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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

The Retired Investor: The Teacher Shortage
By Bill Schmick,
11:46AM / Friday, November 19, 2021
The U.S. labor shortage is hitting the public education sector hard. Yes, COVID-19 and its mutations have had a lot to do with the lack of teachers, but the problem predates the pandemic. In just the last two months, 65,000 public education employees left the industry.   Across the United States, in October 2021, there were 575,000 fewer state and local education employees than in February 2020, according to the latest employment report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The pandemic, in some ways, was simply the straw that broke this camel's back.   Stagnant wages, or worse, falling wages, have beset the teaching industry for years. In 2018, for example, the wage gap between

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BMC Cited for Excelling in Critical Care & Vascular Outcomes
10:49AM / Friday, November 19, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center is 5-star rated for Carotid Procedures, Respiratory Failure and treatment of Sepsis according to new research released by Healthgrades, the leading resource that connects consumers, physicians and health systems.    "Consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the differences of care provided by different hospitals. Consumers can feel confident that hospitals receiving a Healthgrades 5-star rating have demonstrated exceptional outcomes and their ability to provide quality care," said Brad Bowman, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Data Science at Healthgrades.   Every year, Healthgrades evaluates hospital

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DA Harrington Details Office's Work at Pittsfield Town Hall Event
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:04PM / Thursday, November 18, 2021

The town hall event in Pittsfield was on of three that the district attorney has held over the past month.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — District Attorney Andrea Harrington welcomed the community to hear about the progressive work her office has done during a town hall event at the Berkshire Athenaeum on Tuesday.

She spoke largely on violent crime and domestic violence prosecution, victims advocate services, and her approach to harm reduction in response to the opioid epidemic.

The DA visited Adams in late October and Great Barrington last week for town hall events.

Harrington's office prioritizes straying away from the "war on drugs," a phrase for the strict policing and

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BCC Welcomes New Exhibit to Koussevitzky Art Gallery
11:49AM / Thursday, November 18, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) announced a new installation in Koussevitzky Art Gallery entitled "The Body Politic" by artist Suzanne Lacke.    The installation, on view Friday, Nov. 19 through Monday, Dec. 20, explores the body, clothing and the urban scene with both boldly colored paintings and soft-hued sketches. Gallery hours are Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm.   Lacke, a resident of Salisbury, Conn., lived for forty years in Berkeley, Calif., where she painted, taught and exhibited her artwork. She instructed a variety of art classes at two California community colleges as well as at the University of California, Berkeley.

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'No-cut' Period For City Roadways in Effect Beginning Nov. 29
08:02AM / Thursday, November 18, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City of Pittsfield's Department of Public Services and Utilities is establishing a "no-cut" period on all city roadways beginning Nov. 29 and continuing through March 14, 2022.   During this period, new excavations for non-emergency situations on city roadways will not be allowed. Additionally, no plates shall be placed on roads during the no-cut period.   For more information, please call 413-499-9330.

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Environmentalists Demand Clean Energy in Postcards to Berkshire Gas
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
03:06AM / Thursday, November 18, 2021

The groups hoped to deliver hundreds of postcards to Berkshire Gas leadership but were asked to leave the property. They said they would be mailed. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Environmentalists on Wednesday attempted to deliver 150 postcards to Berkshire Gas President Sue Kristjansson that demand clean heat solutions to counteract climate change.

Members of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), No Fracked Gas in Mass 350 Berkshire Node and the Mothers Out Front organization of Cambridge met at Allendale Plaza and marched to the gas company chanting "Hey Berkshire, lay off the gas."

Benjamin Downing, former state senator and gubernatorial candidate, had intended

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18 Berkshire Communities Receive Recycling Grants
12:26PM / Wednesday, November 17, 2021
BOSTON — To mark America Recycles Day, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $3.1 million in grant funding to 268 municipalities and regional solid waste districts across the Commonwealth.    The grants, made available through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP), will help municipalities and solid waste districts maximize recycling, composting, and waste reduction programs.   "Communities across the Commonwealth are committed to recycling as a way to protect our environment and the public health," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Funding from the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program will aid municipalities' efforts to implement

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Lanesborough Shows Preliminary Plans for New Police Station
By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires Staff
09:10AM / Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The new police station is proposed to be built at Laston Park but community members on Tuesday raised concerns over flooding in that area.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Lanesborough's Board of Selectmen and nearly 40 residents gathered at Proprietor's Lodge in Pittsfield for a presentation and Q&A about the proposed new police station.

The new police station, as presented at the meeting, has an estimated budget of $4.35 million and would replace the town's current building at 8 Prospect St. The 4,700 square-foot facility, if approved in its current form, would be located in the Bill Laston Memorial Park and could begin construction as early as this coming spring.

The

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Pittsfield Police Advisory Board Decides Against Changing Ordinance
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
03:52AM / Wednesday, November 17, 2021

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After two single-topic subcommittee meetings to discuss amending its ordinance, the Police Advisory and Review Board has decided that isn't the best way to improve the panel.  

Instead, the board has written a memorandum that addresses issues with its purpose and effectiveness and then makes suggestions for better courses of action.

Vice Chair Michael Feldberg said the genesis of the additional meetings was former member Drew Herzig's submission for an amendment to the ordinance.

"We decided that that was probably not the best way to go because the tweaks wouldn't address our core issue," he explained. "Which is

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Dentist Joins CHP Neighborhood Dental in Pittsfield
10:21AM / Tuesday, November 16, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dr. Shahana Muthirikkulam has joined the CHP Neighborhood Dental staff in Pittsfield.   She first practiced general dentistry in India, at clinic settings in Bangalore, Karnataka and Manjeri, Kerala. She completed her general practice dental residency at Berkshire Medical Center's residency program, based at CHP Neighborhood Dental. She also served at Volunteers In Medicine Berkshires, Great Barrington.   She earned her dental surgery degree from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Bangalore, India, with academic distinction. A Berkshire resident, she enjoys baking, hiking, reading and traveling.   To make an appointment at CHP

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UNICO of Pittsfield to Honor Five New Hall of Fame Occupants
Community submission,
09:26AM / Tuesday, November 16, 2021
On Friday at 6 p.m. Berkshire Hills Country Club will host the UNICO of Pittsfield Induction dinner for five new members of the Pittsfield Baseball/Softball Hall of Fame.   They will join 133 others who have been inducted since 1996.   The 2021 inductees are:   ♦ Jaclyn Candele, a 2007 graduate of Taconic High School. While Candalet was a member of the softball team, Taconic won a Western Mass championship and finished as finalists in the state tournament. It also was a three-time Berkshire County Northern Division champion, four-time city champions and undefeated in her senior year. Candalet’s softball versatility was highlighted when she was twice named to the

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Holiday Wreath Art Sale Will Benefit Pittsfield Food Pantries
08:02AM / Tuesday, November 16, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development announced the seventh annual Holiday Wreath Art Sale at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts.    The wreath sale will take place on Friday, Dec. 3 from 12:30-6:30pm. All proceeds will benefit the South Congregational Church Food Pantry.  The Wreath Art Sale and Auction have raised approximately $30,000 over the years.    Artists wanting to donate a wreath or other Holiday decorative piece for the sale are asked to please contact the office before November 30th to confirm participation.  Please contact Shiobbean Lemme at slemme@cityofpittsfield.org or call 413-499-9348   The City of

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