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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

BRPC Plans Workshop On Local Permits For Gas Pipeline Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:28AM / Friday, May 08, 2015
BRPC's executive committee was briefed about the upcoming workshop.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BRPC won't be weighing in on the need for alternative projects when it comes to the proposed natural gas pipeline that will run through Massachusetts.

But the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission will do what it can to make sure the towns are as prepared as they can be should it come through the Berkshires.

"We don't really have the necessary background to be able to offer anything more than an opinion," BRPC Executive Director Nathaniel Karns said of taking a position on the proposed Northeast Energy Direct Project from Kinder Morgan that is eyed to cut through


Downtown Pittsfield Highlights Successes, Looks to Future
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:44AM / Friday, May 08, 2015
President Kate McGuire said the organization is set to create a new strategic plan for the city's downtown. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Leaders of Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. say the advocacy group has made tremendous accomplishments in the last year and has a full agenda for the next.   According to President Kate McGuire, the organization grew its membership from 167 to 204, far surpassing the goal of growing by 20 members a year. Meanwhile, 23 businesses opened in the city's downtown while 16 businesses closed.   The goals for the next year are to increase the business base while adding new members to the group and the crafting of a new strategic plan for


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

The Independent Investor: Avian Flu Scrambles the Egg Business
By Bill Schmick,
10:49PM / Thursday, May 07, 2015

By now, most Americans are familiar with the avian flu but its impact on your pocketbook may not be as well known. Here is what we know so far.

Egg producers have been walloped. Nearly 6 percent of America's "layer" hens have been destroyed. That's a lot of chicken, given that last year there were 362 million of those birds in the U.S., which produced 100 billion eggs. What's that going to mean to supermarket shoppers?

Look for at least 15 cents increases in the cost per dozen eggs at the wholesale level, by the time they get to the retail consumer. We still do not know how bad the impact will be on turkey prices but we do know that, like eggs, the turkey population


North Berkshire Advocates Rally for Mental Health Awareness
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
10:15PM / Thursday, May 07, 2015
Some two dozen community members and advocates stood in front of City Hall for a rally to raise awareness children's mental health needs.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Advocates for children with mental health issues are calling for greater awareness of the need for treatment and education.

"Parents need to be educated, teachers need to be educated with how to deal with children with mental health issues," Cathy Felix said, holding a sign up to honking cars outside City Hall. "If they don't understand it, they don't know what to do."

This week is Children's Mental Health Awareness Week and the Northern Berkshire Systems of Care Committee has been


'Avengers: Age of Ultron': Had Me Showing My Age
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:36PM / Thursday, May 07, 2015
Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
Avengers II: bigger, noisier and not nearly as much fun as the first.

I soon found it wise not to check my watch while viewing director Joss Whedon's "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Hoping that a sizable chunk of time was bringing me nearer to film's end, I inevitably learned that scant milliseconds had passed between inquiries, which only added to the despair and boredom. Admittedly, there are a few good moments.

But then a true optimist could probably say the same about a stay on Devil's Island. So the short review is, unless you're a diehard fan or video games are your


Downtown Pittsfield Names Award For Late Civic Leader Quattrochi
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:21PM / Thursday, May 07, 2015
Downtown Pittsfield Inc. President Kate McGuire, honoree Peter Lafayette and Executive Director Kristine Hurley. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Robert Quattrochi spent 45 years working with Downtown Pittsfield Inc., more than a decade of that as president.   He ran Pete's Motors while being civic oriented and serving on numerous boards like Downtown Pittsfield, the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Berkshire Historical Society and a number of others. He also sat on the city's Licensing Board.   "It was impossible to own a business or be active in the community without meeting Bob Quattrochi," Downtown Pittsfield President Kate McGuire said on Thursday.   When


