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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Lanesborough School To Consider Preschool Subsidy Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:12AM / Friday, February 10, 2017
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Superintendent Kimberly Grady is reinvigorating the idea of a sliding scale for preschool.   The School Committee on Thursday approved the pricing for the preschool programs, which Grady says is lower than many programs. But there are still other free programs. Grady hopes to one day move to a free program but for now, she is bringing back the conversation about providing subsidies for families who can't afford the full price.   The school used to have a sliding scale option but over time the entire program had grown to be more expensive than the income it was taking in. A proposal was floated to end the practice altogether but that faced


The Independent Investor: Medicare, Why You Need More Than Part A & B
By Bill Schmick,
05:21PM / Thursday, February 09, 2017

Medicare costs jumped 3.4 percent last year. Drug prices gained a whopping 11 percent. Medicare parts A&B does not cover prescriptions and the gap between what it does cover and your out of pocket expenses could break you.

Last week, while walking Titus, our chocolate Lab, I bumped into a fellow dog walker. I'll call him Abe. Abe is retired and on a tight budget. In an effort to save money, he elected not to acquire drug prescription insurance called Medicare Part D.

"After all," he explained, I'm in my late seventies and aside from aspirin and the occasional antibiotic for the flu, I've been drug-free for as far back as I can remember." Until now —


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

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Feb. 10-16
04:50PM / Thursday, February 09, 2017
VIEW DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR   The 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival Begins Next Week! 
The Festival takes place February 16-26, 2017 and features music, art, theatre, dance, comedy, film, and more.  There is something for the entire family from Barrington Stage's 10x10 New Play Festival to 10 Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum to a fireworks extravaganza at the Pittsfield Common to a Dance Ten performance showcasing ten Berkshire dance companies.
Click here for a full schedule.     February 10 - February 16, 2017 SAT February Farmers Market at Boys & Girls Club   Shop this month's Downtown Pittsfield Indoor Farmers Market for fresh, local and seasonal fruits and vegetables, pasture-raised meats, eggs, cheese, bread and baked goods, wine, coffee, artisan goods and more from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at The Boys & Girls Club, located at 16 Melville St.

This month's market will feature kid-preneurs selling handmade crafts and food. Plus Balloon Ben, New Life Chiropractic and The Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts will all be there, too!   MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE FRI Love Jam II with Misty Blues at The Crowne Plaza   Misty Blues and the Riverside Brothers (Ed Moran and Stan Pyrzanowski) present Love Jam II at The Crowne Plaza. Special guests include musicians Tyler Fairbank, Wendy Walz, Matt Berger, Bill Patriquin Sr., Rebecca Mattson, Derrick Rodgers, Diego Mongue, Seven Noel and more. 8 p.m. $10 in advance/$15 at the door.  FRI Latin Night at The Whit | FRI Blue Light Trio at Rainbow | FRI The Old Souls at The A | SAT Berkshire Musicians' Tribute to John Lennon at The Colonial | SAT Valentine's Day Edition of Joke Night at J. Allen's | SAT Bourbon, Bacon & Bras at Black & Blush | SAT Valentine's Tango Workshop at The Funk Box | SAT David Bartley at Rainbow | SAT Dinner/Dance with License to Groove at The A | MON Charles Neville at Mission | MON Galentine's Day at Hotel on North | WED The Kyle Murray Trio at Mission | WED Woodford Way at Methuselah | WED Gruppo Mondo at Rainbow | THU Comedian Myq Kaplan at The Colonial   FAMILY FRIENDLY SAT Kids' Superhero Day at Moments House      Moments House, located at 2 South St., invites children and adults to celebrate awesomeness. Meet Dan Sadlowski, author of , enter to win a giveaway based on the book, enjoy snacks and make Valentine's Day inspired crafts. 1-3 p.m.  FRI WeeMuse: Adventures at Berkshire Museum | MON Tiny Tots Story Time at Berkshire Athenaeum | TUE WeeMuse: Littlest Learners at Berkshire Museum | WED 7th Annual Science & Innovation Fair at Berkshire Museum | THU Preschool Play & Learn at Berkshire Athenaeum   WELLNESS SUN BRC's Frosted Mug 5K #2 at Tito's Berkshire Running Center presents its second of four Frosted Mug 5K races. This race begins and ends at the new Tito's Mexican Grille on Depot St. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the race starts at 11 a.m. A free buffet for all racers begins at 12 p.m. and all runners 21 and older will receive one Blue Point Toasted Lager after the race. SAT Valentine's Partner Yoga & Thai Massage at Radiance Yoga | WED Run to North at Hotel on North | THU Healing the Spirit & Body in a Healthcare Setting at Knesset Israel   PERFORMANCE THU, Feb. 16+ 10x10 New Play Festival at BSC As part of the 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival, Barrington Stage Company again presents its 10x10 New Play Festival at the St. Germaine stage, located at 36 Linden St. From Feb. 16 - March 5, enjoy ten 10-minute comedies and dramas starring six professional actors. Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., as well as matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. FRI PHS Proteus presents A Cabaret of Contemporary Musical Theatre at The Colonial    GET CREATIVE FRI Paint Night Out at Berkshire Paint & Sip

