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New Children's Clothing Store Opens in North Adams

By Justin SaldoiBerkshires Intern
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NORTH ADAMS — A veteran children's clothing discounter has set up shop in the downtown with the grand opening of Kids ... Deals in the L-Shaped Mall.

"Our philosophy is nobody should have to pay exorbitant prices for quality-brand children's clothes," said Cathy Cohn, the chain's president and founder on Wednesday as employees put the finishing touches on the new store's displays.

Kids ... Deals offers a wide variety of brand-name children's apparel up to 75 percent off retail prices. Brands such as The Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and Phat Farm in sizes for infants to 12-year-olds fill the space formerly occupied by Rent-A-Center.

Cohn says she can offer such steep discounts because of the way she acquires her inventory.

"I travel the United States looking for the best distributors to do business with so my customers get the best deals," she said. 

Cohn has a great deal of know-how when it comes to children's clothing with more than 30 years experience in the business. Fifteen of those years were spent operating her first business, Priceless Kids, which she started with her cousin Peter Elitzer, owner of Peter Harris Clothing. (Peter Harris is the parent company of Label Shopper, which recently opened a store in the mall building.)

Priceless Kids grew into a 32-store chain that gained wide popularity with parents in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and here in Massachusetts for its principle of selling brand-name children's clothes at discount prices. Cohn and Elitzer sold the chain off and in August 2006, Cohn opened first Kids ... Deals in Albany, N.Y., along the same principles of her first successful chain.

That first store didn't fare well. Cohn closed it in April after two years because of disappointing sales, according to The Business Review. However, two other Kids ... Deals are in operation in Malone and New Hartford, N.Y., and Cohn was upbeat about the chain's potential in the smaller North Adams market, saying the area had good demographics.

Kids ... Deal had its grand opening on Wednesday afternoon with a full staff of 12 employees from the area. Hours are weekdays from 10 to 9, Saturdays from 10 to 6, and Sunday, 11 to 5. The store will have first area sale, a "Winter Outwear Sale," beginning Aug. 14 with every winter jacket, coat and snowsuit priced at $15.99. For more information, call the store at 413-664-0454.
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'Dark Waters': 'They Were All My Sons'

By Michael S. GoldbergeriBerkshires Film Critic
"They were all my sons." — Joe, in Arthur Miller's "All My Sons"
Pogo's Walt Kelly capsulized man's inhumanity to man when he coined a cynical variation on U.S. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's 1813 missive to Army General William Henry Harrison, informing, after the victory at Lake Erie, "We have met the enemy and they are ours." Kelly's version, written on the occasion of the infamous McCarthy hearings, and since employed in anti-pollution demonstrations, reads, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
So, what do we do? A closing statement in Todd Haynes' beyond disturbing "Dark Waters," about one lawyer's crusade against the DuPont Co. for its long history of polluting the environment, apprises that 99 percent of all human beings on this Earth have traces of toxic PFOA, a "forever chemical" used to make Teflon, among other things, in their bloodstreams. But only the most naïve of us is truly startled by either this information or the studious, documentary-like divulgences that build up to it in Haynes' important muckrake.
Fact is, we've been poisoning humankind's well since first we learned how to make a profit out of it while concomitantly rationalizing, if bothering at all, that we'll worry about it later. Well, it's later.
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