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Berkshires Beat: Humane Society Launches Annual 'Choose Your Subaru' Raffle
12:18PM / Thursday, June 04, 2020
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One lucky winner will have their choice of a 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Limited, Forester Premium or Outback Premium with a value up to $33,000.

Humane Society raffle

Berkshire Humane Society and Haddad Subaru have launched their eighth annual "Choose Your Subaru" car raffle. One lucky winner will have their choice of a 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Limited, Forester Premium or Outback Premium with a value up to $33,000.  

Tickets are $40 each or three for $100 and can be purchased by credit card by calling the shelter at 413-447-7878, ext. 131. Berkshire Humane Society will send ticket stubs to purchasers. The raffle is limited to 2,400 tickets. If a minimum of 1,000 tickets are not sold, the raffle will convert to a 50/50 drawing of net proceeds. The winner will be drawn on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 1 p.m. at the shelter at 214 Barker Road.

Although tickets are only available over the phone for now, the ociety hopes to sell them at various businesses throughout Berkshire County when social distancing guidelines allow. Locations will be announced. Follow the event on Facebook or check the shelter’s website for more information.


Aquatic treatment on Onota Lake

Onota Lake will be chemically treated with aquatic herbicides on Monday, June 8, to control invasive Eurasian watermilfoil and other nuisance aquatic vegetation. The lake will be closed to all water uses, including swimming, fishing and boating, on the day of treatment.

These uses may resume on Tuesday morning, June 9. Use of the lake water for irrigation (watering lawns, gardens or plants of any kind) is prohibited for 5 days post treatment. Printed posters warning of these and other temporary water use restrictions will be posted around the lake shoreline in advance of the treatment.


BRTA changes

The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority has resumed normal hours starting June 1 for the following bus routes: Route 1, Route 2, and Route 21.

For your health and the health of others, if you are sick, have a cough, fever, or other COVID-19 symptoms, do not ride the BRTA bus. All customers using the BRTA bus and/or paratransit must wear a mask or face covering over their mouth and nose, as recommended by the CDC, while onboard any BRTA vehicle. Also, practice social distancing while riding on the bus; maintain space when seating.


Mass Save Municipal Partnership

Pittsfield is one of seven municipalities across the state that has been selected to participate in the 2020 Mass Save Municipal Partnership. By partnering with the Berkshire Gas and Eversource, the city is striving to increase energy-saving efforts by reaching more of the municipality’s residents, especially renters, residents for whom English is a second language, and small businesses. 

The city of Pittsfield is working with the Berkshire Environmental Action Team through their energy efficiency initiative EE Pittsfield. Aside from BEAT’s main focus of working to protect wildlife and the environment, team member and EE Pittsfield Initiative Director Rosemary Wessel has been working to bring issues of energy use and alternatives to the public since joining BEAT six years ago. EE Pittsfield launched last year as a door-to-door effort in downtown Pittsfield neighborhoods, letting residents know about energy efficiency offerings provided by utilities under Mass Save.

The Mass Save Municipal Partnership goals are to achieve higher than usual participation in these programs. Through the Municipal Partnership, Berkshire Gas and Eversource are working with the city to help residents and small business owners take advantage of energy efficiency services and incentives available to them. Residential customers can either be individual homeowners, renters or landlords of buildings with one to four units. Current incentives include an Instant Savings Package, which includes highly efficient LED light bulbs, special energy-saving power strips, faucet aerators, low flow showerheads and programmable thermostats. These items can be delivered to your door for you to install, no home visit needed. Residential customers also might qualify for additional offerings like air sealing and insulation, as well as rebates for upgrading heating and air conditioning and recycling your old refrigerator or freezer. 

Renters don’t need permission from their landlord to take the new Online Home Energy Assessment for the Instant Savings Package and if they have a good working relationship with their landlords, they can also ask that the landlord be sent a report of any further work recommended by an energy specialist.

Virtual assessments are also available for small businesses, defined as business that use less than 1.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity or less than 40,000 therms of gas per year. They can either own or rent their business location, though some more building-specific upgrades would need to be done with permission of the landlord. Business customers who complete the assessment and have sign a contract by Aug. 31 will qualify for 100 percent off multiple energy efficiency incentives for lighting, water use, equipment, controllers and more.

Individuals wanting to schedule a Virtual Home Energy Assessment can find links to these programs online or get started by calling Mass Save at 866-527-7283.


Gallop to Success

Gallop To Success, a nonprofit 501 c3 organization that works with at-risk youth from the ages of 5 to 17, is ccepting applications for summer 2020 scholarship recipients. Scholarships are available for one week summer day horse camp (10-week session, schedule is available at, summer overnight horse camp, and year round scholarships (recipient attends one to two days per week, 48 weeks of the year).

Gallop To Success works with at-risk boys and girls through horses and farm life. The program is available for at-risk youth who are financially unable to attend the course farm program camp. The program is hosted at Kimberly Farms, 1214 Cross Hill Rd, Shaftsbury, Vt. For further information, visit the website.

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