Monday, October 13, 2014

Moomaw's ask Williamstown town manager about fuel and CO2 mix of winter electric supply

From: MSMoomaw
Date: October 13, 2014, 10:45:14 AM EDT
To: Mark Cappadona <>, <>, <>
Cc: Nancy Nylen <>, <>
Subject: Fuel mix

Dear Mr. Fohlin:

I spoke with Mark Cappadona a week ago and at that time he recited a fuel mix for the Williamstown Community Power alternative.  He said he would send
the numbers (and percentages of each type) to me via email.  I have not received it, so I am requesting it again, as well as the answer to the following questions:

  • What is the overall mix of fuels?
  • What is the composition of the 19% miscellaneous cited to me over th telephone?
  • Is the current mix that was cited to me by telephone the mix that wil be maintained through the winter?

There is real concern that in reducing the "price" of electricity, that Colonial Power will be using coal and other highly polluting fuels and that it will purchasing these as demand for electricity increases during the winter.  This alternative is only less expensive (for the planet and us as citizens) if it produces less CO2 than the existing National Grid mix of fuels.

Many people in Williamstown installed solar panels on their homes in the past year out of a desire to do their part for the planet, and to help mitigate the effects of climate change.  They do not want to counteract this by buying less environmentally friendly electricity this winter.  You owe
the community honest written information about the fuel mix and carbon footprint of the fuel you are buying for the community. I am requesting the same information from National Grid so Williamstown citizens can make their own comparison. For our part, we will opt out for Green Start, the supplier we currently have.

Margot S. Moomaw
870 Henderson Road
Williamstown, MA 01267

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fwd: : Stroudwater Releases Report on Northern Berkshires Health Needs

Bill Densmore
Williamstown, Mass.
Off: 413-458-8001 / m: 617-448-6600

Begin forwarded message:

From: Debby Dane <>
Date: September 18, 2014 at 1:57:37 PM MDT
To: Alex Brooks <>, Tela Zasloff <>, Bill Densmore <>, Harry Montgomery <>
Subject: Fwd: : Stroudwater Releases Report on Northern Berkshires Health Needs


Debby Dane
Executive Director
WilliNet, Connecting You to Your Community
34 Spring Street
Williamstown, MA 01267

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Al Bashevkin <>
Date: Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 3:38 PM
Subject: Fwd: : Stroudwater Releases Report on Northern Berkshires Health Needs
To: Cathleen Mcelligott <>, Al Bashevkin <>

Friends…here is the recently released Stroudwater Report offer recommendations following the closing of North Adams Regional Hospital. Please note that there will be two community presentations regarding this report...Tuesday, September 23 at 5:30 PM and Wednesday, September 24 at 9:30 AM at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Church Street Center Social Hall, Church St, North Adams.

Thanks to Cathleen McElligott for making this all happen.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: McElligott, Cathleen (DPH) <>
Date: Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 1:26 PM
Subject: : Stroudwater Releases Report on Northern Berkshires Health Needs
To: Al Bashevkin <>

Can you help us disseminate….


Updated version with specific location noted at MCLA…



I am pleased to inform you that Stroudwater Associates has completed their assessment of the northern Berkshire community's health care needs and their report is posted on the website of the Department of Public Health (DPH) State Office of Rural Health, which commissioned the report.  Attached is a press release about this with a link to the report. The link is:


Please note that there will be 2 community meetings held at which the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Mass Department of Public Health will be present, along with the authors of the report, who will  discuss the report findings and answer questions.


The community meetings will be Tuesday, September 23 at 5:30 PM and Wednesday, September 24 at 9:30 AM at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Church Street Center Social Hall, Church St, North Adams.  


We look forward to meeting with you. Please help us spread the word about the community meetings.



Cathleen McElligott

Director, MDPH State Office of Rural Health

Massachusetts Dept of Public Health

180 Beaman St, West Boylston, MA 01583


Office Tel: 508-792-7880 Ext 2172 

Fax: 508-792-7706

Building Partnerships for Better Health in Rural Communities


MDPH Website:

SORH Webpages:

Follow us on FACEBOOK:


Al Bashevkin
Northern Berkshire Community Coalition
61 Main Street Suite 218
North Adams, MA 01247
413 663-7588

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

JOIN US: Tell us if the Greylock Independent is meeting community needs - Tues., Sept. 23

If you'r reading this then you're invited -- Sept. 23, Tues., from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the First Congregational Church to . . .

