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Of Berkshire County Week of Jan 2, 2012

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Mountain Passes by Patricia L. Cook Mountain passes around the world can be high, steep, rocky and just plain challenging to traverse. But they’re worth exploring, so join Tidbits as we look into, over, through and around some famous mountain passes. • So what is a mountain pass? It is the most easily accessible point between mountains where you can “pass” through. The pass is considered the highest point or summit at which you traverse the area. Passes have always been very important finds for pioneers moving across the country, as well as road and rail builders. The definition of a mountain pass is actually: “The location in a range of mountains of a geological formation that is lower than the surrounding peaks.” • Other terms used in North America for a pass are saddle, notch and gap. Pass and saddle are most commonly used in the West, while the East Coast tends to use the terms notch and gap. • Semo La, a pass in central Tibet, at 18,258 feet (5,565 m), is considered to be the highest pass accessible by vehicles. It is a high, isolated place in the Chang Tang region of Tibet. Also in Tibet is the highest mountain pass accessible by train. The Tanggula Pass in the mountains of the same name has a rail station at 16,640 feet (5,072 m). By the way, “La” in Tibetan means pass. turn the page for more!

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Tidbits of Berkshire County

MOUNTAIN PASSES (continued): •

At 7,239 feet (2,206 m), the highest pass with a paved road in Canada is Highwood Pass in Kananaskis Country, a multi-use park area in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta, west of Calgary. You can’t get there during the winter as the road is closed from mid-December to midJune due to heavy snowfall. It is a spectacular drive and a great place to take photographs during the summer.

• The Beartooth Pass on U.S. Highway 212, also known as the Beartooth Highway, is the highest point on the 68-mile (109-km) road that begins at the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park near Silver Gate, Montana. The road goes in a northeastern direction mostly through Wyoming, ending in Red Lodge, Montana. The highway was built in the 1930s and is still considered a great engineering feat. It hugs mountains along curvy switchbacks up, across and back down through the alpine plateau. The pass is 10,947 feet (3,337 m) above sea level, and the road is one of the highest elevation roads in the United States. The highway was named for a distinct peak that looks like a bear tooth. • Known as one of the most scenic drives in North America, the Beartooth Highway is designated as a “National Scenic Byways AllAmerican Road.” The high elevation of the road and the high snowfall amounts in the region make it accessible only in the warmer months; it is usually open from May through October. This highway is considered an “orphan” road because no federal or state agency claims actual ownership.

On Jan. 19, 1809, poet, author and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston. In 1836, Poe married his 13-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm, and completed his first fulllength work of fiction, "Arthur Gordon Pym." He became known for dark horror stories like "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The TellTale Heart." On Jan. 17, 1893, on the Hawaiian Islands, a group of American sugar planters under Sanford Ballard Dole overthrow Queen Liliuokalani, the Hawaiian monarch, and establish a new provincial government with Dole as president. Three hundred U.S. Marines were called to Hawaii, allegedly to protect American lives. On Jan. 18, 1912, after a two-month ordeal, the expedition of British explorer Robert Falcon Scott arrives at the South Pole, only to find that Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had preceded them by just more than a month. Caught in a storm on the way back to base camp, Scott and two others perished. On Jan. 21, 1957, Patsy Cline, one of the greatest figures in country music history, first gains national attention with her appearance on "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts," wowing the studio audience with her performance of "Walkin' After Midnight." (c) 2011 King Featutes Synd., Inc.

1. Who has hit the most career home runs in Detroit Tigers history? 2. Name the most recent Yankees starting pitcher to be elected to the Hall of Fame. 3. When was the last time the University of South Carolina won a conference championship in football? 4. Name the three NBA players who have finished a season shooting at least 50 percent from the field, 50 percent from the 3-point line and 80 percent from the freethrow line. 5. Entering the 2011-12 NHL campaign, how many consecutive seasons had the San Jose Sharks won the Pacific Division? 6. In 2011, 21-year-old Austin Dillon became the youngest driver to win a season championship in NASCAR Truck Series history. Who had been the youngest? 7. True or false: During his career, Jim Courier played in the men's singles final in all four of tennis' Grand Slam events Answers on page 7

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Tidbits of Berkshire County is published weekly by Thundering Media LLC. Tidbits is distributed throughout Berkshire County, MA and assumes no financial responsibility for failure to publish 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. Tidbits of Berkshire County reserves the right to refuse advertising for any reason. All contents copyright ©2011 Tidbits of Berkshire County. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher.

