WBEC Debate Moderator’s Plan to Block Discussion of Campaign Finance is ‘Unacceptable’, Shein says


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WBEC Debate Moderator’s Plan to Block Discussion of Campaign Finance is ‘Unacceptable’, Shein says

Democrat calls on WBEC management to clarify that no subject is off-limits in a Congressional debate

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA – Democratic Congressional candidate Bill Shein (MA-1) issued the following statement regarding tomorrow night’s radio debate:

This morning, the moderator of tomorrow night’s WBEC First Congressional District radio debate, Larry Kratka, told the Berkshire Eagle that a candidate’s source of campaign contributions will be off-limits as a subject for discussion:

“If the discussion turns to topics such as a candidate’s sources of campaign contributions, Kratka said, ‘I’m going to stop it. That’s not what we’re here to do.’” (Berkshire Eagle, 8/29/12: http://tinyurl.com/d8xbrhd)

This is an outrageous and unprecedented ground rule in a debate among candidates for the United States Congress.

Some relevant facts:

Another candidate, Rep. Richard Neal, is spending substantial campaign funds on radio ads on WBEC and its affiliated stations across the Berkshires.

Over the last week, WBEC aired continuous on-air promotions for the debate across its various stations that said I was a Green-Rainbow Party candidate for Congress. This confuses Berkshire County voters into thinking they don’t have an opportunity to vote for me in the crucial Democratic primary on Thursday, Sept. 6., but instead can only vote for me in the general election in November. Because there are no other candidates on the ballot in November, the Sept. 6 primary will decide who will represent the new First District in Congress.

WBEC’s press release announcing the debate misidentified me as a member of the Green-Rainbow Party.

This week our campaign tried without success to get ad rates from WBEC for radio ads we are considering airing on its stations. Repeated phone calls have not been returned, and promises to forward rates via e-mail have not been met. While I’m not an expert on the economics of the radio business, I’m fairly certain that radio stations want paying advertisers.

It’s simply outrageous and unacceptable that WBEC – a recipient of significant advertising dollars from Rep. Neal – would make the source of a candidate’s campaign donations off-limits in Thursday’s debate. This is precisely the problem I’ve made central in this campaign: Corporate money and power is corrupting our democracy, and that includes its effect on the journalism we need for a healthy, robust discussion of how to fix what’s broken in America.

I look forward to WBEC management clarifying immediately that no subject in a discussion among candidates for high public office is off limits.

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THIS “U” MUST KNOW!  Thank you iBERKSHIRES.COM for this important information.Residents Welcomed To Honor Fallen Soldier

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Residents are encouraged to line the streets to welcome Michael DeMarsico, who was killed by a roadside bomb while serving in Afghanistan, home.

The soldier’s family released on Friday the itinerary for the funeral.

On Wednesday, Aug. 29 at approximately 12:30 p.m. a motorcade carrying DeMarsico will arrive via Route 2 and the stop briefly at Veterans Memorial Park on its way to Flynn & Dagnoli Funeral Home.

All are encouraged to line the streets to welcome him home. Parking at the funeral home will not be available to anybody except family and the motorcade.

On Friday, Aug. 31 there will be calling hours at the West Main Street funeral home from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Sept. 1 the funeral service and celebration of his life will be held at the First Baptist Church on Main Street. The procession will go travel up West Main Street to the church and then from the church North on Eagle Street to Route 2, to Holden Street, to American Legion Drive, to Ashland Street and ending at Southview Cemetery.

There will be a reception immediately following the services at the St. Elizabeth’s Parish Center on St. Anthony Drive.

The city will be detouring traffic along the procession routes and there may be heavy congestion along the alternative routes.



