Making News


  • Green River Homes LLC, of Northampton, is developing this seven-home housing complex near Greenfield’s town center for low- to moderate-income residents. Wright Builders, also of Northampton, is the contractor on the project. Submitted rendering

  • Dr. Jennifer Sowards SUBMITTED PHOTO

Published: 11/13/2017 12:47:02 PM
​​​Arrha to close Hadley branch

SPRINGFIELD — Arrha Credit Union intends to close its Hadley branch at 140 Russell St. in late January.

The credit union has submitted a request for permission to close to the state Division of Banks.

“We have made this request due to the Hadley branch not meeting its original projections,” said Michael S. Ostrowski, president and CEO.

Ostrowski said the competitive market has made efforts to grow the branch difficult.

Arrha intends to notify all customers of the Hadley branch closing by personal letter.

Staff at the branch will be offered comparable positions at the credit union’s other locations in Springfield and West Springfield.

Dice joins Valley CDC as small biz coordinator

NORTHAMPTON — Dee Dice of Northampton has joined Valley Community Development as its small business coordinator.

She will provide free technical support and business assistance to small- and medium-sized businesses of low and moderate income, as well as to entrepreneurs thinking about starting a business.

Dice is a serial entrepreneur with more than 10 businesses to her credit, starting with a cross country ski rental business that enabled her to fund her degree at the University of Connecticut and most recently a marketing and consulting business with Constant Contact, an email provider.

Her garden center and farm market on Martha’s Vineyard, Eden, has been in business for 25 years and has allowed her to advocate for and advise to small business owners for the past 10 years.

Her direct business experiences cover many diverse industries from retail and wholesale to consulting and event management.

Dice can be reached at or 413-586-5855 ex 230.

New hearing clinic opens in Florence

FLORENCE — Dr. Jennifer Sowards, an audiologist who was diagnosed with hearing loss at age 6 and has two decades of audiology experience, has opened a new practice in Florence.

The Florence Hearing Health Care, which opened Nov. 2, identifies, diagnoses and treats hearing disorders from its office at 190 Nonotuck St., Suite 102.

Sowards has practiced at private ear, nose and throat offices and hearing clinics, as well as the VA Medical Center in Portland, Oregon.

Northampton firm builds affordable homes in Greenfield

GREENFIELD — Green River Homes LLC, of Northampton, is developing seven homes near Greenfield’s town center at 98-106 Deerfield St. for low- to moderate-income residents.

The homes are being built by Wright Builders, Inc., also of Northampton. The development, called Green River Commons, will be a small cluster of seven homes in one triplex and one quad building.

“The infill scale of the project means this model can be explored and replicated elsewhere, providing an innovative path to home ownership for low- and moderate-income residents,” said co-principal Jonathan Wright.

The homes will sell for between $145,000 and $200,000.

​​​​​​Construction is expected to be completed summer of 2018.

CET wins award

NORTHAMPTON — City nonprofit The Center for EcoTechnology has been awarded top national honor for its work over the past 20 years to expand the use of composting to reduce wasted food, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

The Rathmann Family Foundation awarded the honor as part of its North American 2017 Rathmann Challenge, Mitigating Climate Change: Expanding the Use of Compost.

CET receives $100,000 for its past work and the exclusive invitation from the Rathmann Family Foundation to apply for an Even Bigger Idea grant of $200,000.

In 2011, CET worked with the state Department of Environmental Protection to establish the Massachusetts RecyclingWorks program. RecyclingWorks provides businesses and institutions in Massachusetts with free consultation and expert technical assistance to put into place cost-effective waste management programs, including composting.

CET is embarking on a new, long-term effort to increase its impact by sharing its expertise in wasted food reduction across the Northeast and beyond. CET has begun performing food waste diversion work in Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island, in addition to Massachusetts.

Dementia education workshop

SOUTH HADLEY — The South Hadley and Granby Chamber of Commerce will host a breakfast program for businesses and employees to learn more about helping customers who may be living with dementia.

The breakfast program will take place on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m., at Loomis Village, 20 Bayon Drive, South Hadley.

Of the approximately 5.3 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it is estimated that 70 percent live independently in the community. Of those individuals, about 30 percent live alone. Greater awareness of the issues and communication tips will help assure that they are well served. 

The one-hour presentation will be led by registered nurse Rachel E. Tierney, and will include an overview by the South Hadley Police of the free MedicAlert program available for individuals living with dementia. The cost is $10 for Chamber members and $20 for non-Chamber members.

Rsvp to: Carol Constant,, 413-588-5184


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