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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Still Weighing Future of City Solicitor Position
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:24PM / Tuesday, April 05, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A City Council subcommittee is in favor of giving Mayor Linda Tyer the ability to consider contracting with a legal firm as city solicitor or hiring a staff person.   The Ordinance & Rules Committee on Monday debated the language for about an hour. Currently, the mayor has a contract with the firm Donovan & O'Connor to provide legal services. The contract was viewed as temporary while the administration considers long-term options.    "What we want to do is to allow us some flexibility in how we are represented," Tyer said, adding that in the coming months the city would concurrently issue a request for proposals for firms as

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Berkshire Carousel Construction Nearly Complete
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:13AM / Sunday, April 03, 2016

The gears at the top make the carousel go round and round and up and down. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Just a few months ago, the Berkshire Carousel was like a puzzle. There were a bunch of pieces just waiting to be put together.   But, that puzzle is nearly complete. The carousel featuring 33 hand-carved and painted horses and chariots and rounding boards is assembled. and the final touches of the enclosing building are nearly finished.   On July 1, the organization is planning to reveal the decadelong art project during a grand opening ceremony.    "They look beautiful. The rounding boards look wonderful. The artwork is fabulous. We had over 400 volunteers

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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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Hillcrest Lights Up Park Square to Spread Autism Awarenes
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:00PM / Friday, April 01, 2016

A resource fair was held at Downtown Pittsfield Inc. prior to the lighting ceremony. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The downtown corridor will be lit up blue this month to raise awareness of autism.   Blue lights have been placed in Park Square, at City Hall, and in windows of various businesses on North Street in part of the Hillcrest Educational Foundation's Light It Up Blue campaign.   This is the second year for the event and the program has grown to include a resource fair, connecting parents of autistic children with resources.    "Last year, we did this just at Hillcrest and, this year, we wanted to make a bigger impact," said Hillcrest Director of

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@theMarket: Economy Stronger, Stocks Weaker
By Bill Schmick,
04:10PM / Friday, April 01, 2016

Investors can expect the stock market to carve out a new trading range over the next few weeks. The good news is that range will be higher than it has been all year. The bad news is that we should not expect a repeat performance of March.

March was a good month for the S&P 500 Index. Stocks gained about 3 percent, and as of today, are positive for the year. Friday, investors worked overtime as they digested a slew of data.

The day kicked off with employment data which was good: 215,000 jobs gained, while hourly wages increased by 7 cents an hour. And more Americans are looking for jobs.

The bad news was that we are still losing jobs in the manufacturing sectors, since just about all

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Superior Court Briefs: March 22 - March 31
Staff Reports,
02:59PM / Friday, April 01, 2016
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, March 22.   James Morrison, 24, of Great Barrington pleaded guilty to four counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, four counts of larceny over $250, and single counts of larceny over $250 from a person 60 years old or older, fraudulent use of a credit card, misuse of a credit card, and credit card fraud under $250.   He was ordered to serve concurrent two and a half o four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on all charges except misuse of a credit card and credit card fraud. On those charges he was given concurrent one-year sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction.   The

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Dunkin' Still Hoping for Styrofoam Ban Waiver in Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:11PM / Friday, April 01, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Board of Health has yet to render a decision on whether Dunkin' Donuts will receive a waiver from the city's polystyrene ban.

Dunkin Brands is asking that its 24-ounce cup lids be exempted from the Styrofoam ban that goes into affect in July.   According to Christine Riley Miller, of Dunkin Brands, the company has double-walled paper cups with recyclable lids for the other sizes. However, lids haven't been developed for the largest size the stores offer.   "We expect that it will be available within a year," Miller said. "We will transition this cup once we have the full cup and lid."   Miller estimates that the

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: April 1-7
09:54AM / Friday, April 01, 2016

 

Office of Cultural Development | City of

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Pittsfield Asking State to Release Funds for Columbus Ave. Garage Rebuild
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:14AM / Friday, April 01, 2016

The concrete deck has been separating over time.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Plans to replace the crumbling Columbus Avenue garage are "shovel" ready but the state still hasn't released the more than $6 million earmarked for it.   The top level of the garage has been closed since August 2014 when city officials at the time determined the concrete beams were pulling away from the supporting structure. The move reduced parking spots in the structure by 156.   Earlier that year the state earmarked $6 million in a transportation bond bill and now city officials are pushing for those funds to perform a complete $9.4 million new build.   "The garage

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Wahconah High Performing Spring Musical This Weekend
Staff Reports,
06:40PM / Thursday, March 31, 2016

Catie May and Dan Brainerd were cast in the leading roles. DALTON, Mass. — The Apollonian Players will present the musical "Annie Get Your Gun" featuring the musical score of Irving Berlin.   The first showing is Friday night, April 1, at 7 p.m. There is also a matinee at 1 on Saturday, and another showing at 7 on Saturday night at Wahconah Regional High School.   Ticket prices are $8 for students and senior citizens and $10 for adults. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Wahconah Regional High School is located at 150 Windsor Road.   The musical is based on the love story of sharpshooters Annie Oakley and Frank Butler that scored a bulls-eye when it

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The Independent Investor: Long-Term Care Insurance Should Be on Your Agenda
By Bill Schmick,
04:01PM / Thursday, March 31, 2016

As Baby Boomers grow into their 60s, the possibility that at some point soon you may need long-term care becomes a real possibility. Since that kind of care can cost $250 a day or more, depending on where you live, it makes sense to at least consider buying insurance.

For those of us who are 65 or older, the odds are that at least 70 percent of us are going to need some kind of long-term care. We would all like to hope that we will be one of those lucky 30 percent who don't end up in a nursing-home; assisted-living center or needing home care but hope isn't much of a strategy.

If you crunch the numbers, most of us will realize that it won't take long to completely deplete

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'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice': The World is Too Much with Them
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:49PM / Thursday, March 31, 2016

Remember when you were little and the kids on the block would argue who was greater, Batman or Superman? The ragamuffins on Dewey Street were evenly divided, pretty much the way they were between the Yankees and the Dodgers. Frankly, it was a no-brainer to me. The Yanks had The Mick, and, while Batman had all sorts of gadgetry, Superman had super powers. I know, I know, there's that Achilles heel thing, the accursed Kryptonite.

Still, Superman was my man. Besides, he and Batman would never fight. They were both good. So I didn't lose any sleep over it, and instead focused my contemplations on why in heaven someone would be a Dodger fan. I mean, they were "The Bums,"

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Pittsfield Health Officials Hitting Snags With Tobacco Permit Cap
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:00PM / Wednesday, March 30, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was on Dec. 10 when an armed robber stole money from Zuke's Variety.   Owner Elizabeth Zucco was worried about filing all of the reports, working with authorities to find the criminal, and provide the necessary accounting. She runs a restaurant in the city as well. She's a mother and was worried about Christmas. She had to get her tax documents in order.  With all that going on, she didn't file her renewal application for her tobacco license.   "Everything was coming in at once," Zucco said.   The problem, though, is that she also was late in renewing last year, and the Health Department suspended her license for 30

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