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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Airport Fence Revision Will Curb Deer Incursion
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Columnist
02:31PM / Monday, May 02, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — About three to five deer a day are among visitors to Pittsfield's municipal airport each day.

It's a form of unwanted traffic the airport is looking to curtail, with the systematic repair or replacement of several significant sections of its perimeter fence

The city's Conservation Commission on Thursday looked favorably on a proposal to conduct "in kind" replacement of existing fencing sections near and within wetlands there, a project that is due to be completed by the end of June.

One of the key sections eyed for replacement is an 688-foot piece of fencing that was not upgraded during a previous installation project, and measures only 6


Berkshires Beat: Save Stockbridge Bowl Campaign Nears Goal
01:06PM / Monday, May 02, 2016

Close to the goal: The Stockbridge Bowl Association expects to complete its $2.8 million Save Stockbridge Bowl capital campaign in 2016, as the organization celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding in 1946.

The SBA has raised more than $2.4 million of the estimated $2.8 million cost to pay for Phase 2 of the Town of Stockbridge Lake Management Plan. The work will include dredging to remove silt that has built up over many decades, and to permit a significant winter drawdown to kill the roots of invasive non-native plants clogging many areas of the lake.

"If the Town of Stockbridge cannot dredge decades of accumulated sediment and enable a winter drawdown to kill the invasive


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

Biz Briefs: Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Wins TV Award
12:05PM / Monday, May 02, 2016

SVMC patient John Kasper and Orion Howard, MD, pose with the 2015 Telly Award.

'Telly' It Like It Is: Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, with its agency Jennings, have received a 2015 Telly Award for its Partnership is Powerful Medicine campaign video featuring cancer patient John Kasper.

In the video, John, an auto detailer in Bennington, shares his emotional story about battling cancer with SVMC’s team. The video was part of a series of patient videos, all of which can be viewed online.

“We are pleased to win this award and grateful to the team of doctors and nurses at the Cancer Center for the inspirational work they do every day,” said Ray Smith,


Airport Study Group Continues To Pry Into Westwood Leases
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:14PM / Sunday, May 01, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — PERC President Jay Anderson doesn't think the development of the Westwood Center at Pittsfield Municipal Airport would have happened without FAA approval.   But the only correspondence with the Federal Aviation Agency is a letter disapproving of the leases. Now, a study group is worried that the city could ultimately be on the hook to pay the FAA back for some 30 years worth of leases. The issue was first brought up in March.   In the research so far, it seems there are two federal programs that should have gotten leasing funds on seven parcels.   The city purchased five acres of property abutting airport land and the airport put forth 25 acres

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Barrett Contributing on Two Sports at Westfield State
By Stephen Dravis, Sports
02:52PM / Sunday, May 01, 2016

WESTFIELD, Mass. -- After helping the Westfield State women’s basketball team earn a MASCAC Championship this winter, Mount Greylock graduate and Owls freshman Lucy Barrett switched gears to lacrosse.


And Barrett has not missed a beat.


She scored two goals on Saturday as Westfield State defeated Framingham, 17-4, in the Owls’ regular season finale. For the year, she has eight goals and six assists despite missing the team’s preseason training due to the extended basketball season.


Westfield State is the top seed in the MASCAC tournament and on Thursday will host the winner of Tuesday’s quarter-final between Worcester State and


@theMarket: It May Be That Time Again
By Bill Schmick,
01:12PM / Saturday, April 30, 2016

For traders, the old adage to "Sell in May" is now upon us. Over the past 40-plus years this recommendation has worked over 70 percent of the time. Should you go with the statistics or ignore them?

As regular readers know, the S&P 500 Index has already reached my target of 2,100. We did so over two weeks ago and until yesterday the bulls have been trying to break over that line and get back to the historical highs around 2,134.

The perfect excuse to do so should have occurred on Wednesday when the central bank's Federal Open Market Committee announced their latest decision to keep rates where they are.

