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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

What Does Conservative Investing Mean to Older Investors?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:02PM / Wednesday, May 31, 2017

If you're a certain age, or getting close to it, you might hear something like this: "Now that you're older, you need to invest more conservatively." But what exactly does this mean?

For starters, it's useful to understand that your investment preferences and needs will indeed change over time. When you're first starting out in your career, and even for a long time afterward, you can afford to invest somewhat aggressively, in stocks and stock-based investments; because you have time to overcome the inevitable short-term market drops. At this stage of your life, your primary concern is growth – you want your portfolio to grow enough to provide you with the

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Berkshire Force Softball Team Wins Greenfield Tourney
11:37AM / Tuesday, May 30, 2017
The 10 and under Berkshire Force softball team won the Greenfield Memorial Day Bash Tournament with a 5-0 record over the weekend of May 27-28.   The team was 3-0 in pool play, outscoring the competition 35-5. The girls then won the semi-final game, 5-3, before securing a 6-5 win in the championship with clutch hitting, great fielding, and tremendous pitching.   The team is coached by Will Glebus, Jessica Potter, Rick Arpante and Kevin Sherman and includes: Kamryn Renata, Audrina Maloney, Caroline Sherman, Natalie Arnhold, Taryn Bannon, Ja’Leah Rosa, Michaela Hinckley, Jaezsa Bartolotta, Amanda Pou, Cheyann Goddard and Mia Arpante.

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Berkshires Beat: Cancer Center Community Crusaders Annual Event Joins with Survivors Day
05:00PM / Monday, May 29, 2017

Kicking cancer: For the last few years, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, Vt., has hosted two cancer-related events during the first weekend in June: The Cancer Center Community Crusaders Day of Celebration on Saturday and National Cancer Survivors Day on Sunday. For the first time in 2017, the events will be combined.

Both events will be held on Saturday, June 3. The program schedule begins with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Cupcake tasting, raffles, music and kids’ activities — like inflatable bounce houses and face painting—continue throughout the day.

Attendees are invited to tour the Cancer Center’s newest addition, the linear accelerator,

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North County, Pittsfield Remember the Fallen on Memorial Day
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:38PM / Monday, May 29, 2017

Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer speaks at Memorial Day services. See more photos from the event here. This Memorial Day, Mayor Linda Tyer put on a commemorative bracelet featuring the name of Marine Capt. Francis E. Visconti with the date of Nov. 22, 1965.   The bracelet was her mother's and it was supposed to be worn until the serviceman whose name is inscribed returns home, or his remains do.    At age 2, her father was deployed to Vietnam but she was too young to understand exactly what that meant. But a few years later, when she was age 6 or 7, she felt the "sad tug" at her heart.    "My mom and I were watching TV. There was video footage of

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Mass MoCA Holds Grand Opening for Massive Building 6
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:01PM / Sunday, May 28, 2017

Museum director Joseph Thompson listens to speakers at the grand opening event in Courtyard D.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on Sunday officially became the largest contemporary art museum in the world when it opened its doors to another 120,000 square feet of gallery and event space.    With the clipping of an abstract (invisible) yet "shiny and glittery" ribbon, Executive Director Joseph Thompson ushered the crowd gathered in Courtyard D into Building 6 — the Robert W. Wilson Building.   Thompson's brevity on this day is understandable. He's been talking about what the doubling of gallery space at

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@theMarket: Markets Climb Higher
By Bill Schmick,
06:37PM / Friday, May 26, 2017
In the absence of any earth-shaking news, stocks tend to follow the recent trend. That trend, since the election has been up, so ... The question to ask: when we can logically expect that trend to change?   As readers may recall, my target for the S&P 500 Index is somewhere between 2,443 and 2,475, which I expect we will hit before the end of the second quarter. This week, we broke 2,400, regaining everything that was lost in last Wednesday's 2 percent downdraft. Now, that 2,400 price level should act as a support for the bulls.   "Are you still bullish?" asked one of my clients yesterday.   "That depends upon your time frame," I

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Lee Bank Announces Multiple Staff Promotions, New Hire
12:46PM / Friday, May 26, 2017

Susie Brown, Paula Lewis, Paula Miller and Kathy Kelly.

