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Sunshine, Warm Temps Finally Arrive in the Berkshires

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After a rainy spring, this weekend might finally feel like summer in the Berkshires.
 
By the way, the feeling that it was raining all the time was not in your head: The National Weather Service out of Albany, N.Y., reports that "the last time Albany had three days or more of dry weather without a minimally a trace of precipitation was March 24-27." And preliminary data for Pittsfield shows that there was measurable rainfall nearly every day of the month of May.
 
But that's in the past.
 
The Weather Channel — which has ironically changed its logo to say "The Water Channel" because of all the rain and flooding in the South and Midwest — predicts Friday, Saturday and Sunday all will be sunny with highs around 80. Everyone else seems to agree that this weekend is going to be beautiful.
 
So this would be a good weekend to catch up on mowing the lawn or finally planting the garden. Or catch a baseball game; the North Adams SteepleCats are home Friday night at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. and the Pittsfield Suns are home Friday at 6:30 p.m. The region's farmers markets are all open now on Saturday mornings (North Adams, Williamstown, Pittsfield and Great Barrington).
 
And there are some fun outdoor events scheduled for this weekend, including the First Fridays ArtsWalk on Friday night in PIttsfield, the Rhubarb Festival in Lenox and Matthew Noble Day in Sheffield on Saturday, and the Old Mill Trail celebration in Hinsdale on Sunday. Check out our calendar of events page for all the details.
 
Get out and enjoy the gorgeous weather — and don't forget the suncreen!

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Something New Under the Sun: Solarize Project Begins in North Adams, Williamstown

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Six years ago, the Solarize Williamstown initiative helped 79 homeowners add solar photo-voltaic panels to their properties.
 
Six years later, Solarize Plus looks to replicate and expand on that model thanks to more options, a wider pool of property owners, new technology and a greater need than ever to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
 
It seems like weekly new evidence is released about the threat of climate change, which the scientific community overwhelmingly agreed is fueled in part by human activity.
 
Just last week, a study by the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development found that in the next 20 years, U.S. coastal communities will need to spend more than $400 billion to defend property from sea-level rise. The price tag for Cape Cod's Barnstable County: $7 billion over 20 years.
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