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September 22, 2011 Volume II, Issue 18

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www.berkshirebeacon.com Lenox, MA 01240

Tricia Farley-Bouvier Wins Democratic Nomination for 3rd Berkshire District Bera Dunau Beacon Staff Writer

New Audubon Pavilion - Page 8

The Berkshire Beacon

Photo / Bera Dunau

Mr. Pete White who lost in the primary plans to run for his current ward seat as a write-in in two weeks.

Tricia Farley-Bouvier has won a close, three way primary for the Democratic Party nomination for next month’s special election for the 3rd Berkshire State House District. “I’m thrilled, I’m ready to start the next phase, we’ll get started tomorrow,” said Mrs. Farley-Bouvier. Mrs. Farley-Bouvier, an educator, former member of Mayor Jim Ruberto’s administration and former City Councilwoman, won with 1,430 votes to Pittsfield Ward 2 City Councilman Pete White’s 1,234 and law student Ryan Scago’s 1,082. “The big surprise of the day was the low voter turnout. We expected a low voter turn out but we didn’t expect it to be this low,” said Mrs. Farley-Bouvier in comments made after the results were announced. The last state special election pri-

BCC shows how federal stimulus money changed campus

Index

Bera Dunau Beacon Staff Writer

1 Local News 6 Editorial 5 College Sports Report 6 From the Tower 10 Calendar 12 Fun & Games 14 Movies 15 Girl-2-Girl

Jeffrey Simon director of the Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office toured Berkshire Community College (BCC) to see how federal stimulus funding has contributed to the college. BCC was the first of six institutions in Berkshire County that Mr. Simon toured to see the impact of federal stimulus funding at work. Berkshire Medical Center, the Lee Water Treatment Plant and the Electrical Power Research Institute in Lenox were some of the other places that Mr. Simon toured. “We’ve been to 200 of the sites that have gotten stimulus funds, we’ve

done several couple day tours out in Berkshire County and the range of what stimulus has worked on is just tremendous,” said Mr. Simon who, among his other duties, is tasked with monitoring the use and effects of stimulus funds. Mr. Simon was hosted by soon-tobe retiring Berkshire Community College President Paul Raverta. Mr. Raverta explained the many roles that BCC plays in education and job training in the community. He also detailed the important part that Federal stimulus money has played in allowing the college to continue to meet the needs of its growing number of students. Much of the meeting centered on BCC’s recently installed solar power installation. Online since July 26 of

mary to fill the 3rd Berkshire District Seat drew approximately 4,600 people to the polls, about 900 less than the number who cast their ballots on Tuesday. Mrs. Farley-Bouvier speculated that the morning rain and the primary being held a week before municipal elections may have served to contribute to the extremely low number of voters who went to the polls. “Just wanted to say that we ran a great campaign, congratulate the winner, and I thank all my campaign workers, it wouldn’t be as good without them,” said Ryan Scago, shortly before calling Mrs. Farley Bouvier to congratulate her on her win. Pete White also expressed support for Mrs. Farley-Bouvier. He also announced that he would now run for the Ward 2 City Council seat he currently holds. see THIRD page 4

Hoff ’s Mobil pulls plan

this year the installation consists of almost 1,900 solar panels spread across the roofs of seven of BCC’s nine buildings. This is the largest roof mounted solar array on an educational institution in Massachusetts, and helps contribute to the Pittsfield areas status as the “The Solar Capital of the State.” “There are times that we are selling back to the grid, getting credits on our utility installation,” said Mr. Raverta. BCC’s solar installation cost approximately 1.8 million dollars. A little over 1 million dollars of that cost was paid for by federal stimulus money. The remainder of the cost was paid for by renewable energy bonds that

LENOX - In a surprise move to five members of the Lenox Historic District Commission, Glenn Hoff of Hoff’s Mobil pulled his petition of remodeling his gasoline station into a convenience/gasoline station Tuesday night.

see BCC page 4

see MOBIL page 4

George C. Jordan III Beacon Staff Writer


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The Berkshire Beacon

September 22, 2011

Barring last minute investors Colonials to leave Pittsfield Bera Dunau Beacon Staff Writer

Pittsfield Colonials owner Buddy Lewis is looking for new investors and fighting to keep the Colonials in Pittsfield. “We have some interested people so there’s still hope,” said Mr. Lewis in recent comments to the Beacon. The Pittsfield Colonials recently concluded their season, losing to the New Jersey Jackals in the first round of the playoffs. In the two years that the Colonials have been in Pittsfield they have made the Can-Am League playoffs both times, losing in the Can-Am League championship last year to the Quebec Les Capitales in their inaugural season.

“The Colonials fate will have to be decided by October 3” Financially, the Colonials performance has been far less impressive. Two years in a row the Colonials have had the ignominious honor of being dead last in the Can-Am League in attendance. This has resulted in the Colonials losing money and not generating enough revenue to properly maintain the franchise. The situation got so bad at the end of this season that the other Can-Am League teams were forced to cover some of the Colonials expenses. This was also one of the chief reasons why the Can-Am League decided that no post season games would be played at Wahconah Park, after the Colonials were unable to guarantee that they would be able to cover the full cost of hosting post season games at Wahconah Park. Because of the Colonials unsta-

ble financial situation, Mr. Lewis is looking for new owners to invest in the team. If he cannot find new investors, Mr. Lewis will be forced to sell the team, and the Colonials will probably move to another market. “Ideally we’d like to make this a community team,” said Mr. Lewis, detailing his preferred method of injecting new capital into the Colonials. Under the community team model, the Colonials would commit to offering and selling shares of the team to the community. Shareholders would have access to a number of benefits, which at this point have not been defined. Such an offering would have to be underwritten by an investment bank. The Green Bay Packers of the National Football League operate under a similar community owned model. The Packers currently have 112,158 stockholders, none of whom receive a dividend on their investment. The Packers community owned status is one of the chief reasons the Packers have never moved from Green Bay, a city of only 104,057 people. When asked whether the Colonials had found there to be any interest in such a proposal on the investment banking side Mr. Lewis replied, “Yes.” The Colonials fate will have to be decided by October 3. That is the date that the Can-Am League owners will be meeting and Mr. Lewis and the Colonials organization will present a financial plan for the team’s future. Can-Am League commissioner Miles Wolff has stated that if the Colonials cannot find additional ownership, he believes that the team will have to move. When the Beacon called the Colonials office on Monday September 19 and Tuesday September 20 for further comment, the number was found to be temporarily disconnected.

Photo / Susan Wicker Guerrero

Justin, Angela and Lisa Roughley all work in the family restaurant, Ezio’s, in Pittsfield.

