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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Parks Looking For Solutions To Keep Skate Park Open
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:20AM / Wednesday, January 20, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Parks and Open Spaces Manager James McGrath is hoping to find middle ground with the school department regarding the skate park.   Officials from the Pittsfield High School have requested that the skate park be closed during school hours in the wake of a stabbing last month. School officials say the park is a distraction and leads to many kids congregating and causing trouble during the day.   However, their request was met with strong opposition from skaters and bikers who use the park appropriately and say they shouldn't be punished for misbehaving students.   After a lengthy Parks Commission meeting with numerous residents opposing the closure


Fate of Pittsfield Convent Building Remains Uncertain
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Correspondent
02:12AM / Tuesday, January 19, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It remains unclear what the new year will bring for another longtime downtime landmark, as the application process to demolish the former convent building at St. Joseph's remains on pause pending further information from the applicant.

City Planner Cornelius Hoss confirmed last week that the city has still not received supplemental data requested by the Historical Commission at its Nov. 16 meeting, including a more updated history of the 118-year-old fixture at 350 North St., once the original home of what is now Elms College.

It has been more than six years since St. Joseph's announced it had exhausted all options for reuse of the adjacent former convent

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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

Farley-Bouvier Confirms Re-election Bid
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:23AM / Tuesday, January 19, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouiver has confirmed she will seek re-election for a third full term.   The Democrat won the office in a special election in 2011 after Christopher Speranzo took a lifetime appointment in Berkshire Superior Court. Farley-Bouvier first defeated Peter White and Ryan Scago in the Democratic primary and then Green-Rainbow Party Mark Miller, Republican Mark Jester, and independent Pam Malumphy in the general election. She ran unopposed in the following two elections.    She'll face competition in 2016 with Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell's announcement that he intends to seek the 3rd Berkshire representative

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Berkshire Bruins Squirts Win Kittredge Tourney Title
By Stephen Dravis, Sports
02:10PM / Monday, January 18, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Bruins Squirt team was confident it could hold a lead, as long is at Holden between the pipes.   Holden Kotelnicki stopped all six shots he faced — including at least four breakaway opportunities — to lead the homestanding Bruins to a 4-0 win over Northern Berkshire on Monday morning in the championship game of the 45th annual Gib Kittredge Hockey Tournament at the Boys and Girls Club.   "I pulled the guys in, I think it was between the first and second periods when we had a one-goal lead, and I told them we need to play an open and aggressive game because our goalie will pick us up if we slp," Berkshire coach Jarrett

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Pittsfield Principals Present Budget Requests Part 3: Instruction, Supplies, Security
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:10AM / Monday, January 18, 2016

Stearns Principal Aaron Dean said he would like to implement new lessons but the manuals are expensive. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The principals in each of the city's 12 schools wants the most highly trained teachers and their students to be safe.   But at what cost? During an all-day budget workshop on Wednesday the principals all presented what they think they'd need to most effectively operate their schools.   iBerkshires outlined some of the building repairs and staffing needs through two previous stories, all of which would be above and beyond what a $2.8 million increase would cover.    "Every year as we come to this budget process, not including

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Pittsfield Principals Present Budget Requests Part 2: Staffing
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:05PM / Friday, January 15, 2016
  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Williams Elementary School Principal Lisa Buchinski kept her presentation to the School Committee fairly short on Wednesday, knowing she needed to rush back to the school to fill a supervisory role.   The School Committee heard from all 12 principals Wednesday about their wants in the upcoming budget during the daylong session. Buchinski was short staffed because of absences that day and couldn't find a substitute. She put one of the paraprofessional supervisors in a classroom and then took the supervisory role herself.    "For instance today, we are short staffed and I am taking the role of a supervisory paraprofessional when I get

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Jan. 15-21
02:14PM / Friday, January 15, 2016
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Friday-Monday: MLK, Jr. Weekend Rug Sale at The Outlet at Pine Cone Hill   Take another 25% off Dash & Albert area rugs at The Outlet at Pine Cone Hill. Save on sizes 10'x14' to 1.5'x2' in cotton, wool,

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New Neurosurgeon Joins Berkshire Health Systems
02:01PM / Friday, January 15, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems announces the appointment of Dr. Joseph F. Emrich, a board certified and fellowship trained neurosurgeon, to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Neurosurgery Professional Services of BMC.

Emrich is accepting new patients in need of brain and spinal care and provides both surgical and non-surgical treatments. He is partnered with Dr. Steven Will at Neurosurgery Professional Services of BMC.

Emrich most recently served as director of Functional Neurosurgery at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes Barre, Penn. He is familiar with the Berkshire region, having served previously as a

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'The Revenant': Will Haunt You
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:52PM / Friday, January 15, 2016

Director Alejandro González Inarritu's "The Revenant," starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the ultimate survival tale, is the adult equivalent of those scary films when you were little that gave you nightmares for a week, causing Mom to decree, "That's it, no more watching those movies."

Chronicling the mostly true travail of Hugh Glass, a trapper in what would become the Dakota Territory, circa 1823, DiCaprio's tour de force chillingly reminds that the real horrors of life are far more frightening than anything one can conjure.

This is deadly serious stuff, unremitting in its mission to ferociously parallel the terrors capable of being unleashed by both

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The Independent Investor: This Too Shall Pass
By Bill Schmick,
01:17PM / Friday, January 15, 2016

The markets have gone straight down for almost two weeks. The media is becoming more and more pessimistic as the averages plummet. Doom and gloom permeates the investor population. This usually means that opportunity is just around the corner.

In my own world, the telephone has been ringing off the hook and my inbox is full of panicky emails. So this column is for all those clients, readers and prospective clients out there who are wondering what the heck is going on.

First you must take a look at the emotions you are feeling. Fear, anxiety, even panic are just some of the emotions I have identified in my communications with investors. Most of you reading this column, however, have


Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County Expands to Second Location
01:14PM / Friday, January 15, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County -- a program for the county's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender senior citizens and their friends -- will now be meeting twice each month at two different locations: Williamstown and now Pittsfield.

Williamstown potluck lunches and programs will continue to take place from noon to 2 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at the First Congregational Church, 906 Main St.

Starting on Feb. 6, the group will also meet in Pittsfield on the first Saturday of every month, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Berkshire Athenaeum Conference Room.

The Williamstown meetings will continue to focus on a member-supplied pot luck lunch


Will the Presidential Election Affect Investment Outlook?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
01:00PM / Friday, January 15, 2016

We’re just a few weeks away from the first caucuses and primaries, so presidential election season is in full swing. As a voter, you may be keenly interested in the election process. But as an investor, should you be concerned?

If you take a look back, you might be somewhat encouraged over the prospects of the financial markets this year. In the last 12 presidential election years, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been up nine times and down just three. So, election years must be good for the financial markets, right?

Not necessarily. In every year, the markets are influenced by a variety of factors: interest rates, inflation, corporate profits, geopolitical events, economic


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