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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

PCTV Begins Takeover of WTBR Monday Morning
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:38AM / Sunday, June 24, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — WTBR goes silent on Monday, but only temporarily.   The Taconic High School radio station is being taken over by Pittsfield Community Television but will return to the air once a new studio is built and licensure is issued later this year.    That transition begins Monday at 9 a.m., right after a final special send-off episode of "Good Morning, Pittsfield."   "We plan on turning off the transmitter and starting to disassemble the studio, pack the equipment, bring it back to PCTV, store it until such time we can get the room ready at PCTV to start building the studio," PCTV Executive Director Shawn Serre said.   PCTV has

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Bigg Daddy's Cheesesteaks Opens Downtown Pittsfield Location
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:05AM / Saturday, June 23, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There is no longer a need to drive down to the City of Brotherly Love to get Geno's or Pat's or Tony Luke's cheesesteaks. Authentic Philly cheesesteaks are now available right on North Street.   Xavier Jones opened Bigg Daddy's Philly Steak House in Crawford Square on Friday. It is his second location since starting what he envisions will be a local franchise.   "I wanted to do something different. You've got pizza, Chinese, so my thing was let's do something I know that I'm really good at. People always have to travel to Philly to get a good cheesesteak. Now the people up here they can get the same cheesesteak they'd

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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

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

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@theMarket: Ignore the Noise and Profit
By Bill Schmick,
03:51PM / Friday, June 22, 2018
The world is in turmoil. The news is all bad. Trump is threatening to up the ante on tariffs. NAFTA is kaput. Our trade partners hate us. China won't back down and, if you have time to spare, you are reading about immigrant kids locked in Texas dog cages by order of the president. So why is the stock market holding up?   The fundamental reason remains the same. Under all the muck, there is and will continue to be a bid under the stock market. In past columns, I have explained why — corporate stock buybacks, M&A, higher dividends coupled with a strong economy and low-interest rates.   If you look at the technicals, which I do, every sell-off seems to stop at a

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Superior Court Briefs: June 18
Staff Reports,
01:25PM / Friday, June 22, 2018
Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Monday, June 18.   Peter Meadow, 53, of Lenox admitted the facts of his case were sufficient to find him guilty on single counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a disabled person, and caretaker abuse on a disabled person.   His case was ordered to be continued without a finding for one year. Meadow assaulted a student between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 while working at Eagleton School.   Michael Crump, 41, of Canaan, Conn. pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.   He was ordered

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Pittsfield Looks to Hold Tax Lien Auction This Fall
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:00AM / Friday, June 22, 2018

Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood said the plan is to hold the auction in late fall. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city will look at holding another tax lien auction later this fall.   According to Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood, the city intends to host the auction in late fall to recoup some back taxes. The auctions essentially sell off liens on delinquent taxpayer properties to the highest bidder, which then takes over the rights to collect from the property owner.    Kerwood said there is some $5.8 million uncollected and an equal amount of interest. However, he does not know how many of those will go to the auction block. The liens will be sorted through by

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: June 22-28
10:55PM / Thursday, June 21, 2018
    The Pittsfield Cultural Council is seeking new members!
Would you like to have a say in how the local arts community is funded? Are you interested in learning about cultural programming in the city? Come join us! We're a volunteer group that allocates grants to Pittsfield-based arts and cultural organizations on an annual basis. For more information, contact us at: pittsfieldculture@yahoo.com

  MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE

SUN Salsa Fundraiser for Puerto Rico This fundraiser, hosted by Alan Franco of Berkshire Salsa, Manos Unidas, and Berkshire

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'First Reformed': An Inconvenient Proof
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
08:21PM / Thursday, June 21, 2018
It is unfortunate. But it only makes complete sense that Paul Schrader's dark and starkly truthful "First Reformed" will be one of 2018's most important movies. Whether or not you like its profoundly intense take on current events and how that intersects with the crisis of conscience Ethan Hawke's Reverend Ernst Toller is experiencing, the film is representative of its time.   Unlike in the Great Depression, when cheerful movies tried to paste things over until happy times were here again, this intense, artistic muckrake dives headlong into the tribulation. But expect no answers as we witness Reverend Toller navigate the whims, wiles and sometimes disingenuous

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The Independent Investor: The Next Recession
By Bill Schmick,
05:27PM / Thursday, June 21, 2018
Over half the economists on Wall Street believe that by the end of 2020, we will experience our first economic downturn in years. If so, when might you begin to prepare for a rocky two-year period for all of us?   The good news is that we still have another year or so of stock market gains, job growth and more importantly, wage growth. As it stands, the U.S. is currently enjoying its second-longest economic expansion in history with an unemployment rate that hasn't been this low in decades. Wage growth, after languishing for years, is expected to top 3 percent by the end of 2018, while GDP could achieve greater than 3 percent this year and a further 2.5 percent next year.   So

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Four Berkshire Women Celebrated as Unsung Heroines
10:51AM / Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sen. Adam Hinds welcomes Great Barrington's Unsung Heroine Gwendolyn VanSant and her husband, Sam VanSant, at the State House.   BOSTON – Four Berkshire County women were honored as members of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women's 2018 class of Unsung Heroines during a State House ceremony on Wednesday.    Gwendolyn VanSant of Great Barrington, Sabrina Tan of Lee, Pauline Wheeler of Hinsdale, and Judy Grinnell of North Adams were among the 130 women from across that state were welcomed were welcomed by state officials.    Wheeler was nominated by state Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru, and Grinnell, founder of the Hoosic River

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BIC Organization Ramps Programming Back Up, Preps For Groundbreaking
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:24AM / Thursday, June 21, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The BIC, as an organization, is back on track after the infusion of money to get the center constructed.    "We're thrilled about the progress. It is great to be back in a posture of progression and see so many elements materialize," said Berkshire Innovation Center Chairman Stephen Boyd.   The non-profit had scaled back its operations just a handful of months earlier as the dollars were dwindling. Created several years ago, it began to launch training and other programming for its membership while awaiting its home to be constructed on the William Stanley Business Park.    And it waited and waited and waited.   The bids

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Cecropia, Our Sylvan King
By Tor Hansen, Guest Column
07:15PM / Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Soleil Osprey Cole, taken some years ago in Wellfleet, who found a rainbow larvae and cared for it until it emerged as a cecropia moth the following year. Below, a watercolor by Hansen of 'Cecropia Moth Lifecycle with Blackburnian and Wilson's Warblers.'  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — So majestic is Hyalophora cecropia in appearance and biology that our sylvan king of the realm is a fitting title.   Just how this regal silk moth can engineer survival despite an inborn handicap is to its credit all the more remarkable. That such a resourceful creature can change form, starting with a tiny egg advancing to an enticing armored caterpillar, to a

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Letter: 180 Households Are Saving With Community Solar
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Wednesday, June 20, 2018

To the Editor:

Solstice announced that only 20 spots remain in a set of Barre solar gardens, giving Berkshire County households the chance to support local, clean energy and save on their electricity costs.

The projects, which together total 2 megawatts (MW) of production capacity, were built by Community Energy Inc., a renewable energy developer that has built nearly 700 MW of solar capacity in its nearly two decades of experience.

Community solar is a model for residential solar that allows households to enroll in a local shared solar array and see savings on their electricity costs. Because community solar requires no changes to a participant's property, the projects are open to

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