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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Retirees Need 'Longevity Strategy'
11:25AM / Wednesday, January 06, 2016

The late, great Yogi Berra supposedly said it: “The future ain’t what it used to be.” And the same could be said of retirement.

Due to several factors, such as advances in health care, today’s retirees are living longer, more active lives than their predecessors. In fact, you could spend two, or even three, decades in retirement – which means you need a “longevity strategy.”

Such a strategy needs to be part of your overall retirement income strategy, but here are five key areas you’ll need to address:

* Lifestyle: What do you plan to do during your retirement years? Travel the world? Stay close to home and pursue your hobbies? Volunteer?

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Berkshire County 4-H Holds Awards & Recognition Event
Community Submission,
09:52PM / Tuesday, January 05, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than 100 people gathered at the  Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires on Dec. 6 for the Berkshire County 4-H Community's annual awards and recognition event.  

The candy factory-themed night was to celebrate achievements by 4-H members. Opening remarks were given by Linda Horn, assistant director of the Massachusetts 4-H Youth Development Program, University of Massachusetts Extension in Amherst.

The highest award given in Berkshire County 4-H is the Top H Award, which can only be won by a 4-H'er once as a junior member and once as a senior member. The nominees are selected by a judging committee using their 4-H records; those nominated

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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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School Survey Debate Expands Across Lanesborough Government
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:25AM / Tuesday, January 05, 2016
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A proposed survey of residents about the upcoming Mount Greylock Regional School building project has triggered heated debate across town government.   The latest is from Finance Committee members, who questioned the legality of using money from a revolving account set aside for regionalization studies to conduct it.    "I say let the lawyer tell us if we can legally use it," committee member Steven Wentworth said. "Can we legally use those funds? That's the question."   Fellow member Ronald Tinkham said there is $7,800 left over from a prior grant inside a revolving account that he suggests taking to conduct the

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Tyer, New Council Leadership Takes Office With Shared Focus
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:10PM / Monday, January 04, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council Chambers were packed from wall to wall and poured out into the hallway when Linda Tyer took to the podium. Local and out-of-state news outlets turned their cameras and microphones and voices recorders on. Pittsfield Community Television aired it live.    "It is for all of you, our senior citizens and our young learners, our business leaders and their hardworking employees, our artists and cultural leaders, our dreamers and achievers. It is for all of you I devote myself to building a modern government that seeks opportunity and races toward it," Tyer proclaimed as she delivered her inaugural address.    But in the

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County Ambulance Offers EMT/Basic Training Program
02:11PM / Monday, January 04, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — County Ambulance will be offering an EMT/Basic Training program from Jan. 11 through April 9.

The program covers the National Emergency Medical Services Educational Standards and prepares the student for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians practical and cognitive testing. Upon completion of the program and successful certification with the National Registry of EMTs, students will be able to apply for certification by the Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services.

Lead instructors have more than 100 years of experience to best prepare students for a successful training experience.

Classes will be held at County Ambulance

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Town Players Seeks Directors, Plays
02:05PM / Monday, January 04, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Town Players of Pittsfield is seeking prospective directors and play submissions for its 2016-17 season.

Town Players is a nonprofit community theater celebrating its 95th year, making it the oldest theater in Berkshire County and one of the oldest, continually running, nonprofit theaters in the country.

Those interested in directing should send a proposal and a brief resume with contact information to townplayersofpittsfield1921@gmail.com. Opportunities are available to direct both full productions as well as staged readings.

Proposals should be received by Feb. 15 to be considered for the upcoming season. This is a volunteer position.

Play submissions may be

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Berkshire Tidbits: Food Pantry Donations Sought, Farmer's Market Returns
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
01:54PM / Monday, January 04, 2016

CHP Family Services Pantry
Needs Nutritious Food Donations

  At Christmastime, a nice size ad in the Southern Berkshire Shopper's Guide with the words, "PLEASE HELP US" inside a festive green ribbon caught my attention. I saw, "Help the Family Services Food Pantry at CHP" in much smaller type.   Community Health Program provides high-quality health care to more than 16,000 Berkshire residents of all ages and economic levels. They are best-known for their Women, Infants and Children/WIC programs of nutrition services and access to healthy food.   There was a photo of packaged food and a

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OLLIís Winter Semester Begins Jan. 12
01:34PM / Monday, January 04, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College, offers over a dozen courses this winter, ranging from photography to illuminated manuscripts, in Pittsfield, Lenox and Great Barrington.

“Our winter semester is one of our busiest. The new year is the perfect time to enjoy learning something new and interesting while meeting new people," OLLI Director Megan Whilden said.  "And there's no tests, no grades, and no formal educational requirements for taking our courses, just learning for the joy of learning!"

OLLI is a member-run organization that offers educational, social and volunteer opportunities designed

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Pittsfield's Tyer Takes Over Corner Office
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:15PM / Monday, January 04, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Linda Tyer didn't just vow to serve as mayor on Monday morning. She vowed to "devote every day" to crafting a modern government.   "To the people of Pittsfield I make this vow: I will devote every day to protecting our neighborhoods, to creating a community where every person thrives, and to shaping a modern city where prosperity is for all," Tyer said.   Tyer, the city's first four-year mayor under the new charter, was sworn into the mayor's office Monday in front of a large crowd. In a brief inaugural address, the former city clerk promised to work with and for all residents in the city.    "It is for all

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Calling Adult Baseball Players
11:59AM / Saturday, January 02, 2016
Players  are  needed  for  the  2016  season  of  the  Berkshire Adult Baseball League.   The BABL offers competiton in a 20-and-over league and a 35-and-over league.   Players  of  all  experience  levels  are  welcome.  Teams  cover all of Berkshire County from Great Barrington to North Adams and play on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. Occasionally, games are scheduled for Wednesday evenings.   Local fields are used as well as seasoned umpires.   The season runs from May 15 to August.   All ages are welcome.   For more information on teams in either league call 

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@theMarket: Nowhere Land
By Bill Schmick,
03:32PM / Friday, January 01, 2016

Most of the stock market went nowhere this year. With the exception of the NASDAQ, the rest of the market returned investors less than the average yield of a yearly CD.

It was a disappointing year, to put it mildly. Recall the months of tension as the markets gyrated between up 3 percent and down by about the same amount. Then August hit and the markets declined precipitously, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average collapsing 1,000 points in a matter of minutes. Sure, the markets recovered, but if you had tried to trade that downdraft, you would have lost even more money, because the markets turned on a dime in October with no warning and recouped all of its losses.

What's worse is

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UPDATED: Greylock Federal Branch Robbed at Knifepoint
Staff Reports,
04:36PM / Thursday, December 31, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Greylock Federal Credit Union branch near the Lanesborough border was robbed Tuesday night.   According to Greylock CEO John Bissell, the branch was robbed by knifepoint just before 6 p.m. on Wednesday night. The branch will remain closed until Monday, Jan. 4.    "At about 5:55 p.m. on December 30, the Lanesborough branch of Greylock Federal was robbed. The perpetrator showed a knife and demanded money. In these types of unfortunate circumstances, our number one concern is for the safety of our employees and our Members. We are gratified and relieved that no one was hurt," Bissell wrote.    "We are pleased that all

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