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June 7, 2012 Volume III, Issue 3

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www.berkshirebeacon.com Lenox, MA 01240

Animal control officer New solar wears many hats rules unveiled Pittsfield and Lenox join state renewable energy program

Susan M. Wicker Guerrero Beacon Staff Writer

View from the Tower - Page 6

LENOX – The call came in to Michael Sullivan, animal control officer for the towns of Lee and Lenox, from a police officer friend. The officer said there was a man in an old Honda that had broken down on Route 20. Inside the car was a strange bunch of passengers, namely 12 ducks, eight baby chicks, a rooster, a peacock and a trunkful of pigeons. Would Mr. Sullivan please go down and check it out? At first, Mr. Sullivan said, he thought he’d have to start looking for a farm to place the animals. The driver of the menagerie was from New Hampshire. He drove down to this area to try and sell the animals in see ANIMAL page 10

The Berkshire Beacon

Bera B. Dunau Beacon Staff Writer

Susan Wicker Guerrero / Berkshire Beacon

Animal control officer Michael Sullivan loads up the truck to head out on another call.

Preserving the past GB Historic Commission receives more grants

Index

Kameron Z. Spaulding Beacon Staff Writer

1 Local News 6 Editorial 6 From the Tower 8 Pets 9 Fast Picks 10 Calendar 13 Books 13 Girl-2-Girl 14 Fun & Games 14 Beer/Wine 15 Sports 16 Camps

GREAT BARRINGTON – Photographer Marie Tassone documented everyday life in the town from the 1930s to the 1980s. Now, the Great Barrington Historical Society is archiving and inventorying her work after receiving a $1,500 Massachusetts Humanities grant. GBHS President James Mercer said the state research inventory grant “advances the society’s mission to preserve, protect and stimulate awareness of our great history.”

He credits GBHS treasurer Sharon Genin for her “dogged pursuit” of funding to continue the project begun by the society in January. The project will culminate in several exhibits of the Tassone photos, including one on images of the former Barrington Fair. “We are extremely pleased that the importance of the archival holdings has been recognized by the State of Massachusetts,” Ms. Genin said. “This grant helps the work being done by Margaret Cherin and her team of hardworking volunteers.” Ms. Cherin, who holds

masters’ degrees in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and library science/archival management from Simmons College in Boston, has been inventorying the collection, cataloging and identifying the many photos and negatives, which are held in storage upstairs at the Ramsdell Public Library in Housatonic. A resident of South Egremont, she is the exhibitions curator and college archivist at Bard College of Simon’s Rock. Born in 1904, Ms. Tassone came to Great Barrington in 1936 and lived there until see FUNDING page 3

PITTSFIELD – Over 100 people gathered in a room in the Berkshire Life Insurance Building in Pittsfield to learn about a new solar energy program being offered to residents of Pittsfield and Lenox. “Solarize Mass” is a program being offered to the residents of 17 different communities in Massachusetts through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC). It seeks to increase the number of houses with solar photovoltaic (PV) installed by educating the public about solar PV and making the technology more accessible and more affordable. Solar PV is the most common and widespread method of generating electricity through solar power. Pittsfield and Lenox applied and were accepted into the Solarize Mass Program as a team. As such, the two communities will be working together with the program for its duration. The pilot program for Solarize Mass provided solar PV for 162 homes and businesses in four different communities at a discounted rate, The program was explained at the June 5 meeting by CEC Senior Director for Renewable Energy Generation Andy Brydges. Director Brydges explained the environmental and economic benefits of solar PV, as well as how the technology generates electricity. He also detailed how net metering and solar renewable energy credits (SRECS) work and how, along with government subsidies,

these mechanisms can help make the technology affordable for a homeowner. Additionally, Director Brydges talked about different ownership options for the technology which include buying the panels outright, entering into a power purchase agreement with an installer, (in which the homeowner buys power from panels at a fixed rate that the installer installs and maintains) and leasing. One common question that Director Brydges clarified in his talk was the concern that Massachusetts doesn’t have enough sun for solar power. Director Brydges addressed this by pointing out that Germany, which has more solar than any other country in the world, has worse sun than any place in the United States. Director Brydges also went into detail about how the Solarize Mass program worked. He explained that the solar installer for the program would evaluate residences and businesses of those interested in participating to determine whether or not they would be suitable for solar power. Director Brydges cautioned that only 30-40 percent of those interested in solar PV would have a suitable site on their property. “We’re really only interested in supporting well-performing systems,” said Mr. Brydges. Elements that Director Brydges said made a good site were a Southern exposure, four to six hours of direct sunlight and an open roof area of see SOLAR page 2


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SOLAR from page 1 at least 100 square feett per kW or open space for a ground or pole-mounted system. One of the key elements of Solarize Mass is that a licensed solar installer is paired with each of the communities involved. This installer is selected through a competitive selection process, and chosen by a panel consisting of representatives from the community(s) involved, an independent technical consultant, a representative from the CEC and a representative from the Massachusetts Department of Energy and Resources. One of the key criteria for the selection of an installer is that they have to provide tiered pricing. Tiered pricing means that the cost of installing solar panels drops for everyone in the program the more people sign up for it. This incentivizes those participating in Solarize Mass to encourage their friends and neighbors to sign up, so that they get a better price. Director Brydges explained that, even with conserva-

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tive estimations, tiered pricing could drop the amount of time it would take for a PV system to pay for itself from seven to eight years to five to six. An installer for Lenox-Pittsfield is expected to be selected within the week. Director Brydges talk was about an hour long, after which Aric Brown from the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) spoke. Mr. Brown talked about some of the services that CET offers, including a free home energy assessment. An energy assessment is requirement for all homeowners interested in participating in the Solarize Mass program. After Mr. Brown spoke, Director Brydges answered questions for almost 30 more minutes. Director Bridges seemed quite satisfied with how the evening went. “I thought it was tremendous. It was I think more than we’re seeing in the other average towns,” said Director Brydges. “I’m thrilled that people are so engaged.”

Courtesy AATSP

LMMHS Spanish teacher Ann-Marie Rodriguez (center) is presented with an Embassy of Spain Scholarship.

Local teacher wins award Catherine M. Krummey Beacon Staff Writer

LENOX – Lenox Memorial Middle and High School Spanish teacher Ann-Marie Rodriguez will be spending the summer in Spain. Mrs. Rodriguez was honored by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) with the fifth annual Embassy of Spain Scholarship for Summer Study. According to an AATSP release, Mrs. Rodriguez was given

the scholarship “in recognition of her skill, dedication and enthusiasm in the teaching of Spanish.” She will be attending the University of Salamanca as part of a program that allows for language and cultural immersion in Spain. She was presented with the scholarship at a ceremony at Regis College by Francisco de Asis Garcia Diez, Education Advisor of the Government of Spain in New England, and Mario Ruiz Legido, Director of the Aula Cervantes Institute at Boston University.

June 7, 2012

Chamber gives sandwich sign handling thumbs up Bera B. Dunau Beacon Staff Writer

LENOX – The Lenox Board of Selectmen has taken decisive action on the issue of sandwich boards. In a special meeting, the select board granted a number of longterm sandwich board permits in an effort to break through the nearly one year of gridlock that has surrounded the subject. In the long-term the need for a new sandwich board bylaw is the consensus reached by both the board of selectmen and the business community. The Lenox Planning Board has been working on such a bylaw since last fall, but the project has been delayed by the planning board’s prioritizing the drafting of a new sign bylaw for Lenox Historic District with the Lenox Historic District Commission, a process that is still ongoing. Having already seen the annual Town Meeting go by without a new sign bylaw, the board of selectmen decided to act independently, albeit with the planning board’s blessing. Using their authority to approve signs located in the public way, the board of selectmen resolved they would use this power to review and approve applications for sandwich board signs, under guidelines based heavily on those drafted by the planning board. The meeting was the first time the select board issued sign permits under the new system, although the guidelines utilized were used to regulate the sandwich boards that Lenox businesses put out over Memorial Day weekend. All told, the board of selectmen issued three sandwich board sign permits for signs in the public way, which will be good until the end of the year, although the sandwich boards must be removed in the event of heavy snowfall. The businesses receiving these permits were Café Lucia, The Old Heritage Tavern and Patisserie Lenox. The Scoop received a temporary sandwich board permit for placing their sandwich board on private land that will be automatically renewed until Labor Day,

