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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

'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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Panel to Discuss the Top Five Student-Athlete Injuries
01:24PM / Wednesday, April 18, 2018

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, Northern Berkshire Orthopedics and Williamstown Physical Therapy present "Tackling the Top 5 Student-Athlete Injuries" from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, at the Williamstown Youth Center.

Student athletes give it their all and sometimes get injured. An expert panel will address prevention, treatment and recovery for the top five most common injuries suffered by student athletes. Attendees will learn how to continue playing throughout school and beyond.

The panel includes:

* Dr. Suk Namkoong, orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Northern Berkshire Orthopedics and SVMC Orthopedics. Namkoong

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Touch a Truck Draws Curious Kids
12:27PM / Wednesday, April 18, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Despite the chilly morning, parents and caregivers bundled up their toddlers and preschoolers and brought them over to the parking lot behind Joe Wolfe Field on Wednesday morning for the Family Center's annual Touch a Truck event.

The event allowed children to explore big trucks as well as learn about community helpers such as a police car, fire truck and ambulance. There were also buses, tractors, a flatbed tow truck, construction vehicles, ATVs and more.

North Adams and Clarksburg fire departments had trucks at the event, as did North Adams police and ambulance. The BRTA had two buses at the event; the large bus was a popular stop as the heat was running

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Action Plan Developed to Make Berkshires Age Friendly
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:34PM / Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Secretary for Elder Affairs Alice Bonner said the state is behind the age-friendly effort. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The trends are very clear. In just 12 years, around 60 percent of the Berkshires' population will be older than 50.   "Our population in 2010 was 18.5 percent persons over the age 65. And then by 2020, that percentage of older adults is expected to increase to 24 percent," Margaret McDonough, a senior planner with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, said.   "For the first time in our history, older adults will outnumber those under the age of 18 by a wide margin."   Three years ago, a group of people who work in the realm

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State Representative Mark Preps For State Budget Debate
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:38AM / Tuesday, April 17, 2018
DALTON, Mass. — State Rep. Paul Mark is looking to create a Berkshire County opioid task force in the budget.   Mark has filed an amendment for $250,000 to start the task force with the Berkshire County sheriff's office, the Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Coalition, and a number of other organizations tackling the issue.   "This isn't meant to replace any of those but work with them and enhance what they're doing and try to collaborate better," the Peru Democrat said.   The task force would focus on things such as prevention, education, ending the stigma, and getting into schools with prevention programs -- and not to be confused with the

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North Berkshire Coalition Forum Tackles Economic Development
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:37AM / Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Adams Select Board member Christine Hoyt points to a map laying out the redevelopment sparked by the Berkshire Scenic Railway project in Adams.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Everyone can play a role in the economic development of the region, local officials and experts said at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition's monthly forum on Friday.

"Every single one of you is involved in economic development," Jonathan Butler, CEO at 1Berkshire, told the nearly 70 people in attendance at the monthly forum at First Baptist Church.

Butler kicked off the forum by giving an overview of the economic situation in the Berkshires, more specifically northern Berkshire County. He shared

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