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July 5, 2012 Volume III, Issue 7

FREE

www.berkshirebeacon.com Lenox, MA 01240

Hillary Scott

Brava opens - Page 7

Kameron Z. Spaulding / Berkshire Beacon

The desire to protect the town’s historic properties, like Shakespeare and Company, is driving the discussion.

Historic commission exploring new bylaws Bera B. Dunau Beacon Staff Writer

The Berkshire LENOX – The Lenox Historical Commission is in the Beacon

process of investigating two new bylaws to help preserve historic buildings. “We’re simply just exploring 1 Local it at this time,” said Historical Chairwoman News Commission Olga Weiss. 6 Editorial The two bylaws that the his6 From the torical commission is examin Tower ing are an affirmative mainte9 Fast Picks nance bylaw and a demolition 10 Calendar delay bylaw. An affirmative maintenance 10 Books bylaw requires that the owners 11 Business of historic buildings maintain Card their structural components, Directory or face a penalty. A demolition delay bylaw institutes a man13 Movies datory waiting period, gener14 Beer & ally varying from weeks to a Wine year depending on the bylaw, 12 Food before a historic building is demolished, during which 15 Sports time interested parties can try

Index

to raise the money to buy it from its owners or find other means to save it from destruction. “A demolition [delay] bylaw doesn’t keep people from demolishing things,” said Chairwoman Weiss, clarifying the measure. “It just gives you breathing room.” Chairwoman Weiss did say that an affirmative maintenance bylaw would probably generate more push back, however. “[An affirmative maintenance bylaw] does impose some responsibility on the part of owners to make sure they don’t abandon a building,” said Chairwoman Weiss, who also made clear that the primary purpose of the law would be to prevent buildings from falling into serious disrepair. Still, Chairwoman Weiss see BYLAW page 3

James Taylor and Taylor Swift perform “Fire and Rain” at Tanglewood on Monday night. Taylor performed three shows from the venue this week.

Taylors at Tanglewood Read more on page 7

St. Ann’s ready to start a new summer tradition LENOX - St. Ann’s Parish on Main Street is reaching out to the Berkshire community, inviting everyone to its new summer festival July 13-15. Residents and visitors are welcome. This year it is a three-day fete of family fun, food and events in a come-one, come-all community spirit. Food and drink service is available all day Saturday and Sunday, and the event goes on rain or shine. One of the highlights of the festival is Friday’s Casino Night. Professionals are helping to set up an authentic gambling casino. Poker, blackjack and the see FESTIVAL page 5

Kameron Z. Spaulding / Berkshire Beacon

St. Ann’s Parish on Main Street will host their new summer festival July 13-15.


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The Berkshire Beacon

July 5, 2012

“Changing of the guard” at Pittsfield Public Schools Catherine M. Krummey Beacon Staff Writer

Kameron Z. Spaulding / Berkshire Beacon

The number of CSAs in the county is on the rise.

CSAs on the rise in The Berkshires Kameron Z. Spaulding Beacon Staff Writer

As the desire to be more “green” and eat locally has grown, so have the number of Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in the county. A CSA is a group of citizens who pledge to support one or more local farms. Those CSA members pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit. There are now over 20 CSAs in the county. One of these options is Holiday Brook Farm of Dalton, which offers weekly large or small vegetable shares from June through October. Members select their choice of organically-grown, harvested vegetables, including Upick crops. “Holiday Brook Farm is dedicated to providing our community with delicious and nutritious food. Our vegetables and livestock are grown organically,” said Desiree Robertson-DuBois, farm manager. “Our animals are born here and raised without chemicals, routine antibiotics, hormones or GMO grain. They are rotated through our fields and pastures during the growing season so that they get plenty of fresh air, sunshine and nutritious greenery.” Pick up days are on Tuesdays or

Saturdays at the farm in Dalton. Box shares are available at Berkshire Mall Farmers Market on Saturdays. The monthly meat shares are also available in 10-lb., 15-lb. or 20-lb. sizes. Farm store hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Vegetables, meats, maple syrup and yarn are some of the products at the store. Also in the CSA market is the Hancock Shaker Village. The Hancock Shakers were known far and wide for the quality of their produce and delectable recipes. “We are thrilled to continue the Shaker food tradition through the offering of CSA memberships,” said Ellen Spear, HSV president and CEO. “The village is working to sustain the best farming practices in Berkshire County, utilizing an all-natural, pesticide-free approach.” The CSA at HSV is designed to provide produce for up to 30 households. Full-shares (feeding four people per week) and halfshares (accommodating two people) are available for $550 or $225 per season, respectively. The farm features both Shaker heirloom and modern varieties of a wide range of crops, such as tomatoes, lettuces, cucumbers, sweet corn, green beans and apples. There are still shares available at both of these and many other CSAs around the county.

PITTSFIELD – A “changing of the guard” has officially taken place within the Pittsfield Public Schools, according to School Committee Chairman Alfred E. Barbalunga. By two unanimous votes (with the exception of Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi, who was absent), the Pittsfield School Committee approved the contracts of Dr. Gordon L. Noseworthy and Dr. N. Tracy Crowe as the district’s interim superintendent and deputy superintendent, respectively. “I’m very excited to welcome aboard Dr. Tracy Crowe and Dr. Gordon Noseworthy,” Chairman Barbalunga said. Dr. Noseworthy replaces Dr. Howard “Jake” Eberwein III, who announced his resignation in January. Dr. Crowe replaces Dr. Barbara Malkas, who is leaving the district to become the superintendent of Webster Public Schools. “I want to thank them both for what they’ve done for the children and our community,” School Committee Member Kathleen A. Amuso said of Dr. Eberwein and Dr. Malkas. Dr. Eberwein has been employed by Pittsfield Public Schools since 1995, Dr. Malkas since 1987. Chairman Barbalunga added that Dr. Malkas was his chemistry teacher during her first year in the district. “I want to thank Jake and Barb for their service,” said School Committee Vice Chairman Daniel Elias. “You treated people like human beings. … You created an atmosphere that allowed for success.” “Not only are you just topnotch professionals, but wonderful people,” added School Committee Member James B. Conant. “I wish you the greatest success as you move on.” In response to the school committee members’ comments, Dr. Eberwein said, “I really appreciate the kind words from the committee and everyone I’ve had the opportunity to talk to over the last few months.” He went on to thank the school committee, teachers and staff for

Catherine M. Krummey / Berkshire Beacon

Dr. Howard “Jake” Eberwein III announced he would resign as superintendent in January and left June 30. sharing in the district’s success. “Pittsfield is squarely focused on making the education of its children is a priority,” Dr. Eberwein said. “It’s an incredible place to work – I’ve been here for 18 years and it’s going to be hard not driving in.” He added that his favorite memories of his time in the district were in the classroom, recalling his days as a teacher and a coach. As to the district’s future, Dr. Eberwein said, “I have high hopes and expectations for the coming years.” Dr. Eberwein pledged to be oncall for the new administration; he had a few meetings with Dr. Noseworthy and Dr. Crowe last week and prepared a seven-page document with an outline of the work to be done in the district. Dr. Crowe told Dr. Eberwein, “We’re going to hit the ground running on Monday.”

At the June 27 school committee meeting, Dr. Crowe added, “I look forward to working with Dr. Noseworthy. I’m very excited about the work and can’t wait to get started.” Upon the approval of his contract, Dr. Noseworthy said, “I’m very pleased with the way this has worked out. … We are going to do our best to do a lot of listening in the next couple of weeks.” Dr. Noseworthy, a former assistant principal at Taconic High School and administrator in other districts, will earn $131,250 for his year as interim superintendent. The school committee plans to hire a permanent superintendent within the year. Dr. Crowe, who left her position as math coordinator and assistant high school principal with Marblehead Public Schools to come to Pittsfield, agreed to a three-year contract with a salary of $120,000 per year.

