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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Holiday Hours: Presidents Day
02:00PM / Friday, February 15, 2019

Gen. George Washington taking command of the Continental Army in Cambridge in 1775.

Washington's Birthday will be celebrated on Monday, Feb. 18.

The holiday was first enacted by Congress in 1879 to mark George Washington's birthday on Feb. 22 and later moved to the third Monday in February in 1968. While the name of the federal holiday remains Washington's Birthday, it is more often referred to as Presidents Day to include the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on Feb. 12.

Washington was born in 1732 (or Feb. 11, 1731, according to the old-style calendar) in Colonial Virgina. A Founding Father, he would lead the new nation as head of the Continental Army in the Revolution and as


New Partner Named at Balance Rock Investment Group
01:07PM / Friday, February 15, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After closing out a year of momentous occasions, including the firm's 20th anniversary and move to its new office space on South Street in Pittsfield, Balance Rock Investment Group has announced the promotion of longtime adviser Jonathan Meczywor to vice president.

Meczywor is part of a team that includes two financial advisers and five support staff dedicated to providing an array of financial products and services that best serve their clients' needs. While continuing his work as an advisor, Meczywor will take a leadership role in planning and implementing strategies for the future growth of the firm, including hiring new team members to work with a


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

Packer Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by Shakespeare Theatre Association
01:00PM / Friday, February 15, 2019

LENOX, Mass. — Shakespeare & Company's founding artistic director, Tina Packer, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by The Shakespeare Theatre Association.

She received the Douglas N. Cook Lifetime Achievement Award while attending the 2019 STA Conference in Prague. The award honors STA members who have made and are still making significant contributions to the field of Shakespeare Theatre.

"It was one of the greatest pleasures of my life to introduce Tina for the presentation of the Cook Award at the Lobkowicz Palace at the STA annual banquet in Prague," said STA Executive Director Patrick Flick. "The first sentence of my introduction was,


Berkshire United Way Taps New Director of Development
12:43PM / Friday, February 15, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire United Way has hired Ilene Marcus as director of development.

Marcus joins the organization with more than 30 years of experience in social service programs, policy development, operations and revenue generation. She holds both her master of science in social work and master of public affairs from Columbia University.

Marcus will be responsible for developing engagement strategies and leading fundraising efforts to increase revenue, ensuring the organization's ability to invest in quality programs to build a stronger community.

Prior to joining Berkshire United Way, Marcus founded Aligned Workplace, where she consulted on creating revenue


Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Feb. 15-21
10:51AM / Friday, February 15, 2019
  February 15 - February 21, 2019

Pittsfield's 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival is in full swing!  The 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival takes place Thursday, Feb. 14 - Sunday, Feb. 24 and features music, art, theater, dance, film and more. There is something for the entire family, from Barrington Stage's 10x10 New Play Festival and live jazz at The Whitney, to 10 Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum and a fireworks extravaganza on the Pittsfield Common.

Click here for the full schedule!   The Tyler Street


Hinds Given Committee Assignments: Chairing Revenue, on Ways and Means
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:43PM / Thursday, February 14, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Sen. Adam Hinds will serve as the first stop for many of the big initiatives coming from the State House this year.   Hinds was given his committee assignments on Thursday: He'll chair the Joint Committee on Revenue, be vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Redistricting, and will serve on the Senate Ways and Means, Joint Committee on Education, Joint Committee on Tourism Arts and Cultural Development, Senate Rules, and Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.   "In just about every issue we deal with, the question is how are we going to pay for it," Hinds said on Thursday of his new chairmanship.   This term the position will

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The Independent Investor: Trump's War on Drug (Prices)
By Bill Schmick,
04:19PM / Thursday, February 14, 2019
For the second year in a row, President Donald Trump called on Congress to do something about the escalating drug prices in America. The president is doggedly pursuing this campaign promise in the face of an army of special interest groups and big drug companies. Hurrah for you, Mr. President.   In his State of the Union address he said:   He wants our legislators to "deliver fairness and price transparency for American patients. We should also require drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring down costs."   Given that drug pricing is a complicated area and there have been various proposals and

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Bomb Threat Forces Evacuation Of Spectrum Health In Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever,
11:08AM / Thursday, February 14, 2019
  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A bomb threat forced the evacuation of Spectrum Health on Merrill Road Thursday morning.   Police say an individual called the facility at 10:10 a.m. saying there was a bomb in the building was would explode 10 minutes later.   Police, fire, and paramedics responded and performed a search of the building.   "We received a call for a bomb threat at this establishment today. Upon arrival staff already had everybody evacuated from the building. At that time, staff, Pittsfield Police Department, and the Pittsfield Fire Department did a thorough search of the premise and did not locate any device," Lt. Thomas Dawley


Activists Press Neal to Support Green New Deal
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:25AM / Thursday, February 14, 2019

Mount Greylock students, from left, Maddy Art, Catherine McPartland and Karen Magnusdottir McComish spoke with a member of Rep. Richard Neal's staff. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two dozen protesters Wednesday demonstrated outside the Pittsfield office of U.S. Rep. Richard Neal to encourage him to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal.   Three of the activists — all students at Mount Greylock Regional School in Williamstown — went inside to make their case to a member of Neal's staff.   "A 2013 report predicts that by 2100, the climate here will be like that in South Carolina," junior Maddy Art said. "And also, my grandpa works in


Pittsfield Schools to End 'Welcoming Day' For Grades 6 & 9
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:03AM / Thursday, February 14, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The long-standing tradition of "welcome days" is coming to an end in the schools after the state cited the district for not providing enough class time for students.   The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education performed a coordinated program review last year and found that the practice of bringing incoming sixth-graders and ninth-graders in a day earlier to get acclimated to their new schools meant that the other students were falling short of the required 180 days of learning.    "This is indeed a violation of our student's civil rights," Superintendent Jason McCandless said of the citation.   The

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Berkshire Athenaeum Unveils Mural Inspired by Ty Allan Jackson Book
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:06PM / Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Library Director Alex Reczkowski approached Ty Allan Jackson with the idea about a year ago. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Athenaeum Director Alex Reczkowski has found a fitting way to make the library more fun and welcoming to children.    The library unveiled on Monday a massive mural inspired by local author Ty Allan Jackson's book "When I Close My Eyes." Jackson is a nationally recognized author and founder of Big Head Books.    "This space in particular for our children is in need of refresh, excitement, and enthusiasm and who better to deliver that than our friend Ty Allan Jackson, who is a legendary Pittsfielder, the biggest


SVMC Offers New Heart Health Screening
12:55PM / Wednesday, February 13, 2019

BENNINGTON, Vt. — A new heart health screening will soon be available to local patients at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center that will allow people to see their risk of a heart-related health event before symptoms arise.

Cardiac Calcium Scoring uses a computed tomography (CT) scan and specialized software to allow doctors to detect calcium in the coronary artery. A score of zero on the test indicates low risk, and increasing levels indicate increasing risk of a heart attack and stroke.

In the past, doctors would use a patient's risk factors — like family history, if they have high blood pressure or diabetes, and whether they smoke, for instance — to determine


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