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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Dec. 13-19
11:31AM / Thursday, December 12, 2019
SAT-SUN Holiday Shindy Handmade Craft Fair The annual Holiday Shindy returns to the former Shire City Sanctuary, now the Al-Khalil Cultural Center. Forty accomplished artisan vendors will sell their unique and distinctive offerings. Enjoy hot drinks from Dottie's Coffee Lounge and lunch from Braise Worthy while you shop. Shindy hours are Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3 and children under the age of 12 are free.

  MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE

SAT Makeup Art: A Pop-up Show at The Lichtenstein Seven make-up

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Second Victim in Great Barrington Fire Dies
05:10PM / Wednesday, December 11, 2019

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Monday's structure fire in Great Barrington has claimed a second victim. 

Susan Romano, 67, died at Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center on Tuesday night. Her husband, Michael Romano, died Monday night.    "On behalf of the town of Great Barrington, I offer our heartfelt condolences to their family. Every fire death is tragic, but the loss cuts deeper during the holidays," Great Barrington Fire Chief Charles Burger said.   The couple were pulled from their 24 Silver St. home by firefighters on at about 7:40 p.m. on Monday night. Both were unresponsive and Michael Romano died shortly after at Fairview Hospital.    The fire

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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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Two Get Maximum Sentences In Domestic Violence Cases
03:28PM / Wednesday, December 11, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two men who pleaded guilty in domestic assault cases last week were given the maximum jail sentences 2 1/2 years at the Berkshire County House of Correction.   Steven Signor, 32, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty in Central Berkshire District Court to two counts of assault and battery on a household member, two counts of violating an abuse prevention order, and single counts of assault and battery on a pregnant woman, resisting arrest, intimidation of a witness, breaking and entering, and vandalism.   Judge Mark Pasquariello sentenced Signor serve 2 1/2 years, the maximum allowable sentence for a single charge in District Court.   The charges relate to

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Pittsfield City Council Says Goodbye to Outgoing Members
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Wednesday, December 11, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council held its last meeting of 2019 on Tuesday and said goodbye to four members who will not be returning in 2020.   Before the closing of the meeting, Council President Peter Marchetti thanked Ward 5 Councilor Donna Todd Rivers, Ward 6 Councilor John Krol, Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Simonelli, and Councilor at Large Melissa Mazzeo for their service and presented them with a plaque.   "I wish the four of you good luck in your future endeavors," he said.     Marchetti gave each council member a moment to say a few words and Krol, who was elected in 2009,  took time to thank his family and

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Use Year-end Bonus (Or Gift) Wisely
01:01PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, you may be anticipating – or have already received – a year-end bonus from your employer. Or you might be receiving a substantial cash gift for the holidays. (If you're really lucky, you might get both.)

You can doubtlessly think of many ways to spend this money right now, but how can you use it to help yourself in the long run?

Here are a few suggestions:

* Pay off some debts. Virtually all of us carry some type of debt, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. For example, your mortgage not only gives you a place to live and a chance to build equity in your home, but the interest payments are typically tax deductible. Other debts, though,

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Holiday Events and Tree Lightings 2019
11:15AM / Tuesday, December 10, 2019

'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.

 

Holiday Events Thursday, Dec. 12

North Adams: Phil Kline's walking symphony experience "Unsilent Night" returns again to North Adams. This year the event will explore the neighborhood just north of River Street, starting at the UNO Community Center and ending at the new studio venue at Porches Inn. The walk is at 6 p.m., with a gathering at UNO one half-hour before. All ages invited;  dress warmly, 

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Harvest Festivals and Craft Fairs 2019
10:20AM / Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Fall has arrived, bringing with it many craft fairs and harvest festivals around the Berkshires. This list will be updated as we get more information. Have an event to add? Email us at info@iberkshires.com.

 

Saturday, Dec. 14

Pittsfield: The Holiday Shindy will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the newly instated Al Khalil Cultural Center (formerly Shire City Sanctuary) with 40 artisan vendors, featuring holiday shopping with food from local farms and the opportunity to meet and watch local makers weave, sew, and whittle. Admission is $3, free for children under 12.

Sheffield: Christ Trinity Church, 180 Main St., will hold its holiday bazaar and bake sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The

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Veteran Spotlight: PFC Giardina Runs Out of Luck on Day 13
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
04:28PM / Sunday, December 08, 2019

I met this week's veterans spotlight feature several months ago and I liked him instantly as we really hit it off. He would be described as unequivocally old school — kind, humble, generous with a warm smile and a fabulous personality. 

  Francis A. Giardina served his country in the Army from 1952 to 1954 in the Korean War.    Growing up in Pittsfield, he was the youngest of three children. "We were poor, but we didn't know it ... we always had food on the table and always had plenty to do," he remembered. After graduating from Pittsfield High School, Giardina ran pool halls for a couple of years before being drafted into the Army in November

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Climate Change Expert: Keep Heat on Banks, Insurers
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:16AM / Sunday, December 08, 2019

About two dozen protesters demanding action on climate change gather on the steps of Williamstown's First Congregational Church on Friday afternoon.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A leading expert on climate change Thursday told a packed house that while big oil is an enemy, it is not the only one.   Big banks and big insurance play their part.   "The four banks in the world that fund most of the fossil fuel industry are big American banks," Bill McKibben said during his appearance at MCLA for the Elizabeth and Lawrence Vadnais Environmental Issues Lecture. "Chase Bank is the biggest by far and the biggest with a bullet. Chase Bank lent over the last

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Pittsfield Holds Tree Lighting Ceremony
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
09:59PM / Friday, December 06, 2019

City Council President Peter Marchetti welcomes the crowd.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The holiday season is officially on in Pittsfield with the annual tree lighting  Ceremony at Park Square.   Hundreds gathered at Park Square on Friday night to bring in the holiday season with song and cheer as they lit up the Park Square Christmas tree.   "On behalf of Mayor Tyer and the entire City Council, I want to welcome you to the tree lighting ceremony and wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays on behalf of the city," Council President Peter Marchetti said. "Tonight is a very special moment in the city."   Recreation Activities Coordinator

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'The Irishman': At 3 Hours & 29 Minutes, it all Depends
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:31PM / Friday, December 06, 2019
"Fuhgeddaboudit" was the advice from those who decided against climbing the movie mountain that is Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman," all 3 hours and 29 minutes of it. Dilemmas presented themselves. How many times will I have to go to the bathroom? Should we skip breakfast, have dinner now, pack a picnic lunch, or maybe even book a room close to the theater?   The destinies of whole lives were changed for those strict constructionists who wouldn't succumb to the tyranny of their bladders by availing themselves of the small screen, Netflix offering.   Me? Nope. I came this far in my moviegoing ... lived through the days of when films broke in midstream,

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Whiplash Weather in Store for the Berkshires
01:32PM / Friday, December 06, 2019
Mother Nature is making sure there's a snowy background for Friday night's tree lightings in North Adams and Pittsfield. The National Weather Service is predicting a few inches and up to 5 inches in the higher elevations, with steady snowfall until 10 p.m.    Motorists should beware of slippery roads and low visibility, especially Friday night.   A number of school districts have canceled after-school programs for Friday: Hoosac Valley Regional; Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter; Mount Greylock Regional School District; Drury High; and Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (early dismissal, too).   But wait, this is the Berkshires so you know the

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