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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Bars Raising Security After Shooting Incidents
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:24PM / Monday, November 30, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Metal detectors are coming to city bars.   Johnny's Beach Club on Wahconah Street has become the first bar to have a full metal detector and the staff at Lach's Lounge will soon have metal detecting wands.   The moves come in the wake of separate shootings involving the two establishments. The two owners outlined their new security plans to the Licensing Board on Monday.   "It's getting out of control. Bars are going to have to get wands or metal detectors to stay in business," said Licensing Board member Richard Stockwell.    Johnny's Beach Club owner John Giardina says entering his nightclub will now be similar

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6th Annual Cop On Top Returns To Pittsfield Walmart This Weekend
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:13PM / Monday, November 30, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — For the first time the weather looks to be on the side of law enforcement officers who plan to spend the night on the roof of Walmart.   The sixth annual Cop on Top, a fundraiser for the Massachusetts Special Olympics, returns to Berkshire Crossing on Saturday. Upward of 10 officers from police departments across the county are prepared to camp out on the roof overnight.   "The weather looks killer for the first time," said organizer Darren Derby. "It is the first time in six years we have two good days of weather."   Forecasts so far show temperatures in the 40s and sunny, which Derby hopes will draw a large crowd to help the

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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 Fires Police Union President For 'Misconduct'
Staff Reports,
02:47PM / Monday, November 30, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Department fired Officer Jeffrey Coco after finding him guilty of multiple misconduct charges.   The Pittsfield Patrol Police Union president was investigated internally and terminated on Monday. According to an internal affairs report, Coco took some $150,000 from union bank accounts by writing checks to himself and his wife.    "The cash withdrawals and the checks written out to Officer Coco and his wife shows that the money withdrawn from the union account was not for ligitimate union business but instead for personal use," wrote Lt. Michael Grady in the report.   The department found Coco guilty of conduct unbecoming of

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Berkshire Tidbits: Time for Hanukkah, Christmas Foods
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
02:17PM / Monday, November 30, 2015

Holiday Baking & Sweet Treats
at Berkshire Mountain Bakery

Every year, from mid-November through the end of the year, Berkshire Mountain Bakery steps up its fancy baking or, more accurately, its sophisticated sweet-treat baking. Some of their best, most hedonistic breads started as holiday specials.   That's the case for their now-yearround unsweetened cherry-pecan bread and their canelé and their chocolate bouchons, both of which are the size and shape of large wine corks. The canelé is barely moist and a bit chewy, antique in style  from honey and beeswax without the trendy addition of rum or vanilla. The bouchons are dry, rich and deeply chocolate all

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YMCA Hosts Free Youth Snowboarding Program
01:57PM / Monday, November 30, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Family YMCA is now accepting registrations for a free snowboarding program for all boys and girls from ages 5-12 years.

YMCA members and non-members are welcome to register for this program that helps develop youths’ balance and coordination while learning the fundamentals of snowboarding.

Program dates are Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Y and Dec. 19 at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort with a time to be announced. All sessions are free for members and non-members and include all equipment and instruction, as well as a lower mountain lift ticket and equipment rental for Dec. 19.

 This program is limited to the

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Nov. 27-Dec. 3
11:22AM / Monday, November 30, 2015
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Shop Local This Holiday Season!
Before you press Buy Now, consider shopping local during Small Business Saturday and all season long.

Local isn't just a place on a map. It's people - your neighbors and their families, their businesses, farms, nonprofits, events, and recreational venues. Local is a community

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Slow Formal Session Ends: Berkshire Reps Expect Busy 2016
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:48AM / Sunday, November 29, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Changes in state leadership has led to a slow start to the legislative session, according to the local representatives.

Formal session concluded for the year last week and all four local members of the House of Representatives said they had hoped to accomplish more by this point. But, the lawmakers say when the session resumes in January, there will be a lot on the agenda.

"It's been moving more slowly than any other session I've been in. I like to think it is happening because we have a new governor, though he has been in for 10 months he is still relatively new, and a new Senate president. As both of those gentlemen are getting their feet under

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Pittsfield OKs Cumberland Farms Expansion on First Street
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:32PM / Friday, November 27, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council granted Cumberland Farms the approval needed to replace its First Street gas station with a much larger facility.   The company plans to purchase the Sanborn property, a former electrical supply company, on Adam Street, demolish both that building and the existing Cumberland Farms, and build a new 4,700 square-foot store and a canopy covering for eight gas pumps on the property.   The City Council granted the special permit to do so and approved storage of flammable materials (gasoline) on site.   "It sounds state of the art and a welcomed improvement," said Ward 3 Councilor Nicholas Caccamo.   According to Luke

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@theMarket: Markets Climb Wall of Worry
By Bill Schmick,
03:03PM / Friday, November 27, 2015

It was a week of geopolitical risks and yet the markets managed to hold their own. True to form, investors were bound and determined that this would be a good week for stocks and it was.

Historically, markets do well on Thanksgiving week and this was no exception. Since the turn of the last century, stocks perform well (at least two thirds of the time) during this 3 1/2 day trading week and into the end of the first week of December. So far, this year has been no exception.

Given the headline risks, its performance was quite impressive. Investors had to contend with the shutdown of Brussels for most of the week as authorities ransacked the capital of Belgium in pursuit of suspected

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'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2': Clueless in Panem
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:09PM / Friday, November 27, 2015

Point of disclosure: I am beside the point as concerns director Francis Lawrence's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2." Not a fan of the franchise, I can only be an object of disdain to the loyal cognoscenti, who will understandably raise their children to distrust me. The fact is, I just don't get it. Then again, I don't understand the whole Justin Bieber thing, either.

Nevertheless, though perhaps only in service to those moviegoers as out of the loop as I, your compromised film critic must trudge on and at least attempt to make sense of this phenomenon which, I am promised, is the final issue of the four-part film series. None of this is to say the

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Pittsfield Mayor-Elect Tyer Crafting Transition Plans
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:13AM / Friday, November 27, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor-elect Linda Tyer is readying her transition plans.   Fresh after a decisive win over Mayor Daniel Bianchi, Tyer says she is putting together an inclusive process to develop the blueprint for the next four years. Just three weeks after winning election, Tyer says she has already begun to work out transition plans.   "It's been a bit of an adjustment to shift from being in competitive campaign mode to now starting to think about transition," Tyer said. "Over the last week or so, I've started putting together a plan for how to transition internally."   The current city clerk says she hasn't quite nailed down the

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The Independent Investor: Financial Media May Be Your Worst Enemy
By Bill Schmick,
10:59AM / Thursday, November 26, 2015

The business of financial news reporting has achieved a high level of sophistication and timeliness. Almost anything noteworthy that happens around the world is instantaneously transmitted to you from a variety of sources. The question is should an investor act on that news?

The short answer is no, not unless the event is truly catastrophic — nuclear war, end-of-the-world type stuff.  Achieving your financial goals and objectives requires a well-thought out approach and an investment process, which is by its nature long term. That process will almost always be at cross purposes with those of the news media. Why?

It begins with the media's time horizon and business model. A

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