Monday, October 30, 2006

Bosley announces $300K grant for studying faster web access; hearings on broadband in Greenfield, Stockbridge

These two announcements was supplied October 30 by the office of state Rep. Daniel Bosley,
D-North Adams.

Below you will find two announcements from Berkshire Connect, Inc. & Pioneer Valley Connect. The first announcement is in regards to the recent award of $300,000 from the John Adams Innovation Institute of the Commonwealth's Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to BerkshireConnect and Pioneer Valley Connect to further their work exploring potential short- and long-term solutions to the problem of broadbandaccess in the region's underserved communities. The second announces a series of forums about broadband issues in Western Massachusetts. The first of these forums will be held on November 1, 2006 at the Greenfield Community College main campus.

October 20, 2006

"Connects Awarded John Adams Innovation Institute Grant
to Increase Broadband Availability in Western Massachusetts"

The leadership of Berkshire Connect, Inc. and Pioneer Valley Connect are pleased to announce a recent grant award from the John Adams Innovation Institute to further strategies to advance broadband into Western Massachusetts' underserved communities. The Innovation Institute, a division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, supports technology-based economic development initiatives in the Commonwealth. A carefully developed collaborative proposal by the Connects has resulted in a two-year, $300,000 Regional Priority award for the Pioneer Valley and Berkshire Regions.

"This award represents the transformative economic development that Legislature supported when they created and funded the John Adams Innovation Institute," said Representative Daniel E. Bosley (D-North Adams), "Berkshire Connect and Pioneer Valley Connect have served as national models to bring Internet access to underserved communities. Now, through this grant award, they are seeking to leverage their success in this telecommunications area to bring broadband to our rural communities and wireless solutions to our hometowns and downtowns."

The joint award will allow the Connects to build upon previous work conducted to address the telecommunications needs of the region and to pursue short- and long-term solutions to increase broadband access to many underserved residents and businesses in the region that currently have little or no access to high speed internet. Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington) said "This groundbreaking award will allow our ongoing regional broadband work to step up to a new level. The Berkshire and Pioneer Valley Connect organizations will now have the financial resources to test the best technologies for high speed telecommunications services for our rural and underserved communities, as well as involve the public in planning and implementing this critical economic development tool throughout western Massachusetts."

Senator Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst) stated that "affordable and reliable broadband service will help rural communities compete in the high-tech economy. The Connects have never wavered in their pursuit of that goal and this grant is a reward for their efforts." The mission of the Connects is to create an advanced telecommunications landscape that will have affordable, reliable and redundant high capacity broadband services available throughout Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire Counties. Both Connects have had successes in advancing telecommunications in the region, but significant challenges remain. One-third of the 101 communities in Western Massachusetts have no access to broadband, such as DSL or cable modem technologies. The Connects believe that T-1 offerings are too expensive as a substitute and satellite services do not represent a true broadband service. In many of the communities that have broadband access, it may only be available in limited areas. !
Broadband access for all communities of Western Massachusetts is essential in today's economy and is a necessary tool to support public health & safety, education, and government efficiency.

Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D.-Lenox) said "I am excited that the Commonwealth has recognized the need for access to broadband and other wireless technologies in Western Massachusetts and I am confident that Berkshire Connect and Pioneer Valley Connect will use this grant to continue to achieve success in realizing this goal."

This award will enable the Connects to pursue the following types of tasks:

1. Implement experimental approaches and beta test programs for the application of wireless technologies in three communities;

2. Conduct a series of broadband public forums;

3. Develop regional approaches and identify funding to implement a long-term solution; and

4. Develop a public-private organizational solution capable of overseeing the long-term management of assets.

For more information about the Connects, go to their websites at or

Contacts for information:
Berkshire Connect, Inc. - Donald Dubendorf, President; Sharon Ferry,
Business Manager, 413-496-9606

Pioneer Valley Connect - Linda Dunlavy, Steering Committee Co-Chair,
413-774-3167 x103; Jessica Atwood, Steering Committee Staff-Person, 413-774-1194 x101

October 20, 2006

"Broadband Forums Scheduled"

The leadership of Berkshire Connect, Inc. and Pioneer Valley Connect are pleased to announce an upcoming series of forums about broadband technologies, challenges and opportunities in Western Massachusetts. One of the greatest challenges for advancing economic development in the region is the limited access to high-speed internet. One-third of the municipalities in Western Massachusetts have no access to broadband, such as DSL or cable modem technologies. This lack of access also impacts education, public health & safety, government efficiency and more. These forums will discuss issues important to communities underserved in terms of broadband access. All of these forums are free to the public.

