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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Financial Tips for Single Parents
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:01PM / Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Parenting is never an easy job – and, unfortunately, it can be especially difficult if you're doing it on your own.

As a single parent, you face many challenges, not the least of which are the financial ones. But by following the suggestions below, you may be able to make life easier – for you and your children.

* Create a "safety net." On any given day, you could incur an unexpected – and unexpectedly large – expense, such as major car repair, a new furnace or a toothache-inducing bill from your dentist. Your daily cash flow may not be enough to cover these bills, and you won't want to tap into some of your long-term investments or retirement

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Local Theater Group Brings the Arctic to the Berkshires
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:24AM / Wednesday, July 27, 2016

'Passage' will be performed in Pittsfield.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It might be nearly 90 degrees outside, but inside the Shire City Sanctuary this week, it's going to seem downright chilly.

That's because the Kickwheel Ensemble Theater (the creative arm of The Berkshire Fringe) is staging an original work called "Passage," which weaves together two parallel story lines of survival: the tale of Sir John Franklin's doomed 19th expedition to conquer the famed Northwest Passage and the story of a modern-day couple on a luxury wellness cruise through the now-melting Arctic.

In a news release, Kickball describes "Passage" as "a dark

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Berkshire Reps: Unity Strong at Democratic Convention
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:30PM / Tuesday, July 26, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Reports over the news are of a divisive and split Democratic National Convention, with chants and boos targeting some speakers.   But on the vast floor of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, state Reps. Paul Mark, D-Peru, and Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, aren't hearing that.   Mark is attending the convention as a delegate for Bernie Sanders while Farley-Bouvier is serving as the Hillary Clinton campaign's Massachusetts whip. Both said the tone at the convention is one of unity backing Clinton and not filled with boos and negativity.   "I'm not hearing it and I'm not seeing it," Mark said, though adding he'd

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Harrington Calls for Override of Governor's Vetoes
Campaign Statement,
05:31PM / Monday, July 25, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Democrat Andrea Harrington, candidate for state Senate, is urging the Legislature to restore funding that Gov. Charlie Baker recently cut from the state budget that had been approved by the House and Senate.

"I am deeply troubled as several of the governor's vetoes will be harmful to the people and businesses in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Senate District. The governor's vetoes cut funding for drug treatment programs, early education, local health-care infrastructure and the further expansion of the area's creative economy. The governor's reduction of $7.7 million from the Massachusetts Cultural Commission will have a

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Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Tops $2 Million in Summer Grants
02:51PM / Monday, July 25, 2016

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — The board of directors of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation have announced the recipients of the second round of grantmaking for 2016.

The foundation distributed a total of $430,378 in grants to individuals and nonprofits in the four-county region it serves; $496,786 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors; and grants totaling over $1.1 million from donors with charitable funds at the foundation.

In Berkshire County, the foundation awarded grants from the Fund for Williamstown; James and Robert Hardman Fund; New World Fund; Simple Gifts Fund; five education enrichment funds; and 41 scholarship funds.

Education and Enrichment: Grants to regional

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Biz Briefs: Simon Scholarships, Canyon Ranch Luxury Residences
01:51PM / Monday, July 25, 2016

A little help: Simon Malls and Simon Premium Outlets in New England, parent company of the Lee Premium Outlets, have awarded 26 high school seniors with Simon Youth Foundation Scholarships totaling more than $80,000.  

Locally, Emma Lezberg of Pittsfield and Erica Perrea of Hinsdale were each given scholarships.

Simon Youth Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping at-risk students graduate high school and to provide scholarship opportunities for the youth. Simon Youth Foundation Scholarship recipients attended a celebratory reception on Wednesday, July 20, at Burlington Mall in Burlington, Mass.

Simon Youth Scholarships are awarded annually to at least

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Berkshires Beat: Chesterwood Installation, Louison House Help
01:12PM / Monday, July 25, 2016

Remember this: Chesterwood is hosting a site-specific installation by New York conceptual artist Marko Remec, currently on view in the Studio Field through Oct. 2.

