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RICHMOND RECORD Volume X, No. 9

Richmond, Massachusetts

Dropping by Town Hall Overview: projects completed & new challenges By Linda Morse Richmond town government had a good year in 2012, according to Town Administrator Matt Kerwood. Most of what was considered as priorities for the year have either been accomplished or are in the process. Two capital projects were completed. One was the demolition of the ghostly wreck of a house at 40 Firehouse Lane, which the town finally took title to after what seemed like decades of dealing with the courts to achieve foreclosure. The other wrinkle was the polluting, underground fuel tank, a reminder of the old house’s days as a gas station. There were a lot of hoops to go through, but the result is a handsome new vehicle storage facility, which complements the rest of the firehouse environs. Landscaping will be the final touch, to be installed this spring.

had an arborist do an evaluation, so we have recommendations for tree maintenance and some tree removal.”

January 2013 request at mkerwood@richmondma.org.) One of the conclusions reached to move this long-range planning effort ahead was the appointment of a residents’ committee, to sort through the options detailed by the BRPC and present action items to the Select Board. “We are in the process of gathering names for consideration,” says Kerwood. “Some people have already applied. We should have a full membership committee list at the end of this month.” He stressed the importance of having a Continued on page 10

Cruz Swinson is first in line for dessert at the holiday potluck luncheon at Town Hall. The annual event was enjoyed by staff members and town volunteers.

Town Administrator Matt Kerwood.

The second completed capital project was Center Cemetery entrance and exit improvement: making the driveway safer through cleanup and removal of landscape barriers to sightlines on busy Route 41. “We are looking to the 2013-2014 budget to obtain new funding for the removal of trees at town cemeteries,” reported Kerwood. “We

Other completed projects were the installation of new guardrails on Lenox and Summit Roads, and some re-paving of roads. One project still in the works is a five-year plan for capital improvement projects at the school building, which requires an engineering study and energy audit. A draft of the bid specifications to determine the ultimate scope of services is under review and, according to Kerwood, should be finalized this month. Ideally the study would be done during a school break, which could be as early as this spring. Of great interest in 2012 was the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission’s sustainability study for the town. BRPC consultants presented the results of the plan in two general public meetings last fall. Both meetings were well attended and discussion was lively. (Copies of the BRPC Summary Report and Decision Matrix are available at Town Hall and electronically by

Photos by Dorothea Greene Town Clerk Kate Zahn.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Editorial Time to Act to Save Ourselves..........Page 2 School Addresses Bullying...............Page 2 Special Town Meeting Results........Page 3 If You Ask Me Fall-Out From Sandy Hook...............Page 4 What’s Up With the Neighbors Pilates in W. Stockbridge ..................Page 5 Radio in Many Flavors ........................Page 6 On The Wing ...............................................Page 7 Back Then ...................................................Page 7

Community Calendar .......................Page 12


Volume X, No. 9

January 2013

Editorial

Time to Act to Save Ourselves We hope you like the new “look” we are introducing with this issue of the Richmond Record. The paper is a little wider and a little deeper, which gives us more space in which to flex our journalistic muscles. And it still fits into our break-even budget. Let us know what you think of it. On page 4 in this issue, we’re introducing a new feature for this newspaper, a column called “If You Ask Me” … a place for local qualified professionals to explore current issues. This month psychiatrist Jennifer Michaels of East Road outlines ways in which both parents and children can cope with the psychological fallout from the tragedy in Newtown. A remaining question is what our society is going to do, going forward. With so many mass shootings, just in this past decade, the

problem of gun violence in America may be the biggest social problem we’ve had to face in our lifetimes. It has taken the senseless slaughter of those children and brave adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School to awaken us. It is no longer violence that is happening “someplace else.” No community is immune. It has become a matter of collective self-defense; we want our malls to be safe, our schools to be safe, our college campuses, our sports arenas and our local movie theaters. Thoughtful people understand that no one sweeping edict from on high will solve the problem. As a society we must agree on lots of little steps; lots of little corrections need to be thought through and implemented. It’s going to be up to all of us – politicians and ordinary citizens - to make some lasting

School Addresses Bullying C.A.R.E.S. program developed at Richmond School By Ann Larkin School bullying is a worldwide problem that has reached new levels of intensity with the advent of the electronic age, according to recent newspaper reports. Japan, Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries have done formal research into the problem, but it has become a universal issue. Here in Richmond, the school has taken a proactive approach to creating a safe, supportive school climate. As Principal Monica Zanin, explains, “We have established a set of universal expectations of behavior in all school situations, whether in the classroom, in the halls, in the cafeteria, or on the bus.” As part of this program, the Berkshire County District Attorney’s office recently presented a program to grades five through eight. Attorney Kim Blair began by showing a cartoon to the students, in which a group of birds excluded one bird that looked different. Illustrating the tactic of exclusion, this example served to initiate a discussion of the different types of bullying. Students

volunteered cyber bullying, texting, and Facebook as frequently used types of bullying. Blair then showed a video of a young man in eighth grade, brought to the edge of suicide because of constant bullying since

