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Berkshire Humane Society’s Woofstock, an annual 5K Run and Downtown Dog Walk celebrating people and their pups, will be held Sunday, Sept. 8, at The Common in Pittsfield.

Berkshires Beat: Woofstock 2019 to be Held at The Common in Pittsfield

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Woofstock 2019

Berkshire Humane Society’s Woofstock, an annual 5K Run and Downtown Dog Walk celebrating people and their pups, will be held Sunday, Sept. 8, at The Common in Pittsfield. Runners will be timed by Berkshire Running Center, and walkers will stroll along North Street to help raise awareness for the shelter's mission. Leashed canine companions are welcome during both events. Afterward, participants and supporters are invited to enjoy family-friendly activities, canine games, food trucks, music, and raffles.

All participants are encouraged to collect pledges to benefit homeless animals, and registration includes a free online crowdfunding tool. BHS receives no state or federal funding and depends solely on the support of its community to care for shelter animals and to fund more than a dozen programs and services that benefit people and pets. Some of these programs and services include: Pet Food Bank, The SafePet Program, Humane Education, Ken Freeberg Fund, Purradise, Catwalk Boutique, vaccine clinics, low-cost spay/neuter assistance, Family Dog School, foster care, and the surrender and adoption of companion animals.

"We have an ambitious goal this year," said John Perreault, executive director for BHS. "We want to see 250 people register for $25, which would be a record turnout for Woofstock. Our expenses are on the rise. Surrenders are up this time of year, and we’ve had a number of pets in need of extra medical attention – like Sophia, the pit bull that was abandoned in our outdoor pen overnight last month. Our events help us care for dogs like Sophia. We really depend on our community’s compassion."

Online registration is strongly encouraged. Pre-register for a minimum of $60 by Aug. 20 and secure a Woofstock T-shirt. Dog bandanas will be given out to dogs while supplies last. Day-of registration begins at 9 a.m. with the 5K Run kicking off at 10 a.m. and the Dog Walk following at 11 a.m. For a complete schedule, visit the website.


Pownal Pop-Up, Town Tag Sale

Discover Pownal will host the inaugural Pownal Pop-Up and Town Tag Sale, to be held on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in multiple locations around town. The event is open to individual sales at private homes, businesses who welcome customers, and individuals who prefer to be placed at one of the communal sites. All kinds of vendors, including food vendors from neighboring towns, are welcome. Food vendors will be open from noon at a location to be announced. Music makers are encouraged.

Sellers are asked for a registration fee of $5. The fee will go towards the marketing, signage, maps (both hard copies and a google map), garbage bags, and a directory of all the participating sales, businesses, and vendors. The fee for food trucks is $20. All leftover monies collected will be donated to Bennington County Meals on Wheels. The large spaces that have currently signed on to host the group sales are Harwood Homestead on Cedar Hill Road, Faith Christian Fellowship on Main Street, a private home large yard owned by Jeff Egan on North Pownal Road, and the Town Park on Center Street. Registration forms can be found online.

The idea came from a conversation with the seniors who hold a yearly sale at the Firehouse on North Pownal Road. There will be no charges for the seniors who participate in that leg of the sales. The one "rule" is to leave your space as you found it. Pownal Proud has been working hard to clean up littering in Pownal.


Volunteer Child Advocates needed

18 Degrees, formerly Berkshire Children and Families, is looking for people who would like to be a court-appointed special advocate. Court-appointed special advocate volunteers advocate on behalf of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. Their best-interest advocacy helps ensure that children are safe, have a permanent home and have the opportunity to thrive.

CASA volunteers are required to participate in a 30-hour training, which is held at 18 Degrees’ main office at 480 West St. For more information or an application, contact Amy Guachione at 413-448-8281, ext. 246 or by email.

18 Degrees serves people and families in our communities — whether they are families by birth, choice, or circumstance. Services respectfully provide the support people need to be able to discover possibilities that may not otherwise be clear.


Skin Cancer screenings

Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, in partnership with Dr. Lixia Ellis, a board-certified dermatologist of Dartmouth Hitchcock Putnam Physicians and with the American Academy of Dermatology, will offer a free full-body skin screening from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 14, at SVMC Dermatology, 140 Hospital Drive, Suite 205, in Bennington, Vt. An appointment is required. Leave a message including your name and daytime telephone number at 802-440-4264 to schedule an appointment. Appointments fill quickly based on the order of calls.

While open to anyone, the screenings are offered especially for people with no insurance or with high deductibles. Those who have risk factors for skin cancer, have never had a screening and want to learn more about preventing and recognizing skin cancer are especially encouraged to schedule.

Those who are unable to schedule a screening during the free event are encouraged to request a skin cancer screening at their next primary care appointment. To find a primary care provider, visit SVMC's website.

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Pittsfield Gets 475K for Second Installment of Block Grant Funds

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield received its second allocation of Community Development Block Grants in the amount of $475,103.00.

The federally funded program is designed to help small cities and towns meet a broad range of community development needs.

In total, the city has received $1,264,444. The first allocation was accepted by the City Council on April 28, 2020. These two allocations are separate and in addition to the city's annual entitlement allocation.

At Tuesday's City Council meeting, Mayor Linda Tyer submitted an order to amend the CDBG annual Action Plan for the program year 2019-2020 to provide a special allocation of CDBG funds in the amount of $475,103.00.
This $475,103 allocation is proposed to be spent as follows:

  • $325,000 for small business assistance
  • $50,000 for human services
  • $129,000 for rental assistance
  • $50,103 for administration

Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Morandi and Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell questioned the $50,103 that is purposed to be spent in administration. The conversation got slightly heated as Connell questioned Community Development Director Deanna Ruffer on where the administrative costs go.

Connell asked Director of Finance & Administration/Treasurer Matthew Kerwood why salary line items remain the same come budget time when they received CDBG funding, wanting to know where that extra money goes.

He said this has troubled him for some time and that it seems like a black hole that some of these funds are going into. There has to be some decrease in line items for these positions if they receive these administrative costs from the grant, Connell added, because he knows that half of Ruffer and Program Manager Justine Dodds' salaries come from it.

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