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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Mack Molding Donates $5M Toward SVHC's ER Renovation
02:16PM / Tuesday, June 26, 2018
BENNINGTON, Vt. — Mack Molding, the privately-owned business of Don Kendall and his family, has donated $5 million for Southwestern Vermont Health Care's emergency department expansion and renovation project at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.    "The Kendall Emergency Department" will be unveiled at a ribbon-cutting event once the future project is approved by the state and construction is completed. The gift constitutes the largest in the health system's history since Henry W. Putnam Sr. bequeathed the Bennington public water system for the construction of the community hospital more than 100 years ago.    "Mack Molding is pleased and

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Berkshire Museum Seeks Private Sales in Next Round
Staff Reports,
07:16PM / Monday, June 25, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Museum has selected nine more works of art to be sold toward its goal of $55 million that museum officials say is required to secure the institution's future.    Thirteen pieces have been sold by auction or private sale. Sotheby's will be working with the museum to find private sales for seven more works and will auction two in September.    The century-old museum's decision to deaccession parts of its 40,000-piece collection was announced almost a year ago to fund a $60 million plan to modernize and update the aging institution and develop an endowment to continue its operations. Without the funds, officials say the

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Berkshires Beat: VanSant Honored as 2018 Unsung Hero
11:03PM / Sunday, June 24, 2018
Congratulations

Gwendolyn VanSant of Great Barrington was honored as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women’s (MCSW) 2018 class of Unsung Heroines during a State House ceremony on Wednesday, June 20.  State Sen. Adam Hinds nominated VanSant for this recognition because of her leadership in the Berkshires on matters of diversity, cultural competence and coalition building for justice and equity. In total, the Commission named 130 women from across the state their 2018 Unsung Heroines.  

VanSant is the chief executive officer and co-founding director of Multicultural BRIDGE, a grassroots organization dedicated to catalyzing change and integration

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@theMarket: Ignore the Noise and Profit
By Bill Schmick,
03:51PM / Friday, June 22, 2018
The world is in turmoil. The news is all bad. Trump is threatening to up the ante on tariffs. NAFTA is kaput. Our trade partners hate us. China won't back down and, if you have time to spare, you are reading about immigrant kids locked in Texas dog cages by order of the president. So why is the stock market holding up?   The fundamental reason remains the same. Under all the muck, there is and will continue to be a bid under the stock market. In past columns, I have explained why — corporate stock buybacks, M&A, higher dividends coupled with a strong economy and low-interest rates.   If you look at the technicals, which I do, every sell-off seems to stop at a

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Superior Court Briefs: June 18
Staff Reports,
01:25PM / Friday, June 22, 2018
Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Monday, June 18.   Peter Meadow, 53, of Lenox admitted the facts of his case were sufficient to find him guilty on single counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a disabled person, and caretaker abuse on a disabled person.   His case was ordered to be continued without a finding for one year. Meadow assaulted a student between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 while working at Eagleton School.   Michael Crump, 41, of Canaan, Conn. pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.   He was ordered

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'First Reformed': An Inconvenient Proof
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
08:21PM / Thursday, June 21, 2018
It is unfortunate. But it only makes complete sense that Paul Schrader's dark and starkly truthful "First Reformed" will be one of 2018's most important movies. Whether or not you like its profoundly intense take on current events and how that intersects with the crisis of conscience Ethan Hawke's Reverend Ernst Toller is experiencing, the film is representative of its time.   Unlike in the Great Depression, when cheerful movies tried to paste things over until happy times were here again, this intense, artistic muckrake dives headlong into the tribulation. But expect no answers as we witness Reverend Toller navigate the whims, wiles and sometimes disingenuous

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The Independent Investor: The Next Recession
By Bill Schmick,
05:27PM / Thursday, June 21, 2018
Over half the economists on Wall Street believe that by the end of 2020, we will experience our first economic downturn in years. If so, when might you begin to prepare for a rocky two-year period for all of us?   The good news is that we still have another year or so of stock market gains, job growth and more importantly, wage growth. As it stands, the U.S. is currently enjoying its second-longest economic expansion in history with an unemployment rate that hasn't been this low in decades. Wage growth, after languishing for years, is expected to top 3 percent by the end of 2018, while GDP could achieve greater than 3 percent this year and a further 2.5 percent next year.   So

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Four Berkshire Women Celebrated as Unsung Heroines
10:51AM / Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sen. Adam Hinds welcomes Great Barrington's Unsung Heroine Gwendolyn VanSant and her husband, Sam VanSant, at the State House.   BOSTON – Four Berkshire County women were honored as members of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women's 2018 class of Unsung Heroines during a State House ceremony on Wednesday.    Gwendolyn VanSant of Great Barrington, Sabrina Tan of Lee, Pauline Wheeler of Hinsdale, and Judy Grinnell of North Adams were among the 130 women from across that state were welcomed were welcomed by state officials.    Wheeler was nominated by state Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru, and Grinnell, founder of the Hoosic River

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Cecropia, Our Sylvan King
By Tor Hansen, Guest Column
07:15PM / Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Soleil Osprey Cole, taken some years ago in Wellfleet, who found a rainbow larvae and cared for it until it emerged as a cecropia moth the following year. Below, a watercolor by Hansen of 'Cecropia Moth Lifecycle with Blackburnian and Wilson's Warblers.'  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — So majestic is Hyalophora cecropia in appearance and biology that our sylvan king of the realm is a fitting title.   Just how this regal silk moth can engineer survival despite an inborn handicap is to its credit all the more remarkable. That such a resourceful creature can change form, starting with a tiny egg advancing to an enticing armored caterpillar, to a

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Letter: 180 Households Are Saving With Community Solar
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Wednesday, June 20, 2018

To the Editor:

Solstice announced that only 20 spots remain in a set of Barre solar gardens, giving Berkshire County households the chance to support local, clean energy and save on their electricity costs.

The projects, which together total 2 megawatts (MW) of production capacity, were built by Community Energy Inc., a renewable energy developer that has built nearly 700 MW of solar capacity in its nearly two decades of experience.

Community solar is a model for residential solar that allows households to enroll in a local shared solar array and see savings on their electricity costs. Because community solar requires no changes to a participant's property, the projects are open to

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Big Names, Great Popular Music Land in Berkshires
By Grace Lichtenstein, Special to iBerkshires
02:52PM / Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Yes, it’s still early in the season. But lots of toe-tapping pleasures await.

First things first: If you don't have your tickets to the Barrington Stage's "The Royal Family of Broadway," a world premiere, stop reading this column for a moment and buy them right now. The show has garnered rave reviews everywhere — in the Wall Street Journal, the Albany Times Union and elsewhere. It sounds like a cinch that the show will eventually make it to Broadway itself. But it's here in Pittsfield now — through July 7. Find details online.

 

Tanglewood Music Festival

The Tanglewood pop season is already in high gear. This weekend, Andy Grammer's debut

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Classical 'High Season' Bursts Upon the Scene
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
02:20PM / Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It's well known that the Berkshires and environs are a mecca for classical music lovers. With the upcoming tourist high season – from late-June through October – concert activity increases exponentially, offering listeners a cornucopia of musical delights to please every taste.

This week, three magnificent presenter "T"s share the spotlight, offering fabulous musical pleasures: Tanglewood, Tannery Pond Concerts and Taconic Music.

 

Tanglewood Music Festival

Tanglewood in Lenox, the world's grandest outdoor summer music festival, is the summer home of the Boston Symphony, and offers outstanding and varied classical performances from Saturday, June 30,

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