“Pittsfield is squarely focused on making the education of its children is a priority.” —Dr. Howard “Jake” Eberwein III


July 5, 2012

The Berkshire Beacon

3

McGarry steps down as chief in Sheffield

S u m m e r p l ay

Clara

Showing July 7th – September 2nd

Kameron Z. Spaulding Beacon Staff Writer

SHEFFIELD – One major change will be noticed if you walk into the Sheffield Police Station. James M. McGarry resigned as police chief after 41 years as the head of the department. Changes are also on the way for the fire department. Selectwoman Julie M. Hannum moved to appoint Steven Hyer, Mark Robitaille and Robert Kilmer as probationary members of the fire department, as recommended by Chief Richard Boardman, seconded by Selectman Rene Wood. The motion carried unanimously. The Sheffield Association has sent out a newsletter to all homes in the town before each election and annual meeting cycle. The association has requested that the town help with the cost to print and mail the newsletter for the next year. The town is interested in possibly funding the group to keep the publication viable. The town is also looking to fill a number of vacant seats on town BYLAW from page 1 made clear that, at the moment, the historical commission is just looking at these two bylaws. “It’s very much a topic for discussion but we don’t plan any action at this time,” said Chairwoman Weiss. As to why the historical commission is investigating the possibility of bringing two new bylaws to Lenox, Chairwoman Weiss said that the recent demolition of a historic building on Franklin and Church streets had caught the attention of the historic commission. According to Chairwoman Weiss, the building was neglected by its owners and fell into disrepair, so much so that the building inspector ordered it to come down. Chairwoman Weiss said that she and the historical commission worried that some owners of historic buildings might purposefully allow them to go into disrepair in order for them to be demolished and for the valuable prop-

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The Town of Sheffield approved the addition of a clothing recycling box to the town’s recycling center. boards. There are open seats on the historical commission, disabilities commission, five-town cable advisory committee, cultural council, conservation commission and the parks and recreation commission. Other news John A. James and Colin Smith

were unanimously re-appointed to the finance committee at the last meeting of the select board. The town also approved the addition of a clothing recycling box to the town’s recycling center. The public can drop all clothing items in the box and they will be donated to the needy.

erty on which they stand to be repurposed. Chairwoman Weiss said that it was this concern that caused her and the historical commission to go to the Massachusetts Historical Commission, who pointed them to affirmative maintenance and demolition delay bylaws, which they strongly recommend that towns adopt. Affirmative maintenance and demolition delay bylaws have been adopted by a number of communities throughout the commonwealth. “We have a town that earns its living from bringing people in from around the world,” said Chairwoman Weiss, citing the importance of Lenox’s historic character in generating tourism. “To keep our historic interest we have to preserve our historic assets.” Still, Chairwoman Weiss gave no indication that either she or the historical commission wants to ram these bylaws through. “Our intention is to bring everybody gently to a good conclusion,” said Chairwoman Weiss,

who took pains throughout the interview to make clear that the commission was planning no actions at this time. “The goal … is not to be difficult for property owners but to come to some way [of ] everybody agreeing how we’re going to preserve our historic assets.” As for the public reaction to the commission’s explorations, Chairwoman Weiss said that they’d already come up against some opposition. “There’s a lot of push back, people don’t want impositions on their ability to act,” said Chairwoman Weiss. Still, she said she had encountered a mix of responses, and the commission would get a clearer idea about public opinion if they decided to move forward with trying to advance the bylaws, which would involve holding public forums on the subject. “We don’t know [how the town feels] until we get further down the line and we see how people feel in public forum,” Chairwoman Weiss said.


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The Berkshire Beacon

Lenox selectman make progress on several fronts Bera B. Dunau Beacon Staff Writer

LENOX – The Lenox Board of Selectmen recently enjoyed a swift and productive session. At their most recent meeting, the board of selectmen took decisive action on a number of items. Highlights of the meeting included: -The board of selectmen approved a resolution calling for the passage of a Constitutional Amendment to reverse the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. The decision allows for corporations and labor unions to spend unlimited amounts of money on independent political expenditures, and was a key contributor to the creation of super PACs. It also sparked a movement to pass a constitutional amendment to undo the ruling. The selectmen were presented with a petition, signed by 160 Lenox citizens asking them to endorse such an amendment at their previous meeting, but delayed voting on it in order for Selectman Ed Lane to examine the issue, which he was unfamiliar with. When the proposed resolution came up at the June 20 meeting, however, the select board unanimously voted to approve the resolution as presented. “I’m glad to be part of Lenox again,” said Helen Fink, one of the three citizens who brought the petition to the selectmen at both meetings. -The board of selectmen approved new contracts for the Lenox Department of Public Works, Police Department and Fire Department. These contracts were negotiated by each of these departments’ respective unions. The board of selectmen also signed Town Manager Gregory Federspiel’s new contract, which they’d approved at their previous meeting. -The board of selectmen approved new guidelines for donations of public installations to the Town of Lenox, a broad category that includes memorials. The new guidelines were drafted by the board of selectmen and the town manager, and consisted

July 5, 2012

Frieri looks to expand veterans assistance Nancy Shepherd Beacon Correspondent

Kameron Z. Spaulding / Berkshire Beacon

The Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon received marketing money from the town. of the draft guidelines that the selectmen revised at their previous meeting. The guidelines were created for use by the board of selectmen and can be revised at any duly warned selectmen’s meeting (i.e. a meeting where revising the guidelines is an agenda item). A copy of the new guidelines can be found on The Berkshire Beacon’s website. -The board of selectmen granted a change in operating hours to Brava Bar, the newly-opened restaurant and bar at the former location of Fin Sushi. Brava Bar can now be open for drinks from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. and for food from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. This will make Brava Bar one of the few places one can grab a late night bite to eat in Lenox. -The selectmen also approved another sandwich board sign, this time for The Bookstore, although the selectmen did quip about the quality of the drawing of the proposed sign that was given to them. -The selectmen also heard a proposal from the Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon asking for $2,500 to help market the race. The marketing and events committee had approved recommending to the selectmen that

they approve this funding, and the selectmen seemed receptive to the concept. However, because the request was not on the agenda, the select board did not feel comfortable approving it. Instead, they scheduled a special meeting on June 25 to take up the matter. The selectmen ended up approving the funds for the race at this meeting, conditional on the organizers returning the money to the town after the event was completed, which would allow the select board to assist more Lenox events in marketing themselves. -Near the close of the meeting, Select Board Chairman Kenneth Fowler acknowledged recent pressures on the board of selectmen to comply with the Open Meeting Law and promised that the board would strive to exceed what was required of them in the future. “It is my desire that we move to a higher degree of transparency and accountability and compliance and wherever possible we will exceed what’s expected of us,” said Chairman Fowler, who also said that he’d appreciated all of the help that he’d received on this issue.

Rosanne M. Frieri, director of the City of Pittsfield Veterans’ Service Office, recently retired from the Air National Guards after serving more than 20 years. Today her goal is to help veterans through pubic assistance which is available through Chapter 115. The commonwealth provides a uniform program of financial and medical assistance for indigent veterans and their dependents. Qualifying veterans and their dependents receive necessary financial assistance for food, shelter, clothing, fuel and medical care in accordance with a formula that takes into account the number of dependents and income from all sources. To apply call the local city hall Veterans’ Service Office (413)499-9433. Chapter 115 benefits are not

taxable income; however, you must report this income when applying for or renewing subsidized housing applications, Section Eight applications, and SNAP applications. Ms. Frieri, plans to start up the Veteran’s Advisory Board and once she receives written approval from the Pittsfield City Council. Their vision is: -To provide unity, community involvement and assistance with the coordination of events. -To explain programs such as reconnection workshops, home comings, parades, bridge and road sign dedications, golf tournament and flag placements. -To assist with family needs, snow removal, lawn care and rides to appointments. -To work together to promote ceremonies including Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, 9/11 Day, Veteran’s Day and Pearl Harbor Day.

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July 5, 2012

The Berkshire Beacon

5

Planning board to begin open space plan

Kameron Z. Spaulding Beacon Staff Writer

Catherine M. Krummey / Berkshire Beacon

The SBRSD School Committee meets to discuss their superintendent search.