. . . A listening session with the editors and organizers of The Greylock Independent -- a monthly, regional news source.


One snowy night last winter, 55 people showed up to a meeting called to discuss how we as a community want to respond to a distant corporation.s shutting down both of our area's publications.

Five of us started meeting regularly to try to figure out if it was feasible to respond to that call. The result is the formation of The Greylock Independent, maintaining a news web site and putting out a monthly print publication.

Now we are looking for some response from the community about how we are doing. Is the news and commentary we have provided in our first four issues and on our web site valuable? Are you willing to support us while we grow into a more capable news-gathering organization?

We want to know what you think. We need broad community participation to make this work. We need writers, we need readers, we need subscribers, and we need advertisers. So we are inviting the community to come together once again and share thoughts on the news environment of this area and where you'd like to see it go.

Alex Brooks, Editor & Publisher The Greylock Independent

Contributing Editor, Tela Zasloff Steering Committee: Bill Densmore, Marc
Jaffe, Harry Montgomery

No reservation is necessary; but email along questions so we can be prepared.

-- bill densmore

Bill Densmore
c/o Densmore Associates
Williamstown Mass. USA
mobile: 617-448-6600

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Fwd: Letter to President Adam Falk and Jim Kolesar RE: Harper House

Here is a copy of email correspondence from Williamstown resident Tela Zasloff to Williams College President Adam Falk regarding the college's proposal to raze a house on Stetson Court in order to make room for a new dormitory.   Here is a LINK to the iBerkshires story about the house and the Historical Commission vote to delay the tear down for at least 30 days.

From: Tela and Joe Zasloff <>
Date: September 6, 2014 at 1:24:38 AM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Letter to President Adam Falk and Jim Kolesar RE: Harper House
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fwd: Fwd: To the Williamstown Historical Commission. The Harper House on Stetson Court
Date: Sat, 06 Sep 2014 01:20:31 -0400
From: Tela and Joe Zasloff <>
To: Adam F. Falk <>,, Tela Zasloff <>

Adam Falk, President
Williams College

Dear President Falk,

Below is a letter I sent today to the Williamstown Historical Commission, on Williams College's announcement at the commission's August 28 meeting, that the College intended to demolish the Harper House at 54 Stetson Court. 

The reasoning behind this decision, as explained by Executive Director of Design and Construction, Rita Coppola-Wallace, was based in inaccuracies about the history of the Harper House and showed that the College, in sending out one "internal email to the college community" about this house, was glaringly deficient in considering its responsibilities to the Town.

I hope you will weigh in on this issue and help the college decision-makers see that preservation of local historical treasures is part of their role.

Thank you.

Tela Zasloff
33 McCauley Lane
Williamstown, MA  01267
(413) 458-4846

To the Williamstown Historical Commission:
    William Barkin (2014)
    Linda Conway (2014)
    Sarah Currie (2015)
    K. Scott Wong (2015)
    Barbara McLucas (2016)

Dear Williamstown Historical Commission,

I read with some alarm, in iBerkshires, your commission's recent discussion of Williams College's intent to demolish the Harper House in order to build a dormitory.  My husband and I and our four daughters rented the house from Sylvia Harper for eight summers, 1980-1988, and still think of those years as the most precious of our Williamstown summers, primarily because of the graciousness and dignity of that house.

The Harper House is important to the town as a fine example of New England architecture and quality of living, with space and light in all the rooms and fixtures, arched doorways, windowseats that speak eloquently of an era in our history as only architecture can. Sylvia Harper was proud of the tradition this house represented and left around on table tops, tokens of her own and her husband's history, including letters between Mr. Harper's father and his good friend, Woodrow
Wilson.   From just being in such an atmosphere, we all, as a family, came to know Williamstown and New England tradition.

The iBerkshires article makes it clear that your commission is trying to figure out how it might recommend saving this house from demolition. Please continue to do so.

