Posted inEducation

The teachers waiting for a contract

INTRO TEXT When school committee members take out a newspaper ad claiming that teachers are overpaid and underworked, it’s a pretty good sign that contract negotiations aren’t going well. Indeed, Agawam teachers were still without a contract months after the November 8 notice in the weekly Agawam Advertiser. That broadside charged that high-school teachers spend […]

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Great Barrington considers a building spree

Great Barrington, for the most part, has kept up with the times. A former textile mill-based community on the banks of the Housatonic River, it has developed a vibrant downtown in recent years. Tourists flock there for dinner and the movies before and after going to the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Stockbridge and Tanglewood […]

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Easy being Green

Before he stepped down to become clerk magistrate of Ware District Court in May after nearly 27 years in the State House, Democratic state Rep. William P. Nagle of Northampton hadn’t faced a serious challenger in 20 years. That made his 1st Hampshire District seat seem safe to hand down to his longtime aide, Peter […]

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Few parting shots from Bill Nagle

After 27 years commuting from the Pioneer Valley, Bill Nagle left the State House and his position as House majority leader without a word, let alone the traditional farewell speech. “Part of it was, I came so close to becoming Speaker. It’s very difficult to walk out the door after all those years,” he says. […]

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Hancock defends its civic honor

Pittsfield is often considered the farthest-flung outpost from Boston in the state, but the Berkshire County seat has nothing on its tiny neighbor to the west. Indeed, the only way to get to Hancock town center from Pittsfield is to drive west into New York State, winding around some mountains, then head back east into […]

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Getting Unelected in Holland

HOLLAND–It is a quaint, wooded town of 2,300, nestled between Sturbridge and Brimfield on the banks of the pristine Hamilton Reservoir. A white, steepled church, a school, the town hall and a tiny library are all there is to the center; down the hill are a gas station and a pizza place, completing Holland’s commercial […]

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In Athol school committee follies reveal community division

ATHOL–Cable-access television broadcasts of town meetings, board of selectmen sessions, and other municipal gatherings usually attract few viewers, even when they are repeated endlessly at all hours of the day and night. But on occasion, the performance of municipal duties takes a riveting turn, presenting to citizen-viewers high drama, if not low comedy. North of […]

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No parking in Amherst

AMHERST — This is a town that prides itself on the elevated nature of much of its civic discourse. Amherst town meeting regularly takes stands on issues of high philosophical, not to mention international, import. Amherst was the second municipality, after Oakland, Calif., to endorse a boycott of products from Nigeria. Town meeting took an […]