1. Articles from maryserreze

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    1. Massachusetts Senate passes ambitious clean energy bill

      Massachusetts Senate passes ambitious clean energy bill

      Massachusetts would run on 100-percent renewable power by 2047 under comprehensive energy legislation passed by the state Senate Thursday night. The idealistic goal would be reached by increasing the state's renewable portfolio standard by 3 percent every year, instead of the current 1 percent. The RPS dictates how much renewable energy electrical utilities such as Eversource and National Grid must buy.

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    2. Businessman Naresh Patel to buy Whiskerz Pub in Easthampton

      Businessman Naresh Patel to buy Whiskerz Pub in Easthampton

      Local businessman Naresh K. Patel is buying a popular downtown bar from a popular downtown bar owner. Patel on June 4 told the Easthampton Licensing Board that he plans to purchase Whiskerz Pub, including the business and building at 71-77 Cottage St., from Eugene "Joe" Bernier Jr. The building includes the first floor commercial space and four apartments on the second floor.  The three-member board unanimously approved the liquor license transfer from Whiskerz Pub, Inc., managed by Bernier since 2002, to Easthampton Sports Bar Inc., doing business as "Eagles Sports Bar," with Patel as manager.

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    3. Northampton bike path tunnel under railroad tracks celebrated at grand opening

      Northampton bike path tunnel under railroad tracks celebrated at grand opening

      The days when rail-trail cyclists would illegally carry their bicycles over the former Pan Am railroad tracks when traveling from Amherst to Northampton are over. Thursday morning, officials cut the ribbon on a $4.4 million two-lane cast concrete tunnel underneath the tracks, which are now owned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and actively used by freight lines and the high-speed Amtrak Vermonter. The bike tunnel connects the Norwottuck Rail Trail -- which originates in Belchertown, goes through Amherst and Hadley, and crosses the Connecticut River -- with rail trail networks in Northampton and Easthampton. The underpass actually opened in November ...

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    4. Greenfield parking garage construction to finally begin

      Greenfield parking garage construction to finally begin

      Massive pre-cast concrete panels will be delivered from Vermont on trucks, and Olive Street will close from June 11 to July 14 as a downtown parking garage is assembled. The project is expected to finish before Oct. 31, and will cost $10.1 million, said Mayor Bill Martin. The 261 65-foot blocks will be plucked from 85-foot trailers by a crane, swung, and stacked into place, according to the Greenfield Recorder.  Between 12 and 15 sections will be delivered a day.

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    5. Connecticut River cleanup effort turns 25; environment secretary Matt Beaton to speak in...

      Connecticut River cleanup effort turns 25; environment secretary Matt Beaton to speak in...

      The Connecticut River Cleanup Committee is still hard at work, and on April 11, the group will celebrate "25 years of collaboration across local boundaries to protect our valley's most beloved waterway." Massachusetts energy and environment secretary Matthew Beaton will be the keynote speaker at the breakfast event, to be held at the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club in Springfield. The Connecticut River flows through more than 400 miles through four New England states to Long Island Sound. The iconic river is now significantly cleaner than it was decades ago. 

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    6. Mass Cultural Council fetes lawmakers, arts leaders at Holyoke celebration

      Mass Cultural Council fetes lawmakers, arts leaders at Holyoke celebration

      Top leaders with the Massachusetts Cultural Council, touring the state with a new logo and four-point strategic plan, stopped at the Holyoke Cultural Arts Center on Thursday to honor local lawmakers and celebrate the role of arts and culture in transforming communities. The state agency's "bold and vibrant" new message emphasizes "the power of culture" to fuel economic development, enliven communities, transform lives, and support equity and inclusion, said Mass Cultural Council president Anita Walker.