I would like to refer you to this article: about a Cambridge Historical Commission award granted to Harvard for saving, and moving three historic Victorian houses for Harvard Law School, to make way for a new academic  complex.  Williams College is, like Harvard, determining the fate of a piece of historic architecture invaluable to the town and I urge that Williams make the same kind of decision to preserve it. 

Tela Zasloff
Williamstown, MA




Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Daley, Hogelund Williamstown selectman seats

Results just sent by Town Clerk Mary Kennedy:
BLANKS 79 23 90 192
HUGH DALEY 326 99 281 706
GARY FULS, JR 123 31 161 315
ANDREW HOGELAND 373 118 314 805
JACK NOGUEIRA 48 11 51 110
WRITE INS 1 0 1 2
TOTAL 950 282 898 2130

Friday, April 04, 2014

Fwd: ATTACHED: LIst of largest 20 unsecured creditors of Northern Berkshire Healthcare Inc.

This does not include "secured" creditors, which would the big bondholders such as the Massachusetts Health Care Finance Authority and I guess perhaps Wells Fargo Bank. They would have a claim on and control of the buildings and I can't imagine them not being willing to let BMC start using it if they pay any rent at all. The creditors on this list will all get nothing, it would appear.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

TEXT: A set of questions from former Williamstown selectman Ken Swiatek about NBHS planned closing

From: Ken Swiatek <>
Date: March 26, 2014, 6:15:30 AM EDT

Subject: Questions on the North Adams Regonal Hospital Closing

NARH Closing – Answers Needed – Thank You!


Here are some questions and comments I have regarding the North Adams Regional Hospital (NARH) scheduled for March 28, 2014 that was announced on March 25, 2014.


1.  Who, if anybody “owns” the hospital?


2.  Do members of the NARH Board of Directors receive any form of compensation?


3.  How can the Board of Trustees close the hospital without even proposing any succession plan like a 24/7 hour medical emergency stop business?  This seems an awful lot like a cut and run decision, even if it was carefully planned for months.


4.  Does Berkshire Medical Center have a helicopter landing pad like Southern Vermont Hospital?


5.  How soon will the Williamstown, North Adams, Adams ambulance services be getting a medical helicopter? Where will it be housed?


6.  Why would any parents from outside the area want to send their children to Williams College or MCLA given that there is no nearby hospital? (Per the Williams Record, Williams sends several students weekly to NARH for alcohol/drug overdoses.)


7.  This closing is way, way more devastating than the Sprague Electric closing, in the magnitude of 4-6X worse.


8.  I hope this vote of the board of Trustees was not a ploy to play hardball and to bring the nurses union and the nurses into submission for pay and benefit cuts.


9.  Please list all the salaries of hospital administrative staff.


10.  Is Williamstown Medical Associates in any danger of closing in the next 5 years? If not, what have they been doing right that the hospital cannot do?


11.  Is the Southern Vermont (Bennington) Hospital planning on closing soon? If not, what have they been doing correctly?


12. Here is a listing of the NARH Board of Trustees: give ‘em a call!

Julia Bolton, Jane Allen, Ellen Bernstein, Arthur Turton, Chi Cheung, Jonathan Cluett, Stephen Fix, Bruce Grinnell, Richard Jette, Byron Sherman, Martha Storey, Susan Yates, William Frado Jr., Tim Jones.


13.  There is also a long list of the Board of Corporators:


14.  Would an infusion/transfusion of major new blood on the Board of Directors have helped the hospital to be able to look outside the box? How about some sort of receivership?


15.  This may be a wake up call for the Northern Berkshire area, but if it fails, who will be left to flip the light switch?


16.  If anyone has answers to ANY of these questions, please send them along.  Once we get a few answers, there will be many more Questions.