Kameron Z. Spaulding / Berkshire Beacon

Sandwich board signs, like this one at the Old Heritage, are now being approved by the selectmen. as the business requested. A temporary sandwich board permit was also given to Shots Café, although the Shots Café representatives made clear that they would be applying for an until the end of the year sandwich board permit once their new sandwich board sign was completed. The select board also agreed to Planning Board Member Kathleen McNulty-Vaughn’s suggestion that the select board have a formal application for sandwich board permits drawn up for use by future applicants. No fees were attached to these sandwich board permits. Opinions on the select board varied as to the aesthetic appeal of the different signs that were approved. “If I were sign tsar this is the way I would like the signs to look,” said Selectman Channing Gibson, referring to Café Lucia’s sandwich board sign. By contrast, the select board was more critical of The Scoop’s sign. “It’s very likely that whatever sign bylaw comes down…is not going to allow for this sign…aesthetically,” said Selectman Gibson, noting that the sign was made of plastic, although Select Board Chairman Ken Fowler noted that it had been made professionally. Indeed, every single sign appli-

cation submitted to the select board at the May 30 meeting was unanimously approved, with the exception of the sandwich board sign application for the Old Heritage Tavern, which Chairman Fowler voted against in jest. The Old Heritage Tavern is owned by Selectman John McNinch, who was unable to attend the May 30 meeting. “This is a new step that we’re all taking…to facilitate business…in the absence of a…thorough sign bylaw,” said Selectman Gibson, speaking on the select board’s sandwich board policy, although he noted a new sign bylaw was being worked on. The select board’s efforts were not lost upon Lenox Chamber of Commerce Director Ralph Petillo. “This is the greatest thing that’s happened to the business community in a long time. It shows that the town cares,” said Director Petillo. “Good job.” Director Petillo presented on behalf of the chamber for the approval of a temporary, non-sandwich board sign, on town land in front of the library, a request that was unanimously approved by the board. Two other temporary nonsandwich board sign permits, one for Ventfort Hall and the other for the new restaurant Brava, were also approved by the select board.


June 7, 2012

The Berkshire Beacon

Kimball Farms in top one percent Kameron Z. Spaulding Beacon Staff Writer

LENOX – A local nursing facility is once again receiving top marks. After the Department of Public Health completed its annual survey at Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center, it issued a report that is rare in Massachusetts: deficiency-free, for the second consecutive year and for the third time in recent history. A deficiency-free result in the state’s rigorous annual examination is one of the top indications of excellence for nursing facilities. In one of the most regulated industries within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and across the nation, nursing facilities are thoroughly surveyed and rated on core criteria including quality care, safety, administration, food service, nursing care and patient rights. “As Berkshire Healthcare continues to pursue excellence, we are proud to stand with the staff at Kimball Farms as they are recognized for their hard work, compassionate care and unyielding commitment to provide quality services to their community,” said William Jones, President of Berkshire Healthcare Systems. “They inspire and motivate all of us as we execute on our vision.” The unannounced inspections by representatives from the DPH are conducted annually, nine to 15 months following the prior survey. This evaluation, conducted by a team consisting of at least one registered nurse and social worker, includes a review of residents’ FUNDING from page 1 her death in 1990. Her photos are a substantial part of the GBHS collection, and beginning in July, will start to be exhibited at the society’s headquarters at the Capt. Truman Wheeler homestead and museum at 817 South Main St. The exhibits will rotate and feature various themes of Ms. Tassone’s work. Ms. Genin said that in receiving the grant, “it makes GBHS eligible for further archival funding by Mass. Humanities, which looks to advance the interpretation and presentation of state history.”

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Kimball Farms Nursing Center in Lenox is again named a top facility for its customer satisfaction. and patients’ clinical records, a thorough tour of the facility and interviews with residents, patients, family members and staff members. This honor is the most recent in a series of outstanding accomplishments by Kimball Farms that includes their designation as a five-star organization by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Silver Quality Award from the American Health Care Association and top quartile results in both resident and staff satisfaction for 2011. Other recent honors include the 2011 customer satisfaction rating at the 100th percentile rank. This ranking was in the top one percent in the nation, as is their 100th percentile rank in staff satisfaction. “It takes an entire team effort,

from our direct caregivers and clinical staff to maintenance and food service,” said Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center Administrator Sandra Shepard. “We are committed to providing the highest level of care to ensure excellent clinical outcomes, but we are just as focused on developing strong relationships with our residents and their families. Being responsive to their needs and providing outstanding customer service has been a key to making Kimball Farms such a special place.” Dave Phelps, CEO of Berkshire Health Systems, said, “We are proud of our longstanding partnership with Berkshire Healthcare, its affiliates and Kimball Farms. This outstanding achievement is a testament to the award-winning care they provide each day.”

The GBHS has used grant funding many times in the past. One of the grants will be used to present a special musical program for teens, ages 12 and up, and their friends and parents on Saturday, July 7 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ramsdell Library. The grant came from the Alford-Egremont Cultural Council. The program, “A Silver Dagger,” will presented by Diane Taraz, a professional singer and historian. Ms. Taraz will explore various themes in the lives of ordinary European and American women during the period from 1600 to

1900 using traditional folksongs. In traditional clothing, Ms. Taraz sings and accompanies herself on guitar and Appalachian lap dulcimer. According to GBHS, “Passed from mother to daughter for generations, folk songs provide fascinating insights into the lives of ordinary people in centuries past. Taraz mines these traditional songs for clues to the inner lives of women in Europe and America into the mid-19th century.” More GBHS information is available at gbhistory.org. Lectures featuring prominent historical topics are held monthly.

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Pittsfield School Committee selects new deputy superintendent Catherine M. Krummey Beacon Staff Writer

PITTSFIELD – The Pittsfield School Committee members don’t always agree on everything, but they have come to a unanimous decision to offer N. Tracy Crowe the job of deputy superintendent of schools. “She seemed very able and willing to take on challenges,” said School Committee Member Katherine Yon. At its May 30 meeting, the committee chose Dr. Crowe, who is currently an assistant principal at Marblehead High School in eastern Massachusetts, to succeed current Deputy Superintendent Barbara Malkas, who is leaving Pittsfield to become the Webster Public Schools superintendent on July 1. The hiring of Dr. Crowe as deputy superintendent is contingent on successful contract negotiations, which include salary and

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the contract length, according to School Committee Chairman Alfred E. Barbalunga. Dr. Crowe was chosen over fellow applicant Katherine Scheidler, director of educational services with the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District. Three candidates were interviewed for the position, and at the May 23 school committee meeting, Bay Path College Adjunct Professor Lynne Christensen being removed from consideration. “I felt more comfortable with Dr. Crowe’s experience,” Chairman Barbalunga said. Superintendent search continues The Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC), which has been assisting Pittsfield in its superintendent search, has presented two candidates for the job of interim superintendent. At the school committee’s June 13 meeting, interviews of Basan

Nembirkow, former Lenox interim superintendent, and Gordon Noseworthy, former Taconic High School assistant principal, will be held. “I’ve reached out to a number of people who’ve worked with both individuals,” Chairman Barbalunga said. “I’ve heard all good things.” The committee’s search for a permanent superintendent did not yield a suitable candidate, and current Superintendent Howard “Jake” Eberwein III will leave his post at the end of the month. Budget presentation A hearing focusing on the fiscal year 2013 budget for Pittsfield Public Schools has been scheduled for Thursday, June 14 at 7 p.m. in the city council chambers at Pittsfield City Hall. The school budget is currently proposed at $55 million.

Lee Selectmen mediate violent dog complaint Kameron Z. Spaulding Beacon Staff Writer

S u m m e r p l ay

June 7, 2012

LEE - Jeff Scrimo is just one resident concerned about a “violent” dog in his neighborhood along Fairview Street. He says both he and his wife were chased by the dog in question. The Hayes family also spoke to the board at the June 5 meeting about a separate attack on his dog. Mr. Hayes said that his dog Ginger was injured in the attack and that the owners of the dog accepted fault and paid for the veterinary bill. Mr. Scrimo was only asking the board to issue an order of restraint to force the owners to keep the dog on their land at all times. The Hayes family felt that was not enough and “instated” the dog be put down. Mr. Scrimo added that the dog should only be able to leave the property if in a muzzle. John Burk the owner of the dog in question, a pit bull, came forward to speak and defend his dog.

