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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Community Legal Aid Attorney Named President of Berkshire Bar Association
10:52AM / Friday, June 21, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Community Legal Aid staff attorney Dana Doyle was elected as the next president of the Berkshire County Bar Association at the association's annual meeting, held on May 15. Doyle’s two-year term will begin on Sept. 1.

Doyle, a Pittsfield resident, is a certified mediator, certified conciliator, collaborative law attorney, parenting coordinator, and guardian ad litem investigator, and has been a member of the Massachusetts Bar since 1998. Prior to joining the family law unit at Community Legal Aid in 2017, she spent 15 years in private practice as a solo practitioner and an associate at several law firms in Berkshire County.

Attorney Doyle began her law

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Berkshire Medical Center Awarded Recertification for Total Hip & Knee Replacement
09:03PM / Thursday, June 20, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center has again earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for Certification for Total Hip and Knee Replacement. 

The certification is for Joint Commission-accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers seeking to elevate the quality, consistency and safety of their services and patient care.

BMC underwent a rigorous onsite review on April 24. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with disease-specific care standards and total hip and total knee replacement requirements, including orthopedic consultation, and pre-operative, intraoperative and post-surgical orthopedic surgeon follow-up

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The Independent Investor: Why FHA Loans Are so Popular
By Bill Schmick,
05:03PM / Thursday, June 20, 2019
Federal Housing Authority Loans have long been one of the most popular types of mortgage loans available. Roughly 20 percent of all mortgage applicants will choose an FHA loan because it makes total economic sense to do so. And the older you are, the more important having an FHA approved dwelling becomes.   To many, that may appear to contradict your understanding of the FHA loan market. Most believe it is a program to assist younger folks, who need a hand to purchase their first home. You wouldn't be far wrong from a historical perspective, but times have changed.   The FHA loan was originally designed during the Depression years to help home buyers, (usually first-time

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'Late Night': Funny Business
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:17PM / Thursday, June 20, 2019
Somewhere between my wild youth and the acquiescence to middle-class mediocrity if not respectability, there was my bachelor pad era. The Cohens, a childless couple who had no designs on a single-family home until they inherited one, had relinquished their pink apartment on Pingry Place. And thus, after a bribe, unbeknownst to me, from my Mom to the super, the digs were mine.    I later learned that said financial inducement was followed by regular sub-rosa gratuities in return for information on yours truly's comings and goings. In Mom's defense, I think she had a FISA warrant. And yes, this indulgent preamble has everything to do with director Nisha Ganatra's smartly

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Tanglewood's New Learning Institute Is A Bold New Chapter
by Stephen Dankner,
11:36AM / Wednesday, June 19, 2019

For many music lovers, Tanglewood, on the Lenox/Stockbridge border, virtually defines music in the Berkshires. It is the largest summer presenter, with the most comprehensive schedule of performances across the full spectrum of musical styles and genres. Before getting into the exciting, imminent opening events, bookmark the Boston Symphony’s website, tanglewood.org, to easily access the full summer concert schedule, season highlights, tickets and general information.

The exciting news from the Boston Symphony is the opening at the Tanglewood campus of the Linde Center for Music and Learning and the new programs of the constituent Tanglewood Learning Institute. This bold initiative

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Gotta Dance, Gotta Sing: There's Both This Week on Local Stages
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
11:12AM / Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Downtown Pittsfield Third Thursdays — TL Collective

Each third Thursday of the month, streets are closed in downtown Pittsfield and all kinds of music rocks the city. Featured June 20 at 6 p.m. in the Dance Zone at the north end of the street festival is TL Collective, the athletic, family-friendly contemporary and hip-hop moves of Micaela Taylor's company. The group performs an evening length work "Drift." The aim, according to organizers, is to "demonstrate an individual's ever-changing relationship to self while exposing a personal season of self-growth."

You can find the dance zone near the corner of Bradford and North Streets in front of St.

