Monday, July 15, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: Bob Reiss at Lee Library; Trinity Church ice cream social; Columbia County fair seeks performers; Williams Environmental Center tours; dragonfly survey

The Class of 1966 Environmental Center, which opened last fall after a renovation and expansion, is the centerpiece of Williams College's campus-wide sustainability efforts.

Author Bob Reiss to speak at Lee Library

Cold SilenceLee – On Tuesday, August 2, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., the Lee Library will host author Bob Reiss (writing as James Abel) in a talk about his soon-to-be-published book “Cold Silence.” Thriller “Cold Silence” takes readers from Sudan and Somalia, where Reiss worked as a journalist, to Washington, D.C. It is the third novel in Reiss’ series featuring bio-terror expert and former Marine Colonel Joe Rush. In his talk, Reiss will discuss the way journalism feeds fiction, and how thrillers reflect real-world issues. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow the talk. For more information, contact the Lee Library at (413) 243-0385 or


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Ice cream social to benefit Thelma’s Little Fund

Lenox — On Monday, August 1, from 6 – 8 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church will host an annual ice cream social to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Thelma’s Little Fund. Named for longtime Trinity organist and choir director Thelma Dengler, the fund is dedicated to helping children in need and has distributed almost $50,000 to Lenox families over its 25-year history. There is no admission fee for the ice cream social but free-will donations for the Fund will be accepted. For more information, contact Trinity Church at (413) 637-0073 or


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Columbia County Fair seeks performers for talent contest

Wally Hughes of Ancram, N.Y., performing in 'Columbia County's Got Talent' in 2015.
Wally Hughes of Ancram, N.Y., performing in ‘Columbia County’s Got Talent’ in 2015.

Chatham, New York – The Columbia County Fair is seeking performers of all ages to participate in “Columbia County’s Got Talent” on Wednesday, August 31, at noon.

Performers are invited to apply in any of the three divisions: Junior (ages 12 and under), Teen (age 13-19), and Adult (ages 20 and older). Prizes will be awarded for each division. Each division will be judged on voice, dance or instrumental quality, voice dynamics and articulation, dance and instrumental precision, stage presence, overall performance, and audience appeal. The initial competition at noon is a qualifying round for each division. Contestants who qualify will participate in the final competition at 7 p.m.

Contestants must be Columbia County residents or live in a neighboring county that does not currently have a talent competition at its county fair. Contestants must be amateurs and cannot be under contract for reimbursement for performance at the fair or be professionals or union members. All prizewinners will be eligible to compete at the New York State Fair in Syracuse as early as Friday, September 2.

Entry forms are available online and may be dropped off at the Fair Office at Routes 203 and 66 or mailed to the Columbia County Agricultural Society, Talent Competition, P.O. Box 257, Chatham NY 12037 by Saturday, August 20. There is no fee to enter the contest. If there are multiple performers in an act, each person must fill out an entry form.

For more information, call (518) 392-2121.


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Williams to offer tours of Environmental Center

The Class of 1966 Environmental Center.

Williamstown — Williams College will offer tours of its Class of 1966 Environmental Center from 4 – 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3. All are welcome and light snacks will be offered.

The Environmental Center, which opened last fall after a renovation and expansion, is the centerpiece of Williams’ campus-wide sustainability efforts. The college is aiming for the center to be certified as a Living Building. The center’s design maximizes space and minimizes energy and water demand. It uses on-site solar energy and rooftop water collection to produce 100 percent of the energy and water required for its operation. More than a third of the site is used for organic food production of berries, fruit trees, annual and perennial vegetables, and herbs. Data displays provide building users with real-time information about energy and water usage so that users can adjust behaviors to better utilize resources.

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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Dragonfly presentation at Olana

Larry Federman.
Larry Federman.

Hudson, New York — On Wednesday, August 3, from 10 a.m. – noon, Olana State Historic Site will host “21st Century Damsels and Dragons.” Larry Federman, retired education coordinator for Audubon New York, will present an introduction to dragonflies, dispel some myths, give an overview of the New York State Dragonfly and Damselfly Survey, and teach participants how to catch the insects.

The program is free for Olana members and $5 for nonmembers and is open to all ages. Participants are advised to pack sneakers and a picnic lunch. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call Olana’s Education Department at (518) 828-1872 x105.



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