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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Sept. 19-Oct. 5
11:16AM / Friday, September 29, 2017

VIEW DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR     September 29 - October 5,

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Gonzalez Looks to Bring Aggressive Agenda to Governor's Race
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Friday, September 29, 2017

The Needham Democrat stopped at Dottie's for coffee and conversations. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Jay Gonzalez sees a lack of leadership coming from the governor's office.   The Needham Democrat says when it comes to transportation, health care, and early childhood education, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is happy with "the status quo."   "He's way too satisfied with the status quo. He is too often on the sidelines when he should be fighting for people. I think his approach to the job has been one where he basically looks at what we have and where we are and is trying to just do the best with what we have as opposed to figuring out where we need to

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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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Grant Helps Spread the 'Bee Friendly Williamstown' Buzz
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:30AM / Friday, September 29, 2017

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town has received a $9,120 grant from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at University of Massachusetts at Lowell to further its efforts to become "Bee Friendly Williamstown."

Last May, Williamstown residents approved a non-binding resolution declaring the town a pollinator-friendly community. The resolution seeks to change residential and institutional landscaping practices by promoting ways to reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides that scientists believe are killing bee populations.

Building on that, the town has partnered with several local organizations - Caretaker Farm, the Clark Art Institute, Images Cinema, Sam and Elizabeth Smith,

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Panel Explores Big Challenges Facing Local Education System
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:18AM / Friday, September 29, 2017

The forum was moderated by NAACP President Dennis Powell and included Alicia Costa from Working Cities, Brendan Sheran from Pittsfield High School, Andrea Wadsworth from the Lee School Committee, and William Cameron, the former superintendent of the Central Berkshire Regional School District. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Education advocates have identified some major issues facing the future of the county's public school system in health insurance, private educational institutions, transportation, funding, and population.    On Thursday, Jobs with Justice held a forum to bring those issues to the forefront, hoping to build momentum behind solving the problems.   The

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Letter: Suicide Prevention Walk Set in Adams
04:00PM / Thursday, September 28, 2017

To the Editor:

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 34; it is the only leading cause of death to have increased every year of the past decade. (Statistics provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).

Members of the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention Board (BCSP) recently met with a group of youths to talk about the risks to the emotional and mental health of young people exposed to deliberately cruel posts on social media. We discussed how forums intended to foster communication can be used to bully others, and how victims of cyber bullying can feel increased isolation and anxiety and experience low

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'Brad's Status': What's It All About, Alfie?
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
02:31PM / Thursday, September 28, 2017
In "Brad's Status," Brad Sloan nearly drives us crazy with his unremitting regret and self-doubt as he accompanies his son, Troy, played by Austin Abrams, to look at colleges in Boston. Oh, we all do it. That's how we keep score. It's just that Brad, portrayed by Ben Stiller, is especially effective in showing us how unattractive this practice seems if not kept in check. Still, we are compelled to commiserate, appreciating that Stiller's imaging of the neurotic, 21st century everyman adds an insightful chapter to the human comedy.   Written and directed by Mike White, Brad's travail is entertaining in that alternately painful and bittersweet way, when

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Pittsfield Approves Incentive For LTI Smart Glass
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:39AM / Thursday, September 28, 2017

Director of Community Development Deanna Ruffer said she reviewed the company's financials and is confident that it will meet the challenge portion of the incentive too. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council approved a $580,000 tax incentive to help LTI Smart Glass expand its Federico Drive facility.   The company is looking to add 16,692 square feet to its facility and add 38 jobs at a minimum. And the company is investing in equipment to perform work it currently farms out to other states, here in Pittsfield.   "There are a couple of components here. It is the job growth but it is also the capital investment to create something this company currently

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BMC Asks Court To Halt Nurses Union Strike
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:15PM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center is seeking a preliminary injunction to halt a planned one-day strike.   The hospital filed for an injunction in federal court, claiming the Massachusetts Nursing Association had not followed contractual obligations prior to calling a strike. The union, however, asserts that the strike is legal and still plans to take to the picket lines on Tuesday.    In the union's filing for a strike, it listed it as an "unfair labor practice" strike. But, each of the complaints made by the union regarding unfair labor practices occurred while under contract and should have been resolved through an arbitration process,

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New York/Berkshire Rail Group Begins Research Into Passenger Service
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:44PM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The working group is looking for ways to bring seasonal weekend rail service between NYC and the Berkshires. LENOX, Mass. — The working group looking to develop New York-to-Pittsfield passenger rail is beginning a deep dive into collating data and reaching out to possible stakeholders.   The initial focus will be on local connections, market potential, and railroad capacity issues as the group prepares a report to be delivered to the Legislature in March.    "It's an exciting charge that we have before us," said state Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, who is spearheading the project and authored the legislation directing it. "The highlights are

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Health Matters: The Hidden Benefits of Local Food
Sponsored Content,
12:03PM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Farmers market displays are colorful and eye-catching.

Some local food enthusiasts have called September "the best food month." All of the summer's produce — tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers and sweet corn — is still available locally, and the fall vegetables, like squash and parsnips, are coming ready too.

If you are not accustomed to shopping at a farmers market, it is a great time to check it out. What you'll find there — in addition to the festival atmosphere, friendly neighbors, live music and delicious ready-made ethnic foods — are conditions that make it easier to eat healthfully.

As you enter the market you will notice the beauty

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Biz Briefs: Citizens for a Greater Bennington to Support the Putnam Block Project
11:23AM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Around the block: The Citizens for a Greater Bennington, in partnership with Preservation Trust of Vermont and the Vermont Natural Resources Council, are giving a $100,000 grant to support the Putnam Block Redevelopment Project. The CFGB Grant will be made through the Southwestern Vermont Hospital Foundation and will leverage an additional $100,000 contribution from the Bank of Bennington.

The Putnam Block Project is a vibrant, mixed-use downtown space with offices, in-town living, restaurants and retail.  The Putnam Block Redevelopment is a community-led development. The civic leaders of Bennington together with the town, state and key tenants are providing the investments and

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Here's Your Retirement Countdown
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:51AM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

If you want to enjoy a comfortable retirement lifestyle, you don't need to have been born rich or even to have earned scads of money during your working years. But you do need to make the right moves at the right time – which means you might want to start a "retirement countdown" well before you draw your final paycheck.

What might such a countdown look like? Here are a few ideas:

Ten years before retirement: At this stage of your career, you might be at, or at least near, your peak earning capacity. At the same time, your kids may have grown and left the home, and you might even have paid off your mortgage. All these factors, taken together, may mean that you can

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