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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Leaving Your Job? What Happens to Your 401(k)?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:47AM / Wednesday, September 04, 2019

If you're in the early stages of your working life – or even in the not-so-early ones – the chances are pretty good that you will change jobs at some point. When that happens, you will probably leave a few things behind – but will one of them be your 401(k)?

Of course, you wouldn't really forget about your 401(k). (It does happen, however – over the period from 2004 through 2013, more than 25 million people left at least one 401(k) or similar plan behind when they left their job, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.) But you will have to do something with your account.

Essentially, you have four choices:

* You can cash out your 401(k).

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Berkshires Beat: Woofstock 2019 to be Held at The Common in Pittsfield
11:24AM / Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Woofstock 2019

Berkshire Humane Society’s Woofstock, an annual 5K Run and Downtown Dog Walk celebrating people and their pups, will be held Sunday, Sept. 8, at The Common in Pittsfield. Runners will be timed by Berkshire Running Center, and walkers will stroll along North Street to help raise awareness for the shelter's mission. Leashed canine companions are welcome during both events. Afterward, participants and supporters are invited to enjoy family-friendly activities, canine games, food trucks, music, and raffles.

All participants are encouraged to collect pledges to benefit homeless animals, and registration includes a free online crowdfunding tool. BHS receives no state or


Pollinators Abound in Search for Sweet Nectar
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
04:27PM / Sunday, September 01, 2019

Long dash skipper stretching proboscis to secure nectar deep within a blossom. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — In the early morning sun way up on Mount Greylock, I muse among the wildflowers blooming trailside on a grassy service road adjacent to the reservoir, where tall white fleabanes bloom.    At first, the predominant moth is like a small sphingid moth with scalloped wings adorned with large white wing patches, with heavy body again like the hawk moths (family: Sphingidae).   However, the appearance may in turn mimic the sphinx moths. But this window-winged moth is Thyris maculata in family Thyrididae, not the Geometridae. See Charles Covell, author of "Eastern


@theMarket: The Summer of Financial Discontent
By Bill Schmick,
05:13PM / Friday, August 30, 2019
As we close out the summer, investors have had anything but a sleepy three months. The volatility caused by the Fed's actions, Donald Trump's tweets, Brexit, and tariff threats had markets gaining and losing billions — if not trillions — of dollars in assets on a weekly, and sometimes, daily basis.   The question you might ask is "Will it continue?" The short answer is yes, at least into October, unless a trade deal is signed. And what are the chances of that happening? Not very high, if you listen to the experts who profess to know and understand China.    A respected Deutsche Bank economist, Yi Xiong, wrote in a recent report that China has

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The Independent Investor: The Rising Costs of Hurricanes
By Bill Schmick,
04:58PM / Thursday, August 29, 2019
Over the last few decades, hurricanes have wreaked havoc on this country. Hurricanes have caused the most deaths, the greatest damage, and cost the most money of any weather or climate-related disasters in U.S. history. Some say we're just getting started when it comes to the intensity and frequency of these super storms.   The frequency of hurricanes (like just about any other subject you can think of in this country these days) can be a political football depending on who you talk to. Environmentalists blame a warmer climate and rising sea levels, caused by greenhouse gas emissions, for the rise in super storms. If you are in the Trump camp, the tendency is to deny that there is

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'The Peanut Butter Falcon': Wrestling With Bigotry
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:23PM / Thursday, August 29, 2019
It is big-hearted, pleasantly pie-in-the-sky save for some routine tumult in the climax, and provides a good service in dramatizing the realities of living with the genetic disorder known as Down syndrome. But my problem as I viewed "The Peanut Butter Falcon" is that I was more fascinated by the lead actor, Zack Gottsagen, than by the story.    You see, Gottsagen does indeed have Down syndrome. And his starring role in this Twain-like adventure yarn about a man institutionalized because of his Down syndrome who takes it on the lam to claim his destiny as a professional wrestler, is no small watershed, either for cinema or for others possessing that third copy of


Holiday Hours: Labor Day
11:30AM / Thursday, August 29, 2019

Labor Day is being celebrated Monday, Sept. 2. Labor Day was established as a federal holiday in 1971 by Congress and is held on the first Monday of September. Read a history of Labor Day here.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The union encouraged the development of a workingman's holiday and a number of states began setting a day aside. Parades and picnics or similar events were not uncommon in its early days; it is now seen as part of the last three-day weekend of the summer prior to the start of school in many localities. 

Massachusetts was among the first states to


Squeeze, Benatar, Reba, Berkshire Ramblers Spark Labor Day Weekend Finales
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
11:42AM / Wednesday, August 28, 2019

For the Labor Day weekend, Tanglewood welcomes pop and country stars, the Guthrie Center offers local folkies, Mass MoCA throws a dance party and the Egremont Barn jumps with hip-hop.


Now that the Boston Symphony Orchestra has finished its summer season, Tanglewood revs up for stars from the rock and country worlds in its Popular Artists Series.

Squeeze, the British rockers who first began recording in the 1970s, is at the Shed on Thursday night, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. The lineup of band members may have changed over the years, but the current crew surely will do such hits as "Tempted" and "Hourglass."

Two enduring women rock stars take the Shed stage


Interested in Fixed Annuities? Beware of Common Misconceptions
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:47AM / Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Between your 401(k) or pension, your IRA and Social Security, you hope to have enough to enjoy a comfortable retirement lifestyle. Yet, you may want, or need, to find other financial resources – one of which might be a fixed annuity, which offers a guaranteed interest rate and can be structured to provide a lifetime income stream.

But you may be nervous about investing in annuities because of some negative things you have heard about them. How concerned should you be?

To help answer that question, let's consider some common misconceptions about fixed annuities:

* "I won't be able to touch any of my money if I need some of it before I retire." A fixed annuity is


Windsor Receives $165k in Funding for Ecological Repairs
05:50PM / Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The secretary also met with local officials during her trip to Western Mass, including a roundtable on Friday in Pittsfield.  WINDSOR, Mass. — The town of Windsor has been awarded $165,000 to replace a culvert on the East Branch of the Westfield River. Windsor's grant is largest of 16 awards targeting culvert replacement and river health and totaling $932,000.    Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides announced the grants at an event last week at Windsor State Forest, then visited the sites of two culvert projects in Windsor and Cummington that received grants. Also receiving funds were Clarksburg and


Williams College Museum of Art to Reopen on Sept. 6
11:24AM / Tuesday, August 27, 2019

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williams College Museum of Art will reopen for the fall in Lawrence Hall on Friday, Sept. 6, with a lineup featuring the critically exclaimed exhibit "Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A."

A celebration to mark the reopening of Lawrence Hall and the opening of "Axis Mundo" will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6. A season celebration to mark the entire fall lineup of exhibitions will be held Thursday, Oct. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

"I couldn't be more thrilled to reopen the museum this September with a dynamic suite of exhibitions and collaborations with faculty, many of


Berkshires Beat: Berkshire County Youths Joined Amplify 2019 Program
10:31AM / Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Music in Common

Berkshire County youth Darby Taylor, Hailey Peters, Maddy Bronson and Olivia Davis participated in Music In Common's "Amplify" program in Sheffield, Mass., this summer. Amplify is a two-week residential program in which musicians perform songs written by Music In Common youth from around the world. The Amplify group performed three concerts throughout Berkshire County to culminate the program.

Eight musicians, ages 15 to 20, arrived in the Berkshires on July 7 from California, Iowa, Connecticut and Massachusetts and immersed themselves in a rigorous two-week residential program in which they learned nine songs, culled from more than 50 songs written by youth


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