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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Classical 'High Season' Approaches Its Zenith
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:42PM / Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Boston Pops Laureate Conductor John Williams returns for the popular Tanglewood on Parade on Aug. 1.

During late July, the classical music festival "high season," anchored by concerts and special events at Tanglewood, approaches its zenith, with sure-fire programming. Offerings this week include great chamber music featuring the renowned Takács String Quartet with pianist Garrick Ohlsson, a unique and highly engaging piano recital celebrating birdsong, Beethoven's Violin Concerto, with soloist Pinchas Zuckerman and much, much more, including the all-encompassing Tanglewood On Parade festivities. Read below for the details.

Not to be outdone, concerts at Tannery Pond

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Berkshire Healthcare Communities Earn 15 National Awards for Customer, Employee Satisfaction
01:24PM / Wednesday, July 26, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Of the few long-term care and senior living providers in Massachusetts recognized this year by National Research Corporation for exceptional customer and employee satisfaction, Berkshire Healthcare communities captured 60 percent – 15 out of 25 - of the Massachusetts awards.

In the Berkshire region, Berkshire Healthcare's 2015-16 Excellence in Action award winners are:

* For customer satisfaction: Fairview Commons (Great Barrington), Kimball Farms Life Care (Lenox), Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center (Lenox) and Williamstown Commons.

* For both customer and employee satisfaction: Mount Greylock Extended Care Facility (Pittsfield) and North Adams

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Financial Moves for 'Empty Nesters'
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:26PM / Wednesday, July 26, 2017

When your children leave home and you become an "empty nester," you'll probably make several adjustments in your lifestyle. But how will your empty nest status affect your financial situation?

Everyone's story is different, involving a range of variables. But here are a few issues to consider:

* Insurance: If your kids are through school, your mortgage is nearly paid off and your spouse has accumulated a reasonable amount of money in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you may not need life insurance to replace income or pay off debts. However, you might start thinking about other goals, such as ensuring your savings will last your lifetime or leaving a legacy to

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Berkshire Attack Girls Lacrosse Team Edges N.Y. Squad
Community submission,
05:42PM / Monday, July 24, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The Berkshire Attack girls lacrosse team recently defeated Averill Park, N.Y., 11-10, at the Zavattaro Athletic Complex at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.   The Berkshire team includes: Pittsfield's Sierra Murray, Hoosac Valley's Sara Tokiewicz and Abi Disbrow, Pine Cobble's Olivia Witter, Miss Hall's School's Maya Creamer, Herberg's Alaina Percy and Mount Greylock's Brooke Phelps.

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Biz Briefs: BerkShares Looking For 'Ambassadors'
04:24PM / Monday, July 24, 2017

Getting the word out: BerkShares has received a grant from the New England Grassroots Environment Fund of Newmarket, N.H., to launch a new initiative called BerkShares Ambassadors. Last summer all seven branches of Adams Community Bank plus the Pittsfield branch of Lee Bank became BerkShares exchange points. This laid the groundwork for BerkShares activity in central and northern Berkshire County. However, the organization realized that they still need people "pounding the pavement" in order to really spread the word.

Contemplating this question, BerkShares board member Michael Tesoro spotted the opportunity to create a powerful experience for local young people that would lead

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MCLA Hands Out Book Award Scholarships
01:40PM / Monday, July 24, 2017

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has announced the recipients of its Book Award scholarships, which recently were granted to students who will begin their senior years this fall at one of Berkshire County's public high schools.

One student from each of the high schools received this award, which honors outstanding high school juniors who have made a positive difference in the community.

