|Williamstown Veterans Home to Cease Current Operation
A big driver in the decision is an institutional change in focus at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which in recent years has placed more emphasis on placing homeless vets into permanent housing, rather than using the temporary, transitional beds at “Grant Per Diem” homes like Turner House.
Longtime Pittsfield Umpire, Coach Honored With Hebert Award
The award was created to honor those who have made positive impacts to the city's open spaces and recreation. Hebert was a long-time Parks and Recreation director and volunteer. Mitchell's efforts in taking care of the park on a volunteer basis, keeping an eye out, and his role and longtime dedication to recreation earned him the honor.
Berkshire Carousel Opens to Much Fanfare
For more than a decade, hundreds of volunteers have put hours and hours of effort into handcarving and painting the 33-piece ride. Each horse and carriage features images of people from the community, as well as areas and scenery of the county, and other unique designs. It's the only handcrafted carousel to be built in Massachusetts in the last century.
Pittsfield's Closest City Commercial Values Jump With Walmart Super Center
As the proposed Walmart Supercenter debate begins to unfold, the developer's claims of increased tax revenue reflects what happened in North Adams.
In 2013, the company closed the store it had been occupying for since 1993 and moved down the road to a former gravel bed. The gravel bed had been assessed at $1,613,800 and the redevelopment upped the value to $10,694,900, according to Ross Vivori, chairman of the North Adams Board of Assessors.
Flood House Open to Displaced Louison House Residents
Residents displaced by the recent fire at Louison House in Adams will be able to stay in Flood House.
The Housing Authority Board of Commissioners approved Thursday a temporary emergency lease agreement with the shelter's operator, Family Life Support Center Inc., to house the families and individuals left homeless after last weekend's fire.
DownStreet Art Building Community, Business in 8th Year
DownStreet Art opened for its eighth year on Thursday, ushering in a summer of exhibitions and events in the city's downtown and four monthly downtown openings.
As in the past, empty spaces are being filled with pop-up galleries and studios. But what's new is a targeted approach to help some of these initiatives endure beyond the summer and activities to bring the community and artists closer together.
Terrorism Charges Leveled Against Ciccolo
Alexander Ciccolo, held by federal authorities since his arrest last July 4, was indicted Thursday in connection with a plot to engage in terrorist activity inspired by and in the name of ISIL.
Ciccolo, a resident of Adams at the time of his arrest, was indicted on one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and one count of attempting to use of weapons of mass destruction.
Berkshire Art Museum Opens With CAC Retrospective
Before Mass MoCA, before DownStreet Art, the Contemporary Artists Center was a converging point for the creative.
The Beaver Mill center hosted a plethora of artists — from the established to the up-and-coming, from the home-grown to the international. Now selected works from nine of those artists will be on display at the Berkshire Art Museum in "Berkshire Artists of the Contemporary Artists Center 1990-1999" as part of the DownStreet Art season that kicks off Thursday evening.
Cheshire Selectman May Change Health Insurance Options For Officials
The Selectmen agreed Tuesday that it may be beneficial to eliminate future elected officials' health insurance to save money.
The issue arose during discussions over the salary review the town is currently undergoing.
Common Folk Ready to Unveil New Home
Common Folk will unveil its new home Thursday evening during DownStreet Art with a gallery opening and live music.
Common Folk, the local artist collective, has never really known a sense of permanency throughout its existence. The group has moved from location to location throughout the downtown as it grappled with funding challenges or compatibility issues.
North Adams Council Backs Resolution Calling for Detox Center
The City Council on Tuesday approved 7-1 a citizens' petition calling on Berkshire Health Systems to open inpatient beds for detoxification and substance abuse recovery.
The vote came after more than an hour of discussion and debate and numerous comments from the public, including assertions that the council was dithering over what the community wanted.
Pittsfield Approves $151M Budget; $11.8M Capital Plan
After reviewing the mayor's proposed spending plan over the course of 22 hours, the City Council settled on an amount just $4,713 more than the mayor had proposed.
The City Council gave a preliminary nod to a 151,298,664 city budget, which reflects a $6,075,123 increase over the last year, after reviewing the final four budgets during another five and a half hour session. Those four final budgets revealed the most changes as the Community Development office returned with the $123,000 restorat
Lanesborough Residents Fed Up With Obnoxious Jet Skiers
The Narragansett neighborhood is looking for some help in stopping rowdy jet skiers from keeping them up at night.
