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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Health Officials Considering Needle Exchange Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:38AM / Thursday, August 04, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City officials are looking into whether a needle exchange program will help halt the spread of infectious diseases.   In the face of a heroin epidemic, a needle exchange program is one way to help users stop a growing number of Hepatitis C cases.   Liz Whynott, director of the Syringe Access Program for Tapestry Health, said her organization currently runs two programs in Western Massachusetts — one in Holyoke and one in Northampton — and provides a way for users of injected drugs to have access to clean needles and to dispose of used needles.   "We are anonymous. There is so much stigma and shame. People are very uncomfortable to

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Connecticut Tops Post 68 at American Legion Regional
By Stephen Dravis, Sports
09:41PM / Wednesday, August 03, 2016
BRISTOL, Conn. -- For seven innings on Wednesday afternoon, Izayia Mestre sizzled.   The Taconic High School rising senior and Post 68 ace held the reigning American Legion Northeast Regional champions to four hits and just one unearned run.   But in the eighth inning at Muzzy Field, Cromwell, Conn., came alive offensively. Six hits, five runs and two Post 68 relievers later, it was a 6-0 ballgame, and Cromwell ace Cole Ogorzalek made sure that is where it stood.   The Connecticut champs stayed in the winners bracket and sent Post 68 to the losers bracket where on Thursday morning it will face South Portland, Maine, in an elimination game to try to stay alive. The Mainers on


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

Thrilling Music at Tanglewood, Tannery Pond and Manchester
By Stephen Dankner, Special to
01:20PM / Wednesday, August 03, 2016

With the arrival of August, we are at the height of the music festival season. Programs at Tanglewood offer a diverse and intriguing mix of solo piano music by two stellar virtuosi on consecutive evening recitals; the Boston Symphony performing a feast of Romantic fare: Dvorák, Liszt, Mahler, Brahms, Richard Strauss and also contemporary master John Adams; superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble; and much more.

For additional options, head to Tannery Pond, in New Lebanon, N.Y., for the luminous Miro String Quartet and to Manchester, Vt., for no less than three (!) diverse musical offerings.



• Thursday, Aug. 4, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: Due to


Free Turnpike Transponders to be Handed Out at Pittsfield Farmers Market
12:34PM / Wednesday, August 03, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Jessica Vecchia of the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market have collaborated to bring the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s E-ZPass Van to the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market, on The Common on First Street, on Saturday, Aug. 6, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. to distriubute free transponders for the Massachusetts Turnpike.
MassDOT is currently in the process of transitioning to All Electronic Tolling (AET) for I-90, both directions. MassDOT intends to test AET software during the summer of 2016 and to activate AET by the end of the year. A previously scheduled "go live" date in the month of October


Diversification Is Still Important for Retirees
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:27PM / Wednesday, August 03, 2016

During your working years, your primary investment goal is generally growth – you need your money to grow so that you can eventually afford the comfortable retirement lifestyle you’ve envisioned. But when you retire, should you change course and adjust your investment strategy from "offense" to "defense"?

Actually, it’s not quite that simple. To begin with, even while you are working, you don’t want your portfolio to be completely filled with growth-oriented investments, such as stocks. If it were, you would likely be taking on a degree of investment risk that’s too high, because, as you may know, stocks will fluctuate in price –


Solar Array Plan Proposed For Residential Churchill Street Land
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Wednesday, August 03, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A 40-acre parcel on the northern end of Churchill Street, which has been the subject of debate over a recycling operation there, is now eyed for solely solar.   Churchill Solar LLC is looking to purchase the property and turn four of its six lots into a commercial solar array with the remaining two lots currently staying undeveloped.   The plan is the third iteration of use for that property. It was subdivided in 2007 to become a housing development with eight homes and when that fell through a new plan was for leasing to an organic recycling and mulch business with  another company installing a solar array.   The recycling business not only


