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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshire Business Interns Recognized for Summer Efforts
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:43AM / Sunday, August 11, 2019

Lever's Jeffrey Thomas gives a T-shirt to intern Jade Schnauber because she's kind of a big deal.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — They say that doing is the best way to learn. So for 10 weeks, 44 college students have had a chance experience how their education can be applied to real-world settings.    The Berkshire Business Interns, winnowed from more than 500 applications this past spring, worked in 20 different organizations, businesses and municipalities throughout the county this summer. About two-thirds hail from the Berkshires.   For Steven Luciano of Boston, who is studying international business at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, it was a chance

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Berkshire Workforce Board Taps Two New Staffers
11:26AM / Friday, August 09, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two professionals have joined the Berkshire Workforce Board to help move a number of initiatives forward.

Shannon Zayac, manager of industry relations, will be engaging employers throughout Berkshire County to define their workforce needs and assist with recruitment and retention strategies. She will be coordinating relevant training grants to bring more skilled-workers into the workforce and develop a pipeline of future workers, expanding the career ladders within the manufacturing, hospitality, and healthcare sectors. She also will be be overseeing the Berkshire Skill's Cabinet and leading industry advisory committees to identify retention and recruitment

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New Member Joins Greenagers Board of Directors
11:06AM / Friday, August 09, 2019

EGREMONT, Mass. — Kelly Baxter Spitz of Sheffield has joined the board of directors of Greenagers.

Spitz is the director of advancement at Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, Conn. She is the past director of development at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and she has served in other development roles at Community Health Programs, Berkshire Taconic Foundation, Albany Medical Center and other organizations.

"Kelly’s extensive development experience and background will be invaluable to Greenagers as we grow and deepen our programs at our new home at April Hill," said David Sheehan, president of the Greenagers board.

Spitz has a bachelor's degree in marketing

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Perfect Timing: How Do You Know When It's Time To Do Joint Replacement?
Dr. Michaela Schneiderbauer,
10:29AM / Friday, August 09, 2019

Joint replacement surgeries are some of the most popular and successful operations being performed today. In fact, in 2017, more than 1.6 million Americans underwent hip or knee replacement. And in 90 percent of the cases, the patient is happy with the result.

If you're someone who suffers from chronic joint pain and you hear about those kind of results, it's easy to think "replacement surgery is for me." And you may be right. But surgery is, shall we say, a big deal and should rarely be your first course of action. While joint replacement can be life-changing, it can also be painful, there's always the risk of infection, and devices can wear down prematurely. For

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How Does Social Security Fit Into Your Retirement Income Strategy?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:07AM / Friday, August 09, 2019

It might not be on your calendar, but Aug. 14 is Social Security Day. Since it was enacted on Aug. 14, 1935, Social Security has provided some financial support for millions of Americans during their retirement years. While Social Security benefits, by themselves, probably aren't enough to enable you to retire comfortably, they can be a key part of your overall retirement income strategy – if you use them wisely.

To help you make decisions about Social Security, you will need to answer these questions:

When should I start taking my benefits? You can take Social Security once you reach 62, but if you wait until your full retirement age, which will probably be between 66 and 67,

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North Adams' Belltower Records to Host Summer Jam II
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Friday, August 09, 2019

Belltower bought out the inventory of the former Toonerville Trolley. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Belltower Records has settled into the community as a hub for music fans, musicians, and audiophiles alike.   It is easy to lose a few hours on the third floor of the Norad Mill digging through the overflowing record crates at the independent music store.   "We have just been longtime collectors, my wife and I, and we have been looking to do something for a while and we basically stumbled upon this," owner Wes Nelson said recently.   With news that Hal March, owner of Toonerville Trolley Records in Williamstown, was looking to close and sell his business in 2017, a

