Thelma Towne says one of her 87-year-old mother's few joys in life is to feed a few stray cats in the neighborhood.
But, that came to a crashing halt on March 22 when Nuisance Control Officer Stephanie Provencher paid a visit to the Brown Street home. An anonymous complaint had been phoned into the Health Department that morning saying the food for the stray cats were starting to attract rats.
In just the last few weeks there has been a 44 percent increase in flu symptoms.
Public health nurse Kayla Donnelly-Winters said this year there have been 32 total cases of influenza confirmed in Pittsfield since Oct. 1. That is compared to just 15 in the same period of time last year. But the numbers had jumped in the last few weeks.
The Board of Health is considering its options to reduce the spread of tick-borne diseases.
The Health Department has been noticing a steady increase in tick-borne illnesses recently and is now wondering what options it has to help control it.
Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Romaniak told the Board of Health on Wednesday that the business storing the full dumpsters on the 115 Howland Ave. property has moved most of them to a different location it also leases.
Building, fire, and health officials have shut down an Elm Street retailer because the building had fallen into disrepair.
On Aug. 28, Building Inspectors deemed 155 Elm Street "hazardous to life and limb" and restricted public access to it. The ceiling had collapsed on one half of the structure, and inspectors say there was significant water damage. A Board of Survey tour in early October upheld the building inspector's determination, and the Health Department followed up by suspending the o
The Board of Health will inspect reported debris left at the former Curtis Paper Mill.
The board heard last week from resident and Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District Program Coordinator Linda Cernik, who had concerns over the growing amount debris at the Howland Avenue mill.
Board of Health Chairman Jay Green sees proposed changes to the city's trash collection system as a way to fight blight.
An internal working group has been working on the details of moving to an automated toter system for trash collection all summer. The plan is to provide city-issued totes - a 35-gallon one for trash and a 95-gallon one for recycling - to residents. Those totes will allow for Republic Services, the company who contracts with the city to collect the rubbish, to use trucks wit
It has been 11 months since one of the biggest fires the city has seen in decades. The sky was lit up for miles. Fire companies from all over the county descended on the scene to douse the flames towering high from the former J.B. Paper warehouse.
And today, the remains of that night are still piled high. In 11 months, there has been little to no progress toward cleaning up the mess left behind and the cause of the fire remains unknown.
Recently, the Board of Health was asked to ease the compliance standards. Currently, every three years a store clerk has to become certified, at a cost of $25, through watching 45 minutes worth of videos and taking an exam.
Chairman Jay Green said the program is working and results show that, so he'd be hard pressed to advocate to loosen the restrictions.
A Grove Street resident came to the board Wednesday with a bag full of shredded blue tarp that she dug out of her yard. She said the tarps on the roof of the old mill are shredded by the wind and litter the entire neighborhood.
Last year was the "season that never was" when it came to mosquito control.
But, this year Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project Superintendent Christopher Horton is back at it with approval for the 2017 plan from the Board of Health.
David Bertolozzi has managed a gas station and convenience store for 27 years and hasn't been cited for a tobacco violation.
But yet, every three years he has to pay the Tri-Town Health Department $25 to watch a lengthy video, which features information such as the anatomy of a cigarette, to be certified. All clerks are required to take the certification exam every three years.
The Board of Health says it will address dust issues at Pinnacle Park caused by Duke's Sand and Gravel.
Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Romaniak told the board on Wednesday that residents of the mobile home park have made multiple complaints about dust from the gravel pit.
It took seven months to make the decision but on Wednesday the Board of Health approved a needle exchange program.
The board approved the letter authorizing the state Department of Health to pursue a vendor for such a program. The state will now take over the process of funding, issuing a request for proposal, and ultimately opening a site. The issue had been before the board since August, neared a vote in December, and then was pushed until March.
At the request of the mayor and City Council, the Board of Health has put the brakes on the opening of a needle exchange program.
Just one month ago the board was ready and planning to vote in favor of giving the authorization to allow Tapestry Health to pursue opening one somewhere in the city in tandem with the state Department of Public Health.
The Board of Health has agreed to crackdown on commercial trash haulers operating incorrectly or without a permit.
After board members aired concerns Wednesday about haulers operating without permits and driving with uncovered loads, Chairman Bruce Shepley said he would follow up with the Police Department and explain the board's grievances.
The Board of Health reviewed all its fees and has made some increases that will come into play the first of the year.
The board voted last week to hike fees to make them more in line with surrounding communities and to make sure they cover the cost within the department.
The water in Pittsfield's schools do not have any issues with lead or copper, according to the Health Department.
Health Director Gina Armstrong reported on Wednesday that the water in all of the municipally-owned buildings were tested for the chemicals and none findings were above actionable levels. The report is unlike the one recently released in North Adams, where some 50 water points turned out to have excessive amounts of lead and copper.
It is very unlikely the City Council will change the mind of the Board of Health when it comes to opening a needle exchange. But, the Board of Health does want to wait until the council has a chance to weigh in before making the decision.
A combined 22 years of experience on the Board of Health is leaving the board.
Three board members submitted resignation letters, all ending their terms at the end of the month. Chairwoman Roberta Orsi, who has served on the board since its inception 12 years ago, Cynthia Geyer, who has six years on the board, and Dominica D'Avella, who has been on for the last four, submitted resignations over the last few months.
"I think it is a loss to the city," said Jay Green, one of only two members
The Board of Health made a decision it didn't want to make. It approved the transfer of a tobacco retail permit to a location it tried so hard to disallow.
On Wednesday, the board approved the transfer of Rina Shah's tobacco permit to 730 East Street, a space being leased Naveed Asif and Zameer Alhaq, a pair who had been denied a permit for the exact location. The pair had purchased the former O'Connell's and intended to open Gas Man but only late into the process, after spending hundreds of