Dave Lewis

Dear Friends around the Lake,

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Dave Lewis passed away on Tuesday. Calling hours are tomorrow and the funeral is on Saturday, both in Lenox (details below).  Dave was an integral part of the Lake Buel Restoration/Preservation District from almost the very beginning.  He loved the lake, took a great deal of pride in keeping our lake in the best condition possible, and was blessed in return by innumerable friendships with lake owners over the years.  We will miss him, both as the ultimate harvester – he left a wide wake that will never be filled, and as a dear friend.

Here is his obituary:

David Harold Lewis, 56, died Tuesday, July 2 at his home in Sandisfield, MA. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 31 years, Judy Lewis, his parents Paul and Louise Lewis of Scotia, NY; son Paul (PJ) Lewis, daughters Elizabeth Lewis, Rachel Lewis, Shawn Lewis Albert and her husband Michael Albert, and 3 grandsons, Andrew, Brendan and Evan Albert; brother Nathan Lewis and his future wife Colleen Abbato; brother Martin Lewis, his wife Brenda Lewis, and their children, Kaylee and Jonah Lewis; brother Robert Lewis and his wife Maria Lewis; and sister Rena Lewis.  

After a carefree childhood in Scotia, New York, David’s early career took many turns– he was a farmhand, child care worker, caretaker, and carpenter. In 1984, he began working for the Lake Buel District, a job he continued for as long as his health permitted. A life-long love of fireworks was fulfilled when he started his own business, Berkshire Fireworks, in 1989. The small company was inspired by a desire to celebrate his treasured mother, whose birthday is July 4th. He took pleasure in the opportunity to bring joy and happiness to others on special occasions by lighting up the skies. He also embraced working out of his home because of his fondness for gardening, barbecuing perfect steaks for guests, and his dog, Morgan.

In both his personal and professional life, David was a man of strong passions. He was committed to both the Jewish principles of his upbringing and the Christian faith he adopted as an adult. His strict moral compass was tempered with compassion for others, especially his family, whom he loved and was loved by dearly. A gifted storyteller, he enjoyed recalling humorous tales of working on farms and in schools or carousing with his brothers and friends. He would sometimes surprise by reciting flawless swathes of Spanish or Hebrew from middle school memory and he occasionally broke into song when especially happy. He died as he lived: brave, faithful, and surrounded by devoted family. Calling hours will be Friday, July 5th, at 4-7pm at Hope Church, 259 Kemble Street in Lenox, and the funeral on Saturday, July 6th, 11am, at the same. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Operation Nehemiah, care of Roche Funeral Home, 120 Main Street, Lenox, MA. 

With deepest sympathy to all his friends and family,

Paula

Paula M. Hatch, Chairman, Prudential Committee, Lake Buel Restoration and Preservation District

Weed Harvesting update from Paula Hatch, Prudential Committee Chairperson

“As many of you know by now, the District has hired Tryon Construction, a Monterey business with years of experience operating and maintaining heavy equipment, to take over the weed harvesting operation on the lake.  Our former harvester, Dave Lewis, was rare in that he had over 25 years of experience with weed harvesting and was also capable of handling the maintenance of the equipment either single-handedly or with his team of resources.  Going into the hiring process, the Prudential Committee understood that no one would be able to step seamlessly into Dave’s shoes and that this year’s harvesting would present a steep learning curve to the newbie”.

Nevertheless, Leigh Tryon and his “designated driver” Mike Ordyna, have taken on the task with a can-do spirit and are working long hours to tackle this year’s heavy weed growth.  Mike has already spent several weeks getting used to the harvester by working on the off-shore areas of weed growth.  He is now ready to begin working on the shoreline, the most challenging part of weed harvesting, and he will put in extra hours in advance of the July 4th weekend in an effort to make swimming and boating as enjoyable as possible.

We are fortunate to have a new team who is so well prepared for this unique enterprise. Please be patient and respectful of the challenges facing our new team.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a member of the Prudential Committee.  We are committed to making this transition year a good one.

With happy wishes for a great summer,

Paula Hatch

Chairperson, Prudential Committee, Lake Buel Restoration/Preservation District

Lake Buel Boat Ramp employment opportunity

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is seeking candidates to monitor the Lake Buel public boat ramp off of Route 57 in Monterey, and inform boaters of the Zebra Mussel threat.  The hiring window will close June 11th so interested candidates should act quickly.  Apparently there has not been a lot of interest expressed in the position previously, so our recruiting efforts would be appreciated.  Listed below is the information provided to us from the State, along with a link to the job requirements and how to apply.  It’s a great opportunity for an environmentally minded individual to make a difference (and get paid!).