SBRSD starts search process Catherine M. Krummey Beacon Staff Writer

SHEFFIELD – The search for a new superintendent for the Southern Berkshire Regional School District (SBRSD) is getting an early start. At their most recent meeting, the SBRSD School Committee heard a presentation from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) on the services the organization provides if hired to do a superintendent search. This comes a year before current Superintendent Michael J. Singleton leaves his position. Patricia Correira, MASC’s field director for training and development, gave the presentation. “This is probably the most important thing you’ll do as a school committee,” Mrs. Correira said, adding that the superintendent search will likely take the committee four to six months. In discussion with the school committee members, Mrs. Correira advised them to start their search in August and have the job advertised in September or October. The SBRSD School Committee did not make a motion to hire MASC to assist in their superintendent search at the June 28 meeting. Future of Southern Berkshire Educational Collaborative questioned Following votes by the Lenox, Lee and Berkshire Hills school committees to dissolve the South-

ern Berkshire Educational Collaborative (SBEC), an SBRSD vote was on the agenda. School Committee Member Charles B. Flynn suggested tabling that vote until the SBRSD lawyer reviews the possibility of going on with the collaborative without the other districts and perhaps partnering with another rural district such as the Central Berkshire Regional School District (CBRSD). “We really do need collaboration,” Mr. Flynn said. “We owe it to the children of this region.” The SBEC is ending due to new legislation that would require an executive director to be hired, which the collaborative could not afford. The school committee voted to table their vote on the future of the SBEC pending discussion with legal counsel. Other business All 10 of the seats on the school committee are up for election this November. School Committee Chairman Herb Abelow shared that only five candidates have filed the appropriate paperwork to run so far. The deadline to submit paperwork to the local board of registrars or election commissioners for certification of signatures is 5 p.m. on July 24. More information about the process is available online at sbrsd.org. The next two SBRSD School Committee meetings are scheduled for July 19 and August 23 at 6 p.m. in the Mount Everett Regional High School library.

LENOX – The town can finally begin the process to develop an open meeting plan. The planning board will be able to access the CPA founds they were granted at the Town Meeting to develop an open space plan with the start of the fiscal year on July 1. At Town Meeting, $20,000 was granted to fund the project. The planning board will use the funds to hire a firm to hold public hearings and discussions as well as develop and write the official plan. “We have the boiler plate stuff, now we really need someone to help facilitate these important discussions,” said Town Planner Mary Albertson at the June 26 meeting. The board has discussed their goals of the plan. “I hope after this last year of controversies like the Belvedere, we need a solid and detailed plan to provide some framework and guidance,” said Board Member Kathleen McNulty-Vaughan. Once the open space plan is created, the selectman, conservation commission and the planning board must approve it before it can be sent to the state for final approval. To work on crafting ideas for the open space plan, the board will look into establishing a FESTIVAL from page 1 “money” wheel are some of the games you can play. Everyone has a chance to go home a winner with exciting prizes. A cash bar and snacks are available. St. Ann’s Festival Committee is busy organizing events to suit everyone’s tastes. The Antiques Roadshow inspired the festival’s Antique Appraisals. A Lenox professional will be there to value your treasures. Be sure to keep them handheldsize only. Exciting items are being collected for the Live Auction. You can bid on a week on Martha’s Vineyard, sport and spa packages from area venues, gift certificates from unique shops and lots more. Saturday and Sunday gives you

Kameron Z. Spaulding / Berkshire Beacon

The town hopes to preserve their open space, like this on Lenox Mountain, with the new plan. taskforce. The taskforce would feature nine representatives – one each from the planning board, board of selectman, community preservation commission, historical commission, conservation commission, Kennedy Park committee, community center board, the land trust and an at-large member. Through the process of working on the plan this taskforce would present progress to the planning board every few meetings. The board hopes to have the plan done by next summer, but they can request an extension if it

is needed.

the chance to do some shopping. The Tag Sale always draws a big crowd. Items are arriving every day. Books are being collected and sorted, and St. Ann’s bakers are preparing their special baked goods for some hungry people. To add more color to the afternoon, you’re invited to promenade in your favorite dazzling hat or design one especially for the festival. Show off your creativity. Kids are a big part of the festivities. The free Carnival for Kids will keep them busy and happy for hours. There’s a bounce house for them, face painting, a balloon clown and some surprises. Let the kids show off the family pooch in the Doggie Pageant. Another highlight is Saturday evening’s Taste of the Berkshires.

Twenty-plus area restaurants will share tastings of their specialties. The cost is $30 per person and includes one free glass of wine or other drink. There are two seatings: 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets are limited, so be sure to get your seats ASAP at the Parish Office, after masses, or call (413) 637-0157 for more information. A culmination of this community event comes together on Sunday. A pancake breakfast (best breakfast bargain in town) is followed by 11:15 a.m. Mass under the main tent. All are welcome to attend. A “potluck family picnic” with sack-races and other family competitions ends the weekend’s festivities.

Other news After attending a historical commission seminar regarding the development of a demolition delay bylaw or the development of an affirmative maintenance bylaw, members of the planning board presented their findings. The discussion centered around which option would be better and if the community could “stomach” either regulation. The historical commission also attended the seminar and expressed interest in instituting one of these bylaws.


6

The Berkshire Beacon

Editorial:

Happy Birthday America Whether you escaped from The Berkshires to the seashore or the lakes and woods of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine or south to Connecticut or Rhode Island, you’ll have experienced collectively our day of independence. The good news is Tanglewood, on this, their 75th birthday, will be the scene of our own James Taylor complete with fireworks. On July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence from Britain and democracy was born. Every day thousands leave their homeland to come to the “land of the free and the home of the brave” so they can begin their American Dream, according to usacitylink.com/usa/ independence-day/. The United States is truly a diverse nation made up of dy-

T H E

namic people. Each year on July 4, Americans celebrate that freedom and independence with barbecues, picnics and family gatherings. Through the internet, we are learning about and communicating with people of different nations, with different languages and different races throughout the world. Bringing the world closer with understanding and knowledge can only benefit all nations. We invite all nations to celebrate with Americans online this Fourth of July. Happy Birthday, America! “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands. One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

B E R K S H I R E

BEACON THE GUIDING LIGHT OF THE BERKSHIRES

July 5, 2012

View From the Tower George C. Jordan III

We need professionals to help promote The Berkshires News item: The Lee Community Development Corporation (CDC) can no longer afford to pay its executive director Richard H. Vinette Jr. $70,000, after 16 years, to promote Lee as both a trade area and a re-use industrial complex site. More important today is keeping him employed to help develop and define the future of the Lee paper mills, several of which are idle today, and their respective future in question. CDC Board Chairman John Philpott said revenue has dried up, forcing the agency to let him go as its only paid staff member. The announcement was shortsighted in many respects. The CDC should have contacted Stockbridge and Lenox and come up with a shared director at $25,000 a piece. Certainly Stockbridge and Lenox could use a development director along with Lee. Stockbridge has an industrial park owned by JSW Enterprises,

Ltd., registered agent: Attorney Richard M. Dohoney, of 55 North Street, Suite 304, Pittsfield. Three directors are listed Jay Mcbrian, 1340 Buccaneer Ln., Vero Beach, Fla., 32963; Sandra L. Vohr, P.O. Box 130, Northville, N.Y., 12134; and Wendy A Mcbrian, 1983 29th Avenue, San Francisco, Calif., 94116. Lenox Dale has a series of commercial/industrial sites that could be marketed by Mr. Vinette to bring in new taxes and jobs. So, too, sites along the routes 7 and 20 corridor. Pooling our resources Perhaps pooling our police and departments of public works would not work for several reasons due to perceived personality conflicts. Who would be in charge? Here is a prime example of the tri-towns (Stockbridge, Lee and Lenox) coming together for the betterment of each community to help market, develop and sustained planned growth within

three communities. It certainly has worked under the Tri-Town Health Department. “You need to have someone who understands how to move development forward,” Mr. Philpott is quoted as saying. Lee Select Board Chairwoman Patricia Carlino has acknowledged Mr. Vinette’s ability to work with developers and has interacted with state agencies for potential funding. A community development specialist for Pittsfield, he had his own law practice in the 1980s before the CDC hired him in 1996 as executive director. Mr. Vinette focused on its economic base as the town’s five paper mills, which were closed by June 2008. One remains operating under new ownership. Mr. Vinette is quoted as saying that he believes manufacturing with a niche still has a future here.

