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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Biz Briefs: SABIC Donating to Local United Way to Support COVID-19 Response Efforts
11:10AM / Tuesday, May 26, 2020
SABIC donation

SABIC, a global leader in diversified chemicals, is donating $25,000 to the Berkshire United Way to help serve the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from $1 million in monetary donations to food banks and community-based agencies in the communities where the company operates, SABIC, whose head office is based in Houston, also is donating approximately $500,000 of its products. SABIC products are used to manufacture personal protection equipment for healthcare workers and medical equipment such as ventilators, patient monitoring devices, face shields, respiratory therapy machines and diagnostic equipment.

The company, which operates the Polymer Processing

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Mahaiwe Changing Up Its Upcoming Schedule
10:54AM / Tuesday, May 26, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center has cancelled and rescheduled events previously slated for June and July.

"As a year-round stage-and-screen presenter of varied content, the Mahaiwe continues to plan for a live season – now just a little further out on the horizon – at the same time that we use digital platforms and explore other options," Acting Executive Director Janis Martinson said. "In addition to missing the joy of artists and audiences meeting in a welcoming historic space, all of us at the Mahaiwe are concerned about the effects of our temporary closure on the broader community.  Our economic footprint – the

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Know Your Risk Tolerance at Different Stages of Life
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:32AM / Tuesday, May 26, 2020

As an investor, you will always need to deal with risk of some kind. But how can you manage the risk that has been made clear by the recent volatility in the financial markets? The answer to this question may depend on where you are in life. 

Let's look at some different life stages and how you might deal with risk at each of them: 

• When you are first starting out: If you are early in your career, with perhaps four or even five decades to go until you retire, you can likely afford to invest primarily for growth, which also means you will be taking on a higher level of risk, as risk and reward are positively correlated. But, given your age, you have time to overcome the

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CBS News Inviting Nationwide Participation of Taps
12:09PM / Monday, May 25, 2020
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Trumpeters and musicians of all ages across the nation are being invited to play taps at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day.   The idea comes from CBS News "On the Road" correspondent Steve Hartman and retired Air Force bugler Jari Villanueva to keep the spirit of the holiday alive. Parades and observances have been canceled or limited because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.    Instead of gatherings that might spread the deadly and highly contagious COVID-19, buglers and trumpeters are asked to stand alone to play taps to mark the holiday dedicated to the nation's military personnel who have lost their lives.    iBerkshires was alerted

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College Leaders Talk about Lessons Learned from COVID-19 Crisis
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:54AM / Monday, May 25, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Higher education is learning lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic that it will inform their operations long after the crisis has passed, a group of top administrators agreed on Friday.   "I had begun to think about the ways in which the modalities of teaching that remote learning offers can infuse and enrich some aspects of teaching, without suggesting that we would move in any way to a fully remote learning platform or even a largely remote platform," Williams College President Maud Mandel said.   "There are aspects of the modality of remote learning I think faculty have found to be enriching of their teaching, and that's one area that I

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In Cautious Song, Early Birds Proclaim Vernal Awakening
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
05:56PM / Sunday, May 24, 2020

Oh what a joy to see goldfinches in small feeding flocks dining on sunflower seeds provided in the porch feeders. It is time with a steel bristle brush to clear out last year's thistles and scrape away any rust clogging the tiny holes suited so well for their small bills.

What a treat to watch showy yellow and black males, their mottled feathers shifting to peak molt. Female goldfinches are overall more drab in softer hues of field grey-green but on the nest will be less obvious in camouflage. For several weeks ahead they wait until late spring to commence nest-building.

Their fleecy basket is woven securely in poplar trees with tight fibers to adjust for wind. Whether foraging on

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Museum Starting Series of Renovations
09:46AM / Saturday, May 23, 2020
Museum renovations

Construction fencing and heavy machinery will appear on South Street next week as the Berkshire Museum begins essential renovations. Together, three capital projects will preserve the 117-year-old museum structure and protect its unique collection of fine art, historical objects and scientific specimens for many years to come. Improvements include a modern sewer line, freight lift, and extensive waterproofing around the building’s basement level.

The lengthiest and most visible phase of construction will be the installation of a new sewer line to replace the original pipe installed when the historic institution was first built in 1903. The new plumbing will connect

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County's Colleges Train Workers for Post-Pandemic Economy
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:52AM / Saturday, May 23, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The county's institutions of higher education are ready to do their part to help their students navigate their way through a post-COVID-19 economy.   On Friday, the presidents of Berkshire Community College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Williams College and the provost of Bard College at Simon's Rock participated in a virtual town hall hosted by 1Berkshire.   Johnathan Butler led the hourlong conversation, which focused largely on how colleges are adapting to the current closure of their physical campuses and making plans for the fall 2020 semester.   But at one point Butler asked how the schools are situated to help address

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'I Remember Mama': Motherhood: All Love Begins and Ends There
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
07:44PM / Friday, May 22, 2020

I wish that I were reviewing one of the half-dozen movies certain to be made when this pox upon our house is no more. But until that glorious return to normality has us resuming all the simple joys of life we take for granted, like going to the movies, I'll be retro-reviewing and thereby sharing with you the films that I've come to treasure over the years, most of which can probably be retrieved from one of the movie streaming services. It is my fondest hope that I've barely put a dent into this trove when they let the likes of me back into the

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@theMarket: Memorial Day Markets
By Bill Schmick,
03:48PM / Friday, May 22, 2020
As we begin the Memorial Day weekend that usually launches the nation's summer season, investors are anxious to discover if Americans will ignore CDC warnings, and go back to their old ways of celebrating the holiday. And if they do, will new cases of COVID-19 spike?   The re-opening of much of America this week had been met with some celebratory gains in the stock market, but as I predicted, it has been an up and down week, despite the gain. The S&P 500 benchmark Index actually "kissed" 3,000 before falling back the following day. It was a first tentative probe of that level since the March declines.   However, if the S&P 500 Index can get through that

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BRPC Eliminates Community Assessment Increases
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:35AM / Friday, May 22, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission accepted an amended budget Thursday with no increases to community assessments.   The Committee voted to rescind the assessment increases to member communities in response to the financial impacts COVID-19 will surely have throughout Berkshire County.   "The situation has changed dramatically since January and understanding the fiscal challenges that our communities are going to be facing over the next year and possibly longer," BRPC Executive Director Thomas Matuszko said. "It is a recommendation to roll back that increase."   Originally in January, the commission voted to implement a

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The Independent Investor: Chinese Checkers
By Bill Schmick,
05:15PM / Thursday, May 21, 2020
If you are wondering why China is suddenly back in the news on various political and economic fronts, look no further than the November elections. America needs a scapegoat for all the pain and suffering we have endured during this pandemic. The world's second-largest economy is an easy target.   There is no dispute; if we want to cast blame on the country that originated the coronavirus, we know it originated in Wuhan, China. At the time, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the federal government, the White House, and the world at large, all applauded China's efforts to contain the virus. Back then (a few short months ago), President

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