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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

@theMarket: Higher Interest Rates Clobber Stocks
By Bill Schmick,
11:42AM / Saturday, February 27, 2021
In the grand scheme of things, a small, upward blip in the yield of the U.S. 10-year Treasury bond should be of little concern to equity investors. But sometimes, when the conditions are ripe, even the tiniest spark can cause a conflagration within a speculative stock market.   As readers are aware, interest rates have been trading at historically low levels for some time. The onset of the coronavirus forced our Federal Reserve Bank to pin them even lower. Essentially, it is why the stock market has been having such a great run. Investors have been conditioned to just assume that, if anything, interest rates might trend even lower but not higher. However, during the last few weeks, the

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Berkshire Immigrant Center Steps Up to Serve Vulnerable in Pandemic
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:22AM / Saturday, February 27, 2021

Volunteer Alexa Bermudez sorts items donated to the Berkshire Immigrant Center in Pittsfield. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Keeping food on the table and a roof over your head during the pandemic is nearly impossible for millions of Americans.   Now try doing it when you cannot receive even the meager financial assistance that is coming out of Washington, D.C.   That is the reality for scores of immigrant families in Berkshire County. The Berkshire Immigrant Center is working to support those families now more than ever, but the non-profit can only do so much.   "I receive tons of emails back from clients in all caps saying, 'God bless you,' and 'Thank

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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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March Is Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Month
04:03PM / Friday, February 26, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. has announced Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Month, a month-long promotion highlighting Pittsfield local downtown restaurants.    Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Month runs from March 1 to March 31, 2021.   People are encouraged to dine local for the month of March and share their support for local restaurants by posting a photo of a dine-in or takeout order on social media with #dinelocal. Particiapnts are encouraged to share the photo with Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Month's Facebook page by tagging @downtownpittsfieldrestaurantmonth.     As part of Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Month, restaurants

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Pittsfield School Committee Takes Stance Against MCAS During COVID
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
03:38PM / Friday, February 26, 2021

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Public Schools is taking a stance against conducting MCAS testing during this historically difficult year.

On Wednesday, the School Committee unanimously voted to ask the state consider suspending Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System testing in the 2020-2021 school year.

"We just can't stop here," committee member Mark Brazeau said. "We need to really reach out to our state and federal lawmakers."

MCAS testing requirements were suspended last April for the remainder of the school year. Under this action, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education modified or waived graduation requirements for students set

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The Retired Investor: SPAC Attack
By Bill Schmick,
12:37PM / Friday, February 26, 2021
One of the hottest trends on Wall Street today is "special purpose acquisition companies" or SPACS. There is hardly a day that goes by without an announcement of a new SPAC, or the acquisition and merger of a private company by one.   It works like this. Even though they are called "companies," SPACs have no commercial operations, no sales, profits, or losses. All they have is a pile of cash. They received that money from investors in an initial public offering (IPO) with the promise that they would invest that money down the road into a private company with good prospects.   You are basically giving a blank check to a group of financial pros with a track

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MedUX Wins Lever's Berkshire Manufacturing Innovation Challenge
11:40AM / Friday, February 26, 2021
NORTH ADAMS, Mass.— A panel of  judges chose MedUX, LLC, as the winner of Lever's Berkshire Manufacturing Innovation Challenge (BMIC) on Feb. 26.    The company, founded by Alec Gillinder and Quinn King, both recent alumni of Syracuse University, will receive a $25,000 award to continue developing its wearable IV technology.    "We regularly see Challenge winners and finalists expand, grow, and continue to innovate," said Brent Filson, Lever's Head of Innovation. "These entrepreneurs each began our program with strong concepts, and each advanced their business models substantially during our acceleration phase. I'm excited to see

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Price Chopper/Market 32 And Freihoferís Complete Fundraising Effort
08:07AM / Friday, February 26, 2021
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Price Chopper/Market 32 and its trade partner Freihofer's have raised more than $200,000 to benefit three organizations: Muscular Dystrophy Association, Cure Rare Disease, and the Melodies Center at Albany Medical Center Hospital.   "Price Chopper/Market 32 and Freihofer's have partnered in the fight against muscular diseases and childhood cancer for decades," said Pam Cerrone, Price Chopper/Market 32's director of community relations. "We are pleased that, with the help of our customers, we were able to raise such substantial support for these organizations."   The supermarket chain promoted the purchase of specific

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Pool Testing in Lanesborough-Williamstown Schools Yields Negatives
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:07AM / Friday, February 26, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District on Thursday completed a successful first week of pool testing for COVID-19 among its students and staff.   "It's amazing how empowering it is for a child to see they just did something with something the size of a Q-tip that has the power to determine if a virus is in them so they can take care of themselves and their family and their friends," Business Manager Joe Begeron told the School Committee on Thursday night. "Every student I saw today had a really positive experience, a really positive outlook for what this means."   Mount Greylock was one of the first districts to sign up and

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Pittsfield Council OKs $960K for Infrastructure Benefiting Bousquet
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
02:29AM / Friday, February 26, 2021

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday approved an appropriation of $960,000 in Pittsfield Economic Development funds for infrastructure improvements on Dan Fox Drive. The motion passed 10-1 with Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell voting against.

These funds will go toward the extension of water and sewer lines along Dan Fox Drive, connecting the lines immediately to Bousquet Mountain. Though Bousquet is an immediate part of the equation, these improvements will make the area capable of handling future growth and is purposed to promote the "much needed" development.

The ski area's new owners Mill Town Capital plan to demolish Bousquet's existing base

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Tyler Street Infrastructure Plans Include Roundabout, Traffic Improvements
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:25PM / Thursday, February 25, 2021

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A $5.5 million makeover of Tyler Street is on the horizon.

The Department of Community Development hosted a virtual public meeting  on Wednesday for the Tyler Street Streetscape and Roundabout Project to provide the public with details on the improvements and to allow questions and feedback.

Construction is aimed to begin early this summer and run through the rest of this calendar year into next year. The project will be advertised and bid on in March following an award contract and Issue Notice to Proceed in April before construction begins in May.

Presenting at the webinar were City Planner CJ Hoss and City Engineer Allison McMordie, joined by Jeffrey

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Hancock Shaker Village Improves Internship Program With Donation
04:02PM / Thursday, February 25, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A grant from the Feigenbaum Foundation will allow Hancock Shaker Village to offer paid internships for up to ten people during the 2021 season.    Launched in 2017, the Village's internship program engages undergraduate students in a living history museum and farm to develop professional skills and connect to career opportunities. In addition to the gift from the Foundation, an anonymous donor in 2020 supported the creation of onsite intern housing, thereby also providing interns the option to live on campus beginning in the summer of 2021.    "We are grateful for the Feigenbaum Foundation's generosity and long-standing commitment

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Effective Monday, a Little More of State's Economy to Open Up
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:40PM / Thursday, February 25, 2021
SALEM, Mass. — Massachusetts' reopening plan is going back to the future.   On Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that on Monday, March 1, the commonwealth will shift to Step 2 of Phase 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan.   That means that indoor performance venues like theaters will be allowed to reopen with a 50 percent capacity limit, as will museums, fitness centers and libraries. Other restrictions also will be lifted, including a ban on restaurants hosting musical performances.   Actually, those restrictions will be RE-lifted. The commonwealth already was in Step 2 of Phase 3 until a post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19 cases forced state officials to move

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