A true family run restaurant Susan Wicker Guerrero Beacon Staff Writer

PITTSFIELD - It’s been a long, rough road for Mrs. Lisa M. Roughley to realize her dream of owning a restaurant. However, through undaunted determination and great perseverance, she made that dream come true in July when Ezio’s Ristorante opened its doors for business. It’s named after her late father, Emilio Ezio Mazzantini. Located down a set of stairs in a basement room at 17 Wendell Avenue extension, the eatery offers home-cooked meals. Mrs. Roughley does almost all the cooking, with help from Angela, her 16 year-old daughter. Her mother, Antoinetta, age 81, makes the minestrone soup, appropriately called “Nonna’s Minestrone.” “When you come here, you’re family,” Mrs. Roughley said. An Adams native, she’s a talkative, down-to-earth kind of person who wants to offer good meals at decent prices. Many of the walls in the new eatery, including those in the ladies room, are painted a deep red. Five coats of red paint “Do you know how many coats of paint those walls have on?” Mrs. Roughley asked. Then, she answered her own question. “Five.” She ought to know because there was plenty of renova-

tion to be done prior to opening. Nine-years ago, she and her late husband, John, bought an old farmhouse in New Ashford. They called their place Roughley Wilderness Acres. “I always wanted to open a restaurant,” she said. Mr. Roughley began building a pavilion. However, before the roof was put on, doctors diagnosed him with pancreatic cancer from which he tragically died. Angela, their daughter, was only 7 years old then. Since that devastating time in her life, Mrs. Roughley has overcome depression resulting from sudden widowhood. She still owns the house in New Ashford. A friend put in a kitchen and family and other friends have also helped remodel the place. Eventually, Mrs. Roughley hopes to do catering from that location and book parties there, too. More unexpected trouble Two years after Mr. Roughley died, doctors discovered a tumor in daughter Angela’s spine. With no medical insurance, it was a scary time for the family. University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester helped tremendously, Mrs. Roughley said. They removed the tumor which was benign. The current Ezio’s Ristorante is Mrs. Roughley’s second attempt at restaurant ownership. The first Ezio’s opened in 2010 in Lanesboro for a one-year run. During that time, the family faced an-

other tremendous loss when Mrs. Roughley’s father died. When the current location became available, she decided to make the move to Pittsfield. “There was more foot traffic and it was in a business location,” Mrs. Roughley said. After doing renovations, there were additional difficulties that had to be handled before the restaurant could operate. Finally, in July, it opened for business. Tablecloths from Sicily Hand embroidered tablecloths from Sicily adorn the tables. They are protected by clear plastic coverings. Real white carnation bouquets in “limonata” bottles adorned each table during a recent visit. Staff members put together the bouquets. Italian decorations dot the walls and a window shelf. “I have always loved to cook,” Mrs. Roughley said. One of her earliest teachers was an Italian aunt who ran a catering business. Mrs. Roughley is a natural in the kitchen. “If they (the customers) can think it, I can make it,” she said. She wants customers to feel as comfortable at Ezio’s as if they were being invited into her own home, she said. She makes her own tomato sauce. One dish she creates includes fresh garden tomatoes, onions, garlic, fresh basil, and grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese. see EZIO page 3


September 22, 2011

EZIO from page 2 Only fresh chicken Chicken dishes served at Ezio’s are never made from frozen chicken. Fresh is best appears to be Mrs. Roughley’s mantra. For now, the restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Breakfast can be ordered all day. In mid to late October, however, she hopes to open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights for dinner, as well. People will be able to bring their own alcoholic beverages, she said.

The Berkshire Beacon

One recent day, two people ordered raspberry-stuffed Texas Toast. One described it as “to die for” and the other person said it was “delish.” Puddles of red raspberry sauce covered the inside and outside of the toast and a mound of whipped cream topped it. A Reuben sandwich tasted quite good, as well as the pieces of breaded and fried onion “blossoms” that came with it. A special dipping sauce accompanied the onion pieces. Teacher and waitress

Spanish teacher during the week, served the food. She was friendly and welcoming. Like the owner, she made guests feel valued and welcomed. Mrs. Roughly, who turns 50 Dec. 24, offers a 10 percent discount at all times for senior citizens at Ezio’s. Mangia means eat in Italian, and that’s what customers will want to do at Ezio’s Ristorante. They might even want to order some banana gelato or Italian “cannoli” before getting hugs from the owner, and saying “arrivederci.”

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Flooding ravaged much of The Berkshires during Hurricane Irene.

Berkshires granted federal flooding funding Kameron Spaulding Beacon Staff Writer

PITTSFIELD - Berkshire County has been awarded $57,617 for 2011 from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program through funding administered by the United Way. Arlene D. Schiff, chairman of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program Local Board, said EFSP funds are intended to supplement funding for existing emergency food and shelter programs in Berkshire County. The source of this funding is a federal appropriation from Congress to the EFSP National Board Program. The National Board selects jurisdictions for funding. The local board selects specific programs based on a request-for-

proposal process to receive the allocated funds. The federal department responsible for the program is the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency; these are neither state nor county government nor Berkshire United Way funds. The $57,617 received is a reduction of 31 percent from 2010 funding. A committee consisting of members of the local board, whose organizations do not receive EFSP funding, reviewed proposals and made a recommendation to the full board, which approved the allocations on Aug. 9. The board consists of representatives from: the Elizabeth Freeman Center, Soldier On, the Pittsfield Department of Community Development, the Salva-

tion Army in North Adams and Pittsfield, Construct Inc., Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority, Family Life Support Center, the Berkshire Immigrant Center, Child Care of the Berkshires, the Red Cross, the Berkshire Community Action Council, Northern Berkshire United Way, St. Joseph Church Food Pantry, the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, The Christian Center, the Berkshire Food Project, Elder Services of Berkshire County and Berkshire United Way. Organizations received funding for the provision of food (food pantry, congregate meals, and food needs as a result of domestic abuse), emergency shelter and emergency rental assistance.

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MOBIL from page 1 An e-mail from his Architect Harry A, Pisila of Pittsfield and Chatham, NY, did not elaborate on his reasons for withdrawal to the commission. Daniel O’Brien of O’Brien’s Market along with his attorney Alexandra Glover of Great Barrington appeared surprise by the announcement. Mr. O’Brien asked if this was it and raised the question whether they could come back? There was no comment other than the fax, which did not outline a reason or a possible change in direction by Mr. Hoff. Mr. Hoff has had the property on the market for several years. He has cited health reasons for taking a new direction for the property. He has not dispelled a number of rumors of whether he or members of his family may operate the new business, nor has he indicated whether or not a buyer may have interest in expanding its convenience/gasoline holdings in The Berkshires. Mr. Hoff was reported to be out of town, but was expected back in time for the hearing. There are a number of people, who have said they will miss the retail gasoline and repair end of the business.

