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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Summer is Coming: Be Patient
12:27PM / Friday, June 21, 2019

Happy summer, Berkshireites.

Yes, even though the thermometer says 63 in the middle of the day, the calendar says it's now summer, so break out the tank tops and flip flops. What? You've had them out already? And then put them away? Then brought them back out again?

We've been getting whiplash with this last-spring weather for sure.

But let's get through a cool and dark Friday, and a better weekend awaits. The sun is supposed to shine all day Saturday and Sunday, with a temperatures in the 70s - maybe hitting 80 on Sunday, according to AccuWeather.

While that's not super summer weather, it's good enough to get out and do some yard work or go swimming at one of

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Greylock Insurance Agency Staffer Earns Elite Status
11:42AM / Friday, June 21, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Insurance Agency's Insurance Processing and Systems Manager Rebecca Kelly has earned the designation of CISR Elite after successfully completing extensive examinations in all areas of insurance risks and exposures.

"This certification demonstrates Kelly’s professional dedication and commitment to excellence," said Vice President Lori Goodell. "Our clients know they can count on her and our other agents for thorough, thoughtful and exemplary service."

The Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) Program, available to insurance professionals around the world, is distinguished from other programs of its kind by an

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Berkshire County Arc Hires Clinical Director
11:36AM / Friday, June 21, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Christopher Peltier has been named clinical director of the Berkshire County Arc, a new position that oversees the behavioral and nursing staff for BCArc programs that serve more than 1,000 individuals throughout the Berkshire and Hampden counties.

Most recently he worked for 10 years at the Amherst Public Schools as a behavior analyst and autism specialist. He grew up in Williamstown, Mass., and attended Mt. Greylock Regional High School.

"Our priority is making sure the people we serve have meaningful and happy lives," said Kenneth Singer, president and CEO of BCArc. "Chris has the experience, expertise, and the passion we look for in our

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Family Medicine Physician Joins CHP Lee Family Practice
11:23AM / Friday, June 21, 2019

LEE, Mass. — Dr. Jeremy Stoepker, family medicine physician, has relocated from New York City to join the primary care team at CHP Lee Family Practice.

Stoepker has a special interest in LGBTQ health, alternative/complementary medicine approaches, and holistic attention to caring for individuals and families.

Most recently, Stoepker was a teaching/attending physician at the Center for Family and Community Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center; he also worked as a private practitioner at Westside Family Medicine in New York City.

Stoepker's past positions include assistant attending hospitalist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and

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Community Legal Aid Attorney Named President of Berkshire Bar Association
10:52AM / Friday, June 21, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Community Legal Aid staff attorney Dana Doyle was elected as the next president of the Berkshire County Bar Association at the association's annual meeting, held on May 15. Doyle’s two-year term will begin on Sept. 1.

Doyle, a Pittsfield resident, is a certified mediator, certified conciliator, collaborative law attorney, parenting coordinator, and guardian ad litem investigator, and has been a member of the Massachusetts Bar since 1998. Prior to joining the family law unit at Community Legal Aid in 2017, she spent 15 years in private practice as a solo practitioner and an associate at several law firms in Berkshire County.

Attorney Doyle began her law

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Berkshire Medical Center Awarded Recertification for Total Hip & Knee Replacement
09:03PM / Thursday, June 20, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center has again earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for Certification for Total Hip and Knee Replacement. 

The certification is for Joint Commission-accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers seeking to elevate the quality, consistency and safety of their services and patient care.

BMC underwent a rigorous onsite review on April 24. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with disease-specific care standards and total hip and total knee replacement requirements, including orthopedic consultation, and pre-operative, intraoperative and post-surgical orthopedic surgeon follow-up

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The Independent Investor: Why FHA Loans Are so Popular
By Bill Schmick,
05:03PM / Thursday, June 20, 2019
Federal Housing Authority Loans have long been one of the most popular types of mortgage loans available. Roughly 20 percent of all mortgage applicants will choose an FHA loan because it makes total economic sense to do so. And the older you are, the more important having an FHA approved dwelling becomes.   To many, that may appear to contradict your understanding of the FHA loan market. Most believe it is a program to assist younger folks, who need a hand to purchase their first home. You wouldn't be far wrong from a historical perspective, but times have changed.   The FHA loan was originally designed during the Depression years to help home buyers, (usually first-time

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'Late Night': Funny Business
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:17PM / Thursday, June 20, 2019
Somewhere between my wild youth and the acquiescence to middle-class mediocrity if not respectability, there was my bachelor pad era. The Cohens, a childless couple who had no designs on a single-family home until they inherited one, had relinquished their pink apartment on Pingry Place. And thus, after a bribe, unbeknownst to me, from my Mom to the super, the digs were mine.    I later learned that said financial inducement was followed by regular sub-rosa gratuities in return for information on yours truly's comings and goings. In Mom's defense, I think she had a FISA warrant. And yes, this indulgent preamble has everything to do with director Nisha Ganatra's smartly

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Tanglewood's New Learning Institute Is A Bold New Chapter
by Stephen Dankner,
11:36AM / Wednesday, June 19, 2019

For many music lovers, Tanglewood, on the Lenox/Stockbridge border, virtually defines music in the Berkshires. It is the largest summer presenter, with the most comprehensive schedule of performances across the full spectrum of musical styles and genres. Before getting into the exciting, imminent opening events, bookmark the Boston Symphony’s website, tanglewood.org, to easily access the full summer concert schedule, season highlights, tickets and general information.

The exciting news from the Boston Symphony is the opening at the Tanglewood campus of the Linde Center for Music and Learning and the new programs of the constituent Tanglewood Learning Institute. This bold initiative

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Gotta Dance, Gotta Sing: There's Both This Week on Local Stages
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
11:12AM / Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Downtown Pittsfield Third Thursdays — TL Collective

Each third Thursday of the month, streets are closed in downtown Pittsfield and all kinds of music rocks the city. Featured June 20 at 6 p.m. in the Dance Zone at the north end of the street festival is TL Collective, the athletic, family-friendly contemporary and hip-hop moves of Micaela Taylor's company. The group performs an evening length work "Drift." The aim, according to organizers, is to "demonstrate an individual's ever-changing relationship to self while exposing a personal season of self-growth."

You can find the dance zone near the corner of Bradford and North Streets in front of St.

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Smart Financial Moves for 'Gig' Economy Workers
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:56AM / Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Not that long ago, most people worked for some type of an organization, such as a business or the government or a school district. But today, more and more workers are going their own way and joining what's known as the "gig" economy. If you will be one of them, you'll want to make the right moves to advance your financial goals in what can be a challenging work environment.

But first, you may find some comfort in knowing the prevalence of gig work. About 36 percent of U.S. workers are now gig workers, according to a study from the Gallup organization, which defines the gig economy as one made up of a variety of arrangements – independent contractors, online

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'Aladdin' Goes Dark, Political and Not As Much Fun
By Rebecca Dravis,
12:18PM / Tuesday, June 18, 2019



Well, I liked this one more than "Dumbo." Which isn't saying much, because I didn't like "Dumbo" all that much. In fact, I haven't much liked any of the Disney live-action remakes of the classics. (Spoiler alert: I will not be seeing "The Lion King." I hate talking animals that aren't cartoons.)

But OK. "Aladdin" wasn't ALL awful.

We saw it at Hathaway's Drive-In Theatre under the stars, which is always fun - if you don't mind the bugs and the less-than-stellar sound quality. Yes, I know, both of those would be improved if we sat INSIDE the car, but I still don't know how that would work with four people. So

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