Archive for November, 2010
Crawford Square’s latest addition – Unusual Weddings Rings and More, a jewelry store, will open its doors on Saturday December 11th for its Grand Opening.
“We are excited about the opportunity to open a location in downtown Pittsfield,” said Herman Rotenberg, owner of Unusual Wedding Rings and More, in a news release. “After thirty years of operating our store in New York City’s diamond district, we are returning to our roots and relocating our business to the Berkshires. Our family has a connection to Pittsfield, as Gayle’s father, founder of the business, was born here over 90 years ago, so we are coming full circle. In addition, our two sons live in Berkshire County. Not only will we be closer to them, but we will have an opportunity to reconnect with our past and make Berkshire County part of our future. Our new location at Crawford Square will make shopping with us convenient and will allow us to be a part of the downtown Pittsfield revitalization.”
Established in 1947, Unusual Wedding Rings has been a family-owned and operated business that offers high quality jewelry. We have served three generations of customers and plan to bring that level of knowledge, passion and service to the Berkshires. We are nationally renowned for honesty, integrity, reliability, and customer service. One of the many ways in which you can get to know us is by entering the Grand Opening Contest, which includes the following giveaways: a diamond wedding ring, a tungsten ring and a handcrafted Berkshire necklace. Those interested can enter for free at: http://www.berkshireweddingrings.com. The public is also invited to attend the all-day Grand Opening on December 11th at Crawford Square (137 North Street Pittsfield, MA). The contest winners will be announced during the Grand Opening Wine & Cheese party from 5-7pm. As a gesture of appreciation, Unusual Wedding Rings and More will make a donation to the Pittsfield YMCA 125th Anniversary Calendar.
“We want to let folks know we are more than a place to find great wedding rings and engagement rings” said Gayle Rotenberg in a recent conversation. “We will customize to any specification and work closely with you to create jewelry that uniquely defines your relationship, style and taste. We have experience, widespread industry contacts and know how. Let us research on your behalf, absolutely free.”
This husband and wife team is best known for their ability to connect and serve their customers providing them with something special for one of the most important events in their lives. Throughout the years, they have served leading celebrities in entertainment and business and customers from all over the country.
Unusual Wedding Rings and More will also operate an online store, slated to go live the weekend of the Grand Opening at http://www.unusualweddingrings.com.
The store will be run by Gayle and Herman Rotenberg who plan to have a soft opening next week followed by the Grand Opening on December 11th. The regular hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday’s, closed on Sunday. Private appointments are available upon request (413) 236-9300.
According to an AP-CNBC poll released this morning, “To ease surging budget deficits, Americans prefer cutting federal services to raising taxes by nearly 2-1 in a new poll. Yet there is little consensus on specific, meaningful steps — and a wariness about touching two gargantuan programs, Social Security and Medicare.” Read the entire story here.
The bottom line is we simply can’t keep borrowing $1 trillion per year to fund our current level of spending. It isn’t sustainable. At some point in time, we become a bad credit risk. Interest rates go up … and then after awhile, no one will lend no matter what the rate. Just look at what’s happening in Europe right now.
While many Americans have aspired for years to mimic European “democratic socialism”, the current situation there is dire to say the least. Greece was bailed out for billions of Euros back in the summer and they’ve already had to apply for an extension on their repayment plan. Ireland received a gigantic bailout on Sunday this week. Portugal and Greece are teetering. The latest news says that the bond market has raised rates on Italy, France, and Belgium with Italy being seen as the next weak link in the chain if Portugal and Spain collapse.
Compounding the situation in the USA are the gigantic deficits being run by state and local governments. Everyone is borrowing to live beyond their means. Current estimates show the states to be a combined $250 billion in the red in their next fiscal budgets. California is approaching $20b. Illinois is at $13b. New Jersey’s next fiscal year looks like an $11b deficit. New York’s is $9-$10b. Massachusetts is over $2b in the red.
Many states are contemplating a combination of large tax increases with severe austerity budgets to get back on track. Guess what happens when taxes go up and services go down? People and businesses flee in droves and no new businesses start up, which means tax revenues drop, which means there is less to spend, so services drop, etc., etc. Some might call it a “vicious cycle”. Others might call it a “death spiral”. I call it circling the bottom of the bowl.
Let’s flush the spending before it flushes us.
