Friday, January 01, 2016

LINK: Video of Tom Krens, Mike Dukakis and Bill Weld talking about Cultural Corridor in northern Berkshire County on Dec. 5, 2015

Published on Dec 6, 2015

Former Massachusetts governors Michael S. Dukakis and William Weld, join former Guggenheim museum director and MassMoCA originator Thomas Krens on Sat., Dec. 5, 2015 to describe plans for an "Extreme Railroad and Architecture Museum" and a new "Global Contemporary Collection and Museum" near the Harriman & West Airport, both in North Adams, Mass. For background see: 






Thursday, December 10, 2015

TEXT: Email circulated at Williams College about public forums on Tuesday on big museum proposal


From: Denise Buell <<>>
Date: Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 12:03 PM
Subject: invitation to community forum on Arts Facilities
Dear staff colleagues,

The Arts Facilities Committee that is currently studying programmatic needs of the college’s Art Department and the Williams College Museum of Art invites members of the college and local communities to attend one of two listening sessions. These fora are meant to provide community members an opportunity to voice their thoughts about the possibility of a new college art building on the northwest corner of Southworth and Main streets.

The public fora will be held in two sessions on Tuesday, Dec. 15: one from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and one from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m—both in Griffin Hall, Room 3. As part of the committee’s work to address the physical and programmatic needs of the department and museum, its members will be on hand to receive input on the idea of building at that location.

The committee has not yet completed the program phase of the project.

Detailed design work is still to come, as is a formal proposal for how to meet the department and museum’s needs, which would be submitted for consideration to the Board of Trustees. A timeframe has not yet been determined for a proposal or consideration of a building/renovation project.

At next week’s public fora, committee members can provide a brief overview of the project and answer any questions, but the primary purpose of the sessions is to hear from the community about its ideas regarding the notion of an arts building on the Southworth site.
We look forward to your input.


Denise Buell (Religion, Dean of the Faculty, co-chair of the committee)
Will Dudley (Philosophy, Provost, co-chair of the committee)
Ondine Chavoya (Art)
Lisa Dorin (WCMA)
Marc Gotlieb (Art, and director of the graduate program in art history)
David Gurçay-Morris (Theater)
Guy Hedreen (Art)
Amy Johns (Zilkha)
Peter Low (Art, department chair)
Tina Olsen (WCMA)

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Refugee-benefit concern Sunday at St. John's Church features fidde and guitar

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- A free fiddle-and-guitar "duoEamon" concert to benefit global refugees is set for Sunday (Dec. 6) at 3 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church, 35 Park St. It is the third-annual concert for musicians Cassandra Cleghorn (fiddle) and Jeffrey Levine (guitar). They'll play music of Ireland, Quebec and New England, Cleghorn says an offering basket will be passed during the performances with all proceeds going to the non-profit International Rescue League.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Service Aug. 21 at school gazebo for Freda Jean Campbell, 77

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Longtime resident Freda Jean Campbell, mother of Cassandra Cleghorn, died peacefully in her sleep early in the morning of August 13, 2015. She was 77. 
Born in Elizabethton, Carter County, Tenn., on July 26, 1938 to Fred Lamar Campbell and Hattie Lois (Yates) Campbell, Freda lived an uncommonly rich life that led her to St. Petersburg, Fla.; Manhattan, Glens Falls and Ithaca, N.Y.; Cape May, N.J.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Penn.; Wilmington, Del.; Seattle; Santa Barbara, Calif.; and, over 10 years ago, to Berkshire County.
In Williamstown, she took enormous delight in people, art, music, books and nature. Freda was a tireless volunteer at the Milne Public Library and the Clark Art Institute. 
She is survived by her older sister, Barbara Wouters; by her four children, Cassandra Cleghorn, Angela Bolan, Paul Ondrejka, Nick Ondrejka, and their spouses; and by her 10 grandchildren: Oliver, Ripley, Eve, Merrill, Zachary, Jasper, Vina, Lauren, Liam, and Beau; and many other beloved, extended family members. Freda loved to travel -- crisscrossing the United States by train many times, and adventuring by herself to Mexico, London and Paris. 
Freda touched countless lives with her gifts of ikebana flower arranging, drawing and painting, sewing and quilting, cooking and storytelling. She was an expert card-player, and an almost unvanquished champion of Scrabble and Bananagrams. 
Her ashes will be scattered in the Smoky Mountains, the Purple Valley and the Pacific Ocean. Donations for a memorial fund to purchase flowering trees to be planted in her honor in Williamstown may be sent to Flynn and Dagnoli Funeral Home, 521 West Main St., North Adams, MA 01247. 
An informal gathering to celebrate Freda’s life will be held at the Williamstown Elementary School gazebo on Friday, Aug.21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

MGRHS building committee seeks public input Wed/Thurs. for "green" building; dinner included!

