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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

'The Only Living Boy in New York': What This World Needs Now
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:50PM / Thursday, August 24, 2017
Call me a hopeless romantic. It's my excuse for liking and recommending to kindred spirits director Marc Webb's decidedly imperfect, melodramatic and oft soap-operatic "The Only Living Boy in New York."    My justification is in service to the rather dire straits in which our nation currently finds itself. Quite plainly, to coin a phrase, what this world needs now is love, sweet love. And while this coming-of-age tale doesn't completely fill said need, it does supply that second-best commodity: sappiness.    It's sophisticated sappiness, but sappiness all the same.   In cosmopolitan Manhattan, Thomas Webb, the twenty-something son of elite,

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Aug. 25-31
02:57PM / Thursday, August 24, 2017
VIEW DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR     August 25 - August 31, 2017 SAT Better Block Transformation Day on Tyler

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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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Can You Save for College and Retirement?
12:47PM / Thursday, August 24, 2017

Few of us have unlimited financial resources — which means that almost all of us need to prioritize our financial goals. Consequently, you'll have some decisions to make if you’d like to help pay for your children’s college educations someday while, at the same time, saving for your own retirement.

Your first step in addressing these objectives is to maintain realistic expectations. Consider the issue of paying for college. Right now, the average four-year cost (tuition, fees, room and board) is about $80,000 for in-state students at public universities and approximately $180,000 for private schools, according to the College Board. And these costs are likely to keep

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Pittsfield Continues to Debate Junk Car Ordinance
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:26AM / Thursday, August 24, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's Ordinance and Rules Committee is recommending new language regarding junk vehicles —  for the third time.   The City Council has been kicking around new changes to the junk dealers and waste collectors ordinance since December. The mayor and fire inspector had asked for more clarification in the ordinance defining what constitutes a junk vehicle.   The law as currently written reads, vehicles are not allowed to stand "in the open or allow to stand on any premises, public or private, for a period of more than 48 hours, any abandoned, wrecked, junked, dilapidated, nonoperating or unregistered motor vehicle" unless that

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Tanglewood Wraps Up Classical Season; Shanghai String Quartet at Music Mountain
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
04:46PM / Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tanglewood's classical programming winds up this week to make way for a series of popular artists, such as Diana Ross and Sting.

This week, Tanglewood concludes its 2017 classical programming, culminating with the always-anticipated traditional final concert, on Sunday, Aug. 27, featuring Beethoven's glorious and triumphant Ninth Symphony, preceded by Charles Ives' "The Housatonic at Stockbridge," from his three-movement orchestral suite, ‘Three Places in New England' – a magical, transformative and inspiring hymn to nature.

Before the Ninth, and the "Popular Artists Series," there are three exceptional programs you should consider

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BMC Nurses Looking to Trustees to Help Contract Negotiations
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:32PM / Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The nurses went to Greylock Federal Credit Union on Wednesday to make a pitch to CEO John Bissell, who sits on the hospital's board of trustees.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BMC's registered nurses are now making a pitch to get the hospital's board of trustees on their side.   The Massachusetts Nurses Association has been in challenging contract negotiations with Berkshire Health Systems. After what they called a fairly unproductive negotiating session on Tuesday, the nurses are attempting to meet with members of the board of trustees.    On Wednesday, nine members of the MNA's bargaining committee showed up at Greylock Federal Credit Union on West

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Tyler Street Community Mural Unveiling Slated for Saturday
02:54PM / Wednesday, August 23, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont, in partnership with the city of Pittsfield's Office of Cultural Development, invites the public to attend the official unveiling of the "Planting Seeds for a Better Tomorrow" mural on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 11:30 a.m.   The mural is located on the northeast side of Goodwill's building at 158 Tyler St.   Goodwill officials and Pittsfield Mayor Linda M. Tyer will unveil the mural in conjunction with the Pittsfield Better Block celebration that will follow from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday. The mural, created by local artist Kathy Garren, is a community art project that was sponsored

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Massie Seeks to Bring Long-term Solutions in Bid for Governor
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:07AM / Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Massie spent two hours meeting with voters at Dottie's about issues facing the state, the Berkshires, and his hopes for the gubernatorial nomination. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Sustainability is a word Robert Massie said he hasn't heard the current governor say.   And that is becoming a focal point for the Somerville author and activist, as he launches a campaign for the 2018 gubernatorial election. Massie, a Democrat, says he's running to bring a heightened focus to long-term and progressive solutions to current issues.   "I am by far the strongest progressive, the most experienced in all of the issues. I have put my entire adult life in fighting for

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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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