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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Colleges Training Teachers 'For Whatever Comes Next' in Age of COVID
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:03AM / Friday, November 20, 2020
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Before the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts was the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, it was North Adams State College.   Before that, it was the State Teachers College of North Adams.   Before that, it was the North Adams Normal School.   In 2020, there is nothing normal about the way teachers are trained.   When the world turned upside down in March, MCLA professor Nicholas Stroud, like educators across the country, had to rethink how he teaches. But as the chair of the school's education department, he also had to think about what he teaches.   "One of the things that is true of our department is we're always

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'Noodle Belts' Allow for Fun Social Distancing at Hancock School
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:37PM / Thursday, November 19, 2020

The children have been having fun with the belts, Tremblay said.  HANCOCK, Mass. — A Hancock Elementary School teacher is using the power of arts and crafts to make social distancing fun for her students.   Janet Tremblay, who has been teaching Grades 4 and 5 for six years, constructed "noodle belts" for her students to assist with social distancing during recess time.   These noodle belts were completed and introduced to the students this week.   Though the belts are silly in nature, they contribute to a serious cause of social distancing that is stopping the spread of COVID-19.   "It is funny to watch," Tremblay added.   These

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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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Budget Amendment Includes Increase For Rural Schools
04:12PM / Thursday, November 19, 2020
BOSTON — State Sen. Adam Hinds announced Thursday that he has secured $3 million for rural schools in the state Senate's budget.   Hinds said the State Senate adopted his budget amendments to increase funding for the Rural School Aid grant program by $1.5 million, raising the total appropriation for this account to $3 million in the FY20 Senate Budget.    "A child's ZIP code should not determine the quality of their education," Hinds said in a release. "Rural school districts experience fiscal uncertainty every year because of the unique and substantial obstacles they face to provide their students basic school services. My hope is that with this

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The Retired Investor: The Rise of RCEP
By Bill Schmick,
03:59PM / Thursday, November 19, 2020
The Regional Comprehensive Economics Partnership (RCEP) is a trade pact that could change the global trade equation over the next decade. It is an example of multilateralism and free trade that could leave the United States in the dust.    The 15 nations that comprise RCEP represent about one third of the world' s population (2.2 billion people), and 29 percent of global gross domestic product. The partnership is made up of 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. The RCEP is officially the world's largest trading bloc.   What makes this trade deal noteworthy, apart from its size, is the inclusion of China. In the

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1,000 Jobs Open at Big Y
02:10PM / Thursday, November 19, 2020
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Big Y has announced over 1,000 job openings in all areas of the company in response to their expansion and growth.    These new positions include both full and part-time options including management and support positions in every location throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut.    "Every day, our employees help us to deliver on our promise of connecting families for a better future," Michael J. Galat, vice president of employee services said. "We foster an environment of inclusion and belonging where individuals are respected, valued and heard. Employees tell us how much they appreciate being part of a community that

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'Ordinary People': The Truth Will Set You Free
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:41PM / Thursday, November 19, 2020
I wish that I were reviewing one of the several movies about this pox upon our house that are certain to be made when the horror is deep into our rearview mirror. But until that glorious return to normality has us resuming all the simple joys of life we take for granted, like going to the movies, I'll be retro-reviewing and thereby sharing with you the films that I've come to treasure over the years, most of which can probably be retrieved from one of the movie streaming services. It is my fondest hope that I've barely put a dent into this trove when they let the likes of me back into the

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Berkshire Museumís Pajama Night Goes Virtual
09:55AM / Thursday, November 19, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Museum will host a virtual 24-Hour Pajama Read-A-Thon from 10 am on Friday, Nov. 20 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, in celebration of literacy, community, and imagination.

The event will be streamed live at explore.berkshiremuseum.org and facebook.com/berkshiremuseum. 

Throughout the 24-hour event, children and adults of all ages will tune in to hear from a team of volunteer readers including educators, neighbors, public figures, and authors from near and far as they share everything from picture books to poetry, plays, and selections from classic novels.

Read-A-Thon host Peter Liffers and his crew of museum educators and staff

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City of Pittsfield Restaurant Rapid Response Grant Program
08:21AM / Thursday, November 19, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As indoor dining is currently suspended at city restaurants, one of several safety measures put in place in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in Pittsfield, Mayor Linda Tyer has established the Restaurant Rapid Response Grant Program to assist restaurants and eateries during this period.   "While the decision to suspend indoor dining is essential, I recognize that it will have a tremendous impact on our restaurants and we understand the additional challenges these restrictions will place on city restaurants," Tyer said. "This grant program will help to offset some of these challenges. Through this program, funding up to $5,000 will be available

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'No-Cut' Period for Pittsfield Roadways To Go Into Effect
08:09AM / Thursday, November 19, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City of Pittsfield’s Department of Public Services and Utilities is establishing a “no-cut” period on all city roadways beginning Nov. 23 and continuing through March 12, 2021.   During this period, new excavations for non-emergency situations on city roadways will not be allowed.    Additionally, no plates shall be placed on roads during the no-cut period.   For more information, please call 413-499-9330.  

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Pittsfield Historical Commission OKs Historic Photo Project for CPA Funds
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
01:09AM / Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Historic Commission meets on Monday.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Athenaeum is looking to digitize and preserve more than 300 oversized historic photos through a Community Preservation Act grant.    But it first needed the Historical Commission to endorse its eligibility.   Local History & Melville Collections acting Supervisor Ann-Marie Harris told the commission on Monday that the photos are a visual display of Pittsfield's history dating from mid-1800s to the 1970s. These photos were donated to and collected by the Local History Department staff over many years and are too large for scanning in the library's in-house environment. Many

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Pittsfield Parks Panel Wants 'Blue Lives Matter' Flag Removed
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:42PM / Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The police and firefighter flags were apparently added to the Park of Honor military service flags a few years ago. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Parks Commission is asking the Kiwanis Club to remove two flags — one of which has become linked to white supremacy — from its Park of Honor on Park Square.   The club has installed hundreds of American flags at Park Square for 11 years to both honor veterans and raise money for scholarships for their children and grandchildren. About three years ago, the Stars and Stripes and service flags were joined by banners that have come to represent police and firefighters — the American flag in black and white with a red or

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Bousquet Outlines COVID-19 Operations
03:57PM / Wednesday, November 18, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Bousquet Mountain announced details of its operations for the upcoming 2020-2021 ski season and how they plan to adapt to the new COVID-19 environment.   According to a press release sent out Wednesday, Bousquet intends to comply with all local and state COVID regulations. Among these, skiers and riders can expect capacity restrictions on the mountain and on chair lifts; social distancing rules; and mandatory face covering.   "Our primary focus will be on the wellbeing of our employees, season pass holders, and the local community," General Manager Kevin McMillan said. "Season pass holders have made a commitment to us, so we in turn have

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