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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

'The Spy Behind Home Plate': Glove, Mask, Cloak-and-Dagger
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:05PM / Friday, June 14, 2019
"Get your scorecards. Get your scorecards. Can't tell the spies from the conspirators without a scorecard."   Such was just one of my thoughts after seeing filmmaker Aviva Kempner's fascinating, incredible and rather mind-blowing documentary about Morris "Moe" Berg, Major League catcher, Princeton (B.A.) and Columbia (LL.D.) graduate, speaker of 12 languages who studied Sanskrit at the Sorbonne and, oh, almost forgot, spy for the OSS.    Psst ... He was assigned to help undermine the Nazi atomic bomb program during WWII.    But what drives you crazy as you partake of Kempner's scholarly and entertaining treasure trough of the superbly

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@theMarket: Markets Expect Fed to Cut Rates
By Bill Schmick,
04:08PM / Friday, June 14, 2019
Investors can credit the Fed once again for the market's revival thus far in June. The buying is fueled by expectations of three rate cuts by no later than December. Is that wishful thinking?   While only 23 percent of investors expect a rate cut next week when the Fed meets, 83 percent do expect a cut in July. The odds of another cut in September are now at 63.8 percent, with a third cut in December, which is expected by over half of market participants.   Given that the Fed's job description is to keep inflation under control, while supporting robust employment, one or the other of those variables will need to change in order for the Fed to cut rates. The inflation rate

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CATA Breaks Ground for New Art Center & Headquarters
02:23PM / Friday, June 14, 2019

The 6,400 square foot center is designed by Clark & Green Architects. It's expected to take about a year to renovate the structure.  GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Access for the Arts broke ground on Wednesday morning for a new art center at 420 Stockbridge Road.   The center will be a permanent home for CATA and allow the organization to expand its innovative arts programs for people with disabilities.   The two-story, 6,400-square-foot facility will double the organization's existing studio space, with two studios — one for visual arts and writing, the other for dance and performing arts. CATA's new arts center will also embody the

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Sandisfield Arts Center Presents 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'
10:51AM / Friday, June 14, 2019

SANDISFIELD, Mass. — Roald Dahl’s beloved classic "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" will be brought to life by the Sandisfield Players at the Sandisfield Arts Center this Father's Day weekend, with evening performances at 7 p.m. Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, and a matinee at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 16. 

This production is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by Ben Luxon and the Sandisfield Players. While Luxon has directed such memorable productions as "Shakespeare Unchained," "Under Milkwood" and "Our Town, "Charlie" is the first musical the group has undertaken. 

The production includes

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The Independent Investor: The Suburban Dilemma
By Bill Schmick,
04:25PM / Thursday, June 13, 2019
Over the last decade, the percentage of Baby Boomers, those aged 65 to 74, living in the suburbs increased by almost 50 percent. Over the next 20 years, that age group will double in size, and by 2040, 1 in every 5 Americans will be age 85 or older. The majority of them will continue to live in the suburbs.   Older adults, it appears, move less frequently than any other age group. Over the last 10 years, only 6 percent of persons over 65 years of age moved, according to AARP, compared to 17 percent of those under 65. It's called "aging in place," which is a standing trend that describes how older Americans prefer to stay in their homes and never move. They are attached to

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MCLA Launches Institute of Arts and Humanities
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:00PM / Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Professor Lisa Donovan, director other institute, center, speaks with attendees before symposium begins.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is partnering with the area's myriad cultural entities to further its mission as an inclusive educational institution.   The college launched its new Institute for Arts and Humanities on Wednesday morning with a three-day conference on diversity, equity and inclusion that included an address that night by activist and commentator Nikki Giovanni and a lunchtime talk by Mathew Knowles, father of Beyonce, on Thursday.   The institute was made possible by a three-year $360,000 grant from The

