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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

In Lanesborough, Williamstown Schools, 'We Over Me' Ethic Promotes Safety
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:54AM / Sunday, November 29, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — In the Old Testament it says, "a little child shall lead them."   In the Mount Greylock Regional School District, the kids are up to that leadership role.   "As [Lanesborough Elementary School Principal Nolan Pratt] said, our students are probably the number one reason why we are actually maintaining safety," Williamstown Elementary Principal Kristen Thompson told the School Committee on Monday night. "They are maintaining their social distancing, they're sanitizing, and you should see how quickly they're able to come into the building now. They know if they're on the list or they're not on the list, and they

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Pittsfield Seeks Solutions to Daytime Warming Shelters for Homeless
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:28AM / Saturday, November 28, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer this week said the city of Pittsfield is feeling discouraged from the lack of community organizations willing to host a warming shelter that will house homeless individuals during the hours that the St. Joseph's temporary winter shelter on Maplewood Avenue is closed.

"We're concerned too, and we're feeling quite discouraged that a number of our community partners have declined our request to help with a daytime warming center but we're not going to give up," she said at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Maffuccio addressed the mayor with two petitions in regard to the homeless

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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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@theMarket: Market Cyclicals Take the Lead
By Bill Schmick,
04:37PM / Friday, November 27, 2020
It was a good week for investors, which is not surprising since Thanksgiving week has been kind to investors in the past. The question is, will December fulfill its role as one of the year's best months for stocks?   The short answer is yes, I don't see why not. My recent target for the S&P 500 Index is 3,800, but it is possible that I may be too conservative. An additional spike up to the 4,000 level might be in the cards sometime early next year, but one week at a time. What is the bull case for those lofty predictions?   I have long argued that a coronavirus vaccine was key to the economy and the market's future performance. We now have at least three vaccines

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State Declares 'Green Friday' in Support of Local Xmas Tree Farms
03:29PM / Friday, November 27, 2020
UXBRIDGE, Mass. — The Baker-Polito administration has declared Friday, Nov. 27, as "Green Friday" to encourage people across the commonwealth to visit their local farms and nurseries for Christmas trees, holiday plants, and holiday decorating needs.   To celebrate, state Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux participated in a Christmas tree-cutting ceremony at Arrowhead Acres in Uxbridge. In an effort to support the commonwealth's Christmas tree industry, the declaration of Green Friday encourages people throughout the state to visit their local Christmas tree farms to purchase their trees, holiday plants, ornamental swags, and wreaths to

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Wells Presented Superintendent's Award at Mount Greylock
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Friday, November 27, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Jake McCandless is new to the Mount Greylock Regional School District, but he is no stranger to the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents' Academic Excellence Award.   He has been around them since he was an administrator in the Lee Public Schools in 2002 and has been giving them out in Pittsfield since 2013.   And he has figured out what all those winners have in common.   "All of the times I've seen this award given or actually had the pleasure of giving this award, there's a really thick thread that runs through the story of every student who I have ever seen receive this award," McCandless said. "That

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The Retired Investor: Pandemic Has Been Good to Pet Industry
By Bill Schmick,
04:30PM / Thursday, November 26, 2020
Sales are increasing wherever you look in the pet sector. Toys, beds, grooming products, leashes, day care, you name it; the pet industry is experiencing double-digit increases in revenue. Better yet, there are few signs that consumer spending in this area will slow down anytime soon.   As readers are aware, the retail sector has been one of the hardest hit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The pet care industry is an exception to that rule. In the past, I have written extensively about how recession-proof the pet industry can be.  In both the 2001 and 2008 recessions, pet care sales grew between 5-7 percent. Consumer spending on pets has grown 36 percent in the past 10

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How Do You Cook a Turkey?: From the Mouths of 5-year-olds
By Mrs. Poirot's Kindergarten Class, Guest Column
12:15PM / Thursday, November 26, 2020

Kindergarteners at Hoosac Valley Elementary working diligently at home to share their Thanksgiving recipes. 

ADAMS, Mass. — Each year, the kindergartners in Robin Poirot's class at Hoosac Valley Elementary School offer their estimations on how long it takes to cook a turkey — in sizes ranging from three to 100 pounds.

  Their Thanksgiving recipes are always amusing and sometimes enlightening, particularly the choices of stuffing, but we must strongly caution against following any of their directions as a matter of public health.   Addison Columbus Well, first you would have to go to the store and grab a 10-pound turkey. After I bring it home in a bag, I

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Greenagers Offers Youth Nature-Based Work Amidst Pandemic
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
07:11AM / Thursday, November 26, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A local youth environment community group has not let COVID-19 halt its stride.

Greenagers has continued its commitment to outdoor programming amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic to offer teenagers and young adults nature-based work and socially distant connections.

Executive Director Will Conklin and Conservation Director Elia Del Molino felt it was appropriate to extend this programming into the fall and winter this year so that members will continue to have meaningful and safe work and connections.

"We are so grateful for companies and organizations that utilize our services and give us work to teach and learn about the importance of our natural

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Sheriff's Office Delivers Thanksgiving Turkeys to Christian Center
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:24PM / Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Sheriff Thomas Bowler with Food Service Director Richard Millis. The Christian Center brings turkeys donated to the center to the House of Corrections, where they are cooked and carved for the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals the center provides.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Sheriff Thomas Bowler and his staff delivered cooked Thanksgiving turkey to the Christian Center on Wednesday.    The Christian Center is anticipating the distribution of at least 350 meals to people in need on Thanksgiving.   This has been a long-standing tradition between the sheriff's office and the Christian Center. For the last decade, staff and inmates at the Berkshire County House of

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Mount Greylock Making Winter Plans for High School Sports
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:11AM / Wednesday, November 25, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School District is making winter plans for its athletic programs.   On Monday, Athletic Director Lindsey von Holtz proposed a plan to the School Committee for four competitive varsity teams in the upcoming season: boys and girls basketball and boys and girls cross country skiing.   Von Holtz said Mount Greylock in years past has offered opportunities for its students to compete on cooperative teams in ice hockey, wrestling and swimming, but for various reasons those are not in the cards this winter. The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association has moved competitive wrestling to the spring due to restrictions that

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Mount Greylock 'Snow Days' Will Be Remote Days
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:39PM / Tuesday, November 24, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Snow days will be school days in the Mount Greylock Regional School District, at least through the middle of February.   On Monday, newly installed Superintendent Jason "Jake" McCandless told the School Committee that he has decided to use snow days for remote learning in the PreK-12 district until after the February vacation.   After the planned one-week break, the first two snow days will be treated as actual days off before going back to the remote "snow day" model. North Adams made the decision to treat snow days as remote days earlier this month.   "In addition to that, any day that would traditionally be a

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Pittsfield Schools Subcommittee OKs Policies on Education Stability
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
02:44AM / Tuesday, November 24, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Public School's Policy Subcommittee adopted three policies to make sure that homeless, foster, and connected military students have education stability.  

The policies are to ensure that these students are receiving proficient education and that they are immediately enrolled upon entering the district.

Director of Curriculum Judy Rush's examination of the current policy resulted in her offering a revised homeless student policy and two new policies to the subcommittee.

Last week, the subcommittee voted unanimously in favor of each policy's approval on first reading.

The Homeless Students policy is a revised policy that has been

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