"The MCLA Book Award is presented to an outstanding high school junior who exemplifies academic achievement, displays leadership qualities, and has a strong commitment to the Berkshire County community," said Joshua Mendel, director of recruitment and outreach

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Berkshires Beat: Tanglewood, Mass Audubon Team Up for Celebration of Birds and Music
01:09PM / Monday, July 24, 2017

For the birds: Tanglewood will launch its first-ever collaboration with Mass Audubon in a program titled "Tanglewood Takes Flight: A Celebration of Birds and Music with Mass Audubon" running from Thursday, July 27, to Sunday, July 30, creating a new multi-faceted and immersive program for concert-goers that explores the intimate relationship between birdsong and music. The series, which pairs guided bird walks with performances of birdsong, will be highlighted by performances by world-renowned pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, lectures and bird walks by Mass Audubon Ornithologist Wayne Peterson, and performances by Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, the Boston Symphony

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Berkshire Force 10U Wraps Season with Tourney Win
Community submission,
10:18AM / Monday, July 24, 2017
DALTON, Mass. -- The 10-and-under Berkshire Force softball team went 4-0 this weekend to win the Dalton Invitational Softball Tournament.   In its season finale, the Force once again turned in a total team effort with great pitching, flawless defense, and strong at-bats. In pool play it defeated Hoosick Falls, 12-2, followed by a nine-inning battle with Guilderland that the Force won, 5-3.   In tournament play they beat Hoosick Falls, 15-0, in the semi finals. In the finals, the Force battled Guilderland again, taking a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the sixth before blowing it open with a seven-run inning and eventually taking the championship, 12-5.   For the season, the Force

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Adams Gets CDBG Funding for Visitors Center Parking Lot
Staff Reports, iBerkshires
01:03AM / Saturday, July 22, 2017

North Adams will use some of its grant funding to redo failing stonework on the Armory building.  ADAMS, Mass. — The town has received $800,000 in 2017 Community Development Block Grant funds to reconfigure the parking lot at the Adams Visitors Center.    Adams was one of 58 towns and cities receiving $30.5 million in CDBG funds announced on Thursday. Also receiving grants are Becket, Buckland, Monterey and North Adams.   The federal CDBG grants, administered by the state, help cities and towns respond to specific housing, community, and economic development projects that support low- and moderate-income residents, or revitalize underserved

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'The Big Sick': Has a Healthy Outlook
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:23PM / Friday, July 21, 2017
Director Michael Showalter's "The Big Sick," based on Pakistani-born comedian/actor Kumail Nanjiani's real-life story, is often hilarious proof that in jest there is truth. While gleefully verifying that in dedicated hands the classical romantic comedy remains a viable entertainment, this convivial foray into whether or not love conquers all also asserts a humanistic message that is of late egregiously absent from our national consciousness. Nanjiani's tale sagely solicits art to fill this vacuum.   On the surface it plays rather simply. Kumail, who Ubers for a living when he's not trying to "kill" the audience at a Chicago comedy club, one night

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Berkshire Country Day School Announces Teacher for New 2-Year-Old Program
02:20PM / Friday, July 21, 2017

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Julia Kreilkamp will join the Berkshire Country Day School faculty as the lead preschool teacher for its Reggio-Emilia-inspired 2-year-old class for the program's inaugural year in Fall 2017.

Kreilkamp has more than 20 years of teaching experience, most recently for 10 years as the pre-kindergarten teacher at the Middletown Springs School in Vermont, where she developed several new programs. She received a B.A. from Macalester College and a M.A. in Elementary Education from College of St. Joseph. Of special note, Kreilkamp received the University of Vermont's Outstanding Teacher Award in 2010.

Ms. Kreilkamps's strengths as an educator and

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MassDOT Secretary Praises Massive Road Reconstruction in Dalton
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:01PM / Friday, July 21, 2017

Pollack praised the adoption of a Complete Streets design in the project. The secretary says she wants road projects to include bicycle lanes and renovated sidewalks to accommodate all modes of transportation.  DALTON, Mass. — MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack says the massive $10.5 million reconstruction of East Housatonic Street is a perfect example of what the state wants to see.   The project has been in the works for years and finally began construction in March 2016. It is on pace to be completed in October, with punch list items being completed in the spring.   It entails everything the state Department of Transportation would like to see in a road

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