“I am not an aggressive guy I didn’t raise him like that,” said Mr. Burk. “This is hard for me too and I have lost sleep and felt horrible.” Mr. Burk explained he has been taking steps to correct the problem. “I have been taking him to obedience classes and working on that,” he said. “We have been through a lot and I just love him.” Mr. Burk also said he was going to build a sturdy fence to keep the dog in and he was willing to muzzle the dog whenever the dog is being walked. Dr. James Leahey, the Lee dog inspector, spoke in favor of the dog. Dr. Leahey said that the dog was quarantined after the April 30 attack on the Hayes dog and passed the quarantine and was free of disease. He also said he felt the Burks were doing everything they could, in his opinion, to help correct the dogs behavior. “I would urge everybody to take a deep breath and realize that the Burks family is not taking this

lightly,” said Mr. Leahey. “I cannot imagine anyone trying any harder than they are.” The board then ordered that the dog be confined to the property and that if it does leave the property that the dog must be muzzled. The selectmen also recommended that a fence at least six feet tall and solid be built to confine the outside area the dog uses. All parties will now have a 10day period to appeal the board’s decision. Department of Works projects Gill Engineering was awarded the bid to design and provide construction oversight for the Meadow Street Bridge project. Their winning low bid was just over $74,000. The next lowest bidder came in at over $160,000. With the current plan the bridge is still expected to be open by the end of September. The town also took the next step forward in their project to replace the roof at the highway department building.


June 7, 2012

The Berkshire Beacon

Expanded store offers even more for local shoppers

Susan M. Wicker Guerrero Beacon Staff Writer

LENOX – People who love oldfashioned décor, clothing and all things vintage will enjoy a visit to the newly expanded second floor of Berkshire Mountain Country Store at 55 Pittsfield Rd. Teresa O’Brient, who owns the store with her husband, Alan, said she has always been a “time past traveler” who relishes reading Jane Austen books and anything with an old-fashioned look to it. Vintage clothing including flowing wedding gowns, children’s long dresses, historical items and things from a bygone era will all be found in the new section of the store. “It’s not cookie cutter,” Mrs. O’Brient said. “It’s all unique and one-of-a-kind stuff.” Hats from yesteryear, some with long, flowing fabric, as well as a variety of old hat boxes to put them in are among items in the shop. Also on hand are bride dolls, bride and groom decorations, a black umbrella studded with clusters of red roses on the edges, button-down boots, an old sage green baby buggy, gloves, journals, napkins, purses, pictures, paintings and wreaths, to name a smattering. How about a red boa? The vintage shop has one along with bridal photographs from long ago. Who the brides and grooms were, one will never know, but they are there in old photographs, ready to decorate a wall or table top. Much, but not all, of the merchandise for sale came from Greystone Gardens, a vintage store that  sold antique clothing, jewelry and gifts in Pittsfield  for 30 years.  Located on North Street near St. Joseph’s Church, it was owned by Carla Lund and has now closed. “I always loved Greystone Gardens,” Mrs. O’Brient said. Then she saw on Craigslist that the vintage store was for sale. The O’Brients were not in the market to buy another business. They did, however, discuss the inventory of Greystone Gardens with Ms. Lund. She looked at the second floor of the Berkshire Mountain Country Store and determined

Susan Wicker Guerrero / Berkshire Beacon

Kaileigh Hyman tries on hats in the new upstairs section of Berkshire Mountain Country Store. it would be a perfect spot for the inventory, Mrs. O’Brient said. The owners of the two businesses “struck a deal.” “Mrs. Lund is a wonderful person who envisioned it,” the country store owner said of the new vintage section filled with Greystone Gardens items. It’s hard for business owners when it comes to expanding with “new” merchandise, Mrs. O’Brient said.  “You have to be really passionate and love it.” She was passionate and did, indeed, love it; the Greystone Garden inventory found a new home. The upstairs of the store is 3,000 square feet and the section that has been installed to date is the first of three to be filled. Greystone Gardens had a lot of inventory in the store as well as in a basement, Mrs. O’Brient said. The owner is in the process of adding new American-made items to the area so there will be a combination of old and new. “We are going to keep it very affordable,” Mrs. O’Brient said. “There will be something for everybody.” The third and last section being planned will be a year-round Christmas section, Mrs. O’Brient said. Among her favorite things for sale in the new section are old-

fashioned hats. She even has her own hat collection at home and every time she sees it, it makes her smile, she said. Greeting cards with oldfashioned images can be purchased in the vintage shop for $1.95 each.  A small framed angel near the cards reads, “Our cards are divine.” One afternoon recently, a customer remarked, “Oh look at the sweet little baby shoes.” There was a lot of oohing and ahing among customers. Polish pottery fills an entire wall in one section of the shop and includes ceramic dogs and cats in Polish patterns as well. There’s even a child’s tea set priced at $64.95. Downstairs in the Berkshire Mountain Country Store there are more vintage items inside of glass cases, giving customers a look at what can be found in the “new” upstairs room. On the way up the stairs, lining both walls, are old photographs. Some are in oval frames. They depict babies, families, First Holy Communions and even nursing school graduations. The people in the photographs are long gone, of course, but their images remain, ready to delight customers who are also “past time travelers.”

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New signs in Lenox that still honor the past Kameron Z. Spaulding Beacon Staff Writer

LENOX – With the sandwich board drama seemingly behind them, the Lenox Historic District Commission moved forward with replacing the street signs in the district with historically accurate replicas. The last remaining historic sign is on the corner of Cliffwood and Main and was used as a model for the project. James Jurney and the rest of the HDC have been working on the sign project for over three years and first began requesting funding for the project in December 2010. At the 2011 annual Town Meeting, $8,000 in community preservation funds were granted to the project. Spec-Lines Castings out of Reading, Mass., was then contacted to make the first set of signs. “We are very happy with how they have come out,” said Mr. Jurney. “The font just could not be found anywhere so the company had to carve the molds by hand using the Cliffwood sign as a guide.” The town has received the first sign, for Old Stockbridge Road, and with HDC approval can now begin placing the signs. In this round of replacements, 14 signs will be replaced. These streets include Franklin, Church and Housatonic. For now, nine of the signs are single signs, only

naming the crossing street, and five are doubles that identify both streets. The HDC hopes to raise more funds to convert the nine single signs into doubles. Sandwich boards still appear Even though current planning board ideas would leave the HDC out of any future regulation of sandwich board signs, it was still discussed at their most recent meeting. Chairman Jason Berger raised his concern that if the new bylaw is not written to send the controversial signs through the selectman, they would still be under the purview of the HDC. HDC member Steve Sample, who is also on the planning board, explained that with how they are reading, the current temporary sign rules to exclude sandwich board signs so the HDC never had any oversight on them. “My opinion is that these moveable, daily signs are not permanent and we only review permanent signs,” said Mr. Sample. Fellow HDC member Claire Cantone agreed with Mr. Sample. “Under the bylaw we are not set to regulate temporary signs like these, only permanent ones,” said Ms. Cantone. “So why are we even involved in this discussion?” The planning board will have their next meeting on June 12 and are expected to continue to work on the new sandwich board bylaw at that meeting.

Kameron Z. Spaulding / Berkshire Beacon

The current sign at the intersection of Cliffwood and Main will serve as the model for the new signs in Lenox.


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The Berkshire Beacon

Editorial:

June 7, 2012

View From the Tower George C. Jordan III

The red stripe is a bad idea

Wow! We hit a nerve! Kenneth L. Fowler, newlyelected chairman of the Lenox Selectmen, has opened up Pandora’s box on both the political implications and the social responsibilities of elected and appointed officials with the publication of his letter to the editor. This is the first of a threepart editorial series. First we’ll deal with the transparency issue that he cites in his letter, noting that all officials must be given a document by the town/city clerk stating that one has read the Open Meeting Law and sign it giving a copy to the town clerk. This has not been done to a large degree based on our investigation prior to publication. The transparency issue in the May 24 edition of The Berkshire Beacon relates to the lack of action by the members of the selectmen and their counterparts whom they have appointed to the boards. And further, it points out that both the town manager and the selectmen have dodged the issues over the past year, requiring us to go to the attorney general for relief and/or file Freedom of Information Act letters. This public document signed by local officials will help ensure that matters of public interest will be dealt with on camera rather then in executive sessions or behind closed doors. Herein is Attorney Martha

Coakley’s position on the attorney general’s website: “Within two weeks of a member’s election or appointment or the taking of the oath of office, whichever occurs later, all members of public bodies must complete the attached Certificate of Receipt of Open Meeting Law Materials certifying that they have received these materials, and that they understand the requirements of the Open Meeting Law and the consequences for violating it. The certification must be retained where the body maintains its official records. All public body members should familiarize themselves with the Open Meeting Law, Attorney General’s regulations, and this Guide. “Where no term of office for a member of a public body is specified, the member must complete the Certificate of Receipt on a biannual basis by January 14 of a calendar year, beginning on January 14, 2011. Where a member’s term of office began prior to July 1, 2010, and will not expire until after July 1, 2011, the member should have completed the Certificate of Receipt by January 14, 2011. In the event a Certificate has not yet been completed by a member of a public body, the member should complete and submit the Certificate at the earliest opportunity to be considered in compliance with the law.”

