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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Home Equity Can Pay for Long-Term Care
By Bill Schmick,
04:54PM / Wednesday, July 03, 2019
A home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) might simply be a fancy term for a reverse mortgage, but there are an increasing number of advisers and planners who are using them for an entirely different strategic planning purpose.   If you ask most couples in their 60s and beyond what is one of the greatest fears for their future, I'm betting that going bankrupt and/or losing their home and life savings as a result of nursing home bills would be right up there near the top.   We all have horror stories to tell of how one or both spouses needed to go into a nursing home and the costs drained all their assets and then some. Before they could apply for Medicaid, they had to go

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The Three Ts: Tanglewood, Taconic, Tannery Pond
11:05AM / Wednesday, July 03, 2019
 
Pianist Emanuel Ax kicks off the Tanglewood classical programming at 8 p.m. Friday, July 5. (Photos by Lisa Marie Mazzucco)

Tanglewood, the nation's largest and most prestigious summer music presenter, opens its 82nd classical festival season this week. Here's a rundown of the concerts in the Shed and in Ozawa Hall, and also the amazing and elaborate related events in the just-opened Tanglewood Linde Center complex of buildings.

Why go? To be amazed! Read about the stellar music making, with superstar performers interpreting great music from across historical eras – much of it beloved favorites by audiences worldwide, and for the many personal and historical

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Work Toward Your Own Financial Independence Day
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:41AM / Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Once again, it's time for fireworks, picnics and parades as the nation celebrates Independence Day. Collectively, we enjoy many liberties, but some freedoms can be elusive – and financial freedom is one of them. What actions can you take to help yourself eventually declare your own financial independence?

For starters, you'll want to determine what financial independence means to you. Is it the liberty to meet all your cash flow needs? The freedom to retire comfortably, at the age you choose? The ability to set up the kind of legacy you'd like to leave?

If any or all of these things are important to you, consider the following suggestions:

* Liberate yourself from

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Paris, Brown Lead Teams to Giorgi League Wins
10:09PM / Tuesday, July 02, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Derek Paris scored 18 points Tuesday to lead the Mount Greylock boys basketball team to a 44-40 win over McCann Tech in the John Giorgi Summer Basketball League.   Toby Foehl scored 13 and pulled down nine rebounds in the win.   McCann Tech got 11 points from Jackson Owensby.   In Tuesday's other game, Monument Mountain's Dion Brown had a double-double with 18 points and 17 boards as the Spartans topped Hoosac Valley, 61-41.   Conner Hanavan matched Brown with 18 points, and Nick Robbins had 13 points and 10 rebounds.   Izaha Stubbs led Hoosac Valley with 14 points.   On Wednesday at Noel Field, it will be men's league action

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Red, White, Blue Plus Grease Week for Pop Fans
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
11:48AM / Tuesday, July 02, 2019

From Stockbridge to Boston, pop fans know what to expect as the mid-week Fourth of July celebration approaches: Sweet Baby James at Tanglewood — but first, there's a great Josh Groban show tonight.

Meanwhile at the Guthrie Center in Great Barrington: more great folk music, while Jacob’s Pillow features live music accompaniment to a Merce Cunningham tribute. That, a new production of "Grease" and more.

 

Tanglewood

Hope you have your tickets to James Taylor on Wednesday and Thursday as the Shed and the lawn are both sold out for the annual visit of James Taylor, beloved bard of the Berkshires. However, you can still hear great pop music tonight (Tuesday, July

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Fourth of July Festivities Include Parades, Fireworks
08:01AM / Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Festivities marking the nation's 243rd birthday will be held around the Berkshires. All events are on Thursday July 4, unless otherwise noted. Planning a trip to Boston? See MassDOT's traffic information.

A list of what's open and closed on the holiday can be found here.

Boston

The annual July 4 Esplanade Events are July 3 night practice (no fireworks) and Thursday night with fireworks following the Boston Pops, which begin at 8. This year's event features a flyover, Queen Latifah and Arlo Guthrie. MBTA usually runs free after the July 4 concert. More information here.


