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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

'Jane Got a Gun': Misfires
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:35PM / Thursday, February 04, 2016

A few decades ago, before the revisionist Western (i.e. Robert Altman's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," 1971) moseyed into our movie palaces, director Gavin O'Connor's ultrarealistic "Jane Got a Gun" might have fascinated us and even won a few awards.

But I tell you pardner, by this juncture I've just about had a belly full of poor cowpokes and sodbusters trying to scratch out a living in inhospitable country populated by no-account varmints, gunslingers and the precursors of what would evolve into American big business.

Alas, this latest example trenchantly reminds that there's no going back to the idealistic cowboy yarn. Nope, life is tough, and

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The Independent Investor: Is a Recession Looming?
By Bill Schmick,
03:22PM / Thursday, February 04, 2016

The funny thing about declining stock markets is that when they last more than a couple of weeks, talk of recession starts to percolate among investors. It is no different this time.  

I have written before that the stock market has erroneously called six of the last 13 declines as recessions, meaning that weak stock prices do not necessarily herald a weak economy. There have been instances in the past where a prolonged decline over a year or so has contributed to a recession but even then the data is not conclusive.

There is no evidence thus far that the U.S. economy is rolling over. Economic data continues to be spotty, which is consistent with a moderately growing economy.

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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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Old Country Buffet Abruptly Closes in Pittsfield
Staff Reports,
10:19AM / Thursday, February 04, 2016

The restaurant is permanently closed according to a notice posted on the door of Old Country Buffet. PITTSFIELD, Mass.— Old Country Buffet employees were surprised Thursday morning find a sign posted on the door saying the restaurant was closing for good.   The closure is part of 74 Ovation Brands restaurants throughout the nation to close on Thursday.   A sign posted on the restaurant's front door reads:   "To team members at this location, we regret to inform you that this location has been closed permanently. Please see the visiting manager for exit paperwork, along with monies due to you. We do encourage and invite you to reapply at one of the nearby

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Economic Future Being Planned for Pittsfield's Tyler Street
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:17AM / Thursday, February 04, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Could Tyler Street become the city's food mecca?    That's one idea for the Morningside neighborhood. Planning and architecture firm Elan is transitioning from the fact-finding stage to developing actual strategies and goals for redevelopment in Tyler Street.   "This is the breaking point when we move into the process," Lisa Nagle, a principal with Elan, said.    On Wednesday, the firm held its last major public input session with an open house at the IUE Union Hall. A series of posters asked for public comments on a number of focus areas.   Elan is contracted to develop a long-term plan for Morningside and, since

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Pittsfield Board Suspends Lach's Lounge Liquor License
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:31PM / Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Arthur Beattie Jr. said it was unfair to hold his bar accountable for the shooting and denied that patrons were being overserved.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Licensing Board member Richard Stockwell was in Lach's Lounge on Jan. 23.

He left at 10:30 p.m. because he knows that the crowd that arrives after 11 isn't for him.

A few hours later, James Dominguez was murdered in the parking lot next to the bar. Police determined Dominguez was at Lach's Lounge until closing that night and officers at the scene say many patrons of Lach's Lounge had been overserved.   On Wednesday, the Licensing Board agreed to suspend Lach's Lounge's license for seven days, reduce

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NBCC Director Adam Hinds Making Run for State Senate
Staff Reports,
12:30PM / Wednesday, February 03, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Adam Hinds is tossing his hat in for state Senate.

Hinds, currently executive director of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition in North Adams, formally announced for the seat on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. at the Hotel on North.

The invitation event included some 50 friends, colleagues and supporters, and local media. His campaign website is here.

"I live in Pittsfield, work in North County, come from Franklin County," Hinds said of his decision to run as the Democratic nominee. "I'm from the small towns, I understand those issues as well. I think I bring a perspective that covers each area of this district."

He is the first candidate

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Magical 'Tempest' Arrives in Pittsfield this July
10:52AM / Wednesday, February 03, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park, with the Office of Cultural Development, will present its third annual free outdoor production this summer, performing "The Tempest," Shakespeare's final play about revenge and redemption on a magical, mysterious island.  

The production, sponsored by local businesses and organizations led by Berkshire Money Management, will be directed by PSP's artistic director Enrico Spada and star long-time Berkshire actor Glenn Barrett as the wizard Prospero.

New Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer offered her hopes for another successful season.   "Arts and culture are absolutely fundamental to the vitality of

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Buono Joins CompuWorks as VCIO
10:33AM / Wednesday, February 03, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Christopher Buono has joined CompuWorks HealthyIT team as Virtual Chief Information Officer.

As a VCIO, Buono will guide clients through the critical process of aligning technology decisions with organizational goals by understanding where the company is today and its vision for the future.

Buono has worked in the Information Technology field for more than 20 years, including 12 years in leadership roles. He holds a BS in Management Information Systems from the University at Albany's Business School and attended the MBA program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lally School of Management.

Buono holds numerous technical certifications including

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Pittsfield Council Recrafting Rules Of Order
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:46AM / Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Council President Peter Marchetti presented a number of changes he'd like to see. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Will the general public be allotted time during inauguration to speak on any item?    Currently, the City Council's rules of order say for 15 minutes at the start of the special meeting there will be an open microphone for residents to voice their opinions on anything from tax rates to conspiracy theories.    The City Council's Ordinance and Rules subcommittee wants to increase public input by expanding sessions to all subcommittee meetings but as the members wove through the process language changes upon language changes piled

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Pittsfield 4th of July Parade Theme Announced
09:45AM / Wednesday, February 03, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Parade Committee announced that the 2016 Fourth of July Parade theme is “Music & Dance Through the Years.”

“Our 2016 theme emanated from a combination of suggestions we received from the community, many promoting the idea that we should honor the Berkshires’ tradition of great summer music and dance venues," Pittsfield Parade Committee President Peter Marchetti said. "The other piece is that the theme will tie in nicely with the drum corps show that will take place on July 3 at Wahconah Park.”

Parade applications are now being accepted. Applications will be mailed to past attendees and for those who

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Are You Prepared for Financial Disasters?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
09:19AM / Wednesday, February 03, 2016

“Be prepared” is the Scout motto, and it’s also pretty good advice for anyone seeking to guard against various disasters – including financial ones.

Here are some events that can have serious financial consequences, along with suggestions on preparing yourself:

• Loss of employment – If you were to lose your job, your family might have to struggle financially to make it until you’re employed again. To protect against this potential threat, try to build an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses.

That’s a lot of money, of course, so it will be challenging to build such a fund – but try to

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Pignatelli Seeking Return To House; Not Running For Senate
Staff Reports, iBerkshires
05:48PM / Tuesday, February 02, 2016
LENOX, Mass. — None of the Berkshires' House of Representatives delegates are looking to move to the Senate.   On Tuesday, 4th Berkshire District Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli said he will not seek the Senate seat being left vacant by state Sen. Benjamin Downing, who is not running for re-election. Pignatelli will instead seek another term in the House.    "I love the House! I am honored to serve! In that spirit and in the best interest of my family and the district that I call home, it will be an honor for me to run for re-election to the House of Representatives. Together with each of you and with the Berkshire Delegation, we will continue to

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