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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Rain, Sleet Will Make Icy Mess and Difficult Travel for Monday
03:29PM / Sunday, December 29, 2019
A messy mix of rain, sleet and snow is about to fall over the Berkshires, covering the last days of 2019 in an icy sheet that may make travel "impossible," according to the National Weather Service.    The NWS office in Albany, N.Y., has posted an ice storm warning for the Berkshires and northern Connecticut from 5 p.m. Sunday into 7 a.m. Tuesday.    Significant icing is expected from freezing rain, especially after midnight Sunday night. This icing may cause power outages from tree damage and travel "could be impossible. The hazardous conditions will impact the Monday morning and evening commutes," according to the NWS.    The freezing rain

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@theMarket: Will This Year Be Like the Last One for Stocks?
By Bill Schmick,
03:58PM / Friday, December 27, 2019
It is that time of the year when fortune telling becomes a popular past time in the financial markets. Every Wall Street strategist releases their projections for the economy, the markets, and earnings for the New Year. What strikes me about 2020's crop of predictions is their similarity.   My own informal survey of analyst's forecasts seems to converge around a 1.8 percent-2.0 percent prediction for economic growth in the U.S. Earnings, for the most part, hover around the unchanged mark, or slightly better. These professional forecasters are looking for no more than average gains in the rate of return (ROR) for stocks based on the equity benchmark index, the S&P 500. What

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Ventfort Hall Plans Trip to See Sargent Charcoals
03:41PM / Friday, December 27, 2019

LENOX, Mass. — Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum is offering a day trip to New York for an exclusive viewing of the exhibit titled "John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal" at the Morgan Library & Museum slated for Wednesday, Jan. 8.

This is a rare opportunity to view with an art specialist 53 charcoal portraits by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), America's greatest portrait painter of his time. These drawn works of art represent a substantial, yet often overlooked, part of his practice – they number more than 750 in total - and demonstrate the same sense of immediacy, psychological insight and mastery of light and shade that animate

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The Independent Investor: Investors Ignore Impeachment
By Bill Schmick,
04:47PM / Thursday, December 26, 2019
Abuse of power, obstruction of Congress; these are accusations that ordinarily evoke sharp emotions among Americans. Yet, the financial markets have barely blinked, if they have paid attention at all. Why?   The short answer is that investors have done the numbers and calculated that Donald Trump has less than a snowball's chance in hell of being impeached by the U.S. Senate. For those who don't follow the actual political process of impeachment, once the Congress voted to impeach the president, the next step is up to the Senate. They are required to hold a trial to decide whether to remove him from office. A two-thirds majority is required to convict and then remove the

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Lenox Woman Wins Pittsfield Photo Challenge
03:35PM / Thursday, December 26, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Lenox woman's photograph of this summer’s Tanglewood in the City at the Pittsfield Common won the Downtown Pittsfield photo challenge.

The challenge, held this past fall, asked photographers to capture why downtown Pittsfield is the "Heart of the Berkshires". Entrants were encouraged to capture photos that showcased the beauty and personality of downtown Pittsfield.

The first-place winner, as determined by a panel of local judges, was Susan Geller of Lenox. Geller won a prize package donated by local downtown businesses, and her photo will be featured in Pittsfield’s 2020 Downtown Guide and a Downtown Pittsfield, Inc., social

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Merry Christmas from iBerkshires
07:46AM / Wednesday, December 25, 2019

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Guest Column: Jesus Brought Hope to the Forgotten
Guest Column,
04:25AM / Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Bishop Mitchell Rozanski   Isaiah 9: 1-6 Titus 2: 11-14 Luke 2: 1-14 During these past few months, I have noticed a very clever television commercial that has been running in the shopping preparation for Christmas. A little girl tells her parents that she wants to be a princess. The parents go out and search for all sorts of toys that will satisfy the girl's wishes. After they finish all that shopping, the girl then tells her parents that she wants to be a movie producer!   The store that is advertising implies that they have all the toys to make every child's wish come true. As I viewed that commercial a few times, I reflected on the message that

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Christmas Eve Poem
06:07PM / Tuesday, December 24, 2019

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Berkshires Beat: SVMC Women's and Children's Department Receives Donation of Art
05:10PM / Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Art donation

The Women's and Children's Services Department at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, received a donation of four framed posters and one work on canvas from internationally recognized visual artist Susana Aldanondo.

Aldanondo creates abstract expressionist and conceptual art, along with art for children. She studied at The Art Students League of New York, Hunter College in New York City, and at Nord University. Her work has been featured by Art Market Magazine, Artbest/Artweek, Artscope Magazine, Chaleur Magazine, and SeeMe and has appeared in exhibits worldwide.

She believes in helping others and dedicates a portion of her

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Q&A: Williamstown's Benzinger Plays in Friday Bowl
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Jake Benzinger is joined by his parents and former Williams College football coach Dick Farley in 2015 after signing his National Letter of Intent to attend Wake Forest. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — When Jake Benzinger left Williamstown to go to Wake Forest University in the fall of 2015, the Demon Deacons' football program had won 12 games in the last three seasons and had not gone to a bowl game since 2011.   This week, Benzinger comes north with his teammates to compete in Friday's Pinstripe Bowl in New York City, where they will take on Michigan State University at Yankee Stadium on Friday afternoon.   He is one of two Berkshire County products playing in bowls

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Williams Astronomy Professor Heading to India for Annular Eclipse
01:38AM / Tuesday, December 24, 2019

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Jay Pasachoff, the Field Memorial professor of astronomy at Williams College and chair of the International Astronomical Union's Working Group on Solar Eclipses, is heading to India to view a solar eclipse on Thursday, Dec. 26.

According to Pasachoff, the moon will be a little farther from Earth than average, so it will not completely cover the sun's bright disk, leaving a ring known as an annulus of bright everyday sunlight. Though up to 93 percent of the sun will be covered, to see this "annular eclipse" safely, people should still use special solar-safe filters or look at projected images. Near the maximum of the eclipse, images will be

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New Sculpture Installed on Clark Art Institute's Front Lawn
04:11AM / Monday, December 23, 2019

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute announces the first American installation of the 2011 sculpture "Le foglie delle radici (The Leaves of the Roots)" by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone.

The 30-foot-tall cast bronze, steel and soil sculpture of an upturned tree with a live eastern red cedar sapling growing from its inverted roots is a long-term installation on loan from a private collection and is situated on the lawn of the Clark's 1955 Museum Building.

"The Clark is pleased to accept the long-term loan of this important sculpture by leading artist Giuseppe Penone," Hardymon Director Olivier Meslay said. "The form of a tree—encountered

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