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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Northern Berkshire Waste District Sets Fiscal 2019 Budget
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:12AM / Monday, February 12, 2018
ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Commission passed an $87,877.52 budget with level town assessments.    The committee met Thursday to go over a proposed budget with assessments based on population. Each member community of the 13-town district will be charged $2.87 per person based on the 2010 Census.    "The assessments will be level," Program Manager Linda Cernik said. "It will be the same as last year."   The two largest assessments were the town of Adams for an assessment at$24,354.64 and Williamstown at $22,256.43.   The rest of the assessments ranged from just under $10,000 to just under $400.   The town of

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Guest Column: Time to Enact Paid Family Leave
State Rep. Tricial Farley-Bouvier, Guest Column
06:12PM / Friday, February 09, 2018
Twenty-five years ago, on Feb. 5, 1993, President Clinton signed into law the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows certain workers to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to deal with a serious health condition, have a baby, bond with a newborn or adopted child, or take care of a seriously ill relative.   The FMLA was a major stride forward for the rights of workers and their families, but after a quarter decade the program's major gaps are clear. However, FMLA does not cover about 40 percent of the workforce, including workers at smaller companies and those who have recently changed jobs. And many workers who are eligible FMLA can't afford to take unpaid

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The Independent Investor: How to Handle a Pullback
By Bill Schmick,
05:47PM / Friday, February 09, 2018
The stock market is in turmoil. Several hundred point swings in the Dow and other averages has investors on edge. The indexes are suffering 1-2 percent point swings per day. How are you dealing with it?   Over the last several months, I have written several columns preparing you for this day. I thought it might be useful to give readers a refresher course on coping. Here are some useful tips on avoiding that worst of all reactions—selling on the lows.   Number one: do not check your portfolio. The more often you do, the greater the probability that you will panic and sell. Every time you check your investments in a freefall decline like this one, you will feel terrible. The

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'I, Tonya': Class Warfare on Skates
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:41PM / Friday, February 09, 2018
I wasn't looking forward to seeing "I, Tonya," about provocative, world class ice skater Tonya Harding. The events surrounding her quest for Olympic greatness and fellow competitor Nancy Kerrigan's ruthlessly broken kneecap seemed so yesterday, and anyway, I never learned to ice skate. A bunch of fancily clad skaters twirling about on slippery ice while a Rachmaninoff etude plays in the background seemed like an awful yawn. But alas, dear reader, it appears I'm not entirely bereft of the genteel gene required to appreciate such stuff.   Now don't get me wrong. I'm not going to move heaven and earth to make sure I don't miss the competitive figure

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Mass Delegation Calls on Pruitt to Uphold Rest of the River Plan
Staff Reports,
01:16PM / Friday, February 09, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The region's congressional delegation is pushing Environment Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to uphold the EPA's 2016 order that contaminated material in the Housatonic River be "shipped off-site to existing licensed facilities for disposal."   U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal have sent a letter to Pruitt calling on him to ensure General Electric lives up to its commitments in the $613 million "Rest of the River" cleanup.    Keeping the contaminated soil and sediment in the county would save GE roughly $250 million.    GE, once a powerhouse in Pittsfield,

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Snowfall Predictions: Weekend Watch
11:18AM / Friday, February 09, 2018

If you haven't had enough snow this past week, guess what? We might get a few more inches this weekend.

The National Weather Service says there is a chance of light snow Friday afternoon into the evening, and then again in the early-morning hours of Saturday and possibly continuing after daybreak. The total amount in northern Berkshire County could be upwards of 3 inches.

Temperatures should be seasonably mild, with daytime highs reaching into the 40s.

The Weather Channel and WTEN also predict a 50 percent chance of snow Friday afternoon and into Saturday as well, with a total of 1 to 3 inches.

 

Light snow this afternoon into tonight, but moderate over the southern

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IS183 Art School Names Executive Director
10:29PM / Thursday, February 08, 2018

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — IS183 Art School's Board of Directors has named Lucie Castaldo permanent executive director after four months serving in the interim position.

"We are incredibly fortunate to have an internal candidate of such high quality with such an extensive history serving the organization," said Andy Foster, chairman of the board. "Lucie cares so much about our programs, teachers and students and this engagement is infectious. She brings both continuity and – as we can already see a few months in – a raft of new ideas and approaches that will strengthen our service to the Berkshires. With a strong team in place surrounding her, IS183 is

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BCC Adds Two to Board of Trustees
10:05PM / Thursday, February 08, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Carlo Zaffanella and Julia Bowen have joined the Berkshire Community College Board of Trustees. Both were appointed last year by Gov. Charlie Baker.

Zaffanella is the vice president/general manager of Maritime & Strategic Systems business at General Dynamics Mission Systems, one of the largest employers in Berkshire County. He also serves on the board of Soldier On and the Naval Submarine League.

Bowen has worked as the founder and executive director of Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School in Adams, Mass. Her work in the community includes being the founding board chair for Lever, Inc., and a member of the board of Northern Berkshire United

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Hinds Secures $29.7M for Local Projects in State Capital Bill
Staff Reports,
06:36PM / Thursday, February 08, 2018
BOSTON — State Senator Adam G. Hinds, D- Pittsfield, has been able to place $1.2 million toward design and engineering for a new North Adams public safety building, $4 million toward a Pittsfield Police station, and $500,000 toward a new roof on Clarksburg School.    The funds were secured in the $29.7 million in capital spending authorizations for local projects in S. 2279, "An Act providing for capital facility repair and improvements for the Commonwealth," a bond bill engrossed by the state Senate.   "Securing these spending authorizations is critical for timely and much needed capital investments in our local schools, housing stock, public safety

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Be a Smarter Curling Viewer and, Better Yet, Try It Yourself
Community Submission,
03:18AM / Thursday, February 08, 2018
  Since Pete Fenson and the U.S. men's bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics, things have not gone well for USA curling at the Olympics. In 2010, both the men's team. and the women's team. finished last during the preliminary round. In 2014, the United States won only three of their eighteen combined ga.m.es with the men finishing ninth and the women tenth after the round-robin tournament   The United States should be moving up in 2018, but how much better and do any U.S. teams stand a chance to medal?   The 2018 Winter Olympics will begin with the new Olympic event of mixed doubles curling. Matt Hamilton and Rebecca Hamilton will represent the United States.

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Mount Greylock Care Residents Get Dolled Up For Glamour Shots
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:46PM / Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The residents were treated to makeup and their hair styled.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Betty Sacco doesn't get all dolled up much anymore.   The senior citizen lives at Mount Greylock Extended Care Facility and doesn't get her hair and makeup done very often.   But on Wednesday, she was styling.   Sacco is one of two dozen residents who got all dressed up to take "glamour shots."    "I love it because it is dressing up, you don't do this every day," Sacco said. "They do a good job. They really know what they are doing. There are no complaints here."   Sacco had just sat down with Pam Ellis, who carefully

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Be Financially Prepared for Natural Disasters
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:31PM / Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Just this past year, we've seen natural disasters in Texas, California, Florida and Puerto Rico – and looking back even further, it's not hard to spot other traumas in virtually every part of the country. Whether it's a tornado, hurricane, flood or wildfire, you may be at least potentially susceptible to a weather-related event that could threaten your physical – and financial – well-being. How can you protect yourself? 

As far as your physical safety is concerned, you're probably already aware of the steps you need to take to shield yourself and your family. And now that many alerts can be sent directly to your smartphone, you've got an even

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