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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Great Jazz, Super Musicals Wrap Up Summer Music Scene
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
03:04PM / Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The final days of August bring a rush of terrific jazz, a dance party and musical comedies to all corners of the Berkshires.

 

Berkshire Jazz Showcase

Head for the Pittsfield Common on Saturday, Aug. 25, for a brand new enterprise, the the first Berkshire Jazz Showcase. Between 1 and 6 p.m. five of the area's most popular bands will take the stage for an extravaganza: The Lucky 5, Gruppo Mondo, the Ben Kohn Quartet, the Jason Ennis Quintet with vocalist Natalia Bernal and Andy Kelly Gypsy Jazz.

Founder Ed Bride explains that the event offers a showcase for local talent and a signature jazz event with artists who "could easily establish careers in jazz havens like New York,

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Final Summer Tanglewood Concerts Honor Bernstein
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
02:28PM / Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Leonard Bernstein conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in 1970. (Heinz Weissenstein/Whitestone Photo, via BSO Archives)

This week, Tanglewood concludes its 2018 classical programming, culminating with the always-anticipated traditional final concert, on Sunday, Aug. 26, featuring Beethoven's glorious and triumphant Ninth Symphony, which will be preceded by two brief works of Leonard Bernstein – a fitting tribute to cap this "Centennial Bernstein Summer" festival season.

Before the "Ninth," there are three exceptional programs you should consider attending in Ozawa Hall and in the Shed this week – most importantly the astounding lineup

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North Adams Hosts Eighth Annual Motorama on Sunday
01:59PM / Wednesday, August 22, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city of North Adams will host its eighth annual Motorama on Sunday, Aug. 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Main, Holden and Eagle Streets will be closed to all but pedestrian traffic as downtown North Adams fills with cars, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, tractors and more. Anything with a motor is welcome.

Last year's Motorama brought more than 500 vehicles to the streets of North Adams, and this year hopes to draw record attendance. Those interested in exhibiting their vehicles can register beginning at 7:30 a.m. the day of the event. The cost to enter a vehicle is $15, but the public can enjoy the event free of charge.

In addition to looking at

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Financial Tips for Alzheimer's Caregivers
01:27PM / Wednesday, August 22, 2018

If you are, or will be, a caregiver for elderly parents or another close family member living with Alzheimer's disease, you may experience some emotional stress – but you also need to be aware of the financial issues involved and what actions you can take to help address them.

You will find few "off the rack" solutions for dealing with the financial challenges associated with Alzheimer's. For one thing, family situations can vary greatly, both in terms of the financial resources available and in the availability and capabilities of potential caregivers. Furthermore, depending on the stage of the disease, people living with Alzheimer's may have a range of

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Pittsfield Girls Softball Registering for Fall Ball
Community submission,
05:50PM / Tuesday, August 21, 2018
PITTSFIELD - The Pittsfield Girls Softball League has announced that registration for 2018 Fall Ball is now open.   Individuals looking to sign up may go to www.pittsfieldgirlssoftball.com. The cost is $40 to register online and the deadline to register is Aug. 27. Teams will be formed at the end of August with games beginning the week of Labor Day and ending in mid-October.    There will be two divisions. One division is for U10 players with birthdays in the years 2008, 2009, and 2010. The second division is for players U12 players as well as players aging out of U12 but going into 8th grade. Therefore, players born in 2007, 2006, as well as 2005 may register for this

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DA Candidates Battle in Pittsfield Gazette Debate at BCC
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:55AM / Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The debate was more than standing room only. BCC officials set up an overflow room where attendees could watch Pittsfield Community Television's live broadcast. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Andrea Harrington said some 95 percent of criminal cases end with plea deals crafted behind closed doors.    When one person gets probation after being caught with pounds of marijuana and guns, while another person is given a two-year mandatory minimum sentence for selling a joint worth of marijuana, it certainly gives people pause. They wonder, is the justice system fair?   "It is essential that the public has faith that the people making these decisions with integrity,"

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Biz Briefs: Williamstown Contractor Named to Big50 Class of America' Top Remodelers
03:59PM / Monday, August 20, 2018
Remodeling recognition

Jack Miller Contractors of Williamstown has been selected by Remodeling magazine to join the Remodeling Big50. Each year since 1986, the Remodeling Big50 inducts 50 remodeling companies that have set exceptionally high standards for professionalism and integrity through exemplary business practices, craftsmanship and impact in their community or the industry at large. Big50 remodelers run successful, often growing, companies of various sizes that have taken the lead in raising industry standards.

