Contributors to The Edge

Digby

Digby is the nomme de plum of a long-time Great Barrington resident who is under psychiatric care.

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Ed Abrahams

Ed Abrahams is chairman of the Great Barrington Library Board of Trustees, and a member of the Selectboard.

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Lily Abrahams

Lily Abrahams has been a Great Barrington resident for most of life. When she is not in her hometown she is in Amherst where she goes to school at the University of Massachusetts in the class of 2019. Lily plans on majoring in History with minors in philosophy and English. Before college she was a student at Monument Mountain Regional High school where she graduated from in 2015. Lily enjoys writing in many forms ranging from poetry to academic essays.

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Levi Green and Adam Gudeon

Levi Green is a writer, director, actor, dancer. Adam Gudeon is an illustrator, children's book author, and Super Dad. They seem to be twins separated at birth and reunited by the deity of brotherhood.

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Deborah Golden Alecson

Deborah Golden Alecson is a writer, poet, and thanatologist. Her books include Lost Lullaby (IntoPrint Publishing, 2014), We Are So Lightly Here: A Story About Conscious Dying (IntoPrint Publishing, 2014), Complicated Grief: A Collection of Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2014) and Alternative Treatments for Children Within the Autistic Spectrum (Keats Publishing, 1999). She is adjunct faculty for Excelsior College and Williams College. She teaches courses in thanatology and medical ethics. Her website is http://deborahgoldenalecson.com

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Gert Alper

Gert Alper was born in Zurich, Switzerland and trained as a Chef in Lucerne. As his many reviews and letters attest, he has given the Swiss Hutte a European flair and has created a country inn which measures up to many of the famous inns in the US or Europe. It is no accident that Robert Mondavi (of the Mondavi Winery) and his wife chose the Swiss Hutte as their destination in the Berkshires. Gert Alper is proud to be a chef and this shines through in his cuisine. Simplicity and high quality ingredients are his trademarks. A lot of his produce is grown right in the Berkshires and the Hudson Valley. Gert features some of the most delectable foods in the country including Fois Gras, Coach Goat Cheese and Markistos Tender Greens, to name a few. You’ll find things like domestic rack of lamb, soft shell crabs, Black Angus Beef, milk-fed veal and free-range chicken on his menu. All the baking is done on premises; even his European hard rolls are made from scratch. Everyday, creme brulee is made from locally produced Jersey cream. His meringues are to dream about, and if you're lucky you might get to taste one of his famous souffles. Of course, you’ll find the well known Wienerschnitzel or Geschnetzeltes Kalbfleisch served with either Rosti or Spatzli. Enjoy cheese fondue in front of the two fireplaces in the restaurant. Outdoor patio dining, anyone? We’ve got it and it’s surrounded with a fragrant flower and herb garden and matching table settings. It’s all here at the Swiss Hutte. We can't wait for you to visit.

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Art Ames

Art Ames has lived in Great Barrington for a lucky 13 years, and acts as the General Manager of Berkshire Co-op Market, a natural foods cooperative, also here in Great Barrington. An avid fan of all things cultural, Art also writes music reviews and articles for Elmore Magazine,and you can find him on the radio on Sunday and Monday nights, hosting a music show on WBCR in G.B. and WXOJ in Northampton respectively. And advocate for community engagement,civility and good old-fashioned common sense, he still manages to inexplicably be a slightly fanatical Red Sox fan, and for better or worse, has an opinion on just about everything.

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F. Andrus Burr and Ann K. McCallum

Ann and Andy are the principals of the Williamstown firm Burr and McCallum Architects, founded in 1982.  Both Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), their design philosophy starts with a strong connection to a site: physically, historically, and emotionally. From that beginning emerges invention where they love to use old materials in innovative ways. In collaboration with their clients, their team updates traditional construction methods that have proven their worth over centuries with new materials and current energy conservation techniques. History is their friend and inspiration.  www.burrandmccallum.com

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Rona Easton and Lonn Combs

Rona Easton and Lonn Combs are licensed architects. Their firm EASTON+COMBS is an award winning, internationally recognized practice focused on innovative building strategies through the convergence of material practice, digital methodology and applied architectural research. Lonn is a Fellow of The American Academy in Rome, and Director of the Masters of Architecture Program at RPI. Rona is a LEED AP and a Certified Passive House Consultant, reflecting the firm's advanced knowledge in green buildings and its commitment to construction that follows the principles of climate-specific building science and environmental stewardship. In addition, the firm designs and builds research-oriented full-scale installations, exploring applications of digital fabrication and new materials. Their studio in New Marlborough serves western Massachusetts, New York’s Hudson Valley region and beyond. For more information, visit www.eastoncombs.com.

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Matt Mandel and Richard Seltzer

Matt Mandel is a retired physician who has lived on the Stockbridge Bowl since 1981. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Stockbridge Bowl Association, he is a Founding Board Member of Volunteers In Medicine (VIM) Berkshires. Richard Seltzer has been president of the Stockbridge Bowl Association for 4 years. He also serves on the boards of Edith Wharton's The Mount and Hancock Shaker Village.

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Karen Andrews

Karen Andrews is a freelance writer, artist, mediator and environmentally concerned resident of Berkshire County. She has written and photographed for the Artful Mind and Berkshire Trade and Commerce and is interested in things that contribute to community and environmental health.

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Marc Aronoff

Marc Aronoff lives in Lenox, Massachusetts, and is presently Executive Director of the Cuban-American Performing Arts Collaborative. www.ca-pac.org. For more information about travel to Cuba or to join an upcoming group, you can reach him at 413-358-5755.

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Robert Ayers

Robert Ayers has been a truck driver, factory worker, speechwriter and university professor in England, a performance artist in Australia, France and Scotland, an artist’s apprentice in New York City, a novelist and art critic in Seattle, and a journalist in Philadelphia, Toronto and San Francisco. He now lives in our part of the world where he just draws his dogs.

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Susan Bachelder

Susan P. Bachelder is a resident of South Egremont. She is presently the Chair of the Egremont Historical Commission, and serves on the Egremont Green Committee and the Alford/Egremont Cultural Council. She is an English text editor, and historian who takes special interest in the South Egremont Village School and the loss of cursive handwriting from the Common Core Curriculum.

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Michael Ballon

Chef Michael Ballon opened the Castle Street Cafe in 1989, after 10 years cooking in New York City. Located in downtown Great Barrington next to the historic Mahaiwe Theater, The Cafe was an early leader in the farm-to-table movement. And Michael was voted Berkshire Grown’s “Chef of the Year” in 2000. Prior to moving to Great Barrington, Ballon cooked in New York, as Executive Chef at Lavin's , Sofi, Wood's, The New York City Bar Association, and Plum's, a full service catering company Michael is the author of two books, Castle Street Café Cookbook and A Chef’s Life, and he regularly writes articles for local publications.

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Suzi Banks Baum

Suzi Banks Baum creates community wherever she goes. She’s an actress, writer, fiber and mixed media collage artist, teacher and collaborator. She’s also the editor and publisher of An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice; creator of “Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others” for the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers; and collaborator with FeMail, a snail-mail art exchange in its seventh year. She lives with her husband and two teenagers in the Berkshires and runs an active blog series about motherhood and creativity at www.laundrylinedivine.com, where she also posts weekly about seeing and celebrating the sacred in daily life. She welcomes queries about any of her projects; email her at Suzi@LaundryLineDivine.com.

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Jonathan Baumbach

Jonathan Baumbach is the author of 17 books of fiction including Dreams of Molly, You or The Invention of Memory, Chez Charlotte and Emily, Reruns, Separate Hours and A Man to Conjure With. His short stories have been anthologized in Best American Stories, O.Henry Prize Stories, The Best of TriQuarterly, The Best of Boulevard, and All Our Secrets are the Same. His latest collection, The Pavilion of Former Wives will be out later this year. Film critic for Partisan Review, he will see a collection of his film criticism published this December under the title, Shots in the Dark.

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Lesley Ann Beck

Lesley Ann Beck is the director of communications for the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A longtime writer and editor, she has been on staff at Berkshire Living magazine, the Berkshire Eagle, the Daily Record in Morristown, New Jersey, and New Orleans CityBusiness in New Orleans, Louisiana. She lives in Pittsfield with her husband and their loyal dog Hamish.

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Cara Becker

Cara Becker moved to Great Barrington in 2009 with her husband Chris and their three children from Long Island, N.Y. Cara graduated from Adelphi University with a BS in Business Administration. Cara has been very active in the town and local school since arriving in the Berkshires.

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Karen Beckwith

Karen Beckwith is the principal of Karen Beckwith Creative, an interior design consultancy based in Lenox, serving the East Coast from Western MA with interior design, color, and custom textiles/sewing. To learn more, visit karenbeckwith.com

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Heather Bellow

Managing Editor and reporter Heather Bellow covers a variety of local and regional issues including those that affect economic development and the environment. She covers local businesses, municipal hearings, and does investigative reporting on topics like broadband, pipelines and pollution. She lives with her two teenagers in Great Barrington, where she's lived since 2002.

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Daniel Bellow

Veteran Berkshire journalist Daniel Bellow has written for newspapers and magazines hereabouts since 1987, but is perhaps better known for his more recent work as a ceramic artist. He lives in Great Barrington with his wife Heather, children Stella and Benjamin, and his faithful dog Ringo.

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Craig Bender

Craig Bender is an IBM executive who has traveled to more than 50 countries. He loves music, hiking the great outdoors, and spending time with his wife Kelly living in Columbia County, N.Y. And yes, social action is in his blood!

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J. Peter Bergman

J. Peter Bergman is the Director of Communications at Herman Melville's Arrowhead. In the past he has been a writer for The Berkshire Eagle, Berkshire's Week, The Advocate, The Berkshire Beacon, The Independent and still contributes to The Chatham Courier and Edge.com and Berkshirebrightfocus.com. He is a novelist, poet and author of short fiction. His book "Counterpoints" won the 2002 Friends of Charles Dickens Award. He has been a paid theater critic since he was 15 years old.

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Ron Bernard

Ronald Bernard, a retired pharmaceuticals industry executive, and his wife, Jean Atwater-Williams reside in Sandisfield, Mass., in the ca. 1785 Josiah Hulet house. A local history and old house enthusiast, Ron is the principal author of the book, Sandisfield Then and Now 1762-2012, a comprehensive history of the Town written in conjunction with its 250th anniversary in 2012. He is a founder and board member of The Sandisfield Times, a monthly community newspaper now in its eighth year. Ron also serves on the board of the Non-Profit Center of the Berkshires (2016) in Great Barrington. Ron holds a B.S. degree from the University of Connecticut (‘67) and an MBA from St. John’s University (NY) (‘73). He served in the US Air Force (1967-71) with the rank of Captain.

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Jean-Francois Bizalion

Jean-François Bizalion was born in Arles, a French city that prides itself on its Gallo-Roman and medieval past, its saucisson, its photography festival and soon a Frank Gehry building. For the last 11 years, he and his wife Helen have been restoring a modest 18th century farmhouse in Sheffield, the oldest on their road. She likes modern, he likes old. She is Irish, he is French. They left careers in the fashion industry in New York to start BIzalion’s, a food store and café in Great Barrington that specializes in olive oil, bread, cheese and charcuterie. Not surprisingly, they believe that a great sandwich’s best drink pairing is a glass of wine.

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Andrew D. Blechman

Andrew Blechman is a former Great Barrington selectman and member of the Finance Committee. He is the author of two nationally reviewed books for Grove Atlantic, and has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian magazine, The Atlantic, among other publications. His pup, Gingersnap, a wolverine-honey badger mix, is perfect in every way.

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Editorial Board

The Editorial Board of The Berkshire Edge consists of staff writers, the editor, the publisher, and Edge contributors, as well as community representatives. Editorials in The Edge reflect the consensus of the Editorial Board.

