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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Election 2015: Bianchi Details Initiatives for West Side
09:12PM / Wednesday, October 14, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Incumbent Daniel Bianchi has submitted the following statement in response to last week's mayoral debate that focused on West Side concerns:

At last week's debate, Linda Tyer accused me of failing to give the West Side its "fair share," by not investing enough city resources in the neighborhood. As I have stated before, I expect candidates to aggressively campaign for office. What I do not expect is to hear such disparaging remarks from someone who has never done one thing to improve the quality of life for those living in West Side neighborhoods until announcing her candidacy for mayor.

I spent 10 years as the city councilor representing the


Pittsfield Fire Looking To Buy Two Used Fire Trucks
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:35PM / Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The City Council approved using the $200,000 set aside to repair one truck to purchase two used vehicles instead.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Fire Department is on the lookout for used vehicles to replace two apparatuses the department struggles to keep on the road.   The City Council approved using some $200,000 that had already been allocated to refurbish a vehicle to instead look for used vehicles to bolster their reserves.   According to Deputy Chief Michael Polidoro, both Truck 2 and Engine 2 are now eyed for replacement with used vehicles.   "These two vehicles have been nightmares for emissions," Polidoro said.    Truck


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

Former MLB Pitcher Looks To Build Dome Sports Complex In Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:15PM / Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pictured here in 2011 when he signed on to be the coach of the Pittsfield Colonials, Chad Paronto now looks to build an inflatable dome sports complex in the city.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Former Major League Pitcher Chad Paronto wants to build a large indoor sports complex in Pittsfield.   On Wednesday, Paronto said he and business partner Dale Connor are close to closing a deal on a piece of property in the city, though he didn't reveal the address, to build the 50,000-square-foot inflatable dome.   The retired pitcher said he has been working on a business plan and market research for the last 18 months and hopes to complete the project by June


Will You Be Ready for Retirement?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
02:03PM / Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"National Save for Retirement Week" is observed Oct. 18-24 this year. And this week has some weight behind it, as it is recognized by the U.S. Senate for its importance in encouraging Americans to prepare themselves financially for retirement.

Are you doing all you can?

Many of your peers aren’t. About a third of working adults have no retirement savings or pension, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve. And more than half of workers report that the total value of their household’s savings and investments, excluding the value of their primary home and any defined benefit plan (such as a traditional pension), is less than $25,000, according to the Employee


Pittsfield Bans Styrofoam Food Containers
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:02AM / Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Rinaldo Del Gallo holds up a paper McDonalds coffee cup to show that making the switch isn't that much of a cost burden.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On July 1, restaurants will no longer be able to send patrons home with Styrofoam containers.   The City Council approved Tuesday night a ban on expanding polystyrene food and drink containers with a 7-3 vote. The city becomes the ninth community in the state to implement such a ban and the third in Berkshire County.    "The goal is to move to things are fully recyclable," said Ward 5 Councilor Jonathan Lothrop.   The ban will be implemented on July 1, 2016, giving businesses some eight


Berkshire Tidbits: Fermenting Festivals, Hispanic Celebrations
By Judith Lerner, iBerkshires Columnist
01:43PM / Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Lacto-fermenting/pickling vegetables; Berkshire Ferments will be presenting this and other workshops at the Berkshire Fermentation Festival on Saturday, Oct. 17, in Great Barrington.

Hispanic Heritage Month
Through Thursday, Oct. 15

Even if you missed the culinary experience of the Latino Festival during Founders' Weekend in Lee last month, there's still a bit of time to appreciate Hispanic Heritage Month, by eating Hispanic food in some of our local restaurants.   Here are a few of the best-known and best. All serve lunch and dinner unless otherwise noted.   • Alpamayo Peruvian Cuisine, 60 Main St. in Lee, serves food you will not find anywhere else in the


Pittsfield Woman Crashes Into Pittsfield Co-op Drive-Thru
Staff Reports,
01:07PM / Tuesday, October 13, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. - A city woman crashed her vehicle into the drive thru of the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank on Dalton Avenue Monday after suffering from a medical condition.   Police say Helen Gagnon, 57, of Pittsfield was traveling westbound Monday afternoon when "she suffered from an apparent medical condition." Her 2011 Chevrolet sedan veered off the road, through landscaping, and collided with the drive thru.   Gagnon was transported to Berkshire Medical Center by County Ambulance. The crash is still under investigation and anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to contact Officer James McIntyre at 413-448-9700. 


SABIC's Departure Prompts Pittsfield Response Plan for Affected Workers
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:54PM / Friday, October 09, 2015
Mayor Daniel Bianchi and BCREB Executive Director Heather Boulger called a press conference Friday afternoon to announce the short-term and long-term plans to ease impacts on SABIC employees. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City, county, and company officials are rolling out resources to keep the 300 employees affected by SABIC's decision to move its headquarters to Houston.    On Friday, Mayor Daniel Bianchi and Berkshire County Regional Employment Board Executive Director Heather Boulger announced plans to work with the impacted employees to find new jobs.   Those plans include connecting the workers with currently existing job openings — such as some 200 vacant


Berkshire Scenic Railway Offering Round-Trip Rides From Adams
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:43PM / Friday, October 09, 2015
Berkshire Scenic Railways' Budd Car will be rolling along the tracks between North Adams and Adams on Saturday.

ADAMS, Mass. — Toot! Toot!

It's been a long time coming but the scenic railway is about to start chugging.

Train enthusiasts will get a chance to ride the rails this weekend as the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum tests out its new Hoosac Valley Service.

But this is just a pilot program, cautioned Jay Green, the museum's railway director.

"It's designed to test out the service, to test the design, to test the track and the operations," he said on Friday. "This is a soft opening."

It's a big step forward in getting the scenic


Superior Court Briefs: Oct. 6 - Oct. 8
Staff Reports,
02:32PM / Friday, October 09, 2015
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Oct. 6.   Kyle Forbes, 22, of Dalton had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of unarmed robbery, stealing by confining, and larceny from a building.   He was released on $1,000 cash or $10,000 surety bail. The charges stem from the robbery of the Shell gas station in Dalton on July 19, 2015.   Jeffrey Petryk, 55, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of possession of child pornography.    He was released on $500 bail. Petryk is accused of being in possession of child pornography on January 6, 2015.   John Squires III, 31, of Dalton had not guilty pleas


Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Oct. 9-15
12:40PM / Friday, October 09, 2015
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Friday: Bird Walks at Canoe Meadows   Look for migrants of all kinds, especially the beautiful wood-warblers. Walk past wetlands and meadows and through woodlands observing changes in bird species each week. Preregistration is not required. Bring binoculars; beginners


'The Martian': Houston, We Have a Hit
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
10:37AM / Friday, October 09, 2015
Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
Twentieth Century Fox A sure-fire hit is putting Matt Damon in a lonesome dangerous place — and then rescuing him. Although in 'The Martian,' his astronaut Mark Watney is good at keeping himself alive/

You may want to prepare a little before seeing "The Martian," Ridley Scott's fantastical journey to Mars — and maybe back — starring Matt Damon in the title role. If you have the time, getting a Ph.D. at MIT should put you in good stead to at least comprehend the technical jargon in this superbly crafted, Space Age update on the "Robinson Crusoe"


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