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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Can You Save for College and Retirement?
12:47PM / Thursday, August 24, 2017

Few of us have unlimited financial resources — which means that almost all of us need to prioritize our financial goals. Consequently, you'll have some decisions to make if you’d like to help pay for your children’s college educations someday while, at the same time, saving for your own retirement.

Your first step in addressing these objectives is to maintain realistic expectations. Consider the issue of paying for college. Right now, the average four-year cost (tuition, fees, room and board) is about $80,000 for in-state students at public universities and approximately $180,000 for private schools, according to the College Board. And these costs are likely to keep

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Tanglewood Wraps Up Classical Season; Shanghai String Quartet at Music Mountain
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
04:46PM / Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tanglewood's classical programming winds up this week to make way for a series of popular artists, such as Diana Ross and Sting.

This week, Tanglewood concludes its 2017 classical programming, culminating with the always-anticipated traditional final concert, on Sunday, Aug. 27, featuring Beethoven's glorious and triumphant Ninth Symphony, preceded by Charles Ives' "The Housatonic at Stockbridge," from his three-movement orchestral suite, ‘Three Places in New England' – a magical, transformative and inspiring hymn to nature.

Before the Ninth, and the "Popular Artists Series," there are three exceptional programs you should consider

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Massie Seeks to Bring Long-term Solutions in Bid for Governor
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:07AM / Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Massie spent two hours meeting with voters at Dottie's about issues facing the state, the Berkshires, and his hopes for the gubernatorial nomination. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Sustainability is a word Robert Massie said he hasn't heard the current governor say.   And that is becoming a focal point for the Somerville author and activist, as he launches a campaign for the 2018 gubernatorial election. Massie, a Democrat, says he's running to bring a heightened focus to long-term and progressive solutions to current issues.   "I am by far the strongest progressive, the most experienced in all of the issues. I have put my entire adult life in fighting for

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Gubernatorial Candidate Warren Touts Experience, Ideas
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:28AM / Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Mayor Warren took a swing through the Berkshires last week.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Setti Warren wants to bring his brand of management — budgets based on outcomes and consensus building — to Beacon Hill to fix the state's economic woes.

During his eight years as mayor of Newton, he righted that city of 88,000 by eliminating a $40 million structural deficit, raising $20 million in reserves and putting it on the path to building five new schools. And he did one of the hardest things in Massachusetts: Get a Proposition 2 1/2 override passed for not one, but three ballot initiatives for education, public safety and infrastructure.

"We were open and honest and

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BArT Students Look Skyward on First Day of School
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:13PM / Monday, August 21, 2017
  ADAMS, Mass. — It's not every day an astronomical event coincides with the first day of school.    But for Berkshire Arts and Technology Public Charter School students, Monday's partial eclipse was a chance to view something special together before dismissal.   "This is just a blast," new Executive Director Jay White said. "It is not as good as being in the path of totality but just look around — they are just so excited."   White, a former astrophysics professor, shared his excitement with the school community and made sure each student and faculty member had a set of eclipse glasses to safely view the event.   The

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Berkshires Beat: Jacob's Pillow Opens New Studio Building
10:34AM / Monday, August 21, 2017

Pillow talk: Jacob's Pillow Dance celebrated the opening of the Perles Family Studio at an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 18. The Pillow's 85th Anniversary Festival Finale, on Aug. 26, will be the first event in the brand new space, which marks the first major on-site construction project at the Pillow since 1992.

The $5.5 million building was designed by award-winning Flansburgh Architects of Boston and constructed by Allegrone Companies of Pittsfield, Mass. The Perles Family Studio is an integral part of the Pillow's five-year strategic plan, Vision '22, which launches the Pillow as a year-round campus for programs, research, and development with initiatives

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Biz Briefs: Sotheby's International Sets Record in Berkshire County with Highest Sale Since 2013
10:13AM / Monday, August 21, 2017

Charming cottage: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty has announced the record sale of a 6,934 square-foot mansion in Lenox, Mass. – the highest sale in the region since 2013. The Federal-style home was listed and sold by Lenox agent Dan Alden for $3,575,000.