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Jake Borden

Jake Borden is a local photographer who first fell into the craft by reaching out to Berkshire's based National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer. While learning the trade and being guided under Stanmeyer's established hand, he developed his own personalized and unique point of view. Since then, Borden has expanded his practice by working on stories in Morocco, Georgia, New Zealand and issues he finds important at home in the Berkshires. He is a graduate of the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School and Monument Mountain Regional High School. In the future Borden hopes to continue to travel and bring back photographs that instill a sense of community to those at home and around the world.

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Monica Bossinger

A freelance journalist, copywriter, author, and Simon’s Rock staffer, Monica Bossinger lives in Great Barrington. She grew up in Litchfield County, Connecticut, and settled an hour north in the Berkshires by way of Hawaii, California, Colorado, Tennesee, New Jersey, and Maine.

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Fiona Breslin

Born in New York City and raised in Western Massachusetts, Fiona Breslin draws and writes about style for which she has an innate affinity. She attended The New School, where she concentrated in journalism, and is now training at Parsons The New School For Design to become a more proficient sketcher. She splits her time between New York and Great Barrington.

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Jennifer Browdy


Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D., teaches comparative literature, gender studies and media studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. She is the Founding Director of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, the co-publisher of Green Fire Press, and blogs at Transition Times. Her new book, What I Forgot…And Why I Remembered: A Purposeful Memoir of Personal and Planetary Transformation, will be published in 2015.

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Simon Brown

Simon Brown is a composer of music living in the Berkshires. An avid consumer of all things artistic, he can be found at galleries, concert halls and dive bars around the county. Simon is the energetic frontman for the group Polysonic Joy, based in Pittsfield. He is also a composer of music and founder of the Wesfield Festival of New Music, which features U.S. avant-garde music. He lives and teaches guitar and cello in Pittsfield. Simon is a graduate of Westfield State University and Berkshire Community College. He has studied composition with Steve Murray and Andy Bonnacci, guitar with Ed Flower and drawing with Nellie Fink.

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Jason Brown

Jason Brown is a producer at Berkshire Media Artists (BMA), an audio book and podcast production company producing audio for Audible, Recorded Books, Harper Audio among others. His background includes production at Sports Illustrated and People magazine as well as working with Douglas Trumbull here in the Berkshires.

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Jon Budish

A part-time resident of Stockbridge, Jon Budish recently retired after spending the last 35 years on Wall Street at a variety of companies (Drexel, Solomon, CIBC, Jefferies) as a fixed-income trader. His mission in retirement is to teach financial literacy. He has six different investment groups from inner-city high-schoolers in Newark, N.J., to the Stockbridge Investment Club (run through the Stockbridge Library). Both his undergrad (1977) and MBA (1985) are from FDU-Madison. He has been married for 32 years (Sara) and has three kids and one grandkid.

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Rob Burnell

Rob Burnell didn’t start out to be a chef. He cooked his way through business school at Marist College, and wound up becoming a chef instead. Executive Chef at Gedney Farm for the past five years, he was previously employed in New York, Breckenridge and Nantucket. Rob is focused on using locally sourced food. He now works with five or six local farmers in the New Marlborough neighborhood, and hopes to help increase the scope and productivity of local farmers. He lives in Lee, Mass., with his wife and two children.

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Lee Buttala

Lee Buttala is an Emmy Award-winning television producer of Martha Stewart Living and was the creator, producer and director of Cultivating Life, a PBS series on outdoor living and gardening. He has written for The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, New York, and Metropolitan Home. As an editor, he has worked for Saveur, Garden Design and Interview, and for the book publisher Alfred A. Knopf. He also served as the preservation program manager for the Garden Conservancy and has studied garden design at Kyoto University of Art and Design, the English Gardening School at London’s Chelsea Physic Garden and the New York Botanical Garden. He is the author and editor of the books Cultivating Life: A Guide to Outdoor Living and The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving. After a recent stint as Marketing Communications Director at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, Mass, he lives and gardens in Sheffield, Mass, and is working on his next book.

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George Cami

Chef George Cami was trained as a chef in his native Greece. After immigrating to the United States, he worked in two different Greek restaurants in Astoria, Queens. In 2001, he moved to Great Barrington and opened Aegean Breeze. He loves working in the Berkshires where people appreciate healthy food, well prepared. Aegean Breeze is a family affair. George’s wife Irina Barka helps him run the restaurant, and now his 18-year-old son is learning to cook.

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Amber Chand

Amber Chand’s mission to inspire, support and encourage others to live from a place of enlivened authenticity has led her to her work as a performer, author, visionary life/business coach, and global entrepreneur. Through her signature coaching program, “The Hero/Heroine’s Journey: Creating Your Brave, New Story,” she works with individuals who are going through a time of deep transition. Through her Global Journeys initiative, she offers a guided journey for women to the foothills of the Himalayas and India. Amber’s work has been recognized in a variety of media including Marie Claire, Kosmos, Oprah and Inc. Magazine. She lives in Great Barrington.

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Lynne Cherry

Lynne Cherry is a writer, illustrator and filmmaker, who has written and illustrated more than 30 children’s books. A nationally admired environmental activist, she is the founder of Young Voices for the Planet. She lives on a farm near Washington, D.C., and is a frequent visitor to the Berkshires. She is the creator of the short documentary film, “Longing for a Local Lunch,” about a group of Monument Mountain Regional High School Students’ campaign to introduce health, nutritious, locally grown foods into the menu of the school cafeteria.

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Scott Christianson

Scott Christianson is an award-winning writer, journalist, filmmaker and activist who moved to Great Barrington in 2012. He is the author of more than a dozen books and hundreds of articles for The Nation, The New York Times, Washington Post and other publications. He lives with his wife, Tamar Gordon, an anthropololgist, and their son Jonah Christianson, a retired wrestler.

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Sheela Clary

Sheela Clary was raised in Egremont and has lived and taught in Italy, Papua New Guinea and the Bronx. She is a freelance grant writer, language teacher and essayist and lives with her husband and three little dragons in West Stockbridge.

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Tammis Coffin

Observer, student, scribe, of bark, wind, rock, wildflower. Last seen photographing a shelf fungus on an ancient spruce.

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Sharon Coleman

Sharon Coleman came to the Berkshires as a refugee from New York City. Previously, she worked as a management consultant to corporations specializing in Leadership Career and Team development. She’s a psychologist and has offered psychotherapy for many years. Now she offers coaching and retreats and can be visited at sharoncolemanphd.com. Sharon is also a writer and a dedicated yogini. She serves on the Leadership Council of Women of Spirit in the Berkshires and she meditates with and leads sessions for the Berkshire Mountain Laurel Sangha, a Buddhist practice community.

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Jessie Cooney

An interior designer, Jess Cooney is known for her ability to transfer her clients “wish list” to a visual reality. She worked from 2000-2003 for JBK Interiors in Colorado and then started her own firm in Great Barrington in 2003. Since then she has brought back to life many beautiful homes and unique spaces in the Berkshires, Boston, and NYC. Jessie has won historic renovation awards for her work on older homes in both Massachusetts and New York. She currently lives in Great Barrington with her husband, 3 young children and dogs Buckley and Roxie. She breaks down the design and renovation processes step by step for her clients so that they clearly understand the design and construction process along the way. The outcome is a smart, focused, timeless design that families will appreciate for years to come.

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Marjorie Cort

Marjorie Cort, a senior at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, is majoring in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with a focus on Political Ecology. She is currently writing her senior thesis on climate change and international conflict resolution. Although her focus is on international environmental affairs, Marjorie is passionate about bringing environmental issues to the forefront in her home community of Berkshire County. She has experience studying local ecology and biology, and intends to use her research to lead environmental discussions in the Berkshires. Believing that her generation has an obligation to step up to the plate to work through environmental problems, she is currently planning a public environmental film viewing and panel discussion at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, and intends to create more opportunities for discussion.

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Terry Cowgill

Managing Editor and Edge reporter Terry Cowgill is a longtime journalist in the Berkshires and northwest Connecticut. He covers Great Barrington and other nearby towns and also writes extensively about national and state issues and how they affect residents of the Berkshires. A former high school English teacher and independent school development director, Terry was an editor and senior writer at The Lakeville Journal Company for nine years and served most recently as news editor of The Berkshire Record, for which he also hosted a weekly news show on Community Television for the Southern Berkshires. For six years, he has been a contributing op-ed columnist for CTNewsJunkie.com, a website that covers the Connecticut state government, and is a regular guest political analyst on radio shows in the state. A Texas native, Terry lives with his family in Lakeville, Conn.

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David Crane

David Crane is a freelance screenwriter and arborist, originally from New York City. He’s been based in the Berkshires since 1998.

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Benjamin Daire

Benjamin Daire, born and trained in France, has been head chef at Alta since 2011. Before coming to Alta, he worked in Paris for the renowned Chef Michel Rostang (Michelin two stars) and also in Aix en Provence for equally renowned Chef Jean Marc Banzo (also Michelin two stars.) He is delighted to be collaborating with Alta’s passionate restaurateurs Aurelien Telle and Stephan Ferioli. At Alta, these three pride themselves on providing not only delicious food and wine, but exceptional service as well. Their inspired Mediterranean cuisine is always fresh, and their extensive wine list features selections from around the world, not to mention 24 delicious wines by the glass.

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Peggy Daniel

Peggy Daniel, the author of Tanglewood A Group Memoir published by Amadeus Press, is an award-winning producer and director specializing in classical music programming for Public Television, Sony Classical, Columbia Artists Management and the Bravo cable network. Her credits include documentaries on Philip Glass, the opening of the Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, Frederica von Stade at La Scala, the Leonard Bernstein/Michael Tilson Thomas concert celebrating the one hundredth birthday of Igor Stravinsky, and many others. She has been a Tanglewood aficionado since she was eighteen and worked at the Tanglewood Music Center on the fiftieth anniversary production of Peter Grimes. She lives in New York City and the Berkshires.

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Stephen Dankner

Stephen Dankner received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Composition from the Juilliard School in 1971. A list of his works since 1990 includes 10 symphonies and 18 string quartets, among many other compositions. Dankner has taught at Williams College, Loyola University of New Orleans, and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. He was the music columnist for The Advocate newspaper, serving Berkshire County and southwestern Vermont, from 2005-2014. He resides in Williamstown, Mass.

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Leigh Davis

Leigh Davis is Marketing Manager for the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Marketing Consultant for Construct, and a member of the Great Barrington Finance Committee. She's also a single parent to three great kids.

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William P. Densmore

Bill Densmore, a consultant and researcher on the future and sustainability of journalism, is an expert on Internet information technologies and business models with financial-budget experience for conferences, grant-funded university projects, and entrepreneurial businesses. He is a consulting fellow to the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) at the Missouri School of Journalism. He is author of the white paper, “From Paper to Persona.” In a career spanning news writing, journalism, publishing, entrepreneurship, fund-raising and event management, branding and outreach, Densmore has founded and lead two technology companies and a regional newspaper publisher. Amherst, Mass.-basedClickshare Service Corp. provides user registration, authentication, content access control and transaction services to Internet web content sites and publishers. CircLabs Inc. is a development-stage startup incubated as part of Densmore’s Information Valet Project at RJI. It’s testing service concepts for news personalization and customization, including the InfoValet Circulate Discovery Service. He also co-owned and published the Advocate newsweeklies for the Berkshires/southwestern Vermont, from 1983-1992. Densmore he has taught and guest lectured, and has been principal organizer of more than a dozen regional and national conferences and symposia on the future of journalism and the intersections among journalists and librarians, technologists and media-literacy educators. Densmore also serves as director/editor of the Media Giraffe Project at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and the New England News Forum. He’s a founding member and director of Journalism That Matters, Inc. and also serves on the boards of the New England Newspaper & Press Association and Shires Media Partnership, Inc. He served a three-year term on the board of the Action Coalition for Media Education. The Media Giraffe Project, launched in March, 2005, is an ongoing effort to find and spotlight individuals making sustainable, innovative use of media (old and new) to foster participatory democracy and community. A career journalist, Densmore has been an editor/writer for The Associated Press in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco and for trade publications in business, law, insurance and information-technology in Boston, Chicago and New York. He freelanced for general circulation dailies including The Boston Globe and, while in Chicago, for National Public Radio and worked for public-radio stations in Worcester and Amherst while a college student. He has written for ComputerWorld Magazine. Since 1995, he has been quoted and cited in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other publications on Internet topics and has lectured on journalism issues at the University of Massachusetts, Williams College, Brandeis University, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, the Missouri School of Journalism and at numerous conferences. Densmore has also served as advertising director for a small, group-owned daily, editorial director for a chain of central Massachusetts weeklies; and as interim executive director of the not-for-profit Hancock Shaker Village, a living-history museum. Densmore holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in environmental policy and communications. Densmore Associates provides project and event management services, writing research and market intelligence to companies, universities and individuals concerned with the changing media ecosystem.

