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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Starts To Prepare For Older Demographics
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:49AM / Thursday, April 02, 2015
Roberta Orsi, left, and Gina Armstrong made a presentation to the City Council's Public Health and Safety subcommittee asking for support for their efforts. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The way things are going, almost 30 percent of the county's population will be over the age of 65 in just 15 years.   A countywide task force is now being formed to start looking at what the county needs to support the aging demographic.   On Wednesday, Board of Health Chairwoman Roberta Orsi received support from a City Council subcommittee on her efforts to bring a plan to fruition.   "We are trying to bring the stakeholders together to start this conversation," Orsi


Annual Greek Pastry Sale Serves Up Flavorful History
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
02:59AM / Thursday, April 02, 2015
The annual Greek pastry sale brings lines of customers who don't leave even a crumb behind. Above, servers make up boxes at last year's sale.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — One of the pleasures of early spring is coming up on Saturday morning, April 4. The Greek Ladies Philoptochos (phil-OP-to-khos; friend of the poor) Society will present its delightfully choreographed, lavish Greek pastry sale in the social hall of St. George Greek Orthodox Church.

For nearly 40 years, members of the 125 or so families of the church community spend the weeks leading up to Easter baking more baklava than anyone can imagine — baklaVA, spaniKOpita, tsouREki/Easter breads and many, many other


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

Pittsfield Businesswoman Opens Online Travel Agency
05:07PM / Wednesday, April 01, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local businesswoman Rhonda Serre says her new venture combining her love of travel and her entrepreneurial spirit.

Wow Moments World Travel combines the pricing and ease of doing business in the online marketplace with the expertise and personalized service that can be offered by a traditional travel agency, Serre said.

"The sheer volume of travel information available online has made it difficult for some traditional brick and mortar travel agencies to compete," said Serre. She goes on to add that with, "so much noise and clutter to weed through on the Internet," even experienced travelers value advisers who can make sense of the


Company Donates $4,750 To Help Pittsfield Programs
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:08PM / Wednesday, April 01, 2015
Mayor Daniel Bianchi, Operations Supervisor Frank Corl, Pittsfield Community Connection Coordinator Adam Hinds, and Senior Municipal and Government Affairs Manager Bruce Stanas. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The company who hauls the city's trash away is helping to clean up the city in other ways.   On Wednesday, Republic Services presented a $1,750 check to Pittsfield Community Connection Coordinator Adam Hinds, who manages the Charles E. Shannon grant to reduce youth violence.   The company also gave $1,500 to Pittsfield Parade Committee President Peter Marchetti to help put on the annual Fourth of July parade.   And $1,500 to Pittsfield Farmers Market Chairwoman


Bidwell House Museum Offers High School Internships
12:28PM / Wednesday, April 01, 2015

MONTEREY, Mass. — The Bidwell House Museum, a colonial historic house museum in Monterey, is offering high school students with an interest in history, particularly local Berkshire colonial history, the opportunity to become a Young History Scholar Intern this summer.

The Bidwell House Museum is a 1750s New England heritage site providing through its land, house and collection a personal encounter with frontier life in early America. The museum includes the fully furnished colonial homestead, several outbuildings and 192 acres of grounds with gardens, stone walls, foundations and hiking trails.

High school interns spend two weeks at the museum. In week one, the intern learns about


BRPC: County Short On Manufacturing Sites
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:42AM / Wednesday, April 01, 2015
There is land available in the Berkshires but zoning and infrastructure limits the availability of space for manufacturing. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The county has a shortage of space to offer a large manufacturer, according to a recent report.   The study from Berkshire Regional Planning Commission updates an inventory of undeveloped or underdeveloped industrial land.   It shows the county has 132 properties in industrial areas, totaling 1,696.3 acres with 693 of those being buildable. BRPC looked at all areas zoned for industrial usage, near main roads, and in proximity (not necessarily served by) to utilities.   Only 41 of those properties have more than 3 acres of


Pittsfield's Linda Tyer Announces Candidacy For Mayor
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:29PM / Tuesday, March 31, 2015
City Clerk Linda Tyer became the first candidate in the race for mayor with her announcement on Tuesday.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As City Council president in 2008, Gerald Lee wanted a city clerk he could depend on.

