performance series dedicated to promoting the craft and voice of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ creators. 
 
Friday, Mar. 19, Nisha will perform her poetry. She is an award-winning queer poet & artist. She is the City of Edmonton's Poet Laureate, and the 2019 Canadian Individual Slam Champion, and the 2021 Regional Writer in Residence with the Edmonton Public Library. She is a recipient of the Edmonton Artists' Trust Fund Award and the University of Alberta Alumni Award of Excellence. Her debut collection COCONUT is available for preorder with Newest Press.
 
On Saturday, Mar. 20, Nisha will teach a workshop titled "Speak Up!": a workshop focusing on teaching writers from marginalized backgrounds to speak to their challenges and triumphs in the face of systemic injustice. Writers will be encouraged to pen their thoughts on their personal journeys through an emphasis on their lived experiences and poetic futures. 
 
Registration price includes access to both nights' events. Registration is $15 for general admission. Common Folk members are offered a discounted $12 registration fee

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North Adams Council to Review Hydrant Ordinance Next Week

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday referred an ordinance change regarding fire hydrants to the General Government Committee over the originator's protests. 
 
City Councilor Jason LaForest had initially submitted the proposal for the creation of a "Fire Hydrant Division" with a request to refer to his Public Safety Committee but on Tuesday night instead asked it be fast-tracked to publication and a second reading. 
 
The rest of the council balked at taking a shortcut in the process, rejecting the motion and voting 8-1 to send the language to the General Government with only LaForest voting no. 
 
The ordinance relates to issues regarding non-functioning fire hydrants and how information is shared between the Water Department and police dispatch. Two recent fires highlighted problems with the hydrants; officials say about 130 of the 631 hydrants in the city are nonfunctioning in some way. The city has been working for a decade to address faulty hydrants of which nearly half had been dysfunctional back in 2011. 
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