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Pittsfield Principals Present Budget Requests Part 1: Building Repairs
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:25AM / Thursday, January 14, 2016
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PHS Principal Matthew Bishop said he has windows that do not close.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield High Principal Matthew Bishop asked the School Committee for what seemed to be a simple request — windows that close.   "Not all of our windows close. Some of them are off track. So on nights like this, you'll have a little bit of snow inside," Bishop told the committee early Wednesday at the start of its daylong budget hearing.   The thought surprised the School Committee because it seemed like a no-brainer. Of course, the school shouldn't keep its windows open at all hours.   "This has got to be on the top of the

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Lanesborough Selectmen Approve New Survey On School Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:30AM / Thursday, January 07, 2016
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Williamstown Town Manager Jason Hoch refutes a sentence in the draft survey which claims Williams College does not pay property taxes.

"Williams College is the largest taxpayer in Williamstown. In FY 2015, Williams College paid $775,497 in property taxes to the Town of Williamstown based on a taxable assessed value of $49,679,500," Hoch wrote in an e-mail to Paul Sieloff.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen will both hold a special town meeting to discuss the upcoming building project as well as survey registered voters.   The Selectmen on Wednesday approved mailing a questionnaire out to all registered voters with four questions. The survey is completely

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School Survey Debate Expands Across Lanesborough Government
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:25AM / Tuesday, January 05, 2016
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A proposed survey of residents about the upcoming Mount Greylock Regional School building project has triggered heated debate across town government.   The latest is from Finance Committee members, who questioned the legality of using money from a revolving account set aside for regionalization studies to conduct it.    "I say let the lawyer tell us if we can legally use it," committee member Steven Wentworth said. "Can we legally use those funds? That's the question."   Fellow member Ronald Tinkham said there is $7,800 left over from a prior grant inside a revolving account that he suggests taking to conduct the

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OLLIís Winter Semester Begins Jan. 12
01:34PM / Monday, January 04, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College, offers over a dozen courses this winter, ranging from photography to illuminated manuscripts, in Pittsfield, Lenox and Great Barrington.

“Our winter semester is one of our busiest. The new year is the perfect time to enjoy learning something new and interesting while meeting new people," OLLI Director Megan Whilden said.  "And there's no tests, no grades, and no formal educational requirements for taking our courses, just learning for the joy of learning!"

OLLI is a member-run organization that offers educational, social and volunteer opportunities designed

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Conservation District Seeks Endowment of UMass Forestry Scholarship Fund
02:01PM / Wednesday, December 23, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Adrian “Beau” Meyer UMass Forestry Scholarship fund was established in memory of the late district chairman in 2005 by Berkshire Conservation District.

The scholarship has been actively awarding scholarships of $750 annually since 2013 to a student from Berkshire County or Western Massachusetts enrolled in a forestry program at UMass Amherst. The district is currently seeking $6,000 in donations before the end of 2015 in a campaign to endow the fund so that it may continue in perpetuity.

The UMass Foundation has offered to donate the remaining funds necessary for endowment should the district reach this goal.

Donations of $100 or more will

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Miss Hallís Students Chosen for Music Festival
10:13PM / Tuesday, December 22, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Five Miss Hall’s School musicians and vocalists, including a senior from Dalton, have successfully auditioned for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association’s Western District Festival Concert to be held in January.

Natalia Soborski of Dalton was chosen to sing as a soprano in the festival’s District Chorus, where she will be joined by junior Tiffany Chen and senior Della Qin, both of whom sing alto and are from China. Chosen from Miss Hall’s to play violin in this year’s District Orchestra are juniors Meigue Mollaioli, of Italy, and Se Ri Park ’17, of South Korea.   This is the fourth time Natalia has been selected for

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Baker Cheers, Challenges BArT Charter Students
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:52PM / Tuesday, December 22, 2015
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ADAMS, Mass. — Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday congratulated the students of Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School on their accomplishments and challenged them to keep building for their futures.   "If we work it right, if we work hard and work smart and make good decisions, you wake up when you're 59 years old and think you're the luckiest man alive," Baker told an all-school assembly. "But those habits, those skills, those foundations are what you're building now.   "You guys are building a great foundation, the kind of foundation where students get to go to the great places like that list I just saw."   Baker was in

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Reid School, Yogurt Shop Partnership Donates Blankets to BCF
By Krista Mangiardi, Special to iBerkshires
03:17AM / Monday, December 21, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — This winter, many local children will have some extra warmth thanks to a local partnership that brought in more than 200 blanket and stuffed animal donations for Berkshire Center for Family and Children.

The Reid Middle School Student Council and Ayelada Yogurt of East Street worked together to support BCF's participation in the national program Project Night Night.

Thursday afternoon, those involved in the effort gathered at the yogurt shop to present the items to BCF representatives and celebrate with some frozen treats.

"It's a great way to start the holiday season," said Erin Sullivan, director of external affairs for BCF. "It's

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Skaters, Bikers Raise Opposition to Limiting Pittsfield Park Hours
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:45PM / Tuesday, December 15, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Ethan Lillie earned his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Southern California.    And he is a skateboarder.   Now living back home, the Pittsfield native heads down to the skate park on his days off; it's his preferred form of exercise. But now there is an effort afoot to limit his and others access to the city's only skate park.   "I work here as an engineer professionally and the less there is for me to do that fall into my interests, the less likely I will stay in the community," Lillie told the Parks Commission on Tuesday.   He was just one of nearly a dozen residents speaking in

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Pittsfield's Conte Community School Wins Grant From Author James Patterson
Staff Reports,
11:54AM / Tuesday, December 15, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Author James Patterson chose Conte Community School as a recipient of his annual holiday gift program.   The author chose the school to receive a $6,000 grant to purchase new books. In Conte's application, school officials promised to "spend every penny on brand new, sparkling books."    The school was just one of 340 libraries and 87 independent bookstore employees to receive money. Patterson gave away some $2 million, according to the Associated Press.    In a statement, Patterson said, "Here's to communities supporting their bookstores and libraries. Here's to a country that makes reading a priority. Here's

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