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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Classical Beat: Interview with BSO Guest Conductor Honeck
By Stephen Dankner, iBerkshires Columnist
12:41PM / Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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Conductor Manfred Honeck leads the BSO at Symphony Hall this past February. He returns to the BSO for a debut at Tanglewood this weekend.

In Symphony No. 2 ("Resurrection"), composed 1888-1894, Mahler the sonic architect has constructed a cathedral of sound that tells the story of a life – our lives – as he spreads before us his five-part panoply of human existence. The final movement, lasting nearly 40 minutes, and with the entrance of the huge chorus, is a symphony within a symphony. Taken together, this 90-minute masterpiece moves us, transports us, and teaches us.

Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck will lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra this weekend

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Kimball Farms Earns Fourth Perfect Survey
02:51PM / Monday, July 21, 2014
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LENOX, Mass. — After the Department of Public Health completed its annual survey at Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center, it issued a report that is rare in Massachusetts: deficiency free, for the fourth time in recent history.

 A deficiency-free result in the state’s rigorous annual examination is one of the top indications of excellence for nursing facilities. In perhaps the most regulated industry within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and across the nation, nursing facilities are thoroughly surveyed and rated on core criteria including quality care, safety, administration, food service, nursing care and patient rights.

The unannounced inspections by representatives

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Berkshire All-Stars Fall Short in Bay State Games Finale
By Stephen Dravis, iberkshires Staff
08:10PM / Sunday, July 20, 2014
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ROXBURY, Mass. — Some of the best high school girls basketball players in Western Massachusetts went east with one simple mission: to show the world that Berkshire County hoops is legit.   Message delivered.   The West came up a little short on Sunday evening — literally and figuratively — in a Bay State Games gold medal game where the Bostonians' height proved decisive.   But after going 5-1 over three days and splitting with the Metro team that won the title, 78-65, on Sunday, the Berkshire all-stars have nothing to feel down about.   "I think the biggest thing is these kids came out here just wanting to prove they can play," West coach

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Great Barrington, Sheffield Awarded $803K in Block Grants
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
09:07PM / Friday, July 18, 2014
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Gov. Deval Patrick announces $803,000 in Community Development Block Grants for Great Barrington and Sheffield on Friday.

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Great Barrington and Sheffield will share $803,000 in Community Development Block Grants to upgrade housing and fund infrastructure and accessibility issues.

The announcement was made by Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal outside the Housatonic Community Center on Friday afternoon as part of the awarding of $27.5 million in CDBG funds to municipalities statewide.  

"Working with our federal partners over the past eight years ... enabled us to award over a quarter billion dollars," Patrick said. "Those

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iBerkshire Tag Sales: July 18-21
01:01PM / Friday, July 18, 2014
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It's tag sale season again. Time to clear out attics, basements and garages and make some folding money. Time to hit the road and find some bargains!

iBerkshires is the area's leading online news source and the best way to get exposure for your yard sale. And it's free!

Send address, date, time and a brief description to ATTN: Tag Sale at info@iberkshires.com. Depending on the submissions, the list will be posted on Thursday or Friday afternoons.

 

View Berkshire County Tag Sales, May 31-1 in a full screen map

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Are We There Yet?: Swinging For BFAIR
By Rebecca Dravis,
09:55AM / Friday, July 18, 2014
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I have had the privilege of serving on the board of directors of Berkshire Family and Individual Resources (BFAIR) for more than six years now. In that time, I have gotten to know not only how amazing this organization and its dedicated employees are but also that the sky is the limit for the individuals with disabilities BFAIR serves.

That's why I'm using this space this week to promote BFAIR's annual fundraiser, which this year comes in the form of a miniature golf tournament on Saturday, July 19, at The Range in North Adams.

First, the mission of BFAIR: "Through organizational resolve, skilled and dedicated staff, and dynamic leadership, BFAIR provides quality services,

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Independent Lt. Gov. Candidate Jennings Calls For Strong Local Partnerships
By Andy McKeever,
03:21AM / Friday, July 18, 2014
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Angus Jennings is helping to build a new political party in the United Independent Party. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Angus Jennings says even if he is elected to lieutenant governor, that won't stop him from being at local public hearings or sitting in with planning boards.   In fact, he says that is what is one of the things is missing from the state administration — a focus on the local governments.    "I think on a fundamental level, what we can bring to the voters is that some of the most important decisions are made in city and town hall. We have a recognition and a respect for the home-rule traditions that are not only embedded in our cultural but

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The Independent Investor: How Much Is Too Much to Spend in Retirement?
By Bill Schmick,
02:53PM / Thursday, July 17, 2014
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More and more baby boomers retire each year. One of the questions that trouble them the most is whether they have enough savings to last their lifetime. The answer largely depends on how much they plan to spend each year.

The historical guideline that most financial planners use is a 4 percent drawdown of your retirement savings after taking account of social security and other non-portfolio sources of income, such as rentals or part-time work. That number has been shown to provide most retirees with a comfortable living over the course of a 30-year retirement.

However, I advise my clients to use the 4 percent rule of thumb as a starting place and adjust along the way. Times change and

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'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes': Monkey See, Monkey Makes a Sequel
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:27PM / Thursday, July 17, 2014
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Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
Homo sapiens and their great ape cousins clash in the latest iteration of the 'Planet of the Apes.'

In a perfect circumstance, we would take all the politicians, seat them at little desks in a cute kindergarten classroom, and make them watch director Matt Reeves' "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes."

Graham crackers and milk would be served. No popcorn or cheese nachos. OK ... maybe gummy bears. The hope is that the allegory, a politically savvy heir to George Orwell's "Animal Farm," would teach them something about what the sane folks on this Earth are

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Republican Herr To Challenge Markey for Senate
By Andy McKeever,
06:08PM / Wednesday, July 16, 2014
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Brian Herr says he'll represent the people of Massachusetts, not the party that put him on the ballot. His campaign site is here.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In 2010, Brian Herr said what he was supposed to say. He did what he was told to do.

But, he still lost the race for U.S. Senate.

This time, Herr isn't going to let the political insiders and strategists run his campaign.   "When you declare and you are reasonably viable and credible as a candidate for U.S. Congress, a lot of people put their fingers into your campaign, in you. They try to control you and mold you and they try to steer you," Herr said.   "I let some of that go on in 2010 and I

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