Page 2 changes in our national attitude towards firearms. The organization that for years has spoken for citizen gun owners – the NRA – has clearly been taken over by lobbyists for the gun industry. Responsible gun owners, hunters, marksmen, and hobbyists should step up and take the lead … possibly form a new organization that screens out the manufacturers. It took Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) decades to make a difference, but thankfully they have made a huge difference in attitudes and legislation. Let’s see what the federal commission headed up by Vice President Joe Biden recommends. Let’s become more aware of how neighbors such as Canada have handled the problem. And let’s never forget what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The stain of the murder of those little innocents will be on our collective conscience until we come together to create a greater good by reducing gun violence. 

first grade. The Richmond students then broke into groups of two, to write down their reactions to the film and how it made them feel, whether or not they had ever witContinued on page 9

Richmond Record

A monthly newspaper published in Richmond, MA Publisher – Ann Larkin Editor – Linda Morse Treasurer – Roy Jones Circulation – Irene Jones Photo Image Editor – Virginia Larkin Production – Dorothea Greene Advertising – Roy Jones Phone (413) 464-0828 Email – richmondrecord@yahoo.com Subscription rate: $21.00 Yearly All subscriptions paid in advance Published monthly by Richmond Record 420 East Road Richmond MA 01254. Postmaster: Send address changes to Richmond Record, PO Box 214, Richmond, MA 01254 Periodicals postage paid at Richmond, MA 01254 The Richmond Record welcomes letters from readers. The Record reserves the right to edit letters for length, content and style.


Volume X, No. 9

January 2013

Special Town Meeting Results New fire truck & gift of land accepted By Stevan Patterson December was a very good month for Richmond as voters turned out on December 12 to approve both the purchase of a new fire truck and to accept a gift of land in Richmond Shores. Both topics have interesting stories behind them

Photos by Dorothea Greene Fire Chief Steve Traver.

In November, one of Richmond’s volunteer fireman, Chris Martin, mentioned to Fire Chief Steve Trevor that he had been looking on the Internet at fire trucks, and had come across a dealer in Pennsylvania who was advertising, as used, a 2013 model year fire truck cab and chassis. The dealer had mounted, on a new chassis, a used body from another fire truck that had been damaged, and put it up for sale on the Internet at $149,000. Apparently, the truck had been ordered by someone who, for whatever reason, chose not to take possession of the vehicle. Trevor immediately realized that the used fire truck would be a perfect replacement for the town’s 20- year old fire truck, scheduled for retirement next year. He estimated that at that price the town could save well over $100,000 on a replacement truck, and brought the idea to the Select Board’s attention. While the town had sufficient funds to purchase the $149,000 truck outright, a Special Town Meeting had to be called to appropriate the necessary funds. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the Select Board approved the Special Town Meeting and due notice was posted before the truck had even been seen. Meanwhile, Steve Trevor and three other volunteer firemen traveled to Pennsylva-

nia on the Friday after Thanksgiving to get a first-hand look at the truck to see if it would satisfy the town’s needs. Among other things, they were concerned that it would fit under the firehouse’s nine-foot tall garage doors. What they saw excited them; the engine, chassis and pumps were new, the vehicle had about 750 miles on the odometer, and had a 1000-gallon water tank and a 1250gallon per minute water pump. It would be a near perfect replacement to the town’s existing 20-year old truck, used now primarily as a back-up pumper and to respond to automobile accidents. Two drawbacks were noted: the old truck had a foam fire suppressant system used for gasoline fires, which the new truck lacked but could be added later, and the cab would only hold two firefighters. The new truck had two hose reels, one on each side that would facilitate deploying the hoses with only two responders. Trevor also realized that most volunteers show up at accident scenes in their own cars so the cab limitations would not be critical. Back at Town Hall, the town still had more hoops to jump through. Even if the residents approved the purchase of the truck, protocol required that the town advertise that it was in the market for a used fire truck. Any dealer could submit sealed bids to sell a used fire truck to the town. The opening of the sealed bids was to be at 10:00 a.m. on December 24, 2012. Eight dealers had requested the bid specifications. Was it possible that an even better deal was out there? The town was obligated, under Massachusetts code, to find out. Meanwhile the firemen were getting anxious. Would the truck still be available after all this delay? Would the dealer submit a proposal to the town to purchase his vehicle, or would there be a lower offer from someone else that would have to be investigated before the actual purchase could be completed? In fact, two bids were received; the lowest bid of $149,000 from the dealer in Pennsylvania and a bid of $174,955 from a dealer in Massachusetts. After carefully reviewing both bids the lowest bid was accepted. The town purchased a new, but used, fire truck at a substantial savings thanks to the efforts of the fire chief and the other volunteers involved.

