Response and Recovery: BRPC evolves, adapts to better address region’s COVID challenge

By Laura Brennan for Berkshire Trade & Commerce July 2021
We’ve all grown weary of quite a few phrases over the last year or so – social distancing, PPE, and Zoom etiquette, just to name a few – but a pandemic platitude that will be particularly good to see fade away is “pivot.”

Planning group to apply federal money to Berkshires’ pandemic-recovery efforts

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has received $842,522 in federal CARES Act money to develop a program to provide technical assistance to area businesses and municipalities recovering from the economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and better prepare them for similar events.

Executive Spotlight: Tom Matuszko

Get to know BRPC executive director Tom Matuszko in the Berkshire Eagle’s first executive spotlight of 2021:

PITTSFIELD — Thomas Matuszko grew up on his family farm in Hadley, then briefly pursued farming as a profession. Working the land didn’t excite him, but preserving farmland from developers certainly did.

Berkshire County’s Top Health Official Tracking Regional Impacts With Lenox In COVID Red Zone

LENOX – The town of Lenox, Massachusetts was pushed into the Massachusetts Department of Health’s COVID-19 “red zone” designation last week with an average daily incidence rate of 38.4 per 100,000. It was the only Berkshire County community given that high-risk designation through mid-November, with around 30 active cases.

Pittsfield Aims to Make Lower-Income Neighborhoods Greener

PITTSFIELD — Two city neighborhoods will be going from “Grey to Green” as part of a project to engage the community and prioritize green planning in a social and racial justice context.

Studies have shown that low-income neighborhoods are more concrete or “gray” than higher-income neighborhoods, which can have a deleterious effect on the health of residents, Senior Planner Allison Egan told the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission on Thursday.