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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.

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July 5, 2012

The Berkshire Beacon

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The Taylors sell out Tanglewood

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LENOX - The first of three nights at Tanglewood for James Taylor was a sellout as crowds formed to see him perform with special guest Taylor Swift. Taylor and Swift sang Swift’s “Ours” and “Love Story” and Taylor’s hit Fire and Rain. Taylor continued to please the crowds on Tuesday and again on Wednesday for another sold out performance. The July 4th show was a celebration complete with fireworks. The grounds opened at 4 p.m. with Theatre Nouveau artistes offering face painting and henna design. Tom Murphy, Waldo and Woodhead and Randy Judkins also performed on the law through the afternoon. Taylor never disappointed playing hits from many of his albums.

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LENOX – Whitney Asher, owner and operator of the newlyopened restaurant Brava, is trying to create a timeless classic in the heart of Lenox. “I wanted to make it a place like the places I know and like to go that have been around and been the same for somewhere between 50 and 200 years,” said Mr. Asher. Mr. Asher grew up in Santa Fe, N.M., went to college in Chicago and has lived in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Mr. Asher has worked in the restaurant industry for years, and his last job was as the manager for the wine department and wine bar of a massive Whole Foods Market in Venice, Calif. “We were moving probably 15 pallet loads of beer and wine a week, if not 20,” said Mr. Asher, in describing the scale of his former department. Brava, located at 27 Housatonic St. on the former premises of

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The traffic backs up on Walker Street in Lenox as the crowds gather to watch James Taylor and special guest Taylor Swift for the Monday show.

Brava opens in Lenox Bera B, Dunau Beacon Staff Writer

7

in The Berkshire Beacon Call 413-637-2250

138 years, 16 locations, one mission

Fin Sushi, is the first restaurant Mr. Asher. Mr. Asher has owned. Asked why Brava serves food and drinks he’d chosen to open it in The from 5 p.m.-1 a.m., food service Berkshires, Mr. Asher said his hours that make it stand out from family lived in the area, and the lo- many other establishments in cation was “too good to pass up.” The Berkshires. “I wanted it to be a place that “I think that there’s definitely a would be one room essentially; I business for later dining here, bedidn’t want it to be very big,” said cause of all the events in the eveMr. Asher. ning,” said Mr. Asher when asked BERKBE PUBLICATION SIZE 1.95” 4” x 1/2” SCREEN 85 lpi Mr. Asher’s sister, along with why he’d chosen to have late WOnight # 142217 IO # 608188 NOTES her husband and children, has dining hours, also citing lived in The Berkshires for the the establishment’s European inpast 10 years, while Mr. Asher’s spiration. “In Barcelona, no one father has lived in The Berkshires is out to dinner until 11 o’clock for five years. at night anyway.” Brava is a European-style wine Mr. Asher said that he was conbar that has an extensive selection sidering opening earlier on in the of wines and beers, with an em- day and that the menu and wine phasis on French, Spanish and and beer lists would be expanding Italian wines and wines of those and rotating throughout the sumstyles from elsewhere in the mer months. world. Its menu features Italian, As for business, Mr. Asher said Spanish and French flavors and Brava is doing well, and its recepincludes such items as tapas, br- tion in the community has been a uschetta and flatbreads. good one. “It seemed to me like a good fit “Business has been going really for the space, a good fit for the well. We’ve been ramping up Bera B. Dunau / Berkshire Beacon area, something that wasn’t avail- slowly, but things have been pro- Whitney Asher stands in front of his new restaurant Brava on able in the area and would fit in gressing very nicely,” said Mr. Housatonic Street in Lenox. well with the market here,” said Asher.


8

The Berkshire Beacon

Susan Wicker Guerrero / Berkshire Beacon

Susanna Abarbanel has been the owner and operator of the Acorn’s Hope bed and breakfast for 12 years.

Offering hope for a great vacation Susan M. Wicker Guerrero Beacon Staff Writer

GREAT BARRINGTON – Acorn’s Hope, a bed and breakfast establishment that exudes charm, sits on 1.6 acres in an exquisite countryside setting, directly across from Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Built in 1936, the Cape Codstyle house has a slate roof. Two additions were made in 1980 and in 1991, so today Acorn’s Hope has five bedrooms and five baths. Three are open to guests. Susanna Abarbanel, owner and operator of the bed and breakfast, makes everyone feel welcome. Her optimistic personality has been drawing guests from throughout the United States and several different countries since she bought Acorn’s Hope in 2000. The name Abarbanel, she said, is historical, derived from Sephardi Jews, who are descendants of Spanish Jews. Run business for 12 years For 12 years, Ms. Abarbanel has run the entire bed and breakfast operation by herself and has done a remarkable job. The lawn and flower gardens of Acorn’s Hope are flourishing. Inside, the rooms are neat, clean and nicely decorated. Currently, “a blessed friend,”

Angela Carlson, is assisting. Ms. Abarbanel is a petite woman with short, curly light-colored hair and a warm smile. She walked along the property, pointing out huge beech and oak trees. (One guest room is called the Beech Room, named after the beech tree that, unfortunately, was damaged during a storm last year.) The Beech Room has a private entrance and can be used for guests requiring longer stays. There’s a king-sized bed and an overhead fan that keeps things cool in warmer weather. The room has a romantic look but is not “too girly,” Ms. Abarbanel said. There’s a swing hanging from one of the old trees and guests of all ages love to swing on it. Conservation land behind house Sweeping lawns in back of the house are all conservation land and cannot be developed. Neighbors have llamas and a horse and keep everything up “exquisitely beautiful.” “I’m very lucky,” Ms. Abarbanel said. Guests love to walk in the countryside and ride bikes as well. Light floods through windows inside Acorn’s Hope, making it a very cheerful place to be.

Birds outside a dining room window are fed as well as human guests inside. The winged creatures flit and fly around to the delight of guests watching through the window. “People spend a lot of time looking at the birds,” Mrs. Abarbanel said. “It’s kind of like looking at fish in a tank.” Ariel, an African grey parrot In the kitchen, Ariel, an African grey parrot with a red-orange tail, rules the roost. “I always wanted a parrot,” Ms. Abarbanel said. Ariel came to Acorn’s Hope when she was only one-and-ahalf-years-old, and she’s going to have her 13th birthday this month. African grey parrots are “famous talkers,” she said. Ariel had stepped out of her cage in the kitchen and was prancing around the floor, quite content to be skipping near the bottom of the kitchen cabinet. Ms. Abarbanel pointed out the cherry sleigh bed in the Quince Room. An easy-to-wash matelasse spread neatly covered the top. Matelasse is a French word that actually means quilted, padded or cushioned. The fabric appears to be woven, has a raised pattern and is very attractive. “This is a comfortable room,” she said. Walls are all done in pastel. House had dark pink walls When Ms. Abarbanel bought the house in 2000, it was painted completely in dark pink. All the rooms had to be painted and are now bright and cheerful looking. Breakfast in the dining room is served family-style. She serves fruit, yogurt, granola, a choice of juices and a savory entrée or a sweet bread. All the eggs served are organic and breads come from the Berkshire Mountain Bakery. “They’re fabulous,” she said, and they have a fabulous selection of breads. The kitchen of the bed and breakfast used to be 17.5 by two feet and it has been totally renovated and expanded. Running a bed and breakfast business all these years suits Ms. Abarbanel very well. “You can make a living at it,” she said, “and you have to like people.” Originally from the Chicago area, Mrs. Abarbanel said the apartment she once lived in was directly across from President Barack Obama’s residence. Prior to owning Acorn’s Hope,

