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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pro-CPA Group Provides Informational Session on Ballot Question
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:51AM / Friday, October 07, 2016

John Dickson envisions the CPA as being an extra revenue source to help save historic buildings. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Historical Commissioner John Dickson watched as the former Plunkett School was torn down.

He heard the news that the former St. Mary the Morning Star was eyed for the wrecking ball. He saw the St. Joseph's convent torn down.

He sees these buildings being torn down. But, he also sees developers looking to cobble together funds to save some. He writes letters of recommendations for historic tax credits but so often it isn't enough.    "A number of churches in our community are at risk of not being able to maintain themselves and what

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Zion Lutheran Church Donates Hand Warmers To Pittsfield First Responders
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:00PM / Thursday, October 06, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Often during the winter first responders are out in bitter cold weather for extended periods of time.   The Zion Lutheran Church recognized that and decided to help keep them warm. On Thursday the church donated 840 hand and foot warmers for the Police Department, Fire Department, and the two ambulance services to share this winter.    "Come the winter time, it gets cold, it gets bitter out there and it is just comfortable to be able to warm you hands up," Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said. "Even last night, it was a fall evening but I did notice how cool it had gotten by 10, 11 o'clock last night. You needed to have a jacket. In

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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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'Queen of Katwe': Commanding Performance
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:28PM / Thursday, October 06, 2016

You should see director Mira Nair's "Queen of Katwe," especially if you want to feel miserable, sad, perhaps a little guilty, frustrated and angry on the way to becoming a better person.

It's the true story of how Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan girl, had her life changed after learning the game of chess. But that's just the movie's way to get us into Poorest Africa … to abash us with its divulgences of the Third World. Expect no really great surprises. What an absolute downer it would be if the impoverished Phiona had no talent to pull her from the muck and mire of squalor.

None of this is to say that folks with absolutely no social conscience won't find

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Letter: Flavored Tobacco Products and Children
Letters to the Editor,
11:32AM / Thursday, October 06, 2016

To the Editor:

As the school year begins, let's be aware that youth are being targeted by the tobacco industry. Big Tobacco is sweet talking our kids with products that are sweet, cheap, and easy to get. Fruit and candy flavors in little cigars, chewing tobacco, hookahs, electronic cigarettes and e-liquids attract youth and contain varying amounts of nicotine that can lead to nicotine addiction.

The tobacco industry has been producing these tobacco products using the same flavor chemicals found in candy and soft drink products like Life Savers, Jolly Ranchers, and Kool-Aid. Yet they are NOT harmless. The tobacco industry is using these flavors to attract youth to products that are

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Letter: Thank You From the Gaspardi Family
Letters to the Editor,
11:00AM / Thursday, October 06, 2016

To the Editor:

The family of Bryan Gaspardi, who recently passed away, would like to extend our deepest appreciation to everyone who supported us during this difficult time with your thoughts, prayers, gifts and love. We feel truly blessed to be surrounded by so many special people.

Sharon Flanagan

 

 

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Pittsfield May Have To Allow Tobacco Sales At Gas Man Location
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Thursday, October 06, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Despite the Board of Health's attempts to keep a tobacco retailer from moving into 730 East St., one might be coming.   The Board of Health had previously denied a tobacco license to Naveed Asif and Zameer Alhaq, who purchased the former O'Connell's on East Street in September 2015. The application had come right after the board opted to cap the number of permits, so there wasn't any new permits available.   Despite pressure from the mayor and city councilors, the Board of Health stuck to its regulations and denied the permit.   However, a new application from Rina Shah to run a gas station with a tobacco license may have legal

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One Man Injured In Pittsfield Structure Fire
By Andy McKeever,
11:09PM / Wednesday, October 05, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — One many was taken to Berkshire Medical Center for burns following a structure fire on West Street Wednesday night.   Around 8:30 a passerby coming from Berkshire Community College noticed the flames and reported that there was somebody inside the house at the time. When firefighters arrived, they found a fully involved structure fire but, luckily, the man inside the building had already gotten out.    "When we got dispatched it was reported as a house fully involved with people inside, which gets your heat rate up right away because you feel like you are going to have to do a very difficult rescue. On arrival, it was relieving to find the only

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Pittsfield Subcommittee Endorses Plan To Save Covanta
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:20PM / Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Mayor Linda Tyer said the city's role is just one in a collaborative effort to keep the company operating and if successful, the city would advert a large annual increase in cost.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Whether it be because of city finances, local jobs, or the environment, the Committee on Community and Economic Development feels spending $562,000 to keep Covanta open makes sense.   The City Council subcommittee voted 4-1 in favor of allocating the money from the Pittsfield Economic Development Fund to help Covanta replace a backup boiler, and cover the area recyclables are processes to comply with a state requirement.   In return, the company promises to stay

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Guard Against Identity Theft - And Protect Your Finances
10:24AM / Wednesday, October 05, 2016

In 2015 alone, more than 13 million Americans were victimized by identity theft, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. What can you do to guard your identity and protect yourself from potential financial losses?

Here are some ideas to consider:

* Review your statements. Closely review the monthly statements from your checking and other financial accounts. If you find any unfamiliar charges, contact your bank or other financial services provider immediately.

* Order your credit reports. The three credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian – are each required by law to provide you one free credit report a year. Make sure your name, address and other

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Pittsfield Ends Residency Requirement Debate
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:00PM / Tuesday, October 04, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city will not implement a residency requirement for those who serve on boards and commissions.

The City Council's Ordinance and Rules Committee filed the citizen's petition asking for such a rule on Monday night, after it had been sent back to the committee a second time. The petition was filed by resident David Pill and the subcommittee began its deliberations in May.   After failing to come to an agreement on it, it was sent back to the full City Council for debate last month, only for the council to send it back to the committee level.   "He brought this to me some months ago. We met, talked about it, and then after he submitted the

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Nationwide Creepy Clown Hoax Comes To The Berkshires
Staff Reports,
04:20PM / Tuesday, October 04, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The nationwide spree of reported sightings of menacing clowns has reached the Berkshires.   For months police departments across the country have been fielding calls reporting clowns making threats, chasing people, or luring children - most of which have been hoaxes. The reports have caused disruptions in schools, even prompting school closures and lockdowns on college campuses.    On Monday, Pittsfield Police received two calls reporting such instances. According to scanner reports, the first call claimed a clown was chasing a person on Tyler Street. Later, a second call reported clowns on Wahconah Street, possibly with weapons.    On

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BNRC Releases Plan For Countywide Hiking Trail Network
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:29AM / Tuesday, October 04, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Natural Resources Council envisions a day when one can walk through a network of trails to each and every town in the Berkshires.   The organization has been working for the last couple years to do just that. The organization has raised $4.25 million toward the creation and maintenance of such a network.    "It is sort of a counterpart to the Appalachian Trail," President Tad Ames said, explaining that the network will allow someone to travel on foot the length of Berkshire County, stopping in at towns, staying a local hotels, while not having to carry food for a long trip.   The concept is something that's been done

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