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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Lanesborough to Walmart: Come Build Here
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:43AM / Friday, April 21, 2017
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — If Pittsfield doesn't want Walmart, Lanesborough will take it.   The Board of Selectmen have asked Town Manager Paul Sieloff to reach out to Walmart officials and ask if they'd consider building the proposed supercenter on the Berkshire Mall property instead of in Pittsfield.    "Our tax rate is much cheaper than Pittsfield's, we'd be glad to have you, and there is plenty of parking," said Chairman John Goerlach.   Waterstone Realty is looking to build a Walmart Supercenter at the William Stanley Business Park in Pittsfield and closing the existing one at Berkshire Crossings. But, as of Thursday, the company has still

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The Independent Investor: Should College Be Free?
By Bill Schmick,
07:15PM / Thursday, April 20, 2017
Recently, New York became the first state to offer a tuition-free college education to middle-class students at two- and four-year public colleges. Tennessee, Oregon and the city of San Francisco have also given similar benefits to students attending community colleges in their states. It's about time.   The headline of this column was taken from a series of articles I first published six years ago. At the time, I argued that the benefits of a college education today were about equivalent to the worth of a high school degree back in the 1940s and 1950s. Back then, graduating from high school opened the door to a good job, while creating a population of largely, law-abiding citizens

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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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United Way Program to Provide Kindergarteners With Supplies
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:24PM / Thursday, April 20, 2017

Gary Levante is co-chairing the day of caring this year.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Every child entering kindergarten next year will have a backpack full of supplies.   Berkshire Bank employees will be filling 1,200 backpacks with books, supplies, reading lists, and informational fliers as part of the Berkshire United Way's day of caring. The literacy kits will be given out at locations throughout Berkshire County on June 21 at a series of "pop-up parties."   "Each kindergarten party will have a variety of family friend activities. There is going to be food and fun and all types of good stuff," said Berkshire United Way CEO Kristine Hazzard

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Safety Officials Keeping Eye On Potential Pipeline Protests
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:24AM / Thursday, April 20, 2017

The approval of a natural gas pipeline in Otis State Forest has prompted protests, like this one Wednesday during an announcement by Energy and Environmental Affair Secretary Matthew Beaton in Shelburne Falls. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Public safety officials are preparing for the worst-case scenario when it comes to protests surrounding the Tennessee Gas Pipeline expansion   The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently granted Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. approval to move ahead with a natural gas pipeline expansion through Otis State Forest. The ruling was issued last week approving the Connecticut expansion, which includes tree cutting and installation of the pipeline

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'Gifted': The Long and Short of It
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:03PM / Wednesday, April 19, 2017
"Saw 'Gifted.' Little girl genius. Enjoyed it. Intellectual and emotional ... homage to brainpower. Good acting. Won't play the hinterlands."   Thus read my text to Hesh, my longtime movie sidekick who, absent from my viewing of director Marc Webb's touching but predictable tale about the trials and tribulations of a 7-year-old math genius, asked what I had seen. Succinct if not eloquent, I suggest it illustrates I'm able to pen a discourse on films considerably short of my usual 835 words. It should also prove a boon to those enduring, charitable readers who, while wishing to be apprised of the film in question, would just as soon not slog through my

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Lanesborough Selectmen Approve 1.5 Percent Raises to Employees
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:55AM / Wednesday, April 19, 2017
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen approved giving non-union employees a 1.5 percent raise, which is a compromise with the town manager.   The Selectmen had previously asked Town Manager Paul Sieloff to remove 2 percent raises for those Town Hall employees from the upcoming budget. Sieloff agreed but said he'd be asking the Selectmen once again to put them back later in the process. Later in the process came Monday night and the Selectmen ultimately agreed on 1.5 percent.    Sieloff said giving some level of raises is good management. It motivates employees and rewards them for the good work they've done. Sieloff said most of the employees in town hall