If the people in the commonwealth knew how many bills are filed annually in the Great and General Court and how many are then delegated to committee for a hearing, they would be amazed. Growing up in Melrose outside of Boston, having worked in the Statehouse, it is amazing that each representative and each senator files bills on behalf of their respective constituents. Some are good bills; others with some forethought and perhaps some reflection could be: (A) not filed, (B) put through the process or (C) moved directly to the committee in charge to get a fair and impartial hearing. Many times bills are filed based on the news value, local debate or someone seeking publicity for a group cause. Case in point: State Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli (DLenox) filed legislation to bring more attention to the ongoing problem of repeat drunk drivers and the dangers they pose to lawabiding citizens. The bill mandates that anyone who previously had a driver’s license revoked or suspended due to a driving under the influence conviction gets a new license with

T H E

a red stripe prominently displayed across the face of it for a period of two years. First, Rep. Pignatelli cites the accident in Sheffield where an out-of state driver from Connecticut, who allegedly was drunk, killed a Sheffield woman. The issue here is if the bill were enacted, it would have no bearing in this case or any other case involving an out-of-state driver. The point here is that we are asking the Registry of Motor Vehicles once again to, in addition to its role as a revenue agent to collect unpaid taxes, tolls or court-imposed fines, certify a person’s privilege to drive. Red Stripes Further, if a state trooper or police officer stopped a person on an alleged violation and was given a license with red stripes, can’t one assume that the officer would be looking for more evidence than the mere stop? Yes. This is one of those feel-good bills. It probably has no place to go but into the “hopper” for badly conceived bills at the statehouse. As to the notion that the package store owner is signing on to be a police officer and figuring because he has this red stripe on

B E R K S H I R E

BEACON THE GUIDING LIGHT OF THE BERKSHIRES

George C. Jordan III editor & Publisher Kameron Z. Spaulding EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Susan G. Robinson Graphic designer

the license, he/she would refuse to sell alcohol. No. This, too, applies to the card checker at a nightclub or bar. They are there to make sure they are of age, never mind some red stripe that could be a potentially good patron. “For instance, hopefully this would raise a red flag for a liquor store or bar owner who sees a patron with this license, and maybe they will think twice before serving them or will make sure they have a ride home,” said Rep. Pignatelli. Meanwhile the TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) program is the global leader in education and training for the responsible service, sale, and consumption of alcohol. Perhaps the greater strength would be to enforce or mandate the Massachusetts TIPS Certification or another form of responsible alcohol training that currently is not mandated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. However, some local cities and municipalities have made responsible beverage server training mandatory.

Contact Us General Inquiries: george@berkshirebeacon.com (413) 637-2250 Send Display Ads to: graphics.beacon@gmail.com Send Calendar Listings to: calendar@berkshirebeacon.com Visit us Online: www.berkshirebeacon.com

Bera B. Dunau, Rae A. Eastman, Susan M. Wicker Guerrero, Janel M. Harrison, Catherine M. Krummey, Dick L. Syriac Contributing WRITERS Janel M. Harrison, Jacqueline J. Wendling, Nancy G. Shepherd, Glenda Lee, Sue Lambert ADVERTISING SALES The Berkshire Beacon is published weekly. The Beacon is distributed throughout Berkshire County, MA. The Berkshire Beacon assumes no financial responsibility for failure to publish an advertisement, incorrect placement or typographical errors published. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of their advertising and claims and offers contained within their advertising. The Berkshire Beacon reserves the right to refuse advertising for any reason. All contents copyright ©2012 The Berkshire Beacon. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher.


June 7, 2012

Letter to the Editor

We need a positive newspaper A local “hometown” weekly paper like the Beacon can play a positive role in informing and engaging the community. But if last week's edition is indicative of the approach the paper plans on taking then it will not succeed in fostering community. Playing “gotcha” journalism as exemplified in one of the lead articles about alleged lack of transparency in how town government is functioning does not advance the needs of the town. If there is a need for improvement in a particular area, let us know. We will take the necessary steps to make changes. But to write an article without having a discussion with any town staff or officials perpetuates an “us against them” fiction that serves no productive end. I look forward to more productive engagement and reporting. Kenneth Fowler Chairman Lenox Board of Selectmen

The Berkshire Beacon

7

BOB DENLEY’S Foreign Car Repair and Service

PARK ST. TIRE

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DIAGNOSTICS We are now able to code controllers, update software & reprogram Volvos, just like the dealer! We have been servicing Volvos since the mid-1970s.

We are an authorized Cooper Tire Dealer. Nearly 1000 Tires in stock daily www.coopertires.com Servicing FOREIGN and DOMESTIC VEHICLES LATEST DIAGONOSTIC EQUIPMENT AND TRAINING

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Editor’s Note: Since The Beacon article, Chairman Ken Fowler has submitted his open meeting paperwork to the Town of Lenox.

Wedded bliss in Lenox LENOX - Rebeccah Brown Rumph and Andrew Stephen Pocock, both of New York City, were married on June 2 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Lenox. The ceremony was performed by Father C.J. Waitekus before some 150 people including a contingent of Brits numbering 50. Rebeccah is the daughter of G. Bruce and Theresa Rumph and Carol Newton Rumph, all of Lenox. The reception was at the Lenox Club.

The 200-pound black bear at Bob Denley’s Foreign Car Repair and Service in Lee. The bear came and ate three pieces of pizza.

Bear stops by for pizza in Lee Janel M. Harrison Beacon Staff Writer

LEE – Nature is all around us with this beautiful spring season. The flowers are in bloom, the trees are lush and green and sway with a gentle breeze. The birds are singing ever so sweetly and one wild bear is hungry and ready for a late dinner. It seems Mr. Bob Denley of Becket and his old friend Mr. Jack McDarby of Lee provided just that, because last Thursday around 7 p.m., a 200-pound black bear thumped out of the woods and into plain sight at Bob Denley’s Foreign Car Repair and Service in Lee. “We were standing out in back of the garage and this big bear came out of the woods. My friend Jack said, hey, we have a visitor,” Mr. Denley said. He added, “We happened to be eating a pizza and the bear walked right up and started sniffing around and almost came into the garage. I thought to myself, he smells the pizza so I threw him a slice. Then I said, I got to get my camera and walked right by the bear eating this pizza.” Walk right by? Why not? Mr. Denley is no stranger to confrontations with bears being a resident of rural Becket, and it just happens that during a 2009 Alaskan fishing trip on the Kenai River he stared down a 1,200-pound grizzly who he describes as being able to stand up on his hind legs and look right down a basketball hoop. Mr. Denley said, “I thought

The bear stands up on his hind legs to get a look around. my life was over, but I walked away slowly snapping pictures over my shoulder; if you run, it’s like a dog chasing a tennis ball: game on!” And speaking of canines he said the bear at his garage laid down and ate the pizza like a big, black labrador retriever or your everyday neighborhood dog. He was able to get as close as three feet while snapping shots down at the bear’s eye-level as the bear munched away keeping one eye on Mr. Denley. “It was almost like I could reach out and pet him. He wasn’t afraid of me and I wasn’t afraid of him,” he said. Meanwhile on the scanner, police were looking for a “wanted” bear as residents of Lee had called it in, but Mr. Denley wasn’t about

to frighten it away for fear of it running into the street and getting killed. The extremely docile and finicky bear happily snacked on three large pieces of pizza, snubbing the crusts; then decided he’d had enough. “It was a good thing too,” said Mr. Denley. “Because we didn’t have any pizza left and we didn’t know what we were going to do.” Later Mr. Denley realized the whole episode was recorded on surveillance camera confirming the bear was there just shy of 30 minutes. When asked if the bear has been back, Mr. Denley said, “No, but I wonder if he will? It really was a very special treat. You never know what nature’s gonna throw ya.”


8

The Berkshire Beacon

June 7, 2012

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Up for Adoption Bunny

Bunny is a 1 year old female domestic medium hair cat.

Kiko is a medium sized female mixed breed dog. She’s lived with 2 cats Berkshire Humane Society and a bird. She likes 214 Barker Road, Pittsfield, MA going out for walks 413-447-7878 ext 29 and spending time www.berkshirehumane.org with people.

