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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Letter: Cities Not Looking for 'Holiday' Trees
Letter to the Editor,
03:00PM / Tuesday, October 08, 2019

To the Editor:

The cities of N Adams and Pittsfield are NOT looking for holiday trees. They ARE looking for Christmas trees. Why? Well, Jews don't celebrate Hanukkah with a tree, they light a menorah (Hanukkah isn't even a holiday that is remotely like Christmas, but is equated with it because of it's proximity on the calendar), and as far as I know there is no Muslim holiday that uses a tree to represent the holiday.

I'm Jewish, and am fine with the Christmas tree in Park Square. it's not my holiday — but it is the holiday celebrated by most of the 98 percent of Berkshire County that is not Jewish. I wish my Christian brethren a peaceful and joyful Christmas and

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It's Not Too Soon for End-of-Year Financial Moves
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:22AM / Tuesday, October 08, 2019

We've still got a couple of months until 2019 draws to a close, but it's not too early to make some end-of-the-year financial moves. In fact, it may be a good idea to take some of these steps sooner rather than later.

Here are a few suggestions:

* Boost your 401(k) contributions. Like many people, you might not usually contribute the maximum amount to your 401(k), which, in 2019 is $19,000, or $25,000 if you're 50 or older. Ask your employer if you can increase your 401(k) contributions in 2019, and if you receive a bonus before the year ends, you may be able to use that toward your 401(k), too.

* Add to your IRA. You have until April 15, 2020, to contribute to your IRA for

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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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Williams College Wants to Hear From You
04:41AM / Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Williams College invites its neighbors to think out loud about ways that Williams and its students, faculty, and staff might become more fully and effectively engaged in the local community—and beyond.

Williams will host the following open forums to provide an opportunity for community voices to be heard and to contribute to shaping Williams' future:

* Thursday, Oct.17, 5-6:30 p.m., The Green, 85 Main St., North Adams

* Tuesday, Oct. 22, 6 -7:30 p.m., Williamstown Youth Center, 66 School St., Williamstown

* Thursday, Oct.24, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church, 74 First St., Pittsfield.

All are welcome; there is no need to RSVP. For more information, visit the website.

 

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Pittsfield Firefighters Endorse Tyer for Mayor
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:51PM / Monday, October 07, 2019

Local 2647 President Robert Leary says the union has not endorsed a mayoral candidate since Gerald S. Doyle Jr. more than 15 years ago. The former mayor has also endorsed Tyer.   PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Firefighters IAFF Local 2467 has endorsed incumbent mayoral candidate Linda Tyer, the first time the public union has endorsed a candidate in more than 15 years.   Local President Robert Leary led a press conference Monday afternoon in front of the Fire Department's headquarters on Columbus Avenue to announce that the union had voted to endorse Tyer.    "Although our union as a whole doesn't often endorse candidates, our membership

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Greylock Federal Prepares to Open Community Empowerment Center
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:51AM / Monday, October 07, 2019

Nancy Gomez tells her story with the help of Gloria Escobar, standing.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The newly renovated Greylock Federal Credit Union on Kellogg Street will be offering more than just banking services. The site will house a new Community Empowerment Center offering free counseling to help residents in determining their financial futures.   The branch is set to open within a couple weeks but U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and CDFI Director Jodie Harris were invited to the facility last week to learn about what the CEC will mean for the area's underserved and underbanked communities.    "I hope you can hear how we're here for the whole community.

