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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Get the Most from Your 401(k)
Submitted by Edward Jones,
01:34PM / Tuesday, August 25, 2020
You won't see any greeting cards celebrating it, and it's not likely to be on your calendar, but in just a few weeks, National 401(k) Day will be observed. And this type of recognition may be warranted, too, because 401(k) plans have become key building blocks for a big part of people's lives – a comfortable retirement. Are you making the most of your 401(k)?   Of course, during the past few months, you may have had mixed feelings about your 401(k). After all, at the beginning of the coronavirus, when the financial markets tumbled, the value of your account probably fell significantly, although it has likely regained some ground since the initial

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Pittsfield Iraq/Afghanistan Memorial On Target To Be Unveiled Sep. 11
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:35AM / Tuesday, August 25, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A monument honoring the five Berkshire County residents who died serving in Iraq and Afghanistan is still on track to be unveiled at Veterans Way Park on Sept. 11, the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.    Arnie Perras of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 448 called into the Parks Commission's meeting held on the Zoom platform last week to give an update on the proposed monument and he said it is well on its way to completion.   "We have been getting a lot of compliments on this monument from contractors and folks who think it is just a beautiful monument," Perras said.    The piece will be installed near the World War I

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College Notes: Summmer & Fall 2020
07:59PM / Monday, August 24, 2020
The O'Connor Center for Community Engagement at the State University of New York at Delhi has recognized more 30 students for their outstanding commitment to community service. Among them is Samuel Polastri of Becket, who was named a Community Service Leader for the 2019-2020 school year. Community Service Leaders are students who have accrued anywhere from 100 to 400 or more hours of volunteer work during the year.      Neha Goel of Pownal, Vt., was recently initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Goel was initiated at The Sage Colleges in Troy N.Y.     Kathryn J.

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Letter: Statement of the Lenox Democrats Regarding Smear Job on Alex Morse
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Monday, August 24, 2020

To the Editor:

We, the Lenox Democratic Town Committee, condemn the Massachusetts Democrats and the Massachusetts College Democrats for their deplorable conduct with respect to candidate Alex Morse for Congress. The public may not know that the Massachusetts College Democrats are actually a branch of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and not a separate organization. The Massachusetts Democratic Party is supposed to be neutral regarding Democratic candidates battling it out in primaries. Rather than maintaining this neutrality, the state party allowed the Massachusetts College Democrats to issue a scathing and slanderous rebuke of candidate Alex Morse. Compounding the matter, they allowed

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COVID-19 State Briefs: Jobless Benefits Continue, Wifi Hotspots Extended
06:43PM / Monday, August 24, 2020
BOSTON – Massachusetts' application to receive grant funding to pay an additional weekly unemployment benefit to claimants under the federal Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance program has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The application was submitted late last week by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Department of Unemployment Assistance.   Per FEMA's authorization, the grant will fund an additional $300 weekly payment to those who are eligible for the three weeks ending 8/1/20, 8/8/20, and 8/15/20. The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance has already begun work on the technology

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Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Nearing Fundraising Goal
09:41AM / Monday, August 24, 2020
LENOX, Mass. — Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is nearing its Opening Doors to Nature capital campaign goal of $1.2 million to address the sanctuary's aging facilities   Through donations, Mass Audubon's Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is now within $200,000 of its $1.12 million goal to fund the program barn expansion project.   The capital campaign was created to help ensure the sanctuary's aging facilities are brought up to date, with a focus on accessibility and related amenities.   The centerpiece will be an energy-efficient addition to the 18th-century program barn that includes modern restrooms, expanded lobby area, expansive decking,

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IMPROMPTU: Six Artists in the Time of COVID
08:27AM / Monday, August 24, 2020

NORTH ADAMS, Mass.— For the first time in its history, the Eclipse Mill Gallery is presenting an online-only exhibition featuring six artists working with diverse mediums.


Artists Dawn Nelson, Linda O'Brien, Opie O'Brien, Diane Sawyer, Sarah Sutro, and Betty Vera are featured in Impromptu that not only reflects the artists' impulse to show their work together, but also their individual responses to materials and techniques, modes of artistic expression, and the challenges of making art while coping with dramatic, unpredictable events amid a rapidly expanding global pandemic and widespread social unrest.


Pursuing new directions in her large abstract paintings, Dawn

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Letter: Neal for Congress
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Sunday, August 23, 2020

To the Editor:

I am urging voters to vote for Richie Neal on Sept. 1. I have known Richie for many years and know that he cares deeply about Western Mass and his constituents. I also know that he has delivered for us time and again.

For those of us who remember what it was like to lose General Electric or Sprague Electric, we remember the shock and the pain that rippled through our community. The Berkshires cannot afford to neglect our major employers or lose jobs again. And make no mistake, jobs in the Berkshires are on the ballot this year.

On one hand, we have Richie Neal who has brought millions of dollars to Berkshire Medical and our health-care systems. On the other hand, we have

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Biz Briefs: Carr Hardware Donating Personal Protective Equipment for Schools
10:20AM / Sunday, August 23, 2020
'Round-up for the Schools'

Carr Hardware, a family-owned business for more than 90 years, has launched “Round-up for the Schools” to benefit the local Berkshire County school districts. Carr Hardware is offering all their customers the option to round-up the final cost of their purchases to the nearest dollar. Carr Hardware will then match those donations and purchase needed personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves, sanitizer and other needs they can secure, to donate to our local schools. Carr Hardware also will have collection jars stationed at all locations for customers to donate.

"If there is a chance at defeating this pandemic and have students

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Air Purifying System Helps Business Owners Keep Customers, Employees Safe
08:15AM / Sunday, August 23, 2020

Business owners have an important tool to help keep their customers and employees safe during this COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Beyond Guardian Air is a smart solution for any business, purifying air and reducing viruses and bacteria 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is proven to reduce airborne and surface contaminants, enhances health and quality of life, purifies the air and surfaces and reduces odor, removes harmful gasses, protects from recontamination as people enter and move around the area, and delivers measurable and proven results.

The system uses a revolutionary technology called "photocatalytic oxidation" (PCO), which uses a combination of UV light and titanium

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Summer Jazz Camp Brought Music to Bowe Field
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
11:39AM / Saturday, August 22, 2020

ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshires' Summer Jazz Day Camp was in full swing at Bowe Field this past week.   Playing a musical instrument with others has topped the list of things not allowed during the pandemic, but musical director Richard Boulger found a way to make it happen.   "I thought let's go for it," Boulger said. "So we have been very ambitious...what better time than now to celebrate life with music."   Wind instruments require the player to blow air through the instrument creating spit. It is also impossible to play while wearing a mask. This is not optimal during a pandemic so the camp, that is typically held at Hoosac Valley High

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@theMarket: Market's Window Getting Smaller
By Bill Schmick,
04:29PM / Friday, August 21, 2020
This week the benchmark S&P 500 Index made a minor new high for the year. While that is cause to celebrate, the question to ask is how much further can we climb in the face of a slowing economy before suffering a meaningful pullback?   Over the last few months, investors have been warned by just about every economist worth their salt that the country needs another jolt of federal stimulus. It has not happened. You can cast blame on whomever you want for that failure, but none of that matters to the over one million American workers who lost their jobs in the past week.    Even the Federal Reserve Bank, in releasing its July 28-29 Federal Open Market Committee meeting

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