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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The Independent Investor: India's Bid for More Trade
By Bill Schmick,
05:44PM / Thursday, September 26, 2019
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is aggressively pushing for a greater share of global trade now that its neighbor to the north (China) is squabbling with the United States. In doing so, India is hoping to regain some economic momentum, kick-start employment, and reverse its slowing economy.   For those readers whose knowledge of India is limited to the next Bollywood musical, India's economy has been in the doldrums. It is still growing at a 5 percent clip, which may sound high to some, but it is at the lowest level in six years. The country's unemployment rate is presently at 8.19 percent, versus 6.27 percent last year.   Despite the poor performance of the

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'Downton Abbey': King of the Soap Operas
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:46PM / Thursday, September 26, 2019
Director Michael Engler's "Downton Abbey," a feature film continuation of the TV series that eluded me in its entirety during its very successful run, is full up with the stuff of royalty. I shouldn't laugh at the silliness of the outmoded form of government, which is truly my first inclination, big democrat that I am. But I'm reminded that I'm still counting on being invited to the coronation ball and hanging out a bit with the newly invested King Charles, should he yet ascend to the throne.   OK, OK, I still haven't written the letter. I've been putting it off for several decades, but still plan to get to it. It would explain that we are about the

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DownStreet Art Caps Season on Thursday With Holden Street Music
04:15PM / Wednesday, September 25, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — DownStreet Art, the last-Thursday-of-the-month popup program of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, returns to the downtown for the last installment of the season from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 26.   As always, DownStreet Art is free and open to the public.   There's always something new at each DownStreet Art so look for new gallery exhibits, Main Street storefront installations designed by local and regional artists, mural-making from Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts' Kidspace, music, an Eagle Street beverage garden, a community bike tour of the city's murals, and more.   Here's

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Harvest Festivals and Craft Fairs 2019
10:20AM / Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Fall has arrived, bringing with it many craft fairs and harvest festivals around the Berkshires. This list will be updated as we get more information. Have an event to add? Email us at info@iberkshires.com.

 

Saturday, Oct. 19

Dalton: The annual Craft Fair and Bake Sale will be held at the Dalton Senior Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sponsored by the Friends of the Dalton Council on Aging to support programs at the Senior Center, the fair will include quilts, woodwork, paintings, jewelry and other items produced by local crafters. There will also be a bake sale of the Friends of the Dalton Free Public Library and raffle items. A hot lunch may be purchased from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The

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Voices for Recovery Raising Awareness of Addiction
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:02AM / Monday, September 23, 2019

Stephen Murray speaks at Saturday's Voices for Recovery event. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Stephen Murray is tired. In the past five years, the paramedic has responded to more than 100 overdoses.   "Many of my colleagues are burnt out by the constant barrage of substance-related calls," he said. "And I understand how they feel because I'm tired. ...   "I'm tired of seeing people my age die. I'm tired of seeing parents bury their children. I'm tired of seeing kids who lose their parents."   But Murray, a former addict himself, sees overdose reversals as an opportunity.   "Maybe this is rock bottom, maybe waking up and

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'I Want You to Panic': Youths Lead Williamstown Climate Strike Event
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:09AM / Saturday, September 21, 2019

Williamstown Elementary School fifth-grader Adele Low speaks about needing adults to 'step up and act now to save our planet.'

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The petite fourth-grader made her way up to the microphone. In a voice that belied her small frame, she explained why she took the opportunity to speak in front of the several hundred people who came out to the front steps of the Paresky Student Center at Williams College for the Williamstown Climate Strike on Friday.

"When I learned about climate change, I wanted to cry," said June, a fourth-grader at Williamstown Elementary School. "All the animals are going extinct. And it's just terrible."

Then her

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Kennealy Points to Lack of Quality Housing as Economic Threat
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:38PM / Friday, September 20, 2019

Secretary Kennealy, seen with BRPC Chairman Kyle Hanlon, was the keynote speaker at the annual dinner.  DALTON, Mass. — Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Michael Kennealy ticked off a long list initiatives of the Baker administration that included investments in broadband, education, workforce development and transportation.   And while there's still work needed in these areas, the administration is looking at what Kennealy is describing as a "major threat to the economy" statewide: Housing.   "So since 2010, we've added 300,000 people, 400,000 jobs, and less than 100,000 housing units," Kennealy told the annual dinner of

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The Ninth Walk A Mile In Her Shoes Hits North Street
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Friday, September 20, 2019

Local and state representatives join the march. See more photos here. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hundreds of men stepped into their high heels to participate in the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes march on Thursday night. Although it was not the most graceful of miles, it raised some big money to support the Elizabeth Freeman Center.   "It takes a community to make change and we are that community and for the past nine years, we have been gathering here," Elizabeth Freeman Center Executive Director Janis Broderick said before the march on North Street during Third Thursday. "We are increasing awareness, developing new partnerships, and we are creating new partnerships to

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The Independent Investor: The Era of U.S. Oil Independence
By Bill Schmick,
05:02PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019
Last weekend's surprise drone attack on Saudi Arabia's major oil fields was a disaster, but it could have been worse. Fifty years ago, an attack like that would have sent the world's financial markets into a tailspin and rocked global economies. None of that happened — thanks to the U. S. energy production.   Granted, there was an initial decline in the markets until the damage was assessed and experts concluded that the 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production could be put back online within three weeks. The short-fall represented about half of the Saudi's daily production. Yet, the markets rebounded quickly, and for the most part, it is business as

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'Hustlers': The Tacky Laps of Luxury
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:56PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019
Am I that naïve? I sat there aghast as some took in stride the vengeance being meted out by former strip club employees upon their predominantly Wall Street clients in director Lorene Scafaria's "Hustlers," a scathing dramatization of Jessica Pressler's New York Magazine expose.   Said financiers are assembly line-style drugged and then fleeced of their reputedly ill-gotten gains following the implied and sometimes more than implied promise of sexual favors. Point of disclosure: While not a regular habitué of such dens of iniquity back in the day, my fires of spring were not unsullied. So why the shock? Function of age? Advancing Fuddy-Duddyism?   For

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Biz Briefs: Berkshire Food Co-op One of Three Finalists for MassEcon Award
02:19PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019
Economic Impact Award

Berkshire Food Co-op is one of three regional finalists to receive an Economic Impact Award from MassEcon. On Sept. 19, finalists will present one-minute pitches to a panel of judges and business leaders describing their growth in the commonwealth. Finalists compete on a regional basis in the West, Central, Southeast, Northeast and Great Boston areas. The winners from each of the five regions will be announced in October.

"Our mission has always been to support the health and well-being of our community and this expansion was a massive investment in that mission. This recognition from MassEcon represents a sweet moment for us, even as we continue the work of

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Narcan: A HOPE to Save Lives
By Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, Guest Column
01:49PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019
At the tail end of last year, I heard a story about a young man who had passed away of an opioid overdose. This story hit many nerves for me, in particular, because it involved a first responder who arrived on the scene while the young man was still alive, but was unable to take action to save his life because he was not carrying an opioid antagonist.   Opioid antagonists work by blocking receptors in the brain interacting with opioids causing the overdose and preventing the body from responding to them. The most common and easily accessible antagonist at this time is naloxone, usually referred to by its brand name, Narcan. We know that Narcan works and we credit it with saving

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