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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

4 Freedoms Workshops Explore Ways to Advocate, Connect
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:25PM / Sunday, April 29, 2018

Professor Frances Jones-Sneed gives the keynote addressing, urging the workshop participants to stand up against injustice. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Some came to share insights on their political experience, some wanted to know how they could change their communities, others to connect with like-minded people on issues important to them.    "Look at the people we have, these are the lead people in our county doing these things and they're talking to small groups," said Becky Mieir, organizer for the "Step Up: Empowering Ourselves" series of workshops held Saturday at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.   Nearly 100 area residents spent the


Spring Harbinger Butterflies Abound on Mount Greylock
By Tor Hansen, Community Submission
05:44PM / Saturday, April 28, 2018

Above, a mourning cloak, or Nymphalis antiopa, soaks up the sun after overwintering on the mountain. Right, a spring beauty is ready to bloom.   

ADAMS, Mass. — Under azure blue skies our sun is warming the ground story all around the woodlands of Mount Greylock, and the native butterflies are responding. Drawn out of winterlong hibernation, resident species are actively flitting about, searching for mates, and sipping both ground moisture and sap from oak and beech trees.

As April warmth pervades the trailside glens, as winter's remnant snows remain and recede, one may find joy in witnessing these showy denizens basking in vernal warmth, and dashing and


BCC Phi Theta Kappa Scholars Honored at State House Ceremony
04:09PM / Friday, April 27, 2018

BOSTON — Two Berkshire Community College students were honored by the Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office at a ceremony at the Massachusetts State House on April 18.

Iolani DeRis and Bridget Wnukowski were among a small group of scholars honored as the highest academic achievers of the community colleges system and were presented with medallions and certificates for being named to Phi Theta Kappa’s All-Massachusetts Academic Team.

Every year, MCCEO hosts this event at the State House in Boston to showcase the best and brightest of the 15 college system. The event is co-sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges, and the


MCLA Names Winner of Innovation Challenge
03:55PM / Friday, April 27, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts senior Shannon Cahill of Grafton was the winner of the college's second annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Her winning idea was for "Greylock Sound," a performing arts booking and promotion agency she co-founded in December 2017.

The challenge aims to match entrepreneurial students with resources and networking opportunities that will help them to make their ideas a reality. Also recognized at the competition as the runner-up was senior Ashley Anderson of Springfield, for "Kumba," a cross-platform, digital mental health counseling mobile phone application

For her winning idea, Cahill


Hiking Trail Loops Around Health Center
03:49PM / Friday, April 27, 2018

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Did you leave your CHP appointment with a prescription for a health-enhancing hike? No problem! CHP has a hiking path right outside the door of its Great Barrington Health Center.

Thanks to a 2016 collaboration between CHP, Berkshire Natural Resources Council, Greenagers and Great Barrington Trails and Greenways, your trip to the CHP’s Great Barrington Health Center can include a hike that can be short or long, depending on your choice at the fork in the trail.

In late 2016, CHP dedicated a newly constructed 1.5-mile hiking and walking trail, which connects a total of five miles of trails in the immediate vicinity. The CHP section was built by a


@theMarket: Peak Earnings Versus the Yield Curve
By Bill Schmick,
03:39PM / Friday, April 27, 2018
"Never a dull market" could be the motto of choice to describe stock market performance year-to-date. This week, we need to add two more concerns to the market's wall of worry.   "Peak earnings" is the first issue, which has been brought to the forefront by the 18-20 percent earnings gains reported by companies thus far for the first quarter. The bears would describe peak earnings as the peak of a growth cycle for a stock or a group of stocks such as an index like the S&P 500 or Russel 2000.   Typically during peak earnings, a company will report big "beats" in revenue and profits, but management will then guide investors'


BFAIR Celebrates Successes, Advocates at Annual Breakfast
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:24PM / Friday, April 27, 2018

Mayor Richard Alcombright was given the community partner award. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Chris May has a resume that is tough to rival.   He's a professional photographer. He's won the sportsmanship award on his high school track team. He's traveled the world. He's met David Ortiz. He's testified in front of senators and congressmen advocating for funding on behalf of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress.    And, he has Down syndrome.   The Newton-born 28-year-old is a "self-advocate" for those like him. His hope is that others can follow a path like he had, which started with inclusion programs at the elementary school

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MLB Pitch, Hit and Run Competition in Pittsfield May 12
10:00AM / Friday, April 27, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Baseball in the Berkshires will host a free Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run competition for area youth on Saturday, May 12, at 11 a.m. at Belanger Field.   Pitch, Hit and Run is the official skills competition of MLB. This grassroots program, sponsored by Scotts, is designed to provide youngsters with an opportunity to compete, free of charge, in a competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball and softball skills.   Boys and girls are divided into four age divisions: 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, and 13/14. They will have the chance to advance through four levels of competition, including a team championship at Fenway Park and the national


'I Feel Pretty': And So Will You
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
06:40PM / Thursday, April 26, 2018
It has long been said by altruistic philosophers, and famously iterated in 1966 by no less authority than David Ruffin and The Temptations, that "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep."    But alas, anyone who has spent any time on this planet chock full of monuments to physical splendor, and who has perhaps had the lesson harshly impressed in middle school, knows that all that well-meaning claptrap goes out the window when one is confronted with a comely face or a well-turned ankle.  There is no expression, "The great personality that launched a thousand ships."    Thus, even we really good looking people must commiserate with Amy Schumer's Renee Bennett


The Independent Investor: The Opioid Effect
By Bill Schmick,
06:29PM / Thursday, April 26, 2018
Opioids are killing us. Both literally, as well as from an economic point of view. The economy has already suffered over $1 trillion in lost potential and those losses appear to be growing by the hour.   Last year, 62,000 Americans fatally overdosed on some form of opioid. It is getting to the point that almost every one of us knows someone who is either addicted or died from these drugs. However, while death is a tragedy, we tend to ignore how much this problem is costing our society.   "You can't put a price tag on the death of a loved one," we say, but actually we can. It's called the "value of a Statistical Life," or VSL. Federal agencies routinely


Take Steps to Control Your Investment Taxes
03:17PM / Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tax season is finally over. Of course, how much you pay in taxes depends on a variety of factors, many of which you can't control. But you might give some thought to how you can manage your investment-related taxes.

Here are some suggestions to consider:

* Contribute to your employer's retirement plan. If your employer offers a 401(k) or similar plan, such as a 403(b) or 457(b), contribute as much as you can afford. The more pre-tax dollars you put in to your retirement plan, the lower your taxable income. Your employer also may offer a Roth 401(k) option, under which you invest after-tax dollars, so your annual income won’t be lowered and your withdrawals will be


State, Federal Officials to Showcase Housatonic River Projects
05:16PM / Tuesday, April 24, 2018
LENOX, Mass. — State and federal environmental officials will host an open house on May 1 to showcase restoration projects funded as a part of the first three rounds of the Massachusetts Housatonic River Watershed Restoration Program.    The open house will also include a discussion of the anticipated fourth and final round of funding for restoration projects to compensate for natural resources that were injured or lost as a result of the release of hazardous materials from the General Electric facility in Pittsfield into the Massachusetts portion of the Housatonic River watershed.    The Massachusetts Subcouncil of the Housatonic River Natural Resource Trustees


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