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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Considers Reactivating Youth Commission
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:15AM / Friday, February 28, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Ordinance and Rules will take a look at restructuring and reactivating the Youth Commission despite some disagreement among the City Council.    The council spent a large portion of Tuesday's meeting arguing over a cluster of petitions that would re-engage the Youth Commission and while most of the council was reluctant to immediately activate it, the item was sent to the subcommittee to begin a larger discussion on the matter.     "This is a way to engage the youth and provide a valuable resource for our city boards," Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Morandi, who endorsed the petition, said. "The children are the future so what we


Mount Greylock, WES Principals Refute Social Media Rumors about Career Changes
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:05PM / Thursday, February 27, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The principals of Williamstown Elementary School and Mount Greylock Regional School on Thursday stepped forward to refute claims on social media regarding their respective decisions to step down from their current positions.   "The assertion that my decision is connected to the district administration is simply wrong," Mount Greylock Principal Mary MacDonald told the district's School Committee.   "In my seven years back at Mount Greylock — because I did teach here for three years — I have enjoyed so much great collaboration with colleagues, some of whom are here today, students and community


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

'The Call of the Wild': Mush to the Theater
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:46PM / Thursday, February 27, 2020
In the closing credits of director Chris Sanders's presentation of Jack London's "The Call of the Wild," a wholesome tale of the courage, honor and loving devotion between man and dog that hopefully won't be lost on our adolescent population, there is a curiously inherent contradiction.   The lists of folks who toiled in the visual effects, special effects, art, animation and makeup departments to make this rousing adventure yarn in the Yukon look so stunningly real go on and on, affirming that the sorcery of re-creating nature sure takes a lot of manpower.   Now, I don't want to be like Sid, the suitor/engineer who ruined every movie for my big sister by


Pittsfield Honors Couple's Efforts Promoting Sports & Literacy
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:34PM / Thursday, February 27, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two city residents who have provided a summer camp that's benefited hundreds of local children over the past two decades were recognized at Tuesday's City Council meeting.   Mayor Linda Tyer read a proclamation honoring community leaders Manny and Vanessa Slaughter, who were awarded the Black Excellence on the Hill Award by the Black and Latino Caucus in Boston earlier this month.     "They both have incredibly powerful stories and the size of the things they have done for the youth of our community as individuals," Tyer said. "They have some powerful personal stories and it is a privilege to know you, to learn from you,


The Independent Investor: Can America Afford Sanders' promises?
By Bill Schmick,
04:30PM / Thursday, February 27, 2020
On the eve of yet another Democratic primary, the policies and promises of the front runner, Bernie Sanders, haves suddenly come into focus for many voters. The price tag of his platform could be enormous -- as much as $60 trillion. Are these promises just waiting to be broken?   Last week, I focused on the promises Donald Trump has made and his track record on fulfilling them. He gets at least a "B," although things like his infrastructure projects and restoring manufacturing were big failures.   In Bernie's case, as a big picture guy, he is arguing for a new vision of America's future. His platform lists seven major spending programs (and a bunch of little


Adams Boy Named Down Syndrome Ambassador
03:10PM / Thursday, February 27, 2020

ADAMS, Mass. — Lucas Solak of ​Adams was announced this week as an ambassador of Nothing Down, an organization aiming to change the way the world views Down syndrome.

Four-year-old ​Lucas is one of 29 new ambassadors from across the globe. He was chosen to represent Nothing Down and, alongside his family, will assist the organization through community outreach, fundraising and social media promotion for the duration of 2020.

The mission of Nothing Down is to provide support, advocacy, education and opportunities for individuals and families that have been touched by Down syndrome. They aim to change the way that the world views Down syndrome and eliminate the stigmas

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BFAIR Names New Director of Adult Foster Care
03:02PM / Thursday, February 27, 2020

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Jasmine Rivera-Boucher has been promoted to the director of Adult Foster Care (AFC) and Shared Living services at BFAIR.

The director is responsible for the day-to-day operations of both programs, the development and implementation of the AFC/SL, accreditation, policies and procedures as well as the fiscal administration of the AFC department. The director ensures all funder's regulations are met, which includes oversight of the referral and intake process in collaboration with DDS, DMH and other funding/referral sources.

"Jasmine’s knowledge, energy, and enthusiasm for BFAIR’s AFC and Shared Living services made her the perfect choice for


Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Feb. 28-March 5
02:37PM / Thursday, February 27, 2020
SUN+ Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Week! During the 2020 Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Week, participating restaurants will serve a lunch or dinner pre-fixe for $20.20 or another amount ending with $.20 (tax and gratuity not included). Complete a Restaurant Passport during March 1-March 7 to be entered into a raffle! Diners will receive a card punch each time they buy a Restaurant Week special. Each punch equals one entry. A grand prize winner will receive a basket of gift certificates for $20.20 from each participating restaurant!    Calling all artists! Submit your original two-


Avoid These Estate Planning Mistakes
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:11PM / Thursday, February 27, 2020

You save and invest to meet a variety of goals during your lifetime: college for your children, long vacations, a comfortable retirement, and so on. But you probably also want to leave something behind – to your loved ones and, possibly, to the charitable organizations you support. To do so, you'll need to develop a comprehensive estate plan, but to make that plan work, you must avoid some common mistakes.

Here are a few of these pitfalls you will want to avoid:

• Not writing a will: If you were to die "intestate" – without a last will and testament – the state in which you live would determine how your property was distributed. And the state's


Hoosac Valley Braces for Potential Budget Cuts to Close $480K Gap
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Thursday, February 27, 2020

The School Committee will see different budget presentations in March. CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley Regional School District is bracing for a tough budget cycle and will work with Adams and Cheshire to make up budget gaps.   Superintendent Aaron Dean told the School Committee on Monday that he has already met with Adams officials to discuss the fiscal 2021 budget that in its early form is $480,000 short.   "The reality is that we have to close a gap of $480,000 at this time given the numbers on the cherry sheet and the normal increases in the budget," he said. "We will restructure and we will continue to do great things with kids we just have to


Lanesborough Mulls Background Checks for Volunteer Boards
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
01:19AM / Thursday, February 27, 2020
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Town is considering requiring the members of its boards and committees to undergo CORI checks.    The Criminal Offender Record Information checks look into a person's criminal history to determine if they might pose a danger while working with the public. It is most commonly used for positions that might come in contact with children, the elderly, or the disabled.   "I've been seeing that some towns CORI check 100 percent of everybody, including its volunteers on a board or committee, so I did a little more research and it's like 50/50," Town Manager Kelli Robbins told the Selectmen on Monday. "Here we only CORI check


Mt. Greylock Regional School to Present 'Anything Goes'
08:55PM / Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The show will be staged Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m. at the school.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School students in grades seven through 12 will perform the musical comedy "Anything Goes' on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27, 28 and 29, at 7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium at 1781 Cold Spring Road.

"Anything Goes" takes place in the mid-1930s onboard the luxury liner SS American between New York Harbor and London, England. Billy Crocker (ninth-grader Sam Tucker-Smith), a young assistant to Wall Street tycoon Elisha J. Whitney (10th-grader Jonah Hane), a passenger on the ship, decides to stow away in hopes of wooing his long-lost


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