Blog - Williamstown, MA
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Update, Monday June 8th, 2020

Here’s a quick note from the Department of  More Lights On; Outside dining starts today. There’s an article in iberkshires…check it out. www.iberkshires.com

June is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Every June there are all sorts of awareness events happening all over the country to raise consciousness about Alzheimers and brain health. The COVID-19 crisis is having a tremendous effect on the Alzheimer’s Association as you can imagine but, as they say, when given lemons…so there are all sorts of activities available remotely including virtual auctions, Longest Day events and there are sign up opportunities for annual Alzheimer’s Walks. The local event is scheduled for October  12th, leaving the Adams Visitor Center and off down the Ashuwillticook Rail trail. You can find information for this and more here; www.alz.org 

Additionally, the Dementia Care Collaborative of Dementia Friendly Massachusetts continues to offer monthly virtual educational programs including “Conversations with Caregivers” The conversation for this month is around Memory Cafes and is titled “Being with Others is Good Medicine” Find that program and more  at this link;

 www.dfmassachusetts.org

Jane’s Exercise Class #8 is currently available on Willinet, here’s the link ;www.willinet.org 

Here’s the food news for the week;

The Mobile Food Pantry program from the FoodBank of Western Massachusetts is happening tomorrow, June 9th in Adams at the Visitor Center parking lot  between 10:00 and 11:00. Stay in your car with your dimmers on, they’ll help you.

Williamstown Farmers Market – Essentials!, the virtual market is accepting orders at www.WFMEssentials.org  weekly from 10:00  Monday  until 7PM on Wednesday . Pick up is from 11am until 1pm  on Saturday. Orders are pre-bagged, pre-sorted, find them in the parking lot behind the Williamstown Elementary School, in front of the Youth Center entry. Very user friendly.  The market is pre-order and pickup only. They’re also able to provide home delivery within a 7-mile radius of market orders to those unable to access the pickup location on Saturday, but please, don’t use the delivery option unless you are unable to get to the market!  

Berkshire Grown  has a link to connect with  all sorts of different farms and food sources, including some people whom you’ll remember from the holiday markets. Check it out! Here’s that link: https://berkshiregrown.org/shop-local-now/

The North Adams Farmers market is open, here’s the link  with order information:-www.Facebook.com/NorthAdamsFarmersMarket/ 

The Salvation Army Food Pantry on  River Street in North Adams is in operation Tuesday-12:00-3:00. Please use the front door

The Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry is still in their temporary location in the Parish Center on Holden Street  (it’s across from the Big Y) Wednesday, 10:00-2:00 and 3:30-5:30. Plenty of parking. They are also looking for volunteers to help out and you can reach them at: 413.664.0123 or via these links;

northernberkshireinterfaith@gmail.com or through their website; www.friendshipfoodpantry.org if you’re interested in helping

The Community Bible Church Food Pantry, 160 Bridges Road, Williamstown, has food and are happy to share. Call Phyllis Babcock (413) 663-6094 and she will meet you at church at your convenience.

The Williamstown Food Pantry at St Patrick/St Raphael Church, 9:00-12:00 Wednesday. Southworth St. Circle around  the backside of church via Mission Park Drive, stay in your car, someone will help. Walkers to the front of the line, they’ll try to help you first. 

Berkshire Food Project  meals are still take-out only on M-W-and F. Participants  enter through the breezeway and exit from the dining room out to Summer Street. Participants must wear a mask to participate and this includes while waiting in line. Please practice Social Distancing while waiting. BFP will provide a mask if you don’t have one. The number of folks allowed in the building at the same time are limited for safety purposes, they’ll keep track at the door.BFP staff will open the doors for you, you’ll only be touching your food. There are also no restroom facilities available for use at this time.. 

The Bennington Farmers Market is open in Riverwalk Park, Depot Street-behind the former Bennington Station restaurant.  They say that they’re open every Saturday from 10-1: and they’ll do pre orders, curbside pickup as well as  In-Person shopping. Here’s their link;www.benningtonfarmersmarket.org

Get outside!

