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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Chilling Snow Storm Draws Apprehensive Avian Migrants
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
08:00PM / Sunday, August 30, 2020

Cylindrical mesh thistle feeder will serve six finches here served at one time. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — If ever there was a snow storm to remember it was that of early May in our Berkshires.   Forewarned by the aggressive weather watchers to inform us of the approaching tempest, one may wonder how our birds reacted to atmospheric signs that animals first perceive. Flocking birds of assorted genera appeared stunned by the daunting freeze that enveloped both the world of people and the spring migrating birds eager to resume nesting and procreation of their progeny.   All night the swirling snow fell in the valleys and foothills, and I felt concern for our cheerful charmers


Letter: Vote For Alex Morse
01:00PM / Sunday, August 30, 2020

To the Editor:

Here is a letter to support voting for Alex Morse in the Sept. 1 Massachusetts primary for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives' First Congressional District.

As a sometimes songwriter, my recent song, "Ripped," expresses why we should vote Morse on Sept. 1:

Name is Rip Van Winkle.
Just had a little dream.
How long have I been sleeping?
Seems like the same ol’ scene.

Does anyone care
That the world is still at war?
Or have we learned to share?
Do the rich ever grift and hoard?

Name is Rip Van Winkle ...

Which criminals are in office?
Are they the usual losers?
Or have they been locked up
Like the drug pushers?

Name is Rip Van Winkle


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

Letter: Morse Will Bring Progressive Values to Washington
Letter to the Editor,
01:00PM / Sunday, August 30, 2020

To the Editor:

Too young. Too queer. Wait my turn.

Those are statements I heard too often during my 2019 campaign to represent Ward 5 on the Pittsfield City Council.

The barriers to running for office as a young, openly gay man are considerable, but thanks to decades of community advocacy and trailblazing politicians, they are no longer insurmountable. Prominent among that group, and prominent in Western Mass, is Alex Morse, the 31-year-old progressive mayor of Holyoke and current candidate for U.S. Congress in our district.

The insults I heard last year are the same ones Mayor Morse has fought to overcome every day since his election nine years ago. Most recently, the College


Pittsfield Council Subcommittee Talks Homelessness Solutions
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
07:14AM / Sunday, August 30, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Committee on Public Health and Safety had a lengthy conversation on homelessness in the community and set immediate and long-term goals.   After a near three-hour meandering conversation Tuesday, the committee set some goals for the community, City Council, and administration in regard to Pittsfield's homeless population.     "I just want to make sure we are moving in some sort of direction," Chairwoman Helen Moon said.   After a broad discussion with service providers and city staff, the members came up with a slate of action items.    In the immediate future, they agreed there is a need to find a space suitable


B.B.A. Takes Game One of Berkshire Adult Baseball League Final Series
03:33PM / Saturday, August 29, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Hunter Potash and David Delgado combined on a three-hitter Friday as B.B.A. edged Different Breed, 2-1, in eight innings in the opener of the Berkshire Adult Baseball League 20-year-old division final.   Potash went seven innings to earn the win on the mound.   Delgado struck out one and walked one in one inning of relief to get the save.   Mike Massery and Ian Benoit each drove in a run for B.B.A., which got a pair of hits, including a double, from Dustin Vale Cruz.   Izaiya Mestre doubled in a run in the bottom of the seventh for Different Breed to force extra innings.   Jett Steinman and Tanner Bird combined to strike out 15 hitters in the


BCC to Offer New Certificate Programs This Fall
11:11AM / Saturday, August 29, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College will be offering two new certificate programs in the 2020-2021 academic year, including Law Enforcement and Mental Health Worker certificates – in addition to the Cannabis Industry certificate, which is now offering a second year cohort model this fall.

The Law Enforcement certificate falls under the Criminal Justice program. The certificate was developed and ratified by the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association Training and Education Committee as an important step in their goal to have a better educated and more professional workforce in the commonwealth. The certificate combines specialized criminal justice and general


Clark Art Institute Presents New Podcast Series
11:04AM / Saturday, August 29, 2020

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute's Research and Academic Program has premiered a new podcast series this summer.

"In the Foreground: Conversations on Art & Writing" considers art's role in society, how knowledge is shared, the way histories are made, and the personal stakes of scholarship. Each episode offers a lively, in-depth look into the life and mind of a scholar or artist working with art historical or visual material. Discussions touch on guests’ current research projects, career paths, and significant texts, mentors, and experiences that have shaped their thinking. 

The first episode was Aug. 25. Ten more are planned for the first


Freeman Center Continues Fundraiser During Time of Heightened Need
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:23AM / Saturday, August 29, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After a drop at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, calls to the Elizabeth Freeman Center's domestic abuse and sexual assault hotline have returned to the kind of numbers the non-profit saw in the summer of 2019.   If anything, it's getting more calls. And the callers are in greater peril.   "Beginning in May, we started to see a sharp increase in hotline calls, particularly those coming in on the weekends and evening hours," Freeman Center Executive Director Janis Broderick said this week. "We could get between 12 and 15 calls on a weekend alone.   "And the calls were different, too. They're more severe. The violence

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Mele, Pittsfield Americans Blank Rivals in County Title Game
By Stephen Dravis, Sports
07:48PM / Friday, August 28, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- With a pair of four-inning wins bracketing a 4-0 win, the Pittsfield Little League American Division 12-year-old All-Stars made it look easy this week.   But their manager was quick to point out that looks can be deceiving.   “It’s never easy,” Ty Perrault said after his team beat the National Division All-Stars, 11-0, in four innings on Myron Gray Field. “[The Nationals] have got a great team. They’ve got a lot of hitters.   “It’s just a credit to our pitching and defense. That’s kind of the trademark in our league. We stress pitching and defense, and that was there. And then the hitting,


Pittsfield License Board Suspends Auto Dealer License
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:51PM / Friday, August 28, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Licensing Board has suspended D&K Affordable Motors' license for a week for having too many vehicles on the premises and suspicion of forged documentation.   The board voted Monday to suspend the business's annual class II auto dealer license from Aug. 30 to Sep. 5 after a show-cause hearing.   Lt. Randy Stein of the fire prevention bureau said he first visited the 48 Dalton Ave. site in July after it was reported that owner Kaitlyn Rathbun had more than her allotted six cars on the lot, creating a fire hazard.   Stein said he got his hands on the company's paperwork and found some inconsistencies, and it was forwarded to the

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@theMarket: Markets Reach for the Sky
By Bill Schmick,
03:40PM / Friday, August 28, 2020
Credit the Fed for this week's bump up in the averages. Technology shares led the charge as usual, shrugging off a sinking economy, higher unemployment and no progress on another bail out. What else is new?   At the annual Jackson Hole Symposium of world central bank leaders, conducted virtually this year, Jerome Powell, the chairman of our central bank, took center stage. In his prepared remarks, Powell announced a shift in the U.S. inflation policy. Rather than using the oft-stated, long-held inflation target of 2 percent, the Fed will now "seek to achieve inflation that averages 2 percent over time."   What's the big deal, you might ask? In laymen's terms,


'Friendly Persuasion': Love, Quaker Style
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:51PM / Friday, August 28, 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


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