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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Use Year-end Bonus (Or Gift) Wisely
01:01PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, you may be anticipating – or have already received – a year-end bonus from your employer. Or you might be receiving a substantial cash gift for the holidays. (If you're really lucky, you might get both.)

You can doubtlessly think of many ways to spend this money right now, but how can you use it to help yourself in the long run?

Here are a few suggestions:

* Pay off some debts. Virtually all of us carry some type of debt, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. For example, your mortgage not only gives you a place to live and a chance to build equity in your home, but the interest payments are typically tax deductible. Other debts, though,

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Harvest Festivals and Craft Fairs 2019
10:20AM / Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Fall has arrived, bringing with it many craft fairs and harvest festivals around the Berkshires. This list will be updated as we get more information. Have an event to add? Email us at info@iberkshires.com.

 

Saturday, Dec. 14

Pittsfield: The Holiday Shindy will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the newly instated Al Khalil Cultural Center (formerly Shire City Sanctuary) with 40 artisan vendors, featuring holiday shopping with food from local farms and the opportunity to meet and watch local makers weave, sew, and whittle. Admission is $3, free for children under 12.

Sheffield: Christ Trinity Church, 180 Main St., will hold its holiday bazaar and bake sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The

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Veteran Spotlight: PFC Giardina Runs Out of Luck on Day 13
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
04:28PM / Sunday, December 08, 2019

I met this week's veterans spotlight feature several months ago and I liked him instantly as we really hit it off. He would be described as unequivocally old school — kind, humble, generous with a warm smile and a fabulous personality. 

  Francis A. Giardina served his country in the Army from 1952 to 1954 in the Korean War.    Growing up in Pittsfield, he was the youngest of three children. "We were poor, but we didn't know it ... we always had food on the table and always had plenty to do," he remembered. After graduating from Pittsfield High School, Giardina ran pool halls for a couple of years before being drafted into the Army in November

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Climate Change Expert: Keep Heat on Banks, Insurers
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:16AM / Sunday, December 08, 2019

About two dozen protesters demanding action on climate change gather on the steps of Williamstown's First Congregational Church on Friday afternoon.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A leading expert on climate change Thursday told a packed house that while big oil is an enemy, it is not the only one.   Big banks and big insurance play their part.   "The four banks in the world that fund most of the fossil fuel industry are big American banks," Bill McKibben said during his appearance at MCLA for the Elizabeth and Lawrence Vadnais Environmental Issues Lecture. "Chase Bank is the biggest by far and the biggest with a bullet. Chase Bank lent over the last

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Pittsfield Holds Tree Lighting Ceremony
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
09:59PM / Friday, December 06, 2019

City Council President Peter Marchetti welcomes the crowd.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The holiday season is officially on in Pittsfield with the annual tree lighting  Ceremony at Park Square.   Hundreds gathered at Park Square on Friday night to bring in the holiday season with song and cheer as they lit up the Park Square Christmas tree.   "On behalf of Mayor Tyer and the entire City Council, I want to welcome you to the tree lighting ceremony and wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays on behalf of the city," Council President Peter Marchetti said. "Tonight is a very special moment in the city."   Recreation Activities Coordinator

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'The Irishman': At 3 Hours & 29 Minutes, it all Depends
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:31PM / Friday, December 06, 2019
"Fuhgeddaboudit" was the advice from those who decided against climbing the movie mountain that is Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman," all 3 hours and 29 minutes of it. Dilemmas presented themselves. How many times will I have to go to the bathroom? Should we skip breakfast, have dinner now, pack a picnic lunch, or maybe even book a room close to the theater?   The destinies of whole lives were changed for those strict constructionists who wouldn't succumb to the tyranny of their bladders by availing themselves of the small screen, Netflix offering.   Me? Nope. I came this far in my moviegoing ... lived through the days of when films broke in midstream,

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Whiplash Weather in Store for the Berkshires
01:32PM / Friday, December 06, 2019
Mother Nature is making sure there's a snowy background for Friday night's tree lightings in North Adams and Pittsfield. The National Weather Service is predicting a few inches and up to 5 inches in the higher elevations, with steady snowfall until 10 p.m.    Motorists should beware of slippery roads and low visibility, especially Friday night.   A number of school districts have canceled after-school programs for Friday: Hoosac Valley Regional; Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter; Mount Greylock Regional School District; Drury High; and Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (early dismissal, too).   But wait, this is the Berkshires so you know the

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Making the Loop
by Soapbox
04:44PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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We had some free time this week to walk the 2-mile loop through the downtown. Here's a few of things that caught our eye. (In between taking photos, we were heel-toeing and arm-pumping as prescribed.)

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Let's Go Paperless
by Soapbox
05:07PM / Monday, February 06, 2012
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This is from Ward 6 Councilor John Krol's eblast today. His switch to digital immediately caught our attention. With the associated costs - nearly $4,000 a year for paper alone! - zipping councilors "the packet" (as we in the know like to call it) over the ether makes loads of sense. Digital also means the average citizen gets far better access to these public documents than ever before. The city clerk's office has been diligent about posting meeting agendas and, where possible, relevant documents. So in terms of saving money and time and getting information out efficiently, digital is the way to go.

I would like to thank City Clerk Linda Tyer for agreeing to print out one less city council packet, as I have officially gone paperless for council meetings - which I hope will be a trend that can be extended throughout city government.

The bulky (and often, very bulky) city council packet that councilors use for a reference costs an average of $170 per meeting for paper alone. Add the additional costs of ink/toner, wear and tear on city hall copiers, and the time and energy of staff who put it all together - and a simple transition away from paper benefits everyone.

With the packet now fully digital in pdf form, all councilors, and everyone with an internet

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Berkshire Music School Kicks Off 2012 Classes With Open House
by Soapbox
12:29PM / Sunday, January 29, 2012
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The open house featured a sample class, access to musical instruments, information for parents, refreshments ...and more than a few delighted squeals.


January 29, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dozens of youths, many of them under the age of 5, attended an open house at the Berkshire Music School Saturday, as the educational nonprofit enters its 70th year at its 30 Wendell Avenue home.
The open house featured a sample class, access to musical instruments, information for parents, refreshments... and more than a few delighted squeals, proving once again the inherent interest in making a joyful noise is not generational, and will never go out of style.
The open house featured a Music for Preschoolers class, designed to "children’s awareness of rhythm, ability to sing and move creatively to music," which

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Daniel Bianchi Sworn In As Mayor
by Soapbox
11:55AM / Monday, January 02, 2012
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Video taken on Jan. 2, 2012, by Joe Durwin of Daniel Bianchi being sworn in for his first term as mayor of Pittsfield.

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Generals Fall to Wildcats on Tuesday
by Soapbox
02:11PM / Wednesday, December 21, 2011
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Check out the action between the Pittsfield Generals and the Lee Wildcats on Tuesday night.

Pittsfield at Lee High - Boys Basketball 12/20/2011 from iBerkshires on Vimeo.

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