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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Holiday Events and Tree Lightings 2018
11:15AM / Friday, December 07, 2018

'Tis the season to be merry and bright. Planning a holiday event? Let us know at iBerkshires.com. (Visit our Holiday Bazaars and Craft Fairs list for holiday craft fairs.( And see below for a guide to Christmas tree lightings in towns across the Berkshires.

The city of Pittsfield is offering free downtown parking for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve and Christmas on Fridays Dec. 7, 14, 21, and 28. There will also be a week of free parking starting Dec. 17 through Dec. 21. Parking is always free in the evenings and weekends.

 

Holiday Events

 

Thursday, Dec. 13

Pittsfield: UNICO will sponsoring a pasta dinner to benefit the Eagle Santa Fund at Hillcrest Academy, 400

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The Independent Investor: Will Our Country's Military Win the Next War?
By Bill Schmick,
10:51AM / Friday, December 07, 2018
There was a time, not long ago, when most Americans would answer that question in the affirmative without much thought. It was one of those "truisms" that we didn't give much thought. But today, many experts are debating that answer.   Back in the day, after World War II, our military prowess, (aided by the development of the atomic bomb) was unquestioned throughout the world. Growing up, it was never a question of spending on defense for me, it was simply how much. Republicans wanted more, Democrats wanted less. Today, not only is the amount of spending crucial but also its predictability and even more importantly, what those billions are spent on.   The

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Harvest Festivals and Craft Fairs 2018
10:20AM / Friday, December 07, 2018

Fall has arrived, bringing with it many craft fairs and harvest festivals around the Berkshires. This list will be updated as we get more information. Have an event to add? Email us at info@iberkshires.com.

 

Saturday, Dec. 8

Adams: The Adams Free Library Friends will host a Small Town Holiday Sale from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to benefit the library. All FAFL clothing will be on sale at reduced prices.  Also available will be books, baked goods, Lottery Christmas Tree Raffle, 2019 Keepsake calendars, Christmas Cards and items from local vendors.

Pittsfield: Shire City Sanctuary hosts its annual Holiday Shindy from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will feature more than 50 artisan vendors,

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State Crafting Plan For Unique Issues of Rural Towns
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Friday, December 07, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Rural towns can have unique challenges apart from their urban counterparts. And now the state is taking a closer look at these issues.    In 2015, the Legislature created the Rural Policy Advisory Commission and this year the group has been on a listening tour to dig into problems and situations that smaller towns are grappling with.   On Thursday, the tour was in Berkshire County to get a better understanding of the issues here.   "It will be the first time Massachusetts has really focused on rural areas," said Linda Dunlavy, the Franklin County representative on the commission.    Dunlavy said Secretary of Housing and

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South County's Becker Pond Dam Makes Priority Project List
04:22PM / Thursday, December 06, 2018
MOUNT WASHINGTON, Mass. — Restoration of a mile of Schenob Brook and the removal of the Becker Pond Dam have been named as priority projects for the state.    The Baker-Polito administration made the designation on Thursday for Schenob Brook/Becker Pond Dam Removal Project along with 11 other river and wetland restoration projects across the commonwealth.   As priority projects through the Department of Fish and Game's Division of Ecological Restoration, they are now eligible for technical services, including data collection, engineering, design work, permitting, project management and grants.   "Ecological restoration is an important tool for local

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Student Could Face Charges in Mount Everett Bomb Threat
05:39PM / Wednesday, December 05, 2018
SHEFFIELD, Mass. — School officials say a student responsible for Friday's hoax bomb threat that caused the evacuation and closure of the Mount Everett Regional School campus has been removed from school.    In a message to the school community on Wednesday afternoon, Superintendent of Schools Beth Regulbuto wrote that the investigation had been completed.    "Our school administrators and the Sheffield Police Department questioned witnesses and the student. A confession was obtained, and the student has been removed pending disciplinary action and evaluation. The Sheffield Police will be acting in accordance with Massachusetts General Law and the District

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Letter: FCC Rule Endangers Existence of PCTV
Letter to the Editor,
05:00PM / Wednesday, December 05, 2018

To the Editor:

Over the last 30 years, Pittsfield Community Television has served a special role in our community, providing information, entertainment, sports, and access to cable subscribers in the area. These programs are not provided by any Albany or Springfield channels.

PCTV's unique programming includes coverage of local events such as the Fourth of July Parade, high school graduations and school concerts, School Committee meetings, City Council and dozens of other municipal meetings, press conferences, local high school sports events, Veterans Day parade and memorial service, programs by and for the elderly, faith-based programs, and a host of volunteer-driven programming

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Three Factors to Consider When Making Charitable Gifts
12:19PM / Wednesday, December 05, 2018

The holiday season is here, which means gift-giving is probably on your mind. In addition to making gifts to your family and friends, you also may be interested in contributing to charitable organizations. But before you donate financial assets, such as stocks, you will need to consider several factors, including taxes, your portfolio balance and the reputation of the charity.

Let's look at these areas:

Taxes: Your donations to qualified charities (those that are considered 501(c)(3) organizations by the Internal Revenue Service) can give you tax deductions – if you itemize deductions on your tax return. However, due to recent tax law changes, the standard deduction for 2018

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New Doctor Joins BMC Pulmonary and Critical Care Team
12:17PM / Wednesday, December 05, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems announces the appointment of Dr. David A. Oelberg, a board-certified and fellowship-trained pulmonologist, to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Pulmonary Professional Services of BMC.

Dr. Oelberg is accepting new patients in need of pulmonary and sleep medicine services, and is partnered with Drs. Hafez Alsmaan, Kashif Aslam, Cynthia Callahan, Julio Miranda, Michael Mortelliti and Jack Ringler at Pulmonary Professional Services of BMC.

Dr. Oelberg is board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, critical care and sleep medicine. He received his medical degree from McGill University,

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Residents Unhappy With Mediation For GE River Cleanup
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Tim Gray, director of the Housatonic River Initiative, pushed for chemical and biological technologies to break down the PCBs in the river. LENOX, Mass. — Why is this even being negotiated?   That's what many of the residents along the Rest of the River corridor rhetorically asked Monday night in regards to the cleanup of PCBs in the Housatonic River.   Mediator John Bickerman has been brought in to help reach a compromise between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and General Electric regarding the final section of the river that needs to be cleaned up.   Bickerman led a public forum at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School on the matter in hopes to

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Berkshire Palate Opens in Williamstown
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:23AM / Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Sweet potato with kale, dried fruit, brown butter and pecans.     WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — It doesn't get much more local than Berkshire Palate, a family-run eatery that offers homegrown flavors.   Paul Brassard and his three sons Nolan, Aaron and Zach have had Berkshire Palate on the mind for some time now.   "Zach was making his own jams and spice rubs, so he was kind of outgrowing that," Paul said. "We always wanted a restaurant and once he went to culinary school then it went from 'it would be cool maybe someday' to 'when?'"    The Brassards looked at 13 locations but settled on 240A Main St. in the

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CHP Great Barrington Practice Wins Patient Experience Award
03:18PM / Monday, December 03, 2018

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs Great Barrington Health Center has been recognized by Massachusetts Health Quality Partners for excellence in the primary care patient experience, based on patient surveys.

The MHQP Patient Experience Awards is a new program introduced this year by MHQP, a nonprofit measurement and reporting organization that brings together providers, health plans and patients to improve the quality of patient care experiences in Massachusetts. MHQP conducts the only statewide survey of patient experience in primary care in Massachusetts, with feedback from more than 65,000 commercially-insured patients across the state.

Awards were given to the

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