Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
  10 Quick Ideas for North Adams
Random ideas for the Nabobs to whinny about:

1) When Carbone Ford abandons the dealership on Rte 2 to move to Bennington, move the remains of Fort Massachusetts (a.k.a. Fort Price Chopper) from the rear of the grocery store parking lot and build it into a joint attraction combining the fort with a northern Welcome Center for the Mt. Greylock Reservation. By piggy-backing both of these projects, we would get more bang for our buck as well as revive a sadly neglected part of our history.

2) Push for the adoption of Governor Patrick's Education Readiness program. North Adams would benefit greatly by creating a statewide master contract for teachers. Currently our teachers are among the lowest paid in the county and state. Promising teachers are often poached away by neighboring districts during tight budget times. Equalizing pay (adjust by regional cost of living) alleviate this as well as take the nasty local politics that have poisoned the relations between city hall and the North Adams Teachers Association.

3) Also in the Readiness Project is huge emphasis on science and technology. Finding ways for our local schools to collaborate with MCLA as it opens and staffs its new science building will be a huge boost to students and the image of the schools. Also, there is talk of trying to leverage MCLA's new programs and turn the area into a sci-tech business mini-hub. Nothing would be better.

4) Speaking of MCLA, create some sort of enterprise zone on Ashland St. to try and attract more student oriented businesses. I've never seen a campus with as little commerce nearby. There has to be a way to facilitate the parting of students from their parent's money more effectively.

5) My favorite idea is a revision of the one I proposed in the Transcript four years back - Take a 100 foot wide strip of land crossing the Steeples Plaza parking lot, stretching between St. Johns and the Police Station. (That lot is never near full anyways. The landlord will love to sell it or have it taken) Tear up the asphalt and create a City Green, with a large gazebo style stage for concerts or rallies, an area where artists and farmers can peddle their wares, where someone can take a cup of coffee and a newspaper and sit (yes, that mean benches. Oooh scary!), etc.... Downtown needs someplace for events that doesn't require closing off the street for a festival.

6) Create local tax incentives to fix up dilapidated properties and return homes that have been split into multiple apartments back into owner occupied homes.

7) Reevaluate just how much public housing a city the size of North Adams should have.

8) Enact Eric Buddington's proposal to put all city ordinances and zoning info online. It's almost 2009, dontcha' know.

9) Use the mercury spill at Conte as the final straw to enact John Hockridge's proposal to go to the K-8 model. While its facade is stunning, the building itself is awful. It would be "a terrible shame" if that mercury spill made the building unfit for occupancy. (snarkiness aside, Hockridge's plan is a good first step towards the major overhaul that our schools need)

10) Go to the Improv Open Mike Comedy Show at The Alley tomorrow night. It really is very funny. The city needs more laughs dammit!
Greg - you may not be aware of this, but MCLA has been the lead parter for The STEP Pipeline for a few years now. (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
Thanks for the comedy shout out!
Amy- Very cool. I was aware of the Berkshire Compact but I had no idea that things like the Robotics Camp, et al were part of it.

With the new center being built, I only hope that these programs grow and grow.
This sounds like a campaign platform...
Comedy Night at The Alley should be part of every campaign platform.
I's like to give a little plug to "This Wonderful Life" at Barrington stage in Pittsfield. Great show, professional production, saw it last night, laughed and got choked up too. No commercials either.
My favorites 6 to 9.

Have you heard of the Hoosic revival? Interesting project. Another favorite of mine.

Better schools, less public housing and sprucing up old houses and buildings falling apart would certainly make this community a very pleasant one.
Post a Comment

<< Home
A blog of random thoughts and reactions emanating from the bank of a mountain stream in the farthest reaches of the bluest of blue states.

May 2006 / June 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / January 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / October 2011 /

greg at gregoryroach dot com

"Livability, not just affordability." - Dick Alcombright

My ongoing campaign for North Adams City Council

iBerkshires' Online Event Calendar

Because a Chart is Worth 1000 Words

Congressional Budget Office data

Powered by Blogger