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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

MBI, WiredWest work to settle differences over broadband plan

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Two days after a volatile informational meeting in Greenfield, Massachusetts Broadband Institute officials met with WiredWest executives to resolve their differences over how to build a broadband network throughout unserved, sparsely populated western Massachusetts towns. The MBI is … 0

Letter: Many preachers

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Isn’t it interesting that people who know little and, or, care little about Jesus, love to preach Jesus to the clergy? This is answered in Matthew Chapter 24, where the true Jesus reveals himself amongst many counterfeits ... then and now. The clergy of the true church must … 0

Kiwanis Club to offer free breakfast Saturday

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

BERNARDSTON — The Kiwanis Club will host a free pancake breakfast with Santa Claus at the United Church of Bernardston on Saturday. The club will serve pancakes, maple syrup, sausage, coffee, milk and a variety of juice from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Santa will arrive at 8 a.m. … 0

Jaywalking: Bourbeau rules national amateur billiard event

Monday, December 14, 2015

Does anyone remember County Billiards in Turners Falls? I sure do. It has a decade and a half since the pool hall — which opened in 1991 and was located in the SuperValu Foods (now Food City) parking … 0

Neighbors: Greenfield Cop Cards return after 15 years

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hello neighbor. Greenfield Police Department has announced the long-awaited return of Cop Cards. It’s been 15 years since the last baseball-card-style set came out, and there have been a lot of changes since then. I bet there may … 0

Letter: Changing our currency

Monday, December 14, 2015

I’m writing this letter about our U.S. currency. All of the presidents whose photos are pictured on the bills (except for Abe Lincoln), have one “not so good thing” in common. They were all slave owners ... along with six other presidents as well. Some, actually, while in … 1

State releases school scores trapped in time

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on Wednesday released accountability data for schools and districts. Partly thanks to an alternative standardized test muddying the waters, no area districts advanced or fell. DESE rates schools on a 1-4 … 0

Neighbors: Practice passionate and respectful discourse

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hello neighbor. This is probably a good time of year to remind everyone to please be kind to each other and practice civil discourse, even when you don’t see eye-to-eye on certain issues. We all share this county, this country and this planet, and being kind to each … 0

Letter: Emergency response

Thursday, December 10, 2015

To all the civilians, first responders and hospital staff that helped my wife and adult daughter after their auto accident on Saturday, Nov. 28, on Route 10 in Bernardston, my family and I are forever grateful for your compassion and care. The sheer number of civilians that stopped … 0

Neighbors: Girl Scout Ski, Snowboard and Skate Sale this weekend

Monday, December 7, 2015

Hello neighbor. Each year Girl Scout Troop 40566 holds a Ski, Snowboard and Skate Sale, and this year is no different. There will be a great selection of affordable items, including Alpine skis and boots from entry level … 0