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Mount Greylock School Building Committee is urging the public to turn out for any one of three public meetings over the next week to help decide how a new high-school building could incorporate "green" construction techniques. The first meetings are Wednesday and Thursday afternoon at the school.


 “Green building” encompasses a wide variety of factors and “the Committee wants to tap the talent and creativity of community members,” according to Building Committee Chair Mark Schiek. The building project charrette meetings on Wed., July 22 and Thurs., July 23 will be facilitated by members of the architectural design team of Design Partnership of Cambridge.

  • Those in attendance on the 22nd will work in groups to brainstorm and vision design strategies that will contribute to building and site sustainability and efficiency. Discussion will focus on three broad topic areas: site/water strategies, indoor air quality, and passive/active energy systems.
  • The session on the 23rd will focus on refining and prioritizing the ideas generated in the first meeting. 

Because organizers of the public meetings are going to provide a light dinner and refreshments, they are asking that likely attendees email Wendy Penner  ( to help get a count.  Penner heads a "sustainability work group" of the larger committee. Penner is a former staff member and consultant to the Center for EcoTechnology. According to Penner “the Charrette will guide foundational decisions regarding which aspects of sustainability will get the greatest priority.”

Those who cannot attend one of the Charrettes are welcome to send their contributions and questions to Penner at The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), structures the process to ensure that schools meet a high standard for sustainability. The MSBA offers a higher level of reimbursement to projects that meet the LEED Silver standard. In some cases communities have found it worthwhile to exceed that standard.

On August 6, the Building Committee is expected to submit one of the options for development into a full schematic design and cost estimate. These documents are due to the MSBA in December. “We need public input in this early design phase to insure a successful project,” noted Building Committee Vice-Chair Paula Consolini.


  • July 22 4:30-8:30PM: Idea Generation Charrette, MG Meeting Room July 23 1-4PM: Prioritizing Charrette, MG Meeting Room
  • July 23 5:30PM: School Building Committee Meeting, MG Meeting Room
  • July 30 5:30PM: School Building Committee to vote final building design selection, MG Meeting Room
Contacts: Wendy Penner 413-441-2634 / Chairman Mark Schiek: 413-464-6724  / Vice-Chair Paula Consolini: 413-884-4283

Friday, July 03, 2015

Willamstown selectman Andy Hogeland proposes "analysis of costs, benefits and project scope for broadband"

Who owns the utility poles in Williamstown? 

Here is an exchange of email among Williamstown Selectman Andrew Hogeland, who also serves on the town's Economic Development Commission, Ben Greenfield, a tech expert hoping to bring high-speed broadband Internet to his Williamstown neighborhood, and others. 

On Fri, Jul 3, 2015 at 5:40 PM, Hogeland <> wrote:

Ben and Bill -

Just to clarify: At the last Selectmen's meeting I proposed that we take on some defined initiatives to focus on for the next 12 months. I don't recall Selectmen having adopted an annual agenda before, but my colleagues seemed receptive and we will be discussing it further at our next meeting. One of the items on my proposed list was to undertake an analysis of the costs, benefits and project scope for broadband so we can have a basis for deciding whether or not to proceed. I expect our list will get finalized during July. The EDC has heard numerous comments on broadband. We are now beginning the process of deciding what suggestions will be carried forward into the EDCs recommendations to the Selectmen. That effort will continue to develop over the summer and into the early fall.

Andy Hogeland

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2015 18:02:36 -0400
From: Bill Densmore <>
To: Hogeland <>


Thanks to you and the rest of the selectmen for undertaking a deliberative inquiry about broadband. I am discouraged that Time Warner is not a part of the discussion, yet.

WAMC had a piece on the air yesterday which included this key quote:

Mayor Kathy Sheehan says broadband is "...becoming not just a want, but a need, as we look to expanding both educational opportunities, business opportunities and access to what is going on in
the city. We've become so dependent on communicating, using this technology, so we have to be sure that everybody has access."

Remember, broadband speeds, as defined by the FCC -- and as necessary for any reasonable level of quality for streaming video -- is not even offered by Verizon in Williamstown.  The broadband-classified services -- 20 mb or higher -- from Time Warner start I think at $69 a month and that does NOT include symmetrical upload-download speeds.

If we want to be a digital valley, a silicon village, a place that welcomes and embraces knowledge workers, we need to provide services that meet the needs of creators not just consumers of digital information and services. At this point, Time Warner is a monopoly -- unregulated -- supplier of broadband services which are inadequate for that purpose. Time Warner, like other cable suppliers, prices and designs their service to provide for passive consumption of content but no capability to serve or create and share content at broadband speeds.

That's why the town should be actively moving to create or foster competitive service -- or finding a way to regulate Time Warner to up the functionality and pricing of its services.

