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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

'I Want You to Panic': Youths Lead Williamstown Climate Strike Event
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:09AM / Saturday, September 21, 2019

Williamstown Elementary School fifth-grader Adele Low speaks about needing adults to 'step up and act now to save our planet.'

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The petite fourth-grader made her way up to the microphone. In a voice that belied her small frame, she explained why she took the opportunity to speak in front of the several hundred people who came out to the front steps of the Paresky Student Center at Williams College for the Williamstown Climate Strike on Friday.

"When I learned about climate change, I wanted to cry," said June, a fourth-grader at Williamstown Elementary School. "All the animals are going extinct. And it's just terrible."

Then her

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Kennealy Points to Lack of Quality Housing as Economic Threat
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:38PM / Friday, September 20, 2019

Secretary Kennealy, seen with BRPC Chairman Kyle Hanlon, was the keynote speaker at the annual dinner.  DALTON, Mass. — Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Michael Kennealy ticked off a long list initiatives of the Baker administration that included investments in broadband, education, workforce development and transportation.   And while there's still work needed in these areas, the administration is looking at what Kennealy is describing as a "major threat to the economy" statewide: Housing.   "So since 2010, we've added 300,000 people, 400,000 jobs, and less than 100,000 housing units," Kennealy told the annual dinner of

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The Ninth Walk A Mile In Her Shoes Hits North Street
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Friday, September 20, 2019

Local and state representatives join the march. See more photos here. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hundreds of men stepped into their high heels to participate in the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes march on Thursday night. Although it was not the most graceful of miles, it raised some big money to support the Elizabeth Freeman Center.   "It takes a community to make change and we are that community and for the past nine years, we have been gathering here," Elizabeth Freeman Center Executive Director Janis Broderick said before the march on North Street during Third Thursday. "We are increasing awareness, developing new partnerships, and we are creating new partnerships to

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The Independent Investor: The Era of U.S. Oil Independence
By Bill Schmick,
05:02PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019
Last weekend's surprise drone attack on Saudi Arabia's major oil fields was a disaster, but it could have been worse. Fifty years ago, an attack like that would have sent the world's financial markets into a tailspin and rocked global economies. None of that happened — thanks to the U. S. energy production.   Granted, there was an initial decline in the markets until the damage was assessed and experts concluded that the 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production could be put back online within three weeks. The short-fall represented about half of the Saudi's daily production. Yet, the markets rebounded quickly, and for the most part, it is business as

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'Hustlers': The Tacky Laps of Luxury
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:56PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019
Am I that naïve? I sat there aghast as some took in stride the vengeance being meted out by former strip club employees upon their predominantly Wall Street clients in director Lorene Scafaria's "Hustlers," a scathing dramatization of Jessica Pressler's New York Magazine expose.   Said financiers are assembly line-style drugged and then fleeced of their reputedly ill-gotten gains following the implied and sometimes more than implied promise of sexual favors. Point of disclosure: While not a regular habitué of such dens of iniquity back in the day, my fires of spring were not unsullied. So why the shock? Function of age? Advancing Fuddy-Duddyism?   For

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Biz Briefs: Berkshire Food Co-op One of Three Finalists for MassEcon Award
02:19PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019
Economic Impact Award

Berkshire Food Co-op is one of three regional finalists to receive an Economic Impact Award from MassEcon. On Sept. 19, finalists will present one-minute pitches to a panel of judges and business leaders describing their growth in the commonwealth. Finalists compete on a regional basis in the West, Central, Southeast, Northeast and Great Boston areas. The winners from each of the five regions will be announced in October.

"Our mission has always been to support the health and well-being of our community and this expansion was a massive investment in that mission. This recognition from MassEcon represents a sweet moment for us, even as we continue the work of

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Narcan: A HOPE to Save Lives
By Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, Guest Column
01:49PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019
At the tail end of last year, I heard a story about a young man who had passed away of an opioid overdose. This story hit many nerves for me, in particular, because it involved a first responder who arrived on the scene while the young man was still alive, but was unable to take action to save his life because he was not carrying an opioid antagonist.   Opioid antagonists work by blocking receptors in the brain interacting with opioids causing the overdose and preventing the body from responding to them. The most common and easily accessible antagonist at this time is naloxone, usually referred to by its brand name, Narcan. We know that Narcan works and we credit it with saving

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Hinds Seeks Designs for Annual Holiday Card Contest
12:35PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — School is in session and summer doesn't officially end until Sept. 23, but Team Hinds is thinking about the holidays.

State Sen. Adam G. Hinds (D- Pittsfield) has sent packages to 57 schools across his Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District inviting students in grades three through six to participate in his annual Holiday Card Design Contest.

Each December, Hinds sends almost 1,000 greeting cards by mail to friends, family, colleagues and constituents. The winning design will be used as the cover art for his 2019 holiday greeting card. The student artist will be identified on the card, featured in the senator's media and social media

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MountainOne Announces Officer Promotions
11:55AM / Thursday, September 19, 2019

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — MountainOne, a full service financial institution with offices in the Berkshires and Boston’s South Shore, has announced the promotions of 10 employees.

"We are happy to celebrate these individuals, and recognize their dedication, strong work ethic, accomplishments, and commitment to MountainOne," said Robert Fraser, MountainOne president and chief executive officer.

* Donna Bishop has been promoted to senior vice president, MountainOne Insurance, North Adams. Bishop oversees Personal and Commercial Insurance Operations, which involves the management of day to day service operations and insurance markets to create the highest level of efficiency

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Drury Class of 1951 Meets at Waubeeka Tavern
04:58PM / Wednesday, September 18, 2019
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Drury High School Class of 1951 convened Wednesday for lunch at Tavern on 7 at Waubeeka Golf Links.   The group of graduates from the North Adams high school and their spouses and guests convenes monthly. They welcome anyone from the Drury class of 1951 to join them on Oct. 16 at noon at the 6' House Pub in Williamstown.   Jack and Joyce Brooks, Jeannette Brule, Carol Kelley, Herb and Donna Putnam, Gen and George Beckwith, Arlene Zappone, Richard Weld, Ray Piaggi, Janet and Dick Arick, Theresa King, Pat and Paul Gigliotti, Nola and Ivan Carli and Dan Skorcz (driver). 

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Ethics Commission Alleges Conflict Violations by West Stockbridge Chief
04:45PM / Wednesday, September 18, 2019
WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The Enforcement Division of the State Ethics Commission on Wednesday filed an order to show cause alleging that West Stockbridge Fire Chief Peter Skorput, a former Select Board member, committed multiple conflict-of-interest law violations, including setting stipends for himself, his daughter and his nephew; voting as a Select Board member to reappoint himself fire chief; and terminating a firefighter who had filed a complaint against him.   According to the order, shortly after Skorput was elected to the Select Board in 2013, a West Stockbridge official contacted the town's counsel about conflict-of-interest law exemptions available to Skorput

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'Voices for Recovery' Event Set for Saturday in North Adams
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:03AM / Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A sign on the lawn of North Adams City Hall advertises the event.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The bracelet on Susan Cross' wrist says it all: "Stamp out stigma."

Cross showed her bracelet to Mayor Thomas Bernard on Tuesday afternoon as she and Bernard chatted about the upcoming Voices for Recovery walk and celebration, set for Saturday, Sept. 21, from noon to 4 p.m. at Colegrove Park.

Cross is a prevention and recovery program associate with the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition; joining her and Bernard at City Hall was Barb Reeves, a volunteer at the coalition's Beacon Recovery Community Center, which is officially hosting the sixth annual event for the first time

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