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From left: Steve Nelson of WiredWest speaks while Eric Nakajima, director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, listens, during a meeting earlier this year at the John Olver Transit Center in Greenfield.

MBI ‘Last Mile’ overseer Nakajima quits

Friday, February 12, 2016

Eric Nakajima, the man who was to have shepherded the build-out of “Last Mile” broadband to most of Western Massachusetts, has stepped down from his job. Nakajima, who visited most of the unserved and underserved hilltowns this fall and winter to talk about their broadband needs, announced Friday he is leaving his post as director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) effective immediately. However, he will be a temporary adviser on broadband issues for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, which oversees MBI, during the transition period. In the first week of February, when Nakajima met in Greenfield with Shelburne and Conway town officials, Nakajima said MBI … 0

Pioneer budget draws crowd, concerns

Friday, February 12, 2016

NORTHFIELD — The Pioneer Valley Regional School District School Committee has raised its proposed budget for next school year by 2.5 percent over this year. After listening to comments from concerned Pioneer employees, parents and other local taxpayers about the prospects of cutting seven teacher’s aides, the committee voted to boost its original … 0

Bernardston gets first Green Community grant

Friday, February 12, 2016

BERNARDSTON — The town has been named a green community, earning it a $131,290 municipal grant from the Baker-Polito administration to fund local clean energy projects. All towns designated as a Green Community from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Department of Resources were required to meet five qualifications before receiving the grant. Each town had to adopt by-right zoning … 0

Bernardston master plan enters final phase

Friday, January 15, 2016

BERNARDSTON — The town is ready to formulate the final phase of its master plan. The plan hasn’t been updated since its original 1975 version, according to the Master Plan Steering Committee Chairman John Lepore, adding that an update should occur every 10 years. The steering committee began … 0

Cash flow chief woe for Pioneer schools

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

NORTHFIELD — Pioneer Valley Regional School District’s Superintendent Ruth Miller just completed her entry-level report and found that each district school is well-respected across the region from academic to extracurricular performance but — like many districts in the … 0

Neighbors: Local musician taken way too soon

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hello neighbor. The Pioneer Valley lost a wonderful musician this past week. Jeff Martell, a folk singer here in the valley for many years, who happened to be one of the major driving forces behind the Green River Festival for about two decades and also worked as Greenfield … 0

Letter: Cosby encounter

Monday, January 11, 2016

My mother and I met Bill Cosby at a local eye clinic over a decade ago. Mother, 90 years of age, began to tell “Dr. Huxtable” about her eye condition. She knew he was an actor, not a doctor, yet because she was a fan, the whole thing … 0

Bernardston man, 84, dies in crash on Mass. Pike

Sunday, January 10, 2016

WEST SPRINGFIELD — A three-vehicle accident on the Massachusetts Turnpike in West Springfield Friday afternoon killed 84-year-old Bernardston resident Richard Tetreault and injured three others. The Massachusetts state police said Tetreault was heading west in his 2001 Ford Ranger when he suffered a medical emergency at a toll … 0

Neighbors: Pioneer Valley Youth Orchestra a great option for young musicians

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hello neighbor. Can you believe Pioneer Valley Youth Orchestra is already in its third season. The orchestra will perform twice this spring in collaboration with Worcester Youth Symphony. The first performance will be on April 3 at Mechanics … 0

Apply now for Fred T. Wells Trust scholarships

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Applications for the Fred W. Wells Trust scholarships for the 2016­-2017 academic years are now available. They can be found at high school guidance offices and town administrative offices in Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Deerfield, Gill, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Montague, Northfield, Roe and Shelburne. If … 0

Neighbors: Only 25 snowfalls to go ’til spring

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hello neighbor. I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year! Well folks, our precipitation prognosticator has made her prediction for winter 2015-2016. Farrah Pomeroy tells me, “One storm down and 25 to go!” Remember, Farrah … 0

North County towns look ahead to 2016

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

NORTH COUNTY — The controversial Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, wider availability of broadband Internet and property tax rates are a few of the topics towns in northern Franklin County will continue to grapple with in 2016. Bernardston Board … 0

Neighbors: Have a happy and safe New Year

Monday, December 28, 2015

Hello neighbor. I’m not going to make any resolutions this year. If I’m going to be honest, I don’t think I’ve followed through with one in years — maybe never. Instead, I’m going to live life the best … 0