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North Adams, Clarksburg Among Newest Green Communities
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
10:38PM / Wednesday, April 19, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams has received a Green Communities Grant of $194,580 that will help it save that and more in energy costs every year.    "All told, the five-year plan will cut energy consumption by an estimated 6,800 MBTUs, which is equivalent to taking 110 cars off the road and an estimated energy savings of $225,000 per year," said Commissioner Judith Judson of the Department of Energy Resources in the presentation at City Hall on Wednesday.    The city was one of five communities presented with certificates, big checks and signage proclaiming them the newest members of the state's Green Communities program by Judson and Energy

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North County Seniors And Students Prepare Food Bags
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:37AM / Saturday, March 25, 2017
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ADAMS, Mass. — North County seniors and students teamed up to make and fill bags for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts' Brown Bag program.   Seniors made an assembly line at the Visitors Center on Friday morning and filled 96 decorated bags with food for other seniors throughout the county.   "This is a program through the Food Bank and once a month, seniors volunteer and prepare these bags for income eligible seniors ... all the food they put in the bags they bring back to their communities," Council on Aging Director Erica Girgenti said. "It seems like such an easy project but it brings joy to so many people."    She said the

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Local Environmentalists Oppose Policies Supporting Natural Gas
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:00PM / Tuesday, March 21, 2017
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DALTON, Mass. — Dicken Crane has a large solar array on his Holiday Brook Farm. He has a forest management program to harvest timber to burn in a wood furnaces.

He doesn't need more natural gas.

Crane is one of some 500 businesses that have signed onto a petition against Gov. Charlie Baker's push for access to more natural gas.    Baker has been supportive of new natural-gas infrastructure and had previously introduced a proposal to allow electric utilities to levy a tax on users to pay for infrastructure, particularly the price to build new pipelines, but that was rejected by the Supreme Judicial Court.   Proponents of natural gas have long said it

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Adams Sets Challenge to Make 8,400 Recycled Shopping Bags
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:14PM / Friday, February 24, 2017
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ADAMS, Mass. — The town of Adams is setting a challenge: to create 8,400 recycled shopping bags by Earth Day on April 22.

The local BagShare Project uses recycled materials — mainly plastic woven feed bags and used irrigation tubing — to create free reusable bags for consumer use.  Brought to North Berkshire by Leni Fried and Mike Augspurger of the Old Stone Mill, the town's taken up the challenge to create a sustainable bag for every resident in Adams ahead of the plastic bag ban that goes into effect on March 30 for larger retailers.

"As most of you know, the bag ban was voted last year ... primarily large retailers will not be able to give out

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Clarksburg Receives $142,000 Green Communities Grant
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:46AM / Friday, February 03, 2017
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Clarksburg has officially gone green. And the result is a $141,590 state grant to make this town of 1,700 more energy efficient.

Clarksburg was one of 30 new Green Communities announced by the Baker administration on Thursday. They are eligible for grants totaling $6,460,385 to complete renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Town Administrator Carl McKinney was in the middle of a webinar on the use of LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, when contacted on Thursday, and his first response was "Yay!"

"It's been about a 14-month process and a lot of work, a lot of research," said McKinney, who lead the charge over the past year to push

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North Adams Planners Want Original Solar Array Renderings
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:02AM / Tuesday, November 15, 2016
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Planning Board called a solar array developer on the carpet Monday for failing to comply with the visual renderings it presented.

But no one can find the plans that the board approved.

A 1.32-megawatt solar array off Reservoir Road has sparked complaints because of its high visibility from numerous points on the city's east side. The board says the plans submitted last year portrayed a much different view with a far less visible array.

Clean Energy Collective representatives were asked to return on Monday with the original renderings of the project.  

"We certainly have been hearing from many people in the community and based on our

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Redwood Motel Project Lays Groundwork for Bridge, Trails
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:51AM / Tuesday, November 15, 2016
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Redwood Motel developers are laying the groundwork for a pedestrian bridge over the Hoosic River and hiking trails on the river's north side.

The Conservation Commission on Monday night accepted a notice of intent for the construction of the bridge, which will be in the "inner raparian zone" of the river and bordering the floodplain, vegetated wetland and in the buffer zone. It also found that the Wetlands Protection Act was not applicable to test excavations around the former wastewater treatment plant property where the hiking trails are proposed.

The redevelopment of the old motor court by a partnership largely based in Boston has grown to

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Downing's Next Step Is Solar Energy Firm
04:43PM / Monday, November 14, 2016
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BOSTON — Benjamin B. Downing, who has championed renewable energies during his 10 years in the state Senate, will join a solar energy company at the end of his term.

Nexamp Inc. announced on Monday that the Pittsfield Democrat, who did not stand for a sixth term, would be the solar contractor's new vice president of new market development.

"Ben's long history of public service will complement Nexamp's expert team of local development professionals," said Zaid Ashai, chief executive officer of Nexamp, in a statement. "He joins us at the most exciting juncture in our company's young history, and his ability to effectively communicate promising

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Some Berkshire Farms to Receive Aerial Crop Planting
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Tuesday, August 09, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Farms in Adams, Cheshire, Lanesborough, North Adams, Sheffield, West Stockbridge and Williamstown will be seeding a little differently this August.

Instead of establishing a cover crop by hand, a helicopter will plant winter rye grass seed from above.

The airborne cover-crop planting is being done through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation program.

Farms through the state applied to the NRC's Environmental Quality Incentives Program to take advantage of financial and technical assistance for a conservation practice that allows farmers to take full advantage of a cover crop.   Chenail Brothers Dairy Farm's Wallace

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Guest Column: Bans on Plastic Bags Gaining Ground
By Rinaldo Del Gallo, Guest Columnist
09:24PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016
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I am pleased to announce that at last night's town meeting (Monday, June 20), Adams banned single-use plastic bags. (Article 25). It was a remarkable unanimous vote by the members of the town meeting.
 
Recently, there have been a series of single-use plastic bag bans. There has been a ban in Lee, a ban in Lenox, and last night a ban in Adams. Lenox was done by the Board of Health. In Lee, the ban on single-use plastic bags was done by town meeting — where it won by a considerable margin. In a similar manner, Lee and Lenox banned the use of Styrofoam.
 
What is less commonly known is my role in these bans. The ban on Styrofoam and single-use plastic bags in Lee and

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