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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Small Business Linchpin of America's Success
By Bill Schmick,
04:37PM / Thursday, June 29, 2017
The facts are that small businesses still create the lion's share of jobs and at least half the economic growth in this country. It would be wonderful if our lawmakers would finally realize that.   Look around you: with few exceptions, we are surrounded by entrepreneurs who have created over 60 percent of the jobs in our communities since the financial Crisis of 2009. What we don't see is the enormous burden that these heroes are living under on a daily basis.   A startup is largely a game of survival. Those who stay in business the longest are most likely to succeed.  About two thirds of businesses only survive two years. Of them, another 50 percent will go under


State Grants $600K to Improve Conte School Accountability Data
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:13AM / Thursday, June 29, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Staff at Conte Community School will be putting in extra hours over the next two years as it tries to turn around the school's accountability data.   Conte is classified as a Level 3 school, low on state measures, and the district has now received a "turnaround" grant aimed to improve the school's test scores. Pittsfield will receive $600,000 over the next two years to keep teachers longer after school to focus more closely on the instruction being provided to individual pupils.   "What it's funding primarily is for teachers to have an extended school day. It is not an extended school day for students, it is an extended school


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

'Live on the Lake' Lineup Starts 16th Season on July 5
03:58PM / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union and Live 95.9 WBEC FM will host their "Live on the Lake" community concert series for the 16th consecutive season on Wednesday evenings from July 5 through Aug. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Burbank Park on Onota Lake in Pittsfield.

License to Groove opens this year’s concert series on July 5. Whiskey City follows on July 12, with The Bomb on July 19 and Shyne on July 16 rounding out July. In August, On Tap will perform Aug. 2, Wildcare on Aug. 9, Legal Tender on Aug. 16 and Hotshot Hillbillys on Aug. 23.

"Live on the Lake concerts are a Berkshire summer tradition and Greylock, in partnership with Live 95.9 WBEC FM, is


Classical Beat: Tanglewood, Taconic Music and 'Ragtime' at Barrington Stage
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:46PM / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

James Taylor returns to Tanglewood for the Fourth of July holiday.

For many music lovers, Tanglewood in Lenox virtually defines music in the Berkshires. It is the largest summer presenter, with the most comprehensive schedule of performances across the full spectrum of musical styles and genres. Before getting into imminent opening events, bookmark the Boston Symphony's website for the full summer concert schedule, season highlights, tickets and general information.

During the opening week's events, from Wednesday, June 28, through Tuesday, July 4, Tanglewood celebrates the opening of their 77th Music Festival with a generous sampling of popular, classical and new music/dance


Miss Hall's School Announces Head's List, Honor Roll
12:08PM / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Miss Hall's School has announced 47 local students among the 135 girls schoolwide named to the Head's List and Honor Roll for the second semester, which ended May 31.

For Head's List recognition, students must have taken five major, full-credit courses and must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 92, with no single grade below B-plus.

For Honor Roll recognition, students must have taken five major, full-credit courses and must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 86, with no single grade below B-minus.

Head's List

Grade 12: Jenna Crosier, Pittsfield; Rachel Freedman, East Chatham, N.Y.; Grace Guachione, Pittsfield; Gabriela Keator,

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Declare Your Financial Independence Day
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:43AM / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

We're getting close to the Fourth of July, when we celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in this country. The U.S. constitution grants us many of these liberties, but we have to earn others – such as our financial freedom. What steps can you take to achieve the financial independence you need to reach your long-term goals?

For starters, always work to build your resources. Contribute as much as you can afford to your IRA and your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan. At a minimum, put in enough to earn your employer's matching contribution, if one is offered. If you don’t take advantage of this match, you are essentially leaving money on the table.

While how


Pittsfield American Legion Cited For Illegal Gambling
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:26AM / Wednesday, June 28, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Investigators believe American Legion Post 68 participated in an illegal gambling operation.   The Alcohol Beverages Control Commission has cited the organization on Wendell Avenue for permitting illegal gambling after a May 18 inspection. The ABCC says investigators found gaming devices and were told that the bartenders would record bets and a vending company would pay out the winners. The Legion will have a hearing on the charge on Sept. 12.   According to the report from investigator Jan Kujawski, ABCC officials conducted the inspection and spoke with bartender Tina Obert and Post Commander John Barrett.    The investigators found "three


Pittsfield Taps Multiple Sources To Cover $1.3M Snow and Ice Deficit
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:15AM / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

In other business, Ryan Scrittorale presented updated plans for the proposed demolition and rebuild of the gas station at First and Tyler streets. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council tapped into multiple sources to pay for a $1.3 million deficit in snow and ice removal.    The Department of Public Service had overspent the $700,000 budget for snow and ice removal supplies (sand) during this last winter.   It is one budget line that is legally allowed to be deficit spent and done so by most communities in the state.   However, covering the $1.3 million amount posed challenges for the finance office as it searched to find funds from more than two dozen other


Eversource Plans Second Solar Array On Partridge Road
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Tuesday, June 27, 2017
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Eversource is backing out of building a solar array off North Main. Instead, the company is now pursuing a similarly sized project off Partridge Road.   The Planning Board gave its approval for a 6.6-megawatt array on Partridge Road, near the Pittsfield border and the Berkshire Mall road. The company is looking to lease land from Petricca Construction for the panels. The estimated $10 million project is going to be located near a 2.2-MW array on land Eversource owns in Pittsfield.   The company has approval from the state to build out 70 megawatts of solar, eight of which are already completed, by the end of the year. Locally, the company planned a


NEA Chairman Sees, Hears About Pittsfield's Cultural Renaissance
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
11:01PM / Monday, June 26, 2017

Chu, center, listens at a cultural roundtable on Friday with MCC's Anita Walker, left, Mayor Linda Tyer and Barrington Stage's Julianne Boyd.   PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The creative forces in Pittsfield didn't have to work hard to convince the chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts that the arts can be a powerful force in community and economic restoration.    Jane Chu was, if anything, way ahead of them.    "We believe that there's something in the arts for everyone and there's something for everyone in the arts," she said, adding, "At the heart of why people want to be in a community is because they want to belong,


'The Mastheads' Inaugural Writers' Residency Launches in July
03:11PM / Monday, June 26, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Mastheads Writers' Residency Program is set to launch its inaugural monthlong residency on July 3 with a launch party at Hotel on North.

Five writers from around the country will converge on the city, each paired with a private studio for a month-long residency, complemented by city-wide public programming and events.
The brainchild of husband and wife architecture team Chris Parkinson and Tessa Kelly, The Mastheads project recognizes Pittsfield's legacy of writers of the American Renaissance, including Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Between the years of


Review: 'Ragtime' at Barrington Stage Company A Relevent, Beautiful Musical
By Nancy Salz, Special to iBerkshires
02:36PM / Monday, June 26, 2017

'Ragtime' at Barrington Stage Company

Directed by Joe Calarco; Book by Terrence McNally; Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty. Based on the novel Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow.  Choreography by Shea Sullivan; Musical direction by Darren R. Cohen. Production design by Brian Prather; Costume design by Sara Jean Tosetti; Lighting design by Chris Lee; Sound design by Ed Chapman.  

Starring Elizabeth Stanley, David Harris, Darnell Abraham, Zurin Villanueva, J. Anthony Crane, Frances Evans, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka  Elliot Trainor, Anne L. Nathan.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — We were downright perplexed as we entered the theater.

How can they possibly

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