For The Record – Episode 22

After a week off, Kameron Spaulding and I talk about this week’s top stories in The Berkshire Record, including the Berkshire Hills Regional School District re-upping in the state school-choice program and nervous officials in the Southern Berkshire district making personal appeals to voters in an effort to get the budget passed.

Plastic bag and styrofoam cup bans will be on the agenda in annual town meetings in Lee and Lenox and for the first time in recent memory, Stockbridge will see a contested race for Board of Selectmen. Plus, the case of the deadly OUI case of Kyle Bailey could be moved to Pittsfield and a kindhearted story about a woman who has worked at the same Main Street location for 50 years.

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For The Record – Episode 21

Kameron Spaulding and I talk about this week’s top stories in The Berkshire Record, including a study in contrasts between the state of the Berkshire Hills and Southern Berkshire regional school districts and both the select boards and finance committees of New Marlborough and Sheffield rejecting the SBRSD budget.

Also on the agenda is a new directive issued by the Monterey selectmen on that town’s troubled police department, the deadly Easter weekend car crash in Great Barrington and the heavy-lifting phase of the Main Street reconstruction project.

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For The Record – Episode 20

Kameron Spaulding and I talk with special guest state Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D-Lenox). We cover a number of topics, including regional school district funding, OPEB and the Main Street reconstruction project in Great Barrington (Lenox went through a similar experience in 2009).

Follow Smitty on Twitter @repsmitty.

For The Record – Episode 19

For The Record – Episode 18

Kameron Spaulding and I talk about this week’s top stories in The Berkshire Record, including a new report that reveals limited prospects for new economic development in the Berkshire County and the final approval for a $7.7 million roof and boilers project for Mount Everett School in Sheffield.

Also on the agenda is more than $700,000 in uncollected bills for the Lee Ambulance Service, the announced candidacy of Karen Christensen for Great Barrington Select Board, the possibility that the town will be forced out of the old firehouse and the decision of the Select Board to make a token payment toward a $9.1 million unfunded liability for retired employee healthcare benefits.

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For The Record – Episode 17

Kameron Spaulding and I talk about this week’s top stories in The Berkshire Record, including the School Committee’s decision to restore cut positions in the Berkshire Hills Regional School District budget and the legacy of frozen pipes and ruptured water mains in a record-setting winter.

Also on the agenda is the decision of the Great Barrington Select Board to endorse a petition calling on the state to divest in fossil-fuel companies and how all eyes are on New Marlborough in the quest of the Southern Berkshire Regional School District to get $7.7 million in bonding passed for a new roof and boilers. And we have an update on former Sheffield Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Bart Elsbach, who has reached a plea agreement in an incident in which he spray painted graffiti on a Joe Wilkinson construction vehicle.

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Passenger Rail Boosters Tell Malloy To ‘Train Up!’

More of my recent columns for CT News Junkie:

For The Record – Episode 15

Kameron Spaulding and I — both of The Berkshire Record — spend the full half hour with Karen Christensen. Karen is a founding member of both GB21 and The Train Campaign.

We had a wide-ranging discussion abut the sustainability of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District and also about recent developments in Connecticut that affect The Train Campaign’s efforts to restore passenger rail service to the Berkshires. Also discussed was a very interesting email exchange between two prominent railroad pundits, one of whom suggested a bus service between the Berkshires and Metro-North’s Harlem line terminus at Wassaic.

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For The Record – Episode 14

Kameron Spaulding and I talk about this week’s top stories in The Berkshire Record, including the grim proposed Berkshire Hills Regional School District budget, signs of optimism in the tiny but embattled Monterey police department and the recently announced return of the Great Barrington Farmers Market to downtown from the fairgrounds.

Also on the agenda is an abandoned solar project in Lee and the ongoing saga of the Elm Court project in Lenox and Stockbridge.

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Selectman Blechman’s Journalism Class

Of course, it is standard journalistic practice to confront public officials with rumors and ask them to confirm or deny. You would think Blechman, who brags about being a graduate of the Columbia J School “with honors,” would know that.