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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Tony Stewart to Bring His Tour to Lebanon Valley in August
03:31PM / Wednesday, March 23, 2016

WEST LEBANON, N.Y. - For more than 30 years, fans have seen some of the best 410 Sprint Car drivers race around the high banks of Lebanon Valley Speedway with blistering speeds. In 2016, fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early to witness the first ever appearance of Tony Stewart’s All-Star Circuit Of Champions on Aug. 21.

Lebanon Valley Speedway has offered race fans a major 410 sprint car race each year going back many years. Typically, those events ran under the (World Of Outlaws) Sprint banner. In the summer of 2016, sanction names may change for the event, but action will remain red hot with a breath of fresh air courtesy of the Arctic Cat All-Star Circuit Of


Berkshire Tidbits: Easter Specials
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
02:15PM / Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Cornell Inn in Lenox offers a Sunday breakfast buffet by chef Karen Saunders. Reservations are encouraged a few days before.

Looking for a place to dine on Easter Sunday, March 27?

Here are some restaurants I know of that are serving special Easter brunches or dinners or are open for a festive meal, but there are still more. Some have given me more information than others. All the meals are plus tax and gratuity unless otherwise noted.

Aegean Breeze, 327 Stockbridge Road/Route 7 in Great Barrington, 413-528-4001, the traditional Greek restaurant, will be open their regular hours, 11 to 9, serving their regular menus with specials of lamb soup, ham and stuffed sole.



Berkshire Tidbits: Greek Pastry & Wine Dinners
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
04:21PM / Monday, March 21, 2016

The menu for the Haven Cafe Supper Club for the week of March 21 will be as follows:

• Herb roasted rack of lamb with couscous and roasted asparagus
• Rosemary, lemon and balsamic marinated chicken with saffron rice and grilled zucchini
• Grilled shrimp over spinach and scallion pancakes with lime butter

Entrées come with soup or salad and cost $22 for one to three dinners ordered, $75 for four dinners ordered, $110 for six dinners, $200 for 12 dinners. They can be any of the dinners.

Order by Wednesday, pick up at the bakery in Lenox on Friday. The staff suggests people can order for different meals and can choose among that week's options. Contact Haven at


Lola Greene Legacy Scholarship Applications Being Accepted
01:44PM / Monday, March 21, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Applications are now being accepted for the Lola Greene Legacy Scholarship.

A one-time grant of $250 to $500 will be awarded to a graduating high school senior from Berkshire County who is planning to continue to study Latin and/or the Classics in college. The scholarship will be awarded based on scholastic achievement with emphasis on Latin study and related activities, future plans to continue Latin and Classics studies, and demonstrated leadership and good moral character.

Lola Greene taught at Mount Greylock Regional High School from 1984 through 2000. During this time she developed the school’s Latin program and Junior Classical League into one of


Berkshire Planners Object to Transportation, Development Cuts
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:23PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is taking aim at Gov. Charlie Baker's proposed fiscal 2017 budget.

The commission on Thursday approved sending a letter to state lawmakers outlining its opposition to cuts that will affect transportation and development issues in the region. Executive Director Nathaniel Karns took aim at four areas of the budget: public transportation, environmental protection, brownfields funding, and money for economic development organizations.

The governor has proposed cuts to public transportation outside of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority to the tune of $2 million, Karns said, which could even further hinder the


'The Brothers Grimsby': Fraternally Filthy
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:02PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

I don't quite know yet if I've been scarred for life by Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Brothers Grimsby," an audacious exercise in bad taste that goes over the top and, like a playground swing gone wild, loops around a few times. It'd be easy to simply say it's tasteless, vulgar garbage that would push the envelope of even the most broadminded viewers and end the review right here.

But then that would only be 68 words and they pay me the big bucks to deliver 830, give or take a bon mot. Besides, I laughed here and there and it may be therapeutic to analyze why.

Telling the tale of Nobby Butcher (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Sebastian Graves (Mark Strong), brothers


The Independent Investor: Why Free Trade Has a Bad Rep
By Bill Schmick,
03:40PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

The Establishment — Economists, politicians of both parties, Wall Street and Corporate America — are horrified. One of the linchpins of capitalism has suddenly come under attack. The growing anger over free trade is threatening more than 30 years of trade deals with the rest of the world. It was a disaster waiting to happen and we have only ourselves to blame.

Theoretically, free trade benefits everyone. These benefits include comparative advantage, which allows companies that can produce certain goods and services cheaply and efficiently. This will provide consumers with lower priced goods, increase exports globally, allow economies of scale among industries and nations and


Maple Grove Civic Club Holding State Senator Candidate Forum
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:18PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

ADAMS, Mass. — The Maple Grove Civic Club will host a "meet the candidates" forum this weekend at the PNA on Victory Street.

State Senate candidates Andrea Harrington of Richmond and Adams Hinds of Pittsfield are expected to attend the civic club on Sunday, March 20, at 3 p.m.

Both candidates are campaigning for the Democratic nomination to replace current state Sen. Benjamin Downing, who will be leaving his seat at the end of his term. They are the only candidate for the seat so far and will face off in a primary in September.

The Senate seat represents the First District of 52 communities in Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin counties.

Harrington, a Pittsfield native,


Superior Court Briefs: March 15 - March 17
Staff Reports,
01:50PM / Friday, March 18, 2016
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, March 15.   Carlton Harley Jr., 44, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.   He was ordered to serve 18 months at the Berkshire County House of Correction. He will begin the sentence on March 25.    The charges stem from an incident in Pittsfield on April 25, 2015. Single counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a family member, and illegal possession of a firearm were dismissed by the state.   Jeffrey Hall, 27, of North Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of


Family Support Highlighted at 16th Berkshire Legislative Breakfast
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:41PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In front of a room filled with people who understood only too well, Jean Simmons shared the very personal story of raising her son, now 27, who was born with a condition that causes excess fluid to build up in the brain.

"He requires 24-7 care and supervision, and he lives at home with myself and his dad," Simmons said. "When Matthew was born, we were told he would never walk or talk or have any quality of life.

"Boy, were they wrong."

Today, Matthew talks morning, noon and night — and sometimes beyond, Simmons said to a chuckling audience at the 16th annual Berkshire Legislative Breakfast, a presentation of Berkshire County Arc


BRPC Supports Efforts to Designate 'Bicycle Route 7' Through Berkshires
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:46AM / Friday, March 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Long-distance cyclists may soon be directed to bike through the Berkshires.

The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials are developing a massive highway system designation throughout the country for long-distance bicyclists to map out routes. What is eyed as US Bicycle Route 7 would connect Connecticut with Vermont through the Berkshires.

"It's connecting regions and states much like the highway system," said Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Senior Planner Emily Lindsey.

BRPC is supportive of the agreement but the effort to get the designation will need the backing of the eight Berkshire communities whose local roads


Porchlight VNA Opening Pittsfield Office
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:03AM / Friday, March 18, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Porchlight VNA/Home Care is expanding its footprint with a new South Street office.   The company will open the office in leased space on April 1. The move is part of the company's strategic effort to better serve all of Berkshire County.    "People always associate Lee VNA (the company's former name) with South County," said Chief Executive Officer Holly Chaffee.   But, that's not true. The company has many clients, spanning the entire county and beyond, she said. Just two years ago, Porchlight grew its footprint even further when it merged with Chicopee Visiting Nurses Association, bringing the company into three Western


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