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Local Artists Install Mosaics at North Street Park
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
02:38AM / Monday, October 07, 2019

The two artists complete Vacchina's chestnut tree on the arch leading into the park on Friday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new public art project was unveiled on Saturday at the Cooper Center's Palace Park on North Street.   A dove of peace mosaic was designed by Ashfield artist Robert Markey, and Peter Vacchina, a Pittsfield native, installed his chestnut tree mosaic on opposite sides of the keystone arch that leads from the parking lot to the sidewalk.   Markey has lived and worked across the globe, even doing a public art exhibit in Afghanistan, but has called Ashfield home since 1972.   "They were giving land away basically," he said laughing on

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Markey Says He'll Keep Fighting for Progressive Values
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:25AM / Monday, October 07, 2019

State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, left, Mayor Thomas Bernard and Mayor Linda Tyer come out in support of Senator Markey. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state's junior senator pledged on Saturday to stand with the Berkshires for another six years — if they continue to stand by him.    U.S. Sen. Edwardy Markey had announced last year that he would be running for a second term representing the Bay State. His stop at Dottie's Coffee Lounge on Saturday morning hosted by the Berkshire Brigades follows a similar visit a few weeks ago by U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III — the day after he declared his intent to primary Markey.    "I'm going to fight

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Magical Wings Herald Unique Airlift for Dragonflies
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
05:28PM / Sunday, October 06, 2019

A mating pair of ebony jewelwings will remain coupled for hours in a bizarre configuration with the male attaching behind her head, and female attaching at first abdominal segments instead of conventional distal end. As a boy of seven years outside in the flower garden teaming with life, I was free to observe the natural wonders of flying insects abounding at assorted flowers including tiger swallowtails, mourning cloaks, silver spotted skippers, and the many bees, paper wasps, from honey bees to hornets and cicada killer giants. Katydids and praying mantis, too.   Thanks to incentive provided by my dear parents, Leonard and Eleanor Hansen, my appetite for insect studies was

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Letter: Resources Available to Stop Vaping
Letter to the Editor,
01:00PM / Sunday, October 06, 2019

To the Editor:

Vaping by youth has become what the U.S. Surgeon General calls an epidemic and many people are working to find solutions. I'm asked frequently what can be done to turn the tide, and now new resources are available to educate youth and help those who want to quit vaping.

Sadly, many youth are unaware of the facts about and the dangers of vaping. To help, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health developed a campaign designed for youth found at mass.gov/vaping. It provides facts and materials for young people that compare vapes and cigarettes: both put nicotine and cancer-causing chemicals in their body and both are highly addictive and dangerous for young

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Berkshire Sheriff's Special Olympics Humvee Push Comes to North Adams
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
04:55PM / Saturday, October 05, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire County sheriff's office held its Special Olympics fundraiser "Humvee Push" on Saturday for the first time in North County.   About 100 people showed up to Wal-Mart on a picture perfect autumn day, including members of the Adams Fire Department, Adams Ambulance and Northern Berkshire EMS, and Cheshire Police Chief Timothy Garner and a bevy of sheriff's office personnel.   For Deputy Jacob Gaylord, it was something he wanted to do for a long time.   "The first year we had it was in Pittsfield but being raised in North County, I wanted to have more events up here because there are great people," he said.

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New Veterans Assisted Living Facility Dedicated in Pittsfield
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
06:42AM / Saturday, October 05, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Several local luminaries showed up on Friday afternoon for the dedication ceremony of the new veterans assisted living facility on West Union Street.   The Rev. Peter Gregory, formerly pastor of St. Charles' Church and now chaplain of Soldier On, gave the invocation. Mayor Linda Tyer spoke for a couple of minutes. State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier was there. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal had a representative there. There was a full color guard presentation and firearms salute.   But the real star of the show proved to be the extraordinary facility itself.   The 20-unit, full-service home is appointed more like a boutique country hotel than an assisted

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'Ad Astra': Stellar Search for Self
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:28PM / Friday, October 04, 2019
— Shakespeare   While I don't love director James Gray's "Ad Astra," a space cowboy adventure about an accomplished astronaut's (Brad Pitt) mission to locate his legendary astronaut dad (Tommy Lee Jones), previously presumed dead but perhaps gone rogue, I must extol its valuable subtext. You know how you might just be fantasizing about that dream house on a lake in Vermont and suddenly you start getting email advertisements on your phone about just such an abode? Well, per this highly prescient movie set "in the near future," the thought is we are just about there.   In this predicted tomorrow, that sort of mind intrusion has been honed to a

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