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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Angry Taco Bell Was Closed, Pittsfield Man Crashes Vehicle
Staff Reports,
11:20AM / Saturday, March 26, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Angry that Taco Bell was closed, a city man allegedly crashed his car into a former ATM building as he sped off.   Police say Derrick LaForest pulled up to Taco Bell in Berkshire Crossing at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday and began beeping his car horn. An employee them informed LaForest that the restaurant was closed and that's when he allegedly sped through the drive-through lane, hit a curb, jumped another curb, and then crashed into the small building which used to house a TD Bank automated teller machine.   "LaForest stated that he had gone to Taco Bell and when he found it was closed, he drove away and somehow hit the building. LaForest stated he


The Independent Investor: Are Negative Interest Rates the Answer?
By Bill Schmick,
05:47PM / Friday, March 25, 2016

You may have heard of the newest wrinkle among central bankers. It's called "NIRP," which stands for negative interest rate policy. Several countries have already implemented this policy and are hoping their actions will stem the tide of deflation and low economic growth.

Although NIRP by its nature seems complicated, it really isn't. All you need know is that just about every bank in the world is required to keep a percentage of its customer's bank deposits in reserve in case their depositors want their money bank.  In our country, banks are required to keep 10 percent of those funds "in reserve" at the 12 Federal Reserve banks around the country. Now


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

Arbor Day Poetry Contest Open to Berkshire County Students
02:53PM / Friday, March 25, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Conservation District is hosting a poetry contest in honor of National Arbor Day with the theme “We All Need Trees” open to students in Berkshire County in grades K through 12.

Poems should be no longer than one page and can be printed or hand written (if legible). Include the student’s name, school name, grade, mailing address, and phone number on the back of the poem.

Entries must be received by Friday, April 8. Mail or drop off at the office: Berkshire Conservation District, 78 Center St., Ste. 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201.

Winners will receive a free gift on Seedling Sale Day, Saturay, May 7, at Springside Park in Pittsfield. For


Cultural Pittsfield This Week: March 25-31
12:18PM / Friday, March 25, 2016
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Friday: Burlesque Life Drawing for a Cause Closing Party at


Holiday Events: Grab Your Easter Baskets!
12:13PM / Friday, March 25, 2016

It's time for the kiddos to break out their baskets and spy some Easter goodies around the county this weekend.

Saturday, March 26

• Stockbridge Library Train Station, 2 Depot St., Stockbridge, 11 a.m.: A special storytime and Easter Egg Hunt will be held. Have fun searching for eggs and hearing an Easter story. Info at 413-298-5501.

• Peter Cook VFW Post 9144, Clarksburg, 10 a.m.: Annual egg hunt will be held in the town field. All children up to age 12 are welcome.

• Blue Rider Stables, 15 Farm Lane, South Egremont, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: A candy free egg hunt  will be held for free. Other activities include hay bale maze, $1; pony rides, $5, face painting and


Pittsfield Schools Prelim Budgets Calls For $2.29M Increase To City
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:26AM / Friday, March 25, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Department's preliminary budget calls for a $60.7 million city appropriation for fiscal 2017.   The appropriation is $2.29 million more than this year, which is a 3.91 percent increase. That appropriation is eyed to be mixed with about $620,000 in tuition revenues to create a $61.4 million budget, which is up by 3.72 percent over last year.    However, Superintendent Jason McCandless says there may be more changes coming before the public hearing on April 13. After the hearing, the School Committee will be asked to approve the final number.   "This should not necessarily be considered the absolute document we will be coming


Dunkin' Developer Withdraws Tyler Street Application
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Correspondent
02:19AM / Friday, March 25, 2016

Plans to locate a Dunkin' Donuts at the former St. Mary's property on Tyler Street has complicated efforts to find new uses for the vacant church.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — For the second time, Dunkin' Donuts franchise giant Cafua Realty Trust has withdrawn application paperwork for a special permit at 665 Tyler St., though what this means for the future of the former St. Mary the Morningstar Church located there remains unclear.

The city's Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday voted to accept a last-minute request from SK Design Group to "withdraw without prejudice" a special permit application from Cafua that has lain dormant for months.

In the letter, dated


'Miracles from Heaven': Friendly Persuasion
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:27PM / Thursday, March 24, 2016

I think it was St. Augustine, if I may paraphrase a saint, who stated that one cannot prove God's existence through logic, but rather, only through one's faith. It is in this theological vein, whether consciously referencing the early Christian thinker or not, that director Patricia Riggen weaves her tear-jerking, often compelling "Miracles from Heaven."

The film is based on the true-life travail of Anna Beam, a terribly sick little girl superbly portrayed by Kylie Rogers.

The open-minded as well as the ever curious will find much to chaw on here, whereas devout atheists may view this faith-based exercise in religious conviction with the same disapproval a vegetarian


BCC, Chimney Corners Eyed as Regional Emergency Shelter Sites
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:12PM / Thursday, March 24, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — If an emergency event is so large that local shelters are overwhelmed, Berkshire Community College and Chimney Corners are both eyed to be hosts of massive regional shelters.   Eammon Coughlin of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has been working on specific plans for those situations. Now, he is in the process of crafting memorandum of agreements with the college and the Chimney Corners Camp in Becket establishing those as the regional sites.   He's also working out a cost-sharing agreement among the 12 central Berkshire County towns to pay for the operations.   "They are only intended to be used as a last resort," Coughlin


Pittsfield Native Takes Command of Submarine Squadron
By Petty Officer 2nd Class Amanda Gray, Navy Office of Community Outreach
12:32PM / Thursday, March 24, 2016

BANGOR, Wash. — Navy Capt. Robert Gaucher of Pittsfield, Mass., assumed command of Submarine Development Squadron  5 on March 22 at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.

He relieved Capt. Douglas Perry of Alexandria, Va., of his duties and responsibilities during the change of command ceremony at Bangor Chapel.

Perry assumed command of SUBDEVRON 5 on March 17, 2014. During his leadership, Perry supported the development of the Navy's first Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) squadron, oversaw the successful deployment of the fast-attack submarine USS Seawolf (SSN 21), and provided Immediate Superior in Charge (ISIC)-level oversight of all three Seawolf-class submarines during major


Working Cities Group Unveils Findings On Pittsfield
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Correspondent
01:02AM / Thursday, March 24, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Input from hundreds of local residents collected over a three-month period will help inform a coalition effort to obtain grant funding that proponents say will help to address many of the poverty-related issues impacting the community.

During a summary meeting held at Conte Community School on Monday, members of the Working Cities group outlined what they've heard through a process that has spanned 11 meetings and included more than 200 residents, and how it will help position the city competitively for aid through the commonwealth's Working Cities Challenge.

"This movement is only possible with your participation," coordinator Nicole Eigbrett

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Making the Loop
by Soapbox
04:44PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2012
We had some free time this week to walk the 2-mile loop through the downtown. Here's a few of things that caught our eye. (In between taking photos, we were heel-toeing and arm-pumping as prescribed.)

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