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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

Shelburne Falls Village Network online

Thursday, February 11, 2016

SHELBURNE FALLS — A newly formed online group, called the Shelburne Falls Village Network, believes this village of 2,000 residents needs to change and grow — but not at the expense of what makes it special to residents. That’s why several Buckland and Shelburne residents, who want to see future growth coupled with … 0

What’s in a number? Zip code confusion affects Buckland school spending

Thursday, February 11, 2016

BUCKLAND — For years, the question of “which part of Shelburne Falls is in Buckland, which part is in Shelburne” has confused tourists, new residents and the state Registry of Motor Vehicles. Now it may have also skewed another part of Buckland’s financial picture: state calculations used for Buckland school assessments. The Buckland … 0

Heath to explore school changes, including closure, separation from Mohawk

Thursday, January 14, 2016

BUCKLAND — While the Mohawk Trail Regional School District faces rising costs and declining enrollment, one of its smallest member towns is reassessing how best to educate its children and be cost-effective — even if that means taking its elementary school out of the Mohawk District. Town officials … 0

West County Notebook

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Rowe approves all special town meeting spending requests ROWE — Special town meeting voters quickly approved all spending requests Monday night, buying firefighters 20 new pagers, a used vehicle to bring equipment to the scene of a fire or accident, and DVD training materials that will save local … 0

Bridging the gaps of time

Monday, January 11, 2016

SHELBURNE FALLS — I walk across the Iron Bridge at 9 a.m. and once again see something new: ice on the walkway below my feet in the exact shape of the green metal railing. The hills here block … 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

Letter: Trump unworthy

Monday, January 11, 2016

From things he has said, it seems to me that Donald Trump does not care for women or physically handicapped individuals. He is richer than others and seems to believe this makes him better than them. And what really got to me was Trump’s proposal that all Muslims … 1

Shelburne Falls ranger tales recounted in new book

Sunday, January 10, 2016

SHELBURNE FALLS — Some say life begins at 40, and, in a way, a new life began at 42 for Kathleen O’Rourke of Shelburne Falls. After her two sons were grown up and on their own, O’Rourke left … 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

Letter: Mohawk consolidation

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Lark Thwing’s vision for Mohawk is a dream I most certainly share. The west county is poised to be an even more enviable place to live. There’s a quality of life here that is seldom duplicated. Times change and it’s incumbent on us to change as well. With … 0

Apply now for Fred T. Wells Trust scholarships

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Applications for the Fred W. Wells Trust scholarships for the 2016­-2017 academic years are now available. They can be found at high school guidance offices and town administrative offices in Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Deerfield, Gill, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Montague, Northfield, Roe and Shelburne. If … 0

West County Notebook

Monday, January 4, 2016

Christmas tree pickup Friday SHELBURNE FALLS — The Shelburne Highway Department will be picking up discarded Christmas trees on the Shelburne-side of the village on Friday, Dec. 8, starting at 7 a.m. Trees must be curbside by then. Rural residents wishing to dispose of their trees may take … 0