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Sunday 5K Kicks Off Busy Autumn for Berkshire Running Foundation

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Berkshire Running Foundation has announced its next four events for 2023.
A locally-based nonprofit organization, Berkshire Running foundation was established earlier this year to advance and support the positive impact running events have in the neighborhoods in which we live.
Sponsored by Spectrum Health, The FIR 5K will be held on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 9 a.m. at the Crane Avenue entrance to the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail.
Sunday’s 5K Walk/Run is to benefit the Berkshire Running Foundation's FIR (Fitness In Recovery) program. This 3.1-mile event encourages the community to come out and support the continuing efforts being made by the FIR program with members of our community through wellness and exercise to help them support their journey to recovery.
“September is National Recovery Month,” Spectrum Health Regional Executive Director Rebecca Polastri said. “September is a time to celebrate individuals who are in recovery, celebrate those who are trying to find recovery, and honor those who have lost their battle with addiction. Recovery is every person, every family, and every community. Everyone is invited to join us to celebrate Recovery Month with a 5K walk or run.”
Berkshire Running Foundation and Spectrum Health staff and clients have worked toward helping to create a program offering a free, safe, sober, and supportive environment for anyone who would like to introduce fitness into their lives. A proven benefit to helping anyone to deal with the issues surrounding any type of recovery; whether it be from substance abuse, anxiety, depression, grief, food issues or perhaps you are the caregiver to someone in recovery. Fitness is a wonderful addition to any program.
Beginning in August, Berkshire Running Foundation held weekly meetings on the bike path to train to complete the 5K distance. This program was free and open to the public led by Shiobbean Lemme, Carisa Flood Vincent and wellness coaches through the Berkshire Running Foundation, Inc. For more information contact Shiobbean at
Registration for the FIR 5K is $35. The website to register is located here.
Additional events for the Berkshire Running Foundation will be the Berkshire Half Marathon and 2-person Relay on Oct. 8, the Roaring 5K race at the Red Lion Inn and Naumkeag to benefit Community Access to the Arts on Oct. 29 and the final event for the Foundation will be the eighth annual MountainOne Thankful 5k to be held at Berkshire Community College on Thanksgiving morning.
Sponsorship is available for these events by contacting Shiobbean Lemme at or visiting the website
If you would like to contribute information on this article, contact us at

Pittsfield ZBA Grants Casella Permit for Waste Transfer Facility

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals calls Casella's planned redevelopment of the former trash incinerator an improvement to the site.

Last week, the panel approved a special permit to allow a waste transfer facility at the site on 500 Hubbard Ave. Casella Waste Management purchased the waste transfer facility on Hubbard Avenue from Community Eco Power LLC, which filed for bankruptcy in 2021 and has demolished it for redevelopment into a waste transfer station.

The owners say the trash will be brought to the facility and transferred away daily. Concerns that were voiced about the project include odor and impacts to the surrounding area but Casella says the new operation will be less of an impact than the former.

"I think this is going to be a vast improvement based upon the facility that was there previously. I know that sometimes you would get a sight of the other one, they used to dump the waste and it was laying like a floating pond," board member John Fitzgerald said.

"And since the trash is not going to be there, it's going to be in and out, I think the odor will be reduced and I think the vermin will be reduced."

It was also pointed out that the site has handled trash for 40 years.

"I think a lot of the odor before was related to burning," board member Esther Anderson "And there's not going to be burning so it it's going to be greatly reducing the amount of odor and if it's not sitting there is no place for vermin to be."

The former incinerator, including a 118-foot tall stack, has already been demolished a fabric structure is being used temporarily for waste handling.

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