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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Berkshire Bank VP Named One of the Top 40 Under Forty by BusinessWest
10:41AM / Friday, June 15, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Jason Niles, vice president/relationship manager at Berkshire Bank, has been selected for one of BusinessWest's class of 2018, 40 Under Forty awards. Winners were chosen based on level of accomplishment, leadership, and contribution to the community.
 
The 40 Under Forty event is an annual celebration to honor 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Massachusetts, demonstrating excellence in their profession and a commitment to giving back to the community in which they work and live. Nominations for this award are assigned to panel of judges who will score each individual on a number of factors from success in their career field to community

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BCC Hires New Director of Academic and Career Advising
10:28AM / Friday, June 15, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has hired George Ambriz as the new director of academic and career advising.

Ambriz moved from Nevada to the area in late May. Previously, he was working as an adviser/success coach at the College of Southern Nevada, a position he has held since 2015. Before that, he was an employer relations coordinator and admissions counselor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, from 2006-2015.

He earned an associate's degree from Cochise College in Arizona, a bachelor's degree in administration of justice from Western New Mexico University, and a master's degree in public administration from UNLV. He is currently a doctoral

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Inauguration 2016
by Soapbox 02:00PM / Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Kids 4 Harmony Provided The Music At The Inauguration Reception
by Soapbox 08:38PM / Monday, January 06, 2014

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Theater Review: Love Versus Broadway at the Barrington Stage
By Nancy Salz, Special to iBerkshires
09:48AM / Friday, June 15, 2018

Three generations of Cavendish women face a conundrum: Should they marry and leave their stage careers behind? Or forsake love for a life on the Great White Way?

In song, dance and frequently hilarious performances, love and Broadway are the heart of their conflicts in the world premiere comedic musical "The Royal Family of Broadway" at Barrington Stage Company. While not always perfect, the production is huge, dazzling and great fun.

William Finn (music and lyrics) and Rachel Sheinkin (book) took on a daunting challenge when they decided to turn the Richard Greenberg adaptation of the 1930 play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber into a musical. There are 10 major characters:

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: June 15-21
09:27AM / Friday, June 15, 2018
NEXT THURSDAY, June 21 is 3rd Thursday! June's 3rd Thursday celebrates health and fitness with the 9th running of the Green Mile Road Race, plus Tamarack Hollow Nature Preserve; Berkshire Yoga, Dance & Fitness; and Berkshire Salsa. Berkshire Concert Choir will be performing at The Lichtenstein, and the Jacob's Pillow Dance Zone welcomes the U.S. debut of Scottish company Janis Claxton Dance with .

  MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE

THU Shire City Sessions at Hotel on North

Shire City Sessions' presents its second concert of the

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Strike Averted: Hospital, Nurses Union Reach Agreement
Staff Reports,
07:55AM / Friday, June 15, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The registered nurses union and the hospital have tentatively settled on a contract, averting what would have been the second strike.   Bargaining for three consecutive days and stretching late into the night, Berkshire Medical Center and the local Massachusetts Nurses Association chapter settled on a five-year deal. That agreement needs to be ratified by a vote of the full 800 union members.   "We are incredibly proud of this agreement that reflects our priority of improving nurse staffing and patient care," said Alex Neary, co-chair of the union's bargaining unit.   "Berkshire Medical Center nurses care deeply about our patients

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Ready Set Learn Renovating St. Martin's Church Into Preschool
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:36AM / Friday, June 15, 2018

The interior is getting a full renovation. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Ready Set Learn is expanding after purchasing and renovating the former St. Martin's Episcopal Church on Dalton Avenue.   Owner Melissa Fawcett is moving the business from a residential home on Virginia Avenue to the former church in time for the next school year.   Currently, the renovations are underway, creating three classrooms and play space. The preschool is also fundraising to build a playground outside.   "The biggest thing for us was the indoor play space. We don't have a gym and in the winter you are inside a lot. They are little and they need to play. So we liked that there was

