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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Parks Weighing Commercial Enterprises Policy
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:48AM / Sunday, March 25, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Parks Commission will look at a range of criteria when weighing requests for proposals related to commercial vendors within the public park system.    The discussion has been prompted by a request to install a coffee kiosk at the Common on East Street. The commission approved moving forward with an RFP for the kiosk but with the condition that a subcommittee work with Parks and Open Spaces Manager James McGrath on developing a broader policy.    "If we're going to start opening public land to private enterprises we should have some type of policy, we did it with the beer garden, setting up a policy, we should set up a policy for

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Williamstown Elementary Sixth-Graders Win Berkshire Robotics Challenge
05:23PM / Saturday, March 24, 2018

The team from St. Mary's School in Lee was called 'Anything But Last.' The team did not come in last in Saturday's Robotics Challenge.

LENOX, Mass. — A team of sixth-graders from Williamstown Elementary School won the 19th annual Berkshire Robotics Challenge at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School on Saturday.

Noelle Dravis, Julia Goh and Grace Winters took turns guiding the team’s Lego robot through seven rounds of competition, capped by a dramatic 110-100 win in the finals over the runner-up from the Berkshire Christian Homeschool group.

Lila Cohen-McFall, Emma Kate Hane and Emma Swoap also participated on the winning team, dubbed WES LegoHeads II, which

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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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@theMarket: Trump's Trade Wars Sink Markets
By Bill Schmick,
08:55AM / Saturday, March 24, 2018
World markets declined again this week. Despite world condemnation, which included most of America's economists and corporations, Donald Trump unilaterally forged ahead in implementing his own brand of protectionism. Investors fear the consequences.   While tariffs on imported steel and aluminum are still being negotiated, the president has upped the ante and is now pursuing China. The United States has long accused China of stealing our intellectual property. The Chinese, of course, have denied that and so, for years the discussions went round and round — until now.   On Thursday, our president announced his intention to slap $60 billion of tariffs on 1,300 product

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Citizens with Disabilities & Their Families Share Their Stories
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:26AM / Saturday, March 24, 2018

Department of Developmental Services Commissioner Jane Ryder speaks at Friday's legislative breakfast.   PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Elected officials from throughout the county Friday morning were at Berkshire Hills Country Club to enjoy the 18th annual Berkshire Disabilities legislative breakfast.   And they heard how any breakfast — or any meal — can be a challenge for some of their constituents.   "I was speaking with [United Cerebral Palsy's] Louise Norton in the assistive technology department one day, and she told me, 'Well, Jennifer, this is where I come in. I can help you to be able to communicate with [your daughter] and she

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Mass RMV Service Interruption Runs Through March 26
01:30PM / Friday, March 23, 2018

The Registry of Motor Vehicles has announced that all RMV services and system access, with the exception of law enforcement, will be unavailable from 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22, until 8 a.m. Monday, March 26.

The service interruption is due to the RMV transitioning to a new computer system that will allow the RMV to comply with federal and state mandates. During this time, there will be no motor vehicles inspections available in the state, no RMV online services, and all RMV service locations will be closed.

Please note AAA locations will be unable to process RMV services for AAA members.

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BMC's Chief Operating Officer Departing for Connecticut Hospital
01:25PM / Friday, March 23, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has announced that Diane Kelly, the chief operating officer of Berkshire Medical Center, is departing BMC to take on a senior leadership position with Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut.

Kelly has been chief operating officer of BMC for the past 10 years. She has been appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer at Greenwich Hospital, and senior vice president of the Yale New Haven Health System.

"I'm not surprised that Diane's contribution to our success made her the candidate of choice for the Yale New Haven System as they look for the best possible people to join their leadership team," said David

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MCLA President Appointed to Two Local Boards of Directors
01:12PM / Friday, March 23, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts President James F. Birge has been appointed to the 1Berkshire Board of Directors and the Lever Board of Directors.

His participation on these two boards augments the college's outreach to the greater community as MCLA continues to maintain and expand vital connections throughout the Berkshires.

Birge said he is delighted to join the 1Berkshire and Lever boards as they, along with MCLA, work to elevate economic growth all over the region.

"I look forward to working with 1Berkshire and Lever to gain further insight on how we might best prepare our students to fill positions across the Berkshires," he said.

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Two Promoted to Vice Presidents at Berkshire Children and Families
12:30PM / Friday, March 23, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Children and Families has announced the promotions of Gina Blake to vice president of programs in the Berkshires and Stephanie Steed to vice president of programs in the Pioneer Valley.

Blake has 20 years of experience working with children and families in residential treatment facilities, the foster and adoptive processes, and home visiting support programs.  She has provided clinical supervision and training for staff in the areas of trauma, skill building, and vicarious traumatization. Blake came to BCF in 2013 and was most recently the clinical supervisor for family programs. She holds a bachelor of science from Fitchburg State University, a

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Pittsfield Police Ask Residents to Stop Sharing Facebook Image
04:33PM / Thursday, March 22, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Police are asking residents to stop sharing an image from Facebook with a sarcastic message about school shootings.    According to a post on the department's Facebook page, the message is not directed at Pittsfield but rather Pittsfield, N.H.   "For the past 24-plus hours we have been inundated by messages with this image," the post states. "We followed up upon receiving the first message and it was immediately clear this was NOT Pittsfield MA."    The message stated "whoever plans on shooting up a school next, please pick Pittsfield. Thank you." The post by the girl was accompanied by a smiley

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The Independent Investor: Medicare Premiums and Your Income
By Bill Schmick,
04:04PM / Thursday, March 22, 2018
We all know that Medicare is not free. Once we enroll in Part B and D, we start paying monthly premiums. What many consumers fail to realize is that how much you pay depends on how much you make.   For most of us, this is a moot point. We assume that we will be retiring at 65 years old (at the same time Medicare kicks in) but that assumption is no longer accurate. The reality is that Social Security, retirement, and Medicare can happen at different times in your life.   Take, for example, Social Security benefits. Every year the target date for full retirement creeps higher. It used to be 65, but now, for many, it is edging up to almost 67 over the next few years. When that

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'Love, Simon': You've Got Blackmail
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:54PM / Thursday, March 22, 2018
While director Greg Berlanti's "Love, Simon" is at once funny, serious and important, it's a darn shame that it is so very apt ... that this astute tale about a teenage boy's struggle to make his gayness known is revolutionary at all. Memo of inquiry to American civilization: It's the spring of 2018, and this fact of life is just making the mainstream? Well, better late than never.    Truth is, attitudinal changes come slowly, especially to the narrow-minded. But the seed of tolerant reformation, boosted during the enlightenment of the '60s, has finally gained pragmatic traction. Today's kids, who have of late heroically evidenced that they'll

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Pittsfield's Lakeway Drive Bridge Set for 2020 Replacement
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:57PM / Wednesday, March 21, 2018
The single-lane temporary bridge was installed in 2012. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state Department of Transportation expects to have the Lakeway Drive bridge replaced by summer 2020.   A public hearing held Tuesday night in Council Chambers at City Hall seeking input on the $2 million project attracted about a dozen people, with only a few wanting to know about access and traffic impacts during the construction.   "We will persevere because we've been waiting as you know," said abutter John Bresnahan. "I'm sure that everyone here who is an abutter is pleased to have this project moving along."   The concrete bridge was closed in 2012 after it

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