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North Adams Hospital Opens Walking Trails
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:47PM / Friday, August 16, 2013
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Visitors and staff at North Adams Regional Hospital can now stretch their legs in the great outdoors.

Northern Berkshire Healthcare has opened two walking trails in the woods behind the hospital and Ambulatory Care Center. The trails — a one-quarter mile loop and a nearly half-mile loop — wind along small hillside within sight of the facility.

Northern Berkshire Healthcare Trustee Ellen Bernstein of Williamstown donated the funds to clear the paths and build four bridges over ditches and wet areas. NBH President and CEO Tim Jones presented her with a walking stick on Friday before setting out with her on the path with about two dozen

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Adams Aggie Fair Features Exhibits, Rides and More
03:18PM / Thursday, August 01, 2013
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Adams Agricultural Fair makes some noise tonight with the Battle of the Bands, kicking off three days of judging, exhibits, events and competitions at Berkshire County's only country fair.

The 39th annual event at Bowe Field officially starts Friday with a Cruise-in featuring street rods and classic cars and fire engines and the children's pedal tractor contest also takes place, with dancing afterward.

Saturday morning events start off early with the antique tractor pull at 9 a.m. There will be judging throughout the day, the crowning of the fair's prince and princess and the horse pull at 11, a Jeep obstacle course beginning at 5:30 and Phil

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Clean Cities Group Sets Presentation on Alternative Fuel
Staff Reports,
04:39PM / Wednesday, July 31, 2013
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A presentation on new technologies on converting diesel and gasoline vehicles to propane and electric will be held Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority.

The stakeholders meeting of the Massachusetts Clean Cities Coalition begins at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the BRTA's offices in the Intermodal Center.

Anyone interested in alternative fueled vehicles are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served.

At 9:45, Ian Taylor of the Propane Gas Association of New England will discuss some of the new technologies that are available to convert fleet vehicles to propane, including systems by Roush Clean Tech for both new vehicles and

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Drury Students Pushing For Recycling Club
By John Durkan, iBerkshires Staff
08:41PM / Saturday, July 20, 2013
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Students in Drury High School's Summer Transitional Educational Program are spearheading a recycling club in their school that they eventually want to bring downtown.   "There used to be a recycling program but then it stopped," said Oscar Alvarez. "I want to start it back up."   Alvarez, Zack Decker and Joseph Butler are part of one of three groups aiming to make this idea a reality. Their role is to raise awareness to both the city and school through media and spread facts regarding the importance of recycling.   The club aims to fundraise for recycling bins to place with trash bins around the school. Alvarez

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Local Solar Companies Promoting 'Buy Local'
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Monday, July 08, 2013
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Solarize Mass program has seemingly taken off, bringing residents together for group buying to install residential photovoltaic arrays.

But local installers aren't very keen on how the program is being presented.

Headed by the state's Clean Energy Center, the program allows a town or group of towns to gather residents to purchase or lease solar arrays from a chosen company. The bulk purchasing is intended to lower the price for those who participate. Both Lee and Williamstown were chosen for the program and through a bid process, both chose Real Goods Solar from Colorado as the installer.

Local companies, however, say the program has also

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Environmental Officials Hope to Contain Ash Borer
By Joe Durwin,
03:18PM / Friday, June 21, 2013
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Emerald ash borer infestation, discovered in Berkshire County for the first time last year, cannot be stopped, but it can be contained and combated.

That was the message of state and federal forestry officials this week, addressing area residents at the first public forum on the subject since the county was placed under a firewood quarantine in March.
  In the presentation, held at Berkshire Community College on Wednesday, representatives of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation and U.S. Forest Service delved deeper into the potential toll the invasive wood-boring pest could take on the area, outlining costly measures with which

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Solar Industry Names Downing Legislator of 2013
04:26PM / Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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BOSTON — State Sen. Benjamin B. Downing has been named 2013 Legislator of the Year by the Solar Energy Industries Association.

The presentation was made June 12 at the State House during the first-ever "Solar Day on the Hill," which Downing hosted.

"SEIA is proud to recognize Senator Downing for his leadership in renewable energy policy in Massachusetts, and in particular, for his steadfast support of solar projects," said Carrie Cullen Hitt, senior vice president of state affairs for SEIA. "Over the past few years, Senator Downing's thoughtful approach has resulted in creating a sustainable renewable energy market, resulting in investment and jobs, as

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Hoosic River Revival Seeks Pilot Project By End Of Year
By John Durkan, iBerkshires Staff
04:00PM / Saturday, June 15, 2013
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Hoosic River Revival will make a decision on pilot program by the end of the year.

The group's President Judy Grinnell said her board will review suggestions garnered during Saturday's mornings conversaton with residents and community leaders as it considers its decision.

"You've been practical, you have been enthusiastic, creative, thoughtful and we are blessed because of that," Grinell said to some of the 85 participants throughout the morning at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center. "It also means a lot of work because you brought up a lot of wonderful ideas we haven't thought about and we are going to take these to our next

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Anti-GMO Advocates Stage Pittsfield Rally
By Joe Durwin, Pittsfield Correspondent
09:26PM / Monday, April 22, 2013
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A few dozen residents ringed Park Square throughout Monday afternoon to voice dissent about the increasing prevalence of GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, in food.

"For us, this rally is just to increase the awareness of genetically modified foods," said organizer Jan Bradley, who said the Pittsfield gathering was one of a number of rallies going on throughout Massachusetts and in other states for Earth Day, spearheaded by GMO Free USA. A subsequent series of actions is being planned for May 25 by March Against Monsanto.

These rallies represent a second wave of political action as foes of genetically modified foods reorganize

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Wild Oats Hosts Composting Workshop for Earth Day
By Stephen Dravis, Williamstown Correspondent
07:10PM / Monday, April 22, 2013
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Backyard composting is economical, environmentally friendly and, perhaps best of all, easy.

"I have never taken the temperature of my compost pile," Cynthia Grippaldi of Pittsfield's Center for EcoTechnology said Monday. "I'm a lazy composter.

"But things are breaking down."

Grippaldi broke down the basics of composting for a crowd of about 20 behind Wild Oats Market on Monday afternoon for an Earth Day workshop.

Backyard composters put the natural process of decomposition to work for them — disposing their kitchen and backyard waste without paying the transfer station

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