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Farley-Bouvier, Hinds Chat Environmental Issues At Pittsfield Forum
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:22AM / Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state hopes to see more renewable energy from solar so it's incentivizing development.   However, the way the programs are currently established, solar often comes at the expense of cutting trees.   "We have perverse incentives for solar. It is cheaper for a  developer to come in and cut down a whole bunch of trees to do something for the environment," state Rep. Farley-Bouvier said.   The Pittsfield Democrat would like to see a shift in the way the projects are located. She said there are acres of rooftops available without solar but yet large scale projects go into wooded areas. Even in her neighborhood, there is a large

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Historic Lanesborough Elm Tree Receives Maintenance, Inspection
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:26PM / Monday, April 22, 2019
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The Tree and Forest Committee believes the tree may be the most recognized elm tree in all of Berkshire County. It had previously been the largest in the entire state. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Towering more than an estimated 107 feet tall with a wide spanning canopy, King Elmer is in the running for the biggest American elm tree in the state.   On Monday, Race Mountain Tree Service arborists were climbing high into the Summer Street tree for some ongoing maintenance.   The company was trimming to remove dead branches and assessing the health of the tree to allow it to continue to grow.   "We're going to be looking at all of the places there are openings in

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MassWildlife Offers Tips for Dealing With Aggressive Turkeys
Staff Reports,
11:53AM / Thursday, April 18, 2019
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BOSTON — The state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is offering some tips for dealing with aggressive wild turkeys.    A woman in Cambridge was recently injured when a flock of turkeys began pecking at her legs; aggressive turkeys have also been reported and recorded in in Foxboro and Brookline.    There's more room for humans and turkeys to co-exist in the Berkshires but residents should still be aware of turkey behavior if there's an encounter.    MassWildlife says:   March through May is breeding season for wild turkeys and as a result, there is an increase in turkey activity all across the commonwealth. Some turkeys may be seen acting

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Pittsfield City Council Passes Plastic Bag Ban
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:03AM / Wednesday, March 27, 2019
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Rinaldo Del Gallo first petitioned for the ban in 2013. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After close to six years of debate, the city finally passed a ban on single-use plastic bags Tuesday night.   The ban had been proposed in 2013 and has been working its way through the City Council process since. It was first coupled with a ban on Styrofoam, which was later passed in 2015 separate from the bag ban and restricted polystyrene food containers.   The bag ban went before the Green Commission and to City Council subcommittee meetings, the latter of which had left it unaddressed for a time. Earlier this year, it made its way to the full council will a full

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Pittsfield Council Ordains New Solar Regulations
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:03AM / Friday, March 15, 2019
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council unanimously backed an effort to reduce the number of commercial solar arrays being installed in residential neighborhoods.   The Zoning Board of Appeals petitioned the council to adopt new rules guiding where solar arrays can be installed. The new ordinance breaks photovoltaic arrays into three sizes and guides the medium and large scale ones to commercial and industrial land.   "Commercial arrays have different impacts and don't belong in residential areas," Director of Community Development Deanna Ruffer said.    The hope is to reverse a trend in which 11 out of 14 commercial solar facilities have been approved

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Pittsfield Council Stalls Plastic Bag Ban Vote
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Wednesday, February 27, 2019
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Attorney Rinaldo Del Gallo first filed the petition nearly six years ago. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A potential ban on single-use plastic bags was again delayed Tuesday night after the City Council appeared gridlocked on a few details.   The proposal to eliminate the bags primarily used at the grocery store checkout has been nearly six years in the making since attorney Rinaldo Del Gallo first petitioned for it in conjunction with a ban on styrofoam. The two were uncoupled and in 2015 the City Council passed a ban on Styrofoam food containers.   The bag ban, meanwhile, worked its way through the Green Commission and council subcommittee meetings -- including sitting

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'Tanglewood In The City' Coming To Pittsfield This Summer
Staff Reports,
01:00PM / Sunday, February 24, 2019
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Boston Symphony Orchestra will be broadcast live to the Common on July 19.   Mill Town Capital and the BSO are launching Tanglewood in the City in downtown Pittsfield this summer. The event will be free and the event will feature some food vendors and a beer garden, operated by Barrington Brewery.   "This is a very similar event that the BSOP already holds in the Boston Common," said Caroline Holland of Mill Town Capital. "It will be broadcast live at the Boston Common and the Pittsfield Common."   The jumbo screen measuring 15-feet by 27-feet will be erected in front of the pavilion and if there is rain, the First United

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Pittsfield Revamping Solar Regulations to Limit Residential Impacts
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:08PM / Thursday, February 21, 2019
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Following hotly contested proposals for solar arrays in residential areas, the city is revamping its solar regulations.   The new regulations were endorsed by the Community Development Board and are being presented to the City Council by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Permitting Coordinator Nate Joyner took the lead on the development of the updated zoning laws and said it is particularly aimed at addressing concerns raised during the debate of recent proposals.   "I think we tried to address the concerns of the boards and the residents," Joyner said.   The ordinance breaks solar proposals into three sizes: small, medium, and large. The

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EPA Calms City Council's Concerns Over Hill 78, Building 71
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:40AM / Wednesday, February 20, 2019
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The nerves of some city councilors were put at ease Tuesday after a review of the latest monitoring tests at Hill 78 and Building 71.   The council raised a stink in October over the toxic waste sites near Allendale School after reviewing the spring data that revealed two wells tested above benchmarks. The council called for increased monitoring and communication.   After meeting with Dean Tagliaferro on Tuesday, those concerns were quelled when he reported that the two wells above benchmarks have done so historically but pose no health concerns. He said they are not near any buildings or drinking water sources and the benchmarks are just a base numbers

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Plastic Bag Ban One Step Closer to Passing
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:50AM / Tuesday, February 05, 2019
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council's Ordinance and Rules Committee finally came to an agreement on a plastic bag ban.   A proposal to ban thin, single-use plastic bags, which are primarily used to bag groceries at the supermarket, has been working its way through the legislative process for nearly six years. It was proposed by attorney Rinaldo Del Gallo as a measure to reduce the amount of plastic bags causing damage to the environment.   On Monday, the Ordinance and Rules Committee finally agreed to the language of the ordinance and it will now go to the full council.   "The whole ordinance is banning the traditional single-use plastic bag," said Ward 3

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