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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Letter: Quit Smoking for Heart Health
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Thursday, February 21, 2019

To the Editor:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is a leading cause of heart disease and heart disease is a major cause of death among African Americans.

Smoking can:

• Raise triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood)
• Lower "good" cholesterol (HDL)
• Make blood sticky and more likely to clot, which can block blood flow to the heart and brain
• Damage cells that line the blood vessels
• Increase the buildup of plaque (fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances) in blood vessels
• Cause thickening and narrowing of blood vessels

Smoking can lead to the narrowing of blood vessels and high blood pressure and

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The Independent Investor: Economic Prosperity in the United States
By Bill Schmick,
05:01PM / Thursday, February 21, 2019
The stock market is once again approaching historical highs. Unemployment is at multi-year lows. Interest rates and inflation, if not at record lows, are close to it. The president claims we are enjoying the strongest economy in our nation's history. Is that true?   The short answer, according to a recent study by Bloomberg, would be no, not even close. They went back over the course of the last 43 years and measured the nation's economy under three Democratic and four Republican presidents. They found that in all but one case both the economic and financial performance of the U.S. was better than it is now.   Bloomberg used 14 different gauges to measure a wide range 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 Revamping Solar Regulations to Limit Residential Impacts
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:08PM / Thursday, February 21, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Following hotly contested proposals for solar arrays in residential areas, the city is revamping its solar regulations.   The new regulations were endorsed by the Community Development Board and are being presented to the City Council by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Permitting Coordinator Nate Joyner took the lead on the development of the updated zoning laws and said it is particularly aimed at addressing concerns raised during the debate of recent proposals.   "I think we tried to address the concerns of the boards and the residents," Joyner said.   The ordinance breaks solar proposals into three sizes: small, medium, and large. The

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Group Formed to Foster Pittsfield Pride, Counter Naysayers
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Thursday, February 21, 2019
 
Virginia O'Leary is looking to counter those who speak negatively about the city. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Virginia O'Leary has so many great memories growing up in Pittsfield.   She remembers swimming in the lake, the local stores of old, and cruising up and down North Street on a Friday night.   She enjoyed it so much that after leaving for college and a career, she came back. And she loves it here.   "There are so many good people in Pittsfield, there are so many people who care," O'Leary said.   This past summer, she had just watched a movie at the Little Cinema at the Berkshire Museum and went to dinner in Great

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Berkshires Beat: CATA Artists 'Making Waves' at Good Purpose Gallery
04:12PM / Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Mike Fazos's 'Sun Tornado' is part of the 'Making Waves' display at the Good Purpose Gallery in Lee. 'Making Waves'

Community Access to the Arts presents "Making Waves," an exhibit of artwork by CATA artists with disabilities at the Good Purpose Gallery in Lee. The exhibit opens Feb. 27 and features paintings by CATA artists who use the innovative Artistic Realization Technologies (A.R.T.) technique to create their work. A free, public art opening will be held on Feb. 28 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. with many of the artists in attendance.

Artistic Realization Technologies is an adaptive painting technique developed by artist Tim Lefens that gives full

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Tyer Pitches Program To Help Residents Make Home Improvements
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:41PM / Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Mayor Linda Tyer hopes the program will help address the aging housing stock. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer is looking to help residents who improve their homes.   Tyer announced "At Home in Pittsfield," a program through which the city will provide zero-interest loans to residents for undertaking certain home improvement projects. The effort is one aimed to improve the again housing stock in the city.    "One of the happiest milestones in my life was the day I bought my first home right here in Pittsfield in 2000. My little house on Ventura Avenue will forever have a special place in my heart," Tyer said.    "We know that

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Biz Briefs: Two Former Prosecutors Open Local Law Firm
02:36PM / Wednesday, February 20, 2019
New law firm
Gregory Barry, left,. and Robert Kinzer have opened a new law firm in Pittsfield.

Barry & Kinzer, LLP, a full-service law firm with more than 40 combined years of litigation experience, recently celebrated its opening in Pittsfield. The law firm was founded on Feb. 4, 2019, by Gregory M. Barry and Robert W. Kinzer, two former assistant district attorneys in the Berkshire District Attorney's Office. Their office is located at 152 North St., Suite 140, in the old Shipton Building in the heart of downtown Pittsfield. The law firm will be hosting an open house on Friday, Feb. 22, from 4 to 6 p.m. to celebrate its launch.

The firm is dedicated to representing

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Wintry Mix Could Slicken Roads Overnight Into Morning
01:48PM / Wednesday, February 20, 2019

As if it's not already pretty darn icy out there, here comes another round of winter yuck.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Thursday. The advisory predicts "mixed accumulation" - up to 2 inches of snow and up to one-tenth of an inch of ice.

The commute home Wednesday should be fine but as darkness falls Wednesday night watch out for conditions to deteriorate, and Thursday morning's commute in to work could be messy, too. Thanksfully, with schools on vacation, there's no need to worry about school buses.

Temperatures should remain in the mid-20s overnight but warm into the low 30s by morning, causing

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The Right Insurance Can Meet Both Short- and Long-term Needs
12:27PM / Wednesday, February 20, 2019

If you're going to achieve your important financial goals, you'll need to build an appropriate investment portfolio. But that's only part of the story – because you also need to protect what you have, what you earn and what you’d like to leave behind. That's why it's a good idea to become familiar with the various types of insurance and how they can address short- and long-term needs.

For starters, consider life insurance. You may have important long-term goals, such as leaving an inheritance for your family and providing resources for your favorite charities. You may be able to fulfill some of these through the death benefit on your policy.

You can also

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EPA Calms City Council's Concerns Over Hill 78, Building 71
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:40AM / Wednesday, February 20, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The nerves of some city councilors were put at ease Tuesday after a review of the latest monitoring tests at Hill 78 and Building 71.   The council raised a stink in October over the toxic waste sites near Allendale School after reviewing the spring data that revealed two wells tested above benchmarks. The council called for increased monitoring and communication.   After meeting with Dean Tagliaferro on Tuesday, those concerns were quelled when he reported that the two wells above benchmarks have done so historically but pose no health concerns. He said they are not near any buildings or drinking water sources and the benchmarks are just a base numbers

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Farley-Bouvier Pushes Bill to Raise Tipped Workers Minimum Wage
Staff Reports,
06:53PM / Tuesday, February 19, 2019
BOSTON — State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier is calling for the elimination of a lower wage for tipped workers.   The Pittsfield Democrat joined other lawmakers and Restaurant Opportunities Center this past Wednesday at the State House to introduce a bill that will gradually raise the minimum wage for tipped workers until it matches the minimum wage for all other industries.    "This bill will raise the minimum wage to the prevailing wage by 2027 in Massachusetts. In doing so, it would bring thousands of workers out of poverty, reduce sexual harassment in the workplace, and decrease the wage gap between male and female tipped workers," Farley-Bouvier said at the

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Berkshire House Delegation Gets Committee Assignments
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Tuesday, February 19, 2019
BOSTON, Mass. — State Rep. Paul Mark will again chair the House Committee on Redistricting.   Mark was chair for the last two years and will continue to work as the U.S. Census begins. The population numbers gathered by the Census is followed by the state redrawing the lines for both the federal and state districts. Mark added that it also affects a significant number of federal and state grant programs which are based on per capita.   "It is extremely important that our region is treated fairly and having me as the chair helps ensure that our area is going to be treated fairly," Mark said on Thursday.    The Peru Democrat sees the job as a huge

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