Local News & Views
The South Williamstown Community Association will support two scholarships of $750 each to benefit two children from South Williamstown in need of tutoring. Williamstown’s Reading Institute will administer the scholarships and provide reading support, from a certified reading teacher, twice a week, for eight weeks this summer. SWCA hopes to continue the scholarships by raising dedicated funds in the future.
On August 28, 2016, the South Williamstown Community Association and the Hoosic River Watershed Association, assisted by some members of the general public, collected approximately 15 trash bags of glass and other debris from the Green River opposite Hart’s Trucking.
There was a town landfill there from about 1948 until 1960 and high water (especially since Hurricane Irene) causes broken glass and other debris to be washed into the river. SWCA Board Member Wayne Olivieri got in touch with HooRWA about this in 2015 and HooRWA arranged a site visit on October 6, 2015 attended by Williamstown’s Director of Public Works Tim Kaiser, Health Officer Jeff Kennedy, HooRWA’s Steve McMahon, Tom Hyde and Lauren Stevens, SWCA’s Mark Thaisz and Charles Clines and Dan Hall from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
Clines and Hall came back to do a more detailed survey of the area in November and concluded that the landfill covers approximately four acres and appears to contain ash, metal, and glass and to run 400 linear feet along the river bank. They recommend monitoring and expressed concern about any downed trees that direct the flow of water toward the river bank, producing further erosion.
With the assistance of Willinet’s Peter Iwasiwka, Pam Burger and Bette Craig have produced a video on the river cleanup and background of the issue which will be available on Willinet and on the SWCA website, www.southwilliamstown.org.
If you would like to support the work of HooRWA with a membership, go to the website, www.HooRWA.org or email Executive Director Steve McMahon @hoorwa.org.
Repair Café on April 9 was a hit, and at the SWCA Annual Meeting on June 7, many people expressed a desire for a reprise. We’re talking with our collaborator Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation about doing it again this coming November or December.
Repairs made included:
- 6 lamps
- 2 vacuum cleaners
- Sharpened 8 knives, 3 pairs of scissors, 1 axe
- 1 Bicycle Repair
- 2 Sewing Machine mends were done
- 3 wood working items repaired
- 1 wool sock darned
Although there were only about 25 people, most of our 19 volunteers brought things to be fixed, too, so volunteer fixers and advisers stayed busy. Special thanks to fixers Mark Thaisz, Tony Pisano, Steve Nelson, Wayne Olivieri, James and John from Kapiloff Glass, Marianne Nelson who brought her sewing machine, Judy Summers who brought her darning egg, Maija Lindaas of the Purple Bike Coaltion as well as our advisers veterinarian Dr. Katie Wolfgang, lawyer Stephen Pagnotta, genealogist Bart Saxbe, Pam Burger of the Williamstown Council on Aging, Katie Case who brought her knitting needles, realtor Carolyn Umlauf, gardener Robin Lenz, Van Ellet who advised on long-term care and health insurance for seniors, not to mention Matt Baya and Todd Noyes, who were constantly busy helping people with computer issues. Oh, and let’s not forget our welcome desk and refreshment volunteers: Claudia Ellet, Mickey Thaisz, Melissa Cragg, Bette Craig, and Alice Hadley.
Repair Café is an international network and in recent months, several European Repair Café organizers have gotten refugees involved to help repair items at meetings.