Heather Bellow covers a variety of local and regional issues including those that affect economic development and the environment. She covers local businesses, municipal hearings, and does investigative reporting on topics like broadband, pipelines and pollution. She lives with her two teenagers in Great Barrington, where she’s lived since 2002.
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Articles by Heather Bellow
Sunday, 5 Mar 2017 - The highest speeds provided by cable do not provide what a fiber optic network can. And increasingly, businesses require speeds and capacity possible only with fiber.
Saturday, 4 Mar 2017 - While the broadband ball is now rolling, resident Jean Atwater-Williams said she wants to make sure everyone knows where that ball is headed and, in an article in the Sandisfield Times, called for a revote on the new route the town is pursuing.
Powerhouse Square developer gets special permit for GB complex; new Co-op groundbreaking to start soon
Thursday, 2 Mar 2017 - Developers Michael Charles and Brian Cohan are still due for their site plan review at the planning board and will continue to work with the historical commission. They will also collaborate with the town on a number of conditions attached to the permit. The Powerhouse Square project is expected to break ground by summer.
Wednesday, 1 Mar 2017 - “There are a lot of people trying to do organic farming around here. This [resolution] is about protecting our local organic farmers. If you get GMO seed into your field, you’re done.” -- Selectboard member Bill Cooke, who introduced a draft resolution intended to protect the integrity of organic farms and their produce.
Tuesday, 28 Feb 2017 - Among other research, the EPA’s findings indicate that where there are small, piston-engine aircraft operating, there is an increase in lead concentrations in air. The FAA says it, along with the EPA, is working to stop the use of lead in the fuel, and backing research to come up with alternatives.
Sunday, 26 Feb 2017 - With 50 stores and Big Y stocking Mighty No Bitey, its creator, Terri See, had to start bottling in a Monterey church basement, but that’s not going to cut it from here on out.
Thursday, 23 Feb 2017 - According to the Berkshire Co-op Market's general manager Daniel Esko, if the store has to leave the downtown to expand, both the town and its residents would lose a valuable resource.
Rockwell Museum Four Freedoms forum explores immigration and the refugee ‘crisis’ amid national panic
Friday, 17 Feb 2017 - “We have all been complicit in the creation of the ‘refugee.’ Just remember the hand we had in the production of that problem, and to even think of another human being in need as a problem.” -- Asma Abbas, professor of politics and philosophy at Bard College at Simons Rock, Great Barrington
Thursday, 16 Feb 2017 - The plans for the Walter J. Koladza Airport in Great Barrington now being considered at Town Hall are for three 149-foot by 50-foot hangars with 18 bays inside, 18 parking spaces and an access road. But according to one of the owners, the airport also wants to add a charter service and an LSA (light sport aircraft) dealership and air shows.
Salisbury Bank robber nabbed after crashing getaway car following second robbery; suspect also wanted in January heist
Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 - Police say the couple were driving the same red 2014 Fiat with Rhode Island plates seen parked outside Salisbury Bank on Monday, and that Sheridan and Rachelle Winter, of East Providence, Rhode Island, are currently being treated at Sharon (Connecticut) Hospital, having sustained “unknown injuries.”
Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 - In a prepared statement, Walsh said the man was identified as Eric James Sheridan, 36, of Danielson, Connecticut, who walked into the bank at around 3:30 p.m. wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses.
Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017 - Neighbors are worried about what will happen when an increasingly busier airport changes, possibly leading to even more future expansion. The pilots and plane owners say the airport is a critical piece of the town’s economic engine and a treasure that brings people here from far and wide.
Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017 - Fear has made Pittsfield-based immigration lawyer Michele Sisselman a very busy woman lately. “It’s frightening,” she said. “And everybody is scared, including U.S. citizens.”
Monday, 13 Feb 2017 - GBPD Sergeant Adam Carlotto said the thief left in a “red compact” and headed southbound on Route 7.
Friday, 10 Feb 2017 - Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire's executive director Tim Geller noted that these changes are “insubstantial” enough not to trigger another public hearing, as state regulations require it for “substantial” changes to the comprehensive permit, which was already granted last fall.