A crowd of residents from the area have lodged a complaint with the town asking for ways to squelch what they say is a group of jet skiers racing, jumping wakes, drinking and partying, and using foul language right outside of their doors. The residents say this summer the group has been using the town's boat ramp to access the lake and are speeding back and forth between one of t
Rowling Picks Mount Greylock as Site of Fictional Wizarding School
The state's highest peak was revealed on Tuesday to be the location of a school of wizardry.
J.K. Rowling, author of the immensely popular "Harry Potter" series, released a short story on Tuesday on the history of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at Pottermore.com.
Cheshire Planning Board Approves Dollar General Plans
Dollar General was cleared for a new store after more than two years of vocal opposition and a change of location.
The Planning Board on Monday approved the discount chain store's request for special permits for signage, the building application and a site plan that included minor changes.
Pittsfield Licensing Board Tries to Find Compromise Between Eatery, Neighbors
The Licensing Board is giving a West Housatonic Street restaurant a shot at having live music, despite pleas from the neighbors.
Owner Mickey Soldato requested an entertainment license to have acoustic musicians perform on the outdoor patio a couple nights a week. Soldato says the hope is to grow the business, including with later evening patrons, by providing more. However, those who live on Gale Avenue have been there before and it was a nuisance.
Williams College, Chamber Discuss Downtown Parking with Selectmen
Williams College and the Chamber of Commerce believe they have solutions in place to avoid a repeat of last summer's parking woes on Spring Street, and they're asking downtown merchants to be part of the answer.
In 2015, parking inventory in the Village Business District was squeezed by construction vehicles related to the college's renovation of the Log pub on Spring Street.
Drury Class of 1973 Golf Tourney Raises Funds for Education
This past sunny Saturday, 10 teams were preparing to play at Stamford Valley Golf Course in the 8th annual Drury High School Alumni Golf Tournament.
The annual tourney grew out of a class reunion nearly a decade ago that has since raised thousands of dollars to help the North Adams, Mass., high school.
The event is sponsored by the Drury class of 1973, said Nancy Bullett, a founder and organizer, and includes alumni from 1965 to 1978.
Pittsfield's Woodlawn Bridge Reopens After 10 Years
The Woodlawn Avenue Bridge is finally opened after being closed for a decade. City, state and Pittsffield Economic Development Agency officials commemorated the re-opening of the north to south connection between the Morningside Neighborhood and East Street. The bridge used to be own by General Electric and was closed in 2006 and was demolished in 2012.
New Clocktower Owners Eye 'Adaptive Reuse' of Historic Building
The new owners of the historic Sheaffer-Eaton mill, now known as the Clocktower Building, are looking to modernize the entire building to fit today's business needs.
The building whose anchor tenants include the Berkshire Eagle and Berkshire Health Systems was purchased by Scarafoni Associates under a new holding company Clocktower Partners LLC. for $1 million. In the next few years, the company is looking to invest millions into it to attract small businesses.
Pending EPA Permit Part of Waterstone Pitch For PEDA Parcel
Part of the selling point for the new Walmart at the William Stanley Business Park is that it will ease an environmental burden on PEDA coming down the road.
Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a new draft permit for the Pittsfield Economic Development Agency's ability to drain stormwater into Silver Lake. That permit called for significantly better water quality than currently being done. PEDA has argued against it, saying it doesn't have the money to make the needed improv
North Adams Auto Shop Adds Tire Sales & Service
A local auto repair shop is hoping to ease the need caused by the recent closure of Mr. Tire.
T&M Auto is now offering tire service along with repairs, maintenance, body work and sales.
North Adams Artist Finds Expression in Ancient Paper Craft
The technique of paper quilling isn't a common one in the contemporary art world, but North Adams resident Lisa Nilsson embraced the antediluvian medium and elevated even beyond her contemporaries to her inventive and intricate — and almost obsessive — images that stretch the form to its limits.
Quilling is a hundreds-of-years-old paper craft that involves rolling strips of colored paper into formations to create images with a three-dimensional quality.
Pittsfield Approves $11.8 Million in Capital Spending
The City Council approved Thursday a $11.8 million capital plan, which is just $50,000 less than the mayor had proposed.
