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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Letter: Question 2 Contrary to the Commonwealth
Letters to the Editor,
05:00PM / Tuesday, November 01, 2016

To the Editor:

Charter schools are an expensive proposition in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with no oversight from our locally elected officials.  This year over $400 million will be diverted from local school districts to fund these privately managed schools.

The broad coalition that has organized against this misguided ballot initiative speaks to its significance.  Why would over 135 organizations including the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association, the NAACP, and both major teachers unions (MTA and AFT) be against the proposal?  Why have over 200 schools committees, 23 town boards and city councils, and 31 mayors said No On 2?  It’s the simple

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MCLA to Host 2nd Annual Berkshire Natural History Conference
03:21PM / Tuesday, November 01, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The second annual Berkshire Natural History Conference will feature presentations by local and regional naturalists as well as acclaimed authors on Saturday, Nov. 5, at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Church Street Center.

"This annual event will bring natural history home to the Berkshires," said Tom Tyning, a professor of environmental science at Berkshire Community College and a lead organizer of the event. "We are really excited to gather programs and like-minded people together to help understand and appreciate the deep natural heritage that surrounds us all in the Berkshires."

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is

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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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Kennedy Rallies Berkshire Dems For Final Election Push
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:14PM / Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Those in attendance gathered for a quick group photo before heading back to work on the campaign efforts for Democratic candidates. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There is a lot of frustration with politics, especially on the national level, shown throughout this campaign season. While local Democrats say they understand it, they want to take seats in government to fix the causes of that frustration.   "For those who are so frustrated, and we have to acknowledge that frustration comes from a very real place for far too many people — an economy that despite our best efforts is leaving a lot of folks behind or in danger thereof, we've got a criminal justice system where

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Pittsfield Police Bringing Charges in 'G' Vandalism Case
04:54PM / Monday, October 31, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police believe they have nabbed the vandal who's been spray painting the letter "G" all over the city.

Lt. Gary Traversa reported on Monday that nine counts of vandalism will be filed against one George O'Neil, 38, of  Lincoln Street.

The department's been investigating the appearance of the mysterious "Gs" painted on numerous road signs, utility boxes, bridges, and both public and private buildings throughout the city since early September. It was not believed to be related in any way to gang activity and police were sure it was one person doing the tagging.

The majority of the vandalism had not been directly reported to

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Police Warn of 'Bail Money' Phone Scam
03:08PM / Monday, October 31, 2016

RICHMOND, Mass. — Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless says some Berkshire County residents are being victimized by a telephone scam.  

Over the past several days, the State Police Barracks in Lee has investigated several incidents in Richmond involving telephone fraud. In this scheme, the caller claims to be a relative, says they have been arrested and asks the person answering the call to send bail money. In many instances, the caller has accurate personal information about the person being called as well as information about the family member they are impersonating, information which is easily obtained on the internet.  

The victim is then asked to send cash,

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Biz Briefs: Canyon Ranch Unveils Luxury Residences in Lenox
01:38PM / Monday, October 31, 2016

Luxury living: Canyon Ranch has launched Canyon Ranch Residences at Bellefontaine, a collection of exquisitely-designed condominiums at its 120-acre Lenox. location. William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty Great Barrington, Mass., agents Gladys Montgomery and Marc Bachman will serve as the exclusive sales and marketing agents for the property.

Located on the grounds of the historic Bellefontaine Mansion in the heart of the Berkshires – approximately two hours from Boston and three hours from New York – the Residences at Bellefontaine will be comprised of 19 beautifully-appointed luxury condos ranging in price from $1.35 million to $3.5 million, all of which will have

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Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Awards $769,000 in Fall Grants Cycle
12:26PM / Monday, October 31, 2016

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — The board of directors of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation have announced the recipients of the third round of grantmaking for 2016.

The foundation distributed a total of $50,134 in grants to individuals and nonprofits in the four-county region it serves and grants totaling nearly $720,000 from donors with charitable funds at the foundation.

In Berkshire County, the foundation awarded grants from the Gateway Fund and Pauline Young Music Fund, both of which support projects for students in the North Adams School District.

Arts and Culture: Grants to arts organizations and arts programs in North Adams totaled $17,324. Select grant recipients include: Drury

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Fantastic four on the road for Soccer Domain Academy
12:14PM / Monday, October 31, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Soccer Domain Academy's travel teams managed four wins in five matches on the road around the commonwealth the weekend of Oct. 22 and 23.   U11 Girls From the outset, SDA controlled the game with greater amount of possession leading to a range of opportunities for SDA to score. The organized and structured defending limited GPS to very few attacking opportunities. SDA took the lead around 10 minutes before the break following another exciting attacking play by the team.   As the second half got under way, SDA continued to maintain the ball and achieve a higher possession percentage, the visitors created opportunities but couldn’t convert. GPS took

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Berkshires Beat: Cheshire Celebrates Halloween
11:35AM / Monday, October 31, 2016

Spooktacular: The Cheshire Elementary School PTG hosted its annual Halloween Dance Party on Friday, Oct. 21, in the school auditorium. DJ Bob Heck of Bob Heck Entertainment played music and games with the kids. The kids danced and played the night away.

The Hoosac Valley Cheerleaders came and volunteered their time to help run the game and craft tables. Many parent volunteers helped out to make this such a successful event. Each child came in their favorite costume and some parents dressed up as well. There was a large assortment of donated baked goods and treats. Each child received a pumpkin as they left and the pumpkins were donated by Whitney's Farm.


Know about voting: State

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Western Mass Food Bank Sets Eyes On Root Causes of Hunger
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Monday, October 31, 2016

Those in attendance formed small working groups to discuss the most important causes to tackle, and then strategies to do just that.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Western Massachusetts Food Bank wants to do more than just provide emergency meals for those in need.

They want to dig deeper.

The group's task force to end hunger has the goal of doing exactly what's its title suggests: to end hunger in the region.   On Saturday, the task force was in Pittsfield meeting with various service groups to identify which root causes together the agencies can start tackling, and how to do it.   "We are feeding people day in and day out because it is necessary," said

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Quinto Wins Junior Golf Event at Waubeeka
iBerkshires.com Sports,
03:30PM / Sunday, October 30, 2016
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Under cloudy skies and cool fall temperatures, Kevin Quinto of Pittsfield High School Saturday won the American Junior Golf Association qualifier at Waubeeka Golf Links.   Quinto carded an even par 71 with three birdies and three bogeys.   South Windsor, Conn.’s, Jared Walter was second with a 4-over 75, but the highlight of the day was when he aced the 140-yard No. 7 using a Taylor Made 9 iron and a Titleist Prov1x.   First alternate position went to Connor Piecuch of East Longmeadow High School. Second alternate was Monica Mo of Guangzhou, China, by way of Pittsfield’s Miss Hall’s School.   The AJGA Preview Event now has a full

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Kiwanis' Park of Honor Program Continues to Grow
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:43AM / Sunday, October 30, 2016
 
Cheryl Tripp Cleveland  and Jack Nogueira hosted the event.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Park of Honor keeps growing.   In its third year, the Kiwanis Club of Pittsfield has gotten even more flag sponsors and has filled Park Square and even expanded to a park in Sheffield.   The organization has sold more than 740 flags in honor of veterans, the profits of which will go to college scholarships for children and grandchildren of veterans.   "The best part of the project is it is growing and it keeps growing," said Chairman Real Gadoury, who said more than $24,000 will be raised through the local effort.   "Now we have at least five

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