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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Can You Invest for Retirement and Education?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
09:42AM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Typically, this time of year is filled with graduation ceremonies and celebrations. But with the coronavirus pandemic, not much has been typical lately. Eventually, though, things will return to normal and schools will reopen for in-person learning. 

And if you have young children, you may want to save for their higher education, whether that be college or trade school. At the same time, though, you're moving ever closer to retirement. Can you save for your kids' education and a comfortable retirement for yourself at the same time?

It is indeed possible, although you may need to prioritize somewhat. Specifically, you may not want to put off saving for retirement in favor of


Summer Jazz Camp & Music Academy Open for Enrollment
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020
ADAMS, Mass. — The annual Berkshires Summer Jazz Camp plans to open this August with the inaugural semester a new music academy following in September.   Applications for the jazz camp are now being accepted and Richard Boulger, executive director and co-founder of the Berkshires Academy for Advanced Musical Studies, or BAAMS, said he and his colleagues are excited to be able to offer the free camp for the third year.   "My musical philosophy is that your musical instrument is an amplifier of what you are hearing, thinking, and feeling," Boulger said. "As one develops this approach to playing and composing music, one's own life experiences are

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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

North Adams, Pittsfield Educators Rally for School Funding
By Tammy Daniels & Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
08:48PM / Monday, June 15, 2020

North Adams is preparing for budget cuts of 10 to 15 percent, with the worst-case scenario closing a school.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Educators and supporters in the county's two cities rallied on Monday for more educational funding even as school officials prepare for budget scenarios that could cost dozens of teaching positions and school closures.    "We want our students and our families to know that we are supporting them. And we're doing this for them," said Lisa Tanner, a math and science teacher at Colegrove Park Elementary School. "We want our state and federal legislators to know that we can't do our job if they don't do their


Mount Greylock Forum Opens Conversation on Racial Equity
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:33AM / Monday, June 15, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Difficult conversations about race across racial lines are important.   But so are conversations that are not about race.   Pittsfield author and motivational speaker Ty Allan Jackson made that point last week during a virtual community conversation hosted by the Mount Greylock Regional School District.   "I think there has to continuously be consistency of having people of color coming in [to the schools] to talk -- and not just solely about diverse issues," Jackson said. "I think a big problem we have in a lot of our communities is that there isn't a lot of representation of people of color in the first place. I think we need


North Berkshire Towns to See Hike in Solid Waste Rates
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Staff
04:06AM / Monday, June 15, 2020

The solid waste district board held its meeting last week outside the Adams Visitors Center to comply with needed social distancing.  ADAMS, Mass. — Members of the Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District are expected to see increases in their waste removal rates as the district negotiates a five-year contract with Casella Waste Management that includes prevailing wage.    The previous contract was for 10 years with Republic and was viewed by waste district Coordinator Linda Cernik as very town friendly.   "The contract was set with Republic but then Casella purchased [them]. That contract had been set for 10 years. I say it was like a gift,


Pittsfield Chief, Citizens Make Commitment to Social Change
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
11:24PM / Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Rev. Sloan Letman IV describes the efforts for systemic change as part marathon, part marriage: both require years of commitment and mutual support. See more photos here. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When asked if Pittsfield Police were committed to the process of engaging in the hard work of building an equitable society, the simple answer of Police Chief Michael Wynn is "yes."   His response capped a rally and procession on Sunday afternoon, "Together We Breathe," organized by Berkshire Interfaith Organizing to honor Black Lives Matter, from City Hall to Durant Park where the procession also answered in the affirmative to be a partner with police in

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Lenox Memorial Graduates Emerging Into a New World
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:44PM / Sunday, June 14, 2020

Valedictorian Nora Mathews says the class of 2020 will have the opportunity to better the world. See more photos here. LENOX, Mass. — Lenox Memorial High's graduation on a sunny Sunday was more like an evening at the drive-in.    The class of 2020 and their families gathered one final time in the school's parking lot for a graduation ceremony that was certainly memorable.    "Boy, after looking at his empty parking lot for three months I think it is outstanding to see parents, grandparents, family, friends, and the Lenox community sharing this beautiful day," Principal Michael Knybel said. "We are very lucky."   The ceremony


Pittsfield Police Make Arrest in Friday Shooting
12:44PM / Sunday, June 14, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city man was arrested Friday afternoon after a shooting just after noontime that wounded him and another man.    Dane Kessler, 27, was arrested shortly after police responded to a Shot Spotter activation in the area of Francis Avenue and discovered evidence of a shooting along and recovered a loaded firearm.   Witnesses in the area had also contacted police. Police say preliminary investigation showed that at least two parties were most likely firing at one another.    While processing the scene, investigating officers said they learned that a 26-year-old Pittsfield man had arrived at Berkshire Medical Center with gunshot wounds. Officers


Pittsfield School Budget Tabled After Technical Issues
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:02AM / Sunday, June 14, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council on Thursday tabled the Pittsfield Public Schools fiscal 2021 budget of $64,493,70 at the conclusion of a four-hour-plus hearing after some technical difficulties brought the meeting to a grinding halt.   The council was split on the level school budget that works with the assumption that Chapter 70 education will at least come in flat. Half of the council felt the entire city budget needed to be reconsidered to mitigate the $1.4 million cuts in the district budget while the other half wanted to pass it and possibly make changes after the city had a better sense of state aid.   Ward 1 Councilor Helen Moon made the motion to send


'Eight Men Out': Say It Ain't So, Joe
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:41PM / Saturday, June 13, 2020
I wish that I were reviewing one of the half-dozen movies certain to be made when this pox upon our house is no more. But until that glorious return to normality has us resuming all the simple joys of life we take for granted, like going to the movies, I'll be retro-reviewing and thereby sharing with you the films that I've come to treasure over the years, most of which can probably be retrieved from one of the movie streaming services. It is my fondest hope that I've barely put a dent into this trove when they let the likes of me back into the


Lenox Memorial Names Top Two Students for 2020
01:33PM / Saturday, June 13, 2020
LENOX, Mass. — Nora Mathews and Alexandra "Ali" Hochfelder have been named valedictorian and salutatorian of the Lenox Memorial High School class of 2020, according to Principal Michael Knybel.   Mathews, daughter of Brandon Mathews and Margaret Keller of Lenox and of Scott Hochfelder and Jennifer Sacon of Pittsfiel, has performed the past four years with Shakespeare & Company's Fall Festival of Shakespeare and its Spring Young Company. She was a co-captain of the school's improv troop The Poorly Timed Sneezes, co-captain of the cross country team, treasurer of the National Honor Society, vice president of the National Art Honor Society and a member of the


Adams Community Bank Taps New VP of Commercial Lending
12:46PM / Saturday, June 13, 2020

ADAMS, Mass. — Tracy McConnell joined Adams Community Bank as vice president of commercial lending. 

McConnell, a seasoned veteran in commercial lending, joins ACB with more than 25 years of experience in the banking industry, having worked in other financial institutions in Berkshire County.

"We are thrilled to have Tracy as part of our Commercial Lending Division. Her extensive lending background and broad knowledge of the commercial industry strengthens our core team as we meet the growing needs of local business owners and commercial borrowers," said Charles O’Brien, President and CEO.

As vice president of commercial lending, McConnell will focus on further


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