Talkback

Farrell is not coming off well here and personifying the bullying and blackmail that Berkshire Gas is engaging in. Being against the pipeline because of its impacts on global warming is the very definition of caring about families and local businesses - there is no dispute among anyone that drilling for natural gas increases greenhouse gas emissions, and so how is that "eco-terrorism?" Environment aside, as forced investors in this project we also don't appreciate being made to pay for infrastructure that will only increase private profits without guaranteeing any rate decreases here - show me somewhere in the country where that has actually happened. No smart investor would put their money towards such a doubtful ROI. And what kind of investor puts all their eggs in one basket anyway by making us even MORE reliant on only one source of fuel? That's stupid! No, local business would grow more here if we took that tariff and put it towards subsidizing solar. This isn't about personal agendas, this is about making thoughtful (and not desperate/panic-mode a la Berkshire Gas) decisions about our long-term needs, especially when so much of OUR $ is on the line. Finally, I'd love for Farrell to explain how they can justify building a 2.2 bcf/d pipeline when NESCOE says we only need .7 bcf/d - come on buddy, we're not idiots. ...(full comment)

Berkshire Gas rep. makes case for pipeline

With Greenfield taxes being so significantly higher than surrounding towns, I really don't understand how it can't come up with $4000 or so to replace what they cut down (maybe cut the overly zealous arborist's budget??). When you walk around old historic towns, part of their charm is their big old trees - and they tend to have sidewalks and I don't hear of tons of people dying because of branches. There must be ways to fix sidewalks without cutting everything down - sidewalks and trees go hand in hand, making walking more enjoyable. It may be cheaper to clear cut than actually think, but DPW is not serving the town well in the long run this way. ...(full comment)

Greenfield trees coming down faster than being planted

Pieridae has an application before the DOE for export: published in the Federal Register on Dec. 10 2014. Reading in related documents states that "pipeline and fossil fuel companies" will make 18 QUADRILLION DOLLARS from the export of LNG from that facility. THIS IS AN EXPORT pipeline: there will NEVER be any benefit whatsoever to this region. Only private profit: and seeking eminent domain for this is an outrage. All this will accomplish is to enrich the obscenely greedy, and raise gas rates permanently as we compete with other nations for a U.S. resource we have already subsidized to the tune of billions every year. Mr. Farrell is making many false statements: allegations of "terrorism" are a peculiar form of projection: he and his ilk are so intent on greed that they are endangering and permanently harming hundreds of thousands of people all along this route. ...(full comment)

Berkshire Gas rep. makes case for pipeline

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996: http://mjvande.nfshost.com/mtb10.htm . It's dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don't have access to trails closed to bikes. They have EXACTLY the same access as everyone else -- ON FOOT! Why isn't that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking.... A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course, it's not true. To settle the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited, and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see http://mjvande.nfshost.com/scb7.htm ). I found that of the seven studies they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions. Those were all experimental studies. Two other studies (by White et al and by Jeff Marion) used a survey design, which is inherently incapable of answering that question (comparing hiking with mountain biking). I only mention them because mountain bikers often cite them, but scientifically, they are worthless. Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it's NOT!). What's good about THAT? To see exactly what harm mountain biking does to the land, watch this 5-minute video: http://vimeo.com/48784297. In addition to all of this, it is extremely dangerous: http://mjvande.nfshost.com/mtb_dangerous.htm . For more information: http://mjvande.nfshost.com/mtbfaq.htm . The common thread among those who want more recreation in our parks is total ignorance about and disinterest in the wildlife whose homes these parks are. Yes, if humans are the only beings that matter, it is simply a conflict among humans (but even then, allowing bikes on trails harms the MAJORITY of park users -- hikers and equestrians -- who can no longer safely and peacefully enjoy their parks). The parks aren't gymnasiums or racetracks or even human playgrounds. They are WILDLIFE HABITAT, which is precisely why they are attractive to humans. Activities such as mountain biking, that destroy habitat, violate the charter of the parks. Even kayaking and rafting, which give humans access to the entirety of a water body, prevent the wildlife that live there from making full use of their habitat, and should not be allowed. Of course those who think that only humans matter won't understand what I am talking about -- an indication of the sad state of our culture and educational system. ...(full comment)