July 5, 2012

Ms. Abarbanel did various things, she said, including teaching eurythmy (a type of movement therapy) at Waldorf schools. She studied psychology at the University of Arizona in Tucson and eventually graduated in theater from a college in California. Grateful for all guests She loves being a bed and breakfast owner. “I’m grateful for everyone who walks in the door,” she said, adding she enjoys making each guest’s stay as comfortable as possible. Guests love the beds, the quiet, the breakfasts and the birds, she said. She has hosted people from all over the United States as well as many different countries including England, France, Indonesia, Japan and several places in South America. The “icing on the cake” is to become friends with guests and develop relationships with parents of students who attend the college across the road from Acorn’s Hope, Ms. Abarbanel said. “I’ve met so many interesting people,” she said. “Some are so delighted to be coming to a bed and breakfast for the first time.” Many others are repeat customers who come back again and

again, year after year. Naming Acorn’s Hope When parents are about to have a baby, it’s sometimes hard to think of names. “Try naming a business,” Mrs. Abarbanel laughed. “Give me a break.” She did non-stop thinking about what to name her business. Since she’s a lover of poetry, she needed something with resonance. When an acorn falls, one hopes it takes root, she said, thus the name was born! Everywhere one looks inside Acorn’s Hope, there’s something fascinating to see. African decorations on the mantle came from Mrs. Abarbanel’s son, Noah Fischel. He travels to Africa with an organization called African Solutions to African Problems. Mrs. Abarbanel also has two adopted grandsons, one of whom attends Bard College. During the warmer months, there are flowers in every room of Acorn’s Hope. The best aspect of running a bed and breakfast is the people, Ms. Abarbanel said. “You like to do something of value in your life,” she said. “It keeps you going.”

Susan Wicker Guerrero / Berkshire Beacon

Acorn’s Hope Bed and Breakfast in Great Barrington has hosted guests from around the country and even around the world.


July 5, 2012

The Berkshire Beacon

9

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An example of period gas lighting is seen at Ventfort Hall.

Lighting history explained at Ventfort Hall lecture Catherine M. Krummey Beacon Staff Writer

LENOX – Ventfort Hall was one of the many early locations throughout the country to use gas lighting in a more rural setting. During a recent lecture at the historic residence, Dr. Donald W. Linebaugh, associate professor and director of the historic preservation program at the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, discussed the history of gas lighting. He recently published the book The Springfield Gas Machine: Illuminating Industry and Leisure, which was the main subject of his talk. “He made it absolutely fascinating,” said Tom Hayes, a member of the Ventfort Hall Program Committee, who introduced Dr. Linebaugh. “A lot of people don’t know how these early houses were lit.” Dr. Linebaugh broke his presentation down into three topics: the business, technological and social aspects of gas lighting. In the 1820s, gas lighting was introduced to urban areas and fueled through gas-generating pumps that went out to different residences and businesses in a

city. In 1867, the Springfield Gas Machine was made by Gilbert and Barker Manufacturing Company as a suburban and rural alternative to the urban system. “This system was portable – it could be installed at individual houses and businesses,” Dr. Linebaugh said. Gilbert and Barker sold both the gas and the machine to individuals. “By retaining the ability to sell the supply, they kept customers on the hook,” Dr. Linebaugh said. By 1880, Gilbert and Barker was the largest retailer of gasoline in the United States, selling about three million gallons per year, according to Dr. Linebaugh. The social benefits to gas lighting were numerous. “It was important for the growth of early suburbia and country houses like Ventfort Hall,” Dr. Linebaugh said. “It really did improve the quality of life.” In the winter, with the sun going down around 5 p.m., the time for leisure and entertainment was often cut short. The addition of lighting to people’s homes lengthened the day. “People could read or have parties late into the night,” Dr. Line-

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Dr. Lahey’s Garden Center and Landscaping 1032 South Street (Behind Guido’s) • Pittsfield, MA 413-443-7321 • www.laheysgarden.com Specializing in stone work and full service landscaping baugh said, adding that the social aspect of lighting was one of the main reasons it was installed in homes like Ventfort Hall. “Interior decorators really began to think about light fixtures and lighting when designing homes.” Dr. Linebaugh added that The Decoration of Houses, Edith Wharton’s 1897 book on interior decorating, specified the use of gas lighting. In the business world, the addition of lighting allowed for the creation of third shifts and safer working conditions, especially in more industrial settings, such as the paper mills in Lee. The era of gas lighting came to a close in the 1920s as electricity became more widely used.

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The Berkshire Beacon

Gabby is an inspiration The world knows that on January 8, 20ll, as Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, then in her second term, stood chatting with some of her constituents on a street corner in Tucson, a gunman shot her in the head, left six others dead and wounded 13. The basis of this book is her very long, very hard, very painful, but determined recovery. At her side was her astronaut husband, commander of the space shuttle Endeavor on its final mission – trying to decide, actually, whether he should give up that position in order to stay with her. As for the final space shuttle launch, not only did Gabby get to go to Cape Canaveral, but once it was successfully in space, was given roses from its captain (there is a picture of her holding them). Among the many things that make this book so interesting is the couple’s participation in vital parts of American life. Gabby supported Obama’s healthcare bill, and for that she was targeted with nasty stuff: Gabby dressed as death, carrying a scythe; someone shot out the glass door of her office; one Tea Party member suggested supporters “get on target for victory by paying $50 to shoot a fully automatic M16 to keep Giffords from office.” Gabby had been so active, she was targeted by Sarah Palin (when the president called about Gabby’s condition, Mark “vented” to him about Palin). Mark was decorated during the Iraq War for sinking an Iraqi ship. Before he did that, to make sure he had the right ship, he got out his map book – eastern flags are so confusing – and flew alongside the ship to be sure he was going to be hitting the right one. One of Gabby’s hardest struggles was relearning language as she struggled with aphasia. The book strikes and keeps such a good tone. It is written – by Mark – with such love and with such respect for his wife’s principles, her determination. Toward the end of the book she finds herself concerned about the vote on raising the debt ceiling. What if it were close? What if

Community Calendar FRIDAY, JULY 6 GALLERY 25 OPENING RECEPTION

Rae A. Eastman

Pittsfield, 5 -8 p.m. Gallery 25, on 25 Union St., will hold a reception for Walter Bogad’s “A Potpourri of Pastels:  From Watches to Warren Street to Landscapes and Interiors”

MUSIC AFTER HOURS Gabby By Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly Available in bookstores and on Amazon $26.99 her vote could make a difference? And she decides to go to Washington – deciding later if she would have the strength to go on the floor and vote. She did go on the floor to vote. Congress gave her an unforgettable reception – crying and hugging, forgetting their differences. There were many accounts, but one Mark liked came from the Record of New Jersey: “Finally, nobility. After months of rancor and pettiness, one small woman brought Washington to its feet. Her yes vote did not affect the outcome – the bill passed by a wide margin. But for a few minutes, it changed the tenor of the debate. America should be grateful for that.” Afterwards, she and Mark were invited to a reception at the White House for the Endeavor’s astronauts, and Mark prepared to go. “No,” she said. “What? The President will want to see you.” “No. Back to work.” “In congress, you mean.” “No. Rehab.” And so Mark went on to the White House without her. She has since resigned her seat and a vote this week determined that the Democrat of her choice will serve the last six months of her second term. True grit, dedication to the good of the country and to each other makes for wonderfully positive reading. When discouraged about the condition of America’s course, think on these two brave, principled people, and read this lively, often amusing story of their recent lives. Gabby herself wrote the last page.

July 5, 2012

Lenox, 5 – 8 The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home, 2 Plunkett Street, Join us from 5 to 8 pm on Friday and Saturday evenings starting July 6 for a blend of traditional and modern music with influences from the Americas and beyond, performed by rousing combinations of the region’s best musicians. Relax on the terrace with a glass of wine and light fare (available for purchase) while savoring the sounds and the view.

