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State Sen. Benjamin Downing in final year cites opioid epidemic, changing demographics as key issues

Saturday, February 6, 2016

BOSTON — After almost 10 years in office, state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing has checked many items off an impressive to-do list. The Pittsfield Democrat has worked to increase the amount of solar energy in the state by more than 500 percent, and supported efforts to rebuild college campuses. But Downing, who will be leaving his post come January, says other important issues remain, from demographic divisions in the state’s …

Adam Hinds to seek state Senate seat being vacated by Benjamin Downing

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Adam Hinds announced his candidacy Wednesday for the state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield. The announcement came one day after Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, said that he would not seek the Senate post which he had been seriously considering. Downing announced last week that he would not seek …

US Sen. Elizabeth Warren takes strong stand against Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren took a strong stand against the proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline project during a speech in Springfield on Monday, calling out the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that will have the final say about whether it is approved. Warren, a Democrat, described how regulatory agencies that she helped create, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, …

Pittsfield state representative will not seek open Senate seat

Friday, January 29, 2016

State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvoir of Pittsfield said Thursday she plans to forgo a bid to replace Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, and instead seek re-election to her House seat. That leaves state Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, as the key hopeful considering a run for the Senate seat representing …

Two House members in Berkshire County may seek Senate seat now held by Benjamin Downing

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Two Berkshire County Democrats say that the announcement by state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing that he will not seek a sixth term this year not only is a tremendous loss for his western Massachusetts constituents but also a possible opportunity for their own careers. “I’m very sad to …

Retiring state Sen. Benjamin Downing says energy reform a priority during final year

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

State Sen. Benjamin B. Downing said among the priorities in his final year in the Legislature is reforming state energy policies. Downing on Monday announced that he will not seek re-election to a sixth term this year. In …

Hilltown Voices: Construction begins on new home for Highland Ambulance in Goshen

Saturday, January 16, 2016

When Highland Ambulance was first established, an arrangement was made with the Goshen Fire Department that the service would be temporarily housed in its fire station until a suitable permanent location could be found. That was 11 years …

Leverett Peace Pagoda will lead Martin Luther King Walk opposing Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

At first blush, it might seem like environmental issues, and environmental controversies such as the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline project through western Massachusetts, have nothing to do with the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. But King was a champion of environmental justice, the principle that …

Hilltown Voices: Hilltown Land Trust protects 125 acres in Chester owned by Sarah and William Freedberg

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Hilltown Land Trust, a local affiliate of The Trustees of Reservations, recently placed under protection a 125-acre tract of land in Chester that offers valuable wildlife habitat and water resources. The property is owned by Sarah and William Freedberg of Northampton and Chester. The couple approached the …

Grandmother’s recipe catapults marinara sauce from Windsor to markets throughout New England and New York

Sunday, December 27, 2015

CUMMINGTON — Many talented cooks who enjoy entertaining have heard their guests exclaim “Wow, this is so good you should sell it!” While most are flattered, few heed the advice. An exception to that norm is Michael Tesoro, …

Hilltown Voices: R.H. Conwell School students take visitors around the world at winter showcase and concert

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Students at R.H. Conwell School in Worthington took visitors on a trip around the world as they presented their recent work featuring the history, culture, flora and fauna found a variety of countries. “The kids were incredibly proud …

Fire kills chicken, damages barn and contents owned by Laura and Mark Sullivan on Stage Road in Cummington

Monday, December 21, 2015

CUMMINGTON — Seven volunteer fire departments from the Hilltowns which responded early Sunday to a fire at 320 Stage Road helped save a barn and some of its contents from destruction. “This was a serious fire that had …

Changes needed in power grid to enable connection by many small producers of electricity

Friday, December 18, 2015

State Sen. Benjamin Downing believes that New England should do everything possible to promote solar energy and find ways of easing the transition to a power grid capable of handling many small producers of electricity, such as homes with solar panels. Downing, D-Pittsfield, said in a recent interview …