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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Hillsmen Take Home Awards
11:22AM / Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Berkshire Hillsmen compete

The Berkshire Hillsmen, the Pittsfield chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, participated in the Western Regional Competition of the Northeastern District of BHS in Lake George, N.Y., on May 3 and 4. The Berkshire Hillsmen were awarded the 2019 Mountain Division Small Chorus Championship Trophy as a result of their performance. Berkshire Blend, the chapter’s quartet entry, won the 2019 Mountain Division Novice Quartet Championship.

The Northeastern District (NED) is made up of five divisions. The competition that took place in Lake George was for the Mountain and Yankee Divisions. The Mountain Division comprises of Western Massachusetts, New York from

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Strong Towns Founder Brings Community Development Strategies to Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:02AM / Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Mill Town Capital organized both a large presentation at Barrington Stage in the evening and a small one for those involved in local community development. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Charles Marohn believes that humans are basically wired to highly value the immediate positive while discounting long-term negatives.   That's a well recognized and documented psychology. It explains why many people will eat poor food and sit down in front of a television rather than go to the gym.   But Marohn's specialty isn't psychology. He's a civil engineer. So why was he talking psychology in a room full of government officials and city planners?   "This is a

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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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Berkshire County Reflects On Memorial Day
Staff Reports,
04:45PM / Monday, May 27, 2019

North Adams' ceremony featured the reading of the Gettysburg Address and the presentation of the George O. Angeli Award. More photos can be found here. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city observed Memorial Day with the traditional parade from American Legion Post 125 to the Veterans Memorial with police and fire vehicles, veterans organizations, Boy and Girl Scouts and the Drury High School marching band.    Master of ceremonies was Senior Vice Cmdr. Mitchell Keil of Post 125; parade marshals and non-speaking dignitaries included Joseph Zustra Jr, VFW; Dennis St. Pierre,  American Legion; Edward Denault, VVA; Louis Floriani, AMVETS; Matthew

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Lanesborough Honors Memorial Day With Parade, Ceremony
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:19PM / Sunday, May 26, 2019

Andrew Gibson was the keynote speaker. More photos can be found here. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — In World War 2, Lt. John Fox was directing the fire as the Americans were under attack from the Germans.   He kept changing the directions as to where to fire until he called for heavy firing directly on his location.    "When told this, Fox simple confirmed that he knew what he was doing by saying fire it. Those salvos stopped the Germans in their tracks, gave the Americans a chance to counter-attack and retake the town," said Andrew Gibson, a history teacher at Mount Greylock Regional High School.    Fox's body was found alongside hundreds of

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Pittsfield's Commissioner of Public Services Retiring
Staff Reports,
04:51PM / Saturday, May 25, 2019

  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Commissioner of Public Services David Turocy is retiring after a 30-year career.   Turocy joined the city in 2015 as commissioner of public services, filling a job that had been created four years earlier but never filled. He came to Pittsfield after serving 11 years as commissioner in Newton. In 2017 his role expanded to take on the role of commissioner of public utilities as well.   The commissioner said on Thursday that he will retire in October and will remain in the area.    "My wife retired two years ago, so it's a good time to go out and relax," Turocy said.   Turocy began his career in Lexington in March

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Pittsfield Strengthen Rules On Contractors Following Hydrant Issues
Staff Reports,
01:46PM / Saturday, May 25, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Contractors must get written approval from city officials before shutting off the water to a hydrant from now on.   In fighting the blaze on Tyler Street on Thursday, firefighters were unaware that the contractor hired by the city to upgrade the water line on Plunkett Street had turned off the valve. Firefighters hooked up a hose but no water came out. They, joined by citizens, police officers, and emergency medical technicians, had to run the hose 500 feet down Tyler Street to tap into another hydrant instead.   The delay may not have been too impactful given that the fire was already towering when firefighters arrived but it was a delay nonetheless and

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@theMarket: Markets Held Hostage by Trade & Machines
By Bill Schmick,
03:19PM / Friday, May 24, 2019
If it were not for computer-driven trading, it might actually be funny. Financial markets are careening up and down on a daily basis based on the next tweet or comment from the Trump administration or its counterparts in China. We could see more of the same next week.   Rhyme or reason has truly left the station. Day by day, the trade war of words is accelerating. This week, the U.S. banned China's largest technology company, Huawei, from doing business with American companies. The president accused the company of espionage. The Chinese responded by threatening to drop trade negotiations. Markets collapsed, led by semi-conductor and technology stocks.   A day later, the

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'John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum': How Can I Kill Thee? Let me Count the Ways
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:27PM / Friday, May 24, 2019
There are two things in this world that really confound me. Nope, it's not wondering what the secret of life is. I've got that figured. It's to get a Ferrari. And it isn't how many angels can you fit on the head of a pin, either. Fifty-six, I reckon, same as DiMaggio's hitting streak.    No, the first of my dual quandary is, how anyone in America isn't repulsed by the administration currently besmirching the sanctity of democracy down in Foggy Bottom? The second dilemma that really has me scratching my head is why on Earth someone would want to see director Chad Stahelski's "John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum?"    I concur with Hesh

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Greylock Names New Senior Vice President
12:00PM / Friday, May 24, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has promoted Rebecca Riordan to senior vice president, human resources.

"Rebecca's positive impact on our organization and culture is undeniable," President and Chief Executive Officer John L. Bissell said. "She has proven to be a transformational leader who brings her boundless expertise, energy and joy to Greylock employees every day. She understands that hiring, training and developing the best employees is the key to Greylock's continued success."

Riordan joined Greylock in 2017 as the vice president of human resources, where she continues to direct all HR and training functions of Greylock's

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BFAIR Hires Director of ABI/MFP, Director of Homecare Services
11:48AM / Friday, May 24, 2019

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Family and Individual Resources has hired people to fill two key agency vacancies; sirector of Acquired Brain Injury/Moving Forward Plan (ABI/MFP) and director of Homecare Services.

Both positions are filled by veterans in the human services industry with more than 20 years of experience in the field. The first was filled by an internal promotion of Deanna Davila and the second was filled by Tim Brelsford, who came from Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth.

Davila holds a bachelor's degree in human services and joined BFAIR in April 2017 as a house manager in Northampton in the Acquired Brain Injury program. She assisted in opening a new

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Big Y's Real Estate and Development Group Names Senior Manager
11:36AM / Friday, May 24, 2019

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Big Y Foods has announced the appointment of Colin M. D'Amour as a senior manager of procurement within Big Y's Real Estate and Development team.

In this role, he is responsible for managing all aspects of purchasing and equipment buying for the company's 80 plus locations. As part of their Real Estate Committee, he is involved in evaluating viable expansion opportunities across all operating formats, including Big Y World Class Markets, Fresh Acres, Table & Vine and Big Y Express divisions. He is also project manager for the expansion of Big Y's Distribution Center current expansion project.

In addition, he oversees multiple programs and

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St. Agnes Academy Names New Principal
10:49AM / Friday, May 24, 2019

DALTON, Mass. — St. Agnes Academy has announced the appointment of Fadia Rostom Makdisi of Pittsfield as principal, replacing long-time educator James Stankiewicz, effective July 1.

The Rev. Christopher Malatesta, pastor of St. Agnes Church, made the appointment while also reaffirming his unwavering commitment to the academy. He also announced the formation of an Executive Leadership Council, a group of experienced educators charged with the goal of growing the academy while maintaining high academic expectations and Catholic values and traditions.

A search committee selected Makdisi from a field of highly competitive candidates in a regional search.

"We are confident we have

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