"I encourage all interested residents in the communities in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties to attend these forums, especially if they have formed broadband committees to explore potential broadband and wireless solutions for their telecommunication needs," said State Representative Daniel E. Bosley (D-North Adams), co-chairman of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. "These forums will provide communities with the economic context surrounding underserved communities' telecommunications needs and outline potential long-term solutions that marry technologies with infrastructure for the unique challenges that surround the cities and towns in Western Massachusetts."

Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington) stated that "Public participation is a vital part of bringing broadband and wireless service to every community in western Massachusetts. These forums will help us to better define the barriers and identify the best technical solutions to achieving our goal. I hope that local officials and interested citizens will participate in this important work to strengthen the social and economic fabric of our region and each of its communities."

"Access to broadband is a crucial issue to so many of us in the southern Berkshires and surrounding communities." said Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D.-Lenox) " I am contacted daily by individuals and professionals seeking the kind of access to wireless technologies that so many other areas of the Commonwealth already enjoy. Broadband access is critical to improving our local economy. I am committed to bringing these technologies to our area and I urge anyone who shares this interest to attend these forums."

The forum sessions planned are the following:

* Broadband 101 - These sessions will answer several important questions, such as "Why is broadband important," "What is broadband and why don't we have it," and "What can communities do?"

* Wednesday, November 1, 2006 from 7 pm - 9 pm at the Greenfield Community College Main Campus in Greenfield. Co-sponsored by the Connects and State Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg and State Representative Stephen Kulik.

* Wednesday, November 29, 2006 from 7 pm - 9 pm in the Hitchcock Room (2nd floor) of the Red Lion Inn, 30 Main Street, Stockbridge. Co-sponsored by the Connects and State Representative "Smitty" Pignatelli.

* The Underserved Communities Project - These sessions, co-sponsored by the Connects and the John Adams Innovation Institute, will include a presentation of the findings of the Underserved Communities Pilot Project and the next steps for developing a long-term solution to the problem of underserved communities. In addition, there will be a discussion of short-term solutions to the problem, and an announcement of an opportunity for three communities to participate in a beta test program of wireless technologies.

* Wednesday, December 13, 2006 from 7 pm - 9 pm in the Community Room of the JFK Middle School, 100 Bridge Road in the Florence section of Northampton.

* Thursday, January 11, 2007 from 7 pm - 9 pm at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, 375 Church Street, North Adams.

For more information:

Berkshire Connect, Inc. - Sharon Ferry, Business Manager, 413-496-9606, Pioneer Valley Connect - Jessica Atwood, Steering Committee
Staff-Person, 413-774-1194 x101,

Friday, October 20, 2006

Williamstown's town manager open to questions for Wednesday chamber dinner discussion

This news release was supplied by the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – October 16, 2006 – Williamstown, like other communities in Berkshire County and the State, faces a number of challenges and opportunities. A unique example of interactive government will be offered at the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce’s Dinner Meeting on Wednesday, October 25 when Peter L. Fohlin, Williamstown Town Manager, discusses plans to meet the challenges and opportunities the town faces. In designing his presentation, Fohlin will prepare background information and answers to questions that are submitted by the public in advance of the meeting. Anyone wishing to submit a question in advance may do so by e-mailing it to by Monday, Oct. 23. Through this process, Fohlin hopes to get a snapshot of what is on the collective minds of the region’s business community.

Since 2000, Fohlin has been Williamstown’s Town Manager. Previously, he was the Town Administrator for Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard for six years. Fohlin’s diversity of experience includes being on the Board of Selectmen for the town of Shirley, MA, as well as working as a small business consultant and financial litigation consultant. Additionally, he has held management positions in manufacturing and in the implementation of accounting systems. Mr. Fohlin received a Masters of Business Administration in Finance degree from Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck School of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in organizational behavior, from Clark University.

