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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield 2015 In Review
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:24AM / Tuesday, December 29, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A heated election stole most of the headlines in 2015, when City Clerk Linda Tyer ousted incumbent Daniel Bianchi to become the city's first four-year mayor.    Tyer launched her campaign in March and then spent the rest of the summer in debates and press events highlighting her focuses on crime, blight, and education. Bianchi meanwhile focused his campaign on continuing the city's efforts focused on youth initiatives and crafting an economy around the advanced manufacturing and life sciences.   But it was Tyer who came out on top with a decisive win over the incumbent in November. Tyer won with a 6,661 votes to 4,502 margin. Voters also

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Pittsfield Releases Inauguration Details
Staff Reports,
05:11PM / Monday, December 28, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's inaugural ceremony is scheduled for Monday.   The ceremony features the swearing-in of Mayor Linda Tyer, City Clerk Jody Phillips, and the City Council. The event kicks off at 10 a.m. on Jan. 4 in the city council chambers.    Tyer will be sworn in to the four-year post after winning election over Daniel Bianchi. Tyer will take the city's first four-year mayoral term. Phillips will be sworn into the position Tyer is leaving, city clerk, after running unopposed.   The City Council will feature three new names. Former Councilors Peter Marchetti and Peter White both won at-large seats, taking over for Churchill Cotton and Barry

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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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Berkshires First Snowfall Of Season Expected
Staff Reports,
04:55PM / Monday, December 28, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The first snowfall of the season is predicted early this week.   The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory Monday which will extend from 7 p.m. Monday night until 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The Berkshires could see between two to five inches of snow and around one to two tenths of an inch of ice. The storm is expected to start after 8 p.m. and transition to sleet and freezing rain by the morning. The snow will drizzle off by Tuesday night.   The National Weather Services says traveling could be hazardous, particularly for the morning commute on Tuesday. There could also be gusts of winds as fast as 25 mph. and there is a chance for power

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YMCA Holding Registrations for Youth Swim Lessons
01:45PM / Monday, December 28, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Family YMCA announces open registrations for its youth swim lessons in Central Berkshire County’s largest indoor swimming pool.

Lessons are for all boys and girls 6 months to 12 years old. Sessions run for seven weeks with half-hour lessons weekly. Classes meet Tuesdays, Jan. 12-Feb. 23, or Saturdays, Jan. 9-Feb. 20.

Swim categories are based on age and ability:

1. Our Parent/Child Level (children 6 months to 3 years old) allows a child to grow comfortable in the water with a parent. (Saturdays 8:30-9 a.m.)

2. Our Pike Level (children 3-5 years old) is for beginner swimmers who need a floatation device. A swim bubble is required. (Tuesdays

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Bianchi Reflects On Past Four Years as Tenure Ends
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:47PM / Sunday, December 27, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The campaign slogans went from having a plan for Pittsfield to believing in Pittsfield.   And in a way, that is a lot like Daniel Bianchi's four years in office.   The pictures have been removed from behind the desk and the mayor, who is typically careful with his words publicly, speaks with more melancholy and honesty before cracking a joke about his receding hairline.    Bianchi's time in office is ending this week after his unsuccessful run for a four-year term under the city's new charter in November.   "I really enjoyed getting involved with the kids and really getting to understand children and their families and

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@theMarket: Santa Comes to Town
By Bill Schmick,
02:02PM / Friday, December 25, 2015

He certainly took his own sweet time getting here. Investors had just about giving up hope that the traditional Santa Claus Rally would occur this year. But despite gyrating energy prices, worries over the economy and the looming next earnings season, stocks are on the upswing.

Of course, I am writing this on the Wednesday before Christmas because even the most devoted columnists take off on the holidays. We could still fall back tomorrow, but the markets are only open for a half the day so I'm guessing we maintain this week's gains.

