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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Laura Bush Tours Latest Restorations at The Mount
02:02PM / Friday, June 24, 2016

LENOX, Mass. — Former first lady Laura Bush and friends toured the recent restoration efforts at The Mount, the home of Edith Wharton and a National Historic Landmark, on Saturday, June 18.

Bush, who serves as the honorary chair of The Mount’s National Committee, was joined by Mount Trustee Chairman Dan Kasper, Executive Director Susan Wissler, and Facilities Director Ross Jolly, Lois Betts, Nancy Weiss, and Penny Slade-Sawyer.

The main focus of the tour was the recent repairs to the historic stable’s exterior, which had suffered severe deterioration. Bush and her friends were given a behind-the scenes tour by Jolly. This project was green-lighted last fall thanks to

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BCC’s Swimming Pool to Open Daily Starting June 25
01:35PM / Friday, June 24, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The swimming pool at Berkshire Community College will officially open for the season on Saturday, June 25, and will be open daily from noon to 5:45 p.m.

The pool, which is staffed by a certified lifeguard at all times and is handicapped accessible, is 3.5 to 8 feet deep and is approximately 70-feet-long. Male and female locker rooms, equipped with showers, are also available.  

BCC students and staff may use the pool and all of the other Paterson Field House amenities for free with a valid BCC ID.

Daily rates are $5 for individuals and $20 daily for families (five or more). Season rates are $75 for individuals and $200 for families.

For more information

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The Independent Investor: Pet Insurance & Why You Should Have It
By Bill Schmick,
05:44PM / Thursday, June 23, 2016

Whether you are adopting a pet or buying that pure blood breed, the first thing you should consider is pet insurance. Skipping this step could cost you several times the purchase price of your new pet each year. Better be safe than sorry.

Pet insurance is like any other insurance, human or otherwise. The cost of coverage is based on your pet's age, health profile, breed and however much insurance you want to purchase.

You will pay a yearly premium, have a deductible, co-pays and a maximum cap on how much your insurance covers per year.

The best time to take out insurance is before your pet develops health problems. Learn from my mistakes. In my case, Titus our seven-year-old,

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'Finding Dory': It'll Find You
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:23PM / Thursday, June 23, 2016

Watching "Finding Dory," the sequel to the 2003 megahit "Finding Nemo," it occurs that perhaps even children of John Birchers and Ku Klux Klan members exposed to the high-minded sentiments of this sugary tutorial in liberalism will leave the theater a bit more tolerant.

However, while colorful, intelligent and starring the witty articulations of Ellen DeGeneres as the winsome title fish, Andrew Stanton and Angus Maclane's undersea metaphor could have better tickled its target audience's funny bone. I laughed more than the kids did.

Granted, my observations are anecdotal. Maybe it has something to do with cell phones and unconscious multitasking. But the mostly

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Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival to Enchant in Adams
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:20AM / Thursday, June 23, 2016

 

ADAMS, Mass. — The signs have been around the area for weeks: tiny doors to enchanted realms, fairy princesses, visits from the Fairy Queen Deidre and wardings from the Wizard Grulaach.

It's all leading up to the Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival this Saturday at Bowe Field for a day filled with music, magic, parades and activities that will be capped off that night around a dragon fire pit. And, of course, fairies.

The idea for those tiny doors that have been appearing in businesses and municipal buildings around the area literally opened the way for the festival that organizers are hoping will become at tentpole attraction for the area on par with the Massachusetts

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Berkshire Tidbits: Summer BBQs & Garden Tours
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
09:37PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Eat on North kitchen in Hotel on North, 297 North St. in Pittsfield, 413 358-4741, will present another Kids Cooking Class of no more than 20 students ages 6 to 15, from 2 to 4 on Wednesday, June 22. $25 per child by advance reservation. The first class was well received.

This time they'll be making quesadillas and Rice Krispie treats. Fun food.

