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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Brien Center Union Votes to Strike on July 6
Staff Reports, iBerkshires
02:02PM / Monday, June 22, 2015
Brien Center workers doing informational picketing in March in North Adams over contract negotiations. SEIU 509 has voted to strike on July 6.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Some 350 union workers at the Brien Center have voted to go on strike on July 6 if contract negotiations fail to resolve pay and benefits issues.

Brien Center officials say they will be meeting with a federal mediator on June 30 and plan to continue operations at the mental health and substance abuse agency should the strike occur.

Service Employees International Union 509 and Brien Center management have been at loggerheads since last September. Workers held informational pickets outside the Brien Center's offices

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Action Ambulance Donates AED to Pittsfield Inspection Offices
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:55PM / Monday, June 22, 2015
Lance Beauchamp, head of education and training for Action Ambulance, show Public Health Nurse Manager Deborah Rice an AED being donated by Action for the city's inspection departments at 100 North St.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City workers now at 100 North St. have quick and easy access to an AED thanks to Action Ambulance.

The ambulance company donated a wall-mounted automated external defibrillator unit to the city's Health Department on Monday and has trained about 10 employees how to operate it. The machine is now easily accessible instead of asking an employee to bring one from nearby City Hall in an emergency.

"Knowledge is power and now we have the power to save a

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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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Baker Restores Pittsfield's Shannon Grant Funding
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:40AM / Saturday, June 20, 2015
Adam Hinds introduced his team to the community at an event last month.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Aug. 18, 2014, a 17-year-old man was shot in broad daylight by another juvenile. Months later, a high school student was arrested with a loaded gun. Incidents of youth and gang violence continue to plague the city.

The shooting triggered a massive community meeting and city officials looked to broaden their efforts to combat violence.

The Pittsfield Community Connection formed to launch a mentoring and outreach program to help the vulnerable teenage population. And just as the program was about to launch, Gov. Charlie Baker slashed the program by some $40,000 to help close a budget gap.

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@theMarket: From Russia With love
By Bill Schmick,
08:05AM / Saturday, June 20, 2015

The newest wrinkle in the Greek debt crisis occurred this week when Greek officials met with Vladimir Putin to discuss a gas pipeline extension as well as the possibility of lending the cash-strapped nation additional funds.

Deliberate leaks to the press during negotiations, accusations that Europe is blackmailing Greece and constant grandstanding by Geek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has not only turned off EU, IMF and ECB negotiators, but has created a growing chorus of those who just want an end to the farce. There will be another last-ditch attempt at some sort of reconciliation on Monday, in an emergency summit of sorts in Brussels. Greece still has 12 days to make its monthly debt

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'Jurassic World': Just When You Thought it was Safe
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
09:26PM / Friday, June 19, 2015
Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
Universal Pictures Is Trevorrow trying to say something with that shark? No matter, 'later there's running and um, screaming.'

I haven't given all that much thought to director Colin Trevorrow's "Jurassic World" since seeing it, at least not in the usual sense; you know how you mull a film that impresses you. Rather, I've been considering this 4th rendering of the modern horror classic in the involuntarily sense, like at the diner the other night.

Sitting by the window, I suddenly feared a Stegosaurus' tail might come crashing in at me. Happily, it

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The Independent Investor: Robo-Advisers Have Landed
By Bill Schmick,
04:00PM / Friday, June 19, 2015

Skynet, move over. The dawn of intelligent portfolio services is rising across the globe. Depending upon your individual circumstances, this trend could be an answer to many investors' problems.

Exactly what is robo-investing?  The dozen or so firms offering this service use computer algorithms, rather than humans, to manage your investments. They do so at a considerable cost savings to you, the retail investor. They offer a substantial discount in the fees they charge, compared to more traditional financial service advisers.

Until recently, many investors had two choices when deciding how to manage your retirement savings such as an IRA or inheritance, for example. You could

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Boys & Girls Club Appoints Permanent Executive Director
01:18PM / Friday, June 19, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires announced at its annual meeting on June 17 that it has appointed interim executive director Chris Jacoby as permanent executive director.

Jacoby had held the interim position since being appointed in March. The club also elected its officers, board members and corporators at the annual meeting which was held at the Country Club of Pittsfield.

John C. Donna, board chairman, said the board is delighted with the decision.

"We are confident that Chris’s background and commitment to the club will help us fulfill our role as a valued community resource and move the club forward,” he said.

Jacoby retired

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: June 19-25
12:15PM / Friday, June 19, 2015
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Photo Credit: Mark Wrzesinski

3rd Thursday Gets Healthy!  

  

Thank you to the thousands of people who came out for the June 3rd Thursday last night celebrating Healthy Pittsfield.  What a great night!  An extra thank you to presenting sponsor Berkshire Bank and to the Berkshire Running Center for an awesome Green Mile Road Race with all proceeds going to the

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Animal DREAMS, BHS Receive Grant for Feline Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Program
11:56AM / Friday, June 19, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Thanks to the support of a $32,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, Animal DREAMS and Berkshire Humane Society will be hosting “Pittsfield Cat Fix,” a new low-cost spay/neuter initiative for cats in Pittsfield.  

The goal for “Pittsfield Cat Fix” is to spay/neuter 500 cats in the next year.

Providing low-cost spaying/neutering for the cats in Berkshire County is a priority for both AD and BHS.  Recently, the two organizations collaborated to complete another spay/neuter campaign for 125 indoor and free-roaming cats on the west side of Pittsfield, which was funded by a grant from the Merrimack River Feline Society Mentor Program.

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Two Pittsfield Men Face Drug, Gun Charges Following Raid
Staff Reports,
11:40AM / Friday, June 19, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police arrested two Pittsfield men Thursday morning after raiding their homes.

Reymon Delacruz-Batista, of Dalton Avenue, and Jose Liriano-Vasquez, of Harvard Street, are both facing drug charges following the execution of search warrants.

Delacruz-Batista is facing single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, trafficking in cocaine, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm without a firearm identification card, and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.

Liriano-Vasquez is being charged with single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of

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Superior Court Briefs: June 9 - June 18
Staff Reports,
11:32AM / Friday, June 19, 2015

Cases heard before Judge MaryLou Rup on Tuesday, June 9.

Aaron Tarjick, 39, of Windsor had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on 25 counts of larceny over $250, 14 counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle in the nighttime, nine counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, seven counts of unarmed burglary, three counts of larceny of a firearm, and single counts of larceny of a motor vehicle and larceny under $250.

Bail was set at $500 cash or $2,500 surety. Tarjick is currently serving time of other charges.

The charges stem from a series of housebreaks in Berkshire County between October 22, 2010 and November 13, 2012.

Cases heard before Judge MaryLou Rup on Wednesday,

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OLLI Offers Course on Building Peace, Stability in Conflict Zones
11:19AM / Friday, June 19, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College, is offering a special four part course titled “Boots on the Ground: Promoting Peace and Stability in Conflict Zones.”

The course will be held over four afternoons, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Berkshire Community College, located at 1350 West St., on Thursday, June 25, Friday, June 26, Monday, June 29, and Tuesday, June 30.

"Boots on the Ground" will be taught by Brenda Oppermann, an international stability operations and development adviser working in fragile states and areas of conflict and post-conflict in Africa, Central Asia, Europe and the Middle East. She currently

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