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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Group Aims To Provide Diapers To Those Who Need Them
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:15PM / Saturday, April 04, 2015
LEE, Mass. — It's depressing to be unable to provide for your child. With diapers costing more than $100 a month, that's happening to thousands of parents in Berkshire County.   Most government assistance programs don't cover the cost of diapers and hundreds of parents are struggling or are just one incident away from struggling to provide them for their children. But a group of mental health professionals are trying to change that.   In September, a team of volunteers launched the Berkshire County Diaper Project, which delivers hundreds of diapers to local food pantries to be there for those who need it. In just six months, the group has provided more than

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Pittsfield To Plot New Places To Pile Snow
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:42AM / Saturday, April 04, 2015
The dirty snow is still at Clapp Park and is melting into the Housatonic River. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is going to need better plans for where it will dump snow.   This year, the Highway Department and contractors hauled dump trucks work of snow removed from the roads to Clapp Park. However, they placed the snow right in the wetlands area for the Housatonic River. As the temperatures rose, all of the dirt-filled snow melted into the river.   "They put the snow a little too close to the river," said Conservation Commission Agent Robert Van Der Kar.   The commission issued an enforcement order to help protect the wetlands and the river. Van Der Kar

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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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@theMarket: Will the Second Quarter Be Like the First?
By Bill Schmick,
08:47PM / Friday, April 03, 2015

By now you know that this year's first quarter was nothing to write home about. The benchmark S&P 500 Index managed to eke out a gain of just 0.4 percent for the quarter. The Dow posted a 0.3 percent loss, while the NASDAQ did gain 3.5 percent. Can we expect more of the same this quarter?

The short answer is yes. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Investors have been conditioned to expect nothing but double digit gains in the stock market over the last few years. This "new normal," based on abnormally low interest rates, is coming to an end, at least in this country.

As I have written in the past, stock markets do not go straight up. Usually, we experience

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Freeman Center Rally Raises Awareness of Sexual Assault
By Stephanie Salvini, iBerkshires Correspondent
05:28PM / Friday, April 03, 2015
Caroline, age 8, holds a sign on Thursday at the Freeman Center's rally to raise awareness of the effects of sexual assault and the resources available to victims.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Park Square fluttered with 255 small blue flags on Thursday night representing the number of the local victims of sexual assault the Elizabeth Freeman Center has helped in the past year.

Staff and supporters from the center held up awareness signs stating "Break the Silence" and "No Means No" – in English as well as Spanish.

"After people have been sexually assaulted, it's like their soul has died – they can't function," said Director of Clinical

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Superior Court Briefs: March 30 - April 3
Staff Reports,
05:13PM / Friday, April 03, 2015
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, March 30.   Tammy Armstrong, 30, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - her second offense - possession of heroin, using a motor vehicle without authority, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, and number plate violation.   She was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $1,500 cash or $15,000 surety. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on February 24, 2015.   Paul Shartrand, 48, of Pittsfield was found guilty of single counts of caretaker abuse on a disabled person, and assault

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Packer's Shakespeare Book Being Released April 7
12:16PM / Friday, April 03, 2015

LENOX, Mass. — Tina Packer, Shakespeare & Company’s founding artistic director, actor, writer — and one of the country’s foremost experts on Shakespeare — will launch her new book "Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays" on April 7.

Published by Knopf, "Women of Will" is a fierce and witty exploration — part master class, part brilliant analysis — of the women in Shakespeare’s plays that illuminates Shakespeare’s changing understanding of the feminine and reveals some of his deepest insights.

Packer has synthesized 40 years of teaching, textual analysis and stage experience into

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Lifeguards, Playground Leaders Needed for Summer Recreation Programs
11:07AM / Friday, April 03, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Department of Community Development Recreation Program is seeking applicants for lifeguarding positions at the public beach within Burbank Park as well as for playground leaders for the Summer Playground Program.

Candidates wishing to be considered for a lifeguard position must be First Aid and CPR certified and possess a current Lifeguarding Certificate; possessing a Waterfront Skills Certificate is strongly recommended. Applicants must be available to work the 4th of July holiday and weekends through the end of August.

The Summer Playground Program provides activities for children at several different parks throughout Pittsfield during the

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: April 3-9
10:30AM / Friday, April 03, 2015
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Friday: Take Another Look Opening Reception at Lichtenstein Center for the Arts

 

The April show at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts is a photographic essay on food insecurity in Pittsfield.  With Take Another Look, photographer Nicholas DeCandia hopes to make visible the dignity, strength, and dilemma of those trying to feed themselves and their families on minimum wage salaries or other minimal incomes. The exhibit also features a very powerful video by

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Residents Voice Health Concerns With BCC Turf Field Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:23AM / Friday, April 03, 2015
Edward Wetzel doesn't want to take the risk of installing a turf field when it could cause cancer. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Some residents are fighting the development of an artificial turf athletic complex at Berkshire Community College, saying it contains dangerous chemicals.    Residents voiced concerns on Thursday night to the Conservation Commission, which needed to approve some of the project because work will be done in areas prone to flooding.   The facility itself is out of the wetlands area and the project increases the amount of watershed area so the commission had little grounds to deny the project.   Yet, residents hoped for a rejection saying the

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Pittsfield Raising Autism Awareness In April
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:32AM / Friday, April 03, 2015
Cory Carlotto was an honored special guest of Mayor Daniel Bianchi during Thursday's reading of a proclamation to raise awareness of the disease. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Park Square will be lit up with blue lights throughout the month of April to help raise awareness of autism.   Hillcrest Educational Centers, Limelight Productions, and the city have teamed up to install blue lights in both Park Square and at City Hall to remind people when they drive by about the impacts and prevalence of autism.   On Thursday, Mayor Daniel Bianchi dedicated a proclamation honoring the money to Cory Carlotto, a city resident with the condition.    "Cory is just a

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Land Trust Leader Calls for Vote on Undermountain Purchase
By Stephanie Salvini, iBerkshires Correspondent
05:57PM / Thursday, April 02, 2015
The Selectmen appointed a new relief firefighter and set the annual town meeting warrant.

LENOX, Mass. — The president of the Lenox Land Trust is calling on the Selectmen to schedule a special town meeting to vote on community preservation funds for Undermountain Farm.

Thomas Romeo, speaking during Wednesday's open forum, called the March 21 tie vote by the Community Preservation Committee that killed the farm's application "the result of a deeply flawed and self-contradictory process."  

The committee had voted 4-4 on an application for $250,000 that would have seen the town partner with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council to preserve 146 acres of the

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The Independent Investor: How to Teach Your Kid to Become the Next Warren Buffet
By Bill Schmick,
03:41PM / Thursday, April 02, 2015

Children in America need to learn more about money. How to value it, save it, spend it and retire on it. The evidence thus far indicates that we have all been doing a poor job in educating our kids. Here are some suggestions to remedy that failing.

Let's start with the munchkins, pre-kindergarten through third grade, and the concept of cash. To those little people, credit card purchases mean nothing at all, but watching Dad, Mom (or a grandparent like me) plunk down some greenbacks for a treasured game, book or ice cream makes a lot of difference. Don't miss an opportunity to have your child watch you count out and put the coins in the parking meter or pay for a purchase when they

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