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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Oct. 2-8
11:56AM / Friday, October 02, 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


Pittsfield's 2015 MCAS Scores: Good, Bad, Ugly
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:29AM / Friday, October 02, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In some areas, city schools were good when it came to MCAS scores. In others it was bad. And in yet others, it was just ugly.   The good: city students are on par with state's averages when it comes to teaching English. A total of 89 percent of the students were proficient or advanced, which is compared to 91 percent statewide in grade 10 scores.   However, in relation to urban districts, Pittsfield did better. The average of all urban schools was 83 percent on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests.   The numbers among students with disabilities scored better than the state average, showing the special education programs are


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

State Breaks Ground On War Memorial Tower Renovations
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:12PM / Thursday, October 01, 2015
The American Legion, Department of Veterans Services Secretary Francisco Urena and DCR Commissioner Carol Sanchez celebrated the start of construction on Thursday. ADAMS, Mass. — The nearly two-year restoration of the Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower at the summit of Mount Greylock has begun.   On Thursday, state officials recognized the renovation that will repair water damage and upgrade the interior spaces with a ceremony. Department of Veterans Services Secretary Francisco Urena said the $2.3 million project restores honor to the tower.   "The work on the memorial tower will bring back character, return elegance in the state's war memorial, and


Sonsini Animal Shelter Celebrating Renovations
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:29AM / Thursday, October 01, 2015
The Sonsini Animal Shelter recently upgraded its facility, including revamping the flooring, upgrading the kennels and repainting. Adalia is two years old and needs a home.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There's a lot of barking for joy at the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter.

The shelter at 63 Downing Parkway recently completed a round of renovations that have given the former city garage a fresh face-lift that's making it easier to keep its occupants — animal and human — safe and happy.

Some 30 local business and individuals, including the city of Pittsfield, pitched into redo the stained concrete floor, recoat the metal kennels and install new latches, repaint the


Pittsfield Authorizes Payment Of Dated Bills
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:10AM / Thursday, October 01, 2015
The council approved paying some outdated bills but only after being assured financial controls were being put in place. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council authorized paying some $37,000 in bills from last year after assurances from the director of finance that the operations will run smoother.   Earlier in September, the council refused to pay $37,620.67 to 22 different vendors for items and services for highway, wastewater, and utility departments. The bills were from purchase orders from last fiscal year and asked to be paid out of this year's budget and the council felt there were missteps in processing.   The bills were tabled then and, on Tuesday, the


Annual BerkshireWorks Job Fair Offered More Jobs, More Employers
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:51PM / Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Upward of 80 employers had tables at Wednesday's job fair. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BerkshireWorks is seeing plenty of new employers join the annual job fair looking to hire. That is a signal to the organization that the economy is improving.   Amy Demarest, a business services representative with the state's training and employment agency, said Wednesday's job fair had 80 employers, the most in recent years, for some 400 prospective employees to meet.   "I think the numbers have increased steadily over the last few years. I think that it is a sign that the recession is receding and companies are hiring," Demarest said.    According to the


Farmers' Skills Can Pay Off for Investors, Too
Submitted by Edward Jones,
02:31PM / Wednesday, September 30, 2015

In many parts of the country, it’s harvest season. As a consumer, you will certainly be affected by the labors of farmers — and their particular skill set can also teach you a lot in your role as investor.

Here are a few suggestions for putting farmers’ behaviors to work for you:

* Keep a cool head. Farmers have to cope with all sorts of challenges – bad weather, changing crop prices, availability and cost of land, global trade policies, etc. But the most successful farmers don’t panic, follow sound agricultural practices and adapt their work habits as necessary. As an investor, you, too, need to keep a cool head, especially in the face of volatile markets,


Column: Five Years of Type One Diabetes Is Long Enough
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:38PM / Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Five years.

That's 1,825 days, 43,800 hours and 2,628,000 minutes since the most unwelcome guest entered my life.

On Oct. 1, 2010, I brought my 4-year-old daughter, Noelle, to the pediatrician. She had been drinking a lot and peeing a lot, and a co-worker told me those were signs of diabetes.

It can't possibly be diabetes, I thought as I watched my happy and healthy daughter breezily wave goodbye to her preschool friends. Had I known that I was witnessing the last carefree moment of her childhood, I would have tried to freeze time, wrap her in my arms and try with all my might to ward off what was coming next.

The pediatrician had her pee in a cup. Noelle thought that was

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Appointment of Special Police Officers Petitions Rejected in Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Wednesday, September 30, 2015
The City Council filed the petitions and is asking the mayor, police chief, and the union to work together to craft new ones. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council rejected three petitions regarding the appointment of special police officers because the union hadn't been involved.   Police Chief Michael Wynn said the three petitions are intended to protect civilians and retirees who serve the department in some capacity.   One change calls the animal control officers to be appointed a special officer so he or she is authorized to perform other duties. Another called for the appointment of retirees for traffic details. And the last would be for civilians — such

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Berkshire Tidbits: Spanish Wine, Apple Butchers & Pies Galore
By Judith Lerner, iBerkshires Columnist
11:39PM / Monday, September 28, 2015
Bascom Lodge offers a spectacular view with its dining options at the top of Mount Greylock.

Bodega Mugas Spanish Wine Dinner

Spirited Wines of Lenox will present a five-course, six-Spanish wine pairing dinner at Café Adam in Great Barrington.

Spirited's wine merchant and owner Jim Nejaime said, "We'll showcase six great wines from one of Rioja's most iconic wineries, Bodegas Muga including Reserva and highly rated Grand Reservas. We have visited Muga multiple times to view their beautiful vineyards, natural winemaking techniques, their own fire-toasted barrel-making facility and to sample with Senor Muga their amazing wines."

Bodegas Muga was founded in

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Perlman Recycling Accused Of Buying, Selling Cars Without Proper Permits
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:24PM / Monday, September 28, 2015
Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski, on the left, filed the complaint from the fire inspector's office. Perlman Recycling owner John Freedman, on the right, says his permit allows for the disposal of vehicles. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Perlman Recycling is accused of bypassing a city license required to buy and sell vehicles by going through an out-of-town entity.   Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski, through the inspections department, filed a complaint with the Licensing Board claiming Perlman is buying used vehicles and then shipping them off to Westfield for the parts to be resold.   The chief says that is a violation of the scrap metal license the company currently operates

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Berkshire Promotes Several to New Roles
02:09PM / Monday, September 28, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Berkshire Hills Bancorp has announced the promotion of Richard Marotta to president of Berkshire Bank and Sean Gray to chief operating officer of the bank.

Additionally, the bank promoted the following executives to senior executive vice president: George Bacigalupo, Josephine Iannelli , and Linda Johnston.   

Berkshire Bank has also promoted eight to the executive team, broadening the responsibilities of these leaders and creating a more effective operating structure.

 "Richard and Sean are results-driven, high-integrity leaders that have been integral to the growth of this company and this promotion reflects their contributions," said

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