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2015 June

As most of you know, long-term Executive Director Mary Vilbon is leaving her position with the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association and will soon be starting her a new job as the Director for the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce on Cape Cod.

“We are pleased to announce that Carmela Lanza-Weil will be stepping in as Interim Executive Director,” said Eric Grant, President of the Board of Directors of the GSFABA. “Carmela joined GSFABA earlier this year as Assistant Executive Director for Event and Volunteer Coordination, so she is already familiar with many of the projects and initiatives of the organization and will be able to help the Board to provide a positive seamless transition.”

Lanza-Weil brings extensive experience in non-profit administration and program management,as well as experience running her own theater organization and a small business. Her work has focused on creating community partnerships, administering complex projects and programs, and producing quality events. Also an educator, she has led education programs for regional theaters, Portland Opera, and in Concordia University.

Please help us in welcoming Carmela to her new position.

Read about it here:

Earned Sick Time

Notice of Employee Rights

Beginning July 1, 2015, Massachusetts employees have the right to earn and take sick leave from work.

Who Qualifies?

All employees in Massachusetts can earn sick time.

This includes full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees.

How Is It Earned?

  • Employees earn 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours they work.
  • Employees can earn and use up to 40 hours per year if they work enough hours.
  • Employees with unused earned sick time at the end of the year can roll over up to 40 hours.
  • Employees begin earning sick time on their first day of work and may begin using earned sick time 90 days after starting work.

Will It Be Paid?

  • If an employer has 11 or more employees, sick time must be paid.
  • For employers with 10 or fewer employees, sick time may be unpaid.
  • Paid sick time must be paid on the same schedule and at the same rate as regular wages.

When Can It Be Used?

  • An employee can use sick time when the employee or the employee's child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse is sick, has a medical appointment, or to address the effects of domestic violence.
  • The smallest amount of sick time an employee can take is one hour.
  • Sick time cannot be used as an excuse to be late for work without advance notice of a proper use.
  • Use of sick time for other purposes is not allowed and may result in an employee being disciplined.

Can an Employer Have a Different Policy?

Yes. An employer can have their own sick leave or paid time off policy, so long as employees can use at least the same amount of time, for the same reasons, and with the same job-protections as under the Earned Sick Time Law.

Retaliation

  • Employees using earned sick time cannot be fired or otherwise retaliated against for exercising or attempting to exercise rights under the law.
  • Examples of retaliation include: denying use or delaying payment of earned sick time, firing an employee, taking away work hours, or giving the employee undesirable assignments.

Notice & Verification

  • Employees must notify their employer before they use sick time, except in a emergency.
  • Employers may require employees to use a reasonable notification system the employer creates.
  • If an employee is out of work for 3 consecutive days OR uses sick time within 2 weeks of leaving their job, an employer may require documentation from a medical provider.

Do You Have Questions?

Call the Fair Labor Division at 617-727-3465
E-Mail us at EarnedSickTime@state.ma.us
Visit www.mass.gov/ago/earnedsicktime

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Office of the Attorney General

The Attorney General enforces the Earned Sick Time Law and regulations.

It is unlawful to violate any provision of the Earned Sick Time Law.

Violations of any provision of the Earned Sick time law, M.G.L. c. 149, § 148C, or these regulations, 940 CMR 33.00 shall be subject to paragraphs (1), (2), (4), (6) and (7) of subsection (b) of M.G.L. c. 149, §27C(b) and to § 150.

This notice is intended to inform.

Full text of the law and regulations are available at www.mass.gov/ago/earnedsicktime.

mocha mayas10 years ago, on a warm June 10th evening, Mocha Maya's opened their doors for the first time.

Some milestones achieved after 10 years of business:

  • Over 500,000 customers served
  • Over 300,000 cups of coffee
  • Tens of thousands of lattes, cappuccinos, and smoothies
  • Well over 1,000 live music performances - featuring the best local musicians to Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum-selling recording artists 
  • Regularly called one of the best listening rooms/music venues in the country.
  • Nationally recognized poetry series (Thank you CPS!)
  • Employer of around 100 people
  • Supporter of dozens of local businesses and suppliers
  • Thousands of dollars raised and given to local charities and causes.
  • The best selection of craft beers on tap in town
  • New menu of truly health conscious food
  • Praised by coffee lovers from Europe (Italy and France) to tourists from around the US (Seattle and CA) as having the best espresso drinks in the valley, Boston or NYC. (Their words, not ours.)
  • 1000's of friends

Congratulations to Chris & Bruce! Here's to the next ten years!

