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Daily News

CHICOPEE — At a tree-planting ceremony at Fredericks Park in Revere, state Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton announced an initiative to expand the Greening the Gateway Cities Program (GGCP) to include the cities of Chicopee and Revere. The program, which targets the Commonwealth’s 26 gateway cities, is designed to utilize tree plantings as a way to reduce energy use in urban neighborhoods and lower heating and cooling costs for residents and businesses.

“By extending the Greening the Gateway Cities Program to include the communities of Revere and Chicopee, our administration continues its commitment to work closely with cities and towns across the Commonwealth to provide resources that benefit municipalities and improve the state’s environment,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.

Added Beaton, “increased tree canopy will provide our communities with the first, and best, line of defense from excessive urban summer heat and the biting winds of winter. In addition to benefiting the Commonwealth in terms of energy efficiency, the Greening the Gateway Cities Program will provide the residents of Revere and Chicopee with cleaner air and water, reduced noise pollution, and the beatification of homes and neighborhoods within their community.”

With a defined goal of a 10% increase in urban tree canopy in selected neighborhoods within gateway cities, the increase in tree cover is expected to reduce heating and cooling costs in the selected areas by approximately 10%, with an average homeowner saving approximately $230 a year, once the trees reach maturity. Over their lifespan, the trees are expected to lead to $400 million in energy savings for residents and businesses.

Aimed at improving the often-low tree canopy found in the Commonwealth’s gateway cities due to their urban character and history of manufacturing, the program’s benefits are not isolated to energy efficiency. By planting trees, communities will see a reduction in stormwater runoff, higher air quality, an increase in property values and tax receipts, and a safer, healthier environment for residents.

Under the program, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is spearheading tree-planting efforts and is in the process of planting up to a combined 15,000 trees in Holyoke, Chelsea, and Fall River. Agency staff, working in partnership with local municipalities and grass-roots organizations, have developed a successful approach to planting the number of trees required to have an energy impact, focusing on high-density urban neighborhoods, where planting on average 10 trees per acre will provide benefits to 15 to 25 households. Planting this number of trees will increase canopy by an estimated 1% in eight years, and 10% in 30 years.

“The Greening the Gateway Cities Program is not only an important tool in our overall urban forestry plan, but will be an engine for job creation and energy sustainability in these communities,” said DCR Commissioner Carol Sanchez. “DCR is proud to continue the long-standing partnership between the Bureau of Forestry and the cities of Chicopee, Revere, Chelsea, Holyoke, and Fall River. With the help of local community and grass-roots organizations, GGCP will pay dividends in these high-density urban communities where green space is needed most.”

To implement the expansion of the Greening the Gateway Cities Program, the DCR will partner with the city governments of Chicopee and Revere and community groups to plant approximately 100 trees this June, and thousands more to come. The program will also benefit the cities’ local economies by creating jobs for residents. DCR will hire local workers for tree-planting teams in each city, and every tree will be purchased from Massachusetts nurseries.

“The City of Chicopee greatly appreciates the Commonwealth’s commitment to our city and its neighborhoods by providing us with a number of replacement trees,” said Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos. “As a gateway city, positive impact on neighborhoods and our community as a whole will be measured.”

Added state Sen. James Welch (D-West Springfield), “Greening the Gateway Cities is a great fit for Chicopee, and I am pleased that its residents will benefit not only from the energy-saving and environmental aspects of the program, but also from the beautification of their neighborhoods as the tree planting progresses.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — On Sunday, July 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Springfield Museums will present their sixth annual Indian Motocycle Day, the continuation of a long-standing tradition honoring the classic motorcycles that were manufactured in the city from 1901 to 1953.

Last year, more than 1,000 people attended the event, which featured more than 60 classic, Springfield-built Indians owned by local collectors, The event is sponsored by the Sampson Family and AAA Pioneer Valley; the media sponsor is Rock 102 WAQY. MassMutual is the 2015 premier sponsor of the Springfield Museums.

The museums re-established the Indian Day tradition in 2010 after a five-year hiatus. From 1970 to 2005, the event was held at the now-closed Indian Motocycle Museum on Hendee Street in Springfield. Esta Manthos, together with her late husband Charlie, were the owners of the former museum. In 2007, Manthos donated her extensive collection of Indian Motocycles, artifacts, and memorabilia to the Springfield Museums, where it is now on view in the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History.

