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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Book Review: Mister E's Mysteries Are Great Fun
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
09:29AM / Friday, August 24, 2018

Often, when we think of our greatest, we may assume that their lives are fully taken up by mastering their art. So, it may come as a surprise that occasionally, a maestro can find the time and passion to dedicate her/himself to a completely different art form – and to, over the years, excel equally at that "secondary" activity. Such is the case with former Boston Symphony violinist Gerald Elias.

A graduate of Yale University, Elias has also been associate concertmaster of the Utah Symphony, adjunct professor of music at the University of Utah, first violinist of the Abramyan String Quartet and music director of the Vivaldi Candlelight concert series.

Elias is also a

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Pittsfield ZBA Says No to Downtown Cannabis Shop
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Friday, August 24, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The ZBA doesn't want marijuana shops downtown.    "What I am seeing is that the board tends to not want a presence downtown," said Chairman Albert Ingegni moments after the board voted to deny a permit for a retail shop in a currently vacant storefront on Bank Row.    David and Daniel Graziani had proposed a small retail shop in the space next to Patrick's Pub. The brothers planned to have 1,100 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and use 1,320 square feet in the leased basement for storage and office space.   There would have been film obscuring the window so people couldn't see the product inside, which

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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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Polito Announces $9.6M in Energy Resiliency Projects for Hospitals
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:20PM / Thursday, August 23, 2018

Joe LaRoche provided Polito with a tour of the newly constructed co-generation system on the hospital's top floor. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As the climate becomes ever more volatile, storms have forced the evacuation of hospitals  in some areas.   Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito doesn't want to see that happen in Massachusetts.   She announced on Thursday some $9.6 million in grant awards to nine hospitals to build energy "resiliency" to protect themselves from such possibilities.   "The impacts of climate change are felt almost daily here in the commonwealth so we need to be more resilient," Polito said, outlining shifting weather patterns since

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Lakewood Park Basketball Court Dedicated in Pittsfield
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:22PM / Thursday, August 23, 2018

A donation from Berkshire Bank helped the court be completed this year.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The two teens looked askance at the group gathered at the basketball court at Lakewood Park on Thursday before wandering away with their ball. 

It seems even the brief celebration of the completely refurbished court on Newell Street was enough to disrupt a steady stream of players.    "Every time I drive by, there are kids on the court," said Parks Commission Chairwoman Michele Matthews before the ribbon cutting officially celebrating the court's completion with the aid of a Berkshire Bank Foundation grant.    Lori Gazzillo Kiely, senior vice president

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Pittsfield's Clapp Park Renovation Getting Scaled Back
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:14AM / Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Buddy Pellerin Field Committee has been upgrading the baseball field. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The grand vision for Clapp Park is going to have to be scaled back a bit.    Parks and Open Space Manager James McGrath told the Parks Commission on Tuesday that the design currently crafted is estimated to go over the $675,000 budget for the project. He is now working with Berkshire Design on scaling the concept back slightly to make the numbers work.   "We're not going to get everything we wanted," McGrath said.   The current concept re-envisions the entire park. It adds a new parking lot, paves the entrance, rehabilitates the baseball field,

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Tyer Backs Harrington In District Attorney's Race
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:30PM / Wednesday, August 22, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — With less than two weeks to go until the primary, Mayor Linda Tyer is putting her support behind Andrea Harrington in the race for district attorney.   "My endorsement comes with the strong belief that Andrea and I share similar values and we are like-minded. We both believe in creating opportunities for social justice and for thinking differently about entrenched problems," Tyer said.   "Our leadership styles are similar in that we seek diversity of thought, opinion, and professional experiences to inform our decisions. We believe in building any bridge to find a solution or to advance a progressive idea."   Harrington is one of

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Back to School? Keep Kids Healthy and Happy
By Sandeep Kumar,
03:23PM / Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Dr. Sandeep Kumar

"Back to school" is just around the corner for our Berkshire County children. The new school year can be an adjustment challenge for the whole family – but your children's health can remain strong during this busy transition, and on into the school year.

At CHP Berkshire Pediatrics, we'd like to set you and your children and teens on a path to a healthy school season, with some helpful reminders and tips about sleep, stress, food safety and the importance of "downtime." And some advance planning can help to smooth the transition to the school year – regardless of whether you kids are in preschool, high school, or somewhere in

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Great Jazz, Super Musicals Wrap Up Summer Music Scene
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
03:04PM / Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The final days of August bring a rush of terrific jazz, a dance party and musical comedies to all corners of the Berkshires.

 

Berkshire Jazz Showcase

Head for the Pittsfield Common on Saturday, Aug. 25, for a brand new enterprise, the the first Berkshire Jazz Showcase. Between 1 and 6 p.m. five of the area's most popular bands will take the stage for an extravaganza: The Lucky 5, Gruppo Mondo, the Ben Kohn Quartet, the Jason Ennis Quintet with vocalist Natalia Bernal and Andy Kelly Gypsy Jazz.

Founder Ed Bride explains that the event offers a showcase for local talent and a signature jazz event with artists who "could easily establish careers in jazz havens like New York,

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Final Summer Tanglewood Concerts Honor Bernstein
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
02:28PM / Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Leonard Bernstein conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in 1970. (Heinz Weissenstein/Whitestone Photo, via BSO Archives)

This week, Tanglewood concludes its 2018 classical programming, culminating with the always-anticipated traditional final concert, on Sunday, Aug. 26, featuring Beethoven's glorious and triumphant Ninth Symphony, which will be preceded by two brief works of Leonard Bernstein – a fitting tribute to cap this "Centennial Bernstein Summer" festival season.

Before the "Ninth," there are three exceptional programs you should consider attending in Ozawa Hall and in the Shed this week – most importantly the astounding lineup

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North Adams Hosts Eighth Annual Motorama on Sunday
01:59PM / Wednesday, August 22, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city of North Adams will host its eighth annual Motorama on Sunday, Aug. 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Main, Holden and Eagle Streets will be closed to all but pedestrian traffic as downtown North Adams fills with cars, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, tractors and more. Anything with a motor is welcome.

Last year's Motorama brought more than 500 vehicles to the streets of North Adams, and this year hopes to draw record attendance. Those interested in exhibiting their vehicles can register beginning at 7:30 a.m. the day of the event. The cost to enter a vehicle is $15, but the public can enjoy the event free of charge.

In addition to looking at

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Financial Tips for Alzheimer's Caregivers
01:27PM / Wednesday, August 22, 2018

If you are, or will be, a caregiver for elderly parents or another close family member living with Alzheimer's disease, you may experience some emotional stress – but you also need to be aware of the financial issues involved and what actions you can take to help address them.

You will find few "off the rack" solutions for dealing with the financial challenges associated with Alzheimer's. For one thing, family situations can vary greatly, both in terms of the financial resources available and in the availability and capabilities of potential caregivers. Furthermore, depending on the stage of the disease, people living with Alzheimer's may have a range of

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Pittsfield Man Charged With Attempted Murder, Kidnapping
Staff Reports,
11:44AM / Wednesday, August 22, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield man is facing charges of attempted murder and kidnapping related to a shooting early Tuesday morning that left another man in critical condition.    The court has impounded all information regarding the shooting, including the name of the victim and the circumstances surrounding the shooting, until Sept. 25.    Kevin Nieves, 19, of Robbins Avenue was arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on Wednesday morning on single counts of armed assault with intent to murder; illegal possession of a firearm; kidnapping; and assault and battery. He was ordered held at the Berkshire County House of Corrections without the right to bail.

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