The work, titled "Remember What (Field Totem)," is the latest in Remec's "Totem Series" and is a reconfiguration of a portion of his installation "Can’t Hear You (Fat Totem)," which was exhibited at Mass MoCA in North Adams from June 15, 2013, to June 19, 2016. The installation features 128, 32-inch dome mirrors arrayed in the pattern of a chessboard gone awry. Each mirror reflects 180-degree views of Chesterwood's lush landscape along with fleeting views of those observing the

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Berkshire Reps Serve Important Roles at Democratic Convention
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:10AM / Sunday, July 24, 2016
  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Rep. Paul Mark remembers the first time he watched a Democratic National Convention in 1988.   He watched the speeches and the celebration of the party and was fascinated. He's watched every single one since and volunteered at the 2004 convention in Boston that nominated Secretary of State John Kerry, then the state's U.S. senator. Now he'll serve an important role this week in Philadelphia — as a delegate. He's the only Berkshire County delegate from either party and either campaign.   "I was the first elected official in Massachusetts to endorse Bernie Sanders and I am co-chair of the Massachusetts Bernie Sanders

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Documentary Explores Good Life in the Berkshires
By John Seven, Special to iBerkshires
06:34AM / Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tim Durrin and friends on bicycles. Durrin turned to social work after his military service. See the trailer here.

NEW MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — A documentary film examining what it takes for a life well-lived has focused on several Berkshires residents to illustrate its ideas.

"A Small Good Thing" won best documentary at this year's Boston International Film Festival. Among director Pamela Tanner Boll's previous credits is as a producer on the Oscar-winning documentary "Born Into Brothels." "A Small Good Thing" has a screening at the New Marlborough Public Library on Tuesday, July 26, at 7:30 p.m.

Her path to making "A Small Good Thing"

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Chinese Garden Unveiled at Naumkeag
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
10:41PM / Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dragon Dancers were part of the festivities. See more photos here.

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Hundreds gathered at the annual Naumkeag Afternoon Garden Party on Saturday to celebrate the newly renovated Chinese Garden.

Barbara Erickson, Trustees of Reservations president and CEO, welcomed honorary co-Chairs Yo-Yo Ma and his wife, Jill Hornor, and Naumkeag staff to celebrate the unveiling of newly-renovated Chinese Temple Garden and the 125th anniversary of the conservation group.

"We believe that Naumkeag is more than a cultural icon. It is a work of art perched on the edge of 46 acres of pasture, woodlands and gardens,"Erickson said. "The artisans here made this

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@theMarket: Markets Need to Digest Recent Gains
By Bill Schmick,
07:50AM / Saturday, July 23, 2016

Greed and fear make the world go round. While Donald Trump attempted to tap into the latter emotion in his acceptance speech this week, investors were mesmerized by the opposite emotion, at least where the stock market is concerned.

It is true that the markets, like the humans that trade them, tend to vacillate between these emotions when gains and losses begin to nudge the extremes. Of course, we would all like the markets to just continue to climb, but a line I read recently sums it up well.

"Keep in mind that betting on never-ending capital gains is the very definition of a Ponzi scheme."

The best thing that could happen to the stock market in the short-term would be to

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Olver Endorses Adam Hinds for State Senate Seat
05:01PM / Thursday, July 21, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Democratic state Senate candidate Adam Hinds has picked up the endorsement of former U.S. Rep. John W. Olver.

Olver, of Amherst, said he was "thrilled to endorse Adam Hinds for state Senate." The retired Democratic congressman is the highest profile endorsement for the Hinds so far; he has also been endorsed by North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright, Pittsfield School Committee Chairwoman Katherine Yon, and a number of the Pittsfield and North Adams city councilors.

"Having spent a lifetime in public service to Western Massachusetts, I understand the amount of time and effort that it takes to advocate for this region," Olver writes. "I

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