The Berkshire Edgecast – November 1

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.In the continuing Berkshire Museum story, the Massachusetts State Attorney General Maura Healy has taken the side of the opponents to the art sale.  She filed a 27-page response in support of a legal action from Rockwell relatives and others for a temporary restraining order to black the sale of the art.  A hearing on the preliminary injunction will be held today, November 1.  She is asking the court to stop the sale of the artwork until legal questions can be sorted out and until her office has complied its own investigation.  If the court fails to grant the injunction, the sale will likely commence as planned on Monday, November 13 at Sotheby’s in NY.
2.  We had a long letter written by medical and practical practitioners regarding the resources available to help people coping with opioid mis-use.”In this time of grief and intense loss, we wanted to share with the community in South County some of the resources that are available. Talked about Narcan, First responders, Support for RParents and families,
This prompted a letter from Dr. Ernest Drucker, a research scientist and professor pf public health at the New York University College of Global Public Health and professor emeritus of family and social medicine at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Dr. Drucker’s letter says that medical marijuana has proven to be effective in pain reduction.  Instead of perscribing opioids, doctors should be prescribing medical marijuana .  In states where this is done, there has been a statistically significant reduction in the trend of opioid-related deaths, as much as 40 percent in some states.
3.  We have three stories regarding train service to the Berkshires:
a.On Tuesday (Oct. 24), Berkshire County’s legislative delegation testified before the Joint Committee on Transportation in favor of a bill that would authorize the study of high-speed rail access between Boston and Springfield. The delegation was upset that the study is not looking into extending that train service into the Berkshires, another example of the state of Massachusetts ignoring the Berkshires.
b.  At the same time, State Senator Adam Hinds from the Berkshires has been looking into the possibility of weekend service in the summer from NY to Pittsfield.  This proposal for the “Berkshires Flyer” would extend the Amtrak line that now stops in Hudson, and bring it up to Pittsfield.
c.  One of our readers, Chip Elitzer, sent us a letter to the editor suggesting that bus service should be established to take people from the Berkshires back and forth between the Berkshires and the Wassaic station at the end of the Metro-North commuter line. He said we already have reliable train service as far as Wassaic.  Instead of trying to create new train services, why not make it easier to use the train service we already have.  This was greeted with great enthusiasm by many of our readers.
4.  Guns, taxes, energy, the environment and drug abuse dominated a well-attended town hall-style meeting held by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Malden,Sunday night.  In the discussion about the environment, Markey went so far as to suggest suing the FERC, which superseded state law and allowed the construction of a pipeline in the heart of the state forest in Otis.

The Berkshire Edgecast – November 1

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