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News Briefs: Ceremonial sites in pipeline path; Helen Moon announces candidacy for City Council, Ward 1

According to deputy tribal historic preservation officer Doug Harris, one-third of the ceremonial stone landscapes will be disturbed or destroyed during the construction of the pipeline.

Presentation identifies ceremonial stone landscapes in pipeline path

Narragansett tribal preservation officer Doug Harris. Photo: All Nations Global Solutions
Narragansett tribal preservation officer Doug Harris. Photo: All Nations Global Solutions

Pittsfield — Doug Harris, deputy tribal historic preservation officer of the Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office and who serves as preservationist for ceremonial landscapes, will make a presentation on the historical and cultural significance of ceremonial stone landscapes (CSLs) threatened by the proposed Connecticut Expansion Project in Sandisfield. The presentation, featuring slides and an explanation of the deep cultural roots of the sites, will be held Wednesday, March 22, at 6 p.m. at First Church along with an introduction to the Connecticut Expansion Project by Rosemary Wessel of No Fracked Gas in Mass. The event is free and open to the public.

73 CSLs were identified in an on-the-ground survey conducted by several tribes in the second half of 2016. According to Harris, one-third of those CSLs will be disturbed or destroyed during the construction of the pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s environmental assessment issued in 2015 included alternative routes that may have avoided many of the CSLs, but FERC approved Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s preferred route before the CSL survey was undertaken. Thus, the FERC certificate was issued in violation of the regulations of the National Historic Preservation Act, which require that the agency “complete the Section 106 process prior to the issuance of any license.” The regulation also makes clear that the purpose of initiating the Section 106 process early in project planning is to ensure “that a broad range of alternatives may be considered during the planning process.”

Although some have suggested that it would be acceptable to disassemble the CSLs and reassemble them when construction of the project is completed, Harris explained that their disassembly would be seen as an interruption of the prayers placed there. According to Harris: “Then what you have is an artistic replica of something that was spiritual. Once you remove the stones, the spiritual content is broken.”

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Helen Moon announces candidacy for City Council, Ward 1

Helen Moon with her nephew.
Helen Moon with her nephew.

Pittsfield — Pittsfield resident Helen Haerhan Moon of 37 Deerfield St. has announced that she will run for the Ward 1 seat on the Pittsfield City Council. Previously held by Lisa Tully, the seat is open since Tully announced Tuesday that she will not seek re-election this coming year.

Moon, a critical care registered nurse at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington, has been a Pittsfield resident since 2009 after moving from Longmeadow. Moon formally announced her run for candidacy on the “Good Morning Pittsfield” radio program on WTBR-FM on Thursday, March 16.

Said Moon, “I really am so inspired by all the residents of this community. They all want Pittsfield to be its best. And while we know the city has come so far, even in these past few years, I believe that work still needs to be done. I’m ready to listen to the people of Pittsfield. I’m ready to work for them. There are so many great things in Ward 1 that I’m excited about and want to be a part of; the TDI grant and rejuvenation of Tyler Street, the potential of Springside Park and Springside House to come back into their glory and the continuing revitalization of North Street. Pittsfield is a unique and energetic city and I’m really looking forward to being a part of its future.”

For more information, contact Helen Moon at (413) 446-8125 or helenmoonforward1@gmail.com.

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