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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Jane Kaczmarek Returns to Williamstown Theatre Festival
By Phyllis McGuire, Special to iBerkshires
06:06PM / Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Starring with Alfred Molina as Don, the play runs through Aug. 21 on the Nikos Stage.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek is not upset if people whistle in her dressing room or wish her good luck before a performance.  

"I'm a meat and potatoes gal," the Milwaukee born and bred actress says, explaining why she does not adhere to theater superstitions.
Kaczmarek is in Williamstown to play a lead role in the American premiere of "And No More Shall We Part," on the Nikos Stage from Wednesday, Aug. 10, through Aug. 21.
The drama focuses on a married couple, Don (television and film star Alfred Molina) and


Berkshire Tidbits: Lobster Days, Sundae Highlights
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
02:55PM / Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Macrobiotic chef Chris Jenkins teaches cooking with student helper at Kushi's Summer Conference 2014. The Kushi Institute/KI Annual Summer Conference 2016: "Towards a Sustainable Future", is now in progress through Saturday, Aug. 13. This event brings together macrobiotic teachers and practitioners to share their experience and lifestyle interest in two weeks of lectures, workshops, cooking classes, eating and celebration, all day and into the night.   For the last few years, this conference takes place on the KI campus, 198 Leland Road, North Becket, 413-623-5741. Berkshire residents may attend the conference for a discounted price of


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

Tanglewood, Manchester and Glimmerglass Are Not to be Missed
01:55PM / Wednesday, August 10, 2016

This week, Tanglewood continues its high energy 2016 classical programming season with a powerhouse, back-to-back pair of programs performed by the Boston Pops and guest artists the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

The "heavy hitters" are John Williams' "Film Night" – always an audience favorite and a high point of each year's Tanglewood offerings, and a unique concert by a visiting ensemble of intrepid Australians that replicates a 1920s-era Weimar Republic quasi-pops cabaret experience. What a pair! This is not your staid classical programming. Be there or be square.

Traditional Tanglewood listeners: not to fear; classical fare won't be lacking:

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Great Barrington Youth Soccer Tournament Seeks Teams
01:20PM / Wednesday, August 10, 2016
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. -- Registration is under way for the 18th annual Monument Cup 3-on-3 Youth Soccer Tournament, Sept. 24 at Monument Mountain Regional High School.   The event features boys and girls divisions in three age groups: under-10, under-12 and under-14.   Teams can include three or four players, and each team is guaranteed at least three matches.   The top four teams in each division will play in the semi-finals with the finals played under the lights.   The entry fee is $80 per team. Each division is limited to 16 teams, so apply early.   For information and registration forms, visit, or contact Matt Naventi at 413-243-1559 or


Funeral Home Donates Memorial Flag For Pittsfield Firefighter Funerals
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:19PM / Wednesday, August 10, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When Anthony Simeone's funeral procession traveled down Columbus Avenue, fire trucks were pulled outside Fire Department headquarters and firefighters gave a final salute.

The Fire Department provides honor guards at wakes and funerals, drives trucks in the procession, and sounds a final alarm for former members of the department who died.

Simeone had been a firefighter for 18 years and, after he retired in 1982, he continued to work closely with the department to help businesses with fire prevention as a representative for the Pittsfield Fire and Safety Co. fire extinguisher and fire safety consulting company.

"He was very proud to be a fireman,"

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Pittsfield Bans Circus Animals
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:50AM / Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Richelle How was one of many residents who spoke in favor of the ban. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — By an 8-3 vote, the City Council has banned non-domesticated animals from being used as entertainment.   The ordinance submitted by citizen's petition states that "no living non-domesticated animal shall be displayed for public entertainment or amusement in circuses, carnivals, traveling events, or other similar entities" in the city. The ban doesn't apply to dogs, cats, donkeys, horses, and other farm animals nor does it apply to educational exhibits. The majority of the council felt the law would protect animals from being abused and


Governor Signs Legislation Updating Obsolete Municipal Regulations
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
11:15PM / Tuesday, August 09, 2016

MMA President Lisa Blackmer, a North Adams city councilor, speaks at Tuesday's bill signing. The act's section summaries can be read here.

