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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Markets Bogged Down by Politics
By Bill Schmick,
06:32PM / Thursday, October 03, 2019
Recently, financial and economic events have taken a back seat to politics. Whistleblowers, United Nations speeches, White House tweets, and the on-going trade wars seem to be moving markets far more than unemployment or earnings reports. Is this simply a short-term phenomenon, or is something else happening that is becoming a longer-term trend?   As readers are aware, over the last three years, financial markets have been increasingly governed by what is happening in Washington. At first, markets keyed off big developments like the tax cuts and what they would or would not accomplish from an economic point of view. From time to time, markets would also focus on the possibility of

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Veteran Local Banker Joins Pittsfield Cooperative Bank
04:07PM / Thursday, October 03, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Scott Cowlin has joined the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank as vice president/branch manager.

In this role, Cowlin is responsible for the overall operations, customer service, performance and profitability of the bank's main office, located at 70 South St.

Cowlin has more than 18 years of banking experience, most recently working for Berkshire Bank as the assistant vice president/branch officer. A graduate of Ashford University, Cowlin is active in the community, volunteering for the Pittsfield Girls Softball League, where he has been a coach, umpire and member of the board of directors.

Cowlin lives in Pittsfield with his wife and three

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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 High School Names 45 AP Scholars
03:41PM / Thursday, October 03, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield High School's Advanced Placement (AP) program has 45 students being recognized by the College Board for their achievements.  

During the 2019 exam administration, 219 students took 392 exams in 21 different subject areas.  PHS has the largest AP program in Berkshire County and is also the only local high school offering the College Board's AP Capstone Program.

"We are very proud of our AP program at Pittsfield High School - not only of our AP scholars but also that our courses are open to all students," said Pittsfield High School Principal Henry Duval.

"We've been steadily expanding our course offerings and are

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Oct. 4-10
01:47PM / Thursday, October 03, 2019
Friday, Oct. 4 is First Friday Artswalk and More! Enjoy 20 different art shows featuring work by more than two dozen accomplished regional and student artists in Pittsfield's bustling Upstreet Cultural District during the First Friday Artswalk and all month long!

In most venues, artists will be present from 5-8 p.m. A free guided tour begins at 5 p.m. at the Intermodal Center @ BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.

The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts will be hosting "The Road to October: Berkshire County Players in the Post Season" for

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Berkshire Museum Board of Trustees Elects New President
01:15PM / Thursday, October 03, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Trustees of the Berkshire Museum elected new officers, and appointed four new board members, at its annual meeting on Sept. 23.

Ethan Klepetar, member of the board since 2011 and trustee vice president since 2015, is stepping into the role of president, a position previously held by Elizabeth McGraw. A trustee since 2008, McGraw will continue to serve on the museum's board as vice president alongside Trustee Vice President Melissa Scarafoni.

"This is an exciting moment in the history of the Berkshire Museum, and I am excited about partnering with our Executive Director Jeff Rodgers, the Board of Trustees, and the entire staff as we work together on

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Perfect Fall Weather on the Horizon for Fall Foliage Festival Weekend
12:32PM / Thursday, October 03, 2019

A hint of color is creeping into downtown North Adams.

If the damp, cool week has got you worrying about the Fall Foliage Parade weather, have no fear: While there may be some clouds in the sky for the parade itself, the weekend looks to be crisp and dry.

In other words, a perfect fall weekend in the Berkshires to wrap up the annual Fall Foliage Festival.

The highlight of the festival, the parade kicks off at 1 p.m. Sunday from Ocean State Job Lot and winds its way up Route 8, across Main Street and then down Ashland Street. Both Accuweather and the Weather Channel say it will be 63 degrees and cloudy on Sunday.

As for the events leading up to the parade itself, Friday night's

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Lee Woman Receives Latinx Excellence on the Hill Award
11:54AM / Thursday, October 03, 2019

LEE, Mass. — Lee resident Eleanore Velez was honored by the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus during a State House ceremony on Thuesday. She was one of 44 recipients of the Caucus’ 2019 Latinx Excellence on the Hill Award.

Velez was nominated for this recognition by state Sen. Adam G. Hinds.

"I know Eleanore to be passionate about education and her community," Hinds said. "When the MBLLC reached out seeking a nomination for this year's Latinx Excellence honors, she was the first constituent that came to mind, and in vetting her name with local stakeholders I received nothing but tremendous positive feedback.

"I'm proud that she is

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Cities Seek Donation of Official Holiday Trees
10:55AM / Thursday, October 03, 2019

Pittsfield typically hosts its tree-lighting
ceremony the first Friday of December.

Do you have a tree that would be perfect to donate and serve as an official holiday tree for the city of Pittsfield or the city of North Adams?

Both cities are seeking residents to donate their official holiday trees for the upcoming season. Pittsfield's tree will be on display in Park Square; North Adams needs two trees to place on each end of Main Street.

In Pittsfield, criteria used to select the city's official holiday tree includes minimum height of approximately 30 feet; superior shape; ease of access to the tree for cutting; adequate room to safely fall the tree; and ease of transporting

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Conversation With Wayfair CEO Opens Neal's Economic Summit
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:32PM / Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Mayor Linda Tyer welcomes the gathering on Thursday.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The founder of Wayfair engaged in a conversation with U.S. Rep. Richard Neal on Wednesday morning, covering topics of technology, entrepreneurship, immigration, taxes and trade.    Niraj Shah, a 1991 graduate of Pittsfield High School, is bringing 300 jobs to his hometown with the development of a call center for the international home decor company. He was the keynote speaker at Neal's Economic Development Policy Summit hosted by Berkshire Community College.    Shah's father was one of the thousands employed by General Electric in Pittsfield. He'd emigrated from India

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Mount Greylock Celebrates Building that 'Reflects Its Greatness'
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:20PM / Wednesday, October 02, 2019
 
State Rep. John Barrett III, a Mount Greylock alumnus, and student Charlie McWeeny listen to another speaker during Wednesday's ribbon-cutting celebration. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Wednesday was homecoming day for state Rep. John Barrett III.   Barrett was one of the dignitaries asked to speak at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the recently expanded and renovated Mount Greylock Regional School.   Noting that the ceremony — forced indoors because of the threat of rain — was being held in one of the renovated portions of the middle/high school, Barrett said he was glad to be back to help the school celebrate its new era.   "I sat out there

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Flu Shot: It's That Time Again
By Dr. Everett Lamm,
11:45AM / Tuesday, October 01, 2019

With flu season around the corner, your health care providers, employers, pharmacists and others are sounding the annual reminder: "Get your annual flu shot." We encourage this for you — and for the people around you, too. We see evidence every year of the benefits of the flu vaccine, and we also see the risks of skipping it.

The flu vaccine has dramatic impacts on public health. However, since strains of the flu may vary from year to year, the vaccine must be received annually. Although the vaccine doesn't guarantee a flu-free winter and perfect health, medical research has convincingly shown that the flu shot reduces flu severity and reduces sick visits,

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How to Become a Long-term Investor
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:17AM / Tuesday, October 01, 2019

It's a fairly predictable pattern: When the stock market rises, more people invest, but after a large-scale drop, many of these same people head for the exits. But by staying out of the financial markets, and only putting their money in "safe" vehicles that offer few or no growth prospects, are they really helping themselves?

Here's the bottom line: If you're going to make progress toward your long-term goals, you have to become a long-term investor. But how?

To begin with, you need to understand that long-term investing involves accepting inevitable short-term price swings. You may not like seeing those sharp price drops, but it will help your outlook greatly if

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