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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

PHS to Determine Reopening This Weekend
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:04PM / Friday, November 15, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — With cleanup ongoing, administrators will decide this weekend if Pittsfield High School will open Monday after a water line break.   Superintendent Jason "Jake" McCandless said families will receive a call Sunday letting them know whether or not school will reconvene Monday.   "We are optimistic," McCandless said Friday.   The school was dismissed early Thursday after a pipe burst causing water damage in the building.   According to the Berkshire Eagle, the pipe burst in the dome of the building causing damage in the center rooms on the second and third floors.    McCandless said clean up is still under way.

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@theMarket: Record Highs Again & Again
By Bill Schmick,
04:41PM / Friday, November 15, 2019
It has been one of those weeks where just about every day the stock market opened lower. But by the end of the day, one or more of the three main averages would rebound and close higher, usually close to, or at a minor new high. I expect it should continue.   And as stocks grind higher, more and more equity players are calling for a minor 2-3 percent pullback. Is that something that we should even care about? My answer would be no.    We are in a news-driven market. Most investors only seem to care about the latest news on a China trade deal; that said, being out of the market appears to be riskier than being in it.   Many believe we are only one tweet away from a 5

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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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Taconic High Community Mourns Sudden Loss of Teacher, Coach
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:51PM / Friday, November 15, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The school community is mourning the sudden loss of Taconic High School teacher Kevin Harrington, 38.   Harrington, a special education teacher and coach, collapsed Wednesday in a classroom at the school after a medical incident.   "Our students lost a teacher with an infectious optimism, a ready smile, and a constant willingness to help his colleagues and students alike," Superintendent Jason McCandless said in a statement. "He was a true champion for all students, including students who most needed a champion. To know Mr. Harrington was to love and respect him. He taught in the school he graduated from and loved, and he will be

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Pittsfield Receives Contingency Funds For Dam Removal
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Friday, November 15, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council accepted a $113,316.12 grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to go toward the demolition of the Mill Street dam.   Parks and Open Spaces Manager James McGrath told the council Tuesday that the grant funds will go toward the dam removal contingency but that there is still a ways to go to hit the 10 percent contingency goal.   "It's a small contingency for a large project like this but there was a recognition that additional funds were needed," he said. "That is why these funds form the commonwealth are coming toward us for contingency."   The deteriorating dam is

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The Independent Investor: Attention Retirees!
By Bill Schmick,
05:10PM / Thursday, November 14, 2019
It has been more than a year since President Trump admonished the government to strengthen retirement security in America. This week, in response, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a proposal to comply with that executive order. Its suggestions were decidedly underwhelming.   Truth be told, financial planners and tax accountants have been speculating for years that, at some point, the IRS was going to have to recognize certain facts of life concerning retirement. One of which is that Americans are living longer. Why should that matter so much to you, the retiree?   Because everyone that has a tax-deferred savings account like an IRA, 401(k), 403(b), etc., is required

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Letter: Problematic Proposed Lenox Short-Term Rental Bylaw
Letter to the Editor,
05:00PM / Thursday, November 14, 2019

To the Editor:

Under the proposed short-term rental Lenox bylaw, "up to two bedrooms in a dwelling unit may be rented year-round by right provided that the owner or tenant is occupying the dwelling unit at the time of the rental."

Presumably, bedrooms may not be rented at all if the owner or tenant is not occupying the dwelling unit.

In other words, literally, the very same use is allowed by one type of owner (an owner occupying the dwelling unit), but not another type of owner (one who does not occupy the dwelling unit where bedrooms are being rented). Because there is identical use and intensity and the only thing that differs is the type of owner or renter; it is hard to view

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'Parasite': For Richer or Poorer
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:44PM / Thursday, November 14, 2019
  "You see, sir, rich people and theorists, who are usually rich people, think of poverty in the negative, as the lack of riches, as disease might be called the lack of health. But it isn't, sir. Poverty is not the lack of anything, but a positive plague, virulent in itself, contagious as cholera, with filth, criminality, vice and despair as only a few of its symptoms. It is to be stayed away from, even for purposes of study. It is to be shunned."     I think I was about 6 or 7 when someone thought it whimsically wise to inform me that, "The rich get richer and the poor have more children." If memory serves, I at first thought the aphorism rather

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CHP Adds Nurse Practitioner, Social Worker at Northern Berkshire Medical Practices
03:34PM / Thursday, November 14, 2019

ADAMS, Mass. — Community Health Programs has expanded its Northern Berkshires practices with two new health care providers: a social worker and nurse practitioner.
 


Plunkett

Thomas R. Plunkett, LICSW, is now seeing patients at CHP Adams Internists and CHP North Adams Family Medical and Dental. His position is part of CHP's expansion this year into behavioral health care.

Most recently a private practitioner in Williamstown, Plunkett provides psychotherapy for adults, children, couples and groups, as well as diagnostic evaluation. He has previously practiced in Pittsfield, with a focus on addiction counseling. He was also co-founder of a residential addiction treatment

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Nov. 15-21
02:29PM / Thursday, November 14, 2019
FRIDAY Festival of Trees Preview Party Berkshire Museum will hold its annual Festival of Trees Preview Party on Friday, Nov. 15 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Enjoy delicious appetizers and beverages, including a signature cocktail, as you explore more than 100 dazzling holiday displays. This year's Festival of Trees theme, "Heroes," is sure to inspire. Party guests are invited to incorporate their own hero(es) into their evening's attire!

  MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE

FRI Russian Ballet Theatre's The Colonial presents Russian Ballet

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Hinds Sets Community Outreach Events for November
01:00PM / Wednesday, November 13, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The staff of state Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will host two community outreach events during November.   The senator's staff will be available to meet with constituents in the communities of Charlemont and Washington for this month's staff office hours on Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Charlemont Town Hall, 157 Main St. Washington Town Hall, 8 Summitt Hill Road

Appointments are not necessary but can be booked in advance by calling the Pittsfield office at 413-344-4561 or the Williamsburg office at 413-768-2373. These office hours provide an opportunity for those seeking assistance with state agencies or

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Coalition Tackles Vaping, Alcohol Use in Community
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:08AM / Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Joyce Brewer, the TFPC program manager from Berkshire AHEC, speaks about vaping at the NBCC monthly forum on Friday in North Adams.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — As the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition was discussing the issue of vaping in the community at its forum on Friday morning, the Centers for Disease Control was releasing information about what officials suspect is causing illness and death among those who vape.

The announcement that vitamin E acetate, an oily chemical added to some THC vaping liquids to thicken or dilute them, is being investigated as a possible culprit into the outbreak that has sickened more than 2,000 people across the country and killed at least 39 is

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Pittsfield Continues Tax Classification Hearing Over Free Cash
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:04AM / Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Mayor Linda Tyer says she wants to focus on building reserves.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday continued the tax classification hearing after clashing with the mayor over how much free cash should be used to offset the tax rate.   At the end of a nearly three-hour meeting, councilors and Mayor Linda Tyer were at a stalemate with the majority of the council unsatisfied with Tyer's $750,000 compromise.   "We are taking this out of the pockets of our taxpayers and putting it into the city coffers," Ward 5 Councilor Donna Todd Rivers said. "I know that's how it works but at this moment we can afford to give some of that savings

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