Others have chimed in that a remolded property will be clear of banged up cars and piles of tires. Yet, Mr. Hoff and his operation has become a part of Americana and any change should reward the elements of the Historic District and put not only a face of red brick and updated roof line, but encompass a canopy to enhance the Americana look. Those iconic gas pumps along with signage stand a test of time in the Lenox Village dating back to 1978 when Mr. Hoff took over and for many years has run it as a family business. At various junctures, he could have gone to self-service, but choose to operate a full service station complete with free air. His employees have continued to check the oil and water levels and cleaned the windshields of vehicles. In the early days, he held a lot of “paper” but when the industry changed and the cost of operations narrowed he sought check, cash or credit cards. Still Mr. Hoff always had time to talk with his customers. Many times he would strive to help a customer develop a payment plan for some unforeseen expensive vehicle repair.

THIRD from page 1

BCC from page 1

“I’m not done serving Pittsfield, I am going to take back my Ward 2 City council seat,” said Mr. White “The Ward 2 City Council seat, that’s the best job I’ve ever had it’s not something I’m just going to give up. The only reason I was looking at state rep is cause I wanted to bring more resources back to do things that I couldn’t do as the Ward 2 City Councilor. That’s not happening so I can’t imagine anything better than to be the Ward 2 City Councilor and I’ll fight for that seat.” Preliminary municipal elections will be held in Pittsfield on Tuesday September 27. Mr. White plans to run in them as a write in candidate to get on the ballot for the Ward 2 City Council Seat in November. Tricia Farley-Bouvier will face off against Green-Rainbow Party Candidate Mark Miller, Republican Party Candidate Mark Jester and Independent Candidate Pam Malumphy in the special election on October 18. “We’re going to continue the strategy that we had. It’s all about knocking on doors, talking one on one with voters and then getting our vote out,” said Mrs. Farley-Bouvier when asked about the general election.

the college hopes to pay off with the electricity savings generated by the installation. The college estimates that the installation will generate 1/4 of the electricity used by the college over the course of each year and it appears that the college is on track to meet this goal. “We use about 2.1 million kilowatt hours per year here and we’re hoping that it’s going to provide between 400,000 and 500,000 kilowatt hours per year,” said Scott Richards, Director of Facilities at BCC. Mr. Raverta also touted the installation’s value as an educational tool, explaining how both high school and college classes have toured the installation and utilized the data collected on its performance. This data is collected as part of BCC’s energy management system, which constantly monitors the campuses energy usage. “It meters every one of our buildings for all utilities so we can actually see how each building is performing and it detects every five minutes and will actually give us a real time reading on how our usage is throughout the day,” said Mr. Richards. This data can be accessed on the energy management system’s

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website. The system also monitors the performance of BCC’s solar installation. Additionally, five monitors on BCC’s campus display the installation’s performance in real time. BCC will also be converting one of its buildings into a sustainability training center, which will partially be funded by federal dollars. “It’s really impressive,” said Mr. Simon, expressing his opinion on the solar installation, “When you look at the way that its all come together it’s not only the embodiment of governor Patrick’s commitment to solar energy, to alternative energy, to decreased energy usage but the way that the college is integrating it as a teaching tool is very very forward thinking. I just think this is the way of the future.” Other programs that BCC has used federal stimulus money to fund include the dual enrollment of high school students in BCC classes, and an 80-90,000 dollar upgrade of its science and technology programs. BCC has received over 3 million dollars of federal stimulus money directly and a little over 1 million dollars of federal stimulus money that was given to BCC through other sources, such as state agencies.

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September 22, 2011

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College Sports Report MCLA women’s soccer wins first game LYNDON, VT. - The MCLA Women’s Soccer team notched their first win of the season as they defeated Lyndon State 1-0 Tuesday in Vermont. MCLA first year, Lindsay Roy collected the lone goal in the first half as the Trailblazers are now 1-5 on the season. Roy tallied in the 41st minute as she took a Lauren Fender cross to beat Lyndon keeper Tia Billado. Roy’s goal was the first of her collegiate career. Lyndon had some opportunities in the second half But MCLA keeper Jen Wehner would collect nine saves to earn the shutout victory. MCLA was outshot by the Hornets 11-8, while the hosts held a 4-1 edge in corners. MCLA is back in action on Saturday as they travel to Salem State in MASCAC action.

MCLA men’s soccer team takes a loss in tight RPI game NORTH ADAMS - Rensselaer’s Matt Koziol tallied the lone goal in the 58th minute to lift RPI past MCLA 1-0 Monday in Men’s Soccer action. With the loss, the Trailblazers evened their record at 3-3-1, while RPI improves to 4-1-1. A well played first half went scoreless as each team had a chance to break the ice. After the intermission, however, RPI turned up the offensive pressure. Koziol’s goal came off a set play from a corner kick. Andrew Tambasco took the corner and sent it towards the far post where teammate Brad Shelofsky redirected it towards the MCLA net. Koziol was in traffic in front of the net, but was able to head it past Trailblazer keeper Dillon Wager. Over the next 10 minutes, the game’s intensity picked up. Three cautions were handed down, one of which thwarted a potential offensive chance for the hosts. MCLA’s Jake McCall was on the verge of breaking into the clear off of a transitional pass from the back line. He was met head on by RPI’s Michael Birk, who drew a yellow card on the play. McCall potentially could have gone into the offensive zone unmarked. The Trailblazers would mount few chances down the stretch, their best coming in the closing seconds on a corner kick. The RPI defense was up to the challenge however, clearing the ball and ending the game. RPI outshot MCLA 18-5, including 12-2 in the second period. Wager would finish with 10 saves for MCLA, while his counterpart, Rob Dewald stopped one in the shutout. MCLA is back in action on Saturday when they host Salem State at 1pm.

Williams College takes 3 goal victory over Oneonta to notch first win WILLIAMSTOWN - The Williams women’s soccer team bounced back from their first loss of the year on Sunday with a 3-0 victory against Oneonta State (14-0). The Ephs (3-1-0) got goals from Samantha Vilaboa, Brett Eisenhart, and Sachi Siegelman in the win. The Ephs took full advantage of their first real look at the net in the 12th minute. Just past midfield, senior Nicole Stenquist fired the ball from the center of the field to Samantha Vilaboa on the left side. Vilaboa, who missed last year with an injury, lobbed the ball over Oneonta’s goalie into the top right corner of the net. The goal was Vilaboa’s first since her injury. It looked as if Vilaboa might double her points when Caitlin Clark took a free kick from just outside the box seven minutes later. Vilaboa got a foot on the kick, but the shot was blocked by an Oneonta defender. With 22:33 to play, Brett Eisenhart got a goal of her own. Vilaboa fired the ball just into the center of the box. Eisenhart beat the goalie Amy Lusby to the ball and put it around her to give the Ephs the 2-0 lead. After many runs from Kori Hamm and Dana DeSimone, the Red Dragons finally saw a chance with just over 18 minutes to play. Hamm took a free kick from just outside the right side of the box. She got it into the center where Jenna McCarey, just off the bench, was able to get a piece of the ball. Goalie Laura Wann,

