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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

Northfield caucus Feb. 23

Friday, February 12, 2016

NORTHFIELD — It’s time to set the ballot for the annual town election. Northfield will host a nonpartisan caucus Feb. 23. at 6:30 p.m. in Town Hall. At least 25 registered voters need to attend to conduct a floor nomination. There is one open position for the Selectboard, and two open positions each for the Board of Health and Recreation Commission. Nomination forms … 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

Residents encouraged to conduct air tests near pipeline compressor site before construction

Sunday, January 31, 2016

DEERFIELD — If abutters to a proposed natural gas compressor station in Northfield are concerned about what the facility will do to the air they breathe, they’d do well to take note of the current air quality, according … 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

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

Northfielders discuss impacts of revising zoning

Thursday, January 28, 2016

NORTHFIELD — Numerous Main Street home, land and business owners feel that the town should revise its zoning bylaws for clarity, but they worry the changes may impact the aesthetic appeal of its historical New England appearance. Daphne Politis, a municipal planning consultant, led a discussion this week … 0

Pipeline advisory committee requests consultants

Thursday, January 28, 2016

NORTHFIELD — The four member towns of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments Regional Pipeline Advisory Committee have requested that the COG hire a team of consultants to study construction impacts on roads, bridges and other public infrastructure … 0

Researchers to present health hazard findings regarding pipeline stations

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

DEERFIELD — The team of researchers that studied the health effects of a 12,000-horsepower gas pipeline compressor in Minisink, N.Y., will present their findings at Frontier Regional High School this Saturday. The team includes Celia Lewis, Ph.D., Beth … 0

Camp Northfield to host ‘Arctic Blast’ family winter activity day Saturday

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

NORTHFIELD — Camp Northfield Director Jeremy Losier plans to host the first of four Arctic Blast sessions this Saturday, no matter how little or how much snow falls on the hilltop. Arctic Blast was established years ago as a fundraiser to pay for the campground’s utility bills. The … 0

Northfield fire knocked down with neighborly help

Monday, January 25, 2016

NORTHFIELD — A community effort by Northfield residents, EMTs, Highway Department workers and firefighters helped keep a small barn fire on Caldwell Road in check and spare the structure from major damage. Northfield Fire Chief Floyd “Skip” Dunnell … 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

Family-friendly event tonight on skills of nocturnal animals

Friday, January 22, 2016

NORTHFIELD — Do you want to lurk around the forest and learn the skills a nocturnal animal like a porcupine, owl or red fox uses to do the same? Tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Kim Noyes, environmental programming coordinator for Northfield Mountain Environmental and Recreation Center, … 0