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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Governor Baker's 2021 State of the Commonwealth Address
08:43PM / Tuesday, January 26, 2021
BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday delivered his State of the Commonwealth address from his office at the Massachusetts State House. Remarks as prepared for delivery:     Good evening. And thank you for joining me for a very different State of the Commonwealth address.   In a normal year, I'd be delivering this speech in the House Chamber to members of the House and Senate, the Cabinet, the Governor's Council, and our friends and families.   But this is not a normal year. So, I'm sharing my thoughts with you from my office here in the State House.   Tonight's address is just one more example of a gathering – a ritual of coming

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Dentist Joins CHP Family Dental Center
01:10PM / Tuesday, January 26, 2021

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Lina El-Kashef, D.D.S, has joined the dental medicine team at CHP Family Dental Center in Great Barrington.

A 2019 graduate of the Texas A & M College of Dentistry, she most recently worked in private dental practices in Texas before relocating to the Northeast and joining the CHP dental team.   She earned her M.S. in medical sciences from the University of North Texas Health Science Center, and she completed her B.S. in biology and health care studies at the University of Texas at Dallas.   Dr. El-Kashef's dedication to dentistry, and her passion for helping others, motivates her to continuously seek out training and professional


Chez Nous Takeout Supports Community Health Programs
08:26AM / Tuesday, January 26, 2021
LEE, Mass. — Chez Nous bistro's Community Night on Jan. 28-29 will support Community Health Programs with 20 percent of takeout order proceeds.    "We're hoping to be able to give back in a big way to a critical organization in our community that's on the front line in helping everyone get through the pandemic," said Rachel Portnoy.   Orders must be placed in advance and can be picked up between 5:00 and 6:30 p.m.     Chez Nous owners and chefs Rachel Portnoy and husband Franck Tessier will offer a classic French bistro winter menu with one menu offering: Jerusalem artichoke and cauliflower soup, followed by coq au vin: chicken


Great Barrington's New Police Chief to Participate In 'Virtual Coffee'
03:46PM / Monday, January 25, 2021
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Police Chief Paul Storti will be a guest at the February "Virtual Coffee with the Town Manager," via Zoom.    The meeting takes place Wednesday, Feb.3, at 10 a.m.   The informal monthly coffee event, hosted by Town Manager Mark Pruhenski, is open to the public. Meeting information and the meeting link can be accessed on the town website calendar. For security purposes a password is required to join the meeting.   "I am planning a series of small-group meetings in the coming months to hear from town residents, business people and community groups, and this is a good way to start the conversations," said


Regional Planning Commission Tackling County Housing Issue
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:27AM / Saturday, January 23, 2021

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is taking steps to address the ever-growing problem of housing that Berkshire County faces.

"What we have been hearing and learning is that housing is becoming increasingly a problem in Berkshire County," Executive Director Tom Matuszko said at Thursday's commission meeting. "And a problem for a number of different ways and a number of different venues."

BRPC has partnered with countywide economic development organization 1Berkshire to develop a regional housing strategy, a policy that will set the stage for solutions and legislative support. The commission's former director, Nathaniel Karns


@theMarket: Equities Register New Highs, Until They Don't
By Bill Schmick,
03:25PM / Friday, January 22, 2021

New highs are getting so common that investors are disappointed when markets fail to achieve them at least weekly. That should tell you something about the future direction of stocks, at least in the short term.

As investors piled into stocks again this week in anticipation of unending spending by the federal government, it might be time to take a few profits. Don't take that statement the wrong way. I am not calling for an end to this run-up in stocks. I think we could actually kiss the 4,000 level on the S&P 500 Index before we face a really big correction.

But that is only about a 3.5 percent move higher from here, something we could do between now and February if we get more


RMV Extends Designated Appointment Hours for Customers 75 Years of Age or Older
03:20PM / Friday, January 22, 2021

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will continue to offer designated Wednesday appointment hours for customers 75 years of age or older through March 2021.

Individuals in this age group are required by state law to renew their Massachusetts driver’s license in-person. Beginning in February, the RMV will also be expanding the license renewal appointments available for these customers to include registration and title services and transactions.

Designated senior service hours began on September 2, 2020, to offer customers 75 and older dedicated times and flexibility to conduct their required in-person license renewals while facilitating

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The Retired Investor: The Reflation Trade
By Bill Schmick,
04:20PM / Thursday, January 21, 2021

Over the past six months, an increasing number of investors have come to believe that a rise in the inflation rate is inevitable. That appears to be a sound bet from where I sit, even though the present data doesn't support that wager.

The argument for increased inflation centers around money. The world is awash in the stuff. Central banks have been printing money for years to stimulate their economies. Last year's pandemic only opened the monetary flood gates even further. And the trend is not over.

During the next few months, here in the U.S., the Biden Administration is proposing another $1.9 trillion in federal spending, which will then be followed by yet another


Baker Lifts Stay-at-Home Order, Business Curfew
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:31PM / Thursday, January 21, 2021

Public health restrictions implemented last month aimed to reduce mobility and gatherings. We're seeing modest improvements in public health data but we have more work to do.

Today we're extending lower capacity + gathering limits and rescinding our early business closure order.

— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) January 21, 2021 BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday announced that the commonwealth will start to ease up on some of its COVID-19 restrictions on business starting Monday in response to positive trends in the public health metrics.   Effective Monday at 5 a.m., the state is lifting an overnight stay-at-home advisory that

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BWS Announces First Grade Teacher and Virtual Events
01:03PM / Thursday, January 21, 2021
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Board of Trustees and Council of Teachers at Berkshire Waldorf School (formerly Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School) announced the appointment of Gary Osborne as first grade teacher for the 2021-22 school year.    Families whose children will be six by Sep. 1, 2021 and interested community members are invited to meet Mr. Osborne and BWS subject teachers at the school's Meet the First Grade Teachers event Saturday, Jan. 23 at 10:30am. Parents and caregivers can register for this live, virtual event at   Mr. Osborne grew up outside Dallas, Texas, where he developed a love for the


Call For Entries: Land of Enchantment
12:54PM / Wednesday, January 20, 2021

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The Norman Rockwell Museum invites artists to participate in a juried exhibition of contemporary sculpture and installation art. 

Artists working in all media are invited to submit proposals for "Land of Enchantment," an outdoor exhibition held in conjunction with the Museum's upcoming exhibition, "Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Art," opening on June 12, 2021.   This outdoor installation will feature original works inspired by the exhibition's themes of classical and contemporary mythology, fairy tales, and fantastical heroes and villains.   Applications can be forwarded to Thomas Mesquita, Registrar Norman Rockwell


LitNet Launches Monthly Cable TV Show
12:09PM / Tuesday, January 19, 2021

LEE, Mass. — Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) announced the launch of its new monthly cable TV show titled "Literacy Network of South Berkshire Presents…"

Co-hosted by LitNet's Executive Director Leigh Doherty and LitNet board member and local educator Dr. Roselle Chartock, each episode will delve into LitNet's past, present, and future by featuring learners, tutors, individuals significant to the organization's history and development, community leaders, educational professionals, and more.

"There are so many wonderful people and wonderful relationships within the LitNet community," Doherty said. "They are inspiring people


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