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Pittsfield Police Arrest Man After Chase On Pomeroy Avenue
Staff Reports,
09:52AM / Wednesday, April 19, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Another gun was seized after a police pursuit on Wednesday.   Police say at about 5:37 a.m. officers attempted to stop a vehicle on Pomeroy Avenue. The driver, Adam Masefield, 30, of Pittsfield allegedly fled from officers.   Later he pulled over near Herberg Middle school and fled on foot. While being chased Masefield allegedly tossed a loaded handgun to the ground.   He was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a loaded firearm, operating a motor vehicle after a suspension, and numerous motor vehicle offenses.   This is the second police chase this week. On Monday four individuals were arrested on firearm charges after

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Be An 'Environmentally Friendly' Investor
Submitted by Edward Jones,
09:05AM / Wednesday, April 19, 2017

On April 22, we observe Earth Day, a worldwide event focusing on protecting the environment. As a citizen of this planet, you may want to take part in Earth Day activities. And as an investor, you can learn some valuable lessons from the environmental movement.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

* "Recycle" proven strategies. Over the past few decades, we have discovered ways of bringing new life to objects we would have previously thrown away. When you invest, you also don't need to discard things you've used before – such as proven investment strategies. For example, one tried-and-true technique is to simply purchase investments appropriate for your needs and

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Pittsfield Parks Commission Endorses Dog Park at Burbank Park
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:37AM / Wednesday, April 19, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A portion of Burbank Park has been identified as the best location for a dog park.   The Parks Commission agreed and endorse the recommendation from a study group to use between one and two acres of land for the park. The dog park is eyed to be fenced in with separate sections for large and small dogs. The parks are areas in which pet owners can let their pups off leash, which isn't currently allowed in city parks.   "It is not used a whole lot by other users so I don't think there would be a lot of conflicts. It is a good location," said commission Chairman Simon Muil.   The location is near an existing water tower, easily

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Pittsfield Junior Bowlers Earn Spots in National Tourney
Community submission,
10:03PM / Tuesday, April 18, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Four bowlers from the Pittsfield Junior League have qualified for July's Junior Gold Tournament in Cleveland.   Alex White (U15), Andrew Robitaille (U12), Mya Duhamel (U12) and Lynsey Aldam each earned the honor.   In order to qualify, each bowler needed to win a tournament in his or her age division. On April 9, these athletes bowled their hearts out in the 2017 Massachusetts Pepsi Championship, a scratch tournament where they earned their way to the Junior Gold Tournament.   All of the youth bowlers a members of the Pittsfield Junior Leagues. They bowl together every Saturday morning at Ken’s Bowl in Pittsfield.

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Four Arrested on Gun, Drug Charges After Pittsfield Car Chase
Staff Reports,
03:17PM / Tuesday, April 18, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Four people were arrested on firearm and drug offenses following a traffic stop Monday evening.   Police say the department's anti-crime unit conducted a motor vehicle stop on Lincoln Street at about 7 p.m. As the officers approached the vehicle, it took off at a high rate of speed. Police pursued the vehicle and saw a firearm thrown out of the window.   Eventually, the driver pulled the vehicle over near the intersection of Fourth Street and Curtis Street.   Javan Rodriguez, 20, of Pittsfield was the driver of the vehicle. The passengers were Carey Pilot, 44, of Pittsfield, Samuel Thomason, 21, of Lenox, and Thomas Tobin, 43, of Pittsfield.

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Rabasco Leads County Contingent at Boston Marathon
iBerkshires.com Sports,
10:08PM / Monday, April 17, 2017
BOSTON -- Pittsfield’s Matt Rabasco was Berkshire County’s top finisher on Monday at the Boston Marathon, clocking a time of 2 hours, 49 minutes, 17 seconds over the historic 26.2-mile course.   Rabasco was the only sub-three-hour finisher among 11 county residents registered for the race with official times listed on the Boston Athletic Association on Monday night.   The races top finishers were Kenyans Geoffrey Kirui (2:09:37) for the men and Edna Kiplagat (2:21:52) for the women.   Rabasco, 22, was listed in 532nd place overall, 399th in his division, after setting a mile pace of 6:28.   Berkshire County’s second-fastest time was turned in by Matt

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