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Cecropia, Our Sylvan King
By Tor Hansen, Guest Column
07:15PM / Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — So majestic is Hyalophora cecropia in appearance and biology that our sylvan king of the realm is a fitting title.   Just how this regal silk moth can engineer survival despite an inborn handicap is to its credit all the more remarkable. That such a resourceful creature can change form, starting with a tiny egg advancing to an enticing armored caterpillar, to a slumbering pupa inside a silken cocoon, emerging transformed into a wondrous moth is totally amazing.     Cecropia is an ancient moth, but its remote origin remains a mystery. So named by the father of binomial nomenclature, the taxonomist Carrolus

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State House Passes Act That Helps Preserve Family Farms
02:46PM / Monday, June 18, 2018
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BOSTON — State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli joined state Rep. Kate Hogan of Stwo and colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass a bill that aims to preserve family farms across the commonwealth.

H.3915, An Act to establish estate tax valuation for farms, would change the method for assessment of the estate tax valuation for agricultural land. Pignatelli, of Lenox, worked with Hogan to include the agricultural estate tax reform bill as part of a larger environmental bond bill that seeks to address the commonwealth's climate change preparedness and response plans.

"The agricultural estate tax is possibly one of the most important pieces of legislation

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Spring Harbinger Butterflies Abound on Mount Greylock
By Tor Hansen, Community Submission
05:44PM / Saturday, April 28, 2018
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ADAMS, Mass. — Under azure blue skies our sun is warming the ground story all around the woodlands of Mount Greylock, and the native butterflies are responding. Drawn out of winterlong hibernation, resident species are actively flitting about, searching for mates, and sipping both ground moisture and sap from oak and beech trees.

As April warmth pervades the trailside glens, as winter's remnant snows remain and recede, one may find joy in witnessing these showy denizens basking in vernal warmth, and dashing and zooming hither and yon, in pursuit of conjugation or coupling so to procreate their progeny or offspring.  

  Here nature shows us

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North Adams Committee Mulling Plastic-Bag Ban
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:22AM / Monday, April 09, 2018
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General Government Committee members Paul Hopkins, left, Rebbecca Cohen and Chairman Eric Buddington were seeking more input before continuing the discussion. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The General Government Committee wants more feedback as it considers a ban on single-use plastic bags.    Nearly three dozen people attended last Wednesday's meeting in City Council chambers, and giving views both for and against the proposal. Wide-ranging discussion lasted nearly an hour and led committee members to hold off on any discussion that evening.    "We've heard compelling arguments in several directions," said member Paul Hopkins. "I'm going to

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Pollinator-Friendly Events Planned in Wiliamstown This Spring
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:52AM / Monday, January 15, 2018
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  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A number of public events are planned for this spring to raise awareness of pollinator health.   Last May, town meeting adopted a non-binding resolution declaring Williamstown a pollinator-friendly community and encouraging landowners to adopt management practices to protect the bees, butterflies and insects that are critical to the ecosystem and the, specifically, our food supply.   Last week, the Select Board heard a presentation from three Williams College students who studied the issue and looked, specifically, at how large landowners like the college, the Clark Art Institute and the town can develop pollinator-friendly

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State Asking For Input On Outdoor Recreation Plan
Staff Reports,
04:08PM / Thursday, October 05, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — What type of outdoor recreation would you want to see created?   That's what the state is asking right now. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is updating its Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, which makes it eligible for about $2 million per year from the federal government.    The National Park Service's Land and Water Conservation Fund program has been ongoing since 1965 and has paid for a number of outdoor recreation projects in the county. Locally, the money has purchased land along the Appalachian Trail and at Onota Lake. North Adams received a quarter of a million dollars to build a park on River

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Grant Helps Spread the 'Bee Friendly Williamstown' Buzz
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:30AM / Friday, September 29, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town has received a $9,120 grant from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at University of Massachusetts at Lowell to further its efforts to become "Bee Friendly Williamstown."

Last May, Williamstown residents approved a non-binding resolution declaring the town a pollinator-friendly community. The resolution seeks to change residential and institutional landscaping practices by promoting ways to reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides that scientists believe are killing bee populations.

Building on that, the town has partnered with several local organizations - Caretaker Farm, the Clark Art Institute, Images Cinema, Sam and Elizabeth Smith,

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Senate Chair on Global Warming Takes Input on Energy Policy
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Tuesday, June 20, 2017
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State Sens. Adam Hinds and Marc Pacheco visit Seth Nash of Blue Q on Monday afternoon, before the hearing. Nash is one of the private-sector businesses to install a photovoltaic array to power his business.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Sen. Marc Pacheco has chaired the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture and thought he had heard everything about the environment.   Until 11 years ago, when he saw Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."   "I saw the reality come to life on a movie screen," Pacheco said.   He signed up to become a "climate messenger" and went to a training in Nashville, Tenn.

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Williams College 'Still In' on Paris Climate Agreement
12:09PM / Friday, June 09, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams President Adam Falk is among the more than 1,200 governors, mayors, businesses, investors and higher education leaders from across the United States who declared their intent to continue to ensure that the United States remains a global leader in reducing carbon emissions.

Falk signed on to the "We Are Still In" statement earlier this week. The statement can be found online.  

The "We Are Still In" statement says, in part, that "the Trump administration's announcement undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change and damages the world's ability to avoid the most dangerous and costly effects of

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North Adams Event Tries to Link Local Vendors with Anchor Institutions
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:07AM / Friday, May 12, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Last Friday's foul weather was just fine with Jeffrey Thomas.   "I've never hoped so hard for rain," Thomas said as the crowd filtered in to a Buyer/Supplier Meetup event he planned at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts' Club B10.   Thomas is the executive director of North Adams non-profit Lever, which seeks to foster entrepreneurship throughout the region.   On Friday, Lever hosted the first-ever event to try to form connections between small- and mid-sized businesses and the area's major "anchor" institutions, like Williams College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Berkshire Medical Center,

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