Posting ID: J36046

Position Number: 139893

Agency: Dept. of Conservation and Recreation

Official Title: Contracted Seasonal Employees

Functional Title: Seasonal Environmental Educator/Boat Ramp Monitors

View this job at https://jobs.hrd.state.ma.us/recruit/public/31100001/job/job_view.do?postingId=J36046&code=search.public&federalStimulus=no&companyId=53

Message from the Lakes and Ponds Association of Western MA (LAPA)

BOATING SAFETY TRAINING BY THE U.S. COAST GUARD AUXILLARY

To: all LAPA  friends

The USCG Auxiliary has asked that we help get the word out about an upcoming boat safety presentation being offered.  They are looking to assist local Berkshire lake associations with free boater safety education trainings at local boat ramps.   The USCG Auxiliary will be giving a presentation about what specifically they have to offer lake associations on: Wed. April 24, 6 pm at Pittsfield City Hall council chambers.   So if your lake association is interested, send someone to attend and learn the details of the program.

Jack Hickey lapa-west

If you are interested in attending and representing Lake Buel, please note in the comment box below or contact Paula Hatch at phatch19@verizon.net.  You may also contact Jack Hickey, jhickey@jhrcs.com, for more information regarding the meeting.

 

Message from the District Tax Collector

It has come to my attention that some or all of the Lake Buel District Tax bills to owners in Monterey  may be doubled. The Commitment Book and software program are correct. You may contact me at pmtreas@yahoo.com to confirm your bill or just mail in 1/2 if you are in Monterey and you are sure your bill has been doubled. The New Marlborough bills appear to be correct.
Thank you,
Pat Mielke
District Collector

What on earth is THAT?

Imagine heading out to grille chicken on the deck and encountering this on the railing?  Repulsive yet intriguing. Those are small bones!  How did it get there?  What on earth put it there (or “left” it, “deposited” it?).  Is this a good thing or a problem?

Turns out it’s a good thing if you want confirmation that birds of prey such as Owls reside among us along Lake Buel.  You see these birds do not process everything they eat quite the same way as one might think.  Undigested food items are internally formed into a ball and regurgitated.  The result is what is called a pellet or cast.  So evidently an Owl or Hawk ate well and decided to complete the process on our deck railing.

Our grilled chicken was good, although we were careful to avoid ingesting any bones.

It’s not just the Lake water that’s under threat from invasives

There’s nothing quite like sitting by a wood stove or an open fireplace to take the chill off as the days grow shorter and the temps fall.  Perhaps you also get satisfaction from knowing that burning wood is displacing use of expensive heating oil or propane.  But did you also know that you could inadvertently be introducing invasive insects to Lake Buel’s shorelines?  It’s true if you ‘import’ firewood.

The beautiful forests surrounding our Lake are under assault from invasive species.  Common threats include woolly adelgid killing Hemlocks and the Asian Longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer insects attacking hardwood trees.  Already woolly adelgid is ravaging eastern MA and metro New York, and Asian Longhorn beetles are prevalent in sections of Worcester County, MA and have been sighted in Brookline and Boston.  With its initial infestation point most likely Brooklyn, the Asian Longhorned beetle has since spread throughout metro New York City including New Jersey.  Even Central Park has not been immune!  It has been described as the most destructive non-native insect in the US.

What can we do?  Be very careful about buying firewood.  Know where it is sourced, and insist on buying from reputable local firewood dealers.  And be very skeptical of buying bargain firewood in areas where the Asian Longhorned beetles are prevalent.  Don’t inadvertently accelerate the spread of invasive species by “importing” diseased firewood to Lake Buel.  Buy local!

What to learn more?  Here are a few sites you might find helpful:

Don’t Move Firewood

New York Dept of Environmental Protection

New Jersey Dept of Agriculture

Connecticut Dept of Energy and Environmental Protection

Help bring broadband service to Lake Buel!

Many part-time residents have expressed the desire to spend more time at the Lake, but can’t because they lack high-speed internet access.  Telecommuting on Mondays or Fridays (or full-time!) isn’t an option for most without high-speed internet access.   Fulltime residents have been equally frustrated with slow options — dial up internet or DSL for a subset of Lake residents.

You may have heard about Wired West, and the effort to build out the “last mile” network bringing true high-speed internet access along with digital telephone and television options to the Berkshires. We’re passing along information from Wired West, and ask that you take a few minutes to complete the brief Expression of Interest survey card.  This is your opportunity to communicate if you are interested, and assessing potential demand is key milestone for Wired West.  Without sufficient demand, it is much more difficult to justify the network build-out.  Some residents may also receive a survey card in the mail, although online completion is preferred by Wired West.

“WiredWest is our communities’ chosen solution to the regional problem of inadequate broadband.

In Western Massachusetts, over 40 towns have inadequate access to high-speed internet, while it has become a necessity in today’s digital world. Even those who have broadband access are using outdated technologies that are not robust enough to equip our businesses, students and workers to survive and thrive.

Western Massachusetts towns are creating our own solution to this problem. We’ve created a municipal cooperative of member towns, and are working with state and local organizations to build a financially sustainable, state-of-the-art fiber-optic network to serve everyone. A network that will have the capacity to last for decades to come. And a network that will drive regional economic development, create jobs, improve education and healthcare, and provide a sustainable future for our communities.

You probably have a lot of questions about the details. To find out more about the WiredWest project, please see About Us, FAQ, Project Overview, and how you can help the project here.”