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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Does Another Trade Pact Make Sense?
By Bill Schmick,
03:30PM / Thursday, April 30, 2015

As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the United States winds down, politicians in both houses of Congress need to decide whether the proposed Trans-Pacific, 12-nation trade pact makes economic sense. It does and we should jump on it.

Through the years I have been in favor of more trade, rather than less. At the same time, I recognize that trade agreements, by their nature, means that in every country some sectors win and some lose. If you can produce something better than I and at a lower price, why shouldn't I take advantage of that?

Yet, there is always vocal opposition from those who perceive their position will be threatened. Those who stand to gain usually keep a

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'Ex Machina': It's Alive! It's Alive! Maybe
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:18PM / Thursday, April 30, 2015
Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
Ava ponders being — or is it just programming — in Alex Garland's thoughtful take on artificial intelligence.

It was in a diner late at night in a time long, long ago, after the bars had closed, when, opining about current events and the perceived circumstances of my reality, a waitress pressed her hands onto the counter, peered deep into my eyes and asked, "Who's to say what's real?"

Oddly, while he was doubtfully privy to said event, writer-director Alex Garland nonetheless expounds on the waitress' provocative query in "Ex Machina," his

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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 School Committee Approves $59 Million Budget
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:19AM / Thursday, April 30, 2015
The School Committee approved the fiscal 2016 budget Wednesday night. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee approved a $59.2 million budget for fiscal 2016 on Wednesday.   The 6-1 vote came after little discussion and calls for the city to appropriate $58.5 million to the schools, which is $1.9 million more than last year. The appropriation represents a 3.5 percent increase over last year.   Even with the increase, the budget includes reductions of close to $2 million from various areas. The process started with the need for $4 million to maintain service because of a number of increases.   "This has been a difficult process," Superintendent

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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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Daniel Bianchi Sworn In As Mayor
by Soapbox
11:55AM / Monday, January 02, 2012
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Video taken on Jan. 2, 2012, by Joe Durwin of Daniel Bianchi being sworn in for his first term as mayor of Pittsfield.

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Generals Fall to Wildcats on Tuesday
by Soapbox
02:11PM / Wednesday, December 21, 2011
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Check out the action between the Pittsfield Generals and the Lee Wildcats on Tuesday night.

Pittsfield at Lee High - Boys Basketball 12/20/2011 from iBerkshires on Vimeo.

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Pittsfield Cuts Ribbon at Skate Park
by Soapbox
09:14PM / Tuesday, December 13, 2011
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Don't try this at home. :D

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Downing Hosting Energy Issues Forum
by Soapbox
10:33PM / Monday, December 12, 2011
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Sen. Benjamin B. Downing is hosting a forum on energy issues on Wednesday evening, Dec. 14, from 5:30-7 at Berkshire South Regional Community Center.

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"Holiday Pittsfield": Barrington Stage Opening House
by Soapbox
12:02PM / Sunday, December 04, 2011
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Down on Union Street, Barrington Stage Company was hosting a holiday open house, an opportunity to look around the theatre, enjoy refreshments, and most importantly, speak to the clear headlining star of the weekend, Santa Claus. 




In a quiet moment with the Man in Red, he said he was thrilled to be here, and was looking forward to hearing from many more children.  Always gracious, Mr. Claus thanked iBerkshires for stopping by.  Always pressed for appearances this time of year, Claus was slated to appear later that evening at the Colonial Theatre.





 

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Pittsfield Up High
by Soapbox
06:38PM / Friday, August 19, 2011
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We shot this cool photo of Pittsfield High's cupola covered in scaffolding last week.

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