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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Lanesborough School Presents Budget Requests to School Committee
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:09AM / Monday, December 20, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Lanesborough Elementary School is looking to add staffing for the 2022-23 school year, though one of the increases may not be a permanent addition.   Principal Nolan Pratt was before the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee recently to lay out the budget requests that have been approved by Lanesborough Elementary's School Council.   That body is recommending the fiscal 2023 budget include space to hire an additional full-time teacher and move an occupational therapist position from part-time to full-time status. The council also is seeking funds to make technological upgrades in five classrooms at Lanesborough.   The additional full-time

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RSVP's Wheels for Wellness Seeks More Volunteers
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:05PM / Sunday, December 19, 2021

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A rather new volunteer community car ride service operated by the Berkshire County Retired Senior Volunteer Program has been well received and needs more drivers to support its mission.

Wheels for Wellness has given 468 rides to 176 local individuals since its launch in June. Volunteers have driven more than 13,000 miles combined and have contributed over 1,000 hours of service.

Medical rides are given priority but they can also be provided for other human needs and wellness-related activities.

Currently, the demand exceeds driver availability and RSVP's goal is to fulfill every ride request.

"Each week, it kind of snowballs and the demand is pretty

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State Extends and Expands WiFi and Connectivity Programs in Berkshire County
04:46PM / Friday, December 17, 2021
WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — The Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) at MassTech Collaborative announced the extension of several digital equity programs launched through the "Partnerships for Recovery" efforts earlier this year.   Supported with $9.2 million in economic recovery funds, the MBI launched public wireless hotspots in unserved towns in western and central Massachusetts and provided digital support for job seekers provided through the Mass.    In Berkshire County availability will be extended through June 30 at Becket Town Hall, Florida Senior Center, Sandisfield Town Hall, and Savoy Town Hall.    In addition, the MBI has expanded the

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@theMarket: Markets Keep Churning
By Bill Schmick,
04:32PM / Friday, December 17, 2021
As most investors expected, the Federal Open Market Committee announced the start of their tapering effort but doubled the pace of the monthly taper to $30 billion a month until March 2022 when the effort will conclude. In addition, FOMC members see three, 25-basis-point increases in the Fed Funds interest rate next year, and more in 2023.   Faced with the end of a decades-long era of loose monetary policy, historical behavior would indicate interest rates up, equities down. That still seems a good bet despite the market's immediate reaction to the Fed announcement.   Some participants may still be scratching their heads after Wednesday's (Dec. 16) Federal Reserve Bank

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BHS COVID-19 Testing Centers Holiday Hours
02:57PM / Friday, December 17, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The testing centers in Pittsfield, North Adams and Great Barrington will be open for regular hours most of the holiday season.    Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) has been testing over 600 people each day at its three COVID-19 testing centers in Pittsfield, North Adams, and Great Barrington, and the need for testing is expected to continue to be strong throughout and just after the holidays.    The Pittsfield and North Adams testing centers will be open daily during the holidays, including Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed on Christmas Day. Great Barrington will be open for its regular

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The Berkshires Can Expect a Few Inches of Snow Saturday
02:33PM / Friday, December 17, 2021
The unseasonably warm weather will give way to something more in-season Saturday, and there is a winter weather advisory in place for Berkshire County from 7 a.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday.   According to the National Weather Service, Berkshire communities can expect mixed precipitation, total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches, and ice accumulations of around one-tenth of an inch.   The snow is expected to change into sleet and or a light freezing rain through the late afternoon and evening. A change back to snow is expected overnight.   Precipitation should taper off toward daybreak Sunday. Plan for slippery road conditions. Temperatures are expected to stay in the 30s

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The Retired Investor: Has Labor Found Its Mojo?
By Bill Schmick,
02:56PM / Thursday, December 16, 2021
Workers in America are rethinking who they are and what they want. For the first time in decades, the stars have aligned to give the labor movement a much-needed lift. Will this prove to be a flash in the pan or something more lasting?   The share of American workers who claim union membership has been declining for years. There is a myriad of reasons for this decades-long decline. U.S. legislation and the court system has created enormous challenges to forming unions. The transfer of jobs to low-paying countries overseas has also devastated union membership. Labor membership can also be expensive with high monthly dues. In the past thirty years of declining real wages, most workers

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Barrington Stage To Present 'A little Night Music'
08:43AM / Thursday, December 16, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Barrington Stage Company (BSC) Founder and Artistic Director Julianne Boyd announced that "A Little Night Music," with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler, will be presented in the company’s 2022 season.    The production will be choreographed by Robert La Fosse, musically directed by Darren R. Cohen, and directed by Boyd, who previously collaborated on the company’s acclaimed 2018 production of West Side Story.   The 2022 season also marks  Boyd’s final season after 27 years as Artistic Director. Earlier this year, Boyd announced plans to retire following the completion of BSC’s 2022

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BCC Hosts Admissions Info Sessions
08:06AM / Thursday, December 16, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) kicks off the new year with two free Virtual General Information Sessions: Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 4 pm and Thursday, Jan. 20 at 12 pm.    The 30-minute info sessions, presented by admissions counselors on Zoom, are designed to familiarize prospective students with the application and registration process.    Virtual General Information Session participants can:  Ask questions about the admissions process: how to apply, register, and choose classes  Learn about BCC's affordability and its financial aid options  Hear from staff about quality programs and student support

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EforAll Gala Will Be Virtual
12:22PM / Wednesday, December 15, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County has decided to change the Dec. 21 Gala to a virtual event on Zoom.   With the recent uptick in cases of Covid in the area, the upcoming holidays and with concern for the health and safety of the  local community, EforAll will celebrate their Fall 2021 cohort virtually instead of in-person as originally planned.   Included in a press release:   "Though it won't be the same as in-person, we still have big plans!  We will hear from former Governor Deval Patrick, a class speaker, award our cohort certificates and cash prizes and offer a tribute to our friend Paula Buxbaum on Tuesday,

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Snowmobilers Support Amended Pittsfield Ordinance
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:23AM / Wednesday, December 15, 2021

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council approved an amended petition by Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Maffuccio that better aligns the city's ordinance on snowmobiles with Mass General Law (MGL.)

The councilor wanted to mimic the state statute by adding snow vehicles to the city ordinance, which previously excluded that type of vehicle. For unknown reasons, snowmobiles have been locally exempt.

Maffuccio believes there will be better enforcement of snowmobile regulations if the city ordinance is the same as MGL, which was already enforceable.

"This protects my residents, their quality of life and it gives them an avenue now to call the police and they can be addressed," he

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Green Drinks: Looking Back/Looking Forward
04:16PM / Tuesday, December 14, 2021
PITTSFEILD, Mass. — On Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 6:00PM, as part of their monthly Pittsfield Green Drinks zoom gathering, Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) invites everyone to join their staff to take a look together and discuss the organization's work of the last year and explore what comes next.    BEAT's mission is to protect the environment for wildlife in support of the natural world. BEAT's reach is broad: water quality monitoring, wildlife movement, phasing out fossil fuels.    "As of Nov. 9, BEAT officially owns our Environmental Leadership & Education Center! We are so grateful to all those who helped make this happen," Jane

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