Lenox

Shakespeare & Company is hosting its annual free celebration with music and activities, with

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Holiday Hours: Independence Day
08:01AM / Tuesday, July 02, 2019

  Above, the famous John Trumbull painting depicting the presentation of the Declaration to John Hancock. John Adams is standing on the right of the Committee of Five. Right, the Bill of Rights currently on display at Williams College.

Independence Day will be celebrated Thursday, July 4. It is a federal holiday marking the ratification of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Representatives from 13 original colonies, of which Massachusetts was a leader, actually voted on July 2 at the Second Continental Congress to declare their independence from Great Britain. The Declaration formalizing the decision — and giving the reasons for doing so — was written

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Berkshire All-Stars Fall in State Semi-Final
08:48PM / Monday, July 01, 2019
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. -- Host Marlborough scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning Monday to defeat the Berkshire All-Stars, 6-2, in the Cal Ripken Baseball 12-and-under Western Massachusetts State Tournament semi-finals.   Griffin McElroy hit a solo home run, and Roshan Warriar singled to drive in a run.   Dominic Velasco started on the mound and went three innings before handing the ball to McElroy, who struck out three in two innings of work.   The Berkshire All-Stars advanced to Monday's semi-final by going 3-1 in pool play over the weekend.

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Berkshire All-Stars Cal Ripken Team Reaches 12U State Semi-Final
12:34PM / Monday, July 01, 2019
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Berkshire Cal Ripken 12-and-under All-Stars this weekend went 3-1 in advancing to Monday evening's semi-final of the Western Massachusetts State Tournament.   The Berkshire team started its tournament with a 9-0 win over Frontier behind a combined two-hitter from pitchers Jake Duquette and Ben Kelly.   Duquette struck out a pair and allowed two hits in three innings before handing the ball to Kelly, who also struck out two.   Griffin McElroy went 2-for-2 with a double and a pair of RBIs, and Caleb Petruzella was 2-for-3 with a double and RBIs in the win.   Roshan Warriar doubled, and Kelly went 2-for-3 in a nine-hit Berkshire

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Hinds Sets Community Outreach Events for July
12:00PM / Monday, July 01, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The staff of state Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will host two community outreach events during July.   The senator's staff will be available to meet with constituents in the communities of Monroe and New Marlborough for this month's staff office hours on Wednesday, July 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Conference Room, Monroe Town Hall, 3C School St. New Marlborough Town Hall, 807 Mill River Southfield Road

Appointments are not necessary but can be booked in advance by calling the Pittsfield office at 413-344-4561 or the Williamsburg office at 413-768-2373. These office hours provide an opportunity for those seeking assistance

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Berkshires Beat: Shakespeare & Co. Hosts Fourth of July Celebration
11:45AM / Monday, July 01, 2019
'We Hold These Truths'

In special partnership with BRIDGE, Shakespeare & Company host its annual Fourth of July Community Celebration "We Hold These Truths" from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, at 70 Kemble St. in Lenox. The event includes music, children's crafts and activities, and a public reading of one of the most stirring and influential documents in our country's history, The Declaration of Independence. This event is free, and an all-American barbeque will be available for purchase.
 
In addition, the Amy Ryan Band returns to perform a unique mix of country/rock blues. Shakespeare & Company artists and special guests Rep. William

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County Youth Soccer Teams Compete at Mass Tournament of Champions
Community submission,
09:44PM / Sunday, June 30, 2019
LANCASTER, Mass. -- Six county teams qualified for the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions over the weekend.   The girls seventh- and eighth-grade Berkshire Hills Breakers team advanced to the Division II state semifinal after going undefeated through the preliminary round of the tournament with a win and two ties.   The girls 7/8 Pittsfield Soccer Club Deluce team narrowly missed advancing to the Division I semifinal with two wins in the preliminary round.   Other area participants included the boys 7/8 grade Berkshire Hills United team in Division I and the boys 7/8 grade Pittsfield Soccer Club Ajax team in Division II.   The boys 5/6 Williamstown Thunder Beasts and

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