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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Council OKs $175M Operating Budget, $11M Capital Plan
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:00AM / Friday, June 14, 2019

Below are the budget sessions for fiscal 2020 in order of when they occurred, with the latest first. 

► The first day budget review on Tuesday, May 21, covered City Hall departments, health and inspections. It is available here.

► The second day budget review on Thursday, May 23, included RSVP, the library, information systems, maintenance, community development and the Fire Department. That review can be found here. 

► The third day budget review of the schools on Thursday, May 30, can be found here. The budget is embedded at the end of the article here. 

► The fourth and final review done on Tuesday,

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Berkshire Bank Names First Vice President, Commercial Team Leader
08:42PM / Thursday, June 13, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Bank has promoted D. Matthew Emprimo to first vice president and commercial team leader of Berkshire County in Massachusetts and the state of Vermont. 

Emprimo joined the bank in 1998 and has more than 20 years of experience as a commercial relationship manager. In his new role, he will lead the team of commercial bankers that covers both Berkshire County and the state of Vermont.

"Matt's wealth of experience in commercial banking and local knowledge is a great asset to Berkshire Bank," said Michael Ferry, senior vice president, commercial regional president of Berkshire County and Vermont. "I'm confident that in this new

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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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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: June 14-19
07:59PM / Thursday, June 13, 2019
Next Thursday, June 20 is Healthy 3rd Thursday! June's 3rd Thursday celebrates health and fitness with the running of the 10th annual Green Mile Road Race to benefit the Pittsfield Parade Fund at 5:30 p.m.; drumming with Aimee Gelinas and Berkshire Rhythm Keepers at Persip Park; Micaela Taylor's TL Collective in front of St. Joseph's Church in the Jacob's Pillow Dance Zone; Berkshire Salsa on the Persip Park main stage; and free outdoor classes all evening with Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness at Palace

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State Launches Public Awareness Campaign to Teens on Healthy Interactions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:52PM / Thursday, June 13, 2019

The roundtable (more like rectangular table) conversation drew a large group. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Sometimes a teenager will take to social media to complain about another. It causes riffs between the two individuals.   The original poster's friends ask what it was all about and they respond they were just venting. That's when the friends should step in and tell the poster to go talk to the individual about it. That is a better way to solve problems.   Such a scenario takes place within 30 seconds and in animated form through a series of videos recently released by the state Department of Public Health. Another shows someone intervening in a bullying situation.

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The Independent Investor: The Suburban Dilemma
By Bill Schmick,
04:25PM / Thursday, June 13, 2019
Over the last decade, the percentage of Baby Boomers, those aged 65 to 74, living in the suburbs increased by almost 50 percent. Over the next 20 years, that age group will double in size, and by 2040, 1 in every 5 Americans will be age 85 or older. The majority of them will continue to live in the suburbs.   Older adults, it appears, move less frequently than any other age group. Over the last 10 years, only 6 percent of persons over 65 years of age moved, according to AARP, compared to 17 percent of those under 65. It's called "aging in place," which is a standing trend that describes how older Americans prefer to stay in their homes and never move. They are attached to

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Ericson Looks to Reel in Taxes If Re-elected to Lanesborough Selectboard
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:45PM / Thursday, June 13, 2019
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A small town like Lanesborough shouldn't have the highest residential tax rate in the county, according to Robert Ericson.   Ericson is seeking his third term on the Board of Selectmen and has grown into taking a more fiscally conservative view on the town's finances — a viewpoint he said he didn't he'd ultimately take. But as he's spoken with many residents in town, he's realized the demographics are aging and there are a significant number of retirees on the verge of being "forced out of their houses."   "I think we should try to reduce the tax rate to reflect the population and income levels we have,"

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Hubbard Seeks to Bring 'Wealth of Experience' to Lanesborough Selectboard
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:15PM / Thursday, June 13, 2019
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Gordon Hubbard is hoping to bring a wide range of experience to the Board of Selectmen.   Hubbard is the owner of Mount Greylock Campsite Park but prior to that boasts of a career in teaching, school administration, volunteer firefighting and as an emergency medical technician.    He is looking to blend those experiences together to facilitate the vision residents have for the town's future. He is challenging Robert Ericson for a seat on the Board of Selectmen.   "I'm a retired teacher and school administrator so I have experience with governments and budgets and being fiscally responsible. I was a volunteer fireman and officer

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Lothrop Seeks Return to Pittsfield City Council, Jumps Into Ward 5 Race
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Thursday, June 13, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass.  — Former City Councilor Jonathan Lothrop is looking to reclaim his seat at the dais.   Less than a week after Ward 5 Councilor Donna Todd Rivers announced she would not be seeking re-election, Lothrop announced a campaign for the seat he held for more than a decade.    "I feel like I still have a lot to offer. I took a break for a while, circumstances are different, the kids are out of the house, I have a little more time. I enjoy it and I enjoy the opportunity to improve the community," Lothrop said.   Lothrop has a long history with the city dating back to his first role in the mid-1990s on the Human Services Commission. He

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Republic Services Donates to Four Pittsfield Community Organizations
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:23AM / Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Rev. Joel Huntington talks about the impact the pantry has on local families. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Republic Services doesn't just clean up the city's trash. It helps to clean up the community.   The city's trash hauler makes annual donations to various organizations throughout the city. This year four organizations were chosen by Mayor Linda Tyer for donations eyed to help make the city a better place.   The South Congregational Food Pantry was again a recipient. Republic Services has donated to the food pantry on multiple occasions and employees hold food drives to get additional donations. The food pantry is getting $500 to continue its

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Video Leads to Animal Cruelty Charge For Pittsfield Woman
Staff Reports,
07:28PM / Wednesday, June 12, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are charging a city woman with animal cruelty after a video of her carrying her small dog by the collar went viral locally.   Police say on Sunday at about 9:30 a.m. they responded to a report of cruelty at the First Street Common earlier in the day. Police reviewed video evidence and witness accounts and determined to summons Melinda Alston, 44, to answer for a single count of cruelty to animals.   Police said the dog in question was observed and is in good health.   A video of the incident had been posted to Facebook showing the woman, police believe was Alston, yelling at the small dog before picking up into the air by the collar. The woman

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MCLA Launches Institute of Arts and Humanities
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:00PM / Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Professor Lisa Donovan, director other institute, center, speaks with attendees before symposium begins.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is partnering with the area's myriad cultural entities to further its mission as an inclusive educational institution.   The college launched its new Institute for Arts and Humanities on Wednesday morning with a three-day conference on diversity, equity and inclusion that included an address that night by activist and commentator Nikki Giovanni and a lunchtime talk by Mathew Knowles, father of Beyonce, on Thursday.   The institute was made possible by a three-year $360,000 grant from The

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Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival Set for Saturday
04:23PM / Wednesday, June 12, 2019
ADAMS, Mass. — Bowe Field will become a fantasy land this Saturday as the fourth annual Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival emerges from its magical realm.    The locally organized "Whimsical Fantasy Celebrating the Arts" is a family friendly affair featuring artisans, vendors, music and lots of activities for young and old. The day will be packed with new entertainment and the Queen's Quest, plus the popular Faerie Village build.    Attendees are more than welcome to come in fantasy costume but don't worry if you've left your wings behind — you can embellish a new pair at the fair.    Meet the Faerie Queen and her court,

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