1. Articles from Ted LaBorde | Special to The Republican

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    1. $2.5 million grant continues support for Barnes Airport noise mitigation project

      $2.5 million grant continues support for Barnes Airport noise mitigation project

      The city is scheduled for another $2.5 million grant to continue a multi-million dollar noise mitigation project started in 2010 at Barnes Regional Airport. The grant represents a sixth installment of funding under the project aimed at mitigation for more than 300 home in and around Barnes Airport because of increased noise levels generated by the Air National Guard's F-15 Eagle fighter jets assigned to the 104th Fighter Wing located at the airport.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    2. Westfield to host Urban Land Institute for review of downtown redevelopment efforts

      Westfield to host Urban Land Institute for review of downtown redevelopment efforts

      Community Development Director Peter J. Miller and city staff met this week with the ULI panel to provide information and documentation on the background of city efforts. "This is an important exercise and Westfield thanks the MassDevelopment for arranging this opportunity," Miller said. The one-day visit will provide the city with vital and unbiased advice that will be used to move forward, Miller said. Monday's visit is sponsored by MassDevelopment, the stat'e economic development and finance agency. The inspection will involve six to 12 ULI representatives, all real estate professionals, who will provide city officials, business owners and ...

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    3. Westfield Chamber of Commerce names Mestek Inc. 2015 Business of the Year

      Westfield Chamber of Commerce names Mestek Inc. 2015 Business of the Year

      Mestek Inc., which will celebrate 70 years in business next year, has been named Westfield's 2015 Business of the Year here by the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce. Mestek will be honored at the Chamber's annual meeting and awards ceremony Nov. 18 at East Mountain Country Club. John E. Reed started Mestek Inc. in a Westfield downtown garage in 1946 calling it Sterling Radiator Company. In 1975 its name changed to Reed National Corporation and in 1986 Mestek Inc.

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    4. Westfield officials allocate Community Preservation funds for hangar renovations

      Westfield officials allocate Community Preservation funds for hangar renovations

      City officials have allocated $300,000 in Community Preservation funds toward renovations at Hangar 2 at Barnes Regional Airport. The city's CPA committee approved the allocation followed last week by approval from the City Council. Airport Manager Brian Barnes told the City Council the funds will be used to repair the exterior of the hangar which will then be followed by efforts to renovate the interior of the structure for the eventual use by Westfield Technical Academy for its new aviation program.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    5. $4.4 million security upgrade for military at Westfield Barnes Regional Airport in planning

      $4.4 million security upgrade for military at Westfield Barnes Regional Airport in planning

      The Air National Guard's 104th Fighter Wing wants to relocate and enhance security to its main gate at Barnes Municipal Airport. To complete the planned $4.4 million upgrade, the guard has asked the city to expand its current 99-year least at the airport to include an additional 25 acres of land located west of the existing base boundary. Col. James Keefe, base commander, and Col. Peter Green, vice commander, were joined by Airport Manager Brian Barnes Thursday night to brief the City Council on what they called necessary security upgrades to protect base personnel and facilities.

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    6. Westfield Planning Board approves Pioneer Valley Transit Authority transit center for Arnold Street

      Westfield Planning Board approves Pioneer Valley Transit Authority transit center for Arnold Street

      The Planning Board, by a 5-1 vote Tuesday night approved construction of a planned $6 million Pioneer Valley Transit Authority transit center on Arnold Street. Construction of the glass and steel structure is expected to begin by next spring and open in 2017. Plans for the center were first presented to the Planning Board in June which set up a complete review of the project because of special permits needed for its construction. City planners had to provide waivers to several requirements under zoning within the city's CORE District downtown including height of the building, property line set-back footage ...

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      Mentions: Westfield
    7. Westfield City Council approves land transfer involving proposed $36 million elementary school

      Westfield City Council approves land transfer involving proposed $36 million elementary school

      The transfer has stirred controversy for the council during the past year and it relates to city plans to build a 600-student elementary school at Ashley and Cross streets which involves a portion of the Cross Street Playground. The Ponders Hollow Road parcel, although not specifically identified as such, will replace land at Cross Street playground and satisfy requirements on preserving park space in the city.