who recorded two saves in the half, was able to get a hold of the ball, though.  The rest of the half passed uneventfully for both teams, and the Ephs entered the break with the 2-0 lead. The Ephs came out of the break fiery on offense. Just over two minutes in, Eisenhart was wide open at the top of the box. Goalie Lusby made a great save, diving to the right to keep the score at 2-0.  The Ephs kept the offensive pressure on with 10 shots in the second half. While Oneonta did add four shots of their own in the half, the defensive hustle of Lilly Wellenbach, Chelsea Davies, Kristine Nakada, Carla Nicasio, and Sachi Siegelman allowed for the Ephs to hold onto their lead. The Red Dragons did see two good opportunities in the half. With 25 minutes to play, Brittney Reilly got a look at the net from the top of the box. Five minutes later, Brittany Caroni fired a shot from just outside the box. Firstyear Hannah Van Wetter, who had three saves on the day, was able to come up with both ball, though, for the Ephs. With 12:40 left in the game, the Ephs found their final scoring opportunity. After Siegelman collected a clear by Oneonta, she weaved through defenders to the top right side of the box. Her shot took a nice bounce past Lusby to give the Ephs their final goal. “Coming into this weekend I wasn’t quite sure what it was going to look like, because we are pretty young and we are still

finding our way,” said Eph Head Coach Michelyne Pinard. “I couldn’t be more pleased with how they responded, and even more importantly, I am thrilled with what we as a team got out of this weekend. I think we are a better team front to back all the way through as a result of playing teams like this.” Pinard was particularly happy about Vilbao’s performance on the day. “There’s no doubt that anyone who saw her go through what she had to go through over the last year to get ready was teary eyed – it was just a great moment for her and a great moment for us,” Pinard said. “She’s worked as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen to be in that situation and to be ready for that moment, and I am just so happy to see her finish and combine for an assist [today].” “Today’s match up was very physical.” The Red Dragons recorded 19 fouls on the day while the Ephs had 13 of their own. Wellenbach also received a yellow card with just under 20 to play. “This was one of our goals right from the beginning,” said Pinard; “we want to play pretty soccer if we can, but if it’s going to be a battle, we are willing to fight that too. I think [the team is] willing and capable of playing whatever style of game is thrown at us and I think they did a great job doing that today.” Williams will next take on Wesleyan on the road next Saturday at 11 a.m. The team will then return home on Sunday to take on Bowdoin at noon.


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T H E

September 22, 2011

View From the Tower

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 Janel M. Harrison, Susan M. Wicker Guerrero Bera B. Dunau, Erik M. Sokolowski CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Susan Robinson GRAPHIC DESIGNER Janel M. Harrison, Jacqueline Wendling 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 ©2011 The Berkshire Beacon. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher.

George C. Jordan III

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Editorial:

Things they are a-changing • The Colonial Baseball team has all but pulled the plug on returning to Pittsfield next year subject to a couple of local investors and perhaps a hand-out from the City of Pittsfield. • Police and the district attorney keep looking for evidence to tie four people charged in the triple murders of victims from Pittsfield that were found in Becket. • Lenox selectmen along with the Kennedy Park Committee try to dispel opposition to the Kennedy Park Belvedere as opponents want it removed noting that much of the discussion and implementation was done out of camera. • Affordable housing set for Route 7&20 and Housatonic St. still needs a 2/3 vote at the annual town meeting for approval and to get by zoning review of 40B. The town has purchased the property with a $600K

bond. Whether the developers will be able to find financing within a five-year period is unclear. • Meanwhile both Lee and Lenox have celebrations this week with Founders’ Day and Apple Squeeze respectively; there is the Country Fair at Hancock Shaker Village. • An abrupt stop came without notice to the Lenox Historical District Commission when Mr. Glenn Hoff through his architect, Harry M. Pisila of Pittsfield and Chatham, NY notified the board he was withdrawing his application for “remolding” the service station into a convenience/gasoline station. No further information was offered. Things may be changing along with the weather. It is a good time to say hello to neighbors and friends. Hello amigo!

Time Warner (TW) is in the process of seeking a renewal of its license for the Five Towns of Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, Great Barrington and Sheffield. Thus, the 5-town Cable Advisory Committee held a hearing on Sept. 13th at Lenox Town Hall. Since I have had an on-going issue with TW over the fact that I paid them a year in advance with the understanding that I would get the 13th month free. They did this the first year, but have refused to offer me the free month since. I have written to the local cable committee and to the Department of Telecommunication & Cable for relief. I believe they have committed fraud in the sense that they don’t set the conditions for the license, the cable committee does. Thus, today I am going to share my letter to Christine O’Toole, Compliance Officer, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Telecommunications & Cable, 1000 Washington Street #820 Boston, MA 02118-6500 Dear Ms. O’Toole: Thanks for the update. I paid every year by the due date, thus I believe I am still entitled to a free month. I think the local cable commission agrees with me. I did not drop out nor have I indicated any such notion. Fact is, I put on each of my checks paid 12 months with 13th month free. Again, TW does not set the perimeters of the cable license. It is the local cable co. They took no action to resolve the issue. Fact is, they have known about this issue for more than two years. Why they have not forced TW to honor the license’s agreement is unknown. This was a self-serving measure by TWwithout permission. From my point of view, they (TW) violated the conditions of the license agreement. Thus, I am looking for relief from the local

cable commission and/or you. Fact is, now that The Berkshire Beacon is up and publishing, this may make a good commentary on the editorial page. Fact is, your commission held a meeting at Berkshire Community College Wednesday night on issues for cable and telephone looking for compliance issues. Please add this one to the list of complaints. If we go back to 2003 as the base year, then I figure that TW owes me 8 years worth at the current rate of about $65 or $520. If you think this is high, I am thinking about charging them under 93A for consumer fraud or triple damages in the amount of $1,560. This should be a wake up call. The clock keeps ticking... Gee if you could get the 130 subscribers as you note in your e-mail to come forward in a class action suit, that might be worthy of exposure in the media to the tune of $202,800. I think it is time that both the Five Town Cable Commission and the Commonwealth’s Dept. of Telecommunication & Cable (DTC) force Time Warner to reimburse its customers with free month service. The cost is minimal noting that a protracted lawsuit could cost the company money in terms of lawyer fees, judgments and bad publicity. Of course, shareholders probably see this as a frivolous case, but a case like this could impede their renewal of license application here in The Berkshires. Sincerely, George C. Jordan III Footnote: TW is a large company and one wonders if they will be embarrassed to do the right thing. Probably not.


