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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Area Catholic High Students, Bishop in D.C. for Pope
Community Submission,
05:33PM / Thursday, September 24, 2015
Bishop Mitchell Rozanski and Congressman Richard E. Neal outside the U.S. Capitol prior to the speech of Pope Francis to a Joint Session of Congress.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Some 30 students from Western Massachusetts, including five from St. Joseph's High School, traveled to Washington, D.C., for Pope Francis II's address to a joint session of Congress.

The students were provided with tickets by U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., to a restricted viewing area outside the Capitol. Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of the Diocese of Springfield was Neal's guest in the House chamber during the pope's address on Thursday.

"I was honored today to be the guest of Cong[ressman]

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'Black Mass': Very Badfellas
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:48PM / Thursday, September 24, 2015
Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
Warner Bros. Johnny Depp portrays Boston mobster Whitey Bulger in the sadistic by-the-numbers bad guy move 'Black Mass.'

his is icky stuff. While gangster film fans interested in violence first and plot second might enjoy Johnny Depp's outrageously sadistic portrayal of South Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger in director Scott Cooper's "Black Mass," discriminating devotees of the genre will be turned off by the rampant distastefulness. Although a true story, the script doubtlessly derives from the stencil a la Mafioso iconicized by Coppola and Scorsese.

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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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The Independent Investor: How Cell Phones Hurt Your Productivity
By Bill Schmick,
12:42PM / Thursday, September 24, 2015

Forty-two years ago, when the cell phone was first invented, the new device was hailed as a major tool in boosting everyone's productivity. Today, we are discovering that the opposite is true. The cell phone has become a major distraction.

Ever notice how many people on the job are making cell phone calls? Cops, clerks, nurses, brokers — it doesn't matter who they are — their dependence on their cell phone is almost an addiction. New research reveals that you don't even have to answer your phone to reduce your productivity.

A study by the Journal of Experimental Psychology discovered that subjects who needed intense focus in their daily routines performed poorly

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Housing, Health Care, Top Priorities For Aging Demographics
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:09AM / Thursday, September 24, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — By 2030 nearly all Berkshire County municipalities will have more than 60 percent of their population over the age of 50.   An effort has been mounted locally to start laying the plans for communities to be more age friendly when the baby boomer generation turns 65. The first step in that is to find out what the older generation wants.    "We're really going to be an aged community," said Laura Kittross, who headed the survey.    The trend is national but the Berkshires are ahead of the curve. The median age is 44 in the Berkshires but there are more adults over the age of 65 then under the age of 18.   The majority of

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Berkshire Museum Announces Access Program for Low-Income Families
03:17PM / Wednesday, September 23, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Museum has joined Museums for All, a signature access program of the Association of Children’s Museums and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to encourage families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits.

The program will enable low-income families (two adults and two children) to visit the Berkshire Museum free with the presentation of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Families can also visit any participating museum year-round for a minimal fee. Museums for All is part of the Berkshire Museum’s broad commitment to seek, include, and welcome all.

Berkshire Museum’s

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Tyer Outspending Bianchi So Far In Pittsfield Mayoral Race
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:28PM / Wednesday, September 23, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Preliminary fundraising reports show mayoral candidate Linda Tyer has raised more and spent more thus far in the 2015 election campaign.   The reports filed last Monday show the city clerk raised $23,110 so far. However, she also spent, a total of $16,191.21, leaving her with a balance of $8,431.99.    Incumbent Daniel Bianchi started with $12,077.43 in his campaign account and so far has raised an additional $9,200. He's spent $7,918.47 leaving him with a balance of $13,358.96.   The other two candidates in the preliminary field, Donna Walto and Craig Gaetani, both filed saying they haven't raised any money.   Tyer reported

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Act Soon to Close Your Insurance Gap
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:39AM / Wednesday, September 23, 2015

If you work for a fairly sizable company, you may be entering your open enrollment season, when you can add or adjust your employer-sponsored benefits. While you probably should review all your benefits, you may want to pay special attention to your life insurance to determine if you and your family are adequately protected.

How much life insurance do you need? You may hear that you require anywhere from seven to 10 times your annual income in life insurance coverage, but this rule of thumb might not be appropriate for everyone; the amount of insurance you need will depend on your individual situation.

To help determine if a “gap” exists between the amount of insurance you

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Tyer, Bianchi Secure Mayoral Seats In Pittsfield Preliminary
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:38PM / Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Supporters for both top vote-getters were out with signs throughout the city and the day. Unfortunately, they weren't waving to a lot of people because only 18 percent of registered voters made it to the polls.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Linda Tyer reeled in almost 55 percent of the preliminary vote Tuesday with incumbent Daniel Bianchi finishing 830 votes behind her.

Tyer took 13 of the city's 14 precincts.

"I am honored. I have a great team around me and the voters have realized that we have the right vision for our city," the city clerk said.   Bianchi said he wasn't surprised at the outcome, noting that he hasn't ramped up his campaigning yet.

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Berkshire Health Honors Judge Sacco With Doyle Award
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:42PM / Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Judge Rudolph A. Sacco was honored with BHS' Doyle Award for community service on Monday evening.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Retired Judge Rudolph A. Sacco was honored by the Berkshire Health Systems board of trustees for his many efforts on behalf of his city and the wider community with the Francis X. Doyle Award.

The presentation was made by trustees Chairman Timothy Doherty at Monday evening's special board meeting, which included the announcement of Berkshire Medical Center's membership in a new cancer care collaborative.

"Many local organizations have greatly benefited from those contributions to the community by Judge Sacco," said Doherty. "We can all

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Three Utility Poles Fall As Result of Pittsfield Car Crash
By Andy McKeever,
01:54PM / Tuesday, September 22, 2015
The gold car was seen by witnesses driving into the poles as it crossed the median. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A mid-day accident ripped out three utility poles from the center median of West Street.   Police refused to comment on the accident but witnesses at the scene said a gold Pontiac sped over the median near the intersection of West Street and Center Street.   The car then proceeded toward Park Square, taking out a total of three metal utility poles along the median, and ultimately was stopped when it crashed into parked cars parked along the westbound lane.   The Pontiac suffered damaged to both the front, hood, and roof. The driver's side door of a gray

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North Adams, Pittsfield Preliminary Elections Tuesday
12:38AM / Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Voters in Pittsfield and North Adams head to the polls Tuesday to narrow the fields in their respective mayoral campaigns to two.

In North Adams, voters will choose between three candidates vying for a spot on the November election ballot.

Incumbent Richard Alcombright is running for a fourth two-year term; challenging him are developer and artist Eric Rudd and John Barrett III, former longtime mayor of North Adams.

There are four candidates to select from in Pittsfield. Again, the two top vote-getters will face off in November, this time for a four-year term under the city's recently revised charter.

Incumbent Daniel Bianchi is vying for a third term; challenging him are Linda

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Making the Loop
by Soapbox
04:44PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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We had some free time this week to walk the 2-mile loop through the downtown. Here's a few of things that caught our eye. (In between taking photos, we were heel-toeing and arm-pumping as prescribed.)

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