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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: March 8-14
09:56AM / Friday, March 08, 2019
SAT ZipStohr Comedy Show at The Crowne Plaza  Join ZipStohr for a night of comedy at The Crowne Plaza and part of the proceeds will benefit Berkshire Humane Society! The evening's lineup includes stand-ups Mike Britt, Greg Stone and Caitlin Peluffo. 8 p.m. $25.   MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE FRI Greek Wine Dinner & Seminar at Hotel on

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Teachers' Union Rallies Support for Increased State Education Funding
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:47AM / Friday, March 08, 2019

Neil Clarke of the MTA outlined action steps to rally support for the bills. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When the school gymnasium is full of excitement and noise for a rally, some children don't respond well.   They cover their heads and cry. But they might not if they had a paraprofessional with them.   A couple of years ago, the city of Pittsfield cut more than 30 paraprofessional positions from the school system's budget. Parent Starr Williams on Thursday asked that people envision each one of those paraprofessionals as being one child covering their heads and crying.   Williams is a Berkshire Community College student studying social work and will graduate in

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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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The Independent Investor: A Nation United in Debt
By Bill Schmick,
04:16PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
About a month ago, the national debt topped $22 trillion for the first time. What's more, it only took a year to tack on another $1 trillion. Unless we do something soon, we could see those kinds of yearly borrowing double within the next decade.   Let's define U.S. debt as the sum of all outstanding debt owed by the federal government. Two-thirds of this debt is held by you and me. It is called public debt, while one-third is held by various inter-governmental departments and agencies such as Social Security and other trust funds.   We have the distinction of being the world's largest debtor, although the European Union is a close second. We now have more debt on our

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Black Bears Waking Up in Massachusetts
03:10PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Officials with the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife are warning it's time to take down bird feeders.    Black bears have been spotted in Western Mass, northern Middlesex County and Worcester County. Bears will often ignore natural foods including skunk cabbage in favor of an easy meal at a backyard bird feeder. Other species including wild turkeys and coyotes may also frequent bird feeders leading to a variety of nuisance issues.    To avoid these problems, MassWildlife asks property owners to be proactive by removing bird feeders and other potential food sources including garbage or open compost. If you enjoy watching birds in your

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Community Forum: Weed is Here. Now What?
02:50PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A community forum is being held to discuss the wide-ranging implications of the legal sale of marijuana for recreational purposes on Wednesday, March 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.   Community leaders representing law enforcement, youth services, local government and the drug treatment community will discuss the changing landscape of marijuana's place in Southern Berkshire County with an extended question-and-answer period from the audience.    "The goal is to learn about what the changes in the laws are and how they are being enforced, and to start to understand how it impacts our community," said

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'Greta': Guilty Thrills
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:28PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
In my bedroom when I was little, a sloppily misplaced piece of clothing on a chair in the dark of night sure could look like a saber-toothed tiger. Experiencing this and other such optical illusions every so often during those tender years, I estimate that I adequately satisfied the quota for horror that one must endure in a lifetime. Hence, it should go without saying that horror and all its filmic relations are my least favorite forms of cinema entertainment.    Nevertheless, in the esprit de corps of being an equal opportunity film critic, I like to think I approach every such movie with an open-minded challenge. But hark, in every instance, I am also on a mission. It is my

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Pittsfield Health Department Wants Health Educator on Staff
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:32AM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Board of Health believes it needs to do more to promote public health.    The county routinely ranks toward the bottom of the annual community health rankings. There are issues with a high rate of premature death, food insecurity, and children living in poverty. E-cigarette usage among teens is increasing. The rate of marijuana usage among teens is higher than most of the state. Children are more at risk for lead poisoning here than elsewhere. And the rate of opioid-related deaths remains high.   "We continue to be at the higher end and over the last several years, Berkshire County has ranked 12 out of 14, where we don't want to be. We

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Rusty Anchor Plans Shuttle Service For New Event Space
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:06AM / Thursday, March 07, 2019

Attorney Michael Valenti presented the parking management plan to the Community Development Board on Tuesday night. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Rusty Anchor is looking to take a page out of Proprietor's Lodge book by shuttling people to events.   Scott Graves, the owner of the members-only club on Pontoosuc Lake, in the former boathouse formerly owned by the YMCA, renovated its second-floor last year and is now looking to host events there.   He's asking the city to increase the occupancy in the structure from 100 people to 180. However, the establishment has little off-street parking.    Graves has now put together a plan to shuttle eventgoers from

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Biz Briefs: Dinner Raises Money to Support WTBR in Pittsfield
11:51AM / Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Mike Filpi of Meatball Mike's Catering and the Pittsfield Elks organized the event, which brought more than 50 people to the Elks Lodge on Union Street in Pittsfield Radio benefit

A benefit dinner in support of the operations of Pittsfield Community Radio, WTBR-FM, raised $500 for the station on Saturday, March 2. Mike Filpi of Meatball Mike's Catering and the Pittsfield Elks organized the event, which brought more than 50 people to the Elks Lodge on Union Street in Pittsfield. The money will be used to help with the costs of moving the station from Taconic High School to the PCTV studios, and rebuilding the studio and transmitter facilities.

The annual benefit dinner,

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Who Can You Trust to Reduce Stress of Estate Planning?
11:12AM / Wednesday, March 06, 2019

When it's time to do your estate planning – and it's actually never too soon to begin – you may find the process, at first, to be somewhat bewildering. You will have many questions: What sort of arrangements should I make? Who should get what? And when? How can you address these and other issues?

You will need to get some help. In drawing up your estate plan, you will need to work with an attorney. And for guidance on the investments that can help fund your estate planning arrangements, such as a living trust, you can draw on the help of a financial advisor. You also may want to connect with a trust company, which can help facilitate your estate plans and coordinate

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Pittsfield Council Subcommittee Supports Tyer's Home Renovation Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:18AM / Wednesday, March 06, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer's At Home in Pittsfield program earned the support of the City Council's Community and Economic Development subcommittee on Tuesday.   The mayor is asking for $250,000 from the General Electric Economic Development Fund for the program eyed to spur renovations to homes. The funds would then be available as zero-interest loans for homeowners or those purchasing a home to make repairs to the exterior.   The types of projects include windows and doors to roofing to foundation repairs to siding and porches. Repairs to the insides of homes are not eligible.   The program is open citywide to those who make less than 135 percent of

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Representative Mark Sets New Office Hour Schedule
05:52PM / Tuesday, March 05, 2019

PERU, Mass. — The office of state Rep. Paul Mark has updated the schedule for weekly office hours throughout the 2nd Berkshire District.

Since 2011, the representative has maintained a fixed weekly office hour schedule at several town halls and community buildings in Franklin and Berkshire counties. The representative's hopes were to increase accessibility to his legislative office and the State House for constituents who live in Western Massachusetts.

No appointment is necessary to attend. Either the representative or a member of his staff will be available at these office hours to assist anyone with constituent services or to listen to advocacy on state legislative matters.

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