September 22, 2011

The Berkshire Beacon

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Lenox co-op preschool offers more educational options Susan Wicker Guererro Beacon Staff Writer

LENOX -- Parents often look long and hard for a special place for their small children to go to learn and make friends. They just might find just what they are looking for in the newly opened Lenox Cooperative Preschool. The new independent preschool can be found in a buttery yellow-colored space in the sunfilled basement of Church on the Hill’s Chapel Building at 55 Main Street. It’s adjacent to Lilac Park where the children can go and run around. Founders of the cooperative are quick to point out that although the new preschool can be found in a church building, it is a totally separate entity from Church on the Hill. Because it is a cooperative, families of children enrolled will get very involved and have input as to what they want and need the preschool to do, Courtney Gilardi, one of the founders, said. Families looking for a preschool for their children are welcome to come and spend time at the Lenox Cooperative Preschool, Mrs. Gilardi said, before making a commitment. There will be an Open House at the school during the upcoming Apple Squeeze. Official dedication and opening celebration of the preschool will take place at noon on October 23rd.

“I want the school to uplift our children,” Mrs.Gilardi said. “To let them be their own little beings, to learn through play but they should have fun. They should have a love of learning.” The Lenox Cooperative Preschool differs from other preschools since it offers a “fusion” curriculum. In other words, it uses methods of several different schools of teaching such as Montessori, Reggio Emelia, and Waldorf. Mrs. Gilardi, a Lenox native and one of the founders of the preschool, is a mother of two small girls. She is married to an Australian man. She and her husband lived in Australia for 10 years. When they decided to start a family, they wanted to be closer to family, Mrs. Gilardi said, so they returned to the States and moved to Lenox. Mrs. Gilardi and her husband are the parents of Amelia, threeand-a-half years old and Jocelyn, a year old. When she started to look for a preschool for her oldest daughter, Mrs. Gilardi said some places she liked were too far away or too expensive. She talked with other parents of young children and the seed for starting their own preschool was planted. Several members of a committee then held planning meetings. They included Barbara Sims, di-

Photo / Susan Wicker Guerrero

Levi Green, one of the first children to join, enjoys a day of playing at the Lenox Co-op Preschool on 55 Main Street. rector of education at the Church on the Hill; Natalie Shiras, facilitator and general council; Lynn Sutton,grounds and building; Ellen Merrit, licensing and certification; Courtney Gilardi, parent contact and enrollment; and Susanna Sharpe, webdesign and graphics. Ms. Sims, director of education at Church on the Hill, suggested

the Chapel Building basement as a possible location for the preschool. The extra, wide-open space in the lower level of the building included three rooms and a large kitchen. It’s a total of 900 square feet. One of the major challenges for the co-op preschool was finding the right teacher, Mrs. Gilardi said. Several interviews trans-

pired. Alyssa Larkin came out as the top candidate and was hired. She is a young, enthusiastic woman with six years of classroom experience. She has an Associates Degree in early Childhood Education and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies in History and Psychology.

Lenox Pre-School Highlights • Organic Snacks. Children have snacks such as cheese and crackers, grapes, raisins, applesauce and apple and pear slices.They can drink juice, water, or children’s chamomile tea. They sit down and share everything together. They work as a team to set the table. • Part of the preschool’s vision is to provide children with a safe and loving environment, in which respect for people, creatures, and things, is taught and modeled.

• Founders of the preschool wanted a place that would replicate family and get children ready for kindergarten. They also wanted it to be a place where the children could feel safe and foster a love of learning. They wanted a nature and art based, child centered, more alternative curriculum, Courtney Gilardi, one of the founders, said. They also wanted the school to be rich in language and have lots of community input. • Can accommodate up to 15 children, aged 2.9 to five years. Currently there are five children

enrolled. Cost is approximately $2,500 per child per calendar year for about 100 sessions. • The new preschool has a bright, colorful, and informative website developed by Susanna Sharpe, one of the founding committee members. It can be accessed by going to www.lenoxpreschool.com. • Families with small children are welcome to come to the preschool and try it out. These “Sample Days” can be arranged by calling Courtney Gilardi.

Photo / Susan Wicker Guerrero

Alyssa Larkin and Solana Sharp share a moment.


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The Berkshire Beacon

September 22, 2011

Volunteers build new Audubon pavilion Susan Wicker Guerrero Beacon Staff Writer

PITTSFIELD - A team of more than 200 dynamic volunteers from SABIC Innovative Plastics, General Dynamics, and Berkshire Bank, constructed a huge pavilion and completed numerous other projects recently. The monumental undertaking at the Massachusetts Audubon’s Canoe Meadows, a wildlife sanctuary, showed what a group of committed community volunteers could accomplish. The pavilion, located off of Williams Street, will be used as shelter from rain and sun for the sanctuary’s 100 gardeners. It will also open the opportunity for Massachusetts Audubon to do public programming, said Mr. Rene Laubach, the director of the Massachusetts Audubon Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries. “We are extremely grateful to SABIC Innovative Plastics, General Dynamics, and Berkshire Bank, and for all the volunteers and contractors and suppliers who made this project possible,” Mr. Laubach said. Mr. Craig Wojcicki, a project engineer at SABIC, and Dennis Arseneau, General Electric Regional Manager, corporate headquarters operations at SABIC, spearheaded the huge undertaking at Canoe Meadows, Mr. Laubach said. Mr. Robert Harrison completed the architectural design of the pavilion. Both Mr. Arseneau and Mr. Harrison are Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries Committee members.

Mr. Wojcicki, who has been a project engineer with SABIC for the past nine years, said Mr. Charlie Crew, SABIC president and CEO, wanted to do a community project. The work at Canoe Meadows fit the bill perfectly. It was a great overall community project with good cooperation from local businesses,” Mr. Wojcicki said. Two local companies were major contributors to the project, offering materials at greatly reduced prices, as well as equipment and volunteer labor. They were L. P. Adams Co., Inc., lumber and hardware, of Pittsfield, and John S. Lane, Inc., a crushed stone company of West Stockbridge, Mr. Wojcicki said. About eight Berkshire County contractors provided volunteers to help construct the pavillion, Mr. Laubach said. The pavilion is a 30-by-50-foot open structure. The plastic roof is actually made of lexapanel, and is a new design. The material was created at SABIC. A great deal of internal testing was done on the material. It withstood up to a 350-mph wind load. “This is the first installation of the design,” Mr. Wojcicki, the project engineer, said. The pavilion is an impressive looking structure. It stands against a background of gently rolling hills, sweeping fields of green grass, plants and sunflowers, and huge pine trees along the far horizon. SABIC picked up much of the cost of the pavilion, which could run in the vicinity of $30,000, Mr. Laubach said. “It’s too soon

to do an accurate number.” In addition, on the main day the volunteers worked at Canoe Meadows, SABIC provided a full lunch of burgers, chicken, salad and so on for all the volunteers, Mr. Laubach said. They also distributed t-shirts to everyone on board. The project turned out to be much bigger than originally envisioned, he said. In addition to construction of the pavilion, volunteers built raised beds for gardening, installed two bicycle racks, renovated a parking area, and poured concrete pads for universal toilets that will sit on them, Mr. Laubach said. They also took out invasive plants and painted the wildlife observation building. Children who were volunteering made 200 birdhouses from kits and assembled a couple dozen scarecrows, Mr. Laubach said. Among volunteers there was a group of Boys Scouts, too, and Massachusetts Audubon staff. Also on hand to volunteer was Florian Ptak, chairman of the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum. He said the entire experience was, “pretty amazing.” What started out to be a fairly small project turned out to be a big one. It involved more than two 200 people. Thanks to the efforts of many people and the numerous companies involved, Canoe Meadows benefited greatly. “It was extremely well organized,” Mr. Laubach said. “A lot was done that day and we were thrilled. We enjoyed the participation.”