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Smart Financial Moves for 'Gig' Economy Workers
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:56AM / Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Not that long ago, most people worked for some type of an organization, such as a business or the government or a school district. But today, more and more workers are going their own way and joining what's known as the "gig" economy. If you will be one of them, you'll want to make the right moves to advance your financial goals in what can be a challenging work environment.

But first, you may find some comfort in knowing the prevalence of gig work. About 36 percent of U.S. workers are now gig workers, according to a study from the Gallup organization, which defines the gig economy as one made up of a variety of arrangements – independent contractors, online

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'Aladdin' Goes Dark, Political and Not As Much Fun
By Rebecca Dravis,
12:18PM / Tuesday, June 18, 2019



Well, I liked this one more than "Dumbo." Which isn't saying much, because I didn't like "Dumbo" all that much. In fact, I haven't much liked any of the Disney live-action remakes of the classics. (Spoiler alert: I will not be seeing "The Lion King." I hate talking animals that aren't cartoons.)

But OK. "Aladdin" wasn't ALL awful.

We saw it at Hathaway's Drive-In Theatre under the stars, which is always fun - if you don't mind the bugs and the less-than-stellar sound quality. Yes, I know, both of those would be improved if we sat INSIDE the car, but I still don't know how that would work with four people. So

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Farley-Bouvier, Hinds Chat Environmental Issues At Pittsfield Forum
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:22AM / Tuesday, June 18, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state hopes to see more renewable energy from solar so it's incentivizing development.   However, the way the programs are currently established, solar often comes at the expense of cutting trees.   "We have perverse incentives for solar. It is cheaper for a  developer to come in and cut down a whole bunch of trees to do something for the environment," state Rep. Farley-Bouvier said.   The Pittsfield Democrat would like to see a shift in the way the projects are located. She said there are acres of rooftops available without solar but yet large scale projects go into wooded areas. Even in her neighborhood, there is a large

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Berkshires Beat: BNRC Upgrades Popular Trails for 2019 Summer Season
12:25PM / Monday, June 17, 2019
Trail facelifts

On Monday, June 10, state Rep. Smitty Pignatelli joined members of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC) board of directors, volunteers, staff and nature trail enthusiasts to unveil a redesigned trailhead kiosk and enhanced on-trail signage at BNRC's flagship conservation reserve, Yokun Ridge South at Olivia's Overlook. Similar upgrades have also been completed at 16 other BNRC trail sites across Berkshire County. All 54 BNRC reserves are open to the public year-round from dawn to dusk, free of charge.

Each updated kiosk features a large map of the reserve and its trail system; notes on the natural, cultural, and ownership history of the protected lands;

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Berkshires' Summer Jazz Camp Enrollment Open
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:15PM / Sunday, June 16, 2019
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Berkshires' Summer Jazz Camp returns this August and sign-ups are open now.    In mid-August, high school and middle school students throughout the county will get a chance to sit in with a group of master jazz musicians at Hoosac Valley High School.     "The students will be able to hear and play with some of the top musicians in the world today," professional trumpeter and North Adams native Richard Boulger said. "It is a real pleasure to see how the students are inspired by hearing our faculty. Not to mention, hearing how much the students progress in just a matter of days."   This is the second Jazz Camp

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'The Spy Behind Home Plate': Glove, Mask, Cloak-and-Dagger
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:05PM / Friday, June 14, 2019
"Get your scorecards. Get your scorecards. Can't tell the spies from the conspirators without a scorecard."   Such was just one of my thoughts after seeing filmmaker Aviva Kempner's fascinating, incredible and rather mind-blowing documentary about Morris "Moe" Berg, Major League catcher, Princeton (B.A.) and Columbia (LL.D.) graduate, speaker of 12 languages who studied Sanskrit at the Sorbonne and, oh, almost forgot, spy for the OSS.    Psst ... He was assigned to help undermine the Nazi atomic bomb program during WWII.    But what drives you crazy as you partake of Kempner's scholarly and entertaining treasure trough of the superbly

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