BERKSHIRE ARTS FESTIVAL Great Barrington, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. The festival will take place at Ski Butternut on 380 State Rd., Route 23.

SATURDAY, JULY 7 FOLK SHOW FOR TEENS Great Barrington, 10:30 a.m. The Great Barrington Historical Society will present a folk-music program for teens, ages 12 and up, at the Ramsdell Public Library in Housatonic. This event is free and open to the public.

AT ‘ART’ DAY IN THE PARK

FAMILY FLICKS UNDER THE STARS

Lee, 10am - 5pm A&M Events presents the 2nd Annual satARTday in the Park! This annual marketplace features juried artisans from the Berkshires and surrounding areas.  Held July 7, from 10am-5pm at the First Congregational Church Park, 25 Park Place, Lee, MA 01238

Williamstown TO CATCH A THIEF (1955): Images Cinema will present Family Flicks Under the Stars on four consecutive Sundays, The films will be presented at the top of Spring Street, right off Rt. 2 in Williamstown. Admittance is free and open to all. In case of rain, the movies will screen at Images Cinema, 50 Spring Street, Visit www.imagescinema. org for more information.

NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM HOSTS SPORTS-THEMED FESTIVAL Stockbridge, Noon - 4 p.m. Norman Rockwell Museum will host a special sports-themed family festival in part of the opening of “Norman Rockwell: Sports!” Play catch with the Pittsfield Elms, join LPGA’s Kay McMahon for a putting session, and more. For more info, check out the museum’s website. 

SUNDAY, JULY 8 BAGELS, BACH AND BUTI Lenox, 10:00 a.m. Start the week off with a tranquil morning in Roche Reading Park at The Lenox Library, as “Bagels, Bach, and BUTI” brings classical music to downtown Lenox. Beginning Sunday, July 8 at 10:00 a.m., enjoy light breakfast fare from local eateries and listen to live classical music courtesy of Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Meet the artists and enjoy a different program each Sunday morning.

YOGA ON MOUNT GREYLOCK Adams, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Stretch and strengthen your body while quieting your mind and nourishing your spirit on the highest mountain in Massachusetts. Enjoy breathtaking mountain views as you surround yourself with nature and become one with the beautiful Berkshires in this all-level, outdoor yoga class 3,491 feet in the sky. Stay for “Sunset Beverage Hour” at Bascom Lodge 5 - 7 pm or Dinner Reservations at 7pm., All ages and levels welcome - Bring a mat if you have one - $10 per class. YOGA HIKE AT TYRING-

HAM COBBLE AND ASHINTULLY GARDENS Tyringham, 10 am Come on a Yoga Adventure. Guided hike at Tyringham Cobble and a relaxing yoga session at nearby Ashintully Gardens. $25/20. Members of the Trustees of Reservations. Registration required www. tracyremelius.com.

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


July 5, 2012

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The Berkshire Beacon

July 5, 2012

A great festive summertime dessert Anna W. Shippee Beacon Staff Writer

Catherine M. Krummey / Berkshire Beacon

Balla Cisse (center) returned to Lenox this summer to stay with Robert and Susan McNinch.

A return trip to Lenox

Catherine M. Krummey Beacon Staff Writer

LENOX – For 13-year-old Balla Cisse of the Bronx, N.Y., his second trip to The Berkshires is a reunion with a second family of sorts. “He’s a great boy – we love him to death,” said Robert McNinch. Robert and Susan McNinch have welcomed Balla into their Lenox home for the second year as part of the Fresh Air program, which looks for families to volunteer to host inner-city children for a week during the summer. “My mom found out about it when I was younger,” Balla said, adding that his mother wanted to wait until he was 12 to enroll him in the program. The McNinches heard about Fresh Air from Renee Keator, another host in Lenox. “I told her I might be interested, and she kept pushing me to do it,” Mrs. McNinch said. That push seems to have greatly paid off for the McNinches. “We just adore Balla,” she said. “We have a good time with him. He has a good sense of humor.”

Mr. McNinch added that seeing the camaraderie he has developed with their grandchildren has been key in their experience with the Fresh Air program. Last year, Balla spent time with the McNinches’ grandchildren and had a few firsts, including horseback riding and eating corn. Of the latter, Balla said he enjoyed it so much that he asked his mom to buy some corn when he returned to the Bronx. Horseback riding was the highlight of Balla’s first trip to The Berkshires, and he was eager to do it again upon his arrival this year. Mrs. McNinch said that as soon as they finished riding the first time, Balla immediately asked, “Can we do that again?” Both the McNinches and Balla seem eager to continue their visits into the future. “We’ll have him back every year,” Mr. McNinch said. “We’ll always keep in touch – he’s becoming part of the family,” Mrs. McNinch added. More information about the Fresh Air program can be found online at freshair.org.

There are a lot of patriotic -themed desserts out there for you to bring to your BBQ. I have a simple solution that will be a show-stopper as well. It is dessert pizza. I love dessert pizza because it is easy and you can use whatever fruit you have on hand to make it. Here is how to make your fourth of patriotic-themed dessert pizza. The first thing you need to do is make a batch of your favorite sugar cookies or to save some time just use a sugar cookie mix. The sugar cookies mixes are one of those things that I have found turn out just as well as sugar cookies that were made from scratch. Once the sugar cookie mixture is all mixed up; roll out the mixture out flat on a baking sheet or a pizza stone (if you want to continue the pizza theme). While the cookie is baking, take a 8oz. container of cream cheese and allow it to soften. If you want a lower

Anna W. Shippee / Berkshire Beacon

Dessert pizza can be great on even the hottest day. calorie option just use the 1/3 less fat cream cheese-there does not seem to be a huge flavor difference. Once the cookie has cooled and the cream cheese has softened, mix 1/3 of a cup of sugar into the cream cheese. Mix with an electric mixer until the cream cheese is completely mixed and slightly fluffy. Spread the cream cheese mixture across the cookie. Now comes the fun part-decorating the pizza. To keep a patri-

otic theme, I would use blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. I placed the berries in a circular pattern but you could easily create the American flag with fruitusing the blueberries as the stars and either strawberries or raspberries as the red stripes. Take this fun dessert pizza to the picnic to have after the hamburger and hotdogs. This dessert is easy to make and will allow you to enjoy some sunshine and other festivities.

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July 5, 2012

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Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is a sure spectacle and is better than expected Bera B. Dunau Beacon Staff Writer

I have to begin this review with a caveat: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is a kind of movie that I’m predisposed to like. Anyone who’s been patient enough to read this column since it started over a year ago knows that I enjoy myself a good horror movie. Army of Darkness is my desert island film, Fright Night was in my top five of 2011 and Cabin in the Woods remains (and may very well continue to be) the best movie I’ve seen in 2012. At the same time, I have some pretty clear likes and dislikes when it comes to horror films. I enjoy it when they have at least an undercurrent of comedy, appreciate elements of adventure and have no taste for “torture porn.” Because of this, while I can enjoy a good “serious” horror film (a great example of which would be last year’s remake of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark), it’s over-the-top horror comedies that give me the most enjoyment. Abraham Lincoln Vampire

Hunter is not a horror comedy, but it is the definition of overthe-top and certain to appeal to anyone who gets a chuckle out of the idea of Abraham Lincoln battling the undead – a group that very much includes me. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter was directed by Russian director Timur Bekmambetov and produced by Tim Burton. Based on the novel of the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith, who also wrote Pride Prejudice and Zombies, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’s central premise is, before he entered politics, our 16th president had a secret life slaying vampires. If you’re waiting to hear a joke after that line, you won’t find it, as Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter plays it completely straight. Starting from when, as a boy, his mother is killed by a vampire, to when he’s contemplating how to defeat the Confederacy’s vampire troops at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) is shown to be sincerely committed to defeating the undead menace, with nary a campy wink in sight. Yet,

believe it or not, this approach actually works, and I believe it’s the key to Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter being as good as it is. Simply the spectacle of seeing one of our greatest presidents fighting vampires is fun, but by dealing with the material sincerely, while at the same time not taking itself too seriously, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter strikes the perfect entertaining balance. Much of the credit for this should go to Walker. His performance is no revelation, but it is solid and his portrayal of Lincoln is the consistent, reliable constant that holds the whole thing together. Another successful element of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is the action scenes. Slow-motion, kung fu-inspired, computer graphics-assisted fight scenes are nothing new. But, add a rail-splitting axe to the mix, and you’re getting somewhere interesting. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’s axe kung fu is like nothing else I’ve seen before in a movie, and while it does begin to get a little repetitive towards the end of

