Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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REVIEW: Energy to spare — The TMC Orchestra and Shostakovich Fill the Shed with Sound and Drama

Despite its year-to-year changing membership, this orchestra is reliably distinguished by energy, enthusiasm, and responsiveness, along with technical polish and precision.

Historic AME Zion Church needs continued support

In their letter to the editor, Wray and Cora Gunn write: “It is an important piece of architecture, but it is so much more. It has been the political and spiritual home of Great Barrington's Black community for over 130 years.”

TRANSFORMATIONS: Clearing clutter

Our inability to manage our “stuff” is a growing trend; we accumulate without realizing it … and without wanting it.

Monument High School repairs estimated at $11 million – with no state reimbursement

Because the regional agreement between Great Barrington, Stockbridge and West Stockbridge stipulates that towns pay in a per pupil system, Great Barrington bears 70 percent of the cost.

TRANSFORMATIONS: Unique renovation in Williamstown               

The owner wanted to create a bright, simple, fun space that’s a joy to live in even on the dreariest of days. Inside and out, the 1950’s theme has been preserved, combining a nod to mid-century modern with a contemporary feel.

TRANSFORMATIONS: The resurrection of a ‘modern’ house in the Berkshires

Renovations like this are done for many reasons, but the top three reasons are economic, practical considerations, and love. This renovation combines a bit of all three but “love” played no small role in the owner’s decision to do this work.

Local contractors for high school renovation? Depends on timeline

According to correspondence between the Berkshire Hills Regional School District and the Massachusetts School Building Authority last winter, Monument is not eligible for reimbursements through their Accelerated Repair Program, in which specific renovations or replacements can be made to an otherwise robust school building.

Task Force proposed to address Berkshire Hills school district improvements

In his presentation to the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee, Dave Long of Housatonic proposes the formation of a task force to address educational and infrastructure needs within the school district, including the renovation of Monument Mountain Regional High School.

Berkshire Hills School District faces ‘existential crisis’  

In his letter to the editor, Dave Long of Housatonic writes: "Make no mistake; we could potentially be facing a truly existential crisis. At this point, one bloody town meeting in Great Barrington could throw the entire district into a tailspin. Now is the time — before the warrant for town meeting is cast in stone — to try and head off a nasty escalation of political strife."

Digby

"We didn't spend the money or take the time to develop alternative plans." -- Berkshire Hills School Committee Chair Stephen Bannon

Flush with victory, Republicans take aim at school budget, nonprofits

“Basically, we’re going after the school budget and the school committee. That [budget] has been bloated for years. [The district] wins every year by packing the [town] meeting. That’s the thing that’s driving expenses." -- Republican Town Committee member George Beebe

An updated proposal for fair Berkshire Hills tax allocations

Chip Elitzer updates his analysis of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District assessments to its three member towns, and proposes what he insists is a more equitable formula.

Challenges, opportunities for Berkshire Hills School District

I believe we need to take this opportunity to model for our children -- and each other -- what civil discourse and democracy can look like in small New England communities. 

No surprise the state declined to fund high school ‘repairs’

In her letter to the editor, Claudia Laslie of Great Barrington writes: "When it comes to security and safety there are so many concerns here. Is there any greater negligence than knowing what might occur and not preventing it?"

MSBA: No accelerated repairs money for Monument Mountain High School

It is bad news for Great Barrington taxpayers, who overwhelmingly defeated the District’s $51 million renovation project that included $23.2 million from the MSBA under its Major Repair Program.

Barrington Finance Committee supports petition to revise school district structure  

“We were told legally that [the Finance Committee] is an advisory board, and it just seems to me that your advisory capacity is going well beyond the advisory nature and actually trying to set policy.” -- Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee member Bill Fields

Another way to support education at Berkshire Hills

In his letter, Jack Spencer writes: "One way to show support of the schools is to make a contribution to the nonprofit Berkshire Hills Fund for Excellence."
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