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BArT ninth-graders raised $1,000 for Puerto Rico.

Berkshires Beat: BArT Students Help Puerto Rico, Local Community

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BArT Student Ambassadors read to children at the Berkshire Museum literacy night as part of their community service efforts.

Helping out

Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School ninth-graders recently decided that they wanted to raise $1,000 to help with the devastation in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of hurricane Maria. The students put on a dance and hosted a "Penny Wars" event to reach their fundraising goal. The $1,000-plus donation was proudly sent to United for Puerto Rico last week.

In addition, the BArT Student Ambassadors have visited with the seniors at the Adams Council on Aging, read to children at the Berkshire Museum Literacy Night, and collected more than 500 items to be donated to local food pantries in North Adams and Pittsfield the week of Thanksgiving. Ms. Calderera's 10th-grade advisory has been hard at work collecting pet food and supplies to donate to the Berkshire Humane Society. Additionally, the senior class is coordinating a blood drive with the American Red Cross to take place at the school on Jan. 12 from noon to 5 p.m.


Christmas tree pickup

Boy Scout Troop 88 of North Adams will hold its annual Christmas tree pickup fundraiser on Saturday, January 6, starting at 11:30 a.m. For $5, the scouts will pick up any tree in North Adams, Clarksburg or Williamstown. To schedule a tree for pickup, either send an email or call 912-322-8180 or 413-662-2383 and leave your name, address and telephone number.


New bus stop

The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority will be adding a new bus stop to the North Adams Circulator Loop. Starting Dec. 18, the BRTA bus Route 34 will be servicing Mohawk Forest Apartments on the last bus of the night. This was considered and completed at the request of numerous customers trying to get to Mohawk Forest at the end of the BRTA's day. This customer request will have minimal effect on our service time, but will provide a great benefit to those using the bus.

BRTA Bus Route 34's last run of the night will leave Walmart at 6:30 p.m., go over Ashland Street, onto Main Street, up to Mohawk Forest, head to Route 2, connecting to state Route 7, with the final destination of Downing Parkway at 7:55 p.m. Specific schedule and/or route information may be obtained by calling the operations department at 800-292-BRTA, ext 1.


Free parking

In celebration of the holiday season, the City of Pittsfield will offer free parking throughout the city for the week of Monday, Dec. 18, through Friday, Dec. 22.  A message will be displayed on all parking kiosks.

As always, parking in the city is free in the evenings and weekends; there will be free parking on Christmas and New Year's Day. Please note that during this week of free parking, timed parking is still in effect and will be monitored.

As a reminder, overnight parking restrictions are in effect now through March 31. Parking is prohibited on any city street, sidewalk, or tree-line between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. to ensure that streets are properly plowed and sanded. If a snow emergency is declared, vehicles may park in the three-hour-only public parking spaces at the Columbus Street garage and on the fourth-floor at the McKay Street garage between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. During such an event, no vehicles will be permitted to park in any open, municipal parking lot between the hours of midnight and 7 a.m. to facilitate snow removal and sanding.


Kittredge nominations sought

The Dalton Community Recreation Association is seeking nominations for the Gib Kittredge Memorial Award, which will be presented at the 24th annual Gib Kittredge Auction and Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 6, at the Stationery Factory.

The Kittredge Award is given for outstanding service to our youth and programs of the community. It is named after Gilbert "Gib" Kittredge, who was a lifelong resident of Dalton and an active community member. Among other volunteer roles, he was director of the Pittsfield National Bank, the Berkshire Museum, the Community Recreation Association Inc., the Boys and Girls Club of Pittsfield, the Berkshire County Red Cross and the Pittsfield Country Club.

After his untimely death at the age of 45, the following was written about Gib in the Berkshire Eagle, October 8, 1970: “His friendliness, his easy relationships with everyone he came in contact with and his generosity of spirit came through on every level of his life.”

