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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Middle Ground Sought In Pittsfield Mosquito Control Plans
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:39AM / Saturday, June 09, 2018

Superintendent Christopher Horton says the spraying is a vital part of the program. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City councilors think they've found a compromise with the Board of Health over mosquito control.   The council's Public Health and Safety subcommittee met again on the issue Thursday night in the wake of pushback and a petition from citizens to end the adulticide spraying.   Councilors Helen Moon and Peter Marchetti filed a petition to leave the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project.   On one side of the issue, residents voiced concern with the chemicals used in spraying, saying it is detrimental to the environment and causes health problems. On the

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'Adrift': Cast Away in an Inconvenient Genre
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:28PM / Friday, June 08, 2018
If your idea of a good time is anguishing aghast on tenterhooks as a couple of shipwrecked young lovers try to survive against all odds in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, director Baltasar Kormákur's "Adrift," loosely based on a true story, is for you. I, for one, don't really get the thrill, and have yet to receive a satisfactory response from either horror film or disaster flick aficionados when I question their inclination. Neither genre is my cup of tea. Just wondering what the morning mail will bode is more than enough suspense for me. Thus, I surprised myself.   In service to my fellow moviegoers who enjoy the blood pressure rush that film-induced fright

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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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Superior Court Briefs: May 30 - June 7
Staff Reports,
02:42PM / Friday, June 08, 2018
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Wednesday, May 30.   Raekwan Jackson, 22, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.   The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on March 21, 2018.    Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Wednesday, June 6.   William Fiske III, 29, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of breaking and entering in  the daytime, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, larceny from a building, assault and battery, negligent operation of a

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Pittsfield to Demo Columbus Ave. Garage, Hopes for Replacement
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Friday, June 08, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There's been $6 million in state funds dangling in the wind for years to rebuild the Columbus Avenue garage. It doesn't appear the city is ever going to get the money.    So with or without state support, the city is just going to tear it down.   The City Council on Tuesday preliminarily approved $2 million toward demolition and constructing a surface lot.   However, city officials are still hoping the state will eventually allocate funds to rebuild a three-story parking garage on the site. Twice now the city's state legislators have been able to tuck that money into bond bills -- but only the governor's office can approve

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The Independent Investor: Trump's trade war
By Bill Schmick,
03:52PM / Thursday, June 07, 2018
Over the weekend, the G-7 group of nations met to denounce the recent actions of the United States. This coming Friday, these same leaders convene in Quebec. President Trump will attend and seems determined to face them down.   Ever since the Trump administration announced plans to raise tariffs on imported steel and aluminum by 25 percent and 10 percent respectively, our allies have been livid. Some are referring to the upcoming meeting as the G-6, plus the United States. You've got to hand it to the president, he doesn't back off, but given the circumstances, maybe he should.   I doubt that anyone in this country believes the present trade agreements we have signed

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One-Time Campaign Backdrop Finally Approved For Demolition
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Thursday, June 07, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was three years ago when then-candidate for mayor Linda Tyer stood in front of a dilapidated John Street property and campaigned against blight.   "We have neighbors to this particular property who are doing their best to maintain their properties and sadly the condition of this property is having a negative effect with diminished property values and diminished quality of life. This will be a top, top priority for me in my administration," she said at the time.   The three-unit rental property at 49-55 John St. was the backdrop. On Wednesday, the Board of Health ordered for it to be demolished.   "This property has been a blight in

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WCVB Pulled From Berkshire TV Lineups; Lawmakers Petition For It Back
Staff Reports,
10:43AM / Wednesday, June 06, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Spectrum is pulling WCVB Boston, Channel 5, from its lineup and Berkshire lawmakers are petitioning to get the station back.   Wednesday morning the station went dark on many televisions across the county. The change follows the removal of WWLP Channel 22 from the lineup last year. Now, state Rep. John Barrett and state Sen. Adam Hinds are calling on the company to bring the stations back.   "I was most disappointed this morning to see that our friends at Spectrum removed WCVB Channel 5 from its Berkshire County lineup. I was still holding out hope that North Adams would determine that Spectrum had breached its contract and would be referring the

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Berkshire Bank Shuts Down Offices to Volunteer in Community
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:30AM / Wednesday, June 06, 2018

The panels will make up all of the walls to the Gordon Deming project. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — At noon on Tuesday, all of the Berkshire Bank branches and operational centers closed.   But the employees didn't go home — they went to work.    In Pittsfield, 150 of them could be found in a vacant storefront on Merrill Road wearing hard hats and putting together wall panels for the coming construction of Habitat for Humanity's six-unit Gordon Deming project.   Others were at the former St. Mark's school cleaning up the playgrounds for Hillcrest Educational Center. They were at Habitat's ReStore rearranging the merchandise. They were on the

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Five Area Students Graduate From Williams College
05:10PM / Tuesday, June 05, 2018

             Keiana Ruby West Seema Amin
Geff Halligan Fisher
Evelyn B. Mahon WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College interim President Protik "Tiku" Majumder on Sunday conferred bachelor of arts degrees to five local graduates at the college's 229th Commencement. Bob Schieffer, former CBS News reporter and award-winning journalist, was the principal speaker.

The local graduates are: 

Keiana Ruby West of Pittsfield, daughter of Yvonne West and Mitchell West, majored in psychology and concentrated in Africana

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BMC Registered Nurses Plan to Strike Again
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:03AM / Tuesday, June 05, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The nurses' union has re-issued its plans to strike after lengthy negotiations Monday.   The Massachusetts Nurses Association's Berkshire Medical Center chapter and the hospital have been attempting to settle a contract for more than a year and a half after the last contract expired in September 2016. In October, the nurses went on a one-day strike that was followed by a four-day lockout.    In February, the nurses again issued a strike notice but withdrew it at the last minute as progress was seemingly made. After multiple negotiation sessions since, with the latest being on Monday, no settlement was reached and the union has again re-issued

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Pittsfield Inching Closer to Decision on Plastic Bag Ban
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:02AM / Tuesday, June 05, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City officials are slowly getting closer to rendering a decision on the plastic bag ban.    Attorney Rinaldo Del Gallo proposed a ban on single-use plastic bag -- specifically the bags used at the checkout of grocery stores -- a little over five years ago. Pittsfield would have been at the forefront of the effort but during the time it has kicked around the legislative process, 79 other communities in the state have passed bans.   Del Gallo said he'd even like to build on the petition by adding a surcharge for customers who use paper bags, an incentive to encourage residents to go with reusable bags. But, given the length of time it has been

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Following Democratic Convention Win, Palfrey Heads To Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:29AM / Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Hinds showed Palfrey both the positive steps in the city's longtime effort to build its downtown and the challenges that the downtown still faces. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Fresh from receiving the endorsement of the state Democratic Party, Quentin Palfrey was out for a stroll in downtown Pittsfield.   Palfrey is seeking a spot as lieutenant governor on the ticket this fall. The party's delegates at the weekend convention endorsed him over his competitor Jimmy Tingle by 59-41 percent. He is looking to build on that win as he looks forward to the primary.   "We were really gratified. I am a first-time candidate and I was thrilled to get the endorsement of the

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