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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Police Officer Cleared in Shooting
02:58PM / Thursday, February 16, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield Police officer who discharged his weapon in the course of his duties, injuring the suspect in a motor vehicle pursuit, has been cleared of any charges.

An investigation led by state police Sgt. Edward Culver, a member of the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire district attorney's office, concluded that no criminal charges are warranted against Officer Martin Streit.

Streit fired three shots from his service weapon after Mark A. Marauszwski, 55, drove his vehicle at the officer, according to police.

A release from Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless' office state that on the morning of Jan. 25, Streit and other

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Polito Signs Community Compacts With Lanesborough, Windsor
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:38PM / Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito shakes Windsor Selectman Doug McNally's hand. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — It is difficult for small towns to bring in special expertise so the state is stepping in to help.    Lanesborough wants to focus more on economic development and that long-range planning is significantly helped along by a professional economic development planner.   In Windsor, town officials want to secure long-term financial stability but don't have the professional expertise and time to craft a careful strategy.   Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on Thursday joined officials both towns to sign Community Compact agreements that will bring in consultants to help those

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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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Pittsfield's Paintbox Public Art Program Returns
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:14AM / Thursday, February 16, 2017

Before and after photos of the box at Union and North.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Last year, the seemingly ordinary utility boxes throughout the downtown were transformed into colorful and vibrant pieces of art.

Now, it is time to do some more.

The Artscape Committee announced the return of the paintbox program, which is an art competition with eight winners decorating the utility boxes on North Street. The project takes the boring, gray utility boxes and turns them into public art.   "We were so overwhelmed by the support of the community from last year's paintbox project. We were overwhelmed by the number of submissions we had and the quality of those submissions.

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Pittsfield Adds Eight Firefighters
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:03PM / Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The day was cause for celebration and the families of the new firefighters gathered around to take photos in the hallway of City Hall following the appointments. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Fire Department is now fully staffed with the help of a $1.1 million federal grant.   The City Council on Tuesday confirmed the appointments of nine new firefighters — eight of them additions thanks to the grant and one replacement for a retiring captain.    The hiring gives the department the full complement of about 96 firefighters and was only possible because of a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant to the tune of $1,112,864.    "It is a

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Pittsfield Schools Decreasing Number of Suspensions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:09PM / Wednesday, February 15, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Department is taking a fresh look at discipline and so far that has led to 155 fewer days of out-of-school suspension.   Superintendent Jason McCandless presented the numbers to the School Committee last Wednesday. With a bolstering of the number of school adjustment councilors and registered behavior technicians, the district has been implementing new practices to improve behavior — that includes the creation of a restorative justice program but also rethinking the way principals handle discipline.   "As we continue to make attendance a real focus on what we do, knowing that nothing good that we are doing can work if a student

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Drive-Through Doughnut Shop Eyed For Pittsfield's Dalton Avenue
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:33AM / Wednesday, February 15, 2017

City Planner CJ Hoss said he was concerned with traffic flow on Harvard Street and Dalton Avenue.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A presumed Dunkin' Donuts is now eyeing the Royal Cleaners property on Dalton Avenue for a drive-through eatery.

But, the City Council has ordered the company to pay for a third party to review the proposal for stormwater and traffic issues.

JFJ Holding LLC. filed a proposal for the fast-food drive-through at 68 Dalton Ave. and 19 and 23 Harvard St. to make way for a "donut shop."   The plan would be to tear down the existing Royal Cleaners and two single-family homes on Harvard Street to construct the 2,100 square-foot takeout with a

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Making the Loop
by Soapbox
04:44PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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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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Let's Go Paperless
by Soapbox
05:07PM / Monday, February 06, 2012
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This is from Ward 6 Councilor John Krol's eblast today. His switch to digital immediately caught our attention. With the associated costs - nearly $4,000 a year for paper alone! - zipping councilors "the packet" (as we in the know like to call it) over the ether makes loads of sense. Digital also means the average citizen gets far better access to these public documents than ever before. The city clerk's office has been diligent about posting meeting agendas and, where possible, relevant documents. So in terms of saving money and time and getting information out efficiently, digital is the way to go.

I would like to thank City Clerk Linda Tyer for agreeing to print out one less city council packet, as I have officially gone paperless for council meetings - which I hope will be a trend that can be extended throughout city government.

The bulky (and often, very bulky) city council packet that councilors use for a reference costs an average of $170 per meeting for paper alone. Add the additional costs of ink/toner, wear and tear on city hall copiers, and the time and energy of staff who put it all together - and a simple transition away from paper benefits everyone.

With the packet now fully digital in pdf form, all councilors, and everyone with an internet

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Berkshire Music School Kicks Off 2012 Classes With Open House
by Soapbox
12:29PM / Sunday, January 29, 2012
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The open house featured a sample class, access to musical instruments, information for parents, refreshments ...and more than a few delighted squeals.


January 29, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dozens of youths, many of them under the age of 5, attended an open house at the Berkshire Music School Saturday, as the educational nonprofit enters its 70th year at its 30 Wendell Avenue home.
The open house featured a sample class, access to musical instruments, information for parents, refreshments... and more than a few delighted squeals, proving once again the inherent interest in making a joyful noise is not generational, and will never go out of style.
The open house featured a Music for Preschoolers class, designed to "children’s awareness of rhythm, ability to sing and move creatively to music," which

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Daniel Bianchi Sworn In As Mayor
by Soapbox
11:55AM / Monday, January 02, 2012
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Video taken on Jan. 2, 2012, by Joe Durwin of Daniel Bianchi being sworn in for his first term as mayor of Pittsfield.

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Generals Fall to Wildcats on Tuesday
by Soapbox
02:11PM / Wednesday, December 21, 2011
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Check out the action between the Pittsfield Generals and the Lee Wildcats on Tuesday night.

Pittsfield at Lee High - Boys Basketball 12/20/2011 from iBerkshires on Vimeo.

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Pittsfield Cuts Ribbon at Skate Park
by Soapbox
09:14PM / Tuesday, December 13, 2011
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Don't try this at home. :D

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