News

The rail platform at the Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center in Pittsfield, Mass.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

A study on expanding rail service between Springfield-to-Boston was left out of the final Massachusetts state budget. But lawmakers did OK another rail study, looking at seasonal service between Pittsfield and New York City.

Transportation officials in Massachusetts will look at the feasibility of weekend service between late May and October.

State Senator Adam Hinds, who represents the Berkshires, said this could demonstrate an appetite for regular, year-round trains to and from New York City.

Pittsfield High School is designed to accomodate 1,600 students, but only had about 900 during the last school year.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

One school district for all 15,000 of Berkshire County's school children. That's what an advisory panel of educators, local officials and business leaders is recommending. They commissioned a new study that said this approach could solve a lot of the problems schools are facing.

For Shakespeare & Co., 40 Years Of Passion, 'Mistakes'

20 hours ago
Bella Merlin and Deaon Griffin-Pressley, in  the production of Cymbeline.
Stratton McCrady / Shakespeare & Co.

With summer in full swing, one of the nation’s largest Shakespeare festivals is celebrating a big anniversary this year. And over its four decades in Lenox, Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company has seen its share of dramatics, both on- and off-stage.

St. Thomas Church in Huntington, Massachusetts.
Kevin Gutting / Daily Hampshire Gazette

St. Thomas Church in Huntington, Massachusetts, will go up for auction on Thursday. It's one of over 30 churches in the Springfield Diocese to close its doors in the last decade, but the first to be put up for auction.

Diocese spokesman Mark Dupont said the town's decision to make the church an historic district in 2012 could have made it harder to sell.

PVTA Scales Back Bus Cuts

Jul 19, 2017
A PVTA bus.
Mark M. Murray / The Republican

Plans to cut Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus routes have been significantly scaled back. The changes follow criticism from bus riders and area colleges. 

The former toll booth at Exit 8 of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Palmer.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will study the possibility of putting a new exit on the Massachusetts Turnpike in the western part of the state.

Funding for the review is contained in the budget signed by Governor Charlie Baker Monday.

Settling In -- Not For -- Downtown Springfield

Jul 17, 2017
Steve Shultis, in downtown Springfield.
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

After living both in the Mountain West and Europe, commentator Steve Shultis, came back home to settle in his native Springfield. Out West, Shultis says, he observed a sprawling, suburbanizing, car-dependent way of life. He far preferred what he experienced in Europe -- walk-able, bike-able cities. So he and his then-wife put down stakes in the Springfield's downtown. He's had no regrets.

Sue Baxter owns land abutting where a New York-to-Connecticute pipeline is being constructed. She sits atop a lifeguard chair made for her by friends, as she keeps an eye on the project.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Construction continues on a New York-to-Connecticut natural gas pipeline, running through Otis State Forest in Sandisfield, Massachusetts. Despite work being well underway, there are some who believe the project -- which has been the source of a legal and regulatory battle -- can still be halted. And a few still protest daily, on private land only yards from the construction site.

There's a big new feature on Bonnie Raitt in the San Diego Union-Tribune in which she goes in-depth and mentions numerous influences, including such obscure figures as Barbara Dane and Judy Roderick. I've been a fan of Judy's since my high school days and keep going back to her great Vanguard album, Woman Blue.

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