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Governor in Pittsfield For Rice Silk Mill Ribbon Cutting

Staff Reports
Gov. Deval Patrick stops by the Rice Silk Mill in Pittsfield this afternoon for a ribbon-cutting and a message about Gateway Cities (of which Pittsfield is one). We were at the mill 10 months ago when developers were getting ready to turn the derelict building into sweet apartments. Can't wait to see the changes.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that at least two instances of alleged sexual abuse by Boy Scout leaders in the Berkshires were found in the thousands of pages of confidential files ordered open by the Oregon Supreme Court.

Looking for some bargains? The state's auctioning off some $435,000 in unclaimed property on eBay beginning Saturday and running through Dec. 22. Some of the items, including a diamond ring worth $17,000 and a 300-year-old brandy snifter were on display in Springfield. You can catch them today in Worcester (from noon to 5) or wait until they show up on eBay.

There's still time to nominate someone for the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition's Fall Neighborly awards. Call Annie at 413-663-7588 to nominate someone; the awards will be presented next Wednesday, Oct. 24.

The Boston Business Journal has a pretty "hot" map: it shows where in the state the millionaires cluster. Dark red indicates fewer than 100 residents per million-dollar earner. Not surprisingly, the Berkshire millionaires are cluster in South County and Williamstown.

What they're up to: North Adams City Councilor John Barrett III, former longtime mayor of the city, has been in Virginia with two Mass mayors campaigning against his least favorite governer, Mitt Romney.  Diana Bonneville, a social studies teacher in the Southern Berkshire Regional School District in 1990s and a master's graduate of MCLA, is in the running for principal of the South Hadley High School.
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Follow-up To Viral '413' Music Video Features Berkshire Attractions

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When the music video "413" by Dr. Westchesterson went viral many in the Berkshires were wondering why we weren't included.

Well, the Doc made up for it in his followup, 'I'm from Western Mass,"  which was released Thursday evening. The newest video features locations throughout the county.

After Thursday's release, Dr. Westchesterson plans on hitting the road, which will take him to the Berkshires. He is scheduled to perform at Chameleon's Nightclub on Saturday, Nov. 24.

Westchesterson released the song on his YouTube station.

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Music Video About the '413' Goes Viral

Staff Reports
This caught our eye this morning on Masslive.com: A story about "Dr. Westchesterson's" hip hop paen to the awesomeness of Western Mass.

Since dropping on YouTube last Friday, the catchy "413" has gone viral with nearly 58,000 hits. 

Dr. Westchesterson claims to have fled Portland, Ore., after dispensing medical marijuana and now spends his time with select patients and working on his music career. He also says he graduated from Agawam High School ("Shake yourself from the senior prom, 'cause I come straight out of Agawam."), which he features in his video along with chillin' at Yankee Candle and shooting hoops at the Basketball Hall of Fame. Also getting shoutouts are Friendly's, the food court at the Holyoke Mall, UMass, Springfield, Dr. Suess and local eateries.

What's missing? Berkshire and Franklin counties, which has caused some griping from fans. On his blog, Dr. Westchesterson promises to remedy that oversight:

  When I read comments on my YouTube channel that certain people in Pittsfield and Greenfield and Holyoke were a little dissapointed that their particular little corners of W. Mass weren't represented in the video - it made me want to do one thing and one thing only.

Make another video that includes even MORE gems and hidden treasures of the 413.  Like the Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke.  And the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne.  And the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge.  And the inside of the womens' only dorms at each of the seven sister schools.  ;)

May we also suggest Jack's Hot Dogs in North Adams, Joe's Diner in Lee or the Highland or Teo's in Pittsfield? We've also got lakes, a natural bridge, trains, Norman Rockwell, the Berkshire Museum, Williams College, Tanglewood and the tallest mountain in the state.

"Put your hands in the air for the 413!"

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Great Barrington Ranked No. 1 In Small Towns

Staff Reports
Photo via Wikipedia / Anc516
Great Barrington has been named the best small town in the country.

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Smithsonian Magazine has ranked Great Barrington as No. 1 in its annual listing on the best small towns in the country.

The magazine characterizes the town as "big-city smart meets New England natural in an art-rich mountain setting." Even with a population of only 6,800 people, the Smithsonian writer raved about the downtown where one can get "anything you want."

But its "cozy" with scenic views. The writer cites the town's "devotion" to farming, historic mansions and art venues. The entire review can be seen here.

Great Barrington beat out runner-up Taos, N.M.,  followed by Red Bank, N.J. The neighboring state to the north popped in at No. 11 with Brattleboro, Vt.
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From 'Brothels' To The Berkshires

Staff Reports
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. —  The Berkshires have been a magnet for those seeking to enjoy the simple things in life, from the Shakers and their aesthetic frugality to the "masters of the universe" who built gilded mansions in its bucolic setting.

While sharing little in common, both groups sought renewal in both spirit and body with the land.

So it's no surprise that documentarian Pamela Boll selected the region for her new film, which will follow the latest seekers of land and spirit: a crop of local farmers working to connect people with the land and the region's growing industry in yoga and wellness.

Berkshire Film & Media Commission reports that the Oscar-winning documentarian will be in the county over the next few months researching the simplification of live and true happiness in "A Small, Good Thing."

Boll, who won an Academy Award in 2004 as co-executive producer of "Born Into Brothels," will be filming in Lenox, Great Barrington and Lee.

She told the film commission her latest film will be about "chucking the big life and pursuing what makes you truly happy."

"We will be filming Tim Durrin working at Kripalu and riding his bike around the area; Mark Gerow teaching a yoga class in Lenox and spending time with his family; Jen and Peter Salinetti at Woven Roots Farm in Lee; Sean Stanton at North Plain and Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington; and Dominic Palumbo at Moon in the Pond Farm in Sheffield."

Other documentaries she's been involved with include "Who Does She Think She Is?" "Connected," "In a Dream," "Our Summer in Tehran," and "Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors without Borders."
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