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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The Independent Investor: A Nation United in Debt
By Bill Schmick,
04:16PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
About a month ago, the national debt topped $22 trillion for the first time. What's more, it only took a year to tack on another $1 trillion. Unless we do something soon, we could see those kinds of yearly borrowing double within the next decade.   Let's define U.S. debt as the sum of all outstanding debt owed by the federal government. Two-thirds of this debt is held by you and me. It is called public debt, while one-third is held by various inter-governmental departments and agencies such as Social Security and other trust funds.   We have the distinction of being the world's largest debtor, although the European Union is a close second. We now have more debt on our


Black Bears Waking Up in Massachusetts
03:10PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Officials with the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife are warning it's time to take down bird feeders.    Black bears have been spotted in Western Mass, northern Middlesex County and Worcester County. Bears will often ignore natural foods including skunk cabbage in favor of an easy meal at a backyard bird feeder. Other species including wild turkeys and coyotes may also frequent bird feeders leading to a variety of nuisance issues.    To avoid these problems, MassWildlife asks property owners to be proactive by removing bird feeders and other potential food sources including garbage or open compost. If you enjoy watching birds in your


Community Forum: Weed is Here. Now What?
02:50PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A community forum is being held to discuss the wide-ranging implications of the legal sale of marijuana for recreational purposes on Wednesday, March 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.   Community leaders representing law enforcement, youth services, local government and the drug treatment community will discuss the changing landscape of marijuana's place in Southern Berkshire County with an extended question-and-answer period from the audience.    "The goal is to learn about what the changes in the laws are and how they are being enforced, and to start to understand how it impacts our community," said


Housatonic High Wakes Up With Musical 'Rip Van Winkle'
01:49PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
FALLS VILLAGE, Conn. — Set against the backdrop of Colonial America, "Rip Van Winkle: The Musical!" shares the untold story of Washington Irving's legendary farmer who slept for 20 years, from 1770-1790. This family musical celebrates community, love, forgiveness, and home through music, comedy, dance, and a little gnomish mischief.   The Housatonic Musical Theatre Society, entering its 16th year at Housatonic Valley Regional High School, will present Rip Van Winkle: The Musical for one weekend only: Thursday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 16 at 2 and at 7:30 p.m. Performances take place at the Henry Burgess Auditorium at


'Greta': Guilty Thrills
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:28PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
In my bedroom when I was little, a sloppily misplaced piece of clothing on a chair in the dark of night sure could look like a saber-toothed tiger. Experiencing this and other such optical illusions every so often during those tender years, I estimate that I adequately satisfied the quota for horror that one must endure in a lifetime. Hence, it should go without saying that horror and all its filmic relations are my least favorite forms of cinema entertainment.    Nevertheless, in the esprit de corps of being an equal opportunity film critic, I like to think I approach every such movie with an open-minded challenge. But hark, in every instance, I am also on a mission. It is my

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Biz Briefs: Dinner Raises Money to Support WTBR in Pittsfield
11:51AM / Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Mike Filpi of Meatball Mike's Catering and the Pittsfield Elks organized the event, which brought more than 50 people to the Elks Lodge on Union Street in Pittsfield Radio benefit

A benefit dinner in support of the operations of Pittsfield Community Radio, WTBR-FM, raised $500 for the station on Saturday, March 2. Mike Filpi of Meatball Mike's Catering and the Pittsfield Elks organized the event, which brought more than 50 people to the Elks Lodge on Union Street in Pittsfield. The money will be used to help with the costs of moving the station from Taconic High School to the PCTV studios, and rebuilding the studio and transmitter facilities.

The annual benefit dinner,


Who Can You Trust to Reduce Stress of Estate Planning?
11:12AM / Wednesday, March 06, 2019

When it's time to do your estate planning – and it's actually never too soon to begin – you may find the process, at first, to be somewhat bewildering. You will have many questions: What sort of arrangements should I make? Who should get what? And when? How can you address these and other issues?

You will need to get some help. In drawing up your estate plan, you will need to work with an attorney. And for guidance on the investments that can help fund your estate planning arrangements, such as a living trust, you can draw on the help of a financial advisor. You also may want to connect with a trust company, which can help facilitate your estate plans and coordinate


Berkshires Beat: SVMC Kicks Off Colorectal Cancer Screening Awareness Month
10:37AM / Tuesday, March 05, 2019
Blue Day

Employees at Southwestern Vermont Health Care gathered on Friday, March 1, for a photo to celebrate Dress in Blue Day in honor of Colorectal Cancer Screening Awareness Month. Dress in Blue Day was first observed in 2009. It is a program of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, and it is meant to raise awareness of the disease.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States. Americans of average risk and age 50 and older should be screened every 10 years. According to the American Cancer Society, if Americans followed screening recommendations, the colon cancer death rate could be cut in half.  

There are many types of tests


Southern Vermont College to Close Doors
Staff Reports,
12:01PM / Monday, March 04, 2019
BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southern Vermont College, facing "insurmountable pressure," will close at the end of the spring semester.    In an announcement made Monday morning, President David R. Evans cited declining enrollment, financial pressure, and adverse action by the college's regional accreditor concerning institutional resources.   Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Mass., has agreed to accept SVC's new students in the fall semester. MCLA staff are expected to be on the Vermont campus on Tuesday afternoon to meet with any interested students.    "Following notice at the end of January from the New England Commission of


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