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Laura Didyk

Laura Didyk’s fiction, poetry, and nonfiction has been published in Diagram, Post Road, Painted Bride Quarterly, Alligator Juniper, Fence, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and The Sun among others, and her visual art has been printed in No Tokens magazine. With an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama, she has been a resident writing fellow at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Currently at work on a memoir, she writes, teaches, and makes art in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

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Stephen Gerard Dietemann

Stephen Gerard Dietemann graduated from Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art and Planning in 1976 with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. He worked for noted American architect Victor Christ-Janer before starting his own architectural practice in 1988. Serving the N.Y. Capital District and the Berkshires, his practice focuses on contemporary, energy-conscious residential design. His architectural work has been presented on Home and Garden Television and in the New York Times, and has been recognized for design excellence by the AIA of Western Massachusetts. In addition, his artwork has been exhibited in New York City at the Soho Center for the Arts, Helio Gallery and the Katharina Perlow Gallery on 57th Street, as well as at galleries in Los Angles, Chicago and throughout Europe. His artwork is included in numerous public and private collections. Contact and additional information can be found at his website: sgddesign.com.

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Nick Diller

For 38 years Nick Diller was the morning host of WSBS Radio in Great Barrington, and then a cameraman for CTSB Television. When not behind the microphone or camera, Nick pursues his true passions: Weather watching, using weather records of Great Barrington dating back to 1965. He's been brewing beer since 1994. He's a master at barbecuing and grilling and often teaches others how to grill. And he makes various types of barbecue sauces under his Griller Diller label. (He grows his own hops for brewing) and being the nanny (Manny) of his granddaughter.

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Peter Dillon

A graduate of Bowdoin College, Peter Dillon has been superintendent of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District since July, 2009. Prior to coming to Berkshire Hills, he had been Executive Director of Policy for the New York City Department of Education. He received his masters degree in international Education from Harvard University and his doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching from Columbia University.

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Rich DiMaggio

Rich DiMaggio spent 25 years as an attorney and financial advocate in New York. Along with being a best-selling author (twice), he has been featured on CBS Evening News, Money Talk Radio, WTEN, WABC NY, KTMS Santa Barbara, Money Talk Radio,and has been quoted in Kiplingers, Business Week and others. He is also a five star- rated speaker for Law Line. Today, Rich is the founder and Editor in Chief of didyouweekend.com, where he gets to enjoy theater, the arts, museums and all the culture and adventure of the great Northeast. He is also a prolific traveler, has sailed through hurricanes, tornadoes, was struck by lightening and survived (true!), climbed dozens of mountains and as he will clearly state: “It's a big world, and I'm just getting started.” Rich beat Melanoma ("the toughest battle of my life") and was crippled with Rheumatoid Arthritis, now in remission ("The most painful battle of my life.").

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Richard Dohoney

An attorney living in Great Barrington, Richard Dohoney is president of the Berkshire County Bar Association and a member of the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee. He is an attorney with the firm of Donovan & O’Connor LLP.

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Mary Douglas

Mary Stewart Douglas is an environmental lawyer who has worked at the Environmental Protection Agency, private firms, and, most recently, with an association representing the state and local administrators of the Clean Air Act. Before law school, she worked as an editor for John Wiley & Sons. Although she has lived in Washington, D.C. for 30 years, Mary can frequently be found in Massachusetts – Boston, Amherst, Great Barrington, and Northampton – visiting friends, relatives, and her three children. Mary holds degrees from Smith College and Hastings College of the Law.

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Bernard A. Drew

Bernard A. Drew, his wife, Donna, and daughters have lived in Great Barrington since 1977. He is a newspaper editor and columnist and the author of local Berkshire histories including books about Great Barrington, Monument Mountain, Lake Buel, Beartown, the Knox Trail and, nearing completion, 18th and 19th century waterpowered industry on the Housatonic River. He likes to explore the woods and find the unexpected in plain sight.

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Dana Drugmand

Dana is currently completing a Master’s degree in Environmental Law & Policy with a certificate in Climate Law from Vermont Law School. Prior to attending VLS she worked as a reporter at several weekly newspapers and as a freelance environmental journalist. She has also interned at the Worldwatch Institute, Center for EcoTechnology, EcoLogic Development Fund, OurEarth.org, and YES! Magazine. A Berkshire native, Dana graduated from Mt. Holyoke College in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies and has been engaged in climate activism in the Bay State both during and after college.

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W.E.B. Du Bois

William Edward Burghardt "W. E. B." Du Bois (February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, and editor. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Du Bois grew up in a relatively tolerant and integrated community. After completing graduate work at the University of Berlin and Harvard, where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate, he became a professor of history, sociology and economics at Atlanta University. Du Bois was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.

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Nichole Dupont

Nichole Dupont is a freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Newsday, the Take Magazine, Huffington Post, Berkshire Magazine, Rural Intelligence, and other publications. She lives in Sheffield with her two teenage children.

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Susan Dworkin

Susan Dworkin lives in Becket. She writes books, plays and at every opportunity, lyrics. Her most recent books are The Commons, a futuristic novel about a wheat plague that triggers a revolution: The Viking in the Wheat Field, a scientific biography about the great seed banker Dr. Bent Skovmand and the future of world food security; and The Nazi Officer’s Wife , which was a NY Times Best Seller for most of 2014. Her play about art and politics, The Old Mezzo, was performed at WAM Theatre in 2012.

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Anne Dwyer

A foodie to the soul. I've been destination eating since I was seventeen (I won't tell how long that journey has been). It has taken me as far as Australia and as close as my best friend's mother's kitchen. I have a degree in Pastry Arts and operated my own bakery for more than a decade. I do love my sugar, but have my chops from kitchens in Cambridge, New York, Providence and right here in the tri-county area. Please enjoy my thoughts and may them inspire you to order a dish you've never tasted.

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Dan Dwyer

DAN DWYER is an independent theatre reviewer and radio interview host. His show, OFF SCRIPT, is broadcast on NPR-affiliate WHDD Robin Radio. Podcasts, along with his reviews, are on www.offscriptdandwyer.com. Dan completed a workshop in theatre directing at Yale in the summer of 2015, and will be directing rehearsed readings at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in August 2017. He is also proprietor of Johnnycake Books, the rare book shop in Salisbury, Conn.

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I.M. Dybbuk

I.M. Dybbuk refers those curious about his qualifications and frame of reference to S. Ansky’s play, "The Dybbuk or Between Two Worlds," written exactly 100 years ago. He recommends the Tony Kushner translation, if the reader is unfamiliar with Yiddish.

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Judy Eddy

Judy Eddy was born a Jerzey girl but headed west in her yellow VW bug soon after graduating from Drew University with a degree in French Lit and Philosophy. She honed her writing as a fundraiser for conservation and environmental organizations, and has continued to assemble sentences for a multitude of reasons, and for both real and imagined audiences. By a fluke of fate, Judy ended up back east, where she has happily remained. She lives in the lovely Berkshires with her son, Brian, and their big dog, Joey.

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Love Desk Editor

The Love Desk — which sits between the Crime Desk and the Hotel Desk — is run by a Las Vegas pole dancer who put herself through college, only to end up working as an agent provocateur in a monkey wrench gang that thwarted mining operations on sacred lands in Arizona. She’s been married five times, divorced four, and has three grown children. She lives on a Berkshire horse farm with her husband, a former Russian gymnast and one-time Olympian silver medalist who worked for the KGB. In the warmer months they enjoy naked horseback yoga.

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Barney Edmonds

Barney Edmonds lives in Stockbridge and serves on the town’s Housing Authority. He’s made documentary and industrial films and written personal essays, comedy sketches and way too many speeches. Most Thursday nights you’ll find him hunkered down at his weekly poker game that began sometime in the dark ages. A native of Northampton, he grew up within a half mile of Obama and Deval Patrick in Hyde Park and lived in brownstone Brooklyn for a very long time before moving to the beautiful Berkshires.

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David Noel Edwards

David Noel Edwards is a writer, designer, rattlesnake photographer, and composer of music for film, ballet, and theatre. David began his musical career at the age of four, singing improvised harmonies in church vocal groups. His first serious musical compositions filled three pop music albums released on major record labels of the early 1980s. Radio airplay helped send his “power pop” band on tours of North America and Great Britain, where he opened for Cliff Richard and U2 at the Greenbelt festival. But orchestral music was always his first love, and to this he returned in 2007 when he audited master classes at Tanglewood Music Center while writing the score for a new ballet production of "Dracula," which premiered in 2008 at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Music for Carl Sprague’s film “Summer,” Wharton Salon's "Autres Temps," and Juliane Hiam's "Belle of the Books" followed, and now David is composing the score for a new ballet of "Pinocchio." David lives in Canaan, New York.

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Joan Embree

Joan Embree is a mother and grandmother living in the Berkshires with three dogs and one cat. She works as a caterer, private cook and yoga teacher. Formerly the owner of Embree's Restaurant in Housatonic, she worked with the gifted poets, Michael and Peter Gizzi, who encouraged her to write. She recently completed first novel, "Summer of the Stolen Dog."

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Laurily Epstein

Laurily Epstein, an Iowa native, has lived in the Berkshires since 2001, and was a second-homer before then. Her Ph.D is in political science, which she taught at Rutgers before her stint at NBC news, where she worked on polling and election projections. A widow, she has two children and three grandchildren. She serves on the boards of Berkshire Grown, Berkshire Natural Resources Council, Green Berkshires, and Project Native.

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Tim Eustis

Recovering sommelier, wine buyer, and consultant, Timothy Eustis moved here from Paris in 2012. His passions run from wine to coffee to fresh eggs: all things food and wine. He has written for Wine & Spirits magazine, and was Dr. Vino’s Man in Paris. Tim works at The Chef's Shop in Great Barrington. He lives in Great Barrington with his two boys, Henry and Fred, and his wife Sarah.

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Erica Fay

Interior designer, Erica Fay works with unique clients in varying styles and situations throughout the Berkshire County, Ma region where she has created dozens of distinctive homes and outstanding renovation designs. She began training in her native Denver and finished in Boston where she learned the craft with established professionals before moving to the Berkshires in 1991. Her many consultations with do-it-yourself homeowners inspired her to create workshops to assist homeowners in achieving their own successful design projects. Erica has a long history in the world of dance, where she choreographs ballets and musicals. She is an ordained Tendai Buddhist minister and a certified yoga instructor. Contact and additional information can be found at ericafay.com.

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Victor Feldman

Victor Feldman studies political science at Brandeis University, and is the features editor of the Brandeis student newspaper, The Justice. He lives in Spencertown, New York.

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Sue Fish

Sue Fish, owner of the Women's Peace Collection, has been a social worker for more than a quarter-century, committed to working with people of all ages and backgrounds. Her first work in the field was with female victims of domestic violence, and since then she been passionate about women’s issues both in the U.S. and internationally. Fluent in Spanish, she has also worked for many years with the Berkshire immigrant community, helping them adjust to life in their new country and doing advocacy work on their behalf. Sue has been interested in supporting international artisans since her travels through Peru and Ecuador in the 1980’s. The Women’s Peace Collection has fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning a socially responsible, fair trade business while doing her part in alleviating poverty and advocating for marginalized women and families across the globe.