The deadline for nominations is Friday, Jan. 12. Nomination forms are available on the CRA website or at the CRA front desk. Nominations can be submitted by mail to CRA, 400 Main St., Dalton, MA  01226 or to by email.


Winter cleanup

The city of Pittsfield is reminding  property owners in Pittsfield to keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice for pedestrian safety. Property owners are responsible for clearing snow from paved sidewalks abutting their land or buildings within 24 hours from when snow has ceased to fall; property owners are also required to remove ice and/or treat icy conditions to a width of 36 inches.

Violations of this city ordinance will result in enforcement action, including fines to the property owner. For more information, please call the Health Department at 413-499-9411.


Cemetery closed

The Cheshire Cemetery Commission has declared the cemetery closed to burials for the winter. It will reopen for burials in the spring, likely in the latter part of April, as weather permits.


Jingle all the way

Jingle Bell Committee members Bruce and Nancy Mullen

The fourth annual Jingle Bell on Dec. 2 raised $130,000 for Southwestern Vermont Health Care. The evening began with a cocktail reception and a raffle for a pair of Von Bargen’s Jewelers diamond hoop earrings. The excitement continued with an elegant dinner and a live auction of eight premium packages, including court-side VIP box seats for the U.S. Open of Tennis in New York donated by Richard and Pamela Ader and a seven-day trip to Las Cabos, Mexico, donated by Dr. and Mrs. John and Marie LaPenta. Finally, the Putnam Challenge, a call to emulate the generosity of hospital founders Henry W. Putnam and his son, rounded out the evening’s program before hours of fun-filled dancing to the New York Players.

The proceeds from the Putnam Challenge are dedicated to the construction of an all new SVMC Deerfield Valley Campus. The new clinic will be located on the same site as the current one in Wilmington. In the model of the newly constructed clinic in Pownal, Vt., it will feature a covered drop off, spacious exam rooms, and on-site lab and X-ray services.



Peacemaker Award nominations sought

The Peacemaker Award is given annually to an individual or group in Northern Berkshire. The award, which originated as part of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, is made to persons who have contributed substantially to peace in our region. In general, the Peacemaker Award recognizes persons who have a history of working with people and/or neighborhoods and communities to provide for greater tolerance, understanding, and caring. While the award may be made to a person or group well known in the region, those making nominations are particularly urged to consider those who have worked hard and have made contributions without much recognition.

Past Peacemakers include Don Quinn Kelley, Mark Rondeau, Mark Lincourt, Pastor Dave Anderson, Al & Cindi McLain, and PopCares, Inc.

The MLK Jr. Day of Service Committee is also seeking new members interested in helping to plan the January 2018 event. To join the committee, call Liz Boland at 413-663-7588, ext. 19. To nominate a Peacemaker, pick up a form at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition office at 61 Main Street, Suite 218, North Adams or nominate online.

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New Police Chief Takes Command in Adams

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Chief K. Scott Kelley takes the oath from Town Clerk Haley Meczywor.  Kelley is the town's third police chief in a year.
ADAMS, Mass. — New Police Chief K. Scott Kelley says he "already feels at home" and is looking forward to spending time getting to know his officers. 
"The thing that I'm looking forward to the most is actually spending time with my officers," he said on Tuesday. "I can't say it enough, and I mean every word of it. I have learned throughout my years that the only way to succeed in leadership is to make sure that everyone under you has input. These officers know what is needed, what is wanted, where we need to go, what our goal should be."
Kelley was sworn in on Tuesday morning in front of Town Hall, the town's third police chief in less than year. He particularly thanked his immediate predecessor Troy Bacon, along with Town Administrator Jay Green and Selectmen Chairwoman Christine Hoyt, for ensuring a seamless transition in leadership. 
Bacon had been leading the force since July in an interim capacity following the retirement of Chief Richard Tarsa, a 36-year member of the Adams force. He had initially indicated interest in taking on the post permanently but declined late last year for personal reasons and returned to Indiana. 
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