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City crews decorating the 25-foot spruce installed earlier this week at Park Square.

Pittsfield Sets Virtual Tree Lighting for 2020

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The city putting up holiday lights along North Street on Thursday.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield is the latest community to present a virtual tree lighting to avoid the crowds the annual event regularly draws. The gatherings have been limited in size because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
 
In this case, Pittsfield Community Television is teaming up with the city of Pittsfield's Recreation Program for a televise a virtual 2020 holiday tree lighting.
 
"The holiday tree lighting is a special and memorable occasion for our entire community. While we won't be able to gather together this year, the holiday tree stands as a vivid reminder of the many good things that are still around us," said Mayor Linda Tyer. "Thank you to everyone who worked hard to make this event possible."
 
PCTV will present the "Virtual 2020 Park Square Tree Lighting" at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11. The program will air on PCTV Access Pittsfield Channel 1301, PCTV Select, Facebook Watch, and YouTube. 
 
Santa and Mrs. Claus will host the show, which will feature the Pittsfield High School band, Kids 4 Harmony, and the Taconic High School chorus. The program will be rerun multiple times during the holiday season and available for viewing on-demand on PittsfieldTV.org.
 
"PCTV is proud to help continue this wonderful tradition for our city," said PCTV Executive Director Shawn Serre. "For nearly three decades, our channels have broadcast this event live from Park Square, for folks who weren't able to attend.  This year, I'm happy to say, everyone will be able to share in the excitement from the safety and comfort of their homes."
 
The tree is a 25-foot tall blue spruce donated by General Electric in cooperation with SABIC. The tree was installed by the Parks and Highway departments and L.P. Adams.

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MassWildlife Asks Public Not to Feed 'GE Deer'

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — If you have ever driven down New York Avenue and seen the deer grazing behind the fencing that encases General Electric's property, it is likely that you have been inclined to feed them.

Though this action is rooted in kindness, it is not healthy for the woodland friends and could be fatal, which is why MassWildlife has put up signs asking that residents do not throw food over the fences.

"Obviously, people see the deer in there and they probably think 'what are they going to eat? They're limited in there they're stuck in there.'  I will say, they're definitely not stuck in there," MassWildlife's wildlife biologist Nathan Buckhout said.

For decades, the deer have found an unlikely sanctuary in the former GE site that includes two landfills, Hill 78 and Building 71. Buckhout explained that they have been there for decades, spawning offspring and becoming completely self-sufficient within the fenced area.

"They're doing just fine," he said. "And they obviously are getting enough food and water, otherwise their population would be limited, they wouldn't be able to produce their offspring so there would be fewer fawns, and eventually they probably would have disappeared — but they haven't."

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