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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Are Americans Saving Enough for Retirement?
By Bill Schmick,
05:00PM / Thursday, May 17, 2018
If you simply read the headlines, you would assume that over half of Americans aged 55 and over, have no savings as they approach retirement. That's a dramatic statement, but is it true?   Most statisticians derive that data by adding up those who have an IRA or similar tax-deferred savings account such as a 401(k). The latest data compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank's Survey of Consumer Finance indicated that 53 percent of households, age 55 to 64, had some savings in those tax-deferred accounts. So, yes, by that standard, almost half of all Americans fail the savings test.   But what about all the people who work for the government? There are 22 million workers toiling

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Berkshire Lightscapes Hit Goal To Light Up Parts Of Pittsfield's Downtown
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:54PM / Thursday, May 17, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Lightscapes has reached its fundraising goal.   Now, City Hall, Dunham Mall, and Park Square will be lit up with new LED lighting. The organization raised $51,320 in two months, and that will be matched by MassDevelopment for the three projects.   Further, the organization is now in conversation with the owners of a number of downtown buildings about expanding the light project to those locations as well.   "We had a very wonderful response from people who gave anywhere from $25 to $100," said Elie Hammerling, who headed the effort.   Some 159 donors contributed to the non-profit's fundraising efforts. That includes

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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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District Attorney Candidates Meet Head To Head In First Debate
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:27AM / Thursday, May 17, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Paul Caccaviello had a domestic homicide case while working in the district attorney's office and he said he brought in behavioral experts to help teach and understand the issues of domestic abuse.    He said he's taken steps to create a sub-unit to focus directly on domestic abuse cases and to understand the best ways to become proactive in domestic abuse cases to halt things from getting worse. And that's what he says he'll do if elected as the new district attorney this fall.   "I've committed to bringing in training and education to my staff," Caccaviello said.   However, challenger Andrea Harrington said in

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How Can You Meet Your Short-Term Goals?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:07PM / Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Why do you invest? If you're like most people, you'd probably say that, among other things, you want to retire comfortably. Obviously, that's a worthy long-term goal, requiring long-term investing. But as you journey through life, you'll also have short-term goals, such as buying a second home, remodeling your kitchen or taking a much-needed vacation. Will you need to invest differently for these goals than you would for the long-term ones? 

To answer that question, let's first look at how you might invest to achieve your longer-term goals. For these goals, the key investment ingredient is growth – quite simply, you want your money to grow as much as possible

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Six Arrested During Two Concurrent Raids In Pittsfield
Staff Reports,
10:40PM / Wednesday, May 16, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Six people, including three juveniles, were arrested during two concurrent raids by local authorities Wednesday morning.   City police, the Berkshire County Drug Task Force, and the Berkshire County Special Response Team executed search warrants at 362 Columbus Avenue and 208 Linden Street at 10:20 a.m.   The raids led to six arrests and authorities seized upward of $50,000 worth of drugs, two firearms, and $8,700 in cash.   Police say Shiana Sayers, 30, was arrested for trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in heroin, and two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws.   Melissa Daniels, 32, was arrested on charges of trafficking in heroin and

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Pittsfield Adopts Policy For Commercial Use of Parks
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58PM / Wednesday, May 16, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Parks Commission will welcome commercial enterprises onto city property. But, only if it "enhances the park."   The commission has been weighing the levels at which commercial enterprises can operate on parkland since January, when Todd Fiorentino was looking to open a coffee kiosk, Poseidon Coffee.   Such enterprises have historically not been allowed at the park. But the kiosk seemed to many of the commissioners like it would be a nice addition.   To veer from tradition, the Parks Commission has since been crafting a policy to governor all types of commercial use. That includes an application fee and use fee. A commercial enterprise

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Rail Trail Extension To Pittsfield Passes 75 Percent Design Phase
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The blue line is where the proposed rail trail will cross Crane Avenue. To the left, on the  south side of Crane, a new parking lot will be created. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city has passed the 75 percent design milestone on the extension of the Ashulwilticook Rail Trail and is now starting the permitting process.   "The bike path is on schedule and on budget. We are at the 75 percent design phase for the project, which is a required milestone in the process. We just recently saw a draft of a notice of intent for the wetland permit, which is required for the project," Parks and Open Spaces Manager James McGrath said this week.    McGrath said things

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Southern Vermont College Holds 91st Commencement
02:56PM / Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Nicholas T. Pinchuk, CEO of Snap-on, gives the keynote address on Saturday. BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southern Vermont College recognized 84 degree candidates and 2 certificate recipients at its 91st commencement exercises on Saturday, May 12, on the Greystone Lawn of the Everett Mansion.    An honorary degree of humane letters was awarded to Nicholas T. Pinchuk, chairman and chief executive officer of Snap-on Inc. and formerly president of global refrigeration operations for Carrier Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.    Pinchuk is a leader on workforce development and technical education and careers. Recognizing his role in the formation of the

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CHP Holding Children's Attic Clothing, Toy Sale
01:29PM / Tuesday, May 15, 2018

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs’ Children’s Attic returns on Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20.

This now once-a-year huge event, held under big tents at the CHP Route 7 campus at 444 Stockbridge Road, features clothing, toys, games and more. Local families sell quality maternity and children’s items, including spring, summer, fall and winter clothing, toys, videos, games, books, baby equipment and much more.

The sale will be held Saturday, May 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to noon. The Children’s Attic is hosted by CHP Family Services and sponsored by Salisbury Bank. Call 413-528-0457 for more information.

 

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Marijuana Greenhouses Eyed For Lanesborough's Gray Raven Farm
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:16AM / Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Developer Rob Wolf wanted the board's support for the project before he began the permitting process. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A developer is looking to build 18 greenhouses on Gray Raven Farm for marijuana cultivators to lease.   Rob Wolf, a managing member of New England Agriculture Technologies, presented a plan to the Board of Selectmen on Monday to build the greenhouses up to state regulations for cannabis cultivation, surround them with a solar field, and then lease the spaces to commercial growers.   "We're envisioning about 18 greenhouses there which will generate a fairly substantial amount of revenue," Wolf said.   Wolf hasn't started

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BCC Welcomes New Director of Information Technology, Coordinator of Academic Computing
04:02PM / Monday, May 14, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has announced that Arlen Rauschkolb has joined the college as director of Information Technology and Christian Tenczar has joined as the new coordinator of Academic Computing.

Rauschkolb brings decades of experience in technology management for higher education, including community colleges. He also has a rich academic background with a B.A. in anthropology, M.S. in social and philosophical foundations, M.S. in urban affairs, and doctoral program in urban education.

Rauschkolb is actively involved with organizations that advance academic technology, where he has been a frequent presenter. He is a natural collaborator and a true

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MassDOT Sets Public Meetings on Capital Investment Plan
03:00PM / Monday, May 14, 2018
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will hold a series of public meetings throughout the commonwealth to solicit public input on its draft multibillion dollar MassDOT and MBTA Capital Investment Plan Update for fiscal years 2019-2023.    This program covers long-term highway, aeronautics, rail, and transit investments.   The meetings will begin on Tuesday, May 15, in Boston and continue for two weeks. The draft CIP includes all MassDOT highway and municipal projects, regional airports, rail, and transit, including MBTA and Regional Transit Authorities as well as the Registry of Motor Vehicles.   MassDOT will hold two meetings in Western

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