High-quality pet treats made locally It all started with a question: “What if I could produce a pet product that is exactly what the label says that it is?” And with that question, Whole Life Pet Products was born. A local company, located on Outer East Street in Pittsfield, Whole Life Pet Products provides employment for local people and treats that dogs, cats and owners agree are heaven sent. The concept is like the product, pure and simple. All treats are single ingredient and those meats carry the USDA stamp for human consumption. Whole Life follows USDA food safety guidelines and tests its ingredients for yeast, mold, salmonella, e. coli, coliforms and staphylococcus aureus prior to manufacture and again after the freeze drying process – pure, simple and a product that is totally safe. Already a successful business owner, John Gigliotti went into manufacturing with just that goal in mind. The Cromwell, Conn., native has been in The Berkshires for 15 years and has been in the retail industry for pet products for about 20 years. Waggin’ Tails Pet Essentials Inc, started as a de-

livery business, went to mail order and eventually took off as an internet business. Mr. Gigliotti sold Waggin’ Tails in 2009 to focus solely on producing the best pet products available. In September 2011, Mr. Gigliotti moved his company from Hawthorne Avenue to East Street. He invested $500,000 to renovate and equip a new 10,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility. He focuses on creating high-quality, natural snacks for pets. “We’re all about creating really healthy treats,” he said. “Freeze-drying is the purest process.” “Simple is better,” describes the Whole Life niche, and Mr. Gigliotti has grown his company around that principle. The lucky taste tester is Dexter, a beagle mix who Mr. Gigliotti’s family rescued from the Berkshire Humane Society. And, thanks to Dexter, Mr. Gigliotti has remained involved with the BHS, providing taste testing opportunities for the dogs and cats living there and also donating a bag of treats to each lucky animal who finds his or her forever home. see WHOLELIFE page 12 and more animals for adoption in The Berkshires

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June 7, 2012

The Berkshire Beacon

9

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ANIMAL from page 1 order to raise money for his daughter’s college fund. Unfortunately, the sale fell through. Job takes compassion and patience Dealing with the strange conglomeration of animals was one thing but Mike Sullivan then had to put on his counselor’s hat. The driver of the broken down car started to cry. He was one discouraged man. The animal control officer talked to the fellow and asked him what seemed to be the trouble with the car. Mr. Sullivan then slid beneath the broken down car, discovered a frayed starter wire and repaired it. “He started the car and drove away,” the animal control officer said of the driver. Mr. Sullivan was able to avoid having to relocate the animals. It was all in a day’s work for Mike Sullivan. The animal control officer position is actually part-time under Tri-Town Health, a local public health agency, Mr. Sullivan said. He’s responsible for animalrelated calls from Lenox and Lee. Three years ago, he was asked if he’d be interested in the part-time job, interviewed and got it, he said.  A flexible schedule allows him to do the part-time job while maintaining his full-time position with the Lenox Parks and Recreation Department. He’s in charge of maintenance for all of the parks in town. Early start to the day A Pittsfield resident, Mr. Sullivan has an early start each day. Up at 5 a.m., he’s on the job in Lenox from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Then, he said, he does the “animal stuff ” until 4 p.m. However, he added, “I’m on call all the time.” He takes any calls concerning animals including bats, cats, dogs, foxes, raccoons, squirrels and so on. If Lee or Lenox residents suspect an animal is being abused, or if a dog is barking too much, or any other animal problem comes up, they can call Mr. Sullivan on his cell phone at (413) 464-4508. An easy-going, patient man, Mr. Sullivan obviously loves animals. He said he grew up having animals, including hunting dogs. Even today, the Sullivan family has pets. There is Mingo, a yellow lab who occasionally helps his owner

The Berkshire Beacon

find lost dogs. “He’s friendly and has a good nose,” Mr. Sullivan said. The family also has Liza, a cat, who Mr. Sullivan’s wife, Kerry, found abandoned in a flower pot. Liza has been with the family for eight years. The Sullivan’s have two grown children, Michael, 25, and Kelly, 27. As for his job as animal control officer, Mr. Sullivan said, “I like it a lot. It’s rewarding when animals are reunited with their owners.” Frustrating aspect of job Finding dogs without identifying tags is the most frustrating part of the job, he said. He urges dog owners to place a cell phone number somewhere on the dog’s collar or tag.  Some owners have chips with necessary information inserted under the skin of their pets. Mr. Sullivan said he’s happy that he’s getting his own chip scanner this month, which will save trips to veterinary offices. He knows most of the dogs in both Lee and Lenox. He carries records of the animals that include such information as name, color, sex of the animal and so forth in his office which, actually, is his truck. Another good thing happening soon, Mr. Sullivan said, is the establishment of a Facebook page for animals in Lenox by the end of June. Photos of lost dogs and cats will be found on the page, making unification with owners easier. Sometimes brings bad news Mr. Sullivan sometimes has to be the bearer of bad news. Once he got called to the scene of an accident where a woman accidentally hit a cat and killed it. Rather than bury the animal, the animal control officer wrapped it in a blanket and put it in a freezer at the pound, which is located on Route 102 in Lee. Some people want to bury their own pets or have them cremated. He wanted to try to find the owners of the dead animal. Sure enough, Mr. Sullivan received a phone call from a person whose cat was missing. It was the cat that had been hit by a car and Mr. Sullivan brought the dead cat back to its owner for burial. It was a sad mission but he was glad the owners were able to bury their own pet.

June 7, 2012

Community Calendar Friday, June 8

BIRDS OF PREY, HAWKS AND OWLS

Great Barrington, 11 - noon Come and see live birds of prey at Dalton, 6pm until closing Ramsdell!  This family-centered The Mark Finelli Carnival will be program features hawks and owls, in Dalton through Sunday, June allowing children and adults a 10th at the Dalton American Le- rare chance to see the birds up gion Field on Rte 9 in Dalton.  close. A brief discussion of each Friday's carnival hours will be species is included, as well as from 6pm until closing.  With so changes people can make to help many rides, great food and fun the birds. Ramsdell Library, 1087 for all ages - everyone is welcomed Main St., Housatonic, to come join the festivities!  Ad- 413-274-3738. vanced tickets are for sale $6/ sheet (10 tickets per sheet) or on PEN AND INK DRAWING the fair grounds tickets will cost Great Barrington, 1:30 - 2:30 $9/sheet. p.m. Come and learn to draw with YOUNG CHILDREN'S Leslie Meltzer. Call 274-3738 to STORY TIME sign up. Ramsdell Library, 1087 Great Barrington, 10:15 - 11 a.m. Main St., Housatonic, Children and their caregiver are 413-274-3738 invited to join us to enjoy stories. We often also have songs, games Sunday, June 10 and crafts. No sign-up is necessary. Mason Library, 231 Main SCULPTURENOW St., 413-528-2403

DALTON CARNIVAL

RECEPTION

Saturday, June 9 DANCIN' AT THE MANSION W/ GREG CAPUTO QUARTET

Lenox, 7:30 p.m. The Greg Caputo Quartet featuring vocalist Vivian Caputo, will perform well-loved standards at “Dancin’ at the Mansion” get togethers at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum every second Saturday 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Light snacks and hor d’ourves are complimentary and there with be a cash bar.

Lenox, 4-6pm A reception will take place at the Gateways Inn in Lenox, MA, and again on July 21, 2012 from 4-6pm at the First Congregational Church in Hinsdale, MA. Both receptions are free and open to the public. 21 contemporary sculptures will grace the lawns on Main, Kemble and Walker Street in Lenox, MA. Five different sculptures will be on exhibition on South and Maple Street, in the center of Hinsdale, MA. For further information please call SculptureNow at 413 623 2068 or email annjon@bcn.net

WOLFE CANTORIAL CONCERT

Pittsfield, 7 p.m. The annual concert of Jewish music at Temple Anshe Amunim, 26 Broad St., features Cantor Elias Rosemberg of Temple Emanuel in Newton, Mass. accompanied by David Sparr, the music director of Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Mass.  The concert will include Sephardic, Yiddish and Israeli songs, both classic works and contemporary favorites. Admission is free.

