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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Grasshopper and Spider: One jump too Many Into Oblivion
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
05:06PM / Sunday, February 23, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Curiosity can lure a biologist into the field, leaving the secure footpath to engage in actual research on the life of grasshoppers that thrive in a maze of grasses, and forage among vivid wild flowers burgeoning in benign weedy neglect.    Therein lurk in floral disguise their natural predators, the spiders. Many species garner bold arresting colors that in contrast may deter predators by announcing their yellow and black warning colors of hidden toxicity.    They spin elaborate silken webs remarkably crafted, as orb web weavers do, that intent upon capturing flying insects, exhibit their ingenious methods of wrapping prey in volleys of

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Pittsfield Approves Industrial Park Pot Cultivator's Site Plan
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:19AM / Sunday, February 23, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Community Development Board approved a site plan from Berkshire Kind, which plans to cultivate marijuana in the William Stanley Business Park.   The board was happy Tuesday with some of the changes Berkshire Kind made to its proposed 20,000 square foot indoor cultivation building and blessed the site plan.   "This is a big step forward because in the beginning it looked like a big garage," Chairwoman Sheila Irvin said. "We look forward to a little more detail."   Brothers Philip and Jeremy Silverman, owners of Berkshire Kind, executed an agreement with the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority (PEDA) in the fall of 2019.

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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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Mendel, Aitken Help Westfield State Women Top MCLA
05:13PM / Saturday, February 22, 2020
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Hoosac Valley graduate Alison Mendel scored 15 points and passed out three assists Saturday to help the Westfield State women's basketball team earn a 103-59 win over MCLA.   Pittsfield High grad Isabella Aitken finished with nine points and four assists for the Owls, who were led by Chelsea Mousettee and Melissa Gray with 21 points apiece.   Drury graduate Brooke DiGennaro scored nine points for the Trailblazers, who got 17 from Jasmine Pszczola.   Westfield State (13-12, 10-2 MASCAC) will be seeded second in this week's MASCAC tournament. MCLA finishes the season at 2-21 and 0-12.   Men's Basketball WESTFIELD, Mass. -- The Westfield

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Pittsfield Bridge Closing Postponed
05:11PM / Saturday, February 22, 2020
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has rescheduled the closure of the New Road Bridge over the West Branch of the Housatonic River in Pittsfield for Wednesday, Feb. 26. A closure previously announced was to begin Monday morning but was postponed.      PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The replacement of the New Road Bridge will take place over the next year.   Beginning Monday, Feb. 24, the bridge will be closed and traffic will be detoured over Keeler Street to reach Mill Drive and Chatham Street. The bridge is anticipated to be reopened to traffic in late fall.   The $1.7 million state Department of Transportation project will remove the temporary span

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Mount Greylock School Committee Chair Vacates Post
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:59PM / Saturday, February 22, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — For the second time in eight months, the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee is one member short.   Chairman Dan Caplinger on Friday informed the district's superintendent and his colleagues on the committee that he is stepping down from the elected office "effective immediately."   The move comes less than a year after then-Chairman Joe Bergeron, also of Williamstown, informed the district that he was relocating out of state and no longer would be able to serve on the committee.   Caplinger gave no specific reason for his departure when he spoke to Superintendent Kimberley Grady on Friday afternoon, she

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Pittsfield to Enforce Park Vegetation Removal
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:27AM / Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Parks Commission meets Tuesday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city will take a stronger stance against the removal of downed wood and vegetation from city parks.   After hearing from Jane Winn of Berkshire Environmental Action Team about illegal scavenging of downed wood at Burbank Park, Parks and Open Spaces Manager James McGrath on Tuesday said the department will address such actions with signage, education, and enforcement.   "We certainly want to get the word out that that is not acceptable," he said.    Winn said she had witnessed at one point a person with two truck loads of downed wood from Burbank Park. When she approached him, she was told

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Greylock Thunder Still Has Spots for U14 Travel Softball Team
Community submission,
09:08PM / Friday, February 21, 2020
ADAMS, Mass. -- The Greylock Thunder will hold an informational meeting for families of players interested in joining its under-14 travel team on Sunday, March 1, at 6 p.m.   The meeting will be held at the Bishop West Real Estate office at 10 Center St., and will include information about fees, schedules and tournament locations.   If a player has been cut from a roster or decided to play late in the season, this is another chance to compete this season. The Greylock Thunder Travel Softball League offers competitive instruction and play in Berkshires and surrounding areas.   For inforomation, contact Lesley Kowalczyk at 413-281-8466 or lesleykowalczyk@gmail.com.

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@theMarket: Corvid-19 Impact Coming Home to Roost
By Bill Schmick,
04:11PM / Friday, February 21, 2020
It began Sunday night with a warning from one of America's largest icons. Through the week, other companies followed suit, issuing warnings that the China-spawned virus is beginning to impact revenues and profits. Investors are bracing for further announcements in the days ahead.   Now that the Corvid-19 virus has been spreading out through the world for more than three weeks, some companies are beginning to get a handle on at least some of the damage that will incur to their businesses as the virus persists. Apple was the first major company to warn investors that their iPhone sales in China will take a hit in the first quarter. Since then, a number of companies have sounded the

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'Criminal' Reveals the Human Stories Behind the Crimes
By John Seven, Special to iBerkshires
04:03PM / Friday, February 21, 2020
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Podcasts about serial killers are part of the modern aural landscape, a combination of the heightened interest in true crime and the ability of anyone with a computer to create a podcast. Boasting journalistic chops and professional production, the podcast "Criminal" exists as the gold standard of the genre, not just telling stories about crime, but examining the human stories revealed through the crimes.   For the last six years, host Phoebe Judge has guided her audience through crimes in history and more recent transgressions. Sometimes they have a larger social significance, other times they bring to light curious characters. Sometimes they

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'Downhill': It's all Relative
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:42PM / Friday, February 21, 2020
"Downhill," an Americanized adaptation of Swedish writer-director Ruben Östlund's "Force Majeure," a Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, doubtlessly lost something in the translation. Indeed, this variation on a comedy-drama about a family on an Alpine ski vacation evokes a smidgen of its Continental DNA.    Yet, in taking its uncertain path to some hoped for humanistic revelation, it seems like it'd be much happier if only it could jump the tracks from classically cerebral comedy to safely domesticized farce.   Not to say that Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell as the marrieds with issues just bursting to unravel don't

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Pittsfield Finance Committee Approves Johns Building Supply Expansion
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Friday, February 21, 2020

William Koziara of Johns Building explains to the subcommittee his plans for expansion. The committee is recommending a tax financing agreement for the project. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The finance subcommittee approved a tax increment financing agreement with Johns Building Supply.   The committee voted Thursday to recommend the TIF to the full City Council that would benefit the building supply company as it constructs a 8,000-square-foot retail and office space at 850 Crane Ave.   "I will support this local and it is good to see a local business using these programs to get some things done to grow their business," Councilor at Large Earl Persip

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The Independent Investor: Can Politicians' Promises Be Believed?
By Bill Schmick,
10:08PM / Thursday, February 20, 2020
As the 2020 presidential election campaign heats up, so do the promises. Lower taxes for some, higher taxes for others, better health care, higher Social Security payments; whatever it takes to get elected seems to be on the table for now.   But most politician's promises are made to be broken. Once the candidate becomes the president, reality sets in and the blame game starts. "The House is against me." "The Senate won't cooperate." "The deficit is too large." "Spending is out of control."    The list of excuses goes on and on.   Truth be told, Donald Trump has come the closest to fulfilling at least some of his promises.

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