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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Clock Tower Artists to Host Holiday Open Studio Event
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:32PM / Sunday, November 27, 2022

The artists collaborative's new studio space is on the third floor of the Clocktower Building.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The newly-formed Clock Tower Artists will be hosting a Holiday Open Studio event in its new space located on the third floor of the historic mill building at 75 South Church St.     Visitors are encouraged to explore the studios of the 10 members of the artists group on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3 and 4, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.   The gallery will also be open during Downtown Pittsfield Inc.'s First Fridays Artswalk on Friday from 5 until 8 p.m.    The opening offers a glimpse into the artistic process and a opportunity

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Friends of the Pittsfield Senior Center Seek Volunteers
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
12:37PM / Sunday, November 27, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Friends of the Senior Center is in need of more volunteers so it can provide more opportunities at the Ralph J. Froio Senior Center.   "The Senior Center is a structure that is financed by the city of Pittsfield, but it's the friends that really support all the extra activities that take place in the Senior Center," said Friends' Treasurer Lea Morgan said.   The center was renamed and dedicated to Ralph J. Froio by the city in 1993 for in recognition of his civil leadership and the "countless hours in volunteer service to his community, especially in senior citizens’ affairs," the Council on Aging states on the city

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FEMA Awards Almost $1.7M to MassDOT for COVID-19 Response Costs
10:00AM / Sunday, November 27, 2022
BOSTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sending nearly $1.7 million to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to reimburse the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) for the costs of operating safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.   The $1,656,336 Public Assistance grant will reimburse MassDOT for the cost of purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) and taking other measures to keep essential staff safe between June 2020 and January 2021.   In addition to purchasing PPE, cleaning supplies, and hand sanitizer for its facilities, MassDOT contracted with six cleaning service companies to provide special equipment and disinfecting of facilities,

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MassDOT Safe Routes to School Program Adds 1,000th School Partnership
05:00PM / Saturday, November 26, 2022
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program has reached a milestone by adding the Belchertown School District as its 1,000th School District Partnership to the program.    An event was held on Nov. 10 to highlight this milestone and present the Belchertown School District with a plaque commemorating this new record-breaking partnership.   MassDOT's SRTS program conducts outreach activities and safety sessions, and provides funding for infrastructure improvements that make it safer for students to walk and bike to school across Massachusetts with the goal of reaching every community and school

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Pittsfield Subcommittee OKs $230K for Excess Asphalt Costs
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:31PM / Saturday, November 26, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The finance subcommittee on Tuesday authorized the transfer of $230,000 from the Public Works Stabilization Account to the Department of Public Services for inflated costs of liquid asphalt.

"This year was a little crazy in terms of costs, expenses, as we have seen over and over," Commissioner of Public Services and Utilities Ricardo Morales said.  "And liquid asphalt is not shielded from all the changes in price."

He said the state Department of Transportation issues a monthly update on the price of liquid asphalt and under the contracts municipalities have for work being funded by Chapter 90, they are required to adjust the price if

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Berkshires In Normal Drought Conditions
12:00PM / Saturday, November 26, 2022
BOSTON — While the Commonwealth experienced an increase in precipitation over the previous month, there are regions of the state that continue to be impacted by long term drought conditions.   Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Beth Card announced that Western Mass remains in a level 0 normal drought condition.    Card also announced the following drought declarations: the Central and Southeast Regions have upgraded and will join the Western Region at Level 0-Normal Conditions; the Northeast and Cape Cod Regions have been upgraded and will join the Connecticut River Valley Region at Level 1-Mild Drought; and, the Islands Region will remain at Level

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@theMarket: Investors Await Inflation Data
By Bill Schmick,
11:03AM / Saturday, November 26, 2022
December could be a risky month for the stock market. A spate of inflation data, a European Union Russian energy embargo, and another Fed meeting toward the middle of the month, could determine the state of the stock market.   Traders are split between bulls and bears. The bearish view says that we hit the 4,100 level on the S&P 500 Index, and then we begin a decline that continues into next year. The bulls argue that the seasonal factors dictate a continued rally into at least January.   Many readers know where I stand. I have been predicting a market rise that could see the S&P 500 hit somewhere in the range of 4,000-4,100. That is the area where we find the 200-Day

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FEMA Awards Over $5M to Mass National Guard for COVID-19 Response
08:01AM / Saturday, November 26, 2022
BOSTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sending more than $5 million to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to reimburse the Massachusetts National Guard for the costs of medical operations and logistical support during the COVID-19 pandemic.   The $5,080,750 Public Assistance grant will reimburse the Massachusetts National Guard for the cost of providing medical staff and setting up temporary hospitals to handle COVID patients between March and September 2020.   In addition to setting up and staffing the temporary hospitals, Guard members provided medical and general purpose forces to cope with staffing shortfalls at the Holyoke Soldiers Home; to plan,

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Pittsfield's A.J. Enchill Appointed to Healey-Driscoll Transition Committee
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:04AM / Saturday, November 26, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County will have representation on the Healey-Driscoll administration's transition committee that deals with the workforce and economy.

Last week, it was announced that Pittsfield native A.J. Enchill,  who is president and executive director of the Berkshire Black Economic Council, is serving as co-chair of the "jobs and a flourishing economy for all" policy committee.

"I'm grateful for that," he said earlier this week about the appointment. "Because it means that not only do we get to represent Berkshire County, but we get to represent our organization and our values and I get to bring my own personal skills,

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Berkshire Holiday Retail, Craft Market Set Saturday
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:49PM / Friday, November 25, 2022

DALTON, Mass. — A new holiday market is coming to town this weekend for Small Business Saturday.

On Saturday, the first annual Berkshire Holiday Retail and Craft Market will take place at the Stationery Factory on 63 Flansburg Ave.

"The driver is to get out there, get off Amazon, get off of Walmart.com and big-box stores and go support the local community," organizer Randy Cormier said.

"These are your neighbors, these are your neighbors' businesses that are going to be here."

The market will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is free. There will be more than 30 vendors, including artisans and local retailers, food, drinks, and live holiday music

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Series of Unexpected Moments: Making of The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow.
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
04:39PM / Friday, November 25, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Life has a lot of winding roads that lead to the unexpected. Sometimes little moments all come together to make a future that even you did not see coming. This is the case with the creation of The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow.    The folk rock band is made up of Western Massachusetts songwriters Tory Hanna, Billy Keane, Chris Merenda, and Greg Daniel Smith and David Tanklefsky of Cambridge.   The collaborative singer-songwriter band is founded on mutual appreciation and expression of gratitude for each other's leadership, say the band.    Each member has their own independent project but come together to make music from various genres

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The Retired Investor: Time to Rebuild the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?
By Bill Schmick,
03:19PM / Friday, November 25, 2022
The nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SRP) has been reduced by more than 25 percent over the last year. That is the lowest level in 40 years. Oil had dropped below $80 a barrel mark this week, causing some critics to argue that it might be time to start building the SRP back up. I disagree.   My reasoning centers on a handful of geopolitical events that could send oil prices soaring in the first week of December. To understand how important the SRP might be in that case, one needs to know more about the Biden administration's use of the SRP since 2021.   A year ago this month, on Nov. 23, 2021, President Joe Biden announced the release of oil from the Strategic

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