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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

New York/Berkshire Rail Group Begins Research Into Passenger Service
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:44PM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The working group is looking for ways to bring seasonal weekend rail service between NYC and the Berkshires. LENOX, Mass. — The working group looking to develop New York-to-Pittsfield passenger rail is beginning a deep dive into collating data and reaching out to possible stakeholders.   The initial focus will be on local connections, market potential, and railroad capacity issues as the group prepares a report to be delivered to the Legislature in March.    "It's an exciting charge that we have before us," said state Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, who is spearheading the project and authored the legislation directing it. "The highlights are

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Health Matters: The Hidden Benefits of Local Food
Sponsored Content,
12:03PM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Farmers market displays are colorful and eye-catching.

Some local food enthusiasts have called September "the best food month." All of the summer's produce — tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers and sweet corn — is still available locally, and the fall vegetables, like squash and parsnips, are coming ready too.

If you are not accustomed to shopping at a farmers market, it is a great time to check it out. What you'll find there — in addition to the festival atmosphere, friendly neighbors, live music and delicious ready-made ethnic foods — are conditions that make it easier to eat healthfully.

As you enter the market you will notice the beauty

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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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Biz Briefs: Citizens for a Greater Bennington to Support the Putnam Block Project
11:23AM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Around the block: The Citizens for a Greater Bennington, in partnership with Preservation Trust of Vermont and the Vermont Natural Resources Council, are giving a $100,000 grant to support the Putnam Block Redevelopment Project. The CFGB Grant will be made through the Southwestern Vermont Hospital Foundation and will leverage an additional $100,000 contribution from the Bank of Bennington.

The Putnam Block Project is a vibrant, mixed-use downtown space with offices, in-town living, restaurants and retail.  The Putnam Block Redevelopment is a community-led development. The civic leaders of Bennington together with the town, state and key tenants are providing the investments and

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Here's Your Retirement Countdown
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:51AM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

If you want to enjoy a comfortable retirement lifestyle, you don't need to have been born rich or even to have earned scads of money during your working years. But you do need to make the right moves at the right time – which means you might want to start a "retirement countdown" well before you draw your final paycheck.

What might such a countdown look like? Here are a few ideas:

Ten years before retirement: At this stage of your career, you might be at, or at least near, your peak earning capacity. At the same time, your kids may have grown and left the home, and you might even have paid off your mortgage. All these factors, taken together, may mean that you can

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Pittsfield Allocates $1 Million Toward BIC Construction
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:03AM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Rod Jane and members of the Berkshire Innovation Center Board were on hand Tuesday night to answer questions about the request. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is putting forth $1 million from the GE Economic Development Fund to jump start the stalled construction of the Berkshire Innovation Center.   The City Council unanimously approved using the money to help cover a $3 million funding gap for a 20,000 square-foot facility at the William Stanley Business Park. The remaining $2 million is expected to come from the state.   The Massachusetts Life Science Center had already committed $9.7 million, and an additional $2 million will bring the total state support for the

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Ciccolo Case Delayed Another Two Months
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:18PM / Tuesday, September 26, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A technical glitch and a technical legal question are the latest causes of delay in the case against an Adams man accused of plotting terrorist attacks.   The lawyers in the case of the United States vs Alexander Ciccolo were back in Judge Mark G. Mastroianni's court on Tuesday morning.   The attorneys have spent months hashing out the issues of discovery, i.e., what information the government is required to give the defense prior to trial in light of the fact that much of that evidence is covered by the Classified Information Procedures Act.   It was apparent at the start of the 15-minute hearing that even the internal workings of the federal

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Pittsfield Draws For General Election Ballot Positions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:34PM / Tuesday, September 26, 2017

City Clerk Jody Phillips and Assistant Clerk Michele Cetti drew the names. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The ballot positions are set.   On Tuesday afternoon City Clerk Jody Phillips and Assistant Clerk Michele Cetti drew the names randomly from a tumbler. There are six candidates vying for four at-large seats, two candidates in each of six of seven wards, and six running for six seats on the School Committee.   At-large candidates Melissa Mazzeo, Earl Persip, Edward Carmel and Ward 4 candidate Christopher Connell were all present for the drawing, placing their own names into the tumbler - which ultimately didn't seem to help as Mazzeo and Connell both ended with last

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Pittsfield Crafting Guidelines For Using CPA Funds
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:30AM / Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The first public outreach session was held Monday night. Soon a survey will be released asking for residents to weigh in on how the money should be used. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city hopes to accept applications for projects through the Community Preservation Act in early 2018.   Voters adopted the act last November, which places a 1 percent surcharge on tax bills, with the first $100,000 of value being exempted. That money is set aside and matched partly by the state.   A Community Preservation Committee makes recommendations on how to spend that money but it is restricted to projects in just four categories: historic preservation, open space conservation, affordable

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Local Democrats Rally Against Latest Federal Health Care Bill
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:30PM / Monday, September 25, 2017

Park Square was lined with people opposing the new federal health care proposal. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Republicans are attempting to once again repeal and replace the ACA with a new health care program.    The so-called Graham-Cassidy bill, sponsored by Republicans Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, is the latest attempt at a new federal health care program.   Republicans spent much of the weekend attempting to round up the votes needed to pass, but the bill is looking to fall short -- with three Republicans already indicating they will leave the bill short on votes.   But that didn't stop a few dozen local Democrats from taking to Park Square in protest

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Berkshires Beat: Fall Foliage Children's Races Winners Announced
01:08PM / Monday, September 25, 2017

Youths participate in the Fall Foliage Children's Races on Sept. 23.

The winners are: Local families took to Noel Field to enjoy a morning of fun on Saturday, Sept. 23, with about a dozen local nonprofits offering games, art projects and giveaways for the annual Fall Foliage Children's Races and Family Fair. The winners of the children's race were presented with medals by Mayor Richard Alcombright at the end of the event. All participants received participation ribbons.

The winners are: Girls 3 & Under, first, Kendall (no last name given), second, Danika Bruno, third, Gianna Briggs; Boys 3 & Under, first, Andre Thomas, second, Wyatt Reynolds, and third, Alex Golin;

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Area High School Golf Products Compete at Williamstown Invitational
iBerkshires.com Sports,
05:15AM / Monday, September 25, 2017
It was Berkshire County golf weekend at Williams College’s Taconic Golf Club over the weekend.   Five alumni of area high schools represented their teams in the two-round Williams Invitational.   Jake Foehl (Mount Greylock) carded rounds of 76 on Saturday and Sunday to tie for 15th place as an individual and help the Williams men finish second, five strokes behind team champion Trinity.   Hoosac Valley graduate Chad Alibozek and Salem State placed seventh out of 19 squads competing. Alibozek tied for 44th place after shaving seven strokes off his first round score and going 83-76.   Also on the course were three players competing for Massachusetts College of

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'Mother!': Oh, Brother!
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:22PM / Saturday, September 23, 2017
Fearing that I might be scarred for life after seeing Darren Aronofsky's "Mother!" I am happy to relate that slowly but surely the grotesque concepts and visions of this postmodern horror film are dissipating from my fragile and offended psyche. I mean, I am safe, aren't I? Hopefully it's not part of a grander trick.    This is sinister stuff, intentionally as well as through the error of its haughty self-indulgence. Oh, dear reader be cautious. It starts out with intriguing eeriness ... even a bit Hitchcockian. No offense, Master. But that's just to suck you into its ugly movie Hell.   For sure there will be a cult following by virtue of its violent

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