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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

'Cars 3': It Thinks it Can, It Thinks it Can
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
01:27PM / Friday, June 23, 2017
Point of disclosure: I am a lifelong, died-in-the-wool car enthusiast. As a child I spent endless hours on the floor pushing toy cars around, speeding under the kitchen table, through my mother's legs, around the linoleum perimeter, over the saddle leading to the foyer for the long straight to my bedroom. There, circling to the cheers of my other toys, I issued an acknowledging "zoom, zoom, rhoom, rhoom," then scooted back into the hallway and made a hairpin right into the carpeted living room, the off-road part of my imaginary Indy 500.   Thus I know and embrace firsthand the special, magical relationship some of us humans have with the spiritual successor to Old Dobbin,

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New England Veterans Affairs Reconnect With Berkshires
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:50AM / Friday, June 23, 2017

John Collins supports growing partnerships with the private sector. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The local VA medical center is on board with the secretary's plans to engage more with the private sector.   U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin is looking to further integrate with private=sector health providers.   For the Central Western Massachusetts Health Care System, that will help provide more convenient service, according to its Medical Director John Collins.   "He is against privatizing veterans' health care. But, he does believe, as do I, that we have to do a much better job at integrating health care with the private-sector partners,"

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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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Pittsfield ZBA Allows Backyard Beekeeping Operation
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:17AM / Friday, June 23, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals is hoping to find a compromise between neighbors over a beekeeping operation.   William and Aaron Slater began beekeeping in the back yard of their Burke Street home earlier this year. However, Jim Saldo owns and maintains the lot next door and he's got a serious allergy to them. Saldo had sought out the city's assistance is alleviating his concerns of being stung, and the Zoning Board of Appeals, which has the authority to issue permits for such operations, wasn't sure what to do.   A little over a week ago, the board visited the site and on Wednesday rendered a decision that the Slaters can keep the bees, but need

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: June 23-29
10:43PM / Thursday, June 22, 2017

 

  VIEW DAY-BY-DAY

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The Independent Investor: A Tale of Two Charities
By Bill Schmick,
05:47PM / Thursday, June 22, 2017
As Senate Republicans unveil their version of a new health care law replacing the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, Democrats are already crying foul. But while politicians are busy back-stabbing each other, there are real people out there who are sick and getting sicker.   These are Americans who can't afford, or can no longer find, insurance. Their stories are evidently not "newsworthy." Instead, the media prefers to accentuate the divisions among our lawmakers, while President Trump describes the House "Choice Act" as "mean." In the meantime, who is taking care of all those sick and elderly victims in this supposedly divisive America? Well, the

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Community, Massachusetts House Bids Farewell to Rep. Cariddi
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:12PM / Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cariddi was to be buried in Bellevue Cemetery in Adams.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A litany of elected state and local officials, friends and family packed into St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church on Thursday to bid farewall to state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, who died Saturday at age 63.    "It's an honor to be here on behalf of an institution that Gail Cariddi loved and, by the way, loved Gail Cariddi," said Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo.    More than 100 state representatives, from as far as Cape Cod, came by bus and car to attend the funeral, a testament to how they felt about her, said state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox,

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Egremont Principal Materas Honors Late Student In His Own Way
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:14AM / Thursday, June 22, 2017

Gabby's classmates signed their names to the decal on Wednesday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Egremont Elementary School community was devastated in December when 11-year-old student Gabrielle Corbett died unexpectedly.   Principal Jared Materas saw himself as being a rock for the students and staff and he tried to hold the community together through the difficult period of grief. And it was tough for him, too. She never left his mind.    When Materas isn't in school, and what many don't know about him, is that he races cars. His hobby is to head down to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut for asphalt track racing. He was driving back from the

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PEDA Hoping Site Readiness Grant Will Help Develop Park
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:25AM / Thursday, June 22, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — PEDA is hoping MassDevelopment will help make it easier to redevelop the parcel known as the "40s" through a grant program.   The Pittsfield Economic Development Authority gave Executive Director Corydon Thurston approval to proceed with MassDevelopment's Site Readiness Program. The program would bring engineers in to perform a detailed, technical look at the foundation on the parcel along Kellogg Street so any developer has a clear understanding of what it can and cannot do there.   "It brings it up another notch so then when the guy comes, his engineers don't have to do that. That's already done. They can say with

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Wahconah Football Program to Hold Youth Camp in August
Community submission,
09:25PM / Wednesday, June 21, 2017
DALTON, Mass. -- The Wahconah Regional High School football program this summer will host a Youth FUNdamental Football camp.   Coach Gary Campbell Jr., will conduct the camp, scheduled for Monday, Aug. 7, through Thursday, Aug. 10, from 6 to 8 p.m.   Campbell's teams have won four out of the last five Western Massachusetts titles and in December 2016 played in the state final at Gillette Stadium for the second time in three years.   Players from the Wahconah team will join Campbell to teach fundamental skills, teamwork, self-discipline and how to achieve your potential on and off the field.   The coaching staff will instruct each camper in every position, and all

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Capeless Elementary Celebrates Year's End With Field Day
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:40PM / Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Volunteers from the Berkshire County sheriff's office helped run the games. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The students at Capeless Elementary School put in a hard year's worth of work. And now it is time to celebrate.   In the waning days left to the school year, staff at Capeless put on their annual field day, setting up an array of games and activities for the children to play.   From tug o' war to variations of tag, to duck duck goose, the students rotated from station to station having fun.   "Field day is really about celebrating the end of the year, the close of working so hard all year and having a fun time with minimal competition. It is more for

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The Classical Beat: Summer 2017 Music Festival Begins
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
12:48PM / Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The summer concert season is virtually upon us, and how lucky are we music lovers to be living right here, in the Berkshires, at what can only be described as "Music Central"?

With programs in Lenox and in Manchester, Vt., concertgoers will have a wide selection of music in a multiplicity of styles to enjoy in venues large and small: from solo jazz piano to the stellar Chris Botti with the Boston Pops, followed by a celebration of beloved show tunes by Rodgers and Hammerstein at Tanglewood. Added to this, Taconic Music offers a feast of chamber music by Strauss and Ravel, and a master class with the distinguished classical cellist/mentor Sharon Robinson.

Scanning the upcoming

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Don't Let Your Investments Take a 'Vacation'
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:07PM / Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's summer again – time for many of us to take a break and possibly hit the open road. But even if you go on vacation, you won't want your investments to do the same – in summertime or any other season. How can you help make sure your portfolio continues to work hard for you all year long?

Here are a few suggestions:

* Avoid owning too many "low growth" investments. As you know, different investments have different characteristics and can help you in different ways. For example, you typically own stocks because you want them to grow in value so that you can eventually sell them for a profit. Other investments, such as certificates of deposit (CDs), provide

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