You’ll find Tidbits in places where people wait: restaurants, doctor’s offices, hospitals, car repair centers, delis and places where folks sit around and have a cup of coffee. News in Tidbits is always fun and passed around from person to person. Everybody loves Tidbits! A “tidbit” is defined as “a tasty morsel to be enjoyed before the meal”. And that is what Tidbits® is – a noncontroversial, weekly newspaper dedicated to publishing entertaining morsels for the mind, food for thought as it were: trivia, fun facts, amusing stories and oddities.

Tidbits of Berkshire County MOUNTAIN PASSES (continued): • South of Yellowstone in the Teton Range of the Rockies, Teton Pass Road runs between Jackson, Wyoming, and Teton Valley, Idaho. The highway has a steep 10 percent grade with lots of twists and turns and can be a real test of driving skills in the winter. It tops out at 8,431 feet (2,591 m), and the Wyoming Department of Transportation uses blasting to control avalanches and keep the road open most winter days. • Colorado, with its many “fourteeners” (peaks that are more than 14,000 feet (4,267 m) above sea level), has many amazing mountain passes. Independence Pass that connects Twin Lakes and Aspen during the summer (closed in winter) has expansive views where three of the five tallest mountains in the state can be seen: La Plata Peak, Mount Massive and the tallest peak in the Rocky Mountains, Mount Elbert. The summit for the pass is 12,095 feet (3,687 m). •

The song “Wolf Creek Pass,” written by Bill Fries and Chip Davis and sung by C.W. McCall in 1975, made the pass of the same name in southern Colorado somewhat famous. The country song describes a wild ride in an 18-wheel truck carrying a load of chickens. From the top of the pass at 10,857 feet (3,309 m) to the town of Pagosa Springs, there is a 5,000-foot (1,524-m) drop in elevation. The driver is going much too fast down the pass, and as the singer explains, “I’m not the type to complain, but the time has come for me to explain, that if you don’t apply some brake real soon, they’re gonna have to pick us up with a stick an’ a spoon.”

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• When the song was written, Wolf Creek Pass was an intimidating two-lane road. A tunnel was completed in 2005, and an expansion to a multi-lane, widened highway was finished in 2006 to make the road a bit easier to navigate.

Keep Your Dollars in Your Pocket If there's one worthy goal for the new year, it's learning to live within your budget. That's not the same as living within your income. Many people assume that having something left over at the end of the pay period, or at least not resorting to credit cards to get through the last few days, constitutes living within a budget. By definition, a budget is a detailed plan for how you?ll spend and save your money. Living within a budget means sticking to a plan that accounts for every dollar of your income -- everyday expenses, paying off different debts at certain rates and saving a set amount for various future goals and emergencies. To set up a budget, start with realistic and accurate numbers: the income you bring home after taxes are deducted. Don?t include the extra money from odd jobs or selling items you own. From this amount, subtract all of your fixed expenses, such as rent or mortgage, car payment and loans. Variable expenses are next and can be determined from previous expenses. Electric costs, for example, likely vary through the year. Groceries can be estimated. Other variable expenses, such as credit-card debt, will be determined by how quickly you?re working to pay off the balances. The goal is to account for where the money goes and analyze it to find places you can cut back. The one category in your budget that needs more attention than any other is your rate of saving. In addition to the 10 percent that you should be paying yourself out of every check, do everything you can to increase what you put away. Your greatest success at finding more dollars to save will likely come from the small daily expenditures you make without giving them much thought. Look for opportunities not to spend and put the money in savings. Take your shoes to a repair shop for new soles and heels instead of investing in a new pair. Learn how to stretch meals by adding inexpensive ingredients to casseroles and stews, and take the extra for lunches at work instead of eating out. Consider starting a swap group for children?s clothing. Make it a way of life to look for bargains and keep your dollars in your pocket. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Write to him in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to

