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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Berkshires Beat: Beckett-Chimney Corners YMCA Receives $500 Community Spirit Grant
08:01AM / Saturday, May 16, 2020
Camp grant

Beckett-Chimney Corners YMCA in Becket has been awarded $500 from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation’s Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grant program. An employee of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care nominated the organization for the award. Funds will be used to provide scholarships to campers in need. 

To commemorate those Harvard Pilgrim members who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, Harvard Pilgrim and the foundation created the Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grant program. This program allows each Harvard Pilgrim employee to award a $500 grant, completely funded by the Foundation, to the local charity of his or her choice each calendar year. Since this community

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Springfield Hockey Co-op Opens Opportunity for PHS Girls
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:46AM / Saturday, May 16, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — High school sports is a major time commitment for a teenager.   It is even greater when you have to commute.   But Pittsfield High freshman Kellie Harrington is looking forward to next winter having the chance to do just that, as a member of a newly formed cooperative girls hockey team at Springfield's Pope Francis Preparatory School.   "There will be logistics we have to work out," Harrington said last week. "Hopefully, another girl [from PHS] will play, and we can carpool.   "As a family, me and my brother both play hockey. He plays club hockey out of Springfield. It is a lot. It's really stressful. You get to a

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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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iBerkshiresTV Talks With Berkshire Pay It Forward
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
02:17AM / Saturday, May 16, 2020

  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A local effort to help feed families who have become unemployed during the pandemic will hold its fourth pop-up meal event on Saturday, May 16.   Berkshire Pay It Forward will be providing a prepackaged frozen meals for four starting at 1 p.m. at Berkshire Crossing, near Walmart and Home Depot entrance.   This event's meal is four chicken breasts, cheddar potatoes, broccoli and dessert. Chef Brandon Horn will also be donating soup and bread. All meals are free of charge available first come, first serve.   In order to maintain proper social distancing and safety protocol, meals will be prepackaged and ready for drive-up distribution; all

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@theMarket: Something Off in Bond Versus Stock Market Outlooks
By Bill Schmick,
05:34PM / Friday, May 15, 2020
Given the recent gains in the stock market over the last month or so, it is clear that stock market participants believe that the country will be back on its feet in no time. Over in the fixed income space, it is another story entirely. The question is which market will be right?   The betting in the bond market is that U.S. interest rates are not only going to zero, but there is a high probability that America, like Europe and Japan, will soon see negative rates, as early as next year. Six months ago, that was unthinkable.   On Wednesday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell gave a virtual speech at the Peterson Institute of International Economics. He said, "The FOMC committee's

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Mayor Tyer Says City Ready to Assess Reopening Protocols
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:29PM / Friday, May 15, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. —  Mayor Linda Tyer is cautioning residents that the anticipated "reopening" report expected Monday from the state will likely not mean everything will immediately open.   "Not surprisingly there is much anticipation around Monday's announcement however it is important to keep in mind that this date will serve only as a guidepost for what is to come," Tyer said during her weekly COVID-19 update on Pittsfield Community Television.    Gov. Charlie Baker appointed an advisory board to develop a four-phase plan for gradually reopening the state — dependent on public health data. Much of the commercial activity

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Severe T-Storms, Damaging Winds Moving Through Berkshires
10:20AM / Friday, May 15, 2020

One of the big weather stories on #Friday will be the #severe thunderstorm threat across the Northeast into the Ohio Valley, basically from Boston to Columbus. The main threat from these #thunderstorms will be damaging winds but hail and a tornado or two are also possible. pic.twitter.com/dSXdhQsw05

— National Weather Service (@NWS) May 14, 2020 After two nights of frost, it was 61 degrees on Main Street in North Adams on Thursday night.    You think, ahhh, spring has finally arrived! Warm evenings, buds popping, birds chirping.    Well, the weather is never easy in the Berkshires. Yet another storm front will batter the region with torrential rain and damaging

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Dire Outlook for School Budgets Across Commonwealth
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:36AM / Friday, May 15, 2020

Glenn Koocher of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees testifies before the committee on Wednesday.  BOSTON — School districts across the commonwealth face a "dreadful" situation with regard to their fiscal year 2021 budget, legislators were told on Wednesday.   The Joint Committee on Education took more than four hours of testimony from state education officials, school administrators, teachers, parents and other stakeholders in an virtual oversight hearing on "Remote Learning and the Status of K-12 Education."   Although much of the testimony centered on the commonwealth's and districts' efforts to implement remote

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Pittsfield School Superintendent Gives Remote Learning Update
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:26AM / Friday, May 15, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — School administrators have offered households remote learning support but see more challenges on the horizon.   Superintendent Jason McCandless told the School Committee on Wednesday that although they have provided 3,000 students with school-owned laptops there are still many families without an internet connection.   "We need to find a way to cross that digital bridge that has some students connected and with equipment and other students isolated," he said.   He said if the city were to become an internet provider that would solve the issue because students could be provided the internet like any other utility. Pittsfield last year got a

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Berkshire Health Systems Further Reduces Call Line Hours as Usage Falls
10:14PM / Thursday, May 14, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Citing the continuing drop in the number of calls received on a daily basis, Berkshire Health Systems is further reducing the hours for its COVID-19 Nurse Triage Line. For the past month, the hours have been 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Effective Sunday, May 17, the hours will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week.

During the first month of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Berkshires, the toll-free call line recorded, on average, between 200 and 300 calls per day. That number has dropped to an average of 100 calls per day, with very few calls after 4:30 p.m. 

The call line was developed during the very first days of the pandemic in the Berkshires as a way to

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The Independent Investor: Gold, the Bug, and You
By Bill Schmick,
05:38PM / Thursday, May 14, 2020
If there was ever a time to flee to safety, the Pandemic of 2020 is a great excuse. Stocks tumbled, bounced back, tumbled again. The bond and credit markets have been in disarray. Yet, few have even mentioned the precious metals market as a place to be.   Even writing about gold in this age of Zooming, digital breakthroughs, 5G technology, and the like, seems anarchistic. The precious metal has been relegated to an obscure corner along with conspiracy theories, old warnings, and a small group of goldbugs who trot out "end of the world" warnings on down days in the stock markets.   You usually see these ads to buy gold every time stocks fall 10 percent or more. I imagine

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'The Fountainhead': Magnificent Confusion
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:10PM / Thursday, May 14, 2020

I wish that I were reviewing one of the half-dozen movies certain to be made when this pox upon our house is no more. 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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Baker Sets Goal of 75,000 COVID-19 Tests Daily by Year's End
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:35PM / Thursday, May 14, 2020
BOSTON — Massachusetts has set the ambitious goal of processing testing for COVID-19 to 75,000 tests a day by the end of the year, at least seven times the number currently being done.    Gov. Charlie Baker said testing capacity will be critical to the state's ability to safely reopen for commercial and social activities.    "Important groundwork has been laid to expand lab capacity and testing infrastructure," Baker said at Thursday's pandemic update. "Now we need to build on that foundation, as we continue to fight the virus for the long term."   Overall testing capacity has risen to about 30,000 a day with about 10,000 to 12,000

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