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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

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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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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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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No on 2 Campaign Rallies in Pittsfield as Election Day Nears
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:11PM / Saturday, October 29, 2016

MTA President Barbara Madeloni said so far 'the 413 is no on 2.' PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Corporations and big business cannot buy public education.   That is the message that those opposing Question 2, a ballot initiative calling for raising the cap on charter schools by a dozen, is sending.
  The opposition says the expansion of the charter school system will devastate the traditional public school system by allocating more public funding to the privately-run schools.   "The message you are sending across the nation is powerful. What you are saying is that big business, corporations, you cannot buy public education. That's the message that needs to

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Pittsfield Keeping Eye on Overtime Budgets; Revenues Trending Fine
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:55AM / Saturday, October 29, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's Finance Department is closely tracking expense numbers for overtime and veterans programming, as those budget lines are trending at a higher rate of spending than allocated.   Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood provided an update on the city's budget Thursday night to the City Council's Finance Subcommittee. Kerwood said after only one quarter, projections are difficult but those big-ticket sectors are on his radar.   "We are trending to be in excess of the appropriate amount in veterans programming, police and fire overtime, and scheduled overtime," Kerwood said.   Kerwood said the largest overtime spending is

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Letter: David vs Goliath
Letters to the Editor,
03:00PM / Friday, October 28, 2016

To the Editor:

My comments about the Massachusetts Senate race for our district: Berkshire, Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin).

I watched debates, read the articles, saw and heard local TV and radio appearances and have seen Facebook posts for both candidates. There are major differences between the two! Hurrah, a clear choice.

As a treasurer for a candidate many years ago, I know how to peek at the campaign finance reports (Everyone can: check OCPF for MA, next report 10/31). As of the end of August, Adam Hinds' campaign had reported $75,067 in donations and spent $54,681 vs Christine Canning-Wilson reporting $3,185 [in donations] and spending $2,922.

Seems like a financial Goliath

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Letter: Support Community Preservation Act
02:44PM / Friday, October 28, 2016

To the Editor:

Becket passed the [Community Preservation Act] law in 2009. The projects that have been approved since passage are projects that otherwise would have been difficult for the town to fund in a timely manner. We passed the law after almost two years of public outreach and public hearings.

We have a 1.5 percent surcharge, with businesses, low and moderate income seniors, and property with $100,000 or less assessed value exempt. We have been able to raise, with the state contribution, about $41,000 annually. Our projects have included headstone repair at three cemeteries, playground equipment, funds for the Becket Athenaeum structural repairs, the Becket Art Center structural

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'Jack Reacher: Never Go Back': Doesn't Quite Grab You
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:35PM / Friday, October 28, 2016

It is what it is.

I contemplated saving approximately 805 words by simply having the above overworked phrase stand as my review of director Edward Zwick's "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back." However, despite its relatively appropriate description of this action-thriller starring Tom Cruise as the title maverick, fear of a random audit by the American Film Critics Oversight Committee induced me to proceed with the usual study in tortured prose that follows.

In this second film based on the character developed by novelist Lee Child, the ex-military police major-turned-vigilante once again fights for truth, justice and the American way — in his very own way. Expect the usual

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Republic Services Donates $1,000, Food to South Congregational Pantry
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:56AM / Friday, October 28, 2016

Dan Higgins of Republic Service, pantry organizers Mary Wheat, the Rev. Joel Huntington, Mayor Linda Tyer, and Deb Bolesky of Republic Services on Thursday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Republic Services donated $1,000 and boxes and boxes of food to the South Congregational Food Pantry on Thursday.   The money will go toward buying more food, particularly meat and vegetables, and the company restocked the starches, with dozens of boxes of pasta, macaroni and cheese and the like.   The church served a total of 588 families last month, the highest it has seen, and the organizers expect even more with the onset of winter.   The pantry is open to all residents in Berkshire

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Hickson Rejoins Berkshire Bank as SVP Commercial Regional President
11:22AM / Friday, October 28, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Jim Hickson has rejoined Berkshire Bank as senior vice president/commercial regional president for the Pioneer Valley and Connecticut markets.

In his new role, Hickson will focus on growing the Commercial Lending Business, as well as, expanding relationships with products and services offered through the bank's other business lines, including wealth management, private banking, insurance and retail banking.
 
Hickson brings to the bank more than 26 years of financial experience. His previous roles include Commercial Banking Team Leader for People's United, SVP ABL Relationship Manager Berkshire Bank, and also held positions within TD Bank, KPMG

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Superior Court Briefs: Oct. 24 - Oct. 27
Staff Reports,
11:15AM / Friday, October 28, 2016
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, October 24.   Ronald Palazoo, 77, of Sandisfield, pleaded guilty to three counts of rape of a child with force, three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, and intimidation of a witness or other person.   He was ordered to serve concurrent three to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. Palazzo sexually assaulted a boy, not age 6, in Sandisfield between September 3, 2012, and July 11, 2015.   Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, October 25.   Brian Signor, 27, a homeless man, entered a not guilty plea of manslaughter in connection with the

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