This year’s Indian Day will pay tribute to Bob’s Indian of Etters, Pa., for its many years of supporting the heritage of classic Indian cycles. The original dealership was founded in the 1950s by Bob and Kay Markey, and has been a treasure trove of motorcycle history for over half a century.

In addition to the motorcycles on display, there will be a variety of vendors, food and beverages, music provided by Rock 102, and the awarding of trophies for the best Indians in a variety of categories. Commemorative T-shirts will be available for purchase. Anyone bringing a pre-1953 Indian will receive a free admission pass plus a commemorative Indian Day button. Exhibitors, and especially vendors, are encouraged to pre-register by calling (413) 263-6800, ext. 304.

Admission to the event is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-17. For those wishing to attend the event and tour museum buildings, general admission is $18 for adults, $12 for seniors and college students, and $9.50 for children ages 3-17. Admission to the event and the museums is free for members of Springfield Museums; free museum admission is available for Springfield residents after 3 p.m.

For information, call (413) 263-6800, ext. 304, or visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Daily News

WARE — Country Bank recently awarded $80,000 in scholarship money to 32 students in its market area. Two students from each of the 16 high schools will each receive $2,500 to help them get started with their higher-education dreams. These students have been selected by scholarship committees established at the individual schools.

“We are so pleased to be able to provide these students a helping hand as they plan their future,” stated Paul Scully, president and CEO of Country Bank. “The students have each shown their dedication and hard work in the classroom and in the community, and their teachers have chosen them for this special honor. We wish them all the best of luck.”

The seniors awarded the 2015 Country Bank Scholarship include: Ryan Paul Lagasse and Jena Marie Desroches, Bay Path Regional High School; Sienna Nielsen and Kathleen Sera Royal, Belchertown High School; Constance Morgan-Poirer and Tyler Golden, David Prouty High School; Cullen Mars and Alexandria DiCentes, Leicester High School; Zacharry Frangules and Emily Sevigne, Ludlow High School; Viviana Angel and Maxine Girard, Minnechaug Regional High School; Haley Arbour and Justin Maloney, Monson Innovation High School; Danielle Mierzejewski and Alex Ouellet-Poulin, North Brookfield High School; Jacob Sifuentes and Elisah Huynh, Palmer High School; Shannon Kennedy and Michael Desjardins, Pathfinder Regional High School; Sophia Kornitsky and Sonja Josephson, Quabbin Regional High School; Monica Greenlaw and Benjamin Webber, Quaboag Regional High School; Benjamin White and Emily Ijams, Shepherd Hill Regional High School; Kendal Danna and Morgan Button, Tantasqua Regional High School; Artur Bielecki and Michaela Scott, Wachusett Regional High School; Emily Houle and Mihaela Sousa, Ware High School.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNEU) is expanding opportunities for international students to enroll in undergraduate and graduate degree programs through a new language-instruction partnership with Denver-based Bridge Education Group. The arrangement will facilitate establishment of a BridgePathways Intensive English Center on the university campus this fall. The first cohort of students will be enrolled in January 2016.

WNEU is dedicated to providing international students with the tools they will need to succeed while studying in the U.S., said Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Richard Keating. “We are thrilled to be part of the BridgePathways partnership, not only for the high-quality language programming offered on our campus, but also for the opportunity to collaborate with other exceptional U.S. universities in international enrollment initiatives.”

Western New England University is one of three universities to open BridgePathways Centers this year, and the only program in New England, joining three previously established programs in other parts of the U.S.

Full-immersion experiences, academically, culturally, and socially, are an essential component of the program. BridgePathways students at Western New England will be housed on campus and provided with structured activities designed to get them actively participating in daily campus life and the surrounding community. An intensive academic English curriculum will focus on critical writing, with coursework designed to prepare students for university-level assignments. Students also practice essential speaking and listening skills needed for successful participation in discussions and lectures. The rigorous curriculum was designed using a three-pronged approach, addressing linguistic, academic, and intercultural skills.

BridgePathways at Western New England University will have six start dates throughout the year, offering eight-week terms, and will accept students at an intermediate English proficiency level. Students in the language program will receive conditional admission to the university, allowing them to enroll in one more than 60 academic programs upon successful completion of the BridgePathways curriculum.

Founded in 1986, Bridge Education Group is a world leader in language education for international students. Headquartered in Denver, it offers a wide spectrum of services, including language training and immersion programs, teacher training and development courses, language testing, translation and interpretation services, and cross-cultural exchange programs.

