Friday, June 21, 2024

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In Focus

THE OTHER SIDE: PCB YITBY — Yes, PCBs In Their Back Yard

It is not hyperbole to imagine that we are in the midst of a war on humanity—humanity, as in possessing the quality of being humane, of manifesting kindness and benevolence.

THE OTHER SIDE: They left the dogs—The Tucker Trump Show

I don’t know if Draft Kings wants to take the action, but I’m betting that The Tucker Trump Show went a long way in reassuring Donald Trump that FOX was still with him.

THE OTHER SIDE: The Rule of Law

What started out as a good week for the Rule of Law, with the indictment of former President Trump and the victory of Janet Protasiewicz for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, ended with yet another right-wing judicial attack on women’s ability to make their own health decisions and on the ability of physicians to practice medicine free of narrow-minded religious bias.

THE AIRPORT (Part Six): A noisy debate about more than noise

The debate over the airport’s level of activity and the noise and disturbance it produces has been contentious for decades. Better information and consistent zoning enforcement would help.

THE OTHER SIDE: We are East Palestine

Sadly, as I imagine the citizens of East Palestine will soon discover, no one can better protect their friends and neighbors and children than active and engaged—even angry—members of their own community.

THE AIRPORT (Part Five): Helicopter air-ambulance flights are fast, vital, and expensive. How do they work?

According to Fairview Hospital officials, each year 15 emergency helicopter air-ambulance flights lift off from Great Barrington Airport to rush Fairview patients to other hospitals. Here’s how those flights work—and how they fit into our rural health-care system.

THE OTHER SIDE: What if lying were your job?

What if lying were Tucker’s job. Can you imagine forcing yourself to tell lies all day about every subject in ways that were so transparent and so outlandish that there is no way the people listening to you could possibly believe anything you said? Then imagine doing that again and again and again every day of your professional life for your entire life. Could Tucker do that?

THE AIRPORT (Part Four): Atop a vital aquifer, the airport’s environmental compliance has been spotty. Who’s been watching?

The airport sits atop an aquifer that supplies Great Barrington’s water. Over the decades, it has stored as much as 54,000 gallons of petroleum in underground tanks—and for years failed to fully comply with state environmental regulations. It's in a zoning district with strict water-protection rules. Is the town doing enough to monitor its activities?

THE OTHER SIDE: COVID in the closet

While some want us to believe it’s the end of COVID as we know it, those who confront the virus every day, either fighting it in our hospitals or in our laboratories, and especially those suffering from it, are pretty sure we’re still at the beginning.

THE AIRPORT (Part Three): How busy is Great Barrington Airport?

With its level of operations at issue in court and in front of town boards, why has there been so little effort to document what's actually happening at the airport?

THE AIRPORT (Part Two): Rick Solan’s story begins with Robert Wheeler’s in 1929

The complicated present of the Great Barrington Airport is deeply rooted in its equally complicated past. Rick Solan had little to do with what happened before 2008, but it’s what threatens his present and future.

THE AIRPORT (Part One): It’s not just about aviation

As Berkshire Aviation Enterprises goes in front of the Great Barrington Selectboard for the third time seeking release from zoning restrictions, a contentious community discussion is again underway. In this in-depth series, Bill Shein examines the issues, people, and history swirling around a small-town airport.

THE OTHER SIDE: Cassidy Hutchinson turned around just in time

Unlike Butch and Sundance, we should all be very grateful that Cassidy Hutchinson managed to turn around just in time to defy Trump Land and to live another day and tell us the truth.

THE OTHER SIDE: Wonderland 2.0—Insurrection Madness

Layman that I am, I might very well be alone in the analysis that follows, but I’m going to offer some examples of what I see as the intersection of psychopathy, self-absorption, and stupidity.

THE OTHER SIDE: Insurrection 101

I suspect many of you have more than enough things to do, and may not read the 154 pages of the Executive Summary or the 845 pages of the Full Report. So, in Insurrection 101, the first of several columns, let me offer a condensed version of the Committee’s conclusions.

The Other Side: The Christmas Floundabout

No matter who said it, it is quite relevant here: “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.”

THE DEVELOPER (Part Seven): Whose vision, which ideas, and where’s the action plan for housing?

With other similarly challenged communities around the country taking far bolder action on housing, when will Great Barrington and the southern Berkshires do the same? Meanwhile, Alander Group’s Ian Rasch wants to facilitate a broader community conversation around housing as he pushes ahead with two high-end downtown projects. The final installment of Bill Shein's "The Developer" series.