Photo / SuSan Wicker Guerrero

Signs along the Holmes Rd. entrance to Canoe Meadows.

Photo / SuSan Wicker Guerrero

Looking up at the roof of the pavilion built by volunteers.

If You Go What: Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary Where: One mile from the center of Pittsfield. Entry on Holmes Road is to walking trails. The new pavillion is located on wildlife land off of Williams Street. What: Sacred Way Trail is a 30 to 45 minute walk along the Housatonic River. According to a Mass Audubon brochure, the trail goes past an old oxbow pond, to Sackett Brook, and returns over boardwalks to West Pond. Birding is said to be excellent along this trail. Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to dusk.

Photo / SuSan Wicker Guerrero

Rene Laubach, Director of the Ma. Audobon BWS.


September 22, 2011

The Berkshire Beacon

9

Fresh off the Belvedere fight more information and new ideas abound George C. Jordan III Beacon Staff Writer

LENOX-On the heels of the Belvedere controversy that has resulted in calls for removal of the Fieldman site and questions of whether both the Kennedy Park Committee and selectmen operated out of camera both before and during the discussion and vote of approval. Published reports have indicated an unnamed person has filed a complaint with the ethic commission in Boston against one unnamed official. Now comes the Lenox Garden Club who is opposed to a sign near the George Bisacca’s cannon in Lilac Park, but more to the opposition to a planned Gazebo in the meadows of the park. In a letter to the Lenox Selectmen and the Lenox Historic District Commission, the Lenox Garden Club announced they are in opposition to the construction of a gazebo in Lilac Park and request the removal of the sign, near the cannon with reference to the proposed gazebo. The letter is signed by The Executive Committee of the Lenox Garden Club Pamela Breslin, Chair, Community Participation Committee and Susan Dana, chair, Horticulture Committee. Former Selectman Roscoe Sandlin spear-headed a group to raise money for the creation of the Gazebo/bandstand. This summer there were several concerts in the park. “The Lenox Garden Club has, and will continue to play, a vital role in the rejuvenation of Lilac Park. Not only are their services necessary in order to keep the park beautiful, but also their input is invaluable as ‘the Town strives to maintain the park”, according to the letter. “The executive committee of the Lenox Garden Club wou1d like to reiterate our commitment to the Park, and to express our concern about the possibility of a gazebo being built there. For the past year, a sign near the cannon, approved by the Selectmen, has shown illustrations of this gazebo.

“We have never been contacted by the Town to offer our perspective on the gazebo project, and we understand that the organization proposing it, Lenox Alliance for the Arts and Humanities, is not Town sponsored but an independent board, not officially part of Town. “We believe that the development of any project on town land needs careful review, and that all interested and invested parties be consulted during every phase of the discussion. “The construction of a gazebo is, in our view, in conflict with the “low impact” protection offered by the Town, the letter states. “The Lenox Garden Club is concerned that the addition of any hardscape that will detract from the careful design of the park, and from the intended use of the park, as set forth by the Town. “In 1991, when the restoration of Lilac Park began, the Town of Lenox and the Lenox Garden Club worked in partnership to create the beautiful public space that residents and visitors now enjoy, the woman wrote. “The Lilac collection, numbering more than 88 at last count, is a valuable and sophisticated exposition of color, shape, and variety. “In 1992, the Lenox Garden Club was awarded the Municipal Garden Silver Vase from the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts for the restoration of Lilac Park; in 1993, Lilac Park was awarded the Cornelia Williamson Watson Award for Historic Preservation. “The Lenox Garden Club was a key participant in the 1953 landscaping project, when the garden design we appreciate today was implemented, and again in the early 1990s, when that design was restored. In addition to our long commitment to maintaining the integrity of that professional design, the Garden Club supports the maintenance of Lilac Park by providing approximately $3,000 of professional gardening services annually. This is an endowed gift. We

also hold a workday each spring, when members weed, edge, mulch, and trim the beds right before the lilacs begin their annual display. The LGC held a hands-on workshop on pruning, instructed by Mr. Ken Gooch, Massachusetts Certified Arborist and Forest Health Specialist for Berkshire County, Department of Environmental Management, at

Lilac Park on April 6, 2011; a second session will be led by Mr. Gooch this October. The executive committee of the Lenox Garden Club reiterates its commitment to the Park, and expresses its concerns about the possibility of a gazebo being built in the park. The mission / vision statement of Lilac Park: refers to this space as “...an ‘ornamental park’ or

public garden which should only be used for low impact public activities rather than regular, intensive uses which could cause damage to the plantings and the character of the grounds” (and) whose primary purpose is to provide areas for reading, lounging on expanses of grass, exploring the gardens, and other forms of passive recreation.

Photo / Bera Dunau

The possible site of a new gazebo in Lilac Park.


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The Berkshire Beacon

September 22, 2011

Community Calendar THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22ND THE IMPACT OF CONCUSSIONS IN YOUTH AND COLLEGE SPORTS

Williamstown, 8 p.m. A presentation by Dr. Robert Cantu and Christopher Nowinski on “The Impact of Concussions in Youth and College Sports” will take place Thursday, in the ‘62 Center for Theatre and Dance MainStage. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Attendees should call the ‘62 Center box office after Sept. 13 for reservations at (413) 597-2425.

REACH HOSTS GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT

North Adams, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. REACH for Community Health, the community health education arm of North Adams Regional Hospital, is sponsoring its eighth Girls’ Night Out on Thursday, in the main lobby at North Adams Regional Hospital. Women of all ages are invited to attend this free event.

LENOX’S VILLAGE INN TO HOST HOLIDAY CAROLING FESTIVAL DINNER

Lenox On Thursday, the Village Inn will be hosting a fundraising dinner for the first Lenox Caroling Festival to be held December 10th 2011 in downtown Lenox. The dinner is at 6 p.m. with a cash bar at 5:30. Tickets are $15 for a menu that will include Orange-Miso Glazed Salmon, Chicken Chausseur, Pasta Primavera, Village Inn Salad, Home Baked Rolls, Assorted Sides and Cookies and Brownies for dessert.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23RD 17TH ANNUAL LEE FOUNDERS’ WEEKEND

Lee Friday September 23, 2011 through Sunday September 25th, Music, Food, Entertainment, Art, Vendors, Crafts, and More! Friday 9/23: Taste of Lee on Main Street 5 to 8 pm with 20 plus restuarants along Main Street, Lee “Idol” Singing competition Round 1, Lee Library Gallery Open Gallery, Live Music on Main Street, vendors and crafts, and kids activities.