During the spring 2015 semester, WNEU hosted about 130 international undergraduate and graduate students in its academic programs from 27 different countries, including Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Iran, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Panama, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zambia. The students matriculated in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy, as well as the School of Law.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Melha Shriners will host a Paint Craze Night fund-raising event on Saturday, June 20 at the Melha Shrine Center, located at 133 Longhill St., Springfield. The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Today is the final day to purchase tickets for the evening of fun, socialization, and art. To sign up, visit www.paintcraze.com. No tickets will be sold at the event.

The cost to participate is $35. Participants will be provided with a canvas, paint supplies, and brushes — everything necessary to become a 21st-century Picasso. Artist Christian Goulet will lead the event, entertaining and guiding participants to complete a step-by-step “Beach Day” masterpiece on a 16-by-20-inch canvas. No art experience is needed, and beginners are encouraged to attend. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available. No drinks may be brought into the building.

“Even if you think you can’t paint, that’s not an acceptable excuse to avoid this event,” said Melha Shriners Public Relations Chairman Al Zippin. “You will be able to create a painting on canvas, which you will then take home with you. While you are enjoying your painting experience, your $35 will be helping the Melha Shriners.”

This is the second Paint Craze Night fund-raiser the Melha Shriners have planned. The first, held in October 2014, raised money for the Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield to purchase a GlideScope video laryngoscope — a scope used by medical professionals to examine the back of the throat, larynx, and vocal cords. Funds raised from the upcoming event will help the Shriners continue to be visible in the community with parades, special events, the annual circus, and more.

“The atmosphere that this night will create will have everyone smiling. I’m hoping for a complete sellout,” said Past Potentate Russ Mitchell.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Sue Drumm, a real-estate agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Longmeadow, has been named the 2015 Realtor of the Year by the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley (RAPV). The announcement was made during the association’s annual awards banquet on June 11.

As the highest honor given to a member, the Realtor of the Year award is bestowed upon the one person who has shown outstanding service and devotion to the 1,650-member organization during the past 17 months in the areas of Realtor activity, community service, and business activity.

A Realtor since 2009, Drumm serves on the association’s board of directors, grievance committee, community service committee, and centennial president’s advisory group. She is a co-presenter at the bi-monthly new-member orientation promoting involvement and explaining the benefits of membership. In 2014 she was a member of the strategic planning committee and affiliate of the year committee.

She is a longtime member of the association’s community service committee and an active participant in numerous projects, including a book and blanket drive for Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield, and shopping, wrapping, and delivering gifts to area homeless shelters during the holidays. She is involved in the association’s charitable fund-raising efforts as a member of the Benefit Golf Tournament subcommittee, Comedy Night subcommittee, and Fantasy Auction subcommittee.

Drumm has been a Girl Scout troop leader in Agawam for six years and assists with its annual food drives. In November 2014, the troop held a fill-the-truck event to benefit Open Pantry and collected more than 1,700 pounds of food and $1,000 in cash donations. She also helps the troop with Stockings for Soldiers and various other charitable activities throughout the area.

She was also a driving force behind securing a $2,100 placemaking grant from the National Assoc. of Realtors to help fund the Agawam Dog Owners Group’s new dog park currently under construction. In recognition for her many community service efforts, she was a nominee for the 2014 Massachusetts Assoc. of Realtors Good Neighbor award, and a nominee for the Volunteering Works Award Program sponsored by the National Assoc. of Realtors.

At the state level, Drumm participated along with 400 Massachusetts Realtors in the 2014 and 2015 Realtors Day on Beacon Hill to lobby on behalf of homeownership and private property rights. She attended the 2014 Massachusetts Assoc. of Realtors Convention and Trade Show. She is an annual contributor to the Realtors Political Action Committee.

For achievements in business, Drumm received the Sterling Society Award from Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. She is the recipient of a RAPV Silver President’s Award in 2014 in recognition of outstanding real-estate sales and service.

She now competes for the coveted Massachusetts Realtor of the Year honor, which will be announced later this year.

Daily News

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank announced that it has selected 30 high-school seniors to receive a total of $45,000 in scholarships through its Berkshire Bank Foundation Scholarship Awards Program. Each of the recipients will receive $1,500.

A team of 200 Berkshire Bank employee volunteers reviewed nearly 300 applications to select the winners. The winners all live in the regions served by Berkshire Bank, including communities in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. Berkshire Bank representatives surprised the students with their scholarship awards at their respective high schools.

