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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Announces Line Painting Schedule
04:00PM / Friday, June 07, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. Line painting is scheduled to take place starting Monday, June 10, overnight, in the following locations: West Housatonic Street – From South Street to the railroad bridge past Clapp Park South Merriam Street Merriam Street Onota Street Columbus Ave – From Onota Street to North Street Linden Street – From Onota Street to North Street Lakeway Drive – From Onota Street to Valentine Road Pecks Road Hancock Road – From Pecks Road to North Street As painting of the double yellow centerline and the outer white lines will take place in the evenings, parking restrictions will be in effect starting at 8 p.m. each night through 6 a.m.

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BMS Announces Talent and Merit Scholarship Auditions
12:13PM / Friday, June 07, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — For the 2024-2025 academic year, Berkshire Music School (BMS) will offer increased need-based financial aid for private lessons, as well as talent- and merit-based scholarships to attract musicians in the region.   Students accepted into BMS' Talent & Merit Scholarship Program will benefit from financial assistance, up to 100 percent tuition.    In the 2023-2024 academic year, Berkshire Music School awarded more than $28,000 in need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships to 32 students.    Auditions will be held by appointment on Saturday, June 15 for a panel of Berkshire Music School faculty. Auditions are open to the

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What's The Dill? A New Pickleball Facility in Pittsfield
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
11:36AM / Friday, June 07, 2024

Michael Gilardi, founder of Berkshire Mountain Pickleball, says the group has grown from 10 to more than 400 in a few years. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Peter Marchetti christened the city's new pickleball facility on Thursday.

The match including himself, Parks Commissioner Cliff Nilan, Tony Riello, and Kelly Maginnis of Berkshire Mountain Pickleball, was the first after a ribbon cutting that officially opened the courts.

Marchetti said these courts are a great addition to our outdoor recreation landscape and we hope we could do more in the future.

"This has been a project that dates back to about 2018 and has been made possible based on the Parks and

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Fire Service Leaders Urge Summer Fire Safety
10:41AM / Friday, June 07, 2024
STOW, Mass. — State Fire Marshal Jon M. Davine and Foxborough Fire Chief Michael Kelleher, president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, are reminding residents to practice fire safety this season.   "Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and we want to remind everyone to play it safe as they enjoy the warm weather," said State Fire Marshal Davine. "Don't let a fire or serious burn ruin your summer.   "As we spend more time outside with friends and family, firefighters start to see more outdoor fires," said Chief Kelleher. "Sadly, many of these fires cause serious injuries and property damage – but almost all of

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Volunteer to Clean Up the West Branch Housatonic River
08:29AM / Friday, June 07, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Volunteers are invited to help clean up the west branch of the Housatonic River with Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) and Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) at one of their annual river cleanups on Sunday, June 9, from 9 AM to noon.   After the cleanup, volunteers will be provided a free lunch from a local restaurant. Volunteers must RSVP in advance to reserve a free lunch.    Participants should meet at Wahconah Park, 105 Wahconah Street, Pittsfield, at 9 AM on June 9. Cleanup teams will disperse to nearby locations, gathering miscellaneous trash from the river banks and bottom. Canoes will be used to transport the trash. Old clothes, a

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BCC Offers Financial Aid Workshop and Drop-in Assistance
08:00AM / Friday, June 07, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass —In advance of the Commonwealth’s July 1, 2024 priority deadline for completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms, Berkshire Community College (BCC) will hold a FAFSA Completion Workshop on Friday, June 21 from 9-11 am in the Financial Aid Office (Room F-139).    To register for the workshop, visit www.berkshirecc.edu/fafsa-workshop.   Registration is encouraged but not required; drop-ins are welcome.    Students should bring a copy of their 2022 taxes and their Federal Student Aid (FSA) login information. Those under 24 will need parental information, and parents must also have an FSA login. To create an FSA

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Pittsfield Council Preliminarily OKs Water Sewer Calculation, Rates
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:37AM / Friday, June 07, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council is amicable to a new calculation for water and sewer rates.

A formula-based approach that aims to fairly adjust rates yearly was preliminarily approved along with an eight percent water and sewer increase for fiscal year 2025. Mayor Peter Marchetti's proposed ordinance bases rates on the Consumer Price Index Factor (CPIF) and the Operational Stability Factor (OSF.)

"Any mayor would love to take the City Council out of the process, say 'Here's the formula.' Every year, bang, there's those rates. We didn't do that," Marchetti said.

"We wanted to be fair and transparent and here's our formula, you

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The Retired Investor: How Top-Down Economic Policies Pushed Country Over the Edge
By Bill Schmick,
04:33PM / Thursday, June 06, 2024
The Federal Reserve Bank's smoothing of the business cycle, which started in the 1990s, was meant to ensure price stability and the health of the labor market. It's top-down policies of reducing interest rates through the banking system and into the hands of the largest corporations was meant to benefit the whole economy.   The problem is that corporations and the minority of Americans that control them are not the whole economy. What did that matter, argued supply-side economists. This group, who championed Reaganomics in the 1980s and beyond, assured us that the benefits of the Federal Reserve Bank's policies would ‘trickle-down' throughout the entirety of U.S.

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Westside Legends Plan $5.8M Condo Project in Pittsfield
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:54PM / Thursday, June 06, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass.-

The Westside Legends have planned a $5.8 million condo project for first-time homebuyers in the neighborhood.

The Community Development Board on Tuesday endorsed a special permit for the construction of five new buildings on 363 Columbus Avenue.  The nonprofit organization aimed to uplift the west side of Pittsfield has proposed 16 one to three-bedroom townhouses on the vacant lot at the corner of Columbus Ave. and South John St.

“We are really hoping to be able to use some masonry on this project because there are units for homeownership, not rentals,” Architect Tessa Kelly explained.

“So we are really focusing on using the best quality

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June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month
08:00AM / Thursday, June 06, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In celebration of Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, everyone who adopts a cat or kitten at Berkshire Humane Society in June will receive a door prize and a chance to win a cat-themed prize package.   Also, microchips for cats will be only $15 for the month by appointment at Berkshire Humane Society locations in Pittsfield: the Dr. John Reynolds Adoption and Education Center at 214 Barker Road (413-447-7878) and Wellness Clinic at 289 Dalton Avenue (413-203-4330).   "Cat adoptions were up this past year," said John Perreault, Berkshire Humane Society's Executive Director. "With two months to go in our fiscal year, we had already adopted out 86

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Pittsfield Council Advances Toter Contract to Final Vote
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:10AM / Thursday, June 06, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council has taken a move toward toters, preliminarily approving a five-year contract with Casella Waste Management.

After hours of deliberation, councilors on Monday gave the initial OK for an agreement that uses automated collection instead of unlimited trash pickup.  A final vote will be taken next week.

"I think people are nervous of change, people don't like change, toters are a scary thing — carts as you call them. There's hills everywhere, there's one-way streets everywhere, there's snow everywhere. It gets figured out in other places. There will be hiccups, there will be problems," Councilor at Large Earl

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Pittsfield Council Preliminarily OKs Last of FY25 Budgets
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:55PM / Wednesday, June 05, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council preliminarily approved the last five departmental budgets with unanimous votes last Thursday.

The final vote on the $215,955,210 spending plan — which includes a $200,000 cut to the schools — will be taken on June 11.  

The FY25 budget is a 5 percent increase from the previous year. Though a January petition asking for a close-to-level-funded budget was initially a stressor for Mayor Peter Marchetti in his first month of office, he said it was a good thing.

"The Jan. 9th petition to create chaos in my world about developing a budget was actually a good thing," he said. "Because I got to go about doing the

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