New Salem

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

About Town: All the region's a stage

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mid-life crises manifest themselves in all kinds of ways. Mine involves wearing elaborate hats, attempting to speak with Southern and Eastern European accents, and learning insiders’ jargon such as “ghost light,” “spike tape” and “merde.” I am late to the theater world, having only started in 2009. By last count, I’ve done 28 plays since then, not including mere readings. They’ve taken me … 0

Save the salamanders: Area expert warns of fungus that may threaten US animals

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Those bright, orange salamanders that hikers spot in summer or fall, especially after a rainstorm, might be in danger. A newly discovered fungus is killing salamanders in western Europe, and scientists are afraid the deadly disease may spread … 0

Shelter from the storm: Western Mass. may be spared impact of big coastal storm

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Most of western Massachusetts could be spared from the winter storm working its way toward the East Coast over the next few days, while eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island could be facing the year’s first big winter wallop. … 0

Neighbors: Spend time exploring our pre-dawn sky: five planets visible to naked eye

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hello neighbor. I’m sure many of you have heard by now that Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can all be seen in the pre-dawn sky until about Feb. 20. I’ve counted up to four of them, I believe anyway, and though I’m not sure which ones I’m … 0

West County, Montague designated as ‘medically underserved’ by feds

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Western Franklin County, along with Montague, have been designated as medically underserved. With less than one full-time physician for every 3,000 residents, western Franklin County together with Montague were recently designated a federal “Health Professional Shortage Area” by the US Department of Health and Human Services and by … 0

Wetmore’s work in ‘70s felt today by fishermen, activists

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Former state Sen. Robert D. Wetmore of Barre — the architect of Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution, which may protect public conservation along the path of the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline — is being remembers as a … 0

Neighbors: Call it what you will, the ‘Wolf Moon’ rises Sunday

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hello neighbor. Good morning everyone! I sent an email out to our precipitation prognosticator Farrah Pomeroy. I’ve lost count of how many dustings we’ve had since she made her prediction for this year’s snowfalls. I’ll let you know on Friday. So far, so good! January’s full moon will … 0

Several local fire departments receive public fire education grants

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Nearly a dozen local fire departments have been awarded public fire education grants by the Baker Administration, including money to work with both classroom teachers and older adults to deliver fire and life safety lessons. The administration announced Wednesday that 228 Massachusetts departments had been awarded Student Awareness … 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

Standardized tests focus of New Salem forum

Monday, January 11, 2016

NEW SALEM — Standardized testing will itself come under scrutiny this week at a public forum Thursday presented by the Swift River School Committee. The testing component of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), the new test, will be the focus of Thursday’s … 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