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Tidbits of Berkshire County

MOUNTAIN PASSES (continued): • Another Colorado road worth mentioning is Train Ridge, U.S. 34, which goes through Rocky Mountain National Park. The highest continuous auto road in the country, the road is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It meanders for 48 miles (77 km) through glaciercarved valleys with views of majestic peaks and crystalline lakes and crosses the Continental Divide. While it doesn’t have sheer cliffs to scare drivers and passengers, it definitely has memorable scenery. • South of the equator in South America, there are 42 mountain passes between Chile and Argentina, whose border runs from north to south through the Andes Mountains. It is the third longest international border, 3,300 miles (5,300 km) long. An interesting statue at what was once a main route between the two countries is the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer). At the top of the pass, at 13,780 feet (4,200 m) above sea level, the statue stands tall at 26 feet (8 m) and weighs 12,000 pounds (5.4 metric tons). • The Cristo Redentor was taken by train to Uspallata, Argentina, and then the rest of the way by mule in 1904. It commemorated the peaceful conclusion to a territorial dispute between the two countries. Today, the dirt road is only accessed by tour busses and adventure seekers, with the main route between the countries being the Cristo Redentor tunnel that opened in 1980. This Cristo Redentor is not as well known as the famous statue of the same name on top of the mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

To make a nice ice pack, enclose several ice cubes in a sealable plastic baggie, then wrap in a bandana. You can tie the ends together to keep the cover from slipping. When you want to refreeze, put the baggie in the freezer, and hang the bandana to dry. It will dry very quickly and can be reused soon. „ Want to get the most bang for your buck at the takeaway salad bar? Load up on bacon, walnuts, cheese, meats and dried fruits; go light on green beans, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs, celery, radishes and chickpeas, which are marked up 200 percent to 300 percent. „ "When you clean out your fish tank, recycle the used water by pouring it on your house or garden plants. I don't know what it is in the water, but it makes shrubs and flowers grow like crazy." -- Patti in Orlando, Fla. „ "The all-time best remedy for a runny nose or sore throat doesn't cost hardly a thing: It's plain old salt water. Mix a half-teaspoon into a cup of hot water and gargle two to three times a day. If the taste is off-putting, try swishing a bit of mouthwash in your mouth just before you gargle with the salt water. This works really well, and even my doctor thinks it's a great idea." -- F.L. in Michigan Send your tips to Now Here's a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or e-mail JoAnn at

Tidbits of Berkshire County

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• Whether you are exploring the mountains of North America, South America, Asia or elsewhere, you are sure to find some terrific mountain passes and outstanding views. Just don’t forget your camera!


THE TETONS There are many beautiful mountain ranges in the world but few are as recognizable as the peaks in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyoming. Let’s climb high for some Teton Tidbits! • When Grand Teton National Park was first established in 1929, it only encompassed the mountain peaks and the lakes near the base. It took years of wrangling with local ranchers, residents, sheepherders, politicians and others for the park to be enlarged. • In 1943, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established Jackson Hole National Monument, combining acreage in the Teton National Forest and other federal properties including Jackson Lake with a generous 35,000-acre (14164-ha) donation by John D. Rockefeller Jr. • After years of arguments, on September 14, 1950, the original 1929 Grand Teton National Park and the 1943 National Monument, including Rockefeller’s donation, were combined to create the present-day boundaries. • During the years of debate, many pushed for the Teton Range of mountains and the valley of Jackson Hole, including the town of Jackson, Wyoming, to be included in Yellowstone National Park. • With the establishment of the Grand Teton National Park, 97 ranchers endorsed a petition that read: “That this region will find its highest use as a playground…The destiny of Jackson’s Hole is as a playground, typical of the west, for the education and enjoyment of the Nation, as a whole.”