Barrington Stage Company presents a staged reading of

“THE SUICIDE: A Musical Comedy”

Starring Christine Bokhour, Tom Hewitt, Jackie Hoffman, Michael Thomas Holmes,

James Ludwig, Max Perlman, Lyn Philistine, Zachary Prince and Gordon Stanley

Directed by John Rando

At BSC’s St. Germain Stage, August 26-27 at 7pm

(PITTSFIELD, MA) Barrington Stage Company, the award-winning theatre in downtown Pittsfield, MA, under the leadership of Julianne Boyd, Artistic Director, and Tristan Wilson, Managing Director, will present a staged reading of The Suicide: A Musical Comedy, Sunday, August 26 and Monday, August 27 at 7pm at the St. Germain Stage (formerly Stage 2) at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield.  Tickets are $15 (reserved seating).

Tony winner John Rando (BSC’s Guys and Dolls) directs The Suicide: A Musical Comedy with music by Simon Gray, lyrics by Raymond Bokhour, and book by David Bridel, adapted from a play by Nikolai Erdman.

The Suicide features Christine Bokhour (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Masha, Tom Hewitt (Jesus Christ, Superstar/Chicago) as Aristarch, Jackie Hoffman (The Addams Family/Hairspray) as Serafima, Michael Thomas Holmes (BSC’s Guys and  Dolls) as Semyon, James Ludwig (Spamalot) as Burkin/Dream Stalin, Max Perlman (Pugachov), Lyn Philistine (A Christmas Story, the Musical) as Cleopatra, Zachary Prince (On A Clear Day You Can See Forever) as Victor, and Gordon Stanley (BSC’s Guys and Dolls) as Fedya/Elpidi.  Fred Lassen (Broadway’s South Pacific and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) is music director.  Christopher Donovan is stage manager.

The Suicide is a wacky original musical comedy set in Stalin’s brutal Soviet Union. Semyon, an unemployed grumbler, becomes convinced that suicide is his ticket to fame and glory. Before long, friends and neighbors are plotting to exploit his impending death for fun and profit, and while they’re at it, topple an entire regime.

When Nikolai Erdman’s play premiered in 1928, Stalin hated it, banned it, and sent its author to a Siberian labor camp for twenty years.

David Bridel (Book) David is a playwright, director, choreographer, actor and educator. David’s work has been seen at the Mark Taper Forum, Ford Amphitheatre, Broad Stage, TEDxUSC and LA Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles; Shakespeare & Company in MA; the Roy Hart Theatre in Malerargues, France; in opera houses in Los Angeles, Paris, Vienna, Munich, Mexico City, Guanuajato and Santiago; on screen (PBS Great Performances and Dancing With The Stars); and at festivals and theatres in the USA, UK, Israel, China, Hong Kong and Brazil.

Simon Gray (Music) wrote music for Daisy in Disguise (Vital Theatre) and contributed original songs for Everything About A Famliy (Almost) (TADA!), Dick Whittington (Eye Theatre, Suffolk, UK), Peter Pan (Horsham Arts, UK), 2Gether (Six Figures’ Artists of Tomorrow), On War (Young Vic). As music director, he worked on the first UK productions of Bill Russell’s Pageant (West End, London), Michael John LaChiusa’s Lucky Nurse (Finborough), Adam Guettel’s Myths and Hymns (Edinburgh Fringe) and Bless The Bride directed by Martin Charnin (King’s Head). Piano/keyboards, UK: Hello Again (Bridewell), Jesus Christ Superstar (UK tour), Wonderful Town (Grange Park Opera). BMI Harrington Award-winner.

Raymond Bokhour (Lyrics) has appeared on Broadway as Mr. Cellophane in Chicago (Helen Hayes nom) and regionally as Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Studio, DC); Kemp in Vigil (Geva); and the title role in Rameau’s Nephew (Portland Stage). Also a composer with music recorded by the London Symphony and Warsaw Philharmonic orchestras. His plays Fly South and American Mouth received productions in New York, Boston and Edinburgh. Ray is a 2008 recipient of BMI’s Harrington Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement.

