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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

'The Dark Tower': Fighting Horror with Horror
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:19PM / Wednesday, August 16, 2017
At best, director Nikolaj Arcel's "The Dark Tower," a sci-fi, fantasy western gleaned from Stephen King's best-selling, eight-volume series, might serve as a vicarious mitigation of the horror currently befalling America. The film is clearly about the war between good and evil, albeit related only coincidentally to the nightmarish battle between those forces now commanding our national stage. Whereas our real fight waits for afeared and hesitant patriots to awaken, the movie provides a quick fix of honesty and justice.   But otherwise, while fans of the horror meister's franchise might be pleased to see the saga all gussied up in celluloid, the great unwashed will

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'Better Block' Approaching The Build Stage For Tyler Street Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:08PM / Wednesday, August 16, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It's time to build the better block.   MassDevelopment brought in Team Better Block to run the economic development exercise on Tyler Street. The plan is to completely revamp the section between Smith Street and Cortland Place, filling up the storefronts, improving mobility, slowing traffic, and sprucing up the aesthetics.    "This is not a block party, this is an economic development demonstration," Amequsika 'Sika' Sedzro, who is the city's fellow through the MassDevelopment Transformative District Initiative.   In June, Better Block met with dozens of residents to get ideas of what they'd like Tyler Street to

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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

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by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Crumbling of Slavery in Massachusetts Celebrated on 'Elizabeth Freeman Day'
04:50PM / Wednesday, August 16, 2017

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — On Aug. 21, 1781, in Sheffield, slavery began to crumble in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts when Elizabeth "Mumbet" Freeman successfully sued for her freedom from slavery more than 80 years before the Emancipation Proclamation.

On Sunday, Aug. 20, The Trustees of Reservations will host a day of activities to celebrate the story of Elizabeth Freeman at the Ashley House in Sheffield. Activities will include guided tours of the Ashley House and a performance by storyteller and actress Tammy Denease, with her dramatic re-telling of "Mumbet's Story."

Preceding the afternoon performance, the public is invited to follow in the footsteps of

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Pittsfield Man Injured After Firework Explodes In Hand
Staff Reports,
04:32PM / Wednesday, August 16, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city man was taken to the hospital after a large firework blew up in his hand.   Police say at 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday a 911 caller reported hearing "a loud bang and someone outside the residence yelling" on View Street. First responders found a 33-year-old man with severe injuries to his hand.   Police and Fire then called in the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad, the State Fire Marshal's Office, District 4 Hazmat Teams, and ATF agents for the investigation "based on the nature of the incident and as a precaution."   Authorities executed a search warrant at the home and determined that the individual suffered the

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BArT School 2017-2018 Bus Routes
01:40PM / Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School begins the school year on Monday, Aug. 21. School days have been restructured to begin at 8:20 a.m. and end at 3:40 p.m.

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Enjoy Great Music at Tanglewood, Music Mountain, Tannery Pond
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:15PM / Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Pianist Emanuel Ax comes to Tanglewood on Thursday, Aug. 17.

Come late August, classical aficionados are grateful for the cornucopia of musical riches the Boston Symphony bestows to rapt audiences within the incomparably bucolic setting that is Tanglewood. Many of those superlative concerts will reside in our collective memory for a long time.

During this penultimate week of the Tanglewood Festival, the spotlight will focus on a range of classical fare in varied genres: from chamber and vocal music by Bach, Dvořák, Schubert and Mahler to symphonic works by Beethoven, Brahms and Richard Strauss.

Looking ahead, these last two months of magnificent music making are but a

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Review: 'Company' Hits A Home Run at Barringston Stage
By Nancy Salz, Special to iBerkshires
11:48AM / Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Aaron Tveit stars in Barrington Stage Company's production of 'Company.' (Photo by Daniel Rader"

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hugh Jackman has it. The young Robert Redford had it – that preternatural ability to exude charisma and magnetic sexiness even when standing stone still. Aaron Tveit has it, too, in addition to his impressive singing, dancing and acting skills.

Tveit is the star of Barrington Stage's "Company," one of Stephen Sondheim's biggest hits, and he is just the tip of the talent iceberg in this simply fantastic production. "Company" premiered in April of 1970, and while it's not quite as relevant today as it was back

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Stay Calm on the Investment 'Roller Coaster'
11:33AM / Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Unless you live near an amusement park that does a lot of advertising, you probably didn't know that Aug. 16 is National Roller Coaster Day. Actual roller coasters provide people with thrills. But as an investor, how can you stay calm on the "roller coaster" of the financial markets?

Here are some suggestions:

* Know what's in front of you. If you've ever ridden a roller coaster in the dark, you may find it scarier than if you boarded it in daylight – after all, it can be unsettling not to know where you're going. The same can be said about investing: If you have no idea what's in front of you, you might find the journey unnerving – and if that

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Letter: Ways to Protest Safely
Letters to the Editor,
05:00PM / Tuesday, August 15, 2017

To the Editor:

With hate groups marching in cities across the U.S., it's tempting to attend to show opposition. However, direct confrontation will only escalate tensions. Hate-mongers are always wrong. Let them be wrong a little farther away from you in order to de-escalate the cycle a bit.

I fear we're heading toward more intense violence at protests in the U.S. and even possibly civil war (sounds far-fetched, I know, but it wouldn't take much).

The Southern Poverty Law Center released a guide titled "Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide."

To reduce the chance of violence:

"Do not attend a hate rally. As much as you might like to physically

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Pittsfield Anti-Crime Unit Arrests Man on Drug, Firearm Charges
01:07PM / Tuesday, August 15, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's Anti-Crime Unit arrested a Stockbridge man on Monday on drug and firearms charges.    According to police, police officers in plainclothes encountered William Lacy, 26, walking in the area of Center and Bradford streets. The encounter occurred at about 7 p.m. and officers say they developed probable cause for believing he was in possession of narcotics.    Lacey was searched and police said he was found to be in possession of 42 bags of heroin and a crack pipe. After he was placed under arrest, they conducted a search of the backpack Lacey was wearing. Inside the backpack, officers discovered a 9mm handgun with a loaded magazine

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Wrestling Company In Time Crunch to Get Permits to Use Mall
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Tuesday, August 15, 2017
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Truly Independent Wrestling is having trouble settling into its new home.   The fairly recently formed company is planning to hold monthly wrestling shows and workshops teaching sports entertainment. The independent promoters formed last year and held shows in Pittsfield and recently signed a lease at the Berkshire Mall, utilizing space in the former Old Navy store.   But the building inspector has concerns and wants more documentation filed before the next show on Aug. 26. The wrestling promoters say they did what he asked. Both claim the other hasn't been responsive to requests.    The organization moved to the mall and scheduled its

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Dalton Events to Mark Appalachian Trail Community Designation
04:31PM / Monday, August 14, 2017
DALTON, Mass. — The town of Dalton become the third Appalachian Trail Community in the state on Saturday, Aug. 19, with a celebration including hikes, music and a cookout.    State and local officials and representatives from the Appalachian Mountain Club and Appalachian Trail Conservancy will have a short ceremony at Pinegrove Park at noon.    The 2,200-mile long trail completed in 1937 runs from Georgia to Maine, passing through 14 states and the length of the Berkshires. Great Barrington and North Adams are the only other Appalachian Trail Communities. It is maintained by local clubs, the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, state Department of

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