FERRIS BURTIS BENEFIT CONCERT

Sandisfield, 4 p.m. The Ferris Burtis Music Foundation announces its second annual benefit concert which will take place on Sunday, at the Sandisfield Arts Center, Hammertown Road, Performing will be Yevgeny Kutik, violinist, Timothy Bozarth, pianist, Julian Müller, ‘cellist, Anne Chamberlain, pianist, Morwenna Boyd, guitarist, and guest artist, Kathleen Callahan, soprano. Reservations for the concert may be made by mailing checks made out to ‘Ferris Burtis Foundation’, to Herbert Burtis, 53 Rood Hill Road, Sandisfield, MA 01255.

FAMILY DAY

Lenox, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Bring the kids and spend the day at The Mount! Tour the house, explore the gardens and trails, bring a picnic, and enjoy the surroundings. Scavenger hunts, crafts, music, and other activities throughout the day. Café will be open. This event is free.

If you have an event you would like listed in our calendar please email us at Calendar@berkshirebeacon.com!


June 7, 2012

The Berkshire Beacon

FRANK A. CONSOLATI JEFFREY J. CONSOLATI

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12

The Berkshire Beacon

June 7, 2012

WHOLELIFE from page 8 “As trends change in what people consume, the quality standards change for how people feed their pets,” said Mr. Gigliotti. Increasingly, pet owners are looking for organic, holistic, much higher quality foods for their pets, and treats that meet the same standards. Whole Life Pet Products fill that need. The importance of in-house control of the manufacturing process is driven home by the frequent pet food industry recalls. Included in those recalls are quite often extremely high quality pet foods that are manufactured outside their own facilities. For Mr. Gigliotti, that’s one worry he doesn’t have. What does the future hold for Whole Life Pet Products? Growth certainly, with the possibility at some point of manufacturing pet foods as well. Whole Life Pet Products are available in large, exclusive chains such as Wegmans and in The Berkshires at Guido’s Fresh Market Place (Pittsfield and Great Barrington), Berkshire Organics (Dalton), Bark N’ Cat (North Adams), Chez Pet (Lenox), Berkshire Humane Society (Pittsfield), Pittsfield Veterinary Hospital, Pretty Paws (Pittsfield), Valley Vet (Lee), Bens Dotter’s Pet (Great Barrington), and Berkshire Pet Pals (Lee). For locations outside The Berkshires, visit their website at wholelifepet.com.

Glenda Lee / Berkshire Beacon

John Gigliotti, owner of Whole Life Pet Products, sits in the new freeze dryer at their Pittsfield plant.

Up for Adoption

Little Bear

Little Bear was a mama cat when she came to the shelter. She’s finished raising her babies and is looking for a home where she can be cared for. She’s an easy cat to care for; She’s independent but likes to hang around her people.

Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter 63 Downing Parkway, Pittsfield, MA 413-448-9800 sonsinianimalshelter@verizon.net www.pittsfieldanimals.org

Lilly is a sweet middle-aged girl who treats everyone like a friend. She gets along well with other dogs and would do well in just about any home, including one with children

Lilly

Do you believe in small newspapers that report community news? So do we at The Berkshire Beacon. Our reporters and editors are working hard for you. Think about placing a business card ad in The Berkshire Beacon for only $25 an issue. Call us at 413-637-9822 or write to george@theberkshirebeacon.com


June 7, 2012

The Berkshire Beacon

Two great memoirs for warm summer weather reading

13

Girl-2-Girl Add a little artificial intelligence

Rae Eastman Beacon Staff Writer

Two remarkable memoirs by two remarkable editor/writers both center on publishing in the 1960s, one in New York (Willie Morris, for eight years, was the youngest editor of Harper’s), the other in Paris, where Richard “Dick” Seaver established a magazine (Merlin) and published the unknown Sam Becket, Eugene Ionesco and others. Morris began remaking Harper’s from a staid, more-or-less intellectual magazine – some said stodgy (in 1963, Esquire called it “squaresville”) – into a more liberal, contemporary one with a political bent. “Steps of the Pentagon” by Norman Mailer was the longest magazine article Harper’s Magazine ever published and drew more letters to the publisher than any article had elicited in its 119year history. John Cowles, its rich, Midwestern publisher who didn’t understand where his magazine was going under the new leadership, suggested an article on the finer points of bridge. Richard Nixon offered to write articles about the U.S. and called Morris, in fact; someone set up a dinner for them, but Morris refused to go. He just couldn’t stomach Nixon in his magazine – later, he thought, as an editor, he’d probably made one of the biggest mistakes he could have. Seaver, scrambling to find money for each issue of Merlin, took a job outside Paris as a translator for an American construc-

it’s

Janel M. Harrison

The Tender Hour of Twilight By Richard Seaver Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $35

New York Days By Willie Morris Little Brown & Co., $24.95

tion company building an air force base. This was awkward, as he had just married the love of his life, the beautiful violinist Jeannette, who remained behind in Paris. Seaver died before completing this book and she – long his partner in a publishing house they founded together – completed it. The Vietnam War dominated the ‘60s, and Morris was acutely aware of the bitter feelings here at the time, particularly among students at the various colleges where he was asked to speak. In the book he reflects many of those feelings as did the magazine he edited. Meanwhile he was very much part of the New York scene – Elaine’s (he was a favorite of hers), parties at George Plimpton’s, on the David Frost show. Once on his way to Arthur Schlesinger’s house for a meeting with “a handful of influential New Yorkers” to meet with Senator George McGovern to discuss the possibility of his running for president, he was a little late and stepped out of a cab quickly – into a “substantial pile of fresh dog shit.” He did the best he could to get rid of it, but, later, at the meeting Alan Jay Lerner began to sniff, a did the editor of the New York Re-

view of Books. Morris got up, faked a phone call, announced, “Arthur, a crisis at the magazine – have to go,” and he snuck down the stairs. Seaver joined Barney Rossett’s Grove Press as editor-in-chief and began lengthy years of publishing avant-garde books, many of which they had to free – in court – from being banned in the U.S., beginning with Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence. Morris, in those few years, published a distinguished list of authors writing on a wide range of topics, gaining a wide circulation. The publisher, however was increasingly distressed, “Who are you editing the magazine for? A bunch of hippies?” He was, it appeared, planning to replace all the editors and send Harper’s in “new directions” or maybe sell or close it. Morris realized he could no longer stay with the magazine. In his statement to the press he said, “It all boiled down to the money men and the literary men, and, as always, the money men won.” All six contributing editors resigned. “We were a band of brothers,” Dave Halberstam wrote.

time!

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Here we are, ladies, with a new week and a new outlook on life! Especially if one gets hooked up with “Siri,” the iPhone’s new personal assistant who Apple claims can just about do anything – how about cook dinner? What do you say to that? No? It’s not in your programming, but you can find the perfect restaurant where I can have a glass of wine and I don’t have to cook? Keep talking. I personally don’t have this entertaining little piece of technology since I’m saddled with my Droid until July, and I will say it’s been a great smart phone with lots of fun and functional apps, but I am intrigued with its competitor and my girlfriend swears up and down and every which way by her iPhone. It’s “dummyproof,” she says, and there’s a bit of evidence to prove it. We’re watching The Woman in Black – quite scary, but then it’s only Harry Potter for goodness sake, right? Well, wrong: little Harry’s all grown up now, no need for glasses, and the cinematography was utterly dark and morbid with evil written all over it. I grab my latest Better Homes and Gardens as backup, better than covering my eyes and screeching; yes, horror movies freak me out a tad. My hubby turns the lights way down with the scene getting more frightening as each moment passes. The lady is in a soiled and tattered black dress with a strikingly white face and oh yeah, she’s dead, and not too attractive as the rocking chair rocks furiously in the attic. Something is about to happen to haunt my dreams tonight… I open my magazine as Harry creeps into the attic, then my wonderful girlfriend hands me her nifty iPhone with flashlight, but as the flashlight turns off I have no idea how to get it back on – dummy-proof it was, as I simply touched the big round symbol on its face and my magazine was once again illuminated with light over this darling little frog garden ornament. Then back

to the movie I went and I won’t spoil it and tell you what happens next…full of disturbing suspense. Another example is my girlfriend’s husband who’s not too “tech-savvy,” but was totally enthused with his new iPhone 4S. Thanks to Siri he can now email, text and set the calendar to pick up the kids. His exact quote was, “Siri understands me,” as he practically nuzzled “her.” What is this Siri anyway? Well for that night, she was his new Stepford wife! Now when men are in the so-called “doghouse” they can just find comfort with artificial intelligence life forms? What next? I won’t ask… my husband’s AILF has a tight little red shirt. Last month he brought to my attention “Skyvi,” a personal assistant app for Androids which I downloaded and yes, it’s true, my phone holds conversations! Here I am driving in my car and my phone is talking to me! Actually chatting, “How are you today? And I’m fine thanks.” And get this, “Do you try to stop people from fighting?” Right out of nowhere, and “I’ve been waiting for you all my life.” Her favorite color is yellow, she’s a female robot and her favorite music is our voices. My daughter just had to ask that along with a number of other questions. Next Skyvi proceeds to say, “Who is your favorite artificial intelligence life form?” We answer, “Skyvi.” She says, “I will tell my creators you said that.” While Siri is supposedly highly-efficient and serviceable, Skyvi just wants to ask questions and talk. She is sweet though. It’s bizarre and right out of a sci-fi movie the way our technoworld is changing every day, and are we supposed to just put our feet into the stirrups and hoist ourselves up onto the horse? Or do we ask ourselves the question, “What ever happened to the day…?” Old-fashioned at heart? Me too, but sometimes it’s too cool to go for a ride.

