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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Biz Briefs: Mentors Needed for Financial Literacy Workshop
01:41PM / Monday, October 24, 2016

Mentors needed: Miss Hall's School is seeking area professional women to volunteer as mentors for the 17th annual Money Matters financial literacy workshops to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 15, and Thursday, Nov. 17, at the school's Holmes Road campus. Eighth-grade girls from across Berkshire County will attend the program, which provides them with a foundation of financial understanding. This year's program will be facilitated by Dr. Mahnaz Mahdavi, professor of economics at Smith College and faculty director at the Jill Ker Conway Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (CIEC) at Smith College.

Volunteer mentors are asked to commit to one of the program's two days, which run

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State Fire Marshal Offers Halloween Safety Tips
12:06PM / Monday, October 24, 2016

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey offers fire safety tips for celebrating Halloween.

More children are injured by cars than fire on Halloween, so it’s important for children to learn and practice pedestrian safety and for drivers to use extra caution. Drive more slowly and watch for children who may forget to cross at corners and use crosswalks.

Other tips for Halloween costumes, decorations and trick-or-treating:

· Use a small flashlight or battery-operated tea light in pumpkins instead of a candle.

· Make sure your home is well-lit inside and out and that there is a clear path to your door.

· Keep decorations like cornstalks away from heat sources and

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Berkshires Beat: NBCC Looking for 'Neighborlies' Nominations
11:13AM / Monday, October 24, 2016

Feeling neighborly: The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (nbCC) will host the Fall Neighborlies celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue, 53 Lois St. Due to limited parking at the Synagogue, overflow parking will be available at the Stop and Shop on Route 2 (the side closest to Williamstown).

Twice a year, nbCC's Northern Berkshire Neighbors welcomes residents to consider people of all ages who have performed acts of kindness or made a positive difference in their lives, in their neighborhoods or in their community. Anyone may nominate individuals or groups in one or more of the following categories: neighborly acts, young

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12th Annual FODfest Set for Saturday
10:34AM / Monday, October 24, 2016

Daniel Pearl

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Sheffield-based nonprofit Music in Common will present its flagship concert event, FODfest (Friends of Danny Festival), at Dewey Hall, located at 91 Main St., on Saturday, Oct. 29.

FODfest celebrates the life of Daniel Pearl — the slain Wall Street Journal reporter who began his career at the North Adams Transcript and The Berkshire Eagle. The concert will feature more than a dozen local musicians in a unique format that is part jam session, part song-swap and part concert.

The concert begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to all. Also included in the evening is a screening of the new documentary short about Music in Common,

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Adams Harvest Fest This Weekend
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:44PM / Friday, October 21, 2016
ADAMS, Mass. — The Harvest Fest will come to Bowe Field for the first time this Saturday.   Organizer Annmarie Belmonte said the idea for the event was to give people something to do this fall.   "Basically is there is not much to do around here, and, I hosted Hi-Jinx that went off without a hitch, so I thought I would try something else," Belmonte said.   The "Rising of the Corn" event is starting small at four hours, with hopes to grow next year.   The fest at the Adams Agricultural fairgrounds is being sponsored by Izzy's Diner and Pizza and Bounti-Fare. There is a $2 admission fee for adults at the gate, children are free; it runs

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'The Accountant': Adds Up Smartly
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:14PM / Friday, October 21, 2016

"Why would I want to see Ben Affleck do taxes?"

Thus inquired a friend's wife when he asked if she'd like to see "The Accountant," director Gavin O'Connor's action-packed crime drama starring Affleck in the title role. To which I reply, "exactly." The snazzy, left-handed glorification of the iconically dull profession, often seen as a refuge for the creatively challenged, is here entertainingly perched on its ear and pumped for all of its anomalous surprise, shock and glee.

This is an often captivating, physical and mental road trip through some rather intricate loopholes that'll have you wondering if Humpty can ever be put together at

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New Berkshire Theatre Awards Program Names Winners
11:40AM / Friday, October 21, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. - The winners of the First Annual Berkshire Theatre Awards have been announced. Seventeen arts journalists voted on 120 nominees in 25 categories chosen from artists in the 75 live theatre productions mounted in Berkshire County and adjacent areas between October 1, 2015, and September 30, 2016.

The winner of the special Larry Murray Award, to be given to a person or theater project that advances social, political or community issues, will not be announced until the Winners’ Celebration at 5 p.m. on Nov. 13 at Mr. Finn’s Cabaret in Pittsfield. Nominees for the Larry Murray Award are Kristen van Ginhoven, co-founder and artistic director of WAM Theatre, and

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Founding Director Bowen Leaving BArT at End of School Year
Staff Reports,
05:30PM / Wednesday, October 19, 2016

ADAMS, Mass. — The founding director of Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School will leave at the end of the school year.

Julia Bowen informed the BArT community by email on Wednesday afternoon that she was departing after 13 years guiding the region's first and only charter school.

"I feel confident that this work will continue long after my departure," she wrote. "Over the years, we have built a team that has the intelligence to take on new challenges, the wisdom to focus on the most important work and the moral clarity to do this with integrity and respect, always with students' best interests at heart. I couldn't have imagined we would

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Letter: Ballot Question 2
Letters to the Editor,
02:29PM / Wednesday, October 19, 2016

To the Editor:

There are good educational arguments for both sides of Question 2 on increasing the number of charter schools. However one claim by the proponents of this issue is misleading.

They say that passage of the ballot question will increase the amount of state funding going to public education. It is true that the enabling legislation for charter schools calls for transitional reimbursement to the sending district for students going to charter schools.

The problem is that, like every state program, this reimbursement is "subject to appropriation." No ballot question can in fact bind the legislature, as it considers the state budget, to prioritize a particular line item.

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Letter: How Should I Vote On Prop 2?
Letters to the Editor,
02:00PM / Wednesday, October 19, 2016

To the Editor:

This was the question I was asked by a friend because they knew I had taught in both regular and charter public schools. For those who don't know, a yes vote on Prop 2 [Question 2 on the general election ballot] will expand the charter school program in Massachusetts and a no vote will keep charters at current levels.

To understand how to vote, you need to understand why we have charter schools. Charter schools are the invention of progressives who wanted to create a sort of education laboratory where they could re-create, innovate, and advance modern education beyond the stranglehold of bureaucracy. New education techniques that were proven to be effective would then

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SVMC Presents 'Taking the Scare Out of an Abnormal Mammogram'
01:41PM / Wednesday, October 19, 2016

BENNINGTON, Vt. — If you're a woman over the age of 40, you may have been there: You get a call that your mammogram is abnormal, and you get scared. It's completely natural. The fear sometimes stops women from getting a mammogram in the first place or from coming back for the recommended diagnostic breast imaging.

What you need to know is that there is a long way between an abnormal mammogram and a breast cancer diagnosis. Information about the process of breast cancer screening, including what is happening behind the scenes, can help you cope with this unsettling news and move forward with confidence.

That's why clinicians from Southwestern Vermont Medical Center's

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New Prescription Tool Has Launched Statewide
01:08PM / Wednesday, October 19, 2016

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Great Barrington/Fairview Hospital Task Force on Opioid Abuse hosted two education programs for physicians and medical professionals to introduce them to the new MassPAT (Massachusetts Prescription Awareness Tool), which was launched by the state in August and becomes mandatory for every prescription or refill for any narcotic schedule II or III drug as of Oct. 15.

The trainings took place at Fairview Hospital and East Mountain Medical Center on Oct. 13, hosted by the task force, a collaboration between Great Barrington, Fairview Hospital and other community organizations that has formed to address opioid abuse and deaths in southern Berkshire

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