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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

Faith Matters: Arts, activism and a progressive outlook

Friday, December 25, 2015

Each week at the Bernardston Unitarian Church, we read what we call our “Declaration of Faith.” Not too inclined to kneeling, we stand to say that “We unite to affirm that love is the spirit of this church.” … 0

A glance at the season of giving

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

GREENFIELD — The Salvation Army’s bell-ringing volunteers have been out in all weather, but this month’s unseasonably warm weather rain seems to have dampened donations. Wednesday, with a day’s receipts still to be added and one final day … 0

Vermont pair charged with heroin trafficking after Bernardston arrest

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

BERNARDSTON — Two Vermont residents face heroin charges after a traffic stop for defective license plate lights ended with the seizure of about 1,200 bags of heroin and an attempted escape through a police cruiser window. Both were arraigned Tuesday in Greenfield District Court and held in lieu … 0

WiredWest to form group to negotiate with MBI over broadband

Monday, December 21, 2015

The cooperative trying to bring broadband to dial-up towns, will form a special group to negotiate with the state over differences with how to build the “last-mile” Internet service to rural western Massachusetts towns. The Board of Directors of WiredWest has voted unanimously to appoint representatives from its … 0

Pioneer principal resigns

Monday, December 21, 2015

NORTHFIELD — The principal of Pioneer Valley Regional School, William Wehrli, is leaving. “He made an announcement to the staff today,” said Superintendent Ruth Miller, asked Monday night about Wehrli’s reported resignation. Miller later offered a brief statement: “Mr. Wehrli served the school district for many years, he … 0

Neighbors: GPD officer Marcus Paulin saves another life

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hello neighbor. Well folks, this will be my only column this week because The Recorder doesn’t publish on Christmas Day — the only holiday we don’t. So, have a wonderful holiday and I’ll see you back here in … 0

Kiwanis start new holiday tradition in Bernardston with free pancakes

Saturday, December 19, 2015

BERNARDSTON — The smell of pure maple syrup filled the air at the United Church of Bernardston Saturday morning as residents poured the New England staple on their free pancakes. The meal was sponsored by the Bernardston Kiwanis … 0

Eversource brings carbon awareness to classrooms

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Eversource Energy has invited numerous Franklin County schools to participate in a few of the company’s educational programs to promote awareness about the impacts of carbon in the atmosphere, which contributes to global climate change. Eversource has integrated its programs into eastern Massachusetts schools for the past three … 0

Friends, coworkers remember Bill Pratt: Well-liked town moderator dead at 74

Saturday, December 19, 2015

BERNARDSTON — Longtime resident D. William “Bill” Pratt lost his battle with cancer and died earlier this week at the age of 74. Pratt was a highly regarded citizen and known for his town contributions. A real estate … 0

Neighbors: Stay safe during the holidays

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Hello neighbor. Things are starting to slow down and speed up all at the same time. While there aren’t as many public events between now and New Year’s Eve, everyone is getting ready for their own family celebrations. … 0