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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Berkshire Tidbits: Harvest Fests, Historic Fare Fill Weekend
By Judith Lerner, iBerkshires Columnist
07:35AM / Tuesday, October 06, 2015
A grilled chicken and avocado sandwich with bacon and pest from The Hungry Traveler food truck that will be at the Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival.

Great Barrington Historical Society
Bake Sale Features Historic Goodies

Barbara Syer, president of the Great Barrington Historical Society thought it would be a better idea to have a bake sale than a tag sale to entice visitors to come to the Captain Thomas Wheeler House, the town of Great Barrington's museum and the Historical Society's headquarters.

Anbake sale.

With James Parrish, another Historical Society volunteer, Syer worked out a menu of doable baked goods from the 18th century, the period when the original


Styrofoam Ban To Go To Pittsfield Council Without Subcommittee Support
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:45AM / Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Charles Lake said he suffered a number of health issues because of the chemicals in the containers.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A City Council subcommittee has voted against instituting a ban on polystyrene containers.   The ban on what is better known as Styrofoam is eyed to extend only to restaurant to-go containers. Proponents and opponents have argued over the matter for more than two years through a number of commissions. The matter will finally go before the City Council.   The ordinance has received endorsement from the Green Commission. But with a 3-2 vote, the City Council's Ordinance and Rules subcommittee filed the petition. Now it will be up to the full

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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

Look the city's Christmas Tree is bigger than a bus!
by Soapbox 10:10AM / Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Senate Endorses Mt. Washington's Broadband Internet Plan
02:22PM / Monday, October 05, 2015

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate has approved an act authorizing the town of Mount Washington to establish, own and operate broadband infrastructure and services and to issue bonds or notes therefore.

The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Mount Washington plans to build a town-owned, modern, fiber-to-the-home network to provide high speed internet access to its residents. This home rule petition, filed on behalf of Mount Washington by Sen. Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) and state Rep. William "Smitt"y Pignatelli (D- Lenox) was approved by a majority of voters during a Special Town Meeting on July 13, 2015. It was referred to the

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Berkshire School of Etiquette to Host Youth Culture Program
01:27PM / Monday, October 05, 2015

LENOX, Mass. — Berkshire School of Etiquette will host its six-week Youth Culture Program starting Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The program targets boys and girls throughout Berkshire and Hamden Counties in grades one through five. Each session uses real dining and conversational situations to inspire a higher level of confidence in social situations.

“Often parents bring their children to adult functions and worry how they’ll behave. Good manners and other social graces have also been put on the back burner at a time when families are often too busy for regular meals together," Berkshire School of Etiquette founder & director Diane Massey said.

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Pittsfield Looking for Official City Christmas Tree
01:14PM / Monday, October 05, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Department of Community Development Recreation Program is looking for a tree to serve as the city's official Christmas tree at Park Square.

Criteria used to select the city’s official holiday tree will include: minimum height of approximately 30 feet; superior shape; ease of access to the tree for cutting; adequate room to safely fall the tree; and ease of transporting the tree.

Screening and selection of trees will take place the week of Nov. 2.  Cutting and installation of the tree at Park Square will be scheduled shortly after the selection.

Interested parties should contact Pittsfield’s Recreation Activities Coordinator,

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Berkshire Taconic Announces Final Round of 2015 Grant Deadlines for Berkshire County
12:20PM / Monday, October 05, 2015

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced the fourth and final round of deadlines for competitive grants in 2015.

Covering the period from October through December, the fall grants cycle is open to regional nonprofits, schools and individuals.


For nonprofits

The William J. and Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire and Savoy supports nonprofits, public agencies or community organizations that provide services to the residents of Adams, Cheshire or Savoy. The fund has up to $100,000 to grant out this year. Applications are due Nov. 1.

The Central Berkshire Fund supports nonprofits, public agencies or community organizations serving the

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Thousands Rally In Springfield in Support of Sanders
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:54PM / Saturday, October 03, 2015
The Vermont senator held rallies in Springfield and in Boston on Saturday. SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Some 6,000 people were "feeling the Bern" in Springfield on Saturday.   Bernie Sanders, who seeking to run for the Oval Office in 2016 on the Democratic ticket, called for a "political revolution" at a campaign stump at the Mass Mutual Center.  Sanders is the second candidate to stop in Western Massachusetts this week; Hillary Clinton, former New York senator and secretary of state, was in Holyoke for a fundraiser on Thursday.   For an hour, the Vermont senator outlined his platform, touching on a number of topics from income inequality to health

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@theMarket: October Should Be the Bottom
By Bill Schmick,
10:27AM / Saturday, October 03, 2015

The third quarter was the worst for stocks in four years. Here we are in October and if history is any guide, investors should expect a bottom in the stock markets over the next three weeks.

That does not necessarily mean that history is a dependable guide. Historical data has proven to be less than helpful over the last few years. That is largely because the central bank's heavy hand in the financial markets since 2008 has skewed the data. Their intervention in both the bond and stock markets has made technical as well as fundamental tools of investing all but meaningless in valuing the markets.

I have been expecting the stock markets to re-test their lows made on Aug. 24, something


Adams Anthony Center Focuses on Creative Spaces
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:10AM / Saturday, October 03, 2015
The Adams Anthony Center's most recent presentation focused on the development of live/work spaces for artists and other occupations. Speakers included Richard Tavelli, left, Francie Anne Riley, Eric Rudd and Bill Kolis.

ADAMS, Mass. — A group working to stimulate growth in Adams is looking hard at zoning as a stumbling block to transforming the Mother Town.

Members of the Adams Anthony Center, founded by William Kolis, has been holding a series of discussions around the creative economy and participating in roundtables in Adams and elsewhere to promote ideas and problem solve. A top priority is making it easier for artists to redevelop older buildings for living and


'The Intern': Works Well Enough
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:03PM / Friday, October 02, 2015
Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
Warner Bros. Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway play sweet and funny in the predictable but enjoyable 'The Intern.'

Point of disclosure: Bobby De Niro and I go way back … two years before I began reviewing films. It was in "Mean Streets" (1973), when he played Johnny Boy, that I first noticed and commended his thespic talent. Since then, I'd like to think I've proved an encouraging factor. I don't know… he's never really said anything to me about it. I hope he's not angry or something. Commenting on how he's segued from strong dramatic


The Independent Investor: The Stock Market & You
By Bill Schmick,
04:24PM / Friday, October 02, 2015

If one listens to the chatter throughout the financial media, you are most likely at your wits end in worry. No matter how much we may tell ourselves that this is not another 2008, the gnawing doubt in the pit of our stomach remains.

Let me say categorically that we are not entering another financial crisis. The stock market is not going to drop 50 percent from here, no matter what some strategists are saying. If you have been reading my columns since 2007, you know that when it's time to raise cash I say so. This is not one of those times.  You may not agree with me, (although you want to) so let me give you some food for thought.

Although the stock market and the economy do


Bianchi's Name To Sit Atop November Election Ballot
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:08PM / Friday, October 02, 2015
Michelle Cetti and Catherine Van Bramer pulled the names from the box to determine the order. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Incumbent Daniel Bianchi's name will sit atop the November ballot.   The ballot placement drawing, which sets the order in which names will appear, was held Friday afternoon by Assistant Clerk of Elections and Registration Michelle Cetti and Senior Clerk Catherine Van Bramer.   Representatives from each campaign sealed their candidate's name in a small envelop and the clerks pulled them from a box to determine the order.   Bianchi's name will read first on the ballot in the race for mayor. Challenger Linda Tyer's name will appear


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