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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Public Safety Advisory Group Resurges
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:06AM / Wednesday, May 04, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Public Safety Advisory Committee is awaiting direction from the mayor as to what its role will be.   The committee was resurrected in 2012 as the Police Advisory Committee; last year, the City Council approved an amendment that expanded its purview for all public safety issues.   The last time the group was in the month before Linda Tyer won election in November. Many on the committee had been supporters of former Mayor Daniel Bianchi, who appointed them, and resigned. The committee was reduced to nearly nothing.   Early this year, Tyer appointed new members and the revived group met for the first time Monday to craft the new course.   The


Community Meeting Planned in Wake of Pittsfield Shooting
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:14PM / Tuesday, May 03, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Residents of South Pittsfield received a wake up call this weekend when a 17-year-old man was shot on Bartlett Avenue.    The incident was a little too close for comfort for an area that hasn't seen this type of violent crime. The city councilors representing two South Pittsfield wards have set a meeting on Thursday morning in hopes to bring residents together discuss safety.   "There has been a comfort about Ward 5 being a very safe neighborhood," Ward 5 Councilor Donna Todd Rivers said. "[The shooting] woke a lot of people up."   Rivers had already booked the Ralph Froio Senior Center for 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 5, for


Inauguration 2016
by Soapbox 02:00PM / Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Kids 4 Harmony Provided The Music At The Inauguration Reception
by Soapbox 08:38PM / Monday, January 06, 2014

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Letter: Senate Candidate Strongly Against Pipeline
Campaign Statement,
02:00PM / Tuesday, May 03, 2016

To the Editor:

The Pipelines and Names

From my many conversations, I see that there is great confusion out there regarding "the pipeline."

Let me clarify names and pipelines. Kinder Morgan describes itself as "the largest energy infrastructure company in North America." They have pipelines that transport, among other things, crude oil and natural gas as well as other products. Kinder Morgan has a subsidiary company, the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.

It gets more complicated — we are not just talking about one pipeline when we talk about "the pipeline." In the Berkshires, there are two pipelines of concern, both of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. For this


Pittsfield Mulls Residency Requirement For Boards and Commissions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:16AM / Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Ward 5 City Councilor Donna Todd Rivers supports the petition. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — If a city board or commission is making decisions for the community, should the members actually live in the city?   That's the question in front of the City Council's Ordinance and Rules Subcommittee. The group met on Monday to discuss a proposal put forth by resident David Pill to implement a residency requirement for all boards and commissions.   "They are making decision about my community and they don't live here," Pill said.   Many of the boards have authority to implement rules or issue permits that could have an impact on business or taxes or the


Downing to Give Keynote Address at 56th BCC Commencement
04:46PM / Monday, May 02, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, will be the keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College's 56th Commencement Exercises to be held June 3 at Tanglewood in Lenox.

Downing was first elected in 2006 at the age of 24. During his decade of service, Downing, who recently announced that he will not seek a sixth term, has represented 52 communities of the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District, the largest Senate district in the commonwealth.

"Throughout his decade of service, Senator Downing has been a familiar face at our institution — always supportive and willing to help. He has been a true friend not only to BCC, but to so


17-Year-Old Man Shot In Pittsfield
Staff Reports,
03:02PM / Monday, May 02, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A 17-year-old man was shot Sunday on Bartlett Avenue.   Police say the man was transported to Berkshire Medical Center for treatment of the non-life threatening injuries around 9:58 p.m. The victim is declining to cooperate with investigating officers, police said.   According to police logs, officers responded to reports of shots fired twice in the area Sunday. The first call was received shortly before 4 p.m. Pomeroy was closed by officers between East Street and East Housatonic Street. The 9:58 call was at the 100 block of Pomeroy and Bartlett, less than a block away on the other side of East Housatonic Street.   The shooting remains under

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Pittsfield Airport Fence Revision Will Curb Deer Incursion
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Columnist
02:31PM / Monday, May 02, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — About three to five deer a day are among visitors to Pittsfield's municipal airport each day.

