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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

BerkshireFlirt Bringing Singles Mingle to Williamstown
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:16AM / Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Local single people meet each other during a BerkshireFlirt event in March at Taggert House in Lenox. BerkshireFlirt's next event is May 8 in Williamstown.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — French artist Henri Matisse once said "creativity takes courage." In the case of a new Berkshire County endeavor, some courageous and creative minds have come together to solve a pressing problem.

The problem? The lack of safe, fun, convenient places for single people to find potential partners. The solution? BerkshireFlirt, which seeks to connect Berkshire singles through events and social networking.

The creative minds behind BerkshireFlirt are, not surprisingly, creative people. Noel

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Pittsfield Approves Liquor License To New Managers Of Madison Cafe; Tavern at the A
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:41AM / Wednesday, April 29, 2015
The Licensing Board approved all of the licenses presented to them Monday night. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Licensing Board approved transferring the liquor license of the Madison Cafe to new owner William Molner and approved the owners of Flavours of Malasia running the restaurant at the GEAA.   Molner is purchasing the cafe on Madison Avenue under MadCaf LLC. He had previously worked as a bartender there as well as at the American Legion. He is selling his current business to buy and operate the cafe for $400,000.   "He'll be selling his business to devote full time to running the Madison Cafe," attorney Anthony Doyle told the Licensing Board on

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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 Installs New Public Art For 2015 Summer
Staff Reports,
01:14PM / Tuesday, April 28, 2015
A city worker installing one of seven nature signs crafted by June Bisantz. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Art is being placed throughout the city this month.   On Tuesday, the city installed the third of five pieces of art for public viewing. Artist June Bisantz crafted seven signs featuring nature — a chickadee, an American elm tree, a honeybee, a ladybug, a mayflower, mountains, and a black swallowtail butterfly featuring the words sing, grow, be, fly, flower, climb, and emerge.   Those signs will hang in various places in the downtown.   Those were installed Tuesday afternoon, eight days after installing Jack Howard-Potter's Swinging II in Park Square, which is

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BIC Leaders Boast of Opportunities at PERC Annual Meeting
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:58AM / Tuesday, April 28, 2015
William Mulholland, Rod Jane, Donald Rochelo, and Stephen Boyd served on a panel for PERC's annual meeting Tuesday morning at BCC. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Businesses and educational institutions all need to be in the same boat to help make the Berkshire Innovation Center successful in reinvigorating the Berkshire economy, industry experts say.   At the annual Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Agency's annual meeting Tuesday, a panel representing the local manufacturing businesses and Berkshire Community College discussed the vision for a new economy based on advanced manufacturing and life sciences.   The Berkshire Innovation Center, which is to be built this

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Lanesborough Town Hall Honored For 100 Years With Painting
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:15AM / Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Artist Walt Pasko and Winslow Newton unveiled the painting on Monday. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The town's 250th year since incorporation isn't the only milestone being celebrated.   Town Hall itself is now 100 years old and the town commissioned Walt Pasko to create a painting of the building to honor the occasion. That painting was revealed on Monday in the library and will be hung in eventually hang in the Board of Selectmen's office.   "This piece was done from photos I took of the building and I had to do it in short stretches. It took me a couple of weeks," Pasko said, before unveiling the painting.   The cornerstone for Town Hall was

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BHS: Not Responsible For BMC HealthNet Fallout
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:07PM / Monday, April 27, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems is taking exception to Boston Medical Center HealthNet's implication that the two sides failing to renew insurance coverage is the health system's fault.   "We have tried to take the high road here and focus on helping people get the coverage they need. We see that their spokespeople are trying to put the blame on us," said Senior Vice President Ruth Blodgett in an email on Friday.     "For the record, the publicly available data about costs indicate that our inpatient costs are average for the state, and our physician costs are actually below average. And when you look at Total Medical Expense for the

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Goodwill Completes First North County Community Soft Skills Program
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:06AM / Monday, April 27, 2015
The six members of the first graduating class of the Goodwill Works Soft Skills Program in North Adams show off their certificates with Kathy Anker, manager of Workforce Development.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The celebratory cake was just ... well, icing on the cake.

