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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Berkshire Lightscape Turns Focus To Lighting Up Park Square
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:13PM / Sunday, March 24, 2019

The lights in Dunham Mall were added at the start of the winter. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Lightscapes is honing in on a plan to add lighting to Park Square.   The non-profit raised a little more than $100,000 for its plan to add lighting to City Hall, Dunham Mall, and Park Square. The Dunham Mall lights were added in the winter, decorating the walkway with rotating snowflakes, and Park Square is next.    Dan Frering from Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer (N.Y.) Polytechnic Institute designed multiple concepts to highlight key areas of Park Square with new lighting.   The key areas will be the Civil War monument, the elm tree, the fountain, the


New Incubator Space Opens On Tyler Street
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:00PM / Saturday, March 23, 2019

Those in attendance at the welcoming party got to participate as the Otha Day Drum Circle kicked off the event. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new incubator space for the Morningside area is now open.   The Tyler Street Lab is now open at 730 Tyler St. The building houses offices for a number of community organizations and serves as a one-stop shop for people to access whatever they need, whether that be business assistance or community services.   The lab is funded by MassDevelopment's Transformative Development Initiative and headed by the newly formed Tyler Street Collaborative.   "The Tyler Street Collaborative is people from the community who have ideas and


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: Does the Fed Know Something We Don't?
By Bill Schmick,
09:55AM / Saturday, March 23, 2019
Sometimes too much good news can be interpreted badly. Take the U.S. central bank's about face on monetary policy late last year. That was good news and investors responded by bidding the stock market up by 20 percent. But this week we may have received even better news, or did we?   The Fed did more than met investors' expectation this week at the central bank's monthly Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that there would be no more interest rate hikes for the remainder of the year (after saying back in December that two rate hikes were on the table for 2019). There was even some discussion that a rate cut might be possible, if


Reilly Pleads Guilty to Misleading Detectives In Ringer Murder Case
Staff Reports,
12:27PM / Friday, March 22, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An Easthampton woman pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to state police detectives in a murder investigation.   Laura Reilly, 44, pleaded guilty to two counts of misleading police and was sentenced by Judge John A. Agostini in Berkshire Superior Court to two to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Cedar Junction. The charges relate to the investigation into the alleged homicide of Joanne Ringer of Clarksburg in 2017.   "The judge agreed this was an egregious example of misleading police," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said in a statement on Friday. "We sought incarceration because Laura Reilly's lies not only

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Local Wealth Adviser Named to List of Best-in-State
11:35AM / Friday, March 22, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Stephen G. Sykes, managing director and senior vice president of wealth management with Raymond James & Associates, was among the Raymond James-affiliated advisers named to the Forbes list of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors.

The list, which recognizes advisors from national, regional and independent firms, was released online Feb. 20. The Forbes ranking of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative criteria, mostly gained through telephone and in-person due diligence interviews and quantitative data. Those advisers that are considered have a minimum of seven years' experience, and the algorithm


Local Entrepreneurs Complete 1Berkshire Get Mentored Program
11:21AM / Friday, March 22, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Starts Get Mentored program held its final meeting of the 2018-20 session in early March at the Stationery Factory in Dalton. Get Mentored, a program of 1Berkshire, helps a selected cohort of five local entrepreneurs launch and grow their ventures over the course of a five-month program by pairing them with experienced mentors from the Berkshire County business community.

At this year's final meeting, the Get Mentored cohort presented three-minute elevator pitches, honed over the course of five months of mentoring, to the assembled mentors. After each pitch, the mentors had an opportunity to pose questions and provide advice about the steps the


BCC Names New Director of Human Resources
11:15AM / Friday, March 22, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has named Melissa Loiodice as the director of human resources.

Since last fall, Loiodice has served as special assistant to the president at BCC, focusing on Title IX and affirmative action. Prior to that, she held the positions of principal attorney at Loiodice Law, associate attorney with SKM Title & Closing Services, director of operations with Pittsfield Community Connection, and associate counsel with Antonino & DiMare Law Office. She also served as a panel attorney at the UMass Amherst Student Legal Services Office.

Loiodice graduated with her bachelor of arts degree from UMass Amherst, cum laude, and was a member of the


What Should You Do With an Inheritance?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:52AM / Friday, March 22, 2019

If you were to receive a sizable inheritance, what should you do with it? This money could help you achieve some of your important financial goals – so you'll want to think carefully about your choices.

Of course, everyone's needs are different, so there's no one "right" way to handle a large lump sum. But here are a few suggestions that may be useful:

Pay off some debts. Depending on the size of your inheritance, you may want to consider paying off some, if not all, of your debts, such as car loans, personal loans and student loans. You might even consider paying off your mortgage, but you may not want to, as you might be able to get a better return on your


Cultural Pittsfield This Week: March 22-28
10:40AM / Friday, March 22, 2019
NEXT THU Berkshire Art Association Honors Marty Rentz  Berkshire Art Association will honor and celebrate Marty Rentz, an extraordinary volunteer leader of BAA and many other cultural initiatives in the Berkshires. The evening begins with a community reception at The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts at 5 p.m. FREE. Donations accepted.

A party at Hotel on North begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 and include a $15 donation to Berkshire Art Association's 2019 College Fellowship Show.




Questions Abound As Berkshire Mall Closes Again
Staff Reports,
03:57AM / Friday, March 22, 2019

A sign on the door on Thursday reads that the mall is 'closed for the day' so it seems management intends to open on Friday.

The mall remains closed. Regal Cinema and Target are still open.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Berkshire Mall mysteriously closed for two days, one week after a judge ordered the sheriff's office to seize close to $300,000 in assets to pay off a court settlement.

  Mall management has been unavailable over the last two days. The mall was closed on Wednesday afternoon. The entrance door was open providing access to the separate Regal Cinemas, but tables and a security fence blocked access to the rest of the mall. Target also remained


The Independent Investor: Will Pot Stocks Go Up in Smoke?
By Bill Schmick,
05:29PM / Thursday, March 21, 2019
Today, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, while recreational marijuana is legal in 10 states, plus the District of Columbia. Although there has been progress, little of the recent enthusiasm and hype over pot stocks will come to naught unless the federal government does a major about face and legalizes the substance. What are the chances of that?   Billions of dollars' worth of investment, stock market gains, and federal, state, and local taxes are at stake. Predicting the outcome of such a change in federal legislation is, for now, like betting all your chips on red or black in a roulette game. Nonetheless, a growing number of retail investors want to "get in" on


'Transit': As in, Letters of ...
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:57PM / Thursday, March 21, 2019
One has to be either a fool or a complicit coward not to recognize the mercilessness regularly perpetrated on humankind by immoral governments and their tyrannical leaders. Equally clueless are those who don't realize that the worldwide, mass immigration being used as a scapegoat by said guilty-as-sin autocrats is in essence a product of their regimes' greed, racism and ineptness.   Ever notice that the really bad guys are never ever wrong? While Rick in "Casablanca" (1942) occasionally confesses to a lack of judgement, you'll never hear good Nazi Major Strasser admitting a mistake. Civics Lesson No. 1: Rick is good; Major Strasser is bad.   What all this has


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