Josh Landes | WAMC

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

A long brick building sits beyond a green lawn and trees with a rotunda with a gold spire rising above it
Josh Landes / WAMC

With Massachusetts schools ordered shut until at least May 4th, questions about the remainder of the schoolyear are hanging over educators, students, and parents alike. Pittsfield Superintendent of Schools Jake McCandless spoke with WAMC about the likelihood of Berkshire County’s largest school district returning to in-person learning this spring, as well as the challenges of remote learning and the possibility of budget cuts as the city adjusts spending.

A sign with directions for various departments of a hospital stands at a crossroads
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire Health Systems is asking COVID-19 survivors to donate their plasma in an effort to help those still struggling to beat the virus. 

An aerial photo of a building complex set on a wooded hillside
Christina Barrett, Heidi Weber / Berkshire Community College

Higher ed institutions in Berkshire County are settling into the new norm of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Diagram
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

With three more coronavirus-related deaths announced Thursday, Berkshire County has had 26 fatalities and more than 380 positive cases of COVID-19.

The Berkshire Humane Society logo, which depicts an intertwined dog and cat
Berkshire Humane Society

While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Berkshire Humane Society to halt most of its operations around the county, the animal shelter is still offering some services at its Pittsfield, Massachusetts headquarters. WAMC spoke with Executive Director John Perreault.

A row of seated people behind a table on a stage under a glowing screen face an auditorium full of people.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Great Barrington, Massachusetts has postponed its annual town meeting due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

A white, brown-haired woman in a blue blazer stands with a microphone before her in a room lined with purple curtains
Josh Landes / WAMC

With most of its cultural institutions canceling summer seasons because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Berkshire County’s tourism-focused economy is about to take a serious hit. WAMC spoke with the leader of the region’s largest community – Pittsfield, Massachusetts Mayor Linda Tyer – about how her administration is adapting its budget and its expectations.

A long building with a real estate sign and a large trash container outside of it sits off a long sidewalk
Josh Landes / WAMC

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new emergency homeless shelter is up and running in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Jay Sacchetti is the senior vice president of shelter and housing for ServiceNet, the Western Massachusetts mental health and human services provider managing the temporary housing inside the former St. Joseph High School building on Maplewood Avenue. The organization already runs shelters like Barton’s Crossing and Our Friends House in Pittsfield. Sacchetti spoke with WAMC about what’s going on inside the shelter, and the measures ServiceNet is taking to make sure its occupants are healthy.

A stone building with a colonnade lit by lights sits in front of a brick churck and a street lamp
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts City Council has approved a $300,000 COVID-19 spending plan drawn from municipal coffers.

Shakespeare & Company

Shakespeare & Company is the latest arts organizations to postpone its summer season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Williamstown Commons logo

COVID-19 outbreaks at two Berkshire County nursing homes continue to develop.

A room full of people stand in front of a large sign that says "Andrea Harrington"
Josh Landes / WAMC

WAMC spoke with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey Monday about how her office is responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Democrat discussed how she’s working to stop price gouging of medical equipment, as well as charity scams, racism, and her office’s investigation into the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, where almost 40 residents have died after testing positive for the virus.

The ACLU Massachusetts logo
ACLU of Massachusetts /

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts has written to Governor Charlie Baker along with the Center for Health, Law, and Policy at Harvard University, calling on the state to prioritize equity and privacy issues during the COVID-19 pandemic response. WAMC spoke with Executive Director Carol Rose, who says issues related to class and race are exacerbated by the outbreak.

COVID-19 Diagram
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

WAMC has learned that a hotel in Pittsfield, Massahusetts is housing up to 75 homeless individuals recovering from COVID-19.

The United States Department of Justice logo
United States Department of Justice

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division have announced an investigation into the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke following the deaths of more than 30 residents from COVID-19. WAMC spoke with U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling Friday about what the investigation will entail, and how it will complement two parallel investigations announced by Governor Charlie Baker and state Attorney General Maura Healey.

The Williamstown Commons logo

COVID-19 deaths and cases continue to rise at a Williamstown, Massachusetts nursing home.