BOSTON — Legislation signed at the State House on Tuesday eliminates or updates a raft of outdated and obsolete municipal regulations.

Filed by the Baker administration last December, the 125-page Municipal Modernization Act found strong support from state and local officials, the Massachusetts Municipal Association and Massachusetts Association of Assessing Officers.

Gov. Charlie Baker, with a host of local elected and administrative officials behind him on the Grand Staircase at the State House, noted he'd gotten some flack when

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Pittsfield Police Investigating Stabbing At Burbank Park
Staff Reports,
05:19PM / Tuesday, August 09, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are investigating a stabbing which left one man in critical condition.   Police say at 1:49 a.m. Tuesday morning patrol units were leaving Berkshire Medical Center when a man with traumatic injuries resulting from a stabbing at Burbank Park arrived. The victim was being transported to the hospital in a privately-owned vehicle.   "Initially witness account were contradictory, some claiming that the victim was suffering from a gunshot wound, others claiming a stab wound," Police wrote in a statement released Tuesday evening.   BMC staff administered medical attention while additional police patrol units were dispatched to Burbank Park.


Some Berkshire Farms to Receive Aerial Crop Planting
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Tuesday, August 09, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Farms in Adams, Cheshire, Lanesborough, North Adams, Sheffield, West Stockbridge and Williamstown will be seeding a little differently this August.

Instead of establishing a cover crop by hand, a helicopter will plant winter rye grass seed from above.

The airborne cover-crop planting is being done through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation program.

Farms through the state applied to the NRC's Environmental Quality Incentives Program to take advantage of financial and technical assistance for a conservation practice that allows farmers to take full advantage of a cover crop.   Chenail Brothers Dairy Farm's Wallace


Pittsfield Firefighters Respond to Burning Fence
Staff Reports,
05:38PM / Monday, August 08, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters responded to burning fence on Monday that caused nearly a $1,000 in damage.

The call was initially reported at 10:23 a.m. as a structure fire at 31 Richardson St. Upon arrival, firefighters found a section of fence ablaze and extending to detached one-car garage. A neighbor was trying to put the fire out with a garden hose.

The fence was burned and the vinyl siding on the garage was damaged.

The report by Deputy Chief Daniel Garner stated no one was injured and the fire was not considered suspicious. The cause has not been determined.

He also said that while help such as that of the neighbor's is appreciated, residents should not take matters


MCLA Admissions to Offer Information Sessions
03:23PM / Monday, August 08, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will offer three information sessions this month, including one in Pittsfield, in the Silvio O. Conte Federal Building. Two additional information sessions, which also will include tours of the campus, will be held at MCLA.

The next information session will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 5 p.m. in the Silvio O. Conte Federal Building, 78 Center St., Pittsfield. Information sessions and opportunities to tour the MCLA campus also will be held on Saturday, Aug. 13, and Saturday, Aug. 27, beginning at 11 a.m. in Murdock Hall room 218 on the MCLA campus.

Those interested in enrolling this fall as incoming freshmen or transfer


Berkshires Beat: Cancer Center Community Crusaders Raise Nearly $40K for Local Cancer Patients
03:09PM / Monday, August 08, 2016

Beating cancer: The Cancer Center Community Crusaders, known as the 4Cs, hosted their third annual Community Remembrance Day on June 4 at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Campus in Bennington, Vt. Nine crews and more than 300 participants at the event contributed to the group’s nearly $40,000 fundraising total for the year. Remembrance Day activities included inflatable bounce houses, face painting, cupcake tastings, entertainment, a dunk booth, and food provided by the Mt. Anthony Fighting Patriot Booster Club. The program also included inspirational speeches and awards for fundraising crews.

This year’s event included the first Freedom 5K Run/Walk, a


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