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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Black Legacy Project DocuSeries World Premiere Screening
08:33AM / Wednesday, June 15, 2022
SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Music in Common announces the premiere screening of "The Black Legacy Project" docuseries June 17-19 in honor of Juneteenth.    The Black Legacy Project (The Black LP) is a musical celebration of Black history to advance racial solidarity, equity, and belonging, according to a press release. The Black LP is a national project produced in partnership with community stakeholders at the local level.  As it travels the country, the Black LP brings together Black and White artists and artists of all backgrounds to record present day interpretations of songs central to the Black American experience and compose originals relevant to the pressing

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Berkshire Athenaeum's Employee Earns Mass History Alliance Award
08:13AM / Wednesday, June 15, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Massachusetts History Alliance has awarded Ann- Marie Harris, a longtime staffer in the Berkshire Athenaeum's Local History Department, with its STAR Award.   The Mass History Alliance, which recognizes excellence in local and public history in Massachusetts, designates the award to specifically honor a "long-term commitment, outstanding work with concrete results, exemplary innovation, local leadership for change, and contributions to equity and justice," according to a press release.   Harris, who has been a full-time staff member since 2003, received the award at the organization's conference held in June.   During her

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Two Charter Objections Called at Pittsfield City Council Meeting, One for the FY23 Budget
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:30AM / Wednesday, June 15, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tuesday's City Council meeting saw two charter objections, one for the city's $189 million fiscal 2023 budget and another on a petition to ban nip bottles in Pittsfield.

Ward 2 Councilor Charles Kronick halted the council's vote on the $189 million fiscal 2023 budget. This will void all of the recommended amendments that were made to the proposal over four nights of deliberations.  

These include an additional $1,000 to the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP,) $65,000 for school maintenance, and $50,000 to the building inspector's department, and a recommendation for the Pittsfield Police to earmark up to $250,000 in grant money to have

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Barbalunga Launches Bid for Berkshire County Sheriff
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:41PM / Tuesday, June 14, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The driving force behind candidate Alfred E. Barbalunga's bid for Berkshire County sheriff is to make the region a safe place to live, work and play.   He launched his campaign on Monday evening at Zucchini's Restaurant, mounting a primary challenge to incumbent Thomas Bowler, who was first elected to a six-year term in 2010 and has announced his intention to run for a third term.   Barbalunga has 28 years of combined corrections, law enforcement, and public safety experience and currently works as the chief probation officer of the Southern Berkshire District. He is also a former chair of the Pittsfield School Committee.     As a

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Tag Sale Fundraiser for BEAT
03:46PM / Tuesday, June 14, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) will hold a tag sale on Saturday, June 18, from 9 AM to 1 PM at their Environmental Leadership & Education Center, 20 Chapel Street in Pittsfield.    The event will be rain or shine; the sale will be moved indoors if necessary.    BEAT are renovating the former Immanuel Community Church. It now serves as their Environmental Leadership & Education Center.   According to a press release htere are 18 soild wood pews available for sale for $100 each, a piano, a small organ, electric stoves, a metal cabinet, reversible rolling chalkboards, and lots of plates. They also have an assortment of

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Taconic Class of 2022 Told to Make the Best of a Challenging Situation
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
02:02PM / Tuesday, June 14, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Taconic High School valedictorian William Garrity urged his classmates to make the best out of a challenging situation, both with the class's high school experience and with their futures.

This advice came from his experience during the COVID-19 pandemic when he was able to expand his horizons because of the opportunities it opened up.

"Because of the extra time I had available, I started to work a little bit more on leisure projects. Because of the influx of funds coming from the federal government to colleges, I was able to take many dual enrollment courses at (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts) and (Berkshire Community College) and complete a

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Pittsfield's Third Thursday to Celebrate Frontline Workers
12:45PM / Tuesday, June 14, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Third Thursday returns for its second event on Thursday, June 16 from 5-8pm at the Common on First Street.   This month will be celebrating all frontline workers including schools, healthcare, non-profits, emergency services, retailers, and city staff.   The evening will highlight entertainment on the mainstage while activities, food and vendors fill the park.   Whiskey Treaty Roadshow will be headlining the evening, playing music from 5:30-7:30pm.     Wandering Star and Hot Plate Brewing will host a beer garden with food trucks and more.   General Dynamics will conduct an interactive slime experiment to explore the chemical

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Fire Officials Urge Residents to Leave Fireworks to the Professionals
08:03AM / Tuesday, June 14, 2022
STOW, Mass. — Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and State Police Colonel Christopher S. Mason are reminding residents to leave fireworks to the professionals this summer.   Massachusetts fire departments reported more than 900 fires related to illegal fireworks between 2012 and 2021, officials said. In addition to the 43 fire service injuries and $2.1 million in damages attributed to these fires, Massachusetts medical facilities reported 31 severe burn injuries extending to 5 percent or more of the victims' bodies that were caused by illegal fireworks.   "People are injured and property is lost to illegal fireworks every single year in

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Pittsfield Committee of the Whole Approves $72M School Budget
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:03AM / Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Day 1 budget review here. Day 2 budget review here. Day 3 budget review here.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On the last day of budget hearings, the City Council preliminary approved the nearly $189 million operating budget and the School Department's budget of about $72 million.

The city's $188,706,018 fiscal 2023 budget was amended from the original proposal of $188,589,144 due to a change in the Finance and Administration department's re-evaluation line from $95,750 to $212,624. It is $9,500,055 higher than fiscal 2022.

With the approval were recommendations to add $1,000 to the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP,) $65,000 for school maintenance, and $50,000 to

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Baseball in the Berkshires Offers Thursday Talk, June Display in Cheshire
08:08PM / Monday, June 13, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Baseball in the Berkshires continues an active summer this month with a speech on Thursday and a new display in Cheshire starting Tuesday, June 21.   On Thursday at 10:45 a.m., the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires hosts Baseball in the Berkshires director Larry Moore for an exploration of the rich local history of the “National Pastime” in our region.   The free program will be presented in person as part of the Federation’s Connecting with Community Series presented at Knesset Israel and will be followed by a kosher hot lunch. Lunch is a $3 suggested donation for adults over 60 years of age or $7 for all

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'Swept: This Work I Will Do' Opens At Hancock Shaker Village
05:28PM / Monday, June 13, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In "Swept: This Work I Will Do," artist and broom squire Cate Richards presents a series of broom-inspired sculptures alongside Shaker brooms, connecting Shakers to contemporary craft practices and exploring the Shakers' influence on American craft and art today.   "In Swept: This Work I Will Do" (the subtitle is from a Shaker hymn), Richards makes sculptural objects using established broom making techniques in a discursive manner to explore issues of craft, social inequity, environment, and other topics. Richards' works are made of materials both expected (broomcorn, twine, and wood) and unconventional (plastic and

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Pittsfield Police Arrest Five on Drug Charges
Staff Reports,
04:40PM / Monday, June 13, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police arrested five Pittsfield residents on drug charges Thursday and Friday.    Michael Rogan, 39, and Shane Rohane, 38, were arrested after police executed a search warrant at 291 First St. on Thursday.    Quantities of crystal methamphetamine, heroin, money and other drug paraphernalia were seized, according to a release from Lt. John Soules on Monday.   Rogan is charged with trafficking in meth and other drug offenses and Rohane is charged with possession of heroin.   A warrant on Friday at 58 Linden St. turned up quantities of heroin, cocaine, money and drug paraphernalia.    Arrested were Lameek Thomas, 33; Tia Dewey,

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