We are fortunate that in Massachusetts, the telecom duopoly has yet to lobby the Legislature into foreclosing municipal broadband. But they have succeeded elsewhere:

-- bill densmore, Williamstown, Mass.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bill Densmore <>
Date: Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 4:17 PM
Subject: Fwd: Where's Williamstown utility pole right of way documented?
Cc: Bill Densmore <>

To Williamstown Selectmen: 

In exploring questions about broadband, I started asking a few weeks ago these three questions and am hoping the board might be able to forward this inquiry along to someone who can suggest answers or places to go for answers. These are questions that might to relevant to any plans for improving the town's provisioning of the public benefit of increased access to fast broadband.

1) Who controls access to utility poles in Williamstown? Does it depend on the pole? Would it be Verizon? Or National Grid? Or the town? Or the Prudential Committee?  Does the town -- or anyone
-- have a map showing who owns various poles?  Who grants permission to hang fiber wire on the polls? If it is done by an entity of the town, can it be done without payment of an "rent" to the poll owner?  After all, the polls sit on the town right of way at the pleasure of the town.

2) If for some reason Time Warner withdrew from providing services in Williamstown, what would happen to the physical plant on all these polls? Do they own it? Would they have the right to tear
it all down or otherwise disable it? Could they sell it to another operator (such as a town "Muncipal Lighting Plant"?) Might they just abandon it?

3) What would be involved in the town forming an MLP? What's an MLP?

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Monica Webb <>
Date: Sat, Jun 27, 2015 at 7:46 AM
Subject: Re: BROADBAND: Ben Greenfield at work; a Chalmers resource; Time
Warner offer; what the FCC chairman says
To: Bill Densmore <>

Thanks for the update, ​Bill​.

I'm happy to provide guidance on the MLP statute, as WiredWest was the one who
first utilized the statute for telecom only.

Also one of the unfortunate effects of the expensive back haul pricing in our area is that the town of Leverett has to share a gigabit, even though their network is built for each premise to get their own gigabit. Getting more competitive pricing on the MBI middle mile is critical for us in Western Mass so we can afford to provide gigabit connectivity to all premises in our next generation networks.​
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ben Greenfield 
Date: Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 11:00 AM
Subject: Re: BROADBAND: Ben Greenfield at work; a Chalmers resource; Time Warner offer; what the FCC chairman says

Hello Bill and all,

I first want to say that I'm amazed how fast things are moving after years of waiting. I would like to point out that last Monday the Select Board of Williamstown stated that broadband planning has made it on to some sort of todo list. This is great!

Williamstown has an underutillized asset in it's Right of Way. This asset can be harnessed in combination with the new massBroadband123 fiber optic install to put Williamstown internet
infrastructure on par with Singapore.

I know that the select board is interested and I would say that if you want a town owned network where every resident has access I would reach to the people you know on the select board and let them know you think it is valuable effort. I would also point out that the Economic Development Committee hears that broadband could be better but hasn't heard it enough to be convinced it is an issue according to this iBerkshires article.

Friday, March 27, 2015

MCLA business student Steve Peltier takes over 44-year Anagnos family business -- Colonial Pizza

Constantine Anagnos, left, and Steve Peltier
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Colonial Pizza -- a 44-year family business has changed hands and the new owner is also a longtime Williamstown resident. 

Constantine and Eleni Anagnos announce they have retired from the Williamstown institution they opened in January 1971. They are pleased to announce that their children: Ted, Sia, and John, as well as all current employees, will remain indefinitely to carry on the tradition under the new operator, long-time family acquaintance and Williamstown resident, Steve Peltier.

"The Anagnos family built this business out of nothing and has run it for 44 years. It literally put food on their table and thousands of other tables," Peltier says. "I am incredibly honored and humbled that they have entrusted me to keep their dream going for at least another 44 years."

The couple traveled from Greece to the U.S. over four decades ago with a handful of cash, two small children, and one on the way. They settled in northern Berkshire County and opened the original Colonial Pizza in the Colonial Shopping Center. After operating in several locations over the years, including many years on Spring Street, they came full circle to the now Colonial Plaza at 234 Main Street (Route 2).

Peltier has worked in the food and beverage/hospitality industry in Williamstown for over 20 years. He holds a BA from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) in English / Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and is also a graduate of the Berkshire Enterprises entrepreneurial training program. He is currently a full-time employee at MCLA and is working toward his Master’s degree in Business Administration through MCLA’s Professional MBA program. 

Peltier lives in Williamstown with his daughter Cassie. His son, Sean, now resides in Rhode Island.  He said he was grateful for the opportunity.

"This is a dream come true for me as well and I appreciate the fact that the kids are planning to stay on indefinitely so we can work together to continue the tradition," said Peltier. "I also expect Constantine to visit from time to time, especially since I plan to have Eleni come in and make her family-recipe spanakopita, baklava, meatballs and other items.”