Brian O’Grady

Update, Friday June 5th, 2020

Here we are on the first Friday in June, or should I say first weekend of June? 

Went out  for a long walk last night and I got to tell you it’s great to see the lights-literally- coming on again everywhere. More people were out there on the street especially on the end near Lickety Split enjoying a warm evening.  Still not many cars but it’s obvious that an opening, OK a different kind, is happening. Yay! But remember, opening or not, masks and social distancing  is still the order of the day.

Speaking of lights, Milne Library is getting ready to throw some switches and pop some doors as well. They’re deep into  the process of defining how they will open and what procedures will be in place to keep everyone safe on reentry. They have quite a few surfaces to think about…They’re hoping to implement curbside pick up sooner rather than later. Baby steps. Stay tuned!

You all know that there are a couple annual elections coming up, right? The Town annual election is slated for June 23rd, hours to follow in an update next week. The last chance to register to vote-or change your party affiliation is next Friday, June 12th. You can also vote by absentee ballot between now and then, you’ll find applications at the front of Town Hall and here at the Harper Center. 

Additionally the Williamstown Fire District annual meeting and vote is slated for Tuesday June 30, you can absentee vote here as well. Here are the links

Williamstown Fire District Annual and vote: 

Early Voting instructions for WFD: 

https://williamstownma.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/WFD-Voter-instructions-2020-1.docx

Not sure how familiar you are with this effort but there is a formal “Train Campaign’ out there. It’s an effort by a group of individuals from the Barrington Institute, www.barringtoninstitute.org   who are interested in bringing train travel back to the Berkshires on a bigger scale than just Amtrak passing through Pittsfield. They’re actually looking at a form of computer rail service connecting us with  NYC to start.Think about it, hop the train in Pittsfield and ride to NY.  My personal train experience can be correctly called “subway commuting’, my only actual train riding experiences have been rather limited…Anyway, the Train Campaign is trying to engage communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York with a vision for 21st Century passenger rail travel. The mission is to connect western Connecticut, Mass and NY with NYC, actually a really solid idea. The plan focusing on us, the Berkshire Line,  is a project of the Housatonic Railroad Company, www.hrrc.com a Connecticut based rail company in operation since the 1850’s and today apparently today a freight mover. The idea is to run a  passenger service from New York City to Pittsfield, MA via Danbury, CT. They propose  to do 8 round trips a day, originating and terminating in Grand Central Station in NYC. If brought to fruition. will bring passengers from Pittsfield to New York in 3 hours and 55 minutes.  Without driving ao the parking hassle. They’re currently seeking legislative assistance in the three states and I think, have bills pending. It’s a really interesting plan, check it out. 

The Williamstown Historical Museum is currently in week 6 of it’s scavenger hunt, you’re looking for a marker memorializing the site of the first Proprietors Meeting. Nope, it’s not on Church Street but I bet the Field was named after these first  Proprietors. What were they and what was this meeting about? Check their website, www.williamstownhistoricalmuseum.org  and get out there and find the marker!

Our friends at Age Friendly Berkshires tells us about  a unique program entitled “We Read Stories”. It’s a program sponsored by the  Western MA Medical Reserve Corps, Fairview Hospital and the Orphean Circus.The program was created to overcome isolation being experienced  during  Covid shutdown.  The program is designed to link people through the common bond or reading and telling stories. Essentially, older adults sheltering at home will be matched with trained, pre-screened volunteers from the Western MA Medical Reserve Corps, to select and enjoy a short story together, over an agreed-upon weekly schedule.  This is ideal for those who are currently experiencing loneliness, depression or, who may be medically vulnerable and needing to remain sheltered at home, in the weeks and months ahead.  

