north adams

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Community efforts to revitalize a river in North Adams, Massachusetts are being rewarded by the state.

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Massachusetts lawmakers have approved a compromise $36.5 billion state budget.

The spending plan includes a one-time payment to North Adams for emergency budget relief.

State lawmakers agreed to send $750,000 to the city of North Adams to support its $37.7 million budget approved by city councilors last week. The plan took nearly 20 people off the payroll across school and city departments.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Pittsfield City Council approved a $141 million budget for 2015, but is not seeing eye-to-eye with Mayor Dan Bianchi on capital investments.

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Two Berkshire County city councils vote tonight on their annual budgets.

The Pittsfield City Council will vote on Mayor Dan Bianchi’s proposed fiscal 2015 budget. Bianchi calls the $141 million dollar spending plan a maintenance budget proposing a 2.7 percent increase over the previous one of $138 million. It would fund SUVs for the fire department to decrease use of larger trucks and a new public works garage to replace a facility damaged in a 2012 fire.

    

  This Saturday, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art – MASS MoCA, will celebrate their 15th anniversary of operation in North Adams, MA with a huge blow-out party – and, of course, with an opening reception for a new exhibition, Teresita Fernández: As Above So Below.

There will be dazzling art, live Bhangra funk dance music with house favorite Red Baraat (who will be featured on our show tomorrow), fresh jams from legendary DJ Rekha, pop-up performers you know and love, fun food truck fare, beer and creative cocktails, and a champagne toast.

Here to tell us more are our pals– MASS MoCA’s Director, Joe Thompson and their Director of Communications, Jodi Joseph.

    The closure of North Adams Regional Hospital stunned the Berkshires.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock he is working to re-open the shuttered hospital.

    The duo Honeyhoney - Ben Jaffe and Suzanne Santo - is playing two shows in the region next weekend.

On April 11th they’ll play a benefit concert for Arts Programs at Mt. Greylock Regional High School where Ben attended and graduated from as a mediocre student (his words). For that show, they’ll play WITH Mt. Grelock’s high school band.

They are also playing a Billsville House Concert at the Elks Lodge in North Adams, MA on April 12th.

Jim levulis

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is in North Adams, talking about ongoing plans for North Adams Regional Hospital, closed since Friday afternoon.

Governor Patrick is still meeting with local lawmakers and leaders from the state’s public health department and Berkshire Medical Center at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Patrick says BMC has signed an application allowing the Pittsfield-based healthcare company to operate a satellite emergency facility at North Adams Regional Hospital.

Collapse Of North Adams Radio Tower, Causes Outages

Mar 31, 2014

City officials say emergency service has been restored to the western Massachusetts town of North Adams approximately 11 hours after cell phone and Internet service was knocked out when radio towers on top of a nearby mountain collapsed amid high winds and heavy rain.

The North Adams Department of Public Safety released the following statement Sunday morning.

"Due to high winds and heavy rain throughout the night, the radio towers on top of Florida Mountain have collapsed. This has resulted in the loss or significant interruption of cell and internet services in the North Adams area.

If you need assistance and have no cell service, please use your home phone to make any calls.

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North Adams Regional Hospital is scheduled to close Friday. What it would mean for the economy and psyche of a community that is still coming back from decline in manufacturing?

http://www.northadams-ma.gov/index.php?cmd=content&nav_id=19

North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright delivered his State of the City address Tuesday night.

Recently elected to a third two-year term, the Democrat stressed unity as the city continues work to reinvent itself.

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A public-private partnership in North Adams, Massachusetts has unveiled its plan to revitalize the city’s downtown.

Created in 2011, the Partnership for North Adams brings together major players in the state’s smallest city. City government, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art as well as local economic developers have created a plan for a reimagining of the city’s downtown. John DeRosa is a founding member of the partnership.

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The Berkshires are known as a tourist destination, but until recently North Adams hasn’t fully tapped into the industry.

Newcomers now outnumber the incumbents on the city council in North Adams, Massachusetts.

Capping its first year, the North Adams Chamber of Commerce is taking its next step in helping to revitalize the city.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

A community forum in western Massachusetts today focused on how drug addiction affects crime in the region.

Downstreet Art kicked of their 6th season last night with a celebration in downtown North Adams, MA.

Presented by Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ and Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, DownStreet Art provides North Adams with a summer of creative events. The public arts festival will run through Oct. 31.

This summer’s events, which are free and open to the public, will include gallery openings, a dance party on Main Street, a wandering light show, a community reading of Frederick Douglas’s famous Fourth of July address, new murals in the downtown, and musical performances.

We are joined by Leslie Ferrin, Director Ferrin Contemporary and on the DownStreet Art Curatorial Committee; Melanie Mowinski, Artist, Founder Press Gallery, Art Professor MCLA; and Jonathan Secor, Director MCLA Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, which runs DownStreet Art.

The cement-walled flood chutes that travel through North Adams are now over 60-years old, and concerns over the safety and integrity of the structures have been on the minds of many city residents for years.

Judy Grinnell, President of Hoosic River Revival, said the conversation about how to address the flood chutes and improve the quality of life in North Adams first began in 2008.

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

A community forum focused on biking in the Northern Berkshires was recently held, where panelists discussed the challenges and future for expanding the potential for biking in the region.

Jonathan Butler, Adams Town Administrator, said that that the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail – an 11.2 mile railroad corridor turned bike path that runs from Lanesborough up through Adams – has had an impact on the town’s economy that he calls “nothing short of significant”.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Many towns across Massachusetts yesterday held local elections on the same day as the U.S. Senate primaries.

In addition to nominating their Democratic and Republican Senatorial candidates, Representative Ed Markey and businessman Gabriel Gomez, respectively, Tuesday was a day for Berkshire County voters to choose their selectmen and members of their local school boards. But for voters in North Adams, it was a day to vote for a nearly $30 million renovation project for the now-closed Conte Middle School.

Students at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts were evacuated briefly Thursday evening following reports of a bomb threat made against the campus.

Campus officials sent an email message around 5 p.m. asking students to evacuate campus immediately and proceed to the North Adams Armory on nearby Ashland Street. 

The open forum, held at a monthly meeting of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition in North Adams, was attended by about 85 Berkshire County housing advocates and area residents.

Though the discussion was largely focused on the need for increased affordable housing in the Northern Berkshires, the lack of available housing stock for low income families is an ongoing issue throughout the region.

A Northern Berkshire County community will benefit from state funding designed to enhance and restore rivers and wetlands across Massachusetts.

This week, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs announced more than $64,000 in funding to support seven rivers and wetlands Priority Projects in Massachusetts. Through the Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, the series of grants will support community organizations in a variety of projects, including dam removal and replacement, infrastructure repair, and habitat restoration.

State officials from Massachusetts gathered to celebrate the opening of a consolidated Health and Human Services center in North Adams. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

An open house was held in downtown North Adams to mark the completion of the state’s fifth consolidated HHS Center – which combines several agencies under the umbrella of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services under one roof.

In order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of North Adams, Massachusetts must make over 300 repairs and upgrades to its municipal structures. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard has more…

A Berkshire County man is planning to open a Holocaust Museum in North Adams within the next several weeks. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief reports…

Darrell P. English says he has been collecting antiques and World War 2 memorabilia since he was a kid. But in recent years, he’s had a growing interest in searching out items and artifacts from the holocaust.

The North Adams resident says that over the years he’s collected over 10,000 World War II pieces.

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