This year's Big50 includes full-service remodelers, home improvement firms, insurance restoration firms and specialists in specific parts of the homes, such as

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Letter: Harrington Will Stand Against Injustice
Letter to the Editor,
02:43PM / Monday, August 20, 2018

To the Editor:

The district attorney race in our community is significant. Many have dedicated their life work preventing or making efforts to eradicate injustices in our criminal justice system.

Bryan Stephenson, a widely known lawyer and activist, stated at a TED Talk "many understand that the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice. We cannot be fully evolved human beings until we care about human rights and basic dignity. That all of our survival is tied to the survival of everyone. That our visions of technology and design and entertainment and creativity have to be married with visions of humanity, compassion, and justice." He has dedicated his life

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Berkshires Beat: Williams Prepares to Welcome Class of 2022
02:26PM / Monday, August 20, 2018
Welcome to Williams

The 540 students who make up the Williams College Class of 2022 will arrive on campus on Monday, Aug. 27, for First Days, their official orientation to the college. The tradition of First Days introduces first-year students to the college through meetings with academic advisers and opportunities to learn about academic departments and the campus. Students will also take placement exams and the college's mandatory swimming test. In between scheduled events, students will settle into their dorms and get to know their classmates.

During the second half of the week, first-year students will participate in EphVentures, a program that enhances their orientation experience

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First Berkshire Jazz Showcase Set for Aug. 25 on Pittsfield Common
01:56PM / Monday, August 20, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshires Jazz has announced the lineup and final schedule for the inaugural Berkshire Jazz Showcase, a free festival to be held on the Pittsfield Common on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 1 to 6 p.m.

The jazz extravaganza features five of the most popular regional bands: The Lucky 5 at 1 p.m.; Gruppo Mondo at 2 p.m.; the Benny Kohn Quartet at 3 p.m.; the Jason Ennis Quintet with vocalist Natalia Bernal at 4 p.m.; and Andy Kelly’s Gypsy Jazz Ambassadors at 5 p.m.

The showcase will also include food vendors, as well as a beer and wine garden. Consumables will be available from Assembly Coffee Roasters, Balderdash Cellars, Ernie's Hot Dog Cart, Lucia's

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Neal, Amatul-Wadud To Meet In Two Televised Debates
Staff Reports,
01:04AM / Monday, August 20, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Richard Neal and Tahirah Amatul-Wadud have agreed to two televised debates.   The two are seeking the seat of U.S. Representative in the September primary. The longtime sitting Congressman Neal is being challenged by attorney and activist Amatul-Wadud. The two will first meet on Aug. 22 for a debate on WWLP, channel 22 and then on Aug. 30 on WGBY.   The first debate won't be available for the public to view live in the Berkshires because the station was pulled off the air by the cable provider. It will be available online after it concludes. The WGBY debate will be aired live starting at 8 p.m. and will also be available online after it

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Daughter's Book Celebrates Legacy of Leonard Bernstein
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
12:00PM / Friday, August 17, 2018

It's hard to imagine the classical music world without Leonard Bernstein. His death, 28 years ago, left a void that will be very difficult, if not impossible, to fill. Yes, there are young, stellar conductors now on the scene who hold great promise – Ken-David Masur in Boston and the fiery Gustavo Dudamel in Los Angeles. Time will tell if they, or others, possess the potential of the mature Bernstein, who was blessed with unparalleled musical and communicative gifts as conductor, composer, pianist and mentor/lecturer - classical music’s, and America’s, emissary to the world.

There were three great composers who created and thus changed the course of early-to mid-20th

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