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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Cedar Waxwings Bring Golden Glow to Churchyard
By Tor Hansen, Community Submission
05:12PM / Saturday, March 31, 2018

The waxwings have a distinctive mask and feathers that look like they have been dipped in paint.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Low and behold on Palm Sunday, there was a feeding flock of showy cedar waxwings feasting on weather-worn crabapples in the First Congregational churchyard here in North Adams.   What a delightful sight to behold: a finest, kind choice by the forerunners who landscaped the churchyard with several crabapple trees that bloom a profuse pink and white cavalcade of blossoms in early spring.    In addition to the beautiful bloom, the crabapple trees produce succulent fruit that serves the avian fauna, yielding nutritious energy for sustaining

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@theMarket: Will April Be Better for the Markets?
By Bill Schmick,
04:36PM / Friday, March 30, 2018
It has been a tough month for stocks and February wasn't much better. Granted, it was a small price to pay for last year's great gains, but, as in life, all good things must come to an end. Will April bring more of the same for us or can we hope for something better?   Much depends on White House initiatives, "Spanky's" (the President's new nickname) tweets, and the world's response to the administration's trade war initiatives. None of the above is certain, and, as readers know by now, the markets hate uncertainty.    This quarter, both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Indexes have seen a nine-quarter win streak come to an end. As of this

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Greylock Promotes Three to Market Manager Positions
02:16PM / Friday, March 30, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has announced the promotions of Jean Noel, assistant vice president/branch manager in North Adams, Stephanie Carlson, branch manager in Great Barrington, and Joe Maffuccio, branch manager at Kellogg Street, Pittsfield, to the position of market manager.

The new position assigns each market manager responsibility for the branch they currently manage as well as other branches within their market area.

"Greylock has established this new market manager position to achieve even higher levels of member service, create management efficiencies, and better serve our expanding membership and future growth," said Peter Mirante,

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Choreographer Wins Jacob's Pillow Dance Award
11:47AM / Friday, March 30, 2018

BECKET, Mass. — Faye Driscoll, hailed as "a postmillenium postmodern wild woman" by Deborah Jowitt of The Village Voice, has received the 12th annual Jacob's Pillow Dance Award.

The Bessie Award-winning choreographer, director and alumnus of The School at Jacob’s Pillow joins a group of honorees that includes Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar of Big Dance Theater, Kyle Abraham of Abraham.in.Motion, Michelle Dorrance of Dorrance Dance, Camille A. Brown of Camille A. Brown & Dancers, and Liz Lerman of Dance Exchange.

The award will be formally presented as part of the Jacob’s Pillow Season Opening Gala on June 16, followed by the presentation of

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Berkshire County Resident Awarded Hart Scholarship
11:19AM / Friday, March 30, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts senior Brittney White recently was awarded the 2017-18 Margaret A. Hart '35 Scholarship.

This scholarship honors Margaret A. Hart, Class of 1935, the first student of color to graduate from the former State Teachers College at North Adams. Her distinguished career in teaching and community service spanned more than five decades. The award is in recognition of Hart's outstanding contributions to the College and to Berkshire County.

A resident of Berkshire County for the past 16 years, White is a transfer student from Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield. She is completing her undergraduate degree in biology at

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The Independent Investor: Financial Planners Held to Higher Standard
By Bill Schmick,
04:13PM / Thursday, March 29, 2018
The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule looks "iffy" at best, thanks to a March court ruling. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals says the agency exceeded its authority in insisting that financial services firms act as fiduciaries when giving advice to most tax-deferred savings accounts. However, some financial advisers are ignoring the courts and are going the extra mile for their clients anyway.   Over the last couple of years, I have written several columns on this issue. A "fiduciary" is someone who puts your best interests above his own and that of his company's. It is a concept that the financial community does not want to see implemented and has gone to

