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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.

Promising to take it ‘to new heights,’ California private equity firm acquires Iredale Mineral Cosmetics

"We do well in e-commerce but the important thing now is the retail environment is changing and e-commerce is becoming so terribly important. We really need a lot of expertise in that area." -- Jane Iredale

BRTA service to MetroNorth at Wassaic more practical option

In his letter to the editor, Chip Elitzer writes: "A new train service to the Berkshires from NYC makes no sense. Metro-North already runs a frequent, reliable, inexpensive service between Wassaic and Grand Central."

State auditor cites Berkshire Hills in sweeping study of regional school districts

"While our state’s educational system is highly regarded throughout the country, our analysis found that the processes governing school regionalization and its funding are antiquated, and have not kept pace with the modern challenges facing communities." -- State Auditor Suzanne Bump

After robust debate, town and school budgets readied for Great Barrington town meeting

Unfortunately for Great Barrington taxpayers, the proposed BHRSD budget calls for an increase in the town's assessment of almost 6 percent, with an increase in Stockbridge of 1.16 percent and an actual decrease in West Stockbridge of 4.58 percent.

Reforming public education funding would benefit school districts statewide

In his letter to the editor, Chip Elitzer writes: “For all 58 Massachusetts school districts, that additional amount in FY2017 [that would have been raised by the Education Finance Reform Act] would have been $210 million.”

Great Barrington approves amended school funding, finance reform, and affordable housing trust fund

The amendment won’t change the current headcount formula, but will give Great Barrington a break by using a measurement of a town’s wealth to determine how much it should pay for future capital projects.

Large turnout needed to support education finance reform

In his letter to the editor Chip Elitzer writes: "By changing the method of apportionment from a pupil headcount basis to an assessed property value basis, this act would improve the finances of every regional school district, especially BHRSD's."

Great Barrington special town meeting to address school funding options, affordable housing

Representatives from Stockbridge, West Stockbridge and Great Barrington, along with school committee members, were finally able to hash out something that could ease some of Great Barrington’s financial burden.

Berkshire Hills committee adopts new formula for funding school capital projects

The towns will pay for future improvements or building projects for the district’s three schools based on what the state calls “equalized value [EQV],” defined as the “full and fair cash value” of all taxable property in a town.

Much acrimony, little progress in revising 3-town Berkshire Hills School District pact

The impasse is seemingly simple: Great Barrington wants its taxes lowered, and Stockbridge and West Stockbridge don’t want theirs to go up.

Averting a crisis, Great Barrington approves Berkshire Hills School budget

“The issue tonight is how are we gonna raise that [$14.5 million].” If voters said no, the Selectboard would have to “come up with that $14.5 million and they’d have to find it somewhere.” -- Richard Coons, former Berkshire Hills School Committee member  

State needs to reform ‘dysfunctional’ school funding laws

In his letter to the editor, Chip Elitzer writes: “A Massachusetts Education Finance Reform bill that would fix dysfunctional aspects of current laws and put all of the Commonwealth's regional school districts on a sounder financial footing.”

Great Barrington Selectboard nixes vote on unified district tax rate

“We’re not kidding around about this. We care about education...we’re not interested minor tweaks [to the agreement]...we’re going to start saying no [to the school budget].” -- Sean Stanton, chair of the Board of the Selectmen, who favored a vote on a unified school district tax rate

Vote for school budget and unified tax rate at special town meeting

In a letter to the editor, Chip Elitzer of Great Barrington writes: “I urge GB residents to attend the Select Board meeting on Wednesday, May 18, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.”

Unified tax rate resolves Berkshire Hills assessment inequities

In a letter to the editor, Chip Elitzer of Great Barrington writes: "What counts is a framework that gets the [School] District the money that it needs to survive and prosper, and the most efficient way to do that is a unified tax rate."

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
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