Page 3 Another item on the Special Town Meeting agenda involved Joseph and Virginia Berry, who owned land on Walnut Road in Richmond Shores for many years. Their lot #4 is 90 feet wide by 80 feet deep, a mere 1/16th of an acre. It is located on Walnut Road, which probably existed in 1948 when Richmond Shores was created, but there is little evidence of the road today. Their lot, like lot #3 and lot #5 on either side of theirs, became forgotten or abandoned, and real estate taxes accrued. At some point in the past, the town took possession of lots #3 and #5. Lot #4 was in and out of tax title until July of this year when the back taxes were paid. In the latest chapter regarding this tiny piece of land, the Berrys have given it to the town, which voted to accept it at the Special Town Meeting. The three lots share frontage to the road leading to the boat launching ramp on Richmond Pond, and Selectman Alan Hanson re-

marked that these lots could possibly, one day, be a third access point into the neighborhood. This latest acquisition brings to 11 the total number of lots in Richmond Shores owned by the town. There is another lot in Richmond Shores currently under foreclosure that could bring the total to 12. Several residents have expressed interest in purchasing town owned lots in Richmond Shores. 

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Volume X, No. 9

January 2013

If You Ask Me This column space is offered to qualified local professionals for exploring current issues.

Fall-Out From Sandy Hook By Jennifer Michaels, M.D. How are we coping with the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings? “When I close my eyes at night all I see are those little faces. I wept for days.” A burly contractor muttered this lament to me during a recent office visit. It seems no one has escaped the impact of this ghastly act of violence. How do we cope with an event so horrific that are our foundational beliefs in safety and community are rocked? Although we may feel shocked and traumatized, we all have the ability to channel our innate strength and resilience. If you are a parent you have most likely focused on your child’s wellbeing, and overlooked your own needs. Remember that children’s reactions to trauma are often greatly influenced by our own responses. The best thing we can do for our children is take care of ourselves. Remember the protocol for airplane emergencies? “First put the oxygen mask on

yourself, next place one on your child.” We need to be strong and stable to do right by our children. Studies have shown that parental self-care during traumatic events has a protective effect on children. Here are some suggestions to help us heal: • Limit your exposure to media. You may feel compelled to watch TV or scan newspapers as you try to answer the question “Why?” Compulsive news consumption may fuel upsetting thoughts and delay the healing process. Focus on your daily routine and connect with real live people, not media. • Process your emotions with other adults. • Take a break. Rest and relax. Make sure you get enough sleep. • Engage in restorative activities like physical activity, and time with family, friends and pets. • Seek spiritual support, especially if this has been helpful in the past. • Seek professional help if you suffer persistent sadness, anxiety,

Page 4 tearfulness or have difficulty sleeping or concentrating. These activities will help you shore up the resilience we all need to parent in a nurturing and reassuring way. How do we help our children? Your child’s age, developmental level and personality will determine how much he or she wants and needs to talk. Follow and respect their cues. Encourage your children to talk about their feelings, but don’t force it. We all have different timelines for processing information. Ask them if they have specific thoughts or worries, and address them in a straightforward manner. Your child might be worried about his or her own safety. Reassure them that you, your family, school and community are doing everything to make sure they are safe. Let them know the events in Sandy Hook while terrifying, are extremely rare. Younger children may show signs of clinginess or a greater need for reassurance. Some children may regress in response to traumatic events. As always, avoid shaming your child if he or she reverts to baby talk, bedwetting or thumb sucking. Comfort, support and lots of hugs are the best medicine. Finally, younger children may incorporate the Sandy Hook events into their play. Although this may be upsetting for you, it’s a healthy way for a young person to process a distressing event. Don’t discourage this therapeutic play. Older children may want to discuss the facts surrounding the shootings. It’s important to be honest while balancing the need to protect your child from disturbing details. Be truthful, but avoid the more distressing specifics. Let your child’s comments be your guide.

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Media bombards our teens and tweens. Excessive exposure to the slayings may destabilize your child’s sense of safety. Supervise TV, Twitter and Facebook time whenever possible. Provide face-to-face time as an alternative to Facebook time. Consider talking with your child about sending a gift (a drawing, letter, donation or other item) to the Sandy Hook community. Studies show that altruistic behaviors benefit both the recipient and the giver. Finally, stick to your usual routine. Our bodies and our minds crave a familiar, regContinued on next page


Volume X, No. 9 If You Ask Me from page 4

ular schedule, so do your best to provide this for your family. Do you do pizza and a movie every Friday? Stay on track. These routines will be a comfort for all. 