Berkshire Paint & Sip, at 305 North Street, invites you to join Berkshire Community College alums to paint a "Welcome" sign for your house on authentic roof slate. All painting materials, snacks and donation to the BCC Alumni Association included. BYOB. $35. 7-9 p.m. ONGOING Paint Your Own Canvas or Pottery at The Dirty Brush | THU Create A Salvaged Art Key Hook at The Funky Phoenix    COMMUNITY SAT V-Day Scholarship Fundraiser at Itam Lodge Couples and singles alike are invited to help raise money for local scholarships while enjoying an evening that includes dinner, live entertainment, a DJ and dancing, photos, prizes, candy and more! There is something for everyone at this event. $25. The Itam Lodge from 7 p.m to midnight. SAT Berkshire Crafting Club at Yummy Treasures | SAT Eat to Feed: Dinner Fundraiser to Benefit Syrian Children at St. Joseph Catholic Church Hall | WED Prix Fixe Menu at Mission | THU+ Through The Historic Lens Exhibit at Berkshire Athenaeum    LEARN MON Refugee Resettlement Forum at Herberg School Refugee Resettlement Forum: Join Mayor Linda Tyer, State Senator Adam Hinds, and Representative Tricia Farley Bouvier to show that Pittsfield and the Berkshires are welcoming communities and find out how you can help. Herberg Middle School at6 p.m.
  ONGOING Monday Drum Class at The Lichtenstein | ONGOING OLLI Science Conversations at Berkshire Athenaeum | SAT Sewing Workshop at Shire City Sanctuary | SAT Lyme Disease in 2017 at Berkshire Athenaeum | SUN The Better Science Behind Alternatives to Animal Testing at Berkshire Humane Society | MON NAACP Is Not An Anachronism at Knesset Israel | WED 3D Let's Print! at Berkshire Athenaeum | WED The Lowdown & Upside to Self-Publishing at Berkshire Athenaeum   FILM at The Beacon Cinema   Thursday, February 16
The Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) presents a fantastic array of some of the best shorts from its annual festival. FREE. 8 p.m.     ONGOING  See What's New at The Beacon Cinema | FRI-MON Oscar-nominated Shorts at Berkshire Museum's Little Cinema   INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARKING METER PLAN Five things to remember about the new downtown parking system:   1. Always enter your license plate number - even for the FREE first 30 minutes.   2. On-street parking is $1 per hour; lot parking is 50 cents per hour. There are also nearly 400 free parking spaces on the city's side streets.   3. You can pay by coin, credit card, or by downloading the Passport parking app.   4. You do not need to display the parking receipt on your dashboard.   5. Parking is FREE on evenings and weekends! What's Showing at The Licht
 will feature 10 artists displaying 10 photographs as part of the 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival.
Artists include Bob Avakian, Zachary Burns, Ken Dreyfack, Susan Evans Grove, Roberto Falck, Ralph Mercer, Rebecca Moseman, Astrid Reischwitz, Carl Rubino and Denise Tarantino.

The opening reception will place on the first night of the 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival (Feb. 16 from 5-7 p.m.). This is a collaborative exhibition with the Sohn Fine Art Gallery in Lenox. VIEW FULL CALENDAR



Ty Allan Jackson to Run For Pittsfield City Council
Staff Reports,
04:14PM / Thursday, February 09, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Ty Allan Jackson is running for City Council.   The local businessman and children's author announced his candidacy for an at-large position on John Krol's "Good Morning, Pittsfield" show on Thursday morning. The New York native and author has grown to be a significant figure in the city for his work in promoting literacy among the city's youth. He has also become prominent in the business and social realms.    Jackson is the founder of Big Head Books, which he launched in 2012. His career started in 2009 when he wrote his first book to teach his son about entrepreneurship. The book, "Danny Dollar, Millionaire


'The Comedian': Requiem for a Funnyman
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:09PM / Thursday, February 09, 2017

It's too bad I can't give you the Goldberger Guarantee for director Taylor Hackford's "The Comedian," an assurance of positive viewership I occasionally offer to close friends when I'm fairly confident they'll enjoy a particular movie. The warranty promises refund of the ticket price if any of those pals doesn't find the movie in question entertaining. I hate to be a piker, but, without releasing my tax records, rest assured that I couldn't afford to institute said guarantee en masse. If proved wrong, it would mean Hamburger Helper instead of steak tartare.

