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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Donna Todd Rivers Hired as 'Berkshire Workforce Czar'
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Thursday, June 14, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There are agencies, companies, and organizations throughout the county focused on workforce development. Each of them has their own set of offerings for job seekers and employers.    Donna Todd Rivers is now eyed to become the person who knows them all and gets them all on the same page.   Rivers has been hired as Berkshire County Regional Employment Board's Berkshire recruiter -- or as state Sen. Adam Hinds has dubbed it, the "workforce czar." The position was created through state funding and is intended to help tackle the issue of there being some 2,000 jobs available at any given time and an equal number of job seekers who just

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Popular Music Scene Awakens in the Berkshires
By Grace Lichtenstein, Special to iBerkshires
02:01PM / Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Please allow me to introduce myself: My name is Grace and I will be your guide each week this summer to the best in pop concerts, jazz and musical theater throughout the Berkshires.

I'm a lover and student of all genres of music and a Berkshires regular. My background is as a news and feature reporter for The New York Times. I've written and/or collaborated on six books and my work has appeared in numerous magazines. Most importantly, in recent years I have specialized in writing about music, books and culture.

You can look forward to this column as a tip sheet about upcoming shows. I won't review them; I will preview them, and I'll try to persuade you to attend a concert

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Musical Festival Season Appears on the Horizon
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:00PM / Wednesday, June 13, 2018

With the upcoming summer music festival season almost upon us, music lovers in droves will soon flock to the Berkshires, Franklin County and southern Vermont to immerse themselves in classical music. Call it a reward for enduring a long, hard winter, or a yearly renewal of the soul via the musical preachments of the great masters.
Whatever the reason, the classical canon, including a full summer's festival within a festival celebrating the wonderful music of Leonard Bernstein (it's his 100th birthday), will nurture and inspire us anew at this special time and in this magical place - the Berkshires and environs.

My goal, as your musical guide, will be to assist you in choosing

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Father's Day: Lessons About Money Can Be Priceless Gifts to Children
11:46AM / Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Father's Day is almost upon us. If you're a dad, you certainly may enjoy getting cards and gifts, of course. But, over time, you will gain even greater satisfaction by what you can give your children – such as some valuable financial lessons.

These lessons can include the following:

Setting goals: If you are contributing to an IRA and a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored plan, explain how you build these accounts now, while you are working, so you'll have enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement someday. And you can bring your children into the picture, too, by telling them that another financial goal is saving enough to help send them to college or to further

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State Officials Launch Passenger Rail Expansion Efforts
04:43PM / Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The state is also launching a pilot passenger service between Greenfield and Springfield next year, from the Olver Transit Center. SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The state is launching the first step in determining the feasibility of east/west passenger rail between Pittsfield and Boston.    Gov. Charlie Baker, surrounded by state and federal officials at Union Station, announced on Tuesday that the state Department of Transportation is soliciting requests for proposals for a consultant team to study the feasibility of east-west passenger rail service, the launch of a pilot for passenger rail service between Greenfield and Springfield, and one-seat service through Springfield to

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College Notes: June 2018
03:37PM / Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Student Emma Whittum of Williamstown, a junior at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., studied in Spain during spring 2018 semester. The program she participated in is one of 100 study-abroad programs offered to undergraduates.

Graduations The University of New Hampshire at Durham awarded degrees to the following students during commencement exercises in May. Ryan Nagelschmidt of Pittsfield earned a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering Amanda McLeod of Dalton earned her master of science in natural resources and environmental economics Ellen Ross of Dalton earned a bachelor of science in occupational therapy, summa cum laude Kayla Goodwin of Williamstown earned a bachelor

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Biz Briefs: Berkshire Realtors Host Battle of the Bartenders
02:47PM / Monday, June 11, 2018
Bartending for a cause

The Berkshire Realtors will host an evening of competitive bartending on Monday, June 11, at Gala Restaurant & Bar at Orchards Hotel in Williamstown. Six teams will square off in half-hour shifts to see who can raise the most tips during their time behind the bar. Proceeds support the Berkshire Immigrant Center.

The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at Gala, located at 222 Adams Road (Route 2) in Williamstown. Bartending teams and schedules for the evening are: 5-5:30 p.m. Maureen Baran & Erin Scott; 5:30-6 p.m. Buffy Lord & Susan Gold; 6-6:30 p.m. Brooke Mead & Joe Bergeron; 6:30-7 p.m. Seth Alden & Terry Lamb; 7-7:30 p.m. Jason Dohaney & Sarah

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Hinds Sets Community Outreach Events for June
02:29PM / Monday, June 11, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The staff of state Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will host two community outreach events during June.   The senator's staff will be available to meet with constituents in the communities of New Ashford and Worthington for this month's staff office hours on Wednesday, June 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, from 11 to 1, New Ashford Town Hall, located at 188 Mallery Road Wednesday, June 27, from 11 to 1, Worthington Town Hall, located at 160 Huntington Road All residents of the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Senate District are invited to participate in these sessions if

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Berkshires Beat: CATA Publishes First Book
10:26AM / Monday, June 11, 2018
CATA book

Community Access to the Arts has published its first-ever collection of artwork and poetry, titled "You Can't Replace Yourself," featuring work by 46 artists and writers with disabilities. CATA celebrates the release with a Book Launch event at the CATA Studio in Great Barrington on Tuesday, June 12, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

"You Can't Replace Yourself" is a window into the lyrical and deeply felt work of writers and artists with disabilities. It draws from 25 years of poems, paintings and drawings created in CATA's weekly arts workshops. From touching observations and fantastic dreams, to tender musings on love, life, and hairdryers, "You

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'Adrift': Cast Away in an Inconvenient Genre
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:28PM / Friday, June 08, 2018
If your idea of a good time is anguishing aghast on tenterhooks as a couple of shipwrecked young lovers try to survive against all odds in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, director Baltasar Kormákur's "Adrift," loosely based on a true story, is for you. I, for one, don't really get the thrill, and have yet to receive a satisfactory response from either horror film or disaster flick aficionados when I question their inclination. Neither genre is my cup of tea. Just wondering what the morning mail will bode is more than enough suspense for me. Thus, I surprised myself.   In service to my fellow moviegoers who enjoy the blood pressure rush that film-induced fright

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Superior Court Briefs: May 30 - June 7
Staff Reports,
02:42PM / Friday, June 08, 2018
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Wednesday, May 30.   Raekwan Jackson, 22, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.   The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on March 21, 2018.    Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Wednesday, June 6.   William Fiske III, 29, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of breaking and entering in  the daytime, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, larceny from a building, assault and battery, negligent operation of a

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The Independent Investor: Trump's trade war
By Bill Schmick,
03:52PM / Thursday, June 07, 2018
Over the weekend, the G-7 group of nations met to denounce the recent actions of the United States. This coming Friday, these same leaders convene in Quebec. President Trump will attend and seems determined to face them down.   Ever since the Trump administration announced plans to raise tariffs on imported steel and aluminum by 25 percent and 10 percent respectively, our allies have been livid. Some are referring to the upcoming meeting as the G-6, plus the United States. You've got to hand it to the president, he doesn't back off, but given the circumstances, maybe he should.   I doubt that anyone in this country believes the present trade agreements we have signed

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