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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

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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@theMarket: Markets Expect Fed to Cut Rates
By Bill Schmick,
04:08PM / Friday, June 14, 2019
Investors can credit the Fed once again for the market's revival thus far in June. The buying is fueled by expectations of three rate cuts by no later than December. Is that wishful thinking?   While only 23 percent of investors expect a rate cut next week when the Fed meets, 83 percent do expect a cut in July. The odds of another cut in September are now at 63.8 percent, with a third cut in December, which is expected by over half of market participants.   Given that the Fed's job description is to keep inflation under control, while supporting robust employment, one or the other of those variables will need to change in order for the Fed to cut rates. The inflation rate

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CATA Breaks Ground for New Art Center & Headquarters
02:23PM / Friday, June 14, 2019

The 6,400 square foot center is designed by Clark & Green Architects. It's expected to take about a year to renovate the structure.  GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Access for the Arts broke ground on Wednesday morning for a new art center at 420 Stockbridge Road.   The center will be a permanent home for CATA and allow the organization to expand its innovative arts programs for people with disabilities.   The two-story, 6,400-square-foot facility will double the organization's existing studio space, with two studios — one for visual arts and writing, the other for dance and performing arts. CATA's new arts center will also embody the

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Sandisfield Arts Center Presents 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'
10:51AM / Friday, June 14, 2019

SANDISFIELD, Mass. — Roald Dahl’s beloved classic "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" will be brought to life by the Sandisfield Players at the Sandisfield Arts Center this Father's Day weekend, with evening performances at 7 p.m. Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, and a matinee at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 16. 

This production is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by Ben Luxon and the Sandisfield Players. While Luxon has directed such memorable productions as "Shakespeare Unchained," "Under Milkwood" and "Our Town, "Charlie" is the first musical the group has undertaken. 

The production includes

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The Independent Investor: The Suburban Dilemma
By Bill Schmick,
04:25PM / Thursday, June 13, 2019
Over the last decade, the percentage of Baby Boomers, those aged 65 to 74, living in the suburbs increased by almost 50 percent. Over the next 20 years, that age group will double in size, and by 2040, 1 in every 5 Americans will be age 85 or older. The majority of them will continue to live in the suburbs.   Older adults, it appears, move less frequently than any other age group. Over the last 10 years, only 6 percent of persons over 65 years of age moved, according to AARP, compared to 17 percent of those under 65. It's called "aging in place," which is a standing trend that describes how older Americans prefer to stay in their homes and never move. They are attached to

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MCLA Launches Institute of Arts and Humanities
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:00PM / Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Professor Lisa Donovan, director other institute, center, speaks with attendees before symposium begins.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is partnering with the area's myriad cultural entities to further its mission as an inclusive educational institution.   The college launched its new Institute for Arts and Humanities on Wednesday morning with a three-day conference on diversity, equity and inclusion that included an address that night by activist and commentator Nikki Giovanni and a lunchtime talk by Mathew Knowles, father of Beyonce, on Thursday.   The institute was made possible by a three-year $360,000 grant from The

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Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival Set for Saturday
04:23PM / Wednesday, June 12, 2019
ADAMS, Mass. — Bowe Field will become a fantasy land this Saturday as the fourth annual Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival emerges from its magical realm.    The locally organized "Whimsical Fantasy Celebrating the Arts" is a family friendly affair featuring artisans, vendors, music and lots of activities for young and old. The day will be packed with new entertainment and the Queen's Quest, plus the popular Faerie Village build.    Attendees are more than welcome to come in fantasy costume but don't worry if you've left your wings behind — you can embellish a new pair at the fair.    Meet the Faerie Queen and her court,

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Summer Music Festival Season is About to Begin
by Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
12:24PM / Wednesday, June 12, 2019

After a particularly severe and brutally cold winter, the upcoming seasonal musical offerings will be balm to both popular music and classical aficionados, who, each June, anticipate the feast of music these diverse festivals and series present.

These are the music festivals that make our locality a cultural capital, drawing thousands to hear great music – popular, classical chamber, symphony, choral, opera, musical theater, contemporary classical, et al – to experience legendary artists perform masterworks within the verdant hills and dales of the Berkshires and southwestern Vermont we call home.

For this first week of Classical Beat, here's a capsule preview of six of

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BBBBBzzz: Bombino, Berkshire Jazz Start the Pop Season with a Bang
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
11:57AM / Wednesday, June 12, 2019

An American Public Media "Live from Here" broadcast with Chris Thile kicks off the early Tanglewood season on Saturday, June 15.

Summer is almost here, and so is pop, jazz, dance, musical theater and new music throughout the region. As before, I'll preview what's coming up each week to help you kick off your shoes.

Hopefully, I'll encourage you to attend a performance of music you know you love, or even music you don't know but that you might love. A great, varied season awaits from Great Barrington to North Adams.

 

Tanglewood Music Festival

Let's begin with Tanglewood, in Lenox, with its early season non-classical lineup in the Shed. On Saturday,

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