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    7. Farmers from 4 counties wined and dined by Harold Grinspoon Foundation at Northampton celebration

      Farmers from 4 counties wined and dined by Harold Grinspoon Foundation at Northampton celebration

      "When we're pitching Western Massachusetts to the rest of the world, our talented and innovative farmers distinguish us," said Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow. "Our agriculture gives us a comparative advantage." Lesser delivered brief remarks as farmers from Berkshire, Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin Counties gathered for an evening of food, drink, and networking at Smith College. Wednesday's feast and celebration was hosted by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation with sponsorship from Big Y, Hood, Baystate Health, Farm Credit East, Sheraton Springfield, and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

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    8. Former West Springfield mayor Edward Gibson hired as Southampton's new town administrator

      Former West Springfield mayor Edward Gibson hired as Southampton's new town administrator

      Former West Springfield mayor Edward J. Gibson has been selected as the new town administrator. Gibson was one of three finalists interviewed by the Select Board Monday. The town had 12 applicants, and six were interviewed by a search committee, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The other finalists were Mari-Jon Adams, Greenfield's community development administrator, and Robert Peirent, former public works director of East Longmeadow. Members of the board pointed to Gibson's experience. Gibson was mayor of West Springfield from 2000 to 2012, and has been town administrator in Becket since 2013.

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    9. Transmission developer TDI offers $20 million for Western Massachusetts home energy retrofits if it wins statewide clean electricity contract

      Transmission developer TDI offers $20 million for Western Massachusetts home energy retrofits if it wins statewide clean electricity contract

      A company that wants to lay a high-voltage transmission cable under Lake Champlain in Vermont has pledged $20 million for low-income energy retrofits in Western Massachusetts if its New England Clean Power Link wins a major utility contract in the Bay State. TDI New England has pledged 20 years of funding, at $1 million annually, to Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Regions for deep energy retrofits to low-income homes, said Don Jessome, CEO of Transmission Developers, Inc.

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    10. State awards workforce training grants for advanced manufacturing jobs to 8 Massachusetts organizations

      State awards workforce training grants for advanced manufacturing jobs to 8 Massachusetts organizations

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito appeared at Franklin County Technical School on Tuesday, where she awarded $1.33 million to eight workforce training organizations through the Advanced Manufacturing Training Program. The program focuses on reaching veterans, groups with chronically high unemployment, and other adults historically underrepresented in the manufacturing sector, and helps people gain marketable skills. The grants were awarded by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development on behalf of the Governor's Workforce Skills Cabinet, building on $9.5 million in Workforce Skills Capital grants awarded earlier this year.

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    11. Citing Northampton-to-Easthampton trend, contractor developing small, high-end office spaces in Easthampton's Button Building

      Citing Northampton-to-Easthampton trend, contractor developing small, high-end office spaces in Easthampton's Button Building

      "A decade ago, you wouldn't even think about building something like this," said contractor Kevin Perrier. "Northampton was the place to be. Now, everyone's looking at Easthampton." Perrier, president and CEO of Five Star Building Corp., was referring to the 11 small, "high-end office spaces" he is developing in the Button Building at 123 Cottage St. "There's a need for this kind of space in Easthampton," he said. "I kept getting calls from people. They were looking for well-finished professional offices with modern amenities -- a place where they could meet with their clients."

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    12. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito presents Williamsburg with $12,500 check to plan 'community solar'...

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito presents Williamsburg with $12,500 check to plan 'community solar'...

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, accompanied by Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson and others, presented the check to Williamsburg officials during a visit to Western Massachusetts on Thursday. "When municipalities reduce their carbon footprints, they not only save money for residents, but help the state achieve its emission reduction goals," said Polito. "So thank you." The Municipal Energy Technical Assistance grants help designated Green Communities make good energy decisions. Funds in the amount of $661,000 were awarded to 56 cities and towns across Massachusetts this week.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    13. Hatfield and Williamsburg preserve 128 acres on Horse Mountain with help from Kestrel Land...

      Hatfield and Williamsburg preserve 128 acres on Horse Mountain with help from Kestrel Land...

      The Horse Mountain ridge forms an iconic landscape element separating the towns of Williamsburg and Hatfield. Now 128 acres of the ecologically diverse forest land will be preserved forever, serving recreation, wildlife habitat, and resiliency in the face of climate change. Over the course of many months, Kestrel Land Trust worked with the two communities, secured grants, and helped coordinate a complicated process. The towns now own the land, with 34 acres in Williamsburg and 94 acres in Hatfield.

