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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

MPO Urged to Start Mohawk Bike Path Construction Earlier
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:47AM / Wednesday, May 24, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — If funds become available to get shovels in the ground on the Mohawk Bike Path project in Williamstown, the MPO says it will try to move construction up. Otherwise, the project won't be funded until 2019.   "I think '19 is very doable, '18 is quite possibly doable but not for sure," said Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Nathaniel Karns. "But it is really is the statewide funding source, it is out of targets."   The project was eyed for construction in the federal 2017 fiscal year but the design hadn't progressed enough. It was pushed back, but there were no available funds for 2018. The design

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House Lawmakers See Importance of Meals on Wheels Firsthand
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:23PM / Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Elder Services of Berkshire County prepare and deliver some 850 meals per day. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — It sounds simple: give food to the elderly people of the county.   But it is much more than that. The drivers delivering through Elder Services of Berkshire County's meals on wheels program can often be the only person the recipient sees.   The drivers are the ones who will know if something is off and can contact social services, police, or medical services. They bring companionship and they bring what is often the elder's most important meal of the day.   "For between two-thirds to three-fourths of the people who get home-delivered meals, it is their

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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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Bob Heck Announces Campaign For Pittsfield City Council
Staff Reports,
10:20AM / Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Former radio host Bob Heck plans to seek a seat on the City Council.   Heck announced on Monday that he plans to run for an at-large seat on the council. The Alden Avenue resident is the former host of "Bob Heck in the Morning" on Live 95.9 and later on WBRK. He now owns and operates an entertainment business for weddings, parties, and bars and taverns throughout the county.   "The council has big decisions to make on the William Stanley Business Park, trash collection, and how to fund the city as we are at our levy limit.  I'm very concerned about how this will affect our school system. The next two years will have a direct

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Pittsfield City Council Begins Review of Proposed Fiscal 2018 Budget
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:35AM / Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mayor Linda Tyer said the city is just $37,145 short of the levy ceiling if her proposed budget is passed.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer has put forth a $163.8 million budget, which basically puts the city at the levy ceiling.   The budget increase is only 1 percent, with the majority of that going to health insurance, and will leave the city only $37,145 short of the hitting the levy ceiling.   The ceiling is a state restriction on the amount of revenue the city can bring in from property taxes.   "It is important to point out that this constraint has been a decade or more in the making," Mayor Linda Tyer said. "It took us

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Berkshires Beat: Williams Environmental Center Earns Petal Certification
03:41PM / Monday, May 22, 2017

Nearing the goal: The Class of 1966 Environmental Center has achieved Petal Certification, meeting six of the seven environmental performance criteria for the Living Building Challenge. Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives Director Amy Johns accepted the building’s Petal Certification at the Living Future Conference in Seattle on May 18.

Twelve months of consecutive data showed that the center qualified in six of the seven environmental performance criteria for the Living Building Challenge, but fell short for the energy standard, just missing full certification as a Living Building. The LBC program, administered by the International Living Future Institute, is the most

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Berkshire Bank Moving Corporate Headquarters to Boston
Staff Reports, iBerkshires
03:24PM / Monday, May 22, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Bank is moving its corporate headquarters this Boston later this year as it acquires Commerce Bancshares Corp., increasing the bank's holdings to $12 billion.   The $209 million acquisition makes Berkshire Hills Bancorp the largest regional bank in Massachusetts, according to officials, and the first regional bank headquartered in Boston in decades. Bank officials say moving its corporate headquarters will not affect its employees here and that the operational center will remain on North Street.    "Locating our corporate headquarters in Boston will not take us away from our roots in Berkshire County; we remain committed to all of

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Biz Briefs: CompuWorks Celebrates 30 Years in IT Services
03:05PM / Monday, May 22, 2017

Happy anniversary: CompuWorks, a Pittsfield-based managed IT services provider (MSP) specializing in making companies more efficient, innovative and profitable through the effective use of technology, is celebrating 30 years. The company reflected on its history in an address to its employees.

Founded in 1987 by David Hall and Alan Bauman, CompuWorks' mission has always been to help its clients maximize the business impact of technology. The company believes that technology should be a competitive asset, not simply a necessary evil.  CompuWorks serves as the outsourced IT department for most of its clients who range in size from 20 employees to over 1,000 and are generally

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Earl Persip Jumps Into Pittsfield City Council Race
Staff Reports,
09:14PM / Saturday, May 20, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Earl Persip III has joined the race for City Council.   The director of operations at the Berkshire Family YMCA announced his candidacy for an at-large seat Friday morning.    "The city of Pittsfield is evolving, and to be effective and truly representative, our government must reflect the diversity of our community," Persip wrote in the announcement. "I want to be part of the decisions that help shape our city, and I will work to earn that opportunity."   Persip has been with the YMCA for more than 20 years and has a board member of Downtown Pittsfield Inc. He serves on the Animal Control Commission and recently worked on

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Pittsfield Looking to Standardize Park Signage
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:25PM / Saturday, May 20, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The new sign for Durant Park will be the model for all park signs in the future.   Parks and Open Space Manager Jim McGrath presented the design to the Parks Commission on Tuesday, showing a fairly basic sign with letter naming the park, the city's seal, and a note that it is overseen by the Parks Commission. McGrath said the signage replicates the standard signs at the city's conservation areas except with a green background instead of maroon.   "We'd like this commission to be thoughtful about is this the right sign and I think it is," McGrath said, hoping that the sign will become the template for all parks signs.   As of

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@theMarket: The Trump Dump
By Bill Schmick,
10:09AM / Saturday, May 20, 2017
Investors were shocked this week when the U.S. stock markets fell almost 2 percent in one day.    Wall Street blamed it on the growing scandals engulfing the White House. However, there was little follow through despite predictions that this was the beginning of the long-awaited pullback.   To be honest, much of the controversy coming out of Washington — demand for Trump's impeachment, obstruction of justice, witness-tampering, etc. — is simply partisan politics deliberately fueled by a biased media. All of the above, which had been building for days, finally reached the tipping point for investors. As weak-kneed day traders started to sell, the program

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Hinds Gives BRPC Updates From the State House
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:01AM / Saturday, May 20, 2017
LENOX, Mass. — Local organizations have great long-term plans for the future of Berkshire County. But, state Sen. Adam Hinds said the state needs to get the "fundamentals right" before that can take hold.   Hinds spoke with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission on Thursday and reviewed the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. He said 1Berkshire also has a similar blueprint with how to revitalize the Berkshire economy. But, both plans are still two or more years away, he said.   "In the interim, we need to double down on getting high-speed internet right and double down on education," Hinds said.   The Pittsfield Democrat said population

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The Independent Investor: Health-Care Costs Are Strangling Us
By Bill Schmick,
05:03PM / Friday, May 19, 2017
Recently, none other than the Sage of Omaha, Warren Buffet, has sounded the alarm on what he sees as the number one threat to American businesses — rising health care costs. His advice is that we better do something and do it quickly.   While Congress bickers over how to repeal and replace Obamacare, there is still a large body of American politicians who believe we should simply return to the good old days. While they fiddle with adjusting insurer's premiums, or gutting Medicaid, the entire healthcare system surrounding them continues to burn. While they debate whether you should be responsible for your own medical insurance and how much Medicare should cover, health care

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