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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Guest Column: Bans on Plastic Bags Gaining Ground
By Rinaldo Del Gallo, Guest Columnist
09:24PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I am pleased to announce that at last night's town meeting (Monday, June 20), Adams banned single-use plastic bags. (Article 25). It was a remarkable unanimous vote by the members of the town meeting.
Recently, there have been a series of single-use plastic bag bans. There has been a ban in Lee, a ban in Lenox, and last night a ban in Adams. Lenox was done by the Board of Health. In Lee, the ban on single-use plastic bags was done by town meeting — where it won by a considerable margin. In a similar manner, Lee and Lenox banned the use of Styrofoam.
What is less commonly known is my role in these bans. The ban on Styrofoam and single-use plastic bags in Lee and


Alcombright Endorses Hinds for Berkshire Senate Seat
09:00PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — North Adams Mayor Richard J. Alcombright has endorsed Adam Hinds for state Senate in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District. Hinds is running for the Democratic nomination for the office.

"I am very pleased to support my colleague and community leader Adam Hinds," said Alcombright.  

Pointing to Hinds' vast experience working shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the most under-served members of the region, Alcombright said, "Adam's work in Pittsfield with at-risk youth was inspirational and his transition to working with the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition — in some of the most challenged neighborhoods of


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

Parks Commission Approves Plan To Upgrade Durant Park
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:33PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new playground is the first step in a multi-phased plan to revamp the newly re-named Durant Park.   Parks and Open Spaces Manager James McGrath received approval of the plan from the Parks Commission on Tuesday that features not only a new playground but also new signage, fitness area, upgraded bathrooms, new pavilion, upgrades to the baseball and softball field and a new fence along the river.   "These were improvements that were looked at by the city as well as the neighborhood. This is not a decision thrust on Durant Park by myself and others from city hall. This was drafted, we made copies, this was distributed throughout the neighborhood,


United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County to Host 18th Annual Golf Tournament
03:21PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Berkshire County is holding its 18th annual golf tournament fundraiser on Monday, July 18, at Wahconah Country Club in Dalton.

Proceeds raised from the event will be used to benefit programs for more than 2,400 children and adults with any type of disability throughout Berkshire County.

Players can sign up as individuals or as a team of four. The $135 per-golfer ($540/team) entry fee includes green fees, golf cart, lunch, buffet dinner and gift. If golf is not your forte, consider attending the dinner for $30 per person. Tee and Green signs can be sponsored from $30 to $225. The deadline to register to play or purchase golf signs


Center Offering Free Obstetric Ultrasounds
12:46PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — New Direction Pregnancy Center is offering free obstetric ultrasounds the weeks of June 23-25 and June 27-30.

Women who are 6 to 22 weeks pregnant are welcome to view a window into the womb and get your free ultrasound pictures. Gender determinations are not provided.

Call New Direction at 413-346-4291 to set up an appointment.

New Direction offers is located at 98 Church St. and offers free laboratory quality pregnancy tests (immediate results), information on pregnancy, abortion and alternatives, confidential peer counseling, prenatal and parenting classes, adoption support and referrals, and more.


VFW Life Member Named Grand Marshal of Pittsfield July 4th Parade
12:28PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tony Pastore has been named the grand marshal for 2016 July 4th parade.

Pastore is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). He is also a member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), and American Legion Post 68 and has been a frequent Fourth of July Parade participant as a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran along with his fellow veterans. He served as the commander of the DAV from 1992-94 and DAV Chaplain for the last 40 years.

“In addition to his military service, Tony is well-known in the community for his heartfelt renditions of the National Anthem at many patriotic events and programs in Pittsfield. He a regular choir member at St. Mark’s


Outstanding Regional Classical Music Being Offered
By Stephen Dankner, iBerkshires Columnist
12:08PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

In the three preceding weeks, I previewed the musical offerings at six leading music venues: in Massachusetts: Tanglewood (Lenox,) Mohawk Trail Concerts (Charlemont,) and the Bang On a Can Music Festival at Mass MoCA (North Adams); in New York: Tannery Pond (New Lebanon); in Vermont, there’s the eponymously located Manchester Music Festival and Marlboro Music.

This week, I’ll turn the spotlight on three more: South Mountain Concerts in Pittsfield, Music Mountain in Falls Village, Conn., and the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, N.Y.

If, like me, you’re a devotee of the string quartet, you’ll want to attend programs at the two preeminent venues in the region that


Leave the Fireworks to the Pros, Officials Urge
12:06PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Last Fourth of July weekend, two members of the National Football League demonstrated just how dangerous fireworks can be.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback C. J. Wilson was forced to retire from a promising football career after losing two fingers from fireworks on the Fourth of July weekend. That same weekend, Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul mangled his hand with fireworks. Both of these national athletes set a negative example for impressionable youth.

Closer to home, on July 4, 2015, the Saugus Fire Department was called to 7 Oak Point Road for a hand injury to a 23-year old man. The man was lighting off commercial and consumer grade fireworks in his backyard. An explosion


Gen Xers Must Juggle Both Money and Time
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:56AM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

If you’re an older member of Generation X – that is, if you were born in the early- to-mid-1960s – you may have a lot of “balls in the air.” You are saving for your own retirement – which might not be that far away – while at the same time possibly wanting to help pay for your children’s college education. And you may also be assisting your aging parents in some ways.

How can you manage this juggling act?

To begin with, you need to emphasize your retirement. Now that you are likely in, or near, your peak earning years, you should contribute as much as you can afford to your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan. Your plan


35-acre Marina Subdivision in Otis Heads to Auction
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:30AM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The property has a water way permit for up to 30 docks and one public dock. OTIS, Mass. — Thirty-five acres of land including a 60-foot water  permit for docks on Otis Reservoir are heading to auction.   The piece of land on Reservoir Road was approved for subdivision plans to create 53 housing units as well as a state permit to install 30 docks on the reservoir. However, the out-of-state owners are putting it up for auction in hopes another developer will take over the project.    "That market has been hot as a pistol. Things in Brooklyn have been doubling in value. They are calling it the new Manhattan. So, they have taken all of their resources, time,


Ericson, Flood Victors In Lanesborough Election
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:26PM / Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Typically the hillside next to Town Hall is filled with candidates and campaign signs during an election. But, this year, only Robert Ericson could be found there Tuesday afternoon and few voters made it to the polls. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Selectmen Robert Ericson narrowly won re-election Tuesday and a newcomer to town politics ousted the chairman of the Finance Committee.   Ericson received 119 votes in Tuesday's election which saw a dismal turnout of less than 10 percent making it to the polls. But, he had just enough to defeat Michelle Johnson for the seat as she reeled in 94 votes.   Ericson was first elected in 2013 after defeating former Selectman Joseph

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Park Square Turned Purple to Raise Alzheimer's Awareness
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:45AM / Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Park Square featured signs with facts about the disease. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — For the caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's, every day can feel like the longest day of the year.   It's a disease that often takes years to be noticed and when it is, many people don't know what to go or where to go.   The Berkshire Alzheimer's Partnership is working to give those caregivers the support and resources they need and on Monday, the longest day of the year, the group turned Park Square purple to spread awareness of the disease.   "Today is the first day of summer, summer solstice, the longest day of the year. We're here on behalf of the Berkshire

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