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the film, the sheer freshness of it, combined with the quality of the fight coordination, makes Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter a clear winner in the action department. As for the acting, besides Walker, the rest of the cast of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is unremarkable, giving performances that range from the decent to the wooden, with one big exception. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who played Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, plays Mary Todd Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, and she nails it. Pulling off the best performance in a movie, especially when you’re given some pretty stock character beats, is not easy, but Winstead manages to make Mary Todd Lincoln the most engaging character in the film. It should also be noted that Winstead is absolutely luminous in the role, and clearly shows herself to be among the most beautiful people working in front of the camera today. Finally, I really liked the plot point that tied vampirism in with

the southern slave-owning establishment and the Confederacy, although I wish it had been expanded upon a bit further. Given how common the romanticization of the southern cause is, it’s a breath of fresh air to see a film that criticizes it so strongly as, however you slice it, the Confederate States of America was formed in order to continue to keep other human beings in bondage. The nice thing about Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is that I’m pretty sure it’s going to satisfy everybody who goes to see it, as its very title is self-selecting. So, if the idea of Abraham Lincoln fighting vampires sounds appealing to you, then you should see Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, as it’s an entertaining movie with a fun story, good production values, passable acting and excellent action scenes.  If, however, the idea of watching Abraham Lincoln fighting vampires doesn’t sound like a good time, then you should go see something else. It’s really that simple.


14

The Berkshire Beacon

Wine and Beyond:

New Zealand’s Craggy Range Wines are perfect

Philip S. Kampe Beacon Staff Writer

It is always an advantage to know and tell a story about the wine that you drink with your guests or family. The wines from Craggy Range have that intriguing story that must be shared. In 1997, Terry Peabody, an Australian businessman, visited New Zealand. He was searching the world, at that time, to follow his dream. His goal was to find and start a winery, somewhere in the world, that would create a “legacy” for his family. As chance has it, while in New Zealand, Terry Peabody met with Steve Smith, who is a Master of Wine and noted viticulturalist. The two discussed Terry’s longrange goal, which was to create new benchmarks with wines that would become internationally regarded as “world classics.” Terry wanted his wines to be sold by fine wine merchants and on the wine list of the world’s best restaurants. As chance had it, Terry sensed that New Zealand would be the perfect location for his winery. The climate was exceptional and the terroir would accommodate the varietals he would choose to plant. Both Terry and Steve Smith agreed that to reach his goal, he would pursue the “Single Vineyard Philosophy” of winemaking. That philosophy is straightforward. The goal is to select and source the best land and vineyards in the country and plant vines perfectly suited for the terroir. And that is what Terry Peabody and Steve Smith did. They were the first in the Southern Hemisphere to adopt such an approach from multiple regions of the country. The wines produced from their philosophy are sold at the

finest wine shops and restaurants throughout the world. The winery at Craggy Range is world-class, using state-of-the-art technology. Meticulous craftsmanship and uncompromising standards set Craggy Range’s wines in a class by themselves. I sampled three outstanding wines from the vineyard. The first was the 2010 Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. As we all know, New Zealand is known for their contribution of Sauvignon Blanc to the world. The Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc follows Mr. Peabody’s philosophy of low intervention while letting the grape expose itself to elements of the terroir. The limestone soils, influenced by the Huangarua River, produce a distinctive, chalky texture that is both complex and elegant at the same time. Using French oak to age, this 14 percent alcohol wine is vibrant with citrus acidity and an over-the-top bouquet. The second white wine I sampled was the 2010 Kidnappers Vineyard Chardonnay. The wine is produced at Hawk’s Bay, known for its cool, temperate climate, which is perfect for Chardonnay. The cool yet sunny environment allows for the development of intense Chardonnay flavors in the grapes. Combine traditional French Chablis winemaking techniques to Kidnappers Vineyard Chardonnay and the result is a mineral-laden, chalky, lemony, peachy wine with balanced acidity and a long finish. The 2009 Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels Vineyard is a Bordeauxblend wine made from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The wine is balanced, bright, acidic and dark fruitforward. The wine is intense with soft tannins, a perfect food wine. Terry Peabody and Steve Smith have reached their goal of producing world-class wines in less than 15 years of operation. What surprises me is how affordable the wines are. The three styles I tried, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and the Bordeaux blend all retail in the $18-$22 range.

July 5, 2012

Free beer, if you have the right name

Kameron Z. Spaulding Beacon Staff Writer

What’s in a name? Well for now it’s free beer, if your name happens to be Miller. Legal-drinking-age consumers with the first, middle or last name Miller will receive a gift card equivalent to the cost of a case of Miller Lite. Now I don’t usually, alright ever, talk about major brewers but when they get creative I can’t help but notice. Consumers located in, or willing to travel to, any of nine cities hosting special “It’s Miller Time On Us” events across the country can show their legal state ID with their first, middle or last name of Miller to pick up their $25 It’s Miller Time gift card. “It’s Miller Time On Us” kicked off last week in Philadelphia and will continue on in Charlotte, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Phoenix throughout July. The best chance for anyone named Miller in The Berkshires is Philadelphia on July 24. Gift cards are limited to one per person and must be collected within the designated hours for the event, but it is still a cool

Some more unique beers may soon reach Massachusetts. promotion. “Miller Time is all about those moments when you’re hanging out with your real friends and enjoying the great taste of Miller Lite,” said Ryan Reis, senior director of marketing for Miller Lite. “Because Miller Time starts with Miller, we decided to give some Miller Lite to our namesakes to share with their friends. As the sixth most common last name in America, we know there are a lot of Millers ready to celebrating Miller Time on us.”

The only question left is, even if your name is Miller would you drink the free beer? As for me, I doubt it. New German beer coming to America Massachusetts-based Shelton Brothers announced this past week that it signed Germanybased Freigeist Bierkultur. It could be months before you find the beer on local shelves but when it makes it here look out for Freigeist Abraxxxas and Freigeist Hoppeditz.

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July 5, 2012

GOLF from page 16 away there was a void in many people’s lives. * It was nice to see good friend Dick “Coach” Rivers return to the cashier’s window in the Allied Seniors. At 71 years of age, he navigated Skyline in fine fashion carding a two under 69 which was good for 60, first low net and second low gross to Congdon’s 68. I wonder what that 68 posting will do to his nine handicap. It is tough for a single-digit capper to compete in net events. Case in point, last year at Worthington, a duo from north county posted a 43 net in a partners event.  When many 71-year-old guys that I know can’t find their shoes and if they do they can’t tie them, Dick Rivers almost SHOCKED THE COUNTY. All his former ball players from

The Berkshire Beacon

Lenox High School are very proud of him.  *Susan Reid Hayes, a 1965 graduate of Lenox High, recorded her first hole-in-one playing in Florida this past winter.  Her Spaulding Molitor found the bottom of the cup when she carved a knock-down driver into the cup on the 109-yard 14th hole at Cedar Hammock. Susan would not reveal to The Beacon what she is currently carrying for a handicap but a warning to the gals in the Greenock Ladies League is in order, she is in mid-season form. Susan is the wife of Ned Hayes of Lee, niece of the late Silvio Conte, mother of four and grandmother of five. Her only other golfing accomplishment came back in the early ‘90s when she captained her crew to a victory in the NJH Open at the defunct Sherwood Greens layout in Becket.

