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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Congressman Neal Delivers Brownfields Grants To Pittsfield, BRPC
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:01PM / Friday, October 30, 2015
Mayor Daniel Bianchi, Nancy Barmakian, director of U.S. EPA's Region 1 office of site remediation and restoration, and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal at the Stetson site on Friday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is helping the city complete an assessment of the pollution at the former Stetson Dry Cleaners.    On Friday, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal joined officials from the EPA to present a $350,000 check to the city for the work. The EPA awarded the grant back in May.    The building, which once sat behind City Hall, was abandoned by the owner and had fallen into disrepair. The city used Community Development Block Grant funding to


The Independent Investor: Budget Deal Craters Social Security Strategies
By Bill Schmick,
06:14PM / Friday, October 30, 2015

The congressional budget deal that was passed last night will have a dramatic impact on several Social Security strategies. If you have been using, or considering using, the file and suspend clause to increase your Social Security payments, think again.

Back in February of this year, I wrote a column on "How to make the most out of Social Security." I explained that you could improve your total social security benefits, as well as your spouse's, by almost 13 percent by the time you both reach the age of 70. It's called "file and suspend" and occurs when the Social Security claimant files for benefits and then suspends receiving them, while collecting benefits


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

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Oct. 30-Nov. 5
01:35PM / Friday, October 30, 2015
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Friday: Halloween Parade at Berkshire Athenaeum
Come Trick or Treat through the library in your Halloween costume! Library staff will be giving out treats (no tricks!). The Halloween Parade begins promptly at 11:00 AM in the Children's Library. Groups welcome. No registration required. Children under age 10 must be accompanied by an adult age 18 or older, at all times.
Friday, October


Brien Center Staffer Receives ABH’s Moe Armstrong Award for Peer Leadership
01:31PM / Friday, October 30, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Association for Behavioral Healthcare, a statewide organization representing more than 80 community-based behavioral healthcare provider organizations, has honored Colleen Sondrini-Cooper, the Recovery Services coordinator at The Brien Center, with the Moe Armstrong Award for Peer Leadership for her exceptional contribution to the development and strengthening of the role of consumers in addiction treatment services.

Each year, ABH recognizes individuals and groups that have made impressive contributions to the field of mental health and addiction treatment.

"On behalf of ABH, we want to thank all of today's award recipients for the important work

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Two Labor Organizations Endorse Bianchi for Mayor
12:14PM / Friday, October 30, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Laborers Local 473 and the Berkshire County Building and Construction Trades Council have endorsed incumbent Daniel Bianchi for a third term.

Laborers Local 473 represents 700 working men and women in the heavy and highway construction, building and trades, custodial, and pre-cast concrete industries. Local 473 Business Manager Ronald E. Holmes cited Bianchi's commitment to economic development the cornerstone of their endorsement.

According to Holmes, "the mayor has led the enormous effort to secure millions of dollars to create the Berkshire Innovation Center, the creation of his Small Business Fund within City Hall, the one-stop shop for permitting,

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Superior Court Briefs: Oct. 26 - Oct. 29
Staff Reports,
10:12AM / Friday, October 30, 2015
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, Oct. 26.   Michael Abdalla Jr., 53, of Lee had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of misleading a police officer or other person.   He was released on personal recognizance. Abdalla is accused of failing into provide video tape evidence from Michaels Restaurant to the police in a motor vehicle homicide investigation. The incident allegedly occurred in Stockbridge on April 4, 2015.   Anthony Mejias, 34, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - and conspiracy to violate drug laws.   He was


'Steve Jobs': Doesn't Get to the Core of the Apple
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
09:14AM / Friday, October 30, 2015

Whether meant to be a metaphor, simile, allegory or any of those other words describing an indirect representation of something or another, director Danny Boyle's eponymously titled "Steve Jobs" uses not a plot, but rather, an operating system to tell its tale. This latest attempt to nail down just who this enigmatic genius behind the PC revolution was is told via the events surrounding three major product launches. Each is a grand, staged event attended by adoring devotees and the press, where cataclysmic push comes to shove each time.

While I'd bet a gaggle of gigabytes that the grandiloquent speeches and pontifications serving as backstage dialogue at each of the


MassDOT's Hearing Procedures Anger Berkshire Residents
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:10AM / Friday, October 30, 2015
MassDOT Aeronautics Division Administrator Jeffrey DeCarlo refused to change format despite many in the crowd calling for public conversation. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County's feeling that the state doesn't listen to them when it comes to transportation needs was further exasperated Thursday night.   The Massachusetts Department of Transportation held what was billed as a "community conversation" in City Hall and attracted more than two dozen residents and town officials.   But, instead of holding a "capital conversation," MassDOT officials shuttled people to take online surveys and to have private conversations with


Pittsfield School Committee Reacts to Herberg Gun Situation
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:20PM / Thursday, October 29, 2015
The School Committee praised the response of school staff but also called for a closer look at security policies.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee commended the work of Principal Gina Coleman, Herberg staff, and the students for the handling of a recent incident when a middle schooler was found to have a loaded gun in his locker.   The committee said the Herberg community followed procedures to a T, but expressed concern that the student was able to get the weapon into the school in the first place.    "Having something real and very public in our back yard was shocking to say the least," said committee member Joshua Cutler. "This is a


License Board Urges Sale of Three Pittsfield Restaurants
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:44AM / Thursday, October 29, 2015
John Herbert was asked to return to the board with a signed agreement with a broker to sell the former Debbie Wong's Restaurant or he'll lose the license. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three former restaurants remain on the market but their liquor licenses may be in jeopardy.   The former Debbie Wong's, Charlie's Restaurant, and Chameleons were all brought before the Licensing Board on Monday for an update on progress to sell the licenses.   The board is trying to get the licenseholders to sell at least their license — if not the entire restaurant — so it doesn't have to revoke it. If the license is revoked, it means there would be one less

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Miss Hall’s School Announces AP Scholars
02:49PM / Wednesday, October 28, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Thirty-two Miss Hall’s School students, including 28 recent graduates and 11 local students, have been named by the College Board as AP Scholars, in recognition of their exceptional achievements on the 2015 Advanced Placement (AP) Exams.

The AP Scholar designation means that the students earned a 3 or better — using a 5-point grading system — on three or more of the rigorous AP Exams, which are administered in May. This year, 88 MHS girls sat for 163 exams in 22 subject areas, and 91 percent of those exams earned qualifying scores, according to the College Board, which oversees the AP program.

Among the local students recognized as AP Scholars,

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Berkshire Taconic Announces New President
12:34PM / Wednesday, October 28, 2015

SHEFFIELD, Mass.— The board of directors of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation have appointed Peter Taylor as president.

Taylor, who was selected after a national search, will be the fourth president in the foundation’s nearly 30-year history.

Taylor comes to Berkshire Taconic from the Maine Community Foundation, a statewide community foundation with $400 million in assets and 1,500 funds, where he currently serves as vice president of program development and grantmaking services.

“We are thrilled that Peter Taylor will join us to lead Berkshire Taconic into the future,” said Bill Dunlaevy, chair of the board of directors. “His track record of fostering

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