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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

End of Session Review 2018: Paul Mark
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Monday, August 13, 2018
  DALTON, Mass. — The state Legislature relaxed a bit in the early hours of Aug. 1 as the formal legislative session was ready to close.   But, wait, wait. State Rep. Paul Mark had one more bill -- a land taking for the town of Northfield intended to help local farmers.   "I was able to hold the House and the Senate open until after 1 in the morning on the last day of the session because it was an important bill. It had to be done before we adjourned," Mark said, joking about the change in his popularity among legislators as that night waned.   The Peru Democrat is wrapping up his fourth term in the House of Representative. He said lawmakers tackled a

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Jazz Camp to Be Hosted at Hoosac Valley
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:23AM / Monday, August 13, 2018

Bassist Alex Blake, who started his career with Sun Ra; drummer Victor Jones, who has played with Chaka Khan; and pianist Charles Blenzig, who has played with Marcus Miller and Michael Brecker, will be on the camp faculty. CHESHIRE, Mass. — Hoosac Valley and the Adams Anthony Center are hosting a free Berkshire Jazz Day Camp this week.   Berkshire County music students will get a week of face time with five professional New York City musicians that will culminate in a live performance at the Bounti-Fare.   "I have always wanted to bring as much music and my experience as an artist back to the area," North Adams native and jazz trumpeter Richard Boulger said.

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New Doctor Joins BMC Surgical Services, Providing General Surgery Care
10:21AM / Sunday, August 12, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has appointed Dr. Adam Bowling to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Berkshire Surgical Services of BMC. 

Dr. Bowling is accepting new patients in need of general surgery services and is teamed with doctors Michael Cohn, Eugene Curletti, Michael DiSiena, Andrew Lederman, Christian Galvez-Padilla, Clayton Peterson, Elie Semaan, Christopher Touloukian and George Veinoglou at Berkshire Surgical Services of BMC.

Dr. Bowling received his medical degree from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in California and completed residencies in general surgery at Palisades Medical Center in Bergen,

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@theMarket: Will Stocks Break Out or Break Down?
By Bill Schmick,
05:23PM / Friday, August 10, 2018
The S&P 500 index is within a hair's breadth of breaking out. This week we topped 2,850, which we haven't done since March. The record high for the index in January was 2,872.   Can we top that?   The S&P 500 Index traded within 0.5 percent of its record high this week. If we can close and hold a new high, it will be the 18th time the benchmark index has closed at a new all-time high after going six months without one. Statistically speaking, the odds of doing so are against us. Normally, if we use historical data, it should take the index another year before we reach a new high, but there is nothing normal about the environment we live in today.   Last week,

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'Christopher Robin': What the World Needs Now
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:32PM / Friday, August 10, 2018
Watching director Marc Forster's delightfully sweet and optimistic "Christopher Robin," wherein the title character now all grown up and in a funk reunites with Winnie the Pooh, his inspiring, childhood pal, my mind wandered. Not because the film wasn't absorbingly influential, but because it was. There I was, back on Dewey Street in Newark, in front of David Stein's house, where I found a dime and screamed of my bonanza, only to be assailed by Mrs. Stein, who claimed it was the dime David had lost. But that's OK.   Arriving in front of the six-family house at 61 Dewey, crying about my fortune so quickly won and lost, there stood my Mom, as if a sixth sense

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Review: 'West Side Story' at Barrington Stage: Wow!
By Nancy Salz, Guest Column
11:00AM / Friday, August 10, 2018

Robert La Fosse choreographed 'West Side Story' at Barrington Stage.

Surely you know the song "Maria" from "West Side Story: "Maria, the most beautiful sound I ever heard, Maria. I've just met a girl named Maria ..." It has been recorded by Johnny Mathis, Dave Brubeck, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, to name just a few.