SteepleCats cruise by Great Britain in exhibition The North Adams SteepleCats scored seven runs on seven hits, and that was more than enough to down the visiting Great Britain Under-23 Team, 7-0, in a Monday night exhibition affair at Joe Wolfe Field. In a lighthearted contest that featured more pitchers than position players at one point, the SteepleCats kept it close for the first few innings before pulling ahead by five runs at the end of six innings. Right-hander Bubba Boroniel (Nova Southeastern) pitched five innings for the victory before giving way to a pair of UT-Pan American hurlers in lefty Will Klausing and righty Shane Klemcke. Julian Santos (Miami) plated a pair of runs to put the SteepleCats ahead by two with an RBI double in the bottom of the second before Charlie Law (Rutgers) launched a towering solo home run in the third. After a couple of scoreless in-

nings, the SteepleCats went ahead by five runs on an RBI double off the bat of Dillon Bass (UNCWilmington), who later scored himself on a wild pitch. With the game well in hand in the eighth, North Adams emptied its bullpen, as four-straight pitchers came in to pinch hit for the SteepleCats in an entertaining display. In the top of the ninth, five pitchers were all in the field defensively, while Klemcke, a natural shortstop, came in to pitch. Despite the lighthearted and laughter-filled evening, Great Britain was treated to much-deserved appreciation from the organization and fans in attendance and will continue their tour of the New England region with three more games against NECBL foes in the coming days. The SteepleCats will now return to NECBL action where the team is 12-8 and sits second in the western division. They host Newport on Sat. July 7.

15

Williams grad Hart named player of the year The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) on Tuesday announced its 2012 Division III New England Softball All-Star Team. Recent Williams College graduate Allison Hart was named the ECAC New England Player of the Year while rising junior Ally Ensor was selected as a Second Team All-Star. The New England Small College Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Hart became the first Williams softball player to be selected as a First Team All-American. Hart finished the season hitting .540 and set several Williams single-season records in the process including at-bats (137), runs scored (49), hits (74), doubles (14), total bases (109) and stolen bases (22). The senior made her comeback from injury all the more memorable when she hit a walk-off home run in the final at-bat of her Williams career. Her average was the third highest single-season in Williams his-

tory. She also concluded her career with top 7 finishes in average (.430 — 2nd), doubles (27 — 2nd), runs scored (95 — 7th), hits (148 — 6th), home runs (10 — 5th), total bases (207 — 5th) and stolen bases (35 — 5th). Hart was named the NESCAC Player of the Year for her efforts as well as a NFCA First Team AllNew England selection. "Ali could do so many things well," Herman said. "She moved to center field and played great defense there this season. She was a great baserunner. Both she and Aly (Ensor) have such great bat control. And Ali was a natural switch-hitter and dangerous from both sides of the plate. Plus, she was such a great team leader for us." Hart finished second among all Div. III players around the country in batting average. Ensor was no slouch at the plate either, wrapping up the year with a .518 batting average and a .561 on-base percentage while driving in a team-best 42 runs. The Eph left fielder finished with

Williams graduate Allison Hart was named ECAC New England Player of the Year 57 hits, including 13 doubles, 3 triples and 4 home runs. She scored 38 runs and finished with a team-leading .800 slugging percentage. She also stole 10 bases in 11 tries. Ensor was previously tabbed as a First Team All-NESCAC selection. Her batting average was the third best mark among Div. III batters in the country.

Slattery helps the Pittsfield Suns down the North Shore Navigators 5-1 Brendan Slattery went 1-2, sparking the Pittsfield Suns (1012) to a 5-1 victory in seven innings over the North Shore Navigators (14-5) on Monday at Wahconah Park. He singled in the first inning. The North Shore Navigators had no answer for Dan Bradley, who kept runners off the basepaths in his appearance. The North Shore Navigators managed just two hits off of the the Pittsfield Suns’ pitcher, who allowed one earned run, walked none and struck out three during his seven innings of work. Sam Berry had an impressive outing against the Pittsfield Suns’ lineup. Berry held the Pittsfield Suns hitless over 2 2/3 innings, allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out three. Keenan Kish couldn’t get it done on the bump for the North Shore Navigators, taking a loss. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings, walked two, struck out three, and allowed five runs.

The Suns used good pitching to be top-ranked North Shore and improve to 10-12.


16

The Berkshire Beacon

Berkshire Sports Guy:

The stress of golf Dick Syriac Beacon Staff Writer

Playing in weekend PGA golf tournaments can be very stressful. Week in and week out we watch these very talented players compete as they try to make a living while also trying to maintain their exempt status on the tour. Stress – you want stress, try playing in some amateur events where you are never sure if you are going to bring your “A-game” with you or if you even have an “A-game.” The PGA professionals, when they tee it up, usually can concentrate on just playing golf; they have people taking care of other issues. Travel connections, lodging, color-coordinated outfits, etc., are taken care of so all they have to do is perform their trade. Amateur golfers don’t have it so easy. Our outside distractions involve things that the PGA guys could never handle, yet us choppers have to overcome them to be successful.   Here are some examples: *How about standing over a downhill five-footer on a slick green, and at that moment  you realize your entry fee check has a good chance of not clearing? *You are on the 16th tee and you just remembered you were supposed to drop off your son at his Little League game. *It’s day number three of a three-day event and the weather forecast for the next four days is for rain and you haven’t cut your lawn for two weeks. *When you signed up for the event you are now playing in, you did not realize that it was going to be played on Mother’s Day! *A 7 p.m. anniversary dinner reservation with the wife seemed like a great idea until there was a fog delay, lightning delay and your match went extra holes. *You want to play your best but you hope that you do not get a hole-in-one because you told your boss that your mother-inlaw passed away in Cleveland and he reads the local paper. *You are in the parking lot digging your sticks out of the trunk,

your tee time is in five minutes and you realize your golf shoes are in your other car and you are wearing flip flops. * You are shaking hands on the first tee prior to starting  and you are wondering if you: locked your house, fed the dogs, even have dogs, left your cell phone at the driving range, shut the iron off, told your partner the correct tee time because he has not shown up yet. *Your GPS sends you to Oak Ridge Golf Club in Gill, Mass., and you are supposed to be at Oak Ridge in Feeding Hills, Mass. *You and your partner have combined for four birdies and two eagles after 14 holes and he turns to you and says, “I thought YOU put us in the skin pool.” Some amateur golfers must handle the distractions better that the rest of us because they seem to get their name in the paper an awful lot. I will take this opportunity to recognize a few of these players and their recent successes. *Andy Congdon, recent winner of the Allied Seniors at Skyline with a three under par 68, is the most consistent player in the county. He has had great success playing in Massachusetts state events and usually returns to Great Barrington with fresh hardware in the car. *Tom and Ed Sennett of Taconic recently won the Father-Son Allied event, winning a playoff with Jim and Matt Finerty of Stockbridge. Both teams got into the playoff shooting a best ball 67. George and Hayden Jarck of BHCC won the second division with a fine 71. Hayden is the grandson of former North Adams State basketball standout and coach George Jarck and Francis “Bud” Hayden, who was an successful horse trainer when Green Mountain Racetrack was booming. Bud was also a decorated war hero and was very active in the North Adams community, and when he passed see GOLF page 15

July 5, 2012

A Berkshire Community Celebration

St. Ann’s Summer Festival 134 Main Street, Lenox • July 13-15, 2012 Something for Everyone • live auction • antique appraisals • tag, bake, and book sales • crazy hat promenade • pancake breakfast • Sunday Mass under main tent • pot-luck family picnic • family games

Evening Events Friday: Casino Night poker, blackjack, other games - try your luck for exciting prizes - snacks and cash bar

Saturday: Taste of the Berkshires fine-food tasting of specialties from local restaurants tickets available at church office or call 413-637-0157

r n a i v C al e e r F ’ s d i K � face painting �

balloon clown � doggie pageant � bounce house � and more...

More information at www.stannlenox.org or 413-637-0157


July 5th Berkshire Beacon  

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