Berkshire East to add bike park, rafting to summer attractions

Riders stand up for transportation in Greenfield On April 9, approximately 20 transit supporters gathered in Greenfield to discuss the importance of transportation and infrastructure and to urge Congress to pass the GROW AMERICA Act. Without Congressional action, federal transportation funding is set to expire on May 31. Transportation Justice for Franklin County hosted this informational event, which was coordinated with other communities across the country as part of Stand up for Transportation Day. The featured speaker was Jon Weissman, an organizer with Western Massachusetts Jobs with Justice. Transportation Justice for Franklin County also showed a new video of interviews of bus riders filmed at the John W. Olver Transit Center and a local church in Greenfield. In addition, attendees were invited to share their opinions and questions. Staff from the Franklin Regional Transit Authority and Franklin Regional Council of Governments attended and helped answer questions. Congressman Jim McGovern submitted a letter in support of steady funding for transportation and infrastructure. Rider interviews 2015 https://youtu.be/iV5wKWGpNHo ...(full comment)

Where the funding meets the road

P.S. There was NO difficulty this winter due to policy changes. Gas pipelines (brand new ones) did NOTHING to effect costs in other states. Competing against other nations for our own heavily subsidized resources is an obscenity. Baker is hurting competition from renewable energy: this is ANYTHING BUT free market captitalism: it is kleptocracy. He is also evidently on board with permanently ruining five square miles of Massachusetts and permitting deadly conditions for countless communities to advance his career. ...(full comment)

Baker orders look into lowering electric costs

Sadly, rather than regard for our state, its people, or the public trust, the Governor repeats industry talking points, lacks objectivity entirely, and seems put in place to effect the export of a U.S. asset (already subsidized by every taxpayer in the U.S.) for private profit while stealing and ruining significant state assets permanently. Mr. Baker's heavily subsidized campaign had this objective. Sadly, our business community will buy whatever bill of goods is sold, with a deeply tragic future ahead for the generations ahead. The public trust isn't a consideration. "His excellency" isn't bothering to do any independent due dilligence: this is a move to act on behalf of extreme private wealth to strip out further wealth from citizens of this state, the region and the nation. They are enacting genocide: ruining copious amounts of water and soil, not to mention creating deadly conditions. Mr. Baker has done exactly NOTHING to advocate for the citizens who live here. ...(full comment)

Baker orders look into lowering electric costs

You should be ashamed of yourself. This is sensationalized rubbish. The school was essentially told that it's doing its job since they were accredited by NEASC two years ago and to continue making progress toward the suggested goals. Your choice was to write an article headlined to draw shock and awe despite the fact that nothing news-worthy or concerning is happening in terms of Mohawk's accreditation. Their MCAS scores are not in danger of putting the school at risk, nor are they at any real risk of losing accreditation. Your headline and writing is slanted to indicate there is cause for concern when there is none. Shame. This isn't journalism. This is garbage. ...(full comment)

Mohawk warned to meet accreditation standards

If Baker and the DPU were actually working for the benefit of the residents and ratepayers of MA, instead of on behalf of oil/gas interests, they would instead be looking into what are behind the 60-90% price spikes. Seems all too convenient that these spikes just suddenly appeared right as the pipeline company was starting to apply for approval of its vastly-oversized and ridiculously-obvious-that-it's-for-export pipeline. It's also probably no coincidence that these Enron-style tactics are originating out of a company headed by a former Enron COO (that used some of the fallout from that company, which should have gone back to retirees, to found Kinder Morgan/TN Gas). ...(full comment)

Baker orders look into lowering electric costs

Awww what a sweet bit of nostalgia... Wait... What..? Did you just call Democrats "Nazis"? Ha! The irony is delicious: In our modern world, the biggest joke of the Internet is that every argument ends with someone getting called a Nazi. Good work falling right in line with the Youngsters! :p ...(full comment)

Letter: The good old days

Sorry, Ken, that you are unable to adapt to the 21st Century and you still have to resort to name calling to try to get some point across. When you and I were growing up, kids weren't gunned down in school. Cops didn't gun down a kid with a toy gun. Kids weren't dying of cancer by the thousands. Cars were seldom driven over 55mph. World population was in the millions not billions. Terrorist? Nope. Vast drug addition? Hardly. By the way, we do teach history in our schools. And art, and PE and we say the Pledge every morning and our kids love cursive writing. Sorry to dispel some of your talking points. If you look to Miley Cyrus as your source of entertainment, you need to broaden your horizons; but that may be asking too much for some one so old as you. And when you write, things are "a nightmare for old folks", you need to speak for yourself. ...(full comment)

Letter: The good old days

Guess I better invest in a good set of jumper cables, I fear a lot of people are going to have dead batteries. ...(full comment)

Wipers on, lights on

Sorry you have to live in the past and be old in thought and word. That's the problem with the Grand OLD party!!!! ...(full comment)

Letter: The good old days