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. At a meeting of Berkshire school committees and local legislators, it was agreed that the funding formula for determining state aid to education is broken — and needs reform:
2. Here’s a story about the Bees Knees — or as it is known in Great Barrington (and several other Berkshire towns), the Pollinator Protection Plan. These pollinators — birds, butterflies as well as bees — are responsible for one-third of the food we eat.. so we should make sure they aren’t being poisoned by neonicotinoids — ingredients in pesticides…
3. And speaking of growing things, Barbara Zheutlin, longtime director of Berkshire Grown, the organization that supports sustainable agriculture throughout the Berkshires and sponsors farmers markets in the fall and winter, is stepping down. Her successor is Margaret Moulton:
4. And let us not forget the fall season of film festivals…. our observer Barbara Quart has been attending the 54th annual New York Film Festival and has dispatched the first of two reports of the films she’s seen … some of which will no doubt show up in the Berkshires… and on the horizon, of course, is the Chatham (N.Y.) film festival.
5. We’ve had number of heartfelt letters and columns opposing the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The latest is by columnist Rochelle O’Gorman, who argues that his record — alleged record — of sexual harassment disqualifies him:
And another, by music criti and psychologist Carolyn Newberger is even more direct, insisting that Kavanaugh should withdraw from consideration:
6. And finally, we have a hot debate going on about the staffing levels of nurses at hospitals in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Nurses Association has a referendum on the November ballot that will insist on certain staffing levels — the implication being that hospitals are stinting on patient care in favor of paying hospital top administrators exorbitant salaries. We’ve had several letters back and forth on this issue… here’s one from Sheffield Selectwoman Rene Wood who has a day job at Berkshire Health Systems: