Wednesday, June 19, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

HomeNewsNews Briefs: GB...

News Briefs: GB solar project meeting; Fire Services awards grants; petitions delivered to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren

The S.A.F.E. Program is a state initiative that provides resources to local fire departments to conduct fire and life safety education programs in grades K–12.

GBRSS to hold public meeting to discuss solar project

Great Barrington — The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School’s board of trustees has scheduled an information session in the school auditorium for Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. to discuss the planned installation of a large-scale solar array—the first commercial installation in a residential neighborhood in Great Barrington—on the property adjoining the school’s preschool, kindergarten and athletic fields.

The board received the first formal communication about the project on Jan. 19, and a representative attended a neighborhood briefing on Jan. 25 to view maps and begin formulating questions about the installation and operation of the proposed 10- to 12-acre solar array. The board also met with longtime neighbor and property owner Bob Coons to better understand his situation and plans, and has requested additional information from Kearsarge Energy, the proposed lessee and operator of the solar installation.

The board issued the following statement: “The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School supports alternative energy production, including solar. The school teaches biodynamic farming to students and has a number of farmers among our parent body. Since our founding, we have cultivated a deep love of the environment and support for farming and farmers like Mr. Coons. However, this is an industrial-scale project with a planned access road immediately next to our nursery school, kindergarten playground and athletic fields. As a school board, we are the stewards of the school and charged with caring for the health and safety of young children. It is our responsibility to be thorough and understand the full impact of this project. Since work is scheduled to begin immediately upon approval—while school is in session—the GBRSS Board of Trustees is inviting Kearsarge Energy, Mr. Coons, members of the school community, neighbors and all interested members of the community at large to learn more about the proposed project February 1 at 7pm at the school.”

*     *     *

Department of Fire Services awards grants to local departments

Pittsfield — State Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, announced Monday that the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services granted fiscal year 2017 Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) and Senior SAFE awards to six area fire departments serving communities in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden District. A total of $36,616 was approved for the fire departments serving Ashfield, Chesterfield, Goshen, North Adams, Pittsfield and Williamsburg.

The S.A.F.E. Program is a state initiative that provides resources to local fire departments to conduct fire and life safety education programs in grades K–12. The mission is to enable students to recognize the dangers of fire and, more specifically, the fire hazards tobacco products pose. Launched three years ago, Senior SAFE is a newer grant program for local fire departments to support fire and safety education for older adults.

The Berkshire-area FY 2017 S.A.F.E. and Senior SAFE grant awards are:

Fire Department FY17 SAFE Grant Award FY17 Senior SAFE Grant Award
North Adams Fire Department $3,951 $2,596
Pittsfield Fire Department $5,641 $2,996

*     *     *

Workers deliver petitions to Sen. Warren

Boston — Days after Senate Republican leadership delayed fast-food CEO and multi-millionaire Andrew Puzder’s confirmation hearings for U.S. Secretary of Labor for the third time, working people Monday delivered hundreds of thousands of petitions to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and urged her to vote against Puzder’s nomination.

Members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and workers representing the Fight for $15 delivered 317,547 petitions from voters across the country–including 10,967 from Massachusetts voters.

The action was one of 24 that took place nationwide on Monday as working-class Americans and others who support quality jobs made a direct appeal to both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate committee to reject the nominee. Puzder has come out against raising the minimum wage, overtime protections, workers’ rights to join a union, paid sick and family leave, federal housing assistance and access to healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act, policies that are essential to workers’ ability to build better futures for themselves and their families.

The complaints came days after fast-food workers from Puzder’s own restaurants protested against hiss nomination in more than 40 cities. CNN reported he was having “second thoughts” about leading the Department of Labor because of the pressure. The Associated Press reported that Puzder’s CKE outsourced the company’s IT and tech support jobs to a company in the Philippines. Capital & Main reported that, under Puzder’s tenure as CEO, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s have been hit with more federal employment discrimination lawsuits than any other major U.S. hamburger chain. Another report released by the National Employment Law Project found that low pay and lack of benefits at jobs at CKE costs taxpayers an estimated $247 million a year. And the Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that Puzder spent $10,000 of his own money in 2006 to fight a Nevada ballot initiative that would have raised the state minimum wage just $1, from $5.15 to $6.15.

On Thursday, Fight for $15 announced 33 wage theft, sexual harassment and unfair labor practice complaints against CKE restaurants. In response, Puzder went on a Twitter “blocking binge,” blocking SEIU president Mary Kay Henry, Fight for $15 accounts, and organizations advocating for underpaid workers.


The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.

Continue reading

West Stockbridge Select Board vote removes additional town meeting approval requirement for dog park

The measure was taken after town counsel explained that a second vote was not necessary.

Public Hearing on Housatonic Water Works proposed rate increase on June 20

After the proposed settlement in the Housatonic Water Works rate-increase case was filed on April 26, the DPU received comments from town officials in Great Barrington, Stockbridge, and West Stockbridge.

You will find more than just coffee beans at Jake’s Java in Lanesborough

The new coffee shop pays homage to a local, fallen hero and his crewmates.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.