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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Hinds Secures Funds For Flyer, School Aid, in Senate Budget
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:48AM / Saturday, June 01, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Sen. Adam Hinds secured money for the Berkshire Flyer, his rural school aid, and for numerous local organizations in the Senate budget.   The Pittsfield Democrat said on Thursday his budget will help "get the fundamentals right" for Berkshire County. Those "fundamentals" this year, according to Hinds, is primarily education and transportation.   "This was a big budget for us especially when it came to transportation and education," Hinds said.   The Berkshire Flyer has been a project he's been working on for a few years. Last year, a Department of Transportation feasibility study determined that a train service

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Heroes Unite to Graduate From Berkshire Community College
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:27PM / Friday, May 31, 2019

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey calls on the graduates to be the revolution. See more photos from commencement here.   LENOX, Mass. — Heroes unite.   Perhaps a hero is a Harvard graduate improving and changing the world of social work and policy or perhaps it is the two children sitting in the Shed at Tanglewood watching their mom delivering the valedictory address for Berkshire Community College's commencement.   But whomever it is, Soncere "Starr" Williams believes anybody can be a hero every day.   "Heroes can come in different forms. Each one of us can become a hero as we embark on the adventure of life. Being a hero does not necessarily

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@theMarket: Have the Wheels Come Off the Market?
By Bill Schmick,
04:09PM / Friday, May 31, 2019
No question about it, the president's decision to impose 5 percent tariffs on all Mexican imports by June 10 caught investors flat-footed. Combined with the on-going war of words with the Chinese on tariffs, markets worldwide fell sharply this week. Is a relief rally in the cards?   Chances are that next week, we should see a rebound. How much and over what period of time will largely depend on what happens next on the trade front. My thinking on the Mexican issue thus far is this: Trump is using trade with Mexico to force their government to turn back (instead of encouraging) Latin American refugees from our border.   You may disagree, but I believe President Trump's

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Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Celebrates 90th Anniversary
12:06PM / Friday, May 31, 2019

LENOX, Mass. — This year marks the 90th anniversary of Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, and the popular regional resource for outdoor exploration and nature connection is marking the milestone with a multi-event celebration extending from spring into fall.

The salute to the 1,400-acre-wildlife sanctuary — and how it has both engaged the Berkshires community while positively impacting residents and visitors — will focus on four major events:

* Family Fun Day, a free community event on June 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that features nature exploration activities, live-animal presentations, music, and nature arts and crafts;

* Wild Thing Trail Race and

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Red Cross Urges Safety Measures Around Pools, Swimming Areas
10:37AM / Friday, May 31, 2019

As the weather warms, people begin to open their pools and visit swimming areas including beaches, lakes and rivers. The Red Cross urges Massachusetts residents to learn how to be safe around bodies of water.

First, residents should secure their pools when they are not in use. This includes:

* Completely surrounding the pool with four-sided isolation fencing with a self-closing and self-latching gate that is out of the reach of a child.

* Installing a four-sided isolation fence (separating the pool area from the house and yard), which reduces a child’s risk of drowning 83 percent compared to three-sided property-line fencing.

* For above-ground pools, securing, locking or

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The Independent Investor: Cost of Caregiving Keeps Climbing
By Bill Schmick,
07:05PM / Thursday, May 30, 2019
If you thought the nation has problems with Social Security and Medicare, you ain't seen nothing yet. Today, more than two-thirds of Americans assume they will be able to rely on a family member to meet their long-term care needs if needed. My advice: don't count on it, and here's why.   As it stands today, one-third of all U.S. families provide long-term care for a disabled or elderly family member. You may have guessed that two-thirds of those caregivers are women, although why it should be deemed a woman's task alone is beyond me.   If you want to look at the upside to care-giving, you could say that caring for a loved one who needs our help, is a chance to pay

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'Aladdin': Wishful Thinking
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:07PM / Thursday, May 30, 2019
Three wishes. It sure seems like a lot. One would think you could solve all the world's problems as well as a few of your own if a genie granted them to you. But after mulling director Guy Ritchie's adaptation of the "One Thousand and One Nights" Arabian folktale Disney first treated us to in 1992, I'm still not certain how I'd proceed.    Are you sure you can't wish for more wishes? Yeah, I know, I know. That's the way it has to be. You see, it's all part of a built-in lesson about hopes, aspirations and the human condition, brought to the silver screen here in fine fettle.   Rated PG and boasting a bevy of positive beliefs, with special

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Lee High Names Valedictorian, Salutatorian for 2019
11:01AM / Wednesday, May 29, 2019
LEE, Mass. — Homer P. Winston and Anna Wang have been named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, for Lee High School's class of 2019.    Graduation ceremonies will take place on Saturday, June 1, at 1:30 p.m. at the Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood in Lenox.   Winston is the son of Amy Winston of Lee. He is a member of the National Honor Society, played on the varsity football and lacrosse teams, and participated in mock trial. He is the recipient of the University of Rochester's George Eastman Young Leaders Award, and the Cornell University Junior Award.    He will be attending Williams College in Williamstown in the fall and studying

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Hillsmen Take Home Awards
11:22AM / Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Berkshire Hillsmen compete

The Berkshire Hillsmen, the Pittsfield chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, participated in the Western Regional Competition of the Northeastern District of BHS in Lake George, N.Y., on May 3 and 4. The Berkshire Hillsmen were awarded the 2019 Mountain Division Small Chorus Championship Trophy as a result of their performance. Berkshire Blend, the chapter’s quartet entry, won the 2019 Mountain Division Novice Quartet Championship.

The Northeastern District (NED) is made up of five divisions. The competition that took place in Lake George was for the Mountain and Yankee Divisions. The Mountain Division comprises of Western Massachusetts, New York from

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Strong Towns Founder Brings Community Development Strategies to Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:02AM / Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Mill Town Capital organized both a large presentation at Barrington Stage in the evening and a small one for those involved in local community development. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Charles Marohn believes that humans are basically wired to highly value the immediate positive while discounting long-term negatives.   That's a well recognized and documented psychology. It explains why many people will eat poor food and sit down in front of a television rather than go to the gym.   But Marohn's specialty isn't psychology. He's a civil engineer. So why was he talking psychology in a room full of government officials and city planners?   "This is a

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@theMarket: Markets Held Hostage by Trade & Machines
By Bill Schmick,
03:19PM / Friday, May 24, 2019
If it were not for computer-driven trading, it might actually be funny. Financial markets are careening up and down on a daily basis based on the next tweet or comment from the Trump administration or its counterparts in China. We could see more of the same next week.   Rhyme or reason has truly left the station. Day by day, the trade war of words is accelerating. This week, the U.S. banned China's largest technology company, Huawei, from doing business with American companies. The president accused the company of espionage. The Chinese responded by threatening to drop trade negotiations. Markets collapsed, led by semi-conductor and technology stocks.   A day later, the

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'John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum': How Can I Kill Thee? Let me Count the Ways
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:27PM / Friday, May 24, 2019
There are two things in this world that really confound me. Nope, it's not wondering what the secret of life is. I've got that figured. It's to get a Ferrari. And it isn't how many angels can you fit on the head of a pin, either. Fifty-six, I reckon, same as DiMaggio's hitting streak.    No, the first of my dual quandary is, how anyone in America isn't repulsed by the administration currently besmirching the sanctity of democracy down in Foggy Bottom? The second dilemma that really has me scratching my head is why on Earth someone would want to see director Chad Stahelski's "John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum?"    I concur with Hesh

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