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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

'Fahrenheit 11/9': It's Worse Than you Think
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:00PM / Friday, October 05, 2018
Walk down almost any street USA and ask 10 people if they know who Mike Pence is. You'd be surprised how few do. But I betcha bunches of them know where Miley Cyrus is playing this Friday night. Such is the complacent folly of a citizenry entirely certain that the Founding Fathers put our democracy on automatic pilot. And therefore, no amount of selfish incursion from greedy forces within should tear us away from munching Fritos and gulping mass quantities of beer while we watch today's version of the gladiators do their best to sustain brain injuries.   But hark, good citizen, there are, alas, true patriots in the land, and not the kind that simply wrap themselves in the flag

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The Independent Investor: Estate Planning Is for All of Us
By Bill Schmick,
02:32PM / Friday, October 05, 2018
Here is a trick question. What did Aretha Franklin, Tupac Shakur, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln have in common? They are all famous people who died without a will.   In the case of the "Queen of Soul," she died in August leaving $80 million and according to Michigan state law, those assets should eventually be divided up among her four children. In the meantime, the entire estate must go through the probate process, which is both expensive and time-consuming.   Some other famous people who failed to prepare their heirs and beneficiaries for their eventual death are: Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Howard Hughes Sonny Bono, James Brown, Prince, and Michael

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AG Healey Touts Record, Endorses Harrington for District Attorney
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:40PM / Friday, October 05, 2018

Andrea Harrington speaks to supporters at Democratic campaign headquarters on North Street.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Attorney General Maura Healey stressed the importance of voting at the local level during her stop at Democratic campaign headquarters on North Street this past Monday.   "School committee, mayor, Legislature, city council, so many of the policies in our country are determined at the local level and state level," she told one supporter who was asking what she could do to effect change. "Congress is important but don't lose sight of every election mattering."   That includes voting for district attorney as Healey endorsed

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'The Wife': Anatomy of a Marriage
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:14PM / Thursday, October 04, 2018
We all know one or more couples who confound us entirely; folks who appear to be tragically immersed in a marriage made in Hell, and yet, for none of the usual rationalizations, like kids money or religion, persevere in their obviously troubled plight.   But don't you dare voice your criticism and pretend to know something about their arrangement. For there is pride of ownership in marital dysfunction. And as my never-married Aunt Millie was always so readily fond of informing, odd glint in her eye, "No one knows what goes on behind closed doors."   You will read all of this and more into the emotive-rich facial expressions of Glenn Close as Joan Castleman, the

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Holiday Hours: Columbus Day
10:18AM / Thursday, October 04, 2018

Dióscoro Teófilo Puebla Tolín's 'First landing of Columbus on the Shores of the New World,' at San Salvador, W.I., Oct. 12, 1492, from 1862.

Columbus Day is a state holiday being observed Monday, Oct. 8, to commemorate Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas on Oct. 12, 1492.

Columbus' voyage had been celebrated on significant anniversaries but did not become an official holiday until being recognized by Colorado in 1905. It was declared a federal holiday in 1937.

Not all states recognize Columbus Day. Some local and state governments have alternative Native American or indigenous peoples' days to reflect that others had

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Phone Scammers Targeting Berkshire County Residents
10:03AM / Thursday, October 04, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Authorities are warning Berkshire County residents about a telephone scam targeting elderly victims.   Berkshire District Attorney Paul J. Caccaviello says several people have fallen victim to the scam in which the caller poses as a relative or the attorney of a relative that has been involved in an accident where someone else has been injured. The caller claims the relative is in need of bail money, legal fees and medical expenses.   Those making the fake calls have been operating out of the state of Florida, but the phone numbers they are using have an area code of 202, which is located in Washington, D.C.   Caccaviello is asking anyone who may

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Biz Briefs: Tunnel City Coffee Opens Fall Art Show
02:11PM / Wednesday, October 03, 2018
Coffee and art

Sarah Sutro and Dorothea Osborn present their abstract paintings at Tunnel City Coffee in downtown Williamstown this fall, featuring rich watercolors and imaginative takes on scientific themes. Sutro's abstracted realist paintings recall memories of existence among peaceful landscapes, while Osborn's macro-paintings delve into life at the cellular level, sharing the beauty of biology’s smallest divisions. The show runs from the beginning of October through the end of December.       

Influenced by artists Paul Klee, Georgia O'Keefe, and John Singer Sargent, Sutro finds inspiration in the outside world, oceanscapes and

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Can You Count on a Bountiful Investment 'Harvest'?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:52AM / Wednesday, October 03, 2018

We're officially in autumn – the season when we bring in what we planted in the spring. But the concept of planting and gathering isn't confined to agriculture. In fact, it can be used in many walks of life, including investing. So what can you do to help work toward a successful investment "harvest"?

Here is (not quite) a bushel of ideas:

Plant the right "seeds." When farmers plant specific crops, they know about what to expect – how long it will take for them to grow, how much yield they will produce, and so on. When you invest, you too need to plant "seeds" by choosing investments that are designed to help meet your goals. For example,

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Berkshire Health Systems Has 'Legitimate Concerns' With Ballot Question
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Berkshire Medical Center says not all the staff are on board with Question 1, providing a group photo to prove it. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center officials estimate that it'll cost the hospital $22.8 million if Question 1 is passed.   Voters will decide in November whether to legally mandate specific ratios of registered nurses to patients. Berkshire Health Systems is opposing the question, fearing the costs will prove to be detrimental to the services it provides.   "It requires us to hire between 120 and 130 registered nurses. Do the math, it is about $20 million for Berkshire Medical Center. It is a lot of money," President and CEO

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Advocates for Ballot Measure on Nurse Staffing Levels Rally in Pittsfield
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Mark Brodeur, also an RN, was more fiery in his speech, blaming hospital executives across the state for choosing profit over patient care.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Advocates for the ballot measure instituting minimum nurse staffing levels in hospitals say the focus is on patient safety.    "The care has gotten tougher, the patients have gotten sicker with our opioid epidemic," said Amber VanBramer, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at Berkshire Medical Center. "We need safe limits to be able to care for these patients properly."   Around a dozen registered nurses and supporters, including North Adams City Councilor Jason

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Pittsfield's Patti Notches Game-Winner for College Squad
iBerkshires.com Sports,
04:21AM / Tuesday, October 02, 2018
Pittsfield High School alumna Taylor Patti scored the game-winner in double overtime last month to lift Wentworth College to a 2-1 win at Emerson.   It was just the second career goal for the senior back, and it helped Wentworth 5-4-2 record going into Saturday's game against Nichols.   Alessandra Arace scored her first goal of the season for the Providence College women's soccer team in a 3-2 overtime loss to Xavier last week. The Lenox graduate has a goal and a two assists this season for the Friars (7-4-1).   Amanda Wright (Pittsfield) had a team-high seven shots and helped set up the winning goal in Springfield College's 2-0 win over Mount Holyoke on Saturday.

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County School Officials Press Legislators on School Funding Formula
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:52AM / Tuesday, October 02, 2018
LEE, Mass. — Local school officials pressed members of the Berkshire delegation to make education funding a priority in the coming legislative year.    And the legislators urged them to keep up the pressure.    "The pressure we feel at home can translate into action at the State House," said state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, explaining that when they speak with legislative leaders, "I can go and say this is the most important issue in Pittsfield."   But while the Pittsfield representative is a firm believer in grassroots activism, she said the critical part of the equation is finding new revenue.    "We're underfunding

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