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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

North Adams' Belltower Records to Host Summer Jam II
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Friday, August 09, 2019

Belltower bought out the inventory of the former Toonerville Trolley. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Belltower Records has settled into the community as a hub for music fans, musicians, and audiophiles alike.   It is easy to lose a few hours on the third floor of the Norad Mill digging through the overflowing record crates at the independent music store.   "We have just been longtime collectors, my wife and I, and we have been looking to do something for a while and we basically stumbled upon this," owner Wes Nelson said recently.   With news that Hal March, owner of Toonerville Trolley Records in Williamstown, was looking to close and sell his business in 2017, a

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The Independent Investor: Will We race to the Bottom?
By Bill Schmick,
04:22PM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
Financial markets are in turmoil. President Trump's trade war is escalating, and with it, fears that both China and the U.S. will employ a new weapon, currency devaluation, to win the war. Is that a wise move?   The last time the country devalued the dollar outright was on Dec. 18, 1971, when President Nixon took the country off the gold standard. Since then, there have been times when various administrations have nudged the dollar down, but most American presidents have maintained a strong-dollar policy.   However, over the course of the last two years, President Trump has increasingly complained that the United States is at an unfair advantage versus other countries that are

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Lee Woman Seriously Injured in Stockbridge Road Accident
Staff Reports,
02:59PM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Police say a pot-impaired teenager seriously injured a young Lee woman on Wednesday night when his car hit her on Stockbridge Road.   Police say 19-year-old Khali Zabian was northbound when her car veered off the highway and struck guardrails near Fountain Pond. She called 911 to report the accident.    But when Officers Timothy Ullrich and Elias Casey arrived, they found that Zabian had been struck by an oncoming car and had been thrown some distance from her vehicle.    A good Samaritan who had stopped to help her told police that the other vehicle "suddenly came upon them," according to the police report, and "they

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'The Farewell': And a Fond One at That
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:24PM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
Every so often, some philosophically inclined sort seeks a window into your soul by asking, "If you could spend time with anyone now deceased, who would it be, pray tell?"    Akin in hypocrisy to first wishing for world peace or a cure for cancer before asking for a Ferrari whence blowing out my birthday candles, I perfunctorily answer, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or Ben Franklin. However, after seeing the delightfully heartwarming, bittersweet and often hilarious "The Farewell," about a Chinese family who throws a wedding as pretense for gathering to say goodbye to their terminally ill matriarch, I thought of the grandmother I never knew.   Anna

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Tanglewood, Sevenars Showcase Great Music
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
09:02PM / Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Tanglewood this week will be very rewarding and diverse, with spectacular musical riches across the centuries, representing the progressive continuum of styles: music that’s both time-honored and new, and everything in-between.

Tanglewood continues its classical programming with an all-Beethoven piano recital on Aug. 7 by the fabulous soloist Yefim Bronfman; more Beethoven awaits with the beloved "Pastoral" Symphony No. 6 and the lyrical Fourth Piano Concerto, featuring the magnificent pianist Inon Barnaton on Aug. 11 – the BSO led by composer/pianist/conductor Thomas Adès; also, a program of three of the Viennese master’s violin/piano sonatas, performed

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Eclectic Headliners: Savion Glover, Lou Reed Drones, Indigenous Dancers
By Grace Lichtenstein , Guest Column
02:00PM / Wednesday, August 07, 2019

The week for eclectic music lovers includes both Tanglewood’s important Festival of Contemporary Music and the tap icon Savion Glover, with a Laurie Anderson presentation at Mass MoCa to boot.

Tanglewood

Ozawa Hall and the Linde Center are the venues for the series of concerts beginning Thursday, Aug. 8, that comprise the Festival of Contemporary Music, under the direction of the prodigious British composer/conductor/pianist Thomas Ades. The centerpiece is the 2005 opera “The Cricket Recovers” by British composer Richard Ayres on Thursday night at 8 p.m. at Ozawa. It’s a chamber opera based on a story by children’s author Toon Tellegen.

