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Bits & Bytes: Ramsdell Library Sunday hours; anti-pipeline concert fundraiser; 2016 Farm Awards

The 11-week program at Ramsdell Library will include regular library services as well as special events such as films, workshops, book discussions and readings.

Ramsdell Library to offer winter Sunday hours

Ramsdell Library
Ramsdell Public Library

Housatonic — Area library patrons will be able to use the Ramsdell Public Library at 1087 Main St. on Sundays this winter as part of a pilot program aimed at increasing usage of the small branch library. Beginning on Sunday, January 10 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the 11-week program will include regular library services as well as special events such as films, workshops, book discussions and readings.

Photography will be the theme for January 10 and the 2015 documentary “Finding Vivian Maier” will be shown at 2 p.m. There will be copies of the Sunday newspapers to read, books and movies on the topic, and a hands-on and peer-led workshop entitled “Taking Better Portraits with Your iPhone” from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Workshop participants are encouraged to bring iPhones or other digital cameras.

Members of the Trustees of the Libraries and Friends of the Great Barrington Libraries will participate each week as volunteers, steering patrons towards library services they may not be familiar with, helping them access materials, and encouraging them to volunteer.

All events at the Library are free and open to the public. Call the Ramsdell Library for more information at (413) 274-3738.

–E.E.

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Anti-pipeline concert to benefit No Fracked Gas in Mass

Sarah Stockwell Arthen
Sarah Stockwell-Arthen

Cummington — Area musicians will hold an anti-pipeline concert and fundraiser to benefit the organization No Fracked Gas in Mass and recognize activists working to stop Kinder Morgan‘s Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline on Friday, January 8 at 7 p.m. at the Village Church.

The line-up of participating musicians includes Sarah Stockwell-Arthen, Kim Wachtel and Josh Wachtel of Radio Free Earth, Sean Kimball, Heather Cupo, Jame Kitchen, Olivia Arthen, Louisa Kimball, and Sarah Pirtle. The benefit will also recognize the work of Rosemary Wessel, Jane Winn, Katy Eiseman, and many others actively engaged in the anti-pipeline effort. There will be movement updates from No Fracked Gas in Mass founder Rosemary Wessel and others. Informational handouts, yard signs, and buttons will be available during the concert.

“I know people whose property values are going down, who can no longer get house insurance, who can no longer mortgage their homes. And this is before a single length of pipe has been laid, before one shovel of earth has been dug,” said event organizer and musician Sarah Stockwell-Arthen. “But this is not only an issue for private landowners. Water contamination, leaking gas, potential explosions and fires are not private issues. They affect all of us. This is our opportunity to fight climate crisis on our own home ground.”

For more information about the event, email nfgimfundraiser@gmail.com. 

–E.E.

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Harold Grinspoon Foundation announces 2016 Farm Awards

Agawam — In partnership with Big Y, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) has announce the second year of the Farm Awards, supporting local farmers with projects that will help improve their farm businesses.

Realizing the importance of local farms in the region, HGF launched the Farm Awards last year to help farmers purchase equipment and make physical farm improvements. In an effort to have the widest impact, the individual award recipients will be given up to a maximum of $2,500 per award for a total of $100,000. The 2015 awards were distributed to 33 of 88 applicants.

The deadline to apply is Sunday, January 31, 2016. Interested applicants can find more information online.

–E.E.

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