The Berkshire Edge LLC is a locally owned, regional publication. Our goal is to provide – regularly and in depth – content that truly reflects the life, interests and aspirations of this unusually rich and vibrant community.
Guided by respected journalistic standards, the principle of fairness, the quest for truth, a commitment to social, economic and environmental justice, and an abiding admiration for the independent spirit of the Berkshires, The Berkshire Edge offers in-depth local news reports and features, perspectives on the arts, wide-ranging commentary, and a comprehensive calendar of events – all written, illustrated, and, in some cases performed, with wit, intelligence, insight and humor.
This week we talk about:
1. We posted an interview with the new principal of Monument Mountain High School. She seems to be an innovative educator with new ideas. She has questions about the validity of standardized testing. “All students need to meet the same standards, but not all students need to be taught the same way.” She’s interested in vocational training. She also has to deal with a physical plant. “The structure pf this building is a real barrier education. There’s no diversity of space.” And the building is in need of repair.
2. We posted an article about the Community Health Program’s Family Services Center. The Center is a rich tapestry of offerings from food, clothing, literacy, parent support and access to referrals for services not offered is aimed at helping families cope with challenging circumstances and develop relationships in the process. While this often translates to helping those on the proverbial edge by securing SNAP benefits, WIC, fuel assistance and subsidized housing, it also means having an open door to a judgment-free zone where help is always available. Also interesting is the exchange of comments on the article, with one woman complaining that women who can’t support their children properly shouldn’t have them, and other people asking her where her compassion is and suggesting that, if she doesn’t want children to be born to such women, she should be advocating for teen pregnancy prevention courses and giving heavily to Planned Parenthood.
3. We posted the O’Henry story “Gift of the Magi”, illustrated by local artist Adam Gudeon. According to Google Analytics, it was extremely popular.
4. The Four Freedoms Coalition is preparing for the possibility that Trump may fire Mueller, and already has plans for demonstrations if that happens. We have an article about it, with links to the organizations that are making the preparations.
5. We have been running a serious of occasional articles that profile senior members of the Trump administration. The latest, posted on Christmas day, looks at Carter Page and explores the connections between the Trump people and the Russians.
6. Spectrum Communications, which took over cable and internet services in much of Berkshire County when it bought Time Warner Cable, is now requiring that customers rent a set-top box for every televisions in the home. No more just plugging the cable into the back of your television. People here are very angry about it, and expressed that anger to the Five Town Cable Advisory Committee that represents Lee, Stockbridge, Lenox, Great Barrington and Sheffield. At a recent meeting, people expressed the annoyance that this is a hidden rate increase, the committee has not yet figured out how to address it.
7. We had an interesting article by Irina Fursman about how to eat over the holiday, to keep yourself healthy and not to gain weight. Good advice to all of us who are gorging at holiday celebrations.