Berkshire 150 Enters Second Year: Community Wellness Program Promotes Exercise as Spring Commences

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Health Systems Wellness Program wants area residents to spring into the new season and improve their health and well-being through the second year of Berkshire 150. 
Berkshire 150 is a community wellness program promoting exercise over a 6-week period, with the goal of exercising at least 150 minutes a week. That's the number of minutes recommended by the Centers for Disease Control to help maintain a healthy lifestyle, in addition to eating the right foods.
Berkshire 150 runs from Sunday, April 17 to Saturday, May 28 and registration is currently open. Individuals can register at any time, even after the program starts, while teams must be registered by Sunday, April 17th. To register, visit the Berkshire Health Systems website at
Individuals and teams can begin submitting their minutes on Sunday, April 23 using a form that can be found on the BHS website. The final day for submitting minutes exercised is Wednesday, June 1.
Participants can join Berkshire 150 as an individual or form a team. Participants can keep track of the number of minutes exercised daily on their phone, a calendar, or by using a fitness tracking app. Each week, participants submit the total number of minutes they exercised using the Berkshire 150 online submission form. They will also be able to submit minutes for any previous weeks they may have missed at any point during the duration of the program.
"Our Wellness team is here to support all of the participants throughout the program, whether they need assistance registering, have questions about exercises, or want to learn more about healthy living," said Maureen Daniels, BHS Director of Wellness and Community Health. "Remember to stay hydrated, have fun, and work within your fitness level while exploring new activities. As always, please speak with your primary care provider before starting a new exercise program."
For more information, visit the BHS website or contact the Wellness Team at

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Pittsfield Rallies for Reproductive Rights

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff


PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nearly 200 people gathered at Park Square on Sunday in solidary with reproductive rights and to mourn the Supreme Court's overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

"My wish is that we can take this energy that's here today and all the people that didn't work out to be here today, to really take this energy and to funnel it so that we can take real action," state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier said.

"And the change is not something that's going to happen in a couple of months or even a couple of years but we have to be as strong as the opposition because we know we're that we're the majority, it's just that so far, we're not the majority that votes. So we've got to get to work, we need to do it strategically and persistently."

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday voted to reverse the 1973 decision that legalized abortion across the nation. This ruling means that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion and it undermines other right to privacy decisions including contraception, marriage and medical issues. 

"It's pretty shattering," Elizabeth Freeman Center Executive Director Janis Broderick said. "It brings us back more than 50 years."

Massachusetts is one of 35 states, including the District of Columbia, where it is still legal to have the procedure after the ruling. Abortions are potentially illegal or soon to be illegal in at least 11 states and illegal in five, according to

On Friday, Republican Gov. Charlier Baker signed an executive order protecting access to reproductive health care services in the commonwealth. The order gives health-care professionals protection from legal liability from professional sanctions issued under the laws of other states.

"I am deeply disappointed in today's decision by the Supreme Court which will have major consequences for women across the country who live in states with limited access to reproductive health care services," Baker said. "The commonwealth has long been a leader in protecting a woman's right to choose and access to reproductive health services, while other states have criminalized or otherwise restricted access."

Numerous officials have weighed in, with District Attorney Andrea Harrington saying the reversal "threatens the health and safety of women nationwide by limiting access to safe reproductive health care and undermining the public's trust in law enforcement."
"Abortion bans disproportionately harm sexual abuse, rape, incest, human trafficking, and domestic violence victims," she said. "This decision will only strip survivors of gender-based violence of their safety, dignity, and autonomy and severely jeopardizes our ability to hold criminals accountable."
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren called it a "five-alarm fire" and with other Democrats called on the president "to mobilize a whole-of-government response to protect abortion rights."
Two Republican candidates for office cheered the decision, with gubernatorial hopeful Geoff Diehl and Leah Allen, endorsed by the party for lieutenant governor, said they supported "the proper interpretation of our Constitution" by placing the question of abortion back to the states. 
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