The Berkshire Edge On-Air – July 25

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. The appearance of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the Mahaiwe Theatre for her 30th town hall forum turned confrontational outside.
First, her presentation and presence energized an audience of more than 1,000 — and some of those had to stand outside, and listen to her speak from the gazebo of the town hall park.
And meanwhile, a disruptive troll, Shiva Ayyadurai successfully provoked one person who was standing in line to hear the senator. Standing across the street from the Mahaiwe, Ayyadurai, using a bullhorn and accompanied by a cadre of his followers, screamed insults at those in line. One of them, Paul Solovay,  had had enough, and confronted the man. This resulted in a shoving match (you can see the incident on our video), and Solovay’s arrest.
2. And while we’re on politics, a Democratic challenger to Congressman Richard Neal has emerged int he person of Tahirah Amatul-Waddud, an attorney from Springfield — and a Muslim. She appeared this week in Sheffield, at the request of the Sheffield Democratic Committee, which is no friend to Neal.  Amatul-Waddud called for universal health care, among other progressive reforms.
3. On a quieter note, developer Jeffrey Cohen of Great Barrington has purchased the historic Sullivan Station in Lee — the former New York New Haven and Hartford Rail station, in an effort, he says, to preserve historic properties. He’s spending upwards of $60 million to renovate the Eagle Mill complex in Lee into a retail and residential complex:
4. On the plastic pollution front, debate is going on furiously about whether Great Barrington should retain its ban on small plastic water bottles that the town approved overwhelmingly at town meeting in May. On August 6 there will be a special town meeting to vote on whether to dump the ban. And we have a letter — from a prominent Republican Town Committee member — arguing that the ban hurts business:
5.  And I want to point to our viewpoints section which has a raft of well-written letters, columns and editorial comment. Among them is ‘As young as one’ ( ) about the separation of immigrant children from their parents by the Trump Administration and the other is Rochelle O’Gorman’s ‘Absence of Kindness” piece, deploring the racist attitudes — and policies — that have become standard operating procedure with the Trump Administration:


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