FARM TOUR - BLUE HILL FARM

Great Barrington, 4 - 5 p.m. Join us on a tour of Blue Hill Farm - a 138 acre farm in Great Barrington. Run by 3 generations of the Barber family, today the farm is once again home to a vibrant population of chickens, pigs, dairy cows and laying hens. Please stop by or call the Berkshire Co-op Market Front Desk to sign up 413-528-9697.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH LENOX APPLE SQUEEZE

Lenox, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Celebrate Fall at the 32nd annual Lenox Apple Squeeze. This special Harvest Weekend happens Sat & Sun, Sept 24th & 25th, Fresh apple cider, bags of just picked apples and apple themed food and treats abound as you stroll through the historic Village of Lenox. Crafts, Entertainment and Sidewalk Sales fill the streets while Hayrides, Children’s Activities and Entertainment fill the town. Celebrate a Fall tradition in a quintessential New England village Lenox, in the heart of the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.

FOURTH ANNUAL FUN RUN

Williamstown The Williamstown Community Chest is pleased to announce they will sponsor their Fourth Annual Fun Run on Saturday, This community event consists of two races: 5K Run and a 1-mile Kid’s Run/ Family Walk. The Fun Run races are open to everyone; veteran runners or first time runners, along with daily walkers or occasional walkers. Families with pets and strollers are also welcome to join the fun. Both race events begin at 10am at Williams College Cole Field House/ Poker flats, off Park Street.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH 17TH ANNUAL LEE FOUNDERS’ WEEKEND

Lee Saturday 9/24: Lee “Hometown Parade” down Main Street at 11 am. All day sidelwalk sales, crafts and vendors, and local community outreach organizations. Live music all afternoon. Festival Latino at 5 pm. Lee “Idol” Finals.

THE BERKSHIRE WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S

Cheshire, 8 a.m. The Berkshire Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place on Farnams Causeway, on the shores of beautiful Cheshire Lake, on Saturday, and proceed along the Ashuwillticook Trail in Cheshire. Registration starts at 8 a.m. with the Walk kick-off celebration at 9 a.m.

HANCOCK SHAKER VILLAGE 2011 COUNTRY FAIR

Pittsfield Hancock Shaker Village’s 14th annual Country Fair on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. promises fun for the whole family with Shaker-inspired games in the Kids Tent, a farmers’ market with samples of heirloom vegetables to taste, vendors and demonstrations of hand-

made crafts, wagon and pony rides, antique engines and tractors, a pie contest, and a juried quilt exhibition. Berkshire Bluegrass will perform at the Country Fair from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

2ND ANNUAL HARVEST FEST

North Adams, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and The City of North Adams will host the 2nd Annual Harvest Fest on Saturday, at Western Gateway Heritage State Park, The Harvest Fest will kick off a week of activities leading up to the 56th Annual Fall Foliage Parade on October 2nd.

HARVEST THE ARTS

Becket, 2 - 5 p.m. Harvest the Arts at the Becket Arts Center. FREE - Potluck, Cider and Fiddlers... Join us as we transition from a summer only to a year-round program. On view in the Galleries are Historic Timber Frame models from Heartwood School for the Homebuilding Arts, furniture and wood items from the Berkshire Woodworkers Guild and Cary Quigley’s photography of Farming Arts.

17TH ANNUAL LEE FOUNDERS’ WEEKEND

Lee Sunday 9/25 crafts and vendors, pancake breakfast, Eagles Band in the Park.

THE DEL MCCOURY BAND

North Adams Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts, Courtyard C or Hunter Center, 11 a.m., The Del McCoury Band includes sons and award winners Ronnie McCoury (mandolin) and Rob McCoury (banjo) and rounding out the band are Alan Bartram (bass) and fiddle extradanaire, Jason Carter.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29TH THE BERKSHIRE COUNTY 4-H PROGRAM

Pittsfield, 7 p.m. The Berkshire County 4-H Program will hold its annual information meeting on Thursday, at St. Stephen’s Church. 4-H is for all youth 5-18, it is a positive youth development organization that empowers young people to reach their full potential through clubs with caring adults who work with them on projects using hands-on learning. Youth in the 4-H program work to become caring, contributing members of society. Club projects can range from animals to rocketry, computers to baking, and almost anything in between. Existing volunteers from throughout the county will be there and a “Berkshire County 4-H Year in Review” will be gone over.

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


September 22, 2011

The Berkshire Beacon

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The Berkshire Beacon

September 22, 2011


September 22, 2011

The Berkshire Beacon

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The Berkshire Beacon

September 22, 2011

Our Idiot Brother is a true winner Bera Dunau Beacon Staff Writer

Despite its crass title, Our Idiot Brother is a sweet, heartwarming comedy that’s surprisingly old fashioned. The titular idiot brother is Ned, played by Paul Rudd, best known for his roles in I Love You Man and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, a kind and trusting man who tries to see the best in everybody. A biodynamic farmer, he sells a bag of Marijuana to a uniformed police officer after the policeman tells him that he’s had a rough week, Ned first tries to give him the pot. Unsurprisingly, this results in Ned being arrested and sent to prison. After he is released, Ned returns to the farm, only to discover that Janet, his girlfriend, has taken up with another man. Ned has three sisters, all of whom love him and all of whom have issues that they’re sorting out. Liz, played by Emily Mortimer, is a mother of two children, and is married to a British documentary filmmaker who no longer makes time for her. She and her husband also meticulously control the life of their oldest child, whom they are trying to get into a prestigious school, smothering him in the process. Miranda, played by Elizabeth Banks, is a journalist at Vanity Fair trying to get her big break. She is unlucky with men, although she spends a lot of time with Jeremy, her male best friend and neighbor. Ned’s youngest sister, Natalie, played by Zooey Deschanel, is a bisexual hipster comedian who lives with her lawyer-girlfriend

Cindy and five other roommates. Enter Ned. His loving and trusting ways at first serve only to minorly inconvenience his sisters, each of whom he ends up staying with in turn, but before long ned turns their worlds upside down. One of the nice things about Our Idiot Brother is how fully it embraces its protagonist. A character like Ned could have been used as a vehicle to create a number of cruel and cynical situations, with Ned as the butt of the joke. Our Idiot Brother also hits some surprisingly deep notes, tackling issues like infidelity, and the difficulties of parenting and family conflict in a realistic and meaningful way. It is also aided by the fantastic acting of Paul Rudd as Ned, who hoists the movie upon his shoulders and never sets it down. The movie is also careful to establish that, although Ned can be a bit of a clown, he is also a human being. Ned is not stupid, and his choice to live his life in a trusting and loving manner is a conscious one. Our Idiot Brother is, at its core, a traveling angel story. Ned reenters the lives of each of his sisters, causes conflict, but in the end, their lives are better for Ned’s influence. Sweet, but never saccharine, Our Idiot Brother shares much in common with the old style screwball comedies of the 1940’s and is a far cry from the gross out, Rrated comedies of recent years. If you’re someone who is interested in seeing a genuinely feel good movie that will leave you smiling when you exit the theatre you should definitely buy a ticket.