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      Mentions: Holyoke Westfield
    8. Changes in flight operations at Westfield's Barnes Regional Airport result in changes in noise impact on neighborhood

      Changes in flight operations at Westfield's Barnes Regional Airport result in changes in noise impact on neighborhood

      Airport Manager Brian Barnes told the nearly 200 residents Monday that changes at the airport involve flight patterns, upgrades and improvements to runways at Barnes and newer and less noisy engines on corporate aircraft. Also, Barnes said there has been a significant "cut back in the number" of F-15 Eagle fighter jet operations by the Air National Guard's 104th Fighter Group that calls the airport home. Overall, Barnes said the airport saw 120,000 operations annually in the 1990s but now only handles about 42,000 flight operations annually.

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      Mentions: Holyoke Westfield
    9. Westfield to provide small grants for community entertainment events

      Westfield to provide small grants for community entertainment events

      The Community Development Department is looking to award grants up to $1,000 to individuals, groups or organizations willing to produce community involved entertainment events. Director Peter J. Miller said Tuesday Westfield has received $5,000 from MassDevelopment's Transformative District Initiative to promote local musical, dance or other forms of entertainment in the city's downtown this fall.

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    10. Renovations set for Hangar II at Westfield's Barnes Regional Airport

      Renovations set for Hangar II at Westfield's Barnes Regional Airport

      More than $1 million in renovations are expected to begin next month at Hangar II at Barnes Regional Airport. The hangar, vintage 1939, has already been targeted by city officials as the future home of a new aviation program that is being launched at Westfield Technical Academy when public schools reopen in September. Airport Manager Brian Barnes said Monday exterior renovations, estimated at just over $1 million will be completed before the end of the year.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    11. Westfield considers partnership with Columbia Greenway friends group

      Westfield considers partnership with Columbia Greenway friends group

      Jeffrey LaValley, chairman of the friends group, told councilors Thursday that the group has about $11,000 to invest in interpretive signage for the trail that will draw attention to Westfield's industrial history. "These are historical signs and they are available through the funding raising that we have conducted since forming in 2008," LaValley said. LaValley called the Friends of the Columbia Greenway the "cheerleading arm" of the rail trail project.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    12. New aviation program at Westfield Technical Academy gets funding boost

      New aviation program at Westfield Technical Academy gets funding boost

      Westfield Technical Academy has received additional financial grants to help launch its new aviation maintenance program in September. The Smith Avenue high school last week received an additional Perkins education grant and additional funding through the city's Community Preservation Act to assist with hangar preparations at Barnes Regional Airport that students will benefit from.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    13. Pioneer Valley Transit Authority presents plans for Westfield Transit Center

      Pioneer Valley Transit Authority presents plans for Westfield Transit Center

      Detailed plans for a $6 million PVTA Transit Center on Arnold Street are now under review by the city's Planning Board. The plans, for a mostly glass structure, were formally submitted to the Planning Board Tuesday night by PVTA representatives and City Advancement Officer Joseph Mitchell. The center has been part of the downtown revitalization effort for years and Mitchell said the $6 million price tag includes PVTA's acquisition of the Flahive Building and its demolition on Arnold Street. The property has been acquired by PVTA recently and demolition will be scheduled shortly.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    14. Westfield's Amelia Park Arena and Garden set to launch $1 million capital drive

      Westfield's Amelia Park Arena and Garden set to launch $1 million capital drive

      A Wine and Beer Tasting Friday night will help launch a three-year, $1 million capital drive in support of Amelia Park Arena and Amelia Garden complex located off South Broad St.. The event will be held inside the 1.3 acrea Amelia Garden adjacent to Aemlia Park Arena from from 6 to 9 p.m.. Tickets are $30 each and will be available at the door. The fund-raising event and capital drive are a first for the Amelia complex that opened 15 years ago and is aimed at sustaining the complex and provide funding for upgrades, maintenance and programs, Executive ...

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      Mentions: Westfield
    15. Citizen Energy Corp. partners with Westfield in Twiss Street Solar operation

      Citizen Energy Corp. partners with Westfield in Twiss Street Solar operation

      "This is the future for energy in our country," Joseph P. Kennedy II said Thursday as he and Mayor Daniel M. Knapik threw a ceremonial switch marking full operation of the $3 million Twiss Street Solar LLC at the city's former landfill. "This is a great community and Citizen Energy Corp. is delighted to be part of the partnership with Westfield and Westfield Gas and Electric," Kennedy said.