John Rando (Director) At BSC: Guys and Dolls. John is the Tony Award and Outer Critic’s Circle Award-winning director of Urinetown, The Musical. Other Broadway credits include: The Wedding Singer, A Thousand Clowns, and Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party. With City Center Encores!, he directed On the Town, Damn Yankees, Face the Music, Of Thee I Sing, Pajama Game, Do Re Mi, and Strike Up The Band. His many Off-Broadway credits include the 2009 Outer Critic’s Circle Award Best Musical: The Toxic Avenger. He has extensive regional credits including The Guardsman at The Berkshire Theatre Festival and A Flea in her Ear at Williamstown Theatre Festival.

The Musical Theatre Lab is sponsored in part by Elayne Bernstein and Sol Schwartz.

About Barrington Stage Company

Barrington Stage Company, a professional award-winning Equity regional theatre located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield, MA, was co-founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd. Barrington Stage’s mission is three-fold: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre—especially young people. Barrington Stage garnered national attention in 2004 when it workshopped, and premiered William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin’s musical hit The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which later transferred to Broadway where it won two Tony Awards and played more than 1,000 performances. In 2009/2010 Barrington Stage produced the world premiere of Mark St. Germain’s Freud’s Last Session, which later moved Off-Broadway and played 775 performances. Barrington Stage was voted “Best Live Theatre” by The Berkshire Eagle readers in 2011 and 2012 and was named “Best Theatre Company” in Metroland’s Best of the Capital Region 2009-2012.

The Cast of “The Black Suits” Today-11:00 AM -104.3 FM

The cast of The Black Suits a new musical that is sweeping the Berkshires – will be appearing today at 11:00 am on Discussions From The Berkshires – Hosted by Bill Sturgeon – on 104.3 FM. Please listen in it promises to be a great show.

20 Inmate Killed in Riot

Subject: Venezuela: More Than 20 Killed In Prison Clashes – Stratfor
Reply-To: Stratfor <noreply@stratfor.com>

Venezuela: More Than 20 Killed In Prison Clashes

August 21, 2012 | 0035 GMT

More than 20 people were killed and 40 more injured in clashes in the Yare I prison in northern Venezuela’s Miranda state, Xinhua reported Aug. 20, citing local media and Venezuelan Minister of Penitentiary Services, Iris Varela. The head of Venezuelan Prison Observatory, Humberto Prado, said 25 bodies were brought to the local morgue while 40 others were treated for injuries in local hospitals.


Story Pirates Perform at The Colonial for Kids of All Ages

Pittsfield, MA – Story Pirates, a nationally respected education and media organization and creators of the pre-Broadway workshop, FOUND, perform a hilarious and kid friendly show at The Colonial Theatre on September 15, 2012 at 2pm.

Tickets are $15. Contact the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA by calling 413-997-4444 or the Stockbridge Campus Ticket Office at 83 East Main Street, by calling 413-298-5576. Tickets can also be bought online at www.berkshiretheatregroup.org. Ticket Offices are open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change.

While many children’s theater troupes tell stories to kids, the Story Pirates believe that every child has a story to tell!  The process begins by collecting stories from local kids — whether it’s a world where cats can fly or a rock opera about fuzzy alien tickle monsters, the Pirates will turn any short story into a hilarious sketch comedy musical!  Described as “Monty Python meets Schoolhouse Rock,” this show is different every time, and includes a story that’s improvised onstage based on suggestions from the kids in the audience. Story Pirates is pitched perfectly to grown-ups and kids alike!

Story Pirates was founded in 2003 by a group of people seeking to bring quality education programs to under-resourced New York City public schools. The Pirates approach was to show kids everywhere that their ideas, their words, and their stories are important. They made kids’ own stories the basis for a big, loud, outrageous, musical sketch comedy show; because they believe kids’ imaginations are worth cultivating and ought to be celebrated.

Story Pirates now operates branches in both New York and Los Angeles, and serves to over two hundred and fifty schools and community-based organizations annually around the country.

