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January Business Events
By: Staff Reports On: 10:18AM / Wednesday December 29, 2010
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Networking events, workshops and seminars for the month of January are listed below. Got an upcoming business event? Send it to info@iberkshires.com.

The Zonta Club of Berkshire County will meet on Monday, Jan. 10, at Patrick's Pub on Park Square, Pittsfield. The guest speakers will be Jeanet Ingalls and Stephen Glantz. They are producing a documentary about the sex trade/trafficking in the Phillipines. The meeting includes a brief networking time, business meeting, speaker and dinner. Guests are welcome at all meetings, but reservations are required for dinner. For more information contact berkshire@zontadistrict1.org.

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center will present "You’re Looking Ahead – Is Your Management Style Looking Backward?," on Tuesday, Jan. 11, from 9 a.m. to noon at MSBDC, Berkshire Regional Office, 75 North St., Ste. 360, Pittsfield. Topics include whether leaders are better off with an orientation toward problem-solving or toward a desired vision/outcome; the benefits and drawbacks of each of the four leaderships styles, how to assess leadership style; tips for influencing desired outcomes; and implementing steps toward forward-looking leadership

The workshop will be conducted by Diana Brooks, M.A., principal of Diana Brooks Associates Consulting and Training, based in Williamstown. The event is co-sponsored by the Hoosac Bank, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Lee Bank, Legacy Banks and Berkshire Bank.

Registration begins on site at 8:45. To ensure a space, register in advance to the Small Business Development Center, 413-499-0933, or go to www.msbdc.org/berkshire and select Training Seminars. The fee for the workshop is $29. Checks should be made payable to The University of Massachusetts and mailed to MSBDC, Berkshire Regional Office, 75 North St., Suite 360, Pittsfield, MA 01201 before the day of the workshop.

Berkshire Young Professionals, a program of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, will host a Networking Social and Ski Night at Bousquet Ski Area, located at 101 Dan Fox Drive, Pittsfield, on Wednesday, Jan. 12, from 3 to 9:30 p.m. Fees are $10 for lifts, $10 for lessons and $10 rentals.  From 5 to 7, warm up in the Tamarack Lounge with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The social is free for BYP members, $5 for nonmembers, and open to all young professionals who live and work in Berkshire County. Attendees are encouraged to bring business cards for networking and to be entered into the door-prize drawing.

Advanced registration is encouraged.  To register, call 413-499-4000, ext. 26, e-mail choyt@berkshirechamber.com, or go to www.berkshirechamber.com.


Williamstown Chamber of Commerce and True North Financial will present the free seminar "Surfing Massive Social Waves in Pursuit of Investment Opportunity" on Wednesday, Jan 12., from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at The Orchards, 222 Adams Road, Williamstown. Speaker Nancy Williams, a financial advisor at True North, will talk about publicly traded stocks that have been at the forefront of innovation. A continental breakfast will be served. Reservations are required; contact the chamber at 413-458-9077 or info@williamstownchamber.com.

The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will hold a Business After Hours event on Thursday, Jan. 13, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Stagecoach Tavern, 864 S. Undermountain Road, Route 41, Sheffield. RSVP here.

The Consulting Alliance will hold a lunch meeting on Friday, Jan. 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wolferts Roost Country Club, 120 Van Rensselaer Blvd., Menands, N.Y. The program,"Winning Clients: One Businessman's Success Strategies" features Tim Conley, president of Conley Associates, an Albany-based leader in commercial real estate. Admission is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. Guests and prospective members are invited to attend. Reservations are required; call 518-434-0489 or email info@consultingalliance.org.

Berkshire Visitors Bureau will host an open discussion on agri-tourism and culinary tourism on Wednesday, Jan. 19, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., at Castle Street Cafe, 10 Castle St., Great Barrington. RSVP to dmossman@berkshires.org.

The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will host a "Chamber Nite" at Greylock Federal Credit Union, 150 West St., Pittsfield, on Wednesday, Jan. 19. Networking will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Hors d'ouevres will be served, Berkshire United Way will give an update on its annual campaign drive, and a name will be drawn from those who donated to the Berkshire United Way in 2010. The winner of the drawing will receive his or choice of a brand-new 2011 Ford Fiesta or $10,000 in cash, donated by Johnson Ford-Lincoln-Mercury-Nissan and Greylock Federal Credit Union.

The event is open exclusively to Berkshire Chamber members and their employees; registration is required by Friday, Jan. 14. Register at 413-499-4000, choyt@berkshirechamber.com or www.berkshirechamber.com.

On Thursday, Jan. 20, Williamstown Chamber of Commerce will hold an After Hours event at Williamstown Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 25 Adams Road, Williamstown, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event will include complimentary refreshments and hors d'oeuvres. Bring your business card for a free drawing; RSVP to info@williamstownchamber.com, 413-458-9077 or 413-458-2111.

