Life In the Berkshires

Innovation: Key to the Berkshires’ economic future?

Thursday, Mar 12 - “If you take a look at the Berkshires, there is really nascent medical device and heavy duty research being developed here, yet within the immediate region there are no teaching or research hospitals or academic technologies. The mission of the Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC) solves this issue.” -- Stephen Boyd, president and CEO of Boyd Technologies in South Lee, Mass.

Berkshire boondoggles: Natural history of a confidence man

Wednesday, Mar 4 - The young screenwriter let it be known to his Berkshire hosts that he was interested in settling in the Berkshires, and he looked at a number of large estates with a real estate broker. The one that struck his fancy was Wheatleigh, the upscale hostelry. His name was Thilo Rethmann. In fact, however, he was wanted in Germany on 57 counts of fraud, and had fled California after swindling his landlady out of $40,000.

BOB GRAY: Fending off pibloktoq

Tuesday, Mar 3 - I wouldn’t think piblotoq would be too difficult to diagnose in the Arctic, but given this winter extreme cold and dark I think I’ve had a couple of symptoms of the stuff myself.

NATURE’S TURN: ‘Vegetable magnetism,’ edible landscapes

Tuesday, Mar 3 - Our fascination with plants involves everything about them, including underground tubers, bulbs, and, by extension, the special charm of seed packets -- all of which hold the promise of new growth. Altogether, their appeal is so compelling that when choosing varieties and quantities for the new year’s garden great restraint is often required when purchasing.

Connections: Murder most Berkshire

Tuesday, Mar 3 - History is told by the victors. Even with the same set of facts, stories can be slanted differently. A single word, a shift in story line, a carefully placed emphasis – little things -- can sway emotions and form the basis of decisions.

BOB GRAY: Fire and ice

Thursday, Feb 26 - Winter came in shyly In December, masquerading as delicate snowflakes, but now cabins us in, piles up around our foundation, hangs over us as icicles, dripping melt one minute, a glittering sword to land on our heads the next.

Connections: Bamboozled Berkshires, past and present

Tuesday, Feb 24 - Why do we fall for it? All good con men offer what you most want. The promises to Berkshire are always the same – they will create jobs, they will rejuvenate the economy, they will save historic buildings, and their taxes will lower taxes for the rest of us.

Discussing economics on Old Stockbridge Road

Monday, Feb 23 - “The arguments made in the affirmative were that the project [Elm Court Resort] could create jobs and save an architectural gem. However, jobs in the Berkshire hospitality industry are most often lower-paid and seasonal.” — Carole Owens, in The Berkshire Edge

The science that cried wolf

Saturday, Feb 21 - So — enough with the food-pyramids and the nutrition admonitions. Don’t tell me how many glasses of this or ounces of that I’m supposed to consume, or the dire consequences if I don’t. From now on I am going to listen to what my own body is telling me.

BerkShares Business of the Month: Stagecoach Tavern at Race Brook Lodge

Wednesday, Feb 18 - “We’re interested in supporting the local economy because it supports us so much. So we accept BerkShares, giving people an opportunity to keep their money local, and then that incentivizes us to find local purveyors so that we can keep the circulation going.” -- Casey Rothstein Fitzpatrick, managing partner of the Stagecoach Tavern at Race Brook Lodge

Connections: Agrippa Hull — soldier, farmer, philosopher

Tuesday, Feb 17 - While Agrippa Hull was safe from slavery in Stockbridge, he lived much too close to the New York border. Slavery was legal in New York and kidnappers were common. They came across the state line, grabbed Black men, women and children in Massachusetts, and sold them in New York.