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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

New Hotel Proposed in Pittsfield
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:04PM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council will vote on two tax increment financing agreements Tuesday night one of which for the construction of a 77-room Holiday Inn Express.   Councilors will have a lengthy agenda in front of them that will include consideration of the TIF agreements that will benefit the two new construction projects.   A five-year agreement would be with Somnath LLC, whose principles are Mauer and Dilip Desai, who plan to build the hotel at 1055 South St. The Desais had operated a Comfort Inn at the location until demolishing the 16-year-old hotel in 2014 to make way for a new structure.   According to council documents, Somnath plans to invest $10

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Berkshire United Way Names Director of Volunteer Engagement
12:03PM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire United Way has welcomed Brenda Petell back to Berkshire County to join the staff as the new director of volunteer engagement.

Petell has demonstrated leadership and recruitment success in various roles with GE Plastics and SABIC, in Pittsfield, and most recently with General Dynamics Electric Boat and The Compass Group. Petell looks forward to being back in the Berkshires and serving the community in this new role.

"I am excited to join a team that is dedicated to improving the lives of Berkshire County residents. Having grown up in Hinsdale and spent most of my professional career in Pittsfield, I am excited to utilize my experience and

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WAM Theatre Appoints Two New Board Members
11:27AM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020

LENOX, Mass. — WAM Theatre has appointed two new board members.

Erica Barreto and Toni Buckley join board President Wendy Healey, Vice President Arwen Lowbridge, Carolyn Butler, Margaret Fluhr, Ellen Ring, Diane Scott, and WAM Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven as the Berkshire-based company starts its second decade.

"We are excited to welcome these two passionate new advocates to our board," van Ginhoven said. "We look forward to continuing to strategically expand our board as we build deeper relationships with people across a range of perspectives who are interested in helping WAM’s work of creating brave spaces of civic dialogue

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Ten Days of Play Encourages Learning Through Play at Berkshire Museum
11:17AM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Ten Days of Play will return to Berkshire Museum with nearly 40 hours of indoor playtime plus special performances and activities Friday, Feb. 14, through Sunday, Feb. 23.

First launched in 2012, this annual festival features hands-on activities throughout the museum for children of all ages that are designed to encourage learning through play. This year's event features new programs including The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons Animation Station and Bubble Trouble with Jeff Boyer, and free regular admission for children under 18. Ten Days of Play is part of Pittsfield's 10x10 Upstreet Winter Arts Festival.

Activities will kick off during the after-school

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Lanesborough Honors Longtime Firefighters
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
04:01AM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Selectmen hears from new Lakeside Restaurant manager James Maston. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen on Monday recognized four longtime firefighters who have a 130 years of combined service.   Town Manager Kelli Robbins presented Capt. Ryan McCormick (20 years), Deputy Chief Jeff DeChaine (30 years), Inspector Tom Rathbun (40 years), and Capt. Charles Garrity (40 years) with certificates for meritorious service. Chief Charlie Durfee was on hand for the presentation.   Robbins, Selectmen Henry Sayers and Gordon Hubbard, and everyone in attendance gave a short round of applause and "Thank you for your service" as each received their honor. They

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Pittsfield Councilors Start School Resource Officer Conversation
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:02AM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Karen Kalinowsy, who was a school resource officer during her police career, talks about the benefits of the position in the Pittsfield Public Schools.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Committee on Public Health and Safety approved taking up a petition to fill the vacant resource officer position at Reid Middle School and began the conversation about police presence in the schools.    The City Council subcommittee acknowledged Monday night that it did not have the power to dictate staffing levels in the police force or schools but took the opportunity to hear from residents and city and school officials about school resource officers (SRO).   "I want to thank

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EforAll Pitch Competition Brings Out Innovative Ideas
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:57PM / Monday, February 10, 2020

Deborah Gallant of EforAll welcomes the attendees at Wednesday's pitch competition. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A local business pitch competition was proof positive that great ideas know no boundaries — or age.    More than 150 people turned out on Wednesday at The Green on Main Street for the event hosted by EforAll to see products from 14 businesses and 2 1/2 minute pitches from eight of them.    The winner of the $1,000 first prize as well as $500 fan favorite bonus was a group of Williams College students who are developing Lifestack Supplements, a health-oriented coffee creamer supplement. Coming in second was Aaron Johnson of Monterey for his

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Pittsfield Passes Body Art Regulation Amendments
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:35AM / Monday, February 10, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Board of Health approved amendments to the body art regulations but will continue to not allow minors to get tattoos.    After hearing from some tattoo shop owners Wednesday during a public hearing, the board voted to approve amendments to the "Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Practice of Body Art" without changes to their original amendments.   "Thank you for coming in and you educated us on what you are dealing with and have made some very good points," Chairman Alan Kulberg said.   The board opened up the floor to the public and first heard from April Shepard, owner of Rock'n Ink at 1500 East

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Pine Brook Pub Wants to Make New Memories in Adams
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
07:15AM / Sunday, February 09, 2020

The updated bar side of the establishment.  ADAMS, Mass. — Transforming one of Adams' most iconic watering holes is a daunting task but natives Tammie and Trent Shafer are off to a good start.   The new Pine Brook Pub in the former Chick's Bar & Grill is a hospitable, spotless, welcoming, family-friendly reboot of its predecessor. The space underwent extensive renovations before a soft opening in late November. The Shafers want it to be a destination spot again, just with a different goal for the customers.   "We want to be more family oriented, that's why we chose the word pub instead of bar or restaurant. Half the place is the bar area and

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@theMarket: Central Banks Stem Coronavirus Fallout
By Bill Schmick,
11:48AM / Saturday, February 08, 2020
Financial markets rebounded this week, despite the escalation of the number of coronavirus cases worldwide. The upturn may have surprised some, but their mistake was underestimating the power of central banks to support the markets.   The bear case last Sunday evening was that the Chinese stock market would crater upon opening after being closed for Golden Week, the traditional Chinese New Year. While Shanghai did open down 9 percent, it quickly reversed and spent the rest of the week climbing out of that hole.   The main reason for this rebound was the announcement by Chinese authorities that they were prepared to support their financial markets. Publicly, they announced a $22

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Lanesborough Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
04:09PM / Friday, February 07, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Lanesborough woman pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Friday to embezzling nearly $50,000 over a period of two years.    Elizabeth Hakes, 48, admitted to guilt on two counts of larceny over $1,200 by a single scheme related to embezzling funds from Berkshire Works and the Austen Riggs Center.   The Berkshire district attorney's office requested 18 months of incarceration and two years of probation following. Defense counsel requested a suspended sentence and two years' probation. The state's sentence guidelines call for up to two years of incarceration.   Judge John Agostini sentenced her to two years at the House of

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The Independent Investor: The Great Tax Migration
By Bill Schmick,
01:00PM / Friday, February 07, 2020
Americans have been moving from high tax states to lower tax states for decades.   Climate, cheaper housing prices, less congestion, and jobs are some of the reasons behind such moves. That trend, however, has added taxes to that list, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.   Many of those reasons for moving have been with us ever since Horace Greeley, the American author and newspaper man, reportedly first advised America's youth to "Go west." Back in 19th-century America, the country had embraced the concept of "Manifest Destiny." The Horace Greeleys of the world had argued that it was inevitable, justified, and our God-given right to expand

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