Wednesday July 4, 2012

NASA astronaut Dan Burbank, who served as flight commander aboard the International Space Station last winter, is on a very different mission in the Berkshires this week. He and his family are spending the week in the Lenox area, attending all of James Taylor’s Tanglewood performances and touring local sites such as the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Stockbridge Library, the Red Lion Inn and the Blantyre resort. Story Body:

NASA astronaut Dan Burbank, who served as flight commander aboard the International Space Station last winter, is on a very different mission in the Berkshires this week. He and his family are spending the week in the Lenox area, attending all of James Taylor’s Tanglewood performances and touring local sites such as the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Stockbridge Library, the Red Lion Inn and the Blantyre resort.

Burbank is accompanied by three NASA administrators, including Smith Johnston, the medical director of the space agency.

It turns out Burbank may be returning in the fall for a multimedia community presentation on life in outer space at a location to be determined. As a Taylor fan who has taken the singer’s online guitar lessons, he was on the other end of a live NASA satellite link last Jan. 30, connecting him with the singer and his family at their town of Washington home studio. He and Taylor shared some guitar riffs and Burbank offered a live from space tour of the International Space Station, including a demonstration of weightlessness.

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4-H Fair Book contest winner: Nine-year-old Fiora Caligiuri-Randall, of Lee, is the winner of the Berkshire County 4-H’s 2012 Fair Book Cover Contest.

4-H Fair Book contest winner: Nine-year-old Fiora Caligiuri-Randall, of Lee, is the winner of the Berkshire County 4-H’s 2012 Fair Book Cover Contest.

Fiora’s artwork, above, will be displayed on the hundreds of copies of the book that is distributed throughout Berkshire County and the Pioneer Valley. It will also appear on the online version of the book.

"We open the contest up to anyone between the ages of 5 and 18 to enter artwork for the cover," 4-H Extension Educator Angelica Paredes told the County Fare.

The book is a resource for any youth who wants to enter the fair.

"You do not have to be a 4-H’er to enter the fair," Paredes said.

To enter, one just needs to be between the ages of 5 and 18 and "create, make, grow or care for your entry yourself," Paredes said.

If you are interested in picking up a copy of the book, you can call the 4-H office at (413) 448-8285 or you can go to www.mass4h.org to print off the entry forms and look at the book.

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Seen and heard: A few notes of interest throughout the Berkshires this week Š To make her guest appearance at Tanglewood with James Taylor on Monday night, Taylor Swift flew into the Pittsfield Municipal Airport. For her fans in Pittsfield who didn’t see her perform, you could say that you were only a few miles away from her! Š USA Today listed the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade as one of its Top 10 Independence Day parades. Š Readings of the Declaration of Independence throughout the Berkshires will have some pretty big heavy-hitters. At 3 today during the free part of Shakespeare and Co.’s Fourth of July celebration (at 70 Kemble St., Lenox), Richard Dreyfuss, Gov. Deval Patrick, Sen. Ben Downing and District Attorney David Capeless will be special guests and readers. At 1:30 today in Williamstown on the lawn of the Williams College Museum of Art, actors Heather Lind (HBO’s "Boardwalk Empire") and Finn Wittrock (Broadway’s "Death of a Salesman") will read the Declaration. Comedian Lewis Black will read the British reply, and something tells us that’s going to be good.

County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers. Visit the County Fare blog at www.berkshireeagleblogs.com/countyfare.