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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

BFAIR Listed as Donation Organization on Amazon
02:36PM / Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Did you know that every time that you shop on Amazon you could be donating to BFAIR? By choosing BFAIR as your charity of choice on Amazon, 0.5 percent of all eligible purchases are automatically donated directly to BFAIR!   Follow these 3 simple steps below and help support BFAIR's Mission: To enrich the lives of people of all ages and abilities by providing positive life experiences and advocacy through distinctive, individualized, quality

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Jewish Women's Foundation of the Berkshires Awards New Grants
12:25PM / Wednesday, October 21, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Jewish Women's Foundation of the Berkshires announced grant awards totaling $38,700 for 12 local organizations.    Recipients needed to demonstrate the ability to maintain their programming during the pandemic and/or respond to newly-identified needs. The grants range from $2,000 to $3,500 and run for one year.   Funded programs fall into three of JWF's priority areas:   Increasing access to food, housing, and other essentials for Berkshire residents Berkshire Baby Box, Berkshire Community Diaper Project, Berkshire Hills Regional School District Project Connection, Berkshire Grown, Construct, Roots Rising (Formerly The Alchemy

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Berkshire Community College To Celebrate 60th Anniversary Virtually
10:19AM / Wednesday, October 21, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In 2020, Berkshire Community College (BCC) turns 60 years old.    To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the College has partnered again with Pittsfield Community Television (PCTV) to broadcast an hour-long anniversary special on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 6:00 PM.   Founded in 1960, BCC is the first community college established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.    The 60th celebration video is made up of a compilation of interviews with faculty and staff, a compilation of shorts about various academic programs, spotlights on families that met at BCC, a conversation with Robert Boland for whom the theatre at BCC is named, and a look at the

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Massachusetts Early Voting Runs Through Oct. 29
08:11AM / Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Today's Massachusetts mail and early vote update. We have now cleared 1 million early votes (1,001,725) and are at 29.6% of total 2016 turnout.

— Steve Koczela (@skoczela) October 20, 2020 A record turnout is expected for the 2020 election as states with early voting say they are surpassing numbers from just four years ago. The Washington Post reported that turnout is already at 70 percent of the total early voting numbers of 2016. Massachusetts on Tuesday has already seen more than 1 million early and mail-in ballots two weeks before the election; in 2016, the total for the election was 1,038,144.     Voting in advance or by mail is being encouraged to reduce

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East-West Passenger Rail Study Public Meeting
04:00AM / Wednesday, October 21, 2020
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will host the third public information meeting for the East-West Passenger Rail Study on Thursday, Oct. 22, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.   The meeting is being conducted via Zoom, and is being held to solicit public input and feedback on the analysis of the three final alternatives for improving connectivity and mobility in the East-West Corridor. A final draft report has been released for a thirty-day public comment period and can be found at  www.mass.gov/east-west-passenger-rail-study.   The conceptual planning study has been conducted over the past two years to examine the benefits, costs, and investments necessary to

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Great Barrington Women's Rally Attracts 200 Participants
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:38PM / Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Berkshire Pulse dancers wear 'vote' masks for their performance at the rally. 

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Women's Rally on Saturday drew more than 200 people to protest the attempt to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court prior to the presidential election. 

The event at Town Hall included music by Hoping Machine and Berkshire Batteria, speeches by the Mount Everett Social Justice League, and a performance by Housatonic dance studio Berkshire Pulse.  

Participants held signs reading phrases like "Girls just wanna have fundamental rights" and "A woman's place is in the resistance."

Mariana Cicerchia

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
02:35PM / Monday, October 19, 2020

Domestic Violence Community Action Plan

 

While the responsibility for domestic violence lies with the perpetrators of these crimes, we all play a role in creating a culture of respect and preventing violence. 

 

Help us raise awareness about domestic violence this month. Commit to action for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Below are some steps you can

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State Hosts Hearing on Health Care Cost Trends From COVID-19
02:15PM / Monday, October 19, 2020

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) will host the 2020 Annual Health Care Cost Trends Hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020.

The hearing, a public event at which policymakers and health care stakeholders convene to discuss challenges and oppor­tunities in improving health care in the Commonwealth, will be available live on the HPC’s YouTube channel. The virtual event will focus on examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health care system and residents of the Commonwealth and discussing considerations for the future. More information on the hearing, including a registration link, program booklet, and full agenda, can be found here.

The

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Trick-or-Treat, Halloween Events 2020
12:40PM / Monday, October 19, 2020

Halloween this year means extra precautions because of the novel coronavirus and towns are weighing safe ways for trick-or-treaters to celebrate the spooky holiday. This may mean community events, limited trick or treating or cancelations. Check back as the holiday approaches for what your town is doing. 

If you are going door to door, remember to dress appropriately, carry a flashlight and only visit homes with lights on in your neighborhood. Some special precautions to prevent COVID-19 transmission include wearing a cloth mask instead of a costume mask, reducing physical contact between people as much as possible, handing out candy with minimal or no contact such as in small bags

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MassDEP Issues Penalty to Cretecrew Concrete Services for Waste Site Cleanup Violations
12:21PM / Monday, October 19, 2020
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced it has assessed a $31,000 penalty to Cretecrew Concrete Services, Inc., a concrete foundation company based in Westfield, for failing to complete cleanup of a hydraulic oil spill that occurred at a construction site in Chicopee.   On Sept. 20, 2019, the Chicopee Fire Department notified MassDEP regarding the spill of up to 15 gallons of hydraulic oil associated with the failure of a hydraulic hose on a concrete form truck owned and operated by Cretecrew. The spill occurred at a construction site at 114 McKinstry Avenue in Chicopee.    MassDEP staff inspected the site that day and

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North Adams Harm Reduction Program to Merge Under Berkshire Health Systems
10:22AM / Monday, October 19, 2020
North Adams, Mass — Tapestry's Syringe Access Program will be merging with Healthy Steps under the Berkshire Health Systems medical umbrella effective Oct. 30.   "The opioid epidemic has had a significant impact on the Northern Berkshire community," Cheryl Zoll, Tapestry's CEO said. "Tapestry is committed to continuing its services in the Berkshires and this partnership with Berkshire Health Systems will allow this essential syringe access and disposal program to not only move forward but to integrate with other key healthcare services in the process."   The harm reduction program will continue to operate out of the same location, 6 West Main St.

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Donation Matching Challenge to Boost ACLU Voting Rights Work in Massachusetts
09:58AM / Monday, October 19, 2020
BOSTON — The ACLU of Massachusetts announced that Steve Kay and Lisbeth Tarlow have offered a matching challenge of up to $50,000 to fuel the ACLU's fight for democracy.   "November's election is not just critical for civil liberties; it may well determine the future of our democracy," Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts said. "The ACLU has been at the frontlines to protect and expand the right to vote for all eligible voters—and the funds we raise will help us keep up the fight. We hope that this significant gift will encourage other ACLU supporters to make an investment in civil liberties at this crucial time in our

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