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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

New Addiction Recovery Center Sought For Pittsfield
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Staff
12:53AM / Monday, March 14, 2016

The still unfinished Crane Center on Linden Street was opened in 2010 for community use. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The possibility of establishing a new addiction recovery center, modeled after a successful Holyoke program, and potentially sited at the underutilized George B. Crane Memorial Center, was explored at a public forum held at City Hall on Thursday.   During a one-hour presentation attended by about 20 area residents, representatives from the "Hope for Holyoke" Peer Recovery Center described their approach in providing a variety of support services for those struggling with addiction and other issues as well.   "Much like what I know about

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Hinds Releases Platform For State Senate Campaign
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:55AM / Sunday, March 13, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Senate candidate Adam Hinds released his platform last week, focusing on five topics: economics, education, energy, stopping the heroin epidemic, and reversing the population loss.   The candidate says each topic is somewhat dependent on the others and the five-pronged approach is "a plan we can go to Boston with."   Hinds says by creating more high-quality jobs, and strengthening the education system, getting a handle on energy costs, and providing more treatment for those addict to heroin, the district consisting of 52 cities and towns will stop a declining population trend.   "You can't create jobs without attention to

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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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Pittsfield Commission Refuses Support For Yola Esther Project
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Correspondent
06:08AM / Saturday, March 12, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Commission on Disabilities voted Thursday to deny a variance sought by the Yola Esther Development, expressing frustration about the lack of compliance seen in the controversial development project that includes Giovina, Kara and Karen drives.

The state's Architectural Access Board (AAB), which must approve the variance for curb cuts sought by Yola Esther, has asked for the local commission's input in the form of a written letter either expressing support or lack of support.

"Since they've disregarded our input from the beginning, I'm of the opinion that we should not support the variance," stated commission Chairwoman June

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Berkshire Tidbits: Maple Syrup, Early St. Paddy's Day
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
09:43PM / Friday, March 11, 2016

On Sunday, March 13, from 3 to 5 p. m., chef Julie Gale, owner of At the Table Cooking School in Hillsdale, N. Y., will interpret the classic brunch as part of the Cooking at The Chef's Shop series, 31 Railroad St. in Great Barrington, 413-528-0135. She will be making homemade gravlax, eggs Benedict and bread pudding with whiskey sauce.

The cost is class is $60 per person for a single class, $150 for a series of three. Payment is required in advance with a 48 hour cancellation policy. The Chef's Shop offers students a 10-percent discount on purchases made on a class day. Call or Email@TheChefsShop.com, to reserve a place.

 

Chef Frank LaRagione will serve his annual early St.

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@theMarket: Markets Are at an Important Level
By Bill Schmick,
04:24PM / Friday, March 11, 2016

Stocks spent the last week consolidating. It was a necessary exercise, since stocks were overbought. Now that condition is behind us, and markets climbed higher by the end of this week. We are now at an important level. Call it a moment of truth that will indicate to investors whether the correction is over.

Up until now, the majority of traders have considered the 11 percent rally we have enjoyed in the S&P 500 Index since February nothing more than a bear market rally. But breaking above the 200 Day Moving Average (200 DMA) would make this an entirely new ballgame.

As I have written in the past, the 200 DMA is a technical level. It is simply a security's average closing price

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'Zootopia': It's a Jungle out There
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:42PM / Friday, March 11, 2016

With "Zootopia," a gaggle of doubtlessly well-intentioned writers and directors fail to snare the brass ring of kiddie-flick making, the award accorded to those movies that prove entertaining to children and adults alike.

Granted, it's a beautifully animated, satiric parable ostensibly meant to be Brittany and Tyler's introduction to civics. But while intelligent, responsible and hyperpacked with political correctness, the satisfaction it engenders in Grandma won't necessarily be matched by the joyful enchantment we'd hope to see on Junior's face.

Nope. By the time today's hip kid hits the Bijou he is pretty aware of what ails and threatens civilization,

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: March 11-17
12:25PM / Friday, March 11, 2016
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Thursday-Saturday: Spring Book Sale at Berkshire

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Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 29 - March 11
Staff Reports,
11:04AM / Friday, March 11, 2016
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, Feb. 29.   Bruce Daniels, 47, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of rape of a child with force.   He was released on personal recognizance. Daniels is accused of sexually assaulting a boy who is now age 17 between October 1, 2012 and October 31, 2012.   Heidi Bliss, 35, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of accessory after the fact to wit: armed robbery while masked, and misleading a police officer or other person.   The charges are in connection with a robbery in Pittsfield on January 24, 2016. She was released on $1,000 bail.   Cases

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State Community Affairs Director Tours Pittsfield to Start Dialogue
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:27PM / Thursday, March 10, 2016

Police Chief Michael Wynn points out the police station to Hodari Cail. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer led a tour around downtown Pittsfield for members of the governor's staff Thursday as the two administrations "start a dialogue."   State Community Affairs Director Hodari Cail joined a cadre of local officials and business leaders to see some of the highlights of Pittsfield's downtown revitalization efforts over the last decade or so.   Tyer led the tour that brought the group to the likes of the Berkshire Museum, Hotel on North, Barrington Stage, the Colonial Theater and even the parking garage on Columbus Avenue.   "I was hoping to

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The Independent Investor: The Rise of the Robots in Banking
By Bill Schmick,
07:14PM / Thursday, March 10, 2016

If you think the human factor is rapidly disappearing from the workplace, you may be surprised to know that Skynet has arrived and even C-3PO and R2-D2 are being left behind.

Nowhere is this change more apparent than in the nation's banking system.   

Automation, robots and artificial intelligence is on the rise. At the forefront of this change is the nation's banking system. One of the reasons I know this is because my sister, Cassie, is in the banking industry. No, she is not in the corner office or hanging out in the executive suites.

Since 1965, she has worked as a teller and other front office jobs in her bank's branch offices.

She knows the business from

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Pittsfield Police Investigating Home Invasion
Staff Reports,
06:14PM / Thursday, March 10, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. - Police are investing an armed home invasion on Maplewood Avenue.   Police say on Sunday, March 6 at about 10:20 p.m. dispatch received a call reporting the invasion. Four victims were said to have been inside the residence when three men entered the unsecured home with weapons. The men allegedly assaulted the residents, bounds their hands, and stole cash and personal property.   The suspects then fled on foot. The investigation is active and anyone with information is asked to call the detective bureau at 449-9705.

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Pittsfield Airport Study Group Questions FAA Compliance With Westwood Leases
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:14AM / Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ann Dobrowolski and Janis Akerstrom of the city's Office of Community Development presented what they found from 30 years ago on the Westwood Center. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Airport Commission receives only $3,000 a year from the seven businesses at the Westwood Center.   In total, there is $20,312 generated in land leases from the park but 85 percent of that goes to the Pittsfield Economic Development Corp., which developed the park in tandem with the city's Office of Community Development.   With the money being funneled to an outside agency, officials fear that the airport has been out of compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations requiring

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