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Andrew Flint

Andrew Flint has contributed as much writing to humor sites as he has to news publications. He began tagging along with his father, Charles, to antique shows, auctions, antique bottle digs, and historical society meetings as soon as he learned how to talk, which is most of what he's done since. He lives in Stockbridge, in the shadow of the former Shaggy Dog Studios.

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Ebben Flow

A native of Middletown, Conn., Ebben Flow is a discreet observer of life in the Berkshires. He maintains a fondness for invasive species.

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Charlie Flynn

Charles Flynn is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in Geology and Sage Graduate School in Troy, NY where he received his Master of Science in Special Education. He is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy where for the majority of his career, Charlie served in leadership roles in engineering, electronics management, tactical analysis and command and control positions. He authored several major training, data collection, and evaluation manuals that were instrumental in improving training and job readiness throughout the seagoing Navy. He was a member of the Secretary of the Navy’s Naval Research Advisory Committee tasked to examine the impact of advancing technologies on Fleet Exercise Reconstruction and Analysis. He served on numerous Navy destroyers and frigates completing his career and retiring from the Naval Service in 1994. Mr. Flynn’s qualifications included Marine Chief Engineer (Gas Turbine), Destroyer Combat Systems Officer, Tactical Action Officer, Command At Sea. In 1995, Mr. Flynn entered the teaching profession where he could share his extensive background in Science and Engineering with students, especially those with special needs. He served in teaching roles at Southern Berkshire Regional School District and then moved to the Lee School District where he served as the Technology Administrator. Mr. Flynn retired from the Lee School District earlier this year. When he retired he held Educational Administrator Certifications up to Superintendent level. Mr. Flynn has been a member of the Southern Berkshire Regional School District School Committee for the past 6.5 years and also served as a Selectman in the Town of Egremont for the past 4.5 years. Charlie lives in Egremont with his wife of 44 years, Dorothy (Dakin) Flynn.

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Suzanne Fowle

Suzanne Fowle lives in Housatonic with her two children. She grew up spending weekends in the Berkshires at “Gramma’s House.” But it wasn’t until she had lived in Montana, North Dakota, Washington, D.C., New Hampshire, and eastern Massachusetts that she returned to her roots here, in 2003. Suzie is a Wildlife Biologist, with a M.S. from the University of Montana and a B.A. from Brown University. Before starting a family, she held several federal and state (Massachusetts) government positions. She has been an adjunct professor at Antioch New England Graduate School and Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Suzie has been a member of the Great Barrington Planning Board for the past 8 years, and she has represented the Board on the Community Preservation Committee, Master Plan Committee, and Lake Mansfield Improvement Task Force.

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Belle Fox-Martin

Belle Fox-Martin is a poet, and the author of micro-fiction. She is a United Church of Christ licensed minister, and lives in Glendale.

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Mickey Friedman

A founding member of redcrownews.com, and former filmmaker, Mickey Friedman is the author of “A Red Family,” published by the University of Illinois Press. He is almost finished with a novel, “Danger Times Two.” Addicted to iced lattes, he can often be found pretending to write at Fuel GB. And while under the influence of caffeine, he has been known to travel as far as Price Chopper to the north and Big Y to the south.

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Irina Fursman

Irina Fursman is the founder of Odysseys into Wellbeing and a Reiki Master in the traditional Usui System of Natural Healing (lineage of Phyllis Furumoto). Odysseys into Wellbeing helps clients embrace and practice the art of healthy and mindful living, in harmony with nature and in unison between heart, mind, body, and spirit. A business owner, a former corporate executive and consultant herself, Irina especially understands the stresses and unique challenges of trying to balance the hectic demands of life, business, and health frequently faced by us all. Irina’s purpose is to empower clients to take their wellbeing into their own hands so they can prevent disease, enjoy health, vitality, and happiness, and ultimately fulfill their life purpose. Irina is currently pursuing her studies towards her health coaching certification at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Irina is also trained with Brent Baum, developer of Holographic Memory Resolution® (HMR), as a Level Two HMR practitioner. Irina received her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA in Economics from Bryn Mawr College. She is also a graduate of L’Art de la Patisserie program at the French Pastry School of Chicago, a premier international institution of pastry arts education.

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Heebie GB

Heebie GB is a Great Barrington resident who enjoys snow shoeing, breadmaking, and receiving messages from the great beyond.

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David Giannini

David Giannini’s most recent book is Span of Thread (Cervena Barva Press) available at The Bookloft in Great Barrington, The Bookstore in Lenox, Water Street Books in Williamstown, or online. For additional information: www.davidgiannini.com

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Michelle Gillett

Michelle Gillett has won poetry fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and published work in numerous literary magazines. She is the author of Blinding the Goldfinches, winner of the Backwaters Press Poetry Prize, 2005; a chapbook, Rock &Spindle (Mad River Press), and The Green Cottage, winner of The Ledge 2010 Poetry Chapbook competition. She writes a regular op-ed column for The Berkshire Eagle, teaches writing workshops and is co-partner with Nina Ryan of g&r Editing, Writing and Book Development.

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Douglas J. Gladstone

A freelance magazine writer whose articles have appeared in the Chicago Sun Times, Baseball Digest, the Burlington Free Press, History Magazine and Ambassador Magazine, among others, DOUGLAS J. GLADSTONE is also the critically acclaimed author of A Bitter Cup of Coffee; How MLB and the Players Association Threw 874 Retirees a Curve (Word Association Publishers, 2010) and Carving a Niche for Himself; The Untold Story of Luigi Del Bianco and Mount Rushmore (Bordighera Press, 2014).

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Bob Goepfert

Bob Goepfert has been an arts writer and critic covering the Berkshires and Albany area for over 30 years. He has written for the Troy Record, the Saratogian and the former Knickerbocker News. His reviews can be heard on public radio at WAMC. In 2014, he was, for the third year in a row, named by Metroland as the area's Best Arts Writer. He is an award winning theater director and was the executive director of the Palace Theatre in Albany from 1988-2002.

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Rebecca Gold

Rebecca Gold lives and works in Great Barrington. Her children attend schools in the Berkshire Hills School District.

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Isa Goldberg

Isa Goldberg recently graduated from Amherst College, majoring in psychology. She also has a background in writing and filmmaking. She will be spending the next few years in Israel.

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Tamar Gordon

Tamar Gordon is a professor of anthropology and media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a documentary filmmaker. She moved with her family to Great Barrington in 2012 and never looked back. She is married to writer Scott Christianson and is the proud mother of retired wrestler, Jonah Christianson.

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Bob Gray

Bob Gray has lived in Great Barrington most of his life. He was an English teacher and Department Chairman at Monument Mountain Regional High School for 25 years. He has written for publication in various newspapers and literary journals as well as a book on life in the Berkshires.

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Stephan Green

Arriving in the early 1970’s, when his car broke down on the Massachusetts Turnpike, Stephan Green worked as a carpenter for three years in Berkshire County. He gave up his carpentry tools to study architecture at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. After working in NYC for ten years he returned to the Berkshires in 1988 to establish Clark & Green. www.clarkandgreen.com Initially focusing on residential design, Stephan expanded the office’s work to include a variety of commercial building types. These required a broader understanding of design and construction that enhanced the office’s residential design skills. These projects included an award-winning transformation of an historic building into the multiplex Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield, the conversion of an athletic field house into the 32,000 square foot multi-use Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre complex in Lenox, and the award winning Great Barrington Fire Station. Stephan is a longstanding member of the West Stockbridge Zoning Board of Appeals, serves as Chairman of the Design Advisory Committee of Great Barrington and is a Board Member of the Berkshire Community Land Trust.

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Barbara Greenbaum

Barbara Greenbaum is a retired psychotherapist living in Lenox. Since moving to the Berkshires full time she has been active in OLLI teaching classes called, "Conversations With...". For several years she and David Scribner co- hosted a TV program, "The Way We Are," where they interviewed people in the arts and politics in the Berkshires.

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Adam Gudeon

Adam Gudeon is an author and illustrator of books for children. He lives with his family in Great Barrington. His next book, "Bedtime at Bessie and Lil's" (Boyds Mills) will be available March 3, 2015.

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Some Guy Upstairs

Some Guy Upstairs has been known to go downstairs and take constitutional walks in and around the GB environs. He's not much on nature as he believes nature isn't much on him. His passions include making lists of things to do and rearranging his coat rack. Further information is hard to come by, but we have high hopes this may not be permanent. For many years Some Guy Upstairs lived far from these hills in a never-never land 9 feet below sea level.

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Jonathan Hankin

Jonathan Hankin moved from Los Angeles to Great Barrington in 1995. He serves as the Chair of the Great Barrington Planning Board and is a real estate broker at Berkshire Property Agents. He is on the Board of the Berkshire Playwrights Lab.

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Colin Harrington

Colin Harrington is an educator, writer, and the Events Planner at The Bookstore in Lenox.

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Tom Hartman

Tom Hartman, AIA, is a principal and owner of C&H Architects in Amherst, Mass., a practice he established with Bruce Coldham in 1999. The firm focuses exclusively on the creation of high performance, environmentally intelligent buildings and communities. Trained at the University of Southern California and at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Tom specializes in construction trailer etiquette and making things happen, and is most often responsible for the preparation of contracts, schedules, construction documentation and site observation. Throughout his career, working on site directly with the trades has been a particularly gratifying facet of his architectural practice. Tom takes pleasure in the human aspect of a project, and always aims to find opportunities for humor while ensuring that tasks are completed to the highest standard. Tom was raised primarily in Mystic, Conn. His father was a submarine captain and his mother co-owned a residential construction company where Tom worked as a laborer and carpenter during summers. He lives in Pelham, Mass., with his wife, daughter, son and dog.

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Christy Heady

Christy Heady is a journalist and best-selling author of four books that has sold 500,000 copies. She currently works as a writing success coach helping authors achieve growth in their author entrepreneurial careers. To learn more, visit www.christyheady.com

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Kristen Hewitt

Kristen Hewitt is an Assistant Editor at Orion magazine where she has worked for the last four years. She attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, after graduating from Bates College. Her writing has appeared in Terrain.org, Orion, and the Farmers’ Almanac. She lives in Great Barrington.

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Ben Hillman

Ben Hillman is a film maker, designer, author and illustrator who loves subatomic particles and Betty Boop. After obsessing for years about the evils of mass manipulation, Ben decided to do it himself by forming Ben Hillman & Company – realizing his boyhood dream of messing with the minds of the general public (as well as making films and writing and illustrating books). Ben lives in the beautiful Berkshire hills of Massachusetts with his wife Amy and daughter Maizy. He is a member of the Sheffield Tree Project and the Antarctican Society.

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Adam Hinds

Adam Hinds is a candidate for state Senate in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden district. He is currently the Executive Director of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition and previously started an organization that works with at-risk youth in Pittsfield. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Adam spent nearly ten years working on the Middle East for the United Nations. Previously Adam worked for former U.S. Congressman John Olver and then U.S. Senator John Kerry. For more information visit adamhinds.org.

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Robin Hirsch

RH has acted, directed, taught and published on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a former Oxford, Fulbright and English-Speaking Union Scholar, two-time NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) Fellow, & recipient of numerous awards for writing and performing. He holds a joint Ph.D in Theatre and Literature. He is the author of LAST DANCE AT THE HOTEL KEMPINSKI: Creating a Life in the Shadow of History, a Holocaust-related memoir--"one of the best memoirs ever written on the long arm of the holocaust"--Jewish Week MOSAIC: Fragments of a Jewish Life, a 7-part solo performance cycle which he has performed all over the US and in London, Berlin and Vienna. and FEG: Stupid Poems for Intelligent Children, which has been used to teach poetry, not just to children--"searingly smart and challenging" New York Times Book Review. Since 1977 he has presided over the Cornelia Street Cafe in Greenwich Village, where he now presents some 700 performances a year, from poetry (in 12 languages) to music (in as many genres, from Classical to Flamenco, from Jazz to Southern Indian Carnatic drumming), from theatre to cabaret, from stiltwalking to science. In 1987 the City of New York proclaimed it "a culinary as well as a cultural landmark."

