Regional Notebook: Aug. 22, 2023

Search and rescue team members work in a residential area devastated by a wildfire in Lahaina, Hawaii, Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. An emergency official who defended a decision to not sound outdoor alert sirens on Maui as a ferocious fire raged has resigned.

Search and rescue team members work in a residential area devastated by a wildfire in Lahaina, Hawaii, Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. An emergency official who defended a decision to not sound outdoor alert sirens on Maui as a ferocious fire raged has resigned. AP PHOTO/JAE C. HONG

Published: 08-21-2023 11:51 AM

Forum to consider paint, mattress recycling

AMHERST – Two months after Dalton resident Tom Irwin visited Ashfield’s Belding Memorial Library to drum up support for a bill, H.823 and S.551, that would create a statewide paint recycling program, a forum on the topic – as well as mattress recycling – will be held Wednesday, Aug. 23, at Franklin Patterson Hall on the Hampshire College campus, located at 893 West St.

A reception will start at 5:30 p.m., with the panel planned for 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The panel includes state Sen. Susan Moran, D-Falmouth, senate sponsor and a member of the Zero Waste Caucus; Justine Fallon, director of operations with the Mattress Recycling Council; and Waneta Trabert, chair of the Massachusetts Product Stewardship Council. State Sen. Lindsay Sabadosa, D-Northampton, co-sponsor of the paint recycling bill, will deliver opening remarks.

Bishop requests special collection for victims of Maui fires

SPRINGFIELD – In a letter sent to diocesan priests and deacons, Bishop William Byrne has asked that parishes across the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield hold a special collection for the people of Maui over the next few weekends to assist the victims of the recent wildfires. The fires destroyed thousands of homes and claimed the lives of more than 100 people, with the death toll expected to climb.

“We have all been moved by the terrible devastation caused by recent wildfires that have befallen the people of Maui,” Byrne wrote in his letter. “In an instant, their lives were turned upside down, many losing their homes, belongings, but most especially, loved ones.”

Parishioners can drop their donation in the collection basket at weekend Mass, marking the check payable to their parish and writing in the memo line “Maui Relief Fund.” Cash donations can also be submitted in an envelope with that same notation.

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People can also donate online at

“Every donation, no matter the amount, will play a crucial role in helping to rebuild lives and restore hope,” Byrne said.

Irish language classes start in September

The Irish Cultural Center of Western New England and Elms College are offering Irish language classes this fall. Classes are open to everyone, from beginner to advanced learning levels.

Classes begin in early September. The Beginners Class will be taught remotely via Zoom. The Improvers and Experienced classes will be taught in-person at Elms College in Chicopee.

Registrations must be completed by the end of August. The cost is $200 to $225 per class. Irish Cultural Center patrons receive a $50 discount.

Enrollment is through the Elms College Registrar. Call 413-265-2314 for more information or download a registration form at

LifePath certified as service enterprise by Points of Light

GREENFIELD – LifePath, a nonprofit that provides programs and services to support the independent living of elders and people with disabilities across Franklin County and the North Quabbin region, has been certified by the national volunteer service organization Points of Light as a service enterprise.

Certified service enterprise organizations join the top 11% of nonprofits nationwide in volunteer management and organizational performance. According to LifePath, certification signifies that organizations have the capability and expertise to strategically use volunteers to improve the performance of their nonprofit.

As part of the certification, LifePath completed an extensive assessment — involving more than 20 hours of training and coaching — and an internal planning and change process to better integrate volunteers.

“LifePath provides opportunities for volunteers to contribute their time, energy, expertise and life experience in support of programming serving the needs of older community members and those living with disabilities,” Gary Yuhas, executive director of LifePath, said in a statement. “As a non-profit organization, LifePath experiences a number of resource challenges, and our dedicated and devoted volunteer corps steps up to help us initiate new, novel, necessary and often unfunded programming that not only supports and strengthens our communities, but is also enriching, engaging and rewarding for the volunteer.”

According to Susan White, LifePath’s associate director of volunteer resources, the process informed strategic planning for numerous volunteer programs.

“As a result of the rigorous expectations of this certification, we created and improved components of our volunteer programming, such as completing the first-ever LifePath Volunteer Satisfaction Survey and a Volunteer Handbook,” she said.

For more information about volunteer opportunities with LifePath, visit or call 413-773-5555 and ask for Volunteer Resources.