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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Board Denies Permit for Solar Field
By Joe Durwin, Pittsfield Correspondent
07:11AM / Sunday, April 17, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's Zoning Board of Appeals struck down a proposed solar array site in west Pittsfield, following opposition from residential neighbors abutting the land.

By a 3-2 vote, the board ruled against the request from Aegis Renewable Energy to construct a 2.6-megawatt solar facility on undeveloped Churchill Street land.

The project had faced substantial neighbor opposition at a prior public hearing on Feb. 24, prompting developers to look at ways that its visual impact could be reduced with vegetative screening.

James Scalise of SK Design said that while the initial plan called for "a fairly dense screen" (berm) of plantings to obscure the solar


Activist Protest Pipeline As Court Case Over Easements Begin
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:49PM / Friday, April 15, 2016

Cars passing Park Square on Friday afternoon were greeted with signs of protest.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A court case with the potential for massive long-term repercussions regarding natural gas pipelines began to play out Friday.

Outside of Berkshire Superior Court, around a hundred activists gathered to protest Kinder Morgan's plans.

The Texas-based pipeline company has two proposed routes cutting through Berkshire County. The Connecticut expansion is eyed to cut through Sandisfield and has become the subject of a lawsuit in which the corporation is seeking the ability to cut trees to begin construction on land the state constitution protects.   The company is seeking


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

MassDOT Updates Berkshire Construction Projects
03:58PM / Friday, April 15, 2016

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation released an update on the current status of two streetscape improvement projects and one bridge construction project located in Great Barrington, Pittsfield and Dalton.

The Main Street Project in Great Barrington offers various streetscape improvements to the town’s business district.  The project consists of resurfacing and/or replacement of full depth pavement on Main Street from Taconic Avenue North to Cottage Street, a distance of 0.51 miles. The work includes pavement repair, pavement milling and overlay, sidewalk repair, traffic signal improvements and pavement markings, and additional landscape and streetscape improvements.


Greylock Federal Credit Union Holds Youth Week
03:07PM / Friday, April 15, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union will hold its annual Youth Week celebration from April 16-23 with the theme “Pump Up Your Savings.”

“Passport to New Adventure” lanyards and free tickets for the week’s events are available at all Greylock branches beginning Saturday, April 16. The annual event fosters financial education among young people in Berkshire County through free fun events and activities designed to enhance skills for managing money and savings.

“The goal of Greylock’s Youth Week is to instill the habit of saving at a young age, offering positive encouragement, and providing financial education to young


Superior Court Briefs: April 12 - April 14
Staff Reports,
02:28PM / Friday, April 15, 2016
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, April 12.   Stephanie Carsno, 31, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - her second offense - and conspiracy to violate drug laws.   She was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at her home on March 4, 2016.   Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Thursday, April 14.   John Hobart III, 31, of Housatonic pleaded guilty to seven counts of larceny over $250, five counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, and single counts of possession


'The Boss': Corners the Funny Business
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:58PM / Friday, April 15, 2016

It has been suggested that Melissa McCarthy's scurrilous business tycoon in director-husband Ben Falcone's "The Boss" is a female Donald Trump. Indeed, there are similarities, the main difference being that McCarthy's robber baron is likeable. While equally egocentric, delusional and selfish to a fault, we sense there's a moral core there somewhere. Fact is, real-life people rarely repent and change their spots. So we count on fictitious Scrooges to seek redemption and please our innate sense of right and wrong.

A prologue detailing a childhood scarred by abandonment explains the psychology that went into creating McCarthy's Michelle Darnell, the mogul


Cultural Pittsfield This Week: April 15-21
10:54AM / Friday, April 15, 2016
    April 15 - 21,


The Independent Investor: Have You Had 'The Talk' Yet?
By Bill Schmick,
02:18PM / Thursday, April 14, 2016

Whether you are a Baby Boomer or the child of one, it is about time you faced the music.

We all know that life ends, no matter how hard we try to ignore it. Having a family meeting before it is too late may save all of you needless heartache and financial turmoil.

Today, we are in the midst of an enormous transfer of wealth within America. Trillions of dollars of assets are passing from one generation to another and will continue to do so over the next couple of years. And whenever large amounts of money are involved, there is a need for knowledge, advice and estate planning. You can't do that if you or your family is in the dark when it comes to family finances.

Most experts will


Soccer Domain Academy Teams Split Opening Weekend Games
Community submission,
12:00PM / Thursday, April 14, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The opening weekend of the spring season saw all Soccer Domain Academy travel teams on the road and looking forward to start the season.

Both the U13 girls and U14 boys opened with victories. The U15 girls and U12 boys both lost.

It was a great day for the opening Sunday of the season the sun was shining and everyone was keen for their matches to get under way, SDA teams travelled towards Boston for their fixtures all looking to achieve the best possible start of the season.

The U13 girls began with a fantastic start to their campaign, a 2-1 win against a strong GPS Metro Boston team. The girls kept their shape and discipline throughout the match and fought hard to


Biz Briefs: April 14-20
11:49AM / Thursday, April 14, 2016
Ruby Sparks is celebrating five years in business.

Grants for businesses: The Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation is seeking applicants for matching grants of up to $5,000 that it can award to businesses in Pittsfield and Berkshire County for technical assistance services, such as financial, architectural, legal, engineering, or specialized business planning services.  The funding was awarded to PERC by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation.

The purpose of the technical assistance grant program is to help small businesses with 20 or fewer employees expand, grow, improve their operations and create jobs.  All individuals, especially women, minorities,


Pittsfield Council Supports Having Option Of Contracting With Law Firm
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Thursday, April 14, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The mayor now has the option of hiring a staff person or a law firm to be the city solicitor. Well, at least according to city code.    The City Council approved a language change in the city code that changes "city solicitor" to "city solicitor/ legal firm." The intent of the change is to give Mayor Linda Tyer the ability to look at both forms of representation when considering options to fill the position on a more permanent basis.   Getting such a change, however, came with a lengthy discussion amongst the councilors, with opponents fighting the language change to prevent a law firm from being contracted.   Councilor at


Lanesborough Looks To Raise Retirees' Share of Health Insurance
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:40PM / Wednesday, April 13, 2016
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Town officials are looking to increase the percentage retirees pay in health care as a way to save the town money.   The Board of Selectmen peppered attorney Adam Dupere with questions Monday night about Supreme Court rulings that give municipalities the ability to change the split without renegotiations or a vote at town meeting.   Dupere said he felt it was clear that the town have the ability to change the percentage with just a public hearing and vote of the Board of Selectmen. He said likely there'd be a challenge by the unions but it'd be a challenge he doesn't believe would hold up in court.   The only rule surrounding the

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