Great Barrington MA

Our New Fire-To-Farm-To-Table House

By Mickey Friedman
September 18, 2014

Remember being told the old firehouse was a serious hazard to the town employees who worked there and the citizens who came to consult them?

So why are our town employees are still working there?

Being told we should get rid of the building. So that we wouldn’t have to heat and maintain it?

Now we’re renting space there for $2,500 a month for at least five years. That’s $150,000.
READ MORE >>

One Man’s Significant

By Mickey Friedman
June 11, 2014

Significant. There are several definitions including “large enough to be noticed” and “very important.” So for one man, what’s significant is noticeable. For another, it’s an important change.

The Berkshire Eagle reported that at its May 22, 2014 meeting the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee decided to “ask voters to approve a high school renovation project – one with a ‘significant’ reduction in the tax burden …”
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The Bear on The Hill

By Mickey Friedman
May 13, 2014

I’ve got mice. A friend’s got rats. Congressman Bill Shein just lost a duck to a fox.

Mice, rats, tigers, lions, and bears. Everywhere it’s war.

Congressman Bill, the most nonviolent of men, had to restrain himself when I suggested sympathy for the fox. He’s still haunted by his loss.

READ MORE >>

Thanksgiving Thursday

By Mickey Friedman
May 7, 2014

We of The Best Small Town in America are more than lucky. Because, for us, Thanksgiving comes not just once each year but once a week. That is, if you make your way to Taft Farms for Thanksgiving Thursday.

Now I’ve made fun of the everywhere farm-to-table label but Taft Farms is the real deal. A real farm. With two tables.

My friend Bob is always looking for places to eat, to sit, and read. Once a week we try to go out for an affordable lunch. We’ve had terrific lunch specials at Route 7 Grill and the Marketplace Café in Sheffield.

Bob took me to Thanksgiving Thursday. He loves Tuna Tuesday, but knows I love turkey.

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Me and My Yo-Yo Ma

By Mickey Friedman
April 8, 2014

I have a thing for purple. And pigtails. Hers were reddish-blonde. It was like I was in a movie. With a halo of light about her. And even though I was making my way through the parking lot of America’s Most Expensive Food Co-op, I heard cellos. Many cellos.

Not just purple, but red and pink and orange and blue. A Steiner School rainbow.

A big smile came from some long-lost, love is ever-present everywhere part of my now cold and bitter heart.

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Eyes on the Plastic Prize

By Mickey Friedman
March 23, 2014

You. Yes, you. Put down that coffee cup for just a minute. And you — with the white wine spritzer. Take a moment, a deep breath. Now give yourself a hand. A heartfelt round of applause.

Because if you live in Great Barrington or just shop here, you have done something special. Yes, we of the Best Small Town in America have together banned the “thin film single-use plastic checkout bag.”

And thanks to God, our courageous powers-that-be, and our so-very-sensible voters, we won’t be seeing them anywhere around here anymore.

As Gandhi and Martin Luther King taught us, it’s all about keeping your eyes on the prize.
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The Best We Can Afford

February 9, 2014
By Mickey Friedman

I went to listen on Wednesday night, and many spoke about the Monument Mountain High School renovation project.

Clearly, the Superintendent, School Committee and teachers are committed to providing the best education they can for their students.

It’s also clear how overwhelmed some citizens are by the scope and cost of the project.

And so we have a 56 million dollar problem.
READ MORE >>

Days of Wonder

December 24, 2013
By Mickey Friedman

The other day, Roland showed me his spiffy new blue hard plastic cover for his MacBook Air. It protects his laptop and has cute little plastic feet to lift the computer at an angle off the table. Fifteen bucks. A good deal.

Since I spend my days writing, and my MacBook Air is my baby, how could we have gone all these months without our own little hard plastic cover?

Thankfully, these are the days of wonder, and of good deals, and there is Amazon. Some more moments of hard plastic cover envy, and then my MacBook Air logged into Amazon.com and snagged us a red one.

READ MORE >>

Falafels R Us

By David Scribner

December 16, 2013

Last month, I went to Israel on what I thought was a two-week leave of absence from The Berkshire Record. I was with Americans for Peace Now, and we were learning about the potential for a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict. The trip would also give me the opportunity to try out Israeli and Palestinian reactions to my neighbor Kurt Kruger’s notion of the Federation of Canaan whereby two independent states could coexist within one entity.

But I had another mission as well – one more local and, as it turned out, more imperative.  That was to find the perfect falafel – and if possible, its recipe. I had been encouraged in this quest by Mickey Friedman who raved about the falafels at the Farmer’s Market. READ MORE >>

Burning issue: The firehouse sale

By David Scribner

December 6, 2013

The firehouse, the bloody old Castle Street firehouse in Great Barrington.  And the town’s 21-month struggle to sell the 120-year-old historic structure. Aren’t you just sick and tired of this story? It’s like the brouhaha over the Dollar General store in Sheffield. Only worse and more prolonged. I mean, what’s wrong with items for a dollar? If it were named Tiffany’s, would there be the same controversy? READ MORE >>

Benefit dinner to support the needy

December 2, 2013

By David Scribner

There are a number of unheralded heroes in Great Barrington. One of them is Michael Ballon, owner of and chef at the Castle Street Café.

So when he asked me to help get out the word about his upcoming Community Holiday Benefit Dinner that raises money for the less fortunate members of our town, I was more than happy to do so.

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No

November 26, 2013
By Mickey Friedman

Like so many others in The Best Small Town in America, I voted against the $56 million renovation of our high school.

With no room on the ballot for alternatives, the choice was simple. Raise Great Barrington’s real estate tax yet again to make some needed repairs, while adding a host of new features to the high school. Our $30 million plus $26 million from a state fund derived from taxes we pay for gasoline.

While the voters of Stockbridge and West Stockbridge said “yes,” the voters of Great Barrington said “no” 955 to 596. So the school board needs to decide what’s next.

I know they’ve worked hard to come up with a plan that would fix and improve our high school. But, for what it’s worth, I know why I voted “no” and I’ve spoken to others who voted “no.”
READ MORE >>

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An online newsmagazine based in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, Red Crow News covers what's happening and what we hope will happen.

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