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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

'Ant-Man and the Wasp': Going Molecular
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:01PM / Thursday, July 12, 2018
Y'know how in organic chemistry they show you a molecular construction and then ask you to identify it from another angle? Well, I can't do that, which is why I'm a film critic and not a dermatologist. And it's worked out pretty well, except until now, when I'm faced with trying to explain the pseudo-scientific ins and outs of director Peyton Reed's "Ant-Man and the Wasp."   You see, a good deal of this adventure yarn is concerned with rescuing Michelle Pfeiffer's Janet Van Dyne aka Wasp from the Quantum Realm, and I have absolutely no idea where that is.   I only know that whether it is to the left, right, up, down or somewhere sideways, it


Pittsfield Police Shut Down Shooting Range
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:16PM / Thursday, July 12, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Department is looking for a new place for firearms training.   The city has closed the shooting range on Utility Drive, off Holmes Road, following a challenge to the zoning laws. A group of residents in the area has been trying to get the range closed, citing safety and nuisance factors, and lodged a formal complaint saying the use of that property violated the city's zoning.   That formal zoning complaint was fielded by Building Commissioner Gerald Garner and City Solicitor Richard Dohoney and there appeared to be some merit to it.   Garner said it appears that the bylaws do predate the opening of the range in 1999. But Dohoney said


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

Pittsfield Schools Hold Ground on Indigenous Peoples Day
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Thursday, July 12, 2018

School Committee Chairwoman Katherine Yon said the committee had no intent to insult the Italian-American community with the change. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee held firm on its decision to rename Columbus Day on the school calendar to Indigenous Peoples Day.   The committee took a moral stand back in January that Christopher Columbus was not someone to be celebrated and vowed to teach the true history of the man and the atrocities for which he was responsible.   And with that, they stripped the name off the holiday on the second Monday in October and renamed it in honor of the people whose cultures were destroyed because of his


Bernstein, Bang on a Can, and Everything In Between
By Grace Lichtenstein,
01:38PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2018

All varieties of popular music blanket the Berkshires in mid-July. At Tanglewood, it's Bernstein. At Mass MoCA, it's singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett and the start of the 17th annual Bang on a Can Festival. At Jacob's Pillow, it's a remarkable group of musical theater dancers plus Dorrance Dance.

Yes, I'm stretching the word by calling the upcoming shows "pop." But they are popular in the best sense of the word —they appeal to everyone. For me, great music knows no boundaries.



How about a zesty lesser-known Bernstein? Thursday evening, July 12, at Ozawa Hall, catch the semi-staged version of Leonard Bernstein's "Trouble in


Review: 'Hair' is a Must See
By Nancy Salz, iBerkshires columnist
01:12PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kayla Foster leads the cast of 'Hair' at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge.

It didn't have to be this good.

Just hearing one or two songs from the 1968 rock musical "Hair" – like "Let the Sunshine In" or "Good Morning Starshine" – would have been enough to bring tears to our eyes and a longing for a time when the youth of America could and did change our country.

That's what happened when Kate Maguire, artistic director and CEO of the Berkshire Theatre Group, heard a young woman sing the above songs at an American Theatre Wing event not long ago. She told us in a talkback that on the spot she decided to bring a revival of the


Tanglewood, Tannery Pond, Taconic Music, Sevenars Shine
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
12:52PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Tanglewood enters its second week of classical programming with inspiring concerts in the Shed and in Ozawa Hall. As always, excellence is the watchword: from Leonard Bernstein’s delightful and brilliant comic opera "Trouble in Tahiti" to classic symphonic works of Mozart, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Wagner; from Bernstein's emotionally uplifting "Chichester Psalms" to a semi-staged performance of Puccini's "La bohème," Tanglewood hits all the high notes.

In Manchester, Vt., there's the Taconic Music festival. Taconic's concerts are always thrilling to hear and to experience, both in terms of repertoire and the level of


Help Protect Vulnerable Family Members from Scam Artists
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:06PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2018

If you have older family members whose cognitive functions or decision-making abilities have declined, or who are lonely or recently widowed, you might need to help protect them against financial scams. What steps should you take?

First of all, try to gain a good sense of their overall financial activity. Look for red flags, such as a reluctance to discuss money matters, consistently unpaid bills, unexplained withdrawals, mysterious wire transfers or a sudden need to purchase large quantities of gift cards. And watch out for new "best friends" or caretakers who show an unusual interest in your loved one's finances.

Whether or not you've observed any of these activities,


Pittsfield Petitioners Critical of Mayor's Police Advisory Committee
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Wednesday, July 11, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Petitioners behind an effort to establish a citizen's police oversight committee say the mayor's proposal is destined to fail.   Last fall, Igor Greenwald headed an effort to petition the city to create a new Police Oversight Committee. Mayor Linda Tyer has since rewritten the ordinance that created one years ago. But Greenwald and others say Tyer has essentially gutted the intent.   "The mayor's proposal doesn't provide even the appearance of accountability and its symbolic value is undercut by the bad faith her administration has shown to get this here," Greenwald said.    Greenwald envisions a group that will have


Berkshire Museum Releases Financial Statements
Staff Reports,
02:18AM / Wednesday, July 11, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Museum has released its financial reports in an effort to prove that its controversial sale of artworks was needed to keep the institution open.   The museum posted its independent audit, its federal tax statement Form 990, the Massachusetts state tax statement required as a non-profit, and annual filing for charitable organizations in New York State, which is filed with registration to solicit donations from New York.   Together, the financial pieces show that the Berkshire Museum has been operating with a $1 million deficit.   "These documents reinforce the conclusions of both the Museum's Board of Trustees and the Office of


Blake Homers Twice as Pittsfield Americans Advance in Little League Tourney
09:59PM / Tuesday, July 10, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Evan Blake hit a pair of home runs and Cam Sime struck out six to lead the Pittsfield American League All-Stars to an 11-1 win over Dalton-Hinsdale on Tuesday in the Don Gleason District 1 12-year-old Little League Championship at Deming Park.   Pittsfield advances out of the winner's bracket to Thursday's championship round, where it will face the winner of Wednesday's 5:30 losers' bracket finale between Great Barrington and Dalton-Hinsdale.   Blake had three hits in the win, driving in three runs and scoring three times.   Nick Brindle and Jack Duquette each had a pair of hits, and Owen Salvatore singled in a pair of


Berkshire Community College Awarded $5.5M for Student Center
05:20PM / Tuesday, July 10, 2018

We are here in Westfield to celebrate the signing of our capital investment bond bill worth nearly $4 billion. Included in this plan is $950 million towards public higher education to address the deferred maintenance backlog and to support workforce skills needs.

— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) July 10, 2018 PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has been awarded $5.5 million for a project that will transform the first floor of the Field Administration building into a One Stop Student Success Center.   Gov. Charlie Baker announced this award on Tuesday at Westfield State University. The funding is part of a five-year $190 million


Lanesborough Selectmen Want Greater Role in Hiring Police
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:27AM / Tuesday, July 10, 2018
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen are looking for a greater role in hiring police officers.   For years the town has left the interviewing of candidates up to the Police Advisory Review Commission. That group of five members perform the interview and send recommendations to the Board of Selectmen. Typically, the Selectmen accept and approve the candidates — though that hasn't always necessarily been the case.    "I don't like appointing somebody based on a piece of paper," Selectman Hank Sayers said on Monday when the board was asked to appoint four new officers.   Sayers wants the Board of Selectmen to do its own interviews. He


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