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Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival Set for Saturday
04:23PM / Wednesday, June 12, 2019
ADAMS, Mass. — Bowe Field will become a fantasy land this Saturday as the fourth annual Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival emerges from its magical realm.    The locally organized "Whimsical Fantasy Celebrating the Arts" is a family friendly affair featuring artisans, vendors, music and lots of activities for young and old. The day will be packed with new entertainment and the Queen's Quest, plus the popular Faerie Village build.    Attendees are more than welcome to come in fantasy costume but don't worry if you've left your wings behind — you can embellish a new pair at the fair.    Meet the Faerie Queen and her court,

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Summer Music Festival Season is About to Begin
by Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
12:24PM / Wednesday, June 12, 2019

After a particularly severe and brutally cold winter, the upcoming seasonal musical offerings will be balm to both popular music and classical aficionados, who, each June, anticipate the feast of music these diverse festivals and series present.

These are the music festivals that make our locality a cultural capital, drawing thousands to hear great music – popular, classical chamber, symphony, choral, opera, musical theater, contemporary classical, et al – to experience legendary artists perform masterworks within the verdant hills and dales of the Berkshires and southwestern Vermont we call home.

For this first week of Classical Beat, here's a capsule preview of six of

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BBBBBzzz: Bombino, Berkshire Jazz Start the Pop Season with a Bang
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
11:57AM / Wednesday, June 12, 2019

An American Public Media "Live from Here" broadcast with Chris Thile kicks off the early Tanglewood season on Saturday, June 15.

Summer is almost here, and so is pop, jazz, dance, musical theater and new music throughout the region. As before, I'll preview what's coming up each week to help you kick off your shoes.

Hopefully, I'll encourage you to attend a performance of music you know you love, or even music you don't know but that you might love. A great, varied season awaits from Great Barrington to North Adams.

 

Tanglewood Music Festival

Let's begin with Tanglewood, in Lenox, with its early season non-classical lineup in the Shed. On Saturday,

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Tools Are Great for Father's Day and for Investors
10:43AM / Tuesday, June 11, 2019

If you are a dad, you may well be pleased to unwrap some tools as Father's Day gifts. Of course, it might be a stereotype that all men are handy at repairs; women certainly can be every bit as good when it comes to building and fixing things. In fact, the construction process is valuable for anyone to learn – and the same skills that go in to creating and mending physical objects also can be applied to financial projects – such as working toward a comfortable retirement.

Here are a few of those skills:

Diagnosing the challenge: A good craftsperson knows that the first step toward accomplishing any outcome is to assess the challenge. So, for example, if you want to build

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Pair of Unbeatens Remain in Berkshire Adult Baseball League
Community submission,
07:30AM / Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Cornerstone and the Adams Aces won their games this weekend to stay unbeaten in the Berkshire Adult Baseball League.   Cornerstone (4-0) leads the 20-year-old league after taking a pair of games.   Cornerstone took a pair of games from the Great Barrington Millers over the weekend.   First, Jeff Field hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to help break open a close game that ended up a 10-3 Cornerstone win. Isaiah Provencher earned the win on the mound, striking out eight.   In Game 2, Cornerstone went ahead, 6-1, after two innings en route to a 9-2 win. Field homered twice and drove in eight runs in the win. Tanner Bird homered in a two-hit day.   The Adams Aces

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BCAC Celebrates Accomplishments at Annual Meeting
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:45AM / Tuesday, June 11, 2019

State Sen. Adam Hinds speaks to the BCAC annual meeting on Friday after being presented with the Community Hero Award.  (Photo courtesy Angela Dimock Photography)

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Community Action Council annual meeting aimed to showcase what has been done over the past year, but this year's keynote speech highlighted just how much work there is to do moving forward.

Nancy Wagman, the Kids Count director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, gave a presentation to the more than 150 guests gathered at Berkshire Hills Country Club on Friday that went back in time to show when and how poverty started winning the war that President Lyndon Johnson

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