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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

BMC Nursing Unit Offers Compromise on Biggest Contract Hurdles
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:59PM / Thursday, May 10, 2018

The nurses held a rally in front of the hospital on Thursday. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The registered nurses at Berkshire Medical Center have completed a review of the hospital's proposed changes to health insurance and said they can live with it.

But, they say there is still work to be done on the staffing issue.

The local Massachusetts Nurses Association chapter and the hospital have been in contract negotiations for a year and a half. The last contract expired in September 2016 and negotiations have been ongoing since. Last October, the nurses held a one-day strike that was followed by a one-day lockout.   Early this year, the nurses voted on a second strike but

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Pittsfield's Riverway Project Awarded $75K NEA Grant
09:23AM / Thursday, May 10, 2018

NEA's Jane Chu in one of the Masthead project's mobile writing studios in Pittsfield last June. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Westside Riverway Park project is receiving a grant of $75,000 through the National Endowment of the Arts' Our Town program.    The award was announced Wednesday by NEA Chairman Jane Chu. It is one of 60 awards totaling $4.1 million for projects across the nation.    The City of Pittsfield's Office of Cultural Development is one of the recommended organizations for a grant of $75,000 to use for the design of the Westside Riverway Park in Pittsfield.   "The variety and quality of these Our Town projects speaks to the

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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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BCAC Celebrates Collaboration at Annual Meeting
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:27AM / Thursday, May 10, 2018

BCAC Deputy Director Brian House introduces Greylock Federal Credit Union as the winner of the 'Community Hero Award.'

PITTSFIELD,  Mass. — In 2014, a coalition of Berkshire County nonprofits banded together to form the Community Connector Partnership in order to offer residents a more streamlined approach to finding services they may need in their lives.

On May 4, Berkshire Community Action Council, one of the founding members of the partnership that is now 30-plus members strong, celebrated the ideas of collaboration and community at its annual meeting at the Berkshire Hills Country Club.

"It takes a holistic approach ... to help a family thrive," BCAC

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Pittsfield Council Pushes Back Against Chipsealing
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:37PM / Wednesday, May 09, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city wants to call it quits on chip-sealing accepted streets.   A group of Ward 1 residents recently noticed that their roads were set to be worked on. Except, they weren't getting paving. They were getting chip-seal — a lesser priced way to repair roads but one that opponents claim leaves small rocks in their yards they have to clean up, makes it painful for their dogs to walk on, and dangerous for their children to ride bicycles and play because of the slipperiness.   "I have a big issue with the property being damaged by chip sealing," said Kittridge Road resident Judith Ladd, who was one of a number of residents in that

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BerkChique Fashion Fundraiser Returns May 11-13
02:51PM / Wednesday, May 09, 2018

WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The Berkshires' premier annual pop-up clothing sale and fundraiser, BerkChique!, returns for its seventh consecutive year on the weekend of Friday, May 11, through Sunday, May 13, at the West Stockbridge Historical Society, located at 9 Main St.

Since its inception in 2012, BerkChique! has donated more than $150,000 to support local nonprofits. This year the sale is being presented by and in support of WAM Theatre and its programs, with additional donations going to the Berkshire Humane Society, Community Access to the Arts and IS183 Art School of the Berkshires.

The annual event features new and gently used clothing and accessories in a variety of

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'Show {Your School} Love Campaign and Contest’ Runs Through May 22
02:14PM / Wednesday, May 09, 2018

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week this month (May 7-11), Berkshires MacKid will celebrate Berkshire County K-12 private and public schools and their teachers throughout the month of May in partnership with Realty Street, Mazzeo's Ristorante, Dalton General Store, Tyler and Pine Bakery, Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, and the Pittsfield Suns.

Through May 22, individuals will be able to submit one vote per day per email address for the school of their choice online and then answer a few super quick questions to "show your school love."

The wining school will receive a luncheon in June for its staff courtesy of Realty Street, Mazzeo's Ristorante, Dalton General Store, and

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Mental Health Month Marked in May
01:58PM / Wednesday, May 09, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — May is national Mental Health Month, and National Alliance on Mental Illness Berkshire County is promoting awareness throughout the month.

The designation of May as Mental Health Month was started 69 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone. This year, Mental Health Month is focused on the importance of balance in both mental and physical health, and how a healthy lifestyle may help prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as heart disease, type two diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also help people recover from

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BMC Receives Healthgrades 2018 Patient Safety Excellence Award
01:47PM / Wednesday, May 09, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — For the second year in a row, Berkshire Medical Center has received the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award, a designation that recognizes superior performance of hospitals that have prevented the occurrence of serious, potentially avoidable complications for patients during hospital stays.

The 2018 distinction places BMC among the top 10 percent of all short-term acute care hospitals reporting patient safety data for its excellent performance as evaluated by Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

This is the second time in less than a month that BMC's Patient Safety record has been

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This Mother's Day, Consider Financial Gifts for Your Adult Children
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:21AM / Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Mother's Day is almost here. If you;re a mother with grown children, you might receive flowers, candy, dinner invitations or some other type of pleasant recognition. However, you might find that you can get more enjoyment from the holiday by giving, rather than receiving.

The longest-lasting gifts may be financial ones – so here are a few moves to consider:

* Contribute to your child's IRA. If your children have earned income, they are eligible to contribute to an IRA, which offers tax benefits and an almost unlimited array of investment options. You can't contribute directly to another person's IRA, but you can write your child a check for that purpose. This could

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Pittsfield Airport Manager Sees Growth In The Future
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Wednesday, May 09, 2018

A repaving project is underway at the airport now. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When the 2008 recession hit, the airport saw a significant decrease in users.   Its revenues were down. The number of planes housed there was down. The planes flying in and out were down.   But a few years later, the state Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, and the city launched a $22 million project to expand the main runway.   That project called or a massive amount of excavation and rebuilding to level out the grounds -- the airport sits on somewhat of a plateau from its surrounding areas.   The runway was extended by 1,400 feet and extended buffer zones were

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United Way, Berkshire Bank Surprise Teachers On National Teacher Appreciation Day
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:01PM / Tuesday, May 08, 2018

The teachers were surprised with the recognition.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Teachers at Crosby Elementary School were getting their classes through the MCAS tests on Tuesday. They still have lessons to teach. And then there was knock on each one of their doors.   It was either Gary Levante or Deanna Markham from Berkshire Bank or it was Jennifer Kerwood from the Berkshire United Way. The teachers didn't know it was coming, but the two organizations were thinking about them because Tuesday wasn't just another school day.   It was National Teacher Appreciation Day.   For each elementary school teacher at Crosby, one of those three handed over a box filled

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Small Local Businesses Team Up to Support 'Operation Copsicle'
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:34AM / Tuesday, May 08, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Donna Hanson has been following Officer Darren Derby on Facebook for a few years now. And she's been following the progress he has been making in his push to purchase an ice cream truck.   Friday morning, the owner of Balderdash Cellars was prepping for a wine tasting on Saturday and she heard Derby talking on the radio. And she knows every little bit helps.   "I just think it is pretty cool what he is doing for the area. I am a big proponent of it because I think if you can affect one kid, it is a good thing," Hanson said.   She and her husband, Christian, decided that for every bottle of wine they would sell on Saturday, they'd

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