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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Contaminated Soil Adds to Cost of Taconic High Site Work
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Tuesday, July 26, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Getting rid of construction debris found in the soil at the site of the new Taconic High School will require construction managers to dip into contingency funds for the first time.   John Benzinger of consulting firm Skanska USA said three types of materials were found in the soil: contamination, construction debris, and unusable soils. He estimates more than a half-million dollars will be needed to dispose and replace the materials found.   "Someone obviously dumped some stuff they shouldn't have when they built that soccer field," Benzinger said. "This material needs to be sent to a disposal facility."   The contamination is


Jae's Asian Bistro Eyes Move to Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:36PM / Monday, July 25, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Jae's Asian Bistro is moving to Pittsfield.   Attorney Jeff Lynch told the Licensing Board on Monday that he expects to have a change in name and manager soon for the former 7 Winter Grille on Winter Street. The building is owned by Susan Chung, who with her husband, Jae Chung, owns multiple restaurants. The Chungs plan to close the Lenox location of Jae's Asian Bistro and reopen on Winter Street under the name Jae's Grille, according to Lynch.   "The restaurant underwent renovations and it has been closed for more than a year," Lynch said of 7 Grille.   The location was once Mazzeo's Ristorante until more recently operating


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

Harrington Calls for Override of Governor's Vetoes
Campaign Statement,
05:31PM / Monday, July 25, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Democrat Andrea Harrington, candidate for state Senate, is urging the Legislature to restore funding that Gov. Charlie Baker recently cut from the state budget that had been approved by the House and Senate.

"I am deeply troubled as several of the governor's vetoes will be harmful to the people and businesses in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Senate District. The governor's vetoes cut funding for drug treatment programs, early education, local health-care infrastructure and the further expansion of the area's creative economy. The governor's reduction of $7.7 million from the Massachusetts Cultural Commission will have a


Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Tops $2 Million in Summer Grants
02:51PM / Monday, July 25, 2016

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — The board of directors of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation have announced the recipients of the second round of grantmaking for 2016.

The foundation distributed a total of $430,378 in grants to individuals and nonprofits in the four-county region it serves; $496,786 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors; and grants totaling over $1.1 million from donors with charitable funds at the foundation.

In Berkshire County, the foundation awarded grants from the Fund for Williamstown; James and Robert Hardman Fund; New World Fund; Simple Gifts Fund; five education enrichment funds; and 41 scholarship funds.

Education and Enrichment: Grants to regional


Biz Briefs: Simon Scholarships, Canyon Ranch Luxury Residences
01:51PM / Monday, July 25, 2016

A little help: Simon Malls and Simon Premium Outlets in New England, parent company of the Lee Premium Outlets, have awarded 26 high school seniors with Simon Youth Foundation Scholarships totaling more than $80,000.  

Locally, Emma Lezberg of Pittsfield and Erica Perrea of Hinsdale were each given scholarships.

Simon Youth Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping at-risk students graduate high school and to provide scholarship opportunities for the youth. Simon Youth Foundation Scholarship recipients attended a celebratory reception on Wednesday, July 20, at Burlington Mall in Burlington, Mass.

Simon Youth Scholarships are awarded annually to at least


Berkshires Beat: Chesterwood Installation, Louison House Help
01:12PM / Monday, July 25, 2016

Remember this: Chesterwood is hosting a site-specific installation by New York conceptual artist Marko Remec, currently on view in the Studio Field through Oct. 2.

