Saturday, July 13, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Fairview Monster Dash; Schumacher lectures; STEAM challenge night; ‘A Haunting in the Hills’; Williamstown Repair Cafe

Speakers Leah Penniman and Ed Whitfield are doing work that builds on Du Bois’ legacy — his commitment to black economic development, cooperative structures and fair access to land.

Monster Dash to raise funds for food pantry

Great Barrington — Fairview Hospital’s cardiopulmonary and outpatient rehabilitation team will hold the 2018 Monster Dash, consisting of a 5K run/walk and a 1-mile walk, Saturday, Oct. 27, at 9:30 a.m. at Fairview’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Services, 10 Maple Ave.

All ages and abilities may participate in the event, and participants are encouraged to wear costumes. Runners and walkers will receive free Halloween safety lights and enjoy snacks provided by Bartlett’s Orchard, Catherine’s Chocolates, Fuel, Taft Farms and Big Y. The first 75 5K entrants will receive T-shirts. Prizes will be awarded for the top racers including top 5K male and female finishers, and the first three male and female 5K finishers in the following age groups: 19 and under, 20–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, and 60 and over. Prizes will also be awarded for costumes. Race-day registration will take place from 8 to 9:20 a.m. in the rehabilitation department.

The cost of the 5K race is $20 by Thursday, Oct. 25, and $25 after. The cost of the 1-mile fun walk is $7 per person with a maximum of $20 per family. Proceeds from the race will be donated to the People’s Pantry. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Sophia Veinoglou of Fairview’s cardiopulmonary department at (413) 854-9739.


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Penniman, Whitfield to deliver 38th annual E.F. Schumacher lectures

Leah Penniman. Photo courtesy Schumacher Center for a New Economics

Great Barrington — On Saturday, Oct, 27, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Saint James Place, the Schumacher Center for a New Economics will present Leah Penniman and Ed Whitfield, who will deliver the 38th annual E. F. Schumacher lectures, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of W. E. B. Du Bois in his hometown.

Ed Whitfield. Photo courtesy Schumacher Center for a New Economics

Du Bois was born Feb. 23, 1868. He was the first black man to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University, a tireless advocate for the rights of marginalized people, a founder of the Niagara Movement and the NAACP, and the author of numerous influential works of scholarship. Du Bois believed that racial justice was inseparable from economic justice and that economic inequality was the engine and not simply the consequence of a deeper social inequality. Speakers Penniman and Whitfield are doing work that builds on Du Bois’ legacy—his commitment to black economic development, cooperative structures and fair access to land.

The co-founder of Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York, Penniman is working to end racism in the food system. The title of Penniman’s talk is “Farming While Black: A Legacy of Innovation and Resistance.” Whitfield, who is co-founder and co-managing director of the Fund for Democratic Communities, has written and spoken extensively on non-extractive finance, reparations and building investment structures that support community self-determination.

Tickets are $25. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Schumacher Center for a New Economics at (413) 528-1737 or


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Flying Cloud to present STEAM challenge night

Pittsfield — Flying Cloud Institute, in partnership with the Berkshire STEM Pipeline and as part of the statewide Mass STEM Week, will offer a free night of science, technology, engineering, art and design activities for students in kindergarten through fifth grade and their families Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Hancock Shaker Village.

The team-building event is hoped to become an annual celebration of STEAM learning in the Berkshires. Groups of students will spend the evening problem-solving together in ways that involve exploring, tinkering, and creating. An engineer from General Dynamics will lead a GPS treasure hunt activity; participants will build a functional sculpture out of cardboard with IS183 Art School of the Berkshires; Housatonic Valley Association will run a design challenge to divert storm water through models; HSV will help participants create traditional water wheels; Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will bring a robo-squirrel activity; and Flying Cloud will present an array of activities including robotics, engineering and art. In addition, prizes will be raffled off to families.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Flying Cloud Institute at (413) 645-3058 or


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Community Health Programs to hold ‘A Haunting in the Hills’ themed walk

Great Barrington — Community Health Programs and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation will present “A Haunting in the Hills” Thursday, Oct. 26, from 8 to 10 p.m. at Fountain Pond State Park.

The cost of the hike is $5 per person. Children under age 13 will not be admitted. Participants should wear closed-toed shoes and gather at the trailhead at CHP’s main campus at 444 Stockbridge Road. Buses will return participants to CHP following the walk. For more information, contact Community Health Programs at (413) 528-9311 or


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Repair Cafe to offer help with small fix-it projects

Williamstown — The South Williamstown Community Association and the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation will hold a Repair Cafe Saturday, Oct. 27, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Sheep Hill.

The event’s volunteer fixers will include people who can do small electrical repairs, wooden furniture repair, blade sharpening, costume jewelry repairs and small bike repairs as well as the ever-popular darners, knitters and sewers. Two computer experts and a dog trainer will be on hand. There will also be a continuation of the repurposing to shopping bags of feed and grain bags and other items otherwise destined for local landfills with help and material from the BagShare Project.

Repair Café is free, although donations will be accepted. For more information, call contact Bette Craig at (413) 458-5257 or



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