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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Switching to LED Streetlights in Early 2019
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:33AM / Monday, December 24, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — New year, new streetlights.   After months of figuring out the logistics, the city will be rolling out the construction phase of converting more than 5,000 street lights to more efficient LED technology. The city signed contracts with Pine Ridge Technologies to replace all street lights, parking lot lights, and exterior school lights throughout the city.    "They have been in the city before. They just ended with our maintenance contract. A new contractor took the maintenance contract and they switched to the LED switch," said City Engineer Ricardo Morales.   The City Council had approved $3 million for the project in 2017 and 30

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May All Your Christmases Be White
11:10PM / Sunday, December 23, 2018

If you are in need of a little injection of Christmas spirit amid all of the chaos of the season, you are in luck: It looks like we might have a white Christmas here in northern Berkshire County.

That will make us pretty special, according to Accuweather.com: The standard for a white Christmas is an inch of snow on the ground during the morning. The regions most likely to have a blanket of snow on the ground this Christmas include, the Northeast, the Upper Midwest and the mountains of the West.

Most of the forecasts agree that snow showers will start in North County overnight Sunday night into Monday morning, Christmas Eve, then becoming more scattered later, with showers more likely

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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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Former Adrien's Diner Transformed Into New Vegan Restaurant
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:48AM / Sunday, December 23, 2018

Despite being unable to accommodate wheelchairs inside the building, Peltier doesn't want anybody to miss out. She installed an intercom for those in wheelchairs to place orders to go and staff will bring the food to them.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Shari Peltier's daughter is a vegetarian and it is difficult when they go out to eat in local establishments.    "Whenever we would go out to dinner the only thing the kid could order was pasta. There was never any options for her," Peltier said.   That will change in a couple weeks. Peltier is opening Thrive, a vegan diner, in the former Adrien's location on Wahconah Street.   She

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@theMarket: The Trump Dump
By Bill Schmick,
09:52AM / Saturday, December 22, 2018
The sell-off in stocks has now exceeded the 2016 decline. Investor sentiment is as low as it has been since May of that year. The Fed refuses to save us, and Donald Trump insists on his wall or he will lay off thousands of federal workers. Did I say Merry Christmas?   The reasons for this rout are well-known by now. The latest disappointment was on Wednesday when, contrary to investor's expectations, the Fed stood firm in their quantitative tightening agenda. For a more in-depth view of the reasons for their stance, please read my Thursday column "The Fed Stands Tall."   The markets expressed their unhappiness by declining 1.5 percent in the last four days. But it

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Letter: Congressman Neal & Medicare for All
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Friday, December 21, 2018

To the Editor:

It was recently reported that Congressman Neal is at last open to exploring the feasibility of a Medicare for All approach to health care. As a longtime nurse and one of the millions of people in this country with family members of my own who are now deceased because of a lack of timely access to basic health care, I greeted this news with relief and hope.

This week, given the latest effort to kill the Affordable Care Act which, while flawed, is still the best (and sometimes the only) option for millions, I am even more concerned that Congressman Neal approach the health care crisis with a real sense of urgency as he assumes chairmanship of the House Ways and Means

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Ribbon Cut on Re-opened Beacon Cinema
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:51PM / Friday, December 21, 2018

The popcorn is being popped once again at the Beacon Cinema. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — So many movies are getting reboots these days.   The 1964 classic Mary Poppins is the latest to be brought back to life in theaters. And its now being shown at the Beacon Cinema — which has had a reboot of its own.   The six-screen cinema reopened on Friday after the new owners closed the historic building for renovations.   Detroit-based Phoenix Theatres purchased the building and the assets of the movie theater earlier this month and have since redone the flooring, painted, made repairs, improved the internet connections, heated the seats, brought in more candy, expanded

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Holiday Hours: Christmas & New Year's
04:02PM / Friday, December 21, 2018

Businesses, schools and government offices will be taking breaks over the next week as the nation celebrates Christmas and New Year's. Christmas falls on Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, and New Year's on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. 

Christmas is now a state holiday but it wasn't always. The General Court under the control of the Puritans outlawed the holiday in 1659.

There was too much eating, drinking, wassailing and other festiveness for the colony's righteous rulers. Even after the ban was lifted, Christmas was treated as a regular day until its popularization during the Victorian era. Thank goodness. Can you imagine Norman Rockwell not painting Stockbridge at Christmas?

The

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Superior Court Briefs: December 13 - December 21
Staff Reports,
03:10PM / Friday, December 21, 2018
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Thursday, Dec. 13.   Tarrin Daniels, 33, of North Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.   He was placed on probation for one year. The charge stems from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on January 18, 2018.   Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Friday, Dec. 14.   Randy Ruusukallio, 35, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of assault and battery on a correctional officer, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery on a disabled person.   He was ordered to be held at the Hampshire County House of

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Pittsfield Remains Concerned With Police, Fire Overtime Spending
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:21AM / Friday, December 21, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police and fire overtime continues to be a financial concern.   The two accounts, as well as snow and ice, have been on the city's financial team's radar for a number of years as it seems that those accounts are routinely underfunded and officials have to find money at the end of the year to cover the deficits. That hasn't changed this year as all three accounts are trending above budget.   The Fire Department's overtime is particularly notable this year because last year a slew of new hires significantly dropped the expense -- so much so that the city reduced that line of the budget.   Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood, however,

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Dec. 21-27
09:39PM / Thursday, December 20, 2018
MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE SAT Samantha & Ron at The American Legion Samantha Talora and Ron Ramsay bring you Christmas is Here! The duo will be joined by Eileen Markland on violin and Michael Gillespie on saxophone, clarinet, flute, guitar and foot tambourine to bring you an evening of holiday songs. Tickets are $20, which includes post-show sweets. A special ticket price of $10 is offered for veterans and active military members. 7 p.m. at The American Legion (41 Wendell Avenue). FRI Ugly Sweater Party at Polish Falcons | FRI Rebel Alliance & Friends at

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The Independent Investor: The Fed Stands Tall
By Bill Schmick,
06:25PM / Thursday, December 20, 2018
Sometimes it takes a while, but financial markets almost always test a new incoming Federal Reserve Bank chairman. On Wednesday, Jerome Powell faced his test and passed with flying colors. Of course, a glance at the stock market averages at the end of the day on Wednesday would have the casual observers scratching their heads.   As most readers know, the stock market has been declining since October. One of the reasons for the sell-off is the fear that the Federal Reserve Bank's gradual tightening policies have gone too far. Their continuous interest rate hikes coupled with the selling of $50 billion of U.S. Treasury bonds every month had started to reduce the excess liquidity from

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Weather Whipping Up a Rainy Christmas Weekend
05:42PM / Thursday, December 20, 2018

FUTURECAST Winds...

Winds will increase rapidly later tonight into Friday-Especially the higher elevations where winds may gust to 50+mph from the SSE.

Wind Advisory is in effect for the Berkshires/S Vermont/Taconics...Catskills and Adirondacks. Especially East Facing slopes. pic.twitter.com/lGPz3q2sBE

— Steve Caporizzo (@SteveCaporizzo) December 20, 2018

The coming Christmas weekend may be more wet than white this year.

After a mild sunny day Thursday, there's rain in the forecast for much of the region with a flood advisory into the early hours of Friday.

Some areas could get up to 3 inches of rain, particularly in the higher terrain across the Berkshires. The National

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