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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Letter: Rockwell Paintings Hold Special Meaning for Local Scouts
Letters to the Editor,
08:00PM / Tuesday, September 19, 2017

To the Editor:

As a lifelong Berkshire County resident and a multi-year Boy Scout leader, I am appalled by the Berkshire Museum's plans to auction off the best of their art collection, including two original Rockwells, gifted by the artist himself.

Scouts were a favorite subject of Rockwell's, and for decades he contributed to the annual Boy Scout calendar. He used local scout models as subjects, including my own niece. This topic hits home for me on many levels.

Over the years, I went on many all age Scout Fun museum day trips. This was an obvious destination for Scouts, and because of it's multi faceted programming and exhibits, they were able to fulfill the requirements

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Guest Column: Why Are Smoke-Free Homes So Important?
, Guest Column
07:00PM / Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Secondhand smoke comes from a lit tobacco product, like a cigarette, cigar or pipe — and it's not just a nuisance — it's a health hazard and it's dangerous. 

Secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals and poisons, and at least 50 of these are known to cause cancer. It stays in clothing, hair, furniture, curtains, and carpets even after a cigarette is put out and can harm people who come in contact with it, especially children. Keeping your home smoke free is important to ensure the safety of yourself, your loved ones, guests, neighbors, and even your pets.

Secondhand smoke is dangerous, even if you can't smell it. Opening a window, sitting in a separate

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Education Task Force Keeps Focus on Creating Opportunities for Students
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:54AM / Tuesday, September 19, 2017
DALTON, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force on Saturday pressed forward less than 48 hours after one school district voted to step back from its participation in the effort.   The committee had a full agenda for its regularly scheduled meeting at Nessacus Middle School, but Thursday's decision from the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee to withdraw from the task force colored the conversation.   Chairman John Hockridge opened the meeting by addressing the vote head on.   "I just wished they'd put off the discussion for one more meeting to give us the opportunity to tell them where we're coming from," Hockridge said of the

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Healey Told Resources Lacking to Combat Opioid Epidemic
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:20PM / Monday, September 18, 2017

Paul Hickling of the Brien Center talks about his organization's initiatives, including a new recovery center for new mothers. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Northern Berkshire has been knitting together a wide array of agencies and organizations to combat an opioid epidemic that's devastated communities. Its leaders, including Mayor Richard Alcombright, have played a prominent role in working groups both regionally and statewide addressing addiction and recovery.    But while the partnerships are strong, a lack of resources has left this fragile safety net overwhelmed and with too many gaps for those seeking help to fall through.    "You need help and

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Biz Briefs: Wild Oats Introduces Co-op Cash for Class Program
02:21PM / Monday, September 18, 2017

Cashing in: Wild Oats Market, a cooperatively owned natural foods grocery store, bakery and cafe in Williamstown, has unveiled Co-op Cash for Class, a new program aimed at raising money for local schools. To participate in the program, schools must register online. They can then download a customizable flyer to share with parents and students encouraging them to enroll.

It is even easier for parents to participate. Families simply register online and designate up to two schools. As soon as they sign up they will immediately begin to earn points each time they shop. There are no receipts to deal with and every purchase counts. The more families that participate and shop, the more money

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Berkshires Beat: CATA Artists on Display at Pittsfield Guido's
12:23PM / Monday, September 18, 2017

Touring art: Community Access to the Arts will exhibit at Guido's Fresh Marketplace in Pittsfield as part of ​CATA's "Art on Tour" gallery series. The exhibit, featuring artwork created by Pittsfield-based CATA artists with disabilities, runs through Oct. 31, with a public reception on Friday, Sept. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The curated exhibit includes a variety of stylistic expression and techniques in water-based media, such as watercolor, tempera and ink, and feature both abstract and representational work. All works in the exhibit are professionally matted and framed, and all pieces are for sale, with proceeds supporting commissions for individual artists. The

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SBA Honors Red Apple Butchers And Yummy Treasures
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Monday, September 18, 2017