January 2013

Page 5

music. It was very successful and led to a summer job at the state psychiatric hospital.

Donna’s next step was a graduate program at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in Creative Arts Therapy. It was one of only three schools in New York City offering a dance therapy program and is the only school that still has one today. At Pratt she learned to be a primary movement therapist. Part of the training included Laban Movement Therapy, which has become the basis of the work she does today.

Jennifer Michaels, M.D. is a staff psychiatrist at the Berkshire Medical Center and medical director at the Brien Center in Pittsfield. For more information call the National Disaster Distress Hotline at 800-985-5990 which is available 24/7. Many websites on the Internet provide valuable tips about how to talk to your children and how to take care of yourself. Search “Newtown” on these sites: www.NAMI.org www.aacap.org www.samhsa.gov Local resources are school guidance counselors, pediatricians, religious leaders, community centers, Berkshire Medical Center Psychiatry Department, and Brien Center, 499-0412 (also available 24/7)

What’s Up With the Neighbors Pilates Studio in West Stockbridge By Judith Shaw Donna Rainone, of Bella Grazia studio in West Stockbridge, has been in love with movement all her life. She started ballet at four - five was the usual age - and she danced through high school and college, where she majored in psychology and became convinced there was a connection between psychology and dance. In her junior year, she attended a workshop that had a dance therapist who taught improvisation. “This is what I want!” was her first and lasting impression. Although no courses in her desired major were on offer, she discovered the American Dance Therapy Association, just 20 minutes away from her college campus in Columbia, Maryland. She talked her college advisor into an independent study program for her senior year. The basis of her program was improvisational movement to

oped knee problems and had to stop dancing.

The heart of Laban Therapy is movement analysis. “You learn to observe how the body moves, the quality of motion, how movement is initiated and how it is followed through. And you learn how to use hands-on to teach students to move efficiently,” she reported. Photo by Dorothea Greene Donna moved to the Berkshires in 1989. Donna Rainone demonstrates equipment at Bella Married to Chef Michael Ballon at the time, Grazia in West Stockbridge.

After college she moved to Manhattan to dance. “I was never in anything well known, just pick-up companies wherever I could find work,” she said. After three years she devel-

she worked with him at the Castle Street Café in Great Barrington. It “put food on the table,” but wasn’t moving her forward in her career. Her work as a dance therapist had Continued on page 10

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Volume X, No. 9

January 2013

Radio in Many Flavors A surprising number of choices for the tech savvy By Mary Jane Piazza Country, Classical, Alternative, Hot Adult Contemporary, Christian Contemporary, Smooth Jazz, Hard Rock, Top 40, Talk, Oldies, or Urban Contemporary, Richmond airways are crisscrossed with over 30 FM, and four AM choices of radio stations from Amherst to Albany, and at night as far away as French speaking Canada. Richmond listeners can choose from two National Public Radio affiliates and at least seven stations also broadcasting in High Definition (HD). An informal poll of Richmonders showed a preference for National Public Radio, however loyalties were mixed between the Albany affiliate, WAMC (90.3), and WFCR (106.1) in Amherst MA. Many Richmonders said their radios have not veered from NPR since moving to the area.

Pittsfield has two other stations, WBRK FM (101.7) and WUPE AM (1110). Each morning WBRK radio personality Rick Beltane wakes up Pittsfield and surrounding areas with a "wake up show" as he has done for 30 years. Other programming includes a Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon evolution of music from the station's inception in 1938 through the 1980’s, with an emphasis on the American Songbook era, appealing to a multi-generational audience. Radio stations at Union College (89.7), Sienna College (86.3) and Rennselaer Polytechnic (91.5) in New York, as well as MCLA (91.1), Williams College (91.9) and Berkshire School (91.7) in Massachusetts offer fresh, innovative hosting and programming by students. Young adults and tech savvy people, however, are increasingly turning to commercial-free radio and pod casts available through their iPods and Smartphones. Podcasts are uploadable segments of talks, stories, interviews, lectures, poetry or music performances which are obtained online or through the "app store" on their phones - often for no cost, just a click. TED radio, which stands for "technology, education and design,” is one such app, which can also be watched or listened to through the computer. Sirius XM satellite radio, for-cost pioneers in commercial-free, pure genre listening, has been upstaged in recent years by lower cost Pandora Internet Radio for those computer listening or prepaid-Internet on

Photo by Dorothea Greene

Skimming the FM dial, one may be surprised to hear a low-tech, friendly voice reading news, editorials, recipes and advertisements of the Berkshire Eagle as if from an armchair across the room. WRRS-LP (104.3 FM) is an "all-reading" radio station serving the blind and dyslexic of the Pittsfield area, owned by Berkshire Benevolent Association for the Blind, Inc. Small business owners, seniors and anyone desiring a passive way to "hear" area information also enjoy the unique programming.

