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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

'Oscar & The Greatest Movie that Might Never get Made'
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:06PM / Thursday, January 30, 2020
Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, my landlady lo these many years, knocked on my door. "Telephone downstairs for you, Mr. Goldberger. I think it's that same nasty man who called you last year at Oscar time. Oh, 'tis a bad business, I fear."    Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, who prided herself on only letting her rooms to critics, took a personal interest in my career. I followed her downstairs to the foyer where, before I picked up the dangling receiver, she informed, "Lamb stew tonight. Oh, and Miss Chalmers will be returning from her librarians' convention."   "Hello, Goldberger here."   "That you, Iceberger?" came the inherently

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The Independent Investor: ESG and the World of Investment
By Bill Schmick,
04:24PM / Thursday, January 30, 2020
Over the last few years, investments that focus on environmental, social, and governance issues, or ESG, have been confused with socially responsible investing or SRI. There is a big difference between the two investment styles.   The simplest way to understand the differences between the two is the profit motive. ESg investments are focused on making money as a primary objective. They do so by identifying specific risks or opportunities now and in the future and investing accordingly. SRI investors, on the other hand, are willing to forego profits in companies that do not meet their ethical standards. They value ethics more than profits in the investment world.   For example, if

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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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Weekend Report: No Snowstorm, But a Groundhog and a Game
02:16PM / Thursday, January 30, 2020

Does Punxsutawney Phil like football?

With the Super Bowl falling on Groundhog Day this year, we here at iBerkshires got to wondering if, instead of asking the animal to predict how much more winter we are in for, we ask him to predict who will win the big game?

Because, let's face it, winter officially remains through March 18 whether we like it or not - and sometimes in reality it drags on even longer in these parts, and we see snow on Mother's Day. While there was talk earlier this week of a big Nor'easter this weekend to make it a white Super Bowl, the storm appears to be going out to see, and we might only see some flurries this weekend, with temperatures right around

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Jan. 31-Feb. 6
11:15AM / Thursday, January 30, 2020
NEXT THU 6th Annual Cupcake Wars Fundraiser On Thursday, Feb. 6, bakeries throughout Berkshire County will compete in the 6th Annual Cupcake Wars in the categories of Best Tasting, Best Presentation, Most Creative, and People's Choice at the Berkshire Hills Country Club from 5:30-8 p.m.
In addition to samples of these sweet treats, attendees will receive an Italian dinner provided by Pittsfield Unico. At the end of the evening, all attendees will be eligible to bid on a dozen full-size cupcakes from each participating bakery!

Tickets are available online and at

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Are You a Mindful Investor?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:07AM / Thursday, January 30, 2020

Recently, we have seen an increased interest in mindfulness, although the concept itself is thousands of years old. Essentially, being mindful means you are living very much in the present, highly conscious of your thoughts and feelings.

However, being mindful doesn't mean acting on those thoughts and feelings – it's just the opposite. With mindfulness, your decision-making is based on cognitive skills and a rational perspective, rather than emotions. As such, mindfulness can be quite valuable as you make investment decisions.

Two of the most common emotions or tendencies associated with investing are fear and greed. Let's see how they can affect investors'

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All stuffed up? It might not be a cold. It might be the air in your home
10:53AM / Thursday, January 30, 2020

Do you have itchy eyes and a stuffy nose when you go home? It might not be just a cold. Your air quality might be to blame.

Indoor air can be between 200 percent and 500 percent more polluted than outdoor air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, leading to symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, postnasal drip, headaches, coughing, itching, nasal congestion, runny nose, fatigue and sneezing. And since people spend 90 percent of their day indoors, breathing approximately 36 pounds of air per day, that's a lot of polluted air to handle.

Ironically, as homes get more energy-efficient, the issue of indoor air pollution has become worse, the EPA said, because these tight

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Pittsfield to Begin Community Discussion About Police in Schools
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:19AM / Thursday, January 30, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city will begin a discussion on the role of police officers in the public school system.   The City Council had a lengthy conversation Tuesday on a petition put forward by Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Maffuccio in regard to filling the vacant resource officer position at Reid Middle School and agreed that the city needs to have a wider conversation about police officers in the classroom.   "That is a much bigger discussion that I think is worth having, and I do think that it will require a lot of community input and community engagement," Mayor Linda Tyer said. "I understand both sides of the issue and I understand the anxiety that staff

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No Progress on Former Johnny's Beach Club Renovation
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:19AM / Thursday, January 30, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Barcelona Tapas and Bar's progress has stalled until the building department  issues a permit.   Although disappointed with the lack of movement on the project, the Licensing Board tabled the regular agenda item Monday but asked for regular updates.   "Until hammer and nails start going in I think we should have an update every month," board member Richard Stockwell said.   The owners indicated last summer that instead of opening the former Johnny's Beach Club on 87 Wahconah St. as a tapas bar, they planned to improve the site in hopes of selling it.   The owners have completed some substantial renovations of the property

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Gittens' Game-Winner Lifts MCLA in OT
10:16PM / Wednesday, January 29, 2020
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Quentin Gittens hit a jumper with one second left in overtime on Wednesday night to give the MCLA men's basketball team an 82-81 win over Westfield State.   Noah Yearsley blocked a shot in the last second of regulation to preserve a 72-72 tie after the Owls and Trailblazers went scoreless over the last 2 minutes, 29 seconds of regulation.   Taconic graduate Gittens finished with 10 points and six rebounds for MCLA, which got a game-high 19 from Chris Becker.   Yearsley finished with 18 points and a pair of blocks. Ki-Shawn Monroe recorded 15 points and 10 rebounds.   Drury graduate Hayden Bird scored eight points in the win.   MCLA (13-5,

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Pittsfield City Council Approves Recycling Agreement
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:01AM / Wednesday, January 29, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday approved a new recycling contract with the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility.   Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood and City Engineer and interim Commissioner of Public Services and Utilities Ricardo Morales fielded questions from the council about the new contract that will include increases.   "This is a paradigm shift for communities in Western Mass ... we recognize this but we also recognize that recycling is important and has to continue" Kerwood said. "We have to adjust and recognize the market has changed and we are seeing a situation where we have to pay to have these materials

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Lanesborough Moving Forward With Search For New Police Chief, Station
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
03:43AM / Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Skyline Country Club owner Jim Mitus and Mark Siegars address raise the possibility of the country club being a location for a police station and senior housing.   LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Town officials may have jumped the gun a bit when they immediately formed a search committee upon receiving Police Chief Timothy Sorrell's retirement letter at their last meeting.    "When we talked about this last time we were shooting from the hip and we were all very excited," Town Manager Kelli Robbins said at Monday's Selectmen's meeting. "I reached out to the Small Town Administrator of Massachusetts (STAM) and multiple towns recommended that we

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MEMA Grant Puts Emergency Medical Kits in Pittsfield Schools
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
12:52PM / Monday, January 27, 2020

Police Chief Michael Wynn, left, Fire Chief Thomas Sammons and Eric Lamoureaux, community coordinator for the Pittsfield Public Schools, at Monday's announcement.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — All city public schools will receive backpack trauma kits equipped to handle a multitude of emergency situations.   Fire Chief Thomas Sammons alongside Police Chief Michael Wynn and Eric Lamoureaux of the Pittsfield Public Schools announced Monday the delivery of 15 trauma kits that were secured through a Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency grant.   "This is a whole approach the city is taking in responding to an active shooter," Sammons said at Fire Department

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