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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Tanglewood's New Learning Institute Is A Bold New Chapter
by Stephen Dankner,
11:36AM / Wednesday, June 19, 2019

For many music lovers, Tanglewood, on the Lenox/Stockbridge border, virtually defines music in the Berkshires. It is the largest summer presenter, with the most comprehensive schedule of performances across the full spectrum of musical styles and genres. Before getting into the exciting, imminent opening events, bookmark the Boston Symphony’s website, tanglewood.org, to easily access the full summer concert schedule, season highlights, tickets and general information.

The exciting news from the Boston Symphony is the opening at the Tanglewood campus of the Linde Center for Music and Learning and the new programs of the constituent Tanglewood Learning Institute. This bold initiative

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Gotta Dance, Gotta Sing: There's Both This Week on Local Stages
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
11:12AM / Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Downtown Pittsfield Third Thursdays — TL Collective

Each third Thursday of the month, streets are closed in downtown Pittsfield and all kinds of music rocks the city. Featured June 20 at 6 p.m. in the Dance Zone at the north end of the street festival is TL Collective, the athletic, family-friendly contemporary and hip-hop moves of Micaela Taylor's company. The group performs an evening length work "Drift." The aim, according to organizers, is to "demonstrate an individual's ever-changing relationship to self while exposing a personal season of self-growth."

You can find the dance zone near the corner of Bradford and North Streets in front of St.

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Smart Financial Moves for 'Gig' Economy Workers
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:56AM / Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Not that long ago, most people worked for some type of an organization, such as a business or the government or a school district. But today, more and more workers are going their own way and joining what's known as the "gig" economy. If you will be one of them, you'll want to make the right moves to advance your financial goals in what can be a challenging work environment.

But first, you may find some comfort in knowing the prevalence of gig work. About 36 percent of U.S. workers are now gig workers, according to a study from the Gallup organization, which defines the gig economy as one made up of a variety of arrangements – independent contractors, online

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'Aladdin' Goes Dark, Political and Not As Much Fun
By Rebecca Dravis,
12:18PM / Tuesday, June 18, 2019



Well, I liked this one more than "Dumbo." Which isn't saying much, because I didn't like "Dumbo" all that much. In fact, I haven't much liked any of the Disney live-action remakes of the classics. (Spoiler alert: I will not be seeing "The Lion King." I hate talking animals that aren't cartoons.)

But OK. "Aladdin" wasn't ALL awful.

We saw it at Hathaway's Drive-In Theatre under the stars, which is always fun - if you don't mind the bugs and the less-than-stellar sound quality. Yes, I know, both of those would be improved if we sat INSIDE the car, but I still don't know how that would work with four people. So

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Farley-Bouvier, Hinds Chat Environmental Issues At Pittsfield Forum
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:22AM / Tuesday, June 18, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state hopes to see more renewable energy from solar so it's incentivizing development.   However, the way the programs are currently established, solar often comes at the expense of cutting trees.   "We have perverse incentives for solar. It is cheaper for a  developer to come in and cut down a whole bunch of trees to do something for the environment," state Rep. Farley-Bouvier said.   The Pittsfield Democrat would like to see a shift in the way the projects are located. She said there are acres of rooftops available without solar but yet large scale projects go into wooded areas. Even in her neighborhood, there is a large

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Berkshires Beat: BNRC Upgrades Popular Trails for 2019 Summer Season
12:25PM / Monday, June 17, 2019
Trail facelifts

On Monday, June 10, state Rep. Smitty Pignatelli joined members of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC) board of directors, volunteers, staff and nature trail enthusiasts to unveil a redesigned trailhead kiosk and enhanced on-trail signage at BNRC's flagship conservation reserve, Yokun Ridge South at Olivia's Overlook. Similar upgrades have also been completed at 16 other BNRC trail sites across Berkshire County. All 54 BNRC reserves are open to the public year-round from dawn to dusk, free of charge.

Each updated kiosk features a large map of the reserve and its trail system; notes on the natural, cultural, and ownership history of the protected lands;

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Berkshires' Summer Jazz Camp Enrollment Open
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:15PM / Sunday, June 16, 2019
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Berkshires' Summer Jazz Camp returns this August and sign-ups are open now.    In mid-August, high school and middle school students throughout the county will get a chance to sit in with a group of master jazz musicians at Hoosac Valley High School.     "The students will be able to hear and play with some of the top musicians in the world today," professional trumpeter and North Adams native Richard Boulger said. "It is a real pleasure to see how the students are inspired by hearing our faculty. Not to mention, hearing how much the students progress in just a matter of days."   This is the second Jazz Camp

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'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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