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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

'Motor Voter' Legislation Passes Senate on Unanimous Vote
10:02PM / Thursday, July 12, 2018
BOSTON — The state Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a version of the so-called "motor voter law," H.4671, An Act automatically registering eligible voters and enhancing safeguards against fraud, by a vote of 38-0.     The legislation creates a framework in which eligible voters will be automatically registered to vote when receiving services from the Registry of Motor vehicles, MassHealth, and other participating state agencies. The framework will be overseen and implemented by the secretary of state.   "Voting is a fundamental right in our society and yet, today, 680,000 eligible residents in Massachusetts are not registered to vote," said


College Notes: July & August 2018
04:16PM / Thursday, July 12, 2018

Tiffany-Rae Robinson Tiffany-Rae Robinson of Dalton was selected as orientation group leader (OGL) for the 2018 Summer Orientation and Registration (SOAR) program at Western New England University.   SOAR helps set the stage for academic readiness and successful community integration to Western New England University and leaders help new students transition by providing entering students and parents with information and structure for effective adjustment to the university environment.   OGLs are students who have consistently modeled solid citizenship and active participation in the Western New England Community. They are selected for their strong communication skills, their


'Ant-Man and the Wasp': Going Molecular
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:01PM / Thursday, July 12, 2018
Y'know how in organic chemistry they show you a molecular construction and then ask you to identify it from another angle? Well, I can't do that, which is why I'm a film critic and not a dermatologist. And it's worked out pretty well, except until now, when I'm faced with trying to explain the pseudo-scientific ins and outs of director Peyton Reed's "Ant-Man and the Wasp."   You see, a good deal of this adventure yarn is concerned with rescuing Michelle Pfeiffer's Janet Van Dyne aka Wasp from the Quantum Realm, and I have absolutely no idea where that is.   I only know that whether it is to the left, right, up, down or somewhere sideways, it


Bernstein, Bang on a Can, and Everything In Between
By Grace Lichtenstein,
01:38PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2018

All varieties of popular music blanket the Berkshires in mid-July. At Tanglewood, it's Bernstein. At Mass MoCA, it's singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett and the start of the 17th annual Bang on a Can Festival. At Jacob's Pillow, it's a remarkable group of musical theater dancers plus Dorrance Dance.

Yes, I'm stretching the word by calling the upcoming shows "pop." But they are popular in the best sense of the word —they appeal to everyone. For me, great music knows no boundaries.



How about a zesty lesser-known Bernstein? Thursday evening, July 12, at Ozawa Hall, catch the semi-staged version of Leonard Bernstein's "Trouble in


Review: 'Hair' is a Must See
By Nancy Salz, iBerkshires columnist
01:12PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kayla Foster leads the cast of 'Hair' at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge.

It didn't have to be this good.

Just hearing one or two songs from the 1968 rock musical "Hair" – like "Let the Sunshine In" or "Good Morning Starshine" – would have been enough to bring tears to our eyes and a longing for a time when the youth of America could and did change our country.

That's what happened when Kate Maguire, artistic director and CEO of the Berkshire Theatre Group, heard a young woman sing the above songs at an American Theatre Wing event not long ago. She told us in a talkback that on the spot she decided to bring a revival of the


Tanglewood, Tannery Pond, Taconic Music, Sevenars Shine
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
12:52PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Tanglewood enters its second week of classical programming with inspiring concerts in the Shed and in Ozawa Hall. As always, excellence is the watchword: from Leonard Bernstein’s delightful and brilliant comic opera "Trouble in Tahiti" to classic symphonic works of Mozart, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Wagner; from Bernstein's emotionally uplifting "Chichester Psalms" to a semi-staged performance of Puccini's "La bohème," Tanglewood hits all the high notes.

In Manchester, Vt., there's the Taconic Music festival. Taconic's concerts are always thrilling to hear and to experience, both in terms of repertoire and the level of


Help Protect Vulnerable Family Members from Scam Artists
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:06PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2018

If you have older family members whose cognitive functions or decision-making abilities have declined, or who are lonely or recently widowed, you might need to help protect them against financial scams. What steps should you take?

First of all, try to gain a good sense of their overall financial activity. Look for red flags, such as a reluctance to discuss money matters, consistently unpaid bills, unexplained withdrawals, mysterious wire transfers or a sudden need to purchase large quantities of gift cards. And watch out for new "best friends" or caretakers who show an unusual interest in your loved one's finances.

Whether or not you've observed any of these activities,


Berkshire Community College Awarded $5.5M for Student Center
05:20PM / Tuesday, July 10, 2018

We are here in Westfield to celebrate the signing of our capital investment bond bill worth nearly $4 billion. Included in this plan is $950 million towards public higher education to address the deferred maintenance backlog and to support workforce skills needs.

— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) July 10, 2018 PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has been awarded $5.5 million for a project that will transform the first floor of the Field Administration building into a One Stop Student Success Center.   Gov. Charlie Baker announced this award on Tuesday at Westfield State University. The funding is part of a five-year $190 million


Baumann Leads West to Bay State Hockey Gold Medal
08:33PM / Monday, July 09, 2018
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Lenox Memorial student Brock Baumann scored six goals and compiled nine assists in five games to lead the West team to a gold medal in the Bay State Games hockey tournament.   The West went 4-0 in pool play to earn the top seed in the medal round.   In the gold medal game, it beat Coastal, 14-3, to win the title.   McCann Tech's Caleb Rondeau finished the tournament with a goal and an assist for the West.


Review: Bernstein Goes to 'Town' at Tanglewood
By Nancy Salz, iBerkshires columnist
02:56PM / Monday, July 09, 2018

What a rare and delicious treat – a large Boston Pops Orchestra playing Leonard Bernstein's musical "On the Town" behind a stellar Broadway cast dancing and singing to perfection. The performance took place at Tanglewood on the evening of July 7 before a huge, enthusiastic audience. It was part of this summer's Bernstein 100 birthday celebration. Even the weather was in the cool, comfortable 60s.

The musical, Bernstein's first, is based on Jerome Robbins's ballet idea, "Fancy Free." With book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, "On the Town" premiered in 1944 during World War II. Between the movie and the four major Broadway


Berkshires Beat: Kids Place Hosts Annual Jimmy Bernardo Memorial Ride
02:13PM / Monday, July 09, 2018
Remembering Jimmy

The 23rd annual Jimmy's Ride to benefit victims of child abuse will be held on Saturday, July 28. This annual event is held in memory of Pittsfield native Jimmy Bernardo. Jimmy was born August 13, 1978, and was abducted from a local movie theater on October 20, 1990. A month later, his body was found in Ithaca, N.Y. Three and a half years later, the Bernardo family was able to find peace after the Pittsfield Police captured a suspect when he tried to abduct another young girl in Pittsfield. The suspect subsequently pled guilty to murdering Jimmy and is serving life in prison.

Jimmy's Ride will start at Berkshire County Kids Place once again this year. Register in


Community Health Programs Achieves 100 Percent Federal Compliance Score
01:29PM / Monday, July 09, 2018

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs has earned a perfect compliance score from the federal agency that provides critical funding for federally qualified health centers.

The Health Resources Services Administration delivered its findings following an onsite review in April. CHP manages CHP's eight primary care and dental practices throughout Berkshire County: in Great Barrington, Lee, Pittsfield, Adams and North Adams.

Massachusetts is home to 39 community health centers; CHP is the only one serving the Berkshire region.

HRSA provides nearly 20 percent of CHP's annual funding through federal grants. The agency oversees more than 1,400 federally qualified


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