17.  Property values and school enrollment numbers will stat plummeting in 3, 2, 1 ...


18.  First they shut down our newspapers, now our hospital, what is next?


19.  What will happen to NARH pensions, current and future?


20.  See 1-18 above.


Ken Swiatek

Williamstown, MA


Ken Swiatek
Radio: 91.1FM Tu 3 - 6 PM

Federal law about layoff notice


U.S. Department of Labor

Employment and Training Administration
Fact Sheet

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
A Guide to Advance Notice of Closings and Layoffs

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) was enacted on August 4, 1988 and became effective on February 4, 1989.
General Provisions
WARN offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union); to the State dislocated worker unit; and to the appropriate unit of local government.
Employer Coverage
In general, employers are covered by WARN if they have 100 or more employees, not counting employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months and not counting employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week. Private, for-profit employers and private, nonprofit employers are covered, as are public and quasi-public entities which operate in a commercial context and are separately organized from the regular government. Regular Federal, State, and local government entities which provide public services are not covered.
Employee Coverage
Employees entitled to notice under WARN include hourly and salaried workers, as well as managerial and supervisory employees. Business partners are not entitled to notice.

What Triggers Notice
Plant Closing: A covered employer must give notice if an employment site (or one or more facilities or operating units within an employment site) will be shut down, and the shutdown will result in an employment loss (as defined later) for 50 or more employees during any 30-day period. This does not count employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months or employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week for that employer. These latter groups, however, are entitled to notice (discussed later).
Mass Layoff: A covered employer must give notice if there is to be a mass layoff which does not result from a plant closing, but which will result in an employment loss at the employment site during any 30-day period for 500 or more employees, or for 50-499 employees if they make up at least 33% of the employer's active workforce. Again, this does not count employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months or employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week for that employer. These latter groups, however, are entitled to notice (discussed later).
An employer also must give notice if the number of employment losses which occur during a 30-day period fails to meet the threshold requirements of a plant closing or mass layoff, but the number of employment losses for 2 or more groups of workers, each of which is less than the minimum number needed to trigger notice, reaches the threshold level, during any 90-day period, of either a plant closing or mass layoff. Job losses within any 90-day period will count together toward WARN threshold levels, unless the employer demonstrates that the employment losses during the 90-day period are the result of separate and distinct actions and causes.
Sale of Businesses
In a situation involving the sale of part or all of a business, the following requirements apply. (1) In each situation, there is always an employer responsible for giving notice. (2) If the sale by a covered employer results in a covered plant closing or mass layoff, the required parties (discussed later) must receive at least 60 days notice. (3) The seller is responsible for providing notice of any covered plant closing or mass layoff which occurs up to and including the date/time of the sale. (4) The buyer is responsible for providing notice of any covered plant closing or mass layoff which occurs after the date/time of the sale. (5) No notice is required if the sale does not result in a covered plant closing or mass layoff. (6) Employees of the seller (other than employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months or employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week) on the date/time of the sale become, for purposes of WARN, employees of the buyer immediately following the sale. This provision preserves the notice rights of the employees of a business that has been sold.

Employment Loss
The term "employment loss" means:
(1) An employment termination, other than a discharge for cause, voluntary departure, or retirement;
(2) a layoff exceeding 6 months; or
(3) a reduction in an employee's hours of work of more than 50% in each month of any 6-month period.
Exceptions: An employee who refuses a transfer to a different employment site within reasonable commuting distance does not experience an employment loss. An employee who accepts a transfer outside this distance within 30 days after it is offered or within 30 days after the plant closing or mass layoff, whichever is later, does not experience an employment loss. In both cases, the transfer offer must be made before the closing or layoff, there must be no more than a 6 month break in employment, and the new job must not be deemed a constructive discharge. These transfer exceptions from the "employment loss" definition apply only if the closing or layoff results from the relocation or consolidation of part or all of the employer's business.
An employer does not need to give notice if a plant closing is the closing of a temporary facility, or if the closing or mass layoff is the result of the completion of a particular project or undertaking. This exemption applies only if the workers were hired with the understanding that their employment was limited to the duration of the facility, project or undertaking. An employer cannot label an ongoing project "temporary" in order to evade its obligations under WARN.
An employer does not need to provide notice to strikers or to workers who are part of the bargaining unit(s) which are involved in the labor negotiations that led to a lockout when the strike or lockout is equivalent to a plant closing or mass layoff. Non-striking employees who experience an employment loss as a direct or indirect result of a strike and workers who are not part of the bargaining unit(s) which are involved in the labor negotiations that led to a lockout are still entitled to notice.
An employer does not need to give notice when permanently replacing a person who is an "economic striker" as defined under the National Labor Relations Act.

