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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Pittsfield Co-op Awards $7,000 in Scholarships to Area Students
12:49PM / Monday, August 15, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank has announced that 14 area students have received awards from the bank's Centennial Scholarship Fund.  Each recipient received $500.

Created in 1989 in celebration of the co-op’s 100th anniversary, the Centennial Scholarship Fund has provided more than $295,000 in aid to local students seeking to further their education.  

This year’s recipients are:

Taconic High School: Richard Garwood, Nicholas Gingras        

Pittsfield High School: Hailey Graham, Allison Hunt         

St. Joseph's Central High School: Michael Peplowski, Nicholas

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Biz Briefs: Goodwill Leases Space in Great Barrington for New Retail Store, Donation Center
12:27PM / Monday, August 15, 2016

Growing again: Goodwill of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont is expanding again, having leased 2,000 square feet of retail space on Route 7 in Great Barrington, where it plans to open a new thrift store next month. This will be the second retail enterprise the Pittsfield-based non-profit organization has launched in 2016, following the opening of a Goodwill store in Rutland, Vt., in March.

The site, at 396 Stockbridge Road, is located next to Laramee Cleaners in the building that once housed the Caffrey Ford car dealership.

A grand opening of the Great Barrington retail outlet will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10. The site also has a donation center where people are encouraged to drop

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Hancock Resident Having Fun With Politics, Launches Mock Presidential Campaign
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:35AM / Monday, August 15, 2016
HANCOCK, Mass. — A Polish proverb reads, "not my monkeys, not my circus" to essentially mean, it's not my problem.   For years that's how Hancock resident Barry Grauman has felt about politics. He's been an active voter, intent to make it to the polls every time. But, he's never liked his choices. He says he was voting out of hate, voting against a candidate and not for one he likes. He's sick of that, though, and he is trying to make it his circus.   Grauman has launched a mock presidential campaign. It is one of humor where his stance on gun control is "I feel that whenever I am around guns, I prefer they are under

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@theMarket: Three in One
By Bill Schmick,
04:24PM / Friday, August 12, 2016

On Thursday, all three U.S. benchmark averages — the S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Dow Jones Industrial Average—registered historical new highs on the same day. You don't want to know what happened the last time this happened.

That was in 1999. The year after ushered in the Dotcom boom and bust where some averages lost 20-30 percent and sent the markets on a roller coaster that did not end until 2003. Am I saying that will happen again? No, but I am expecting a pull-back soon in all three averages.

It is not something that most investors need to worry about. As I mentioned in my last few columns, stocks are overbought and valuations are being stretched higher and higher.

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Building Your Image
By Chad Bolotin, Sponsored Content
12:24PM / Friday, August 12, 2016



While Maya Angelou may not have been referring to the image of a sign or branding of a company, what she said about the impression of a feeling on someone sure does.

When it comes to any successful company, we as consumers immediately can picture their logos. I say Nike and you instantly think of a swoosh appearing in your mind. When I say Audi you think of four circles bound together creating a chain link. Now think about a Nike commercial: The swoosh isn't the main message; however, it is what they stand for and that is athleticism. When I ask about Audi commercials, you don't say it's four circles linked together; instead it's a luxury yet thrilling automobile usually

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Common Folk Arts & Music Festival Takes Place Saturday
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:07AM / Friday, August 12, 2016
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The first Common Folk Arts & Music Festival will take place this Saturday to benefit the new Roots Teen Center.   Common Folk, the North Adams-based artist collective, has rapidly gained momentum during its short existence, hosting galleries and concert events with local talent. Co-founder and creative director Jessica Sweeney said the group has built up a solid roster of bands and artists and thought the next logical step was to organize a full-on music festival.     "I think that we have always really enjoyed doing these larger projects, and … we really wanted to start something annually so that we could share our artists

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The Independent Investor: Why the Nation's Productivity Matters
By Bill Schmick,
02:31PM / Thursday, August 11, 2016

The headlines paint a stark portrait of the amount of goods and services that American workers produce in any given year. We are in the longest decline of American productivity since the 1970s. That fact has economists pessimistic about the future chance of continued growth in this country.