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John Hockridge

John Hockridge is a member of the North Adams School Committee (14 years), Chair of MASC Division VI (Berkshire County), Chair of the Berkshire County Education Task Force. Owner of New England Weather Associates -- a meteorological consulting firm (43 years).

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Bobby Houston

Bobby Houston is an Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker who retired to Great Barrington in 2005. Then he started fixing old buildings and he can't seem to stop. Together with his partner Eric Shamie, they have Hauswork Design, and are currently redeveloping the Dolby Florists site for retiree co-housing.

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Christin Howard

Christin Howard is a Great Barrington local and a graduate from Monument Mountain Regional High School. She is a rising junior at The Commonwealth Honors College at University of Massachusetts Amherst pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English and History with a specialty in journalism. She hopes to pursue a career in journalism after her graduation in 2018.

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Judy Isacoff

Writer, naturalist, educator and garden designer, Judy Isacoff has published in regional monthlies, weeklies and dailies as well as professional journals in the field of environmental education. She is a columnist for the Battery Park City, New York Broadsheet Daily and The Broadsheet and for five years contributed a weekly astronomy column to The Berkshire Eagle. A leader in nature study and curriculum-based gardening at schools in urban and rural settings, Isacoff is passionate about cultivating the sense of wonder through her teaching and writing. Her website: NaturesTurn.org

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Andrew Joffe

ANDREW JOFFE is an actor director, playwright, radio producer and award-winning poet and opera librettist. He has written and produced two radio series on NPR: Visit New Grimston, Anyway and Jazzplay. He has directed many plays and world premiere operas, and has appeared on stages throughout the region.

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Ellie Johnston

Ellie Johnston lives in Great Barrington. She is a program associate at Climate Interactive, on the Board of Directors for SustainUS, and a co-founder and facilitator of 350MA Berkshires.

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Meryl Joseph

Meryl Joseph is a visual artist and filmmaker whose work is known internationally as well as throughout Berkshire County. Her award-winning documentaries have been screened in film festivals and museums in the USA and Europe.

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Gabriel Lord Kalcheim

Gabriel Lord Kalcheim was born in New York, and grew up regularly attending theatre there, and classical music concerts over the summer at Tanglewood in the Berkshires. He studied Philosophy and Classics at the University of Chicago (BA 2013) where he reviewed theatre for the Chicago Maroon, and opera and classical music for Chicagocritic.com. He attended school in New York but has spent summers, and school holidays in the Berkshires where his mother grew up. Kalcheim is an amateur violinist and played in his university's symphony orchestra, and in various chamber groups.

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Samuel Lord Kalcheim

Samuel Lord Kalcheim is a composer of classical music written in historical idioms, most often those of the Classical and early Romantic eras. He does this simply in his desire to create things of beauty, and firm in the conviction that music needs no justification but that beauty itself; that it is, to quote Oscar Wilde, “well written or badly written. That is all.” Samuel began composing by writing Broadway musical songs (more like Kern than Sondheim), and recently finished the score to a new musical with book and lyrics by his father, the playwright Lee Kalcheim. From that art he received an intense love of melody which he carries into his classical compositions. Samuel has also played the violin most of his life and has more recently started learning to conduct.

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Mona Kanin

After a short but formative stint as a children’s librarian at the Boston Public Library, Mona Kanin was a filmmaker for over 25 years. She became a producer via writing. Particularly drawn to the creative challenges of short form in all media, and the marriage between pictures and words, Kanin is now writing children’s picture book texts and poetry for adults. Kanin and her husband, the actor Henry Strozier, make their homes in North Egremont and Brooklyn.

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Susie Kaufman

Susie Kaufman is a retired Hospice chaplain. She is active in the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, IWOW the monthly open mic and RIMON Resource Center for Jewish Spirituality. Susie’s spiritual writing has appeared in America, Lilith, and Presence magazines. An excerpt from her novel Otherwise entitled “The Edge of Elsewhere” was published in the Women’s Festival anthology, Writing Fire.

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Elizabeth Keen

Since 1997, Elizabeth Keen and her husband Al Thorp have opened Indian Line Farm in South Egremont, Massachusetts, the first CSA in the country, founded by Robyn Van Em.

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Dan Klein

Daniel Klein lives in Great Barrington with his wife, Freke Vuijst. He is co-author of the New York Times bestseller, "Plato & a Platypus Walk Into a Bar" and is the author of the London Times bestseller, "Travels with Epicurus."

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Samara Klein

Samara Q. Klein was born and raised in the Berkshires, and now lives in Housatonic with her partner and daughter. She has worked in book publishing for over twelve years, primarily in children's books, and she currently sits on a book selection committee and publishes books for a nonprofit organization. Check out Samara’s blog about picture books called 'Books with Pictures and Words.'

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Paul Kleinwald

Roots music has been a lifelong passion for Paul Kleinwald. He studied the 5-string banjo and has recorded an album called “From the Hills.”. He also played on Arlo Guthrie’s cowboy tunes album called “Son of the Wind.” His band, the Northeast String Band (with Rick Tiven, Anson Olds and Robert Langdon) hosted the Northeast Folk Festival show on WAMC. He was an extra in “Alice’s Restaurant,” the original movie, and was the tour driver for the Hunger Mountain Boys.

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Deb Koffman

Deb Koffman is an artist, animator, author and teacher. She hosts IN WORDS OUT WORDS(IWOW), an open mic nite on the first Tuesday of every month at her gallery in Housatonic. Every Saturday she offers Drawing As Mindfulness Practice in her upstairs studio. Visit debkoffman.com for event schedule and to see her books, cards, prints and blog about mindfulness and creativity.

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Kateri Kosek

Kateri Kosek grew up in the Hudson Valley but has lived in or near the Berkshires for several years. She teaches English and writing at various colleges, and at the Renaissance Arts Center in Great Barrington. Her lifelong love of birds has always found its way into her poetry and essays, which have appeared in many literary journals, including Orion.

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Lorrin Krouss

Lorrin Krouss worked in the publishing industry for 15 years and was inspired to write after attending the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. Her first essay appears in “An Anthology of Babes ---- 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice.” Another essay, “The Rocky Road to Happiness” was presented at The Mount in 2014 and will be published in the anthology Writing Fire in March 2015. Lorrin, now Director of Business Development for the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, lives happily in the Berkshires with her husband, Andrew Krouss.

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Kurt Kruger

Kurt Kruger is a furniture maker, living in the Berkshires, writing poetry, etc. In his spare time, he conducts seminars on Sanskrit.

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David Lahm

David Lahm is a songwriter and jazz composer living in New York City and Michigan. In 1959 and 1960, he was a student at The School of Jazz at Music Inn in Lenox.

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Bruce Lambert

Bruce Lambert is a mostly retired reporter, having worked at the New York Times for 22 years, Newsday for 17 years, and Rochester Democrat & Chronicle for 5 years. He lives in Hempstead, N.Y. He was also a union leader at all three papers.

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Martin Langeveld

Martin Langeveld is a former publisher of The Berkshire Eagle, the North Adams Transcript and the Brattleboro Reformer, and writes about the media business at his blog, News After Newspapers. The Monday Evening Club, for which this piece was written, has been meeting in the Berkshires since 1869.

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Alison Larkin

Known on both sides of the Atlantic as the English American, Alison Larkin is a comedienne, award-winning audiobook narrator/producer, keynote speaker and the bestselling author of The English American, a novel. Her autobiographical one woman show about an adopted English women who finds her birth parents in the U.S. was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. As an actress she has appeared on Broadway with the Royal National Theater and Off-Broadway with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her audiobook production company Alison Larkin Presents is located in Stockbridge and produces high quality audiobooks from the novels of Jane Austen, Agatha Christie to modern thrillers, non-fiction, mysteries. To learn more visit www.alisonlarkin.com.

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Francoise Lartigue

Francoise Lartigue has a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Babson College and a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College. Her career began as a Technology Consultant in Boston, and transitioned, through Teach For America, to be a Kindergarten teacher in New York City. Currently, she represents New Marlborough on the Southern Berkshire Regional School Districts’ School Committee. She continues to explore both technology and education while she and her husband raise their three children in New Marlborough, Massachusetts.

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Eileen Lawlor

Eileen Lawlor is a Board Certified Diplomat Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and Registered Dance/Movement Therapist. She holds two masters degrees: one in Creative Arts Therapy and a second in Social Work. Her first career was in Theater with credits ranging from Broadway shows to numerous television commercials. Since 1980 Eileen has worked as an action-oriented Psychotherapist, and today maintains a small private practice in Great Barrington. She has lived in the Berkshires for the last twenty years.

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John Lawson

JK Lawson is a professional artist and poet. Over the past 25 years his work has been exhibited extensively throughout the USA including the American Visionary Museum in Baltimore, the Californian African American Museum in Los Angelos and this fall The Hebrew Union Collage in New York new York.. He is the author of five books including Now, his first full collection of poems. His novel, Hurricane Hotel set during Hurricane Katrina has been successfully adapted for the theater with several staged readings both in the USA and UK. Currently JK is involved in establishing a poets/songwriter residency at the Rame Center for the Arts in Cornwall, U.K. For more information please visit www.lawsonworks.com or follow him on facebook

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Karen Lee

The daughter of a rabbi and a graduate of Hunter College, Karen Lee of Lenox is a Pilates specialist, choreographer, movement therapist, burlesque dancer, published writer, artist, actress (The Berkshire Eagle named her Best Actress in 2013 for her performance in the world premiere of Joan Ackermann’s “QWERTY: Typewriter Plays”), and the mother of Max and Sam, both rising stars. In addition, she is Pilates Director at the Westmoor Club on Nantucket.

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Alison Lee

A 2013 graduate Monument Mountain Regional High School, Alison Lee is currently studying Communications Design, a composite of Advertising, Illustration, and Graphic Design, at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. She is interested in all things printing, publishing, book design and animation. She grew up here in Great Barrington.

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Barbara and Leonard Quart

Barbara Quart was a professor of English at the College of Staten Island for 35 years. She also wrote "Women Directors: The Emergence of a New Cinema," and over a hundred articles and reviews for magazines like Ms, Film Quarterly, the Nation, and Cineaste. Leonard Quart is Professor Emeritus of Cinema — CUNY and COSI; Contributing Editor, Cineaste; Columnist for Berkshire Eagle; and co-author of American Film and Society Since 1945 —4th Edition (Praeger).

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Judith Lerner

Judith Lerner has been writing about Berkshire food and lifestyles since 1987. Her features, columns, short fiction, photographs and drawings have appeared in local and regional publications including New Visions, The Berkshire Eagle, Berkshires Week, The North Adams Transcript, The Berkshire Review, The Advocate, Horizon AAA Southern New England, The Boston Globe, Edible Berkshires and iBerkshires. She has had a long career as a book and graphic designer. She created Judith's Kitchen, a restaurant serving organic and local food in Lenox in the 1980s, has taught cooking, writing and graphic design and has maintained The Gallery at Bagels Too showing area artists since the sheep were on the street in Pittsfield.

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Rabbi Joy Levitt

Joy Levitt is the Executive Director at The Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. Prior to coming to the JCC, she served as a congregational rabbi on Long Island and in New Jersey for twenty years. She earned a Bachelor's degree from Barnard College, followed by a Master's degree from New York University, and a rabbinical degree from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Most recently, she founded the Jewish Journey Project, an initiative designed to revolutionize Jewish education for children. As a lay leader, she serves on the boards of Avodah: The Jewish Corps for Service and The Shefa School, a new Jewish community day school for children with language-based learning disabilities. Joy is married to Michael Strassfeld, also a rabbi, with whom she co-authored A Night of Questions: a Passover Haggadah and together, they have five children.

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Paul Lippmann

Psychologist, psychotherapist, psychoanalyst practicing in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Living in Stockbridge since 1961. Father of John Lippmann and Eve Jennings. Husband of Frances Lippmann. Founder of Stockbridge Dream Society. Founder and board member of the Western Massachusetts and Albany Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology. Past president of the William Alanson White Psychoanalytic Society. Affiliate Faculty: Austen Riggs Center. Member: International Association for the Study of Dreams. Author of dozens of papers on Dreams and author of Nocturnes: On Listening to Dreams, Analytic Press, 2000.