The six recipients from the Pioneer Valley are Wilda Joseph and Samantha Cross, Cathedral High School; Alyssa Hogan, Chicopee High School; Jessie Walton, Gateway Regional High School; Nathan Drewniak, Holyoke Catholic High School, and Kadeja Miller, Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy.

The scholarship awards recognize students who have exemplified community service through their volunteer efforts, have been successful academically, and have a financial need. The program highlights the foundation’s support for education and the bank’s commitment to promote volunteerism in the community.

“We are excited to recognize these incredibly deserving high-school seniors with our 2015 Berkshire Bank Foundation Scholarship Awards,” said Lori Gazzillo, the foundation’s vice president and director. “These awards recognize students who share in our commitment to community service. With the rising cost and importance of a college education, we are pleased to do our part to help these students realize their dreams.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Fresh, local, affordable produce will soon be available to the community through a new farmers market set to open on the Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) campus green July 8. The market will run every Wednesday from noon to 3 p.m. through Oct. 28.

The farmers market will offer customers the opportunity to buy fresh and local produce at a reasonable price from locally owned farms. Cash, credit, debit, SNAP, WIC, and Elder coupons will be accepted by all participating vendors.

STCC Director of Access and Student Success Roosevelt Charles said he’s excited the college has joined forces with community organizations in order to make the farmers market a reality on the STCC campus.

“For some time, we have been looking at additional ways to serve students more holistically and collaboratively, and having an on-site market is an example of looking at the academic challenges of students through a different lens,” said Charles. “We’ve identified a need and sought out partners who share this understanding that students are able to increase their chances of being successful when they have control of both their personal and academic environments.”

Community partners that have helped make the STCC farmers market possible include Concerned Citizens of Mason Square, Go Fresh Mobile Farmer’s Market, Gardening the Community, Partners for a Healthier Community, and Live Well Springfield.

“Live Well Springfield and the Just Foods movement are excited to have STCC join a network of community organizations working together to increase access to fresh, local, affordable fruits and vegetables in Springfield,” said Kathy Wicks, Community Health Projects manager for Partners for a Healthier Community.

General parking, free of charge, will be available on the STCC campus for customers of the farmers market. For additional information, call Charles at (413) 755-4088.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — At its recent board meeting, the Gray House elected two new officers to a one year term: Candace Pereira, treasurer, and Susan Mastroianni, secretary.

Pereira has more than 10 years of banking experience. She is a commercial-portfolio loan officer for Farmington Bank in West Springfield.
 Mastroianni has more than 25 years of experience in the advertising field. She is director of Media Services and partner in FitzGerald & Mastroianni Advertising Inc. in Springfield.

Michael Walsh and David Chase remain as president and vice president, respectively. Walsh is an adjunct instructor in Political Science at Westfield State University and a consultant and legal advisor at MIRA Associates. Chase has more than 20 years of banking experience and is vice president of Member Business Services at Freedom Credit Union in Springfield.

The Gray House is a small, neighborhood human-service agency located at 22 Sheldon St. in the North End of Springfield. Its mission is to help neighbors facing hardships to meet their immediate and transitional needs by providing food, clothing, and educational services in a safe, positive environment. For more information about the Gray House, contact Dena Calvanese, executive director, at (413) 734-6696 or [email protected], or visit www.grayhouse.org.

Daily News

WESTFIELD — The Massachusetts Public Health Council unanimously approved Baystate Health’s acquisition of Noble Hospital in Westfield Wednesday.

“That’s a step forward,” said Ben Craft, director of Public Affairs for Baystate Health. “We continue our due diligence and we hope to finalize the process of Noble joining Baystate Health in the next several weeks.”

Because that process is still underway, Craft said, Baystate officials are limited in what they can say about the next steps. “We’re committed to a healthy long-term future for Noble and the Westfield community. As we move forward, we’ll certainly share more details as soon as we can.”

Noble would become the fifth full-service, acute-care hospital in the Baystate system, following the acquisitions of Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield in 1986, Mary Lane Hospital in Ware in 1991, and Wing Memorial Hospital in 2014.

Baystate and Noble already collaborate in many areas, including lab services, heart and vascular care, women’s services, and neurology. Meanwhile, Noble has become a more attractive target for Baystate in recent years, increasing its number of primary-care physicians from one to 16, and unveiling a renovated patient wing, a new Comprehensive Primary Care Office building, a new Noble Walk-In Express Care service next door that sees some 1,100 patients monthly, a urology practice, new orthopedic offices, and comprehensive breast-cancer services with a full-time breast surgeon.