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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

@theMarket: Corvid-19 Impact Coming Home to Roost
By Bill Schmick,
04:11PM / Friday, February 21, 2020
It began Sunday night with a warning from one of America's largest icons. Through the week, other companies followed suit, issuing warnings that the China-spawned virus is beginning to impact revenues and profits. Investors are bracing for further announcements in the days ahead.   Now that the Corvid-19 virus has been spreading out through the world for more than three weeks, some companies are beginning to get a handle on at least some of the damage that will incur to their businesses as the virus persists. Apple was the first major company to warn investors that their iPhone sales in China will take a hit in the first quarter. Since then, a number of companies have sounded the

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'Criminal' Reveals the Human Stories Behind the Crimes
By John Seven, Special to iBerkshires
04:03PM / Friday, February 21, 2020
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Podcasts about serial killers are part of the modern aural landscape, a combination of the heightened interest in true crime and the ability of anyone with a computer to create a podcast. Boasting journalistic chops and professional production, the podcast "Criminal" exists as the gold standard of the genre, not just telling stories about crime, but examining the human stories revealed through the crimes.   For the last six years, host Phoebe Judge has guided her audience through crimes in history and more recent transgressions. Sometimes they have a larger social significance, other times they bring to light curious characters. Sometimes they

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'Downhill': It's all Relative
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:42PM / Friday, February 21, 2020
"Downhill," an Americanized adaptation of Swedish writer-director Ruben Östlund's "Force Majeure," a Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, doubtlessly lost something in the translation. Indeed, this variation on a comedy-drama about a family on an Alpine ski vacation evokes a smidgen of its Continental DNA.    Yet, in taking its uncertain path to some hoped for humanistic revelation, it seems like it'd be much happier if only it could jump the tracks from classically cerebral comedy to safely domesticized farce.   Not to say that Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell as the marrieds with issues just bursting to unravel don't

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Pittsfield Finance Committee Approves Johns Building Supply Expansion
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Friday, February 21, 2020

William Koziara of Johns Building explains to the subcommittee his plans for expansion. The committee is recommending a tax financing agreement for the project. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The finance subcommittee approved a tax increment financing agreement with Johns Building Supply.   The committee voted Thursday to recommend the TIF to the full City Council that would benefit the building supply company as it constructs a 8,000-square-foot retail and office space at 850 Crane Ave.   "I will support this local and it is good to see a local business using these programs to get some things done to grow their business," Councilor at Large Earl Persip

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The Independent Investor: Can Politicians' Promises Be Believed?
By Bill Schmick,
10:08PM / Thursday, February 20, 2020
As the 2020 presidential election campaign heats up, so do the promises. Lower taxes for some, higher taxes for others, better health care, higher Social Security payments; whatever it takes to get elected seems to be on the table for now.   But most politician's promises are made to be broken. Once the candidate becomes the president, reality sets in and the blame game starts. "The House is against me." "The Senate won't cooperate." "The deficit is too large." "Spending is out of control."    The list of excuses goes on and on.   Truth be told, Donald Trump has come the closest to fulfilling at least some of his promises.

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Williams Inn Combines Food & Brew for Youth Center Benefit
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
09:00PM / Thursday, February 20, 2020

David Fields of Wormtown delivers a draft at the brewery's 'takeover' of the Barn on Jan. 29. Patrons got to try the beer and some of the food pairing from chef Kevin DeMarco. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The interest in craft brewing has been inspiring menus that reflect the unique tones of these ales, lagers and stouts.    We're not talking hot dogs and backyard barbecues — although there's certainly nothing wrong with that — but rather pairings akin to popular wine dinners at which both food and beverage are matched to complement and enhance each other.   Think crab cakes, Korean BBQ, cheddar cheese fondue and chocolate layer

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CHP Names New Physician to Berkshire Pediatrics
10:50AM / Thursday, February 20, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Dr. Janice Pride-Boone has joined CHP Berkshire Pediatrics in Pittsfield, with a special interest in pediatric obesity.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and a 1981 graduate of Harvard Medical School, Pride-Boone most recently worked as locum tenens physician with the Indian Health Service in Albuquerque, N.M., and at pediatric practices in Plattsburgh and Brooklyn.

From 1985-1995, Pride-Boone practiced pediatrics in the Albany, N.Y., area, including at Whitney M. Young Community Health Center, where she established a pediatric obesity program.

In 2003, with her particular interest in pediatric obesity, Pride-Boone founded Strong Me! Weight Management Program,

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Pittsfield Planners Say No To Eliminating Pot Growth In Residential Zones
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:17AM / Thursday, February 20, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Community Development Board recommended a modified zoning amendment to the City Council that would not eliminate outdoor marijuana cultivation in residential areas but limit it.   The board reached the compromise amendment Tuesday that would allow outdoor marijuana cultivation in residential districts as long as they are 500 feet away from homes.   "After much thought I cannot support totally removing cultivation from these zones," board member Floriana Fitzgerald said. "I think this would be more balanced and a good compromise to have."   The Community Development Board continued the hearing last month that stemmed from a

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Boys and Girls Club 5/6 Girls Win Danvers Tournament
Community submission,
09:28AM / Wednesday, February 19, 2020

DANVERS, Mass. -- The Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires 5th- and 6th-grade girls travel basketball team recently went undefeated to win the Ryan Bourque Invitational Tournament.

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Mount Greylock Likely to Stay with Winter/Spring Vacation Weeks
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:44AM / Wednesday, February 19, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — It likely will be at least another year before the Mount Greylock Regional School District considers a move away from the traditional February and April vacation schedule.   And it looks like a switch to a single week off in March may not be in the cards at all.   Superintendent Kimberley Grady last week presented a tentative 2020-21 academic calendar to the School Committee for its consideration. As drafted, the calendar would stick to the familiar practice of a week off starting with the Presidents Day holiday in February and another commencing with Patriots Day in April.   The committee has in the past discussed whether it made sense to switch

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Pittsfield Unveils Business Website
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:28PM / Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Mayor Linda Tyer welcomed the gathering of business leaders to the launch of the new website on Tuesday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city has launched Businesspittsfield.com, a new website that will serve as a resource for existing businesses, new businesses, and those looking to relocate to Pittsfield.     Mayor Linda Tyer told a large gathering in the City Council chambers Tuesday that the new website is the next step in bringing and sustaining business in Pittsfield.     "I don't know if you have noticed but Pittsfield is really knocking it out of the park and right now we are just rounding second base and we are on our way to home

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College Notes: January & February 2020
04:19PM / Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Hannah King of Pittsfield. Seniors in the Lasell University Honors program shared self-designed research components with the Newton campus community at a recent showcase, including two local students.   Allison Wheeler of Adams shared "Plastic Planet: Combating Global Pollution Through Politics and Personal Accountability."    "Plastic bag bans are being instituted across the state, the country, and the world, and the grocery store I work at is located in a city with a plastic bag ban," she said. "As an environmental studies student, I am always asking myself, 'How do you influence the average person to adapt

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