The capital budget calls for the borrowing of $11,948,000 for capital expenses, which is about $1.7 million than last year. The largest portion of the plan will go foe the Department of Public Works with $3,650,000 eyed to be borrowed for repairs to the streets and stormwater systems as well as the purchase of a new truck and vibratory roller for paving.
Williamstown's Spruces Committee Looking for Design Help
The Spruces Land Use Committee this month moved forward with hiring an engineer to work on plans for converting the former mobile home park to a community amenity.
At its June 15 meeting, the committee agreed to send a request for proposals to three firms. It's looking for help with wetlands delineation and a conceptual design for playing fields, a community garden, a bicycle loop and or any other items that might fit on 42 acres of the former Spruces property.
North Adams Museum Hosts 'Old Peppersass' This Weekend
The North Adams Museum of History and Science is hosting a pioneering steam engine this weekend.
The "Old Peppersass" cog steam engine that once chugged up New Hampshire's Mount Washington will be on display at Western Gateway Heritage State Park on Saturday and Sunday.
North Adams Seeking Grant to Add Spray Park to Noel Field
Work is expected to began soon on the new skate and BMX bicycle park where the former Modern Liquors was located.
The State Street building was razed last week to make way for the $676,000 skate park, which will in turn open up space at Noel Field Athletic Complex for a proposed splash pad and bocce and pickle ball courts.
Subcommittee Appointment Latest Point of Contention at Mount Greylock
Despite assailing his committee chair on a number of fronts, Richard Cohen was quick to support her for a lifetime achievement award on Monday evening.
It was that kind of night for the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee.
Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival to Enchant in Adams
The signs have been around the area for weeks: tiny doors to enchanted realms, fairy princesses, visits from the Fairy Queen Deidre and wardings from the Wizard Grulaach.
It's all leading up to the Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival this Saturday at Bowe Field for a day filled with music, magic, parades and activities that will be capped off that night around a dragon fire pit. And, of course, fairies.
The idea for those tiny doors that have been appearing in businesses and municipal buil
Parks Commission Approves Plan To Upgrade Durant Park
A new playground is the first step in a multi-phased plan to revamp the newly re-named Durant Park.
Parks and Open Spaces Manager Jim McGrath received approval of the plan from the Parks Commission on Tuesday which features not only a new playground but also new signage, fitness area, upgraded bathrooms, new pavilion, upgrades to the baseball and softball field and a new fence along the river.
VFW Life Member Named Grand Marshal of Pittsfield July 4th Parade
Pastore is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). He is also a member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), and American Legion Post 68 and has been a frequent Fourth of July Parade participant as a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran along with his fellow veterans. He served as the commander of the DAV from 1992-94 and DAV Chaplain for the last 40 years.
35-acre Marina Subdivision in Otis Heads to Auction
Thirty-five acres of land including a 60-foot water water permit for docks on Otis Reservoir is heading to auction.
The piece of land on Reservoir Road was eyed and received subdivision plans to create 53 housing units as well as a state permit to install 30 docks on the reservoir. However, the owners are putting it up for auction in hopes another developer will take over the project.
Windsor Lake Closed Two Days for Weed Treatment
Windsor Lake will be closed Thursday and Friday for herbicide to be applied to invasive species in the lake.
The treatment along areas near the shoreline with an aquatic herbicide registered with the state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will target non-native curly leaf pondweed.
Ericson, Flood Victors In Lanesborough Election
Mount Greylock School Committee Splits on Superintendent Evaluation
A divided Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Monday gave a passing grade to the district's superintendent after his first year on the job.
On a vote of 4-2 (with one member absent), the committee rated Douglas Dias "proficient," the second highest of four possible grades in the rubric established by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The potential grades include unsatisfactory, needs improvement, proficient and exemplary.
Decrepit North Adams Apartment Building Coming Down
A Cliff Street apartment building that's seen better days is finally coming down this week.
The six-unit building at the top of Cliff has been vacant for some time and was blocked off with jersey barriers a few weeks ago when the front threatened to collapse.
Mayor Richard Alcombright said an "all-call" was sent out to neighbors to let them know staging for the demolition would begin Tuesday or Wednesday.
Park Square Turned Purple to Raise Alzheimer's Awareness
For the caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's, every day can feel like the longest day of the year.
It's a disease that often takes years to be noticed and when it is, many people don't know what to go or where to go. The Berkshire Alzheimer's Partnership is working to give those caregivers the support and resources they need and on Monday, the longest day of the year, the group turned Park Square purple to spread awareness of the disease.