The wording of the news release was almost identical to last


BFAIR Meeting Shows How Far Services Have Come
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:35PM / Friday, April 29, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — It was a different world when Doris and Aldo Sartori began raising three boys with developmental disabilities.

Their second child, Dennis, was born with special needs in 1953. Twin boys, both with developmental impairments, came along 12 years later.

"Services available to help a family with their children consisted of little more than institutional care," BFAIR Executive Director Rich Weisenflue said on Friday morning. "That was what was recommended often by physicians.

"In Doris' case, that wasn't going to happen."

Berkshire Family and Individual Resources on Friday recognized Doris Sartori and her family with BFAIR's


Pittsfield Highlights Chestnut Seed Orchard to Celebrate Arbor Day
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:38PM / Friday, April 29, 2016

City Council President Peter Marchetti read a proclamation declaring Arbor Day in the city. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The American chestnut tree was so woven into the fabric of early American life that it was referred to as a "cradle to grave" tree: when a child was born, he was placed in a chestnut cradle and when he dies, in a chestnut coffin.   Between 4 billion to 5 billion of the trees crowded the Eastern United State's landscape and was used for construction and food for both humans and animals. It was economic for wood and nut harvesters. It was a fixture in the ecosystem for wild animals. Farmers used the nuts to feed livestock. Telephone poles, split-post

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The Independent Investor: What Do Prince, You and a Will Have in Common?
By Bill Schmick,
03:05PM / Friday, April 29, 2016

What do Prince, you and a will have in common? The short answer is maybe nothing, unless, like so many of us, you still have not finalized such a document. If you haven't, get on the phone with a lawyer and get it done.

The passing of Prince was a sad day, but even sadder is the fact that this week his sister just opened a probate case in Carver County, Minn., the home of the late rock star.

"I do not know of the existence of a will and have no reason to believe that the Decedent executed testamentary documents in any form," Tyka Nelson wrote in her filing.

Prince had no spouse or children but he does have several siblings and an estate valued at $300 million. There is


MCLA Signs Agreement with WNEU School of Law
01:28PM / Friday, April 29, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has signed a 3 + 3 articulation agreement with Western New England University School of Law to establish a joint program leading to a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctor degree.
With this agreement, signed Tuesday by MCLA President James F. Birge, WNEU Provost Linda Jones and WNEU School of Law Dean Eric Gouvin, qualified undergraduates at MCLA may substitute the first year at the law school for their senior year at MCLA. As a result, they may earn their bachelor’s degree and juris doctor degree in six years instead of the typical seven.

According to Birge, this new partnership allows both MCLA and WNEU


Carr Hardware Joins Forces to Expand into Connecticut
01:22PM / Friday, April 29, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Brightwood Hardware out of Longmeadow has forged a partnership with Carr Hardware & Supply Co. of Berkshire County, both members of the True Value Co-op.

Moe Fieldstein, of Brightwood Hardware, started out in the hardware business at the age of 8, working for his father Jacob at his store located in the Brightwood sector of Springfield. Brightwood Hardware would later move to its current location in Longmeadow.

During that same time period, Marshall Raser was making his way in the hardware industry. After discharge from the Army, Marshall worked at his family’s hardware store in Quincy before relocating to take over Carr Hardware in Pittsfield in


Montessori School Kicks Off $2.95 Million 'Go Beyond' Capital Campaign
12:56PM / Friday, April 29, 2016

LENOX, Mass. — The Montessori School of the Berkshires, a school that serves toddlers through grade 8 in Lenox Dale, has launched a $2.95 million capital campaign called “Go Beyond.”

The campaign kick-off, which took place at a school-wide event on April 15, is part of the school’s 10th anniversary celebration. The “Go Beyond” Campaign is raising funds for a 7,300-square-foot expansion to the existing 9,000-square-foot building. Students, families, teachers and MSB board members attended the event.

In addition to a large space for whole school gatherings and indoor sports, the campaign will fund MSB’s expansion, including a second elementary


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