The Berkshire Edge On-Air – January 3

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 reported Tuesday on a tragic accident on Route 684 that killed a Lee, Mass, woman and her son. Her wife, who was driving and who was also the parent of the son, survived. Their car was run into by a truck that could not stop because of icy conditions.

2. We have an amusing column from Carol Owens called Bamboozled Berkshires. She writes about a number of scams perpetrated in the Berkshires, and concludes that Berkshirites are either too naive or too innocent to mistrust con artists.

3. We broke the story that the developer Jeffrey Cohen has got new partners and now has the team and resources necessary to redevelop the old Eagle Mill in Lee. Towns always have a problem with what to do with old buildings like these mills in Lee. Cohen plan to convert it into a residential and commercial complex right in downtown Lee.

4. We have a review of a book called “Collusion,” written by a Guardian reporter named Luke Harding. Harding writes about a year-long investigation he did into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, and Harding seems to have evidence that they did.

5. We had an article by William Cruz, who works at Community Health Programs. He is an enrollment counsellor and wrote us “Notes from the front lines of health care coverage.” He describes what people are going through to enroll in the Affordable Care Act. He talks about how the highly publicized efforts to undermine the ACA seem to have drawn a spotlight – and people — to the ACA and its benefits: during this year’s Open Enrollment season, the surge in sign-up numbers show that people are more determined to get it and keep it — both nationally and here in the Berkshires. He gives some interesting examples about what people go through to enroll, and what counsellors do to help them.

6. We ran a little piece on Tuesday called “Start Talking” by Belle Fox Martin. She is a minister who often sends us amusing and insightful drawings, but now she’s talking about something very serious. She says that people had better start talking openly about the opioid crisis in Berkshire County. Here, in essence, is what she’s writing about:

“The drug crisis is notably greater in Massachusetts where Fentanyl is now involved in over half of all overdose fatalities. But this isn’t even the worst news. The worst news is that most of you reading this are already aware of the severity of the situation. The worst news is that we know that this crisis exists in our families, in our schools, with our friends or neighbors… We know and yet when one more obituary is published of a young person and the cause of death is omitted we know but it’s not discussed.
No matter what action is taken to treat drug abuse what must happen first is that a dialogue has to begin. We have to talk. ”

That should be enough to fill 25 minutes. Talk to you in the morning.


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