Page 6 their Smartphones. Listeners can choose their genre, and musicians earn money each time a song is "requested." Pandora is available free with commercials (approximately one after every 10 songs) or commercialfree for approximately $36 per year. Pandora uses algorithms, created and based on listener preferences, to hone ever more enjoyable playlists for its subscribers. Even more tech-savvy people may use apps like Spotify which allows users to share songs and playlists with friends on Facebook, and even work together on collaborative playlists. "Tune-in Radio" lets listeners hear radio stations anywhere in the world through their Smartphones with 3G Internet. Most all radio stations websites will allow Internet users to “stream” their broadcast free on their computers, after first downloading Microsoft Internet Explorer or Foxfire. Like TV, many radio stations are boasting HD programming. To access these "channels," listeners must purchase an IBOC (InBand/On-Channel) receiver. This technology allows broadcasters to key their current station's settings by essentially sandwiching the digital signal within the analog signal, which acts like a host or carrier for the new signal. Ideally this signal sandwich will allow for a gradual transition from the current analog signal to a fuller, digital transformation in the future, with CD-like clarity for classical music aficionados. FM stations in our area which also have HD programming are WAMC (90.3), WTRY (98.3) Rotterdam NY, WRVE (99.5) Schenectady NY, WHRL (103.1) Albany NY, and WGNA (107.7) Albany NY. Call letters/numbers Continued on page 11 CornerStone is your single source for advanced communication and networking solutions. Whether you need to manage growth, increase productivity, or lower costs — our products and team of experts have helped organizations of all sizes improve their business results. Call now and let us help you.

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Volume X, No. 9

January 2013

ing On The rW kin By Ann La

Rare Bird Comes to Visit “You’re going to love him. He’s beautiful.” That was the hurried message delivered to me at the back door one dark night in December, and it was my first notice that we were to have a visitor to our “chicken ranch.” It seems that “Tek’” as he is called, needed a home while his owner decided to join the flock of human snowbirds migrating to Florida for the winter. Early the next morning, propelled by curiosity, I stumbled to the henhouse and looked around for our visitor. It wasn’t until I looked up at the highest perch under the

roof that I saw him and - wow, was he gorgeous. Twice the size of the other birds, he carried his head, with its full muff and beard at a regal angle, looking down at the Leghorns and Bantams over a full chest of amber/pheasant colored feathers. Large patches of black tipped white feathers covered his sides and his green-and-black tail plumed out behind him to complete the image of royalty.

Page 7 background. The Mapuche and Quechua De Artes Indians traded with British fishing fleets who brought back the blue-egg lay-

He is an Americauna by breed, and the origin, although thought to be American, comes from stock that originated in the Falkland Islands. The heavy feathering, especially around the face and neck, was bred into the birds to protect them from the icy temperatures of the southern coast of South America, where frigid winds from Antarctica keep temperatures below zero for most of the winter. The Americaunas lay blue eggs, which comes from their Chilean Photo by Virgina Larkin

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ing chickens of the Indians. (The Americauna breed is an offshoot of the British Aracauna, a confusing similarity of name.) Despite his handsome plumage and his majestic manner, Tek is quite shy and flutters away from me whenever I try to pet him. However, my friend reported that he was perfectly content to sit quietly in her lap all the way from Sheffield. There has been general acceptance of this new visitor among the ladies. I might even suggest a slight flutter of romance, judging by the increase in egg production, but the “Banty” roosters, with their Napoleonic complex, are giving him a bit of a hard time and they get a bloody comb for their trouble. Tek has long spurs on his legs, which I assume are for self-defense, but they can become too long and cause irritation under the wings when they sleep. They need to be surgically trimmed and that will be an adventure which I will leave for the experts. Several of our readers have inquired about the number and kind of predators which have been attracted by the chickens. We have seen no evidence of four-footed predators as of yet, but we had a Merlin hawk pull out of a steep dive as he realized there was a fine netting covering the entire chicken yard. Also, a Barred owl perched on a low branch near the yard, contemplating a chicken dinner. He came back several times but left disappointed, as far as I know, for with 50 chickens it’s hard to keep an accurate count! 


Volume X, No. 9

January 2013 BACK THEN BACK THEN BACK THEN BACK THEN BACK THEN

In this space are stories from Richmond’s rich and colorful past. Contributions of family histories, stories, photos and what-have-you are invited.

