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TONIGHT! The Berkshire Eagle Conversation Series

Next Eagle Conversation Series: 'Coming of Age with Ambassador Madeleine May Kunin'

An international ambassador. A professor. A writer. Madeleine May Kunin, the first woman governor of Vermont, is returning to Pittsfield. Returning? Yes, as Kunin is a graduate of the Pittsfield High … more

Thought for the day 

“I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house.” — NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, American author (1804-1864)

The Greeting

Monday, Sept. 23, 2019

Good morning, Berkshires! Welcome to fall! That means it must be time to fall back. Or is it fall forward? Or springing into fall? Whichever it is, don't worry about it, because you don't have to change your clocks until 2 a.m.  Nov. 3.  Plenty of time to worry about that later.

Before I get to the news, let me tell you a tidbit more about Radically Rural, a summit that I attended last week in Keene, N.H. The intensive seminars pushed a major point to community leaders and the media: The answers to our common rural problems are out there, and through sharing of resources, hard work and data-driven research, we can find them together.

To that end, let me ask you two questions
* What do you think are the three biggest hurdles that are holding back Berkshire County from flourishing in all sectors?
* Based on your experience, where have you seen a substantially similar region that's succeeding (anywhere in the U.S.), and what are they doing that we are not?

For example, is abolishing poverty in the county the answer? Who's doing it right? What about getting everyone into a home of their own? How about stopping the flow of drugs, and the accompanying violence or crime? Please email me and let me know what's on your mind. Just like the truth, the answers are out there (that's an "X-Files" reference, in case you're a millennial).

But enough about the future! Here's the news ...

LOGGING ON: Forestry to some; logging to others, the divisve practice of taking down trees has prompted a bill before the state Legislature. Our Larry Parnass explains here, and puts a face on the land and the people who use it, here.

MORE THAN A BIT OF A PICKLE: Fermentation takes many forms, as seen and tasted at the fifth annual Berkshire Fermentation Festival on Sunday in Great Barrington.

ETHICS VIOLATIONS LEVIED: The West Stockbridge fire chief says a failure to file paperwork has led to lies and exaggeration about him and his tenure as the leader of the Fire Department.

THE SMELL OF MONEY: In Berkshire County, money does grow on trees; but, cannabis and hemp carry a distinctive smell, and some neighbors to commercial sites are sick and tired of the skunky scent that wafts into their homes.

RISING FROM ROCK BOTTOM: At an event focusing on substance-use recovery, some speak from a place of understanding, in the hopes that they can pull their fellows up from the dark depths of the disease called addiction.

In many countries, all over the world, newspapers and other media are run by the government, or a king. For example, in one of these countries, a member of royal family can commit an act of torture, and then whitewash the horrific event.

None of us want the government deciding what's important for the public to know about. Subscribe or renew your subscription to The Eagle today, to help play your part in sustaining a local industry that's important enough to be venerated in the First Amendment of our Constitution.

Very best,

Noah Hoffenberg 
Berkshire Eagle online editor

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The News

Inside the debate over timber-cutting on one state forest tract in Northern Berkshire

FLORIDA — When Stanley L. Brown was a boy in the late 1930s, sweet things drew him to meadows a few miles from the family homestead in the town of Florida. "That was pretty much open, and we … more

House bill would restrict commercial logging in Massachusetts forests

PITTSFIELD — Arguments for and against a bill that would restrict logging in Massachusetts state forests will be heard Tuesday in Boston by a panel led by a Berkshire County lawmaker. The Joint … more

'Woodlands' project to elect officers, but lacks core funding

People who shaped a one-of-a-kind forest resources project gathered this week around rustic tables in a ski lodge for their final session, a year after their vision became state law. The next time … more

'It's either extinction or action': Across Berkshires, students demand action on climate change

The volume and passion in voices ringing out all around Berkshire County on Friday might make one think the fate of the world is in the balance. And from what they were saying, it very well might … more

West Stockbridge fire chief in ethics probe says he's victim of 'exaggerations, lies'

WEST STOCKBRIDGE — Under a cloud of accusations of financial and nepotistic impropriety, the town's Fire Chief says he didn't know all the rules and is the victim of "exaggerations and lies" … more

Odor fears take root in the Berkshires with pot growth proposals

GREAT BARRINGTON — In 2016, the town of Franklin's health department kept getting reports about possible dead skunks near the Happy Tails Doggy Daycare. more

At Voices for Recovery event, tales of addiction, pain - and hope

NORTH ADAMS — North Adams paramedic Stephen Murray has responded to more than 100 overdose calls in his five-year career. Until Saturday, those people he has revived have been some of the few … more

In 'the happiest courtroom' in the state, 18 become US citizens

STOCKBRIDGE — Denys Escobar has lived in the United States for 25 years. When her green card was up for renewal, she decided that it was time to become a citizen. "That way, I can vote," she … more

From kombucha to pickle ice pops: Berkshire Fermentation Fest's 5th year

GREAT BARRINGTON — Kimchi, kombucha, sriracha and dill pickle ice pops tantalized taste buds on the toasty-warm last day of summer.This year, Ski Butternut hosted Sunday's fifth annual … more

The Weather


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Berkshire Business Insider

Executive Spotlight: Kay McMahon, co-owner EduKaytion Golf, golf instructor

It might seem difficult, but learning how to swing a golf club properly isn't as hard as it looks. The key to mastering the proper form lies in the method of instruction, says Kay McMahon, a former … more

Hometown? Without solutions, Berkshire County's worker housing shortage may slow economic growth

GREAT BARRINGTON — Finding a $300,000 home for sale in South County can feel like a quest for the Holy Grail.Lots of people have heard about it, many are searching for it, but few have seen … more

Job fair for workers ages 50-plus to be held Monday

A job fair targeted at hiring workers ages 50 and older will be held Monday at the Berkshire Athenaeum.The free event is open to the public and will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the library, 1 … more

The Poll

The Landscape

How are we doing?

We'd love your feedback on the newsletter. Email your thoughts and suggestions to nhoffenberg@berkshireeagle.com.

The Plan

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Berkshire Calendar: Check out what's happening today, tomorrow and this weekend!


The Snap

Shrubs in many different flavors, by Bauman’s Best Botanicals out of Boston, for sale and samples during the fifth Berkshire Fermentation Festival held Sunday at Ski Butternut in Great Barrington.

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