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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Financial Tips for Snowbirds ... Present and Future
11:51AM / Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Winter is here again – which may make you wish you were somewhere else. You might be thinking how pleasant it would be to become a snowbird and move to a warmer climate for the season. Of course, your stage of life will help determine if you are prepared to be a snowbird now or if you’re just hoping to be one in the future. But in either case, you'll need to be financially prepared.

So, let's look at what it would take to be a snowbird – tomorrow and today:

Snowbird tomorrow

The further ahead you plan, the more options you're likely to have when you embark on the snowbird life. If you're going to be retired, you'll need to review all your sources of

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Watercooler: Allium to Close After 12 Years in Great Barrington
01:46PM / Monday, December 24, 2018
Saying goodbye

After nearly 12 years in the Berkshires, Allium Restaurant + Bar will be closing its doors on Jan. 1.  Since May of 2007, Allium has presented casual-fine food in downtown Great Barrington. The management team recognizes the popular gathering place Allium has become and wanted to give as much notice as possible. Working with their staff members to find new jobs and taking time to properly say goodbye, is of great importance as they close this chapter.

"Regretfully, and after sincere thought and consideration, we’ve decided to set our sights on new goals," proprietor and founder Nancy Thomas said. "This journey would not have been possible without

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Greylock Federal Hires New Controller
01:00PM / Monday, December 24, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has announced the hiring of Aman Kaushal as an assistant vice president and controller. Kaushal joins the finance group at 150 West Street in Pittsfield.

"Aman brings a great depth of knowledge and expertise in corporate accounting," said Greylock Senior Vice President/SFO Dianne Supranowicz. "He is a welcome addition to our team."

Kaushal is a licensed certified public accountant in the United States and Canada. He is a seasoned professional with experience in major public accounting firms and private industry including: distribution; utilities; manufacturing; and technology environments. Before moving to

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BCC Hires Financial Literacy Coordinator
12:56PM / Monday, December 24, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has filled the position of financial literacy coordinator and coordinator of Student activities and also welcomes Eleanore Velez, an admissions counselor and coordinator of the Multicultural Center, back to the college.

Tina Schettini, who previously worked as a Senior Special Projects coordinator, has moved to the Student Engagement Center to work as the coordinator of Student Activities.

Nancy Stoll has joined the college as the Financial Literacy coordinator, a position based in the Student Financial Services office and funded by a grant to the college from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. Stoll comes to the college with

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Greylock Appoints New Director to Board
12:05PM / Monday, December 24, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has announced the appointment of Colleen White Holmes to the credit union's volunteer board of directors.

"Colleen will be a strong voice for our members," board Chair Stanley Walczyk said. "Her commitment to community development will be a great addition to our team. We are grateful that she has joined the Greylock family."

Holmes is president and CEO of Berkshire Children and Families, a community-based organization promoting the well-being of children and the strength of families in Berkshire County and the Pioneer Valley.

Her career has focused on community and organizational development. Most recently,

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Berkshire Healthcare Communities Earn 11 National Awards
11:59AM / Monday, December 24, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Of the few long-term care and senior living providers in Massachusetts recognized this year by National Research Corporation for exceptional customer and employee satisfaction, Berkshire Healthcare communities captured almost half – 11 out of 23 - of the Massachusetts awards.

In the Berkshire region, Berkshire Healthcare’s Excellence in Action award winners are:

For customer satisfaction: Kimball Farms Life Care, Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center, and Williamstown Commons.

For workforce satisfaction: HospiceCare in The Berkshires and North Adams Commons.

For both customer and employee satisfaction: Mount Greylock Extended Care Facility (Pittsfield)

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May All Your Christmases Be White
11:10PM / Sunday, December 23, 2018

If you are in need of a little injection of Christmas spirit amid all of the chaos of the season, you are in luck: It looks like we might have a white Christmas here in northern Berkshire County.

That will make us pretty special, according to Accuweather.com: The standard for a white Christmas is an inch of snow on the ground during the morning. The regions most likely to have a blanket of snow on the ground this Christmas include, the Northeast, the Upper Midwest and the mountains of the West.

Most of the forecasts agree that snow showers will start in North County overnight Sunday night into Monday morning, Christmas Eve, then becoming more scattered later, with showers more likely

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Former Adrien's Diner Transformed Into New Vegan Restaurant
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:48AM / Sunday, December 23, 2018

Despite being unable to accommodate wheelchairs inside the building, Peltier doesn't want anybody to miss out. She installed an intercom for those in wheelchairs to place orders to go and staff will bring the food to them.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Shari Peltier's daughter is a vegetarian and it is difficult when they go out to eat in local establishments.    "Whenever we would go out to dinner the only thing the kid could order was pasta. There was never any options for her," Peltier said.   That will change in a couple weeks. Peltier is opening Thrive, a vegan diner, in the former Adrien's location on Wahconah Street.   She

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@theMarket: The Trump Dump
By Bill Schmick,
09:52AM / Saturday, December 22, 2018
The sell-off in stocks has now exceeded the 2016 decline. Investor sentiment is as low as it has been since May of that year. The Fed refuses to save us, and Donald Trump insists on his wall or he will lay off thousands of federal workers. Did I say Merry Christmas?   The reasons for this rout are well-known by now. The latest disappointment was on Wednesday when, contrary to investor's expectations, the Fed stood firm in their quantitative tightening agenda. For a more in-depth view of the reasons for their stance, please read my Thursday column "The Fed Stands Tall."   The markets expressed their unhappiness by declining 1.5 percent in the last four days. But it

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Letter: Congressman Neal & Medicare for All
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Friday, December 21, 2018

To the Editor:

It was recently reported that Congressman Neal is at last open to exploring the feasibility of a Medicare for All approach to health care. As a longtime nurse and one of the millions of people in this country with family members of my own who are now deceased because of a lack of timely access to basic health care, I greeted this news with relief and hope.

This week, given the latest effort to kill the Affordable Care Act which, while flawed, is still the best (and sometimes the only) option for millions, I am even more concerned that Congressman Neal approach the health care crisis with a real sense of urgency as he assumes chairmanship of the House Ways and Means

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Holiday Hours: Christmas & New Year's
04:02PM / Friday, December 21, 2018

Businesses, schools and government offices will be taking breaks over the next week as the nation celebrates Christmas and New Year's. Christmas falls on Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, and New Year's on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. 

Christmas is now a state holiday but it wasn't always. The General Court under the control of the Puritans outlawed the holiday in 1659.

There was too much eating, drinking, wassailing and other festiveness for the colony's righteous rulers. Even after the ban was lifted, Christmas was treated as a regular day until its popularization during the Victorian era. Thank goodness. Can you imagine Norman Rockwell not painting Stockbridge at Christmas?

The

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The Independent Investor: The Fed Stands Tall
By Bill Schmick,
06:25PM / Thursday, December 20, 2018
Sometimes it takes a while, but financial markets almost always test a new incoming Federal Reserve Bank chairman. On Wednesday, Jerome Powell faced his test and passed with flying colors. Of course, a glance at the stock market averages at the end of the day on Wednesday would have the casual observers scratching their heads.   As most readers know, the stock market has been declining since October. One of the reasons for the sell-off is the fear that the Federal Reserve Bank's gradual tightening policies have gone too far. Their continuous interest rate hikes coupled with the selling of $50 billion of U.S. Treasury bonds every month had started to reduce the excess liquidity from

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