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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Maggie Harrington-Esko Tapped as PHS Principal
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
03:17PM / Sunday, June 26, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After working in many different positions at Pittsfield High School for more than 16 years, Maggie Harrington-Esko has been tapped as the new principal.

She will replace Henry Duval, who is retiring in the fall after nearly 30 years in public education.

Esko began her career at the high school in September 2006 as a social studies teacher, during which she also acted as a teacher leader, mentor, and adviser.

After 11 years in the classroom, Esko was hired to the administrative team where she had multiple titles. Over the last five years, she has been dean of students, vice principal, assistant principal of teaching and learning, and interim

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Audit Finds Cultural Council Dedicated COVID-19 Funds Without Verification
12:00PM / Sunday, June 26, 2022
BOSTON — In an audit of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), the Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump (OSA) found that MCC did not verify artists' eligibility prior to issuing grants totaling $1,456,000 from MCC's COVID-19 pandemic relief funding.    The audit also found that MCC's Internal Control Plan (ICP) was not updated with a COVID-19 component. Additionally, the OSA found that MCC did not ensure all employees completed the required annual cybersecurity awareness training. The audit was conducted March 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021.   "It is critical that state agencies and state-funded organizations, like MCC, have policies in place to

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Overnight Pavement Marking Operations on Sections of Route 8 and 9
02:10PM / Saturday, June 25, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced it will be conducting overnight hour pavement marking operations on sections of Route 8 and Route 9.    The work will take place nightly from Sunday, June 26, through Friday, July 1, from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. the following morning.  All work is anticipated to be completed by 5:00 a.m. on Friday, July 1.    The overnight pavement marking work will be conducted at the following locations on Route 8 and Route 9: North and south from Merrill Road at the Dick's Sporting Goods driveway to Route 8/Cheshire Road at the Berkshire Gas driveway. East and west from Dalton

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Pittsfield Parks Commission Supports Mural at Tucker Park
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:22PM / Saturday, June 25, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tucker Park is staged to receive a mural with a powerful message.

The Parks Commission on Tuesday approved the location for a piece of art from the Westside Mural Project, which was kicked off in May to re-imagine the neighborhood as a canvas with neighbors as the artists.

The 8-foot work was created by the Railroad Street Youth Project in Great Barrington and is titled "Rooted in Connection." It was unveiled over the weekend at the city's first Juneteenth festival in Durant Park, where the project's other murals are displayed.

It is a colorful, collaborative work made by the children of the project and lists their names in the

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Line painting on North Street in Pittsfield
09:00AM / Saturday, June 25, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Line painting is scheduled for North Street in downtown Pittsfield beginning Sunday, June 26, through Thursday, June 30.    The work will begin by Park Square and continue up to Berkshire Medical Center.   The painting will also include bike lanes, parking spaces, and stencil symbols. As painting will occur in the evenings, parking restrictions will be in effect starting at 8 p.m. each night through 6 a.m. the following morning for the duration of the work. The work is expected to conclude Thursday morning.   Tthe schedule is subject to change based on weather conditions. 

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@theMarket: Recession: 'Certainly a Possibility'
By Bill Schmick,
05:02PM / Friday, June 24, 2022
"Certainly a Possibility."    Those were the words of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during testimony to the U.S. Senate banking Committee on Wednesday, June 22. Investors took his warning in stride, instead of plummeting. That may indicate markets are ready for another relief rally.   Powell thought the U.S. economy was strong enough to roll with the Fed's punches of higher interest rates, and a shrinking balance sheet without too much trouble. It was the outside factors — the Ukrainian war, China's COVID-19 policy, and supply chain problems — that complicate the outlook. Avoiding the "R" word was largely out of the

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Indoors Out! Free Kids' Paint and Sip in Pittsfield
03:46PM / Friday, June 24, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. will present Indoors Out! Free Kids' Paint & Sip on Friday, July 1, 5-7:30 pm, at the parklet and outdoor seating area at The Marketplace Café, 53 North Street.    This event will be held in conjunction with the July 1st First Fridays Artswalk which will take place in a dozen locations in downtown Pittsfield from 5 to 8 pm.    This free event is best suited for ages 5 to 12, although older children are welcome.    All materials, instruction, snacks, and juice will be provided.    July's painting theme will be fireworks. Children must be accompanied by an adult and masks are

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EforAll Announces Prize Winners
12:04PM / Friday, June 24, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County awarded nearly $10,000 in prizes to the Spring 2022 Business Accelerator Cohort at an awards ceremony held on Zoom.   The awards were granted as follows: Jenny Gitlitz (Dalton) of Berkshire Family Advocates received the Paula Buxbaum Award–established in honor of a member of the Fall 2021 cohort who died in a car crash in October 2021.   This award in Paula's memory is granted to an individual making a career pivot and incorporating a social mission into their business. $1,000 to Rachel Hailey (North Adams) for DEI Outdoors. $2,300 to Deirdre Horan (Great Barrington) of Dri Ocean

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The Retired Investor: Stock Market & Midterm Elections
By Bill Schmick,
06:37PM / Thursday, June 23, 2022
The stock market does not perform well in the year leading up to midterm elections. This year's election may just add to the overall woes besetting equities.   Historically, the average annual return of the benchmark S&P 500 Index in the 12 months before the Nov. 5 election is 0.3 percent, versus the historical average of 8.1 percent in non-midterm years. In 2022, of course, with the S&P 500 down more than 20 percent, those historical numbers look pretty good. Unfortunately, volatility also tends to rise before and after midterm elections.   But this year is different, you might say, since we are witnessing the first European war in decades, as well as the highest

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Pittsfield Officials Say Charter Objection Won't Stop Budget Vote
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:10PM / Thursday, June 23, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A charter objection to the fiscal 2023 budget at the last City Council meeting did not completely wipe out the panel's recommendations, Mayor Linda Tyer confirmed on Thursday.

Though the motion made by Ward 2 Councilor Charles Kronick "on behalf of Ward 2" adopted the originally presented budget by default, the council will be able to vote on the $116,000 of recommended increases on Tuesday.  

The city must pass a budget by July 1 or be forced to operate month by month with this year's budget.

The budget will go back to Tyer and she will have the option to amend the budget to include the increases, which she has agreed to do if passed by the

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Pittsfield's Perrault Takes 400-Plus Wins into League Final
06:14AM / Thursday, June 23, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Three state championships, eleven league titles, 28 years, 409 victories.   Those are all one way to measure the success of Pittsfield Little League coach Ty Perrault.   But Perrault can offer a different perspective.   “To me, it’s kind of like my calling,” he said this week. “When I look back at my life, it’s the thing I’ve done that I’m most happy about.   “I’ve had grown men come up to me and thank me. I’m now coaching the sons of kids who I coached, and their father will still call me coach.”   Earlier this season, Perrault earned win No. 400 with East Side Cafe. On

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Dalton Finance Committee Recommends Articles, OKs Transfers
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:38AM / Thursday, June 23, 2022
DALTON, Mass. — A day after the Select Board voted to pull a $100,000 spending article from Monday's special town meeting, the Finance Committee recommended the other two money articles on the warrant.    Article 1 authorizes the town to pay $8,643 in sewer and debt expenses not anticipated in time for the annual town meeting and Article 3 would move $2,066 from free cash to the Miscellaneous Grants account to cure a deficit. This is a deficit from a prior year so only a majority vote is required for this to pass.    The Finance Committee voted to pass over Article 2 until more information can be gathered on the scope of the Town Hall renovation that goes

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