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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Nov. 6-12
10:49AM / Friday, November 06, 2015



Office of Cultural Development | City of


Pittsfield Board Approves Cumberland Farms Plans For First Street
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:16AM / Friday, November 06, 2015
The older Cumberland Farms at First and Adams streets will be replaced by a new 4,700 square-foot building. The regional chain began updgrading its 600 locations in 2009.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Cumberland Farms was approved to replace its outdated First Street facility with a new structure and double the number of pumps.

The Community Development Board on Thursday night unanimously approved the site plan for the 4,700 square-foot convenience store and a parking waiver that reduces the number of required parking spots.

Cumberland Farms is scheduled to go before the City Council on Nov. 24 for a special permit to operate an automobile service station. The Zoning Board of Adjustment on


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

The Independent Investor: Social Security & the Budget, Part II
By Bill Schmick,
03:12PM / Thursday, November 05, 2015

Now that President Obama has signed the budget deal passed by Congress last week, it is time to take a look at how retirees have fared under the new provisions. For the most part, the changes were positive for elderly Americans.

In last week's column, I warned that the demise of File and Suspend and Restricted Application, which are Social Security claiming strategies, was all but certain. The final legislation confirmed that, but fortunately the new rules do not take effect immediately, as many had feared.

Those who are already receiving benefits from these strategies will be grandfathered in, meaning their benefits will not be affected at all. In addition, those who will reach


Thinking of Adopting? Be Prepared for Expenses
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:18AM / Wednesday, November 04, 2015

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. If you’re considering adoption, you know that it will change your life in many ways.

And you’ll need to prepare for many of these changes – including the financial ones, because adoption can be expensive.

The average U.S. adoption costs between $8,000 and $40,000, while the range for international adoptions is $15,000 to $30,000, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a U.S. government-funded adoption information service.

Given these numbers, you might think you’ll have a tough time paying for an adoption. However, you can get some financial help in the form of tax benefits, which include both a tax


Tyer Trumps Bianchi To Win Pittsfield's Corner Office
By Tammy Daniels & Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:58PM / Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Linda Tyer claimed victory Tuesday night during her celebration at Hotel on North. See more photos from election day here.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was a victory party at the Hotel on North as the city's newest mayor — and the first to win a four-year term — was feted by supporters.

LInda Tyer clobbered incumbent Daniel Bianchi by 2,159 votes on Tuesday night, earning 60 percent of the city's vote. 

The unofficial tally is 6,661 votes to 4,502.

"I am overwhelmed with gratitude and just honored that the people of Pittsfield came out in a clear and very remarkable way to support this campaign, said the city clerk. "It's a privilege and an honor


Pittsfield Election 2015: Strong Voter Turnout Expected
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:33PM / Tuesday, November 03, 2015

The two candidates for Ward 7, Kathy Lloyd and Anthony Simonelli may be competing for the same seat but they get along. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Both mayoral campaigns are in seemingly high spirits as they watched a steady number of voters go to the polls Tuesday.   With the weather approaching 70 degrees and sunny, volunteers from campaigns were out at polls holding signs while others called voters in hopes to get their base out. The biggest battle is for the mayor's office with incumbent Daniel Bianchi being challenged by City Clerk Linda Tyer.   "It is a beautiful day. We hope everybody gets out to vote. We're feeling good. We


Pittsfield To Choose First Four-year Mayor On Tuesday
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:30PM / Monday, November 02, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Voters will decide on Tuesday who will be the city's first four-year mayor.   Incumbent Daniel Bianchi is being challenged for the office by City Clerk Linda Tyer after a preliminary election eliminated Craig Gaetani and Donna Walto from the ballot. The incumbent has been trying to pick up some ground on Tyer, who stormed to victory in the preliminary with 830 more votes than Bianchi.   Bianchi's name will sit atop the ballot. He is a city native who worked 30 years in the energy business. He has a bachelor's degree in business and finance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He first got involved with the city for four years in


Bianchi Reaffirms Support For Campaign Mailer
Bianchi Campaign,
02:54PM / Monday, November 02, 2015

The Bianchi campaign put price tags on programs Linda Tyer supports and sent the figures to voters in an attempt to cast Bianchi as the more fiscally responsible candidate. The Berkshire Eagle called the mailer "misleading" and a "scare tactic" in an editorial, which led the Bianchi campaign to reaffirm its support for the mailer. 

In response to a Berkshire Eagle editorial and Linda Tyer's press conference to refute a campaign mailer incumber Daniel Bianchi's campaign sent to voters, the Bianchi campaign issued the following statement:   "Our opponent along with the Editorial Staff at the Berkshire Eagle has taken issue


Berkshire Tidbits: Beard Dinner & Cooking Classes
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
01:54PM / Monday, November 02, 2015
Red Lion Inn chef Brian Alberg and his Berkshire cohorts will be bringing the best of the Berkshires once again to the James Beard House in New York.

Local Chefs Travel to NYC
For Berkshire Pilgrimage Dinner

Reception at 7, seated 6-course tasting menu dinner at 8 p.m.

On Wednesday evening, Berkshire fine dining activist Brian Alberg, executive chef of The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge and Eat on North in Hotel on North in Pittsfield, will be taking six Berkshire chefs and a sommelier to New York to present the best the Berkshires has to offer in farm-to-table dining.

The chefs are Alberg; Adam Brassard, chef de cuisine of The Red Lion Inn; Sean Corcoran, chef de cuisine of Eat on


Letter: White Running for At-Large Seat
Letters to the Editor,
11:26AM / Monday, November 02, 2015

To the Editor:

I'm running for councilor at large because for the past four years I have missed representing the people of Pittsfield and I have had many people encouraging me to run again. I want to be working on citywide initiatives and citywide solutions to the problems we face.

As a former Ward 2 city councilor, i hope to be able to assist our ward councilors with projects in our neighborhoods that benefit the whole city. I enjoy working collaboratively with residents, businesses, elected officials and city employees to get things done.

We are lucky to be in a city with arts, culture, sports and natural beauty. I take every opportunity to enjoy what Pittsfield has to offer.


Tyer Makes Final Campaign Push
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:35PM / Sunday, November 01, 2015
Tyer was joined by supporters Saturday to emphasize her plans for the city of Pittsfield. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — With just days remaining before the final election, Linda Tyer boasted of her "deep, broad coalition of support" and emphasized her priorities of public safety and education in her push for mayor.   On Saturday, Tyer called a press conference intended to "set the record straight" heading into the final days. Incumbent Daniel Bianchi has criticized the challenger's plans saying the initiatives would be costly or a duplication of programs he already started. Tyer, however, said she says her plans for education and public safety can be achieved


Pittsfield Man Shot During Altercation On Lincoln Street
Staff Reports,
09:57AM / Sunday, November 01, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A man was shot in the early hours of Saturday morning after an altercation at Lach's Lounge.   According to police, officers were dispatched to the area of Pleasant and Lincoln Streets at about 1:28 a.m. Saturday morning for a large disturbance. As officers were en route, dispatch received reports of shots fired. Upon arrival, police found a large group and a victim with a gunshot wound in the abdomen. Police rendered aid until EMS arrived and transported the victim to Berkshire Medical Center.   Police say the injury does not appear to be life-threatening. Police said the altercation began at Lach's Lounge earlier in the morning. Witnesses told


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