 

 

Pittsfield's summer food program at which all children 18 and under can come in and eat breakfast and lunch for free without reservations starts Wednesday, June 22, and runs through Wednesday, August 24 at four locations in the city. Starting Monday, July 11, activities will be offered Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Both

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Guest Column: Bans on Plastic Bags Gaining Ground
By Rinaldo Del Gallo, Guest Columnist
09:24PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I am pleased to announce that at last night's town meeting (Monday, June 20), Adams banned single-use plastic bags. (Article 25). It was a remarkable unanimous vote by the members of the town meeting.
 
Recently, there have been a series of single-use plastic bag bans. There has been a ban in Lee, a ban in Lenox, and last night a ban in Adams. Lenox was done by the Board of Health. In Lee, the ban on single-use plastic bags was done by town meeting — where it won by a considerable margin. In a similar manner, Lee and Lenox banned the use of Styrofoam.
 
What is less commonly known is my role in these bans. The ban on Styrofoam and single-use plastic bags in Lee and

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Alcombright Endorses Hinds for Berkshire Senate Seat
09:00PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — North Adams Mayor Richard J. Alcombright has endorsed Adam Hinds for state Senate in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District. Hinds is running for the Democratic nomination for the office.

"I am very pleased to support my colleague and community leader Adam Hinds," said Alcombright.  

Pointing to Hinds' vast experience working shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the most under-served members of the region, Alcombright said, "Adam's work in Pittsfield with at-risk youth was inspirational and his transition to working with the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition — in some of the most challenged neighborhoods of

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Center Offering Free Obstetric Ultrasounds
12:46PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — New Direction Pregnancy Center is offering free obstetric ultrasounds the weeks of June 23-25 and June 27-30.

Women who are 6 to 22 weeks pregnant are welcome to view a window into the womb and get your free ultrasound pictures. Gender determinations are not provided.

Call New Direction at 413-346-4291 to set up an appointment.

New Direction offers is located at 98 Church St. and offers free laboratory quality pregnancy tests (immediate results), information on pregnancy, abortion and alternatives, confidential peer counseling, prenatal and parenting classes, adoption support and referrals, and more.

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Outstanding Regional Classical Music Being Offered
By Stephen Dankner, iBerkshires Columnist
12:08PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

In the three preceding weeks, I previewed the musical offerings at six leading music venues: in Massachusetts: Tanglewood (Lenox,) Mohawk Trail Concerts (Charlemont,) and the Bang On a Can Music Festival at Mass MoCA (North Adams); in New York: Tannery Pond (New Lebanon); in Vermont, there’s the eponymously located Manchester Music Festival and Marlboro Music.

This week, I’ll turn the spotlight on three more: South Mountain Concerts in Pittsfield, Music Mountain in Falls Village, Conn., and the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, N.Y.

If, like me, you’re a devotee of the string quartet, you’ll want to attend programs at the two preeminent venues in the region that

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Leave the Fireworks to the Pros, Officials Urge
12:06PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Last Fourth of July weekend, two members of the National Football League demonstrated just how dangerous fireworks can be.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback C. J. Wilson was forced to retire from a promising football career after losing two fingers from fireworks on the Fourth of July weekend. That same weekend, Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul mangled his hand with fireworks. Both of these national athletes set a negative example for impressionable youth.

Closer to home, on July 4, 2015, the Saugus Fire Department was called to 7 Oak Point Road for a hand injury to a 23-year old man. The man was lighting off commercial and consumer grade fireworks in his backyard. An explosion

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Gen Xers Must Juggle Both Money and Time
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:56AM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

If you’re an older member of Generation X – that is, if you were born in the early- to-mid-1960s – you may have a lot of “balls in the air.” You are saving for your own retirement – which might not be that far away – while at the same time possibly wanting to help pay for your children’s college education. And you may also be assisting your aging parents in some ways.

How can you manage this juggling act?

To begin with, you need to emphasize your retirement. Now that you are likely in, or near, your peak earning years, you should contribute as much as you can afford to your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan. Your plan

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