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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshire Scenic Railway Offering Round-Trip Rides From Adams
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:43PM / Friday, October 09, 2015
Berkshire Scenic Railways' Budd Car will be rolling along the tracks between North Adams and Adams on Saturday.

ADAMS, Mass. — Toot! Toot!

It's been a long time coming but the scenic railway is about to start chugging.

Train enthusiasts will get a chance to ride the rails this weekend as the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum tests out its new Hoosac Valley Service.

But this is just a pilot program, cautioned Jay Green, the museum's railway director.

"It's designed to test out the service, to test the design, to test the track and the operations," he said on Friday. "This is a soft opening."

It's a big step forward in getting the scenic


'The Martian': Houston, We Have a Hit
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
10:37AM / Friday, October 09, 2015
Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
Twentieth Century Fox A sure-fire hit is putting Matt Damon in a lonesome dangerous place — and then rescuing him. Although in 'The Martian,' his astronaut Mark Watney is good at keeping himself alive/

You may want to prepare a little before seeing "The Martian," Ridley Scott's fantastical journey to Mars — and maybe back — starring Matt Damon in the title role. If you have the time, getting a Ph.D. at MIT should put you in good stead to at least comprehend the technical jargon in this superbly crafted, Space Age update on the "Robinson Crusoe"


Independent Investor: Millennials The Misunderstood Generation
By Bill Schmick,
04:32PM / Thursday, October 08, 2015

Millennials are feeling good about their financial future, says one survey. Another poll tells us that this same class of Americans is giving up on getting rich. Both can't be right and yet they are.

The first thing you have to understand is that attitudes change depending upon one's circumstances. In a recent poll by Bloomberg, for example, 47 percent of Americans between the ages of 18-35 believed that they do not expect to live better than their parents.

That is understandable if, for example, you happen to be living under your parent's roof (and 15 percent of millennials are). It is darn difficult to imagine living better than your folks under those circumstances. This is


Girl's Walk to Cure Diabetes Team Holding Painting Party Fundraiser
01:14PM / Wednesday, October 07, 2015

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Noelle's Belles, the Walk to Cure Diabetes team of local fourth-grader Noelle Dravis, is teaming up with The Progressive Palette to offer a fun Halloween painting party for both children and adults.

The party will be held Sunday, Oct. 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Sts. Patrick and Raphael parish center in Williamstown. The cost is $37, which includes all supplies, instruction and snacks. No painting experience is needed. Seating is limited and advance registration is required online at

Fund raised will benefit scientific research to better treat, prevent and ultimately cure type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that


Avoid Emotional Investment Decisions
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:39PM / Wednesday, October 07, 2015

What’s the biggest obstacle to your ability to invest successfully? Is it the ups and downs of the financial markets? Political events? The fact that you weren’t born rich?

Actually, the chief hurdle you face is something over which you have control: your own emotions.

Your emotions can lead to a variety of ill-advised investment behaviors, such as these:

• Cutting losses: Declines in the financial markets can lead some investors to try to “cut their losses” by selling investments whose price has declined. Yet, when prices have dropped, it may actually be a good time to buy investments, not sell them, especially when the investments are still fundamentally


Berkshire Tidbits: Harvest Fests, Historic Fare Fill Weekend
By Judith Lerner, iBerkshires Columnist
07:35AM / Tuesday, October 06, 2015
A grilled chicken and avocado sandwich with bacon and pest from The Hungry Traveler food truck that will be at the Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival.

Great Barrington Historical Society
Bake Sale Features Historic Goodies

Barbara Syer, president of the Great Barrington Historical Society thought it would be a better idea to have a bake sale than a tag sale to entice visitors to come to the Captain Thomas Wheeler House, the town of Great Barrington's museum and the Historical Society's headquarters.

Anbake sale.

With James Parrish, another Historical Society volunteer, Syer worked out a menu of doable baked goods from the 18th century, the period when the original


Senate Endorses Mt. Washington's Broadband Internet Plan
02:22PM / Monday, October 05, 2015

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate has approved an act authorizing the town of Mount Washington to establish, own and operate broadband infrastructure and services and to issue bonds or notes therefore.

The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Mount Washington plans to build a town-owned, modern, fiber-to-the-home network to provide high speed internet access to its residents. This home rule petition, filed on behalf of Mount Washington by Sen. Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) and state Rep. William "Smitt"y Pignatelli (D- Lenox) was approved by a majority of voters during a Special Town Meeting on July 13, 2015. It was referred to the


Berkshire School of Etiquette to Host Youth Culture Program
01:27PM / Monday, October 05, 2015

LENOX, Mass. — Berkshire School of Etiquette will host its six-week Youth Culture Program starting Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The program targets boys and girls throughout Berkshire and Hamden Counties in grades one through five. Each session uses real dining and conversational situations to inspire a higher level of confidence in social situations.

“Often parents bring their children to adult functions and worry how they’ll behave. Good manners and other social graces have also been put on the back burner at a time when families are often too busy for regular meals together," Berkshire School of Etiquette founder & director Diane Massey said.


Berkshire Taconic Announces Final Round of 2015 Grant Deadlines for Berkshire County
12:20PM / Monday, October 05, 2015

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced the fourth and final round of deadlines for competitive grants in 2015.

Covering the period from October through December, the fall grants cycle is open to regional nonprofits, schools and individuals.


For nonprofits

The William J. and Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire and Savoy supports nonprofits, public agencies or community organizations that provide services to the residents of Adams, Cheshire or Savoy. The fund has up to $100,000 to grant out this year. Applications are due Nov. 1.

The Central Berkshire Fund supports nonprofits, public agencies or community organizations serving the


Thousands Rally In Springfield in Support of Sanders
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:54PM / Saturday, October 03, 2015
The Vermont senator held rallies in Springfield and in Boston on Saturday. SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Some 6,000 people were "feeling the Bern" in Springfield on Saturday.   Bernie Sanders, who seeking to run for the Oval Office in 2016 on the Democratic ticket, called for a "political revolution" at a campaign stump at the Mass Mutual Center.  Sanders is the second candidate to stop in Western Massachusetts this week; Hillary Clinton, former New York senator and secretary of state, was in Holyoke for a fundraiser on Thursday.   For an hour, the Vermont senator outlined his platform, touching on a number of topics from income inequality to health

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@theMarket: October Should Be the Bottom
By Bill Schmick,
10:27AM / Saturday, October 03, 2015

The third quarter was the worst for stocks in four years. Here we are in October and if history is any guide, investors should expect a bottom in the stock markets over the next three weeks.

That does not necessarily mean that history is a dependable guide. Historical data has proven to be less than helpful over the last few years. That is largely because the central bank's heavy hand in the financial markets since 2008 has skewed the data. Their intervention in both the bond and stock markets has made technical as well as fundamental tools of investing all but meaningless in valuing the markets.

I have been expecting the stock markets to re-test their lows made on Aug. 24, something


Adams Anthony Center Focuses on Creative Spaces
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:10AM / Saturday, October 03, 2015
The Adams Anthony Center's most recent presentation focused on the development of live/work spaces for artists and other occupations. Speakers included Richard Tavelli, left, Francie Anne Riley, Eric Rudd and Bill Kolis.

ADAMS, Mass. — A group working to stimulate growth in Adams is looking hard at zoning as a stumbling block to transforming the Mother Town.

Members of the Adams Anthony Center, founded by William Kolis, has been holding a series of discussions around the creative economy and participating in roundtables in Adams and elsewhere to promote ideas and problem solve. A top priority is making it easier for artists to redevelop older buildings for living and


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