Josh Landes

Berkshire Bureau Chief

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods. 

Ways to Connect

Marco Borggreve / Boston Symphony Orchestra

The longtime president and CEO of the Boston Symphony Orchestra will retire in a year.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

Berkshire lawmakers are reacting to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s State of the Commonwealth address Tuesday.

Facebook: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake will deliver the Massachusetts College Of Liberal Arts’ Spring Public Policy Lecture.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

Massachusetts politicians and political observers are preparing for Republican Governor Charlie Baker’s State of the Commonwealth address tomorrow. WAMC took a look at what they’re expecting to hear on Tuesday.

A bearded white man in a sweater holds a pamphlet titled "Library of Things" in front of a wall of framed documents
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is the largest public library in the county – but its collection extends far beyond books. Outreach librarian Sam Reggio says the Athenaeum continues to grow its Library of Things, a collection of everything from tools and musical instruments to sleds and green screens that card holders can borrow for free. One item from the Library of Things is a seasonally appropriate device called a HappyLight.

The door of the Berkshire District Attorney's office.
Josh Landes / WAMC

On Monday, a senior staffer in the Berkshire County District Attorney office resigned in protest over what she described as a culture where politics took precedence over the law.

The door of the Berkshire District Attorney's office.
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Berkshire County District Attorney office's public records officer has resigned in protest and become a whistleblower about the office’s culture.

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council held its first meeting of the new session this week.

A man at a podium looks at a row of seated people at a series of tables. They sit before a wood panelled wall in a room lit with long flourescent lights.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Two and a half years after MASS MoCA abruptly painted over public art made by children in North Adams, Massachusetts, city leaders are calling for answers.

City of Pittsfield

The largest public high school in Berkshire County went into lockdown for about 30 minutes this morning after a violent outburst from a student. Police were summoned to Pittsfield High School to assist the school’s staff with that student and a second student upset by the incident. WAMC spoke with Pittsfield Public Schools Superintendent Jake McCandless about what happened. McCandless says he’s not concerned about any further violence.

Two hands embrace under a rose over a red backdrop with "Berkshires Democratic Socialists Of America" in a ring around them.
Berkshires Democratic Socialists of America

The Berkshire County chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America is backing the challenger in the 1st Massachusetts Congressional district primary.

Josh Landes / WAMC

On Tuesday, Anthony Maffuccio returns to the Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council for the first time in a decade. The seventh ward representative was on the council from 2004 to 2010 during the administration of Mayor James Ruberto. Maffuccio – who was born and raised in the ward – secured a political comeback in November’s election. He sat down with WAMC to talk about his vision for Pittsfield and  why he got back into the game.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Saturday marks one year since legal recreational marijuana sales began in Berkshire County. WAMC takes a look at how the burgeoning industry has impacted the area.

Williams College

Patricia Manning is in her 30th season as head coach of the Williams College Women’s Basketball Team. With more than 400 victories, she is described as the winningest coach in Williams history, and has taken 9 teams to the Division III NCAA tournament. This season, the team has won 11 of its first 12 games. Before back to back matchups this weekend, Manning spoke with WAMC about her coaching style and what is fueling her team’s dominant performance.

Great Barrington, Massachusetts announced Thursday that a much discussed road project is taking another step forward.

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey is among the scheduled speakers at a 4 Freedoms Coalition event in Pittsfield on Sunday.

The amount that the American killing of Iraq’s Qassim Suleimani on January 3 will escalate confrontation between the two countries remains to be seen.

For history and perspective, WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Josh Landes spoke with Assistant Professor of Political Science at Williams College Galen Jackson.

A man in uniform stands in a garage filled with fire vehicles
Josh Landes / WAMC

The fire chief of Pittsfield, Massachusetts held a press conference today following a series of electrical fires. 

Josh Landes / WAMC

Yuki Cohen is one of the 4 new members of the 11-seat city council in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Cohen, who owns and operates the downtown bar Methuselah in the Berkshire County community of around 43,000, is one of four at-large city councilors serving two-year terms. She sat down with WAMC a day after she was sworn in Monday to talk about Pittsfield’s challenges, its business sector, and Mayor Linda Tyer’s agenda for 2020.

Josh Landes / WAMC

The new city council of Pittsfield, Massachusetts was sworn into office Monday.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Monday morning, Pittsfield, Massachusetts Mayor Linda Tyer was sworn in for a second four-year term leading the largest community in Berkshire County.

Alleged behind the scenes maneuverings involving the North Adams, Massachusetts city council has created discontent over how its new president was selected.

The door of the Berkshire District Attorney's office.
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Berkshire County District Attorney’s office announced Friday that it has secured a conviction of a New York man for two attempted rapes.

In November, North Adams, Massachusetts city councilor Paul Hopkins was elected to a second two-year term. This week, as the city of almost 13,000 swore in its elected officials for the new term, Hopkins was also voted in as president of the nine-member council. Hopkins spoke with WAMC about his relationship with Mayor Tom Bernard and why he thinks the city should reexamine how it manages its solid waste – as well as what he sees as the largest challenges North Adams faces.

On Monday morning, Pittsfield, Massachusetts will hold an inauguration ceremony for the municipal leaders who prevailed in November’s elections.

JD Allen / WAMC

John Barrett is the state representative for the 1st Berkshire District of Massachusetts, located in the northwestern corner of the Commonwealth. He first won a special election in 2017 to fill the seat of the late Gailanne Cariddi, and was re-elected in 2018. Between 1984 and 2009, the Democrat was mayor of North Adams, the largest community in his district with a population of around 13,000. He spoke with WAMC this week about his goals for the 2020 session on Beacon Hill, his concerns about local preparedness for the coming national census, and what he thought the biggest legislative accomplishment of 2019 was.

With the arrival of a new year, the Williamstown, Massachusetts town manager says he’s focused on broadband internet access, replacing the town fire station, and expanding recreational opportunities. WAMC spoke with Jason Hoch about what he’s eyeing for the Northern Berkshire County community of about 8,000 in 2020. 

Dina Guiel Lampiasi was elected to the city council in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in November. The chief of operations for the Berkshire County District Attorney, she’ll represent the city’s 6th Ward for the next two years after besting former councilor Joe Nichols at the polls. Councilor John Krol, who held the seat for the past decade, did not run for reelection in 2019. Guiel Lampiasi sat down with WAMC to talk about the city’s finances and what she learned during the campaign.

Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts says a series of alleged racist incidents on campus may have been staged.

A plastic bag
Josh Landes / WAMC

New Year’s Day is ringing in a new plastic bag ban in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. As of January 1st, businesses won’t be allowed to offer thin film plastic bags at checkout in Berkshire County’s largest community – unless the bags are biodegradable. The city council passed the ordinance in March after a version of the ban existed in limbo as a petition for almost six years. WAMC spoke with Pittsfield’s Park, Open Space, and Natural Resource Program Manager Jim McGrath about how the restriction will be implemented.