1. Articles from Fred Contrada | fcontrada@repub.com

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    1. Clarke School developers seek to meet with neighbors about proposed changes in luxury housing plans in Northampton

      Clarke School developers seek to meet with neighbors about proposed changes in luxury housing plans in Northampton

      Peter Pan Bus Company president Peter Picknelly bought 11 buildings on 11.8 acres of land from the school in 2013 for $4.8 million with the intention of turning the space into luxury apartments. The plan later changed to add a commercial component. Picknelly bought the property under OPAL Real Estate, which he runs, but the project was put under the auspices of Historic Roundhill. Frozen pipes put a temporary halt to construction last year, but Picknelly has said it is still on target to finish.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    2. Northampton City Council gives final approval to solar array at former dump

      Northampton City Council gives final approval to solar array at former dump

      The City Council gave final approval Thursday to Mayor David J. Narkewicz' request for a 20-year lease with Ameresco, Inc. paving the way for a solar array to be installed at the landfill. The 15-acre array will sit atop the capped landfill off Glendale Road, which reached capacity in 2013. Ameresco hopes to have it up and running by May. When fully operational, the panels will provide 3.32 megawatts of electricity a day, enough to satisfy about 40 percent of the city's power needs. Over the course of the 20-year lease that translates into about $9 million in ...

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      Mentions: Northampton
    3. BLDG8 Brewing is 2nd new brewery now open in Florence

      BLDG8 Brewing is 2nd new brewery now open in Florence

      It's all in the hops, said O'Brian Tomalin. Well, some of it's in the timing. Tomalin, 47, was showing off his new BLDG8 Brewing brewery in the Cutlery Building on Riverside Drive, one of two recently opened breweries in Florence. Factor in the new Pie Bar and the Birds Block-like building at 100 Main St., and Florence is the hip new spot in Northampton.  BLDG8 Brewing, Tomalin's business, opened about three weeks ago. Unlike Brew Practitioners on Main Street, BLDG8 has no pub. It just makes beer. Good beer.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    4. Northampton City Council approves request for solar array lease

      Northampton City Council approves request for solar array lease

      The City Council unanimously approved Mayor David J. Narkewicz' request for a 20-year lease with Ameresco, Inc. at its meeting last week, then referred the matter to the Finance Committee for review. The city wants to install the 15-acre array atop the former Glendale Road landfill, which reached capacity and was capped in 2013. Ameresco, which has built other such arrays in other communities, hopes to have it up and running by May. When fully operational, the panels will provide 3.32 megawatts of electricity a day, enough to satisfy about 40 percent of the city's power needs. Over ...

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      Mentions: Northampton
    5. Faces in Northampton celebrates grand reopening, new cafe

      Faces in Northampton celebrates grand reopening, new cafe

      The grand reopening featured a ribbon-cutting by Mayor David J. Narkewicz, stilt-walkers, face-painting, clowns and food. Tiffany and Camile Hannoush bought the store in May from Peter Vogel. The Hannoushes have kept most of the distributors Vogel bought his stock from, so there has been little change in the merchandise. The biggest change is that the former greeting card section is now a cafe featuring salads, sandwiches and coffees. It opened about three weeks ago, said cafe manager Jason Dinelle.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    6. Northampton residents get details of solar array planned for former Glendale Road landfill

      Northampton residents get details of solar array planned for former Glendale Road landfill

      Northampton residents got to vent their anxieties over a proposed solar array at the Glendale Road landfill at an informational hearing at the Robert K. Finn Ryan Road Elementary School Tuesday. About 20 people, half of them city officials, sat in folding chairs at the school's gymnasium to hear about the array and raise questions. The city has chosen Ameresco, Inc., a Framingham company, to develop the 3.3 megawatt array at the site of the former landfill, which reached capacity in 2013 and was capped. Ameresco was one of 12 companies to bid on the project.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    7. Berkshire Gas' investment in gas pipeline project supported by state agency

      Berkshire Gas' investment in gas pipeline project supported by state agency

      Granted a status that was not allowed state Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, the state Department of Energy Resources has filed a statement with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities endorsing the proposed contract between Berkshire Gas Company and the Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline that Houston company Kinder Morgan wants to build through Massachusetts. UIL Holdings Corporation, which owns Berkshire Gas and a number of other gas companies in the region, announced last week it will acquire a 2.5 percent interest in Northeast Expansion LLC., which amounts to an $80 million investment in the pipeline project.

