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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Great Barrington Community Impact Funding Committee Awards Funds Local Agencies
04:32PM / Friday, November 19, 2021
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The town's Community Impact Funding Committee has recommended that $350,000 in cannabis revenue funds should be distributed to eight local agencies. Berkshire Hills Regional School District $150,000 Railroad Street Youth Project $70,000 Volunteers in Medicine $30,000 Community Legal Aid $10,000 Rural Recovery Resources $35,000 Elizabeth Freeman Center $25,000 Clinton Church Restoration $15,000 Great Barrington Police Department $15,000 "We were thrilled to receive so many strong proposals and have done our best to spread these funds in the most effective way possible and with the broadest reach," said Rebecca Gold, chair of the

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MassDOT Advisory: West Stockbridge and Lee
02:18PM / Friday, November 19, 2021
WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced it will be conducting crack sealing operations along I-90 eastbound and westbound from mile marker 2.5 to mile marker 10 in West Stockbridge and Lee.    The work will take place on Monday, November 22, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and will require intermittent lane closures.   Appropriate signage, law enforcement details, and messaging will be in place to guide drivers through the work area.   Drivers who are traveling through the affected areas should expect delays, reduce speed, and use caution.    All scheduled work is weather dependent and subject to change

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The Retired Investor: The Teacher Shortage
By Bill Schmick,
11:46AM / Friday, November 19, 2021
The U.S. labor shortage is hitting the public education sector hard. Yes, COVID-19 and its mutations have had a lot to do with the lack of teachers, but the problem predates the pandemic. In just the last two months, 65,000 public education employees left the industry.   Across the United States, in October 2021, there were 575,000 fewer state and local education employees than in February 2020, according to the latest employment report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The pandemic, in some ways, was simply the straw that broke this camel's back.   Stagnant wages, or worse, falling wages, have beset the teaching industry for years. In 2018, for example, the wage gap between

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Great Barrington Residents to Judge at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
04:34PM / Thursday, November 18, 2021
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Residents Nioma Stoner Coen and Thomas W. Coen are among the judges at the 146th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, New York on Jan. 24-26, 2022.    The dog show is set to return to New York City after the 2021 event was held outdoors at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, NY due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is Nioma's first judging assignment with Westminster and Thomas' second. Both will officiate over several breeds at Pier 36 on Manhattan's lower east side.   Nioma will be judging the Collies (both Varieties), Pembroke Welsh Corgis and Shetland Sheepdogs. Thomas will be judging the Australian Cattle Dogs,

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December is the Start of Bird Feeding Season
04:14PM / Monday, November 15, 2021
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department recommends that people wait to put up bird feeders until Dec. 1 to avoid attracting bears.    "This may be a particularly good winter for attracting winter birds arriving from Canada, including Evening Grosbeaks and Purple Finches," Doug Morin, Vermont Fish and Wildlife's bird project leader said. "Black oil sunflower is a good seed choice that will attract a variety of birds, and folks may want to try other seeds or suet to attract certain species.  Thistle, for example, attracts many of the finches.  Gardeners will find leaving late-blooming flowers uncut provides seeds which can also attract

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Great Barrington Conducting Survey of Housatonic Water Works Customers
08:15AM / Monday, November 15, 2021
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The town is conducting a survey of Housatonic Water Works users to gather more information about water discoloration and quality issues in the village.   The survey can be accessed or here.   Survey participants' emails and identity will not be shared or disclosed, but the town will share the overall results after the survey concludes.   The survey is open to commercial and residential customers of the water company, and to tenants who may rent apartments or business spaces in which water is supplied by Housatonic Water Works.    For instance, apartment landlords may be the direct customers, but their tenants may experience water

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Notchview Ski Area Awaits First Snowfall with Expanded Programming
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:13AM / Sunday, November 14, 2021

There are programs for all ages and trails set aside for those who want to bring their dog along for the fun. 

WINDSOR, Mass. — As temperatures drop and leaves fall, the Trustees of Reservations look forward to welcoming cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and even four-legged friends to Notchview in the upcoming season.

The Nordic ski area is located on more than 3,000 acres in the hills of Windsor. It is known as a recreational destination for skiers and snowshoers in the winter and recently adopted hiking and biking in the warmer months.

On the busiest weekend days, the property sees around 500 visitors.

"As an operation and through the trustees, our goal is to

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EforAll Awards Prizes At Pitch Contest
04:21PM / Friday, November 12, 2021
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County ran an All-Ideas Pitch Contest at Crissey Farm in Great Barrington, awarding first prize of $1,000 to Jene Batory of Pittsfield for Berkshire Botanicals, a holistic beauty product company.   Second place prize of $750 went to Kasha Sancho of KTalented in Hudson, New York, which wants to expand from in-home hair extension services to a full-service salon and shop for black women's beauty products.   Third place of $500 went to Dalton's Valerie Conte-Mesquita with her concept for a brand called "Party Girl Mom."   Fan Favorite prize of $500 was awarded to AJ Bowman of

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@theMarket: Annual Inflation Hits 30-year Highs
By Bill Schmick,
03:45PM / Friday, November 12, 2021
The stock and bond markets knew inflation was coming. This week's 6.2 percent jump in the Consumer Price Index drove home the fact that inflation has become a fact of economic life, at least for the near future.   The jury is still out on whether inflation will prove to be "transitory" as the Federal Reserve Bank argues and as some economists believe. Others fear that we could be on the verge of something a little more serious. The fear is that the Fed might be forced to raise interest rates if that were the case.   The Producer Price Index (PPI) and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) both came in a little warmer than forecasted on a year-over-year basis, but not as high

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Massachusetts RMV To Pause Transactions
12:56PM / Friday, November 12, 2021
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) announced that transactions will not be possible on Saturday, Nov. 13, and Sunday morning, Nov. 14, as the RMV is migrating to a new infrastructure platform.   No online transactions can be conducted from 1:00 a.m. on Saturday to 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, no vehicle inspections can occur, and business partners will be unable to perform transactions.   "The pause in conducting transactions is a necessary step in order for the Registry to be successful in migrating to a new infrastructure platform," said Registrar Colleen Ogilvie.  "We apologize to customers who are inconvenienced and encourage the

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Cold Air Over Midwest Bring Chilly, Rainy Weekend for Berkshires
04:39PM / Thursday, November 11, 2021
Enjoy these few days of mild weather because a polar vortex is nipping at the region.   A strong cold front pushing through the Midwest and southern Canada is expected to dump snow to the south and west of the Berkshires.    But, the area will be getting the colder temperatures and heavy rain over the weekend.    According to Accuweather, "as a ripple in the jet stream moves from the eastern Great Lakes into the Northeast on Saturday, spotty showers are likely in much of the region. Outside of the very highest elevations where a few snowflakes may fall, most of the precipitation should still be in the form of rain."   The jet stream will make a large

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The Retired Investor: SALT Away?
By Bill Schmick,
01:43PM / Thursday, November 11, 2021
High-income tax states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, and New York would appear to be winners if President Biden's "Build Back Better" plan is finally passed by Congress. The Trump-era limit on state and local tax deductions could provide a $200 billion (or more) wind fall for wealthy Americans.   As it stands now, congressional Democrats, especially those who represent high tax states, are crafting a change in the SALT deduction cap. Presently American households can only deduct $10,000 of state and local taxes from their federal income taxes. That cap deduction is poised to end by 2026.   In a prior column, I explained that in exchange for their votes

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