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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

'Fences': Scales the Dramatic Heights
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:32PM / Friday, January 06, 2017

Denzel Washington's phenomenally touching, multitextured performance in August Wilson's "Fences" sings a heartrending paean to every dad who struggled to make a living, raise a family and preserve his human dignity in the face of herculean obstacles. Plying one of the most complexly realized, tragic American figures since Arthur Miller's iconized Willy Loman, the philosophical, historical and psychological contemplations Washington plumbs are packed with seriocomic emotion.

This is filmed theater at its very best. Utilizing only four or five sets to occasionally supplement the working class, Pittsburgh back yard where most of the action takes place, Denzel


The Independent Investor: Gyms Are Counting on Your New Year's resolution
By Bill Schmick,
04:17PM / Thursday, January 05, 2017

Barbara Schmick tries out her new Peloton machine. While she's likely to keep going, most exercise resolutions fall short.

It's that time of the year again when people like me hate people like you. January is the month when all those good intentions to get healthy and fit translate into a 12 percent bump in health club memberships. If only all those Americans who join gyms this month would stick with it.

Sadly for them (but not for me) all those good intentions dissolve by the end of the first quarter. The health clubs of America get back to normal by March. Actually, 4 percent of new members won't make it past the end of January and 14 percent drop out by the end of


Hinds Sworn In As State Senator
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:28PM / Wednesday, January 04, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Adam Hinds was sworn in Wednesday as the Berkshires' newest state senator.   Hinds took the oath of office in the Senate Chambers on Beacon Hill on Wednesday to serve the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District. The Pittsfield Democrat won election in November to fill the shoes of Benjamin Downing, who chose not to run for re-election after 10 years in office.   "It was a profound honor to be sworn in today, during the opening proceedings of the 190th session of the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," Hinds said on Wednesday. "What a privilege it is to start the work of representing all citizens of the


Ski Butternut Joining World Record Attempt
12:26PM / Wednesday, January 04, 2017

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Ski Butternut is joining 80 resorts across the United States and Canada this Friday, Jan. 6, in trying to set a Guinness Book of World Records for "The World’s Largest Lesson."

All lessons will take place simultaneously in seven different time zones - 9 a.m. Alaska time,  10 a.m. Pacific time, 11 a.m. Mountain time, noon Central time, 1 p.m. Eastern time, 2 p.m. Atlantic time and 2:30 Newfoundland time (with the last two time zones in Canada only).

To encourage participation, and to mark January as National Learn to Ski/Snowboard month, Ski Butternut will offer a special $10 "First Timer Learn to Ski/Snowboard" package on


Consider Some New Year's (Financial) Resolutions
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:13PM / Wednesday, January 04, 2017

We have just opened the door to 2017, so you might be thinking about some New Year's resolutions. What's on your list this year? More visits to the gym? Learning a new language? Mastering the perfect beef bourguignon? All worthy ambitions, of course, but why not also include some financial resolutions?

By reviewing your needs and goals, you can identify some resolutions that are particularly relevant to your own situation. But here are a few suggestions:

* Build an emergency fund. If you needed a major car repair or a new furnace, or faced some other large, unanticipated expense, could you cope with it? If you didn't have the money readily available, you might have to dip


'Why Him?': Why Waste Your Money?
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:18PM / Tuesday, January 03, 2017

For parents of a daughter approaching marrying age, James Franco's Laird Mayhew is your worst nightmare realized. On the positive side of the ledger, the Silicon Valley mega-billionaire would doubtless be a good provider. But topping the much longer list of negatives, he is a filthy mouthed libertine who thinks nothing of regaling you with highlights of the sensual pleasures he has enjoyed with your dear little offspring. Paired with a raft of other, freethinking improprieties and all manner of distressing chutzpah, he begs the question, "Why Him?"

It's a pretty good idea for a film. We're all interested in the vexing, unexplainable decision making that comprises the


Happy New Year From
iBerkshires Staff,
12:01AM / Sunday, January 01, 2017

We are hoping all of our readers have had a happy holiday season. Thank you for making iBerkshires your go-to source for local news. We appreciate your support and will continue to provide you with the relevant information you need in your daily lives as we enter 2017.


Winter Healthier Living Workshop Helps Patients Manage Chronic Pain
02:58PM / Friday, December 30, 2016

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Living with a chronic pain is never easy or straightforward. The Healthier Living Workshop, a free, fun, and interactive six-week educational program in southern Vermont, can help patients manage symptoms and gain skills to live their best life possible every day.

Registration for the winter session is open now. The workshop is scheduled 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays Feb. 2-March 9 at the Vermont Department of Health, 324 Main St., Room 180, Bennington. Sessions are confidential, and family and supportive friends are welcome.

The Healthier Living Workshops were created by Stanford University and are sponsored through a grant from the Vermont Blueprint for Health.


State Legislature Votes To Delay Recreational Marijuana
Staff Reports,
02:45PM / Wednesday, December 28, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state Legislature voted to push back the timeline for the opening of recreational marijuana shops.   On Wednesday in an informal session with just a few lawmakers present, the Legislature fast-tracked a bill to delay the implementation of recreational marijuana for six months. The move pushes the timeline back for marijuana shops to open from the anticipated Jan. 1, 2018 to July 2018 - and likely the Berkshires will have to wait even longer.   "The legislature has a responsibility to implement the will of the voters while also protecting public health and public safety. This short delay will allow the necessary time for the Legislature to


Estate Planning Tips for Blended Families
Submitted by Edward Jones,
02:38PM / Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Most of us need to do some type of estate planning, but it's especially important if you are part of a "blended" family. And the best time to start is now – before these plans need to be implemented.

Estate planning can be complex, so you will need help from a qualified legal professional. But here are a few general suggestions that can be suitable for blended families:

* Update beneficiary designations – and think about multiple beneficiaries. Update the beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts and insurance policies to reflect the reality of your blended family. These designations can supersede the instructions you provided in your will. So if your


Norman Rockwell Museum to Present Workshops for College Students and Adults
01:25PM / Tuesday, December 27, 2016

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Norman Rockwell Museum will start 2017 with a series of winter break art workshops, intended for college students and adults, during the month of January. Students of all skill levels are welcome, and will have the opportunity to advance their work and strengthen their portfolio.

From Monday, Jan. 2, through Friday, Jan. 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the museum will offer classical drawing techniques with illustrator/video game artist Patrick O'Donnell. Participants will explore technical, traditional image building techniques for drawing the human figure during this weeklong workshop. Focused on the methods and teachings of master draughtsman and anatomist


Eleven BArT Scholars Receive John and Abigail Adams Scholarship
12:48PM / Tuesday, December 27, 2016

ADAMS, Mass. — Berskhire Arts & Technology Charter Public School has announced that 11 members of the senior class are recipients of the John and Abigail Adams scholarship.

Recipients of these scholarships, upon acceptance, are entitled to attend any Massachusetts state school tuition free.  

Kaitlyn Anderson, Christopher DiCarlo, Christopher Doubiago, Peter Elliott, Emily Failla, Tessa Langsdale, Emma Madden, Jason Mills, Alain Morrissette, Dean Parise, and Kelsey Rod all received this award.

In order for a student to qualify, he or she must score "advanced" on the Grade 10 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests in English/language arts,


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