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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Fire Victim Flown to Mass General With Severe Burns
02:08PM / Monday, November 30, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city man is in critical condition after being rescued by firefighters from a burning second-floor apartment on Friday.   The victim was found suffering from severe burns in a room next to the kitchen where the fire started in Apartment 4 at 483 Peck's Road. He was taken to Berkshire Medical Center by Action Ambulance and later flown to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.     The blaze in the six-unit structure was reported at about noontime. Brown smoke was reported coming from the eaves of the building and a hose was stretched to the second floor apartment to extinguish the kitchen fire. Crews from Engines 3 and 5 entered the

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City Council Asks Mayor Tyer for 75K to Assist the Homeless
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:21AM / Monday, November 30, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council is pushing for Mayor Linda Tyer to set aside $75,000 from free cash to assist the homeless in acquiring temporary or permanent housing.    The petition asking for this amount from Councilors Chris Connell, Kevin Morandi, Patrick Kavey, and Chairman of the Homelessness Prevention Commission Edward Carmel was referred to Mayor Linda Tyer at last week's council meeting.    Kavey, of Ward 5, said this request was a starting point to discuss how much in funds would be allocated to them.   "I don't think that what happened in the spring was great with the shelter closing, and people living in a park doesn't

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City Council Appropriates $500k For Tyer's Home Program
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
07:30PM / Sunday, November 29, 2020

Mayor Linda Tyer hopes the At Home program will be successful enough to  attract financing from other agencies and organizations.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council last week approved an appropriation of $500,000 from the Pittsfield Economic Development Fund for a residential exterior home improvement program titled "At Home in Pittsfield."   Mayor Linda Tyer pitched this program back in 2019 to help eligible residents improve their homes. This program would provide zero-interest loans to residents for undertaking certain home improvement projects in an effort to improve the housing stock in the city.   At the time, the council rejected the

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In Lanesborough, Williamstown Schools, 'We Over Me' Ethic Promotes Safety
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:54AM / Sunday, November 29, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — In the Old Testament it says, "a little child shall lead them."   In the Mount Greylock Regional School District, the kids are up to that leadership role.   "As [Lanesborough Elementary School Principal Nolan Pratt] said, our students are probably the number one reason why we are actually maintaining safety," Williamstown Elementary Principal Kristen Thompson told the School Committee on Monday night. "They are maintaining their social distancing, they're sanitizing, and you should see how quickly they're able to come into the building now. They know if they're on the list or they're not on the list, and they

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Pittsfield Seeks Solutions to Daytime Warming Shelters for Homeless
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:28AM / Saturday, November 28, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer this week said the city of Pittsfield is feeling discouraged from the lack of community organizations willing to host a warming shelter that will house homeless individuals during the hours that the St. Joseph's temporary winter shelter on Maplewood Avenue is closed.

"We're concerned too, and we're feeling quite discouraged that a number of our community partners have declined our request to help with a daytime warming center but we're not going to give up," she said at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Maffuccio addressed the mayor with two petitions in regard to the homeless

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@theMarket: Market Cyclicals Take the Lead
By Bill Schmick,
04:37PM / Friday, November 27, 2020
It was a good week for investors, which is not surprising since Thanksgiving week has been kind to investors in the past. The question is, will December fulfill its role as one of the year's best months for stocks?   The short answer is yes, I don't see why not. My recent target for the S&P 500 Index is 3,800, but it is possible that I may be too conservative. An additional spike up to the 4,000 level might be in the cards sometime early next year, but one week at a time. What is the bull case for those lofty predictions?   I have long argued that a coronavirus vaccine was key to the economy and the market's future performance. We now have at least three vaccines

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State Declares 'Green Friday' in Support of Local Xmas Tree Farms
03:29PM / Friday, November 27, 2020
UXBRIDGE, Mass. — The Baker-Polito administration has declared Friday, Nov. 27, as "Green Friday" to encourage people across the commonwealth to visit their local farms and nurseries for Christmas trees, holiday plants, and holiday decorating needs.   To celebrate, state Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux participated in a Christmas tree-cutting ceremony at Arrowhead Acres in Uxbridge. In an effort to support the commonwealth's Christmas tree industry, the declaration of Green Friday encourages people throughout the state to visit their local Christmas tree farms to purchase their trees, holiday plants, ornamental swags, and wreaths to

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Wells Presented Superintendent's Award at Mount Greylock
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Friday, November 27, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Jake McCandless is new to the Mount Greylock Regional School District, but he is no stranger to the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents' Academic Excellence Award.   He has been around them since he was an administrator in the Lee Public Schools in 2002 and has been giving them out in Pittsfield since 2013.   And he has figured out what all those winners have in common.   "All of the times I've seen this award given or actually had the pleasure of giving this award, there's a really thick thread that runs through the story of every student who I have ever seen receive this award," McCandless said. "That

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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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