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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Berkshire Housing Woes Heard at State Listening Session
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:17AM / Thursday, May 16, 2024

Housing Secretary Edward Augustus Jr. addresses local leaders at a housing session in Pittsfield, his second stop on a swing through the Berkshires. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Affordability, transportation, incentives, and equity were identified as vital areas related to housing development in the Berkshires during a listening session on Wednesday to inform Gov. Maura Healey's plans to address the housing crisis. 

Around 100 local officials, business and community leaders and residents attended the session that will help fuel the state's five-year housing plan. They heard from Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities Edward Augustus Jr. about the

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The Retired Investor: Tariffs Rarely Work, So Why Use Them?
By Bill Schmick,
04:41PM / Wednesday, May 15, 2024
Tariffs are a form of tax applied on imports from other countries. The costs of these tariffs are mostly passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices for the targeted goods. In an inflationary environment, tariffs simply make things worse. Tell that to the candidates.   Historically, tariffs have been used to protect domestic industries like steel or aluminum manufacturers. They can and have often been used to strike back against other countries' unfair trade practices. They often lead to reduced trade, retaliation, and higher prices.   In today's political landscape, those economic findings have fallen on deaf ears. Both candidates for president are attempting to

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Berkshire Children's Chorus, Berkshire Concert Choir Spring Concert
04:00PM / Wednesday, May 15, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. Berkshire Children's Chorus and Berkshire Concert Choir present their joint Spring Concert, titled "The Sounds of Music."    The show is on May 17 at 7:00 PM in the Common Room at Zion Lutheran Church.   Admission to these concerts is free. While tickets are complimentary, donations are welcomed to support the choirs.   Secure seats by visiting the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/the-sounds-of-music-3286179

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MassDEP Penalizes Berkshire Springs for Failing to Report Diesel Spill
03:54PM / Wednesday, May 15, 2024
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has penalized Berkshire Springs Holding Company, LLC, for failing to notify MassDEP of a September 2023 spill of diesel fuel at a service station in Pittsfield.    Berkshire Springs is a bottler and distributor of spring water based in Southfield.   "It is critical that customers of gasoline and diesel fueling facilities diligently monitor their fueling operations to avoid spills of petroleum products that would negatively impact public safety and the environment," said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP’s Western Regional Office in Springfield. "The cleanup has been

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BCC: Football Combine and Standardized Athletic Testing Day
10:49AM / Wednesday, May 15, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC), together with St. John's Lodge #10 of Pittsfield, invites area school athletes to participate in the second annual Berkshire County Football Combine & Athletic Testing Day on Saturday, June 8 from 9 am-3 pm.    The free event will be held at BCC's Gene Dellea Turf Field, located at 1350 West Street.    High school and college students are welcome to participate, as are younger students in grades 6 and up. To register, visit www.berkshirecc.edu/athletic-testing.    Preregistration begins at 9 am, followed by combine and strength testing at 10 am and drills on the field at 12

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Pittsfield Council Recognizes ALS, Appoints CIO
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:55AM / Wednesday, May 15, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council began its regular meeting on Tuesday with a proclamation for ALS awareness and the appointment of a new chief information officer.

“This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ice Bucket Challenge through renewed commitment to increase public awareness and support funding, leading to the significant improvements in ALS research,” Mayor Peter Marchetti explained.

The challenge took social media by storm, with participants recording themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads to promote awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Resident Jacqueline Surbaugh was presented

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Dalton Fire District Votes OK All Articles, Return Incumbents
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
09:27PM / Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Fire Chief Christian Tobin explains the Fire Department budget at Tuesday's annual district meeting.  DALTON, Mass. — Voters approved all 22 articles on the warrant unanimously at the annual Fire District meeting on Tuesday night at the Stationery Factory.   Approximately 75 voters attended the meeting, which lasted a little more than a half hour, to vote on the proposed $3,524,680 budget for fiscal year 2025.    The Fire District and town are two separate governing bodies. The Fire and Water departments are the Fire District's responsibility. The Board of Water Commissioners and the Prudential Committee govern the district.   A number of the

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Dalton Elections See High Turn Out; Select Board Incumbent Wins
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
01:59PM / Tuesday, May 14, 2024
DALTON, Mass. — More than 800 residents cast their votes during Monday's town elections, resulting in Select Board incumbent Robert Bishop retaining his seat.   "I feel like it was it was a high turnout. We had a lot of mail-in ballots … I think the one contested Select Board race definitely brought people out," Town Clerk Heather Hunt said.    "I think we saw a lot of voters that we haven't seen in a very long time, and I think a lot of them came out specifically to vote for the Select Board."    The town sent out approximately 823 mail-in ballots and received back more than half, Hunt said.    Bishop has served on

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BCC to Offer CDL License Training
10:36AM / Tuesday, May 14, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — According to an American Trucking Association survey, more than 400,000 new truck drivers are needed every year.    The Workforce Development and Community Education Department at Berkshire Community College (BCC), in partnership with United Tractor Trailer School of Holyoke, Massachusetts, is helping to fill this need by offering two sessions of Commercial Driver's License (CDL) training.     Professional instructors help students gain the skills necessary to enter the rapidly growing industry of trucking, in a highly motivated and positive hands-on atmosphere. Training comprises a total of 60 hours of instruction in the classroom, the

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ConCom Sends Enforcement Order to Pittsfield Country Club
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:45AM / Tuesday, May 14, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Conservation Commission is disappointed to see wetland violations at the Pittsfield County Club, stating the new maintenance superintendent should "know better."

Last week, the panel ratified an enforcement order for unauthorized land disturbance and vegetation removal within bordering land subject to flooding, bordering vegetated wetlands, inland bank, and buffer zones.

"Essentially what happened was the golf course superintendent had cleared woody vegetation, some of the woody vegetation was substantially sized, along areas that the commission regulates," Conservation Agent Robert Van Der Car said.

He displayed pictures of the

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Dalton Board of Health Amends Green Burial Verbiage
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
04:28PM / Monday, May 13, 2024
DALTON, Mass. —T he Board of Health amended the green burial guidelines during its meeting on Wednesday.    In April, the board approved the guidelines stating that "Ebola or any other diseases that the CDC or Massachusetts Department of Public Health deem unsuitable for green burials can not be approved by the town Board of Health."   Following communication with the state Department of Environmental Protection, the board on Wednesday voted to revise it to add Anthrax and Prion to the list of diseases deemed unsuitable for green burials.   The revised guidelines say that if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or state DEP "deems any

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BRTA Temporary Service Adjustments
10:43AM / Monday, May 13, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA) is announcing temporary service reductions on select bus routes, and an increased employee hiring incentive, aimed at improving the reliability of the public transit system.    Due to many factors facing most employers in today's labor market, including a continued lack of available bus operators, BRTA is temporarily reducing service on selected bus routes to match current staffing levels. These service changes will be effective starting Monday, May 20, 2024.   "Our Operations and Maintenance staff are the backbone of our agency. They work tirelessly to provide the transit services that our

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