The following week, the Williamstown Chamber will host an After Hours event at Williamstown Family Chiropractic. The event, hosted by WFC owner Dr. Erin Gauthier, will be Thursday, Jan. 27, from 5 to 7, at 227 Adams Road, Williamstown.  For more information, go to www.williamstownchiropractic.com

The event is open to chamber members and the general public. To register, call 413-458-9077 or email info@williamstownchamber.com.

Free webinars offered by the Massachusetts office of the National Federation of Independent Business:

Wednesday, Jan. 5, noon: Tax Planning 2011: Get a Head Start on the New Year by Getting Your 2010 Taxes Right, presented by Cliff Ennico, small business attorney and author of 15 books, including “Small Business Survival Guide.”

Wednesday, Jan. 12, noon: Small Business Sales Strategies: How to Generate Sales by Executing Free Visibility Strategies,  presented by Tory Johnson, New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “Will Work From Home: Earn Cash Without the Commute.”

Wednesday, Jan. 19, noon: Printing and Shipping for Small Business: How to Increase Savings, Efficiency and New Customers, presented by Cindy Sparrow, director, FedEx Office Marketing.

Wednesday, Jan. 26, noon: Alternative Funding Sources to Start or Grow Your Business, presented by Cliff Ennico

Nonmembers are welcome to participate. Register for the above programs at www.nfib.com/webinars.



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Pittsfield Lab To Do 11 Percent of Missile-Building Contract
By: On: 05:29PM / Tuesday December 28, 2010
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Department of Defense announced Monday that the city will complete 11 percent of work for a $494 million missile-building contract for the Navy.

Charles Stark Draper Laboratories, based in Cambridge, received the $494,257,945 contract for guidance systems for Trident II, D5 missiles. Most of the work will be performed at the company's home office but 11 percent will be done at the laboratory's Merrill Road location.

Here is the release from the U.S. Department of Defense's website:

CONTRACTS

NAVY

Charles Stark Draper Laboratories, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., is being awarded a $494,257,945 cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Trident II, D5 guidance system tactical engineering support and guidance applications program, and life extension development.  Work will be performed in Cambridge, Mass. (82 percent); Pittsfield, Mass. (11 percent); Clearwater, Fla. (2 percent); and El Segundo, Calif. (5 percent).  Work is expected to be completed Sept. 20, 2016.  This contract was not competitively procured.  Contract funds in the amount of $83,981,547 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  Strategic Systems Programs, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (N00030-11-C-0005).

L-3 Communications Corp., Sylmar, Calif., is being awarded a $78,500,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price provisions contract to provide repairs to the TB-23 towed array and purchase the spare subassemblies and parts required to improve maintenance schedules.  The contractor, by monitoring work flow, upgrade plans, ships schedules, overhaul, and repair plans, shall anticipate and prepare for repairs as needed to meet the performance goals.  The contractor will provide inventory management services to support the timely repairs of the towed arrays and implement overhauls and upgrades as directed by the government.  This contract will also require the contractor to manage spare parts and optimize purchases to improve maintenance and repair schedules and the operational profile of the Navy’s submarine fleet.  Work will be performed in Sylmar, Calif., and is expected to complete December 2015.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured.  The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport, R.I., is the contracting activity (N66604-11-D-0179).

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $66,180,000 firm-fixed-price order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-11-G-0001) for the procurement of weapon replaceable assemblies and other complex parts for use in retrofitting F/A-18C/D aircraft; 62 for the government of Finland, and 33 for the government of Switzerland.  Work will be performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (44.8 percent); St. Louis, Mo. (26.8 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (14.9 percent); Oakland, N.J. (6.4 percent); Grand Rapids, Mich. (3.3 percent); Butler, N.J. (1.3 percent); Sylmar, Calif. (1 percent); Killdeer, N.D. (0.5 percent); Mesa, Ariz. (0.4 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (0.3 percent); Wallingford, Conn. (0.2 percent); and Horsham, Pa. (0.1 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2015.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract combines purchases for the governments of Finland ($44,598,959; 67 percent) and Switzerland ($21,581,041; 33 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin, Mission Systems and Sensors, Moorestown, N.J., is being awarded a $65,636,395 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-5110) for production of the Aegis Weapon System, tooling, test equipment, and associated technical services for the Aegis ashore test site at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.  Work will be performed in Moorestown, N.J. (87 percent), and Clearwater, Fla. (13 percent), and is expected to be completed by October 2014.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Rolls-Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded a $48,981,414 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-07-C-0060) for the procurement of 24 AE1107C engines for the Air Force CV-22 aircraft (14 spares and 10 Lot 15 installs).  Work will be performed in Oakland, Calif. (70 percent), and Indianapolis, Ind. (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2012.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

