Almost Time for Wilco
Wilco is set to take the stage in about an hour. The crowds around Mass MoCA are swelling and the anticipation for the big set is building. Check back later tonight for updates on attendance figures.
Jeff Tweedy prepared for his band's show by taking a swim — or several for that matter. Tweedy, along with other members of Wilco, hopped aboard a dunk tank earlier this afternoon. The money raised will go to local charities to support arts education.
Here's a picture of Tweedy bracing for impact.
|Todd Barry took to the Hunter Center stage at about 4 p.m... Had the crowd in stitches...
|Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche gave an explanation/demonstration of his drum installation at the Sol Lewitt .... Best moment came when Kotche looked at one of the drums and said, "Oops, looks like somebody bled on this one." Who said art wasn't supposed to be painful?|
|So some would argue golf might not be a sport, but how about an art form?? Wow, they really have just about everything to offer at MoCA this weekend.|
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1,000 Great Places From St. Stan's to ... the Elf Parlor?
The diocese may want to shutter St. Stanislaus' Church but the state says it's a "Great Place." The century-old Polish church was listed among the 1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts along with four other spots in Adams — Mount Greylock and the War Memorial, the Quaker Meetinghouse and the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace.
Nominations for the best cultural, historical and natural sites were solicited from across the state with the final list formulated in May. The full list was released then but announced in the State House on Monday, July 12.
We assume that St. Stan's had a lot of fans nominating it; more than 200 people have been participating in a vigil to keep the Diocese of Springfield from locking the doors and stripping the building of its stained glass, statues and paintings.
So what else in the Berkshires made the 1,000 Great Places? The usual suspects are there — Red Lion Inn, Tanglewood, Hoosic Tunnel, The Mount, Windsor Lake, Mass MoCA, Natural Bridge, Arrowhead, Hancock Shaker Village — along with the not-so suspected like North Adams' now legendary Jack's Hot Dog, Lee's Main Street and Williamstown's Field Farm.
But how did the year-old Elf Parlor, a coffeehouse in North Adams, wind up on a list that includes Faneuil Hall and the Clark Art Institute? We're guessing the same way St. Stan's did — lots of passionate fans willing to vote.
Find the full list of Great Places here.
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ABC News Features Cheshire's Madigan
Bennie Madigan at the opening celebration for the Susan B. Anthony Museum in February.
Cheshire's own Bernice Madigan, better known as Aunt Bennie, will be featured in a segment of ABC World News on Thursday night, July 1.
Madigan, who will turn 111 on July 24, is the oldest citizen in Massachusetts and is listed 49th oldest in the world by The Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group, which tracks so-called "supercentenarians," or those age 110 and older.
Madigan's niece Elaine Daniels was contacted by Boston Medical last week to see if the state's "superwoman" would be willing to be interviewed by the news program. Madigan has been a part of the Boston University School of Medicine's New England Centenarian Study, which is researching why some people live so long — and so well.
"She's used to all the interviews," said Daniels on Wednesday afternoon after alerting family and friends to Thursday's television appearance. Madigan, who is still active and alert, has been interviewed by local media and print publications, including iBerkshires, The Boston Globe and The Berkshire Eagle. She was recently interviewed for a feature in AARP Magazine and interviewed and filmed for the Center for Aging at the University of Chicago.
But the national television appearance had her a bit nervous, said Daniels. "She was worried her piano playing wouldn't be very good because she hasn't been playing much since being sick (recently). I told her not worry, they'd edit it."
A camera crew and an interviewer from Boston spent Wednesday afternoon at Madigan's home asking her about her life and to what she attributed her long life ("No kids, no stress" is her frequent rejoinder) and filmed her daily routine of walking, doing a puzzle, reading a paper and, of course, playing the piano.
Madigan will celebrate her 111th birthday with some 200 or so friends and relatives, many from her longtime home in Maryland. ABC World News airs at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 10.
Update: Madigan was featured in a story late in the broadcast about a new study by Boston University released Thursday that found 150 genetic variants particular to people age 100 older. Researchers believe clusters of these variants may indicate greater resistance, or delay, to the onset of age-related diseases. Madigan's been a participant in BU's aging study for a few years.
In the short video version of the story, the spotlight was stolen a bit by a younger woman of 104 in New Jersey who regularly drinks three glasses of beer and a shot of Black Label because "my doctor told me to." (News editors seem to love old people who drink and, especially, smoke cigars at advanced ages.)
Madigan and her niece, Elaine Daniels, are featured as the video cover on the ABC World News page; they're walking down the long driveway of Rolling Acres Farm. And Madigan talks a little and plays the piano - quite well, we might add. She had nothing to worry about.
We're having trouble loading the video but the link is here. We'll try to have it posted Friday.
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Lanesborough Elm Given Lofty Name
Third-grader Troy Massaconi looks
up at the tree he's named 'King Elmer.'
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The state's biggest elm tree now has a name suited to its majestic appearance: King Elmer.
Alice Spatz, co-chairman of the Lanesborough Tree and Forest Committee announced on Monday that the winner of the Name the Champion Elm Contest is Troy Massaconi.
Troy is a pupil in Anna Mello's third-grade class at Lanesborough Elementary School. The school's two third-grade classes participated in an Arbor Day event to measure the tree at the bottom of Summer Street to see if it could size up as New England's biggest elm. The committee awarded a book about trees to both of the classes that participated.
Each class submitted several names each to the committee, with Troy's being selected as the best fitting name for a champion.
According to the committee, "Therefore, from hence forth, this mighty Elm will be known as 'King Elmer.'"
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Projects Net $10.5M in Drinking Water Funds
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three Berkshire County projects are listed among priority funding in 2010 from the state's Drinking Water Revolving Fund. No county projects are listed for Clean Water Revolving Fund.
The biggest is $6,418,000 for new water storage tanks in Pittsfield.
Lenox will get $2,882,000 to improve water system connections with Stockbridge.
The Sheffield Water Co., which provides drinking water for parts of Sheffield, will receive $991,000 toward a new storage tank and system upgrades.
The revolving funds are being supplied through the state by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
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