So…if you’re  interested contact us here at Harper, 413.448.8250 and we’ll connect you with the program.  If you have any questions, please contact Carmela Lanza-Weil at the WMA MRC: carmela.lanza.weil@gmail.com.

Have a great weekend!

Brian O’Grady

Update, Wednesday June 3rd, 2020

A rather large nationwide unemployment fraud scheme has been detected and it’s been identified as active here in Massachusetts as well. Are you surprised? Chaos breeds contempt.  Crooks are attempting to file fraudulent unemployment claims through The Department of Unemployment Assistance’s (DUA) system.

So…if you have received a notice that your unemployment benefits have been approved but you haven’t applied, watch out. Some folks have been told that their application was approved and then received a request for their social security number even though they hadn’t applied. Some people have received unemployment payment deposits with other peoples names on them.Others report that when attempting to apply for unemployment benefits, they are being told they have “already” applied. So beware, tell anyone you know who’s applying to beware and don’t fall for this! Remember, they’re out there!

The BRTA has initiated normal  service bus routes hours for Route 1,Route 2and Route 21.  What this means is that you can once again ride the bus from Williamstown to  North Adams and then all the way to Great Barrington in regular time  if you feel the need or desire. The details can be found at www.berkshirerta.com This is good news; another light has come on!

Jane has posted exercise class #8 on Willinet and you can find that here; www.willinet.org 

Mary is hosting an increasingly active Zoom yoga class, twice weekly and if you’re interested in participating, email her directly at maryedgerton1@gmail.com There were 18 people in today’s class! Wow! Just like the old days a couple months ago. Well, sort of…that, by the way is a very manageable number and probably something like what it might look like in the initial phases of reopening. And before you ask, not yet. We’re working on it daily. Be patient.

Oh. By the way, it appears that I had posted an incorrect telephone number for Coyote Flaco.It’s actually 458.4240…a message from the Department of OOPS…

Have a great evening. Talk soon.

Brian O’Grady          

Updates, Monday June 1st, 2020

I love June, it’s such a great month!

Happy June!

Rabbit, Rabbit!

Ok, here are the weekly food updates;

The Foodbank Mobile Pantry will be at.the American Legion parking lot in North Adams on Friday, June 5th, from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. The Legion is down the street from the Holiday Inn on American Legion Drive. Or, if you prefer, just down the street from the Fire Department, opposite side of the street. They’re a program of the FoodBank of Western Mass.

Williamstown Farmers Market – Essentials!, the virtual market is accepting orders at www.WFMEssentials.org  weekly on Monday and until 7PM on Wednesday . Pick up is from 11am until 1pm  on Saturday. Orders are pre-bagged, pre-sorted, find them in the parking lot behind the Williamstown Elementary School, in front of the Youth Center entry. Very user friendly.  Drawback? There’s no shopping or purchasing on site – yet. The market is pre-order and pickup only. They’re also able to provide home delivery within a 7-mile radius of market orders to those unable to access the pickup location on Saturday, but please, don’t use the delivery option unless you are unable to get to the market! I have been ordering weekly. They have plants too, I have several sets of zucchini, tomatoes and  peppers I purchased from them and have now planted. 

Berkshire Grown  has a link to connect with  all sorts of different farms and food sources, including some people whom you’ll remember from the holiday markets. Check it out! Here’s that link: https://berkshiregrown.org/shop-local-now/

 The North Adams Farmers market is open, here’s the link  with order information:-www.Facebook.com/NorthAdamsFarmersMarket/ 

The Salvation Army Food Pantry on  River Street in North Adams is in operation Tuesday-12:00-3:00. Please use the front door

The Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry is still in their temporary location in the Parish Center on Holden Street  (it’s across from the Big Y) Wednesday, 10:00-2:00 and 3:30-5:30. Plenty of parking. They are also looking for volunteers to help out and you can reach them at:

northernberkshireinterfaith@gmail.com or through their website; www.friendshipfoodpantry.org if you’re interested in helping

The Community Bible Church Food Pantry, 160 Bridges Road, Williamstown, has food and are happy to share. Call Phyllis Babcock (413) 663-6094 and she will meet you at church at your convenience.

