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Guest Column: An Earth Day Appreciation of Our Partners
By Martin Suuberg, Guest Columnist
12:16PM / Wednesday, April 22, 2015
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Today marks the 45th anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration – a day that many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement. More than 20 million people participated in that 1970 celebration and those efforts eventually lead to the formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts a few years later.

In 1975, the General Court created the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality Engineering – the precursor of today's Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) – and built upon a healthy state, community and citizen partnership that still protects our natural

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New Children's Book Showcases Imperfect Produce
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:20PM / Thursday, April 16, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Never judge a book by its cover, so the saying goes.

Local author Amelia Ritner doesn't want you to judge a vegetable by its appearance, either.

Ritner, who currently lives in Pittsfield, just released a children's book called "Ugly Farm" that features pictures she took of strange-looking produce while working on a Connecticut farm last summer.

It all started when her boyfriend discovered an eggplant that had an unusual persona.

"He picked an eggplant that looked like Richard Nixon," Ritner said. "It got a lot of laughs."

She started photographing the unusual plants they came across, such as a carrot that looked like its

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PEDA Fighting New EPA Requirements
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:35AM / Thursday, April 16, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The federal government is looking to raise the quality of the storm water running through the William Stanley Business Park, which is now PEDA's liability.   The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a draft permit that calls for significant more water monitoring and efforts to improve the stormwater quality, which officials say could both hamper development of the property and cost the organization more money.   "They are substantially higher quality requirements now and they could cost the city and taxpayers thousands or millions of dollars and potentially stymie economic development growth at the park," said Pittsfield Economic

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Pittsfield To Plot New Places To Pile Snow
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:42AM / Saturday, April 04, 2015
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. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is going to need better plans for where it will dump snow.   This year, the Highway Department and contractors hauled dump trucks work of snow removed from the roads to Clapp Park. However, they placed the snow right in the wetlands area for the Housatonic River. As the temperatures rose, all of the dirt-filled snow melted into the river.   "They put the snow a little too close to the river," said Conservation Commission Agent Robert Van Der Kar.   The commission issued an enforcement order to help protect the wetlands and the river. Van Der Kar said the Highway Department moved snow and then put in erosion controls for the

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Residents Voice Health Concerns With BCC Turf Field Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:23AM / Friday, April 03, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Some residents are fighting the development of an artificial turf athletic complex at Berkshire Community College, saying it contains dangerous chemicals.    Residents voiced concerns on Thursday night to the Conservation Commission, which needed to approve some of the project because work will be done in areas prone to flooding.   The facility itself is out of the wetlands area and the project increases the amount of watershed area so the commission had little grounds to deny the project.   Yet, residents hoped for a rejection saying the chemicals will run into the wetlands eventually.   "Shame on all of us if this project goes

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