This property, "Thistlewood," was part of the famous "Berkshire Cottage" mansions, about 75 of which were built in Lenox and Stockbridge, Mass., during the Gilded Age in the late 19th century. Throughout this time, the wealthiest families in the country built these impressive mansions not only in the Berkshires, but also Newport, R.I. and Bar Harbor, Maine. The home at 151 Walker St. resides on

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Mass MoCA Announces Fall Season Works, Performances
04:34PM / Saturday, August 19, 2017

Nick Cave's 'Until' closes on Sept. 4 after nearly a year in Building 5. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — For the sixth year running, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art heads into the fall with the 7th annual FreshGrass Festival on Sept. 15-17, a weekend devoted to bluegrass and progressive roots music and wraps up the season in mid-December when Sundance Theatre Lab returns for its annual residency program.    In between, Gabriel Kahane is back with new music based on his recent two-week cross-country Amtrak journey; The Weepies take the stage for an unplugged performance; exhibiting artist Lonnie Holley dives into music; Sam Green & Kronos Quartet team up

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Review: Musician's Sixth Thriller A Joy to Read
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:10PM / Saturday, August 19, 2017

Violinist/author Gerald Elias, associate concertmaster with the Utah Symphony and Boston Symphony violinist "in residence" at Tanglewood as a BSO violinist, is also a novelist. A graduate of Yale University, adjunct professor of music at the University of Utah, first violinist of the Abramyan String Quartet, and music director of the "Vivaldi By Candlelight" concert series, Elias is a busy man.

For all this, he finds the time and passion to dedicate himself to a completely different art form – and to, over the years, excel equally at that "secondary" activity.

Elias is a master storyteller/novelist, who has published six thrillers – all combining

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'Menashe': The Child is Father of the Man
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:04PM / Friday, August 18, 2017
While director Joshua Z. Weinstein's "Menashe" is on first blush a touching look into a child custody battle being waged by Menashe, a Hasidic grocery clerk in Borough Park, Brooklyn, further reflection reveals a much larger, equal opportunity meditation about the human condition.   Therefore, just as with the much underrated documentary, "Deli Man" (2014), the slogan "You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's real Jewish rye bread" also applies to this Yiddish-spoken film with English subtitles. The sociologically curious of every stripe can find value here.   Still, like the response from the grandma who is asked if chicken soup, oft

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Eclipse Mill Pottery Exhibit Offers Art You Can Hold In Your Hand
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:39AM / Thursday, August 17, 2017

Molly Cantor's work features animals and flowers.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — "I'll Drink to That" is a veritable wonderland of handcrafted vessels: delicate celadons, chunky tankards, prim porcelains, bowls with heft and inventive shapes.   The group exhibition at the Eclipse Mill curated by potters Gail and Phil Sellers and Arthur De Bow, gallery manager at MCLA Gallery 51, features more than two dozen artists who sculpt functional art out of clay.     "I think it's really cool when you have an exhibit of something that's as simple as a cup and then you get to see so many interpretations of what a drinking vessel is,  is

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OT Thriller Decides Wednesday Summer Lacrosse League
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
09:33PM / Wednesday, August 16, 2017
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. -- The signature moment of the Berkshire County Wednesday night summer lacrosse league may have come before Wednesday’s first league semi-final.   The team from Adams-Cheshire only had eight players on hand to face Dalton for a berth in the league championship game.   The officials asked the Dalton players whether they wanted to play eight-on-eight or field 10 players against a short-handed opponent.   Without hesitation, the Dalton players replied, “eight-on-eight.”   That is what the summer league is all about: love of the sport and friendly competition.   “It's a great opportunity for them to learn and play more and

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