The Williamstown Food Pantry at St Patrick/St Raphael Church, 9:00-12:00 Wednesday. Southworth St. Use Mission Park Drive to circle around  the church, stay in your car, someone will help. Walkers to the front of the line, they’ll try to help you first. Note the change in time to an earlier opening.

Starting today,  Monday, June 1, 2020, Berkshire Food Project will be moving the meal distribution inside and out from under that tent….The meals are still take-out only Participants should enter through the breezeway and then will exit  from the dining room out to Summer Street. Participants must wear a mask to participate and this includes while waiting in line. Oh, that line? Please practice Social Distancing while waiting. BFP will provide a mask if you don’t have one. The number of folks allowed in the building at the same time are limited for safety purposes, they’ll keep track at the door. We’re used to this now, right? BFP staff will open the doors for you, you’ll only be touching your food. No surfaces to worry about. There are also no restroom facilities available for use either. Sorry about that.

The Grab and Go service courtesy of our Regional School District is back on their M-W-F schedule. Last week it was different because of the holiday last Monday. Memorial day. In May. Seems like a long time ago now, doesn’t it?

Brian O’Grady

Update, Friday May 29th, 2020

Friday May 29th. Where did the month go?

I have noticed a very significant uptick in the number of spam emails from people pretending to be lawyers, relatives, government ministers from third world countries and elsewhere telling me that I have been left millions of dollars and they “need” to get it to me somehow. Seems as though all I have to do is give them my bank account numbers so they can transfer the funds to me and I live the life of…a billionaire maybe? It’s all really old school stuff, trickery from 10 years ago from a collection of idiots attempting to sucker me into playing along. Right. But-if they can reach me with my super firewall,  scam alert and security program, they can reach other folks too. They’re out there! If it’s too good to be true, it likely is. Don’t fall for it, toss those free money emails in the trash and delete. They’re thinking that we’re running scared because of the pandemic. 

The Williamstown Historical Museum is now in week 5 of their spring scavenger hunt. It might be a little bit harder for you to find than the prior sites were. This one is located at the site of the Town’s First Meeting House.Back in the day, as they say, a town couldn’t incorporate as a town until there was a meetinghouse and a “settled pastor” so this is a pretty important site in Williamstown. You can read all about it at www.williamstownhistoricalmuseum.org 

After you’ve read it, go see the site for yourselves. Take a walk!

Just because we have this COVID pandemic  going on out there doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate the 4th of July. Of course, it’s not going to be the same this year, I don’t get to pull the Community Chest in the parade and my Granddaughter, who  is now old enough to enjoy the parade as a participant will have to wait to march. Anyway, Sue at the Chamber of Commerce has designed a very brief survey asking Townies how we’d like to celebrate in a public but separate  way.  Check it out  and make yourself heard!  You can find the link here;

Williamstown Chamber Fourth of July survey Google Form Survey 

For our friends who have been participants in the AARP Tax Aide program, I have some news. AARP Regional Director John Woods made a guest appearance in my weekly informational call with MCOA, he told us to assure everyone that if your a filer who owes nothing in taxes, you need not worry about the July date for filing. He doesn’t think that the IRS will really worry about you  and there will be no penalties.. Those of you who are in a different position will be prioritized when they’re back on line. This will likely be sooner rather than later, they have discussed this on the national AARP level and for them, Massachusetts is one state which looks like it will be OK to reopen. People who had appointments and were cancelled when the pandemic hit, we have your number, we’ll let you know when we hear anything. 

The annual Hoosac Harvest seedling swap will be held from 10:00 to 1:00 this Saturday, May 30, 2020, that’s tomorrow folks, in the main parking lot at Mass MoCA, you can’t miss them.You’re asked to wear a mask or face covering and practice social distancing.  You can bring some of your own seedlings to swap, or come without and choose some to bring home for your own garden space. All of the seedlings you’ll find at the event  are free and you don’t need to bring anything to swap.

