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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Speaker DeLeo Helps Kick Off Local Democratic Campaign Pushes
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:13PM / Saturday, October 15, 2016

Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo said the Donald Trump campaign is scary. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo says if the state government is going to be effective, he needs Democrats elected from the federal level to the local level.   "We really, really have to change in terms of the whole dynamic. It is really frustrating as speaker of the House not to be able to look to Washington for any type of partnership or assistance there may be. It is most important that we send the Congressman [Richard Neal] back to Washington," DeLeo said on Saturday morning.   DeLeo was in Pittsfield Saturday to visit with elected officials and rally support

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'The Birth of a Nation': A Painful Truth
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:58PM / Thursday, October 13, 2016

Watching writer-director Nate Parker's "The Birth of a Nation," a biography of the slave Nat Turner that concludes with the namesake rebellion he led in 1831, you can't help but anguish over the idea that only 155 years ago slavery was perfectly legal in the Southern United States. That kind of historical realization always gets me wondering what crazy practice do we abide today that our heirs will one day see as similarly primeval and egregious?

Perhaps it'll be the current health care crisis ... the fact that "once upon a time" nearly half the country wasn't certain if it wanted to ensure the less fortunate half's well-being through adequate

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Great Barrington Police: Racist Threats Do Not Warrant Criminal Charges
Staff Reports,
05:57PM / Wednesday, October 12, 2016
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Police Department says racist comments between two high school students did not constitute criminal charges.   Earlier this year the Police Department and federal investigators began investigating a reported incident in which a white student at Monument Mountain High School threatened to lynch an African American student. The threat was allegedly made because of the football player's decision to take a knee during the national anthem.   "The altercation did not rise to a physical level through the alleged words used were very concerning and prompted the Police Department to open an investigation," reads a statement from the Great

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It's National Save for Retirement Week – So Take Action
11:14AM / Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Congress has dedicated the third week of October as National Save for Retirement Week. Clearly, the government feels the need to urge people to do a better job of preparing for retirement. Are you doing all you can?

Many of your peers aren't – or at least they think they aren't. In a recent survey conducted by Bankrate.com, respondents reported that "not saving for retirement early enough" was their biggest financial regret. Other evidence seems to show they have good cause for remorse: 52 percent of households 55 and older haven't saved anything for retirement, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, although half of this group

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Fire Prevention Week Is October 9-15
Sponsored Content,
04:17PM / Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Why It's Such A Hot Topic for Berkshire Homeowners & Renters

With The National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Fire Prevention Week occurring this month, Oct. 9-15, it is the perfect time for your Berkshire County neighborhood insurance agency to talk to you about how your home, condo or renters insurance can provide coverage in case of a fire event.

"Other types of losses are generally out of our hands and those of our clients," says Lori Goodell, assistant vice president and sales manager for Greylock. "But there are so many critical, yet simple, precautions you can take to safeguard against fire. A big part of our role as your insurance agent is to double

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Berkshire Planners Remain Concerned About DLTA Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:49AM / Monday, October 10, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Regional Planning Commission remains concerned about the funding for its District Local Technical Assistance program.   The organization lobbied for the state fund the program at $3.4 million during the budget season but ultimately the state Legislature funded it at $2.8 million — level with previous years. But, the administration hasn't released those funds yet and state revenues have been coming in lower than hoped.   Now, many are expecting mid-year cuts from Gov. Charlie Baker and BRPC fears part of those 9C cuts will include that program.    "We think we will know more about DLTA next week, the 15th or so of

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Zogics To Senate President: Lack of Skilled Work Force Biggest Setback
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:44AM / Sunday, October 09, 2016

For more than an hour on Friday LeBlanc spoke about his company with Rosenberg and Hinds. LEE, Mass. — With the state of current technology, a company can basically operate from anywhere. So can employees.   The current workforce wants more out of life than traditional jobs. They want to find ways to combine their lifestyles with a career. That's the angle Paul LeBlanc has taken when building Zogics, an e-commerce company based out of a small office in Valley Industrial Park.    "For me, it is all about lifestyle. Whether it is the company I've created, the location I've chosen to build the company or anything else. We are all faced with choices

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Downing, Rosenberg, Olver, Rally Support For Hinds Senate Campaign
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:13AM / Saturday, October 08, 2016

State Sen. Benjamin Downing endorsed Hinds on Friday to follow in his footsteps. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The common theme Friday night, when Adam Hinds relaunched his campaign for state Senate, was unity.   Hinds won the Democratic nomination for the state Senate seat being vacated by Benjamin Downing. Hinds now takes on Republican Christine Canning-Wilson in the Nov. 8 general election.   On Friday, Hinds held a kickoff for the general election campaign featuring Downing, former U.S. Rep. John Olver, and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg. To a crowd full of elected officials and local leaders, the three rallied support for Hinds around the concept of

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Berkshires Beat: Grant Helps Farmers Market Continue Its Mission
12:24PM / Friday, October 07, 2016

Farmers market grant: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has awarded the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market $10,000 to support its work in fostering good eating habits, active lifestyles, and healthy environments,

The Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market was started with the belief that everyone in our community should have access to healthy food. With 50 percent of city residents being low-income, the market was located in the Morningside neighborhood, which has even lower rates, where more than 80 percent of elementary school students qualify for free lunch and where there are no grocery stores in walking distance.

Two years ago, the market launched its Double Value Program, a

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Biz Briefs: Bookstore in Lenox Features in New Book
11:43AM / Friday, October 07, 2016

Bookstore features: The Bookstore in Lenox is featured in a new book that offers a look inside local bookstores that have thrived as central hubs of conversation and learning. Famous New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein's new book "Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores" invites readers into the heart and soul of every community: the local bookshop, each with its own quirks, charms, and legendary stories.

The Bookstore is not just in Eckstein’s collection of great local bookstores, they kick the whole thing off as the first book featured right on page one. Owner Matt Tannenbaum said that making it into a book like this that only has spots for so many stores

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Holiday Hours: Columbus Day
10:18AM / Friday, October 07, 2016

Dióscoro Teófilo Puebla Tolín's 'First landing of Columbus on the Shores of the New World,' at San Salvador, W.I., Oct. 12, 1492, from 1862.

Columbus Day is a state holiday being observed Monday, Oct. 10, to commemorate Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas on Oct. 12, 1492.

Columbus' voyage had been celebrated on significant anniversaries but did not become an official holiday until being recognized by Colorado in 1905. It was declared a federal holiday in 1937.

Not all states recognize Columbus Day. Some local and state governments have alternative Native American or indigenous peoples' days to reflect that others had

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Berkshire Taconic Announces Final Round of 2016 Grant Deadlines
10:09AM / Friday, October 07, 2016

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation today announced the fourth and final round of deadlines for competitive grants in 2016.

Covering the period from October 1 through Dec. 31, the fall cycle of deadlines is open to regional nonprofits, schools and individuals.

 

For nonprofits

The William J. and Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire and Savoy supports nonprofits, public agencies or community organizations that provide services to the residents of Adams, Cheshire or Savoy. The fund has up to $100,000 to grant out this year. Applications are due Nov. 1.

The Central Berkshire Fund supports nonprofits, public agencies or community organizations serving

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