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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The Independent Investor: The Impact of One Bad Apple
By Bill Schmick,
06:31PM / Thursday, September 22, 2016

For years, the mantra of Corporate America has been that they are drowning in government rules and regulations. Small business has echoed that refrain, as has Wall Street. The problem is that these same entities continually shoot themselves in the foot.

Over the last two weeks, thanks to Wells Fargo in the banking sector, and Mylan Labs in pharmaceuticals, Corporate America has once again reminded us of that business just can't be trusted. In the case of Wells Fargo, over 2 million fictitious customer accounts were opened over several years in order to meet sales goals.

Critics say Mylan Labs' 500 percent increase (since 2007) in the cost of a device called EpiPen that treats


'Bridget Jones's Baby': Sweet, Cute and Crawls
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:25PM / Thursday, September 22, 2016

While the average gestation period for human women is nine months (280 days to be specific), it sure seems to take a lot longer in the sweet, cute but oh-so-slow moving "Bridget Jones's Baby."

Folks who just absolutely love this franchise, featuring Renée Zellweger's intrepid single gal, perhaps won't mind the ultra-dawdling exposition, wherein she takes inventory of her unmarried life thus far. As iterated by her properly British, office-seeking Mum, while still (accent on the still) unwed, she has a great job as a TV news producer, and a nice flat. But then there's the truth.

Tsk, tsk. Maybe things will take a turn for the romantically brighter which,


Berkshire Works Job Fair Connects Job Seekers With Open Positions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:04AM / Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A steady flow of people looking for work or looking for a new opportunity browsed the positions available from an array of industries and educational organizations. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hundreds of people looking to advance their careers or get into the workforce browsed through an array of available jobs at the Berkshire Works annual job fair Wednesday.   The annual event had such a demand for employers to showcase their opportunities that Stephanie Hambelton, business service representative for Berkshire Works, said there was a wait list. The Crowne Plaza's space restricted the number of vendors to 66 and there were still employers looking to


Kmart Closing in Great Barrington; Marshalls Eyed for Location
staff reports, iBerkshires
11:40AM / Tuesday, September 20, 2016
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Kmart department store, No. 9146, the only one left in Berkshire County, is slated to close by the end of the year.    The BerkshireEdge reports that a Marshalls will take over Kmart's 24,000-square-foot location in the Barrington Plaza, owned by Kimco Realty. The department store's size was tiny compared to newer Big and Super Kmarts, Walmart Supercenters and Targets that often run between 90,000 and 190,000 square feet.    Walmart's planning a 190,000 square foot super center in Pittsfield, similar in size to the one it opened several years ago in North Adams.   The Business Insider reported Monday that Sears


Berkshires Beat: Buddy Walk of the Berkshires Set for Sept. 24
12:31PM / Monday, September 19, 2016

Bring a buddy: Berkshire County Arc’s Down Syndrome Family Group will host the 10th Annual Buddy Walk of the Berkshires on Saturday, Sept. 24. The goal of the walk, which is affiliated with the National Down Syndrome Society, is to promote awareness and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and to fundraise for those with Down syndrome who reside in Berkshire County.

The event will begin with registration at Craneville Elementary School in Dalton at 10 a.m. Registration will end at approximately 11 a.m., with the walk to follow. Walkers will return to Craneville Elementary School, where there will be a family barbecue, a raffle, live music and other fun activities. This event draws


Give Yourself the Gift of the Present
Sponsored Content,
10:28AM / Monday, September 19, 2016

I cannot count the number of times I have heard the phrase "I'm not ready yet" when talking with retirees about the benefits of a senior living community, whether they are 65 or 95.

"Not ready for what?" is usually my first question, in response. "I want to wait until I need it," is quite often the reply. "Need what?" I ask. "You know, when I need help, when I can't live alone anymore," they respond.

