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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Holiday Hours: Labor Day
11:30AM / Friday, August 31, 2018

Labor Day is being celebrated Monday, Sept. 3. Labor Day was established as a federal holiday in 1971 by Congress and is held on the first Monday of September. Read a history of Labor Day here.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The union encouraged the development of a workingman's holiday and a number of states began setting a day aside. Parades and picnics or similar events were not uncommon in its early days; it is now seen as part of the last three-day weekend of the summer prior to the start of school in many localities. 

Massachusetts was among the first states to

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Pignatelli Reconnects With 'Family' Before Entering 9th Term
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Friday, August 31, 2018

The 4th Berkshire District State Rep. William 'Smitty' Pignatelli hosts an annual get-together at the Country Club of Pittsfield. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — William "Smitty" Pignatelli's daughter Anah may have omitted something from their conversation Wednesday night.   She lives in Los Angeles so getting home often is a challenge. He Facetimed her Wednesday night, as she was relaxing at her California home.   Thursday night at Pignatelli's traditional late-summer campaign fundraiser, though, Anah walked through the crowd, completely unexpected and surprising him for his birthday.    "We were so down to the nitty-gritty where I made

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'Puzzle': She's Come A Long Way, Maybe
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
07:38PM / Thursday, August 30, 2018
We are reminded in Marc Turtletaub's "Puzzle," about an unappreciated housewife who finds meaning and identity in doing jigsaw puzzles, that if you want to find truth, look to fiction. We Homo sapiens have been doing it since time immemorial. No one's feelings get hurt, at least not until their misdeeds are exposed for what they are. So bless the metaphors — purveyors of honesty by illustration. Civilizations rise and fall by them, proving in their finest example that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.   Building his case from a sensitively adept script Polly Mann and Owen Moverman adapted from the Argentinian film "Rompecabezas,"

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The Independent Investor: How Prepared Are You to Sell Your Company?
By Bill Schmick,
07:24PM / Thursday, August 30, 2018
If you are a small-business owner and are toying with the idea of someday selling your company, you should pay attention. Only one in five small businesses put up for sale result in a closing. How do you become one of those success stories?   Where I live and work, nestled in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, there are relatively few large companies. We are over-populated with "Mom and Pop businesses." As such, I meet and talk to plenty of these enterprise owners daily. An overwhelming number of these entrepreneurs have saved little or nothing towards their retirement.   Instead, they believe that at some point, someone would swoop in and buy their business,

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Baseball in the Berkshires Honors Drury's 1978 State Championship Baseball Team
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:48PM / Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Retired coach Tom McGrath coached the '78 Blue Devils to a state championship and was the force behind their once-in-a-lifetime trip to play in Taiwan.  LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Winning a high school state championship is the kind of thing that gives most people a lifetime of memories.   But it was just one of the once-in-a-lifetime events for members of the Drury High baseball team in 1978.   Both the North Adams Blue Devils' state crown and their exhibition games in Taiwan were recognized Sunday in a ceremony marking their 40th anniversary at the Baseball in the Berkshires exhibit at the Berkshire Mall.   "That were a lot of things happening that

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Labor Day: You Can Work to Become a Better Investor
Submitted by Edward Jones,
09:09AM / Wednesday, August 29, 2018

On Sept. 3, we observe Labor Day, a holiday to honor all the hard-working people in this country. As one of them, keep in mind that your efforts can have positive results. Famed film producer Samuel Goldwyn once said: "The harder I work, the luckier I get." And this same philosophy can apply to your investing, too – because you can indeed work to become a better investor. 

Consider these steps:

Work to understand your goals and risk tolerance. Self-knowledge is important in all phases of life – and it's certainly essential to you when you invest. For one thing, you need to know your goals. How long do you plan to work? What would you like to do when you

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Heated Ending to DA Candidates' Final Debate
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:00PM / Tuesday, August 28, 2018
STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The buzz after Tuesday afternoon's district attorney debate centers on a last-second comment from candidate Judith Knight.   "Andrea, you have so little experience that you don't even know what you don't know," Knight said in her closing remarks.   Andrea Harrington attempted to chime in, objecting to Knight's statement. The two talked over each other as Harrington claimed Knight's comment was a "misrepresentation" of her experience and that she wouldn't stand for it, as Knight continued on. WAMC News Director Ian Pickus put a halt to Harrington's rebuttal and brought the debate to a

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Letter: Judith Knight Best Fit for District Attorney
Letter to the Editor,
03:00PM / Monday, August 27, 2018

To the Editor:

Andrea Harrington has spunk. But spunk is not enough for the job of district attorney. Ms. Harrington is entering the fray for the Democratic DA nomination with limited knowledge and experience of the workings of the office. This was evident in some of her debate responses, especially those dealing with our county court system. Sliding into the DA position is not the time for on-the-job training.

In her quest for the state Senate seat in 2016, she failed to fully comply with campaign finance law. While the violations were relatively minor for the first-time candidate, and remedial action was taken, she referred to the episode as a learning experience.   In commenting on

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Berkshires Beat: Clinton Zion Church Seeking Proposals for Historic Preservation
12:51PM / Monday, August 27, 2018
Fixer-upper

Clinton Church Restoration is seeking proposals for historic preservation, architectural design and engineering services for the former Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church at 9 Elm Court in Great Barrington. The nonprofit purchased the historic property last year and plans to restore and repurpose it as an African American Heritage Center. The announcement is being sent to a list of recommended firms; women- and minority-owned firms are encouraged to submit proposals. Interested parties who have not received the announcement may send an email.

Dedicated in 1887, the Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church is significant for its association with civil rights leader and native son W.E.B. Du Bois, and

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Tanglewood's Bernstein Celebration Was a Spectacular Tribute
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
11:32AM / Monday, August 27, 2018

Certainly by now, lovers of classical music know that this summer marked Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday. Celebrations throughout the world are legion, with Tanglewood at the epicenter for performances of the maestro's music – both his own and of the signature compositions of others for which he is beloved as America's greatest conductor.

And on the anniversary of the actual date of his birth - Aug. 25 - Tanglewood created a singular, spectacular event celebrating all the aspects of the musical life of the man known to all as "Lenny."

From "Fancy Free" to "On the Town" to the "Jeremiah' Symphony No. 1" and "The Age of

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Cheshire Boy Hands Out Trail Magic
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Monday, August 27, 2018

Nate and his mom, Karen Luczynski, who says her family has stayed in touch with many of the hikers.   CHESHIRE, Mass. — Trail angel Nate "North Star" Luczynski has been handing out trail magic to through-hikers long before the town became an Appalachian Trail Community.    "It is just important to help other people and I really started doing it one day because I was bored," Nate, age 11, said. "I went out to talk to hikers and now it is kind of a thing."   This was three years ago and what began as something different to do on a mid-summer day has turned into almost a ritual.   Almost every day, Nate makes his way down

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Hidden Bio-Gem Discovered at Mountain Meadow
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
05:22PM / Sunday, August 26, 2018

Another image of the northern pearly eye found at Mountain Meadows and enhanced by Erik Hansen. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — As I walked up the grassy trail to Mountain Meadow Preserve, I was soon in for a big surprise.   Following a zigzag erratic flight of what looked like a common little wood satyr, a closer look when it roosted on a blade of grass before I could close the shutter, what flew off turns out to be a heretofore unlisted satyrid for Mountain Meadow, the multi-Argus-eyed northern pearly eye.   Enodia anthedon is hard enough to find on Cape Cod, my former home for more than 30 years, let alone here in the Berkshires.   Watch carefully the sylvan fringe where

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