For those of you who are familiar with the event you’ll remember that it’s a good idea to bring your own tray to collect your new seedlings for transporting home. They will have a few small pots available for use if needed. They’ll also have disposable single use gloves available for those who are interested. Donations to Hoosac Harvest are encouraged.

Community Legal Aid is a Pittsfield based organization  a free civil legal aid provider, one of whose specialties is to help families and individuals trying to access public benefits including unemployment assist.They have initiated a new Unemployment Project to help people apply for benefits. They’re able to assist folks with language barriers and those who have technology issues… They can also step in and help if you’re having problems getting an unemployment claim approved.  Call 855-CLA-LEGAL or https://communitylegal.org/get-help/ for information or assistance.

Good weekend all!

Brian O’Grady

Update, Monday May 25th, 2020

Doesn’t seem the same without the parade does it?

This year, in addition to our veterans,  we’ll also remember those who were lost to the pandemic which has wreaked human and economic hardship on us all. While the County as a whole has been relatively spared the ravaged of COVID-19, we in Williamstown have lost friends who resided at Williamstown Commons and perhaps elsewhere in the surrounding communities. I knew some of the lost and I will think of them today.

Here’s the food news of the week;

Williamstown Farmers Market – Essentials!, the virtual market is accepting orders at www.WFMEssentials.org  weekly beginning  on Monday and  until 7PM on Wednesday . Pick up is from 11am until 1pm  on Saturday. Orders are pre-bagged, pre-sorted, find them in the parking lot behind the Williamstown Elementary School, you can’t miss them. No shopping or purchasing on site – yet. The market is pre-order and pickup only. They’re also able to provide home delivery within a 7-mile radius of market orders to those unable to access the pickup location on Saturday, but please, don’t use the delivery option unless you are unable to get to the market!

Berkshire Grown  has a link to connect with  all sorts of different farms and food sources, including some people whom you’ll remember from the holiday markets. Check it out! Here’s that link: https://berkshiregrown.org/shop-local-now/

 The North Adams Farmers market is open, here’s the link  with order information:-www.Facebook.com/NorthAdamsFarmersMarket/ 

The Salvation Army Food Pantry on  River Street in North Adams is in operation Tuesday-12:00-3:00. Please use the front door

The Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry in their temporary location in the Parish Center on Holden Street  (it’s across from the Big Y) Wednesday, 10:00-2:00 and 3:30-5:30. They are also looking for volunteers to help out and you can reach them at:

northernberkshireinterfaith@gmail.com or through their website; www.friendshipfoodpantry.org if you’re interested in helping

The Community Bible Church Food Pantry, 160 Bridges Road, Williamstown, has food and are happy to share. Call Phyllis Babcock (413) 663-6094 and she will meet you at church at your convenience.

The Williamstown Food Pantry at St Patrick/St Raphael Church, 9:00-12:00 Wednesday. Southworth St. Use Mission Park Drive to circle around  the church, stay in your car, someone will help. Walkers to the front of the line, they’ll try to help you first. Note the change in time to an earlier opening.

Berkshire Food Project: 11:30-1:00, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Grab and Go only meals available, there will be two meals prepared on Monday and Wednesday to have one for Tuesday and Thursday as well. Please don’t enter the building! The meals will be available under the tent at the Kitchen entrance on Summer Street.

Now, from the Department of Advanced Planning…there’s a community paper shredding event sponsored by the Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District slated for Saturday, June 13, 2020 at the Lanesborough Town Hall, 83 North Main Street, Lanesborough. It’s open to residents of all NBSWMD residents at no cost…in other words, FREE, so bring your collected secret stuff-tax returns, bills, assorted paperwork, etc and get them shredded on site. Oh-the shredding will be done by PROSHRED Security mobile shredding trucks. You can contact Linda Cernik at 413.743.5479 for details.  Hey, it’s a good way to combat identity theft and eliminate collected paper you don’t want to just recycle…

Enjoy the day!

