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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

The Independent Investor: The VA — If It Isn't Broke, Don't Fix It
By Bill Schmick,
02:07PM / Friday, September 09, 2016

In the heat of presidential campaign rhetoric, the quality of care given to our veterans has become a popular topic. Needless to say, neither candidate has received care in a veteran's hospital and probably does not know anyone who has.

Actually, few of us know anything at all about the Department of Veterans Affairs medical capabilities. Most Americans have never served in the military. Fewer still have ever been inside a VA facility, and if they have, it was to see a relative or friend.

As such, our ignorance breeds a whole host of misunderstandings about how good or bad our veterans are being treated. Critics are quick to point to the 2014 scandal when some VA facilities were


BCC Soccer Team Opens Saturday
01:34PM / Friday, September 09, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Berkshire Community College club soccer team opens its 2016 home season on Saturday at 3 p.m. against the University of Massachusetts club team.   UMass was the top finisher last fall in the Northern Division of the BCC’s conference.   Concessions will be available, and admission is free.   BCC also will play home games on Sept. 17 and Sept. 23.   More information about the program is available at


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

Pittsfield Police Officer Fired for Misconduct
01:28PM / Friday, September 09, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield police officer has been fired for "multiple misconduct charges."

Officer Dale Eason, a 20-year veteran of the force, had been on leave since May after a scuffle with an elderly woman in her home last year.

A terse press release from Chief Michael Wynn said Eason had been terminated on Wednesday after a "lengthy internal investigation and a local civil service hearing."

Eason had arrested Phyllis Stankiewicz, 88, after he and another officer entered her home after being sent to the wrong address for a disturbance. A confused Stankiewicz had allegedly threatened them with a small paring knife and, when disarmed, had slapped Eason


Republican Canning-Wilson Alleges Election Fraud
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:38PM / Friday, September 09, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Republican Christine Canning-Wilson is claiming there was fraud in the election process on Thursday. 

The Lanesborough candidate for the state Senate seat released a statement Friday morning, the day after the primary, saying she is filing a complaint with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance saying there were violations depriving her of votes. She also contacted the secretary of state's office, which oversees such matters.   "I need to request a recount because there's a lot of zeros — and I know people voted in those towns. The long arm of this Democratic machine stops at nothing. I know for a fact people in Adams voted


Lanesborough Training Staff Member to Help Ambulance Service
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Friday, September 09, 2016
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Town Manager Paul Sieloff is looking to help the ambulance service by training a current part-time employee as an emergency medical technician.   The Selectmen approved funding from the Ambulance Enterprise Account for the EMT training of Thomas Kasuba, who is a part-time seasonal worker with the Highway Department. The idea is that he would be available while working as a laborer to handle ambulance calls during the days.    "I'd rather have someone like him working than paying someone to sit down at the fire station," Sieloff said.    Town officials have been trying to figure out a way to save the ambulance service, which


Hinds Wins Democratic State Senate Primary
By Andy McKeever & Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
11:21PM / Thursday, September 08, 2016

Adam Hinds hugs a support at Hotel on North on Thursday night.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Adam Hinds says over the last seven months if his "head was off the pillow" he was working on his campaign for state Senate.

And it paid off.

Hinds won the Democratic nomination on Thursday in a three-way race. He claimed victory at Hotel on North and will now face Republican Christine Canning-Wilson in the general election.   While he may have won the first step, Hinds says he is going to be getting right back to work toward filling the seat being vacated by state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, who opted not to run for re-election.   "We're going to keep to the same


Farley-Bouvier Wins Democratic Nomination for Pittsfield's 3rd District
By Andy McKeever & Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
10:20PM / Thursday, September 08, 2016

Michael Bloomberg said he will throw his support behind Farley-Bouvier and other Democrats.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tricia Farley-Bouvier will move on to the general election to attempt to keep her seat in the state House of Representatives.

The two-term incumbent won her Democratic primary on Thursday by 382 votes against challenger Michael Bloomberg.

It was a contentious primary season as the two battled over Farley-Bouvier's legislative record and the younger Bloomberg's experience. The final tally was Farley-Bouvier with 2,687 votes, or 54 percent, to Bloomberg's 2,305.

But the two say they will put away their countercharges behind them to team up for the final


'Southside with You': A Sensible Romance
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:13PM / Thursday, September 08, 2016

My Dad, a kindly stoic whose inner romanticism made a poignant appearance when the occasion stirred him, was fond of pointing out, if seeing, let us say, a very large woman and a very small man strolling down the street, "See, there's someone for everyone." All of which is my nostalgic, roundabout way of noting the kismet that writer-director Richard Tanne captures in "Southside with You," a chronicle of Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama's first date in 1989.

The thought here is that the odds of two such socially incisive and committed people finding one another is perhaps even greater than the serendipitous meeting of the big gal and the little guy. The given


Shakespeare & Company Names New Artistic Director
11:30AM / Thursday, September 08, 2016

LENOX, Mass. — After an extensive national search, Shakespeare & Company has named renowned actor and director Allyn Burrows, a long-time member of the company, as its new artistic director.

“This is a watershed moment for Shakespeare & Company,” said Board Chair Ken Werner. “Allyn is one of the most lauded and exciting actors and directors both in Boston and nationally, and we are extremely fortunate to have him take over the artistic leadership of our company. He is someone who is well known to us, and our search for a new artistic director could not have turned out better. I extend my deep gratitude to our interim artistic directors, Ariel Bock and


Permit Granted For Solar Project On Pittsfield's Churchill Street
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Thursday, September 08, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — From noise, to scenery, to even attacking the character of the company looking to install a large solar array on Churchill Street, neighbors tried everything to fight the project.   But despite presenting their case claiming that the 499-kilowatt planned array encompassing a dozen acres of land would be a detriment to the neighborhood, the Zoning Board of Appeals granted the special permit with conditions in a 4-1 vote. Some of the board members voiced concern that the 40 acres of land being used could never been screened enough as to not impact the neighbors.   "I am not convinced that this project is not detrimental to the neighborhood. I don't

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Berkshire Tibits: Fermentation Festival
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
05:43PM / Wednesday, September 07, 2016

For the month of September, Rachel Alves, the registered dietitian and nutritionist for Guido's Fresh Marketplace, 760 South Main St./Route 7 in Great Barrington and 1020 South St./Routes 7 and 20 in Pittsfield, will be offering the following tasting demos at both stores on the remaining Thursdays and Fridays.

On Sept. 8 and 9 she will be rethinking risotto. On Sept. 15 and 16 she will be doing a wow-worthy whole grain dessert yet-to-be-decided. There will be no tasting demos on Sept. 22 and 23. On Sept. 29 and 30 she will be offering a pumped up pasta e fagioli, normally a homey Italian bean and noodle soup but, in this case, who knows?   She is in


Biz Briefs: New Boston Crane Service & Sleds Expands Reach with U-Haul Trucks, Trailers
03:37PM / Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The long haul: New Boston Crane Service & Sleds has signed on as a U-Haul neighborhood dealer to serve the Sandisfield community. New Boston Crane Service & Sleds, located at 85 South Main St., will offer U-Haul trucks, trailers, towing equipment, support rental items and in-store pickup for boxes.  

Hours of operation for U-Haul rentals are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. After hours drop-off is available for customer convenience. Reserve U-Haul products at this dealer location by calling 413- 258-7254 or online.

New Boston Crane Service & Sleds owner Billy White said he is proud to team with the industry leader in


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