Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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CONNECTIONS: Baldwin’s in West Stockbridge marches on

The Civil War had created pent-up demand for goods, and there was Baldwin’s. Folks all over the North and South were glad to see the war ending and new businesses starting up.

Great Barrington budget to rise nearly 5 percent; private EMS service seeks $132,000 donation

The operating total does not include the town's contribution toward the annual budget of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District, the school committee of which has yet to adopt its own budget, though its deliberations started Thursday night.

Alan Chartock: Ringmaster Cuomo tries to tame unruly Democrats

The relationship between Cuomo and the state Democrats is fascinating. The governor is holding the leash of a rather rambunctious dog.

ORANGE ALERT: The (almost) daily outrage

It would eliminate higher-education programs, like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and subsidized federal Stafford loans.

Surprise: Discord notably absent from town, school budget processes

The Berkshire Hills school committee is expected to vote Thursday night to approve its own spending proposal of $26.2 million. The vote to approve it is almost a foregone conclusion after last week's quiet and harmonious public hearing.

For once, little opposition to proposed Berkshire Hills spending package

Ironically, it actually cost a lot of money to keep the overall increases down. In order to limit the operating budget increase to 4.21 percent, the school committee had to spend $840,000 from a reserve fund known as excess and deficiency.

Homeless in the Berkshires: One year later

Even though the folks at Construct tried to remain optimistic and right by my side, there were times I could see their optimism waiver, as it is a daunting task to find affordable housing in Berkshire County.

Who would’ve thought? Kripalu generates $64 million in economic activity

“I was incredibly surprised by the magnitude of their impacts myself,” said Williams College economics professor Stephen Sheppard. “If you live in the county, you think of Kripalu as this funky, interesting yoga thing.”

Austerity prevails in Great Barrington budget talks

In total, of the $222,476 in cuts Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin presented, about $190,000 was approved by the Selectboard and Finance Committee. "This is a year of real austerity.” -- Finance Committee Chairman Tom Blauvelt.

News Briefs: Pignatelli secures funds for Berkshires; Cohen launches city council campaign

Pignatelli was the lead sponsor of and secured a number of items in the budget specifically for Berkshire and Hampden counties.

BHRSD families stand to lose big under Trump’s budget

“This proposal would devastate working families. It is painfully short-sighted and makes a mockery of the President’s promise to make our country safer and to support inner cities and rural communities alike.” -- Jodi Grant, Executive Director Afterschool Alliance

Berkshire Hills budget is ‘potential fiscal crisis’

In his letter to the editor, Fred Clark writes: “School budgeting must shift from a reactive mode to a strategic budgeting approach taking into consideration long-term needs and resources.”

In GB vote schools lose; town budget, gas tax and preservation projects approved

“Capitalism has its limits. I’m a capitalist but it has to end somewhere. In this case I am for spending taxpayer money.” -- George Beebe, speaking on behalf of granting $170,000 of Community Preservation Act money to Windy Hill Farm for an Agriculture Preservation Restriction

Let’s have complete financial information at town meeting

In his letter to the editor, John Hart of Stockbridge writes: “We don't often know that the total cost of what we are voting for is not being put before us.” 

Great Barrington Town Meeting rejects school budget, setting up district showdown

“I’ve been moderator for 21 years, and lived here for longer, and I’ve never seen or heard of a school budget defeated,” commented Town Moderator Edward McCormick. The defeat will not affect programming this year, provided Stockbridge approves the budget next week.

Heebie GB’s Annual Town Meeting quiz

Take this quiz and then come to the Great Barrington Town Meeting to find out how your psychic abilities stack up.

Voting against school budget hurts students and education

In her letter to the editor, Rebecca Gold writes: “Allocating taxes fairly is an adult problem and children should not be punished for a problem that adults haven't been able to fix.”
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