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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Aug. 9-15
10:11AM / Friday, August 09, 2019
Thursday, August 15 is 3rd Thursday: Touch a Truck! Beep beep! Honk honk! Join us for a fun 3rd Thursday celebration and touch a truck! Kids (and adults) will be able to see, touch, interact with and learn about dozens of cool vehicles, including fire trucks and police cars, construction vehicles, airport vehicles and more.   There will also be live music from the Amy Ryan Band, The Hoping Machine, and students from the Rock On workshop, plus a tap dance performance at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Zone and free yoga and Zumba in Park

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How Does Social Security Fit Into Your Retirement Income Strategy?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:07AM / Friday, August 09, 2019

It might not be on your calendar, but Aug. 14 is Social Security Day. Since it was enacted on Aug. 14, 1935, Social Security has provided some financial support for millions of Americans during their retirement years. While Social Security benefits, by themselves, probably aren't enough to enable you to retire comfortably, they can be a key part of your overall retirement income strategy – if you use them wisely.

To help you make decisions about Social Security, you will need to answer these questions:

When should I start taking my benefits? You can take Social Security once you reach 62, but if you wait until your full retirement age, which will probably be between 66 and 67,

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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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North Adams' Belltower Records to Host Summer Jam II
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Friday, August 09, 2019

Belltower bought out the inventory of the former Toonerville Trolley. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Belltower Records has settled into the community as a hub for music fans, musicians, and audiophiles alike.   It is easy to lose a few hours on the third floor of the Norad Mill digging through the overflowing record crates at the independent music store.   "We have just been longtime collectors, my wife and I, and we have been looking to do something for a while and we basically stumbled upon this," owner Wes Nelson said recently.   With news that Hal March, owner of Toonerville Trolley Records in Williamstown, was looking to close and sell his business in 2017, a

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Latura Brings 'No Filter' Into Race For City Council
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:35AM / Friday, August 09, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Richard Latura wants his hometown back the way he remembers it and he doesn't care how that happens -- legal or not.   Latura is running for an at-large seat on the City Council. He doesn't like what is happening in Pittsfield and he wants to make it safe, cut out political nonsense, and reel in the taxes.    "I'm too old. I don't care. I'm just so tired of having so many politicians on that dais that are useless," Latura said.   The Police Department would be a top priority: making sure officers have everything they need and looking the other way if officers become physical with some offenders.   "I

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Pittsfield Health Looking For Balance With New Microblading Laws
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:17AM / Friday, August 09, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Board of Health is trying to craft rules around microblading that both ensures public safety while also not being overly restrictive.   The Health Department took up the issue in January after the city received multiple inquiries about opening a microblading practice. It's a relatively new trend similar to tattooing. It is a beauty service in which less permanent ink is injected into the skin for such things as eyebrows or eyeliner. It has been growing in popularity and when the questions arrived, the city realized there were already practitioners operating without permits.   Health Director Gina Armstrong said such a practice does come with

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The Independent Investor: Will We race to the Bottom?
By Bill Schmick,
04:22PM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
Financial markets are in turmoil. President Trump's trade war is escalating, and with it, fears that both China and the U.S. will employ a new weapon, currency devaluation, to win the war. Is that a wise move?   The last time the country devalued the dollar outright was on Dec. 18, 1971, when President Nixon took the country off the gold standard. Since then, there have been times when various administrations have nudged the dollar down, but most American presidents have maintained a strong-dollar policy.   However, over the course of the last two years, President Trump has increasingly complained that the United States is at an unfair advantage versus other countries that are

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Berkshire Force Softball Players Compile Strong Numbers at World Series
03:56PM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
The Berkshire Force 10-and-under and 12U softball teams brought back some impressive stats to go with the program's 10U bracket championship at last month's World Series in Jensen Beach, Fla.   For the 12-year-olds, Amanda Pou struck out 23 hitters in 22 innings pitched while compiling a record of 1-1.   At the plate, Paxton Ebling went .500 with six runs batted in to lead the Force 12U offense. Bella MacDonald went .435 with a team-best 10 hits in 23 at-bats.   MacDonald also keyed the offense with nine stolen bases. Ebling went seven-for-seven on stolen base attempts.   Mia Arpante notched the 12-year-olds' lone triple, while Audrina Maloney collected a

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Blake, Salvatore Key Pittsfield 13s in Babe Ruth World Series Opener
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
03:03PM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- The Pittsfield Babe Ruth 13-year-old All-Stars may have been a little tight at the start of Thursday’s opener at the World Series.   By the end, they showed just how well equipped this team is to play in tight games.   Owen Salvatore doubled home the winning run in the top of the sixth, and Evan Blake and Brayden Gutzmer combined to strike out 10 in a 2-0 win over the Mid-Atlantic champions from Centre County, Pa., at Bullens Field.   “Of course, we all have nerves, but not as much as there used to be,” Blake said after going 5-⅔ innings on the mound to earn the win.   Pittsfield manager Paul Brindle said the experience like

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iBerkshiresTV Discusses Domestic Violence, Opioids on Latest Episode
Staff Reports,
02:34PM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — We took on some big issues on the latest episode of iBerkshiresTV.   Benjamin Lamb is one of the founders of a new organization in North County aimed to get men to do their part in curbing domestic violence. Men Initiating Change in North County is bringing men together show role model appropriate behavior and speak up when they see signs of abuse. Editor Tammy Daniels talked with Lamb about the group's founding and goals.   Then we spoke with County Ambulance President Brian Andrews. The data has been showing that overdose deaths are leveling out. But, if you ask first responders, they'll tell you overdoses are not. County Ambulance is looking to

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'The Farewell': And a Fond One at That
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:24PM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
Every so often, some philosophically inclined sort seeks a window into your soul by asking, "If you could spend time with anyone now deceased, who would it be, pray tell?"    Akin in hypocrisy to first wishing for world peace or a cure for cancer before asking for a Ferrari whence blowing out my birthday candles, I perfunctorily answer, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or Ben Franklin. However, after seeing the delightfully heartwarming, bittersweet and often hilarious "The Farewell," about a Chinese family who throws a wedding as pretense for gathering to say goodbye to their terminally ill matriarch, I thought of the grandmother I never knew.   Anna

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Pittsfield Firefighter Befriends Teen Rescued From Springside Park
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When a teenager fell some 25 feet into an abandoned cistern at Springside Park, firefighter Mike Marran was the first one down the hole to reach him.   He kept Devon Goewey calm and talked sports as he took care of the boy's wounds and secured him into a halfback so other first-responders could pull him out through a tripod set up. It is what Marran is trained to do as a member of the Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team.   "The kid was amazing," Marran said.   But, the job didn't end just then. The Pittsfield Fire Department's B Group got in touch with 16-year-old Devon shortly after to see how he was

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Tanglewood, Sevenars Showcase Great Music
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
09:02PM / Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Tanglewood this week will be very rewarding and diverse, with spectacular musical riches across the centuries, representing the progressive continuum of styles: music that’s both time-honored and new, and everything in-between.

Tanglewood continues its classical programming with an all-Beethoven piano recital on Aug. 7 by the fabulous soloist Yefim Bronfman; more Beethoven awaits with the beloved "Pastoral" Symphony No. 6 and the lyrical Fourth Piano Concerto, featuring the magnificent pianist Inon Barnaton on Aug. 11 – the BSO led by composer/pianist/conductor Thomas Adès; also, a program of three of the Viennese master’s violin/piano sonatas, performed

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