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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Frost, Cold Forecast for Berkshire Region
Staff Reports,
11:02AM / Tuesday, November 02, 2021
The moderate fall weather we've had so far is about to take a sharp turn downward.   Frost and snowflakes are in the forecast for the Northeast with Accuweather cautioning that "people who have delayed making their winter preparations will want to expedite them sooner rather than later this week with many northeastern areas forecast to experience their lowest temperatures since April or March."   The temperatures have dipped on occasion over the past couple months but most days have been shirtsleeve or at least light jacket weather. Most of the region has seen temperatures averaging 3 to 6 degrees higher than normal.    Just a few weeks ago, the temperature

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EforAll Plans In-Person Pitch Contest
08:10AM / Tuesday, November 02, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County is holding an "All Ideas Pitch Contest" on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021.    The program will be held at Crissey Farm. 426 Stockbridge Road in Great Barrington from 5:30-8pm.      The venue requires proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72 hours of the event.   EforAll held two in-person Pitch Contests at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield in October 2019 and at The Green in North Adams in February 2020, attracting over 100 community members for each event and dozens of participants.  (3 virtual Pitch Contests were also held during Covid.)   EforAll's

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Pittsfield Residents Weigh In on Vision for Pontoosuc Lake Park
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:16AM / Tuesday, November 02, 2021

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city continued its public outreach for a new master vision of Pontoosic Lake Park last week with a public hearing.

Community members largely spoke to the importance of preserving the spot's white pine trees, which were said to be "iconic."  

"It's time for us to have a very holistic look at Pontoosuc Lake Park," Park, Open Space, and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath said.

"It's time for us to take modern input this park, and determine if it is or isn't meeting the needs of the community."

The park was acquired in 1913 and has not had any substantial improvements made to it since the 1960s.

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Pittsfield Voters to Chose City Council, School Committee Tuesday
04:22PM / Monday, November 01, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Voters in Pittsfield will head to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new City Council and School Committee.   Voting will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations:  Ward 1, Precinct A: Reid Middle School, 950 North St. Ward 1, Precinct B: Reid Middle School, 950 North St. Ward 2, Precinct A: Morningside Community School, 100 Burbank St. Ward 2, Precinct B: Somerset Fire Station, Somerset Ave. Ward 3, Precinct A: Providence Court, 379 East St. Ward 3, Precinct B: Egremont Elementary School, 84 Egremont Ave. Ward 4, Precinct A: Herberg Middle School, 501 Pomeroy Ave. Ward 4, Precinct B: Williams School, 50 Bushey Road Ward

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BCC Welcomes Baby Lungfish to Aquarium
08:06AM / Monday, November 01, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass — The Environmental and Life Sciences program at Berkshire Community College (BCC) has a new resident: a young African lungfish.    The lungfish (Protopterus annectens), which arrived from a Californian breeder in mid-September, lives in an aquarium in the Ralph Hoffmann Environmental Science and Sustainable Energy Center.   Professor of Environmental Science Thomas Tyning said the fish is under two years old. It can live more than 20 years, as proven by the previous lungfish living at BCC. That fish, donated by a student in 2001, died in 2019 and was memorialized by Tyning on the BCC website.    "As a bona fide teaching member of our

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Community Preservation Funds Facilitate Repairs at Historic Pittsfield Cemetery
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:17AM / Monday, November 01, 2021

Fourteen of the historic stones have been cleaned and set. Another 30 are line for repairs.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is unearthing the history of its past residents at the West Part Cemetery with the help of Community Preservation Act funds.   In 2019, a group of concerned citizens — led by the Pittsfield Historical Commission and Parks, Open Space, and Natural Resources program — set out to preserve the deteriorating West Street graveyard that was established around 1813.   They applied for CPA funds and were awarded $25,000 in the fiscal 2020 cycle for the first round of work that prioritized the centerpieces of the property: the

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Pittsfield Police Department Welcome Winston the Comfort Dog
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:44AM / Monday, November 01, 2021

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- There is a new officer in the city who is fuzzy and loves to be pet.

