Saturday, March 26, 2011

Two Important Local Events


Two friends have informed me of two important upcoming local events at the beginning of April. One is to aid the people of Japan, who have suffered from triple disasters. The other is to support the human right of workers to organize themselves, a right which is under attack in Wisconsin and other states.

Solidarity Rally in North Adams

Dick Dassatti of North Adams has informed me of a rally at North Adams City Hall which will be held from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 4, in support of workers’ rights, which are under attack in Wisconsin and other states. There will be signs, speakers and music at the rally.

A planning meeting will be held on March 29 (Tuesday), at 7 p.m. at Mark Hopkins Hall (2nd floor conference room) at MCLA. At this meeting, rally supporters and participants will be making signs and preparing for the April 4 rally.

The theme of the rally is is “We are One: Repect Our Rights.” April 4 is the anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968. He was in Memphis that day supporting the right of city sanitation workers to organize for better working conditions.

Although it seems largely forgotten in the U.S. today, my faith tradition (Catholic) also has a strong history of supporting worker rights. I will not be able to attend the rally but I hope many of you reading this will be able to.

For more information, visit

Berkshire Benefit for Japan

Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Japan in this time of crisis. Here is a way to help — and have a good time in the process. What follows is part of a press release from Susan Jameson, a friend and supporter of the Interfaith Action Initiative:

Shirakaba Guest House, Healing Winds and Humanity in Concert are coming together to create the Berkshires Blossom for Japan Relief Concert, a benefit concert to raise funds for Japanese victims of one of the worst earthquake and tsunami disasters in history, to be held in the Shakespeare & Company’s Founders’ Theatre on 70 Kemble St. in Lenox, on Sunday, April 3.

This musical marathon runs from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. A donation of $5 or more for children and $10 or more for adults would be deeply appreciated.

The concert will include some of Berkshire County’s best musicians including the B.T.U.’s - Steve Ide, Bobby MacVeety, Rick Leab, Butch Amiot, the Rev Tor Band, Bella’s Bartok, Divinitress, Sherri James Buxton and Bob Shepherd, the Wanda Houston Duo, Robin O’Herin, Barbara and Graham Dean, Jordan Weller, Rodney Mashia, and students from the Berkshire Music School. Grammy Award flute player Joseph FireCrow has joined the galaxy of stars performing in this very special concert.

The Berkshire Anime/Manga Japanese Animation Club will screen several short Anime films wonderful for the whole family.

One hundred percent of the money raised will go to the relief effort. Some will go directly to the Komatsu family, a Lanesboro resident’s family in Japan who lost everything as the tsunami surged ashore. The rest will aid the Japanese Red Cross.

All are welcome to come at 1 p.m. and stay until 10 p.m. for the entire event, or drop in anytime to hear a favorite performer. Wristbands will be given so attendees may leave the concert and come back at any time. Healing Winds is making a special request to please donate vegetable seed packets for Japanese families and non-perishable foods for local food pantries. There will also be a drawing at the end of the night (you need not be present to win) from all attendees for a one night stay in the Take No Ma Suite At Shirakaba Guest House with a six-course Japanese dinner for two in their traditional tatami mat room.

Tickets will be available at the door of the Founders’ Theatre on Kemble Street in Lenox. For more information please call Healing Winds at 413-443-2481, Berkshire Shirakaba House at 413-458-1800 or go to,

If unable to attend but you would like to help, please send a check to TDBank 660 Merrill Road Pittsfield MA 01201 and make check payable to Ritsuko Robinson Family Fund and put Louise I. Palmer on the memo line.

God Bless,


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