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Downing's Next Step Is Solar Energy Firm
04:43PM / Monday, November 14, 2016
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BOSTON — Benjamin B. Downing, who has championed renewable energies during his 10 years in the state Senate, will join a solar energy company at the end of his term.

Nexamp Inc. announced on Monday that the Pittsfield Democrat, who did not stand for a sixth term, would be the solar contractor's new vice president of new market development.

"Ben's long history of public service will complement Nexamp's expert team of local development professionals," said Zaid Ashai, chief executive officer of Nexamp, in a statement. "He joins us at the most exciting juncture in our company's young history, and his ability to effectively communicate promising

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BNRC Releases Plan For Countywide Hiking Trail Network
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:29AM / Tuesday, October 04, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Natural Resources Council envisions a day when one can walk through a network of trails to each and every town in the Berkshires.   The organization has been working for the last couple years to do just that. The organization has raised $4.25 million toward the creation and maintenance of such a network.    "It is sort of a counterpart to the Appalachian Trail," President Tad Ames said, explaining that the network will allow someone to travel on foot the length of Berkshire County, stopping in at towns, staying a local hotels, while not having to carry food for a long trip.   The concept is something that's been done

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Some Berkshire Farms to Receive Aerial Crop Planting
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Tuesday, August 09, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Farms in Adams, Cheshire, Lanesborough, North Adams, Sheffield, West Stockbridge and Williamstown will be seeding a little differently this August.

Instead of establishing a cover crop by hand, a helicopter will plant winter rye grass seed from above.

The airborne cover-crop planting is being done through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation program.

Farms through the state applied to the NRC's Environmental Quality Incentives Program to take advantage of financial and technical assistance for a conservation practice that allows farmers to take full advantage of a cover crop.   Chenail Brothers Dairy Farm's Wallace

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Guest Column: Bans on Plastic Bags Gaining Ground
By Rinaldo Del Gallo, Guest Columnist
09:24PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016
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I am pleased to announce that at last night's town meeting (Monday, June 20), Adams banned single-use plastic bags. (Article 25). It was a remarkable unanimous vote by the members of the town meeting.
 
Recently, there have been a series of single-use plastic bag bans. There has been a ban in Lee, a ban in Lenox, and last night a ban in Adams. Lenox was done by the Board of Health. In Lee, the ban on single-use plastic bags was done by town meeting — where it won by a considerable margin. In a similar manner, Lee and Lenox banned the use of Styrofoam.
 
What is less commonly known is my role in these bans. The ban on Styrofoam and single-use plastic bags in Lee and

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Residents Urge Attorney General to Appeal Pipeline Court Ruling
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:44AM / Friday, May 27, 2016
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Williamstown resident Sam Smith was one of many who urged the office to appeal.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Environmental advocates want the attorney general's office to appeal a decision allowing Kinder Morgan's Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. to start construction on a pipeline in the Otis State Forest.   The group 350 Massachusetts sponsored a listening session with representatives of the office on Thursday to discuss a wide range of environmental and energy concerns.   The intent of the two-hour session at the Ralph Froio Senior Center was for those staff members to hear the concerns of Berkshire residents.   One message was clear: the residents want to

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Kinder Morgan Suspends Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline Project
Staff Reports,
05:35PM / Wednesday, April 20, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Kinder Morgan has suspended the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project, which was planned to cut through the Berkshires.   The company released a statement Wednesday evening announcing the suspension of work on the $3.3 billion project.   "As a result of inadequate capacity commitments from prospective customers, Kinder Morgan Inc. and its subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, have suspended further work and expenditures on the Northeast Energy Direct Project," reads the statement from the company.    The project was announced in 2015 and the company said it had received a number of commitments from local gas distribution

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Senate Candidate Del Gallo Takes Strong Anti-Pipeline Stance
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:32AM / Tuesday, April 19, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Rinaldo Del Gallo spent a long time getting the city to pass a ban on Styrofoam. And he's continued to press for a ban on plastic bags. Those type of environmental concerns have always been a priority.   Now he is running for the open state Senate seat, though he hasn't made the official announcement yet, and he didn't expect any difference in opinions among the other Democratic candidates when it comes the proposed natural gas pipeline project. But, he was wrong.   Both Adam Hinds and Andrea Harrington did not take a stance when asked during interviews with WAMC earlier this year, a move Del Gallo feels is

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Activist Protest Pipeline As Court Case Over Easements Begin
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:49PM / Friday, April 15, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A court case with the potential for massive long-term repercussions regarding natural gas pipelines began to play out Friday.

Outside of Berkshire Superior Court, around a hundred activists gathered to protest Kinder Morgan's plans.

The Texas-based pipeline company has two proposed routes cutting through Berkshire County. The Connecticut expansion is eyed to cut through Sandisfield and has become the subject of a lawsuit in which the corporation is seeking the ability to cut trees to begin construction on land the state constitution protects.   The company is seeking a two-mile easement through the Otis State Forest and believes under the

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