Sunday, May 19, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Relay for Life; gravitational wave lectures; Berkshires architecture talk; HVA paddle trip; ‘The Trial of Aaron’

The Relay For Life movement unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action to finish the fight once and for all.

2016 Relay for Life

Great Barrington — On Friday, June 24, hundreds of cancer survivors and area residents will join together at Monument Mountain Regional High School for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Berkshire County Central South. The event will begin with an opening ceremony at 6 p.m. and continue nonstop until the closing ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 25. The event is free and open to the public.

The Relay For Life movement unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action to finish the fight once and for all. The event will feature activities around the clock, including music from the Misty Blues Band, Soul Prophet and the Faithless Few, Laura Field and Friends, the Whitehouse Staff Band, Rachel Laitman, and Pete Apple; speakers such as cancer survivors and State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli; a 50/50 golf ball drop; team theme laps; a pancake breakfast; children’s activities; food vendors; and more.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, see the Berkshire Edge calendar.


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OLLI to offer lectures on gravitational waves

Professor Matthew Strassler headshot
Matthew Strassler.

Pittsfield — The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College (OLLI), will present illustrated lectures by theoretical physicist Matthew Strassler on gravitational waves on Monday, June 20, and Monday, June 27, at 1:30 p.m. in the K-111 lecture hall of Berkshire Community College’s Koussevitsky Arts Center. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Professor Strassler’s June 20th lecture will be on the topic of why scientists expected gravitational waves and the history and interplay of gravity and electromagnetism over the past few centuries. His June 27th lecture will focus on how gravitational waves were discovered, with special attention to how the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory (LIGO) experiment works and the implications of its discoveries so far. No math or science background will be assumed.

Professor Strassler grew up in Berkshire County, where he attended Bard College at Simon’s Rock, and went on to earn an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He did post-doctoral work at Rutgers University and at the Institute for Advanced Study, and was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Washington before becoming a full professor at Rutgers University. In 2007 he was elected as a member of the American Physical Society and has served as a visiting scholar and visiting professor at Harvard University, and a Simons Foundation fellow at the Galileo Galilei Institute in Florence, Italy.

For more information, contact OLLI at (413) 236-2190 or


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Joseph McArthur Vance talk at Ventfort Hall

Jeffry Bradway
Jeffry Bradway.

Lenox — Historian Jeffry Bradway will give a talk entitled “Joseph McArthur Vance: Architect for the Berkshires and Beyond” at Venfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum on Tuesday, June 21, at 4 p.m. A question-and-answer session and Victorian tea will follow.

Joseph McArthur Vance was a practicing architect for 54 years whose projects dotted the Berkshires. The building for which he is most famous, Pittsfield’s Colonial Theatre, was only partly designed by him, a fact that was revealed during 14 years of research for the book “History of the Colonial Theatre.” With the appearance of the new research, some 250 buildings can now be attributed to him.

Berkshire native Jeffry Bradway teamed with Anne Wojtkowski, Bob Boland, and Bill Munn to search for the information that led to the publishing of “History of the Colonial Theatre” in 2014. A year later, the book was named an Outstanding Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society of America. Bradway is a member of the Pittsfield Historical Commission and serves on the board of trustees of the Berkshire Music School.

Tickets for the Tea and Talk are $24 in advance and $29 on the day of the event. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. For information or reservations, contact Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206 or


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HVA to offer introduction to river paddling

South Lee — On Wednesday, June 22, from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) will offer a free introduction to canoeing on a flat water stretch of the Housatonic River. Participants will enjoy a short paddle upstream for views of Beartown State Forest and learn how to safely enter and exit a canoe, basic strokes, appropriate attire, and pre-trip preparation. Families with children at least six years old are welcome. Canoes and equipment will be provided. Space is limited and advance registration required. For more information or to register, contact HVA at (413) 394-9796 or


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‘The Trial of Aaron’ at Temple Anshe Amunim

Pittsfield — On Monday, June 20, at 7 p.m., Temple Anshe Amunim and Congregation Knesset Israel, will present a reprise of Jesse Waldinger’s courtroom drama “The Trial of Aaron” at Temple Anshe Amunim.

“The Trial of Aaron” focuses on the biblical story of the golden calf. What was Aaron thinking when he built the golden calf? Was he guilty of a capital offense? Why was he never punished? Those questions will be theatrically explored, and Aaron’s fate will be determined by a jury of select audience members based on evidence drawn largely from biblical text.

The professional actors performing in the staged reading will include Paul Carter, Kate Hettesheimer, Andrew Joffe, Hana Kenny, James Occhino, John Romeo, and John Trainor. The play will be directed by Berkshire OLLI instructor and former Hofstra University professor Dr. Barbara Waldinger, who is also the artistic director of HRC Showcase Theatre in Hudson, N.Y.

Admission is $20 for the general public and free for students. Refreshments will be served and a discussion, featuring Rabbi Josh Breindel and Rabbi David Weiner, will follow the verdict. To RSVP or for more information, contact the Temple Anshe Amunim office at (413) 442-5910 or



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But Not To Produce.