Six people marked the completion of the first Goodwill Works Soft Skills Program offered to the general community in North Adams with a small ceremony and cake on Wednesday morning in the offices of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. The six-week program previously only had been offered in Pittsfield and within the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Career Center.

But leaders of Goodwill of the Berkshires and

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BHS Opens Walk In Treatment Center At Pittsfield Price Chopper
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:29AM / Monday, April 27, 2015
Nurse practitioner Linda Schermerhorn will staff the new center during the week to treat patients with minor medical conditions.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — For a lot of people, it is just a whole lot easier to go to the emergency room than trying to get an appointment with at a doctor's office for treatment of minor injuries.   However, it is significantly more expensive to do so.   Berkshire Health Systems has now partnered with Price Chopper to treat minor injuries and illnesses at a lower cost to the patient. The organization opened a walk-in care center inside the supermarket.   "The primary goal is to offer people in our community a new access point

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'An Uncommonly Fine Head': The Life and Times of Agrippa Hull
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Columnist
08:26PM / Sunday, April 26, 2015
Agrippa Hull, a Revolutionary veteran, was a well-known resident and landowner in Stockbridge.

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — In the days following the War for Independence, he came to be one of the most celebrated African-American Berkshirites of his time, yet sadly his name is not particularly well known to locals today.  

Not nearly as well remembered as that of Elizabeth Freeman (Mum Bett), with whom he worked and lived beside, Hull's life nonetheless intersected with pivotal pieces of history and left a lasting legacy on the struggle for racial equality in the United States.

"Agrippa Hull was one of the most remarkable and unnoticed African Americans of the revolutionary

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Making the Loop
by Soapbox
04:44PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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We had some free time this week to walk the 2-mile loop through the downtown. Here's a few of things that caught our eye. (In between taking photos, we were heel-toeing and arm-pumping as prescribed.)

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Let's Go Paperless
by Soapbox
05:07PM / Monday, February 06, 2012
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This is from Ward 6 Councilor John Krol's eblast today. His switch to digital immediately caught our attention. With the associated costs - nearly $4,000 a year for paper alone! - zipping councilors "the packet" (as we in the know like to call it) over the ether makes loads of sense. Digital also means the average citizen gets far better access to these public documents than ever before. The city clerk's office has been diligent about posting meeting agendas and, where possible, relevant documents. So in terms of saving money and time and getting information out efficiently, digital is the way to go.

I would like to thank City Clerk Linda Tyer for agreeing to print out one less city council packet, as I have officially gone paperless for council meetings - which I hope will be a trend that can be extended throughout city government.

The bulky (and often, very bulky) city council packet that councilors use for a reference costs an average of $170 per meeting for paper alone. Add the additional costs of ink/toner, wear and tear on city hall copiers, and the time and energy of staff who put it all together - and a simple transition away from paper benefits everyone.

With the packet now fully digital in pdf form, all councilors, and everyone with an internet

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Berkshire Music School Kicks Off 2012 Classes With Open House
by Soapbox
12:29PM / Sunday, January 29, 2012
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The open house featured a sample class, access to musical instruments, information for parents, refreshments ...and more than a few delighted squeals.


January 29, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dozens of youths, many of them under the age of 5, attended an open house at the Berkshire Music School Saturday, as the educational nonprofit enters its 70th year at its 30 Wendell Avenue home.
The open house featured a sample class, access to musical instruments, information for parents, refreshments... and more than a few delighted squeals, proving once again the inherent interest in making a joyful noise is not generational, and will never go out of style.
The open house featured a Music for Preschoolers class, designed to "children’s awareness of rhythm, ability to sing and move creatively to music," which

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