The Police Department has recently added a comfort dog unit, employing "Officer Winston" the poodle to provide ease in post-traumatic incidents.

Winston works alongside Officer Darren Derby, who is a patrolman, the department safety officer, and known for his work in community outreach. With the new addition, the department hopes to bridge the gap between the public and their uniforms.

"There are a lot of times that people can't or won't talk to the police and he's just another tool," Derby said about the new four-legged officer. "Another tool for us to be

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Veteran Spotlight: Marine Cpl. John Brack
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
04:14PM / Sunday, October 31, 2021

Cpl. John Brack on duty in Afghanistan; below, with his wife.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — John Brack bravely served his country in the Marine Corps from 2009 to 2013. He did his basic training at Parris Island, S.C., and described it as "some parts were fun while others were extremely frustrating."    He was then sent to Camp Johnson in Jacksonville, N.C., for further training, then was assigned to Camp Lejeune. Here Cpl. Brack's duty was that of a mechanic, working on Humvees and other military apparatus. He would be deployed in January 2010 and serve seven months in Afghanistan in the Helman Province of Sistani, the southeastern

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Engaging With The Dead: Berkshirites & Spectral World Part 2: Gilded Age to Modern Para-Tourism
By Joe Durwin, Special to iBerkshires
01:37PM / Sunday, October 31, 2021

What's left of the Mallery residence in New Ashford, the site of a gruesome murder that led to tales of hauntings. It's interesting to me that some of the Gilded Age cottages that have come to be most associated with hauntings today — places like The Mount, Whistlers Inn, Ventfort Hall — weren't at all among the early reputed "haunted houses" of the Berkshires of that era.   Instead, you have places like Greenwood — aka the Captain Britton place in Pittsfield — or Fernbrook, in Lenox.   Greenwood was an interesting early example. Thomas Britton built it in the late 1840s, on a hill near where Route 20 meets Barker Road. It was

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Letter: Get Information About Dangers of Youth Vaping
Letter to the Editor,
11:35AM / Sunday, October 31, 2021

To the Editor:

The start of the school year and new routines brings new worries about teen vaping. These concerns are important, especially now, because smoking and vaping may put people at higher risk of complications from COVID-19.

One in three Massachusetts teens vape and talking with young people about the dangers of vaping can make a difference. Learn more and watch videos at GetOutraged.org, part of a public information campaign from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Get Outraged! aims to spread the word that vaping products contain nicotine, can damage a teen's developing brain, and are addictive. The campaign also shares tips on talking with kids about vaping and

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Engaging With The Dead: Berkshirites & the Spectral World. Part 1: 1781-1900
By Joe Durwin, Special to iBerkshires
07:21AM / Sunday, October 31, 2021
What is a ghost? What is an apparition? What is the nature of the dead, and can they ever still keep company with the living? These are questions that have occupied human minds for thousands of years. On a more recent local level, they're questions that have been kicked around since the 1700s, in a variety of contexts, and through some very different lenses.    Some of the very first local "ghost stories" were firsthand accounts from settlers living in what were still wild frontier towns poking through wilderness. Some of these had the character of bizarre, menacing encounters with unseen forces and unknown beings that threatened them in their slight footholds on the

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Roads to Mount Greylock Summit to Close Saturday
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:57PM / Friday, October 29, 2021
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The roads to the Mount Greylock State Reservation will be closed Saturday, Oct. 30, at 3 p.m. to avoid Halloween vandalism.   Park Superintendent Travis Clairmont told the Mount Greylock Advisory Council on Thursday that, as in recent years, he plans to close down the mountain roads Saturday afternoon while he still has seasonal staff on hand.     Also to avoid Halloween, a night that always brings vandalism to the reservation    "There has been consistent vandalism on Halloween night so it is one more reason to close up," Clairmont said. "Last time we were open on Halloween, they smashed windows and burnt a kiosk.

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