Check it out . . .
Here is the latest for Hawley on our broadband buildout.
Effectively immediately . . . [ click here for Lark Thwing’s Report ]
Happy Holidays to All of You.
It has been a busy year pursuing the Borden Mountain site. In late October we got final approval from DCR for the temporary site. In mid-December, the temp site at Borden went live with a 35 ft mast and antenna array. We can access the Whitcomb Hill Summit site and the Chapel Loop site.
The Article 97 legislation (which would give us final approval to construct poles and towers and equipment) stalled just before being approved and sent to the governor for signature. It will get completed as soon as the legislature returns in January. Once the snow is off the mountain in spring, WiValley will get the permanent site up and operating.
Because of the shorter mast of the temporary site, we don’t expect to be able to connect too many homes to Borden before late spring. The antennas are CBRS only. The plan is to connect to Borden those who were connected elsewhere and have very poor service but would have great service from the current Borden site. Those who are now getting 12/2 will be left for now. Those who have not been able to be connected anywhere but would be good candidates for the temp Borden site, will be connected. Lastly WiValley will be connecting homes that should be served by Borden, but service will not be turned on until the permanent site is active.
At present we have 324 connected customers. Some have great service, some have fair service and some have poor service. WiValley is working to bring poor service customers to at least fair and hopefully great service.
MBI has notified us that the free hotspots in each town will continue until at least June 30, 2022.
At present I have no plan to hold an online meeting, preferring these emails. If you feel we need an online meeting please let me know.
Again, Happy Holidays to you all.
To the members of the Sons and Daughters of Hawley,
The Board of the Sons and Daughters of Hawley has decided, sadly, that the Illumination Party, originally scheduled for the afternoon of December 12th, should be canceled. In the Autumn, 2021 issue of The Edge of Hawley, the event is listed as one that we did not plan to cancel this year, but, because of a mishap at the printer’s, delivery of the issue has been delayed, thus providing the Board with an opportunity to reconsider its decision.
The decision to cancel is based in large part on the fact that the number of new cases of COVID in Franklin County is reportedly higher now than it has ever been, and there is the new threat of the Omicron variant, as well. In addition to the danger of contagion, it now appears that the lighting of the Meetinghouse chandelier globes, which is the central activity of the Illumination Party, would be impeded by the presence of painters’ scaffolding, since the painting of the ceiling is not expected to be completed by December 12th.
The Franklin County Regional Housing & Redevelopment Authority (HRA) is administering a housing rehabilitation loan program on behalf of the Town of Hawley. The program offers zero-interest, deferred-payment, 15-year forgivable loans of up to $35,000 to qualified homeowners to improve the safety and energy efficiency of their homes.
Eligible improvements include:
This morning DCR issued us a permit to install a temporary shelter and collapsible 35 ft mast on Borden Mountain. I expect that Brian Foucher of WiValley will remove the 8 trees that need removal and then will set the temporary shelter in place, anchor it, bring in power, set up the electronics inside and erect the mast and attach antennas. With luck this temporary installation will be operational by the end of November and before heavy snows close the mountain to vehicular traffic.
Representative Paul Mark tells me that the legislature hopes to approve the Article 97 (bill to authorize construction by the State Legislature) by midnight, Wednesday November 17th, when they adjourn for the rest of this year. In all likelihood we won’t get to install the permanent Borden Mt site until after the snows melt in April 2022.
The temporary installation on Borden Mt will allow WiValley to connect SOME of the 200 plus customers who are scheduled to get their service from Borden. Remember, the temp tower is 35 ft and the permanent one will be 75 ft tall.
On another note, Savoy has approved a pole location on Tilton Road in Savoy, and WiValley will be installing that shortly. All of a sudden they have lots to do.
I do not expect to hold another FHMS meeting until the temporary Borden site is operational.
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.
Kirby (Lark) Thwing
FHMS Broadband Network Committee, Chair
GETTING A FLU VACCINATION IS ONE important way to keep yourself healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Saturday October 16 an indoor flu clinic will be held at Mohawk Trail Regional School from 10 AM to 1 PM, supported by local boards of health and local Medical Reserve Corps volunteers. The clinic is for people of all ages. Face masks will be required. See the attached flyer for more information. To save your spot, please pre-register at www.frcog.org/flu-clinic, and please bring all available insurance cards. We hope to see you there!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)have authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 Booster for individuals 65 years of age and older, individuals 18-64 years of age at risk for severe COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions, and individuals 18-64 years of age who are at increased risk for COVID-19 because of occupational or institutional settings who have previously received the Pfizer vaccine. These residents are eligible to receive their booster shot at least 6 months after their second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The Sons and Daughters of Hawley Board of Trustees has decided, sadly, that it is not in the best interest of our members for us to hold the potluck Apple Fest dinner, originally scheduled for November 7. Although the COVID number is decreasing, there do continue to be new cases in Massachusetts and Franklin County every day, so, as we don’t think it is worth the risk, we are cancelling the event.
At this time, we do plan to hold the Illumination Party in December at the East Hawley Meetinghouse. Plans regarding the traditional S&DH spring events, including the March Mud Party, remain tentative, but we will let you know about each decision as soon as it is made.
The Board sends our warm good wishes for your continued health and well being,
Suzy Groden, S&DH Recording Secretary