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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Virtual Kwanzaa Celebration
10:35AM / Thursday, December 24, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Women of Color Giving Circle of the Berkshires will be hosting its annual community Kwanzaa Celebration virtually at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

This year's event is being presented in collaboration with the Berkshire County branch of the NAACP, Berkshire Black Economic Council, Clinton Church Restoration, and Westside Legends.

Kwanzaa is a non-religious celebration held Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. The holiday celebrates African and African-American culture, with an emphasis on seven principles geared towards uplift and empowerment.

This year's theme is Umoja, which means unity in Swahili. The event lineup will

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'Rent Party Jazz' With Questlove Raises $5K for Morningside
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:04AM / Thursday, December 24, 2020

CAPTION HERE PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Morningside Community School — with some star-studded help — was able raise a sizable amount of money through the power of music.   The school raised about $5,000 to benefit their students through a virtual jazz party on Monday hosted by five-time Grammy Award-winning musician Questlove, who is the frontman for "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon's" in-house band The Roots.     "It kind of fell into our laps," fourth-grade teacher Rebecca Nicholson said. "With a lot of planning on the lesson end of it, but a little bit of luck with how it came to be."   The event titled

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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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Balderdash Cellars Approved to Renovate Barn for Event Space
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:18PM / Wednesday, December 23, 2020

RICHMOND, Mass. — Local winery Balderdash Cellars on State Road (Route 41) has been approved to renovate an existing barn next to its main and winery building to utilize for events and overflow space.

Co-owners Donna and Christian Hanson want the renovated barn to maintain its rustic nature.

"From the outside, it is going to look very similar to what it does now, the footprint is not going to change, it will still look like a barn it will just look better and nicer and not fall down," Christian Hanson joked. "We want to keep it as rustic as possible."

They plan to install a floor and do repairs to make the barn structurally sound but do not plan on removing beams

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Pittsfield Selects Supplier For Community Choice Power Supply Program
09:29AM / Wednesday, December 23, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City of Pittsfield announced that Dynegy Energy Services has been selected as the new supplier for its Community Choice Power Supply Program.

No action will be required by individual consumers. All accounts currently enrolled in the program will be switched to Dynegy as of the January 2021 meter reads.   This change will be noted on the January 2021 bills and will be reflected on the February 2021 bills.   The city's new aggregation rate is fixed at $0.09603 per kWh for all rate classes for 36 months (January 2021 to January 2024). Eversource's Residential Basic Service rate is fixed at $0.10795 per kWh from Jan. 1, 2021 through June 30,

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Salvation Army in Urgent Need of Funds to Meet $60K Goal
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:04AM / Wednesday, December 23, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A perfect storm of unprecedented need and far fewer kettle donations has the Salvation Army seeking help to rescue Christmas.   Donations through the charity organization's red kettles in Pittsfield are currently down by 70 percent compared to last year and it's struggling to meet its fundraising target by about $33,000.    "We went into the season honestly unsure if we were even going to be able to ring the bell," Captain Justin Barter, corps officer in Pittsfield, said Tuesday. "We were grateful that we could ring the bell but the numbers are still significantly down."   Now in its 130th year, the kettle campaign

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Mount Greylock School Committee Advances Synthetic Turf Field Project
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:21PM / Tuesday, December 22, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A deeply divided Mount Greylock Regional School Committee decided Tuesday night to move forward with a project to address deficiencies in the playing fields at the middle/high school that includes an artificial turf multi-sport field.   On a vote of 4-3, the committee decided to pay architect Perkins Eastman $44,000 to develop design documents that will allow the district to put the project out to bid this winter with the possibility of having a synthetic turf field in place as early as fall 2021.   The vote does not commit the district to actually accept bids when they come back, but it almost certainly ensures that the district will issue a request

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Kitty Missing Since September Returns Home for Christmas
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
03:27PM / Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Tellus had been missing since September when she escaped from the family's temporary home while they were waiting to move into their new house.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tellus, a feline friend that went missing almost three months ago, was united with her family just in time for Christmas thanks to the work of a compassionate community and the Berkshire Humane Society.

"If there's ever a story to show that you should never stop looking for a lost pet, this is it!" said the shelter's feline manager Erin Starsja, who reunited Tellus and her dad.

Back in September, Alicia and Chris Knowles were renting an Airbnb property while house hunting in Berkshire County. The

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Governor Rolls Back Gathering Limits to Prevent COVID-19 Spread
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:20PM / Tuesday, December 22, 2020
BOSTON — The governor is implementing tighter restrictions on gatherings, dropping capacity limits to 25 percent for businesses and industries and limiting indoor gatherings to no more than 10 and outdoor gatherings to 25.    The regulations go into effect on Saturday, Dec. 26, as the state attempts to limit the pandemic fallout from the Christmas holiday.   "Together, the intent of the these restrictions will be to pause activity and reduce mobility, so we can reduce the spread of the virus, without closing our schools, or our businesses," said Gov. Charlie Baker at Tuesday's pandemic briefing.    Occupancy limits apply to restaurant seating

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ZBA Approves Permit for Berkshire Root Cultivation Facility
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
10:06AM / Tuesday, December 22, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Roots is one step closer to adding a third site to its Pittsfield operations.

The Zoning Board of Appeals last Wednesday approved a special permit from KO Resources LLC to allow the construction of a two-story, 100,000 square foot marijuana cultivation facility at the former site of Ken's Bowl with conditions on the approval adopted from the recommendations of a third-party review.

These conditions are designed to improve the facility's odor mitigation systems and were recommended after a review of the application by Odor Science and Engineering, Inc., (OS&E) of Bloomfield, Conn.  

"It seems to me, at least in my eyes, that we

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Pittsfield Free Parking Extended
09:41AM / Tuesday, December 22, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Free parking in the city will be extended through Friday, Jan. 1

As a reminder, parking in the city is always free in the evenings and weekends.   For more information, please call Roberta McCulloch-Dews, Director of Administrative Services, Mayor’s Office, at 413-499-9322

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Massachusetts Inks Memorandum to Launch Transportation and Climate Initiative
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:09AM / Tuesday, December 22, 2020
BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday hailed a step forward to combat climate change by reducing the No. 1 source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.   The Transportation and Climate Initiative Program aims to reduce those emissions by 26 percent in its first decade and generate revenue that will fund climate resiliency efforts throughout the region.   The right wing Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance immediately went on the offensive, releasing a statement that claimed the multistate initiative would result in "an increase in gas prices up to 38 cents per gallon with very small emissions cuts."   TCI advocates have pegged the potential impact on

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Baker Announces $49M in Small-Business Grants Awarded
Staff Reports,
04:37PM / Monday, December 21, 2020
BOSTON — State officials stressed the need to continue pandemic protocols over the holidays as they announced nearly $50 million in grants to help small businesses through the economic upheaval caused by COVID-19.   The surge in cases of the novel coronavirus after Thanksgiving has put the state's medical system under duress and threatens its ability to continue to operate. Public health officials are bracing for another surge following the Christmas and New Year's holidays.    "If the second holiday season produces a surge in infections that we saw similar to the one that came out of Thanksgiving, we'll be in serious danger of overwhelming, our

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