The Much Married Almon Tichnor By Gloria Morse, Chair Richmond Historical Commission Who would have imagined that there was an abandoned foundation hidden in the wooded area just north of the Center Cemetery on State Road? This archeological treasure was recently discovered after a crew cleared the land to improve the sightlines for exiting the cemetery. The Richmond Historical Commission took a look at

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the 1858 map of Richmond. Surprisingly, it indicated a wagon shop had once operated on that very spot! Though two long-time members of the commission were already aware of the site, the discovery of the foundation prompted us to look further into the ownership of the wagon shop - a chance to look into one of our town’s merchants from the 1830’s.

the way, around this time Richmond bought a hearse. (Do you suppose Almon may have manufactured this vehicle in his shop?) And during this same period his oldest son Almon P. graduated from Yale and became a medical doctor in Monterey, MA. His son Lewis M. was listed in the Richmond census as a wagon maker, age 16 working with his father.

His name was Almon Tichnor. His craft was wagon maker. Almon, a descendant from a long line of blacksmiths and wheelwrights, set up his wagon shop just inside the curve near the Center Cemetery on what is now State Road. (In those days, the curve of the road was situated more to the east.) Almon built wagons and carts and carriages, and it is possible he made wagons and carts for the Richmond Iron Works. We could speculate that a Tichnor buggy would have been housed in the carriage shed across the road at Peirson Place. A wagon maker was an asset in a village as was a merchant, a doctor, a clergyman, or a tavern or inn owner . The reason Almon most likely chose this building site for his house and wagon shop was so he would have the water power to saw the hard wood lumber for his wagons, as there was no electricity in those days.

Almon’s fourth wife was a Pittsfield, MA girl named Caroline Murray. He had moved his wagon shop to Pittsfield, where he met and married Caroline in 1853. The couple moved back to Richmond where their daughter was born. Then it was back to Pittsfield where Caroline died in 1872.

Research has shown that he was born in Alford, MA in 1798, one of 10 children, and appeared to be a nomad of sorts. By the time he arrived in Richmond around 1833, he had married Electa Pease and they had six children. Almon’s trade took him from New Lebanon to Ostego, New York before moving back to Richmond. Sadly, Electa died giving birth to their seventh child, a daughter named after her mother Electa Jane. She is buried in the Center Cemetery, her gravesite marked by a simple stone. She and Almon had been married for 23 years. Almon’s second wife was Electa’s older sister Betsey. She cared for his large family for four years before she died in 1848 of lung fever. During Betsey’s life with the family, his oldest daughter married a gentleman from Richmond. Almon’s third wife was Minerva Hyde from New Marlborough, MA. Their wedding was in 1848, but after only three years of marriage, she passed away in Richmond from typhoid fever. This disease was common from drinking contaminated water. By

Almon’s fifth wife was named Martha. The census listed Almon as a resident of Cheshire in 1861 where they had apparently set up housekeeping.. Cheshire had a larger population to which he could sell more wagons and carriages. While in Cheshire, his business grew into a fine carriage maker business. Daughter Electa Jane from his first wife was married in Cheshire in 1867 and died a year later in childbirth, just as her mother had This story ended when Almon passed away December 20, 1880 in Derby, CT at the age of 82. He outlived four of his five wives and most of his children. No other man in Richmond, before or after, has topped Almon Tichnor in number of marriages. Also contributing to this article was Virginia Larkin, Richmond Historical Commission member.

Poplar Pipes to Peirson Place By Judith Shaw Just after last Thanksgiving, Jeff Morse of Perry’s Peak Road was doing some maintenance on the spring that supplies water to his house. Alongside the spring he unearthed a section of handmade wooden pipe buried about 18 inches deep. “I knew there was wooden pipe in that area, because my grandfather, Darwin Morse, told me a story about the spring,” said Jeff. Darwin Morse moved to Richmond in 1926 and started Green Meads Farm (present site of the Inn at Richmond.). Like most farms of that day, he had a dairy herd that required lots of water. There was a Continued on page 9


Volume X, No. 9

January 2013

Radio from page 6

are the same as their analog parents, but with separate, distinct programming to expand the station's offerings. For those without Smartphones, iPods, or even Internet, commercial radio in its many flavors seems here to stay. ď Ž

91.9 WCFM

104.3 WRRS-LP

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Pittsfield-reading for the blind and dyslexic