A white building sits on a green lawn behind a maroon sign
Rmrfstar /

The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts is furloughing employees and instituting pay cuts to sustain itself through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tanglewood logo
Boston Symphony Orchestra

The Tanglewood Festival Chorus is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a special broadcast this weekend.

A bearded white man speaks while seated at a table with a brick wall behind him and a mic with a WAMC logo on it in front of him
Josh Landes / WAMC

The timing of the COVID-19 pandemic could not have been worse for the 2020 U.S. Census. Efforts to carry out the constitutionally mandated national count in Massachusetts have been disrupted, with millions of dollars in federal funding hanging in the balance. State Representative Paul Mark of the 2nd Berkshire District chairs the House Committee on Redistricting, and has been a vocal advocate for a complete count in Western Massachusetts. The Democrat spoke with WAMC.

A sign with directions for various departments of a hospital stands at a crossroads
Josh Landes / WAMC

A week after telling its staff that all illness-related absences – including COVID-19 – would come out of paid time off, Berkshire Health Systems has reversed the policy.

Facebook: Tricia Farley-Bouvier

In Massachusetts, at least 140 long-term care facilities reported at least one case of COVID-19 as of Thursday, with over 1,200 residents and healthcare workers testing positive for the virus. Outbreaks are underway at two Berkshire Healthcare Systems-managed nursing homes, in Williamstown and Great Barrington, with at least 10 residents dead and dozens more with confirmed cases. 3rd Berkshire State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier is the vice chair of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Elder Affairs. The Democrat spoke with WAMC about measures state leaders are taking to monitor and respond to the pandemic’s impact on the elderly.

A piece of matzah - flat white cracker mottled with brown baking burns - sits next to a box of matzah
Yoninah /

With tonight’s celebration of the first night of Passover, Jews around the world are experiencing a unique version of the ancient tradition: the Skype Seder. WAMC spoke with rabbis from across Berkshire County to hear how they’re approaching this pandemic Passover.

A man in a white tuxedo stands with his arms raised in the center of an orchestra
Winslow Townson / Boston Symphony Orchestra

For the first time since 1890, the Boston Pops are canceling their spring season. 

The Williamstown Theatre Festival logo - the festival's name in white block letters on a blue backdrop
Williamstown Theatre Festival

Broadway will be dark until at least June 7th, and the COVID-19 outbreak is leading to a spate of cancellations among Berkshire County’s cultural institutions, too. Jacob’s Pillow called off its summer season for the first time in its 88-year history, the Chester Theatre Company cancelled three of its four scheduled shows, and Barrington Stage Company is moving to a “wait and see” model. Whatever happens, the county’s tourist-based economy is in for yet another shock.

On Tuesday, the Williamstown Theatre Festival joined that list with an announcement that it won’t put on its summer season – at least, not on stage. WAMC spoke with the festival’s artistic director, Mandy Greenfield, to find out what happens next.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Pittsfield, Massachusetts has extended the payment deadline for city taxes.

The Williamstown Commons logo

Since the Williamstown Commons nursing home in Williamstown, Massachusetts reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 24, 10 residents have died and 35 more have tested positive for coronavirus. On Monday, the remaining 75 of the center’s roughly 130 residents were tested for the virus. Now, the company that manages the facility says there are five positive cases at another of its centers, Fairview Commons in Great Barrington, 45 miles south of Williamstown. WAMC spoke with Berkshire Healthcare Systems Vice President of Communications Lisa Gaudet Monday about the company’s response to the outbreak.

The Williamstown Commons logo

The company that manages a Williamstown, Massachusetts nursing home says 10 residents have now died after testing positive for COVID-19. Five residents at another facility it manages in Great Barrington are positive for coronavirus too.

A long building with a real estate sign and a large trash container outside of it sits off a long sidewalk
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County’s largest community is responding to the ever-changing demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A sign that reads "Entering Windsor"
ToddC4176 /

Guidance from officials was brief and firm: school and most work has to be done from home during the pandemic. But some of Berkshire County’s smallest communities are feeling the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak through their ongoing struggles with internet access.

The word "Williams" in purple
Williams College

Williams College has canceled June’s commencement and reunion events due to the COVID-19 outbreak.