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Tidbits of Berkshire County

THE TETONS (continued): • Even though many refer to the area as the “Grand Tetons,” the Grand Teton is actually the most prominent peak in the Teton Range at an elevation of 13,770 feet (4198 m). The Teton Range is actually 40 miles (65 km) long and 7-9 miles (11-14.5 km) wide. The three most widely known and recognized peaks in the Tetons are the Grand, Middle and South Tetons. • The Tetons sit on a massive fault line where earth movement caused the mountains to rise and the valley to be lowered. An interesting thing about these mountains is that there are no foothills, which allows gorgeous photos to be taken with the mountains mirrored in lakes at the valley floor. There are actually seven morainal (created by glaciers) lakes at the base of the range with Jackson Lake being the largest. The elevation of Jackson Lake is 6,750 feet (2,057 m), with the Tetons towering above. • During the winter months in the area, snow accumulates an average of 191 inches (490 cm). Of course, this makes for excellent skiing at Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee Resorts, the local ski “hills.” • The melting snow flows into the Snake River, which starts in Yellowstone, just north of the Tetons. The Snake “snakes” its way through the park into Idaho, Oregon and Washington before it flows into the Columbia River in southern Washington and heads for the Pacific Ocean. • Mountain climbers come from all over the world to climb “The Grand” and other mountains in the Tetons. If you plan to visit, you don’t have to be a climber or a skier. There are approximately 100 miles of paved roads and nearly 200 miles of hiking trails in the park.

1. COMICS: What is the name of Hi and Lois' youngest daughter? 2. HISTORY: Which Allied general defeated German field marshal Erwin Rommel in North Africa during World War II? 3. POETRY: Who was the Greek creator of pastoral poetry? 4. ART: Which Early Renaissance artist painted "The Birth of Venus"? 5. TELEVISION: Who were the only witnesses to the shooting of Mr. Burns on "The Simpsons"? 6. EXPLORERS: What was the nationality of explorer Edmund Hillary?

New Trivia Every Week! Answers on page 7

7. MUSIC: Which actress/singer's theme song was "Que Sera, Sera"? 8. U.S. PRESIDENTS: Who was the only bachelor to serve as U.S. president? 9. FAMOUS QUOTATIONS: What famous 20th-century leader once said, "If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide"? 10. LANGUAGE: What is the meaning of the word "aplomb"?

Tidbits of Berkshire County

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Adopting Dogs From Puppy Mills DEAR PAW'S CORNER: My family would like to adopt a shelter dog, and a recent news story about several dogs rescued from horrible conditions in a "puppy mill" facility really captured our hearts. However, the shelter caring for these dogs is not immediately putting them up for adoption, and it says there will be stricter requirements for those who want to adopt them. Why is this? -- Karl in South Florida DEAR KARL: Many shelter pets come with their own special set of behavioral quirks, often due to the stress and trauma of being abandoned at a shelter. But dogs (and cats and other pets) that suffer especially traumatic situations, such as abuse or starvation or neglect, can have a very difficult time adapting to home life. Because of this, many shelters have developed special policies regarding these rescues. As you found, the puppymill dogs were not immediately put up for adoption; they're being treated and evaluated. Some may never be considered safe to adopt. Once dogs are considered healthy enough to adopt, the shelter is following guidelines to make their transition to a new home as smooth as possible. For instance, it may not allow a puppy-mill rescue to go to a home that has kids under age 10. First-time pet owners will likely be discouraged or outright not allowed to adopt. Adopters may need to attend special classes, and the shelter may ask to make follow-up visits to the dog's new home. Many rescues need a great deal of one-on-one attention, love and patience. If you're an experienced dog owner, meet the guidelines and are willing to take on the challenge of rehabilitating a rescued dog, go for it. But if you're not sure, then consider very carefully whether your family is ready to care for a rescued pet. Send questions or tips to, or write to Paw's Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit www.pawscorner. com. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

