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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Senator Markey Speaking at BCC's 59th Commencement
02:23PM / Wednesday, March 27, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey will be the keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College's 59th commencement exercises to be held May 31 at Tanglewood in Lenox.

Markey, the state's junior senator, is a consumer champion and national leader on energy, environmental protection and telecommunications policy.

"On behalf of the students, faculty, staff and board of trustees at Berkshire Community College, we are so thrilled to have Senator Ed Markey as our 2019 commencement speaker," said Ellen Kennedy, president of BCC. "Markey visited our newly reimagined campus in the fall last year and got to tour the new buildings and classrooms and the

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Biz Briefs: North Adams Restaurants to 'Go Green' for the Month of April
11:41AM / Wednesday, March 27, 2019
'Go Green Month'

During the month of April, restaurants throughout North Adams will be making quick and easy changes to reduce their environmental impact. The goal of "Go Green Month" is to reduce waste and practice behavior changes that are more environmentally friendly, with hopes that these changes will have a lasting impact on both the restaurants and the city.

Restaurants will be making small changes in order to be more environmentally friendly, including: water at tables served by request only; no straws; no balloons; encouraging customers to bring their own coffee cup/mug; refilling water bottles; and using environmentally friendly bags for take-out.

Colleen

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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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Time for Some Financial Spring Cleaning
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:26AM / Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Spring is here – and for many of us, that means it's time for some spring cleaning. This year, in addition to tidying up your home, why not try brightening your financial environment? Some of the same moves you make to clean your surroundings may apply to your finances.

Consider these suggestions:

Get rid of clutter. When you go through your closets, attic, basement or other areas, you may find many items you no longer need. You might be able to sell some of these things or find other ways of disposing of them. And as you review your portfolio, you might also encounter "clutter" in the form of investments that may be redundant to others you own. If so, you might

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Pittsfield City Council Passes Plastic Bag Ban
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:03AM / Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Rinaldo Del Gallo first petitioned for the ban in 2013. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After close to six years of debate, the city finally passed a ban on single-use plastic bags Tuesday night.   The ban had been proposed in 2013 and has been working its way through the City Council process since. It was first coupled with a ban on Styrofoam, which was later passed in 2015 separate from the bag ban and restricted polystyrene food containers.   The bag ban went before the Green Commission and to City Council subcommittee meetings, the latter of which had left it unaddressed for a time. Earlier this year, it made its way to the full council will a full

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Late Night Party Earns Tito's A Warning From Licensing Board
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:01PM / Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Attorney Jeffrey Scrimo opened his remarks by extending an apology to the board and the Police Department from the owners of Tito's for the violation. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Licensing Board is giving Tito's Mexican Grille a warning after employees held a late-night party inside the establishment.   According to Police Capt. Michael Grady, officers were called to the Depot Street restaurant just before 3 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, for a disturbance.   Upon arrival, officers didn't find a disturbance outside but could see about a dozen people inside drinking and music playing.    Officer Michael Schilling got the attention of those inside and

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Berkshires Beat: Corpse Flower in Bloom at Darrow School
12:26PM / Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Corpse flowers bloom

It’s spring at The Darrow School in New Lebanon, N.Y. That means the sap is rising, the birds are singing, the sun is lingering, and something in the air stinks. This means that the rare corpse flower is in full bloom. Corpse flowers were first planted at Darrow in 2009 in the sheltered confines of the school’s Samson Environmental Center (SEC). Four bloomed in 2012, six in 2013, and now, according to Lily Corral, biology teacher, sustainability coordinator, and director of the SEC, as many as 10 flowers have sprouted, several of which are at the blooming stage.

"The corpse flower is a rare plant that is challenging to grow," Corral said. "It

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Lanesborough to Request Needs Assessment For Police Station
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:02AM / Tuesday, March 26, 2019
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Town Manager Kelli Robbins hopes the $13,000 that town meeting approved to renovate the police station will be enough to do a feasibility study for a bigger project.   Robbins told the Board of Selectmen on Monday night that she is putting together a request for qualifications to do a needs assessment on a headquarters for the Police  Department. The assessment would be the first step needed to not only get cost estimates for various options but also a requirement to get funding to do a project.   "The study is going to tell us nuts to bolts what needs to be fixed," Robbins said.   A feasibility study is what the Police Department

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Pittsfield FinCom Will Pay Airport Project Overage, More May Come
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:14AM / Tuesday, March 26, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Finance Committee is not happy with the process, but agreed to pay the overage for the airport runway process.   And there might be more to come.   A number of change orders caused the project to go $89,374 over budget. The Federal Aviation Administration and the state Department of Transportation are paying $80,249 of that total but the city still needs to up its contribution by $9,125.    The increase to the city is mostly driven by an increased role Stantec Consulting Services Inc. had to take during the transition of management at the airport. The consultants had to increase its management over the project "as a result of a complete

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Animal Cruelty Case Continued Without Finding
Staff Reports,
05:29PM / Monday, March 25, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A local man was given a continuance without a finding after killing a 10-month-old puppy.   Coty Dakin, 29, had entered to an admission to sufficient facts plea to a single county of animal cruelty on March 12. The case was continued without a finding for one year. Police had accused Dakin of crushing the skull of his girlfriend's 10-month old Chihuahua, Chichi, in Lanesborough in 2017.   Police said on Nov. 20, 2017 officers were dispatched to the girlfriend's home for a disturbance during which it was reported that Dakin had killed his girlfriend's dog. Police said Dakin was asked about the incident and he claimed he kicked a chair into the

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Congressman Neal to Speak at MCLA 120th Commencement
04:02PM / Monday, March 25, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will celebrate its 120th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 18, beginning at 11 a.m., in the Amsler Campus Center Gymnasium.   This year's commencement speaker will be U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, who represents the First Congressional District of Massachusetts in Congress and who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee. Neal will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree.   In addition, Richard Alcombright, vice president of local business and the customer relations manager at MountainOne and who served as the mayor of North Adams for four terms, will receive an honorary doctor of public service

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Former Royal Cleaners in Pittsfield Now Eyed For Marijuana Business
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:11PM / Monday, March 25, 2019

The building at 68 Dalton Ave. has been vacant for years and was slated to be demolished. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former Royal Cleaners is now eyed to be repurposed for a marijuana retail, cultivation, and manufacturing company.   The Zoning Board of Appeals granted a special permit for EOS Farm LLC to operate there. The plan is to use the majority of the building for cultivation and manufacturing of marijuana products and then use 600 square feet of frontage for retail.   "There are plantings along the front and the side to hide the residential property," said architect John Barry.   The company will be leasing from Raymond Frenkel, who also own and

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Albany Berkshire Ballet Looks Ahead — And Back — in 50th Anniversary Year
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:34AM / Monday, March 25, 2019

Albany Berkshire Ballet has formed collaborations with organizations like Williams College, where ABB dancers join student dancers for performances.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The five dancers glided around the room, its purple-and-mirrored walls enclosing a faintly muggy space, either from powerful bodies working hard or a late-winter heating system still cranked up, or maybe a combination of both.

The three women and two men were rehearsing a dance for an upcoming showcase at Williams College, but on this day, their ballet slipper-clad feet pounded the dance floor in the second-floor studio of the Albany Berkshire Ballet headquarters on Fenn Street.

In the past, on a weekday

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