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Alice Maggio

Alice Maggio is the Local Currency Program Director at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, where she is engaged in further developing the Berkshire Region’s own local currency, BerkShares. She has also become a national and international advocate for nonprofit, place-based currencies. She has been interviewed on the subject of local currencies by the PBS NewsHour, Al Jazeera America, among others. In 2013 she presented at the Left Forum and at the New Economy Coalition’s ReRoute conference, as well as at the Second International Conference on Complementary Currency Systems in the Hague. Alice Maggio grew up in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and graduated from Mount Everett Regional High School in Sheffield. In 2010 she completed her B.A. in Sociology and French Studies at Wesleyan University. After college she went on to bake pies in Brooklyn, teach English in the Alps, and cook Basque food in Manhattan before coming home to work to the Berkshires in 2012.

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Heather Meehan

Heather Meehan graduated from Simon’s Rock College in May 2014 and elected to stay in the Berkshires where she currently practices Ashtanga yoga, interns at Community Access to the Arts, acts as the writer and social media manager for Moon-in-the-Pond farm in Sheffield, and writes poetry in her spare time.

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William Merelle

William Merelle lived his formative years in the heart of three picturesque provinces of the Pyrénées: Le Béarn, Basque country and the Bigorre, a region whose reputation has been built on its cuisine. Nowhere is the art of the table as diversified and honored as it is there. William attended ”Les Quatre Septembre” culinary school at the age of 14. Upon graduation he worked among the best chefs in Bordeaux, Paris and Provence. Chef William landed a chef’s position in the south of France, at St.Victor La Coste, La Sabranenque, a medieval village where he met his future wife Maggie. Maggie lured him to the US. Together the Merelles have invented a unique style of restaurant. Maggie Merelle's infectious enthusiasm, along with her attention to detail, complement Williamʼs personal vision of epicurean delight and his dedication to raising the bar on his extraordinary cuisine. “Rouge! Cʼest la couleur dʼamour,” now in it’s fifteenth year of drawing people from all over the country.

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Melissa Mishcon

M. E. Mishcon is a writer and psychotherapist in private practice. Her work has appeared in Boston Magazine, Urthona, The Berkshire Review, The Women's Times, Sequoia, The Berkshire Eagle, The George Washington Review, Serpentine, to name a few. Her novel 'Just Between Us' won first prize forBirmingham Southern University's 'Hackney Award.' She was a former fiction and poetry editor for The Artful Mind.

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Ronni Monsky

Ronni Monsky has had a varied career but her love of film has been a mainstay throughout her life. She studied human development at Cornell University, received a Master’s in teaching at Columbia University, and got her psychology doctorate from Pace University. Through the years she has been a teacher, PR writer, advertising copywriter, film reviewer and now a psychologist. Traveling has always been significant in her life - circumnavigating the globe on her honeymoon which included trekking in the Himalayas and living on a houseboat in India. She lives in Hillsdale, N.Y., with her husband Stanley, daughter Saskia and her philosopher/dog Xhabbo.

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David Moser

David Moser was born in the Berkshires and grew up in Great Barrington. He currently lives in New York City and works for a healthcare startup built around the Affordable Care Act. A collection of his writing based on two years in the West Bank can be found at http://changingthesun.blogspot.com/

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Carole Murko

Carole Murko is an interior decorator. As principal of Boulderwood Design Group, she undertakes projects that range from simple color consulting to kitchen and bath design on through to full project management. When she isn’t running around sourcing amazing products for her clients, she can be found sharing food stories and recipes on her website www.heirloommeals.com.

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Lynnette Najimy

Lynnette (Lucy) Najimy has lived and worked in Berkshire County her entire life. She finds the standard astonished response to that statement - “Wow. Really?! - to be curiously amusing. While people from around the country and around the world trek to the region for its nature, culture, history, and community, she prefers to travel the world and always come back home where the connections and the stories are no less rich. She earned her Masters Degree in Philanthropy and Media from Suffolk University, which happened to hold a satellite campus in a cornfield in Sheffield. She considers this to be a perfect case in point. Her company Beansprout Productions promotes community building online and on the ground.

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Gabriel Napoleon

Gabriel Napoleon was raised in Kent, Conn. After college, he started out reporting for The Millerton News in neighboring Dutchess County, N.Y., and relocated to Great Barrington in 2016. Besides writing, Napoleon enjoys seeing movies, learning to cook, walking in the woods, and avoiding injury from a passion for skateboarding held onto from childhood.

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Judith Nardacci

Judy Nardacci is a retired teacher and civil and human rights activist, especially on behalf of women and girls and the LGBTQAI community. She and her husband live in Lee and have two children. She loves books, gardening (especially the digging-up-weeds-and-rocks part), chocolate, cooking, and being on the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers Planning Committee.

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Carolyn and Eli Newberger

Carolyn Newberger is an artist, child psychologist, and musician (flute and jazz washboard) whose deep concerns for people and their lives drive her work. Her drawings, paintings and collage have achieved recognition and awards in juried and solo exhibitions. Carolyn went to Sarah Lawrence College and received her doctorate from Harvard, after two years in Burkina Faso with the Peace Corps. As a psychologist, Carolyn developed an influential theory of parental consciousness that continues to frame family studies and efforts to prevent child abuse. Her research and teaching at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital, and her ability clearly and soundly to address such subjects as parental discipline, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, attract respect and notice by clinicians and media alike. Called often as an expert on television news, she appeared twice on the Oprah Winfrey show and has published widely in both the scientific and popular press. Carolyn’s art is represented by Galatea Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. To learn more about Carolyn and to view her art, visit her website at www.carolynnewberger.com. After Yale College, where he was a Scholar of the House in music theory, Eli Newberger received his M.D. from Yale Medical School. He went from Peace Corps service in Burkina Faso, West Africa, to pediatric training at Boston Children’s Hospital, where over 30 years he founded and directed the Child Protection and Family Development Programs. In addition to eight books and more than 100 articles in the medical field, he applied techniques of musical analysis to the development of jazz piano style, reporting his findings in the Journal of Jazz Studies and Annual Review of Jazz Studies. Newberger’s book on strengthening the characters of boys and men, “The Men They Will Become” (Da Capo Books) appeared along with a jazz CD of the same title with pianist, Butch Thompson, and banjo/vocalist Jimmy Mazzy (Stomp Off Records). An active performer on piano and tuba, Newberger cofounded the New Black Eagle Jazz Band in 1970 and played piano and tuba with them for 31 years. With over 40 recordings to his credit, he won three national readers’ polls for best jazz tuba player. All of Newberger’s past musical publications and reviews, many medical articles, and numerous lectures and musical performances, may be found on his website. ( www.elinewberger.com ) Eli & The Hot Six, an all-star traditional jazz band, released its CD, "Contemporary Classic Jazz," ( https://www.cdbaby.com/elithehotsix ) at a sold-out concert, noted in the Boston Globe, at Scullers Jazz Club on Boston in 2015. The Hot Six are renowned in the Northeast for their heartfelt and virtuosic interpretations of the jazz age songbook: Bob Winter, the Boston Pops pianist, Bo Winiker, trumpet, bandleader, and frequent Boston Pops Conductor, Jimmy Mazzy, banjo and vocals, Ted Casher, clarinet and saxes, Herb Gardner, trombone, and Bob Tamagni, professor of percussion at Berklee College of Music. Eli's 75th birthday celebration at Scullers featured an All-Gershwin program, noted with a pictorial article in the Boston Globe (https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/2015/12/28/tuba-hand-acclaimed-physician-eli-newberger-delights-his-first-passion/Bw3NRBiZpquTRTH3wtGXlK/story.html )with Carolyn Newberger featured as guest washboard wizard. Eli & The Hot Six perform on the 3rd Thursday of every month at Ristorante Primavera (http://www.primav.com/ ) in Millis, Mass., from 7:00 to 9:30. On July 23 and 24, 2017, they return for a third time for concerts Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, featuring masterpieces by Cole Porter and Edward "Duke" Ellington in Mr. Finn's Cabaret (https://barringtonstageco.org/mrfinns/ ).

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Carolyn Newberger

Carolyn Newberger is an artist, child psychologist, and musician (flute and jazz washboard) whose deep concerns for people and their lives drive her work. Her drawings, paintings and collage have achieved recognition and awards in juried and solo exhibitions. Carolyn went to Sarah Lawrence College and received her doctorate from Harvard, after two years in Burkina Faso with the Peace Corps. As a psychologist, Carolyn developed an influential theory of parental consciousness that continues to frame family studies and efforts to prevent child abuse. Her research and teaching at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital, and her ability clearly and soundly to address such subjects as parental discipline, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, attract respect and notice by clinicians and media alike. Called often as an expert on television news, she appeared twice on the Oprah Winfrey show and has published widely in both the scientific and popular press. Carolyn’s art is represented by Galatea Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. To learn more about Carolyn and to view her art, visit her website at www.carolynnewberger.com.

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Peggy Reeves and Nina Lipkowitz

Photographer and artist Peggy Reeves is represented by 510 Warren Street Gallery. Her work is in the collection of the Berkshire Museum. A founding member of 510 Warren Street Gallery, Nina Lipkowitz has been a sculptor, painter, yoga teacher a guide at the American Museum of Natural History. She has a one-woman shop titled "I Paint on my iPad" this coming October at No. Six Depot in West Stockbridge.

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Craig Okerstrom-Lang

Craig Okerstrom-Lang is the founder of Okerstrom-Lang Ltd, Landscape Architects, in Great Barrington, Mass. Established in 1990 and now celebrating 25 years in the Berkshires, the design firm specializes in design, master planning and construction management. Visit their portfolio at okerstromlang.com.

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Susanna Opper

Since Susanna Opper moved to the Berkshires from Manhattan in 1990, she has written for Berkshire Magazine and Berkshire Living. Her magazine writing career began at Time Life, Inc. She then transitioned to corporate communications at Federated Stores and Exxon. Since 2006 she’s been publishing Web Words, a monthly online newsletter about effective online messaging. She lives in Alford with her husband, Will Ryan.

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Jennifer Owen

A fabric guru with an eye for color, interior designer Jennifer Owen has been recognized for her unique sense of style and vision. House to Home, the Lifestyle Magazine of Fairfield County, featured her on their cover for a home she redesigned in Westport, Conn. She has also been featured in East Coast Home Design magazine, at the Shippan (Conn.) Designer Show House, and at the Weston (Conn.) Show House. All of these venues salute her distinctive style of design, which transforms spaces into uplifting, functional environments -- “simple elegance” at its best! Jennifer is based in a showroom/office on Railroad Street in Great Barrington, Mass. She works with clients in Fairfield County, Westchester County, New York City, Long Island, and Berkshire County. She is a member of the Interior Design Society (IDS) and the Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC)

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Carole Owens

A resident of Stockbridge, Carole Owens is the author of seven books, three newspaper columns, and numerous feature articles. As a local historian, Owens was named Scholar in Residence by the Massachusetts Council on the Humanities.

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Jamie Paxton

Jamie Paxton is a chef and local foods advocate whose work focuses on helping people learn about and access local, seasonal, and sustainable food. She lives in Great Barrington and works in the Berkshires and the Hudson Valley.

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Ursula Setlow Pearson

Ursula Pearson graduated from Smith College in the class of 1932, with a major in French. In 1934, she earned a Masters Degree in Romance Languages from Yale University. She began writing poetry ten years ago, and is the chairperson of her local group of writers, poets and memoirists.

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Deborah Phillips

Deborah Phillips is a licensed nutritionist with a private practice in Great Barrington; she also is one of the nutritionists at the Ultrawellness Center in Lenox. She is passionate about sharing her food knowledge with others and using it to help them achieve better health.

