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.”


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

More than 40 Williamstown households interested in community solar project, Nylen says

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Center for Ecological Technology Associate Director Nancy Nylen says more than 40 Williamstown households are interested in possibly becoming co-owners of a "community solar" installation that would allow them to purchase a share of "clean", renewable electricity without having to install equipment on their own property.

Here is Nylen's email today:
Hello and happy Spring!  As the hours of sunlight continue to grow, we are writing to update you on where things are with our Community Solar initiative.

Lots of interest: Approximately 40 households have expressed interest in the project!

How much electricity do we hope to produce?  Thanks to all of you who have forwarded information about your electric usage. To-date we have received information from approximately 25 households. So far it looks like we need about 150 kilowatts of capacity. Please send us your usage if you haven't done that yet.

Where will we build the project(s)? We are working with solar contractors to evaluate a couple potential sites, and are still looking for additional options.  PLEASE let us know if you have any land that might be suitable or if you think your friends/neighbors might be interested in hosting a project. We are also beginning to explore possible parking lot locations -- and the cost of constructing parking canopies that could accommodate solar panels.

Solar bylaw  The Williamstown Planning Board has drafted a solar bylaw that addresses the size and location of ground-mounted solar arrays.  We think this will be a win-win for solar in our community. Let us know if you have any specific questions about the bylaw and we are happy to forward you a copy of the draft.  Residents will vote on the solar bylaw at Town Meeting on Tuesday, May 19th at 7 p.m.

How much will it cost and what are the financial arrangements? We are further refining the numbers (required investment) - and taking next steps to set up an LLC that will be enable us to take advantage of tax benefits. We are also talking with a firm with accounting, solar and tax expertise interested in potentially helping to set up and manage the project long term. Stay tuned...more on that soon.

When will we go on line? Our goal continues to be to break ground in the fall of 2015.

Next steps?  As soon as we have more details about the costs and requirements for participating in a community solar LLC we will be back in touch regarding terms for making a financial commitment to the project.

Thanks so much for your continued interest.  We continue to be encouraged and excited!  And, please let us know if you have any questions.

all best,
Charley, Jason, Stephanie and Wendy

Nancy Nylen | Associate Director
Center for EcoTechnology | 413-458-5688 | 413-884-4561 (cell) | Sign up for EcoUpdates!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Jay Walsh launches website to discuss banning styrofoam and plastic bags in Williamstown

Jay Walsh ( has written: 
We had a nice showing on Saturday in Williamstown, including our State Representative Gail Cariddi, who supports our efforts and wants to make her entire district polystyrene-free. For the benefit of those who were not able to come, I have made my powerpoint ("Greening Williamstown") available online on a new website:


The website is designed not only to help us decide what to do in WIlliamstown, but also to share resources with activists in other communities.  Included on the site are:
  • Information about the environmental and economic problems created by plastic bags and polystyrene
  • Information on vendors of alternative products, including reusable bags and compostable food service materials.
  • Copies of bylaws and ordinances from other municipalities that we might adapt for Williamstown.
As explained in the Powerpoint, and on MassGreen.Org, there are a number of decision points:
  • Should we seek to ban all polystyrene food containers (as Brookline has) or just foam (as Amherst has)?
  • Should we seek to ban single-use plastic bags outright (as other towns in Mass have) or impose a mandatory charge for each bag (as some towns in other states have)?
  • Should we impose a charge for paper bags too (as have many cities in California)?
If you have an opinion on these matters or would like to be involved in drafting the bylaws for Williamstown, please contact Brad Verter --

Thursday, March 19, 2015

BOOK NOTES: "Sustainable Happiness: Live Simply, Live Well, Make a Difference"

UPDATE: Book author in Williamstown on April 2, 2015


Sustainable Happiness: Live Simply, Live Well, Make a Difference
·         By Sarah van Gelder and the Staff of YES! Magazine
·         Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2015; paperback 168 pages

Sustainable Happiness: Live Simply, Live Well, Make a Difference is not your usual book on happiness. Nor is it a self-help book, although it includes science-based insights about how to achieve happiness in your own life. Its unique contribution is in showing how our own sense of joy and well-being is enhanced via the well being of others and the health of the planet. Through a series of eloquent voices from different parts of the world and various areas of expertise, Sustainable Happiness investigates the links between social equity, ecological health — and our individual happiness.

The book begins with an introduction by YES! Magazine co-founder and editor in chief, Sarah van Gelder, and features a host of notable contributors including Annie Leonard (“Story of Stuff”); restorative justice author and educator Fania Davis; author and biodiversity activist Vandana Shiva; poet Wendell Berry; and empathy researcher Roman Krznaric, among others.

The staff of YES! Magazine has been exploring the meaning of real happiness for close to 20 years. This volume brings together scientific research, in-depth essays and compelling personal stories. And the message it all leads up to? What makes us truly happy are the depth of our relationships, the quality of our communities, the contribution we make through the work we do, and the renewal we receive from a thriving world.

Author and environmentalist Bill McKibben describes it this way, “Somehow a working planet, a thriving society, and a satisfying personal life are hitched together—and this fine volume offers powerful clues on the search for those connections.”

And the Library Journal adds, "This work offers more depth as to why the gentler, simple way is better for everyone." 

About Sarah van Gelder:

Sarah van Gelder edited Sustainable Happiness and wrote an original introduction to the book. Sarah is cofounder and editor-in-chief of YES! Magazine. She writes articles and op-eds for The Guardian, Huffington Post, and American Forum, and speaks nationally on leading-edge innovations that show that another world is not only possible, it is being created today. Sarah is a regular guest on public radio and has also appeared on the PBS NewsHour program, Thom Hartmann’s Big Picture, Democracy Now!, The Laura Flanders Show, and Free Speech TV. In her recent conference appearances and broadcast interviews, Sarah is regularly invited to speak about solutions journalism, including this TEDx talk, “Is There Inspiration in Your Media Diet?” and a popular panel at the National Media Reform Conference, “Making Change: Journalism That Solves Problems.” Sarah also edited and wrote the introduction for the first substantive book on the Occupy movement, This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement.

About YES! Magazine
YES! Magazine, winner of the 2013 Utne Media Award for General Excellence, reframes the biggest problems of our time in terms of their solutions. Online and in print, YES! outlines a path forward with in-depth analysis, tools for citizen engagement, and stories about real people working for a better world. Project Censored calls YES! “the standard for solutions journalism.” Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman calls YES! a “vital voice of independent journalism.” named YES! the best green business and politics website of 2011.

About Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Berrett-Koehler Publishers was founded in 1992 by Steve Piersanti in San Francisco, CA. The mission-based publisher believes in “Creating a World That Works for All” and publishes an average of 40 titles per year that reflect that mission in the business, current affairs, and lifestyle categories. Berrett-Koehler Publishers is a Certified B Corporation.

For more information: Susan Gleason, Media & Outreach Manager, Yes! Magazine, 206-931-2613
skype - susan.gleason
twitter - @sgleason, @yesmagazine
 YES! Magazine -