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      Mentions: Amherst Northampton
    14. Massachusetts regulators approve Berkshire Gas 5-year plan, while insisting company must work to lift moratorium

      Massachusetts regulators approve Berkshire Gas 5-year plan, while insisting company must work to lift moratorium

      State regulators on Friday approved a required long-range planning document from Berkshire Gas, but did not immediately order the utility to lift a vexing natural gas service moratorium in the upper Pioneer Valley. Instead, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities acknowledged "an urgent need to end the moratorium as soon as practicable," and ordered Berkshire to provide progress reports every six months until the problem is solved. State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst, on Tuesday called the order a "positive development" and said the DPU decision, while not perfect, "outlines a path forward" to restoring new natural gas service to ...

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    15. MBI and Comcast sign deal to bring broadband to Montgomery

      MBI and Comcast sign deal to bring broadband to Montgomery

      Comcast received an $805,800 grant from the Massachusetts Broadband Institute to build a cable network in Montgomery, MBI announced this week. Town officials and Comcast still need to sign a cable franchise agreement. If that goes as planned, Comcast estimates it could have its cable network up and running by the end of 2018. Comcast has agreed to reach around 96 percent of the town's premises, or 360 homes and businesses. The arrangement was approved by town officials in April.

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    16. Easthampton Media to build new TV station and 'cultural media center' at Eastworks building

      Easthampton Media to build new TV station and 'cultural media center' at Eastworks building

      The city's public access television station, now housed at White Brook Middle School, plans to move into a new, state-of-the-art production studio by September. Easthampton Media recently won a $172,000 state grant to help build a "cultural media center" on the first floor of the Eastworks building at 116 Pleasant St. The new space will focus on digital story telling, performance, arts events, and engagement with the public, said executive direct Kathy Lynch. At its core will be modern television studio with 45 seats that can also double as a black-box theater.

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    17. Seven more rural hilltowns win state broadband grants

      Seven more rural hilltowns win state broadband grants

      Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has released state broadband grants to six more rural towns that plan to build their own high-speed fiber-to-the-home networks. Announced Wednesday were $6.8 million in direct infrastructure grants to Charlemont, Colrain, Cummington, Heath, New Salem, Otis, and Rowe. Earlier this month, the Baker-Polito administration awarded $4.6 millionto Ashfield, Leyden, Mt. Washington, Plainfield, Shutesbury, and Windsor.

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    18. Six Massachusetts towns win broadband infrastructure grants to build fiber optic networks

      Six Massachusetts towns win broadband infrastructure grants to build fiber optic networks

      Six Western Massachusetts towns have received state grants to design and build their own municipal broadband networks. Gov. Charlie Baker's administration last week released $4.6 million to Ashfield, Leyden, Shutesbury, Plainfield, Windsor, and Mount Washington. The grants will cover about a third of the cost, with towns borrowing the rest to build fiber optic networks to serve homes and businesses. "We were very excited to get the news," said David Kulp, chairman of the Municipal Light Plant Advisory Board in Ashfield. "When I made the announcement at Town Meeting on Saturday, the room broke out into cheers."

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    19. Northampton sells former Feiker School in Bay State Village for $291,100

      Northampton sells former Feiker School in Bay State Village for $291,100

      The city has sold a former elementary school to a private non-profit preschool provider, Mayor David Narkewicz announced today. The Feiker School at 221 Riverside Drive was purchased by the Nonotuck Community School Inc., which has run an early childhood education center at the site since 2005. Nonotuck, the sole bidder for the property, will pay $291,100. Nonotuck since 2005 had leased the building from the School Department. The one-story, 7,000 square-foot brick structure on a one-acre lot was built in the 1890s and named after former Northampton Mayor William H. Feiker. It served as a neighborhood elementary ...

