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Tag: state Rep. Willam 'Smitty' Pignatelli

Berkshire Hills Regional School District’s independent investigation of ‘Gender Queer’ incident cost school district over $39,000

The school district's independent report over the incident was released in February.

Gwendolyn VanSant to be honored at 10th anniversary Multicultural BRIDGE gala

Gwendolyn has done so much work to promote understanding and inclusion, to address racism, and bridge the divides that plague us to this day.” — State Sen. Adam Hinds 

Uncertainty over consolidation clouds planning for a new Monument High School

This will be the third try since 2013 to get state aid for the ailing high school. BHRSD Superintendent Peter Dillon noted that “constructing a new high school is actually less expensive than renovating and adding to the new building.”

In era of Trump-inspired discord, state Sen. Adam Hinds wants to do ‘politics differently’

Hinds is also interested in pressuring the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to increase education funding, especially for rural schools that face unique fiscal challenges, such as being overly dependent on homeowner property taxes, compared to their urban and suburban counterparts.

Through HeatSmart Great Barrington offering affordable green energy home heating options

“Anything that can be done to help reduce heating costs for low-income people, and all of us, is really important.” -- Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin

Hotel or home? Berkshire towns struggle to regulate, tax Airbnb’s

Many towns and cities across the state are grappling with an array of gray areas, including whether and how to tax these short-term rentals and whether they should be held to the same zoning, building and health standards.

State auditor cites Berkshire Hills in sweeping study of regional school districts

"While our state’s educational system is highly regarded throughout the country, our analysis found that the processes governing school regionalization and its funding are antiquated, and have not kept pace with the modern challenges facing communities." -- State Auditor Suzanne Bump

Ratepayers shocked by proposed 27 percent electric rate hike

“During a time in which our regional economy is struggling to recover from decades of dramatic economic transition, this overall rate proposal is an unacceptable burden.” --- Jonathan Butler, president of 1Berkshire            

News Brief: Hinds secures Senate approval of enhanced property tax relief for veterans who volunteer

Hinds’ amendment was adopted unanimously by the Senate by a vote of 39-0 during the course of Friday’s debate and is based on legislation authored by Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox.

‘Farm-to-bong?’ Lawmakers hail new pot law as opportunity for farmers

State farmers who are interested in growing marijuana will have to apply for a license, but lawmakers say the barrier to entry will much lower than it was for those who wanted to cultivate and sell the medical marijuana

Congressman Neal in Great Barrington, bearing gifts: An EPA brownfields grant

The $300,000 Brownfields Community Wide Assessment grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be used to perform Phase One and Phase Two environmental assessments of several properties, most of them in and around the village of Housatonic.

Connecticut Expansion Pipeline: Don’t blame the company

Following nearly four years of struggle against a powerful company (Kinder Morgan and its subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline) backed by laws and a Federal commission, it seems that now is an appropriate point to judge performances of the various participants and agencies that could have made more of a difference to avoid this calamity.

Inspired by author Barbara Bonner, Railroad Street Youth Project installs a community ‘Courage Wall’

“It takes a lot of courage to be a young person today. They are growing up in a time when young people are faced daily with uncertainty in an economically, environmentally and politically precarious world.” -- Railroad Street Youth Project Executive Director Ananda Timpane

Hinds persuades Senate to OK study of Berkshires passenger rail service

This study would look at the potential for inaugurating rail service from Pittsfield to New York City via Amtrak’s Hudson River line rather than the southbound rail corridor through Lenox, Great Barrington and into Connecticut.

State did not abandoned protected state forests

If the Otis State Forest case had gone to a higher court and lost, that would establish precedent for the entire state.

First ‘Student Film Festival of the Berkshires’ attracts enthusiastic entrants, large crowd

The films were all across the board in terms of genre and length. There were horror films, documentaries, comedies, and absurdist takes on the art form.

Public service runs in the family

In his letter to the editor, State Rep. William 'Smitty' Pignatelli writes: "Because our parents taught us that public service is part of the responsibility of citizenship, my siblings and I followed their example all the way to the White House.
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