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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

@theMarket: The Market's Winter Storm
By Bill Schmick,
03:28PM / Friday, December 14, 2018
Stocks worldwide have experienced a downdraft since October. All the gains so painstakingly made thus far in 2018 have been erased. Volatility has battered markets with all the severity of a Nor'easter. Next year may prove to be a continuation of the same.   It is interesting that the culprits responsible for this change of heart in the markets have been around for just about all of the past year. Leading the list is Donald Trump. It was our president that decided to wage a trade war against the world. There has been little success in his battle thus far. The prospect of more of the same faces us well into the new year.   The Federal Reserve Bank can also take some blame.

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Winter Plans on Teasing Berkshires This Weekend
02:50PM / Friday, December 14, 2018

Will we have a white Christmas? Maybe ...

Oh, hey there, winter.

After a snowy Thanksgiving period, there hasn't been much weather to speak of since then. (Except that it's been cold. Not as freezing cold as it was on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but fairly chilly.)

But this weekend could be different. After an early forecast of rain for Saturday and Sunday, it now appears as if clouds will move in on Saturday and temperatures wil hover just around freezing on Sunday to make the precipitation more of a messy, wintry mix in the Berkshires.

While there is no official winter storm warning as of Friday afternoon, AccuWeather predicts a wintry mix in the morning Sunday, followed

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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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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Dec. 14-20
01:13PM / Friday, December 14, 2018
December 14 - December 20, 2018   FRI Berkshire County's Got Talent at Barrington Stage   presents the second annual Berkshire County's Got Talent at Barrington Stage Company's Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at 6 p.m.! Be there to see the 12 finalists compete live for the $1,000 prize. You, the audience, will be the fifth judge!    MUSIC &

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Holiday Events and Tree Lightings 2018
11:15AM / Friday, December 14, 2018

'Tis the season to be merry and bright. Planning a holiday event? Let us know at iBerkshires.com. (Visit our Holiday Bazaars and Craft Fairs list for holiday craft fairs.( And see below for a guide to Christmas tree lightings in towns across the Berkshires.

The city of Pittsfield is offering free downtown parking for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve and Christmas on Fridays Dec. 7, 14, 21, and 28. There will also be a week of free parking starting Dec. 17 through Dec. 21. Parking is always free in the evenings and weekends.

 

Holiday Events

 

Thursday, Dec. 13

North Adams: Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night returns to North Adams in the historic village of Blackinton

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PEDA: Waterstone Contract Expires Saturday
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:40AM / Friday, December 14, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The site of a proposed Walmart Supercenter will be back on the market following a year of inactivity.   Pittsfield Economic Development Authority Executive Director Corydon Thurston said since Walmart pulled out of the plans developed by Waterstone Retail to redevelop the 16.5-acre site at the William Stanley Business Park there hasn't been any new activity. PEDA has signed an agreement holding the property for the developer for a year and that expires on Saturday.   "We've had no communications with anyone," Thurston said.    Waterstone had put down $65,000 toward the purchase of the parcel known as the "teens" as a

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Wayfair Bringing 300 Jobs to Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:42PM / Thursday, December 13, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Home decor distributor Wayfair is planning to bring 300 jobs to the city.   The Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council this morning approved $31.4 million in tax breaks to the Boston-based retailer. Wayfair Inc. will in return add up to 3,000 jobs in the Boston area and establish a call center in Pittsfield.   "This is absolutely outstanding news for the city of Pittsfield," Mayor Linda Tyer said. "It was the first official decision that will lead to 300 new jobs."   Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah is a Pittsfield native and said he was excited to bring the operations west.   "We are proud to continue to build our

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Pittsfield Council Approves New Water and Sewer Rates
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:00AM / Thursday, December 13, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council adopted increases to water and sewer rates for both fiscal 2019 and 2020.   The water rates are now set to go up 10 percent starting on Jan. 1 and then another 10 percent on July 1. Sewer rates are slated to increase 50 percent on Jan. 1 and remain that way through 2020.   The rates are only slightly different from what the mayor proposed for the next 18 months. Mayor Linda Tyer developed a seven-year plan for both the water and sewer rates with rates more heavily frontloaded in anticipation of large capital increases.   For Jan. 1, she was looking to raise water rates by 20 percent and sewer rates by 50 percent, both of which would

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Pittsfield Firefighters Donate Christmas Gifts to DCF
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:16AM / Thursday, December 13, 2018

Union members did all of the shopping and wrapping ahead of time. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's firefighters are helping to provide a good Christmas to children in DCF care.   The firefighters union continued its annual holiday tradition of buying gifts for more than two dozen local children involved with the state Department of Children and Families.   The firefighters had taken the names of 25 children, what they'd like for Christmas, and then headed out to shop for them.   "We take 25 names that are organized by the Department of Children and Families and buy gifts. We get anywhere from clothing to toys for each individual," said Union

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1Berkshire Annual Meeting Remembers Klefos, Looks to Year Ahead
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:32PM / Wednesday, December 12, 2018

1Berkshire President and CEO Jonathan Butler welcomes members and local elected leaders to the organization's annual meeting.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — 1Berkshire's annual meeting last Thursday was a celebration: not just of the work the organization's been doing this past year but a reflection on the life of one its primary architects.    Vice President Lauri Klefos, who had been head of the merged Berkshire Visitors Bureau, had died unexpectedly just a week before, sending shockwaves through the tourism and business community.    "She saw 1Berkshire as a vehicle that would allow us to leverage our resources and amplify our voice for a

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BHS Expands Rheumatology Services With New Doctor
03:03PM / Wednesday, December 12, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has further expanded its rheumatology services with the appointment of Dr. Liana Fraenkel, a board-certified and fellowship-trained rheumatologist.

Dr. Fraenkel joins the Berkshire Medical Center medical staff and the physician staff of Rheumatology Professional Services of BMC. She is accepting new patients in need of rheumatology care and is partnered with Drs. Lauren Dudley and Leonard Sigal at Rheumatology Professional Services of BMC.

Dr. Fraenkel is board-certified in internal medicine and rheumatology and was fellowship-trained in rheumatology at Boston Medical Center. She received her medical degree from McGill University,

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What Is Smarter: Paying Off Debts or Investing?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:50AM / Wednesday, December 12, 2018

It probably doesn't happen as much as you'd like, but you may occasionally have some extra disposable income. For example, perhaps you have recently received, or will soon receive, a year-end bonus. Or maybe you will get a sizable tax refund in just a few months. Wherever this money comes from, you will want to put it to good use. Should you use the cash to pay down debts or should you invest it instead?

There's no simple answer, and everyone's situation is different, but here are a few suggestions for helping you make a good choice:

* Evaluate your cash flow. If you already have enough cash to meet your daily living expenses, you might lean toward investing the money,

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Tyer Meets With Herberg's Future Leaders
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:00AM / Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The students asked Mayor Linda Tyer to visit the program to discuss leadership. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — How do you handle negativity? That's what seventh-grader Ella asked Mayor Linda Tyer on Monday afternoon.   The mayor responded:   "I make a choice -- and this is important for leadership -- to approach my work with an attitude of optimism. If I felt negative about everything, I would just be stuck. I wouldn't be able to think clearly or view my city with a positive lens.   "What I think is that people in our city work really hard, everyone does their very best, you come to school or parents go to work, so it is my job to work just as hard and to

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