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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshires Beat: Cheshire Celebrates Halloween
11:35AM / Monday, October 31, 2016

Spooktacular: The Cheshire Elementary School PTG hosted its annual Halloween Dance Party on Friday, Oct. 21, in the school auditorium. DJ Bob Heck of Bob Heck Entertainment played music and games with the kids. The kids danced and played the night away.

The Hoosac Valley Cheerleaders came and volunteered their time to help run the game and craft tables. Many parent volunteers helped out to make this such a successful event. Each child came in their favorite costume and some parents dressed up as well. There was a large assortment of donated baked goods and treats. Each child received a pumpkin as they left and the pumpkins were donated by Whitney's Farm.


Know about voting: State

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No on 2 Campaign Rallies in Pittsfield as Election Day Nears
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:11PM / Saturday, October 29, 2016

MTA President Barbara Madeloni said so far 'the 413 is no on 2.' PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Corporations and big business cannot buy public education.   That is the message that those opposing Question 2, a ballot initiative calling for raising the cap on charter schools by a dozen, is sending.
  The opposition says the expansion of the charter school system will devastate the traditional public school system by allocating more public funding to the privately-run schools.   "The message you are sending across the nation is powerful. What you are saying is that big business, corporations, you cannot buy public education. That's the message that needs to

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Letter: David vs Goliath
Letters to the Editor,
03:00PM / Friday, October 28, 2016

To the Editor:

My comments about the Massachusetts Senate race for our district: Berkshire, Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin).

I watched debates, read the articles, saw and heard local TV and radio appearances and have seen Facebook posts for both candidates. There are major differences between the two! Hurrah, a clear choice.

As a treasurer for a candidate many years ago, I know how to peek at the campaign finance reports (Everyone can: check OCPF for MA, next report 10/31). As of the end of August, Adam Hinds' campaign had reported $75,067 in donations and spent $54,681 vs Christine Canning-Wilson reporting $3,185 [in donations] and spending $2,922.

Seems like a financial Goliath

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Letter: Support Community Preservation Act
02:44PM / Friday, October 28, 2016

To the Editor:

Becket passed the [Community Preservation Act] law in 2009. The projects that have been approved since passage are projects that otherwise would have been difficult for the town to fund in a timely manner. We passed the law after almost two years of public outreach and public hearings.

We have a 1.5 percent surcharge, with businesses, low and moderate income seniors, and property with $100,000 or less assessed value exempt. We have been able to raise, with the state contribution, about $41,000 annually. Our projects have included headstone repair at three cemeteries, playground equipment, funds for the Becket Athenaeum structural repairs, the Becket Art Center structural

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'Jack Reacher: Never Go Back': Doesn't Quite Grab You
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:35PM / Friday, October 28, 2016

It is what it is.

I contemplated saving approximately 805 words by simply having the above overworked phrase stand as my review of director Edward Zwick's "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back." However, despite its relatively appropriate description of this action-thriller starring Tom Cruise as the title maverick, fear of a random audit by the American Film Critics Oversight Committee induced me to proceed with the usual study in tortured prose that follows.

In this second film based on the character developed by novelist Lee Child, the ex-military police major-turned-vigilante once again fights for truth, justice and the American way — in his very own way. Expect the usual

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Main Street Hospitality Group Names Director of Marketing
12:17PM / Friday, October 28, 2016

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Main Street Hospitality Group has named Norma Probst as the new director of marketing at Main Street Hospitality Group.

"Norma's marketing expertise and knowledge of Berkshire County, honed over two decades, will be instrumental in our continued success and growth," said Sarah Eustis, CEO. "This strategic addition deepens our executive bench, strengthens Main Street’s position as a leading regional management company and reinforces the company’s commitment to preservation, innovation, and the communities we serve."

Probst joins the Main Street Hospitality Group marketing team with more than 20 years of experience in marketing

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Acupuncture Society Honors Rep. Pignatelli
10:59AM / Friday, October 28, 2016

BOSTON — State Representative William "Smitty" Pignatelli (D-Lenox) and the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Society of Massachusetts co-hosted a briefing in the State House on Thursday to help elected officials, staff and the public understand more about acupuncture and its ability to help patients deal with chronic pain, substance abuse issues, PTSD and a number of other conditions.

Legislation filed by Representative Pignatelli currently pending in the State House would increase patients' access to safe, effective, quality treatment by requiring that insurance coverage in Massachusetts include acupuncture treatment of pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance

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MCLA to Host Open House for Prospective Students
12:19PM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will host the second of three fall open house events for high school and transfer students interested in applying for admission to attend MCLA for the spring of 2017 or the fall 2017 on Saturday, Oct. 29. Check-in will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Amsler Campus Center.

In addition to touring the campus, prospective students and families can learn more about the admissions and financial aid process; student life; attend an academic program overview; and explore the many opportunities MCLA has to offer, such as internships, study abroad, our honors program and undergraduate research.

Those who wish to find out more about

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BCC Honors Academic Achievement at Convocation
11:33AM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College recently recognized the academic achievements of 103 students during an Honors Convocation Program.

Each honored student ranks in the top five percent of the college with a grade point average of 3.75 or better in courses totaling at least 12 credits.

Honored students (and hometowns) include:

 

Massachusetts

Adams: Aaron R. Biros, Jeremy R. Patterson, Chelise M. Rondeau

Becket: Rebecca J. Simmons

Cheshire: Amy L. Brassard, Katie Clarke, Dudley R. Johnson, Emily A. Thurston

Chester: Henry J. Fristik

Cummington: Marion T. Brooks, Alexander F. Griffith

Dalton: Shaina R. Benham, Magdelin C. Bennett, Oksana O. Dix, Whitney N.

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Investors Should Avoid 'Great Expectations'
11:06AM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Apart from death and taxes, few events in our world are consistently predictable – and investment returns are definitely not one of them. What can you, as an individual investor, do to cope with the ups and downs of the financial markets and make progress toward your long-term goals?

To begin with, you should be aware that the financial markets have fluctuated greatly – daily, monthly and yearly – over the past three decades. Overall, though, the financial markets trended upward, as measured by major indexes such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S & P 500. Of course, as you've no doubt heard, past performance can't guarantee future results.

What

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Health Connector Launches Insurance Enrollment Drive in North Adams
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:11PM / Tuesday, October 25, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Health Connector officials are urging citizens to explore their health insurance options during this enrollment season.

Open enrollment runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31. With expected rises in health insurance premiums under the federal Affordable Care Act, it behooves people to look over their plans and update their accounts.

The word from the Health Connector is it's the time to shop for the best plan.

"A lot of time people think there's not an affordable option because they read the press like that, but there actually are very affordable options," Vicki Coates, the state Health Connector's chief operating officer, said. "It's

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Senate Candidates Handle Slew of Questions During Debate At BCC
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:29AM / Tuesday, October 25, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Most of the questions at Monday's state Senate debate were on the ballot questions, with each of the two candidates taking slightly different views on them.

Republican Christine Canning-Wilson and Democrat Adam Hinds are both seeking election to the state Senate seat being vacated by Benjamin Downing. The two faced off at a debate Monday night sponsored by the Pittsfield Gazette and Berkshire Community College and moderator Dan Dillon said while the ballot questions are going to voters, the candidate's answers do reflect where they stand on hot topics in the state.

He started off with the question of expanding charter schools. The ballot question would

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