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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Hillary Clinton Visits Western Mass on Eve of Primary
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
12:10PM / Monday, February 29, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Hillary Clinton wowed a small crowd of supporters in Springfield on Monday morning before heading off to a larger rally in Boston just a day before the state's primary.

"I will work as hard as I can every single day. ... I will get up and to go to work for you and fight for you," the Democratic presidential candidate said, asking for their votes on Tuesday. "I want us to make progress again. I am a progressive who likes to make progress."

The former secretary of state took aim at the candidates on the right, saying the Republicans left are "still peddling the same snake oil" that trickle-down economics will work.



100K Gift Helps Brien Center Expand Youth Substance Abuse Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:23AM / Monday, February 29, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — B. John and Rosaleen Miller lost their son to a drug overdose.   Their response 20 year ago is helping prevent that tragedy occurring to other families. Jim Mucia of the Brien Center says, "if we can get one kid off of heroin it is worth it."   Mucia heads the Patrick Miller Youth Substance Abuse Program at the Brien Center. The program brings counselors into schools all over Berkshire County, provides intervention programs and holds forums and presentations, all with a focus of keeping students away from drugs and alcohol.   "The best way to reduce the opioid problem, which is obviously become huge, is to not start. Once an addict


@theMarket: Odds High That markets Will Continue to Climb
By Bill Schmick,
02:22PM / Sunday, February 28, 2016

The S&P 500 Index broke through an important technical level this week. It is an encouraging sign and could mean that over the next few days that index could move even higher.

There are all sorts of technical levels that traders study. In the intermediate term, they usually look at the 50-day moving average. For the first time since the beginning of the year, we have broken up and through that level at 1,954 on the S&P. For those less inclined to worry about the charts, all you need to know is that traders are becoming bullish.

As I suggested in my last column, it was a week where markets first consolidated, and then climbed higher, supported by an oil price that refused to drop


Neal Rallies Support For Clinton Campaign in Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:36PM / Saturday, February 27, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal is hoping the Democratic presidential primary is "put to bed" on Super Tuesday with Hillary Clinton sealing up the nomination.   The congressman joined local supporters in Clinton's Pittsfield campaign field office Saturday to rally support for the former secretary of state. Clinton is going up against Vermont's U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in seeking the nomination.   "We have a change to elect one of the most accomplished women in the world. I've known her forever and I've known Bill Clinton. A reminder: 23 million jobs, four balanced budgets, economic growth that surpassed 100 percent in some quarters,


Cheshire Author Uncovers Ancient Goliaths
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
08:17AM / Saturday, February 27, 2016

CHESHIRE, Mass. — A new book by a local author guides readers to some of the more mammoth and interesting boulders in Massachusetts, many of which sit in Berkshire County.

"There are some big rocks out there," said Christy Butler, coauthor and photographer of "Rockachusetts" a hiking guide focused on notable boulders in the state.

The Lynn native and Cheshire resident rambled throughout Massachusetts mapping and researching more than 150 boulders. One third of these are in Berkshire County.

Butler, a visual artist who has been involved in publishing, photography, and filmmaking, teamed up once again with writer and licensed hiking guide Russell Dunn, but


'Race': Takes the Silver
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:04PM / Friday, February 26, 2016

If only we were as proficient at correcting our social sins as we are at chronicling them. My case in point is director Stephen Hopkins' "Race," a dutiful but dramatically average telling of the heroic odyssey that made Jesse Owens a worldwide sports legend. We, in the more enlightened nooks and hollers, are properly abashed at the stumbling blocks  Owens had to hurdle on his way to glory in the 1936 Berlin Olympiad.

Yet, beneath our conceit, we shiver in the knowledge that there are still cave dwellers in those intolerant areas loath to celebrate humanity's égalité. So we watch respectfully, basking in this one victory, a steppingstone that etched


The Independent Investor: Social Security Update & Other Tidbits
By Bill Schmick,
04:12PM / Friday, February 26, 2016

Over the past few months there have been some changes to social security rules as well as an on-going effort to provide increased protection from brokers managing your IRAs. Here is an update to those topics.

Readers may recall a column I wrote as a result of last November's budget. Several changes were instituted to shut down some social security loopholes that could impact certain retirees. Prior to the new budget changes, a growing number of couples, 66 and older, could delay claiming benefits based on their own earnings record, while collecting a spousal benefit based on your spouse's earnings. This was costing the taxpayer millions and generating lifetime benefits for some


Mass MoCA Hosts Multimedia Project 'The Aging Magician'
By John Seven, Special to iBerkshires
02:21AM / Friday, February 26, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Coming to Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art for a residency and premiere of "The Aging Magician," composer Paola Prestini says multimedia productions are necessarily intimate and lengthy collaborations, children of multiple-parentage that reflect their genes seamlessly.

"I've been working on it with the same team for many, many years," she said. "Believe it or not, is really, really a collaboration where all the elements, we couldn't do one without the other."

The idea for the show began with Prestini hoping to reimagine the classic tale of Charon crossing the River Styx, in her version a journey to Coney Island that


How Should You Respond to Market 'Correction'?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:45PM / Wednesday, February 24, 2016

As an investor, you may be gaining familiarity with the term “market correction.” But what does it mean? And, more importantly, what does it mean to you?

A correction occurs when a key index, such as the S&P 500, declines at least 10 percent from its previous high. A correction, by definition, is short-term in nature and has historically happened fairly regularly – about once a year. However, over the past several years, we’ve experienced fewer corrections, so when we have one now, it seems particularly jarring to investors.

How should you respond to a market correction? The answer may depend, to some extent, on your stage of life.

If you’re still


Democratic State Convention Caucuses Scheduled
04:28PM / Monday, February 22, 2016

Democrats in towns and cities across the state will be caucusing in the next few weeks to elect delegates and alternates to attend the 2015 Massachusetts Democratic Convention on Saturday, June 4, at the Tsongas Center in Lowell. Convention delegates will vote to endorse statewide candidates.

Delegates will be divided equally between men and women, and all ballots will be written and secret. Youth, minorities, and people with disabilities who are not elected as delegates or alternates may apply to be "add-on" delegates. Details on the rules can be found at; information on the convention or party,  617-939-0800 or

If your town or city


Letter: Why I Am Voting for Hillary Clinton on March 1
Letters to the Editor,
04:00PM / Monday, February 22, 2016

To the Editor:

I first met Hillary Clinton in 1992 in Pittsburgh at a Bill Clinton rally during his first presidential campaign. Hillary shook my hand warmly with both of hers and thanked me for attending. For the next 24 years, I watched her campaign for senator from New York, her run for the presidency in 2008, and her service in the Obama administration as secretary of state from 2008-2012.

Her New York Senate campaign was admirable for the way she listened carefully to the voters as she traveled up and down the state and responded to their questions sensibly and forcefully. Her 2008 presidential campaign was fraught partly with her natural attack mode and partly the result of bad


Clinton, Sanders Campaigns Kick Off Local Super Tuesday Push
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:06PM / Saturday, February 20, 2016

Clinton supporter Lynne Roberson speaks with coordinator Mary O'Brien and state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Campaigns for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have begun the local push in anticipation for Super Tuesday.   On Saturday, volunteers from the Sanders campaign began canvassing efforts while volunteers from the Clinton campaign opened an office to serve as a local headquarters. Both candidates are seeking the nomination for the Democratic party in the presidential race.   "We want to use the momentum we have nationally and reach out to the people who may be on the fence," said Steve Coyne, who is coordinating the Berkshire


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