Brian O’Grady

Update, Friday May 22, 2020

Here’s some news from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Some of this reflects news already reported in an earlier update but some of this is new. A reminder refresher, as it were.

Drivers licenses, ID cards  and CDL expiring in June are extended to October, July expirations extended until November and August expirations have been extended until December. They don’t have to be renewed at this time.Additionally, learners permits that were to have expired in between March 1st and August 31st have been extended until December and don’t need to be renewed at this time.

All motor vehicle stickers which have or will be expiring in March thru may have also been extended until July 31st. They’re saying, at this moment at least, that  there won’t be further extensions for inspections as garages performing this function are open now and able to inspect your car. (Burnt again! Mine is due in August…)

AND…passenger plate registrations that have expired  in March or April, and will expire in  May  have been extended until July 31, 2020. The RMV has also applied a 30-day extension to registrations that expire in June, which will now expire on July 31, 2020. You can continue to renew registrations, etc,  online at Mass.Gov/RMV during this time

In response to questions regarding testing and who covers this, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS,  is indicating that Medicare covers COVID-19 tests with NO out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, If an older adult receives Medicare home health services (are you involved with a homecare agency like the VNA?) a home health nurse can collect a sample during a visit. Nurses working for rural health clinics and federally qualified health clinics also can collect samples in beneficiaries’ homes under certain conditions. CMS also suggests “parking lot” sites. Also known locally as “drive thru testing”.CMS website is; www.medicare.gov, the phone number is; 800.633.4227

The Williamstown Historical Museum is entering week 4 of their historical marker scavenger hunt, this week’s site marker is easy to find.  West College was the original building housing the Free School donated to the town in Ephraim Williams’ will, which became Williams College in 1793. If you have any notions about what an original 18th century college building would look like, this is surely it, it smacks of “old school” for sure.. If you don’t know which building West College is, you can read all about it at www.williamstownhistoricalmuseum.org 

Finally, another bit of good news, Lickety Split on the end of Spring Street has re-opened. It’s nice out. Time for ice cream?

Have a great weekend! And Happy Memorial Day. Get your grills out!

Brian O’Grady

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has implemented further extensions to the renewal timelines for expiring motor vehicle inspection stickers, passenger plate registrations, professional credentials, and driver’s licenses and learner’s permits, including Commercial Driver’s Licenses and Commercial Permits (CDLs / CLPs).

While the RMV previously announced extensions for most credentials, passenger plate registrations, and inspection stickers expired or expiring in March, April, and May, an additional extension has been applied to those credentials, and an extension has been added to some credentials expiring in June, July, and August.

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/rmv-covid-19-information

Update Thursday May 21, 2020

Our friends at Elder Services have received reports from other areas of the state reporting  that there are individuals posing as SHINE Counselors attempting to  solicit banking information under the guise of helping people get their stimulus checks.

Shauna Post, Elder Services SHINE leader tells us that SHINE Counselors don’t  have anything to do with stimulus checks. She says that SHINE Counselors will never contact anyone without having been contacted first by you, or someone working with you whom you know. 

 NOTE; all SHINE counselors are working remotely, so private numbers could appear on your phone. If you’re expecting to hear from a counselor, answer it. You can always hang up 

SHINE folks won’t ask for your financial information unless they’re working with you applying for MassHealth or Prescription Advantage..

If you’re working with a SHINE Counselor, they’ll  need some  private information from you such as Social security numbers, Medicare numbers, health information, and income/asset questions while working with you. If you didn’t have a relationship with a SHINE Counselor, or didn’t expect to hear from one, call Elder Services to verify anything if in doubt, and,  BEFORE  you give out information. Remember, they’re out there…

Just a reminder that the Bloodmobile will be at the Williamstown First Congregational Church, 906 Main Street,  on Tuesday  May 26 from 9am to 2:30pm. There is a high need for blood donations at this particular time, help out and donate if you can.