Ah ... the stigma of senior living communities strikes again. For some reason, many people believe that any senior living community is akin to a nursing home. This is not true. Many people also believe that all senior living


40th Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon in the Books
04:48PM / Sunday, September 18, 2016
LENOX, Mass. -- The team from Allen Heights Veterinary Sunday won the 40th Great Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon with a time of 2 hours, 17 minutes, 21 seconds.   With Josh Lipka on the bicycle, Tom Keefe and Ben Pigot in the canoe and Steve Monsulick handling the running, Allen Heights clocked in nearly nine minutes ahead of the rest of the field.   The team of 3 Plus 1 was the runner-up, finishing in 2:26:06 to win its division, the males 39 and under class.   The top individual in the Ironman category was Pittsfield’s Kent Lemme, who soloed the three-stage event in 2:32:44 -- just more than 15 minutes behind the four-person winners. Lemme turned in the sixth


@theMarket: Much Ado About Nothing
By Bill Schmick,
06:25PM / Friday, September 16, 2016

It has been a volatile week in the markets. The averages have rocketed up and down by a percent or more as traders bet for and against a Fed move on interest rates next week. Does it matter?

If you aren't tired after more than two years of reading what the Fed may or may not do, you have the patience of Job. Whether an interest rate hike happens next week during the FOMC meeting or in December should not mean much to the market. But it does.

When fully 70 percent or more of daily trading activity is now in the hands (or keyboards) of high-frequency traders (HFT), short-term moves are where they make most of their money. During the summer months, they practically starved to death


Concerns Raised With MassPike Tolling Plan
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:16PM / Friday, September 16, 2016

State Rep.  Tricia Farley-Bouvier said she has concerns about the 30-cent fee-per-gantry that drivers will be charged if they do not have a transponder. LENOX, Mass. — For 17 years, residents in the Berkshires could take the turnpike for six exits before having to pay anything. For many, there was little need to get an E-Z Pass transponder. Rather, they just paid the five or six bucks for the rare trip to Boston.   On Oct. 28, however, if a Berkshire resident takes that trip to Boston without a transponder, the cost has nearly doubled. The state is moving to an all-electronic tolling system that includes reducing from 26 toll gantries to 16.   While the total cost


Trendsetter Winners Named at Celebrate the Berkshires Event
Submitted Content,
01:54PM / Friday, September 16, 2016

LENOX, Mass. — Seven individuals and organizations were feted on Thursday night as the this year's Berkshire Trendsetters.

The awards were presented at the sixth annual Celebrate the Berkshires event at Tanglewood before a crowd of more than 300 with state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, D-Pittsfield, as master of ceremonies. The awards are a program of 1Berkshire.

The night's special honoree was Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for "Putting the Berkshires on the Map." Mark Volpe, managing director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, accepted the award.

Over the past 10 years, close to 3.5 million people have enjoyed the "Tanglewood


Paul Reiser Headlines Fairview Hospital's 2016 Gala
01:36PM / Friday, September 16, 2016

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Actor, comedian, writer and producer Paul Reiser will headline the Fairview Hospital 2016 Gala, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 24, at 8 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington.  

A seasoned actor, writer and producer, Reiser continues to add to his list of accomplishments. Having co-created and starred in the critically acclaimed NBC series "Mad About You," which garnered him multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, American Comedy Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations, Reiser returned to television last year in the FX series "Married."

While developing several television projects which he will write and produce,


The Independent Investor: Woman Need to Invest More
By Bill Schmick,
02:34PM / Thursday, September 15, 2016

We all know women generally make less than men. On average, female workers make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns doing the same job. If you are a woman of color, or work in some lower paid industries, the gap could be even wider. It is one of the reasons women need to invest and save more, not less.

That may sound counter-intuitive. After all, if you are making less, you have less to save and invest. You are absolutely right, but there are important reasons that you still need to save more. One of the main reasons is that the chances are you will live longer than your male counterparts by about five years.

That means if you are living on $50,000 a year, you will need $250,000 (five


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