“The Story Pirates teach kids a love of creative writing. It helps kids to see that their words and ideas are really important. I believe that what the Story Pirates are doing is helping America, nay, humanity – helping humanity itself. It’s crazy entertaining.” –Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

“Only a kid could write a story like ‘The Do-Do Bird and the Dead People’ – but only the Story Pirates could stage it, complete with puppets, ‘Thriller’-esque dancing zombies and funny lyrics that have children (and adults) begging for more…” – New York Post

For promotional images, please go to: http://gallery.berkshiretheatre.org/main.php?g2_itemId=7191

For more information about the performance, please visit our website atwww.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org


About Berkshire Theatre Group

The Colonial Theatre, founded in 1903, and Berkshire Theatre Festival, founded in 1928, are two of the oldest cultural organizations in the Berkshires.  Having united in November of 2010 under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, these two institutions are providing the Berkshires and beyond with the finest in live theatre, music, dance and the visual arts on five stages in Stockbridge, MA, Pittsfield, MA and Lenox, MA. The Fitzpatrick Main Stage (408 seats), cataloged by the National Register of Historic Places, was originally designed and built by Stanford White as the Stockbridge Casino in 1888. The intimate Unicorn Theatre (122 seats) is a home for emerging artists and new theatrical ideas. The Colonial in Pittsfield (780 seats) re-opened in August of 2006, following a $21 million restoration, and boasts pristine acoustics, classic gilded age architecture and state-of-the-art technical systems. BTG also performs at the newly built outdoor Neil Ellenoff stage at the Mount and at The Garage, a music venue located in the lobby of The Colonial. Together they serve over 100,000 patrons per year and reach over 10,000 students through their educational and outreach programs. For more information on BTF call (413) 298-5536 and on The Colonial call (413) 448-8084. To purchase tickets, call (413) 997-4444 or (413) 298-5576 or go online to www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org.



If you have any inquiries about the productions/events,
please do not hesitate to contact us!

Stockbridge Campus
Ticket Office: (413)-298-5576

The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield
Ticket Office: (413) 997-4444

I thought that you should know! The Berkshire Museum


The Berkshire Museum presents its newest exhibit entitled “Liz Whitney Quisgard: Kaleidoscope,” featuring a vivid selection of paintings, sculptures and fiber wall hangings. Artist Liz Whitney Quisgard utilizes an exuberant palette of sumptuous colors and rich patterns, reminiscent of Byzantine mosaics, to create a scintillating rhythm and texture across her paintings and fiber works. A free opening reception will be held Saturday, June 2, from 5 to 7 p.m.Thursday-Sunday, May 24–October 21 | Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 12pm-5pm | 39 South Street | 413-443-7171 | $13 adults, $6 children; members & children three years old and younger FREE



I will be attending the Pittsfield School Committee Meeting this evening. During the “Open Mic” session, I will be requesting the School Committee to solicit from Larry Kratka the names of the politicians who forced him to cancel my program on WTBR, before it ever “Aired”. This is not about me, rather it is about “Freedom of Speech” and undo political influence on Public Radio programming. I believe that a quote from iBerkshires web site cuts to the substance of my appearance this evening – Mr. Durwin quotes Larry Kratka, “There are apparently some officials in Pittsfield government who are terrified of what Bill would do to them.” I want to thank all of the people who have supported me through this situation. I especially want to thank those members of the media who openly voiced their opinion: The Berkshire Eagle-Editorial Staff, iBerkshires, planetvalenti.com, Clarence Fanto, Dan Valenti, Rinaldo Del Gallo. Joe Durwin. The School Committee Meeting tonight will be held at the Pittsfield City Hall Chambers and it starts @ 6:00 PM. The School Committee meeting will be broadcasted on PCTV Channel 17.

Morning Thoughts – August 22, 2012

Good Morning, Lord! Thank you for another day. Lord, my day appears to be filled with challenges/tests. Lord, I pray that I can present myself so that my actions and words will glorify you. Being a Christian does not mean that there will not be challenges in my life. Being a Christian means how I handle these challenges. Lord, guide me with you grace.  –  Today, I pray for wisdom in my brain and peace in my heart!

The Colonial Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group presents Oliver!