Pittsfield Earmarks CDBG Funds For Projects In Low Income Areas
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:17AM / Thursday, May 07, 2015
Community Development & Housing Program Manager Bonnie Galant presented the plan to the City Council's Community and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday night. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's 2016 Community Development Block Grant funding is eyed to fund numerous projects for low- and moderate-income areas of the city.   Through the federal program, the city will receive a $1,139,628 allocation, which is $27,325 less than last year. The money, coupled with funds saved from previous years. The federal program is solely focused on the low- and moderate-income areas, in which three census tracts qualify in the heart of the city.    "We're


Registration Open For Pittsfield YMCA's Tie Dye Dash
02:45PM / Wednesday, May 06, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Registration is open for the Pittsfield Family YMCA’s Tie Dye Dash: 5K Color Run fundraiser on Saturday, May 30.
The race is a 5K color run that begins and ends in Burbank Park. This race is not about being the fastest or being in the best shape; it is about encouraging healthy lifestyles. Dressed in a provided YMCA white T-shirt and sunglasses, racers will pass through five splash zones where colored cornstarch powder will be tossed at them. By the end of the 3.1 miles (5K), racers will be colored in a tie dyed array of creativity.

All proceeds support the Pittsfield Family YMCA’s Bright Futures's Summer Literacy Program.



Lanesborough Police Investigating Crash That Killed New Ashford Woman
By Andy McKeever,
02:36PM / Wednesday, May 06, 2015

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Police are investigating a one-car accident that killed a 51-year-old New Ashford woman on Thursday night.

Sheryl A. Surprenant of State Road in New Ashford was driving northbound on Route 7 when her car crossed lanes and went off the road, crashing through the sign for the former Lamp Post Motel, on the southbound side, said police.

Officers responded at  9:22 p.m. to the report of a vehicle off the road near the motel on Route 7. The Chrysler had flipped and was lodged in trees and brush.

"The vehicle was on its roof and in the trees. She was pronounced dead on the scene," said Sgt. Gary Kirby on Wednesday. "It was a very difficult


Y Announces New STEM Activities at Camp Sumner
01:04PM / Wednesday, May 06, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Family YMCA has new curriculum in its Camp Sumner program: STEM activities. Also, registrations are open with scholarship applications due by June 1. Camp Sumner’s weekly sessions are from June 29-Aug. 28.

The Y’s Camp Sumner develops the necessary building blocks for youth development by providing a safe, creative learning environment for young people to feel empowered, build self-esteem, explore personal interests, develop interpersonal skills and make lasting friendships and memories.

Held at Berkshire Community College, Camp Sumner is available for children ages 5 years to ninth grade, with those entering seventh through ninth


Pittsfield Students Honored In Berkshire Jazz Art Contest
Staff Reports,
12:30PM / Wednesday, May 06, 2015
Honorable mention Leanne Hamilton with Mayor Daniel Bianchi, and Berkshire Jazz President Edward Bride. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three high school students were honored by the mayor on Tuesday for winning the annual Berkshire Jazz art contest.   Taylor Turner, a senior at Pittsfield High School, Max Whalen, a PHS freshman, and Anita Curtin, a junior at St. Joseph's High School, were chosen as the winners. The work of one of those three winners will be the symbol of the annual Pittsfield City Jazz Festival in October.   The winners were chosen by judges Diane Firtell, Scott Taylor, and Julio Granda, who chose a winner for each of three genres — representational


Pittsfield Police Advisory Still Pushing For Fence On East Street Median
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:08PM / Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Police Chief Michael Wynn updates the Police Advisory Committee on police station plans and a multi-state drug operations investigation. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After testing out the effectiveness of a fence in the median of East Street to curb high school jaywalkers, the city is looking to move forward with a permanent solution.   Police Advisory Committee member Donald Bercury has been heading the issue to alleviate problems of Pittsfield High School students who don't use the crosswalks outside the school during lunch and before and after school.   The use of a fence in the median was the first solution to come out of a meeting between the PAC, city officials, and


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