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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Senate President Gets Feel For Berkshires' Economic Future
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:44AM / Monday, June 05, 2017

Christopher Kapiloff of Laminate Technologies showed off a piece of bulletproof glass his company is selling in large numbers, but said it will be made elsewhere if the state can't lower the cost of doing business. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Unemployment, wages, and innovation are high points for the state's economy, all of which the commonwealth is doing the best in the nation.    But the state has stalled on education, transportation, and revenue. If those don't change, then Senate President Stanley Rosenberg believes the state will lose growth.   "Overall, in general, the commonwealth as a whole, we are a high-quality state for life, work, building

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Monument Mountain Grads Advised To 'Join Them'
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:31PM / Sunday, June 04, 2017

Sophia Cohen tells the story of her first trip to summer camp, where she spent too much time worrying about going home and missed a chance to embrace the experience. More photos can be found here. LENOX, Mass. — Join them.   That's what Monument Mountain valedictorian Sophia Cohen advised her fellow classmates on Sunday when the school held its 50th commencement. Cohen told a story about when she was 10 years old and went to a two-week summer camp.   But, she spent the whole first week trying to find an excuse to leave. During that week, she remember a group of girls going to the pool and she wanted to go. But, she was too focused on trying to go home, too

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Mount Everett Grads to Take On Unpredictability of Life
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:00PM / Saturday, June 03, 2017

Kayle Krom tells her classmates that there are a lot of things out of their control, but their lives are something they have the most say over. See more photos here. LENOX, Mass. — Kayla Krom learned that there are a lot of things in this world that one cannot control.   She learned that the hard way. The Mount Everett Regional School valedictorian's brother died in a car wreck in April.    "Just a year ago he was up here sitting on this stage. This is the best moment of his life. I can remember his huge bright-eyed smile that lit up a room and hearts with joy. I was such a proud sister seeing him push through the adversity he had faced to graduate and

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BArT Charter School Sends Class of 2017 Off to College
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:19PM / Saturday, June 03, 2017

Emily DePietro says she has grown during her time at BArT. See more photos here. ADAMS, Mass. — The 16 college-bound Berkshire Arts and Technology Public Charter School graduates were charged Saturday with taking control of their own narrative.   After reading the state's profile of the school's 10th graduating class, teacher Sean Johnson explained that in his opinion, this class was a group of survivors.   "That is the state of Massachusetts' story that is told by a spreadsheet but that is not your story. Let me tell you another story about the class of 2017," he told the graduates and their families during graduation exercises in the

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BCC Grads Showed 'Grit' To Earn Degrees, Certificates
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:30PM / Friday, June 02, 2017

Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago says the graduating class had grit to persevere and get their degrees. See more photos here. LENOX, Mass. — Jeremy Patterson admires the traditional college graduate, the ones who had the foresight and commitment to delve right into higher education.   Patterson is not a traditional graduate. At age 26, neither he nor his wife had even graduated high school. He was out of work and trying to care for their three children. One day in 2007, they packed everything they owned into a 1992 Oldsmobile and left their rural home in Florida, driving to a new home in the Berkshires.   "We were petrified. While staying with a

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@theMarket: Markets Still on a Roll
By Bill Schmick,
05:55PM / Friday, June 02, 2017

Additional gains propelled stocks higher this week with all three averages closing at record highs once again. Despite the fact that more and more experts are warning of a possible fall in the averages, investors continue to pile into stocks. Should you?

The short answer is no, wait for that decline, unless you have no exposure to the stock market. That would be hard for me to believe if you have been reading my column regularly. My readers also know that the threat of a pullback hangs over the market all the time since we can expect as many as 2-3 declines in the stock market every year.

The economy, however, is still growing enough, and interest rates are still low enough, to justify

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American Institute for Economic Research Names Next President
01:47PM / Friday, June 02, 2017

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Edward P. Stringham, a prominent U.S. political economist and thought leader in the field of private governance, has been named president of the American Institute for Economic Research, an 84-year-old research and education organization headquartered in Great Barrington.

In addition, he will serve as the organization's director of research and education. The appointment, announced  by AIER’s Board of Trustees, was effective May 24.

"Dr. Stringham's accomplishments and experience make him uniquely qualified to build upon AIER’s great traditions and lead the institute in fulfilling its goals," said AIER Chairman Gregory

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Restoration Group Purchases Historic Great Barrington Church
Community Submission,
01:17PM / Friday, June 02, 2017

The purchase allows the restoration to begin fundraising for Phase II to begin repairs on the building.

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Clinton Church Restoration Inc. has finalized its $70,000 purchase of the historic former Clinton African Methodist Episcopal Church at 9 Elm Court.

Community members contributed $110,000 toward the Phase I effort; the additional funds will provide a jump-start for costly repairs needed at the property.
 
Wray Gunn and Cora Portnoff, former church members and board members of the nonprofit organization that now owns the property, issued a joint statement of gratitude to the community.

"We are overwhelmed with the support the Clinton Church

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Berkshire Natural Resources Council President to Depart
01:09PM / Friday, June 02, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Natural Resources Council president Tad Ames will depart the organization on December 31, 2017, after more than 27 years of service, the last 16 as president.

Ames said that he has made the decision to resign from BNRC in order to make a change in his professional career and to seek new opportunities.

"I am now in my mid-50s and I've reached an age and a stage in my professional life where I have the opportunity to create one more chapter," he said. "It is not easy to leave a place and people whom I love so much, but I want to seize the opportunity to be part of another story. It's time to pass leadership to a new leader to bring

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National Trails Day Activities Planned at Great Barrington River Walk
11:40AM / Friday, June 02, 2017

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Great Barrington Land Conservancy will celebrate National Trails Day at the Great Barrington River Walk with several activities throughout the day on Saturday, June 3.

At 9 a.m., a paddle and hike will be held. Canoes will be provided for a lovely Housatonic River paddle that will bring the trip to Kellogg Road and the Appalachian Trail. There, the group will put down their paddles and hoist on their packs for a gently upward 1.7 mile A.T hike up June Mountain to Home Road. Transport will be provided back to River Walk and the potluck picnic. Registration is required at info@GBLand.org. The hosts will include Christine Ward (GBLC), Dennis Regan (HVA)

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'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales': Many Asleep in the Deep
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
06:01PM / Thursday, June 01, 2017
I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to over-analyze "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales." I do that whenever I can't fathom for the love of me why someone would want to see the second-rate movie in question. After all, directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's rambling, rambunctious and dysfunctionally repetitious absurdity should spell an easy day for the critic. The temptation is to write, "It's lousy and that's that. Trust me. I've been writing film criticism for years. This is strictly for those possessing the bad movie gene."   But of course I can't. Besides the fact that such short shrift would put my

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The Independent Investor: Elder Care in an Age of Confusion
By Bill Schmick,
05:54PM / Thursday, June 01, 2017
Many Americans confess that they are confused when faced with the myriad Medicare choices available to them. Others are simply not planning, nor saving enough to meet the challenge of health care costs in old age. In response, a whole new industry has sprung up nationwide.   It's called "life care planning," an off-shoot and a natural progression for those practicing elder law. What, you may ask, is elder law and why has it become so important? Attorneys that practice elder law are essentially advocates for the elderly and their loved ones. They routinely handle a range of legal issues that usually accompany an older or disabled person.   Many of these topics have

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