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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

@theMarket: Markets in Pullback Mode
By Bill Schmick,
05:31PM / Friday, June 16, 2017
Technology stocks continued to consolidate while the Dow made new highs and the S&P 500 Index hovered just below historical highs. Throw in the fact that the markets are notoriously slow and biased to the downside during the summer months, and you have a recipe for further consolidation.   That does not necessarily mean that we will see some sharp and painful correction in stocks. My regular readers understand that the averages could simply move sideways for a month or two before resuming their upward climb. However, within those averages, individual stocks and sectors could experience much deeper declines.   Take the present decline in the technology-laden NASDAQ market, or

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Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Announces Sixth Grade Teacher
03:16PM / Friday, June 16, 2017

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School welcomes Jennifer Green as sixth grade class teacher for the 2017-18 school year.

Green was selected from a pool of applicants after a national search. She earned her master of education degree from Bank Street School of Education (New York, N.Y.). She also holds a bachelor of science in nutrition from the State University of New York (Plattsburgh, N.Y.). Green brings 16 years of teaching experience to her new position, including teaching at every grade level. The GBRSS Board of Trustees and Council of Teachers approve the hiring of Green to lead the class of 2020 through middle school, a period of exceptional human

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BCD Eighth-Grader Places Third in National Video Challenge
02:02PM / Friday, June 16, 2017

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Shayna Kantor of Lenox, Mass., an eighth-grader at Berkshire Country Day School, placed third in the 2017 national USC Shoah Foundation IWitness Video Challenge.

Inspired by the Shoah Foundation's Holocaust archives, Shayna's documentary "Are you Listening?" raises awareness and empathy for the deaf community.

For two years, Shayna studied American Sign Language and made "Are you Listening?" as a way of giving back to the deaf community. "In a way, I was able to experience their culture, and I thought that I should give back," Shayna said. During this project, Shayna engaged the Berkshire Country Day School Kindergarten

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Berkshire Bank Honors Employees for Volunteerism
12:14PM / Friday, June 16, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Bank has recognized 31 employees for their volunteerism in the community and has named two "top volunteers" through their Volunteer Service X-ellence Awards Program. These annual awards celebrate bank employees who have made outstanding contributions to their communities.
 
The two award recipients were selected based on their strong record of volunteerism to non-profit organizations through both company-supported activities and for individual service to the broader community. Each of the award winners also received a $1,000 donation that will be made to the non-profit organization of their choice.
 
This year's Volunteer

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The Independent Investor: A Tale of Two Charities
By Bill Schmick,
07:56PM / Thursday, June 15, 2017
We are a country divided. Washington is paralyzed. Half the country considers our president a joke and any and all legislation is dead on arrival, according to the TV talking heads. Social media is filled with outrage and despair. As a result, Americans are supposedly wringing their hands, or worse, hiding under the covers. Don't you believe it!   To hear the media tell it, on one side of this nation are the ultra-left, tree-hugging liberals, who want government to do everything by taking from the rich and giving to the poor. On the other side, are the red-necked conservatives, who despise government and its welfare programs. They want to whack the Muslims, build "the

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Berkshire Mountain Faerie Festival Returns This Saturday
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
07:28PM / Thursday, June 15, 2017
ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival has grown beyond the town of Adams and is drawing magic from throughout Berkshire County.   And the festival set this Saturday, June 17, from 10 to 10 at Bowe Field is expected to double attendance.    "We have taken from last year what worked really well and went, poof!" Adams Arts Advisory Board member and organizer Gail Sellers said. "Last year, we had 2,000 people so we are hoping to double that and we are getting people from outside the immediate area and it is not just an Adams event."   The event features more than 40 artists, crafters, performers and vendors from Cheshire, North

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'My Cousin Rachel': Relatively Mysterious
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:21PM / Thursday, June 15, 2017

I kept thinking, "It can't be that ... it's too obvious." Thus were my incredulous musings while trying to figure if Rachel Weisz's title character in director Roger Michell's "My Cousin Rachel" was the husband-murderer her newest suitor initially thought she was. You see, I'm terrible at unraveling mysteries. I've been trying to solve the meaning of life for decades, and still nothing.

So I had to question my suspicion, which in turn became the main reason why this otherwise average motion picture held my interest. That said, Weisz sure can sow the doubt.

Granted, it's possible that, like Sam Claflin's 24-year- old Philip, the wealthy

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Letter: Help Dad Quit Smoking for a Happy Father's Day
Letters to the Editor,
05:00PM / Thursday, June 15, 2017

To the Editor:

Are you looking for an original, meaningful, and inexpensive Father's Day gift? If your dad smokes, show him your love by supporting him in quitting smoking. Quitting can take many tries and he doesn't have to do it alone!

If your father is thinking about quitting, start by telling him about the Massachusetts Smokers Helpline. By calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), he can get free and confidential coaching 24 hours a day, as often as he wants.

Let your dad know you'll stand by him for as long as it takes. Even if he has tried to quit before, encourage him to keep trying – a smoker attempts to quit an average of seven times before quitting for good.

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The Cassical Beat: Tanglewood, Tannery Pond, Taconic Music Prepare to Open
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
12:25PM / Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Finally! It's that longed-for time again: the summer "high season" of classical music is about to begin. After an arduous winter, the summer's musical offerings will be balm to both popular music and classical aficionados, who anticipate the cornucopia of music these diverse festivals and series present.

This week, I'll focus on the three "T"s - Tanglewood, Tannery Pond and Taconic Music. Together, they make the region a cultural capital, drawing thousands to hear great music – chamber, symphony, choral, opera, musical theater, film music, contemporary classical, pop, rock, jazz- to experience masterworks within the verdant hills and dales we call

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Financial Gifts Can Help Dad for Years to Come
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:25AM / Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Father's Day is almost here. Dad will probably like any gift you give him, of course, but this year, why not go beyond the ordinary? By presenting your father with an appropriate financial gift, you can bring him some benefits that can keep on giving.

For starters, how about a back-to-school gift for Dad? If you have children, you may already be familiar with 529 plans, which many parents use to help their children pay for college. But 529 plans have no age limits, so there’s nothing stopping you from reversing the usual formula and opening an account for your father. While 529 plans are commonly used to pay for four-year colleges, the money can also go toward most two-year

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Berkshires Beat: YMCA Opening Childcare Center at Mountain Brook School in Lenox
02:42PM / Monday, June 12, 2017

Making a change: The Berkshire Family YMCA will establish a new childcare center at the location of the current Mountain Brook School at 6 Holmes Road in Lenox, effective June 19. Susan Burt, owner and administrator of Mountain Brook School for the last year, has decided to pass the reigns to the Berkshire Family YMCA. Mountain Brook School is in good standing with its license.

“Mountain Brook School opened to provide high quality early childhood education in our community.  As we close at the end of this school year, the need for programs continues to grow and change. I believe the Berkshire Family YMCA's pursuit of additional programing to meet those needs are a positive

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Biz Briefs: Beacon Cinema Getting $500,000 Facelift
01:12PM / Monday, June 12, 2017

Cinema facelift: Developer and owner Richard Stanley is investing about $500,000 into the Beacon Cinema beginning this July. The renovation includes the removal of all the existing stadium seating and replacing them with Power Recliners complete with adjustable arm rests. "Our patrons will experience seating for the 21st century," Stanley said.

The renovation will run from mid-July to mid-October. Three theaters will closed at a time. To kick off the new project, the Beacon will be offering a number of promotions and contests throughout the entire renovation period. "We want people to be as excited as we are," said Lydia Shulman, Beacon manager. "We're

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