It would be nice if the market continued higher into next week. If so, my forecast of a single-digit gain this year might actually unfold. Let's

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Guest Column: Christmas Homily 2015
By Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, Guest Columnist
05:29AM / Friday, December 25, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Marking his second Christmas as bishop of Springfield, Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski spoke at the Christmas Eve liturgy at St. Michael's Cathedral of the light which illuminates from the Christ Child and in turn our Catholic faith, a light that breaks through the darkest night.

Bishop's homily was part of the Cathedral parish's 4 p.m. Mass that was recorded for broadcast Christmas morning at 11 on 22News WWLP and again at 1 p.m. on the CW Springfield.

Music for the liturgy was provided by the Cathedral Choir of Boys and Adults.

Bishop also spoke of the recently begun Jubilee Year of Mercy,

"Earlier this month, Pope Francis opened the Year of

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The Independent Investor: Christmas in the New Age
By Bill Schmick,
03:55PM / Thursday, December 24, 2015

Back in the day, going home for Christmas was what you did. Family members and friends would make their yearly pilgrimage to the old homestead. Car, plane or train, it made little difference how long it took, because everyone wanted to be home for the holidays. But times are changing.

Ever since the invention of Skype, Facetime and an array of other Internet services, face-to-face get-togethers are not as important they once were. In these lean economic times, the cost of air and train fare (and until recently fuel) made these trips both time consuming and expensive. In addition, taking off the required work time is not so easy today. Most managers are fairly stingy giving vacation time

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Berkshire County Kids' Place Earns Re-Accreditation
12:57PM / Thursday, December 24, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County Kids’ Place has been awarded re-accreditation by National Children’s Alliance following an extensive application and site review process.

As the accrediting agency for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC) across the country, National Children’s Alliance awards various levels of accreditation and membership to centers responding to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient, and put the needs of child victims of abuse first. Accreditation is the highest level of membership with National Children’s Alliance and denotes excellence in service provision.

Accredited CACs must undergo a

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Seniors can take free SilverSneakers classes at the Y
12:53PM / Thursday, December 24, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Eligible seniors can attend free SilverSneakers classes at the Pittsfield Family YMCA until Sept. 30.

Funded by a grant from the Elder Services of Berkshire County and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, the Y’s SilverSneakers classes strive to increase heart-healthy endurance, muscle strength, balance and coordination to reduce injuries and falls. Specifically designed for seniors, the classes allow people of all ages to meet new friends, reconnect with others and try something new.

SilverSneakers Classic meets Mondays through Wednesdays, 9:30-10:45 a.m., and Thursdays from1:30-2:45 p.m. Have fun and move to the music through a variety of

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'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': A Force to Be Reckoned With
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:15PM / Thursday, December 24, 2015

Oddly, while I enjoyed director J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the seventh in the franchise created by George Lucas, and was gratified to check it off on my dance card, I feel a little bit like the kid who dared blurt that the Emperor was naked. Sure, it's a good adventure yarn, a synergy of nostalgic notes and cutting edge notions.

But unless it still has to kick in, I've experienced no transformative epiphany. No glow emanates from me. I'm not speaking in tongues. What's more, though the nearby lake beckons, I'm confident I cannot walk its surface.

Yeah, yeah, I know ... it cost 18 trillion dollars and there are more "Star Wars"

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Boys & Girls Club Announces Vacation, Upcoming Events
11:44AM / Thursday, December 24, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. - The Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires have several upcoming activities and events.

Coach Butler is offering basketball clinics over the holiday break. All clinics are Monday-Wednesday, Dec. 28-30 only, and the cost is $5 per day per player. Signup is not required. The schedule is as follows:

* 9-10 a.m.: Kindergarten and First Grade Boys & Girls

* 10-11:30 a.m.: Second and Third Grade Boys

*11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: Second and Third Grade Girls

* 12:45-2 p.m.: Fourth and Fifth Grade Girls

* 2-3:30 p.m.: Fourth and Fifth Grade Boys

In addition, the club will hold a middle school dance from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28, at the club's

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