LEE, Mass. — Lee Bank recently announced the promotion of three key leaders within the company and the addition of a mortgage officer to support its continued growth in 2017.

Susie Brown has been named to the position of senior vice president, human resources and administration, Paula Gangell-Miller has been named to the position of vice president, community banking-retail operations, and Paula Lewis has been named to the position of first vice president, retail lending. They have a combined 70 years of tenure with Lee Bank, one of the few remaining local and independent full-service banks in the Berkshires.

In addition,

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State Senate Accepts Amendment To Study Passenger Rail to New York
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:18PM / Thursday, May 25, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state Senate adopted a budget amendment Thursday to develop a blueprint for more consistent passenger rail service to New York City.    State Sen. Adam Hinds filed the amendment which would task the state Department of Transportation to create a working group to study what it will take to establish the service.    "When we are trying to improvement out economy and address population loss, getting our infrastructure right is a key part of that," the Pittsfield Democrat said on Thursday. "This was identified as an important first step."   Some four years ago, former Gov. Deval Patrick had pushed a plan to purchase and

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'Alien: Covenant': All's Lousy That Ends Lousy
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:59PM / Thursday, May 25, 2017
Director Ridley Scott's "Alien: Covenant," the sixth in the franchise with no relief in sight, has spawned a horror in and of itself. We now might press for escape to another planet not because good old Earth can no longer sustain human life, but because we simply don't want to live in a society that normalizes the mean-spiritedness epitomized by such so-called entertainment.   This gratuitous study in ugly presentiments provides us with a test of our tolerance, challenging us to rightfully recognize its deplorably regressive degeneracy as a 1st Amendment Right.   Like the similarly hostile, outer-space gambit, "Life" (2017), this tale of a colonizing

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The Independent Investor: Ready For a 20 Percent Correction?
By Bill Schmick,
03:11PM / Thursday, May 25, 2017

As the stock market makes new highs, investors tend to get greedy. They also begin to believe that what has happened in the recent past will continue to happen in the future. Actually, history shows the exact opposite. It is time to give the potential downside some thought.

Hope burns brightly in the equity markets right now. Many on Wall Street believe that the Republican-dominated Congress, led by Donald Trump, "The working man's president," will usher in a golden era of strong economic growth and robust financial markets. The problem is that politics and investments make for strange bedfellows.

At some point, I expect that the two will part ways and when they do, look

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Berkshire High School Athletes, Coaches Honored at Sports Caravan
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:29AM / Thursday, May 25, 2017

Jay Anderson of Pittsfield Cooperative Bank noted the closing of St. Joe PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As the 55th annual Sports Caravan Awards were given to outstanding athletes and coaches of area high schools, a moment was taken to note it would be the last year that one of those schools would be represented.    Jay Anderson, president and CEO of Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, introduced the winners of the Robert "Boog" Powell Awards, and opened by noting the closing of St. Joseph's Central High School and acknowledging girls swimmer Jessie Tobin, who will be the last St. Joe athlete to be presented with a Caravan award.     "What I

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On '529 Day,' Think About College Savings Plans
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:39AM / Wednesday, May 24, 2017

You probably won't see it on your calendar, but May 29 (5/29) is 529 College Savings Day, or "529 Day" for short. This day, named after the 529 plan, a popular college-savings vehicle, is designed to promote people’s awareness of the need to save and invest for the high costs of higher education.

And that need has never been greater. Consider the following:
 
* College prices keep moving up. College costs just keep rising. For the 2016–2017 school year, the average cost (tuition, fees, room and board) was about $20,000 for in-state students at public universities and more than $45,000 for private schools, according to the College Board. These costs are

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