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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Springside Park Cleanup Going Strong 30 Years Later
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:15PM / Saturday, April 20, 2019

Volunteers spread out throughout the park on Saturday during the cleanup. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — At 9 a.m. the rain was pouring down heavily. And despite that, some 30 people volunteered their time to go into Springside Park and clean up litter and debris left behind.   The annual park cleanup has hit a milestone with this being its 30th year. The effort is all volunteer and organized by the Friends of Springside Park.   "We are happy people are coming out even on a day like today. It shows how much interest we have," Friends of Springside Park President Bernie Mack said.   Throughout the day volunteers stopped in and took on a section of the sprawling

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State Officials Issue Reminder About Intoxicate Driving Ahead of 4/20
Staff Reports,
08:53AM / Saturday, April 20, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The first "4/20" day with open recreational marijuana dispensaries has prompted a warning from the state Cannabis Control Commission to relax, take it easy, man.   April 20, 4/20, has become somewhat of a holiday among marijuana users and in states that legalized recreational use prior, rallies and events were held to commemorate the day. Locally, three recreational shops have opened and are planning specials and entertainment.    The Cannabis Control Commission, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Massachusetts Major City Police Chiefs Association, the Commonwealth

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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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New 'Dumbo' Left This Mom With Dry Eyes
By Rebecca Dravis,
09:12PM / Friday, April 19, 2019

When I first heard that Disney was making a live-action version of "Dumbo," I was pretty skeptical. After all, the main characters in this movie are animals, so unless Disney was going to venture into the territory of creepy "talking" real-life creatures, how were they going to pull this one off?

They didn't.

First the good news: Disney WAS able to create a story that didn't require creepy talking real-life animals, thank goodness. Instead, they used very cool special effects to create Dumbo and his mother, and the results of that were pretty spectacular. Dumbo, with his awkward-but-somehow-adorable ears and soulful eyes was as lifelike as possible - and he

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@theMarket: Investors Reach for New Highs
By Bill Schmick,
03:10PM / Friday, April 19, 2019
The stock market won't quit. It has been on a tear since the day after Christmas. It feels like it wants to keep climbing. That would be a fairly simple feat at this point, since we are only a percent or so away from regaining those historical highs. What will happen once we get there.?   You may ask why am I so confident that the markets won't just give up the ghost right here, right now? A look under the hood at the underlying sectors that make up the market indices gives me a clue. Let's take the semiconductor sector. Throughout the last year or more, semiconductors, a sub-segment of the technology area of the market, have led stocks higher (and lower) time and time

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Berkshire Money Management Adviser Becomes Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor
10:35AM / Friday, April 19, 2019

DALTON, Mass. — Berkshire Money Management's youngest teammate has recently become a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor.

Nate Tomkiewicz, 22, who began as a BMM intern three years ago, has recently completed a rigorous course program through the College for Financial Planning, which gives him specialized skills to guide retirees through their retirement by identifying the potential roadblocks — passing assets to heirs, navigating the complex world of healthcare, Social Security —  that they may encounter.

Tomkiewicz also be able to help retirees take advantage of opportunities as they move into the next — and arguably the most important — phase

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1Berkshire Announces Winner of Esther Quinn Award
10:17AM / Friday, April 19, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — This year's Esther Quinn Award will go to Bernie Klem of Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.

This annual award is given to a member of the Berkshire professional community who is involved in several volunteer efforts and continues to make the Berkshires a better place to live and work.

The award will be given out at the next 1Berkshire Good News Business Salute at The Country Club of Pittsfield on April 24 at 7:30 a.m., sponsored by Berkshire Money Management. Tickets can be reserved online.

Klem serves as marketing associate and chair of the Community Involvement Committee at Guardian. Prior to joining Guardian, Klem held positions with Gargan

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SVHC Offers Free Paid Training for Licensed Nursing Assistants
10:00AM / Friday, April 19, 2019

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Over the past several years, Southwestern Vermont Health Care has trained hundreds of people to become licensed nursing assistants. Many have gone on to rewarding careers in the health system's skilled nursing facilities or in the hospital’s inpatient units.

"This is a great, very cost-effective way to begin a health care career," said Peg Daly, who leads the SVHC Education and Organizational Development Department. "LNAs earn good wages, gain valuable experience, and help others. It can be very satisfying."

The training typically costs as much as $1,400. Those who enter SVHC's program agree to a one-year contract, receive free

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: April 19-25
09:41AM / Friday, April 19, 2019

 

SAT Music Bingo for the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade Bob Heck Entertainment will host a Music Bingo Fundraiser at Berkshire Hills Country Club, with all proceeds benefiting the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade. Tickets can be had for a suggested donation of $20 at the door, online with a credit card ($2 fee applies), or at any Bob Heck Entertainment music bingo show. The grand prize is $200, with many other prizes to be announced. Doors open at 6 p.m., with games beginning at 7 p.m.   MUSIC &

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Pittsfield Council Asked To Contribute More Toward Clapp Park Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:31AM / Friday, April 19, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After bids came in too high twice, the City Council is being asked to up the city's contribution toward the renovation of Clapp Park.   The city had received a $400,000 state grant to undertake a massive restoration of the West Housatonic Street park. That was matched by city funds for bathrooms, the community preservation act funding, $180,000 donation from the Rotary Club, and a $5,000 donation from Carr Hardware.   But, it is not enough. Parks and Open Spaces Manager Jim McGrath said the project is about $150,000 underfunded after the most recent bids were opened. The project has to be done by the end of June or else the city will lose its starting

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Pittsfield Man Found Guilty Of Rape And Abuse Of A Child
Staff Reports,
06:45PM / Thursday, April 18, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. - A city man was founded guilty of three counts of rape and abuse of a child on Wednesday.   Omar Enriquez, 43, was found guilty by a jury after some two hours of deliberation on Wednesday. The case a retrial after the first jurors were unable to reach a decision and it was ruled a mistrial.   The charges against Enriquez related to an incident first occurring four years ago, when the victim was 14 years old. He was also found guilty on charges of raping the same victim in 2015 and 2016 when she was 15.    The lead prosecutor in the case was Assistant District Attorney Andrew P. Giarolo. Enriquez faces a minimum of 10 years in state prison at

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The Independent Investor: The Cost of Rebuilding God's House
By Bill Schmick,
05:04PM / Thursday, April 18, 2019
Sometimes a tragedy can bring people together. In the case of the devastating fire that swept Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral, the world wept. But even before the fire was completely extinguished, the business community was already making plans to rebuild the 850-year-old edifice.   The price tag will likely be in the multibillion-dollar range. A preliminary assessment of the damage thus far includes two-thirds (about 100 meters) of the roof and the destruction of a spire, which the world witnessed on television. At least a 62-foot expanse of stained-glass windows was also severely damaged.   What we don't know as of yet, is how the 800-pipe organ, one of the largest in the

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Letter: Pittsfield's Pickleball Service a Fault
Letter to the Editor,
03:00PM / Thursday, April 18, 2019

To the Editor:

I am deeply concerned with the city of Pittsfield's plan to install a $350,000 pickleball facility in Springside Park.

The 2018 Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) Pickleball Participant Report reveals that there are approximately 3.1 million pickleball players in the United States out of a total population of 327.2 million people. If one applies the same participation rate to the city of Pittsfield, with its population 42,591, one can reasonably conclude that the total population of pickleball players in the city amounts to approximately 404.

A 2016 SFIA Pickleball Participation Report found that only 37 percent of players are "core" players

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