Tag: hasnt

Easthampton councilors wonder why Parks and Recreation Commission hasn’t met during pandemic

Published: 11/26/2020 1:46:42 PM

EASTHAMPTON — The city’s Parks and Recreation Commission hasn’t met for months, a development that has drawn questions from city councilors and delayed evaluation of a proposed dog park site.

The commission’s last meeting took place before the pandemic hit. Since then, members have hit snags using Zoom, the videoconferencing app used by other city boards to conduct business.

“The pandemic has presented some challenges for the commission to meet,” said Parks and Recreation Director John Mason in an email to the Gazette. “I’m hoping we have crossed that bridge.”

The commission is scheduled to meet Monday night at 6, via Zoom.

The length of time that the Parks and Recreation Commission hasn’t met came up at the City Council’s Nov. 18 meeting.

“I find it a little bit disturbing that they’ve been unable to meet in any capacity over the course of this entire COVID thing,” City Councilor Thomas Peake said.

Peake noted that people can participate in a Zoom meeting via phone.

“Do they not have phones?” Peake asked. “I would really love an explanation.”

City Council President Peg Conniff also said she would like to know why a committee hadn’t been able to meet for months.

Mason was not available by phone Wednesday to provide an explanation.

One item on the commission’s agenda that’s been delayed is evaluating a proposed dog park near Brookside Cemetery. On Monday the commission will consider allowing exploration of this site as a possibility going forward.

“We’re really just trying to develop preliminary plans,” City Councilor Owen Zaret said in an interview.

Zaret has been a champion of the idea of a dog park on city-owned land, advocating for the idea since 2018.

The city provided $9,000 in Community Preservation Act funds in February 2019 to explore sites. This was done with an eye toward applying for a grant from the Stanton Foundation, whose grants pay 100% of the cost of the design of a dog park, up to $25,000, and 90% of the “hard” construction costs of a park, which include labor and materials, up to a limit of $225,000.

Multiple sites were looked at, and a site plan and cost estimate for a site off of Oliver Street was drawn up. However, moving forward with applying for the grant for the Oliver Street site did not happen due to the council’s opposition.

That’s when Mason, around March, brought the site near Brookside Cemetery to the attention of the council.

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Pompeo hasn’t recognized Biden as president-elect but is about to travel to 7 countries that have



a man wearing a suit and tie: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo removes his protective mask during a bilateral meeting with Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo, Sri Lanka October 28, 2020. Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters


© Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo removes his protective mask during a bilateral meeting with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo, Sri Lanka October 28, 2020. Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to leave Friday for a 10-day trip to seven countries: France, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. 
  • Pompeo has followed President Donald Trump’s example and has not recognized President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. 
  • But the leaders in all of the seven countries Pompeo is poised to visit have congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory in the 2020 election.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is departing Friday on a 10-day journey that will take him to seven different countries. 

Pompeo has not recognized President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the winners of the 2020 election as President Donald Trump continues to reject the results and push baseless allegations.

Video: Biden’s team is ‘divided’ on Iran policy: Atlantic Council (CNBC)

The leaders in all of the countries Pompeo is poised to visit have congratulated Biden on his victory in the 2020 election, highlighting the awkward, isolated position the Trump administration is currently in with the president refusing to concede. 

Though the president and top Republicans have refused to accept the results of the 2020 election, the world has already begun to move on from the Trump era.

  • Pompeo on Friday is heading off to France, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. He will be traveling from November 13 to November 23.
  • “The Americans have chosen their President,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted on Saturday. “Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris! We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan extended his congratulations on Tuesday to the
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