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Heather Bellow

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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.

Articles by Heather Bellow

Gov. Baker economic secretary ‘surprised’ by criticism of broadband strategy for rural Western Massachusetts

Saturday, 21 Jan 2017 - Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration is quietly flirting with massive private companies like Comcast to deliver what will likely be inferior and expensive service to rural towns. “It’s a slow-rolling tragedy that will blight Western Massachusetts for generations.” -- Susan Crawford, Harvard law professor and director of the Berkshire Center for Internet and Society

The Berkshires gear up for Women’s March on Washington and local solidarity events

Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 - In Berkshire County, we have a free indoor sister event in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington at the Colonial Theatre on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event was organized by a local steering committee that includes Kristen van Ginhoven of Lenox-based WAM Theatre, which focuses on work by female theater artists and stories for women and girls, and volunteers Jayne Benjulian, Lynn Festa and Mary Lincoln.

18th Annual Interfaith Celebration of legacy and work of Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, 16 Jan 2017 - “Do you know that most of the poor people in our country are working everyday? They are making wages so low that they cannot begin to function in the mainstream of the economic life of our nation. These are facts which must be seen. And it is criminal to have people working on a full-time basis and a full-time job getting part-time income.”   -- Dr. Martin Luther King, in a speech to Memphis sanitation workers in 1968, just before his assassination.

Eagle Mill hotel may grow to 85 rooms with potential partnership

Monday, 9 Jan 2017 - Developer Jeffrey Cohen of Mill Renaissance LLC said he modified his roughly $70 million redevelopment plan somewhat after two “significant” real estate development and construction companies approached him with the idea of a partnership to build an 85-room hotel.

Former students file suit against BHRSD, former administrators over sex abuse claims

Saturday, 7 Jan 2017 - One of the women filed a civil suit against the Berkshire HIlls Regional School District in federal court last June against the district and, in September 2016, two more women joined the suit, haunting the district with sexual abuse claims from the events of more than a decade ago. Muir was found not guilty of the charges in 2014.

Tennessee Gas pipeline may ‘bulldoze’ sacred Native American sites

Thursday, 5 Jan 2017 - That sacred Native American sites are along the path is just the latest controversy over the pipeline in Otis State Forest. Tennessee Gas is still tied up in court with environmental groups over potential harm to water and animal habitats; the company reneged on a deal to give the town of Sandisfield $1 million for wear and tear to its roads and reimburse legal fees.

Public process initiated for troubled Bridge Street brownfield site

Wednesday, 4 Jan 2017 - The 8-acre parcel on the Housatonic River has sat for more than 20 years, scraggly and undeveloped, and is still loaded with chlorinated organic compounds like dioxins and PCPs. The site’s owner, Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire (CDC), will hold a public information meeting at the Mason Librarytoday (Wednesday, Jan. 4), at 5:30 p.m. to provide current plans for the site and gather public input.

Horror stories: War correspondent’s ‘Dispatches from Syria’

Friday, 30 Dec 2016 - The Paris-based Middle East editor of Newsweek, Janine di Giovanni has written about atrocities of war from the civilian perspective. She gave a reading from “Dispatches from Syria” at Griffin in Great Barrington on Wednesday (December 28).

Developer says no to polluted Ried Cleaners; town should ‘take lead’

Tuesday, 27 Dec 2016 - Developer Jeffrey Cohen says the town should deal with the property no matter who eventually develops it since it will require the town’s capacities in both finding funding and shouldering liability for the legacy of dry cleaning chemicals that are still migrating across town in groundwater.

Is there still a redeveloped mill complex in Housatonic’s future?

Saturday, 24 Dec 2016 - Some Great Barrington Selectboard members lit up in 2011 as they considered the restoration of a hamlet that had fallen on hard times, especially after a massive fire wiped out the Aberdale block in the 1960s. Board members were also starry-eyed at the much-needed tax revenue potential.

‘Sanctuary City’? No, but Great Barrington acting like one

Tuesday, 20 Dec 2016 - "I want to express my gratitude to our Selectmen and our Police Department for creating and unanimously passing the ‘Sanctuary’ resolution at their last meeting. You made me proud to be a citizen of Great Barrington." --- Local author Daniel Klein, addressing the Selectboard

Flag Rock resident sues Housing Authority over mold claims

Friday, 16 Dec 2016 - In Housatonic Flag Rock resident Ariane Blanchard and her neighbor say systemic mold infestation has created a toxic building syndrome that has made them sick. Remedies ordered by the Board of Health can’t be used because, her physician says, they will increase airborne mold.

Martin’s Restaurant shuts doors for good, sells to 47 Railroad developers

Thursday, 8 Dec 2016 - The restaurant had to be gutted and the Lewises struggled with insurance adjustors in the meantime, trying to find a way to reopen. “The fire was a life changer. If the insurance process was easier and quicker, the outcome would have been better.” -- Martin Lewis, owner of Martin's Restaurant

Former DeSisto School redevelopment proposal shocks Stockbridge selectmen

Tuesday, 6 Dec 2016 - “We don’t need more people from New York and Boston to come spend millions of dollars on houses....the town needs to be rejuvenated.....to function as a community. We need families.” -- Sally Underwood Miller, criticizing the proposed massive redevelopment of the former DeSisto School campus on Route 183

With love and hot soup, a church gets covered

Saturday, 3 Dec 2016 - The circa 1870s building will in some way be transformed into a place to honor the area’s African American history. Friends of A.M.E. Zion had collected or been promised around $30,000, and needs a total of $100,000 to buy the building.