With quiet fanfare, Sprint announced last month that their customers using newer cell phones (iPhone 5c and up, and certain Android phones) would be able to use their phones for WiFi calling. What this means is that if you are a Sprint customer in a Wi-Fi zone, you can initiate and receive calls EVEN IF THERE IS NO SPRINT SIGNAL!!! Designed primarily to address dead zones in buildings and basements, for us Lake Buel residents it suddenly means additional cell service along Lake Buel provided you have WiFi in your home.
I tested it out yesterday and it worked well. For the telecom geeks out there, my home internet is via an AT&T mobile MiFi unit tapping into the new Monterey cell tower along route 23. AT&T runs on the GSM mobile technology; Sprint and Verizon run on the competing CDMA technology. So the call I made on an ‘incompatible’ CDMA Sprint iPhone 6 went out through an AT&T GSM tower! Pretty cool (for some people at least!)
Verizon doesn’t not currently allow WiFi calling, and has indicated no immediate plans to offer it. If you’re a Sprint customer though, full details on how to enable it are available on the Sprint site. Also of note is WiFi calls do not count against any minute caps on the Sprint plans.
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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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact Jack Hickey, email@example.com, for more information regarding the meeting.
Paul Hatch sent a message to the Lake Buel mailing list. I’m posting it here with some minor edits to remove references to particular properties:
Last night was a wild and wooly, full-blown January nor’easter-like night. Trees and boughs were crashing all over the place. I took a long walk around the Lake Buel Road side of the lake this morning and found only one tree on a house…. There were lots of very near misses, and some smaller trees down that got cleared up pretty quickly.
Power and phones over in the Downs Road area went out at 7:25pm Monday night and have stayed out. There was a live power line down across Downs Road, which is why the road was closed. When I came upon it mid-morning, it was surging, sparking and generating 3 to 4 inch flames in the leaves and pine needles here and there. Pretty impressive, so I trotted the rest of the way up to Lake Buel Road, flagged down a truck, and urged the driver to contact National Grid when he got into cell service and let them know they needed to get out here now. Must have worked as the reports show the road opened later in the afternoon. But I’m not sure if the power is back on in the immediate neighborhood yet. I left the lake at about 1:30 this afternoon and it was still down at that time, and Bill reported it was still out at almost 6pm.
I took a fairly comprehensive tour of the lake and found very little significant damage. I was not able to view every single cottage, but a good number of them. Gibson’s Grove was in good shape as was Laurel Banks, Abel’s Ridge and Dentist Row. The Camp Half Moon entrance was blocked off so I didn’t get down there, or North Cove. Along the way, I spoke with some contractors who were out and about making sure their clients were all ok, so if there’s a problem with your cottage, you probably know by now. …
The lake is up only a few inches. Chris Hassett told me he and Mark Amstead (and Pete Hagen?) were going to work on the outlet control over the weekend in advance of the storm, and apparently their work was helpful. Thanks, guys!
I hope this helps alleviate your concerns, and my best wishes go out to those of you who were in harm’s way elsewhere.
With warmest regards,
Thanks, Paula! We’re all glad you’re safe.