Actually, I'm more of a White Castle kind of guy. But the thought is, what if I'm


Storm Center: Closings for Thursday, Feb. 9
08:52AM / Thursday, February 09, 2017
Up to a foot of snow is expected to fall on the Berkshires on Thursday. Driving is treacherous and visibility is low.    All public schools are closed today as are many state and local offices. Winter parking bans and snow emergencies are in effect in most towns: do not park on the streets or you may be towed. If you plan on going out, call ahead to ensure your destination will be open.   Email us at with your closure. The following are closed:   Adams * All town offices, library and Council on Aging   * Smith Bros-McAndrews Insurance Inc.   * Adams Community Bank and drive-ups will be closing at 4 p.m. today     North Adams *


New Trash Pickup Plan Heads to Pittsfield City Council
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:12AM / Thursday, February 09, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A proposal to change the way residential trash is collected is heading to the City Council.   The Resource and Recovery Committee on Wednesday passed a favorable recommendation on Ward 3 Councilor Nicholas Caccamo's petition to switch to a totter system. The committee's plan is to give all households a 35-gallon tote for trash and as much as a 95-gallon tote for recycling. Those totes will then allow Republic Services to switch to automated trash pickup.   The commission had sorted through as many as 10 options to settle on a proposal which is estimated to save the city about $87,000 per year in trash collection operations.   However, that


Jacob's Pillow Hosts 'Chance to Dance' Contest
02:20PM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

BECKET, Mass. - Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival invites artists of all styles to participate in the first ever Inside/Out: Chance to Dance viewers' choice contest.

An exciting opportunity to perform on the Pillow's iconic outdoor stage, the Chance to Dance contest is a viewer-selected online competition that allows the public, peers, and fans of artists to vote on their inclusion in the Inside/Out Performance Series for Festival 2017.

Submissions to the contest will be accepted from Feb. 6-20; voting is open to the public on PillowTV, the Jacob's Pillow YouTube channel, from February 21-26. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 7, and will perform on July 21 as a part


Renovated Cumberland Farms Opens in Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:01PM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The newly renovated and expanded Cumberland Farms on First Street opened Wednesday morning.   The company has been renovating all of its stores, many in Berkshire County and First Street is just the latest to see the transformation. The project massively expanded the former store with the purchase and demolition of the Sanborn property, a former electrical supply company, on Adam Street.    The new 4,700 square-foot convenience store includes doubling the number amount of gas pumps and adding a dozen new jobs. Previously, the small store featured an average of 16 employees and now the store is staffed with 28.   The former store closed on Aug.


Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Awards $1.5 Million in Winter Grants Cycle
12:38PM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced the recipients of its final round of grantmaking for 2016.

The foundation distributed over $708,000 in grants to individuals, schools and nonprofits in the four-county region it serves, and grants totaling nearly $800,000 from donors with charitable funds at the foundation.

In Berkshire County, the foundation awarded grants from the Adams Cheshire Educational Partnership; Amy Clampitt Fund; Berkshire Environmental Endowment Fund; Berkshire Hills Fund for Excellence; Central Berkshire Fund; Martha Boschen Porter Fund; William J. & Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire & Savoy; and Williamstown


Berkshires Beat: Senior Living Community Collects Items For Neighbors in Need
12:30PM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Helping hands: Brookdale Fillmore Pond, a senior living community, launched a partnership with the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless (BCCH), to provide assistance to those in need in the Bennington, Vt., area. The Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless currently provides resources for more than 400 people a year, but continues to need assistance. The associates, residents and their families at Brookdale Fillmore Pond collected items based on the needs of the BCCH.

Needed items that were collected include gently used seasonal clothing, including coats and socks; children's books; and personal hygiene items, specifically small bottles of shampoo, lotion, mouthwash and


Biz Briefs: Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity to Dedicate 37th Home
11:52AM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Home again: Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity will host a Home Dedication for Sheerece Adams on Saturday, Feb. 11. Adams is in the process of closing on the purchase of the rehabilitated Habitat home at 5 Hall Place. This new homeowner had to complete 400 hours of sweat equity working at ReStore, on the job site of her future home, in addition to Financial Tools workshops and coaching.

The dedication and presentation will start at 5 Hall Place at 2 p.m. After the dedication guests will be welcomed with light refreshments and a tour of the home. Habitat has invited several local leaders such as Sen. Adam Hinds to speak at the dedication. All in the community are welcome to join.



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