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A local construction company has offered to cover the cost of repairs at the Doyle softball complex. Above, volunteers prep the field for last year's tournament.

Maxymillian to Donate to Doyle Athletic Complex Dugout Repair

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — J H Maxymillian Inc. has asked to donate $35,000 toward the Doyle Softball Complex dugout repair and lights project.
 
Parks and Open Spaces Manager James McGrath told the Parks Commission on Tuesday that Maxymillion, the chosen contractor for the project, will cover the cost of the project.
 
"Kudos to them for stepping up and helping," he said. "That is really a very generous donation." 
 
The project was originally a Community Preservation Act project that went out to bid like any other. McGrath said Maxymillian was the chosen bidder and indicated to the city that it wanted to donate the project. 
 
The project would address two fields in the complex and with Maxymillian’s donation, the city now has the original $17,000 from the CPA funds to play with. 
 
McGrath suggested using the funds to address repairs at some of the other dugouts in the facility. 
 
"Roofs, privacy slats, and other things," he said. "Maybe get some new hardware for these dugouts. They are well used and well loved."
 
He said if the commission wants to put these funds toward something else it will have to seek permission from the Community Preservation Committee because it only authorized the funds for Doyle.
 
City Council will have to accept this donation at a future meeting.
 
McGrath also said the Burbank Park Dog Park design work continues and he hopes to have a final draft ready for the commission's March meeting.  
 
"The ad hoc committee has done some great work that you will see," he said.
 
McGrath said if the cost estimate comes in higher than the grant amount, the commission will have to make some design decisions.
 
"Like a chain link fence may be the most desirable but if it is too much, we may have to look at something cheaper but comparable in strength," he said.  
 
There was a concern among the board about added maintenance with a new park within the city limits and McGrath agreed that this is true and that was considered in the design work.
 
"We know we could use some additional park maintenance people and there may be some activity from the administration for that but we really designed this to limit the amount of maintenance needed up there," he said.
 
He added that they will look to create a friends group to help maintain and advocate for the park.
 
"These will be folks who are dog park users who are keen on the dog park and who want to be involved," he said. "Who want to be the eyes and ears and to some degree conduct the day-to-day maintenance."
 
McGrath gave an update on the Iraq/Afghanistan monument to be installed in Veterans Way Park.
 
"They are on a forward track, fundraising is going OK so far, more to come, but they are on track for that September unveiling date," he said. "It is an important project and one I think the community supports."
 
VFW Post 448 plans to raise $45,000 to erect a square granite monument at the park.
 
McGrath said the VFW is about to unroll a paver fundraising campaign but has already received individual donations as well as a $15,000 donation.
 
Once the design is completed, it will come before the commission for final approval.
 
The commission also approved a slate of facility use requests:
 
  • The Eagles Community Band plays at the Common June 23 and Aug. 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. and at Springside Park on July 21.
  • Shakespeare in the Park performs on the Common July 13 through Aug. 13.
  • The Vietnam Veterans will holds a Memorial Day ceremony at Park Square on March 28 at 10 a.m.
  • The Kiwanis Bike Rodeo and Safety Day will take place on the Common on June 14 from 11 to 2.
  • BEAT and HVA will host Housatonic River cleanups June 13 and Aug. 1 from 8 to 2.

Tags: athletic complex,   donations,   parks commission,   softball,   

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'Stop Telling Women to Smile' Author Speaks on Street Harassment

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh speaks about her book and artwork in a webinar last week.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Telling a woman to smile is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to street harassment. 
 
Author and artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh outlined her experience with street harassment and the process that went into creating "Stop Telling Women to Smile: Stories of Street Harassment and How We're Taking Back Our Power" in a webinar last week.
 
This was the third component of the Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force's annual "One Book, One Community" event.  About two dozen groups around Berkshire County first participated in a communitywide read of the book and Fazlalizadeh's artwork was displayed in several locations across the county leading up to the virtual presentation.
 
Fazlalizadeh is a Black and Iranian visual artist based in Brooklyn, N.Y. She's a painter whose work ranges from the gallery to streets all over the world and has been profiled by publications including The New York Times and Time Magazine.
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