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    8. Gas pipeline company downsizes proposed compressor station in Northfield

      Gas pipeline company downsizes proposed compressor station in Northfield

      Kinder Morgan, which announced last week that its board had authorized a scaled-back version of its proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline, has also downsized plans for an 80,000-horsepower compressor station in Northfield to 41,000 horsepower, nearly halving it. The compressor station, which has residents concerned about noise and the possibilities it might devalue property nearby or be a source of pollution, is arguably the No. 1 topic of controversy in the small town, according to Town Administrator Brian Noble.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    9. Northampton City Council grants license for formaldehyde tank to chemical manufacturer Chemiplastica Group

      Northampton City Council grants license for formaldehyde tank to chemical manufacturer Chemiplastica Group

      The City Council during a special meeting Monday voted to issue a license to chemical manufacturer Chemiplastica Group for a 15,000 gallon formaldehyde tank on Nonotuck Street, on the condition that the tank be inspected annually. Formaldehyde, a hazardous liquid that is both flammable and corrosive, is used to embalm corpses. It is a respiratory irritant and can cause cancer with long exposure. Formaldehyde is essential to the manufacturing of plastic, according to Gary M. Roberts, an inspector with consulting engineers Tighe & Bond.

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    10. Kinder-Morgan gas pipeline opponents ask federal commission to delay public hearings

      Kinder-Morgan gas pipeline opponents ask federal commission to delay public hearings

      Groups opposing the Northeast Energy Direct project, popularly known as the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reschedule a series of public hearings on the pipeline so they can properly review the project. FERC has scheduled meetings, including one on July 29 in Greenfield, to allow the public to weigh on in the so-called "scoping" process, a review of reports by parent company Kinder Morgan. Pipeline opponents say those reports are vague, however, and lack critical details they might address.

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    11. Northampton Train Day planned to celebrate return of passenger rail service

      Northampton Train Day planned to celebrate return of passenger rail service

      Mayor David J. Narkewicz will read a proclamation on Saturday, May 9, declaring Northampton Train Day as part of a ceremony to celebrate the return of Amtrak service to the city. The "Knowledge Corridor" passenger rail line resumed service through Northampton and Greenfield last December after a long absence. The train goes as far south as Washington, D.C., and as far north as Burlington, Vermont.

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    12. Northampton planning for solar panel arrays

      Northampton planning for solar panel arrays

      The city is about to take the first step towards installing photovoltaic arrays at the landfill and over various city parking lots. Department of Public Works director Edward S. Huntley briefed the Public Works Commission about the energy-saving projects at its meeting on Wednesday. At present they are low on specifics, but here is the general plan, according to city Energy and Sustainability Officer Chris Mason.

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    13. Department of Transportation has no plans to install ticket kiosks for Amtrak Vermonter line

      Department of Transportation has no plans to install ticket kiosks for Amtrak Vermonter line

      Because of its complexity and the limited number of seats, the ticketing system for Amtrak's Vermonter line through the Pioneer Valley will remain an online operation, a state official said. Some Greenfield customers have complained that they have been unable to buy a ticket at the John W. Olver Transportation Center in downtown Greenfield, and have to do it instead on Amtrak's website. The Vermonter, sometimes called the Knowledge Corridor line, goes all the way to Washington, D.C., in the south and to northern Vermont in the north.

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    14. Northampton receives grant to fund climate change study

      Northampton receives grant to fund climate change study

      The American Institute of Architects has awarded the city $15,000 to help fund a team that will study climate change for a plan that will be incorporated into Northampton's sustainable comprehensive plan.  The money will cover the costs associated with the plan while the team members work pro-bono, a contribution that is worth many thousands more. The city will contribute $5,000 to the process from the sale of solar renewable energy certificates.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    15. Northampton needs a strategy to keep its unique stores, says director of economic development

      Northampton needs a strategy to keep its unique stores, says director of economic development

      A handful of entrepreneurs set up shop in downtown Northampton when no one else wanted anything to do with the place and made it into a destination. Instead of shopping at chains in a mall, customers could visit unique shops, have an ice cream and relax in a red-brick piece of the 19th and early 20th century. Over the decades, stores have come and gone. Some of the pioneers have passed on as well. Dan Yacuzzo, whose Eastside Grill helped spur Northampton's culinary reputation, died last year. When Eva Trager, who created Country Comfort on Main Street, passed a ...

