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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

@theMarket: Markets on a Tear
By Bill Schmick,
04:22PM / Friday, April 05, 2019
As fearful as investors were back in December, the greedier they have become in April. Investor sentiment is climbing, interest rates are falling, and the Fed is on hold. All we need to push the markets even higher is a trade deal with China. It's coming.   The S&P 500 Index has tacked on a hundred points in nine days. The all-time record highs for that index is at 1,940 less than 50 points away. That index has been up seven days in a row. The Dow up 6 out of 7. Last week's worry, the inverted yield curve, which occupied everyone's attention, is a barely remembered footnote in buyers rush to own stocks.   Of course, there are warning signs sprouting up throughout

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Rodgers Takes Over as Head of Berkshire Museum
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:07PM / Friday, April 05, 2019

Rodgers watches as a student learns hands on about Leonardo Da Vinci machines. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Museum is a place you can grow up in, according to Jeff Rodgers.   Rodgers is the new executive director of the museum and started his new gig on Monday. He comes in the wake of a controversial period of the 116-year-old museum's history when museum officials sold off nearly two dozen pieces of its collection to raise $53 million. The sale of the art spurred significant backlash and tore a rift in the community.   For Rodgers, that's in the past. As his first week comes to an end, his goal is to build the inter-disciplinary experience at the

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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

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by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Grown Hosts Spring Supper
10:46AM / Friday, April 05, 2019
Spring Supper

Berkshire Grown chefs will celebrate the coming of spring at the Spring Supper on Monday, April 8. Host chef Alex Hammond of the Mezze Restaurant Group has assembled a talented group of local chefs: Daire Rooney Corcoran from Morgan's at Interlaken Inn, Alex Hammond from Mezze Catering, James Lowe of the Pittsfield Country Club, Peter Platt from The Old Inn on The Green, and Doria Polinger of H.R. Zepplin Fine Handmade Chocolates. The chefs are collaborating on a farm-to-table menu that will highlight the freshness of the spring season.

This year's event is at the Country Club of Pittsfield and benefits Berkshire Grown and its win-win project, Share the Bounty. Share

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: April 5-11
10:20AM / Friday, April 05, 2019
Friday, April 5 is First Friday Artswalk & More! Enjoy 14 different art shows featuring work by more than two dozen accomplished regional and student artists in Pittsfield's bustling Upstreet Cultural District during the First Friday Artswalk, and all month long! In most venues, artists will be present from 5-8 p.m. A free guided tour begins at 5 p.m. at the Intermodal Center @ BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.

Lichtenstein Center for the Arts will host the annual Berkshire Art Association (BAA) Fellowship Show. View the work of 16 students chosen for the show. The BAA Fellowship Show provides

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Wahconah Regional School Project Goes to Voters Saturday
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:02AM / Friday, April 05, 2019
DALTON, Mass. — The co-chairman of the Central Berkshire Regional School District said this week that he believes voters in the seven-town district will back a proposal to build a new Wahconah Regional High School.   "My level of confidence on the Saturday vote is more positive than not," Tom Callahan, a Dalton resident, said. "Our committee understands the differing opinions and financial capabilities in the CBRSD. When all is said and done, speaking for myself, I believe the voters will opt for a new high school."   Voters in all seven Central Berkshire towns head to the polls on Saturday to decide whether to embark on a $72 million project.   The

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Pittsfield Seeks to Revamp Downtown Zoning
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:04AM / Friday, April 05, 2019

City officials are encouraging mixed-use development of older buildings like the Onota Building but current zoning requires extra permitting. A new form-based zoning would focus on building, not use.   PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Department of Community Development is hoping to make it easier for businesses to redevelop downtown.   The department is closing in on new zoning for the downtown district that will open up the possibilities for businesses to seek permits by right. The adoption of form-based zoning would be a switch from dictating uses to focusing on what any type of redevelopment would look like.    "We don't necessarily care as much

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Freeman Center Rally Raises Awareness of Domestic Violence
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:51PM / Thursday, April 04, 2019

Each flag represents a new victim of sexual or domestic assault in the Berkshires. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There were 345 flags in Park Square on Thursday, with each one representing a new local victim of domestic and sexual violence.   The Elizabeth Freeman Center placed one flag per new disclosure of sexual or domestic violence in 2018. And those are only the victims that received services from the organization.   The flags, coupled with a rally in the city's center, were intended to demonstrate the issue and the services the center provides.   "April is sexual assault awareness month so each year we put out flags for our survivors that we served the

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The Independent Investor: Coffee Prices at 13-Year Lows
By Bill Schmick,
04:45PM / Thursday, April 04, 2019
A few days ago, arabica coffee futures prices fell to a price they haven't seen since December 2005. But don't expect your morning cup of coffee to reflect those cheaper prices. The coffee business doesn't work like that.   Normally, when the price of a commodity falls (like oil), consumers can expect to see a drop in price at the gas pumps within a week or three. The same thing might happen if the price of beef, wheat, corn or any number of commodities experienced a decline in price, so why not coffee?   You might guess (as I did) that the demand for coffee by consumers must be falling, but that's not the case. In fact, more Americans are drinking at least one cup

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'Us': It Takes Two to Terrorize
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:38PM / Thursday, April 04, 2019
Point of disclosure: Save for classics like "Dracula" (1931) and "Frankenstein" (1931), I'm a scaredy-cat when it comes to horror films. I'm not simply afraid of them, but rather, in the parlance of childhood, "a-scared'"of them. That is, until now. Gripping my armrests in anticipation of a body-elevating jolt whilst viewing film auteur Jordan Peale's "Us," his unconnected followup to the highly praised "Get Out" (2017), the epiphany dawned on me.   Having lived through the last two years of the real-life horror that has masqueraded as American politics, I am immunized. Any fiction purporting to be horror pales in

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MassDOT Announces Enhanced Teen Driver Initiative
12:28PM / Wednesday, April 03, 2019

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Registry of Motor Vehicles, in collaboration with Safe Roads Alliance and program sponsors Safety Insurance, Toyota North America, and the Massachusetts National Guard has announced that "The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program" has been updated and is now available at statewide full-service RMV Service Centers and online. A copy of the guide will be distributed for free to all Junior Operators when they obtain their learner’s permits.

"We're pleased to continue our partnership with the Safe Roads Alliance and founding sponsor Safety Insurance, and welcome new sponsors Toyota and the Massachusetts

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Biz Briefs: Wild Oats Launches New Catering Website
11:43AM / Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Catering website

Wild Oats Market, a cooperatively owned natural foods grocery store, bakery and cafe, has launched a new catering website that will streamline the ordering process for customers. The new site, which also include meat and seafood, will allow customers to begin their order online with a few clicks and get a preliminary quote in real time, anytime of the day or night.

Wild Oats has been offering catering services for over ten years in their Main Street location, which includes a full-service kitchen and bakery. The ingredients are organic, in-season and locally sourced whenever possible and they use humanely raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free meat and sustainable

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Try to Avoid 'Titanic' Investment Mistakes
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:42AM / Wednesday, April 03, 2019

It has been 107 years this month since the tragedy of the Titanic. Of course, this disaster has fascinated the world ever since, leading to books, movies, musicals and, ultimately, a successful search for the big ship's remains. On the positive side, commercial shipping lines learned a great deal from the Titanic, resulting in safer travel across the oceans.

And as an investor, you, too, may be able to draw some important lessons from what happened on that cold April night more than a century ago.

So, to avoid some "titanic" investment mistakes, consider the following:

* Create a financial strategy with a solid foundation. Although considered a technological marvel, the

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