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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

BMC Nurses Call Off Strike
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:23AM / Friday, February 23, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The union nurses at Berkshire Medical Center have called off next week's planned strike.   After a late night of last-minute negotiations Thursday, the local Massachusetts Nurses Association chapter opted to withdraw the strike notice as contract negotiations have progressed. The nurses were planning on a one-day strike on Tuesday, which likely have been followed by a lockout.   "We made enough progress to avert the strike scheduled for Tuesday and continue bargaining with the hospital," reads a notice from the local MNA to its membership.   But, "we retain the right to re-issue another 10-day notice for a one-day strike

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Matuszko Tapped As Next BRPC Executive Director
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:44PM / Thursday, February 22, 2018

The full commission made the decision on Thursday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After 21 years with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Thomas Matuszko is poised to become the commission's next executive director.   The commission chose Matuszko out of three finalists Thursday evening. The executive committee will now negotiate terms for employment with Matuszko for him to become just the third executive director since the commission was formed in 1967.    "He has a number of strengths that would serve the agency well," said BRPC Senior Planner Lauren Gaherty, who represented the staff on the search committee. "He knows each community's

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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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'The Art of the Oscar Picks': The Devil Is in The Details
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:04PM / Thursday, February 22, 2018
On a recent gloomy night I pondered weak and weary, not because I was necessarily weak or weary, but because I like the expression and it was time to make my Oscar picks, an annual tradition I abhor with no small amount of dread and disdain. All the same, I was determined that this year's choices would be the likes of which the world has never before seen. Believe me.   They'd be so correct that people would be bored by them. I'm like a smart person. I went to the best schools. I make great deals. All I had to do was get a little help from the outside. It's all the rage, y'know?   Thus it was quite fortuitous that, after channeling the modus operandi of New

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The Independent Investor: Is America Back in the Space Business?
By Bill Schmick,
04:03PM / Thursday, February 22, 2018
If you were watching television this Thursday, you may have caught the launching of a low-orbit Spanish government-commissioned satellite launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The difference between today and 25 years ago is that it was a private company called Space X, rather than NASA, that made it happen.   For old guys like me, space exploration was a big deal while growing up. Americans my age cheered and cried as the U.S. raced for space from the tragic death of the crew of Apollo One in 1967, to the first moon walk in 1969 (and no, I don't mean Michael Jackson). The work day would be put on pause as everyone watched the latest rocket launch from Cape

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Letter: BMC: A North County Perspective
Letter to the Editor,
04:00PM / Thursday, February 22, 2018

To the Editor:

With all of the recent news on Berkshire Medical Center, the registered nurses' contract disputes and a looming second strike by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, we shouldn't be surprised that financial rating agencies have expressed concern for the future of our community hospital.

The costs of the union's demands and funding replacement nurses during the strike, combined with significant reimbursement changes, all have a negative impact on BMC. The community and the nurses' union must understand that we depend on Berkshire Health Systems to be healthy.

I am a North Berkshire resident and business owner, and I have seen up close what Berkshire Health

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Berkshire Pediatric Associates Joins CHP Health Network
02:26PM / Thursday, February 22, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Pediatrics Associates has joined the Community Health Programs health network as of Aug. 1, the latest private medical practice in the Berkshires to merge with the federally qualified health center organization.   With the BPA merger, 12,000 new patients and 33 new employees will bring significant growth to the CHP health network, while CHP will bring administrative efficiencies and resources to the pediatric group.   CHP Berkshire Pediatrics, as it will now be known, will remain in its present location at 777 North St. The Pittsfield practice includes Drs. Jacqueline Jones, Eimear O'Loughlin, Gary Shalan and Betsy Valade, and pediatric