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Photo / kaMern SPauLDinG

Narragansett Fest Lager is one of the better cheap Oktoberfest options.

Fall means Oktoberfest Kameron Spaulding Beacon Staff Writer

With fall finally here it is time to start to think about Oktoberfest, one of my favorite styles of beer. With that in mind I headed out last weekend to sample some of the highlights you can find in The Berkshires. Beer one was Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest. The beer has just a great copper color, which leads to a good foamy white head, and on the first sip you notice a slight hint of hops which moves to a caramel taste at the end of it. Leinenkugel uses a blend of caramel and Munich-style malts. It also is brewed with four different types of hops: Tettnage, Perle, Cluster and Hallertau, which lend themselves to give this beer an above-average Marzen taste. Overall, I give this beer a B rating. Beer number two was Magic Hat’s Hex, and I was slightly dis-

appointed in this beer. I’m used to getting fairly good brews from Magic Hat, like their #9 and Circus Boy. Hex just didn’t do anything for me. This beer has a nice copper color and has a thick, white head that dissipated almost instantly. However, as good as this beer looks, it lacks everything in its taste. Overall, it’s just a very smooth taste with small hints of apple and vanilla, but nothing that breaks through and really stands out as a predominate flavor. If you like smooth beers then this one is one you want to check out. Unfortunately I’m a Hophead, which means I love the strong flavors of hops in beer. Overall, I give this beer a C rating. The third beer that I tried was Gansett Fest. At an old bar I used to visit an old brewer shared with me that the recipe for this beer that was actually made by the brew master at Trinity, a bar in Providence, RI.

This beverage has a decent taste of hops throughout, and is a very complete beer all around. I think you should definitely give this beer a try, and I give this beer a B rating. The final beer to be taste-tested was Long Trails’ Harvest, and this was my favorite one of the night. It pours with a good copper color, but as it came off the tap, I didn’t get a good look at the head unfortunately. On the first sip of this beer, you get a hint of nutmeg or brown sugar, though I wasn’t really able to but my finger on it. I went back and forth on what exactly we thought the initial taste was, but either way it’s a good one, and one that captures the essence of the harvest season. As the nutmeg taste diminishes, a slight smooth flavor of caramel comes through as an after taste. Overall, I give this beer a B+ rating.


September 22, 2011

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Girl-2-Girl To be or not to be monogamous

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BEACON THE GUIDING LIGHT OF THE BERKSHIRES

O.K. Kittens! Is this something you want? Something you have? It seems most of us want it, and many strive for it, because it’s the American way right? It’s what we’re supposed to do! You meet someone, date, and find they’re “the one” or maybe “the two”; lots of “the twos” out there, people who have already met “the one” and so next up is “Mr. Two” O.K. glad we cleared that up… You get married and the rest is whatever you make it as a couple. It’s all up to you both with, communication, a healthy sex life, plenty of flowers, chocolate, bling, sweet words and caresses, and time if you will survive. Speaking of making it, I believe lower your expectations. Your lover is flawed in some way, as are you. So there will be inauspicious days when neither of you are at your best. And you just have to coast through it. Not to say that it can’t be like the two of you perched on a billowy cloud, of course it can! It’s not always pansies in a sunlit garden, sometimes it’s smelly manure in a pail, and sometimes your living on Green Acres because the stench is everywhere, It’s up to your thighs for pete’s sake! If I’m gonna be real here. So back to monogamy; I suppose my prior words were thoughts on remaining monogamous. It was just recently I began to think what situation our society would be in if it didn’t exist, and actually got into a pretty heated debate. I did some research… into people in open relationships, open marriages, and swingers. One thing I found to be true… in every relationship I studied, while some worked for a period of time when the primary relationship was kept primary, but sooner or later an uncertainness in the relationship set in. The tables at one point would always tip one way, in other words real connections were made with the so-called experimental, fun person, feelings were hurt, trust was dissolved and the relationship ended. It doesn’t work for most people. We are humans who wish to be loved and cherished. How loved

and cherished are you in an open relationship? I began to picture a non-monogamous world and while to some people it may sound fun, add spark to the relationship, broaden you and your partner sexually, it is I believe in the end a recipe for calamity! A world without monogamy… just be with whosoever we please, no strings! As for marriage, what’s that? And if we can’t have that, then would our children be affected, psychologically conflicted. We still have to procreate right? Or we could just be like that guy on TV with all the wives…that looks like a lot of fun! Yay! He picked me tonight! Picture this: Mr. and Mrs. O are in a open relationship/marriage. Mrs. O slaves over the stove preparing surprise delectable Cornish Hens laden with a Grand Marnier glaze, whipped garlic potatoes, crisp asparagus with a hollandaise, fresh baked bread and two glasses of Savingnon Blanc to be refilled at one’s leisure. Oh no! Mr. O has a date, or a person with whom he is seeing to add spice to his relationship as they both agreed. So off he goes and Mrs. O is left alone and hurt, perhaps she calls her spark person or perhaps she contemplates being exclusive with Mr. O. Meanwhile Mr. O goes off to have an O! And he doesn’t come home until the next morning. Mrs. O thinks she is over her hurt the previous night, after all this is what she agreed to. It’s her turn, off she goes and doesn’t come home. Where’s the love people? Where’s the trust? What’s the point? These two people’s life and relationship will eventually spiral out of control…and one or both will end up alone, or possibly with that spark person that was just for fun with which they developed true feeling for, again we desire real love, real camaraderie, and real intimacy. So here’s my argument: People can say “Let’s be “open”, and they might convince themselves that it sounds good on paper, but once involved in one, someone always gets hurt. If you come across the proposal, run, don’t walk, away…. Ciao Bella


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The Berkshire Beacon

September 22, 2011

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0 0 $ 68

Pri

Do you want a newspaper that carries stories about things your children are participating in? So do all of us at The Berkshire Beacon. Our writers care about what’s on your mind and they care about your children. We want you to be able to clip articles to send to friends and family members, especially if they are about your kids. Please help us keep publishing. T H E

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BEACON THE GUIDING LIGHT OF THE BERKSHIRES

Call us at 413-637-9822 or write to george@theberkshirebeacon.com


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