Berkshire Force 16u Team Wins Babe Ruth World Series
09:39PM / Tuesday, August 02, 2016
JENSEN BEACH, Fla. -- Toni Satrape went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored Tuesday evening to help the Berkshire Force 16-and-under softball team defeat WVAC-Debary and claim the Babe Ruth Softball National Championship.   Ashley Keegan went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI at the plate and went the distance in the circle, striking out three and not allowing an earned run.   Haley Tobin, Toni Satrape and Erin Murphy each drove in a run. Britney Perkett went 2-for-3 and scored two runs.   Earlier Tuesday, Berkshire played its way into the championship game by winning the continuation of a game started Monday evening against host Jensen Beach.   Keegan struck out six and


Hoops Not Crime Initiative Builds New BBall Court at Dower Square
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:53PM / Tuesday, August 02, 2016

The court was build by sponsors as part of the Hoops Not Crime program and is named after Shavez Forte. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The children at Dower Square were once playing hoop on broken pavement. But not anymore thanks to the Pittsfield Police Department and local businesses.   As part of the Hoops Not Crime initiative, Officer Darren Derby earlier this summer rallied local businesses to construct a brand-new basketball court. The concept is part of the growing national movement among police departments to forge relationships with the community through basketball.   "I've kind of injected myself, if you will, into this housing community. A lot of the kids never


Berkshire Opera Festival Debuts in August
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:53AM / Tuesday, August 02, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County offers summer visitors a world-renowned symphony, Tony Award-winning theater and important works of art from the Renaissance to the contemporary.   The region truly has it all ... almost.   Actually, there is at least one hole in the county's arts scene, a hole that Jonathan Loy and Brian Garman are aiming to fill.   "Absolutely, the Berkshires are the most culturally rich place in the country," Loy said recently. "For there not to be opera here is unfortunate and maybe even a problem.   "Opera is an art form that deserves to be heard and seen and supported. By bringing fully produced opera back, what

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Berkshire Force 14u Team Slips into Losers Bracket at World Series
08:59PM / Monday, August 01, 2016
JENSEN BEACH, Fla. -- The USA Glory 14-year-old softball team defeated the Berkshire Force, 12-2, on Monday evening at the Babe Ruth World Series.   Shae Ebert went 4-for-4 with six RBIs for the Glory, which broke open a 2-2 tie with three runs in the top of the fourth.   Tess Lyon went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored to lead Berkshire, which got four innings in the circle from Mary Lee, who allowed two earned runs, before handing the ball to Addyson Lyon.   Earlier in the day on Monday, the Force rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh to advance against the TCAA Wildcats.   Tess Lyon went 2-for-3, and Madison Tobin and Jordyn Lummus each recorded a hit


Berkshire Tidbits: Farmstands and Fairs
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
06:38PM / Monday, August 01, 2016

Market Manager Jessica Conzo Vecchia takes coupons from a shopper at the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers' Market in 2015.

In this height of farmers' market season — stands full of local corn, tomatoes, lettuces, herbs, zucchinis and so much more — farmers' market coupons for income-eligible seniors 60 and over are finally being distributed in Berkshire County starting this week.

The coupons are also available for disabled people under 60 who live in congregate housing that has a meal site such as Crossway Tower in Lee, Providence Court in Pittsfield and Heaton Court in Stockbridge.

The income level for farmers' market coupon eligibility is 185 percent of the


'Star Trek Beyond': Once More Into the Allegory
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:09PM / Monday, August 01, 2016

Justin Lin's "Star Trek Beyond" has a built-in likability factor, just a few notches below Mom and apple pie. Therefore, in the never-ending quest for objectivity in film criticism, the question must be posed: If one had been in a coma since before Gene Roddenberry created the "Star Trek" phenomenon, and upon awakening were shown this latest venture to where no one has gone before, what would he or she think of it?

Don't dwell on the inherent sadness of how young our viewer must have been when lapsing into a coma. It's hypothetical. But his name is Billy.

The contention here is that, more than likely, while dining on the requisite graham crackers and


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