YOUR BUSINESS HERE for more information call (413) 717-2570

by Samantha Weaver Are you an agelast or an abderian? If you never laugh, you’re the latter; if you laugh too much, you’re the former. There is one species of frog, found in the Southeast Asian country of Indonesia, that has no lungs; it breathes entirely through its skin. You might be surprised to learn that the largest employer in the United States is the Department of Defense. Wal-Mart is No. 2, followed by the U.S. Postal Service. Those who study such things say that as we age, a man’s brain shrinks more rapidly than a woman’s. If you’re in Florida and make a trip to the hair salon, keep in mind that in that state, it’s illegal to fall asleep under a hair dryer. Both the client and the salon can be fined. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

1. Al Kaline, with 399 home runs. 2. Phil Niekro, who pitched for the Yankees in 1984-85. 3. It was 1969, as a member of the ACC. 4. Steve Kerr (1995-96), Tim Legler (1995-96) and Detlef Schrempf (199495). 5. Four consecutive seasons. 6. Travis Kvapil was 27 when he won it in 2003. 7. True. He won two Australian Opens and two French Opens, and lost in the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open once each.

1. Trixie 2. Gen. Bernard Montgomery 3. Theocritus 4. Botticelli 5. Maggie and Santa’s Little Helper (the dog) 6. New Zealand 7. Doris Day 8. James Buchanan 9. Mohandas Gandhi 10. Confidence

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Tidbits of Berkshire County

SHOVELS The word shovel can be a noun or a verb. This Tidbits will explore the noun, which is defined as “an instrument for lifting or scooping loose material, such as earth, coal, etc., consisting of a curved blade or a scoop attached to a handle.” • Shovels have been around for thousands of years. The first shovels were probably the ones made from the shoulder blades of oxen. When people needed a tool, they learned to invent from what was available. • The Romans were the first to use heat to get iron to its malleable point (the point at which it could be bent and shaped). Since that time, shovel manufacturers have emerged to fill the need for shovels for gardening, road and rail building, home construction and much more. •

In colonial America, many blacksmiths made the tools families needed to plant their food crops. The tools were very valuable and necessary for survival. Many blacksmiths made as many tools as they did horseshoes.

• Captain John Ames was an early blacksmith Ames shovels have been used in both peace who began making America’s first metal and war times by the military. shovels in 1774. As the colonists began • All of these events included the use of Ames building the country in its early years, quality shovels: the groundbreaking for the B&O tools were needed for many endeavors that Railroad in Baltimore; the building of the built the United States. Used for farming, transcontinental railroad; the California and railroad building, mining and road building as Australia gold rushes; the installation of the well as home and business construction, Ames Statue of Liberty; exploration of Antarctica by shovels were an important invention. Admiral Byrd; building the Hoover Dam and • While there are many companies that build Mount Rushmore; and the construction of the shovels today, Ames shovels were used in most interstate highways. major events in the early years of the United • For more about the history of Ames and other States. In the 1870s Ames was producing shovels, visit the Stonehill Industrial History 60 percent of the world’s metal shovels, Center, located at Stonehill College in Easton, approximately 5,000 shovels per day! Many Massachusetts. Known by most as the “shovel museum,” the center has 755 shovels from Ames on display. • During the winter months, the shovels that are usually in use are not for digging but for shoveling snow. More than 100 patents for snow shovels have been awarded to inventors since 1870. One of the first patents was given to Lydia Fairweather (yes, her real name!) in 1889. • Snow shovels are great for clearing snow, as long as you shovel correctly. Using your legs and not straining your back are important points to remember. •

In 1925, Canadian Arthur Sicard invented the snowblower. It did not replace the regular snow shovels, but it did help road and parking lot crews in their efforts to clear the way for pedestrians, cars, trucks and other means of transportation during the winter months.

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Tidbits of Berkshire County  
Tidbits of Berkshire County  

Jan 3 2011 issue.