Other FCM concerts that

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Biz Briefs: Catherine's Chocolates Changes Name to Mielke Confections
11:30AM / Monday, August 05, 2019
Chocolate changes

Steve and Trent Kinney, the new owners of the Great Barrington landmark store Catherine's Chocolates, have announced a new name, look and logo. The original Catherine's Chocolates Store was named for the grandmother of the former owner, Kathy Sinico, and operated for 40 years under that name. The Kinneys are continuing the tradition of a family-owned local business, creating handmade quality chocolates in the same location, as well as their choice of the new name, which is Trent Kinney’s family name.

The logo, designed by Trent, has a simple upscale look in ivory, chocolate and gold and features a modernist allusion to a chocolate bean. The familiar

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Berkshire Wrestling Club Third at Springfield Tournament
07:25PM / Sunday, August 04, 2019
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The Berkshire Wrestling Club earned a number of podium finishes on the way to a third-place showing at Sunday's Battle of the Armory at Springfield Technical Community College.   Alex Hall, Deven Pekosz and Dylan Burke each placed second in his weight class.   Burke dropped a 1-0 decision in the finals at 199 pounds, where his day included a 4-0 win over the Rhode Island state champion. Burke finished 3-1 at the tournament.   Hall went 5-1 at 106 pounds en route to a silver medal.   Pekosz wrestled at 163 and dominated the competition until dropping a close match in the finals.   Pekosz also placed third in the open division bracket,

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Adams Celebrates Important Local Women, Displays 'First Ladies' Quilt
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:04AM / Saturday, August 03, 2019

A work by quilt artist Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry recognizes women who were first — from Amelia Earhart to Jeannette Rankin to Oprah Winfrey to Margaret Chase Smith to Sandra Day O'Connor to Hillary Clinton to Maura Healey. ADAMS, Mass. — The Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee is celebrating more than 200 women of note — including 52 who made have made a positive impact on Adams.    Committee unveiled the "First Ladies Quilt" and Wall of Recognition at Town Hall on Friday evening with small reception.   "I have been asked who the winner of this contest is by many people and the true answer is the winner is every single

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BHS Diabetes Education Program Launches Weight Loss & Lifestyle Change Program
09:23PM / Friday, August 02, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Health Systems Diabetes Education Program has implemented a Weight Loss and Lifestyle Change Program, with new classes beginning in September, at multiple locations across the Berkshires. 

While the formal program begins in September, there is an Information Session scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 15, from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Hillcrest Campus of BMC. To register for this Information Session, call 413-395-7942.

The program is aimed at adults 18 and older who have a diagnosis of pre-diabetes by a blood test within the past year. To be eligible for this program, participants must have a need to lose weight, with a body mass index of 25 or higher. The

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The Independent Investor: Brexit: The Never-Ending Story
By Bill Schmick,
05:06PM / Thursday, August 01, 2019
Back in 2018, the government of the United Kingdom and the European Union reached an agreement on exactly how the British exit (Brexit) would occur. Since then, despite countless meetings, discussions and votes, the UK Parliament has failed to approve that process. The new date for an exit is Oct. 31. Will this really be the end of the story?   The October extension was really a compromise negotiated by former Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain's Conservative Party. Some European countries were offering a much longer delay for as much as one year.  However, Emmanuel Macron, the French President, insisted on a much shorter time period.    Macron and some other

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'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood': The Golden Age, Tarnished
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:26PM / Thursday, August 01, 2019
While Quentin Tarantino has won two Oscars for his screenplays, with "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," his most profound motion picture to date, he might finally gather up those statuettes for best film and best directorial effort.    The provocative and quirkily philosophical work is thoroughly entertaining proof that he is one of America's most accomplished, living directors.   Whereas many filmmakers doubtlessly come up with a novel idea for a film that, for one reason or another doesn't make it to the silver screen with the inspired creativity of its genesis intact, Tarantino's signature talent is in making his movie dreams come true. His unique brand

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