But you will never know the profound emotion in that song until you hear it sung by Tony, the character for whom it was written. And if the Tony happens to be young and a superb singer – as he is in the current, breathtaking Barrington Stage revival – only then can you appreciate the wonder and amazement of young, first

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Lever Demo Day Celebrates Entrepreneurship
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:48PM / Thursday, August 09, 2018

Jack Wadsworth, a Williams alum and owner of Porches, speaks about how 'lonely' he and his wife felt when they first began investing in North Adams. They don't feel that way anymore.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — From musical education to tiny houses, Thursday's Lever Demo Day was a celebration of the region's entrepreneurial spirit.    The daylong event held at Greylock Works was an opportunity for local startups to display their visions and progress — and for the finale of the North Adams Arts Enterprise Challenge that saw the prize go to Eric Schimelpfenig of Fabber.   Launched back in April, the challenge offered $25,000 in startup funds

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The Independent Investor: Should You Pay Down Your Mortgage?
By Bill Schmick,
04:16PM / Thursday, August 09, 2018
The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, together with rising interest rates have changed the calculus in determining whether to pay down your mortgage or let it ride. Let's examine the pros and cons.   Over the last 10 years, as interest rates fell to almost zero, it made total sense to pay off your high-interest mortgage. At the very least, one could re-finance and save on monthly payments. This was especially true if your mortgage was in the last stages of a 30- or 15-year life.   At that point, the interest portion of the payment, (which is tax deductible) was minimal, while the principal payments represented the lion's share of the monthly bill. For those with new mortgages,

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Year-Long BHS Diabetes Prevention Program Seeking Participants
01:26PM / Thursday, August 09, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Diabetes Education Program at Berkshire Health Systems is launching a year-long intensive program to help participants to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

Space for this program is limited, and successful applicants will be accepted through a risk-assessment questionnaire. The program begins in September.

The classes are being held in Pittsfield, with 16 weekly sessions over six months, followed by six monthly sessions held for the remaining six months. It is open to those 18 and older, with priority given to applicants who have a weight loss need of 20 pounds or more and with a diagnosis of pre-diabetes.

To be eligible, applicants must be willing to

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BMC Prostate Cancer Support Group to Feature Speaker on Nutrition
01:21PM / Thursday, August 09, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Prostate Cancer Support Group at Berkshire Medical Center will feature a guest speaker in September discussing Nutritional Concerns and Dietary Strategies for Prostate Cancer patients.

The group will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the HEAL room at the BMC Cancer Center, Hillcrest Campus of BMC, 165 Tor Court, Pittsfield. Michelle Garvie, an oncology dietitian, will talk about nutritional situations involving prostate cancer care, dietary management of symptoms from treatment, and an overview of a healthy diet during survivorship. 

The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, call BMC Care Navigation at

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Tanglewood Presents Powerhouse Programs
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
02:18PM / Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Andris Nelson leads a program Friday night on 'Why Music Matters.'

This week, Tanglewood continues its high energy 2018 classical season with a powerhouse pair of programs performed by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra (TMCO) and the Boston Pops, with guest artists the TMC vocal Fellows and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) Young Artists Chorus.

The "heavy hitters" are John Williams' "Film Night" - always an audience favorite event and a high point of each year's Tanglewood offerings - led by Mr. Williams and Boston Symphony maestro Andris Nelsons. Conductor Stefan Asbury directs a TMCO instrumental chamber ensemble accompanying

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Old and New Favorites in Coming Up
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
01:30PM / Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Jerry Noble and Friends are playing at Sevenars on Sunday, Aug. 12.

There are both old and new favorites on the horizon for this second week of August. Get ready for a revival of "She Loves Me," "The Wedding Singer," Melissa Manchester and Air Supply, plus a jazz afternoon at Sevenars.

Here is a wide range of styles for pop lovers:

Sevenars

Jerry Noble and Friends, specifically jazz clarinetist Bob Sparkman, headline the show at this Worthington venue on Sunday, Aug. 12, at 4 p.m. Jerry is a pianist, composer and guitarist who for 20 years has teamed on jazz collaborations with Bob. At this performance, they will play their favorites and as a special treat, they will

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