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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The Independent Investor: The Business of Baseball
By Bill Schmick,
04:04PM / Thursday, March 28, 2019
Attendance is down, as is viewership, as we head into the 2019 season. Major League Baseball is hoping some rule changes will turn around the decline. Will it be enough, and does it matter anyway?   Defenders of the game argue that last season's declines were to be expected. Television ratings for all sporting events have been declining for years.  But TV ratings in the new world of digital streaming are not what they used to be. There just isn't a good way to capture this new viewership data.   However, there is no way of denying that no World Series (the most popular of baseball's games) has been able to beat the average of 20 million viewers per game that was

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Senator Markey Speaking at BCC's 59th Commencement
02:23PM / Wednesday, March 27, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey will be the keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College's 59th commencement exercises to be held May 31 at Tanglewood in Lenox.

Markey, the state's junior senator, is a consumer champion and national leader on energy, environmental protection and telecommunications policy.

"On behalf of the students, faculty, staff and board of trustees at Berkshire Community College, we are so thrilled to have Senator Ed Markey as our 2019 commencement speaker," said Ellen Kennedy, president of BCC. "Markey visited our newly reimagined campus in the fall last year and got to tour the new buildings and classrooms and the

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Biz Briefs: North Adams Restaurants to 'Go Green' for the Month of April
11:41AM / Wednesday, March 27, 2019
'Go Green Month'

During the month of April, restaurants throughout North Adams will be making quick and easy changes to reduce their environmental impact. The goal of "Go Green Month" is to reduce waste and practice behavior changes that are more environmentally friendly, with hopes that these changes will have a lasting impact on both the restaurants and the city.

Restaurants will be making small changes in order to be more environmentally friendly, including: water at tables served by request only; no straws; no balloons; encouraging customers to bring their own coffee cup/mug; refilling water bottles; and using environmentally friendly bags for take-out.

Colleen

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Time for Some Financial Spring Cleaning
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:26AM / Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Spring is here – and for many of us, that means it's time for some spring cleaning. This year, in addition to tidying up your home, why not try brightening your financial environment? Some of the same moves you make to clean your surroundings may apply to your finances.

Consider these suggestions:

Get rid of clutter. When you go through your closets, attic, basement or other areas, you may find many items you no longer need. You might be able to sell some of these things or find other ways of disposing of them. And as you review your portfolio, you might also encounter "clutter" in the form of investments that may be redundant to others you own. If so, you might

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Pittsfield City Council Passes Plastic Bag Ban
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:03AM / Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Rinaldo Del Gallo first petitioned for the ban in 2013. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After close to six years of debate, the city finally passed a ban on single-use plastic bags Tuesday night.   The ban had been proposed in 2013 and has been working its way through the City Council process since. It was first coupled with a ban on Styrofoam, which was later passed in 2015 separate from the bag ban and restricted polystyrene food containers.   The bag ban went before the Green Commission and to City Council subcommittee meetings, the latter of which had left it unaddressed for a time. Earlier this year, it made its way to the full council will a full

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Berkshires Beat: Corpse Flower in Bloom at Darrow School
12:26PM / Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Corpse flowers bloom

It’s spring at The Darrow School in New Lebanon, N.Y. That means the sap is rising, the birds are singing, the sun is lingering, and something in the air stinks. This means that the rare corpse flower is in full bloom. Corpse flowers were first planted at Darrow in 2009 in the sheltered confines of the school’s Samson Environmental Center (SEC). Four bloomed in 2012, six in 2013, and now, according to Lily Corral, biology teacher, sustainability coordinator, and director of the SEC, as many as 10 flowers have sprouted, several of which are at the blooming stage.

"The corpse flower is a rare plant that is challenging to grow," Corral said. "It

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Congressman Neal to Speak at MCLA 120th Commencement
04:02PM / Monday, March 25, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will celebrate its 120th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 18, beginning at 11 a.m., in the Amsler Campus Center Gymnasium.   This year's commencement speaker will be U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, who represents the First Congressional District of Massachusetts in Congress and who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee. Neal will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree.   In addition, Richard Alcombright, vice president of local business and the customer relations manager at MountainOne and who served as the mayor of North Adams for four terms, will receive an honorary doctor of public service

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Albany Berkshire Ballet Looks Ahead — And Back — in 50th Anniversary Year
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:34AM / Monday, March 25, 2019

Albany Berkshire Ballet has formed collaborations with organizations like Williams College, where ABB dancers join student dancers for performances.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The five dancers glided around the room, its purple-and-mirrored walls enclosing a faintly muggy space, either from powerful bodies working hard or a late-winter heating system still cranked up, or maybe a combination of both.

The three women and two men were rehearsing a dance for an upcoming showcase at Williams College, but on this day, their ballet slipper-clad feet pounded the dance floor in the second-floor studio of the Albany Berkshire Ballet headquarters on Fenn Street.

In the past, on a weekday

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@theMarket: Does the Fed Know Something We Don't?
By Bill Schmick,
09:55AM / Saturday, March 23, 2019
Sometimes too much good news can be interpreted badly. Take the U.S. central bank's about face on monetary policy late last year. That was good news and investors responded by bidding the stock market up by 20 percent. But this week we may have received even better news, or did we?   The Fed did more than met investors' expectation this week at the central bank's monthly Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that there would be no more interest rate hikes for the remainder of the year (after saying back in December that two rate hikes were on the table for 2019). There was even some discussion that a rate cut might be possible, if

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Local Entrepreneurs Complete 1Berkshire Get Mentored Program
11:21AM / Friday, March 22, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Starts Get Mentored program held its final meeting of the 2018-20 session in early March at the Stationery Factory in Dalton. Get Mentored, a program of 1Berkshire, helps a selected cohort of five local entrepreneurs launch and grow their ventures over the course of a five-month program by pairing them with experienced mentors from the Berkshire County business community.

At this year's final meeting, the Get Mentored cohort presented three-minute elevator pitches, honed over the course of five months of mentoring, to the assembled mentors. After each pitch, the mentors had an opportunity to pose questions and provide advice about the steps the

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What Should You Do With an Inheritance?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:52AM / Friday, March 22, 2019

If you were to receive a sizable inheritance, what should you do with it? This money could help you achieve some of your important financial goals – so you'll want to think carefully about your choices.

Of course, everyone's needs are different, so there's no one "right" way to handle a large lump sum. But here are a few suggestions that may be useful:

Pay off some debts. Depending on the size of your inheritance, you may want to consider paying off some, if not all, of your debts, such as car loans, personal loans and student loans. You might even consider paying off your mortgage, but you may not want to, as you might be able to get a better return on your

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Questions Abound As Berkshire Mall Closes Again
Staff Reports,
03:57AM / Friday, March 22, 2019

A sign on the door on Thursday reads that the mall is 'closed for the day' so it seems management intends to open on Friday.

The mall remains closed. Regal Cinema and Target are still open.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Berkshire Mall mysteriously closed for two days, one week after a judge ordered the sheriff's office to seize close to $300,000 in assets to pay off a court settlement.

  Mall management has been unavailable over the last two days. The mall was closed on Wednesday afternoon. The entrance door was open providing access to the separate Regal Cinemas, but tables and a security fence blocked access to the rest of the mall. Target also remained

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