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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Ceremony Brief But the Fallen Still Remembered
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:30PM / Monday, May 25, 2020

Director of Veterans Services John Herrera speaks at Monday's observances. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Memorial Day trappings were traditional: an honor guard at Pittsfield Cemetery, the singing of the "The Star-Spangled Banner" by veteran and nonagenarian Anthony Pastore, and an address recalling the sacrifice of those being honored.    But that's where the normality ended. There was no parade of veterans and dignitaries, no crowd at the cemetery. The honor guards and attendees kept their distance and some wore masks as well.   Instead, a truncated Memorial Day ceremony was recorded Monday morning for play Pittsfield Community

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Pittsfield Police Investigating 2 Shooting Incidents
03:35PM / Monday, May 25, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Department is investigating two shooting incidents that occurred in the city Sunday night and early Monday morning.   On Sunday 5/24/2020 at approximately 8:47pm,    Officers responded Sunday night at about 8:47 to Francis Avenue near the intersection of Bradford Street for a ShotSpotter activation. It was later discovered that a residence there had been struck by gunfire. No injuries were reported and the incident remains under investigation at this time.   Then at 12:49 a.m. Monday, there was a second ShotSpotter activation at the intersection of Second Street and Lincoln Street. Upon their arrival, officers observed an unoccupied

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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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CBS News Inviting Nationwide Participation of Taps
12:09PM / Monday, May 25, 2020
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Trumpeters and musicians of all ages across the nation are being invited to play taps at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day.   The idea comes from CBS News "On the Road" correspondent Steve Hartman and retired Air Force bugler Jari Villanueva to keep the spirit of the holiday alive. Parades and observances have been canceled or limited because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.    Instead of gatherings that might spread the deadly and highly contagious COVID-19, buglers and trumpeters are asked to stand alone to play taps to mark the holiday dedicated to the nation's military personnel who have lost their lives.    iBerkshires was alerted

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Bloom Brothers Reopening in Pittsfield
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:05AM / Monday, May 25, 2020

Bloom Brothers will open for curbside pickup on Tuesday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Bloom Brothers opened on Merrill Road in early March — only to close a few weeks later because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.    With the state now entering Phase 1 on its reopening plan, the marijuana dispensary plans to reopen on Tuesday, May 26.    "We will only be allowed to open for curbside pick up at this time but we hope to increase our operations as the different phases roll out and are allowed according to the governor," said one of the owners, Nathan Girard on Friday.   The family business wants to brings variety and customer

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College Leaders Talk about Lessons Learned from COVID-19 Crisis
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:54AM / Monday, May 25, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Higher education is learning lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic that it will inform their operations long after the crisis has passed, a group of top administrators agreed on Friday.   "I had begun to think about the ways in which the modalities of teaching that remote learning offers can infuse and enrich some aspects of teaching, without suggesting that we would move in any way to a fully remote learning platform or even a largely remote platform," Williams College President Maud Mandel said.   "There are aspects of the modality of remote learning I think faculty have found to be enriching of their teaching, and that's one area that I

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In Cautious Song, Early Birds Proclaim Vernal Awakening
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
05:56PM / Sunday, May 24, 2020

Oh what a joy to see goldfinches in small feeding flocks dining on sunflower seeds provided in the porch feeders. It is time with a steel bristle brush to clear out last year's thistles and scrape away any rust clogging the tiny holes suited so well for their small bills.

What a treat to watch showy yellow and black males, their mottled feathers shifting to peak molt. Female goldfinches are overall more drab in softer hues of field grey-green but on the nest will be less obvious in camouflage. For several weeks ahead they wait until late spring to commence nest-building.

Their fleecy basket is woven securely in poplar trees with tight fibers to adjust for wind. Whether foraging on

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Museum Starting Series of Renovations
09:46AM / Saturday, May 23, 2020
Museum renovations

Construction fencing and heavy machinery will appear on South Street next week as the Berkshire Museum begins essential renovations. Together, three capital projects will preserve the 117-year-old museum structure and protect its unique collection of fine art, historical objects and scientific specimens for many years to come. Improvements include a modern sewer line, freight lift, and extensive waterproofing around the building’s basement level.

The lengthiest and most visible phase of construction will be the installation of a new sewer line to replace the original pipe installed when the historic institution was first built in 1903. The new plumbing will connect

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County's Colleges Train Workers for Post-Pandemic Economy
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:52AM / Saturday, May 23, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The county's institutions of higher education are ready to do their part to help their students navigate their way through a post-COVID-19 economy.   On Friday, the presidents of Berkshire Community College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Williams College and the provost of Bard College at Simon's Rock participated in a virtual town hall hosted by 1Berkshire.   Johnathan Butler led the hourlong conversation, which focused largely on how colleges are adapting to the current closure of their physical campuses and making plans for the fall 2020 semester.   But at one point Butler asked how the schools are situated to help address

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'I Remember Mama': Motherhood: All Love Begins and Ends There
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
07:44PM / Friday, May 22, 2020

I wish that I were reviewing one of the half-dozen movies certain to be made when this pox upon our house is no more. But until that glorious return to normality has us resuming all the simple joys of life we take for granted, like going to the movies, I'll be retro-reviewing and thereby sharing with you the films that I've come to treasure over the years, most of which can probably be retrieved from one of the movie streaming services. It is my fondest hope that I've barely put a dent into this trove when they let the likes of me back into the

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Mayor Tyer Asks Residents to Maintain Cautions Over Holiday Weekend
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:50PM / Friday, May 22, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Memorial Day and the Fourth of July will be observed a great deal differently this year because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, especially the absence of parades.    In her weekly address Friday on Pittsfield Community Television, Mayor Linda Tyer said these "longstanding cherished traditions" have meant gatherings — sometimes of the thousands — to celebrate the nation's birthday and the sacrifice of the nation's servicemen and women.   The Pittsfield Parade Committee on Wednesday evening announced it would cancel the Fourth of July Parade, a decision that Tyer said is in the best interest of the

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@theMarket: Memorial Day Markets
By Bill Schmick,
03:48PM / Friday, May 22, 2020
As we begin the Memorial Day weekend that usually launches the nation's summer season, investors are anxious to discover if Americans will ignore CDC warnings, and go back to their old ways of celebrating the holiday. And if they do, will new cases of COVID-19 spike?   The re-opening of much of America this week had been met with some celebratory gains in the stock market, but as I predicted, it has been an up and down week, despite the gain. The S&P 500 benchmark Index actually "kissed" 3,000 before falling back the following day. It was a first tentative probe of that level since the March declines.   However, if the S&P 500 Index can get through that

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Pittsfield School Committee Accepts Fiscal 2021 Budget
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:03AM / Friday, May 22, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee has accepted a fiscal 2021 budget that is level funded  at $65,113,700 but fears further reductions in Chapter 70 could cause more cuts.   The School Committee saw a more detailed budget on Wednesday and Superintendent Jason McCandless noted that further reductions in state education funding could be a reality.   "Really the only option is to roll up our sleeves and join with ... those who care about kids," he said. "A cut to Chapter 70 of that magnitude is simply not acceptable and the city and the commonwealth will not stand for it."    With COVID-19 all but resetting the state budget, Pittsfield

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