Monday, July 22, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: Richard Marx at BTG; bee die-off threatens Valentine’s traditions; Williams faculty reading; United Way car giveaway winner; Ramsdell Library Sundays

A Valentine's Day program of activities at the Ramsdell Library in Housatonic, Mass., the sixth in its series of Winter Sunday Afternoons at the Ramsdell.

BTG to present Richard Marx

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) will welcome Grammy Award-winning pop/rock singer, songwriter, and musician Richard Marx to the Colonial Theatre on Friday, February 19, at 8 p.m. The event is part of the 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival.

As a performer, songwriter, and producer, Richard Marx’s nearly three-decades-long career has had innumerable highlights. The Chicago native has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, starting with his self-titled debut which went to No. 8 and spawned four Top Five singles, including the chart-topping “Hold on to the Nights,” and “Don’t Mean Nothing,” which earned him a Grammy nomination. The follow-up album was even more successful, hitting No. 1 and going quadruple-platinum with two No. 1 singles in “Satisfied” and “Right Here Waiting.”

Richard Marx also has a successful, incarnation as a songwriter and producer with songs like “To Where You Are,” the first hit single from Josh Groban‘s debut album as well as the NSYNC smash, “This I Promise You.” He went on to earn a 2004 “Song of the Year Grammy” for co-authoring Luther Vandross’ “Dance with My Father.” Across all formats, Marx has scored a total of 14 No. 1 singles both as a performer and songwriter/producer. In 2010, he released “Stories To Tell,” a greatest-hits album which produced the Top 20 hit “When You Loved Me.” In 2012 he released his first Christmas album and, in 2014, he released his eighth album, “Beautiful Goodbye.”

Tickets are $40 and $55 and are available along with more information from the Berkshire Edge calendar and the Colonial ticket office by calling 413-997-4444.


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Bee die-off threatens Valentine’s Day traditions

Top left: Katie Hickey, Assistant Director of Food Services at Berkshire Community College. Top right, bottom right, and bottom left: Berkshire Community College Students and MASSPIRG Students volunteers.

Pittsfield — Lovers may need to find alternatives to the traditional Valentine’s Day gifts of roses and chocolates if bee colonies continue to collapse at unprecedented rates, according to Berkshire Community College’s (BCC) Food Services and MASSPIRG students.

Bees pollinate the world’s most common food crops, and that list includes holiday favorites such as cocoa beans and flowers. Unfortunately the U.S. is losing about a third of its bee colonies each year, alarming beekeepers, farmers, and scientists as well as florists, chocolate shop owners, and environmental advocates.

“When you think of Valentine’s Day, what do you think of? Probably the aroma of colorful roses and decadent boxes of chocolate,” said Marissa Milligan, student coordinator with MASSPIRG Students at Berkshire Community College. “If we don’t save the bees, we may lose the sweet smells and tastes of Valentine’s Day.”

Scientists point to the increased use of and exposure to a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids as a major cause of the recent increase in bee deaths and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a study last month stating that neonicotinoids can harm honeybees.

“Having known the importance of bees to our food, installing a pollinator garden at Berkshire Community College has allowed me to watch the process in person,” said Katie Hickey, Assistant Director of Food Services at BCC. “If you have never seen a bee perform its magic, it is a truly beautiful visual to connect you to your food. I can’t stress enough the importance of eliminating neonics. Without bees, our industry will be left without some of our favorite flavors.”

MASSPIRG students and BCC’s Food Services joined together yesterday to call on the EPA to act quickly to ban the use of neonicotinoids. “The science is clear,” noted Milligan, “and the time for action is now. We need to save the bees so that we can continue to celebrate traditions like Valentine’s Day and save the many foods that bees help to pollinate.”


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Williams faculty members to read from current works

Alison Case
Alison Case.

Williamstown — Two members of Williams College’s English Department will read from their recent works at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16, in Room 3 of Griffin Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Alison Case, Professor of English, will read from her 2016 novel “Nelly Dean,” a reimagining of life at Wuthering Heights through the eyes of the title character, the Earnshaws’ loyal servant Nelly Dean. Case’s specialties are Victorian literature and the novel.

Paul Park.

Paul Park, Lecturer in the English, has published 12 novels and two books of short stories. His 2013 novella “Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance” was a finalist for the Nebula Award. Park will read from his most recent works, “Other Stories,” which gathers a decade of short fiction in a variety of discordant genres; and “All Those Vanished Engines” which is part memoir and part science fiction, and alternates strands of history, distorted memory, and impossibility.

For building locations on the Williams campus, consult the online map or call the Office of Communications at (413) 597-4277.


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Berkshire United Way car giveaway winner

Left to right: Giveaway winner Kathy Quinn, Tary Johnson, Johnson Dealerships’ Gary Johnson, Greylock President/CEO John Bissell, and Berkshire United Way President/CEO Kristine Hazzard.

Pittsfield — Berkshire Children and Families employee Kathy Quinn of Williamstown won the Berkshire United Way Car Giveaway at the Berkshire Chamber Nite on January 20 at Greylock Insurance Agency.

The 2015 Ford Fiesta was sponsored by Johnson Dealerships and Greylock Federal Credit Union as an incentive for donations to Berkshire United Way’s 2015 campaign. Gary Johnson of Johnson Dealerships drew the winning ticket. John Bissell, President and CEO of Greylock Federal Credit Union, left Quinn a voicemail during the event, informing her that she’d won with the cheers of more than 100 attendees in the background.

The car promotion is an effort to motivate people to support the community through a campaign contribution and, in 2015, resulted in thousands of tickets from across the county including entries of employees from more than 200 workplace campaigns and hundreds of individual donors. Berkshire United Way has reached $2.3 million of its $2.7 million goal and will continue to raise funds to invest in the community through Thursday, June 30.


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Winter Sundays at Ramsdell Public Library

Ramsdell Library
Ramsdell Public Library.

Housatonic – Sunday, February 14, Week Six of Winter Sunday Afternoons at Ramsdell Public Library, will celebrate Valentine’s Day with a chocolate crêpe-making demonstration and supplies for crafting old-fashioned Valentine cards from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. The 2014 documentary film “Handmade With Love In France” will be shown from 2 p.m. – 3:10 p.m. The film highlights artisans who create haute-couture for Dior, Chanel, and Yves Saint Laurent including a specialist in pleat-making; a designer of perfect artificial flowers whose atelier opened in 1880; and one of three remaining sculptors of wooden hat-making forms. An assortment of books about France, the fashion industry, crêpe-, card-, and cupcake-making will be available at the library all week.

The library will be open for business with the Sunday papers and crosswords, coffee and snacks, chocolate, and Valentine projects for kids from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. For more information call the Library at (413) 274-3738.



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