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'The Leisure Seeker': Two for the Road
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:09PM / Thursday, March 29, 2018
If you are of a certain age, which I am, then director Paolo Virzi's "The Leisure Seeker" is certain to resonate anywhere from sentimentally positive to depressingly negative, depending of course on how you view the last few chapters of the life experience. It is not an easy subject, especially in these overindulged times when even the closing of a favorite restaurant is reason enough for extended mourning.    Shrouded in mystery, hope, despair and every other word the poets have employed to describe the inevitable, it is, along with love, the ultimate inscrutability.   We don't even like to say it: Old Age. There, I did it. Yet the realization that it is

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Newer Investors: Don't Panic if Bear Market Returns
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:16PM / Wednesday, March 28, 2018

If you're in your 20s or 30s, you might be starting to focus more on investing to reach your financial goals. Because of this, you also may be more attuned to moves in the financial markets.

Depending on your age, you may have only experienced the bull market of the past nine years, so you might not know what to expect – or how to respond – whenever the next bear market strikes.

Of course, just recently, you've witnessed a market correction – a drop of at least 10 percent in the major stock market indices, such as the S&P 500. This sudden plunge made big news and reminded many investors of how volatile the financial markets can be. But a full-fledged bear

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Easter Events in the Berkshires
11:00AM / Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Hippity, hoppity, Easter's on its way ... and so are lots of fun family events in the Berkshires. If you have one you want included on this list, just email us at info@iberkshires.com.

 

Saturday, March 24

Lenox: Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum will offer its annual Slavic Easter egg decorating demonstrations and instructional workshops from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 1 to 3 p.m. Lenox resident Tjasa Sprague, who will again lead the workshop, learned the technique many years ago from her Czechoslovakian mother, Maria Krofta. The fee for each workshop, which includes all materials, is $30 for advance reservations and $35 for day-of admission. Children should be at

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Colonoscopies: A Worthwhile Effort
By Adnan Sohail, MD,
02:36PM / Monday, March 26, 2018

Dr. Adnan Sohail is a gastroenterologist at SVMC.

Early colorectal cancer often has no symptoms, which is why screening is so important.  Approximately 4.6 percent of men (1 in 22) and 4.2 percent of women (1 in 24) will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime.

Some of the factors that increase risk are age, sex and race/ethnicity. Aside from age and race, many of the known risk factors for colorectal cancer are behaviors traditionally associated with high-income countries such as sedentary lifestyles, Western diet and smoking. Non modifiable factors that increase the risk are related to hereditary and medical history, including a personal or family history of

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Biz Briefs: Berkshire Community College Hosts Annual 40 Under Forty Awards
01:35PM / Monday, March 26, 2018
40 Under Forty
This year's awards ceremony will be held Thursday, March 29.

Berkshire Community College, in partnership with 1Berkshire and the Berkshire Eagle, is hosting the third annual Berkshire County 40 Under Forty Awards. The event aims to recognize outstanding young professionals who are excelling in their industries through their leadership roles. The event, taking place on Thursday, March 29, at 5 p.m., will be held at Berkshire Plaza Hotel.

The selection process again this year for winners was competitive and nomination driven. Nominees needed to demonstrate a commitment to business success, personal growth and community involvement. The judging panel was made up of

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Berkshires Beat: NAMI Berkshire County Raises $15,000 at Cupcake Wars
01:02PM / Monday, March 26, 2018
Cupcake Wars

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Berkshire County raised approximately $15,000 at its fourth annual Cupcake Wars fundraiser at Berkshire Hills Country Club on Feb. 1, 250 in attendance. The event began with an Italian dinner prepared by UNICO of Pittsfield. Following dinner, three judges sampled the unique confections prepared by the following bakers and bakeries vying for the best cupcake in various categories: Gould Farm; Linda's Pastries; Berkshire Pathways, a Program of Viability; Simply Sweet; Gimme Some Sugar; Sarah's Cheesecakes & Cafe; and Jennifer's Cookies, Cupcakes & Confections.

The winners were:

People's Choice: Simply

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