MDAR Posts Avian Flu Alert . . .

ALTHOUGH NO INCIDENTS HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN OUR Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) has issued an alert regarding the spread of a new strain of Avian Flu virus. The virus has no known effect upon humans; however, it can have a devastating impact on many kinds of birds, most notably domestic poultry, as this    Continue reading

Hawley Submits Funding Application to MBI . . .

AS PART OF ITS EFFORT TO IDENTIFY an affordable Broadband system for the Town, the Hawley Communications Committee has submitted an application for $5,000.00 in planning funds to the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI). 


Massachusetts Broadband Institute Grant Application Form

Qualifying as one of the 44 rural Towns that have been adjudged by MBI to be “underserved” or “unserved” by high speed Internet, Hawley would be able to use the grant “. . . in order to be in a position to make choices about whether and in what manner to participate in a last mile strategy . . .,” according to the grant application documents.   Those documents go on to say that, “Towns or their designated representatives may apply for financial assistance . . . to obtain grant funding to assist a Town to obtain professional services to:

  • perform preliminary marketing or feasibility studies;
  • obtain legal and financial services; and,
  • [receive] professional guidance in deciding whether to participate in the MBI broadband program.”

In Hawley’s case, the question of “whether to participate” in the last mile comes down to finding  Continue reading

Cultural Council Announces Grants, Deadlines . . .

– The Charlemont-Hawley Cultural Council is now accepting grant applications for the 2015 fiscal year. grants4artistsApplications for funding may be submitted by individuals, schools, and / or cultural organizations. Cultural programs include such events as concerts, festivals, lectures, theater, dance, and film.

The Charlemont-Hawley Cultural Council receives so many applications that its members prefer to limit grants to individuals and organizations located (or presenting events) in Hawley or Charlemont, or to schools that serve those communities.

How to Apply

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Website Reconstruction . . .

EXPECT GAPS AND GLITCHES!If this were a stretch of road reconstructionbgthat was being totally redone, we’d say something like, “Travel at your Own Risk.” But since we’re rebuilding a website rather than repairing a slab of macadam, maybe “Expect Gaps and Glitches” is more appropriate. Here’s what’s been going on:

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For Hurricane Season . . .

MEMA ISSUES POWER OUTAGE SAFETY TIPS — Stating hurricanethat “extended loss of power, during and after a hurricane, is a real possibility,” the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has issued an advisory containing procedures to use during hurricane season.  Included are:

► General Preparation Tips;
► Food and Water Peparation;
► Medical Considerations;
► Travelong During a Power Outage; and,
► Safe Restoration of Power and Recovery.

To download the full advisory, click HERE.

Change in Flu Shot Costs . . .

HAWLEY PUBLIC HEALTH NURSE ISSUES NEW FLU CLINIC DATES, RULES — Public Health Nurse Lisa White and the Franklin County Cooperative Public Health Service (CPHS) have issued a new schedule of Flu Clinics throughout the hilltowns area.  Included are:

 A clinic to be held in Charlemont at the Federated Church on Tuesday, October 13 from 9:30 – 11:30 am;
 Another on Saturday, October 31 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at Hawlemont School, Charlemont, as part of an Emergency Dispensing Site Drill; and,
A third to be held at the Shelburne Falls Senior Center on Tuesday, November 24 from 8:30 – 10:30 am .

Change in Policy

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Includes Large Plastics Recycling . . .

THE FRANKLIN COUNTY SOLID WASTE DISTRICT (FCSWD) will be holding its second semi-annual Bulky Waste Cleanup for 2015 on Saturday morning, October 24 from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. The event, which will be held at three locations this year . . .

the Buckland Recreational Area (Route 112 South);
the Northfield Highway Garage (49 Caldwell Rd); and,
the Whately Transfer Station (73 Christian Lane)

. . . will feature the addition of a new Bulky Rigid Plastics recycling capability. Plastic items larger than 2.5 gallons are too bulky to be processed with municipal recycling, but can now be collected separately at this event for recycling, provided they meet certain size and type requirements. This is in addition to the multitude of items that the FCSWD has been collecting on a regular basis. 

Click HERE for information about the new plastics program as well as the variety of other materials that can be recycled at this Bulky Waste Cleanup event.

Hawley’s Recall Bylaw Initiative . . .

AS A RESULT OF A RECALL BYLAW PROPOSAL THAT WAS brought to the Annual Hawley Town Meeting, a committee was appointed by the moderator to refine the measure and bring it back torecall the voters at a future time.  The group has been meeting over the summer months and has reviewed numerous similar bylaws adopted by communities around the Commonwealth.  The revised version that has been drafted by the committee resembles those passed elsewhere but does contain a couple of features unique to Hawley.  After refining the draft based on citizen input, the committee will seek to bring the proposal back for a town meeting vote at some point in the near future.  Once adopted, it must be submitted to the legislature for approval as a home-rule petition.  The process may take up to a year. Continue reading

Re-Paving Projects . . .

KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR ROAD WORK — The Hawley Department of Streets and its subcontractors will be working on repaving projects on sections of three roads on the west side of Town this late summer and fall.  While the objective is to complete the projects before snow flies, that depends on a number of factors, including weather and availability of materials.

Affected roads include:

♦ Route 8A (11/2 mile section);
♦ Forge Hill Road; and,
♦ West Hill Road.

On Second Thought . . .

LOCAL WIRELESS EXPERIMENT PUT ON HOLD — After furthercltwr-over-border-red-slash investigation, the Communications Committee has recommended, and the Selectboard has approved, a cessation of activities related to the construction of wireless Internet towers on the Town Office. 

The reason?  Several small towers would be needed to accomplish a connection to nine or ten homes instead of one medium-sized tower, rendering the project marginally feasible and turning the look of the Town Office into that of a “communications shack.”

The Committee has decided  to concentrate  its efforts instead on the work of a network consulting firm, engaged with money from an MBI planning grant, to develop a more comprehensive approach to Hawley’s Internet challenges.