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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Christmas Eve Poem
06:07PM / Tuesday, December 24, 2019

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Berkshires Beat: SVMC Women's and Children's Department Receives Donation of Art
05:10PM / Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Art donation

The Women's and Children's Services Department at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, received a donation of four framed posters and one work on canvas from internationally recognized visual artist Susana Aldanondo.

Aldanondo creates abstract expressionist and conceptual art, along with art for children. She studied at The Art Students League of New York, Hunter College in New York City, and at Nord University. Her work has been featured by Art Market Magazine, Artbest/Artweek, Artscope Magazine, Chaleur Magazine, and SeeMe and has appeared in exhibits worldwide.

She believes in helping others and dedicates a portion of her


Q&A: Williamstown's Benzinger Plays in Friday Bowl
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Jake Benzinger is joined by his parents and former Williams College football coach Dick Farley in 2015 after signing his National Letter of Intent to attend Wake Forest. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — When Jake Benzinger left Williamstown to go to Wake Forest University in the fall of 2015, the Demon Deacons' football program had won 12 games in the last three seasons and had not gone to a bowl game since 2011.   This week, Benzinger comes north with his teammates to compete in Friday's Pinstripe Bowl in New York City, where they will take on Michigan State University at Yankee Stadium on Friday afternoon.   He is one of two Berkshire County products playing in bowls


Williams Astronomy Professor Heading to India for Annular Eclipse
01:38AM / Tuesday, December 24, 2019

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Jay Pasachoff, the Field Memorial professor of astronomy at Williams College and chair of the International Astronomical Union's Working Group on Solar Eclipses, is heading to India to view a solar eclipse on Thursday, Dec. 26.

According to Pasachoff, the moon will be a little farther from Earth than average, so it will not completely cover the sun's bright disk, leaving a ring known as an annulus of bright everyday sunlight. Though up to 93 percent of the sun will be covered, to see this "annular eclipse" safely, people should still use special solar-safe filters or look at projected images. Near the maximum of the eclipse, images will be


New Sculpture Installed on Clark Art Institute's Front Lawn
04:11AM / Monday, December 23, 2019

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute announces the first American installation of the 2011 sculpture "Le foglie delle radici (The Leaves of the Roots)" by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone.

The 30-foot-tall cast bronze, steel and soil sculpture of an upturned tree with a live eastern red cedar sapling growing from its inverted roots is a long-term installation on loan from a private collection and is situated on the lawn of the Clark's 1955 Museum Building.

"The Clark is pleased to accept the long-term loan of this important sculpture by leading artist Giuseppe Penone," Hardymon Director Olivier Meslay said. "The form of a tree—encountered


Veteran Spotlight: Pvt. Zanna Fought Through the Ardennes
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
03:28PM / Sunday, December 22, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The subject of this "Veterans Spotlight" feature is an unequivocal example of the Greatest Generation.    We met at a local coffee shop when his World War II veteran's hat caught my attention.    At 96 years of age, he is kind, considerate, gracious and humble. Ralph Zanna served his country bravely in the Army from 1942 to 1946 in the European Theater. Born in Pittsfield, he enlisted right after high school and was sent to basic training at Fort Sampson in New York.   Pvt. Zanna was initially sent to North Africa and was there for about four months. He then was sent to Normandy about two weeks after the initial invasion of

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Berkshire County Arc Opens New Home for Individuals with Brain Injuries
07:32AM / Sunday, December 22, 2019

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Berkshire County Arc received two grants totaling $635,000 that helped build a new home in Lanesborough to give new lives to four men with brain injuries.

Funding for $435,000 came from the State Facilities Consolidation Fund and $200,000 came from from the Federal Home Loan Bank.

"This is part of a larger, statewide effort to move people with brain injuries out of nursing homes into communities to live more engaged and meaningful lives," said Kenneth W. Singer, BCArc president and CEO. "Already one of the individuals goes to a program during the day, and the other three are learning skills to do the same. They are also living closer to their


$100,000 Matching Gift Offered to Local Nonprofit Berkshire South
12:47PM / Saturday, December 21, 2019

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Bob and Mary Ann Norris want to help you prove that the power of community is infinite: They have offered local nonprofit Berkshire South Regional Community Center a $100,000 match for the center's current year-end fundraising campaign.

"We want to help others know how much their participation is needed," Bob Norris said. "Nothing could be more inspiring than to see Berkshire South flourish. We want this place to thrive forever."

Bob Norris has been involved with Berkshire South since its inception.

"The extent of services provided by Berkshire South was not provided 20 years ago," he said. "We developed a worthy


Local Author Releasing New Children's Book
04:29PM / Friday, December 20, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local author Dan Sadlowski will hold an official release celebration for his new children's book, "The Universe Is Rooting for You," from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble at 555 Hubbard Ave.

In "The Universe Is Rooting for You," a little boy surprisingly discovers everything in the universe and in nature is truly rooting for him - the sun, moon, stars, leaves, trees, and more. This children's book aims to inspire readers everywhere to appreciate the natural world around them, connect with nature and give back.

Four local artists worked collaboratively to complete this children’s book. In addition to author and art


@theMarket: Market Melt-Up
By Bill Schmick,
04:05PM / Friday, December 20, 2019
Officially, the Santa Claus rally has not even begun. And yet, almost every day over the last two weeks stocks have climbed higher. Unlike last year, there appears to be nothing stopping the market from continuing to make new highs at least into January.   Historically, the Santa rally begins on the day after Christmas and stretches through to the second day of January. The fact that last year he failed to make an appearance might mean that the jolly old elf could be making up for lost time by coming in early.   The markets action is especially impressive since this is the time of the year when investors usually sell their losers in order to establish a tax loss for the year.


'Richard Jewell': All That Sparkles …
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:45PM / Friday, December 20, 2019
"Richard Jewell," director Clint Eastwood's skillfully told account of how a hero was turned into a scapegoat following the murderous bombing at the 1996 Olympics, stokes that greatest fear upon which our judicial system is based: that an innocent soul might be convicted of a crime.   It is everything in a true democracy to protect against arbitrary and random indictment, much to the vexation of today's unscrupulously authoritative voices in America who would sweep due process under the rug in the name of greedy motivations benefiting rich benefactors.   Eastwood, a national treasure by virtue of his probing forays into the American scene, once again makes a


Holiday Hours: Christmas & New Year's
01:02PM / Friday, December 20, 2019

Businesses, schools and government offices will be taking breaks over the next week as the nation celebrates Christmas and New Year's. Christmas falls on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019, and New Year's Day on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. 

Christmas is now a state holiday but it wasn't always. The General Court under the control of the Puritans outlawed the holiday in 1659.

There was too much eating, drinking, wassailing and other festiveness for the colony's righteous rulers. Even after the ban was lifted, Christmas was treated as a regular day until its popularization during the Victorian era. Thank goodness. Can you imagine Norman Rockwell not painting Stockbridge at

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