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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pine Brook Pub Wants to Make New Memories in Adams
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
07:15AM / Sunday, February 09, 2020

The updated bar side of the establishment.  ADAMS, Mass. — Transforming one of Adams' most iconic watering holes is a daunting task but natives Tammie and Trent Shafer are off to a good start.   The new Pine Brook Pub in the former Chick's Bar & Grill is a hospitable, spotless, welcoming, family-friendly reboot of its predecessor. The space underwent extensive renovations before a soft opening in late November. The Shafers want it to be a destination spot again, just with a different goal for the customers.   "We want to be more family oriented, that's why we chose the word pub instead of bar or restaurant. Half the place is the bar area and

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@theMarket: Central Banks Stem Coronavirus Fallout
By Bill Schmick,
11:48AM / Saturday, February 08, 2020
Financial markets rebounded this week, despite the escalation of the number of coronavirus cases worldwide. The upturn may have surprised some, but their mistake was underestimating the power of central banks to support the markets.   The bear case last Sunday evening was that the Chinese stock market would crater upon opening after being closed for Golden Week, the traditional Chinese New Year. While Shanghai did open down 9 percent, it quickly reversed and spent the rest of the week climbing out of that hole.   The main reason for this rebound was the announcement by Chinese authorities that they were prepared to support their financial markets. Publicly, they announced a $22


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

Lanesborough Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
04:09PM / Friday, February 07, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Lanesborough woman pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Friday to embezzling nearly $50,000 over a period of two years.    Elizabeth Hakes, 48, admitted to guilt on two counts of larceny over $1,200 by a single scheme related to embezzling funds from Berkshire Works and the Austen Riggs Center.   The Berkshire district attorney's office requested 18 months of incarceration and two years of probation following. Defense counsel requested a suspended sentence and two years' probation. The state's sentence guidelines call for up to two years of incarceration.   Judge John Agostini sentenced her to two years at the House of


The Independent Investor: The Great Tax Migration
By Bill Schmick,
01:00PM / Friday, February 07, 2020
Americans have been moving from high tax states to lower tax states for decades.   Climate, cheaper housing prices, less congestion, and jobs are some of the reasons behind such moves. That trend, however, has added taxes to that list, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.   Many of those reasons for moving have been with us ever since Horace Greeley, the American author and newspaper man, reportedly first advised America's youth to "Go west." Back in 19th-century America, the country had embraced the concept of "Manifest Destiny." The Horace Greeleys of the world had argued that it was inevitable, justified, and our God-given right to expand


Pittsfield Firefighters Douse Structure, Kitchen Fires Thursday
12:50PM / Friday, February 07, 2020

Firefighters extinguish a structure fire on McArthurStreet. The cause was not known late Thursday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters responded to two different blazes on Thursday. No one was injured in either fire but the homes in which they occurred suffered some damage.    The first was at 6:30 a.m. at 73 McArthur St. According to Deputy Chief Daniel Garner, the Fire Department found fire in the attic and roof on arrival. E-5 crew stretched a 1 3/4-inch hand line and attacked main body of fire. E-1 crew stretched a 2-inch backup hose line. E-3 crew provided water supply and searched the building for occupants. Truck-2 ventilated the roof and salvage/overhaul. Fire was

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'Gretel & Hansel': Grimm Doings
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:18PM / Friday, February 07, 2020
The only novel thing about director Oz Perkins' indulgent reimagining of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale is the reverse order of the title characters, which at best could be a token nod to the women's movement. More interesting as a study in how Perkins fails to breathe a new slant into the fable than it is entertaining, the few crumbs of variation are barely worth following.   Only film critics and moviegoers in whom hope springs eternal won't consider cutting their losses by exiting the theater as soon as it becomes obvious that "Gretel & Hansel" is a lost cause. However, it occurred while sticking it out to the closing credits that, despite possessing


Williamstown's Art Chairing Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:48AM / Friday, February 07, 2020

Tom Matuszko, left, of BRPC and Hank Art appear before the Select Board to discuss the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership last year. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership took a half-dozen years to come to fruition, but its member towns are wasting no time taking advantage of the opportunities it provides.   "We were only authorized in the fall, and there's been a round of small grants," Williamstown representative Henry Art said last week. "Ten towns have applied for $25,000 $20,000 in grants from the state for trails and access improvement or carbon sequestration projects. … The towns will manage woodlands not just for saw


Berkshires Beat: Schools Sought for Humane Society PAWS Read-A-Thon
12:39PM / Thursday, February 06, 2020
PAWS Read-A-Thon

For the first time in the program's five-year history, Berkshire Humane Society will open its annual PAWS Read-A-Thon to all pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students in Berkshire County.  Materials to participate are available online and the deadline to apply is Feb. 10.

In the PAWS Read-A-Thon, children find sponsors to pledge an amount to donate to Berkshire Humane Society for each minute the child reads during March, National Reading Month. Prizes are awarded to top readers and schools in various categories. Each child enrolled in the read-a-thon will receive a Berkshire Humane Society goody bag.

In the past, Berkshire Humane Society worked with a


Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Feb. 7-13
12:36PM / Thursday, February 06, 2020
February 7 is First Friday Artswalk and More! Enjoy a dozen 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.

As part of Pittsfield's 9th Annual 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival, the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts will host a preview reception for its  from 5-8 p.m. A


Pittsfield Officials See Budget Overview
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:42AM / Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Finance Director Matthew Kerwood provides a snapshot of the city's finances on Tuesday.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council and School Committee were given a snapshot of the status of this year's budget on Tuesday and a glimpse at the fiscal 2021 budget.   "I am going to give a quick snapshot overview of where we are in fiscal year 2020 then move into a conversation about the financial forecast on the revenue side for fiscal year 2021," Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood said.   Kerwoood outlined the budget process that will kick off in May and went over some metrics that will inform the fiscal 2021 budget. He said the governor has put forth a


BArT Pulls Away in Second Half
By Stephen Dravis, Sports
11:06PM / Tuesday, February 04, 2020
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Brandon Bamba scored 33 points in limited minutes Tuesday to lead the BArT Wolfpack to a 70-60 win over the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School at the North Adams Armory.   Bamba had to sit down during the first half after getting a bloody nose after drawing contact from a member of the Dragons.   That allowed PVCICS to whittle away at a nine-point BArT lead and briefly take a 28-24 lead before Bamba returned with 1 minute, 40 seconds left in the half.   Reggie Delphia put back an offensive rebound to cut the deficit in half and got to the line. He missed his free throw, but Bamba put back the offensive rebound to tie it, 28-28, and


Be Aware of Social Security Myths
Submitted by Edward Jones,
02:34PM / Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Social Security can be one source of retirement income for you and your spouse. To maximize your benefits, you will need to make some key decisions and be aware of some common myths.

• Myth 1: Always take Social Security early. You can file for Social Security benefits as early as 62, but you could get 25 percent to 30 percent more if you wait until your "full" retirement age (likely between 66 and 67). You can receive even more if you wait until 70, at which point your benefits will "max out." However, there's no right time to file for everyone – it depends on your situation, including factors such as your life expectancy, employment, financial need and


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