Red Apple Butchers is a nose-to-tail shop that opens its expanded location this week. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was about 10 years ago when Beth Carpenter wanted to get rid of some excess jewelry making supplies.   She sold them online and turned a decent income. Sales grew and eventually took over her living room. It got so large of an operation she brought her husband, Greg, on to help run the business.   Yummy Treasures continued to grow from there.   Two years ago, she opened a storefront on Commercial Street.   Now, Yummy Treasures is the No. 1 shop on Etsy for jewelry and crafting supplies and the winner of the Massachusetts Small Business

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Course Record Set at Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon
07:55PM / Sunday, September 17, 2017
LENOX, Mass. -- The Allen Heights Veterinary team won Sunday's Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon in record time.   Biker Josh Lipka, kayakers Tom Keefe and Ben Pigott and runner Steve Monsulick combined to cover the course in 2 hours, 15 minutes, 28 seconds.   The old record, set by a team from High Lawn Farm, was 2:15:55.   On Sunday, Allen Heights finished 11 minutes ahead of runner-up You Doin' the Josh, which finished in 2:26:32 with Jonathan Molk biking, Tim Hudyncia paddling a canoe and Scott Carpenter running.   The event sends bikers over a 27-mile course, includes a 5-mile canoe, kayak or paddleboard leg and ends with a 6-mile run.   The top

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Church Seeks Help Making Kits to Aid Hurricane Victims
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:18PM / Saturday, September 16, 2017

Supplies wait to be assembled into 'flood buckets' for victims of West Virginia flooding in 2016.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Yes, there is something you can do to help the victims of the recent hurricanes.

The New Hope United Methodist Church is assembling "flood buckets," a 5-gallon bucket of items that people whose homes have been ravaged by flooding can use to aid their cleanup efforts. The national United Methodist Church's Committee on Relief has been assembling these kits for years now, according to local pastor Courtney Randall, and have determined the best way to package them and the most helpful contents.

Randall said New Hope contributions began a couple

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Neal Talks Politics With Residents at Town Hall Meeting
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:12PM / Friday, September 15, 2017

Congressman Richard Neal held a town hall meeting at Berkshire Community College. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal faced somewhat of a tough crowd at Berkshire Community College on Friday night as residents pressed him to move further left on his stances on climate change, health care, and the Israeli Anti-Boycott Act.   The Springfield Democrat held a town hall meeting at the college during which he quickly touched on his stance on a number of issues facing the nation.   He held a lengthy question-and-answer session, facing sharp criticism of many of his stances and engaged in a number of back-and-forths with citizens on several topics.   A Dalton woman

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@theMarket: NK Missile Dud on Wall Street
By Bill Schmick,
04:50PM / Friday, September 15, 2017
The North Korean boy who cried wolf is alive and well, but seems to have less and less impact on financial markets. Kim Jong Un's minions launched another missile over Japan on Thursday night and the markets simply yawned.   Geopolitics are always a risk for the financial markets. For one thing, they are by definition unpredictable. Rarely do the antagonists worry about the economic and financial ramifications of their moves. As such, markets react quickly, but usually the impact only lasts for a short period of time.   It seems that even our tweet-happy president is learning that, in this case, Kim Jong Un, the boy in the wolf's mask, has a bark that is far worse than his

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Letter: Minuteman Will Be Winner, Savoy Loser in Wind Profits
Letters to the Editor,
04:00PM / Friday, September 15, 2017

To the Editor:

I am following the Savoy wind development story with great interest because a developer tried to build turbines in my town of Peru.

Just like Savoy, the developer tried to change our bylaws to make the requirements and limitations more suitable for his project, and of course for his bottom line. But what about Savoy's bottom line?

My understanding is there is no financial agreement as of yet between the developer and the town. Having no agreement in place is a risky financial move. To add insult to injury, it is predictable that real estate values within a two-mile radius of the turbines will decrease, the likelihood of selling those properties will drastically be

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