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North Adams Youth Basketball Wraps Up Gaudreau Tourney
Community submission,
09:43AM / Thursday, February 22, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- North Adams Youth Basketball’s John Gaudreau Memorial Tournament was held Freb. 15-19 with 35 teams across four divisions competing at Colegrove Elementary School, Drury High School and the North Adams Armory.   Seventy-two games were played and titles were awarded in four divisions: third- and fourth-grade girls, third- and fourth-grade boys, fifth- and sixth-grade boys and seventh- and eighth-grade boys.   Third-and fourth-grade Girls (nine-team field) The Boys & Girls Club defeated Lenox, 19-10, to claim the title.   Boys & Girls Club's road to the final: Beat Dalton in a play-in game, beat Adams in the first round, beat Greylock

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Groundbreaking For Innovation Center Now Eyed For Spring
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:13AM / Thursday, February 22, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Innovation Center is now eyeing a groundbreaking this spring.   With commitments from the state, city, and the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority, the project's $3 million funding gap is reportedly closed. Officials from all three agencies are finalizing the legal documents and agreements.   "I'm confident, with the cooperation of the state entities, PEDA, and the city, that the capital needs of the BIC entity is being met and this project will move forward," the city's Director of Community Development Deanna Ruffer said. "It is a major step forward in support for applied manufacturing businesses. This is

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Adams Boys Win North Adams' Gaudreau Tournament
Community submission,
10:01PM / Wednesday, February 21, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The Adams seventh- and eighth-grade boys travel team won its third consecutive tournament on Monday, defeating North Adams in the championship of the John Gaudreau Memorial Tournament by a score of 40-39.   Adams started the tournament off by defeating Greylock by a score of 61 - 50. Carson Meczywor had 20 points and Kobe Valois 15 to lead the winners.   Adams then defeated Housatonic, 59-57 in two overtimes. Adams came from 15 points down in the fourth quarter and tied the game on a Caleb Harrington 3-pointer. Adams also came back from a seven-point deficit in the second overtime to win it on two Carson Meczywor foul shots. Meczywor had 29 to pace the

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Snowfall Predictions: Did You Think It Was Spring? LOL
05:45PM / Wednesday, February 21, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The National Weather Service is predicting a wintry mix of precipitation beginning by Thursday and continuing into Saturday.    Tuesday and Wednesday were unseasonably warm and the temperature hit 76 on Main Street in North Adams in afternoon.   It was a mini summer vacation day and a couple cafes dug out their outdoor seating, coats and scarfs were tossed to the side, and motorcycles pulled out of garages. All with inches of dirty snow still lining parking lots and roadways.    It's all over by Thursday, though as temperatures are expected to drop back into the 30s (put away the tank tops and shorts for awhile.) There's potentical

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Berkshire Athenaeum Collects PJs Through Boston Bruins Program
Staff Reports,
11:12AM / Wednesday, February 21, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Blades, the Boston Bruins mascot, made an appearance at the Berkshire Athenaeum on Tuesday.   Oh, and the commonwealth's first lady Lauren Baker was there too.   The pair came to the library to collect pajamas to give to the children in the care of the Department of Children and Families. The annual program collects pajamas throughout the state through libraries. It was formed by former Bruins Forward P.J. Axelsson and his wife Siw in 2007. This year's goal is collect 15,000 pairs statewide.   "It is a program in collaboration with the Boston Bruins and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners," said Samantha Cesario, the

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Conceptual Plans For Pittsfield Dog Park Created, City Seeks Design Funding
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:47AM / Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The park is eyed to be created on land inside Burbank Park. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city will apply for grant funds next month to design a dog park.   The Parks Commission gave its approval of a preliminary design crafted by Berkshire Design Group. The plans call for two areas — one for small dogs and one for all dogs — with walking paths, mounds for dogs to run up and down, shade, decorative fire hydrants, shade, water fountains for the dogs, and a 21-car parking lot.    Next, the city hopes to reel in a grant from the Stanton Foundation to finalize a design.   "You are looking anywhere for an acre, acre and a half of the all dog area and a

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