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Pine Cobble School and Northshire Bookstore will host their second annual collaborative book fair on the Pine Cobble campus from Nov. 28-30 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5:30 p.m. daily. The fair is open to the community.

Biz Briefs: Pine Cobble School, Northshire Bookstore to Host Book Fair

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By the book

Pine Cobble School and Northshire Bookstore will host their second annual collaborative book fair on the Pine Cobble campus from Nov. 28-30 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5:30 p.m. daily. The fair is open to the community.

This event includes a specially curated selection of books for all ages. Books are thoughtfully chosen by Cynthia Quinones, Pine Cobble's literature ambassador, and the Northshire staff. Northshire Bookstore has won national awards for their quality selection and service.  

Books will be sorted into categories, with selections for very young children, picture books, early chapter books, middle grade books, young adult, adult fiction, and a few specialty books. All will be gift-worthy. Twenty percent of all proceeds will go to Pine Cobble's library.

During fair hours, shoppers can browse the collection in Pine Cobble's reception room, at 163 Gale Road in Williamstown. They will place an order using a simple form. All orders will be sorted into individual bags, then brought to the school for an early December pickup.

Shopping from independent bookstores like Northshire keeps money local, supports neighbors, requires less packaging, and creates a smaller carbon footprint. IndieBound, an association of independent bookstores notes that if one spends $100 at a locally-owned business, $52 of that stays in your community, versus $13 at a national chain and $0 from an online retailer. Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.


Tree time

The Horst family is re-entering the retail Christmas tree market with cut-your-own and pre-cut trees at its second farm location in North Pownal, Vt. Formerly Rudd’s Tree Farm, it has long been a favorite spot for many Berkshire residents to cut their own trees. Now Mt. Anthony Tree Farms, it will re-open to the public this season on Fridays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Dec. 16. Mt. Anthony Tree Farms’ Pownal location is at 3583 VT-346, North Pownal, VT 05261. Call 802.447.0660 visit the website.

While pre-cut trees will be available, this will primarily be a cut-your-own operation. Mt. Anthony Tree Farms will offer fir, both fraser and balsam, up to 8 feet, and saws, tree-wrapping for easier transport, and cut-your-own trees for $50, regardless of height. Pre-cut trees are priced individually.

The Horst family has been growing Christmas trees for the wholesale market for nearly 50 years. For 12 of those years, they also opened their Bennington farm for cut-your-own sales. But as a weekend business, there was conflict between the needs of a young family and the needs of customers. Now, almost 20 years later, the Horst’s two children are young adults and play an active role in the family’s tree operation. Jessica, 27, helps with social media and web design, while Fritz, 29, is involved in all phases of production and sales. 


Sharing the love

Hillcrest Educational Centers is participating in Subaru of America's 11th annual Share the Love campaign. Subaru will donate $250 to charity for every new Subaru vehicle purchased or leased at more than 628 participating Subaru retailers nationwide, including Berkshire County's Haddad Subaru. Along with a handful of national charities, Subaru retailers can add local charities for customers to support. Thanks to Haddad Subaru, Hillcrest Educational Centers is the hometown charity to which Haddad customers can donate.

A top Berkshire County employer Hillcrest Educational Centers is a private not-for-profit organization, providing therapeutic treatment and special education to children and adolescents with unique psychological and learning needs, in Berkshire County and the Northeast. Campuses include a day student academy and three residential schools. They are also a resource for a broad range of psychological services, counseling and evaluations for individuals,families and schools in Berkshire County through Hillcrest Community Support Services.


Wicked suite

Berkshire Bank has launched of its Wicked Suite Giveaway. The annual giveaway offers a unique game-day experience for veterans of the U.S. Military. The giveaway drawing will be open until Feb. 12 and will award four winners with two tickets each to the Berkshire Bank and NESN (New England Sports Network) All-Access Game Day Experience at TD Garden in Boston on March 30, 2019.

The Game Day Experience includes watching the Boston Bruin’s hockey game in the NESN suite as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of NESN’s production facilities at the arena. To learn more about the Wicked Suite Giveaway and for complete rules, visit the website.


Primary care recognition

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and Southwestern Vermont Health Care's five primary care practices in Vermont — SVMC Deerfield Valley Campus in Wilmington, SVMC Internal Medicine in Bennington, SVMC Northshire Campus in Manchester, SVMC Pediatrics in Bennington, and SVMC Pownal Campus in Powna — have achieved recognition for providing personalized, effective, and efficient primary care. The medical practices are now designated as Patient Centered Medical Homes by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

The primary care medical home program identifies practices that promote partnerships between individual patients and their personal clinicians. A team of doctors, nurses, and other allied health providers oversees each patient’s care. The team ensures that care for all the patient's health needs is coordinated across the health care system.

To receive recognition, a practice must demonstrate its ability to meet six key standards of the Patient Centered Medical Home model, which was developed by the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Osteopathic Association. The areas include access to care, using tools to identify patients and their information; planning and managing patient care; providing self-care tools; tracking and coordinating care; and a system for measuring and improving performance. Each standard has several subsections. Practices must resubmit for consideration every year.


PTA approval

Berkshire Community College's Physical Therapist Assistant program has been approved by their accrediting body, CAPTE, to accept an annual cohort of students instead of the current biannual offering. This means that BCC will admit an annual class of 20 students every year.  Currently, BCC offers seats to 26 every other year.

Overall this increase in the number of potential students to 40 over a two-year span would allow for 14 more students to find seats in the program who would have otherwise been waitlisted. Spring classes begin on Jan. 22, but the next PTA cohort will begin in the fall of 2019. For more information, email Michele Darroch.

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Williamstown's Racial Equity Committee Discusses Core Principles

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee on Monday discussed a statement of principles to guide the group's work as it seeks to work for justice in the college town of 7,700.
Among those principles: a recognition of the current injustice.
"We are beginning from the assumption that, like every other community in the U.S., our town and its residents are impacted by racism," the fourth paragraph of a seven-paragraph draft document reads. "Our work is to discover if our town's institutions and rules (policies, laws and regulations) deliberately or inadvertently encode such inequalities. Our goal is not to assess blame, but to seek accountability where appropriate and change where needed."
Committee members Aruna D'Souza and Kerri Nicoll developed the draft. And although there was no formal vote to adopt the language on Monday, there appeared to be general agreement that the pair had captured the spirit of the committee.
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