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William "Smitty" Pignatelli

State Representative Wm. Smitty Pignatelli is a lifelong resident of Lenox, Massachusetts, and a graduate of the Lenox Public Schools. Smitty, as he prefers to be called, was named after his father’s best friend, William Smith, who was killed during World War II. After graduating from Lenox Memorial High School in 1977, Smitty became a licensed Master Electrician and worked in his family’s electrical contracting business for twenty years. Smitty took over the full operation of the business at the time of his father’s retirement in 1991. Smitty left the family business to his brother Scott, in 1998, when he was offered a position as the Business Development Manager for Lee Bank. While at the bank, he attended Babson College School for Financial Studies, graduating in 2001. Longing to serve the people of his beloved Berkshire District, he decided to leave the bank to pursue his dream of public service and run for higher office. Smitty won the seat of State Representative for the 4th Berkshire District and has been proudly representing his constituents for over 12 years. Smitty was first elected to the Lenox Planning Board in 1987 and served on that board for five years. In 1992, he was elected to the Board of Selectmen, and was elected Chairman on four different occasions, serving until May of 2003. Smitty also served from 1995-1999 as a Berkshire County Commissioner including two years as Chairman of the board. Representative Pignatelli serves on the Laurel Lake Preservation Association and previously served six years on the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross. With over 37 years of public service experience, Smitty has also been involved in many local associations. He is a member of the Berkshire County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, a past member of the Berkshire Association of Retarded Citizens, the Board of Directors of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau and is a former President of the Lenox Historical Society. As State Representative, Smitty represents twenty communities in Berkshire and Hampden Counties. At the State House, Representative Pignatelli serves on three appointed committees: the Committee of Ways & Means, Committee on Higher Education, and the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. He is currently the House Chair of the Cultural Caucus.

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Sonia Pilcer

Sonia Pilcer was born in Augsburg, Germany, and raised in the boroughs of New York City. Her latest book, “The Last Hotel: A Novel in Suites,” is based on the residential hotel her father managed on the Upper Westside in the ‘70s. “Teen Angel,” her first novel, launched Pilcer’s career in her twenties. It was bought by Universal Studios and she wrote the screenplay with Garry Marshall. The book has recently been reissued in a 35th Year Anniversary Edition. Her other novels include “Maiden Rites,” “Little Darlings,” and “I-Land: Manhattan Monologues.” Her adaptation of “I-Land” played at the Thirteenth Street Repertory Theater for six years. Most recently, “The Holocaust Kid,” her deepest and most personal book, explored the meaning of being “2G,” a second generation Holocaust survivor. Her theatrical adaptation was staged at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, Mass. Sonia Pilcer teaches at Berkshire Community College and the Writers Voice in New York City, as well as privately.

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Trina Porte

Trina Porte has been reading her poetry, writing, and exhibiting her artwork for more than thirty years. A few favorite venues include Cornelia Street Café, Bluestocking Books, and Brecht Forum in New York, Patrick’s Cabaret in Minneapolis, Bet Gavriel Arts Center in Israel, and many public libraries. She lives in the woods with her wife and makes a fine genoise.

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Rachel Portnoy

Chez Nous Bistro reflects the combined vision of the chef-and-pastry chef, husband-and-wife team of Franck Tessier and Rachel Portnoy. Soon entering their 12th year as Chez Nous, this duo worked and met in the world of French fine dining in New York and London, and moved to Lee with the idea of opening a truly casual, high-quality restaurant focused on real ingredients, prepared simply and with skill, without the trappings of fine dining. Since it’s all about the food at Chez Nous, the right ingredients are critical: local, seasonal, sustainable – not for the sake of it, but for the clear difference in quality these products bring. The menu changes with each season and French bistro classics blend appealingly with vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. Truly nourishing foods – highlighting unique and delicious ingredients such as the rare ancient Einkorn grain, heirloom beans, locally produced cheeses and meats, and lots of fresh vegetables – are offered in full or half-portion options so there’s plenty of room to taste some very special homemade desserts.

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Leonard Quart

Leonard Quart is Professor Emeritus of Cinema — CUNY and COSI; Contributing Editor, Cineaste; Columnist for Berkshire Eagle; and co-author of American Film and Society Since 1945 —4th Edition (Praeger).

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Barbara K. Quart

Barbara Quart was a professor of English at the College of Staten Island for 35 years. She also wrote "Women Directors: The Emergence of a New Cinema," and over a hundred articles and reviews for magazines like Ms, Film Quarterly, the Nation, and Cineaste.

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Jacob Robbins

In love with all things news, Jacob Robbins has worked at The Berkshire Record and currently works at his school newspaper, The Maroon Tribune where he has a column, "What’s the Word." Jacob is a senior at Monument Mountain and currently resides in West Stockbridge, Mass. with the true love of his life, his dog Otis.

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Grace Rossman

Grace Rossman is a senior at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. “Activated” by an activism class she took with Jennifer Browdy during the fall of 2013, Grace developed "The Belly Monologues," a multimedia project focused on body image, relationships, identity, eating behavior, and the many intersections thereof. Following the example of audacious author-activists like Eve Ensler (of "The Vagina Monologues" fame), Grace hopes to spark conversation and shift paradigms by honestly and unabashedly acknowledging the world as it is. Currently working on a book of short essays and poetry entitled Insatiable, she is ready and eager to sink her teeth into a cornucopia of meaty subjects revolving around desire, consumption, and nourishment.

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Frances Roth

Frances Roth’s writing has been greatly informed by her 20 years in theater as an actress and singer. She has toured the United States with two national companies - 'The King and I' with Yul Brynner and' Man of LaMancha' with Richard Kiley – and has sung with choruses of both the New York Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. “After all those years developing characters for the stage it was a natural transition to creating characters for the page,” she says. “I write poetry and short fiction and enjoy performing my spoken-word pieces for an audience.” Frances also writes poetry and has had several poems published in the literary nature journal Avocet. She has given readings at the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers and the Mad River Literary Festival. She has also presented workshops on writing to prompts and how to read poetry and fiction out loud.

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Dianne Salamon

Dianne Salamon has resided in Mount Washington and Manhattan for many years but most recently spends much of her time in the Berkshires. Dianne is involved in numerous volunteer activities. It started when she got involved with Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires (VIM), 10 years ago, fulfilling many roles in the planning and execution of the Annual Galas. More recently she was worked with The Council on Aging (COA) of Egremont and Mount Washington, creating events for area seniors. Most recently she was elected to Vice-President of the Mount Washington Historical Society. Dianne enjoys activities such as golf, gardening and the gym. She lives with her husband Lenny Salamon and new Doberman puppy, Bodie. Her son , Zachary, lives in New York City working in the Financial world.

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Joan Schenkar

Joan Schenkar is a widely reviewed, award-winning playwright, author, and literary biographer. Her most recent book, the national award-winning biography THE TALENTED MISS HIGHSMITH, is a New York Times Notable Book published throughout the world. She lives and writes in Paris and Greenwich Village.

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Lee Schwartz

Lee Schwartz is a New York and Berkshire based poet. Her latest poems are found in HOW POETRY SAVED MY Life, Trigger Point Press, 2014, and On Fire Anthology, Green Fire Press, 2015.This coming March, look for her writing workshop on Sexual Orientation and Gender as part of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, 2015

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Eli Schwartz

Hailing from Rochester, N.Y., Eli Schwartz is a film student at Ithaca college. His areas of study include Screenwriting, Directing, Lighting, and Film Analysis.

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Sue Schwarz

As principal of Gallery 315 Home in Sheffield, Sue Schwarz is committed to helping her clients to transform their living spaces into comfortable uncluttered homes that meet their needs. In addition to her Gallery315 Home showroom’s collection of antiques, Sue makes scheduled trips to resources in NYC with individuals and small groups of area residents to provide wholesale access and expertise. Provided Sue is not out “on the hunt,” she is at the showroom Thursday-Sunday, 11-5. Call ahead to make an appointment or to schedule your complimentary home consultation. (917) 701-3841.

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David Scribner

A writer, photographer and journalist, David Scribner served for 10 years as editor of The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, prior to which he was editor of The Middletown (Conn.) Press. Most recently, he spent four years as news editor of The Berkshire Record. His essays have appeared in Yankee magazine, Vermont Life and other publications, his reviews in the Pacific Sun, and his photographs at the International Center for Photography in New York City. His short stories have been published in literary magazines, and his play, “Invasive Species,” was premiered at New Stage Performing Arts in Pittsfield under the direction of Nicki Wilson.

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Davy Scribner

Davy Scribner is in the third grade at Muddy Brook Elementary School, where he has been writing poetry. He also plays the viola and is an expert at Minecraft. He lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

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Waldorf High School Senior Class

The senior class of the Berkshire Waldorf High School. Top (L-R) Sarah Stosiek,Raphaela Seward-Mayer, Kosta Koufis, Sergei Carty bottom (L-R) Takoda Nordoff, William Churchill The Berkshire Waldorf High School provides an education for adolescents that seeks truth, develops imagination, nurtures growth, fosters responsibility, and honors inner freedom in an atmosphere of academic excellence, artistic fulfillment, openness, and mutual respect.

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William Serkin

William Serkin lives in Richmond, and is a senior at Monument Mountain Regional High School. He was the captain of this year’s boys soccer team, runs track and field, and also plays trumpet in the school jazz band. He is very interested in the sciences, and hopes to major in biochemistry or neuroscience at Johns Hopkins next year, with the ultimate goal of becoming a medical researcher or biotechnician.

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Marcie L. Setlow

Marcie Setlow began her journalism career at the Sentinel at James Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn. Throughout her career, she has been known for writing great memos, proposals, presentations and sales letters. She is now publisher of The Berkshire Edge.

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Honey Sharp

Honey Sharp settled in the Berkshires full time many moons ago when she opened Honey Sharp Gallery and Ganesh Cafe in Lenox, Mass. Married to David Lippman she had three children and kept serving on various nonprofit boards. With a love for gardens, the environment and design, she became a landscape designer and worked for 14 years as the garden editor for Berkshire HomeStyle. She divides her time now between the Berkshires and Mexico where she rediscovered her passion for photography. Visit her at her blog at: www.honeysharp.com .

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Judith Shaw

I’ve been an editor, a journalist, and a world traveller. For 25 years, my focus was horses.. Now I write stories, both fiction and non, and I’m working on a middle school novel about (what else?) young girls and horses. I’ve recently moved from a hay farm in Richmond to town life in Great Barrington.

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Keith Shaw

Residing in Adams, Massachusetts, Keith Shaw received his doctorate in art history from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught art history at various institutions, including Long Island University and Hofstra University. Upon escaping from New York in 2001, he took a position at Berkshire Community College -- his current affiliation. Shaw has numerous scholarly publications on Italian Renaissance art. From 2008 to 2013, he was a regular contributor of art reviews and criticism on Berkshire artists for The Berkshire Eagle, Berkshire’s Week, and Artscope Magazine. During 2014 and 2015, he was the director and chief curator for the Berkshire Artist Museum in North Adams.

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Winston Smith

Winston Smith is a retired clerk who covers the Global Police State for The Edge.

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Steven Somkin

Steven Somkin is a produced and award-winning playwright, and a member Plays in Progress(PIP) in Hudson, N.Y. He lives in Lenox and is married to the inimitable Naomi Spatz.

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Lia Spiliotes

Lia Spiliotes, a senior partner in Cambridge Management Group, is interim CEO of Community Health Programs. She is a graduate of MIT's Sloane School of Management.

