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Dunkin Donuts Asks For Extension On Pittsfield's Styrofoam Ban
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:37AM / Friday, February 05, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dunkin' Donuts is asking for a year's extension to comply with the city's Styrofoam ban.   Attorney Pierce Haley, representing Dunkin Brands, asked the Board of Health on Thursday for the extension as the company waits on the development of a lid for 24-ounce containers. Haley said the company has been looking to transition away from the polystyrene containers but needs another year or else it won't be able to serve its larger beverage sizes.   "I don't think we are going to need anything more than one extension. They've been working hard to do this for a while," Haley said.   Those members attending took no action

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Pittsfield To Update Parks and Open Space Plan
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:37AM / Friday, January 22, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is looking to use $25,000 from the governor's Community Compact program to update its parks and open spaces plan.   The seven-year plan expired in 2015 and needs to be updated so the city is eligible for state grants to make improvements to parks.   Previously, the plan called for improvements to Wahconah Park, which saw upgrades to the sound system and lighting, and the First Street Common, which has been completely renovated with state funds. The updated plan will identify new priorities for state funds.   "It is something we would be looking to engage in this spring and early summer," Parks and Open Space Manager James

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Berkshire County 4-H Holds Awards & Recognition Event
Community Submission,
09:52PM / Tuesday, January 05, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than 100 people gathered at the  Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires on Dec. 6 for the Berkshire County 4-H Community's annual awards and recognition event.  

The candy factory-themed night was to celebrate achievements by 4-H members. Opening remarks were given by Linda Horn, assistant director of the Massachusetts 4-H Youth Development Program, University of Massachusetts Extension in Amherst.

The highest award given in Berkshire County 4-H is the Top H Award, which can only be won by a 4-H'er once as a junior member and once as a senior member. The nominees are selected by a judging committee using their 4-H records; those nominated

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County Ambulance Offers EMT/Basic Training Program
02:11PM / Monday, January 04, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — County Ambulance will be offering an EMT/Basic Training program from Jan. 11 through April 9.

The program covers the National Emergency Medical Services Educational Standards and prepares the student for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians practical and cognitive testing. Upon completion of the program and successful certification with the National Registry of EMTs, students will be able to apply for certification by the Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services.

Lead instructors have more than 100 years of experience to best prepare students for a successful training experience.

Classes will be held at County Ambulance

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Congressman Neal Delivers Brownfields Grants To Pittsfield, BRPC
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:01PM / Friday, October 30, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is helping the city complete an assessment of the pollution at the former Stetson Dry Cleaners.    On Friday, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal joined officials from the EPA to present a $350,000 check to the city for the work. The EPA awarded the grant back in May.    The building, which once sat behind City Hall, was abandoned by the owner and had fallen into disrepair. The city used Community Development Block Grant funding to demolish the building and now the federal grant will complete the second phase of environmental assessment. Perchlorate, a pollutant linked to health problems, was found a block away from

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Pittsfield Bans Styrofoam Food Containers
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:02AM / Wednesday, October 14, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On July 1, restaurants will no longer be able to send patrons home with Styrofoam containers.   The City Council approved Tuesday night a ban on expanding polystyrene food and drink containers with a 7-3 vote. The city becomes the ninth community in the state to implement such a ban and the third in Berkshire County.    "The goal is to move to things are fully recyclable," said Ward 5 Councilor Jonathan Lothrop.   The ban will be implemented on July 1, 2016, giving businesses some eight months to make a switch.     After then, restaurants and other food establishments would be subjected to fines -

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Styrofoam Ban To Go To Pittsfield Council Without Subcommittee Support
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:45AM / Tuesday, October 06, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A City Council subcommittee has voted against instituting a ban on polystyrene containers.   The ban on what is better known as Styrofoam is eyed to extend only to restaurant to-go containers. Proponents and opponents have argued over the matter for more than two years through a number of commissions. The matter will finally go before the City Council.   The ordinance has received endorsement from the Green Commission. But with a 3-2 vote, the City Council's Ordinance and Rules subcommittee filed the petition. Now it will be up to the full council to determine the fate of the proposed law.   "Let's just get it to the full council and

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New Statewide Coalition Pushes For Environmentally Friendly Energy Policies
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:18AM / Friday, September 11, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new statewide coalition of community groups was launched on Wednesday to advocate for environmental friendly energy policies.   On Wednesday afternoon a half-dozen representatives from groups involved announced the coalition, Mass Power Forward, in Pittsfield and similar events were held across the state.   "We're a diverse group of faith, environmental, business groups, community groups, that are fighting for climate justice, fighting to make a better future for our families," Marlon Washington, of 350 Mass Better Future Project, said.   "We believe there is a moral responsibility to make this happen. We really want to see a

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FERC Extends Pipeline Comment Period
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:06AM / Friday, September 04, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Federal regulators have extended the deadline to submit commits regarding the scope of the environmental review for which the Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline will be evaluated.   The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission extended the deadline for public comments until Oct. 16, giving relief to local organizations and individuals who felt rushed to submit comments. The comments are intended to help direct the federal regulators about what to look at when considering the environmental impacts the pipeline could pose.   Kinder Morgan is proposing the $3.3 billion project to transport gas from the Marcellus Shale in Western New York through the

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Lanesborough Considering Fowl Bylaws To Solve Neighbor Complaints
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:37AM / Tuesday, August 25, 2015
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Why did the chicken cross property lines? To use the neighbor's pool.   But, if it does it again, the owners are subject to a $10 fine.    Town officials are trying to solve a neighborly dispute involving a Narragansett Avenue woman, who is raising upward of 80 fowl, mostly chickens and ducks.   The animals have led neighbors to complain about the odor and noise. One neighbor even filed a trespass order with the police in hopes to keep the chickens and ducks off their property. Violations carry a $10 fine.   "The officers have been over there at least two or three times," Police Chief Timothy Sorrell told the Board of

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