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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Legislators Pledge Support to Disabled Community During Uncertain Times
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:19PM / Friday, March 24, 2017

Pittsfield High School student Dwayne Revells talks about his experience with Goodwill Industries at Friday's breakfast.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On the shore of Pontoosuc Lake on Friday morning, thoughts were on happenings on the shores of the Potomac River.

The 17th annual Berkshire Legislative Breakfast to support services for people with disabilities saw a crowd of more than 300 at the ITAM Lodge to hear families and care providers share their concerns with members of the county's legislative delegation. That's the county's delegation in Boston, but events in Washington, D.C., very much on the minds of the speakers and the audience alike.

"The current political

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Flying Cloud Institute Welcomes New Board Member
11:59AM / Friday, March 24, 2017

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Flying Cloud Institute has announced that Mary Nash has joined the Board of Directors.

Nash currently runs NASH Insights in Lenox, Mass., working with organizations to assess their needs, conduct program evaluation, and obtain grant funding. She is the former executive director of the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board and the Boston Area Health Education Center.

Nash has shown her dedication to the students and educators of Berkshire County since she moved here in 1992 by working with the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Berkshire United Way, Hillcrest Educational Centers, and Berkshire Health Systems amongst several other

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Independent Investor: Don't Worry, Be Happy
By Bill Schmick,
04:02PM / Thursday, March 23, 2017

It is official: the happiest country in the world is Norway, with Denmark the runner-up, according to the World Happiness Report. What lessons can we learn from this survey and what, if anything, should we do as a nation to join their ranks?

Where, you might ask, do we here in the U.S. rank? The answer would be No. 14, down from No. 3 in 2007. The least happy inhabitants on Earth appear to be in Africa while the average Chinese person is no happier than he was 25 years ago, despite the country's much-lauded economic miracle.

How do a pair of tiny countries stay so happy for so long?  It sure isn't the weather, where it is so cold that summers require overcoats and the days

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Habitat for Humanity ReStore Celebrating Earth Day by Holding DIY Contest
12:48PM / Wednesday, March 22, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity ReStore is celebrating Earth Day 2017 by asking people to give a second life to donated materials, reducing waste in landfills and by putting their "do-it-yourself" skills to work.

Participants should register for the Do-it-Yourself contest at ReStore, 399 Hubbard Ave., by March 25 to get their project materials and chance to win the grand prize, a $100 certificate to the ReStore.

The number of Contestants is limited to the first 20 entries. There is an entry fee of $10, which includes a cabinet door front and a 10 percent discount coupon. Get a chance to win the grand prize and have the title of being

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Help Protect Older Adults from Financial Abuse
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:02AM / Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Financial exploitation costs older Americans billions of dollars per year, according to several sources, including the National Council on Aging. If you have older parents, could they be vulnerable to financial scams and rip-off artists? And, if so, what can you do to help protect them?

Unfortunately, it is possible for anyone to become a victim. For a variety of reasons, older adults may be easier targets than younger people. And that is why, when interacting with your parents, you should look for these warning signs:

* Suspicious new relationships: If your parent mentions something about a new friend, a romantic partner or some type of caregiver who seems to have taken a great interest

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Berkshire Arts, Research Take Hits in White House Budget
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Wednesday, March 22, 2017

LENOX, Mass. — Proposed cuts in President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 spending plan would create serious problems for the creative economy.

"The real travesty is this is actually taking money out of the pockets of people who are trying to keep food on their table while teaching kids," Shakespeare & Company Artistic Director Allyn Burrows said this week.

"[Lawmakers in Washington, D.C.] may not feel their personal connection with the arts, but their kids do. This is all part of that fabric. It's doing the next generation a disservice to yank that."

"That" would be the National Endowment for the Arts, one of the federal programs that would

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Local Environmentalists Oppose Policies Supporting Natural Gas
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:00PM / Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Christopher Kilfoyle of Berkshire Photovoltaic Services is pushing for 100 percent of the state's energy come from renewable sources. 