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    16. First passenger train in a generation stops at Northampton as new Amtrak service begins

      First passenger train in a generation stops at Northampton as new Amtrak service begins

      A crowd of about 100 people jammed the Northampton stop next to the former Depot Restaurant for The Vermonter's first voyage through Northampton since the 1980s. The route also passes through Springfield and Greenfield on its way between St. Albans, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. For decades, the line dog-legged through Amherst, which had its farewell voyage on Sunday.

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    17. Northampton's Smith Vocational High School is in line for $400,000 state grant

      Northampton's Smith Vocational High School is in line for $400,000 state grant

      Smith Vocational and Educational High School is about to receive a $400,000 grant from on the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development to by state-of-the art equipment to train its students. Superintendent Jeffrey Peterson was on his way to the University of Massachusetts Monday morning to receive the grant, which will not become official until the school and the state sign a contract. The money will come out of the Capital Equipment Industry Training Program, which buys equipment for vocational schools. Smith must submit a list of equipment is wants and documentation showing it was chosen with ...

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    18. Knowledge Corridor passenger line to begin as scheduled on December 29

      Knowledge Corridor passenger line to begin as scheduled on December 29

      Amtrak announced Friday that its new Vermonter passenger line, which includes stops in Northampton and Greenfield, will begin as scheduled on Dec. 29. The route, dubbed the "Knowledge Corridor," also includes a stop in Springfield and will add Holyoke to the line later in 2015. The new stops will replace service to Amherst, which will end on December 28.

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    19. Tennessee Gas files environmental report on its gas pipeline with the federal government

      Tennessee Gas files environmental report on its gas pipeline with the federal government

      The voluminous report states that the pipeline will be built to deliver 2.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to Massachusetts. Tennessee Gas, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, maintains that the new line, which will run 125 miles from Wright, N.Y. to Dracut, is necessary to meet the demand for natural gas in the region. It will have the additional benefit of lowering electricity costs because the gas will power generating stations, the report said.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    20. First Amtrak train on Knowledge Corridor to stop in Northampton on Dec. 29

      First Amtrak train on Knowledge Corridor to stop in Northampton on Dec. 29

      The first Amtrak train on the new Knowledge Corridor will stop in Northampton on its journey north on Dec. 29, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Built with $73 million in federal stimulus money, the Knowledge Corridor will also stop in Springfield, Holyoke and Greenfield. Riders will be able to go from Washington, D.C., to Burlington, Vt. Until now, the line has gone through Amherst, but it ran through Northampton until 1989, when the condition of the tracks made it unsafe for passenger trains.

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    21. Northampton nursing home sold to Connecticut company

      Northampton nursing home sold to Connecticut company

      In a move that might reflect the refocusing of care for the elderly on independent and assisted living, the company that owns the Overlook nursing facility in Leeds is selling it to a Connecticut-based health care system. Patrick McShane, a corporate vice president at Masonic Health System, said his company, which bought the nursing home from Hampshire County for $4 million in 2009, wants to concentrate more on its Charleton campus, a continuous care retirement community with 219 independent living and 181 enhanced living units. The facility was formerly called the Northampton Nursing Home.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    22. Northampton gets state grant for solar array

      Northampton gets state grant for solar array

      The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has awarded the city a $525,401 grant to help its emergency response network continue operations during long-term power outages. The money will finance a solar-electric array to power the Fire Department during outages. Mayor David J. Narkewicz said the array will help Northampton through emergencies like Tropical Storm Irene and the Halloween ice storm of 2011. “It is vital that our City be able to maintain essential services, particularly emergency response services, during these critical times," the mayor said.

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    1-24 of 35 1 2 »
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    Plans are in the works to add local commuter runs on Amtrak passenger train line Deerfield board selects Kayce Warren as next town administrator Amtrak passenger service ready to roll by New Years, according to Pan Am Northampton Friendly's on King Street closed Northampton gets state grant for solar array First Amtrak train on Knowledge Corridor to stop in Northampton on Dec. 29 Tennessee Gas files environmental report on its gas pipeline with the federal government Knowledge Corridor passenger line to begin as scheduled on December 29 First passenger train in a generation stops at Northampton as new Amtrak service begins Department of Transportation has no plans to install ticket kiosks for Amtrak Vermonter line Baystate Health state-of-the-art mobile clinic invokes memories of old-fashioned house calls Westfield Bank buys Huntington United Bank office that was slated to close, saving only bank in the hilltowns