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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Community Forum: Weed is Here. Now What?
02:50PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A community forum is being held to discuss the wide-ranging implications of the legal sale of marijuana for recreational purposes on Wednesday, March 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.   Community leaders representing law enforcement, youth services, local government and the drug treatment community will discuss the changing landscape of marijuana's place in Southern Berkshire County with an extended question-and-answer period from the audience.    "The goal is to learn about what the changes in the laws are and how they are being enforced, and to start to understand how it impacts our community," said


Housatonic High Wakes Up With Musical 'Rip Van Winkle'
01:49PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
FALLS VILLAGE, Conn. — Set against the backdrop of Colonial America, "Rip Van Winkle: The Musical!" shares the untold story of Washington Irving's legendary farmer who slept for 20 years, from 1770-1790. This family musical celebrates community, love, forgiveness, and home through music, comedy, dance, and a little gnomish mischief.   The Housatonic Musical Theatre Society, entering its 16th year at Housatonic Valley Regional High School, will present Rip Van Winkle: The Musical for one weekend only: Thursday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 16 at 2 and at 7:30 p.m. Performances take place at the Henry Burgess Auditorium at


'Greta': Guilty Thrills
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:28PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
In my bedroom when I was little, a sloppily misplaced piece of clothing on a chair in the dark of night sure could look like a saber-toothed tiger. Experiencing this and other such optical illusions every so often during those tender years, I estimate that I adequately satisfied the quota for horror that one must endure in a lifetime. Hence, it should go without saying that horror and all its filmic relations are my least favorite forms of cinema entertainment.    Nevertheless, in the esprit de corps of being an equal opportunity film critic, I like to think I approach every such movie with an open-minded challenge. But hark, in every instance, I am also on a mission. It is my

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Biz Briefs: Dinner Raises Money to Support WTBR in Pittsfield
11:51AM / Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Mike Filpi of Meatball Mike's Catering and the Pittsfield Elks organized the event, which brought more than 50 people to the Elks Lodge on Union Street in Pittsfield Radio benefit

A benefit dinner in support of the operations of Pittsfield Community Radio, WTBR-FM, raised $500 for the station on Saturday, March 2. Mike Filpi of Meatball Mike's Catering and the Pittsfield Elks organized the event, which brought more than 50 people to the Elks Lodge on Union Street in Pittsfield. The money will be used to help with the costs of moving the station from Taconic High School to the PCTV studios, and rebuilding the studio and transmitter facilities.

The annual benefit dinner,


Who Can You Trust to Reduce Stress of Estate Planning?
11:12AM / Wednesday, March 06, 2019

When it's time to do your estate planning – and it's actually never too soon to begin – you may find the process, at first, to be somewhat bewildering. You will have many questions: What sort of arrangements should I make? Who should get what? And when? How can you address these and other issues?

You will need to get some help. In drawing up your estate plan, you will need to work with an attorney. And for guidance on the investments that can help fund your estate planning arrangements, such as a living trust, you can draw on the help of a financial advisor. You also may want to connect with a trust company, which can help facilitate your estate plans and coordinate


Berkshires Beat: SVMC Kicks Off Colorectal Cancer Screening Awareness Month
10:37AM / Tuesday, March 05, 2019
Blue Day

Employees at Southwestern Vermont Health Care gathered on Friday, March 1, for a photo to celebrate Dress in Blue Day in honor of Colorectal Cancer Screening Awareness Month. Dress in Blue Day was first observed in 2009. It is a program of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, and it is meant to raise awareness of the disease.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States. Americans of average risk and age 50 and older should be screened every 10 years. According to the American Cancer Society, if Americans followed screening recommendations, the colon cancer death rate could be cut in half.  

There are many types of tests


Southern Vermont College to Close Doors
Staff Reports,
12:01PM / Monday, March 04, 2019
BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southern Vermont College, facing "insurmountable pressure," will close at the end of the spring semester.    In an announcement made Monday morning, President David R. Evans cited declining enrollment, financial pressure, and adverse action by the college's regional accreditor concerning institutional resources.   Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Mass., has agreed to accept SVC's new students in the fall semester. MCLA staff are expected to be on the Vermont campus on Tuesday afternoon to meet with any interested students.    "Following notice at the end of January from the New England Commission of


In Pursuit of Beetle Happiness: Part 3
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
04:40PM / Sunday, March 03, 2019

Ink sketch of a stag beetle by Tor Hansen. Below, an actual North American stag beetle. 

Switch research mosaic to Cape May in New Jersey, and situate yourself in an overgrown field gone to benign weedy neglect. While returning from a ferry crossing the Delaware Bay, I found a fleet question mark butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis) fluttering to a taller Queen Anne's Lace, and flitting down to feed on oozing sap welling from meristem and cambium within. Chafing beetles had scraped the cuticle so to reveal sap oozing from the wound, now a flourishing oasis for assorted foraging insects. The angle wing uncoiled its nimble proboscis, a hollow tubular flex straw,

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County Officials Celebrate Completion of Berkshire Flyer Plan
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:04PM / Friday, March 01, 2019

1Berkshire CEO Jonathan Butler and state Sen. Adam Hinds discuss the Flyer. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A committee that spent the last two years working on the Berkshire Flyer project is anxious to see how 2,600 new visitors to the Berkshires each summer will bolster the economy.   The goal is a passenger rail service from New York City to Pittsfield, departing Penn Station on Friday afternoon and returning Sunday afternoon throughout the summer to bring a new visitors to the area.   "We are targeting tourists and targeting second homeowners but we don't necessarily want to just give folks who are already coming here another way to get here, we also want to say

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@theMarket: Stocks on Hold
By Bill Schmick,
04:26PM / Friday, March 01, 2019
February delivered good gains for the markets. All the main averages were up, continuing January's climb toward the old highs. This week, momentum stalled a bit, indicating that investors need more good news to continue buying.   A China trade agreement (or lack thereof) still takes center stage. Despite the Washington, D.C., circus surrounding the testimony of Michael Cohen, the president's chief "fixer" for over a decade, traders largely ignored the hype.   At the same time (no accident in the scheduling), President Donald Trump hoped to take the spotlight off Cohen and back on him by meeting with Kim Jung-un in Hanoi for a second summit. Unfortunately, that


Here We Go Again: March Warns Winter's Not Over Yet
03:25PM / Friday, March 01, 2019
Snowfall forecast has been reduced for Berkshire County for Sunday's storm. Now it's 4 to 8 inches through Monday morning, with temperatures in the single digits Monday night. Update from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency:    "Winter Storm Watches are posted for all areas in Mass. Snow is forecast to begin between 6-8 p.m, from west to east.  Snow will end around 6 a.m. in Western Mass, and around 11 a.m. in eastern MA.  The time period for the heaviest snow is forecast to occur between 10 p.m. Sunday and 5 a.m. Monday. Temperatures during the day on Sunday will be in the 20s to low 30s."

A larger storm is poised to bring heavier snow,


BCC Announces Adjunct Faculty Fellow, Several Other New Hires
02:18PM / Friday, March 01, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has hired a new director of Safety and Security and a new building maintenance supervisor II. It has also announced it has a new adjunct faculty fellow and interim dean of Business, Science, Mathematics and Technology.

Ellis Richardson has been hired as the new Director of Safety and Security. Richardson, a retired chief of police for the city of Hudson in New York, brings an extensive law enforcement background with a community-building mindset. He most recently worked as the Public Safety sergeant for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He attended University at Albany and received an associate's degree from Columbia-Greene


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