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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The Independent Investor: The Great Tax Migration
By Bill Schmick,
01:00PM / Friday, February 07, 2020
Americans have been moving from high tax states to lower tax states for decades.   Climate, cheaper housing prices, less congestion, and jobs are some of the reasons behind such moves. That trend, however, has added taxes to that list, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.   Many of those reasons for moving have been with us ever since Horace Greeley, the American author and newspaper man, reportedly first advised America's youth to "Go west." Back in 19th-century America, the country had embraced the concept of "Manifest Destiny." The Horace Greeleys of the world had argued that it was inevitable, justified, and our God-given right to expand

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'Gretel & Hansel': Grimm Doings
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:18PM / Friday, February 07, 2020
The only novel thing about director Oz Perkins' indulgent reimagining of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale is the reverse order of the title characters, which at best could be a token nod to the women's movement. More interesting as a study in how Perkins fails to breathe a new slant into the fable than it is entertaining, the few crumbs of variation are barely worth following.   Only film critics and moviegoers in whom hope springs eternal won't consider cutting their losses by exiting the theater as soon as it becomes obvious that "Gretel & Hansel" is a lost cause. However, it occurred while sticking it out to the closing credits that, despite possessing

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Williamstown's Art Chairing Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:48AM / Friday, February 07, 2020

Tom Matuszko, left, of BRPC and Hank Art appear before the Select Board to discuss the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership last year. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership took a half-dozen years to come to fruition, but its member towns are wasting no time taking advantage of the opportunities it provides.   "We were only authorized in the fall, and there's been a round of small grants," Williamstown representative Henry Art said last week. "Ten towns have applied for $25,000 $20,000 in grants from the state for trails and access improvement or carbon sequestration projects. … The towns will manage woodlands not just for saw

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Berkshires Beat: Schools Sought for Humane Society PAWS Read-A-Thon
12:39PM / Thursday, February 06, 2020
PAWS Read-A-Thon

For the first time in the program's five-year history, Berkshire Humane Society will open its annual PAWS Read-A-Thon to all pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students in Berkshire County.  Materials to participate are available online and the deadline to apply is Feb. 10.

In the PAWS Read-A-Thon, children find sponsors to pledge an amount to donate to Berkshire Humane Society for each minute the child reads during March, National Reading Month. Prizes are awarded to top readers and schools in various categories. Each child enrolled in the read-a-thon will receive a Berkshire Humane Society goody bag.

In the past, Berkshire Humane Society worked with a

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Be Aware of Social Security Myths
Submitted by Edward Jones,
02:34PM / Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Social Security can be one source of retirement income for you and your spouse. To maximize your benefits, you will need to make some key decisions and be aware of some common myths.

• Myth 1: Always take Social Security early. You can file for Social Security benefits as early as 62, but you could get 25 percent to 30 percent more if you wait until your "full" retirement age (likely between 66 and 67). You can receive even more if you wait until 70, at which point your benefits will "max out." However, there's no right time to file for everyone – it depends on your situation, including factors such as your life expectancy, employment, financial need and

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'No Visible Bruises': Presentation on Domestic Abuse Slated Thursday
03:46AM / Monday, February 03, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nine people have died from domestic violence in Bekshire County in the last three years.     Requests for restraining orders is 33 percent higher in Berkshire County than in the rest of the state.   "Those are indicators that we have a problem," says District Attorney Andrea Harrington, describing it as a public health issue as much as a crime issue.   Harrington's office, through the Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force, is bringing award-winning journalist Rachel Louise Snyder to Pittsfield to speak about her latest book, "No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill

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Veteran Spotlight: Cpl. Massaconi and Terror of Iwo Jima
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
05:25PM / Sunday, February 02, 2020

Cheeso Massaconi entered the service in 1942. CHESHIRE, Mass. — Many people tend to overuse the word "amazing," however, in the case of this week's featured veteran, it is entirely appropriate.   [Charles] Narcheeso "Cheeso" Massaconi is a lifelong resident of Cheshire and served his country admirably in the Army from 1942 to 1945. My interview with Massaconi took place in his own man cave (his garage) and was an evening of pure enjoyment, complete with, peppers, cheese, sopressata, a little bit of wine and an abundance of history.    "We didn't have much, but we made the most of what we had" said the 97-year-old veteran, and

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BArT Announces Second Quarter Honor Roll
12:50PM / Sunday, February 02, 2020

ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School has announced the students who made honor roll for the second quarter of the 2017-2018 school year. 

Students who earned 80 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of "Honors." Students who earned 90 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of "High Honors."

Grade Six

High honors: Kobby Asare, Cole Leggett, Brooke McKeon, Garcia Mongue, Eduardo Mottos, Rowan Weber, and Andy Zheng.

Honors: Josafeena Bell, Bishop Casey, Frederick Grant, Dareen Hage, Alonna Hall, Audrey Larkin, Hailey Loynes, Emerson Maloney, Nicholas Martinez, Vincent Miksic,

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@theMarket: Coronavirus Correction
By Bill Schmick,
04:43PM / Friday, January 31, 2020
The death toll mounts. The number of cases worldwide builds. Every new update drives the stock market up or down. Where it will end is anyone's guess.   It is called a "geopolitical" event. We suffer through them from time to time. The assassination of Iran's key military leader followed by the Iranian rocket attack on two Iraqi military base that injured dozens of American servicemen was the last such event. We never know when they will occur and, in some ways, these events are simply the price of doing business in the financial markets.   Some market watchers, while recognizing the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, argue that the markets needed to correct

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'Oscar & The Greatest Movie that Might Never get Made'
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:06PM / Thursday, January 30, 2020
Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, my landlady lo these many years, knocked on my door. "Telephone downstairs for you, Mr. Goldberger. I think it's that same nasty man who called you last year at Oscar time. Oh, 'tis a bad business, I fear."    Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, who prided herself on only letting her rooms to critics, took a personal interest in my career. I followed her downstairs to the foyer where, before I picked up the dangling receiver, she informed, "Lamb stew tonight. Oh, and Miss Chalmers will be returning from her librarians' convention."   "Hello, Goldberger here."   "That you, Iceberger?" came the inherently

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The Independent Investor: ESG and the World of Investment
By Bill Schmick,
04:24PM / Thursday, January 30, 2020
Over the last few years, investments that focus on environmental, social, and governance issues, or ESG, have been confused with socially responsible investing or SRI. There is a big difference between the two investment styles.   The simplest way to understand the differences between the two is the profit motive. ESg investments are focused on making money as a primary objective. They do so by identifying specific risks or opportunities now and in the future and investing accordingly. SRI investors, on the other hand, are willing to forego profits in companies that do not meet their ethical standards. They value ethics more than profits in the investment world.   For example, if

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Great Barrington Police Charge Driver for Leaving Scene of Accident
04:13PM / Thursday, January 30, 2020
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Police have charged a local man with leaving the scene of an accident that snapped a utility pole in two.    Sgt. Paul Storti, while on patrol, at about 2:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, discovered the downed pole and wires across the road at the intersection of Routes 23 and 71. The vehicle had left the scene and appeared to be heading west on Route 71.    The pole and wires caused the roadway to be blocked while utility companies cleaned up the scene. The road re-opened around 10 a.m. on Friday.   The investigation uncovered information on the whereabouts of the vehicle and the owner. The vehicle was located at a local business in

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