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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Music Before, During and After the Fourth of July
By Grace Lichtenstein, Special to iBerkshires
03:20PM / Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Hi, pop fans. You'll note that today's column covers both this week and next, right through the weekend following the Fourth of July.

 

Berkshire Theatre Group

There will be several new musicals to enjoy, thanks to the Berkshire Theatre Group. "Coming Back Like a Song!" features songs by Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and Jimmy Van Heusen. It was written by Lee Kalcheim and is at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage, 83 East Main St., in Stockbridge. The show begins previews Thursday, June 28, at 7 p.m. and runs through Saturday, July 21. The official opening night is Sunday, July 1, with BTG's 90th gala beginning at 5p.m. and the show itself at 6 p.m. Matinees are Thursdays,

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Summer Classical Music Festival Season Heats Up
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
02:50PM / Wednesday, June 27, 2018

It's here! The summer concert season is upon us, with stellar programs at Taconic Music, located in idyllic Manchester, Vt., and at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass. Concertgoers will have the opportunity to hear great chamber music performed at its artistic best, in inviting and intimate surroundings.

 

Taconic Music

Taconic Music's second Summer Festival week features a masterclass with Grammy-nominated guest ensemble the Enso String Quartet, a Saturday-night concert showcasing canonical masterworks (and also including a touch of the musically exotic), and the first NextGen concert of the 2018 season.

Why go? Taconic Music is a unique and engaging music festival, with outstanding

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Work Toward Your Own Financial Independence Day
Submitted by Edward Jones,
01:04PM / Wednesday, June 27, 2018

We're getting close to the Fourth of July, our national Independence Day. This celebration may get you thinking of the many freedoms you enjoy. But have you thought of what you might need to do to attain financial freedom?

Your first step is to define what financial independence signifies to you. For many people, it means being able to retire when they want to, and to enjoy a comfortable retirement lifestyle. So, if this is your vision as well, consider taking these steps:

Pay yourself first. If you wait until you have some extra money "lying around" before you invest for retirement, you may never get around to doing it. Instead, pay yourself first. This actually is not

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Mack Molding Donates $5M Toward SVHC's ER Renovation
02:16PM / Tuesday, June 26, 2018
BENNINGTON, Vt. — Mack Molding, the privately-owned business of Don Kendall and his family, has donated $5 million for Southwestern Vermont Health Care's emergency department expansion and renovation project at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.    "The Kendall Emergency Department" will be unveiled at a ribbon-cutting event once the future project is approved by the state and construction is completed. The gift constitutes the largest in the health system's history since Henry W. Putnam Sr. bequeathed the Bennington public water system for the construction of the community hospital more than 100 years ago.    "Mack Molding is pleased and

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Berkshire Museum Seeks Private Sales in Next Round
Staff Reports,
07:16PM / Monday, June 25, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Museum has selected nine more works of art to be sold toward its goal of $55 million that museum officials say is required to secure the institution's future.    Thirteen pieces have been sold by auction or private sale. Sotheby's will be working with the museum to find private sales for seven more works and will auction two in September.    The century-old museum's decision to deaccession parts of its 40,000-piece collection was announced almost a year ago to fund a $60 million plan to modernize and update the aging institution and develop an endowment to continue its operations. Without the funds, officials say the

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Berkshires Beat: VanSant Honored as 2018 Unsung Hero
11:03PM / Sunday, June 24, 2018
Congratulations

Gwendolyn VanSant of Great Barrington was honored as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women’s (MCSW) 2018 class of Unsung Heroines during a State House ceremony on Wednesday, June 20.  State Sen. Adam Hinds nominated VanSant for this recognition because of her leadership in the Berkshires on matters of diversity, cultural competence and coalition building for justice and equity. In total, the Commission named 130 women from across the state their 2018 Unsung Heroines.  

VanSant is the chief executive officer and co-founding director of Multicultural BRIDGE, a grassroots organization dedicated to catalyzing change and integration

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@theMarket: Ignore the Noise and Profit
By Bill Schmick,
03:51PM / Friday, June 22, 2018
The world is in turmoil. The news is all bad. Trump is threatening to up the ante on tariffs. NAFTA is kaput. Our trade partners hate us. China won't back down and, if you have time to spare, you are reading about immigrant kids locked in Texas dog cages by order of the president. So why is the stock market holding up?   The fundamental reason remains the same. Under all the muck, there is and will continue to be a bid under the stock market. In past columns, I have explained why — corporate stock buybacks, M&A, higher dividends coupled with a strong economy and low-interest rates.   If you look at the technicals, which I do, every sell-off seems to stop at a

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Superior Court Briefs: June 18
Staff Reports,
01:25PM / Friday, June 22, 2018
Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Monday, June 18.   Peter Meadow, 53, of Lenox admitted the facts of his case were sufficient to find him guilty on single counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a disabled person, and caretaker abuse on a disabled person.   His case was ordered to be continued without a finding for one year. Meadow assaulted a student between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 while working at Eagleton School.   Michael Crump, 41, of Canaan, Conn. pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.   He was ordered

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'First Reformed': An Inconvenient Proof
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
08:21PM / Thursday, June 21, 2018
It is unfortunate. But it only makes complete sense that Paul Schrader's dark and starkly truthful "First Reformed" will be one of 2018's most important movies. Whether or not you like its profoundly intense take on current events and how that intersects with the crisis of conscience Ethan Hawke's Reverend Ernst Toller is experiencing, the film is representative of its time.   Unlike in the Great Depression, when cheerful movies tried to paste things over until happy times were here again, this intense, artistic muckrake dives headlong into the tribulation. But expect no answers as we witness Reverend Toller navigate the whims, wiles and sometimes disingenuous

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The Independent Investor: The Next Recession
By Bill Schmick,
05:27PM / Thursday, June 21, 2018
Over half the economists on Wall Street believe that by the end of 2020, we will experience our first economic downturn in years. If so, when might you begin to prepare for a rocky two-year period for all of us?   The good news is that we still have another year or so of stock market gains, job growth and more importantly, wage growth. As it stands, the U.S. is currently enjoying its second-longest economic expansion in history with an unemployment rate that hasn't been this low in decades. Wage growth, after languishing for years, is expected to top 3 percent by the end of 2018, while GDP could achieve greater than 3 percent this year and a further 2.5 percent next year.   So

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Four Berkshire Women Celebrated as Unsung Heroines
10:51AM / Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sen. Adam Hinds welcomes Great Barrington's Unsung Heroine Gwendolyn VanSant and her husband, Sam VanSant, at the State House.   BOSTON – Four Berkshire County women were honored as members of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women's 2018 class of Unsung Heroines during a State House ceremony on Wednesday.    Gwendolyn VanSant of Great Barrington, Sabrina Tan of Lee, Pauline Wheeler of Hinsdale, and Judy Grinnell of North Adams were among the 130 women from across that state were welcomed were welcomed by state officials.    Wheeler was nominated by state Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru, and Grinnell, founder of the Hoosic River

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Cecropia, Our Sylvan King
By Tor Hansen, Guest Column
07:15PM / Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Soleil Osprey Cole, taken some years ago in Wellfleet, who found a rainbow larvae and cared for it until it emerged as a cecropia moth the following year. Below, a watercolor by Hansen of 'Cecropia Moth Lifecycle with Blackburnian and Wilson's Warblers.'  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — So majestic is Hyalophora cecropia in appearance and biology that our sylvan king of the realm is a fitting title.   Just how this regal silk moth can engineer survival despite an inborn handicap is to its credit all the more remarkable. That such a resourceful creature can change form, starting with a tiny egg advancing to an enticing armored caterpillar, to a

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