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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Cooperative Bank Names Compliance Officer
11:21AM / Friday, September 30, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank has named Ed Schumann as compliance officer.

"The area of compliance continues to change and evolve as new regulations are established and implemented," said J. Jay Anderson, president and CEO of the 127-year old financial institution. "We will all benefit as Ed applies his knowledge and experience in leading this critical function."

In this role, Schumann is responsible for ensuring all areas of the bank abide by all applicable laws and regulations.

Prior to this role, Schumann served as the branch manager at the Pittsfield Cooperative's Great Barrington location.  
A graduate of Queens College, he


Berkshire Museum Board of Trustees Elects New President
11:13AM / Friday, September 30, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The gavel was passed to a new president at the annual meeting of the Berkshire Museum’s Board of Trustees held Monday, Sept. 26.

Elizabeth "Buzz" Hayes McGraw is taking the reins as president; she has been a trustee since 2008 and has served as vice-president since 2013. William “Bill” Hines Jr. will resume his role as a trustee after serving as president for five years; he joined the board in 2007.

"There are great things happening at the Berkshire Museum, and I am honored to step up and lead the board as we continue with our strategic master planning process," said McGraw. "The master plan is an unprecedented


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

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Sept. 30-Oct. 6
10:38AM / Friday, September 30, 2016

  VIEW DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR       September 30 - October 6,


Pittsfield Pols Discuss Importance of Millennial Voters At BCC Forum
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:54AM / Friday, September 30, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In just a few short years, college students will be graduated, looking for work, buying a home, having children, and pay off loads of student debt.

But right now they aren't thinking of that, at least not in the political sense.

The 18- to 29-year-old age bracket votes at a much lower rate than older generations. And because of that, it is easier for politicians to craft their views around the population that put them in office — ignoring the issues of the young.

"The 18-to-29 age group only has at best a 45 percent turnout. The highest voting group of people are over 60 and 72 percent turn out to vote, at least 72 percent. You want want


Pittsfield Weighing All Aspects of Trash Collection
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:05AM / Friday, September 30, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The group looking at a possible overhaul of the city's trash collection is putting nearly everything on the table.   The Resource  Recovery Committee met for its second meeting this month in its ongoing look into changing the way the trash system operates. Currently, the city has a curbside pickup model in which Republic Services collects all of the trash and brings it to Covanta, where it is burned to make energy to sell to Crane & Co.   The recycling is transported from Covanta to a recycler who pays the city based on tonnage and market value. The city gets a minimum of $10 a ton for single-steam and there is profit sharing should the


Eclipse Mill Quilt Exhibit Translates LeWitt Into Textiles
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:10PM / Thursday, September 29, 2016

Carson Converse, left, and Michelle Jensen at Friday's reception.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A new exhibit at the Eclipse Mill Gallery proves artist Sol LeWitt could have been a quilter. Or more to the point, a pattern maker.

The late artist was a leader in the conceptual movement and believed art was as much about the idea as the execution, and therefore could be reproduced. That concept is behind the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts' retrospective of 105 wall works, all produced on site from LeWitt's explicit instructions.

Those ideas also are on full display in "Sew'l eWitt: Quilts Inspired by Sol LeWitt," presented by the Northampton Modern Quilt


Pittsfield Man Drowns In Pontoosuc Lake
Staff Reports,
04:31PM / Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Fire Department was called to the scene after reports of the body in the water. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The body of a 73-year-old man was pulled from Pontoosuc Lake on Thursday morning.   According to the district attorney's office, Charles Frambach, of nearby Pinehurst Avenue, was declared dead at the scene from an apparent drowning.   The Fire Department was called around 9:15 a.m. for a report of a body in the water.   Shortly after arriving, the body was pulled from the lake using a small boat ramp on Route 7 near Hancock Road.   Police remained at the boat ramp for some time after Frambach was removed.   An autopsy will be performed Friday


The Independent Investor: Dementia & Your portfolio
By Bill Schmick,
03:33PM / Thursday, September 29, 2016

As more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, few elderly investors are willing to discuss a growing risk to their portfolio. The onset of diminished mental capacity can cause huge losses in your life savings. Many only realize the problem in hindsight. Don't let that happen to you.

The facts are concerning. For example, one in nine people, age 65 or older, suffer from some form of dementia. That skyrockets to one in two people over the age of 85. What's worse, there are at least 18 different diseases that bring on dementia. Alzheimer's disease is only the most prevalent of causes. No one can predict who will get this disease, but we do know that the older we get the higher the


'The Magnificent Seven': They Ride Again
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:48PM / Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hombres and women folk hankerin' for a good old-fashioned horse opera with just a touch of newfangled sensibilities might want to mosey on over to a movie theater showing director Antoine Fuqua's remake of "The Magnificent Seven."

It's a rip-roaring homage to John Sturges' 1960 version, the one starring Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen, which, you'll recall, was actually a cowboy variation on Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" (1954). The gist of the morality play about emancipation from tyranny remains entertainingly intact.

Point of disclosure: In my case, seeing the movie with Hesh, my friend since childhood, arguably added about half a popcorn


Mount Greylock to Host McCann Football at Lanesborough Park
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:45PM / Thursday, September 29, 2016

The park was named after 1997 Mount Greylock graduate William E.  Laston. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A scheduling quirk has led to a fitting tribute for a departed community member.   On Friday night, Mount Greylock Regional will host McCann Tech in a varsity football game at Bill Laston Memorial Park.   It is the first time the park, named for the 1997 Mount Greylock graduate, will be used to host a regular season football game and another opportunity to honor Laston's memory.   "When Mount Greylock comes down for scrimmages and things like that, they know who Bill is," said Mark Froio, who married Bill's mother, Joanne Taylor Laston Froio.


Pittsfield Will Not Yet Ask Waterstone For Economic Impact Study
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:19AM / Thursday, September 29, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council opted against asking Waterstone Realty for an independent economic impact study on the proposed Walmart Supercenter at this time.   The council voted 6-4 against Downtown Pittsfield Inc.'s request to have the developer pay for an independent consultant to analyze the economic the project to build a 190,000 square-foot store at the William Stanley Business Park.   However, some councilors said they'd like a study done, once a proposal is made and the once the scope of the study is clearer.   "When we are looking at the impacts of the downtown, it is not the interest of a few retailers who may not be here tomorrow but it


Pittsfield Denies Permit For Medical Marijuana Facility In Former KFC
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:43PM / Wednesday, September 28, 2016

George Haddad opposed the project saying it doesn't conform with the revitalization efforts ongoing in that area of East Street. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals denied a special permit for a medical marijuana dispensary at the former KFC because members felt it would be detrimental to the character of the neighborhood.   Happy Valley Compassion Center was looking to turn the former Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant into a medical marijuana dispensary — provided it received all of the necessary approvals from state and local government.   But, the Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously rejected the company's application for a permit on the


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