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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

College Notes: January & February 2020
04:19PM / Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Hannah King of Pittsfield. Seniors in the Lasell University Honors program shared self-designed research components with the Newton campus community at a recent showcase, including two local students.   Allison Wheeler of Adams shared "Plastic Planet: Combating Global Pollution Through Politics and Personal Accountability."    "Plastic bag bans are being instituted across the state, the country, and the world, and the grocery store I work at is located in a city with a plastic bag ban," she said. "As an environmental studies student, I am always asking myself, 'How do you influence the average person to adapt

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Great Barrington Celebrates Annual Du Bois Legacy Festival
03:56PM / Tuesday, February 18, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Town of Great Barrington, together with community partners, welcomes nationally renowned artists and scholars to the Berkshires for the 3rd Annual W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Festival on the weekend of Du Bois' 152nd birthday, Feb. 22-23.
 
"Each year we celebrate Du Bois with scholars and artists from the local area and also throughout the country to uplift the values of W.E.B. Du Bois in his hometown," said Gwendolyn VanSant, Legacy Committee vice chair. "In Great Barrington, we celebrate his commitment to racial equity, civil rights, progressive education, and economic justice. We are joined by partners who uphold a commitment to

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Letter: Quit Smoking for Heart Health
Letter to the Editor,
01:00PM / Tuesday, February 18, 2020

To the Editor:

February is American Heart Month — a great time to quit vaping, smoking or other tobacco products.

Smoking can lead to narrowing blood vessels and high blood pressure and it is a leading cause of heart disease. Vaping is still fairly new and less is known about its effect on the heart. However, the American Heart Association reports that two new studies find that vaping may be just as dangerous by increasing heart disease risk factors.

So, for American Heart Month, make a resolution for a healthier life for you and your family. If you vape, smoke or use other tobacco products, quitting is the most important step you can take to protect your health.

If you want to quit

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Biz Briefs: Downtown Pittsfield Inc. Hosts Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Week
11:54AM / Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Week

Downtown Pittsfield Inc. has announced Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Week, a seven-day promotion running March 1-7. During Restaurant Week, 13 participating restaurants will serve a lunch or dinner pre-fixe for $20.20 or another amount ending with $.20 (tax and gratuity not included).

The goal of Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Week is to highlight the numerous and diverse dining options of downtown Pittsfield and to help boost business during what is typically a slower time of the year for restaurants. DPI encourages residents to support their downtown favorites or try somewhere new. Participating restaurants include: Dottie's Coffee Lounge, Eat on

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A Snowy Tuesday in the Berkshires
11:15AM / Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The weather outside is ... a bit frightful this Tuesday morning.

Snow is falling across the region, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a special weather statement: "Snow has developed across the southern Green Mountains, northern Berkshires, and Washington county in eastern New York. Snowfall of varying intensity with temperatures near or below freezing could result in areas of slippery travel and reduced visibility. Around 1 to 3 inches of snow will accumulate, especially in the higher terrain. Use caution if traveling into the afternoon."

Be careful driving if you're out and about today running errands, getting to and from work, or bringing the kiddos

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What Does End of 'Stretch IRA' Mean to You?
11:01AM / Tuesday, February 18, 2020

If your IRA is big enough to help you pay for retirement with enough left over to leave to your heirs, you will want to pay close attention to some recently enacted legislation – because it could have a big impact on your estate plans.

Here's the background: As part of the 2019 SECURE Act, which includes provisions to help people build their retirement savings, the so-called "stretch IRA" has been limited for most non-spouse beneficiaries. Under the old rules, non-spouse beneficiaries could withdraw money from an inherited IRA gradually, over their lifetimes. By "stretching" out these payments, beneficiaries could spread out the tax burden, as withdrawals

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Annual Gathering Celebrates Susan B. Anthony's 200th Birthday
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
03:58AM / Monday, February 17, 2020

Deb Burns leads the crowd in several singalongs of music from Susan B. Anthony's era. ADAMS, Mass. — Upwards of 200 people serenaded Susan B. Anthony on the occasion of her 200th birthday on Sunday.   The anniversary event at the Adams Free Library, sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum and the Adams Historical Society, annually recognizes the famed civil rights and suffrage pioneer who was born on East Road on Feb. 15, 1820.   The celebration falls in a year that will be marked by several events commemorating not only Anthony's bicentennial but also the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the United States. Anthony long

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Veteran Spotlight: Williamstown Couple Find Career, Each Other, in Army
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
04:31PM / Sunday, February 16, 2020

Mary Roberts celebrating the holidays overseas during Desert Storm.  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The featured veterans of my column this week are truly unique. They both served, while husband and wife, in the Army at the same time.   Mary Angelo-Roberts served her country from 1973 to 1995, retiring as a sergeant major while Charles "Chuck" Roberts served from 1975 to 1995 and retired as a first sergeant.    You will never meet two of the most genuine, classy people as you will the Roberts.   Mary grew up in Milford, Conn., and was sent to basic training at Fort McClellan in Alabama after enlisting at age 19. Chuck grew up in Williamstown and

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The Independent Investor: Economic Inequality Becomes Campaign Issue
By Bill Schmick,
06:32PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020
As Bernie Sanders takes the lead in the Democratic primary campaign, investors are beginning to take his socialist leanings to heart. But dire warnings from the opposition and Wall Street seem to have little impact. A look at the present income inequality in America goes a long way in explaining why.   Over the years, I have written a number of articles on the growing threat of income inequality and its damage to "the Great Center" — the American middle class. According to a new study by the respected Pew Research organization, over the past 50 years, the highest earning 20 percent of U.S. households have garnered a steadily increasing share of America's total

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'Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn': With a Title Like That, Who Needs a Subhead?
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:30PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020
Director Cathy Yan's "Birds of Prey," an exuberant exercise in over-the-top, slickly anarchic filmmaking starring Margot Robbie as the girl you bring home to Mom only during an LSD trip, jogged my memory of a sociologically provocative scene in "Diner" (1982).    Mickey Rourke's Boogie, a city dweller who has procured a steed in Maryland horse country specifically to chase after a stately, blueblood equestrian, catches up and asks her name. To which she dryly responds, "Jane Chisholm … as in Chisholm Trail." Later, driving home and contemplating the episode, Boogie turns to his pal and asks, "Do you ever get the feeling that

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'The Big Chill' at Hancock Shaker Village Offers Day of Winter Family Fun
03:47PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020

HANCOCK, Mass. — Hancock Shaker Village will host "The Big Chill" on Sunday, Feb. 16, an action-packed day of old-fashioned outdoor (and indoor) fun. The event will be held 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the historic village closes at 4 p.m.

Activities include maple tree tapping, ice harvesting talks, a tour of the Ice House, horse-drawn wagon rides, visits with farm animals in the Round Stone Barn, crafts, blacksmithing and baking demos, snowman making, cider tastings, and cozy board games.

Wild Bill and the Flying Sparks, a self-described "honky tonk, roots rockin' country music band," takes the stage in the Believers' Room at 4 p.m., led by Wild Bill on the

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Berkshire Health Systems Taps New Chief Medical Officer/Chief Quality Officer
03:08PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dr. James Weil Lederer Jr. has been appointed to the position of chief medical officer/chief quality officer at Berkshire Health Systems.

"Dr. Lederer has over 20 years of experience in leading innovative, patient-focused, high-quality care initiatives in settings spanning acute-care hospitals, health systems and physician practices," said David Phelps, BHS president and chief executive officer. "He has shown to be a proven leader and will help our team to further advance the patient safety and quality initiatives that have placed us among the national leaders in patient care."

Lederer most recently served as the vice president for Clinical

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