Now here’s a bit of interesting, and hopeful news. Berkshire Health Systems is reducing the hours for its COVID-19 Nurse Triage Line and will now be available from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM daily. The line was averaging over 300 calls daily a couple months ago and now they’re reporting getting an average of 100 calls daily now. 

The Triage Line  was originally created as a way for everyone to have access to nurses who would be able to answer questions or address concerns regarding COVID-19. The line is still there for you if needed, the number is 855.262.5465, just the hours have been reduced. 

The Brown Bag food delivery from the FoodBank of Western Mass for Williamstown occurs tomorrow afternoon. Participants have been contacted, this is just a reminder to watch for us. We’ll be delivering to you. People interested in participating should contact us here at the Harper Center at 413.458.8250 and we’ll get you an application.

Talk Later

Brian O’Grady

Update, Wednesday May 20th, 2020

Yeah, yeah, I hear you. People are calling  every day.   The Governor has posted a plan for reopening during the new abnormal and people have asked me about resuming activities. Yes, we’re working on it.  The lights will come back on eventually, in smaller numbers, with masks and social distancing in baby steps. What I can tell you, and what you already know, is that big crowds are not likely in the near run, participant numbers will be restricted, some communal activities are not likely to come back for a while. Just because we haven’t had a serious problem here in Williamstown doesn’t mean that there isn’t a menace lurking just beyond our line of vision. We’re not inviting it in.

 Currently  it looks like  when some programs resume, sections of the building specifically the back area where Marion and Jackie have space and the kitchen  will be closed to all but staff. You’ll be looking at everyone entering through one entry and exiting out the other into the parking lot. Internal traffic control as it were.The restrooms will be open and the main hall will be utilized for…whatever. There is room there for social spacing. There is likely to be some form of screening at the door and mask inspection…actually to make sure that you’ve joined the bandit parade. Etcetera. We’re waiting  for the official government green light to hurry up and go slow. I don’t have a firm date for you. We are not in phase one for this piece.  Sorry about that.

People have asked about the new community rental assistance program  process.There is no application specifically for that fund. Interested? Go to the Berkshire Housing website  and  fill out a general intake form. They will then screen you for eligibility for that fund.  Here is the link to that form:

http://www.berkshirehousing.com/HCECOnlineAppsforGrants.htm

 Jane Pixley is the person who is fronting this particular program for them. Here’s her contact information;  jpixley@berkshirehousing.com

The other day I tossed in a few words about wearing masks correctly and, of course, two minutes after I had posted it, this bit appeared. Oh well. Check it out…

https://www.mass.gov/news/wear-a-mask-in-public

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts are annual presenters at Harper  bringing lots of information regarding Medicare, Medex and other supplemental insurance options and programs. Not this year. That doesn’t mean that the same great information they bring to us live isn’t out there. They have compiled some of their information in electronic format with some of the latest information and here’s the link; https://medicare.bluecrossma.com/learn-more/attend-seminar

Grill yourself a burger, hit the link and pretend that you’re here…

Speaking of resources and resource enhancement, the Alzheimer’s Association has implemented  new COVID-19 resources  for caregivers helping people living with dementia. It’s a central clearinghouse for Covid related programs and resources offered through the Association in New England. They have virtual programming, social engagement opportunities, public policy information and more. You can find them at this site; www.ALZHereForYou.org  or you can contact them at this number;800.272.3900 all day, every day.

Finally for today, for those  who are participating in the Grab and Go  sponsored through our Regional School District, know that next week, instead of Grab and Go meals on M-W and F, they’ll be providing 2 meals on Tuesday and Thursday each day  instead. Monday is a holiday, adjustments were needed.

Brian O’Grady