ZBA ruling backs building inspector on solar ruling; solar project on farm not dead, company president says
Thursday, 9 Feb 2017 - Inspector Edwin May did his job by interpreting what was available on the books. He treated Kearsarge’s project, which is to generate power at discounted rates for three central Massachusetts municipalities, as “light industrial” and so not allowed on the land the company planned to lease from farmer Bob Coons.
Wednesday, 8 Feb 2017 - Berkshire Aviation Enterprises Inc. is asking the town for a special permit for three new, prefabricated metal hangars 147 feet long by 50 feet wide, 18 parking spaces, a new taxi way and an access road off Seekonk Cross Road.
Tuesday, 7 Feb 2017 - Both screenwriter Maria Nation and BIFF executive director Kelley Vickery saw the timeliness and relevance of the film here in the Berkshires, where opioid addiction rates are skyrocketing.
Monday, 6 Feb 2017 - Superior Court Judge John Agostini had ruled that federal law trumps state law in such cases and applied eminent domain, allowing Tennessee Gas to have the easement in Otis State Forest, despite Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution, that protects old-growth forests from development.
Friday, 3 Feb 2017 - One of the conditions is that the CDC continues to accept public comments on its plan. And if changes are made as a result of those comments, the CDC will amend its plan.
Friday, 3 Feb 2017 - Among the usual farm stressors, lowered milk prices prevented farmer Bob Coons from expanding the cowherd, leaving him to look for new ways to survive and leasing 20 of his roughly 200 acres, mostly wetlands, being his only shot at staying on the land his family has farmed since the 1950s.
Thursday, 2 Feb 2017 - While town and police department policy already states it will treat undocumented citizens like everyone else, a citizens' petition filed at Town Hall Wednesday lays out a more detailed set of policies modeled after and modified from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) and MiGente trust policies.
Wednesday, 1 Feb 2017 - Mt. Washington is going from almost no Internet and sporadic cell service to faster speeds than even Great Barrington, the nearest large hub town, which is served by cable but not at speeds high enough to support a thriving, 21st-century economy.
Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 - Steiner board president Tom Sternal said, while some administrators knew the school’s neighbor was considering building a solar array, neither the administration nor the school’s board understood the size and scope of the project until around one week ago.
Monday, 30 Jan 2017 - “Until last week the school did not understand the location, the size, or the timing of the project. We’re just attempting to collect as much information as possible to share with our families, hear their concerns, and work with Kearsarge Energy to bring about a solution. -- Tom Sternal, president of the board of trustees at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School
Saturday, 28 Jan 2017 - The meeting was a window into what it’s like to run multiple low income housing complexes with limited resources under state oversight by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.
Thursday, 26 Jan 2017 - The amendment won’t change the current headcount formula, but will give Great Barrington a break by using a measurement of a town’s wealth to determine how much it should pay for future capital projects.
Thursday, 26 Jan 2017 - We don’t have a local role to play in enforcing federal immigration law. Undocumented residents should not fear calling the police for assistance or to report a crime. -- Great Barrington Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin
Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 - Building Inspector Edwin May said the property did not have sufficient frontage for a building lot and is not by right since it sits in a residential/agricultural zone.
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission: Region faces third-world connectivity, economic stagnation without ‘grand scale’ fiber investment
Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 - In a 7-page letter written last month to Gov. Charlie Baker and copied to numerous state officials, Nat Karns, executive director of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, spelled out how fiddling with inferior cable and wireless services will spell disaster for western Massachusetts and the Commonwealth.
Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 - The towns of Sandisfield, New Marlborough, Monterey and Tolland decided to share the pain by hiring an attorney who helped them navigate a legal pathway that would allow the towns to bid out the construction of a fiber optic network and sign a 15-year contract with a service provider to operate it.
Saturday, 21 Jan 2017 - Event organizers made a goal to bring in 100 sister marchers at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Mass. The event website got 450 RSVPs and expectations rose to 600 and, nearing the end, the clicker count had stretched to at least 1,500.