Monday, July 15, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: 100 Cats for Christmas; wreath-making workshops; ‘Tony Talk’ at Simon’s Rock; ‘Bears in the Berkshires’; 100 Cats for Christmas

The Becket Arts Center is gearing up for a weekend of workshops on how to make holiday greenery.

Berkshire Humane Society to hold seventh annual 100 Cats for Christmas

Pittsfield — A grant from the Massachusetts Animal Coalition’s license plate program supports Berkshire Humane Society’s seventh annual 100 Cats for Christmas initiative, the shelter’s largest and most successful low-cost spay and neuter effort for kittens and cats.

To participate, qualifying Berkshire County residents must call Berkshire Humane Society at (413) 447-7878 x124 or visit the main shelter to complete a registration form and pay a nonrefundable $25 fee to cover the surgery and a rabies vaccination.

Appointments will be scheduled during the month of December. All cats and kittens will be dropped off at predesignated locations to be announced. All cats must be in secure carriers with proper identification including the owners’ and cats’ names. BHS staff and volunteers will transport the felines to participating veterinarians and will return them for owner pick-up in the afternoon. This year’s participating veterinarians include Valley Veterinary Service in Lee; Lenox Cat Hospital; Allen Heights Veterinary Hospital, Pittsfield Veterinary Hospital and South Street Veterinary Services in Pittsfield; Greylock Animal Hospital and North County Veterinary Hospital in North Adams; and Hilltowns Veterinary Clinic in Washington.

Registration for the program is on a first-come, first-served basis. For qualification requirements and more information, contact Berkshire Humane Society at (413) 447-7878 x124.


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Beckets Arts Center to present holiday decoration workshops

Judy Cromwell of Becket displays a wreath she made during the Becket Arts Center’s 2018 holiday greenery workshops. Photo courtesy Becket Arts Center

Becket — The Becket Arts Center is gearing up for a weekend of workshops on how to make holiday greenery. Wreath-making sessions will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8, at 10 a.m. A kissing ball-making workshop will take place Saturday, Dec. 7, at 1:30 p.m. and a garland-making workshop will be given Sunday, Dec. 8, at 1:30 p.m. The workshops will be held at the Becket Town Hall, 557 Main St.

Said workshop teacher and floral designer Edie King: “We added the garland workshop this year because a garland climbing up the banister, outlining the front door, or cradling a dinner table centerpiece makes the house look so festive for the holidays.”

The fee for each two-hour workshop is $25. Participants should bring clippers and any extra decorations they like; the arts center will provide everything else. Registration is required and payment must be made in advance. For more information or to register, contact the Becket Arts Center at (413) 623-6635 or


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Tony Schifano to discuss environmental problem-solving

Tony Schifano. Photo courtesy Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Great Barrington — The Simon’s Rock Sustainability Committee will welcome Tony Schifano to Bard College at Simon’s Rock’s Daniel Arts Center Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m., for “Tony Talk.”

Schifano is the founder, president and CEO of Antos Environmental. Antos Environmental’s clients/partners include Mount Sinai, NYU Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian, Yale New Haven, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and many others. Antos has serviced Europe, as well as organizations with the Environmental Protection Bureau in Shanghai, China.

Said Schifano: “What drives me to do this is my passion for the environment. If you think about how many landfills we have across the United States, it’s an overwhelming thought. When I was born, there were 2 billion people on the planet. Today there are 7 billion. What are we going to do? We have to stop throwing things away.”

The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Ken Roht at


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Mass Audubon to offer lecture on bears

Lee — On Monday, Dec. 2, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the Lee Library will host Mass Audubon teacher naturalist Zach Adams, who will speak on “Bears in the Berkshires: Black Bears and Their Lives Among Us.”

Participants will learn about bears and their natural history as well as ways to avoid problems with them around homes. The program will last approximately 45 to 60 minutes, and include a slideshow and Q&A discussion.

Adams is a lifelong naturalist who has studied throughout the Appalachian Mountains. He is a passionate birder, mammal tracker, mushroom collector and nature poetry reader.

Appropriate for all ages, the program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Lee Library at (413) 243-0385 or



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