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Hilltown Voices: Large turnouts in Chesterfield and Goshen approve WiredWest broadband fiber-optic network

Saturday, July 4, 2015

In two of the best-attended special Town Meetings in recent memory, Chesterfield and Goshen this week each overwhelmingly approved spending more than $1 million to help create a regional state-of-the-art broadband fiber-optic network. The project will be built and operated by WiredWest, a cooperative seeking to provide broadband to 32 towns in western Massachusetts. On Monday, Goshen voters unanimously approved $1.4 million as the town’s share of the project, and …

Federal regulators plan July 29 meeting in Greenfield on Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Federal regulators have issued formal notice for the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. Northeast Energy Direct project, scheduling a July 29 public meeting in Greenfield. The notice starts the clock for the 60-day process to decide the scope of issues considered in a environmental impact statement on the project, which would cross Plainfield in Hampshire County and eight Franklin County towns en route from …

Environmental groups question Beacon Hill Institute report on pipeline-created jobs

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A new report funded by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. states that construction of its Northeast Energy Direct pipeline would create 1,713 jobs in the state, and that the impact could be over 12,000 jobs by 2020. But the report, by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston, with ties to the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, is being called into question by …

Franklin Council of Governments helps towns prepare for federal review of Tennessee Gas Pipeline project

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What questions does the upcoming environmental impact review of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. project through western Massachusetts need to answer? The Franklin Regional Council of Governments is making a list on behalf of the towns that the proposed $5 billion project would pass through to get ready for …

Solarize Mass Plainfield-Ashfield-Buckland selects photovoltaic panel installer

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Solarize Mass Plainfield-Ashfield-Buckland partnership now has a solar photovoltaic panel installer and about 300 residents who are interested in bringing solar-generated power into their homes. These and others from the three towns will be able to learn more about incentives for buying a photovoltaic system through this …

State rejects petitions for full intervenor status filed by state Rep. Stephen Kulik and two organizations opposing Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The state Department of Public Utilities has rejected petitions seeking full intervenor status filed by Rep. Stephen Kulik and two organizations opposing the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline project through Franklin County. The case involves the Berkshire Gas Co. contract to buy natural gas transported by the pipeline. Both …

Hilltown Voices: Emily Dickinson scholar to read from new book at Meekins Library in Williamsburg

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Susan Snively, poet, essayist, screenwriter and scholar of the life and works of Emily Dickinson, will reading from her new novel entitled “The Heart Has Many Doors” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg. The reading is part of the library’s series “Lives of the …

Gov. Charlie Baker says Yankee Candle ‘a success story I’d like to replicate all over the place’

Friday, May 29, 2015

WHATELY — Yankee Candle is Franklin County’s largest employer and during a short visit Thursday afternoon, Gov. Charlie Baker called it a success story to be replicated across the state. During a tour of the Pioneer Valley, Baker …

State Rep. Stephen Kulik tells DPU that Berkshire Gas should consider alternatives to pipeline

Thursday, May 28, 2015

BOSTON — State Rep. Stephen Kulik argued before Boston regulators this week that Berkshire Gas Co. should consider alternatives to Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., including replacement of older, inefficient gas furnaces, repair of Berkshire Gas’s leaks and supporting efforts to better insulate every home, business, factory and public …

Tennessee Gas Pipeline meeting raises legal, technical consideration for municipal officials

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Although less heated than many forums about the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline project that would cross western Massachusetts, a two-hour meeting Tuesday hosted by the Franklin Regional Council of Governments raised several legal and technical considerations for many of the roughly 60 municipal officials and others attending. Jeffrey …

Workshop Tuesday in Greenfield on federal review of Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Saturday, May 23, 2015

To help communities in the region plan for the formal federal review process of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. project, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, will hold a workshop at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the dining commons at Greenfield Community College. …

Hilltown Voices: Williamsburg Fire Department gets new protective gear

Saturday, May 23, 2015

With the help of a $10,500 grant from the Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Firefighters’ Association, six more Williamsburg volunteer firefighters are now better protected with up-to-date turnout gear. The personal protective equipment consists of a turnout coat, pants, helmet, boots, …

Area legislators join anti-pipeline groups seeking legal status to intervene in Berkshire Gas pact with Tennesee Gas

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Several area state legislators are joining anti-pipeline groups seeking legal status to intervene in the request by Berkshire Gas Co. to become a customer of the planned Tennessee Gas Pipeline project. Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, has joined with …