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Ruslan Sprague

Ruslan Sprague lived in an orphanage specializing in music and dance in Jaroslavl, Russia, until he was three years old. Then he was adopted by Carl Sprague and Susan Merrill of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where he has lived ever since. One of the first things he did in the United States was to see the Albany Berkshire Ballet’s production of THE NUTCRACKER, which inspired the passion he has had for dance and choreography ever since. The following spring he performed his first role as the changeling in the Albany Berkshire Ballet’s production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and has been performing with ABB ever since, in the annual touring production of THE NUTCRACKER. As a student he danced under Madeline Culpo, Deirdre Duffin, and Nancy King, at the Cantarella School of Dance. Later, he also danced at Studio One under Darrell Pucciarello, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He also danced at the Boston Conservatory and Boston Ballet summer intensive programs, as well as two Boston Ballet choreography workshops, in which he worked with Helen Pickett (Forsythe) and Jorma Elo. After graduating from Monument Mountain Regional High School, where he designed, choreographed, and danced THE GIRL FROM IPANEMA as his senior WISE project, he spent two years in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Ballet West, performing in Anna Marie Holmes’ DON QUIXOTE and Frederick Ashton”s CINDERELLA. Since returning to the East Coast, he has been freelancing, guesting, teaching, and choreographing with various companies. Other roles and performances include: Darrell Pulciarello's DRACULA, with Ballet Metropolis, in which he danced the title role; Paula Weber’s CARMINA BURANA; Albany Berkshire Ballet’s PETRUSHKA; Western Chicago Ballet’s CINDERELLA; Charleston Ballet’s CINDERELLA; as well the Albany Berkshire Ballet’s THE NUTCRACKER, in which he dances the Snow Prince and the Russian divertissement. He has recently been working with Moscow Ballet for a new choreography project. His own choreography includes: ASTAIRE TRIBUTE, GYMNOPEDIE (Satie), WHO’s LOVIN’ YOU (Buble) as well as "THE GIRL FROM IPANEMA. He has taught with the Renaissance Arts Center, Hinsdale Dance Academy, Ballet Institute of Atlanta, and Albany Berkshire Ballet.

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Ann St. Clair

Ann St. Clair was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in New York City where she constantly wore black and read Sartre on the subway. Her father did some sort of ill-defined government work, and from an early age, she was surrounded by people and ideas from around the world. As a teenager, she tripped into a summer job as receptionist at British Information Service in New York, where she became fascinated by the public relations operation of a government in a foreign country. She worked in daytime TV where her most stirring line was: “The doctor will see you now.” She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. She has finished writing one book (called Game) of two about characters in the Israeli Secret Service, and is working on Chapter 5 of its sequel Home. She loves theatre and intrigue, and she loves to laugh.

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Albert Stern

Albert Stern is the editor of the Berkshire Jewish Voice. His stories have appeared in the New York Times, the Forward, Salon, Nerve, and the Berkshire Eagle, and on WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

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Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman

Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman, founder of Rimon Resource Center for Jewish Spirituality, is currently serving as the Rabbi of Congregation Agudat Achim in Leominster, Massachusetts.

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Carl Stewart

A former federal prosecutor, Carl Stewart, a resident of Alford, is chairman of the Southern Berkshire Regional School Committee. He is also a current member of Alford Finance Committee, and for 19 years was a member and chair of Alford Planning Board.

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Gary Stoller

Gary Stoller is a retired dentist who moved to Great Barrington in 2010 from Columbia County, NY, after practicing dentistry in Hudson for 34 years. A long-time peace and justice activist, he now advocates for climate action as the fossil fuel divestment coordinator for 350MASS-Berkshires and works with their coordination team. When not traveling the world, much of his spare time is spent growing, cooking, and eating organic vegetables.

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Jon Swan

Jon Swan is a poet, translator, and journalist, who lived for forty years in the Berkshires and now lives in Maine. His website is jonswanpoems.com

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Liz Thompson

Liz is co-founder of THE DIVERSE FUTURE working towards developing and placing talented people of color in top leadership positions. She is also a 50 year meditator, certified somatic coach, certified life coach, level 11 (iREST) meditation teacher, Reiki master. The hallmark of Liz Thompson’s career in the arts has always been her commitment to diversity, and her ability to combine sound fiscal and organization leadership with innovative programming. She has been particularly successful at the creation of new performance spaces. For LMCC, she created the Evening Stars Festival constructing a unique stage between World Trade Centers IV and V, with performances free to the public. The Festival offered diverse programing and attracted office workers and executives alike. She designed and built the Inside/Out stage, and oversaw the design for the Studio Theater at Jacobs Pillow. These spaces supported emerging artists and developed new audiences for this more innovative work. At Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival she played a key role in strengthening BAM’s commitment to artists of diverse cultural backgrounds. While at Boston’s First Night she developed the Neighborhood Network to insure the participation of previously neglected communities. As a dancer she worked with experimental artists and as a choreography received an Emmy for her work on the Children’s Television Workshop production of THE ELECTRIC COMPANY. Liz was also associate choreography for GREASE. She received the Dance Magazine Award for Outstanding Contributions to the dance world. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts repeatedly recognized Liz for her community involvement. Liz has served on many boards and committees. She had the privilege of joining the first Friends of Education formed at MOMA to bring attention to artists and audiences of color and helped craft the brief/mission of the World Trade Center Memorial which was used to select the architects.

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Philip Timpane

Phil Timpane is a lifelong resident of the Berkshires, growing up in Pittsfield and Stockbridge. He moved to Great Barrington with his wife and three children in 1989, where he works as a building contractor and designs and builds new poems. His work has appeared in the Atlanta Review, The Cortland Review, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Upstreet, among other online and print literary journals.

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Hannah Van Sickle

Hannah Van Sickle is a Berkshire County native who resides deep in the woods of South County where she spent summers as a child and is now raising her own daughters. An English teacher by training, Hannah now works as a freelance writer, academic tutor and writing coach.

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Hester Velmans

Hester Velmans is a novelist and prize-winning translator of literary fiction. Born in the Netherlands, she grew up tri-lingual, having lived in Paris, Geneva, London and New York. After a rewarding but stressful career in the magazine and TV news business, she moved to the Berkshires to write and translate full time. She is a 2015 NEA Translation Fellow and the author of two popular children’s books: Isabel of the Whales and Jessaloup’s Song.

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Sabine von Mering

Sabine von Mering is Professor of German and Women's and Gender and Sexuality Studies and the Director of the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis University, where she teaches a course on "Human/Nature: European Perspectives on Climate Change". She is the editor of a small volume entitled 'International Green Politics (2001) and an active member of the Metrowest node of 350Massachusetts for a better future.

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Andrew Webster

Andrew Webster is a Designer and Project Manager at C&H Architects in Amherst, MA, with a focus on energy-smart retrofits and small, high-performance spaces. His Cottage Street project won “Best Remodel 2012” from Fine Homebuilding. Andrew taught for three years at the Boston Architectural College as an instructor for “Zero Energy Homes: How, Why, and If”, a course he helped write. Andrew trained as a HERS rater, and is a Certified Passive House Consultant. His last writing was for the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s magazine, Building Energy Spring 2016. The article was re-published by Green Building Advisor.

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Margaret Wentworth

Margaret Wentworth majored in English at Vassar College and works as a freelance writer and editor in the Hudson River Valley. She lives with her husband and two children and enjoys bagpiping, distance running, and spending time in nature.

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Rosemary Wessel

Rosemary Wessel of Cummington founded No Fracked Gas in Mass in February 2014. No Fracked Gas in Mass is a website and information and action/plan clearing house for activists opposing Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct and other pipelines. www.nofrackedgasinmass.org

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Matthew Vernon Whalan

Matthew Vernon Whalan is a writer from Great Barrington, Mass. He has been published in Foliate Oak, Spin Education, Literary Orphans, Aberration Labyrinth, The Red Crow News, Hitherto MUIC, and other newspapers and journals. His first book, “The Little Book of Freedom,” was published just over a year ago, and his short story, “Time and Space,” was recently selected as one of the best 85 short stories of the year in Literary Orphans.

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John Whalan

John Whalan is president of Black Ice MassMedia and Black Ice Entertainment, LLC, a media development and production company based in Great Barrington, MA producing a range of commercial and artistic work from film, video and theatrical productions to mobile apps and software applications. He has produced documentaries, television and film including national television commercials for Coors Light and Burger King, an episode of the TV series “Quick Bites” called Food For Thought starring Minnie Driver and Tony Shalhoub with producing partner writer/director Joe Cacaci. Mr. Whalan is a member of the Board of Directors for Community Access To The Arts (CATA), where he served as President for five years and was the founding co-chair of The Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative. He also serves as an advisor to the boards of The Berkshire Playwright's Lab, and Multicultural BRIDGE, Inc.

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Caroline Wheeler

Caroline Wheeler is a writer, activist and a humanitarian. She is the Founder and Director of Sisters for Peace; a grassroots, 501c3 giving community that has a mission to empower women and girls, especially those living in impoverished conditions. Sisters for Peace has rallied to do volunteer work and supports local & global organizations.

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Jennifer Wheeler

Jennifer Wheeler is a 35-year-old writer, doggy momma, lover of nature, rider of horses, who loves to cook and bake, and loves music. She’s also a woman who, as she says, is “recoverin’ from strugglin’ with interruptions in my life!” She is also a Peer Support Worker at the Brien Center For Mental Health And Substance Abuse Services. She lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

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Gregory Whitehead

Roving correspondent Gregory Whitehead is an acclaimed radiomaker, long distance walker and desperado philosopher.

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Rick Wilcox

The former Police Chief in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Rick Wilcox describes himself thus: “Old retired guy who loves researching local history.”

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Kathleen Williams

Kathleen Williams is a transplant from California where she was a stringer for the L.A. Times. She eventually wrote a (satirical) fashion column for the Times' Ventura County section while maintaining an avocado orchard and managing a small apicultural business. Currently, she lives near Alford, Mass., in an area known to locals as Green River.

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Michael Wise

A resident of Great Barrington, Michael Wise served as co-chair of the Master Plan Committee and is vice chairman of the town Finance Committee.

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CB Wismar

CB Wismar is a writer and Creative Director who has written for film and television as well as both print and electronic media. He created events and experiences for Fortune 500 companies for over 30 years including TIME’s 75th Anniversary, the Xerox “drupa” Pavillion, 8 ASTA World Travel Congresses and nine Life@50+ events for AARP. He has created and scripted major events for United Way Worldwide, America’s Promise, MCI, ExxonMobil and Conoco-Phillips. Twice a finalist for the Academy Award in the short subjects category, his scripts have been nominated three times for EMMY Awards.

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Tela Zasloff

Tela Zasloff is a writer, editor and retired English professor in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She has lived in Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, and France, assisting her husband, Joe Zasloff, on political science research, and working on her own writing. She also taught on several Semester at Sea voyages with her husband and four daughters. Her most transcendental activity is riding her horse Jake across the Berkshire hills. Her publications include: A Rescuer’s Story: Pastor Pierre Charles Toureille in Vichy France (U. of Wisconsin Press, 2003); Tsiveh Gordin/Sylvia Berman (a book about her immigrant grandmother, 2002); Restoring Vision. An Ethical Perspective on Doctors Curing Blindness around the World (University Press of America, 1996); Saigon Dreaming: Recollections of Indochina Days (St. Martin’s Press, 1990).

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Robin Zeamer

Robin W. Zeamer, born and raised in New York City, moved to the Berkshires in 2009. She came from a family of writers, but it wasn’t until she moved to the Berkshires that she began to discover her writer’s voice. Since then she has been writing memoir, fiction and poetry. Professionally, Robin has a background first in Special Education and later in such areas as development, communications and graphic design. She is currently the Program Coordinator for the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers.

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Adam Zieminski

A graduate of Monument Mountain Regional High School, Chef Adam Zieminski earned a BA in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI. He interned at the Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales, and apprenticed under Chef Michel Bourdin at the Connaught Hotel (**Michelin) in London. Returning to the U.S., he worked at Gourmet Catering in Boston, Sweet Peas & Petunias in Great Barrington, Bistro Zinc in Lenox, from 2003 to 2006 as Chef de Partie at Wheatleigh in Lenox. In 2006, he started Café Adam in Great Barrington. Chef Adam has been chosen by a jury of his peers to be listed in Best Chefs America in every year since its inception in 2013. Café Adam has been recommended by Fodor's, Yankee Magazine and the Boston Globe. From 2009 to 2013, Adam was the food contributor to Homestyle Magazine. Since 2014, he sits on the Board of Trustees of Berkshire Grown. In the fall of 2015, Chef Adam was invited, for the third time in his 20-year culinary career, to “perform” at the James Beard House in New York City.

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