Ciao Bella


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The Berkshire Beacon

Wine and Beyond:

Lenox store gets new name

Philip S. Kampe

Nejaime’s, located at Route 7 and Holmes Road, has officially changed its name to Spirited. Jim Nejaime and brother Joe Nejaime have been the backbone of the Berkshire wine business for the past 30 years. As of June 1, Joe will retain the businesses under the family name of Nejaime’s. Joe owns a shop in downtown Lenox and one in Stockbridge. He is in talks regarding taking over Grape Finds in Great Barrington. If so, the shop will be the third diamond for Joe and will be named Nejaime’s as well. Jim Nejaime, store manager Dominick Fera and marketing manager Judy Nejaime Marzotto collaborated with Studio Two of Lenox on the name choice for their existing store on Route 7. The trio and key staff members plus Studio Two believe the name, Spirited, embodied their philosophy and great love of wine, brews, spirits and food. In celebration of the renaming of the store, the normal weekly Saturday complimentary wine tastings will take on a larger than life adventure. Wine reps from the state and wine ambassadors will pour up to 25 wines each Saturday during the

month of June. On June 30, a tented tasting will take place with well over 60 wines. All tastings take place from 1-4 p.m. For further information, call Spirited at (413) 448-2274. Wine buys Wine never ceases to amaze me. Often, at reasonable price points you taste certain, random wines that should retail for three times what the suggested retail price is. Recently, I found one of those rare and special wines that sell for under $20 and drinks like a $75 bottle of wine. That wine is from the Montsant region in northeast Spain. The wine, Pinyolet Seleccion 2009, is made from the two most famous grapes of the region, Garnacha (we know it as Grenache) and Carignan. In this case, the Garnacha vines were planted in 1945 and the Carignan vines sprouted in 1928. Only 2,000 cases are produced of Pinyolet Seleccion 2009. The wine is aged in mediumtoasted, two-year-old French oak barrels for eight months. The result on the palate of this 14.5 percent mineral-driven wine is one of dark fruit with exotic spices. The wine is full-bodied, expressive, complex and elegant all at the same time. As you can see I was overly impressed with the friendliness of this small production wine and believe it is a real steal at $19.99 a bottle.

Kameron Z. Spaulding / Berkshire Beacon

Spirted, formerly Nejaime’s, will continue to host regular tastings at their Pittsfield Road location.

June 7, 2012

Age your beer for better flavor

Kameron Z. Spaulding Beacon Staff Writer

Aging beer is becoming more and more popular, just like the craft beer movement. Dogfish Head Brewing has lots of advice on how to go about it. Aging beer is a little like enjoying music. Some folks are forever chasing the latest releases, while others stick to the classics. There are live-music junkies fueled by the fervor of a crowd, and there are audiophiles who rarely come out from under their hi-fi headphones. Some like bass, some like treble. Tomato, to-mah-to and everything in between. Beer offers just as much nuance, even when the labels look exactly the same. An Immort Ale from 2002 tastes different than one fresh off the bottling line. Which one is better? That depends. “It’s like your stereo system,” said Dogfish Head Quality Control Manager Rebecca Newman. “If you like it really tinny and not very bass-y, you adjust that. Think of beer coming out of the brewery as really tinny, really sharp, really crisp. Over time, those bass notes – those bigger, fuller, sweeter, malty flavors – come up, and a lot of the sharpness is diminished. So, what do you like: bass or treble?” While there are no hard-andfast rules to aging beers, it helps to keep a few things in mind. 1. A little experimentation goes a long way. Taste, of course, is subjective, and the things that happen inside a bottle of beer are more alchemy than exact science. If you’re curious about how a beer ages, buy a few bottles, drink one fresh and stash the rest. Try another six months down the road. Do you like the direction the beer is taking? Are the flavors you liked the first time around becoming more pronounced, or are they fading away? If you’re happy with the evolution, try another in six months and ask yourself the same questions. If you’re not happy, grab a few friends and finish off the bunch. 2. Don’t underestimate fresh. Depending on the beer you age, you’ll notice some flavors fading into the background and others becoming more pro-

Dogfish Head is one of many great beers you can age well. nounced. Several things influence those changes, but the main driver is oxygen. “There’s always very slow oxidation,” said Newman. “If you’re a really good brewer and you’ve worked hard to get the oxygen out, then your beer will age very gracefully and slowly. If you haven’t spent the time and the effort to get the oxygen out at the time of packaging, then you lose those beautiful flavors very rapidly.” Hops – whether bitter, floral or citrusy – fade with time, so IPAs and other hop-forward beers aren’t great candidates for aging. That said, Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA only gets better with age. A year or two on the holy grail for hopheads brings out deliciously sweet sherry and marmalade notes. (See – there are no hard-and-fast rules!) Seasonals, which often take advantage of freshly harvested ingredients, and fruit beers are usually best young as well. “Beers like Black and Blue, Red and White and Festina Peche have these incredible fruit additions,” Newman said, “and we want those bright notes to come forward.” 3. High-alcohol beers tend to age better. While there are exceptions, we recommend aging beers that clock in at 10% ABV and up. “Typically, there’s some protection in high-alcohol beers and in beers that have big, dark malt like Palo Santo and World Wide Stout,” Newman said. “Often, those beers are so flavorful and

complex that some amount of age starts to take off the sharper edges and you get a real velvety finish.” Even lower-alcohol beers with a malt-heavy profile will age better. A year-old Indian Brown Ale, for example, will fare better than a year-old 60 Minute IPA. “They’re very similar in alcohol,” said Dogfish Quality Control Technician Ryan Mazur. “But the darker, roastier beers have a little more defense in terms of shelf life.” 4. Storage matters. This one is important. Light and heat speed up oxidation, so store beer in a cool, dark place. Basements or refrigerators set to 50-55 degrees are your best bets. And keep those bottles upright. “If you’ve been storing beers on their side, roll them, agitate them, and chill them upright for a few hours,” Newman said. “You want to get that sediment down into the bottom of the bottle.” 5. Beer won’t spoil. You might not prefer what age does to certain beers, but you don’t have to worry about beer going bad. “If someone grabs a bottle of Black and Blue off the shelf and it says 2009 on it, they shouldn’t be afraid to open it,” Mazur said. “There’s no expiration date. It’s just going to be different.” Newman agreed. “It’s not milk,” she said. “It doesn’t go bad on the shelf. It’ll never make you sick. It might not be the flavor that you remember, but it might be a flavor that you like even more.”


