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North Adams' Mountain Girl Farm Growing Naturally
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
07:16PM / Saturday, August 16, 2014
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A local mother and daughter are taking a natural approach to farming on their recently purchased farm.

Jen and Katie Barbeau pull into their five-acre farm at 1360 South Church St. every morning at 5:30 to start a long, laborious, yet satisfying, day at Mountain Girl Farm.

Between milking the goats, tending the chickens and wrangling the ducks, every day is a new challenge for the new farmers who have had to improvise every step of the way.

A McCann Technical School graduate, Katie now studies veterinarian technology at Mount Ida College in Newton. She only decided last November that she wanted to be a farmer when she came home from college during Thanksgiving

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BEAT Celebrates A Decade of Environmental Advocacy
By Joe Durwin, Pittsfield Correspondent
02:29PM / Friday, August 15, 2014
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Since incorporating more than 10 years ago, it has engaged with a wide variety of issues impacting the local ecology, but the mission of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team remains unchanged, according to co-founder Jane Winn.

"We're celebrating 10 years of helping people protect the environment," Winn summarized in an interview with iBerkshires. "With a focus on protecting the environment for wildlife, specifically."   "Not that we don't like people," Winn said with a smile. "But people already have a voice, and we hope they use it. Wildlife doesn't."   Technically, the nonprofit turned 10 at the

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40th Annual Adams Agricultural Fair Runs This Weekend
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:14AM / Friday, August 01, 2014
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ADAMS, Mass. — The 40th Agricultural Fair returns this weekend at Bowe Field.

Berkshire County’s only country fair features rides, food vendors, games, animals and various competitions. The event kicked off with the annual Battle of the Bands on Thursday night.

The three-day fair official starts Friday evening at 5:45 with the “Up in the Air Discdogger” show, followed by the cruise-in when street rods, classic and custom vehicles, and Jeeps will be on display at 6.

At 6:30 p.m., there will be a knife-throwing show followed by “Bits and Pieces” dance and easy listening music, and the Children's Pedal Tractor Contest at 7.

Events start a bit earlier on

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GMO-Label Bill Stuck in Ways & Means Committee
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
01:38AM / Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — With the clocking counting down to the end of the legislative session on Thursday, a bill requiring GMO food labeling is still sitting in committee.

"This is a very simple bill," state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, said. "People have the right to know what they are eating. The labeling gives the consumer a clear choice."

Bill H.3996, An Act relative to the labeling of seed, requires that "food for human consumption and seeds that produce food for human consumption carry a clear and conspicuous labeling, 'produced with genetic engineering' on the package, shelf for unpackaged retail food or bill of sale in the case of

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Massachusetts Joins With Others To Boost Electric Vehicle Market
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:17PM / Thursday, May 29, 2014
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It would require a significant change to transition away from gasoline to power vehicles. But, it  is a change Gov. Deval Patrick believes can happen.

Massachusetts has joined with seven other states to launch a partnership to bring 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles into the market by 2025.

Through tax incentives, purchasing vehicles themselves and installing charging stations throughout the states, the coalition hopes to trigger growth in the electric vehicle market. Zero-emission vehicles include hybrids, batter electric and hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric cars.

"We have to take efforts at the early stages because we are looking at a big

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Williams Students Call on College to Reduce Carbon Footprint
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
09:46PM / Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — About three dozen Williams College students Wednesday took a break from final exams week to press the college president for action on climate change.   President Adam Falk told them that the college is working on the issue but that "patience" is required to make sure the job is done right.   "I want us to set goals we know how to meet," Falk told the students who climbed three flights of stairs to wait outside his office in Hopkins Hall.   "That means getting a process that involves the Zilkha Center [for Environmental Initiatives], students and faculty, that doesn't just have goals but has a path that we understand how

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Earth Day Speaker: Break Carbon Addiction, Go After 'Pushers'
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:54PM / Sunday, April 27, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Earth's ecosystem is diseased, and it is humanity's sickness that is the cause.   That was the message delivered Tuesday evening at Williams College by Michael Klare, the director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College.   Klare was on campus to deliver the college's keynote address for Earth Day, and he said that Earth's days are numbered — at least Earth as we know it.   Citing recent dire reports from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Klare emphasized that the planet is warming at an accelerated pace and carbon dioxide emissions driving that

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BRPC Sees Opportunity in Forestland Program
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
10:34PM / Tuesday, March 11, 2014
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ADAMS, Mass. — Northern Berkshire County could tap into federal assistance to promote and maintain its forestry resources. 

A forestry conservation program being promoted by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission looks to use a new model that links communities, property owners, businesses, state agencies and federal agencies.

"The predominate reason we want to do this is to access some of the federal resources that may be associated through the U.S. Forest Service," Thomas Matuszko, assistant director of BRPC, said Monday night. "[Massachusetts] does not have a national forest currently, and we are missing out on a lot of those resources."

The first of

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Residents Untrusting Of Latest Wind Siting Investigation
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:32AM / Tuesday, January 28, 2014
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After five years of questioning attempts to pass a Wind Energy Siting Reform Act, there is little wonder anti-wind activists don't trust the newest state investigation into the issue.

The Department of Public Utilities held a hearing on Monday on the latest try at developing a wind siting policies. This study is an interagency look at developing guidelines and suggestions for how to permit land-based wind power facilities.

"I want to emphasize that the task at hand for the DPU is to develop a voluntary guidance document on the siting of wind energy facilities. The department is not developing enforceable standards, requirements or regulations,"

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State Schedules Wind Energy Hearing At BCC
Staff Reports,
04:16PM / Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state's renewed look at wind siting regulations will return to the Berkshires on Jan. 27.

The Department of Public Utilities scheduled the hearing on Monday, Jan. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Berkshire Community College. The DPU has taken up the research into how to choose and permit the location of land-based wind energy facilities.

The DPU is leading this investigation that became a hot topic statewide in 2011, when Gov. Deval Patrick proposed a law that would create one group to permit all of the state's wind-turbine projects. That law was opposed in the Berkshires because there are numerous wind sites identified in area and the statewide group could

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