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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

MIAA Proposal Would Eliminate Sectional Titles, Create Statewide Tourneys
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:28PM / Thursday, January 09, 2020

The Western Mass title, a goal for generations of Berkshire County high school athletes, would be no more under the plan.   FRANKLIN, Mass. — The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association this winter will be asked to decide whether to implement a statewide playoff system for most sports, abandoning the current structure of four sectional tournaments producing semifinalists who play for a state title.   On Thursday, four members of the MIAA's Tournament Management Committee held an open press conference call (in which iBerkshires participated) at the association's office to explain the system, which the committee says is the best way to address two


The Independent Investor: China's role in Iran
By Bill Schmick,
04:40PM / Thursday, January 09, 2020
The de-escalation of the potential conflict between Iran and the United States sent markets higher this week. It could have turned out much differently. The question is why did the situation  defused so rapidly, and who really is responsible for that outcome? I'm thinking it was China.   Taking out the number two guy in Iran, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in a U.S. drone attack last week was a highly provocative move. The world expected push-back from Iran and feared a tit-for-tat escalation on both sides. That didn't happen. Sure, the Iranians did lob a dozen-plus missiles at two military bases across their border into Iraq, but relatively little damage resulted from that


It Takes A Village Administers Daycare Subsidies in Hilltowns
03:10PM / Thursday, January 09, 2020

CUMMINGTON, Mass. — It Takes a Village, a local nonprofit organization, will now administer a special program for low- and moderate-income families in the Hilltowns to help with the high costs of daycare, preschool, and before- and after-school care.

The Hilltown Childcare Subsidy Program is funded by a Community Development Block Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development and provided to the Town of Chesterfield. Families living in Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Plainfield, Peru, Worthington, or Williamsburg where the parents or guardians are working, in school, or in a work-training program could be eligible for a subsidy to help cover all or


Berkshires Beat: Community Members Donate Guided Technology for PICC Line Placement
03:06PM / Thursday, January 09, 2020
SVMC donation

The Interventional and Perioperative Services Departments at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center received a special gift from donors Bob and Anne Farrara of Eagle Bridge, N.Y. The couple donated $10,000 for the purchase of an Arrow Vascular Positioning System (VPS) G4 Device from Teleflex. The machine expedites the placement of Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter lines—a long thin tube inserted into a vein in the heart. PICC lines remain in place long term and provide clinicians convenient access to deliver intravenous (IV) antibiotics, nutrition, or medications or to draw blood over several encounters without the need for a needle stick.

"Everyone’s heart


'Little Women': The Halberstadter Excuse
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:27PM / Thursday, January 09, 2020
The seventh film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women," exquisitely chiseled to fully expected, classic standards by director-writer Greta Gerwig, jogged my memory. I specifically remember the exact day in Dr. Halberstadter's class at Olde Ivy Film Criticism College when the good professor warned us that upon occasion even the best of us would have our objectivity challenged.    Wearing the Mr. Chips-like tweed suit I was certain I'd one day emulate should I follow his path into academia, the doc wrote "In Cold Blood" on the blackboard and launched into his diatribe: "I hate this recently released movie based on Truman Capote's


Mass Audubon Schedules Vacation Week programs
02:25PM / Thursday, January 09, 2020

LENOX, Mass. - Mass Audubon has scheduled programs for both February school vacation - Winter Adventure Vacation Week - and April school vacation - Spring Explorers Vacation Week.

Winter Adventure Vacation Week will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday, Feb. 17, through Friday, Feb. 21, at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, 472 West Mountain Road, in Lenox. Instructors will be Max Galdos-Shapiro, the Berkshire Sanctuaries education coordinator, and naturalist Zach Adams. Suitable for children ages 7 to 12, the week will help children learn about wildlife that stays active in the cold and snow, and the adaptations that enable them to survive. Depending on the conditions, kids will


CHP Names HR Director
11:51AM / Thursday, January 09, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs has welcomed Karen Johnson as director of human resources.

Johnson has more than 20 years of leadership experience in human resources, primarily in the healthcare sector, most recently at First Choice Health Centers in East Hartford, Conn. She previously held human resources positions at JGS Lifecare Corp. and with CIGNA insurance company's health care division.

Johnson has expertise in employee development, engagement and retention, workplace inclusivity and employee coaching.

Johnson is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and she also holds certification in Culture of Safety from ECRI


Open Enrollment Runs Through Jan. 23
11:48AM / Thursday, January 09, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Open Enrollment period in Massachusetts for getting (and keeping) ACA insurance coverage runs through Jan. 23, and CHP can help.

Making an in-person appointment with a CHP application counselor is the easiest way to get – and keep – your health insurance in 2020, whether or not you are a CHP patient.

In Massachusetts, more than 95 percent of residents have health insurance. But each year, residents covered by a Massachusetts Health Connector Plan (ACA, or Obamacare) must re-enroll in their existing plans or pick a new one. Those with no coverage must apply for a plan, or face a state tax penalty.

If you are already enrolled in a subsidized


Berkshire Museum Names New Chief Engagement Officer
11:16AM / Thursday, January 09, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Museum welcomes Hilary Dunne Ferrone as chief engagement officer.

Ferrone has 25 years of experience in nonprofit strategic planning, philanthropy, program development, and management for arts, higher education and government organizations, most recently as the interim director of Institutional Advancement for Bard College at Simon's Rock.

As chief engagement officer, Ferrone will be a key member of the museum leadership team, responsible for all aspects of community engagement, including fundraising, membership, foundation grants, corporate and community partnerships, special events, new program development, and communications.



Images Cinema Presents 20th Century Women in Film Series
01:57PM / Tuesday, January 07, 2020

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in the United States. In celebration of that historic expansion of voting rights, Images Cinema is presenting a series of films about women's activism and advocacy from then until today.

From January through May, Images will present both narrative and documentary films that highlight woman activist stories. Each film is paired with a woman activist guest speaker or speakers. Regular admission prices apply unless otherwise noted. Images Cinema is located at 50 Spring St.

"I was inspired to put this series together by the confluence of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage and all


Two Members Join Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Board
11:13AM / Tuesday, January 07, 2020

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — David Offensend of Wassaic, N.Y., and Eleanore Velez of Lee, Mass., have joined the board of directors of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Offensend is president and CEO of Waltham-based Education Development Center, a global nonprofit focused on improving education, promoting health and expanding economic opportunity. Before that, he was chief operating officer for America Achieves and the New York Public Library.

Prior to his work in the nonprofit sector, Offensend cofounded Evercore Partners, an independent investment banking advisory firm, and held leadership roles at the investment organization of Robert M. Bass and Lehman Brothers Merchant


Protect Yourself Against Long-term Care Costs
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:05AM / Tuesday, January 07, 2020

If you're fortunate, you'll live independently and in good health throughout your retirement years. However, if you ever needed some type of long-term care, such as a stay in a nursing home, would you be financially prepared?

To answer this question, you may want to evaluate two variables: your likelihood of needing long-term care and the cost of such care. Consider the following:

* Someone turning age 65 today has an almost 70 percent chance of eventually needing some type of long-term care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

* The average cost for a private room in a nursing home is about $100,000 per year, while a home health aide costs about

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