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      Mentions: Northampton
    20. Area legislators prod state regulators to act quickly on Berkshire Gas moratorium

      Area legislators prod state regulators to act quickly on Berkshire Gas moratorium

      Six western Massachusetts legislators on Wednesday prodded the state's Department of Public Utilities to quickly "identify a way forward" to end a natural gas service moratorium in eight Pioneer Valley towns. The lawmakers said they are "deeply concerned" about the moratorium's economic development impact, and pushed the DPU to approve a solution. Citing capacity constraints, Berkshire Gas Co. in 2014 and 2015 declared a moratorium on new and expanded natural gas service in its Eastern Division, which encompasses Amherst, Deerfield, Greenfield, Hadley, Hatfield, Montague, Sunderland, and Whately.

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    21. Former Sweetheart Restaurant in Shelburne Falls to become brewpub

      Former Sweetheart Restaurant in Shelburne Falls to become brewpub

      If all goes as planned, the former Sweetheart Restaurant on Route 2 will see new life as a brewpub, restaurant and banquet hall. Incorporated as Sweetheart Realty LLC, Rae bought the vacant building in October of 2015 for $220,000. Rae's business "specializes in utility pipeline construction and trenchless methods of pipeline installation." For months, "build the pipeline" signs were posted in front of the building, and heavy equipment was parked outside. However, Rae had no affiliation with the controversial Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, which is now defunct, and does not do work at that scale, said ...

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    22. Baker administration relieves MassBroadband of $20 million in grantmaking authority

      Baker administration relieves MassBroadband of $20 million in grantmaking authority

      The MBI board of directors on Tuesday, March 28, agreed to let Gov. Charlie Baker's Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development take $20 million in grant-making authority off its plate. Starting April 3, eligible towns will apply for one-stop infrastructure grants through the cabinet-level office. That ought to streamline the process, said housing and economic development deputy secretary Carolyn Kirk. Town leaders have long complained of delays and shifting parameters, and at a Feb. 16 public forum in Worthington directed sharp words at the broadband institute, which was formed in 2008 by then-Gov. Deval Patrick and the state ...

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    23. State reassures communities as MassBroadband123 operator declares bankruptcy

      State reassures communities as MassBroadband123 operator declares bankruptcy

      A 1,200-mile, state-owned broadband backbone serving Central and Western Massachusetts will stay in service for at least 13 weeks while its operator negotiates Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a state official said on Thursday. In addition, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative denies responsibility for any financial woes experienced by KCST in its troubled operation of MassBroadband123, said Paul McMorrow, spokesman for the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. "That was not a business plan that was foisted on anyone," McMorrow said in a conference call with reporters.

       
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    24. Shutesbury opts for fiber optic network; rejects Charter cable offer

      Shutesbury opts for fiber optic network; rejects Charter cable offer

      The Shutesbury Board of Selectmen has rejected a proposal from Charter Communications to build a cable network within its borders, saying the town should take take available state broadband grants and apply the money to constructing its own fiber optic network. Local officials wrote to the Massachusetts Broadband Institute on March 9, saying the Charter cable proposal "is not a good long-term solution to bring broadband to our town" and that "town leadership still believes that building and owning our own network is preferable."

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    1-24 of 39 1 2 »
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    Massachusetts Broadband Institute pulls funding from WiredWest, advises towns to walk away from proposed contract Montague voters advance Strathmore Paper Mill cleanup in Turners Falls; condos planned Berkshire Gas proposes major new distribution main to lift moratorium in upper Pioneer Valley Rotting Monroe paper mill to be torn down for public park on Deerfield River Three rural communities get $1.9 million in state broadband money Eversource reports spending $940 million on Massachusetts power grid in 2016 Farms in Hadley, Leyden, and Amherst win state infrastructure grants State reassures communities as MassBroadband123 operator declares bankruptcy Baker administration relieves MassBroadband of $20 million in grantmaking authority Six Massachusetts towns win broadband infrastructure grants to build fiber optic networks Holyoke Community College STEM Scholarship Deadline Is July 15 Silverbrick LLC receives 1st approval to renovate Cabotville Mills in Chicopee