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'Ocean's 8': What's Bad for the Gander is Bad for the Goose
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:42PM / Thursday, June 14, 2018
Watching director Gary Ross' "Ocean's 8," starring Sandra Bullock in a feminine spinoff of the "Ocean's 11" (1960) franchise, I couldn't help but get cynically philosophical. Did I somewhere along the way of reviewing movies fall into a Rip Van Winkle-like sleep, only to awake and find that stealing obscene amounts of valuables was now not only OK, but lauded? I'm not talking politicians who'd back up their trucks to Fort Knox if they could. I refer to our unelected criminals earning mass approval at the Bijou.   Of course, there is a sliding scale of acceptability, with Robin Hood earning a 10. Shh! While a bit out of favor lately, he gave

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The Independent Investor: How to Avoid Recession? Emigrate to Australia
By Bill Schmick,
03:13PM / Thursday, June 14, 2018
  — "New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus (Statue of Liberty)   This "land down under" has escaped an economic recession for 26 years in a row. An open immigration policy in a nationalist world that demands just the opposite is one of the key drivers to their success. An abundance of natural resource wealth has also helped.   Readers would need to go back to the late 1980s, early 1990s, to find two quarters of negative growth (the definition of an economic recession) in Australia. Back then, Australia was noted for its boom and bust economy. Throughout their 160-plus year history, mining booms in gold, gas, sheep and other commodities left

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Donna Todd Rivers Hired as 'Berkshire Workforce Czar'
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Thursday, June 14, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There are agencies, companies, and organizations throughout the county focused on workforce development. Each of them has their own set of offerings for job seekers and employers.    Donna Todd Rivers is now eyed to become the person who knows them all and gets them all on the same page.   Rivers has been hired as Berkshire County Regional Employment Board's Berkshire recruiter -- or as state Sen. Adam Hinds has dubbed it, the "workforce czar." The position was created through state funding and is intended to help tackle the issue of there being some 2,000 jobs available at any given time and an equal number of job seekers who just

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Popular Music Scene Awakens in the Berkshires
By Grace Lichtenstein, Special to iBerkshires
02:01PM / Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Please allow me to introduce myself: My name is Grace and I will be your guide each week this summer to the best in pop concerts, jazz and musical theater throughout the Berkshires.

I'm a lover and student of all genres of music and a Berkshires regular. My background is as a news and feature reporter for The New York Times. I've written and/or collaborated on six books and my work has appeared in numerous magazines. Most importantly, in recent years I have specialized in writing about music, books and culture.

You can look forward to this column as a tip sheet about upcoming shows. I won't review them; I will preview them, and I'll try to persuade you to attend a concert

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Musical Festival Season Appears on the Horizon
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:00PM / Wednesday, June 13, 2018

With the upcoming summer music festival season almost upon us, music lovers in droves will soon flock to the Berkshires, Franklin County and southern Vermont to immerse themselves in classical music. Call it a reward for enduring a long, hard winter, or a yearly renewal of the soul via the musical preachments of the great masters.
Whatever the reason, the classical canon, including a full summer's festival within a festival celebrating the wonderful music of Leonard Bernstein (it's his 100th birthday), will nurture and inspire us anew at this special time and in this magical place - the Berkshires and environs.

My goal, as your musical guide, will be to assist you in choosing

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Father's Day: Lessons About Money Can Be Priceless Gifts to Children
11:46AM / Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Father's Day is almost upon us. If you're a dad, you certainly may enjoy getting cards and gifts, of course. But, over time, you will gain even greater satisfaction by what you can give your children – such as some valuable financial lessons.

These lessons can include the following:

Setting goals: If you are contributing to an IRA and a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored plan, explain how you build these accounts now, while you are working, so you'll have enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement someday. And you can bring your children into the picture, too, by telling them that another financial goal is saving enough to help send them to college or to further

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