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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Judge Denies BMC's Request To Halt Strike
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:19PM / Friday, September 29, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A federal judge has denied Berkshire Medical Center's request for a temporary injunction to halt the one-day strike planned Tuesday by the nursing union.   The hospital had filed an emergency motion requesting the federal courts to put a stop to the strike. The hospital alleged that the Massachusetts Nurses Association did not follow the proper grievance process as outlined in the contract. It asked for a temporary injunction.   On Friday, Judge Mark G. Mastroianni denied that emergency request after a hearing in U.S. District Court in Springfield. The nurses plan to go ahead with the one-day strike on Tuesday.   "We are disappointed that it

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Superior Court Briefs: Sept. 18 - Sept. 29
Staff Reports,
02:05PM / Friday, September 29, 2017
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, September 18.   Logan Delisle, 20, of Pittsfield was found guilty of one count of rape and abuse of a child without force.   On Tuesday, he was sentenced to two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction. Delisle sexually assaulted a girl who was 15 at the time in Pittsfield on December 21, 2015.    Delisle was found not guilty on two counts of rape and abuse of a child without force.    Derrick Laforest, 34, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and intimidation of a witness.   He was sentenced to two and a

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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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Jacob's Pillow Offers Year-Round Programming Through May
01:01PM / Friday, September 29, 2017

BECKET, Mass. — After celebrating its record-breaking 85th anniversary season, Jacob's Pillow announces new, expanded fall, winter and spring programming as a main component of Vision '22, a strategic approach to the Pillow's transformation into a year-round center for dance research and development and a civic partner in our region.

Highlights include the launch of the Pillow Lab and the In Process Series, a series of 12 customized artist residencies open to an intimate, invited audience; year-round events consisting of convenings, social dances, Pillow Pop-Up performances and community programming; and co-presentations with Berkshire County cultural partners including

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MCLA Announces Distinguished Alumni Awards
12:46PM / Friday, September 29, 2017

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts announces that this year's Distinguished Alumni Awards were given to Jamal Ahamad '11, Wayne A. Soares '89, Susan A. Bell '97, Russell J. Pearce '60, Daniel J. Trombley '90 and Ellen L. Kennedy '83, who were honored at an awards ceremony as part of MCLA's annual reunion weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 23.

Ahamad received the Young Alumnus Award, which is presented to the individual who, within 10 years of their MCLA commencement, has shown significant growth in their chosen profession and/or career path, received recognition as an emerging leader through professional and/or community achievements,

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Sept. 19-Oct. 5
11:16AM / Friday, September 29, 2017

VIEW DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR     September 29 - October 5,

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Gonzalez Looks to Bring Aggressive Agenda to Governor's Race
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Friday, September 29, 2017

The Needham Democrat stopped at Dottie's for coffee and conversations. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Jay Gonzalez sees a lack of leadership coming from the governor's office.   The Needham Democrat says when it comes to transportation, health care, and early childhood education, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is happy with "the status quo."   "He's way too satisfied with the status quo. He is too often on the sidelines when he should be fighting for people. I think his approach to the job has been one where he basically looks at what we have and where we are and is trying to just do the best with what we have as opposed to figuring out where we need to

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Grant Helps Spread the 'Bee Friendly Williamstown' Buzz
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:30AM / Friday, September 29, 2017

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town has received a $9,120 grant from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at University of Massachusetts at Lowell to further its efforts to become "Bee Friendly Williamstown."

Last May, Williamstown residents approved a non-binding resolution declaring the town a pollinator-friendly community. The resolution seeks to change residential and institutional landscaping practices by promoting ways to reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides that scientists believe are killing bee populations.

Building on that, the town has partnered with several local organizations - Caretaker Farm, the Clark Art Institute, Images Cinema, Sam and Elizabeth Smith,

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Panel Explores Big Challenges Facing Local Education System
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:18AM / Friday, September 29, 2017

The forum was moderated by NAACP President Dennis Powell and included Alicia Costa from Working Cities, Brendan Sheran from Pittsfield High School, Andrea Wadsworth from the Lee School Committee, and William Cameron, the former superintendent of the Central Berkshire Regional School District. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Education advocates have identified some major issues facing the future of the county's public school system in health insurance, private educational institutions, transportation, funding, and population.    On Thursday, Jobs with Justice held a forum to bring those issues to the forefront, hoping to build momentum behind solving the problems.   The

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Letter: Suicide Prevention Walk Set in Adams
04:00PM / Thursday, September 28, 2017

To the Editor:

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 34; it is the only leading cause of death to have increased every year of the past decade. (Statistics provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).

Members of the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention Board (BCSP) recently met with a group of youths to talk about the risks to the emotional and mental health of young people exposed to deliberately cruel posts on social media. We discussed how forums intended to foster communication can be used to bully others, and how victims of cyber bullying can feel increased isolation and anxiety and experience low

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'Brad's Status': What's It All About, Alfie?
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
02:31PM / Thursday, September 28, 2017
In "Brad's Status," Brad Sloan nearly drives us crazy with his unremitting regret and self-doubt as he accompanies his son, Troy, played by Austin Abrams, to look at colleges in Boston. Oh, we all do it. That's how we keep score. It's just that Brad, portrayed by Ben Stiller, is especially effective in showing us how unattractive this practice seems if not kept in check. Still, we are compelled to commiserate, appreciating that Stiller's imaging of the neurotic, 21st century everyman adds an insightful chapter to the human comedy.   Written and directed by Mike White, Brad's travail is entertaining in that alternately painful and bittersweet way, when

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Pittsfield Approves Incentive For LTI Smart Glass
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:39AM / Thursday, September 28, 2017

Director of Community Development Deanna Ruffer said she reviewed the company's financials and is confident that it will meet the challenge portion of the incentive too. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council approved a $580,000 tax incentive to help LTI Smart Glass expand its Federico Drive facility.   The company is looking to add 16,692 square feet to its facility and add 38 jobs at a minimum. And the company is investing in equipment to perform work it currently farms out to other states, here in Pittsfield.   "There are a couple of components here. It is the job growth but it is also the capital investment to create something this company currently

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BMC Asks Court To Halt Nurses Union Strike
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:15PM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center is seeking a preliminary injunction to halt a planned one-day strike.   The hospital filed for an injunction in federal court, claiming the Massachusetts Nursing Association had not followed contractual obligations prior to calling a strike. The union, however, asserts that the strike is legal and still plans to take to the picket lines on Tuesday.    In the union's filing for a strike, it listed it as an "unfair labor practice" strike. But, each of the complaints made by the union regarding unfair labor practices occurred while under contract and should have been resolved through an arbitration process,

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