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Sunshine, Warm Temps Finally Arrive in the Berkshires

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After a rainy spring, this weekend might finally feel like summer in the Berkshires.
 
By the way, the feeling that it was raining all the time was not in your head: The National Weather Service out of Albany, N.Y., reports that "the last time Albany had three days or more of dry weather without a minimally a trace of precipitation was March 24-27." And preliminary data for Pittsfield shows that there was measurable rainfall nearly every day of the month of May.
 
But that's in the past.
 
The Weather Channel — which has ironically changed its logo to say "The Water Channel" because of all the rain and flooding in the South and Midwest — predicts Friday, Saturday and Sunday all will be sunny with highs around 80. Everyone else seems to agree that this weekend is going to be beautiful.
 
So this would be a good weekend to catch up on mowing the lawn or finally planting the garden. Or catch a baseball game; the North Adams SteepleCats are home Friday night at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. and the Pittsfield Suns are home Friday at 6:30 p.m. The region's farmers markets are all open now on Saturday mornings (North Adams, Williamstown, Pittsfield and Great Barrington).
 
And there are some fun outdoor events scheduled for this weekend, including the First Fridays ArtsWalk on Friday night in PIttsfield, the Rhubarb Festival in Lenox and Matthew Noble Day in Sheffield on Saturday, and the Old Mill Trail celebration in Hinsdale on Sunday. Check out our calendar of events page for all the details.
 
Get out and enjoy the gorgeous weather — and don't forget the suncreen!

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North Adams Council Passes $41M Budget for Fiscal 2021

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council approved a $41 million budget for fiscal 2021 on Tuesday along with using close to $300,000 in reserve funds despite concerns expressed by several councilors.
 
The total amount to be raised is $40,939,756, up $134,218, or 0.33 percent, from last year. Some $11,369.776 has already been spent over the past three months through continuing appropriations caused by delays in the state budget because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. 
 
"This is now coming on really six months of a budget process," said Mayor Thomas Bernard. "We typically start talking about the budget with the Finance Committee in March, and this year we had our first conversation in late April because following the shutdown at the state and local levels, there was just so much uncertainty ... it made sense to pursue several months of continuation budgets, with the goal of bringing forward this budget now for you in October."
 
The budget on its own did not generate much discussion overall but the use of $320,427 in reserve funds to offset the amount to be raised by taxes did.
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