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

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    1. Northampton Arts Council seeks appplications for grants

      Northampton Arts Council seeks appplications for grants

      The Northampton Arts Council has set an October 15 deadline for applications from organizations for its fall round of arts grants funding. The grants are aimed at supporting artistic and cultural activities in the community, including exhibits, writings, festivals, field trips, short-term artist residencies or performances in schools, workshops and lectures The Northampton Arts Council is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year ...

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      Mentions: Northampton
    2. UMass benefits from governor's environmental bill

      UMass benefits from governor's environmental bill

      The University of Massachusetts at Amherst and two other sites it operates in the eastern part of the state stand to reap $37.5 million for various projects and improvements, thanks to a bill signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick. The legislation authorizes a total of $1.9 billion for environmental projects throughout the state. Among those is $4 million for water quality innovation to support the work of David Reckhow, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UMass. The funding will go towards testing and pilot facilities for water technology at various locations in the state.

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    3. Amtrak passenger service ready to roll by New Years, according to Pan Am

      Amtrak passenger service ready to roll by New Years, according to Pan Am

      Motorist and patrons of businesses along Damon Road were surprised Saturday when crews closed the road between King and Bridge streets as crews improved the crossing on Damon Road. The work was part of the same project that prompted Pan Am Railways to install a temporary camp to feed workers on the line near North and Market streets. The crew was replacing the old freight rails with welded rails more suitable for passenger trains along the "Knowledge Corridor," the stretch of track between Springfield and Greenfield that is part of the Amtrak route.

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    4. Deerfield board selects Kayce Warren as next town administrator

      Deerfield board selects Kayce Warren as next town administrator

      The Board of Selectmen has offered the post of town administrator, vacant for more than a year, to Kayce D. Warren, who is currently filling the position on an interim basis. "I'm pleased the board offered me the position," Warren said Thursday, declining to comment further on her intentions. The board made the selection Wednesday night, choosing Warren from a pool that originally included 14 candidates. There has been no permanent town administrator in Deerfield since Bernard Kubiak retired in June 2013. Wendy Foxmyn served as interim administrator from July 2013 to February 2014.

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    5. Hampshire Council of Governments saves money for members through joint purchasing

      Hampshire Council of Governments saves money for members through joint purchasing

      Communities in the four Western Massachusetts counties found there is strength in unity, saving nearly $1 million by purchasing goods and services recently through the Hampshire Council of Governments. Working cooperatively with the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning
      Commission and the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, the council, which has 15 member communities in Hampshire Country, saved an average of 48 percent by bidding on behalf of 116 police, fire and school department, according to executive assistant Lydia King.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    6. HAP seeks CPA funds to buy Northampton Lodging

      HAP seeks CPA funds to buy Northampton Lodging

      HAP Housing is asking for an expedited review of its $300,00 request for Community Preservation Act funds to buy Northampton Lodging on 129 Pleasant Street. The agency has a purchase and sales agreement to buy the 58-room property for $1.6 million from current owner Bowditch LLC. but must close on the sale by the end of the year. HAP intends to manage Northampton Lodging as currently constructed until it can build a five-story, mixed-use, mixed-income building on the site. The new building will contain 78 studio and one-bedroom apartments with retail space on the ground floor.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    7. Plans are in the works to add local commuter runs on Amtrak passenger train line

      Plans are in the works to add local commuter runs on Amtrak passenger train line

      Amtrak's Vermonter is scheduled to begin zipping through Western Massachusetts on its way from Washington, D.C. to St. Albans, Vermont early next year after an absence of 25 years. The run will provide another option for commuters along the corridor. With the new John W. Olver Transit Center in Greenfield and dedicated station space along the track in Northampton, the line is expected to especially impact commuter traffic in those communities.

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    8. Northampton earns top rated for sustainability

      Northampton earns top rated for sustainability

      Northampton was recently named top in the nation in sustainability by 5-STAR Communities, a national organization that looks at a broad spectrum of quality-of-life factors in making its assessments. For those who have a hard time wrapping their hands around the concept of sustainability, the city scored well because, among other factors, 40 percent of its adult residents attending a live art performance last year, all its farmers markets accept food stamps, it has a hospital like Cooley Dickinson that sponsors events like "Living Well With Congestive Heart Failure" and it boasts no fewer than 820 community garden plots.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    9. Northampton City Council gives final approval to BID changes, endorses mayor's capital plan

      Northampton City Council gives final approval to BID changes, endorses mayor's capital plan

      The City Council gave final approval to a request by the Business Improvement District to cut its membership fees in half and endorsed Mayor David J. Narkewicz's five-year capital improvement program in a meeting that was more like a sprint than its last marathon session. Two weeks ago, the council gave preliminary approval to the BID request, but not until opponents and advocates weighed in at a public hearing that lasted for more than an hour. On Thursday, only a handful of speakers addressed the issue, according to Council President William H. Dwight. Among them was attorney John Fitz-Gibbon ...

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      Mentions: Northampton
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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 Coronavirus: MassMutual donates 100 protective masks for Springfield police, firefighters after mayor’s appeal Coronavirus response: Eversource donates $2M in COVID-19 effort; Community Foundation of Western Mass is one recipient