92.3 WFLY

104.5 WTMM

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105.1 WAMQ

Albany, NY Adult Contemporary

Great Barrington, MA National Public Radio

95.9 WBEC Pittsfield, MA Hot Adult Contemporary

97.7 WEXT Amsterdam, NY Adult Album Alternative

FM Radio Stations

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Bullying from page 2

can be. It also presented models for behavior to follow when students observe a bullying situation, such as using the support systems to communicate, talking to friends, parents, the school principal and, in Richmond’s case, talking to Dominic Bondini, the school adjustment counselor (SAC). Because Bondini is a full time SAC, he is able to visit with all the students at least once a week and on a drop-in basis at any time. The principal and the teachers involve him in any behavioral situation that occurs in the school. (He remarked privately to the writer that over half the students in the audience have come to him either individually or with a victim to report bullying.)

nessed this kind of bullying and what they had done to help. Then a second ďŹ lm was shown of the same boy as he appeared on “Good Morning America,â€? very much happier and more conďŹ dent. He had gone to his mother, for the ďŹ rst time, and told her of the intensity of the abuse, and she, in turn, went to the principal who brought marked changes to his school. After this second ďŹ lm, the presenter then directed the discussion to what each person can do to improve someone’s life. The presentation was direct and clear and made emphatic points about how damaging bullying

Page 9

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In a conference with Principal Zanin after the presentation, she outlined the program developed at Richmond. Called C.A.R.E.S., it is an acronym for cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control. Eighth graders, with the help of sixth and seventh graders, work with the younger grades (kindergarten through ďŹ fth) to clarify the meaning of each of these words and how to recognize them in behaviors. “Even kindergarteners,â€? she asserts, “understand the concepts of cooperation and empathy.â€? The upper classes go into the classrooms and use song, dance, role playing and even sign language, to make the message clear. An all-school program presented by eighth graders with sixth and seventh as helpers, was held as a culminating activity for the anti-bullying campaign. Bullying is a serious problem and can impact a child’s academic progress, according to Zanin, and a school can sometimes become an unhappy, frightening place. Comprehensive plans, such as C.A.R.E.S, that involve students, faculty, staff and parents can provide the ďŹ nest learning environments for all students. ď Ž


Volume X, No. 9 Pilates from page 5

focused on mental health, but now she wanted to include movement integration. Along came Canyon Ranch, offering a movement therapy department headed by a Laban Movement Analyst. Donna joined that program and in 1991 became its director. The Pilates program at Canyon Ranch was developed at its Tucson facility and then expanded to Lenox. Donna got her certification in Pilates and has learned how to work with clients of all ages and degrees of physical deficit. Among them have been people with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, joint and back issues, and knee replacements. She also has clients who just want to improve their golf and tennis games and enjoy their lives. Donna still teaches at Canyon Ranch. She also has studios in West Stockbridge and Great Barrington. At Bella Grazia, the West Dropping by Town Hall from page 1

balanced representation of residents to ensure that all aspects of a long-range plan are taken into consideration. “The school, of course, is the ‘elephant in the room’ but we don’t want that concern to completely overshadow the other needs of the town, “ he added. “And further, not everyone is going to get what they want. There has to be a consensus.” Asked about the 15-plus boards and commissions now in operation, Kerwood reported that - while it may seem like a lot of groups - Richmond has less than most other small towns. For instance, it would be typical for a small town to have a cemetery commission, but here the Select Board acts in that capacity. Technology has brought additional efficiencies to town government. There is a new permitting system in work that will go live this month. With its introduction, residents will be able to obtain building, gas, plumbing and electrical permits online. The software will also allow for layering on more functions, such as permits for wells and septic tanks. It is possible that future use might include permits issued by the town clerk. The issuance of burning permits is already online. Separately, the town accounting software allows the town treasurer remote access from her home office. Town Hall has submitted an application for a grant that will allow the town’s tax data to exist in a “cloud” and provide interface between

January 2013 Stockbridge studio, she teaches Pilates and Gyrotonic, a multidimensional movement discipline. Both include special apparatus to help the body stretch. In addition, yoga and Pilates are offered at Bella Grazia by Richard Squailia, who built the studio and much of its equipment. Richmond resident Sandra Flannery of Lenox Road started work with Donna to develop core strength after suffering a herniated disc. “She worked with my physician on a set of exercises to help my back,” said Sandra, “but we accomplished much more than that. My posture is better, my clothes fit better, and no matter how draggy I feel when a session starts, I leave feeling energized and good!” She added, “I have always disliked working with a personal trainer. But working with Donna is different. She has an amazing knowledge of anatomy and physiology,

Page 10 and the exercises she gives me really help.” As Donna points out: “When people move, they’re happy. We express joy with our bodies. I teach people how to use their bodies to feel better.” Donna’s Bella Grazia studio is on State Road, four houses south of the West Stockbridge fire station. She can be reached at 413-429-7979.  Reporter’s note: In the interest of full disclosure it must be said that this writer is also an enthusiastic student at Bella Grazia. I found her by Googling Pilates/physical therapy/West Stockbridge and use the time with her to rehab an old injury that was causing me problems. After lifelong avoidance of organized exercise, I was shocked to find how much I liked Pilates. It was interesting, low impact and, as with Sandra, it made me feel good, right from the first lesson.

