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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

BHS Implements Visitor Changes Due to Influenza Spread
12:29PM / Wednesday, January 03, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In the wake of widespread influenza reported across Massachusetts, Berkshire Health Systems has implemented visitor changes to help reduce the potential spread of the flu.

The visitor restrictions apply to Berkshire Medical Center, Fairview Hospital and the Hillcrest and North Adams campuses of BMC.

Individuals should not visit patients at any of these facilities if they are under 18 years of age or they are ill or are experiencing flu or flu-like symptoms. These symptoms include fever, chills, body aches, cough or fatigue.

These visitor restrictions will be in place until the flu season wanes, and are meant to protect the patients, loved ones and staff of all

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Time is a Key Factor in Investing
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:58AM / Wednesday, January 03, 2018

With the arrival of the New Year, many of us will pause and ponder the age-old question: "Who knows where the time goes?" And, as is always the case, none of us really do know. However, wherever the time goes, it will usually be a key factor in your success as an investor.

Time can affect how you invest, and the results of your investing, in different ways:

Growth potential: Contrary to myth, there's no real way to "get rich quick" when investing. To build wealth, you need patience – and time. If you own quality investments with growth potential, and you give them years – in fact, decades – to increase in value, your perseverance may be rewarded.

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Second Film Tackles North Berkshires' Opioid Crisis
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:26AM / Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Berkshire Transition Network Recovery Coach Collin Woods speaks at the December forum of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — While many people are obsessed with the latest "Star Wars" movie, people in the Northern Berkshire County addiction and recovery community are watching a sequel of a completely different kind.

"Voices for Recovery: Building a Recovery Community" is the second locally produced documentary that addresses the opioid crisis in North County. Produced by local videographer Joe Aidonidis, it is the sequel to last year's "Faces: Five Voices from One Community," which focused on personal stories around

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire 4-H Holds Awards, Recognition Event
01:52PM / Friday, December 29, 2017
Great job

About 100 people gathered to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of 4-H'ers, volunteers and others on Dec. 2. Volunteers were recognized for years of service: one year, Henry Cadorette III, Marie Goodermote, Mathew Goodermote, Glenda Matos-Carter, Melanie Richard, Jonathan Rowe, Nancy Smith, Jennifer Soldato, Courtney Sparks, Elysse Tuper and Haley Vadakin; five years, Michelle Daly; 25 years, Henry Cadorette Jr.; and 45 years, Scott Robinson.

The "Friend of 4-H" award goes to individuals or businesses that help Berkshire 4-H. The recipients this year were Laura Allen, Lisa Dachinger, Gail Guarda and Gregg Petricca. The "Fair Honor Roll" is chosen by

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The Independent Investor: Confusion Reigns as Taxes Change
By Bill Schmick,
09:46AM / Friday, December 29, 2017
At the best of times taxes are confusing, so much so that most people hire an accountant to prepare them. This coming year should be a real doozy for the accountancy industry.   Given the massive changes to the tax code that will go into effect next year, taxpayers are rightly concerned (and confused) on exactly what the rules will be and how they will impact their families.    "Most (although not all) taxpayers would owe less under the new rules, according to analyses by various independent think tanks, including the Tax Foundation and the Tax Policy Center," according to Charles Schwab and Co.    In high tax states, lines are already forming at the local

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'The Shape of Water': No Ordinary Fish Tale
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
01:41PM / Thursday, December 28, 2017
If you think the book was closed long ago on fairy tales, that they've all been written and read, and that the genre is further rendered obsolete by the brutal, anti-intellectual sentiment now rearing its ugly head in America, then you need to see "The Shape of Water."    Director Guillermo del Toro's beautifully conceived, written and acted fantasy, at once cynical, imaginative and wistfully altruistic, enchantingly draws us into its dissection of our existence, telling its classical good vs. evil tale with a reverence for the truth we humans require in order to flourish.   Del Toro touts the inherent worth and sanctity of the individual in the unlikely

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Biz Briefs: Greylock's North Adams Branch Moving to Ashland Street
03:08PM / Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Coming soon

The Greylock Federal Credit Union and Greylock Insurance Agency offices located at 66 Main St. in North Adams both will be moving to 131 Ashland St. (Landmark Building) on Jan. 8. The Landmark building is the former home of Landmark Credit Union, which merged with Greylock in 2017. After the merger the Landmark building was closed for renovations which were recently completed.