Who Must Receive Notice
The employer must give written notice to the chief elected officer of the exclusive representative(s) or bargaining agency(s) of affected employees and to unrepresented individual workers who may reasonably be expected to experience an employment loss. This includes employees who may lose their employment due to "bumping," or displacement by other workers, to the extent that the employer can identify those employees when notice is given. If an employer cannot identify employees who may lose their jobs through bumping procedures, the employer must provide notice to the incumbents in the jobs which are being eliminated. Employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months and employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week are due notice, even though they are not counted when determining the trigger levels.
The employer must also provide notice to the State dislocated worker unit and to the chief elected official of the unit of local government in which the employment site is located.
Notification Period
With three exceptions, notice must be timed to reach the required parties at least 60 days before a closing or layoff. When the individual employment separations for a closing or layoff occur on more than one day, the notices are due to the representative(s), State dislocated worker unit and local government at least 60 days before each separation. If the workers are not represented, each worker's notice is due at least 60 days before that worker's separation.
The exceptions to 60-day notice are:
(1) Faltering company. This exception, to be narrowly construed, covers situations where a company has sought new capital or business in order to stay open and where giving notice would ruin the opportunity to get the new capital or business, and applies only to plant closings;
(2) unforeseeable business circumstances. This exception applies to closings and layoffs that are caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time notice would otherwise have been required; and
(3) Natural disaster. This applies where a closing or layoff is the direct result of a natural disaster, such as a flood, earthquake, drought or storm.
If an employer provides less than 60 days advance notice of a closing or layoff and relies on one of these three exceptions, the employer bears the burden of proof that the conditions for the exception have been met. The employer also must give as much notice as is practicable. When the notices are given, they must include a brief statement of the reason for reducing the notice period in addition to the items required in notices.
Form and Content of Notice
No particular form of notice is required. However, all notices must be in writing. Any reasonable method of delivery designed to ensure receipt 60 days before a closing or layoff is acceptable.
Notice must be specific. Notice may be given conditionally upon the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event only when the event is definite and its occurrence or nonoccurrence will result in a covered employment action less than 60 days after the event.
The content of the notices to the required parties is listed in section 639.7 of theWARN final regulations. Additional notice is required when the date(s) or 14-day period(s) for a planned plant closing or mass layoff are extended beyond the date(s) or 14-day period(s) announced in the original notice.
No particular form of record is required. The information employers will use to determine whether, to whom, and when they must give notice is information that employers usually keep in ordinary business practices and in complying with other laws and regulations.
An employer who violates the WARN provisions by ordering a plant closing or mass layoff without providing appropriate notice is liable to each aggrieved employee for an amount including back pay and benefits for the period of violation, up to 60 days. The employer's liability may be reduced by such items as wages paid by the employer to the employee during the period of the violation and voluntary and unconditional payments made by the employer to the employee.
An employer who fails to provide notice as required to a unit of local government is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $500 for each day of violation. This penalty may be avoided if the employer satisfies the liability to each aggrieved employee within 3 weeks after the closing or layoff is ordered by the employer.
Enforcement of WARN requirements is through the United States district courts. Workers, representatives of employees and units of local government may bring individual or class action suits. In any suit, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs.
Specific requirements of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act may be found in the Act itself, Public Law 100-379 (29 U.S.C. 210l, et seq.) The Department of Labor published final regulations on April 20, 1989 in the FederalRegister (Vol. 54, No. 75). The regulations appear at 20 CFR Part 639.
General questions on the regulations may be addressed to:
U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Office of Work-Based Learning
Room N-5426
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210
(202) 219-5577
The Department of Labor, since it has no administrative or enforcement responsibility under WARN, cannot provide specific advice or guidance with respect to individual situations.

This is one of a series of fact sheets highlighting U.S. Department of Labor programs. It is intended as a general description only and does not carry the force of legal opinion.

Bill Densmore
Williamstown, Mass.
Off: 413-458-8001 / m: 617-448-6600