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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

BART Basketball Advances to League Title Game
11:20PM / Tuesday, February 13, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- It was not that long ago that the BART basketball team was the kind of program others might see as a doormat.   Now, the Wolf Pack is on the doorstep of winning a league championship.   Brandon Bamba scored 27 points Tuesday as Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School defeated Eagle Hill, 59-52, in the semi-finals of the River Valley Athletic League’s B Division Tournament.   On Thursday afternoon at the North Adams Armory, BART will host the league title game -- a far cry from the program’s early days.   “Two years ago, we were getting beaten by 60 and 70 points per game,” BART coach Rob Daugherty said after


Biz Briefs: Bank of America Offers Free Museum Admission to Members
03:07PM / Monday, February 12, 2018
Admission's on us

The Clark Art Institute is now a member of Bank of America's "Museums on Us" program, providing cardholders with free admission on the first full weekend of each month.

Each Bank of America, Merrill Lynch or US Trust cardholder is allowed one free general admission to participating institutions on any eligible day. The program applies only to the first full weekend (consecutive Saturday and Sunday) of every month. Admission is non-transferable and for the cardholder only; guests of the cardholder do not receive free admission. Photo ID is required along with the valid credit or debit card.
Museums on Us is designed to provide a benefit to Bank of


BRTA Strike Delayed
Staff Reports,
03:00PM / Monday, February 12, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A scheduled strike at the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority has been delayed.   BRTA Administrator Robert Malnati issued a notice on Monday saying the paratransit operators have delayed a striked scheduled to begin on Monday, Feb. 19. A federal mediator will be meeting with BRTA on Feb. 21 to further discuss the situation and has asked the union workers to delay their strike.   Drivers for Paratransit Management of the Berkshires voted down the best and final offer during contract negotiations and voted on Feb. 6 to strike. The 18 workers are represented by International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 404.   The BRTA, which oversees

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Berkshires Beat: Final Steel Beam Placed on New Tanglewood Complex
01:50PM / Monday, February 12, 2018
Moving along

Tanglewood hosted a ceremonial topping off event at the construction site of the festival's new four-building complex on Monday, Feb. 12, celebrating the placement of the final steel beam on top of the building site. The new building complex will support the performances and rehearsal activities of the Tanglewood Music Center — the BSO's prestigious summer music academy — and serve as the home of the new Tanglewood Learning Institute. The beam—which was placed on top of the covered walkway connecting each building—was painted white and signed by the construction team, who were feted at the event in celebration of this project milestone.



Northern Berkshire Waste District Sets Fiscal 2019 Budget
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:12AM / Monday, February 12, 2018
ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Commission passed an $87,877.52 budget with level town assessments.    The committee met Thursday to go over a proposed budget with assessments based on population. Each member community of the 13-town district will be charged $2.87 per person based on the 2010 Census.    "The assessments will be level," Program Manager Linda Cernik said. "It will be the same as last year."   The two largest assessments were the town of Adams for an assessment at$24,354.64 and Williamstown at $22,256.43.   The rest of the assessments ranged from just under $10,000 to just under $400.   The town of


Guest Column: Time to Enact Paid Family Leave
State Rep. Tricial Farley-Bouvier, Guest Column
06:12PM / Friday, February 09, 2018
Twenty-five years ago, on Feb. 5, 1993, President Clinton signed into law the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows certain workers to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to deal with a serious health condition, have a baby, bond with a newborn or adopted child, or take care of a seriously ill relative.   The FMLA was a major stride forward for the rights of workers and their families, but after a quarter decade the program's major gaps are clear. However, FMLA does not cover about 40 percent of the workforce, including workers at smaller companies and those who have recently changed jobs. And many workers who are eligible FMLA can't afford to take unpaid


The Independent Investor: How to Handle a Pullback
By Bill Schmick,
05:47PM / Friday, February 09, 2018
The stock market is in turmoil. Several hundred point swings in the Dow and other averages has investors on edge. The indexes are suffering 1-2 percent point swings per day. How are you dealing with it?   Over the last several months, I have written several columns preparing you for this day. I thought it might be useful to give readers a refresher course on coping. Here are some useful tips on avoiding that worst of all reactions—selling on the lows.   Number one: do not check your portfolio. The more often you do, the greater the probability that you will panic and sell. Every time you check your investments in a freefall decline like this one, you will feel terrible. The


'I, Tonya': Class Warfare on Skates
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:41PM / Friday, February 09, 2018
I wasn't looking forward to seeing "I, Tonya," about provocative, world class ice skater Tonya Harding. The events surrounding her quest for Olympic greatness and fellow competitor Nancy Kerrigan's ruthlessly broken kneecap seemed so yesterday, and anyway, I never learned to ice skate. A bunch of fancily clad skaters twirling about on slippery ice while a Rachmaninoff etude plays in the background seemed like an awful yawn. But alas, dear reader, it appears I'm not entirely bereft of the genteel gene required to appreciate such stuff.   Now don't get me wrong. I'm not going to move heaven and earth to make sure I don't miss the competitive figure


Mass Delegation Calls on Pruitt to Uphold Rest of the River Plan
Staff Reports,
01:16PM / Friday, February 09, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The region's congressional delegation is pushing Environment Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to uphold the EPA's 2016 order that contaminated material in the Housatonic River be "shipped off-site to existing licensed facilities for disposal."   U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal have sent a letter to Pruitt calling on him to ensure General Electric lives up to its commitments in the $613 million "Rest of the River" cleanup.    Keeping the contaminated soil and sediment in the county would save GE roughly $250 million.    GE, once a powerhouse in Pittsfield,

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Snowfall Predictions: Weekend Watch
11:18AM / Friday, February 09, 2018

If you haven't had enough snow this past week, guess what? We might get a few more inches this weekend.

The National Weather Service says there is a chance of light snow Friday afternoon into the evening, and then again in the early-morning hours of Saturday and possibly continuing after daybreak. The total amount in northern Berkshire County could be upwards of 3 inches.

Temperatures should be seasonably mild, with daytime highs reaching into the 40s.

The Weather Channel and WTEN also predict a 50 percent chance of snow Friday afternoon and into Saturday as well, with a total of 1 to 3 inches.


Light snow this afternoon into tonight, but moderate over the southern


IS183 Art School Names Executive Director
10:29PM / Thursday, February 08, 2018

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — IS183 Art School's Board of Directors has named Lucie Castaldo permanent executive director after four months serving in the interim position.

"We are incredibly fortunate to have an internal candidate of such high quality with such an extensive history serving the organization," said Andy Foster, chairman of the board. "Lucie cares so much about our programs, teachers and students and this engagement is infectious. She brings both continuity and – as we can already see a few months in – a raft of new ideas and approaches that will strengthen our service to the Berkshires. With a strong team in place surrounding her, IS183 is


BCC Adds Two to Board of Trustees
10:05PM / Thursday, February 08, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Carlo Zaffanella and Julia Bowen have joined the Berkshire Community College Board of Trustees. Both were appointed last year by Gov. Charlie Baker.

Zaffanella is the vice president/general manager of Maritime & Strategic Systems business at General Dynamics Mission Systems, one of the largest employers in Berkshire County. He also serves on the board of Soldier On and the Naval Submarine League.

Bowen has worked as the founder and executive director of Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School in Adams, Mass. Her work in the community includes being the founding board chair for Lever, Inc., and a member of the board of Northern Berkshire United


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