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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Lanesborough Institutes Health Protocols, Keeps Town Meeting on June 9
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:20AM / Saturday, June 06, 2020
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The town has implemented a series of protocols intended to keep residents safe and comfortable attending the annual town meeting on Tuesday.   At Wednesday's meeting of the Board of Selectmen, Town Manager Kelli Robbins laid out the procedures the town has in place for the annual gathering at Lanesborough Elementary School.   She said the protocols have the backing of Town Moderator Chris Dodig, who last week joined the Selectmen's virtual meeting and questioned whether it might make sense to postpone the meeting in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and learn from other towns who hold their meetings first.   Robbins said she met with the Dodig

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Black Lives Matter Protest in Williamstown Draws Hundreds
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:53PM / Friday, June 05, 2020

A young student participates in the Black Lives Matter rally Friday.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Margot Besnard attended her first Black Lives Matter march in 2016.

Four years later, the issue is as pronounced as ever, and instead of being a marcher, she was an organizer.

Besnard and Erin Ostheimer, along with the grassroots organization Greylock Together, put out the call, and hundreds of area residents flocked to the Field Park rotary on Friday afternoon to express their anger at the death of George Floyd and their hunger for racial justice in America.   For some, it was their first such rally. For others, like Besnard, Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis Police was

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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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@theMarket: Jobs Jubilee
By Bill Schmick,
06:17PM / Friday, June 05, 2020
A funny thing happened before the market opened Friday morning. Jobless claims, which were supposed to come in at a loss of 8 million, actually did the reverse. Investors were stunned when the Department of Labor announced a gain of 2.5 million jobs. That was cause to celebrate.   Total nonfarm payrolls for the month of May revealed an overall unemployment rate of 13.3 percent, but that was a far cry from the 18.5 percent rate economists had expected. Indications from the most recent data argue that the re-opening of the economy is going far better than expected. That, combined with another $1 trillion in stimulus out of Congress that investors expect to be passed next month, sent

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Tyer: City Preparing for Phase 2 Openings
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:45PM / Friday, June 05, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer said Friday that with the beginning of Phase 2 likely to start Monday, the city is focused on reopening.    "The public health data continues to trend in the right direction and that is the result of everybody doing their part to keep themselves and others safe," the mayor said during her weekly COVID-19 update on Pittsfield Community Television.   The city has seen 160 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and five deaths; the number of active cases is now 31. Berkshire Medical Center currently has five patients.   Tyer said the city is doing its part to prepare businesses that will be allowed to open in this next phase with

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SVMC: COVID-19 Update June 5
04:15PM / Friday, June 05, 2020
  June 5,

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'The Great Gatsby': Class Distinction by the Book
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:25PM / Friday, June 05, 2020

I wish that I were reviewing one of the half-dozen movies certain to be made when this pox upon our house is no more. But until that glorious return to normality has us resuming all the simple joys of life we take for granted, like going to the movies, I'll be retro-reviewing and thereby sharing with you the films that I've come to treasure over the years, most of which can probably be retrieved from one of the movie streaming services. It is my fondest hope that I've barely put a dent into this trove when they let the likes of me back into the

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Leadership, Networking Program Maintains, Expands Ties During Pandemic
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:25AM / Friday, June 05, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — For more than a decade, Linda Dulye has been on a mission to provide leadership development and networking opportunities for young professionals.   That mission did not end when a global pandemic turned those professionals' working lives upside down.   If anything, it intensified.   "COVID-19 had a silver lining," the founder of the Dulye Leadership Experience said recently. "I know that's an unusual thing to say.   "I was in paralysis when work from home and isolation happened because we were doing in-person programming. Then we had to move and improvise. A lot of amazing alumni and volunteers were there to help us.

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Williamstown Finance Committee Finalizes Letter to Mount Greylock Committee
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:03AM / Friday, June 05, 2020

Dan Caplinger argued that the letter as drafted might not be taken the way the Finance Committee hoped it would be taken.   WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — As expected, the town's Finance Committee on Wednesday approved a letter advising the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee but only after one Fin Comm member suggested the letter could be seen as "condescending" and "patronizing" by the recipients.   On a vote of 7-1, the panel decided to send the letter to the School Committee asking that the latter continue "retaining at least $1.5 million [of the Williams College capital gift] as a capital improvement reserve."   The two-page

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Pittsfield Council Wastes No Time Approving 10 Budget Sections
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:15AM / Friday, June 05, 2020

Meeting remotely, the City Council gave preliminary approval to 10 budget sections on Thursday night.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council met for day two of budget hearings Thursday night on the proposed $170 million spending plan for fiscal 2021 and preliminarily approved 10 departmental budgets unchanged in just under an hour and a half.

The council met remotely to review the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Information Technology, Community Development, Building Maintenance, School Maintenance, Airport, Building Inspections, Health Department, the Berkshire Athenaeum and Personnel.    There was little discussion of the budgets, most of which were level-funded or had

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The Retired Investor: Will Jobs Come Back Postpandemic?
By Bill Schmick,
09:14PM / Thursday, June 04, 2020
As this week's job report looms ever closer, investors have become inured over data showing job losses in the multimillions. The present thinking among economists, strategists and politicians is that all these jobs will come back. The question is when.   Readers need to realize that prior to the onset of the pandemic, the unemployment rate at 3.5 percent was a historically low level. The spread of COVID-19 forced the country's economy to shut down. The first Americans to lose their jobs were those low-paid workers in the service industries, those that could not work from home. Fortunately, the government's response was to provide fiscal stimulus (in the form of extended and

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Miss Hall's School Graduates 60 Students
12:45PM / Thursday, June 04, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Sixty students, including sixteen from Berkshire County and nearby communities, graduated on Sunday, May 31, during Miss Hall’s School's 2020 graduation.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program this year was held online, with students and their families from around the globe joining via Zoom. The event, which was also live-streamed, included remarks from Board of Trustees President Nancy Gustafson Ault, MHS Class of 1973; Head of School Julia Heaton; Senior Class President Ria Kedia of Pittsfield; and School President Ayla Wallace of York, Pa. Actress Jayne Atkinson, selected by the class as its speaker, sent special words of wisdom to the

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Berkshires Beat: Humane Society Launches Annual 'Choose Your Subaru' Raffle
12:18PM / Thursday, June 04, 2020
Humane Society raffle

Berkshire Humane Society and Haddad Subaru have launched their eighth annual "Choose Your Subaru" car raffle. One lucky winner will have their choice of a 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Limited, Forester Premium or Outback Premium with a value up to $33,000.  

Tickets are $40 each or three for $100 and can be purchased by credit card by calling the shelter at 413-447-7878, ext. 131. Berkshire Humane Society will send ticket stubs to purchasers. The raffle is limited to 2,400 tickets. If a minimum of 1,000 tickets are not sold, the raffle will convert to a 50/50 drawing of net proceeds. The winner will be drawn on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 1 p.m. at the shelter at 214

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