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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Classical Music High Season is Ablaze
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
12:42PM / Wednesday, July 25, 2018

During late July into early August, with concerts at Tanglewood and at other celebrated regional venues, the classical music festival high season lights up with sure-fire programming. Major orchestral offerings at Tanglewood this week include Mozart's groundbreaking Symphony No. 40 and Brahms' poignant Symphony No. 3, along with solo star turns by the world-renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson and the sublimely poetic violinist Gil Shaham.

Adventurous listeners take note: Add to the above the Festival of Contemporary Music from July 26-30 in Ozawa Hall, directed by composer/conductor/pianist Thomas Adès. The musical palette broadens to present a gallery of newly composed works,

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Where You Live as Retiree Can Affect Financial Strategies
11:54AM / Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Upon retiring, many people relocate to enjoy a more favorable climate, or to be closer to grown children, or to live in an area they have visited and enjoyed. If you, too, are thinking of moving someday, you will want to study possible locations, but you also need to be aware that where you eventually decide to live can greatly affect your savings and investment strategies – both now and during your retirement.

Here are some relocation costs to consider:

Housing: Not surprisingly, the larger the city, the more expensive the housing is likely to be. Also, locations near an ocean or the mountains tend to be more costly. But the type of housing you select – house, apartment or

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Barrington Stage Youth Theatre Presents 'James and the Giant Peach'
11:49AM / Wednesday, July 25, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Barrington Stage Youth Theatre presents "James and the Giant Peach" from July 26 through Aug. 12 at Berkshire Museum.

"James and the Giant Peach," book by Timothy Allen MdDonald, based on the book "James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl, is a brand new take on this "masterpeach" of a tale. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score and a witty and charming book, this is an adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery. When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions.

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Matthews, Post 68 Blank Wilbraham in District Final
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
09:49PM / Tuesday, July 24, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Rivalry is the essence of high school sports.   And a little friendly rivalry between teammates can go a long way.   So when Pittsfield High’s Carter Matthews followed Taconic graduate Jake Flynn in the rotation for Tuesday’s American Legion District Championship playoff game, their Post 68 coach was not above stoking their rivalry.   “Carter’s one of our biggest competitors,” Pat Bassi said. “I told him, kiddingly, before the game, ‘Are you going to try to match Jake from last night?’ He said, ‘I’m going to try my best coach,’ and he did.’ “   On the heels of Flynn’s

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Berkshires Beat: Disability Innovator to Give Jacob's Pillow Performance
02:50PM / Monday, July 23, 2018
Wheeled away

Following a sold-out run at New York Live Arts and performances at San Francisco's Fresh Meat Festival, choreographer and disability arts innovator Alice Sheppard and the Kinetic Light collaborative will give a debut appearance at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival’s Inside/Out series on Wednesday, Aug. 1, from 6:15 to 7 p.m.

They will present a mixed program of solo and duet works celebrating wheeled movement, using wooden ramp wedges designed by Massachusetts artist and design researcher Sara Hendren. The program includes a restaged duet from "Descent," the evening-length work that celebrated a sold-out run at New York Live Arts in March 2018. Inside/Out

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Sen. Warren's Town Hall Attracts More Than A Thousand In Great Barrington
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:02AM / Monday, July 23, 2018

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren promised to "keep fighting." GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. - U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is one of the most polarizing senators in the country.    Democrats love her and that was shown on Sunday when more than 1,000 people stood in line, some hours ahead of time, to hear her speak at the Mahaiwe Performance Arts Center.   Republicans hate her and that was shown by the counter-protest being held just outside those doors.   But Warren seems to operate comfortably in that position as for more than an hour, in a speech and question and answers from the audience, she focused on what she sees as the fundamental differences between the two

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Lee Selectman Wickham Making Bid For State Senate
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:30AM / Monday, July 23, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Thomas Wickham describes himself as a "realist" and a "moderate" and is looking for a seat in the state Senate.   Eleven years ago he received a tax bill that frustrated him. But instead of just getting mad and complaining about it, he got involved.    "After I got my taxes, I was kind of mad. I figured I wanted to get involved and figure out what is going on," Wickham said. "I started on the Planning Board 10, 11 years ago learning how zoning goes and how we zone businesses in town, whether we are friendly or not."   That experience led him to get involved with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

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Soccer Referee Class Offered in Lenox
10:29PM / Sunday, July 22, 2018
LENOX, Mass. -- The Massachusetts State Referee Committee will host a course next month in Lenox for anyone interested in being a USSF Soccer Official.   The course will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5, at the Hampton Inn.   Prepayment of $115 is required with a check made out to MSRC.   To register, visit  https://www.massref.net/Central/courseofferings.cfm and click on the class for Lenox.

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Berkshire Force Takes Two Titles at Dalton CRA Tourney
10:17PM / Sunday, July 22, 2018
DALTON, Mass. -- The Berkshire Force 16-year-olds and 14-year-olds earned titles on Sunday at the Dalton CRA Softball Invitational Tournament.   The other two age division titles were captured by squads from Guilderland, N.Y.   Guilderland defeated Berkshire Force squads in the 10-year-old and 12-year-old finals, winning by scores of 13-1 and 7-1, respectively.   In the 16-and-under division, the Force defeated Hudson Valley, N.Y., 13-9, in the the title game.   In the 14-and-under group, the Force defeated Dalton, 7-1, in the final.   "It was a great weekend, with lots of good softball and some exciting games," Dalton CRA Director of Recreation Dustin

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Hinds Backs Efforts to Bolster Mountain Biking Trails
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:08AM / Sunday, July 22, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Sen. Adam Hinds knows mountain biking is an emerging industry. But, he also knows people who drive through the Berkshires to get elsewhere for it.   "Mountain biking has been identified as an industry that is growing and we are well positioned for it," Hinds said.   According to New England Mountain Bike's Berkshire County Branch President Alison McGee, there are hundreds of great mountain biking trails throughout Berkshire County. But, most aren't mapped. Unless people are in certain Facebook groups or know others who can show them around, many don't know about them. She knows there are different levels of maintenance being

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Dalton CRA Softball Tournament Draws Dozens of Teams to Town
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
09:43PM / Friday, July 20, 2018
DALTON, Mass. -- The Dalton CRA Invitational Softball Tournament has grown four-fold in nine years, and there is one reason why.   "The biggest thing is just the volunteers," CRA Director of Recreation Dustin Belcher said. "I have an incredible committee of people who really give so much time and effort -- most of them do not have kids playing this weekend, but they've been here since their kids started, and they've kind of stuck it out.   "They've focused on all the other stuff so I can focus on recruiting and getting teams here."   It is a 15-person committee that helps Belcher stage the event, which got under way on Friday night and

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BCC's Nursing Program Placed on Warning Status
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:58PM / Friday, July 20, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The nursing program at Berkshire Community College has been placed on warning.   The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing cited the college on a number of issues, which college officials have characterized as "housekeeping," and dropped the state accreditation to "approval with warning."   College officials have now created a blueprint to address the cited issues and are hoping to be back into the board's good graces as early as January.    "These are not student facing issues, it is not about our curriculum. These are procedure and policy issues that we need to address. We have begun preparing our

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