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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Tyer, Bianchi Set Priorities in West Side Initiative Debate
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:58PM / Thursday, October 08, 2015
The two mayoral candidates squared off in the first debate before the November election.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Linda Tyer says for too long the city's West Side has not gotten its fair share of investment.

Daniel Bianchi refutes that claim, saying Tyer is just "pandering for votes" by promising infeasible or expensive projects.

That was the tempo for the two mayoral candidates at they battled it out at Conte Community School in their first debate. The debate was put on by the West Side Neighborhood Initiative, with WAMC's Jim Levulis as moderator.   Throughout a series of questions, challenger Tyer said Bianchi has let many projects for the West Side


Independent Investor: Millennials The Misunderstood Generation
By Bill Schmick,
04:32PM / Thursday, October 08, 2015

Millennials are feeling good about their financial future, says one survey. Another poll tells us that this same class of Americans is giving up on getting rich. Both can't be right and yet they are.

The first thing you have to understand is that attitudes change depending upon one's circumstances. In a recent poll by Bloomberg, for example, 47 percent of Americans between the ages of 18-35 believed that they do not expect to live better than their parents.

That is understandable if, for example, you happen to be living under your parent's roof (and 15 percent of millennials are). It is darn difficult to imagine living better than your folks under those circumstances. This is


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

SABIC to Leave Pittsfield; 300 Area Jobs to Be Lost
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:48PM / Thursday, October 08, 2015
The company announced that it will close its Plastics Avenue headquarters.

PITTSFIELD, Mass.  — SABIC is moving its headquarters to Houston, and taking hundreds of jobs with it.

Mayor Daniel Bianchi said he was informed about the decision Thursday afternoon after being contacted by senior executive staff members.

"I think this was a decision that had nothing to do with the city. It had everything to do with their corporate mission," Bianchi said.   Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp.'s Innovative Plastics is moving some 300 jobs from the former General Electric site in Pittsfield to Houston but hasn't determined what will happen with the Polymer


Pittsfield Housing Authority: Worcester's Program Not A Fit Here
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:40AM / Thursday, October 08, 2015
City officials say Worcester's program would not fit in Pittsfield. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Worcester Housing Authority recently launched a policy forcing tenants of public housing to get a job, go to school, or get out.   The policy, which received approval from Gov. Charlie Baker, requires at least one adult to work 1,200 hours per year, go to school full time or a mix of both accounting for 1,200 hours. Those with disabilities or over the age of 55 are exempt.    A more encompassing version of the program was killed by the federal government because it included a seven-year time limit on housing so now it will only impact 393 families living in


Pittsfield Approves Renaming Pitt Park For Reverand Durant
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:29PM / Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Eddie Taylor looks backed over the crowd of more than two dozen to tell them that this effort is just the start.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — If he were here today, Rev. Willard Durant may not have liked having a park named in his honor.

But, man, he'd have loved the spirit that made it happen.

The Parks Commission on Wednesday approved renaming Pitt Park on Columbus Avenue to the Rosemary and Rev. Willard Durant Park.   Dozens of residents filled the City Council Chambers in favor of the change at the Parks Commission hearing, saying the effort is much more than a name.   "This is bigger than the park name. This is sincerely the beginning of reigniting this

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Girl's Walk to Cure Diabetes Team Holding Painting Party Fundraiser
01:14PM / Wednesday, October 07, 2015

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Noelle's Belles, the Walk to Cure Diabetes team of local fourth-grader Noelle Dravis, is teaming up with The Progressive Palette to offer a fun Halloween painting party for both children and adults.

The party will be held Sunday, Oct. 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Sts. Patrick and Raphael parish center in Williamstown. The cost is $37, which includes all supplies, instruction and snacks. No painting experience is needed. Seating is limited and advance registration is required online at

Fund raised will benefit scientific research to better treat, prevent and ultimately cure type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that


Avoid Emotional Investment Decisions
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:39PM / Wednesday, October 07, 2015

What’s the biggest obstacle to your ability to invest successfully? Is it the ups and downs of the financial markets? Political events? The fact that you weren’t born rich?

Actually, the chief hurdle you face is something over which you have control: your own emotions.

Your emotions can lead to a variety of ill-advised investment behaviors, such as these:

• Cutting losses: Declines in the financial markets can lead some investors to try to “cut their losses” by selling investments whose price has declined. Yet, when prices have dropped, it may actually be a good time to buy investments, not sell them, especially when the investments are still fundamentally


Bianchi: DPW To Be Ready For When Snow Flies
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:19AM / Wednesday, October 07, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is already preparing for winter.   Mayor Daniel Bianchi said salt and sand as well as a new snowfighter has been ordered and new leadership will be working with staff and the contractors in the coming month to prepare for snow.   "We've got salt and sand deliveries coming in for the winter," Bianchi said. "We're going to have more ahead of time in hopes that we don't get in a crunch like we did last year. The Port of Albany was stressed to the max."   Coupled with a larger stockpile of sand and salt, the mayor said a new snowfighter will be added to the fleet. He hopes the vehicle will arrive sometime during

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Pittsfield Expands Role of Police Advisory Commission
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:53PM / Tuesday, October 06, 2015
The newly crafted Public Safety Advisory Commission held its first meeting on Monday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Just three years after the Police Advisory Committee was revived, it's been reinvented.   Mayor Daniel Bianchi revived the long-dormant committee in 2012 as a group of mayoral appointees to make recommendations on police matters to the mayor and City Council.   And in the last three years, the group weighed in on a number of issues including efforts to solve jaywalking at Pittsfield High School (which it is still working on), crafting new traffic fines, creating a downtown ambassador program, advocating for the hiring of a crime analyst, and helping to get a

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Berkshire Tidbits: Harvest Fests, Historic Fare Fill Weekend
By Judith Lerner, iBerkshires Columnist
07:35AM / Tuesday, October 06, 2015
A grilled chicken and avocado sandwich with bacon and pest from The Hungry Traveler food truck that will be at the Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival.

Great Barrington Historical Society
Bake Sale Features Historic Goodies

Barbara Syer, president of the Great Barrington Historical Society thought it would be a better idea to have a bake sale than a tag sale to entice visitors to come to the Captain Thomas Wheeler House, the town of Great Barrington's museum and the Historical Society's headquarters.

Anbake sale.

With James Parrish, another Historical Society volunteer, Syer worked out a menu of doable baked goods from the 18th century, the period when the original

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Styrofoam Ban To Go To Pittsfield Council Without Subcommittee Support
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:45AM / Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Charles Lake said he suffered a number of health issues because of the chemicals in the containers.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A City Council subcommittee has voted against instituting a ban on polystyrene containers.   The ban on what is better known as Styrofoam is eyed to extend only to restaurant to-go containers. Proponents and opponents have argued over the matter for more than two years through a number of commissions. The matter will finally go before the City Council.   The ordinance has received endorsement from the Green Commission. But with a 3-2 vote, the City Council's Ordinance and Rules subcommittee filed the petition. Now it will be up to the full

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Senate Endorses Mt. Washington's Broadband Internet Plan
02:22PM / Monday, October 05, 2015

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate has approved an act authorizing the town of Mount Washington to establish, own and operate broadband infrastructure and services and to issue bonds or notes therefore.

The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Mount Washington plans to build a town-owned, modern, fiber-to-the-home network to provide high speed internet access to its residents. This home rule petition, filed on behalf of Mount Washington by Sen. Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) and state Rep. William "Smitt"y Pignatelli (D- Lenox) was approved by a majority of voters during a Special Town Meeting on July 13, 2015. It was referred to the

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