Charlemont

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

Neighbors: 25th annual Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest seeks entries

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hello neighbor. Well folks, it’s that time again. The 25th annual Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest has begun, and Friends of the Greenfield Public Library are looking for poems from you. The event is open to all Franklin County residents and students. You can submit up to three poems. The deadline is March 7, … 0

Mohawk budget up 3.5 percent; towns’ shares rise 6.6 percent

Monday, February 8, 2016

BUCKLAND — Mohawk’s below-level-services budget is going up 3.5 percent, but member towns will see an overall 6.6 percent increase in next year’s $19 million budget proposal. The Mohawk Trail Regional School District Committee will hold its public hearing on the fiscal year 2017 budget proposal this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Mohawk … 0

Rowe hears on costs to rejoin Mohawk

Monday, February 1, 2016

ROWE — Town boards and School Committee members met Monday morning with Superintendent of Schools Michael Buoniconti and School Business Manager Michael Kociela to go over preliminary financial estimates on what it might cost for Rowe to join … 0

West County Notebook

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mohawk sets policy for school collaborations BUCKLAND — To encourage Mohawk Trail Regional School District schools to work together on educational programs, the School Committee has adopted a policy for how communities and educators will proceed: First, they must have open meetings that allow input from all affected … 0

MBI to meet with cable towns on broadband expansion options

Friday, January 29, 2016

Over the next few weeks, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute will meet with officials in towns with partial broadband access to talk about “last mile” broadband options through Comcast Cable. The Franklin County towns with partial cable access through Comcast include Buckland, Conway, Northfield and Shelburne. MBI has set … 0

Mohawk towns struggle with school costs

Friday, January 29, 2016

BUCKLAND — Faced with rising school costs and the urging of town officials to hold the school budget to a 2½ percent increase, the Mohawk Trail Regional School Committee unanimously agreed to form a Strategic Planning Steering Committee to come up with a three- to five-year strategic plan … 0

Neighbors: Stone Soup Cafe celebrates four years; attracts people from all walks

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hello neighbor. Stone Soup Cafe is celebrating its fourth year this year. The unique, pay-as-you-can community meal, which is served at All Souls Church in Greenfield every Saturday at noon. On Monday, Stone Soup Cafe will be the … 0

Pittsfield Rep. won’t seek Downing’s state Senate seat

Thursday, January 28, 2016

State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvoir of Pittsfield said Thursday she plans to forgo a bid to replace Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, who announced he won’t be seeking re-election in November, running instead for re-election to her House seat. That leaves Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, the Lenox Democrat who’s considering … 0

Downing’s exit piques pair’s interest

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Two Berkshire County Democrats say they’re looking at state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing’s announcement that he won’t seek a sixth term in this fall’s elections not only as a tremendous loss for his Western Massachusetts constituents but also … 0

Area towns get food safety grants

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In response to the national push to increase food safety, seven local towns have been awarded federal grants to protect consumers. Buckland, Charlemont, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Leyden and Monroe will share $65,000 a year federal grant for five years to support improvements in food inspection and education. The … 0

Area residents react to dodging big storm

Sunday, January 24, 2016

After Winter Storm Jonas paralyzed much of the East Coast, western Massachusetts residents were thankful for clear, sunny skies much of this weekend. “I thought it was strange how the storm missed us,” said Daniel Gobillot of Turners … 0

West County Notebook

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Mohawk budget meetings planned BUCKLAND — The Mohawk Trail Regional School District Committee will hold a second full meeting this month, on Wednesday, Jan. 27, to discuss its $19 million budget proposal for the Fiscal Year that begins in July. While the budget proposal has been pared down … 0