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MCLA Activist Group Thanks Subway for Shifting to Antibiotic-Free Meat
By Nicholas Swanson, iBerkshires Intern
04:13PM / Friday, October 23, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — They may have looked like protesters, but the group standing in front of Subway on Thursday were really delivering a big thank-you.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts students had hosted one of 50 campaigns across the nation to thank Subway restaurants for switching to non-antibiotic produced poultry.

"We are educating [Subway] customers about this historic move that won't let farms use antibiotics on livestock and other farm animals," said Michael Basmajian, Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group campus organizer.

So students of MCLA's MassPIRG constructed a 10-foot "sub" out of cardboard and craft paper as a thank you to

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Greylock Mill Project Awarded 2 USDA Grants
Staff Reports,
02:38PM / Thursday, October 22, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The owners of the Greylock Mill and city and regional development officials will be announcing nearly $200,000 in private and public funding next Tuesday toward the creation of a local foods production facility.

Latent Productions, an architectural and development firm out of New York City, purchased the century-plus mill this past summer as Greylock Works with the intention to transform it into a local produce market and processing facility, condominiums and a hotel.

The first phase is to be focused on the promotion of local food resources by transforming the former Weave Shed of the old textile mill into spaces for food production, sales and related

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North Adams Planners OK Events at Greylock Mill, New Zoning Ordinance
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
08:19PM / Monday, October 05, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Planning Board has approved a special permit for interim use of the Greylock Mill, which is being renovated into food production, hotel and residential space.

Salvatore Perry, the development director of architectural firm Latent Productions and principal in Greylock Mill LLC, told the board on Monday that the plan was to use the 34,000 square foot "sawtooth" part of the mill's Weave Shed.

The 65,000 square-foot Weave Shed from the old cotton mill runs along Route 2 for about 700 feet and will eventually hold the food production, retail and event spaces. The sawtooth roof section is on the east end.

That section could seat around 150 people

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New Statewide Coalition Pushes For Environmentally Friendly Energy Policies
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:18AM / Friday, September 11, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new statewide coalition of community groups was launched on Wednesday to advocate for environmental friendly energy policies.   On Wednesday afternoon a half-dozen representatives from groups involved announced the coalition, Mass Power Forward, in Pittsfield and similar events were held across the state.   "We're a diverse group of faith, environmental, business groups, community groups, that are fighting for climate justice, fighting to make a better future for our families," Marlon Washington, of 350 Mass Better Future Project, said.   "We believe there is a moral responsibility to make this happen. We really want to see a

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North Adams 'Cuts Cord' at Solar Array Celebration
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:18PM / Tuesday, September 08, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city "cut the cord" figuratively to power dependency on oil Tuesday with the celebration of the new 3.5 megawatt solar array at the old landfill.

Some 6,000 panels were soaking up the sun as officials gathered at the crest of the facility to mark its opening that, with the city's agreements with two other 650 kilowatt systems, could save taxpayers up to $400,000 a year.

"These three systems are expected to offset all of the power used by the city's municipal buildings and infrastructure ... City Hall, the library, street lights, schools, and the state-owned, city-operated skating rink," Mayor Richard Alcombright said. "This

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Hundreds Oppose Pipeline Project at FERC Scoping Session
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:11AM / Wednesday, July 29, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Natural Gas distributor Kinder Morgan filed some 6,500 pages of environmental reports on Friday.   On Tuesday, residents filled the Taconic High School auditorium to tell federal regulators their concerns about the environmental impacts of Kinder Morgan's proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project.   "These documents are massive with highly technical and important information," said state Rep. Paul Mark at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission scoping session.   He said the documents that were submitted contain omissions of critical importance and it is "simply impossible" for stakeholders to have reviewed them in

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Environmentalists, Solar Industry Push For Net Metering Increase
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:14PM / Monday, July 20, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Utility companies have nearly hit the statewide net-metering cap and now environmentalists and the solar industry are pushing to raise it again.   Net metering is a program that requires utility companies to buy unused energy produced by alternative or sustainable energy. The cap limits the amount the utility is required to buy from the sources and is currently around 5 percent of the total generation.   Photovoltaic energy has been the most popular use of net metering and, in 2008, the state has several times over the past half-dozen years increased the power generation eligibility for net metering.   With utility companies buying all that they are

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Kinder Morgan Shrinks Pipeline Size; Public Hearings Scheduled
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:12AM / Saturday, July 18, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Kinder Morgan is prepared to move forward with the proposed natural gas pipeline through the Berkshires, albeit the plan is for a somewhat smaller size.   On Thursday, Kinder Morgan announced it will continue with the permitting process for the Northeast Energy Direct Project, a 30-inch (down from 36 inches) pipeline from New York state through the Berkshires to Dracut. The project is a $3.3 billion investment in which the company says would cure a shortage of energy in New England.   "We are excited that the market path component is moving forward and a determination now has been made on mainline capacity for the project, which is specifically

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North Adams Farmers Market Expands This Season
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:21AM / Saturday, June 20, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Farmers Market expands this year with more vendors and activities for children.

Director of Community Events Suzy Helme said this season's farmers market, which kicked off last weekend, is hosting nearly 30 vendors.

"It is a nice downtown space where everyone can gather, visit, and see each other but also support local businesses," Helme said. "You are supporting your local community farmers, you are eating healthier, and you are supporting a healthier environment."

Helme said Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art intern Emily Edwards will be the market manager and will help bring in new vendors and activities, such as craft

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Friends Group Formed To Improve Public Lands & Forests
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:21AM / Monday, May 11, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There have been plenty of studies and press conferences touting the economic impact of local cultural institutions, all with the backdrop of the beautiful Berkshires.

But why can't the "beautiful Berkshires" be an economic driver as well?   Companies and politicians all see the benefits of investing in culture but some say not nearly the same level of emphasis is placed on open spaces, hiking trails, natural beauty, and outdoor recreation.   Ryan Aylesworth is hoping to change that.   The former president and CEO of Audubon International and once a intergovernmental affairs liaison for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services has formed the

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