Berkshires Beat: New Art Exhibit Now Open in SVHC Corridor Gallery
Art in the halls: Southwestern Vermont Health Care's Corridor Gallery welcomes a new exhibit by Dr. Stuart DuBoff and his wife Shelli DuBoff. The show features paintings by Ms. DuBoff and photographs by Dr. DuBoff. Dr. DuBoff is an ophthalmologist at Advanced Eye Care. He has been practicing medicine for 45 years and is affiliated with Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. Both artists concentrate on subjects related to Cuba and Latin America.
The pieces in this exhibit are for sale. Proceeds benefit the artists and the SVHC Auxiliary, which has given more than $1 million to support services and equipment upgrades to SVHC over the past 20 years.
In addition to the Corridor Gallery, the SVHC Auxiliary manages the hospital gift shop, Personal Emergency Response System operations, and independent vendor sales. For information about joining the SVHC Auxiliary, visit the website or call 802-440-6080.
Two-wheeling: The Town of Great Barrington has continued to build upon its welcoming atmosphere for cyclists by installing a bicycle repair and maintenance stand outside Town Hall. The Dero Bike Fixit stand, which was installed last month to complement the bike lanes on Main Street, supports Great Barrington's ongoing efforts to encourage more residents to bike rather than drive along town roads.
Cyclists in town now have access to an assortment of tools, including flathead and Philips head screwdrivers, 2-8 millimeter Allen wrenches, 8-32 millimeter box wrenches, two tire levers and a full service air pump with a gauge, all of which are attached to the Fixit stand. Great Barrington is home to several bike-friendly events. In August, cyclists participated in the Berkshire Bike-N-Fly, which included a 20, 35 and 52-mile fun ride.
Berkshire Bike and Board will host a flat tire clinic on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 10 a.m. at the Fixit Station, teaching attendees how the newly-installed stand can be a resource for cyclists of all ages and ability levels. On Sept. 17, riders from around the region will be on hand for the 41st Annual Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon, which begins in Great Barrington and winds through several neighboring communities. Then, On Sept. 23, the Berkshire Bike Council invites cyclists to ride the Berkshire section of the Western New England Greenway from Sheffield to Williamstown, or just a portion of the 57-mile route. The Western New England Greenway is a multi-segment bicycle route that stretches from southern Connecticut to the Canadian border.
Pretty city: Rebbecca Cohen, a North Adams City Council candidate, in an effort to maintain enthusiasm in City pride, is offering a "Keep the City Pretty" challenge. The challenge aims to encourage residents of North Adams to clean up their lawns and home fronts then post before and after photos on a Facebook page set up for the challenge.
There will be a first prize winner, which include gifts from local business owners Josh Fields Landscaping and Mount Williams Greenhouse. A second prize winner will receive a raffle basket full of local goodies.
The challenge is to be issued on Facebook, where also residents are offered the opportunity to cast their vote on their favorite lawn transformation. The challenge is set to end on the official day of the First Berkshire District Representatives special election primaries, Oct. 10. Check out the event on Facebook.
Help for Harvey: The Pittsfield legislative delegation is partnering with Rep. Mary Ann Perez of Pasadena, Texas, to aid the people of her district in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Rep. Perez discussed specific items that people need. Rep. Perez noted that there are still people in one of the few remaining shelters in her district and they are in need of hygienic supplies and that those that have returned home need help cleaning the debris and rebuilding. Additionally, low-income families are having to start the school year with fewer resources.
Officials note that it is important to give items that are specifically asked for. Fifty people in the one remaining shelter in that are need the following items: antiperspirant/deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand soap/hand sanitizer, feminine hygiene products, and shampoo/conditioner. Rebuilding items needed include: work gloves, safety glasses, sunscreen, mosquito spray, bleach and other cleaning supplies. School supplies are needed for all school age children pre-K through 12th grade.
Specific to the cleaning and rebuilding needs, Carr Hardware has offered to be a partner. Items can be purchased at any Carr location in Berkshire County and placed in collection bins in the stores. Anyone wishing to donate new items on these lists are asked to drop them off at 33 Dunham Mall, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by Friday, Sept. 15.
Monetary donations will also be accepted in order to cover shipping costs and/or filling needs not donated. Checks can be made out to Berkshire Harvey Help and dropped off at any Greylock Federal Credit Union location or mailed to Berkshire Harvey Help c/o Greylock Federal Credit Union 150 West Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Those interested in helping pack donated items are please contact Representative Farley-Bouvier's office at 413-442-4300.
Five times: The MassDOT Registry of Motor Vehicles has made a new, redesigned New England Patriots license plate available at all RMV Service Centers or online at http://www.massrmv.com. After paying a registration fee of $60, a license plate holder will then pay a special plate renewal fee of $40 every two years.
The updated New England Patriots license plate highlights the team's five Super Bowl championships with the specific emblem of "5X Champions." Below the emblem are the numerals of each Super Bowl that the Patriots have won and a star to celebrate each championship.
Proceeds from this plate benefit the New England Patriots Foundation. The foundation was established by Robert Kraft when he purchased the team in 1994 as a way for the organization to give back to the communities it calls home. The foundation's primary goal is to support initiatives that aid the youth and families of New England by assisting programs that foster cultural diversity, education, family and health while taking a special interest in youth programs that encourage education, creativity and development of character. The foundation will receive $28 of the $40 initial special plate fee, and the full $40 special plate fee at renewal. The foundation matches all of these donated funds to help support charities across the state.
