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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Aug. 21-27
10:55AM / Friday, August 21, 2015
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Artist Michael Vincent Bushy working his magic with the sidewalk chalk at the Community Art Tent. All the World's a Stage at August Third Thursday  
Thank you to all of you who came out for another fun evening during Third Thursday last night.  A huge thank you to Guardian Life Insurance Company of America for creating a fun zone at their sponsor

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Pittsfield Schools Seek Musical Instruments; Taconic Project Rolling
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:10PM / Thursday, August 20, 2015
Jason McCandless, on the far right, updated members of the School Committee on Wednesday about a number of ongoing projects in the schools. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Schools want to toot your horn.   Superintendent Jason McCandless put out an appeal on Wednesday for musical instruments. The superintendent said there is a demand for the music programs but many of the students can't afford to rent or buy instruments.   He is asking anyone who has an instrument in good condition and no longer plays it, to consider donating it to the music departments.   "We have students who will give it a good home," McCandless said.   In other business,

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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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The Independent Investor: Not All Bonds Are the Same
By Bill Schmick,
07:44PM / Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bondholders are holding their breath as they wait for the Federal Reserve Bank to begin hiking short-term interest rates. Most investors are expecting all bonds to take a hit at the outset of the country's first rate hike in nine years. What happens after that may surprise you.

Prior to the financial crisis and the stimulus policies instituted by the Fed to solve it, bond investors could count on a fairly predictable pattern of behavior among bond categories as interest rates rose. Historically, the Fed would begin to raise rates when they perceived the economy was growing too quickly. Why?

Because normally, unbridled economic growth will result in higher inflation, which is

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Pittsfield Man Accused of Setting New York Thurway Shed On Fire
Staff Reports,
02:19PM / Thursday, August 20, 2015
LARCHMONT, N.Y. — A Pittsfield, Mass. man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly setting a New York State Thruway salt shed on fire.   Richard Cass, 54, is being charged with 4th degree arson, according to New York State Police. Cass, an electrician with the Thruway, is accused of starting the fire in the salt shed, which triggered a "multi-alarm" response from area fire departments.   Many pieces of equipment was also damaged by the blaze Tuesday night.   Cass is scheduled to appear in the Town of Mamaroneck Court on Aug. 31.

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Pittsfield Mayoral Candidate Gaetani Fighting Harassment Accusations
Staff Reports,
02:10PM / Thursday, August 20, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayoral Candidate Craig Gaetani is representing himself in District Court as he fights charges of threatening and harassing a city employee.   Gaetani was in court on Thursday for a pretrial conference and signed a waiver of counsel. On Thursday, the state requested documents relating to a show-cause hearing that found there was enough evidence to charge Gaetani with the single counts of threat to commit a crime and making harassing phone calls.   Last week, the West Street resident was arraigned on the charges, pled not guilty, and was released on personal recognizance. His next court date is for another pretrial conference on Aug. 28.   According

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Pittsfield Schools Launch New District Improvement Plan
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:48AM / Thursday, August 20, 2015
Superintendent Jason McCandless presented the plan to the School Committee on Wednesday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — School administrators are launching a new plan to more closely align the efforts of all city schools and raise the level of education delivered.   Administrators presented the district improvement plan that will span the school year and be finely tuned by the 600 or so teachers working in the district. Superintendent Jason McCandless said the goals are to improve "consistency, equity, and community" through four key objectives.   The four areas of focus will be the development of a systematic curriculum and schedule for all schools; inventories and

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Ground-Breaking Actor Portrayed at Shakespeare & Company
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:14AM / Thursday, August 20, 2015
John Douglas Thompson portrays ground-breaking 19th-century dramatic actor Ira Aldridge in Shakespeare & Company's production of 'Red Velvet.' LENOX, Mass. — The first African-American actor to play Othello on the London stage was a ground-breaking pioneer of the theater ... and not just because he was the first African-American to play Othello on the London stage.   Ira Aldridge is the subject of "Red Velvet," which makes its regional premiere this month at Shakespeare & Company.   In 1833, the native New Yorker made history by playing the Moor at Covent Garden, taking on a role that previously had been reserved for actors in

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Berkshire Historical Society Appoints New Executive Director
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Staff
07:45PM / Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Arrowhead curator Will Garrison is the new executive director of the Berkshire Historical Society. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Arrowhead curator Will Garrison has taken over administration of the Berkshire Historical Society at Herman Melville's historic home, succeeding newly retired Executive Director Betsy Sherman.     "As executive director, I look forward to working with the amazing volunteers and staff of the Berkshire Historical Society, and with other cultural organizations," Garrison told iBerkshires.   Garrison has been curator for the historic society and museum for four years, and is newly appointed by its board to follow Sherman, who assumed the

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Pittsfield Plotting Tyler Street's Future Redevelopment
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:47PM / Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Residents and community groups had their first chance to propose ideas and share their thoughts about Morningside's future at a kickoff meeting Wednesday morning. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Daniel Bianchi remembers growing up in a vibrant Morningside neighborhood. And he wants that back.   "This was just an incredibly vibrant area. Anything a working family would need was right here in Morningside," Bianchi said.   But then General Electric closed up shop putting many in the neighborhood out of work. The once hopping neighborhood became a shell of itself and businesses struggled, storefronts emptied, and residents moved away.    But, "there

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Plans For New Verizon Tower in Pittsfield Jumps First Hurdle
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:02AM / Wednesday, August 19, 2015
The Community Development Board approved the special permit on Tuesday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Verizon has jumped the first hurdle in its attempt to build a new wireless tower on West Housatonic Street.   The company is planning to place a 105-foot wireless tower and a storage shed at property leased at 769 West Housatonic St.   Despite concerns about the appearance of the tower, which will be near the road, the Community Development Board approved a special permit for the project on Tuesday.   "Visually, from the road, it isn't very appealing," said Community Development Board member Floriana Fitzgerald said.   Verizon officials said they will be

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Pittsfield 15s Fall in World Series Quarter-Final
08:27PM / Tuesday, August 18, 2015
LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. -- The Southeast regional champions scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to earn a 5-4 win over Pittsfield on Tuesday evening at the Babe Ruth Baseball 15-year-old World Series.   Jake McNeice went 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI, and Jack Cooney went 1-for-2 with two walks and two RBIs for Pittsfield.   McNeice also went the distance on the mound, allowing four earned runs while striking out four.   Southeast moved on to Wednesday's semi-finals of the single-elimination tournament. Pittsfield, which won the New England regional title earlier this summer, finished the national tournament with a record of 2-3.

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Berkshire Adult Baseball League Wraps Up Regular Season
07:52PM / Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Tim Bishop threw four shutout innings and had a single and two doubles at the plate to lead the Bandits to an 11-1 win over the Spiders that clinched the Berkshire Adult Baseball League 35-and-over regular season title this weekend.   Mike Delsodato had two hits and three RBIs for the Bandits, who finished the season with a record of 11-3.   Jude Koamaya drove in the lone Spiders run.   The BABL playoffs get under way this weekend, but the league handed out some seaons-ending honors this week.   Brandon Bushey and Adam L'Hote were named the most valuable players of the 20-and-over and 35-and-over divisions, respectively.   The batting average titles went to D.J.

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