He and then Mayor James Ruberto appointed Ward 3 Councilor Linda Tyer to the position and she's held the position since.

On Tuesday, Lee said he regretted that decision somewhat at the time because she had been one of the better legislators on the council that term.   That appointment, though, has given Tyer seven years to prove that she could be a great administrator, too, Lee said, and is now a great candidate for mayor.   "I really believe that


Entertainment Permits Granted To Pittsfield Establishments
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:39AM / Tuesday, March 31, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A couple well-established businesses received their first entertainment licenses on Monday, after operating without one for years.   The operators of the Beacon Cinema and the Colonial Theatre was both granted entertainment permits from the Licensing Board after both said they were unaware they needed one. The city informed the owners of the need for the permit earlier this year.   The Beacon Cinema opened in 2009 and the Colonial reopened in 2006, after a massive renovation.   The board also granted an entertainment license to the owners of Hotel On North, a new boutique hotel under construction on North Street. Bruce Finn, CEO of Main Street


Lanesborough FinCom Reviews COA, American Legion, Rec Budgets
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:04AM / Tuesday, March 31, 2015
The Finance Committee is reviewing the town administrator's proposed budget. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The town administrator's proposed budgets for recreation, Council on Aging, and the American Legion were all subject to the Finance Committee' scrutiny Monday night.   The Finance Committee has begun pouring over Town Administrator Paul Sieloff's proposed $10.4 million budget. The Finance Committee will present their recommended budget for approval at town meeting.   Sieloff said he is currently about $18,000 away from having a proposed balanced budget because the school budgets both came in higher than he anticipated.   However, he says he will be


Lenox Selectmen Review FY16 Budget & Town Warrant
By Stephanie Salvini, Special to iBerkshires
10:07PM / Monday, March 30, 2015
The Selectmen gave a final review of the budget and town meeting warrant. They are expected to vote on the warrant on Wednesday.

LENOX, Mass. — The Selectmen reviewed the basically level-funded $27.7 million budget for fiscal 2016 and the town warrant on Friday.

Town Manager Christopher Ketchen suggested that there may be a 1.5 percent tax increase in fiscal 2016 and even a 2 percent increase by fiscal 2017, but that was a rough estimate and still a "conservative approach."

Thinking ahead to fiscal 2018, however, there is looking to be about a $350,000 deficit as the school project reimbursement bond comes off the books.

"[The spending] is always part of the


Pittsfield City Clerk Announcing Run for Mayor
08:24PM / Monday, March 30, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City Clerk Linda Tyer plans to announce her candidacy for mayor on Tuesday. The event will take place at 5:30 p.m. on the steps of City Hall.

Tyer was elected to represent Ward 3 on the City Council in 2003, one of three successful candidates that year endorsed by the Women Helping Empower Neighborhoods (WHEN) political action committee. She was elected two more times and stepped down at the end of 2008, when she was appointed as city clerk by then Mayor James M. Ruberto.

She holds a degree from Bay Path College in Longmeadow and had worked in the Lenox Public Schools for 17 years, including as administrative assistant to the superintendent of schools, until


Brien Center Employees Protest Contract Wage Offer
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
07:24PM / Monday, March 30, 2015
Brien Center employees stand outside the North Adams location on Monday demanding more pay in contract negotiations. The 90-year-old agency provides mental health and other support services to county residents.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Brien Center employees held information picketing against management negotiations they say call for minimal salary and health care increases.

Clinicians and direct care staff, who provide mental health services for children and adults throughout Berkshire County, assembled outside of the Brien Center locations in Pittsfield and North Adams Monday to advocate for better wage.

Local 509 Service Employees International Union representative John Grossman


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