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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

ArtWeek to Launch Across Massachusetts
02:39PM / Monday, April 23, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. - Presented by Highland Street Foundation and produced by the Boch Center, ArtWeek will present its largest season lineup ever.

The award-winning creative festival will offer more than 500 events from April 27-May 6 — more than double the size of the 2017 festival. For the first time, ArtWeek events will take place across the commonwealth, with a presence in 155 neighborhoods and towns across all six regions of the state.

The festival aims to provide participants with new ways to get creative and make art and culture more accessible to everyone. This season, more than 70 percent of all ArtWeek events are free. Visit the website to view the full calendar of

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Berkshires Beat: Sen. Hinds Reads Aloud to Young Children in Pittsfield
01:57PM / Monday, April 23, 2018
Time to Read

Dr. Brian Dempsey is sending families home from checkups with free books and a very important prescription for the parents: "Read aloud to your children every day." In support of that effort, Sen. Adam Hinds visited the pediatrician's office on April 20, not only to cheer him on, but to practice what doctors preach by reading to a group of young patients.

Dr. Dempsey participates in Reach Out and Read, a program that prescribes books and reading aloud to give young children a foundation that is crucial for success. Embedded within the existing healthcare system, Reach Out and Read’s model includes providing a new, age-appropriate book for each child to take

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Biz Briefs: Nonprofit Center Names Award Finalists
12:29PM / Monday, April 23, 2018
The finalists are ...

The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires has announced the names of the 21 finalists for the Berkshire Nonprofit Awards. The winners in each of seven categories will be announced at the first Berkshire Nonprofit Awards Breakfast on Tuesday, May 22, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Country Club of Pittsfield. Tickets for the Berkshire Nonprofit Awards Breakfast are $40 per person. Register online or call 413-645-3151.  

Nominations were solicited throughout February and March. A team of 14 judges from the business sector reviewed and ranked the nominations, choosing the finalists and winners at a meeting earlier in April at Berkshire Bank. The finalists are:

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BHS Expands Endocrinology Care With Addition of New Doctor
12:04PM / Monday, April 23, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems announces the appointment of Dr. Zaighum Rana, a board- certified and fellowship-trained endocrinologist, to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Endocrinology & Metabolism of BMC.

Dr. Rana is accepting new patients in need of endocrinology and metabolism services and is partnered with doctors Brian Phillips and Krithi Ramesh and nurse practitioners Robyn Korte and Roberta Mansen at Endocrinology & Metabolism of BMC.

Rana received his medical degree from Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie, Grigore T Popa, Romania, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at St. Mary's Hospital,

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Youth Development, Transportation, Tops Pignatelli's Budget Priorities
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:51AM / Monday, April 23, 2018
  LENOX, Mass. — State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli's top budget priority isn't a surprise: Berkshire youth development.   The Lenox Democrat has prioritized programs such as the Railroad Street Youth Project for a number of years. And now, he's requesting more state funding to expand that into a countywide effort.   "My No. 1 priority for the past 12 years now has been the Berkshire Youth Development. I really chartered my career in the legislature as a youth development empowerment person. What started at Railroad Street in Great Barrington was so successful, we have more work to do, but so successful we felt that we wanted to take it

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'Ready Player One': It's All a Game
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires columnist
03:28PM / Friday, April 20, 2018
It occurs while viewing Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One" that this is something Dr. Timothy Leary might have dreamt if he fell asleep just after reading Orwell's "1984."    As a pundit I knew in 1969 was oft inclined to opine when bemused by the semi-unexplainable, "It's trippy." Although the film bounces back and forth between reality and its cause célèbre, virtual reality, we are ultimately relieved when we grok that beneath all the layers of surrealism and cutting-edge chimera, it's just good vs. evil fighting it out in high-tech trappings.   In this feature-length metaphor within a satire based on Ernest

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@theMarket: Earnings Up; Stocks, Not So Much
By Bill Schmick,
03:00PM / Friday, April 20, 2018
Earnings season kicked off last Friday with the bank results. The numbers were stellar, but the stock prices of those companies fell hard. Since then, the same thing has occurred to any number of companies. What is going on?   At first, you might think it's classic "sell on the news" behavior where traders bid stock prices up prior to the earnings announcement and then take profits immediately after. However, a closer look reveals something different going on.   For months, investors were expecting a boost to corporate profits from the tax cuts passed by Trump and the GOP last year. Boy oh boy, we said, just wait and see how great earnings will be in the first

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Concert Benefits Girls Empowerment
02:30PM / Friday, April 20, 2018

EGREMONT, Mass. — Miss Hall's School seniors Anna Kim and Tiffany Luu will host a fundraising concert titled "Girls Aloud! Advocating Girls Empowerment" on Sunday, April 29, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at The Barn at the Egremont Village Inn on South Main Street.  

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Berkshire HorseWorks, a 501c3 based in Richmond that provides EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy to those at risk and equine-assisted team building for organizations of all kinds. Kim has been interning at the organization during her senior year as part of the school's Horizons program.

Tickets are limited.General admission is $15,and the student price is

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MCLA Presents 'Into the Woods'
02:20PM / Friday, April 20, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' 2017-18 theater season, "We the People," will culminate with the theater program's adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods," which will open on Friday, April 20.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. on April 20, 21, 27 and 28, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 29, in Venable Theater on the MCLA campus. A talkback will take place after the 8 p.m. show on Saturday, April 28. For more information or to reserve tickets, call the box office at 413-662-5123 or go online.

Directed by Jeremy Winchester, assistant professor of theater at MCLA, the show

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BCC Students to be Inducted Into National Honor Society
01:08PM / Friday, April 20, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College will hold an induction ceremony for students joining the Xi Alpha Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa on Tuesday, April 24 at 12:30 p.m. in the Boland Theatre of the Koussevitzky Arts Center on the college's main campus in Pittsfield.

Phi Theta Kappa is the national honor society of junior and community colleges in the United States. The purpose of the society is to recognize and encourage scholarship among students.

To be eligible for membership, students with freshman standing (12 to 29 credits) must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.8 or better. Students with a sophomore standing (30 or more credits) must have achieved

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The Independent Investor: Why the Tax Cuts Are Unpopular Among Americans
By Bill Schmick,
04:12PM / Thursday, April 19, 2018
Despite spending big money and all the marketing they can muster, the Republicans are still not able to convince most Americans that the tax cut benefits anyone but the rich and the corporations they own. Maybe, we are not as dumb as they think we are.   An April poll by Gallup indicated that 51 percent of Americans disapproved of the tax cut, versus 39 percent who approved of the cut. Another poll, conducted by NBC News/Wall Street Journal, found that 36 percent of the people they polled thought the tax cut was a bad idea, while only 27 percent believed it was a good idea.   Normally, you would think that a tax cut that benefits "all Americans" and "especially the

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Keep Your Investment 'Ecosystem' Healthy
01:31PM / Wednesday, April 18, 2018

April 22 is Earth Day. First observed in 1970, Earth Day has evolved into an international celebration, with nearly 200 countries holding events to support clean air, clean water and other measures to protect our planet.

As an investor, what lessons can you learn from this special day? Consider the following:

* Avoid “toxic” investment moves. Earth Day events show us how we can help keep toxins out of our land, air and water. And if you want to keep your investment ecosystem healthy, you need to avoid making some toxic moves. For example, don’t chase after hot stocks based on tips you may have heard or read. By the time you learn about these stocks, they may already

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