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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: July 1-7
10:03AM / Friday, July 01, 2016

    VIEW DAY-BY-DAY

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The Independent Investor: Clicks vs Bricks — Who Will Win the Retail War?
By Bill Schmick,
07:46AM / Friday, July 01, 2016

Have you noticed that you are buying more products via the internet? Do you find yourself showroom shopping when you do make the trip to that department store or mall? It is happening to all of us and as it does, the traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling the loss.

That doesn’t mean the demise of malls or department stores altogether, but over the next decade there will be fewer of them, especially in depressed areas of the country. The main culprit in this story is e-commerce or internet shopping. In the first quarter of this year, e-commerce accounted for $74.9 billion. That might sound like a lot of money but it still only accounts for 7 percent of overall consumer

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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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Pittsfield's Closest City Commercial Values Jump With Walmart Super Center
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:44AM / Friday, July 01, 2016

North Adams saw an uptick in commercial values of $7 million with the opening of a Walmart Supercenter three years ago. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As the proposed Walmart Supercenter debate begins to unfold, the developer's claims of increased tax revenue reflects what happened in North Adams.   In 2013, the company closed the store it had been occupying since 1993 and moved down the road to a former gravel bed. The gravel bed had been assessed at $1,613,800 and the redevelopment upped the value to $10,694,900, according to Ross Vivori, chairman of the North Adams Board of Assessors.   In Pittsfield, the company is seeking a similar upgrade in its footprint. Walmart

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Terrorism Charges Leveled Against Ciccolo
Staff Reports, iBerkshires Staff
03:06PM / Thursday, June 30, 2016

ADAMS, Mass. — Alexander Ciccolo, held by federal authorities since his arrest last July 4, was indicted Thursday in connection with a plot to engage in terrorist activity inspired by and in the name of ISIL.

Ciccolo, a resident of Adams at the time of his arrest, was indicted on one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and one count of attempting to use of weapons of mass destruction.  

These charges from a superseding indictment were added to a pending indictment charging Ciccolo with one count of being a convicted person in possession of firearms and one count of assaulting a nurse during a jail intake process by use of a

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'Independence Day: Resurgence': Oh No, Not Again
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:52PM / Thursday, June 30, 2016

In one scene of director/co-writer Roland Emmerich's "Independence Day: Resurgence," brainy scientist Julius Levinson, played by Judd Hirsch, berates his equally brainy scientist son, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), thusly: "So, it takes the end of the world for a son to visit his father?" It is but one of a long list of clichés the filmmaker surmises would attend a planet facing Armageddon at the hands of alien beings. Uh, well, more correctly, it's not at the hands of, but at the tentacles of, which of course is much scarier.

Skipping my usual diatribe and head-scratching inquiry as to why folks would want to see a film about our threatened

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Berkshire Art Museum Opens With CAC Retrospective
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:18AM / Thursday, June 30, 2016

Architectural graphic of Williams College's '62 Center by Keith Bona in the 'Art and Architecture.'

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Before Mass MoCA, before DownStreet Art, the Contemporary Artists Center was a converging point for the creative.

The Beaver Mill center hosted a plethora of artists — from the established to the up-and-coming, from the home-grown to the international. Now selected works from nine of those artists will be on display at the Berkshire Art Museum in "Berkshire Artists of the Contemporary Artists Center 1990-1999" as part of the DownStreet Art season that kicks off Thursday evening.

Eric Rudd, the center's founder with his wife,

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Lanesborough Bulldogs Host State Tourney Starting Friday
03:36PM / Wednesday, June 29, 2016
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Lanesborough Bulldogs Cal Ripken Baseball all-star team will look to defend its Western Mass State Championship when the tournament gets under way on Friday at Bill Laston Field.   The Bulldogs and South Berkshire will both be in action in the tournament’s first games at 5:30 p.m. Host Lanesborough will take on Westminster while South Berkshire plays Narragansett as the teams try to stay in the winner’s bracket of the double-elimination tourney.   The action continues on Saturday at 9 a.m. and Sunday at 10 with the state title game set for Tuesday, July 5, at 5:30. If a second game is necessary to decide the title, it will be played

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Summer Music Festival Season Heats Up
By Stephen Dankner, iBerkshires Columnist
02:51PM / Wednesday, June 29, 2016

For most music lovers, Tanglewood in Lenox virtually defines music in the Berkshires. It is the largest summer concert presenter, with the most comprehensive schedule of performances across the full spectrum of musical styles and genres.

Before getting into imminent opening events, bookmark the Boston Symphony’s website, tanglewood.org, for the full summer concert schedule, season highlights, tickets and general information.

Why go? Read below for all the stellar music making scheduled for the upcoming holiday weekend, with superstar performers interpreting great music from across historical eras – much of it beloved favorites of audiences worldwide – in both popular and

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MCLA, BCC Offer Summer Program to Aid Transition to College
01:57PM / Wednesday, June 29, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Berkshire Community College, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, will offer the first MCLA/BCC Dual Enrollment: Summer 2016 Academy from July 6 through Aug. 5, to provide an intensive college readiness experience to local, newly graduated high school students.

This pilot program, directed toward newly graduated high school students from Pittsfield and northern Berkshire County, will include two Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Program academic courses, which will prepare them to attend MCLA or BCC this fall. In addition, each student will

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How Should Investors Respond to 'Brexit'?
12:02PM / Wednesday, June 29, 2016

As you know by now, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. The “Brexit” vote is expected to have major implications for Britain’s trade and economic relationships – but how might it affect you, as an individual investor?

At first glance, you might be worried. After all, right after the results came in, we saw a sharp decline in stock markets around the world, including here in the United States. And we may well see more volatility in the near term. But by taking a step back and looking at the big picture, you might see that the outlook for investors is nowhere near as gloomy as you may have thought.

Here are some suggestions for maintaining your

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Pittsfield Approves $151M Budget; $11.8M Capital Plan
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:00PM / Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The budget places emphasis on public safety, blight, and education to reflect the priorities of Mayor Linda Tyer's administration. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council adopted the $151.3 million fiscal 2017 budget  that was debated for more than 22 hours over the last two weeks.   The final approval came on Tuesday night via a 7-4 vote. The total budget is $151,302,164, which is $8,213 more than Mayor Linda Tyer had requested.   The budget reflects a number of priorities Tyer has placed in the coming year including blight, education and public safety.    "This is not a budget that has all kinds of bells and whistles. But it is one that addresses

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Lanesborough Residents Fed Up With Obnoxious Jet Skiers
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:05PM / Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mark Fischetti speaks on behalf of many neighbors who have been disturbed by the antics. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Narragansett neighborhood is looking for some help in stopping rowdy jet skiers from keeping them up at night.   Residents from the area have lodged a complaint with the town asking for ways to squelch what they say is a group of jet skiers racing, jumping wakes, drinking and partying, and using foul language right outside of their doors.   The residents say this summer the group has been using the town's boat ramp to access the lake and are speeding back and forth between one of the islands and the lakefront properties.   "The noise is just

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