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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Veterans War Memorial Tower Rededicated as National Monument
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:08AM / Friday, August 10, 2018

DCR Commissioner Leo Roy accepts the national designation from John Monahan and Jennifer Pritzker from the World War I Centennial Commission. ADAMS, Mass. — In the 100 years since World War 1 came to an end, state officials and veterans groups have rededicated the War Memorial Tower several times.   Its latest dedication found the 80-year-old tower designated as a national monument by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library.   On Thursday, groups christened the tower again as honoring soldiers from not just World War I but from all wars.   "Over the years, we have fought many more wars and the meaning of this

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Lever Demo Day Celebrates Entrepreneurship
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:48PM / Thursday, August 09, 2018

Jack Wadsworth, a Williams alum and owner of Porches, speaks about how 'lonely' he and his wife felt when they first began investing in North Adams. They don't feel that way anymore.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — From musical education to tiny houses, Thursday's Lever Demo Day was a celebration of the region's entrepreneurial spirit.    The daylong event held at Greylock Works was an opportunity for local startups to display their visions and progress — and for the finale of the North Adams Arts Enterprise Challenge that saw the prize go to Eric Schimelpfenig of Fabber.   Launched back in April, the challenge offered $25,000 in startup funds

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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

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by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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The Independent Investor: Should You Pay Down Your Mortgage?
By Bill Schmick,
04:16PM / Thursday, August 09, 2018
The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, together with rising interest rates have changed the calculus in determining whether to pay down your mortgage or let it ride. Let's examine the pros and cons.   Over the last 10 years, as interest rates fell to almost zero, it made total sense to pay off your high-interest mortgage. At the very least, one could re-finance and save on monthly payments. This was especially true if your mortgage was in the last stages of a 30- or 15-year life.   At that point, the interest portion of the payment, (which is tax deductible) was minimal, while the principal payments represented the lion's share of the monthly bill. For those with new mortgages,

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Year-Long BHS Diabetes Prevention Program Seeking Participants
01:26PM / Thursday, August 09, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Diabetes Education Program at Berkshire Health Systems is launching a year-long intensive program to help participants to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

Space for this program is limited, and successful applicants will be accepted through a risk-assessment questionnaire. The program begins in September.

The classes are being held in Pittsfield, with 16 weekly sessions over six months, followed by six monthly sessions held for the remaining six months. It is open to those 18 and older, with priority given to applicants who have a weight loss need of 20 pounds or more and with a diagnosis of pre-diabetes.

To be eligible, applicants must be willing to

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BMC Prostate Cancer Support Group to Feature Speaker on Nutrition
01:21PM / Thursday, August 09, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Prostate Cancer Support Group at Berkshire Medical Center will feature a guest speaker in September discussing Nutritional Concerns and Dietary Strategies for Prostate Cancer patients.

The group will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the HEAL room at the BMC Cancer Center, Hillcrest Campus of BMC, 165 Tor Court, Pittsfield. Michelle Garvie, an oncology dietitian, will talk about nutritional situations involving prostate cancer care, dietary management of symptoms from treatment, and an overview of a healthy diet during survivorship. 

The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, call BMC Care Navigation at

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Pittsfield Seeking New Location for Police Shooting Range
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:10AM / Thursday, August 09, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are now looking for either a place outside the city limits or to build an indoor shooting range.   The Police Department halted live fire at the Utility Drive shooting range last month following objections from the neighbors. Police Chief Michael Wynn said a look at other city-owned properties to create a new range will likely face the same problem. That leaves the city in a position to either build an indoor facility or find somewhere else for an outdoor one.   "It is not like we can do this at an outdoor location within city limits without some serious engineering work," Wynn said. "It is either get outside of the city limits

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Defense, Homers Propel Pittsfield Little Leaguers to Regional Final
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Sports
07:03PM / Wednesday, August 08, 2018
BRISTOL, Conn. — As Major League Baseball used to tell us, chicks dig the long ball.   But coaches and pitchers? They dig defense.   The Pittsfield American Little League had plenty of both on Wednesday afternoon.   Antonio Scalise and Evan Blake each homered, and the Americans turned three double plays in a 10-1 win over Coventry, R.I., to advance to Saturday's title game of the Little League New England Regional Tournament.   Owen Salvatore struck out six in a complete game victory on the mound, an effort helped along by twin kills in the first, second and sixth innings.   "After they turned that double play [in the first], not only did it give me a

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Tanglewood Presents Powerhouse Programs
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
02:18PM / Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Andris Nelson leads a program Friday night on 'Why Music Matters.'

This week, Tanglewood continues its high energy 2018 classical season with a powerhouse pair of programs performed by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra (TMCO) and the Boston Pops, with guest artists the TMC vocal Fellows and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) Young Artists Chorus.

The "heavy hitters" are John Williams' "Film Night" - always an audience favorite event and a high point of each year's Tanglewood offerings - led by Mr. Williams and Boston Symphony maestro Andris Nelsons. Conductor Stefan Asbury directs a TMCO instrumental chamber ensemble accompanying

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Pittsfield Looks To Crack Down On False Burglar Alarms
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:55PM / Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Councilor at Large Melissa Mazzeo said the number of false alarms is 'staggering' but she disagreed with adding another fee to homeowners who have security systems. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Department is looking to crack down on false burglar alarms.   Chief Information Officer Mike Steben said officers responded to 1,670 false alarm calls in 2017.   Each response requires two officers and Steben said the majority of those calls are from businesses, and many are repeat offenders -- so much so he said, "We have a couple businesses we should just park a police cruiser there in front of them when they open."   He estimated a count of 45 repeat

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Old and New Favorites in Coming Up
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
01:30PM / Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Jerry Noble and Friends are playing at Sevenars on Sunday, Aug. 12.

There are both old and new favorites on the horizon for this second week of August. Get ready for a revival of "She Loves Me," "The Wedding Singer," Melissa Manchester and Air Supply, plus a jazz afternoon at Sevenars.

Here is a wide range of styles for pop lovers:

Sevenars

Jerry Noble and Friends, specifically jazz clarinetist Bob Sparkman, headline the show at this Worthington venue on Sunday, Aug. 12, at 4 p.m. Jerry is a pianist, composer and guitarist who for 20 years has teamed on jazz collaborations with Bob. At this performance, they will play their favorites and as a special treat, they will

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CHP Gets Support for 'Reach Out & Read' Initiative
01:04PM / Wednesday, August 08, 2018

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs has participated in the nationwide program "Reach Out & Read" for more than 15 years.

CHP is committed to supporting families in the Berkshires and beyond by keeping its Reach Out & Read program alive and well. A new study in Pediatrics featuring Reach Out & Read proves that the benefits of this model extend beyond literacy and help set children up for success.

The Reach Out & Read program has been supported in part by a $1,500 grant from the South Berkshire County Fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, received in May 2018. With this money, CHP can buy between 500 and 600 books; last year, CHP

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Prescription for Better Health: Community Health Centers Like CHP
By Lia Spiliotes,
12:53PM / Wednesday, August 08, 2018

This past year, with strong bipartisan support, Congress invested nearly $10 billion in the nation's 1,400 community health centers, recognizing that a strong community-based system of care -- where people have certain access to doctors and preventive care -- will save lives and reduce health care costs.

National Health Center Week 2018, from Aug. 12-18, provides an opportunity to learn more about community health center (CHCs) and witness, firsthand, why we are at center stage in a changing health care landscape.

Health centers like Community Health Programs – we serve more approximately 30,000 residents at nine practices throughout Berkshire County -- are part of a nationwide

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