By Victoria Abbott Riccardi Globe Correspondent / November 28, 2010
The Berkshires seem to have it all — stellar food, spectacular art, and lots of outdoor activities. And winter is one of the best times to visit this picturesque pocket of Massachusetts only a two-hour drive from Boston.
Read the entire story here.
From Tammy Daniels article on iBerkshires.com
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Chamber should take a leadership role in creating a sustainable Williamstown that includes promoting the creation of private-sector jobs and economic development, and offering cooperative marketing opportunities.
It also should have a greater voice in defining the future of Williamstown — and wait until it has more information on the pros and cons of a proposed biomass plant before taking a stand.
That’s the result so far of a survey sent to 300 members on Nov. 10; only a sixth have yet responded to the online survey.
One guilty pleasure I rarely get to take advantage of these days is the “read an entire novel in one weekend” opportunity. First of all, books that make you want to read the entire thing in one sitting are pretty rare. Second, who has the time? Sunday afternoon and late into Sunday evening, I packed away Ken Follet’s latest, Fall of Giants. One word: WOW! After Pillars of the Earth and World Without End and what seems like a thousand other amazing books, he’s done it again. And, better still, it is the first book in a trilogy that will carry 5 families from the early 1900′s through the Cold War.
For those of you who haven’t read Follett, many of his novels weave their sagas through real historical events. In the case of Fall of Giants, it takes 5 families (1 each from Russia, England, America, Germany, and Wales) through the early 1900′s and into the early 1920′s. You are learning about history while being entertained. The relations between English aristocracy and the working class contrasted between similar class relations in Russia were extraordinary to see at the level Follett presents them. The fact that both Kaiser Wilhelm and Tsar Nicholas appeared to be in completely over their heads was remarkable to behold – Follett clearly makes the point that hereditary monarchies were incredibly poor systems for choosing rulers. Also, aristocratic titles didn’t necessarily make people military experts as the British found out at the Somme.
If you’re looking for a great read that packs action, romance, and adventure in with a series of interesting perspectives on life in the western world about 100 years ago, grab Fall of Giants. You won’t be disappointed. The only thing I’m disappointed in is that the next book in the trilogy isn’t coming out until 2012!
I had a whole different agenda ready, but an article in this morning’s Berkshire Daily Living email blast had a story that caught my eye. The AP story Scanners and pat-downs upset airline passengers makes me wonder how – or if – people think.
Lest we forget, it was less than 10 years ago that 19 Muslim extremists hijacked 4 commercial airliners with box cutters they had smuggled onboard. We all know the end result of that day – the Twin Towers down, the Pentagon hit, and thousands of Americans dead. Is it really that much of an invasion of anyone’s personal privacy to prevent that from happening again?
Here’s another question: Is anyone really naive enough to think that we can let our guard down even slightly at this point? I firmly believe that the only reason we’ve been as safe as we’ve been the past 10 years is because of the increased security measures, the increased wiretapping, etc. Given that a few crazies have managed to sneak through security (the Shoe Bomber, the Underwear Bomber) and a few other plots have been stopped in advance, I would tend to ask if the government doing enough; I certainly wouldn’t complain that it is doing too much.
Call me crazy, but in the choice between public safety and civil liberties, I’ll take public safety any day.
If you at all pay attention to the news, you’ve heard today’s election referred to by pundits on both sides of the aisle as “the most important election in American history”. Having been a voter now for 11 or 12 of these days, I’m not sure I ever remember “the most important” moniker applied so broadly before. One party is seeking to ratify the actions of the first 22 months of President Obama’s presidency while the other side wants to repudiate those actions. Based on polling data going into today it seems like those opposed to the president and his policies have the upper hand, but the end result will likely be gridlock in DC.
Gridlock may be the best thing that can happen, but for all of the wrong reasons. If we end up in a gridlocked situation, we should see a drastic reduction in the pace of new legislation and any legislation that passes will have to meet the requirements of both parties. Both parties see that as an acceptable middle ground – not as good as controlling both houses, but better than the alternative of controlling neither. Unfortunately it feels like we are approaching a crisis point where what the country really needs is leadership in a direction towards fiscal responsibility – and management by the consensus of gridlock likely won’t get us there.
I truly don’t think either of the two existing parties are going to take us where we need to be. So, I’m rooting for gridlock until a smart, centrist leader appears who can build a party and present a real alternative to the two dinosaurs. Kind of feels weird to be rooting for a tie, but that’s where I am.