The work, titled "Remember What (Field Totem)," is the latest in Remec's "Totem Series" and is a reconfiguration of a portion of his installation "Can’t Hear You (Fat Totem)," which was exhibited at Mass MoCA in North Adams from June 15, 2013, to June 19, 2016. The installation features 128, 32-inch dome mirrors arrayed in the pattern of a chessboard gone awry. Each mirror reflects 180-degree views of Chesterwood's lush landscape along with fleeting views of those observing the


Pittsfield 13s Win at Babe Ruth Regional
07:52PM / Sunday, July 24, 2016
ROCHESTER, N.H. -- Jake Risley went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles on Sunday to lead the Pittsfield Babe Ruth 13-year-old All-Stars to a 10-6 win over Taunton, Mass., at the New England Regional Tournament.   Christian Marchbanks went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to help the offense.   Caden Frazier went three innings on the mound before Haywood Eurquhart and Anton Lazits finished things up.   Pittsfield plays Maine on Monday at 10 a.m.


Berkshire Reps Serve Important Roles at Democratic Convention
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:10AM / Sunday, July 24, 2016
  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Rep. Paul Mark remembers the first time he watched a Democratic National Convention in 1988.   He watched the speeches and the celebration of the party and was fascinated. He's watched every single one since and volunteered at the 2004 convention in Boston that nominated Secretary of State John Kerry, then the state's U.S. senator. Now he'll serve an important role this week in Philadelphia — as a delegate. He's the only Berkshire County delegate from either party and either campaign.   "I was the first elected official in Massachusetts to endorse Bernie Sanders and I am co-chair of the Massachusetts Bernie Sanders

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Documentary Explores Good Life in the Berkshires
By John Seven, Special to iBerkshires
06:34AM / Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tim Durrin and friends on bicycles. Durrin turned to social work after his military service. See the trailer here.

NEW MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — A documentary film examining what it takes for a life well-lived has focused on several Berkshires residents to illustrate its ideas.

"A Small Good Thing" won best documentary at this year's Boston International Film Festival. Among director Pamela Tanner Boll's previous credits is as a producer on the Oscar-winning documentary "Born Into Brothels." "A Small Good Thing" has a screening at the New Marlborough Public Library on Tuesday, July 26, at 7:30 p.m.

Her path to making "A Small Good Thing"

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Chinese Garden Unveiled at Naumkeag
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
10:41PM / Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dragon Dancers were part of the festivities. See more photos here.

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Hundreds gathered at the annual Naumkeag Afternoon Garden Party on Saturday to celebrate the newly renovated Chinese Garden.

Barbara Erickson, Trustees of Reservations president and CEO, welcomed honorary co-Chairs Yo-Yo Ma and his wife, Jill Hornor, and Naumkeag staff to celebrate the unveiling of newly-renovated Chinese Temple Garden and the 125th anniversary of the conservation group.

"We believe that Naumkeag is more than a cultural icon. It is a work of art perched on the edge of 46 acres of pasture, woodlands and gardens,"Erickson said. "The artisans here made this


Pittsfield Americans Win Little League Sectional
06:08PM / Saturday, July 23, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- There are a lot of ways to look at the dominance of the Pittsfield American Little League All-Stars in their Massachusetts Section 1 tournament run.   Here is one way to put things in perspective: In one swing of the bat on Saturday afternoon, Brendan Stannard drove in more runs than Pittsfield allowed in three games.   And he did the same thing again the next time he went to the plate.   Stannard went 3-for-3 with two grand slams and nine RBIs to lead Pittsfield to a 20-0 win over Holden and a 3-0 record in the four-team, double-elimination tournament.   With the win, Pittsfield advances to the four-team state final that begins on Thursday in


@theMarket: Markets Need to Digest Recent Gains
By Bill Schmick,
07:50AM / Saturday, July 23, 2016

Greed and fear make the world go round. While Donald Trump attempted to tap into the latter emotion in his acceptance speech this week, investors were mesmerized by the opposite emotion, at least where the stock market is concerned.

It is true that the markets, like the humans that trade them, tend to vacillate between these emotions when gains and losses begin to nudge the extremes. Of course, we would all like the markets to just continue to climb, but a line I read recently sums it up well.

"Keep in mind that betting on never-ending capital gains is the very definition of a Ponzi scheme."

The best thing that could happen to the stock market in the short-term would be to


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