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The Independent Investor: Will We race to the Bottom?
By Bill Schmick,
04:22PM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
Financial markets are in turmoil. President Trump's trade war is escalating, and with it, fears that both China and the U.S. will employ a new weapon, currency devaluation, to win the war. Is that a wise move?   The last time the country devalued the dollar outright was on Dec. 18, 1971, when President Nixon took the country off the gold standard. Since then, there have been times when various administrations have nudged the dollar down, but most American presidents have maintained a strong-dollar policy.   However, over the course of the last two years, President Trump has increasingly complained that the United States is at an unfair advantage versus other countries that are

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Lee Woman Seriously Injured in Stockbridge Road Accident
Staff Reports,
02:59PM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Police say a pot-impaired teenager seriously injured a young Lee woman on Wednesday night when his car hit her on Stockbridge Road.   Police say 19-year-old Khali Zabian was northbound when her car veered off the highway and struck guardrails near Fountain Pond. She called 911 to report the accident.    But when Officers Timothy Ullrich and Elias Casey arrived, they found that Zabian had been struck by an oncoming car and had been thrown some distance from her vehicle.    A good Samaritan who had stopped to help her told police that the other vehicle "suddenly came upon them," according to the police report, and "they

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'The Farewell': And a Fond One at That
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:24PM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
Every so often, some philosophically inclined sort seeks a window into your soul by asking, "If you could spend time with anyone now deceased, who would it be, pray tell?"    Akin in hypocrisy to first wishing for world peace or a cure for cancer before asking for a Ferrari whence blowing out my birthday candles, I perfunctorily answer, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or Ben Franklin. However, after seeing the delightfully heartwarming, bittersweet and often hilarious "The Farewell," about a Chinese family who throws a wedding as pretense for gathering to say goodbye to their terminally ill matriarch, I thought of the grandmother I never knew.   Anna

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Tanglewood, Sevenars Showcase Great Music
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
09:02PM / Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Tanglewood this week will be very rewarding and diverse, with spectacular musical riches across the centuries, representing the progressive continuum of styles: music that’s both time-honored and new, and everything in-between.

Tanglewood continues its classical programming with an all-Beethoven piano recital on Aug. 7 by the fabulous soloist Yefim Bronfman; more Beethoven awaits with the beloved "Pastoral" Symphony No. 6 and the lyrical Fourth Piano Concerto, featuring the magnificent pianist Inon Barnaton on Aug. 11 – the BSO led by composer/pianist/conductor Thomas Adès; also, a program of three of the Viennese master’s violin/piano sonatas, performed

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Eclectic Headliners: Savion Glover, Lou Reed Drones, Indigenous Dancers
By Grace Lichtenstein , Guest Column
02:00PM / Wednesday, August 07, 2019

The week for eclectic music lovers includes both Tanglewood’s important Festival of Contemporary Music and the tap icon Savion Glover, with a Laurie Anderson presentation at Mass MoCa to boot.

Tanglewood

Ozawa Hall and the Linde Center are the venues for the series of concerts beginning Thursday, Aug. 8, that comprise the Festival of Contemporary Music, under the direction of the prodigious British composer/conductor/pianist Thomas Ades. The centerpiece is the 2005 opera “The Cricket Recovers” by British composer Richard Ayres on Thursday night at 8 p.m. at Ozawa. It’s a chamber opera based on a story by children’s author Toon Tellegen.

Other FCM concerts that

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Biz Briefs: Catherine's Chocolates Changes Name to Mielke Confections
11:30AM / Monday, August 05, 2019
Chocolate changes

Steve and Trent Kinney, the new owners of the Great Barrington landmark store Catherine's Chocolates, have announced a new name, look and logo. The original Catherine's Chocolates Store was named for the grandmother of the former owner, Kathy Sinico, and operated for 40 years under that name. The Kinneys are continuing the tradition of a family-owned local business, creating handmade quality chocolates in the same location, as well as their choice of the new name, which is Trent Kinney’s family name.

The logo, designed by Trent, has a simple upscale look in ivory, chocolate and gold and features a modernist allusion to a chocolate bean. The familiar

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