The previously designed Patriots license plates will no longer be issued but will remain valid. There will be no duplication of plate numbers, as the numbering on the new plates will start where the old plates ended. Special plates are randomly assigned. Customers may not request a particular plate number or retain their current plate number.
It's a blitz: As part of the 50 year celebration of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, this year's eighth annual Berkshire BioBlitz will be held at Thomas & Palmer Brook in Great Barrington, starting at noon Saturday, Sept. 16, and ending noon on Sunday, Sept. 17. This year's event is hosted by Berkshire Natural Resources Council and co-sponsored by Dr. Augie's Science Education Programs and Berkshire Environmental Action Team. Thomas & Palmer Brook is located on Route 23 in Great Barrington directly across from the Koi Chinese Restaurant. There will be signs for parking.
The Berkshire BioBlitz is an opportunity for biologists, naturalists and environmentalists to work in collaboration with the general public. Our goal is to survey the Thomas & Palmer Brook land within a 24-hour period and to name as many living species we can find. This will give us an overall view of importance of a healthy, active ecosystem in our own community. There will be about 20 specialists on hand to explore, identify and educate, including specialists such as John Wheeler of the Berkshire Mycological Society (fungi), iNaturalist's Jason Crockwell (insects and mollusks), Charley Eiseman (co-author of Field Guide to Invertebrate Tracks and Signs), as well as renowned local birders Christine and Greg Ward.
There will be a variety of family-friendly, interactive, nature-oriented walks and conversations taking place throughout the day. You can drop in at anytime and spend as much time as you like. The staff of Berkshire Natural Resources Council will be there to lead and answer questions. Berkshire Wildlife Tracker and BEAT Program Manager, Elia Del Molino will lead a mammal tracking workshop and there will be an invasive species identification exhibit. After dark two programs will be taking place: a "Moth-Light" demonstration by Mark Mello of the Lloyd Center for the Environment and an "Owl Prowl." Information can be found online.
Doing good: Benevolence Applications for 2017-18 are available on the Pittsfield Rotary Club's website for grants for this program year. In 2016-17, the club distributed more than $93,000 in support that was raised through special events, fundraisers and donations during the year. The largest portion coming from the Rotary Club of Pittsfield Auction, which is held annually in January.
Many local nonprofit organizations or programs received grants in support of activities benefitting low-income and under resourced individuals serving primarily Pittsfield residents. Rotarians also participate in the Feed The Sheep program four times a year providing the meal for the community attendees. This fall they will also participate in their annual food drive at local supermarkets, businesses and schools. For more information on the Rotary Club of Pittsfield and how to apply for a Benevolence Grant, please feel free to visit their website.
Spiritual mission: St. John Paul II Parish in Adams is hosting a healing/spiritual mission titled "iMercy Mission" with Dominican Fr. William Garrott from Sept. 23-26 at Notre Dame Church, 21 Maple St. The schedule is as follows: 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, iMercy: The Father Blesses; 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, iMercy: The Son Heals; and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, iMercy: The Spirit Strengthens.
Garrott will speak at weekend Masses and officiate at the 8:30 a.m. weekday Masses. He will recite the rosary 30 minutes prior to each mission and hear confessions afterward. All are welcome.
ALICE in town: The Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires and the ALICE Training Institute have teamed up to bring ALICE Instructor Training to Pittsfield at 16 Melville St. on Sept. 18-19. This two day instructor course is designed to teach proactive survival strategies for violent intruder or active shooter incidents. The goal of the ALICE program is to provide individuals with survival-enhancing options for those critical moments in the gap between when a violent situation begins and when law enforcement arrives on scene. The registration fee for this training is $595 per person and can be completed online at www.alicetraining.com.
ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate and is a useful strategy for everyone: law enforcement, schools, universities, hospitals, businesses, and places of worship. Completing the ALICE Instructor Training course provides individuals with certification in ALICE Training and allows them the opportunity to bring ALICE strategies back to their places of work. Additionally, registrants will gain access to exclusive ALICE resources. ALICE is in line with recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Learn to skate: The Christmas Brook Figure Skating Club is starting a new session for the learn to skate program at the Peter Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Rink in North Adams on Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 5 to 5:50 p.m.
This session will run for eight weeks and includes 25 minutes of instruction and 25 minutes of free skate. Boys and girls ages 3 and up can learn the basics of skating. Rental skates are available. For enrollment forms and cost, visit the website.
Dance auditions: Albany Berkshire Ballet's 2017 The Nutcracker annual production will visit five cities throughout the Northeast. More than 600 young students will have the opportunity to dance alongside the company's professional dancers as they bring this holiday classic to more than 8,000 delighted audience members.
ABB is holding student auditions for the production’s Northeast tour, which will run from Nov. 25 through Dec. 17, 2017. Performances will take place in Burlington, Vt.; Pittsfield, Mass.; Springfield, Mass.; Lawrence, Mass.; and Albany, N.Y. The Pittsfield-area auditions will be held on Sunday, Sept. 17, at Cantarella School of Dance, 116 Fenn St., Pittsfield. The audition fee is $15. For more information, call 413-445-5382.
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