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North Adams Shop Offers Geological 'Treasures'

Staff ReportsiBerkshires
Update, Oct. 11, 2012: The rock shop closed Oct. 5 after being open less than a month. Owner Marcia Brown told the North Adams Transcript that a lack of paying customers led her to shut the doors before getting into financial trouble.

Marcia Brown is opening Berkshire Geological Treasures in the Oasis Plaza. The shop features stones, crystals, fossils and related merchandise. Saturday's grand opening features free raffles.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — For years, Marcia Brown and her husband, Mark, have been bringing interesting bits of the planet back from their vacations.

Now they've turned their hobby into a business — Berkshire Geological Treasures. The shop in the Oasis Plaza on American Legion Drive opens Saturday at 10 a.m. with a ribbon cutting and free raffles.

"There's nothing like this in the area," said Brown on Friday. "It's something my husband and I have thought about for a couple years."

The shop offers treasures such as geodes, fossils and agates, children's items like a dinosaur "dig" kit, and Lucite merchandise from jewelry to staplers with real bugs trapped inside.

Overseeing the little shop is door-greeter Matthew, a mannikin clad in treasure-digging gear. (Her husband's idea, said Brown.)

"We haven't had gone out digging, but every time we're on the beach or walking in the woods we're picking up rocks or looking for crystal," said Brown. That includes trips they make to California a couple times a year. It's become such a tradition that their children and grandchildren are always eager to see what they've brought back.

The shop itself was put together in about two weeks, after Brown learned that T&T Tailors had left the plaza. The store was approved by the Redevelopment Authority on Monday night.

"It was a lot of work but we're excited," said Brown.

The store is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 to 7; Sunday, noon to 6; and Monday and Tuesday, 10 to 4.

Brown thinks the location is a good one — both Boston Sea Foods and Whitney's Liquors draw a lot of traffic.

"We've had people just walking in curious as to what's going on," said Brown. "I had to tell them we're not open yet."
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New North Adams Taxi Service Begins Operations

By John DurkaniBerkshires Staff

Guy Cariddi demonstrates how the driver can use the tablet to communicate with the dispatcher and use other features, including GPS.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A new taxi service began operations Thursday morning.

Guy Cariddi's Tunnel City Taxi received three city taxi cab licenses on Tuesday after months of planning and hit the road Thursday.

"It's taken a few months to put the program together," Cariddi, who also owns Cariddi's Autos on Curran Highway, said on the company's first day. "We didn't rush into it, we wanted to make sure we had all the latest and greatest as far as computer programming goes."
Cariddi said each of his three taxis — a 2003 Ford Windstar, a 2004 red Ford Free Star and a 2000 white Jeep Cherokee — are equipped with a tablet and GPS that are connected to a dispatcher. The dispatcher can quickly locate the closest cab to send out and can monitor each trip.

In addition, the driver can use a touchscreen to communicate with the dispatcher and a program will map out the route and determine the price prior to the ride.

Cariddi said the progression from Tunnel City Transport, which has run as a livery service in North Adams for about three years in conjunction with the BerkshireRides Program, felt that this next step was "a natural next progression."

Cariddi stands next to the 2003 Ford Windstar.
"Our goal is just to provide good quality service that people can rely on," Cariddi said.
This service, in addition to the taxis, now expands with trips as far out to Albany, N.Y., and Bradley international airports, as well as both the Springfield and Albany train stations and other local transportation centers.
Cariddi said the next move for the business is to upgrade its payment service to include debit and credit cards.
Tunnel City Taxi is available for on-call service from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily, with day-advance car reservation service from 4 a.m. through midnight and then 7 p.m. until midnight, and can be reached at 413-663-8294 (663-TAXI).
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