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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Classical High Season Approaches Its Zenith
By Stephen Dankner, Special to
12:27PM / Wednesday, July 27, 2016

During late July into early August, the classical music festival high season, anchored by concerts at Tanglewood and at other regional venues, approaches its zenith, with sure-fire programming.

Offerings at Tanglewood this week include Beethoven's Seventh Symphony and Mahler's Ninth, concertos by Mozart, Brahms and Sibelius, with solo star turns by world-renowned soloists, and much more.

Not to be outdone, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA) in North Adams is concluding its on-going three-week Summer Music Festival of new music - Bang on a Can (BOAC), curated by 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Luther Adams.

Hungry for still more musical options?


Financial Tips for Single Parents
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:01PM / Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Parenting is never an easy job – and, unfortunately, it can be especially difficult if you're doing it on your own.

As a single parent, you face many challenges, not the least of which are the financial ones. But by following the suggestions below, you may be able to make life easier – for you and your children.

* Create a "safety net." On any given day, you could incur an unexpected – and unexpectedly large – expense, such as major car repair, a new furnace or a toothache-inducing bill from your dentist. Your daily cash flow may not be enough to cover these bills, and you won't want to tap into some of your long-term investments or retirement


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

Circus Animal Ban Heads to Pittsfield City Council
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dan McGinnis refuted the claims that the animals are being treated poorly. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council will be asked to decide whether to ban elephants and other non-domesticated animals from being used for entertainment.   Animal advocacy group Berkshire Voters for Animals has proposed the ban, aimed primarily at circuses. While there hasn't been a circus in the city since 2008, the advocates hope to make sure one never returns.   The group had previously pushed for a ban in Dalton, where a circus is held annually, but voters there rejected the ban.   "While Pittsfield does not have an annual circus event, the city has hosted circus events in


Local Theater Group Brings the Arctic to the Berkshires
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:24AM / Wednesday, July 27, 2016

'Passage' will be performed in Pittsfield.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It might be nearly 90 degrees outside, but inside the Shire City Sanctuary this week, it's going to seem downright chilly.

That's because the Kickwheel Ensemble Theater (the creative arm of The Berkshire Fringe) is staging an original work called "Passage," which weaves together two parallel story lines of survival: the tale of Sir John Franklin's doomed 19th expedition to conquer the famed Northwest Passage and the story of a modern-day couple on a luxury wellness cruise through the now-melting Arctic.

In a news release, Kickball describes "Passage" as "a dark


Lazits, Eurquhart Lead Pittsfield 13s to Babe Ruth Regional Win
10:15PM / Tuesday, July 26, 2016
ROCHESTER, N.H. -- Anton Lazits and Haywood Eurquhart struck out four in a combined no-hitter to lead the Pittsfield Babe Ruth 13-year-old All-Stars to a 3-0 win over host Rochester in the New England Regional on Tuesday.   Eurquhart also scored the only run Pittsfield needed and drove in an insurance run later on.   He led off the first inning by drawing a walk and stole second. Then Jake Risley drove him home with a single to give Pittsfield a 1-0 lead.   Lazits singled and scored on an Eurquhart RBI in the fifth.   Pittsfield improved to 3-0 in pool play at the regional.


Berkshire Reps: Unity Strong at Democratic Convention
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:30PM / Tuesday, July 26, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Reports over the news are of a divisive and split Democratic National Convention, with chants and boos targeting some speakers.   But on the vast floor of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, state Reps. Paul Mark, D-Peru, and Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, aren't hearing that.   Mark is attending the convention as a delegate for Bernie Sanders while Farley-Bouvier is serving as the Hillary Clinton campaign's Massachusetts whip. Both said the tone at the convention is one of unity backing Clinton and not filled with boos and negativity.   "I'm not hearing it and I'm not seeing it," Mark said, though adding he'd


Contaminated Soil Adds to Cost of Taconic High Site Work
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Tuesday, July 26, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Getting rid of construction debris found in the soil at the site of the new Taconic High School will require construction managers to dip into contingency funds for the first time.   John Benzinger of consulting firm Skanska USA said three types of materials were found in the soil: contamination, construction debris, and unusable soils. He estimates more than a half-million dollars will be needed to dispose and replace the materials found.   "Someone obviously dumped some stuff they shouldn't have when they built that soccer field," Benzinger said. "This material needs to be sent to a disposal facility."   The contamination is


Jae's Asian Bistro Eyes Move to Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:36PM / Monday, July 25, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Jae's Asian Bistro is moving to Pittsfield.   Attorney Jeff Lynch told the Licensing Board on Monday that he expects to have a change in name and manager soon for the former 7 Winter Grille on Winter Street. The building is owned by Susan Chung, who with her husband, Jae Chung, owns multiple restaurants. The Chungs plan to close the Lenox location of Jae's Asian Bistro and reopen on Winter Street under the name Jae's Grille, according to Lynch.   "The restaurant underwent renovations and it has been closed for more than a year," Lynch said of 7 Grille.   The location was once Mazzeo's Ristorante until more recently operating


Harrington Calls for Override of Governor's Vetoes
Campaign Statement,
05:31PM / Monday, July 25, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Democrat Andrea Harrington, candidate for state Senate, is urging the Legislature to restore funding that Gov. Charlie Baker recently cut from the state budget that had been approved by the House and Senate.

"I am deeply troubled as several of the governor's vetoes will be harmful to the people and businesses in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Senate District. The governor's vetoes cut funding for drug treatment programs, early education, local health-care infrastructure and the further expansion of the area's creative economy. The governor's reduction of $7.7 million from the Massachusetts Cultural Commission will have a


Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Tops $2 Million in Summer Grants
02:51PM / Monday, July 25, 2016

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — The board of directors of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation have announced the recipients of the second round of grantmaking for 2016.

The foundation distributed a total of $430,378 in grants to individuals and nonprofits in the four-county region it serves; $496,786 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors; and grants totaling over $1.1 million from donors with charitable funds at the foundation.

In Berkshire County, the foundation awarded grants from the Fund for Williamstown; James and Robert Hardman Fund; New World Fund; Simple Gifts Fund; five education enrichment funds; and 41 scholarship funds.

Education and Enrichment: Grants to regional


Biz Briefs: Simon Scholarships, Canyon Ranch Luxury Residences
01:51PM / Monday, July 25, 2016

A little help: Simon Malls and Simon Premium Outlets in New England, parent company of the Lee Premium Outlets, have awarded 26 high school seniors with Simon Youth Foundation Scholarships totaling more than $80,000.  

Locally, Emma Lezberg of Pittsfield and Erica Perrea of Hinsdale were each given scholarships.

Simon Youth Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping at-risk students graduate high school and to provide scholarship opportunities for the youth. Simon Youth Foundation Scholarship recipients attended a celebratory reception on Wednesday, July 20, at Burlington Mall in Burlington, Mass.

Simon Youth Scholarships are awarded annually to at least


Berkshires Beat: Chesterwood Installation, Louison House Help
01:12PM / Monday, July 25, 2016

Remember this: Chesterwood is hosting a site-specific installation by New York conceptual artist Marko Remec, currently on view in the Studio Field through Oct. 2.

The work, titled "Remember What (Field Totem)," is the latest in Remec's "Totem Series" and is a reconfiguration of a portion of his installation "Can’t Hear You (Fat Totem)," which was exhibited at Mass MoCA in North Adams from June 15, 2013, to June 19, 2016. The installation features 128, 32-inch dome mirrors arrayed in the pattern of a chessboard gone awry. Each mirror reflects 180-degree views of Chesterwood's lush landscape along with fleeting views of those observing the


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