Sunday, May 19, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Radio Deluxe at the Mahaiwe; Winter Solstice Faerie Ball; railroad safety presentation; storm windows at Green Drinks; Red Cross blood drives

In light of the efforts to connect the Berkshires to New York City via passenger train, the town of Great Barrington will present federal railroad safety expert Dick Towle Wednesday, Dec. 19, at the Claire Teague Senior Center.

Mahaiwe to host live recording of “Radio Deluxe’

Great Barrington — The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will present a live recording of “Radio Deluxe” with John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey Saturday, Dec. 22, at 8 p.m.

A popular radio program hosted by jazz musicians Pizzarelli and Molaskey, “Radio Deluxe” mixes and matches songs in medleys and sequences that flow like a continuing dialogue about life, relationships and popular culture itself. The common denominator is a playful sense of humor and the husband-and-wife hosts are masters of off-the-cuff repartee. The performance will feature special guests Maucha Adnet and Duduka Da Fonseca.

Tickets are $35–$110. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.


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Race Brook Lodge to celebrate winter solstice with Dust Bowl Faeries, Heather Fisch

Dust Bowl Faeries

Sheffield — Race Brook Lodge will host a Winter Solstice Faerie Ball Friday, Dec. 21, at 8 p.m. with Dust Bowl Faeries and Heather Fisch and the Bleeding Femmes. The evening will feature live music, dancing, ritual and magical solstice happenings. Winter nymphs, elves, sprites, pixies, witches, wizards, genies, centaurs, unicorns, fairy folk and otherworldly creatures are welcome.

Dust Bowl Faeries is an ethereal gothic folk band that draws inspiration from circus, post-punk and Eastern European folk music using accordion, singing saw, ukulele, lap-steel, guitar and percussion to create an otherworldly sound. Founded by Ryder Cooley and her disembodied taxidermy ram Hazel, the band also includes Rubi LaRue, JoAnn Stevelos and Jon B. Woodin. The band released its debut album in early 2016 featuring guest artists Tommy Stinson and Melora Creager of Rasputina. A remix EP, produced by Floyd Fisher, was released in January 2018. The Faeries are currently collaborating with Lisa Thomas of Thin Edge Films on a series of films and videos.

Heather Fisch performing at Down County Social Club in Sheffield. Photo: Garret Awad

Fisch is an archetypal performance artist, magician and certified hypnotist. Her performances include music, comedy and theater, which stem from her interest in human psychology, mysticism and gender studies. She is the founder of the Down County Social Club speakeasy. She will be performing as mistress of ceremonies as well as with her new band, the Bleeding Femmes.

Tickets are $10–$25. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Race Brook Lodge at (413) 229-2916 or


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Discussion to focus on railroad safety

Great Barrington — In light of the efforts to connect the Berkshires to New York City via passenger train, the town of Great Barrington will present federal railroad safety expert Dick Towle Wednesday, Dec. 19, from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. at the Claire Teague Senior Center, 917 South Main St.

Towle, a former law enforcement liaison with Federal Railroad Administration and now a private consultant working with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, has 40 years of experience in the fire, police and railroad industry. During his presentation, he will share an educational video and facilitate audience discussion. He will also invite volunteers from the senior center to join him when he visits Monument Valley Regional Middle School in early 2019 to talk about railroad safety and the history of passenger rail travel.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Great Barrington Town Hall at (413) 528-1619.


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Green Drinks meeting to discuss storm windows

Jane Winn of Berkshire Environmental Action Team. Photo: Terry Cowgill

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Environmental Action Team will present Jane and Bruce Winn, who will demonstrate how to make your own storm window inserts easily and affordably, at the Pittsfield Green Drinks meeting Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m. at J. Allen’s Clubhouse Grille.

Jane Winn is the executive director of BEAT. Since 2003, she and the BEAT team have been speaking up, stepping out and getting their hands dirty protecting the environment for wildlife in support of the natural world. Bruce Winn is an associate professor of environmental and life sciences at Berkshire Community College. This semester, Bruce offered a class dedicated to environmental advocacy alongside his other courses.

The meeting will begin at 5:15 p.m. All are welcome. For more information, contact Elizabeth Orenstein at (413) 717-1255 or


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Red Cross announces blood donation opportunities

Dedham — The American Red Cross urges people to share their good health this holiday season by donating blood or platelets for patients in need. A decline in donations occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day when donors are busy with holiday activities and travel. In addition, severe winter weather can cause blood drive cancellations and negatively affect the blood supply. As a thank-you for helping to meet the urgent need, those who give blood Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, through Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt while supplies last. Prospective donors may make appointments to give blood or platelets by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1 (800) RED CROSS.

Upcoming blood drive locations include the Lenox Community Center Friday, Dec. 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Housatonic Valley Regional High School in Falls Village, Connecticut, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Canaan Protective Fire Company in New York Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, from 8 a.m. to noon; Noble Horizons in Salisbury, Connecticut, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, from 1 to 6 p.m.; St. Joseph’s Church in Pittsfield Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, from 1 to 6 p.m.; and the North Adams American Legion Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.



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