Labor productivity has declined for nine straight months and fallen 0.4 percent over the last year. There is nothing complex about productivity statistics. Output per worker, according to the numbers, is drifting down when it should be going up. The last time this happened was in the 1970s, just before a nasty double-dip recession.

Increases in productivity are what makes America's middle-class

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Jane Kaczmarek Returns to Williamstown Theatre Festival
By Phyllis McGuire, Special to iBerkshires
06:06PM / Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Starring with Alfred Molina as Don, the play runs through Aug. 21 on the Nikos Stage.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek is not upset if people whistle in her dressing room or wish her good luck before a performance.  

"I'm a meat and potatoes gal," the Milwaukee born and bred actress says, explaining why she does not adhere to theater superstitions.
 
Kaczmarek is in Williamstown to play a lead role in the American premiere of "And No More Shall We Part," on the Nikos Stage from Wednesday, Aug. 10, through Aug. 21.
 
The drama focuses on a married couple, Don (television and film star Alfred Molina) and

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Berkshire Tidbits: Lobster Days, Sundae Highlights
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
02:55PM / Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Macrobiotic chef Chris Jenkins teaches cooking with student helper at Kushi's Summer Conference 2014. The Kushi Institute/KI Annual Summer Conference 2016: "Towards a Sustainable Future", is now in progress through Saturday, Aug. 13. This event brings together macrobiotic teachers and practitioners to share their experience and lifestyle interest in two weeks of lectures, workshops, cooking classes, eating and celebration, all day and into the night.   For the last few years, this conference takes place on the KI campus, 198 Leland Road, North Becket, 413-623-5741. Berkshire residents may attend the conference for a discounted price of

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Tanglewood, Manchester and Glimmerglass Are Not to be Missed
01:55PM / Wednesday, August 10, 2016

This week, Tanglewood continues its high energy 2016 classical programming season with a powerhouse, back-to-back pair of programs performed by the Boston Pops and guest artists the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

The "heavy hitters" are John Williams' "Film Night" – always an audience favorite and a high point of each year's Tanglewood offerings, and a unique concert by a visiting ensemble of intrepid Australians that replicates a 1920s-era Weimar Republic quasi-pops cabaret experience. What a pair! This is not your staid classical programming. Be there or be square.

Traditional Tanglewood listeners: not to fear; classical fare won't be lacking:

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Great Barrington Youth Soccer Tournament Seeks Teams
01:20PM / Wednesday, August 10, 2016
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. -- Registration is under way for the 18th annual Monument Cup 3-on-3 Youth Soccer Tournament, Sept. 24 at Monument Mountain Regional High School.   The event features boys and girls divisions in three age groups: under-10, under-12 and under-14.   Teams can include three or four players, and each team is guaranteed at least three matches.   The top four teams in each division will play in the semi-finals with the finals played under the lights.   The entry fee is $80 per team. Each division is limited to 16 teams, so apply early.   For information and registration forms, visit www.monumentcup.org, or contact Matt Naventi at 413-243-1559 or

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Governor Signs Legislation Updating Obsolete Municipal Regulations
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
11:15PM / Tuesday, August 09, 2016

MMA President Lisa Blackmer, a North Adams city councilor, speaks at Tuesday's bill signing. The act's section summaries can be read here.

BOSTON — Legislation signed at the State House on Tuesday eliminates or updates a raft of outdated and obsolete municipal regulations.

Filed by the Baker administration last December, the 125-page Municipal Modernization Act found strong support from state and local officials, the Massachusetts Municipal Association and Massachusetts Association of Assessing Officers.

Gov. Charlie Baker, with a host of local elected and administrative officials behind him on the Grand Staircase at the State House, noted he'd gotten some flack when

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