Please join us for Peter Fohlin’s presentation on Wednesday, October 25th at the Williams College Faculty House, 968 Main Street, Williamstown. A social hour with cash bar will begin at 5:30 PM, dinner at 6:30 PM, followed by dessert and presentation.

Reservations are being accepted immediately by calling the Chamber Office at 413.458.9077 or e-mailing at (Please include your name, business, telephone number and entrée choice.) Please indicate your choice of one of the following entrées:
* Artichoke Chicken
* Baked Marinated Salmon
* Eggplant Strata

Please reserve by Oct. 20. Cancellations after this date will not be accepted. Members $25.00 and Non-Members $30.00. If invoice is required, please request when making reservations. Payment is made payable to the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce and is remitted at the meeting.
Kathleen McDonald
Executive Director
413.458.9077 telephone e-mail

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

STATEMENT: U.S. Rep. John Olver explains his vote against two "anti-terrorism" bills

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2006 14:36:29 -0400
From: Olver Newsletter < Olver.Newsletter@MAIL.HOUSE.GOV >
Subject: Civil Liberties E-Newsletter

Dear Constituent:

As you may know, before adjourning last month Congress passed legislation
that infringes on the civil liberties of Americans and eliminates the
constitutional rights of military detainees. I wanted to update you on the
content and consequences of these significant pieces of legislation.

First, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5825, the Electronic
Surveillance Modernization Act, by a vote of 232-191 on September 28, 2006.
This legislation authorizes the President's secret spying program, which is
already known to bypass the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
(FISA) court in order to conduct electronic surveillance without a court
order. I voted against this legislation because instead of reigning in the
Administration's program it expands the Administration's ability to conduct
warrantless surveillance on innocent Americans. This legislation would also
eliminate all pending legal challenges against the current surveillance
program, removing the courts from the review process. This is a serious
affront to our constitutionally guaranteed system of checks and balances and
the responsibilities of the Federal Judiciary. The Senate has not yet
considered legislation on this issue.

On September 29, 2006 the House of Representatives passed S. 3930, the
Military Commissions Bill by a vote of 250-170. The Senate passed this
legislation a day earlier by a vote of 65-34. I voted against this
legislation because of the grave implications it holds for the American
judicial system and the constitutional rights of prisoners. S. 3930 creates
a new and untested military tribunal system. It also denies terrorist
suspects their rights, including the right of habeas corpus, which has been
a mainstay in the American legal system for over two centuries. Without
habeas corpus suspects will have no mechanism to challenge their detentions
in court, leaving them subject to the possibility of indefinite detention.
Despite these repercussions, the President signed this legislation into law
this morning.

Please be assured that I will continue to work to protect our privacy and
civil liberties.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have further questions or
concerns about a particular issue.


John W. Olver
Member of Congress

Monday, October 02, 2006

Rep. Bosley provides info about a statewide bike network hearing Oct. 25 in NoHo

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- State Rep. Daniel E. Bosley has forwarded information about a series of hearings on the "Massachusetts Bicycle Plan." The closest hearing to Berkshire County will be Oct. 25 in Northampton. John Cogliano, secretary of transportation, announced the hearings. Here's the text:

"The Executive Office of Transportation (EOT), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, is currently undertaking a project to form a statewide bicycling network. This effort, known as The Massachusetts Bicycle Plan Update, is intended to improve bicycle transportation, as well as promote multi-modal transportation, recreation, tourism, and economic vitality."This fall we will be holding a series of public meetings to solicit public input on current bicycling conditions, potential cross-state corridors, and recommended improvements. We invite you, your staff and your constituents to join us at any of the upcoming meetings:

The hearings are Oct. 5 in Worcester, Oct. 10 in Brockton, Oct. 19 in Concord, Oct. 23 in Haverhill, Oct. 30 in New Bedford, Nov. 1 in Hyannis, and Nov. 8 in Boston.

The Northampton hearing is from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Forbes Library Community Room, 20 West St., Northampton (413-587-1011). For more information or to submit comments via the internet, visit the website , email or call Judi Riley, legislative director for the transportation department: 617-973-7889 / .