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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Tyer Releases Proposed FY19 Budget
Staff Reports,
05:58AM / Saturday, May 05, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer has put forth an FY19 budget calling for a 1.8 percent increase in total expenditures.   On Friday, the mayor released her proposed $167.6 million spending plan. That reflects a $2.8 million increase from the current year. The City Council will be asked to raise and appropriate a total of $159.9 million of that.   "In FY19 we continue to be challenged in the form of a levy ceiling constraint. However, the FY19 budget renews our commitment to strategies that will foster increased property values and inspire new growth through private investment. Safe neighborhoods that are free from blighted conditions, competitive public schools that

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@theMarket: China Worries Dominate Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:59PM / Friday, May 04, 2018
You would think an unemployment rate that hit 3.9 percent in April would have cheered the market. It was, after all, the lowest such rate in 18 years. But no, all eyes were focused on the first round of China/U.S. trade talks, which conclude today.   The American team includes Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and two, hardline China hawks: Robert Lighthizer, our trade rep, and the administration's trade and manufacturing adviser, Peter Navarro. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin heads the team that is trying, according to the President 's tweet, "trying to negotiate a level playing field."   What we would like to see from the Chinese is a commitment to increase

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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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'Avengers: Infinity War': Goldberger's Complaint
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:24PM / Friday, May 04, 2018
President Re: "Avengers: Infinity War" Marvel Studios 500 S. Buena Vista Street Burbank, CA   Dear Sir or Madame,   I have a bone to pick. Well, actually, many bones. While I certainly appreciate the obvious effort your studio has put into the here referenced "Avengers: Infinity Wars," I cannot help but feel that your megamillion-dollar, superhero extravaganza is discriminatory against filmgoers not inculcated in the Marvel Comics Universe. Admittedly, being of a certain age, my comic hero fealty lies with "Superman" and, to a lesser degree, "Batman."    Oh, there was that time in my early teens when I had a dalliance with

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CHP Hosting Forum For Seniors
04:17PM / Friday, May 04, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — CHP will host "Berkshire Supergenarians: A Forum for Seniors" from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Berkshire Museum.

Supergenerians in their seventh, eighth, ninth, or 10th decade, or older, are invited to a free event about aging well. Guests should bring their questions and ideas. The goal is to start a dialogue between seniors and providers of health, wellness, and medical services.

Speakers will be Dr. Mark Pettus of Berkshire Health Systems, who will speak on "Take Charge of Your Health," and Dr. Debra Ann Pollack of the Center for Comprehensive Care, Danbury, Conn., who will speak on "Healthy Sleep for Seniors."

There will be free

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SteepleCats Seeking Host Families
03:42PM / Friday, May 04, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The North Adams SteepleCats are seeking host families to house players for their upcoming 2018 baseball season.

The host family commitment is to house a SteepleCats player from June 2 through the beginning of August. Players should have their own room and families provide their meals. Players will arrange their own transportation.  

In exchange, host families receive a "Golden Ticket" that allows them to attend any game throughout the league – and never expires. They also receive a discount on SteepleCats merchandise and are able to build a relationship which can last a lifetime.

For more information on hosting a player, email Pat Decker.

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Economic Development Secretary to Speak at BCC Commencement
11:07AM / Friday, May 04, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash will be teh keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College's 58th commencement exercises to be held Friday, June 1, at Tanglewood in Lenox.   Ash is responsible for directing and executing Gov. Charlie Baker's agenda on housing and community development, job creation, business development, consumer affairs, and business regulation. Since joining the Baker-Polito administration, Ash has prioritized efforts to grow jobs, help communities realize their economic development priorities, connect citizens to new economic opportunities, and build prosperity across

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: May 4-10
10:45AM / Friday, May 04, 2018

 

MAY 4 is First Friday Artswalk & More! Enjoy more than a dozen different art shows featuring work by more than two dozen accomplished regional and student artists in Pittsfield's bustling Upstreet Cultural District during the First Friday Artswalk, and all month long!   In most venues, artists will be present from 5-8 p.m. A free guided tour begins at 5 p.m. at the Intermodal Center @ BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.   This month's Artswalk is part of Massachusetts ArtWeek, and will feature  a community painting of Pittsfield at

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Pittsfield Girls Softball's Opening Day Set for Saturday
Community submission,
09:54AM / Friday, May 04, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – The Pittsfield Girls’ Softball League will open its season on Saturday with festivities beginning at 10 a.m. at the Doyle Softball Complex on Benedict Road.   Instructional, Rookie League, and Minor League players and coaches will introduced at a ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. followed by the National Anthem performed by PGS coaches pitch player, 7-year-old Addyson Sweet, and a first pitch thrown by Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer.    There will be a clinic at 10 a.m. for instructional players with direction from Pittsfield High School softball players.     PGS is happy to partner once again with the Lanesborough Softball League as

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Caccaviello Officially Kicks Off Campaign For District Attorney
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Friday, May 04, 2018

Caccaviello has worked in the Berkshire District Attorney's office for almost 30 years. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — If wisdom comes from experience, Paul Caccaviello says his 30 years of working in the district attorney's office has given him the wisdom to lead it.   Caccaviello is currently the district attorney after David Capeless resigned from the post earlier this year. The former first assistant district attorney took to the Berkshire Superior Courthouse steps on Thursday to officially kick off his campaign for the job.   "You should not expect political jargon or spin, buzzwords and vague talking points, from your candidate. You should expect decisions

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Lanesborough Selects Holland Executive as Town Administrator
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
09:01PM / Thursday, May 03, 2018

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. —  After eight interviews, the Selectmen on Thursday night unanimously voted to offer the post of town administrator to Kelli Robbins.

The board felt no need to go to a second round of interviews Thursday evening and after interviewing two more candidates voted to hire Robbins, the executive secretary for the town of Holland, after about 15 minutes of debate.

"I would feel comfortable with her. Personally, I feel she could do your [current Town Manager Paul Sieloff] job," Selectman Henry 'Hank' Sayers said. "She would have to learn about the town but otherwise she could sit in that seat."

After interviewing final candidates

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BArT Announces Third Quarter Honor Roll
07:16PM / Thursday, May 03, 2018

ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School has announced the students who made honor roll for the third quarter of the 2017-2018 school year. 

Students who earned 80 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of “Honors”. Students who earned 90 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of “High Honors.”

Academic courses at BART are aligned with the Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks for the appropriate grade level and include all standards deemed necessary for a complete, college-preparatory, middle and high school education.

Grade Six

High Honors: Abreyana Avila, Tiana

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Guest Column: Tobacco Industry Targeting Teens With Vaping
By Joyce Brewer, Guest Column
07:00PM / Thursday, May 03, 2018

Thanks to the tobacco and vaping industries targeting our youth, Berkshire County has experienced an increase in the use of e-cigarettes, such as the JUUL, by young people.

In my job, I speak with people throughout our region about the dangers of tobacco and about how the tobacco industry targets kids. Usually, they are alarmed and surprised to learn that youth use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices such as JUUL is not just another harmless fad, but that these products contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance that is getting youth hooked. Nearly 24 percent of high-school-aged youth in Massachusetts report using e-cigarettes and almost 45 percent have used them at least

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