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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Legislative Q&A: State Rep. Paul Mark
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:09AM / Sunday, September 14, 2014
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State Rep. Paul Mark, seen at the Fitch-Hoose House celebration in Dalton earlier this summer, said the higher education budget was a highlight for this session. DALTON, Mass. — In this last legislative session, state Rep. Paul Mark was appointed his first chairmanship — one to lead a subcommittee in investigating student debt.   The joint subcommittee launched the investigation which took them to colleges across the state and ultimately filing a report outline the leading factors to growing debt. That, Mark says, help in advocating for the budget and next session he hopes to file a large piece of legislation based on those recommendations.   Meanwhile, from bond

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@theMarket: Waiting on the Fed
By Bill Schmick,
10:36AM / Saturday, September 13, 2014
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It should be clear to you by now that in the United States the Federal Reserve Bank is calling the shots in our financial markets. To a lesser extent this phenomena is happening all over the world. As such, the markets did little this week because the Fed doesn't meet again until Tuesday.

The S&P 500 Index has simply been trading in a tight range between 1,970 and 2,000. Although stocks are marking time, there has been some movement elsewhere in the financial spectrum. Take the dollar for example. The greenback is on a tear against most other currencies, but specifically the Yen and the Euro. As the dollar has strengthened gold, silver and oil have plummeted.

This is both good

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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

Look the city's Christmas Tree is bigger than a bus!
by Soapbox 10:10AM / Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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Pittsfield Teens Initiated Into Local Government
By Joe Durwin, Pittsfield Correspondent
02:27PM / Friday, September 12, 2014
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The Pittsfield Youth Commission meets Thursday for the first time. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pizza, tweeting, and some serious assessment of the generation gap in perceptions of the community's greatest challenges were among the features of the inaugural meeting of the newly reactivated Pittsfield Youth Commission.   At its first session at the Ralph Froio Senior Center on Thursday, the city's newest and arguably most diverse public body was sworn in and welcomed by local officials who expressed enthusiasm about its potential to leverage ideas for positive changes in the community.   The group, which consists of 21 voting members, two-thirds of them between the age

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Coping With Caregiver Costs
By Wells Fargo Advisers, Submitted Content
01:22PM / Friday, September 12, 2014
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More Americans are facing rising caregiver costs. The financial challenge of caring for an aging parent can also create caregiver stress. Don’t allow caring for an aging parent or spouse to become a crisis.

Nearly 10 million adults over the age of 50 provide care or financial support for aging parents. Their ranks have swelled significantly over the last decade and will continue to grow, according to a study on caregivers by MetLife.

The cost of providing care for a loved one – whether an ailing spouse or elderly parent – can be daunting.
Beyond medical expenses, such as in-house or nursing home care, it can also include lost income due to the large time

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Berkshire Eagle Parent Mulling Newspaper Sales
01:13PM / Friday, September 12, 2014
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Eagle's parent company revealed it may be looking to sell off all or parts of its newspaper business.

Digital First Media CEO John Paton announced on Friday that the company is using investment bank UBS to review "strategic alternatives."

"Strategic alternatives — what does that mean exactly?

"Well, it could mean we decide to sell the company. Or sell parts of it. Or expand it. Or stay the course," Paton posted on his blog.

It's been rumored the company has been trying to cut $100 million out of its overall operating budget this year.

DFM operates Digital First Ventures, 21st Century Media and MediaNews

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Are We There Yet?: Late-Summer Outdoor Fun
By Rebecca Dravis,
01:10PM / Friday, September 12, 2014
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Fall is in the air, folks, even if it's not on the calendar yet. Fall is my favorite time of year - not too hot, not too cold. So in that vein, I present four late-summer outdoor activities for this weekend, which except for the possibility of some showers on Saturday afternoon is supposed to be a good one.

Before the rain hits on Saturday, Sept. 13, head over to Williamstown for the Williamstown Community Chest's annual Fun Run. This community event consists of two races: 5K Run and a 1-mile Kid’s Run/ Family Walk. The Fun Run races are open to everyone, veteran runners or first-time runners, along with daily walkers or occasional walkers. Families with pets and strollers

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iBerkshire Tag Sales: Sept. 13-14
12:01PM / Friday, September 12, 2014
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iBerkshires is the area's leading online news source and the best way to get exposure for your yard sale. And it's free!

Send address, date, time and a brief description to ATTN: Tag Sale at info@iberkshires.com. Depending on the submissions, the list will be posted on Thursday or Friday afternoons.

View Berkshire County Tag Sales, Aug. 2-3 in a full screen map

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McCann Begins School Year With New Staff, Equipment
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:53AM / Friday, September 12, 2014
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The McCann School Committee is updated on Thursday on projects and hires.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School's administration said the new year is off to a solid start.

Principal Justin Kratz told the School Committee on Thursday night that the freshman have already settled in.

"The start of the school year has gone very smoothly," he said."We welcomed the new freshmen in, and they found their way around the building. They seem to be a really nice class, and they seem to be really friendly."

Kratz said he also spoke to the seniors about their new role in the school.

"We talked about what their role is as seniors and how they can help to

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The Independent Investor: The United States of Scotland?
By Bill Schmick,
05:38PM / Thursday, September 11, 2014
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Will the ghost of William Wallace finally see the British thrown out of his country once and for all? If the latest polls on the outcome of the Sept. 18th referendum on Scottish Independence are any indication, Scots are in a dead heat over the political and economic future of their country.

Last weekend, for the first time, polls showed that the majority of voters in Scotland were leaning toward independence. Since then new polls show the public vacillating between yes and no on a daily basis. The news has shocked the world and galvanized the three major British political parties to implement a no-holds-barred program of damage control.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberal Democrat

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MassDOT, Peter Pan Offering Expanded Routes
02:35PM / Thursday, September 11, 2014
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BOSTON — The state Department of Transportation, in partnership with Peter Pan Bus Lines, will be offering regional transportation services as part of the new BusPlus program.

BusPlus is a public/private partnership in which MassDOT provides new regional buses to private for-profit bus companies. The companies in return must deliver regional services improvements and will be responsible for all bus maintenance and operating costs.

New service expected to begin on Sept. 15 includes:

• Providence, Worcester, Springfield, Lee, Lenox, Pittsfield, Williamstown, and Albany; one new round-trip Monday through Sunday. This daily service will increase from two daily round-trips to

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