EDO Communications & Countermeasures Systems, Thousand Oaks, Calif., is being awarded a $17,092,500 firm-fixed-price modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-6311) for the production and support of 265 JCREW 2.1 radio-controlled improvised explosive device (RCIED) electronic warfare (CREW) systems to Australia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Vehicle mounted CREW systems are one element of the DoD’s Joint Counter RCIED Electronic Warfare program.  Spiral 2.1 CREW systems are vehicle mounted electronic jammers designed to prevent the initiation of radio-controlled improvised explosive devices.  This contract is for the urgent procurement and support of CREW systems, to be used by Australian forces.  The Navy manages the joint CREW program for Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Joint IED Defeat Organization.  The contract is for option P00089.  Work will be performed in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and is expected to be completed by June 2011.  Contract Funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract involves Foreign Military Sales to Australia.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Robertson Aviation, LLC, Tempe, Ariz., is being awarded a $16,830,672 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-08-D-0009) to exercise an option for the procurement of V-22 mission auxiliary fuel tanks, refueling kits, and accessories.  Work will be performed in Tempe, Ariz., and is expected to be completed in December 2011.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Science Applications International Corp., McLean Va., is being awarded a $13,576,972 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contact with cost-plus-fixed-fee pricing for technical and engineering services in support of the Interoperable Communications Technical Assistance Program (ICTAP) to provide interoperable communications support to first responder agencies. Support will include voice communications interoperability technical assistance to public jurisdictions, including law enforcement, fire protection, medical emergency services, and others involved in preventing or responding to threats to public safety.  This one-year contract contains two one-year options which, if exercised, will bring the cumulative value of this contract to $41,778,679.  Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed Dec. 26, 2011.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured and represents a sole-source award, as authorized under 10 U.S.C. 2304 c (1); only one responsible source and no other suppliers or services will satisfy government requirements.  The intention to award this sole-source contract was published in the Commerce Business Daily, and posted to the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central website.  Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific is the contracting activity (N66001-11-D-0051).

Science Applications International Corp., McLean, Va., is being awarded a $10,957,245 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for technical and engineering services in support of the Naval Air Systems Command’s Air Vehicle Engineering Department and the manned flight simulator/air combat environment test and evaluation facilities.  Services to be provided support the development and utilization of advanced air vehicle technology for evaluating air vehicle flying qualities and controllability, developing simulation software, and building prototype simulations.  The estimated level of effort is 94,970 man-hours.  Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Md., and is expected to be completed in December 2011.  This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals; one offer was received.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-11-D-0030).

Bell Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is being awarded a $9,077,929 fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of 14 support equipment workarounds for organizational- and intermediate-level maintenance in support of the MV-22 and CV-22 aircraft.  Work will be performed in Amarillo, Texas, and is expected to be completed in December 2014.  Contract funds in the amount of $599,607 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured.  The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-11-D-0002).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Bethpage, N.Y., is being awarded a $7,350,000 firm-fixed-price modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-fee contract (N00019-08-C-0027) for non-recurring efforts associated with productionization of drawing changes in support of E-2D advanced Hawkeye aircraft production.  Work will be performed in Bethpage, N.Y. (71.5 percent), and St. Augustine, Fla. (28.5 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2012.  Contract funds in the amount of $1,000,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

 AIR FORCE

Information Systems Worldwide Corp., Arlington, Va., was awarded a $23,625,517 contract to conduct gap filling research and enhance the existing software architecture to search information; rapidly acquire new contextual information; and deliver timely across domains.  This research will support and enhance the currently analytic workflow and provide enhanced sharing of information.  At this time, $4,049,359 has been obligated.  Air Force Research Laboratory/RIKE, Rome, N.Y., is the contracting activity (FA8750-11-C-0045).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., Hurst, Texas, is being awarded a maximum $10,010,693 firm-fixed-price, sole-source contract for prop rotor gearboxes used in support of MV-22 helicopter.  There are no other locations of performance.  Using service is Marine Corps.  There was originally one proposal solicited with one response.  The date of performance completion is Oct. 31, 2013.  The Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPRPA1-09-G-004Y-5638).



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Ship-Building Program Means Pittsfield Jobs
By: Staff Reports On: 11:40AM / Wednesday December 22, 2010
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Update: Despite a rousing offense by Sen. John McCain, Republicans helped pass a controversial authorization for a $5 billion Navy contract that is expected to bring 500 jobs to Pittsfield.

Al.com, covering Alabama, reported late Tuesday that both houses of Congress had passed the bill, which was signed by President Obama on Wednesday morning.

McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee had opposed a plan crafted in part by Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and the Navy to double the purchase of coastal defense ship from 10 to 20. That would allow for contracts to two teams, one of which included General Dynamics. The company said the contract would mean 500 positions in Pittsfield for work on the ship's computerized systems. McCain decried the contracts as wasteful.

The tipping point appears to have been General Dynamics' team leader Austal USA, which would reportedly bring 1,800 jobs its Mobile shipyard building facility.

The funding was part of a $1.1 trillion omnibus bill that ran into trouble last week. On Tuesday, a budget extension measure passed, towing along the Navy appropriation. Al.com reports the Senate approved it 79-16 and the House 193-165, with Rep. Jo Bonner of Mobile the only Republican voting in favor.


Original post: 12-14-2010 06:05PM

Pittsfield is holding its breath in hopes Congress will OK expenditures for 10 more Navy coastal ships — a move that could mean 500 jobs for the city.

"We're anxiously waiting for it," Mayor James Ruberto told the Boston Globe on Monday. "It would be just an incredible Christmas present for Pittsfield and the Berkshires."

The Navy is seeking $1 billion to double the number of close-shore combat ships it wants but critics say the first four ships built for the Littoral Combat Ship program haven't justified the need for more.

The House has approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill that includes the ship authorization but Senate has balked; Sen. John Kerry is pushing for approval before an extended deadline expires — along with this Congress — at the end of the month.

General Dynamics is partnered with Austal Ltd. on one of two teams that would be selected to each build 10 ships, a plan backed by both Kerry and the Navy. General Dynamics said that guarantee means 500 jobs for work on the computer systems at its Advanced Information Systems plant in Pittsfield. Lockheed Martin, working with Marinette Marine Corp., are the second team.

Bids were to be acted on Tuesday both teams agreed to extend the prices in their bids until Dec. 30. Hearings on the ships were held on Tuesday afternoon before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, leading Republican on the committee, took Navy officials to task for letting program costs run rampant. McCain has been a vocal critic of the program, using a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office to make his point. Navy officials said the design to buy double the number of ships would help contain costs, saving nearly $3 billion and getting 20 ships for the cost of 19.

Update, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010, 10:34 p.m.: The Democratic leadership has pulled the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that includes funding for the LCS program from the Senate floor. It is  unclear if the bill will passed before its Saturday deadline.



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Berkshire, Legacy Consolidating
By: Staff Reports On: 12:09AM / Wednesday December 22, 2010
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The latest round of consolidation in region's banking industry will see two of the largest teaming up.

The Berkshire Eagle is reporting that Berkshire Bank will buy Legacy Banks for $108 million, creating the biggest regional financial institution with more than $4 billion in assets. The Berkshire Bank name will remain (with Legacy added to it in the Berkshires) and Michael P. Daley will remain president and CEO. Legacy Banks President Patrick J. Sullivan will join the executive team.

Both financial institutions date back more than 150 years.

Employees were informed on Tuesday of the merger, which is expected to trim more than 40 of the two banks' 850 workers. Together, the banks have 66 branches in three states.

The merger is to be completed by June 2011. Sullivan told The Eagle that "it was no secret" Legacy had been losing money and talks between the publicly traded banks had been ongoing for several months. Berkshire Bank's acquisition of Legacy was described as a long-term, strategic move that will benefit shareholders and customers.

Customers should not see much of a change, said bank officials.



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Local Madoff Victims Should Get Money Back
By: Andy McKeever On: 04:23PM / Friday December 17, 2010
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Local victims of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme - the largest investment fraud in United States history - should see some of their money returned.

Barbara Picower, the widow of a Florida businessman who was the biggest beneficiary of the ploy, agreed on Friday to return $7.2 billion in profits back to the victims. The total is more than a third of the total amount stolen and would allow for most victims to get at least half of their money back, the Boston Globe reported.

Local residents who were conned are:

The late Dorothy Becker of Williamstown.
The Ranzer family of Williamstown.
David Albert of Pittsfield.
Michael Albert of Lenox.
Irwin and Ellen Dolkart of Lenox.
Turbi Smilow of Lee.

A complete list of victims from the state is located here.



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News Headlines
Mount Greylock's Enrollment Projection Debated in Subcommittee
Clarksburg Mulls Options on House Taken for Taxes
'Transcendence': Can't Get Over Itself
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Pittsfield Considering Lighting Up North Side of Tyler Street
Hoosac Valley Graduate Rumbolt Remembered
North Adams Hospital Emergency Room to Reopen in May
State Provides $200K To Fix Pittsfield Roads
Williamstown Housing Committee Names Interim Chair
Williamstown Medical Entities Easing Residents' Anxiety

 


Bill Schmick separates the bull from the bears in his weekly columns on investing and market wrap-ups.



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