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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: April 28-May 4
01:09PM / Friday, April 28, 2017

 

VIEW DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR     April 28 - May 4, 2017 SAT FUNKDATION

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'Born in China': Animal Magnetism
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:01PM / Friday, April 28, 2017

One of the key joys of seeing "Born in China," a splendidly picturesque documentary about snow leopard Dawa and her two cubs; Tao Tao, a young snub-nosed monkey; and a giant panda

Ya Ya and her daughter, Mei Mei, was worth listening to the kids in the audience emoting. Normally, I would rail at the ragamuffins' commentary with an agitation worthy of the great W.C. Fields. But this was different. For many of the seemingly delighted and relatively polite tykes, this was their first movie experience. Respect must be paid.

Here was the nascence of what might become a lifelong love of that to which I have attributed everything from a zeal for adventure to the development of

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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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Pittsfield Traffic Commission Rejects Handicapped Parking Plan
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:03AM / Friday, April 28, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Traffic Commission rejected a plan increasing the number of handicapped parking spaces on the city's four main commercial streets.   Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell put forth a petition calling for additional handicapped parking spaces on North, South, Tyler, and Elm Streets. He then identified spots with the commissioner of public services, Downtown Pittsfield, the Commission on Disabilities and the city engineer to develop a plan.   "We had a group that looked at all of these from all different avenues throughout the city," Connell said. "I just felt there was a need for this as well as the Chairperson for the Commission on

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Pilot Program Brings Destressing Techniques to Pittsfield Classrooms
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:18AM / Friday, April 28, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Doing any job when one is stressed and frustrated is much more difficult.   And teachers are the same way. They are the scapegoats when schools are underperforming. They're pressured by parents and administrators. Their work days are long, some students can be taxing, and recently in Pittsfield, the threat of job loss has hung over their heads.   The Center for Peace through Culture recognizes the tensions that build up in someone's life and launched a program with the staff at Conte Community School to teach the teachers calming and relaxation techniques. The pilot program is wrapping up and 10 teachers voluntarily participated in

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The Independent Investor: World's Bread Basket No More
By Bill Schmick,
06:03PM / Thursday, April 27, 2017
The recent controversy over dairy trade policies between the Trump administration and Canada is only the tip of the iceberg. While Trump is selectively picking on one particular product, the truth is that the United States is losing its competitive advantage in many areas of agriculture.   Government subsidies to the agriculture industry worldwide have always been a thorn in the American side. That's not to say that our farmers have gone without. We, too, subsidize our farmers. Taxpayers are expected to pay at least $87 billion to help farmers over the next dozen years. And for decades, we have been spending billions each year to protect them from lost income and crop

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Council Voices Few Concerns Over Pittsfield's Capital Plan
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:32PM / Thursday, April 27, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's capital plan calls for the replacement of 5,236 street lights to LEDs but some councilors are wondering why a project to light up Tyler Street has not been undertaken.   The Tyler Street Business Group petitioned the city in 2014 asking for lights on the north side of Tyler Street at an estimated cost of $500,000. Movement halted on those efforts when the city was accepted in the Transformative Development Program. MassDevelopment is currently in the midst of planning efforts for the redevelopment of the entire corridor.   This year the administration has asked for $3 million to convert all of the street lights from high-pressure sodium

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Pittsfield School Officials Approve Further Budget Cuts
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:47AM / Thursday, April 27, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The proposed school budget has been cut again, raising the number of layoffs to 75.6 full-time equivalent positions. However, the teachers' union is foregoing some $300,000 worth of raises to save some of those jobs.   On Wednesday, the School Committee adopted a proposed budget of $60,686,338, with the city's share of that being $60,066,338. That is $250,000 less than what was presented at the budget hearing two weeks ago.   "We understand we have to do this because we understand the situation we are in," Superintendent Jason McCandless said.    McCandless said two days after the public hearing on April 12, in a meeting with

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Berkshire County Rx Round Up Set for April 29
01:43PM / Wednesday, April 26, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Community coalitions from across the county have joined forces to host a Rx Round Up at three locations on April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. Anyone with unused, unwanted and expired prescription, over-the-counter and controlled medications may stop by to dispose of them safely. Personal needles will also be accepted in puncture-proof plastic containers. The process of dropping off medication is anonymous, takes only a minute, is better for the environment, and could end up saving lives.

The Rx Round Up will take place at the following locations: North Adams Police Station, 11 Summer St.; 510 North Street in Pittsfield,

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Can You Free Yourself of Some Investment-related Taxes?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:31AM / Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tax Freedom Day generally falls around this time each year. This is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay off its total tax bill for the year, according to the calculations made by the Tax Foundation. So you may want to use Tax Freedom Day to think about ways you can liberate yourself from some of the investment-related taxes you may incur.

Of course, Tax Freedom Day is something of a fiction, in practical terms, because most people pay their taxes throughout the year via payroll deductions. Also, you may not mind paying your share of taxes, because your tax dollars are used in many ways – law enforcement, food safety, road maintenance, public education,

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Richardello, Gaspardi-Febles Honored With Quinn Award
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:47AM / Wednesday, April 26, 2017

MountainOne's Vice President for Business Insurance Linda Gaspardi-Febles was given her award from Award Committee Chairman Mick Callahan. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When Esther Quinn died in 1998, the local business community lost someone who, after working a full day, would put in countless volunteer hours.    But others are following in her footsteps. This year 1Berkshire honored both Linda Gaspardi-Febles of MountainOne and Denise Richardello of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with the 18th annual Esther Quinn Award, recognizing those same type of efforts.   "Esther Quinn was a pioneer and as passionate advocate for causes that she believed in. She

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Pittsfield Council Asked To Push For State Education Funding Changes
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:21AM / Wednesday, April 26, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — How the state calculates what it costs to run a school system is much different from what local officials say it actually costs.   That was the message delivered to the City Council on Tuesday night when the School Committee arranged a presentation from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. MASC Field Director Tracy Novick urged the council to advocate for changes to the state funding formulas to bring more state dollars into the city.    "The commonwealth of Massachusetts is not doing its fair share in making sure our children are having the best education," Council Vice President John Krol, an avid supporter of the

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Pittsfield Police Offer Safety Tips After Walkers, Joggers Accosted
12:51PM / Tuesday, April 25, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An unidentified man has been accosting walkers and joggers in in the city's southeast side since last Tuesday.    None of the victims were injured in any of the reported incidents, police say, but there have been several complaints reported over the past week. It is unknown if the same man is responsible for all of the violations.   The suspect, in all instances, is described being in his 20s, of Caucasian or Hispanic decent, with dark hair, facial hair, and a thin to medium build.   Pittsfield residents are being asked to report any suspicious activity relating to persons matching the above physical description by immediately calling

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