The newly renovated location at 131 Ashland St. offers members the convenience of one-stop shopping for all their banking and insurance needs. It also offers plenty of parking and a drive-up. A grand opening will be held in February to celebrate the newly renovated branch.

 

Looking ahead

Berkshire

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E-Book Review: 'Symphonies & Scorpions' by Gerald Elias
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
02:24PM / Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Musician/author Gerald Elias is widely known by Berkshires classical music aficionados for living a double artistic life as a violinist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, performing at the BSO's Tanglewood Music Festival each summer, and also being the gifted author of six classical music-themed mystery "whodunits": "Devil’s Trill," "Danse Macabre," "Playing With Fire," "Death and the Maiden," "Death and Transfiguration" and "Spring Break."

Now, Elias has just released his first downloadable e-book, "Symphonies & Scorpions." A memoir, he has subtitled it "Ramblings of a Wand'ring

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New Year's: Time for Financial Resolutions
Submitted by Edward Jones,
01:35PM / Wednesday, December 27, 2017

We've reached the end of another year – which means it’s just about time for some New Year's resolutions. Would you like to study a new language, take up a musical instrument or visit the gym more often? All these are worthy goals, of course, but why not also add some financial resolutions?

Here are some ideas to think about:

Increase contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan. For 2018, you can contribute up to $18,500 (or $24,500 if you're 50 or older) to your 401(k) or similar plan, such as a 403(b), for employees of public schools and some nonprofit groups, or a 457(b) plan, for employees of local governments. It's usually a good idea to

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Contact Your Elected Officials
11:27AM / Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Have something to say? Here's how to get in touch with your local officials, both on the national and state level.

 

U.S. Senate

Markey, Edward
202-224-2742
www.markey.senate.gov

Warren, Elizabeth
202-224-4543
www.warren.senate.gov

 

U.S. House of Representatives

Neal, Richard
202-225-5601
https://neal.house.gov/

 

State Senate Hinds, Adam
617-722-1625 413-344-4561 adam.hinds@masenate.gov

 

State Representative Barrett, John john.barrett@mahouse.gov 617-722-2400   Farley-Bouvier, Tricia Tricia.Farley-Bouvier@mahouse.gov
617-722-2240
413-442-4300   Mark, Paul Paul.Mark@mahouse.gov
617-722-2692
413-464-5635

Pignatelly, William

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Williamstown Scoutmaster Retiring After 25 Years With Troop 70
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:27AM / Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Outgoing Scoutmaster Rich Davis poses with current and past members of Boy Scout Troop 70 of Williamsown on the day of his last meeting.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — There's only one question left for Rich Davis, retiring after 17 years of being Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 70 in Williamstown.

"What are you going to do on Thursdays now?" incoming Scoutmaster Emily Brannan asked Davis at a party celebrating Davis' retirement on Dec. 21 (a Thursday, of course).

"My wife will come up with something," Davis quipped to applause and laughter from the current and past Scouts and their families gathered in the parish center of St. Patrick and Raphael Parish after a

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@theMarket: The Market That Keeps on Giving
By Bill Schmick,
11:01AM / Saturday, December 23, 2017
You can't say enough about a stock market that continues to climb, day after day, month after month. Best of all, it looks like it will continue to do so through the end of the year. What happens in 2018? Well, that may be a different story.   There is no evidence, however, that things will have to change in the New Year. Thanks to the big fat tax refund check that Corporate America will receive next year, investors will be expecting several quarters of better earnings. At the very least, that should support stock prices for a few months, if not more.   Let's not get into whether the tax cuts are good or bad for the economy. If you have been reading my columns, you know my

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