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Stop & Shop Workers Strike across New England

North Adams Stop & Shop workers assemble in the early hours of the UFCW strike against the supermarket chain on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Union steward Bill Laviolette (front, giving the thumbs up) coordinated the location actions; photo by Jason Velázquez.
North Adams Stop & Shop workers assemble in the early hours of the UFCW strike against the supermarket chain on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Union steward Bill Laviolette (front, giving the thumbs up) coordinated the location actions; photo by Jason Velázquez.

Talks set to continue as union and company measure each other’s resolve from across parking lots.

NORTH ADAMS — Today is Saturday, April 13, 2019, I am your host, Jason Velazquez, and I’d like to welcome you to Episode #69 of our flagship podcast, the Top Left Corner.

What you heard coming into this program was the scene outside the Stop & Shop in Chicopee, Mass., as workers from that and other stores represented by United Food and Commerical Workers Local 1459 rallied near the tail end of a string of negotiations that began in the Autumn of 2018. Stop & Shop workers throughout New England have been working without a contract since February. All those heated talks between the Union and Dutch international retailer Ahold Delhaize reached a stalemate Thursday, and at about 1:15 p.m. local time, The UFCW texted their workers en masse to let them know that it was time to strike.

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The Pillar Profiles:
Lindsey Schmid

Editors Note: What does it mean when we say that someone is a “pillar of the community?” How you answer depends a lot on your experiences and intersections with the people who, in your mind, help support and strengthen the areas of local life that are most important to us. In this new series, we’ll surely tread some well worn paths in search of those personalities. We’ll blaze new trails looking for emerging leaders, as well as expand our vision of where to look for these pillars of our community. Know someone you think fills the bill? E-mail us.

When most of us Berkshires dwellers encourage friends to visit, we usually highlight the traveler’s trifecta of arts, culture, and outdoor recreation. But for Lindsey Schmid, tourism in the Berkshires is a lot more specific and varied. It’s about mindfulness and wellness. It’s about glamping and hotspots for watching wildlife. It’s the craft beverage trend, farm-to-table foods, and cannabis tours. And it’s about interactive experiences and behind-the-scenes tours of well-known venues—all the better to attract thrill seekers jonesing to be the first person to post on Instagram and say, “I did this!”

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Berkshire Business Outlook #7 — PodCamp Western Mass. 8

Break-out session: Introverts and Extroverts on social media; submitted photo.
Break-out session: Introverts and Extroverts on social media; submitted photo.

PodCamp Attendees looking at the agenda wall; submitted photo.
PodCamp Attendees looking at the agenda wall; submitted photo.

 

If Social Media and digital content are your thing, have we got a show for you. PodCamp Western Mass. #8 is upon us, and you’re looking to connect with comrades in the industry, this is the un-conference for you We speak with Jaclyn Stevenson, Director of Public Relations and Social Media at Winstanley Parnters, who has been a driving force behind PodCamp since the beginning.

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Berkshire Business Outlook #5 — Holiday Walk, Unsilent night, Kit & Kaboodle

"Unsilent Night," created by Phil Kline and performed in cities around the world will occur in North Adams; photo courtesty unsilentnight.com
"Unsilent Night," created by Phil Kline and performed in cities around the world will occur in North Adams; photo courtesty unsilentnight.com

Children participating in a past "Reindog Parade" during the Holiday Walk festivities; photo courtesy The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
Children participating in a past “Reindog Parade” during the Holiday Walk festivities; photo courtesy The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

 

Emily Watts, executive director of the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce joins us again, this time as the guest on our very first “Chamber Check-In” segment of the show.

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Berkshire Business Outlook #4 — Holding Steady in a Shaky Stock Market

Chasing Bubbles in the Stock Market; composite of public domain images
Chasing Bubbles in the Stock Market; composite of public domain images

"Bulle und Bär," photo by Eva K. (Eva K.) [FAL or CC BY-SA 2.5; via Wikimedia Commons
“Bulle und Bär,” Statues of the two symbolic beasts of finance, the bear and the bull, in front of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange; photo by Eva K. (Eva K.) FAL or CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons
Professor Richard Yanow, who teaches investment and finance in the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Department of Business Administration and Economics, discusses the importance of keeping calm amidst volatility in the stock market.

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Berkshire Business Outlook #4 — Creative Resources Conference

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1Berkshire holds its first Creative Resources Conference, a “how-to, where-to” for artists and creative entrepreneurs, at Hotel on North in downtown Pittsfield, Thursday, November 12, 2015.

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Berkshire Business Outlook #3 — Country Curtains Launches Global Showcase for “Berkshire Originals”

"Early Thaw," By John MacDonalsd; image courtesy Country Curtains
"Early Thaw," By John MacDonalsd; image courtesy Country Curtains

"Winter Dusk," by John MacDonald; image courtesy Country Curtains
“Winter Dusk,” by John MacDonald; image courtesy Country Curtains

Country Curtains recently launched “Berkshire Originals,” an online portal into the creativity of local arts offerings for the rest of the world to enjoy. By building relationships with all types of Berkshire artists, this interior decor landmark hopes to satisfy the longing of customers for the handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces you can only find here.

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Berkshire Business Outlook, Episode 2 — Alice Maggio Explains “BerkShares” Local Currency

Alice Maggio, Program Coordinator, BerkShares, Inc.; photo courtesy Conference on Complementary Currency Systems
Alice Maggio, Program Coordinator, BerkShares, Inc.; photo courtesy Conference on Complementary Currency Systems

As local economy continues to strengthen, Maggio says organization seeks to broaden the reach of BerkShares to encourage support of local businesses

Alice Maggio, Program Coordinator, BerkShares, Inc.; photo courtesy Conference on Complementary Currency Systems
Alice Maggio, Program Coordinator, BerkShares, Inc.; photo courtesy Conference on Complementary Currency Systems, CC BY 3.0

 

 

 

We speak with Alice Maggio, Program Coordinator at Berkshares, Inc., fresh from her trip to the Basque region of Spain. She explains the history of local currencies in the region, and describes her optimism for the use of BerkShares on a wider basis into Berkshire County’s northern extreme.

BerkShares are a local currency for the Berkshire region of Massachusetts. Federal currency is exchanged for BerkShares at six branch offices of three local banks and spent at 400 locally owned participating businesses. The circulation of this local currency encourages capital to remain within the region, building a greater affinity between the local business community and its citizens.

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Berkshire Business Outlook, Episode 1 — Ken Kuttner on This Week’s Stock Market Jitters

Ken Kuttner, Chair of the Department of Economics
at Williams College, provides some perspective on world markets and China’s scramble to stay solvent.

Floor of the New York Stock Exchange, cropped; photo by Kevin Hutchinson; CC BY 2.0
Floor of the New York Stock Exchange, cropped; photo by Kevin Hutchinson; CC BY 2.0

The Berkshire Business Outlook Caught up with Ken Kuttner after a couple days of chasing him around Asia. We caught up with him in Queensland, Australia. He was generous with his time and gracious with his answers, supplying insightful answers to my, at times, Econ 101 questions about this past week’s stock market instability and China’s economic house of cards.

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