It's a form of unwanted traffic the airport is looking to curtail, with the systematic repair or replacement of several significant sections of its perimeter fence

The city's Conservation Commission on Thursday looked favorably on a proposal to conduct "in kind" replacement of existing fencing sections near and within wetlands there, a project that is due to be completed by the end of June.

One of the key sections eyed for replacement is an 688-foot piece of fencing that was not upgraded during a previous installation project, and measures only 6


Berkshires Beat: Save Stockbridge Bowl Campaign Nears Goal
01:06PM / Monday, May 02, 2016

Close to the goal: The Stockbridge Bowl Association expects to complete its $2.8 million Save Stockbridge Bowl capital campaign in 2016, as the organization celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding in 1946.

The SBA has raised more than $2.4 million of the estimated $2.8 million cost to pay for Phase 2 of the Town of Stockbridge Lake Management Plan. The work will include dredging to remove silt that has built up over many decades, and to permit a significant winter drawdown to kill the roots of invasive non-native plants clogging many areas of the lake.

"If the Town of Stockbridge cannot dredge decades of accumulated sediment and enable a winter drawdown to kill the invasive


Biz Briefs: Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Wins TV Award
12:05PM / Monday, May 02, 2016

SVMC patient John Kasper and Orion Howard, MD, pose with the 2015 Telly Award.

'Telly' It Like It Is: Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, with its agency Jennings, have received a 2015 Telly Award for its Partnership is Powerful Medicine campaign video featuring cancer patient John Kasper.

In the video, John, an auto detailer in Bennington, shares his emotional story about battling cancer with SVMC’s team. The video was part of a series of patient videos, all of which can be viewed online.

“We are pleased to win this award and grateful to the team of doctors and nurses at the Cancer Center for the inspirational work they do every day,” said Ray Smith,


Airport Study Group Continues To Pry Into Westwood Leases
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:14PM / Sunday, May 01, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — PERC President Jay Anderson doesn't think the development of the Westwood Center at Pittsfield Municipal Airport would have happened without FAA approval.   But the only correspondence with the Federal Aviation Agency is a letter disapproving of the leases. Now, a study group is worried that the city could ultimately be on the hook to pay the FAA back for some 30 years worth of leases. The issue was first brought up in March.   In the research so far, it seems there are two federal programs that should have gotten leasing funds on seven parcels.   The city purchased five acres of property abutting airport land and the airport put forth 25 acres

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Barrett Contributing on Two Sports at Westfield State
By Stephen Dravis, Sports
02:52PM / Sunday, May 01, 2016

WESTFIELD, Mass. -- After helping the Westfield State women’s basketball team earn a MASCAC Championship this winter, Mount Greylock graduate and Owls freshman Lucy Barrett switched gears to lacrosse.


And Barrett has not missed a beat.


She scored two goals on Saturday as Westfield State defeated Framingham, 17-4, in the Owls’ regular season finale. For the year, she has eight goals and six assists despite missing the team’s preseason training due to the extended basketball season.


Westfield State is the top seed in the MASCAC tournament and on Thursday will host the winner of Tuesday’s quarter-final between Worcester State and


@theMarket: It May Be That Time Again
By Bill Schmick,
01:12PM / Saturday, April 30, 2016

For traders, the old adage to "Sell in May" is now upon us. Over the past 40-plus years this recommendation has worked over 70 percent of the time. Should you go with the statistics or ignore them?

As regular readers know, the S&P 500 Index has already reached my target of 2,100. We did so over two weeks ago and until yesterday the bulls have been trying to break over that line and get back to the historical highs around 2,134.

The perfect excuse to do so should have occurred on Wednesday when the central bank's Federal Open Market Committee announced their latest decision to keep rates where they are.

The wording of the news release was almost identical to last


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