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    16. Hampden County Regional Employment Board to announce summer job initiative at Westfield's Shaker Farms Country Club

      Hampden County Regional Employment Board to announce summer job initiative at Westfield's Shaker Farms Country Club

      The Regional Employment Board will launch its 2015 Summer Jobs program for youth Friday at Shaker Farms Country Club here. Mayor Daniel M. Knapik will be joined by Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, state Sen. Donald F. Humason Jr., R-Westfield and state Representative John C. Velis, D-Westfield in announcing a goal to place 1,000 youth from Hampden County in summer jobs this year.

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    17. Pride stations owner wants to bring compressed natural gas service station to Westfield

      Pride stations owner wants to bring compressed natural gas service station to Westfield

      Compressed natural gas was described as safe and efficient during an informational session at City Hall Friday sponsored by Robert Bolduc, Pride Limited Partnership president. About a dozen city officials and representatives of the Fire Department and Westfield Gas and Electric Department attended the informal hearing to hear Michael P. Manning, director and market and business develo0pment for Alternative Vehicle Service Group and Stephen B. Russell, coordinator of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources explain the benefits of CNG and service stations that provide the alternative fuel.

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    18. Development plans for property at Turnpike Exit 3 under review by Westfield Planning Board

      Development plans for property at Turnpike Exit 3 under review by Westfield Planning Board

      Development plans for property across from Exit 3 of the Massachusetts Turnpike will bring the city alternative motor vehicle fuels, improve traffic flow in the area, attract new business and increase municipal tax revenue, Developer Robert Bolduc told the city's Planning Board Tuesday night. After spending more than two hours reviewing plans submitted by Pride Limited Partnership the Planning Board agreed to continue a public hearing on project until its next scheduled meeting May 5.

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    19. Westfield provides property tax break for country's oldest cutlery manufacturer

      Westfield provides property tax break for country's oldest cutlery manufacturer

      Lamson & Goodnow, the country's oldest cutlery manufacturer will receive a property tax break as it completes relocation from Shelburne Falls to Mainline Drive here. The tax reduction will save the company about $35,583 over a five-year period but at the same time it will pay Westfield $35,583 in property taxes over the same period. The company will receive a 100 percent property tax exemption during 2016 and total taxes will be reduced during the years 2017, 2018, 2019. In 2020 the company will pay its full share of taxes to the city.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    20. Westfield students continuing construction of Park Square gazebo

      Westfield students continuing construction of Park Square gazebo

      Electrical wiring seniors from Westfield Vocational-Technical High School this week completed the rough wiring requirements of the new student-built gazebo at Park Square. For students like Kyle Thibodeao, 18, of Otis and Nicholas Pitoniak, 17, of Huntington, this week provided hands-on experience of what their work life will be after graduation in June. Both have full-time jobs lined up in their chosen career field following high school graduation.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    21. Westfield looking for solar energy project on Barnes Regional Airport property

      Westfield looking for solar energy project on Barnes Regional Airport property

      City Advancement Officer Joseph Mitchell said Thursday proposals have been advertised and are scheduled for submission to the city's Purchasing Department by March 27. The 35 acre tract was cleared of trees several years ago on property located at the end of Barnes Regional Airport runway off North Road near the Westfield-Southampton line.

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    22. Westfield Vocational-Technical High School records first graduation class with 0 percent drop out rate

      Westfield Vocational-Technical High School records first graduation class with 0 percent drop out rate

      The State Department of Education announced the dropout rate accomplishment Jan. 27 citing Westfield Vocational-Technical, Smith Academy and Longmeadow High as the only zero percent granduated classes for 2014. "This is a first for our school," Czaporowski said, noting that the dropout rate in 2008 at the school was 7.5 percent. "We will meet with students personally and always emphasize career planning. We help students build on their career plans," he said. The school has a dropout prevention advisory committee consisting of teachers, mentors and administration.

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      Mentions: Westfield
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    Forish Construction of Westfield low bidder for new Westfield Senior Center; groundbreaking expected by September Westfield approves lease of former landfill for site of solar farm Southwick in line for first solar farm Westfield's Pochassic Street Bridge reopens after $2.7 million rehabilitation Westfield sees increase in small business openings Westfield businesses challenged to support arts and entertainment Westfield provides property tax break for country's oldest cutlery manufacturer Pride stations owner wants to bring compressed natural gas service station to Westfield Citizen Energy Corp. partners with Westfield in Twiss Street Solar operation Changes in flight operations at Westfield's Barnes Regional Airport result in changes in noise impact on neighborhood UMass Amherst Startup a Winner in Massachusetts Tech Transfer Contest Gov. Baker Appoints Joanne Marqusee to GCC Board of Trustees