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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Newly Rebuilt and Renamed Porter Park Vandalized
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:35PM / Saturday, January 27, 2018

Volunteers raised close to $30,000 to renovate the park. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was just a few months ago when nearly 80 volunteers gave up their day to build a new playground at Porter Park.   And this week, those volunteers discovered a few teenagers vandalized the park.   When the snow melted earlier this week, volunteers who headed the Christopher Porter Memorial Park Fund and efforts to rebuild the park in honor of their late friend discovered three brand-new picnic tables had been flipped over and broken into pieces.   "We're not exactly sure who it was," said Ian Craighead. "They smashed all of our brand new picnic tables into


Massachusetts Libraries Say State Budget Stacked Against Them
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:31AM / Saturday, January 27, 2018

Board of Library Commissioners Mary Kronholm, left, and Jan Resnick say level funding is forcing operations to eat into programming, training and support for public libraries.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A decade ago, the state's libraries were urging legislators to provide them the funding support they needed to serve their communities large and small.    Not much has changed since then.    The Board of Library Commissioners is asking for a $2 million increase over this year; the governor's budget is giving it $175,000 instead.   "The ask is a 3 percent increase ... we have operated on less than a 1 percent increase over the last eight


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: Bulls Barrel Through Another Week
By Bill Schmick,
05:21PM / Friday, January 26, 2018
Better quarterly earnings trumped concerns of a declining greenback this week sending all the U.S. stock averages to yet more record highs. There appears to be no end in sight for this continued "melt-up" in the markets.   Over in Davos, Switzerland, President Donald Trump addressed the annual World Economic Forum. For the most part, it was a classic display of "Trumpisms"— MAGA, unfair trading partners, historic stock market.  His "ain't American grand again, thanks to me" message failed to impress most of his foreign audience although his supporters were ecstatic over his speech. But whether you love him, or hate him, "The


Superior Court Briefs: Jan. 23 - Jan. 25
Staff Reports,
01:14PM / Friday, January 26, 2018
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, January 23.   Brian Aherne, 40, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of larceny by embezzlement.   The charge was continued without a finding for one year. Aherne took approximately $5,000 from the estate of Corrine Wise between October 1, 2010 and October 31, 2012.   Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, January 26.   Brett Logan, 35, and Karisa Miranda-Ruiz, 35, both of North Adams were found not guilty of a single count of reckless endangerment of a child.   Logan and Miranda-Ruiz were accused of knowing that an 11-month-old child was being abused and did not report it between September 1,

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Miss Hall's School Appoints Director of Advancement
11:57AM / Friday, January 26, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Miss Hall's School has announced that Merritt Colaizzi of Williamstown has joined the school as its new director of advancement.

In her new role, Colaizzi will manage all aspects of the Miss Hall's Development Office, with responsibilities for the school's campaign, major gifts and planned giving programs, annual fund, and alumnae and parent engagement. She will also work closely with the MHS Board of Trustees and campaign volunteer leadership, and will serve as a vital member of the school's Leadership Team, reporting to Head of School Julia Heaton.

"I am very pleased to welcome Merritt to the Miss Hall's School community," Heaton


BArT Announces Second Quarter Honor Roll
11:40AM / Friday, January 26, 2018

ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School has announced the students who made honor roll for the second quarter of the 2017-2018 school year.

Students who earned 80 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of "honors." Students who earned 90 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of "high honors."

Academic courses at BArT are aligned with the Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks for the appropriate grade level and include all standards deemed necessary for a complete, college-preparatory, middle and high school education.

Students in grade six who earned high honors are Abreyana


WAM Announces Expansion of Theater Leadership
10:20AM / Friday, January 26, 2018

Talya Kingston has been named associate artistic director and Max Galdos-Shapiro will join WAM as general manager.

LEE, Mass. — WAM Theatre embarks on its ninth season with the announcement of two new members of the WAM Leadership Team and three new members of its board of directors.

Talya Kingston has been named associate artistic director and Max Galdos-Shapiro will join WAM as general manager. Together with Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven and Philanthropy and Outreach Coordinator Gwendolyn Tunnicliffe, they comprise the leadership team at WAM Theatre.

Newly appointed to WAM's board of directors are Lynn Festa, Wendy Healey and Arwen Lowbridge.

"We are


Greylock Investment Group Hires New Adviser
09:59AM / Friday, January 26, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Investment Group, a division of Greylock Federal Credit Union, has announced the hiring of Michael B. Du Pont as an LPL financial adviser.

"We are pleased to bring someone with Michael's business and educational background to the Greylock Investment Group," said Michael A. Fazio, senior vice president of Greylock Investment Group. "We look forward to adding an even higher level of service to our clients with this expansion of our team."

Prior to joining the Greylock Investment Group, Du Pont was at Andiamo Partners in New York City, where he worked with senior software and infrastructure technologists within the financial


Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Jan. 26-Feb. 1
09:52AM / Friday, January 26, 2018
  January 26 - February 1, 2018 NEXT THU (FEB 1) Cupcake Wars at Berkshire Hills Country Club Bakeries from throughout Berkshire County, including Linda's Pastries, Berkshire Pathways and


Mount Greylock State Reservation Facing Staffing Issues
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Friday, January 26, 2018

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The park containing the state's highest peak is facing a significant staffing shortfall in the weeks leading up to its opening. 

With winter staffing being reduced, and summer workers not coming on until late April, there will be only two park employees to prepare the state reservation for the coming summer season.

The Mount Greylock Advisory Council voted Thursday at its quarterly meeting to send a letter to the state Department of Conservation and Recreation and state representatives requesting more staffing to keep the Visitors Center open during the staffing gap.

The council is requesting either an extension of seasonal help for a six-week period or

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Pittsfield Schools Backs Indigenous Peoples Day
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:19AM / Friday, January 26, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Christopher Columbus wasn't just a poor explorer, but also a horrible human being who should never have been honored in the first place, according to School Committee member Daniel Elias.   Elias joined in a unanimous vote on Wednesday to delete Columbus' name from the school calendar on the second Monday of October and replace it with Indigenous People's Day. The public holiday known as Columbus Day is slowly being replaced throughout the nation as history has now shown that not only was Columbus not the first person to discover America but he was also responsible for committing atrocities against the people who were living here when he


The Independent Investor: There's Nothing Sheepish About the Price of Wool
By Bill Schmick,
05:24PM / Thursday, January 25, 2018
We humans have been using wool for thousands of years. It was the primary clothing material of the middle ages. But even today, new uses for wool are cropping up, driving prices to record highs.   The primary use for wool continues to be in clothing production. The newest demand for this natural material is coming from sport's companies such Nike, Puma and Adidas that are weaving it into sneakers. It appears that a new generation of consumers prefer natural over synthetic fibers. They want to know where their products come from and where they are going.   Even old codgers like me are not immune to this trend. Six months ago, I purchased my first pair of wool shoes. Not only


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