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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

'Black Panther': It's All Good
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
04:51PM / Thursday, March 01, 2018
As the film critiquing tumblers in my brain jumbled about during a viewing of Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther," one heck of an astute action-drama courtesy of Marvel Studios, I contemplated the complexities regarding one's point of view. Granted, this white, would-be silk stocking liberal was gratified by the racial and political wish fulfillment represented by the semi-secret, technologically advanced African kingdom of Wakanda where T'Challa, aka Black Panther, has just been elevated to the throne. But what remains of the kid in me took it a bit further.   I thought about heroes and what they meant to us in that portion of growing up that reveled in playing make


The Independent Investor: The Economy and What Could Go Right
By Bill Schmick,
04:13PM / Thursday, March 01, 2018
The markets are in a funk. Concern that Trump's tax cut will be too much, too late, has investors riled up. But there may be a flip side to this argument that bears watching.   First, the negatives, as authored by me way back when the tax cut was still being contemplated and the markets were riding high in anticipation of such. At the time, I voiced my concerns and it is worth repeating them.   Fiscal spending because of the Republican-inspired tax cut adds $1.5 trillion of stimulus to an economy that is already growing at a 3 percent clip. I bemoaned the fact that this tax cut was about eight years too late. Back then, I wrote that the fastest way to pull the economy out of


Berkshire Mall Bill Engrossed by State Senate
12:35PM / Thursday, March 01, 2018
BOSTON — The state Senate has engrossed a bill that would allow the Baker Hill Road District to own real property and enter into agreements related to the Berkshire Mall.    "This is an important economic development initiative for Lanesborough and northern Berkshire County," said state Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield. "By expanding the legal role of the Baker Hill Road District to include the redevelopment of the Berkshire Mall property, we gain a powerful new capacity to create jobs. I hope the district will develop an aggressive plan to position the complex as a regional revenue generator and host for thriving businesses."   H.3760, An Act relative


Capeless Stepping Down After 14 Years as District Attorney
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:33AM / Thursday, March 01, 2018

First Assistant District Attorney Paul Caccaviello will take over the office. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was 14 years ago, following the unexpected death of District Attorney Gerard D. Downing, that the first assistant, David F. Capeless was called on to step up.   Capeless was appointed to fill Downing's shoes and has routinely been voted in over the last 14 years. But now, Capeless is calling it quits and letting his first assistant take over.   Capeless will retire on March 15 and Gov. Charlie Baker will appoint First Assistant District Attorney Paul Caccaviello to the job.   "I am proud of what I have accomplished in my career, and I leave with my head


Snowfall Prediction: March Coming in Like a Lion? ROAR UPDATE
10:00AM / Thursday, March 01, 2018

What a difference a day makes. Snow enthusiasts are still keeping a close eye on a storm developing for Thursday and Friday, the first two days of March that could bring up to a foot of snow to parts of the Berkshires.

The National Weather Service is now forecasting "Heavy wet snow and gusty winds expected. Total snow accumulations of 5 to 10 inches. Some gusty winds to 40 to 50 mph are possible during the afternoon into the early evening."

 So as the saying goes, March could be coming in like a lion ... and then perhaps leaving like a lamb 31 days later, maybe bringing spring for good? We can hope!

Accuweather is continuing to hedge its bets a bit, calling for a wintry


Miss Hallís School Presents 'Cry-Baby'
02:25PM / Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Miss Hall's School will stage 'Cry-Baby' this weekend in Pittsfield.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Miss Hall’s School Theater Ensemble will bop back to the 1950s for its winter musical, "Cry-Baby," the stage adaptation of the cult-classic John Waters film.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 2; 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 3; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 4, in the Woods Theater of the Elizabeth Gatchell Klein Arts Center on the Miss Hall’s campus. General admission is $10, and reservations are recommended. Go online for tickets or call 413-443-6401. Also, please note, the performance and subject matter are PG-13 and not suitable for


BCC Workshops Focus on Small Business and Nonprofits
01:55PM / Wednesday, February 28, 2018

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Berkshire Community College's spring slate of workshops continue at its South County Center on Main Street in Great Barrington with classes tailored to the needs of small businesses and nonprofits.

Michael Cohen, marketing consultant, is offering a new workshop, "Human Marketing in the Digital Age," on Thursdays from March 1 to April 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. New technologies have given consumers a platform for publishing, networking, and organizing. User-generated content and conversation are now driving public perception while empowering individuals and consumers. This has created unprecedented business opportunities for individuals (versus


Make Sure You Choose the Right Financial Professional
11:21AM / Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What kind of lifestyle do you hope to have in retirement? Do you have a strategy to get there? If you don't have confidence in your plan, it may be time to engage a financial professional. But how do you choose the one who's right for you?

These days, you have more options than ever – including so-called "robo-advisors." Robo-advisors typically use algorithms to assemble investment portfolios, with little to no human supervision, after customers answer questions online. Generally, robo-advisors are fairly cheap, and their recommendations are usually based on sound investment principles such as diversification.

However, when considering a robo-advisor, you should


College Notes: February 2018
03:13PM / Monday, February 26, 2018

The trip was the culmination of a cross-cultural nursing course and required the participants to work in a hospital in Tanzania.  Aundrea Pansecchi of Adams, who is studying nursing at Southern Vermont College in Bennington, joined a other junior and senior students and faculty in early January to visit the country of Tanzania to experience health care and life in another culture.    The semester leading up to the trip was spent "book-learning" about politics, health care, government, agriculture, environment, social and lifestyle, culture, and religion in the East African country through the Cross-Cultural Nursing course taught by instructor Christa


Preschool, Kindergarten Registrations Scheduled Around County
01:45PM / Monday, February 26, 2018

Berkshire County schools are starting to schedule preschool and kindergarten registration dates for the 2018-19 school year. Schools can send their information to to be included on this list.

All students, regardless of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or homelessness, have equal access to the general education program and the full range of any occupational, vocational programs offered by public school districts.



The Adams-Cheshire Regional School District will be conducting a developmental preschool screening for all Adams and Cheshire 3- and 4-year-olds on Monday, March 5,


Berkshires Beat: SVC Receives Gift to Support Nursing Scholarships
12:50PM / Monday, February 26, 2018
Great gift

Southern Vermont College has received $100,000 from award-winning former IBM executive Nicholas M. Donofrio to support scholarships for new nursing students entering the bachelor of science in nursing program. The scholarship also applies to transfer students entering the BSN program. Distribution of The Nicholas Donofrio Distinguished Nursing Scholarship funds will begin in the Fall 2018 semester. The deadline to apply for the scholarship will be March 30, 2018, with mid-April decisions and notifications to applicants. In addition to meeting scholarship requirements, students applying for the BSN program must first meet admission requirements.

SVC's BSN program prepares


Ways & Means Holding Hearings on Human Services in Pittsfield
10:07AM / Monday, February 26, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier and state Sen. Adam G. Hinds will chair one of eight statewide fiscal 2019 state budget hearings on behalf of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means in Pittsfield on Monday, March 12.   These hearings focus on specific areas of state spending and help the House of Representatives and Senate  prepare their spending recommendations. The Pittsfield hearing is one of two focused on agencies under the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.   While the hearing is open to the public, testimony is limited to senior Baker administration officials by invitation of the committee only. It is expected that commissioners and


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