A Call For Sponsors

We are now planning the 15th Annual Iron Bridge Dinner, brought to you by the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association (GSFABA). This year the dinner will be held on Sunday, August 16th with seating at 5:30, dinner at 6:00. Local restaurants and food providers will be preparing this elegant, one-of-a-kind dinner for 400 people on the Iron Bridge at sunset. The Iron Bridge spans the two towns of Buckland and Shelburne, and this event celebrates all the connections between the two communities. It is an incredibly beautiful and well-known event with the $40.00 tickets selling out at within hours of becoming available.

The event also serves as a fundraiser for the GSFABA and the Mohawk Athletic Association. Athletes from the Mohawk Athletic Association graciously serve the meal while local musicians serenade the diners. A hat is traditionally passed at the end of the evening which, coupled with their portion of ticket revenues, should provide the athletes with over $2,000.00 for their programs.

This year the GSFABA invites your business to be a sponsor of this event at one of these levels:

  • Bird of Paradise Sponsor for $1,200.00
  • White Orchid Sponsor for $1,000.00
  • Rose Sponsor for $750.00
  • Blue Iris Sponsor for $500.00
  • Sunflower Sponsors for $250.00
  • Daisy Sponsor for $100.00

Depending on the level of sponsorship there are different benefits. Here are some of the benefits included for all sponsorships.

  • One to ten free tickets depending upon the generosity of your gift
  • Your Business Name on a Bridge Dinner banner placed by the Iron Bridge prior to August 16th
  • Your Business Name on formal invitations and menus received by each of the 400+ guest
  • Your Business Name in all news releases sent to area media
  • Your Business Name in the GSFABA Business Bulletins sent to over 250 GSFABA members as well as additional copies distributed widely
  • Your Business name in a special event landing page on ShelburneFalls.com

We expect our usual sold out attendance and strong media coverage, as this is a unique and highly photogenic event--a gala sunset street feast over the Deerfield River.

We look forward to working with you this year, and in years to come, to make the Bridge Dinner a memorable community celebration that supports the work of the GSFABA, while also raising funds for our school athletic programs.

If you're interested in sponsoring this wonderful event, please contact us by Friday, June 26, 2015. Thank you for considering this request.

You may contact us at the GSFABA office by phone at 413-625-2526 or email areaevents@shelburnefalls.com.

Sincerely,

Mary Vilbon
Executive Director

page4 imagesmall 16The Bird's Nest Bed & Breakfast in Buckland is proud to announce that for the third consecutive year, we are honored to receive the TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence for the year 2015. TripAdvisor is the world's largest and most respected travel site. The website offers trusted advice and reviews from real travelers.

“This accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.”

“To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on the site for at least 12 months. Additional criteria includes the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months”.

“TripAdvisor LLC is not a booking agent or tour operator, and does not charge any service fees to users of the site.” (Source: TripAdvisor LLC). The site is often used as an advertising and evaluation tool for many hospitality services, but is not a management corporation.

The Bird's Nest Bed & Breakfast was opened in 2002, and is owned and operated by Pat Weeks, Cyndy Weeks-Patterson and Dennis Patterson, and a little dog named Yoda. We are a traditional Bed & Breakfast, and are proud to be a truly small, independently owned and operated, local business with no corporate controls. We are a fully licensed, certified and inspected property.

The Weeks-Patterson family relocated to Western Massachusetts from Detroit, Michigan in 2001 after a seven year search for the right house in the right community, and is named in honor of Edith Dolby (nee Bird) who relocated with the family at the ripe age of 96 and was the matriarch of the home until her passing in 2004. This historical house in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains was also once the secondary site for the Mary Lyon School for Girls. After leaving Buckland, Ms. Lyon went on to found Mount Holyoke College.

The Bird’s Nest B&B is located just three miles from the village of Shelburne Falls and the Mohawk Trail.

For more information, please contact Cyndy Weeks-Patterson at birdsnestbnb1797@yahoo.com, or by phone at (413) 625-9523. Please find us at www.birdsnestbnb.com, on Facebook, and also on TripAdvisor!

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The Greater SFABA Promotes Our Region with ShelburneFalls.com

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The face of our region is www.shelburnefalls.com . This website is supported entirely by our business association.