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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

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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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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@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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Firefighters Learn Extrication Techniques in Dalton
By Marc J. Wrzesinski, Special to iBerkshires
08:06PM / Wednesday, December 30, 2015

DALTON, Mass. — On a chilly and early Saturday morning, more than a dozen new to early-in-their-career firefighters came out to meet with training officers and veterans to learn some valuable skills.

This morning? The proper techniques of extrication from an automobile.

Using a mixture of hydraulic and hand tools from Hurst, the trainees cut into two separate cars and pulled them apart piece by piece.

This was the sixth of seven planned classes, with the final class to be a live fire training drill still to be scheduled. Leading the this extrication class was Dalton Fire Department's Lt. Dave Thomas, with the assistance of Lt. Devon Whalen of Lanesborough Fire Department and

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'The Big Short': Hifalutin' Finance
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:54PM / Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Watching director Adam McKay's "The Big Short," you don't know whether to laugh or cry over the bald-faced bamboozlement perpetrated by the banks, Wall Street and other moneyed interests not quite so easy to identify.

"How could it go on and on?" you ask, and then, in a sober reflection, remind yourself that practically every institution forming the fabric of our civilization looks pretty crooked when you put a magnifying glass to it. It's just that this one, the world of finance, has become especially adept at profiting from humankind's hypocrisy and greed.

But hey, as the catchphrase in the GEICO commercials says, "It's what they do."

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Adams Community Bank Donates $5,000 to Ventfort Hall
11:19AM / Wednesday, December 30, 2015

LENOX, Mass. — Not even a month after Adams Community Bank opened a branch in Lenox, the bank has reached out to the local community with a donation to Ventfort Hall’s matching grant fund.

The $5,000 gift will enable Ventfort Hall to receive additional matching funds to continue the ongoing restoration of the mansion.

One of the core values of the bank is to support and promote their community. Adams Community Bank was founded in 1869, 24 years before the Morgans built Ventfort Hall. Nearly 147 years later, the bank continues to invest in the local community.

“We are thrilled to show our support for such an important part of the history of Lenox and to assist with the

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Time for Some New Year’s (Financial) Resolutions
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:54AM / Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The countdown to 2016 has just about begun. If you’re like many people, you might be mulling over some New Year’s resolutions, such as hitting the gym more, learning a new language or taking a cooking class.

All are worthy goals, but why not add some financial resolutions as well? For example:

* Pay yourself first. Even if you aren’t living “paycheck to paycheck,” you probably don’t have much trouble spending your money – because there’s always something that you or a family member needs, always a repair required for your home or your car, always one more bill to pay. But if you are going to achieve your long-term goals, such as a

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Berkshire Tidbits: Brunch for New Year's
By Judith Lerner, iBerkshires Staff
10:35AM / Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Berkshire Co-op Market
Names New General Manager

Berkshire Co-op Market in Great Barrington announced last week that, after a national search, it has chosen a new general manager. Daniel Esko, currently operations manager for Shire City Herbals in Pittsfield will become the Co-op's new manager.

Esko had worked in a variety of managerial positions at the Co-op and provided support, training and consulting services for a number of other co-ops over a 10 year period before he went to Shire City. He had previously worked at the Kushi Institute store in Becket and at Whole Foods in Boston.


Daniel Esko

"I'm incredibly excited to return to Berkshire Co-op Market," he said.

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Pittsfield Polish Club Still Looking To Reopen
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:30PM / Tuesday, December 29, 2015

John Kerwood is hoping to reopen the Polish Community Club. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — John Kerwood is trying to save the Polish Club.   The Polish Community Club has been shut down for the entirety of 2015 and Kerwood is working through the process to reopen.   Kerwood updated the Licensing Board on Monday about the series of planning and approvals the club needs to reopen this spring.    "We closed at the end of December so in 2015 it wasn't open," Kerwood said. "My realistic goal would be to open as soon as spring time."   In July of 2014 Stella Spence, a past president of the club and licensee for the club's liquor license, died

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Storm Causes Some Delays
08:34AM / Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The first winter storm of the season has caused some minor delays:

 

BCAC OFFICES WILL OPEN AT 10 AM

BERKSHIRE BANK WILL OPEN AT 10 AM

BERKSHIRE COUNTY HEAD START PITTSFIELD/ JOHNSON OPEN NO TRANSPORTATION

BERKSHIRE NORTH  & PITTSFIELD WIC OFFICES WILL OPEN AT 10 AM

CHAIR YOGA AT THE ADAMS SENIOR CENTER CLOSED

CHILD CARE OF THE BERKSHIRES OPEN BUT NO TRANSPORTATION

CREDIT UNION OF THE BERKSHIRES OPENING 10 AM

ELDER SERVICES MEALS ON WHEELS AND CONGREGATE MEALS WILL  NOT BE OPEN OR BE DELIVERED

FOOD BANK OF WESTERN MASS CLOSED

GREYLOCK FEDERAL CREDIT UNION OPEN AT 9:30, This includes: Greylock Federal Credit Union; Greylock Investment Group; Greylock Insurance

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Pittsfield 2015 In Review
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:24AM / Tuesday, December 29, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A heated election stole most of the headlines in 2015, when City Clerk Linda Tyer ousted incumbent Daniel Bianchi to become the city's first four-year mayor.    Tyer launched her campaign in March and then spent the rest of the summer in debates and press events highlighting her focuses on crime, blight, and education. Bianchi meanwhile focused his campaign on continuing the city's efforts focused on youth initiatives and crafting an economy around the advanced manufacturing and life sciences.   But it was Tyer who came out on top with a decisive win over the incumbent in November. Tyer won with a 6,661 votes to 4,502 margin. Voters also

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