DALTON, Mass. — Dicken Crane has a large solar array on his Holiday Brook Farm. He has a forest management program to harvest timber to burn in a wood furnaces.

He doesn't need more natural gas.

Crane is one of some 500 businesses that have signed onto a petition against Gov. Charlie Baker's push for access to more natural gas.    Baker has been supportive of new natural-gas infrastructure and had previously introduced a proposal to allow electric utilities to levy a tax on users to pay for infrastructure,

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United Cerebral Palsy Awarded Assistive Technology Regional Center Contract
02:28PM / Monday, March 20, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County has been awarded the Assistive Technology Regional Center contract through 2027.

The anticipated annual amount for the contract is $100,000 per year. Funding for this program is part of the MassMATCH federal program which is administered by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and allows UCP to lend assistive technology equipment and offer demonstrations throughout Western Massachusetts.

"At UCP, we believe technology is the key to unlocking human potential, so I am pleased to announce that UCP has been officially awarded the contract to offer Assistive Technology Regional Center services to Western

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Biz Briefs: Fall Foliage Parade Gets $3,000 Boost From MountainOne
01:20PM / Monday, March 20, 2017

Parade help: Kelli Kozak, assistant vice president and community engagement officer for MountainOne, gave Northern Berkshire Fall Foliage Parade director Danielle Thomas of 1Berkshire a check for $3,000 in support of the annual parade. The presentation was made at a 1Berkshire and North Adams Chamber of Commerce event at Community Health Programs in North Adams.

The Fall Foliage Parade is in its 62nd year in 2017. This year the theme is "Magic in the Berkshires," inspired by everything magical going on in the Berkshires from Harry Potter on Mount Greylock to Fairies in Adams, and so much more. The parade kicks off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1.

 

Good job: Berkshire-based

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Berkshires Beat: Bromley Gives $8,140 to SVHC Cancer Center
11:48AM / Monday, March 20, 2017

Thanks: Bromley Mountain Ski Resort's President Bill Cairns presented a check for $8,140 to Thomas A. Dee, president and CEO of Southwestern Vermont Health Care at Bromley Mountain in Peru, Vt. The donation, which was given in support of care at Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center in Bennington, part of SVHC, was raised through Bromley's "Mom's Day Off" event on Friday, Feb. 3.

More than 400 mothers received a $20 lift ticket when they showed a photo of their child or children at the resort’s ticket window. The entire value of the ticket was donated.



For a good cause: The Williamstown Elementary School Endowment Fund will host a cocktail party and

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@theMarket: Fed Rate Hike Sets Stage For More
By Bill Schmick,
04:13PM / Friday, March 17, 2017

This week the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates again. That's two times in as many quarters. Back in the day, the markets would have swooned. This week they did the opposite. What gives?

The short answer is investors believe both the economy and inflation are beginning to accelerate, so the Fed has every right to reduce the gas and ease its foot off the monetary pedal. There is, after all, no need to keep interest rates at historically low levels at this point.

That's good news, after buoying both the economy and the financial markets through several years of anemic growth and worries over deflation. It is one explanation for why the stock market has climbed to record highs.

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'Peep Show' Contest Seeks Entries
01:34PM / Friday, March 17, 2017

LENOX, Mass. — The Peeps department at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum announces the 2017 Lenox Peep Show.

Peeps of all ages are invited to make a diorama based on their favorite book or story. Dioramas are to be created out of your favorite Peeps treats. Extra credit may be given to those who deftly use puns in the concept or title. Contest entry forms/rules are available at Ventfort Hall or on the website.

All entries must be delivered to Ventfort Hall, 104 Walker St., Lenox, before 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5. Contest entry forms/rules are available at Ventfort Hall and select merchant locations in Lenox and the Lenox Chamber office. You can also e-mail

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