June 7, 2012

LOCAL from page 16 for Dart Killester in Ireland. The following year he returned to Brown as an assistant coach under Glen Miller. When Coach Miller left Brown for the UPenn job in 2006, Mike Martin went with him. After six seasons on the Penn staff he is returning to his alma mater and has hit the ground running. After all the interviews and the press conference it was pack up his wife (Kristin) and baby (Keira) and take the long drive back to Philly. When he got home he immediately looked up a retuning Brown player who lives in the Philly area and introduced himself. This coach does not leave a stone unturned. I have known Coach Martin since he was an infant and have watched in awe as he succeeded in everything he has attempted and has done it with class. There is no doubt in my mind this trend will continue. Is Coach Martin a good choice for Brown University? Let’s see what other people in the business think. Mike Tranghese, former Big East Commissioner: “The basketball program at Brown will be in great hands under his leadership.” (Tranghese is a ‘62 grad of Cathedral.) John Bellein, Michigan Head Coach: “It was only a matter of time before Mike Martin became a head coach at the D-1 level. Mike is an impressive young man with great potential as a leader and a basketball coach.” Steve Donohue, Head Coach

The Berkshire Beacon

at Boston College: “Brown could not have hired a better person or coach. He understands what Brown and the Ivy League is all about and is the perfect guy for the job.” Bernard Muir, Delaware Athletic Director: “Mike’s enthusiasm, passion and knowledge of the game make him a great hire for Brown.” Jerome Allen, head coach at Penn, flew to Providence for the press conference and wished his former assistant all the best except when they will meet as adversaries twice a year.  At 29, Martin becomes the fourth-youngest head coach in men’s D-1 basketball. There are just over 300 D-1 men’s head basketball coaches in the country and Cathedral High School can claim two of them as their own. Wagering advice for the 2012 Belmont Stakes Maybe we can learn from Smarty Jones in the 2004 Belmont. He was bet down to 1-5 which means if he won he would have paid $2.40 for a $2 bet. As we know Smarty lost in a stretch battle to Birdstone but here is the catch, he paid $3.30 to place and $2.60 for third. So if you think I’ll Have Another is going to win there may be value in the place and show pools with less risk. There will be so many win tickets on “Another” because fans will want them as keepsakes and won’t back him up. Some punters also like the old angle of “wheeling” the big chalks for second in the exacta. In 2004 that strategy returned $136 for a $16 investment. Good luck!

Wildcat Weekly:

Lee sports wrap up strong spring John V. Graziano Beacon Contributor

Last week baseball qualified for the tournament for the first time in nine years. Their first game was against Lenox, and they won 14-6. This win earned them the right to play the one-seed Frontier, who they lost to on Sunday by a score of 1-16, ending their season. Both lacrosse teams were eliminated from the western Massachusetts tournament as well. The

boys lost in the first round 2-19. The girls got out of their firstround game, winning 20-19 in overtime, but unfortunately they were beaten by Division One school Minnechaug 2-16 on Monday. The boys’ tennis team was swept 0-5 against one-seed Belchertown to get knocked out of the tournament. Girls’ tennis was ousted from the tournament 1-4 by Sabis. Both games were on Tuesday night. Softball was the only sport not to qualify for a tournament.

15

A look back at past SteepleCat stars With the 2012 NECBL season kicking off this week, the focus in and around the 10 New England communities continues to shift toward the welcoming of new players, coaches, team personnel, staff members and all the rest who will help combine to form what is sure to be another unforgettable two months of summer baseball. But with the focus so heavily lying on the present, it is equally important to point to the past and shine light on the many former players that once donned the black and gold SteepleCat uniforms and are continuing to pursue their dreams of one day earning a spot on a Major League Baseball team roster. North Adams has played home to a number of truly great players in the past, and this spring and summer those young men are closer than ever before to The Show. Mike Ekstrom SteepleCats ’02 | Oregon St. | RHP | Drafted by San Diego Padres (’03) One of the most notable SteepleCats alumni, right-hander Mike Ekstrom made his majorleague debut with the San Diego Padres back in the 2008 season. The 6-0, 190-pound hurler from Portland, Ore., spent two seasons with the Padres and two more with the Tampa Bay Rays before signing a minor-league contract with the Colorado Rockies this past December. In 2010, he posted a 3.31 ERA in 16 1/3 innings with the Rays. Eckstrom is off to a great start in 2012, dominating the Pacific Coast league with a 1.14 ERA in 23 innings pitched with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Barring any setbacks, a call-up could be likely for Eckstrom before the end of the season. Bobby Wilson SteepleCats ’02 | Saint Petersburg College | C/1B | Drafted by Anaheim Angels (’02) Another member of a heavily drafted 2002 SteepleCats squad, Bobby Wilson was drafted by the Angels just prior to their 2002 World Series championship and has worked his way up to the Majors after spending the better part of seven seasons in the minors before debuting with the Angels

Former SteepleCat star Ryan Fraser is now with the Mets Single-A team in Georgia, where he is off to a fast start. back in 2008. While he spent 2008 and 2009 mostly with the Salt Lake Bees, he has earned time in more than 100 big-league games with the Angels since the beginning of the 2010 season. This year, he’s appeared in 23 games and has totaled 11 hits with three runs scored for the Angels. Joe Smith SteepleCats ’05 | Wright State| RHP | Drafted by New York Mets (’06) One of the best stories for the SteepleCats Alumni this season has been the continued success of right-handed reliever Joe Smith, who is now in his sixth season of major-league action and continues to rank among some of the league’s best options from the bullpen. Known for his unique delivery that borders on side arm and submarine, Smith has posted more great numbers this year to the tune of a 4-1 record and 2.84 ERA as a reliever for the upstart Indians. He has finished three games while striking out 15 and yielding 13 hits over 19 innings. Cole Gillespie SteepleCats ’05 | Oregon State | OF | Drafted by Milwaukee Brewers (’06) Another well-known North Adams alumnus, Cole Gillespie made his major league debut with the Diamondbacks in 2010 after

being acquired in a trade from the Brewers in 2009. In his limited season with the D-Backs, Gillespie posted 24 hits – including eight doubles and two home runs – while driving in 12 runs over a span of 45 games. He has since moved back to Triple-A Reno where he spent most of 2011 and has opened up 2012. After batting an even .300 last year, Gillespie has drilled 38 hits while scoring 25 runs for the Aces this spring. Ryan Fraser SteepleCats ’09 | Memphis | RHP | Drafted by New York Mets (’10) A recent member of the SteepleCats, Ryan Fraser is making his way through the lower echelons of the Mets’ farm system, but has done nothing but impressed since being drafted in the 16th round of the MLB Draft. The Cleveland, Tenn., native played his college ball at Memphis, and has dominated the New York Penn League in his rookie season in 2010 with 39 strikeouts in just 31 innings. He posted a microscopic ERA of 1.44, and yielded just 16 hits that year with the Brooklyn Cyclones, as well. After spending 2011 with the Savannah Sand Gnats (Single-A), Fraser is off to a hot start for the High-A St. Lucie Mets in 2012, posting a 2.08 ERA in 26 innings pitched in the Florida State League.


S ports

June 7, 2012

The Berkshire Beacon

Berkshire Sports Guy:

Local school pushes out talent Dick Syriac Beacon Staff Writer

Cathedral High School of Springfield, Mass., has been around a long time. Many Berkshire County athletes recall the battles over the years with the Panthers and remember that the school has produced many outstanding and famous alumni. We could start with Angelo Bertelli (‘40) who went on to Notre Dame and won the Heismen Trophy in 1943. There was Nick Buoniconti (‘58), who, after a fine career at Notre Dame, went on to the NFL Hall of Fame after playing for the Dolphins and Patriots. Joe Scibelli (‘56), also a former Fighting Irish gridman, excelled for the L.A. Rams and played in several pro bowls. Joe McDowell (‘68) captained his Villanova Wildcat squad to the Final Four. Derrick Kellogg (’91), former UMass point guard and current head coach, and Chris Capuano (‘96), a Duke grad and current starting pitcher for the L.A. Dodgers, also come to mind when recalling graduates of the Surrey Road high school. At The Beacon we like to feature articles that have a local angle, meaning a county angle. County sports fans remember Mike Martin (’65) when he played basketball under coach Joe Zavattaro at North Adams State in the late ‘60s. After graduation, Mike went on to coach Commerce High School to three state titles and is currently the athletic director for the Springfield School System. On June 2, Brown University of Providence, R.I., and the Ivy

League Conference introduced Mike Martin, 29, CHS graduate of the class of 2000, as their 31st head men’s basketball coach in the program’s 106-year history. Mike, the son of Mike and Kate Scala Martin of Agawam, was a 2004 graduate of Brown, where he was a four-year starter on the Bears hoop team. Young Mike has a very impressive resume when it comes to sports. A gym rat at his dad’s practice sessions as a youngster, Mike went on to excel at Cathedral as a three-sport athlete. In football he started as quarterback for three years and as a senior, he was all western Massachusetts first team and a USA All State selection. He pitched and played outfield for the Panthers baseball squad for two years and was captain as a senior. Basketball was always his first love. At Cathedral he was a threeyear starter and garnered all western Massachusetts honors his junior and senior years. He totaled over 1,200 points and was named the Lahovich Award winner his senior year as the best player in western Massachusetts. Mike went on to have an outstanding career at Brown. When he graduated he ranked third alltime in treys (143), ninth in career steals (113) and 10th in career assists, averaging 11 points a game as a senior. Even for a very unselfish player those are very impressive stats for a 6’6” forward. When his career was over at Brown he took his skills overseas spending the 2004-2005 season playing professional basketball see LOCAL page 15

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