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Monroe

Making the switch

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

BOSTON — Amid pressure from legislators and upset consumers, state utility regulators have eliminated a 15-year-old rule that required electricity suppliers to recalculate the bills of customers when they switch from their basic service to a competitor. The practice has cost customers, dozens of whom are from western Massachusetts, hundreds of dollars in retroactive charges this winter. “I think that’s great,” said Richard Record, an Easthampton resident who was affected … 0

Neighbors: Paint and Sip awakens my inner artist

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hello neighbor. A group of friends and family gathering together to paint on canvas, while sipping their favorite beverages, has become a national trend. In this area, two of the companies that provide such entertainment — at least the ones I’m most familiar with — are the mobile Wine and Canvas and Paint … 0

Neighbors: Time to be recognized

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hello neighbor. I’m glad to be back, though I couldn’t believe what I saw when I stepped out of my apartment Thursday morning. I thought the days of that white stuff were done — and what little is left would be gone within a week or so. Surprise! This is New England, after … 0

Neighbors: Now’s the time to get your children involved in Shakespeare

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hello, neighbor. Happy New Year! It’s finally here and the days are getting colder. But as I said the other day, it’s also a chance for a new beginning. Has your 7- to-18-year-old been thinking about some William Shakespeare? Well, now’s the time. Young Shakespeare Players East in … 0

No snow? Ski areas have new options

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

HAWLEY — What do you do with 15.5 miles of scenic cross-country ski trails and no snow during a winter holiday week? Why not offer up those twisting, groomed trails to winter “fat biking?” That’s what Lloyd and … 0

Neighbors: Have a happy and healthy New Year

Monday, December 29, 2014

Hello neighbor. We are on the cusp of a new year — another chance for us to get it right. I hope you had a wonderful 2014 and that 2015 is even better, but for those of you who suffered loss or some other type of misfortune this … 0

Neighbors: Don’t be sad, there’s lots more to come

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Hello, neighbor. ’Tis the day after Christmas, and I’ll bet many of you are finding yourselves in the same places you were just a few weeks ago — elbow to elbow with hundreds of others at stores, this time returning the sweater that doesn’t fit or that gift … 0

Neighbors: New Year’s Eve in Orange a good time

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hello neighbor. Not a lot going on this week, at least in terms of public events. I’m sure you will all be plenty busy celebrating the holidays with family and friends, so please everyone have a safe and happy holiday. Now that we’re here, it means New Year’s … 0

Neighbors: Take advantage of technology, but don’t let it rule you

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hello neighbor. I just wanted to finish what I started on Tuesday, if you don’t mind. I seem to be on my soapbox this week, so please bear with me. I guess I’m just filled with the joy of the season and want to share it with you. … 0

Neighbors: Remember the true meaning of the holiday season

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hello neighbor. Here we are — Hanukkah begins today at sundown, there’s only eight days until Christmas Eve and it’s 10 days until the beginning of Kwanzaa. Each holiday means something different to each person or family who celebrates it. We all have our own traditions, as it … 0

Neighbors: Kind acts don’t go unnoticed

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hello, neighbor. I thought I’d share a story about another one of our neighbors putting a smile on someone’s face. Julie, who lives on Wildwood Avenue in Greenfield, said she woke up the other morning to a box … 0

Survey finds too little affordable housing in Franklin County, especially for poorest residents

Monday, December 8, 2014

Since her husband died a year and a half ago, “Marion,” as we’ll call her, has been struggling with how to afford to keep living in their seven-room home in northern Franklin County. Rather than use her savings … 0

Expert: Rural communities need extra help providing affordable homes

Monday, December 8, 2014

With what she called “fairly significant low- and moderate-income” populations and a steadily increasing over-65 population — along with an older stock of overwhelmingly single-family homes — rural communities like those in Franklin County need help in providing affordable housing, a consultant has told regional planners. The quasi-governmental … 0