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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Northern Berkshire Coalition Brainstorms Topics for Year
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires.com Staff
03:59AM / Monday, September 16, 2019

Jacob Schutz, assistant principal at Mount Greylock Regional School, speaks about keeping communication open between the community and its schools on Friday at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition first monthly forum.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition held its annual "needs assessment forum" on Friday to gather ideas for future forum topics.

But when the topics are narrowed down and announced, Executive Director Amber Besaw warned, the more than 100 people in the room on Friday shouldn't be surprised if they see ideas they hadn't heard mentioned in the room at The Green. That's because, for the first time, the Coalition held

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Distillers See Fertile Ground for Spirits in the Berkshires
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:02AM / Sunday, September 15, 2019

Matt Brogan and Katherine Hand began their cidery in a closet in Brooklyn; now they're setting up in the mill next to Riley. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Two sets of artisan distillers from different parts of the county are setting up shop in a renovated mill along the so-called "Cultural Corridor."   Ryan Max Riley was looking for something different when he brought his rum distillery to Greylock Works from the high mountains of Colorado.   "None of this was even designed when I moved in," he said recently from his small space within the massive former textile mill.  "I had no idea what it would look like. But I trusted Sal and Karla ... I

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@theMarket: Investors Discover Value Stocks
By Bill Schmick,
05:10PM / Friday, September 13, 2019
Value stocks, those equities that have fallen out of favor, have made a comeback this week. These underpriced orphans have become the new darlings of Wall Street, while high-flyers (think software and some tech) have sold off. What does this say about the markets?   The short answer is that we have more room to run. It means, in my opinion, that we will reach and break historical highs in the U.S. averages and that we should have fairly smooth sailing into October. If, at that point, there are breakthroughs in the trade issue and the Federal Reserve Bank cuts interest rates, we could see the markets continue climbing. If, on the other hand, Trump trashes Chinese exports again and/or

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The Independent Investor: Europe Throws in the Towel
By Bill Schmick,
07:39PM / Thursday, September 12, 2019

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced a major new stimulus package on Thursday. A key interest rate was reduced, and a new bond-buying program was announced, amounting to $22 billion per month. In the past, those efforts would have been enough to boost the European economy, but will it be enough this time around?

It is not as if we haven't seen this before. Through the years, ever since the Financial Crisis of 2009, the ECB, as well as other central banks around the world, have stimulated their economies to avoid recession, or something worse. The problem is that monetary policy can only do so much before central banks find themselves "pushing on a string."

The ECB is

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'Before You Know It': Wherein the Critic Bemoans ...
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:32PM / Thursday, September 12, 2019
Wherein the Critic Bemoans the Vanishing of Local Moviehouses, Extolls the Virtues of Independent Films, Makes the World Safe for Democracy and Sings an Homage to the Family — Leo Tolstoy, "Anna Karenina."   This quote came to mind as I watched director-writer Hannah Pearl Utt's "Before You Know It," a charmingly engaging dramedy with a screwball slant that teaches a life lesson or two while touching our hearts and tickling our funny bones. Besides, I always wanted to use that axiom.   The story is brainy, sophisticated and bereft of gratuitous violence. So don't expect to find it at the highway multiplex. It's about two sisters who discover a

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What Can a Financial Advisor Do for You?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:54AM / Wednesday, September 11, 2019

What does investing mean to you? If the word makes you think of transactions – buying or selling stocks and bonds – you're looking at just part of the picture. To work toward all your goals, such as a comfortable retirement, you need a comprehensive financial strategy. And for that, you might need to work with a personal financial advisor.

But what, specifically, can this type of professional do for you? Here are some of the key services a financial advisor can provide:

* Help you invest for your retirement: An experienced financial advisor can look at all the relevant factors – your current and projected income, age at which you’d like to retire, desired

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Harrington Launches 'Ambitious' Juvenile Justice Initiative
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:37PM / Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Dalton Police Chief Jeffrey Coe says the policies of intervention will keep communities safer.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The district attorney's office is partnering with communities and local organizations to create a juvenile justice system focused on the roots of delinquency.    "As community leaders, we are all responsible for creating an environment where our children can grow and thrive," said District Attorney Andrea Harrington. "That's why my office is launching a comprehensive Juvenile Justice Initiative that will work toward keeping children out of the court system and building safer, healthier communities."   Harrington made

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Biz Briefs: Shakespeare & Company Seeks Property Proposals for Lenox Campus
11:38AM / Tuesday, September 10, 2019
S&Co. Property Collaboration

Shakespeare & Company is inviting qualified entities, including real estate or other business and property development firms and nonprofits, to propose ideas to further develop the company's campus 33-acre property in Lenox. For more than four decades, Shakespeare & Company has been one of the premiere cultural attractions of Berkshire County, and a globally recognized landmark for theatrical performance, arts education, and professional training. This new project represents a unique opportunity to collaborate directly with the Company.  

Qualified entities are asked to provide an initial statement of interest to demonstrate how the campus,

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Hinds Sets Community Outreach Events for September
12:00PM / Monday, September 09, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The staff of state Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will host two community outreach events during September.   The senator's staff will be available to meet with constituents in the communities of Chester and Lanesborough for this month's staff office hours on Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Chester Town Hall, 15 Middlefield Road Lanesborough Town Hall, 83 North Main St.

Appointments are not necessary but can be booked in advance by calling the Pittsfield office at 413-344-4561 or the Williamsburg office at 413-768-2373. These office hours provide an opportunity for those seeking assistance with state agencies or

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Baker Proposes Tax Relief Measures, Major Rainy-Day Fund Deposit
05:49PM / Friday, September 06, 2019
BOSTON — The governor is asking the Legislature to approve tax relief to residents based on the state's surplus revenues.    The legislation filed Friday by the Baker-Polito administration will also make a deposit to the so-called "Rainy Day" fund to bring the fund balance to $3 billion, the highest balance ever.    These proposals are part of a $651 million supplemental budget bill that also makes investments in a wide range of areas including infrastructure, education and support for cities and towns.   "The commonwealth's strong economy and our disciplined approach to budgeting have resulted in another major surplus," said Gov.

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@theMarket: Markets Break Out of 3-Month Trading Range
By Bill Schmick,
04:09PM / Friday, September 06, 2019
Investors received a bucketful of good news this week. Brexit got a reprieve, Hong Kong authorities caved in to protestors demands, and another round of trade talks is set for October between the U.S. and China. Welcome to September.   As of Friday, the S&P 500 Index was less than 2 percent from all-time highs. The other indexes are close as well. And while September is historically not a good month for the markets, this time around, September is starting off with a big bang. Can it continue?   Yes, in my opinion. We could see all three averages break out into new, all-time highs before all is said and done. While traders and computers trade on the headlines, I am more

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Berkshire South Announces 2019 Gala Honoree
12:23PM / Friday, September 06, 2019

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Berkshire South Regional Community Center has named Bobbie Hallig as this year's Edwin A. Jaffe Award winner and gala honoree.

Hallig will be presented with the award on Saturday, Sept. 14, at 5:30 p.m. Gala attendees will enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a raffle, dinner then a live auction benefiting Youth Programming.

The Edwin A. Jaffe Award, honors an individual or group exhibiting an extraordinary commitment to building community and common purpose within the Berkshires.

"Bobbie Hallig is a wonderful choice for this designation," said Jenise Lucey, executive director of BSRCC. "Her many years of service on Berkshire boards

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