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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Musical Festival Season Appears on the Horizon
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:00PM / Wednesday, June 13, 2018

With the upcoming summer music festival season almost upon us, music lovers in droves will soon flock to the Berkshires, Franklin County and southern Vermont to immerse themselves in classical music. Call it a reward for enduring a long, hard winter, or a yearly renewal of the soul via the musical preachments of the great masters.
Whatever the reason, the classical canon, including a full summer's festival within a festival celebrating the wonderful music of Leonard Bernstein (it's his 100th birthday), will nurture and inspire us anew at this special time and in this magical place - the Berkshires and environs.

My goal, as your musical guide, will be to assist you in choosing

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Father's Day: Lessons About Money Can Be Priceless Gifts to Children
11:46AM / Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Father's Day is almost upon us. If you're a dad, you certainly may enjoy getting cards and gifts, of course. But, over time, you will gain even greater satisfaction by what you can give your children – such as some valuable financial lessons.

These lessons can include the following:

Setting goals: If you are contributing to an IRA and a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored plan, explain how you build these accounts now, while you are working, so you'll have enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement someday. And you can bring your children into the picture, too, by telling them that another financial goal is saving enough to help send them to college or to further

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State Officials Launch Passenger Rail Expansion Efforts
04:43PM / Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The state is also launching a pilot passenger service between Greenfield and Springfield next year, from the Olver Transit Center. SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The state is launching the first step in determining the feasibility of east/west passenger rail between Pittsfield and Boston.    Gov. Charlie Baker, surrounded by state and federal officials at Union Station, announced on Tuesday that the state Department of Transportation is soliciting requests for proposals for a consultant team to study the feasibility of east-west passenger rail service, the launch of a pilot for passenger rail service between Greenfield and Springfield, and one-seat service through Springfield to

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College Notes: June 2018
03:37PM / Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Student Emma Whittum of Williamstown, a junior at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., studied in Spain during spring 2018 semester. The program she participated in is one of 100 study-abroad programs offered to undergraduates.

 

Annie Wenger-Schulman of Pittsfield, a graduate of the Advanced Inquiry Program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, recently traveled to Mongolia with the program's Project Dragonfly. Wenger-Schulman studied the ecology of steppe ecosystems, with a focus on the Pallas' cat, Przewalski's horse and participatory conservation media. Project Dragonfly's Earth Expeditions graduate courses offers firsthand educational and scientific research at

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Biz Briefs: Berkshire Realtors Host Battle of the Bartenders
02:47PM / Monday, June 11, 2018
Bartending for a cause

The Berkshire Realtors will host an evening of competitive bartending on Monday, June 11, at Gala Restaurant & Bar at Orchards Hotel in Williamstown. Six teams will square off in half-hour shifts to see who can raise the most tips during their time behind the bar. Proceeds support the Berkshire Immigrant Center.

The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at Gala, located at 222 Adams Road (Route 2) in Williamstown. Bartending teams and schedules for the evening are: 5-5:30 p.m. Maureen Baran & Erin Scott; 5:30-6 p.m. Buffy Lord & Susan Gold; 6-6:30 p.m. Brooke Mead & Joe Bergeron; 6:30-7 p.m. Seth Alden & Terry Lamb; 7-7:30 p.m. Jason Dohaney & Sarah

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Hinds Sets Community Outreach Events for June
02:29PM / Monday, June 11, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The staff of state Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will host two community outreach events during June.   The senator's staff will be available to meet with constituents in the communities of New Ashford and Worthington for this month's staff office hours on Wednesday, June 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, from 11 to 1, New Ashford Town Hall, located at 188 Mallery Road Wednesday, June 27, from 11 to 1, Worthington Town Hall, located at 160 Huntington Road All residents of the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Senate District are invited to participate in these sessions if

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Berkshires Beat: CATA Publishes First Book
10:26AM / Monday, June 11, 2018
CATA book

Community Access to the Arts has published its first-ever collection of artwork and poetry, titled "You Can't Replace Yourself," featuring work by 46 artists and writers with disabilities. CATA celebrates the release with a Book Launch event at the CATA Studio in Great Barrington on Tuesday, June 12, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

"You Can't Replace Yourself" is a window into the lyrical and deeply felt work of writers and artists with disabilities. It draws from 25 years of poems, paintings and drawings created in CATA's weekly arts workshops. From touching observations and fantastic dreams, to tender musings on love, life, and hairdryers, "You

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'Adrift': Cast Away in an Inconvenient Genre
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:28PM / Friday, June 08, 2018
If your idea of a good time is anguishing aghast on tenterhooks as a couple of shipwrecked young lovers try to survive against all odds in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, director Baltasar Kormákur's "Adrift," loosely based on a true story, is for you. I, for one, don't really get the thrill, and have yet to receive a satisfactory response from either horror film or disaster flick aficionados when I question their inclination. Neither genre is my cup of tea. Just wondering what the morning mail will bode is more than enough suspense for me. Thus, I surprised myself.   In service to my fellow moviegoers who enjoy the blood pressure rush that film-induced fright

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Superior Court Briefs: May 30 - June 7
Staff Reports,
02:42PM / Friday, June 08, 2018
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Wednesday, May 30.   Raekwan Jackson, 22, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.   The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on March 21, 2018.    Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Wednesday, June 6.   William Fiske III, 29, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of breaking and entering in  the daytime, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, larceny from a building, assault and battery, negligent operation of a

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The Independent Investor: Trump's trade war
By Bill Schmick,
03:52PM / Thursday, June 07, 2018
Over the weekend, the G-7 group of nations met to denounce the recent actions of the United States. This coming Friday, these same leaders convene in Quebec. President Trump will attend and seems determined to face them down.   Ever since the Trump administration announced plans to raise tariffs on imported steel and aluminum by 25 percent and 10 percent respectively, our allies have been livid. Some are referring to the upcoming meeting as the G-6, plus the United States. You've got to hand it to the president, he doesn't back off, but given the circumstances, maybe he should.   I doubt that anyone in this country believes the present trade agreements we have signed

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WCVB Pulled From Berkshire TV Lineups; Lawmakers Petition For It Back
Staff Reports,
10:43AM / Wednesday, June 06, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Spectrum is pulling WCVB Boston, Channel 5, from its lineup and Berkshire lawmakers are petitioning to get the station back.   Wednesday morning the station went dark on many televisions across the county. The change follows the removal of WWLP Channel 22 from the lineup last year. Now, state Rep. John Barrett and state Sen. Adam Hinds are calling on the company to bring the stations back.   "I was most disappointed this morning to see that our friends at Spectrum removed WCVB Channel 5 from its Berkshire County lineup. I was still holding out hope that North Adams would determine that Spectrum had breached its contract and would be referring the

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BMC Registered Nurses Plan to Strike Again
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:03AM / Tuesday, June 05, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The nurses' union has re-issued its plans to strike after lengthy negotiations Monday.   The Massachusetts Nurses Association's Berkshire Medical Center chapter and the hospital have been attempting to settle a contract for more than a year and a half after the last contract expired in September 2016. In October, the nurses went on a one-day strike that was followed by a four-day lockout.    In February, the nurses again issued a strike notice but withdrew it at the last minute as progress was seemingly made. After multiple negotiation sessions since, with the latest being on Monday, no settlement was reached and the union has again re-issued

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