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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The Independent Investor: ESG and the World of Investment
By Bill Schmick,
04:24PM / Thursday, January 30, 2020
Over the last few years, investments that focus on environmental, social, and governance issues, or ESG, have been confused with socially responsible investing or SRI. There is a big difference between the two investment styles.   The simplest way to understand the differences between the two is the profit motive. ESg investments are focused on making money as a primary objective. They do so by identifying specific risks or opportunities now and in the future and investing accordingly. SRI investors, on the other hand, are willing to forego profits in companies that do not meet their ethical standards. They value ethics more than profits in the investment world.   For example, if

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Great Barrington Police Charge Driver for Leaving Scene of Accident
04:13PM / Thursday, January 30, 2020
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Police have charged a local man with leaving the scene of an accident that snapped a utility pole in two.    Sgt. Paul Storti, while on patrol, at about 2:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, discovered the downed pole and wires across the road at the intersection of Routes 23 and 71. The vehicle had left the scene and appeared to be heading west on Route 71.    The pole and wires caused the roadway to be blocked while utility companies cleaned up the scene. The road re-opened around 10 a.m. on Friday.   The investigation uncovered information on the whereabouts of the vehicle and the owner. The vehicle was located at a local business in

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Weekend Report: No Snowstorm, But a Groundhog and a Game
02:16PM / Thursday, January 30, 2020

Does Punxsutawney Phil like football?

With the Super Bowl falling on Groundhog Day this year, we here at iBerkshires got to wondering if, instead of asking the animal to predict how much more winter we are in for, we ask him to predict who will win the big game?

Because, let's face it, winter officially remains through March 18 whether we like it or not - and sometimes in reality it drags on even longer in these parts, and we see snow on Mother's Day. While there was talk earlier this week of a big Nor'easter this weekend to make it a white Super Bowl, the storm appears to be going out to see, and we might only see some flurries this weekend, with temperatures right around

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Are You a Mindful Investor?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:07AM / Thursday, January 30, 2020

Recently, we have seen an increased interest in mindfulness, although the concept itself is thousands of years old. Essentially, being mindful means you are living very much in the present, highly conscious of your thoughts and feelings.

However, being mindful doesn't mean acting on those thoughts and feelings – it's just the opposite. With mindfulness, your decision-making is based on cognitive skills and a rational perspective, rather than emotions. As such, mindfulness can be quite valuable as you make investment decisions.

Two of the most common emotions or tendencies associated with investing are fear and greed. Let's see how they can affect investors'

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All stuffed up? It might not be a cold. It might be the air in your home
10:53AM / Thursday, January 30, 2020

Do you have itchy eyes and a stuffy nose when you go home? It might not be just a cold. Your air quality might be to blame.

Indoor air can be between 200 percent and 500 percent more polluted than outdoor air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, leading to symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, postnasal drip, headaches, coughing, itching, nasal congestion, runny nose, fatigue and sneezing. And since people spend 90 percent of their day indoors, breathing approximately 36 pounds of air per day, that's a lot of polluted air to handle.

Ironically, as homes get more energy-efficient, the issue of indoor air pollution has become worse, the EPA said, because these tight

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Medicare For All Bill Slowly Building Support in Massachusetts
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:06AM / Monday, January 27, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There's a group working hard to make Massachusetts the Saskatchewan of the United States.    State Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa, 1st Hampshire District, sees the potential for the Bay State to follow the Canadian province's groundbreaking example in 1962 of being the first to provide single-payer health care to its citizens.   "Health-care costs are rising by 3 percent every year ... we know we're in an untenable situation where health care costs keep rising, where people are paying more and more every year," she told more than three dozen people gathered at the Tavern on the A on Thursday night. "We need to really come up with

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Guest Column: Statement on Sentencing in Steele-Knudslien Murder
Guest Column,
08:23PM / Friday, January 24, 2020
As the region's longest-serving LGBTQ organization, Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition has closely followed the case of the murder of Christa Steele-Knudslien, the North Adams resident and founder of the Miss Trans New England Pageant.    Today [Thursday], her murderer has been sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after serving 25 years. In the two years since we lost Christa, the community has rallied around her memory and inspiration. In North Adams, a grassroots task force was founded in reaction to her death and those of other residents killed by their partners. This led to the Berkshire County Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force, a coalition of

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@theMarket: FOMO Infects Investors
By Bill Schmick,
04:55PM / Friday, January 24, 2020
The stock market is frothy. The great gains that investors experienced last year are extending into this year. As the indexes climb, more and more of those on the sidelines are jumping in. Is this a good sign?   No, it isn't. "The Fear of Missing Out," or FOMO is rearing its greedy head on Wall Street. Those who may have raised some cash in the past few months, fearing a trade war, or the impeachment proceedings, have watched the portfolios underperform the averages, ignore all the negative news and climb higher.   On the geopolitical front, we have seen the same thing. Selling on fear of an Iranian response to the killing of one of their heroes was the wrong move

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Berkshire County Adult Baseball League Welcomes New Players
Community submission,
01:15PM / Friday, January 24, 2020
The Berkshire County Adult Baseball League is looking for players from Berkshire County for the 20-and-over league and the 35-and-over league.   To register anyone can go to the league's website at www. Leaguelineup.com/orazl   For more information, contact Lou orazio at Orazl@aol.com or 413-663-0741.   The first meeting of the year is on Feb. 22 at the Dalton American Legion from 5 to 7 p.m.

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Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires Welcomes Four New Board Members
04:36PM / Thursday, January 23, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires announces the addition of four new members to the NPC board.

The organization was founded in 2016 to help nonprofits connect, learn and grow. Since then, it has launched 20 programs, including workshops, publications, networking events, and the Berkshire Nonprofit Awards.

"We're excited to evolve our board to meet the challenges of our fast-growing organization, and harness their creativity and connections to meet the demands of the nonprofit sector we serve," NPC founder Liana Toscanini said.

Stephanie Bosley serves as the Community Connector Partnership Coordinator with Berkshire Community Action

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The Independent Investor: Intellectual Property Has Not Always Been So Important
By Bill Schmick,
04:33PM / Thursday, January 23, 2020
America's intellectual property (IP) is worth more than $6.6 trillion and employs 45 million Americans and hundreds of millions more worldwide. It is estimated that IP-intensive industries account for one-third of the country's total Gross Domestic Product and 52 percent of U.S. merchandise exports. It is why we, as a country, are fighting so hard to protect these rights today.   The figures above come from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. If anything, they understate the value of IP to all of us. So what, exactly is IP? Generally, it is any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others. Inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols,

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Berkshire Money Management Welcomes Operations Manager
04:28PM / Thursday, January 23, 2020

DALTON, Mass. — Natalie Wheeler has joined the Berkshire Money Managament team as operations manager.

Prior to joining Berkshire Money Management, Wheeler was the director of office operations at Atlas Private Wealth Management for nine years. During her time at Atlas, she helped spearhead organizational goals and procedures to ensure that all general office and personnel operations ran smoothly across multiple offices. Her professional versatility provided all employees with the necessary tools, training and resources they needed to be successful.

Wheeler also managed employee benefits and all human resource questions and concerns.

"Natalie has significant executive-level

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