the tax assessor and the tax collector. The town continues to move forward with energy conservation efforts. At the end of 2012, Richmond entered into a service contract with Sensible Solutions, an energyconsulting firm from Hadley, to provide an energy audit and cost savings analysis for the town garage and town hall. The $10,000 audit cost will come out of the successful grant application that resulted in Green Community status for Richmond last year. The total amount of the grant was $147,000, most of which will be spent on bricks-and-mortar repairs as recommended by the audit.

What else may come up in 2013? The list keeps growing. Town Hall needs a new roof and its well is contaminated with coliform. The front driveway at the school needs repaving. Mosquitoes may re-enter the picture now that West Nile virus was found during the summer in mosquitoes on the Pittsfield side of Richmond Pond. “We’re not talking about spraying, but we may have to start collecting samples and doing analysis in order to protect public health,” said Kerwood. It’s a small town, but even a small town needs continual attention 


Volume X, No. 9

January 2013

Poplar Pipes from page 8

spring near his house, but it did not give enough water for his purposes. The house at the top of Perry’s Peak Road had an old and very reliable spring that had been in use for perhaps 200 years. Darwin pestered the owner, a Mr. Hoben, to sell his farm to him to get the spring that went with it. He got Hoben to agree several times, but when time came to sign the papers, Hoben always got cold feet. After several years, Morse finally bought the house, farm and spring. He set about building a water system to supply his own house and farm at the bottom of the road. “My grandfather was born and raised in Lenox and, as a young man, worked for the Lenox Electric Company,� Jeff reported. “He borrowed their steam-powered rotary trenching machine and dug a trench from the spring at Hoben Farm all the way down to the bottom of Perry’s Peak Road - well over a mile - and laid two-inch steel pipe most of the way and one-and-a-quarter inch pipe the rest of the way. The spring feeds a 5000 gallon reservoir at the top of the hill, and with the tremendous drop in altitude there is a lot of head pressure at the bottom, about 160 pounds per square inch. It’s a fantastic, all gravity-fed system that requires no pumps or electricity. To build the system my grandfather needed to rebuild the area directly around the spring, which was a simple rock-walled pool about 12 feet in diameter. He dug his trench, laid his pipe and started the water flow into the system.

It worked spectacularly - for about a week. Then it went dry! “This was serious,� Jeff continued. “He investigated the problem and soon discovered that in the course of rebuilding the stonewall in the spring, a workman had dislodged a wooden plug in the end of an old wooden pipe system. Since the plug was located lower in the stonewall than the new steel pipe, the water was flowing freely down the wooden pipe, leaving the new steel pipe high and dry. He dug out a section of the wooden pipe and repaired the wall. The system has been problem free for over 80 years. My grandfather said originally the wooden pipe system fed Peirson Place, down on State Road (across from Center Cemetery). That’s about three-quarters of a mile of hand-dug trench, 18 or more inches deep.� The piece of pipe Jeff dug up recently is about six feet long with a two-and-one half inch hole bored through the core. “It is cut perpendicular at one end and is tapered at the other�, he explained. “The perpendicular cut looks like it might have been made when my grandfather was rebuilding the spring. It had a wooden plug hammered into that end. The pipes were fitted together and hammered home for a tight fit. The poplar log still has some bark on it.� It is likely that the wooden pipe system has been in the ground for over 150 years. Jeff’s repairs have been made, some new pipe has been laid, and the system works as

Page 11 well as ever. The discovery of the hollowed-out wooden pipe, “still with the bark on,â€? opens a window into a time when modern technology came down to augured sections of log, ingeniously fitted together and piping water from the top of Perry’s Peak Road to Peirson Place. ď Ž

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Please note the expiration date of your subscription. It is printed above your name on the mailing label. Thank you. The Fieldhouse-Canaan Free use for senior indoor walking Thursdays 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 13132 Route 22 - Canaan (Half-mile south of Route 295) Richmond Free Public Library Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Phone: 698-3834 & Book Discussion Group Meets the 4th Tuesday of each month Tuesday, January 22 @ 2:00 p.m. “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin & Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:30 p.m. “Human Trafficking: A Price on Your Life” Speaker Jeanet Ingalls is an artist, activist, mother and the founding president of Shout Out Loud Productions, a not-for-profit organization working to raise awareness about human trafficking locally & globally through film and art. Join us to Shout Out Loud to end modern-day slavery. Call the library for more information.

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Richmond Record, January 2013