Letter: Cities Not Looking for 'Holiday' Trees

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To the Editor:

The cities of N Adams and Pittsfield are NOT looking for holiday trees. They ARE looking for Christmas trees. Why? Well, Jews don't celebrate Hanukkah with a tree, they light a menorah (Hanukkah isn't even a holiday that is remotely like Christmas, but is equated with it because of it's proximity on the calendar), and as far as I know there is no Muslim holiday that uses a tree to represent the holiday.

I'm Jewish, and am fine with the Christmas tree in Park Square. it's not my holiday — but it is the holiday celebrated by most of the 98 percent of Berkshire County that is not Jewish. I wish my Christian brethren a peaceful and joyful Christmas and hope the tree that is selected for Christmas this year is as beautiful as ever.

Dave Pill
Pittsfield, Mass. 


Tags: Christmas tree,   

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Pittsfield Continues Tax Classification Hearing Over Free Cash

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Mayor Linda Tyer says she wants to focus on building reserves. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday continued the tax classification hearing after clashing with the mayor over how much free cash should be used to offset the tax rate.
At the end of a nearly three-hour meeting, councilors and Mayor Linda Tyer were at a stalemate with the majority of the council unsatisfied with Tyer's $750,000 compromise.
"We are taking this out of the pockets of our taxpayers and putting it into the city coffers," Ward 5 Councilor Donna Todd Rivers said. "I know that's how it works but at this moment we can afford to give some of that savings back."
The original proposal was a residential tax rate of $19.99 per $1,000 valuation and a commercial rate of $39.96 per $1,000 valuation, which holds the residential rate to a 57 cent increase and the commercial rate to a 2 cent increase.
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