Adams Town Meeting Approves All Warrant Articles
Town meeting on Monday approved a laundry list of spending items, including a $7,791,369 town budget and a $5,446,707 regional school assessment.
A ban on plastic bags, the first appropriation from the newly established economic development fund and the annual citizen's petition requesting $5,000 for Bowe Field generated the most comment and debate although ultimately passing with ease.
New 'Snack Attack' Opens at Windsor Lake Concession Stand
The city has invested some $150,000 in the past couple years just in making Windsor Lake look good.
A multi-year weed eradication program is in process, some $90,000 in grants was leveraged for a new playground and the old concession building has been spiffed up with renovated bathrooms, paint and roof.
Adams May Look at Playground Mulch Alternative
The Parks Commission discussed mulch alternatives for the town's playgrounds.
Commissioner Todd Shafer informed the commission last week that rain is displacing the mulch on many of the town's playgrounds.
"When it rains the mulch kind of washes away and forms piles in different areas and some areas are getting low," Shafer said. "Like where the slides and where the swings are, which is an important place to have mulch ... I think it is a liability honesty."
New Historic District Commission Wants a Say in St. Francis Property
Efforts begun nearly three years ago to save St. Francis of Assisi Church may have come to naught, but the new Local Historic District Commission is hoping to prevent anything unworthy from taking its place.
"I started this effort three years ago to save St. Francis by creating a historic district to prevent it from being demolished," said Chairman Kurt Kolok. "Obviously, we're a little late for that."
Tyer Seeking Civil Service Waiver For Police Chief
Mayor Linda Tyer says she is "correcting an injustice" by appointing Police Chief Michael Wynn to the job on a more permanent basis.
Wynn has been serving under the "acting" capacity for the last nine years when appointed as such by former Mayor James Ruberto. Now, Tyer is looking to use a provision within the Civil Service Commission to officially give Wynn the title.
Mount Greylock Prepares for Summer Construction Work
The process of renovating and rebuilding Mount Greylock Regional School began when the school year ended last week.
"We started pretty much the minute school was out on Tuesday," facilities supervisor Jesse Wirtes told the School Building Committee on Thursday. "The custodial department turned the school upside down on Wednesday.
Amuso Apologizes For Pittsfield Budget Hearing Tact
Councilor At Large Kathleen Amuso stepped to the microphone to start Thursday's budget hearing with an apology.
"I am truly sorry," Amuso said.
Dance Troupe's Residency Deepens Ties With Berkshire Community
An internationally acclaimed dance company is not only performing in the Berkshires, but also teaching and sharing its skills with the city's teens.
The office of Cultural Development announced Tuesday a community partnership with the Brooklyn-based Urban Bush Women Dance Company, providing 30 teenage girls a chance to participate in workshops with the troupe.
Quiz Show Finale Features Mount Greylock Team
Mount Greylock Regional School has won its share of titles on the athletic field, and speed is always a factor.
It turns out speed also helps the Mounties exceed in their academic battles.
"I think we were one of the fastest teams," Aaron Kleiner said of the school's four-man team in public television's "As Schools Match Wits" competition.
Downing Accepts Coalition's Hero Award, Thanks Community
"That's a choice a community makes, whether we're going to fall apart or face the challenges head-on," Sen. Benjamin Downing said. "When we're at our best, it's not just the glass is half full. But we know if we work hard enough, we're going to find the water to make the glass overflow."
Attorney General Healey Tours Greylock Mill Project
Attorney General Maura Healey is already reserving rooms in the future Greylock Mill hotel.
Healey was in the city on Friday for a presentation and tour of the estimated $15 million project that was accepted into the state's brownfields covenant program in February. Developers Salvatore Perry and Karla Rothstein, based in New York City, took her through the massive building and up to the roof for a glimpse of the panoramic view.
Farley-Bouvier Kicks Off Re-Election Bid
Being a state legislator means being part of a team for state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier.
That was a message she delivered on Friday when she kicked off her re-election bid. In the audience were members of that team, from Mayor Linda Tyer to School Committee and City Council members to leaders in local housing, child care, and an array of other agencies. A crowd surpassing 100 gathered at the ITAM Friday night in support of the Pittsfield Democrat's re-election bid.
Adams Little League Recognizes Longtime Coach, President
The Adams Little League Friday night recognized longtime volunteer Martin K. Bush.