pittsfield | WAMC

pittsfield

A small round brick building with a little orange flag on its roof sits in a body of water under swollen grey clouds
Josh Landes / WAMC

On Wednesday, water use restrictions in Pittsfield, Massachusetts are moving from voluntary to mandatory as the city’s water supply continues to drop amid a statewide drought. Outdoor water activities like watering lawns and gardens, washing cars or filling swimming pools must happen before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. and only on alternating days. Pittsfield’s Department of Public Services and Utilities will be enforcing the new restrictions, with fines issued for all offenses after the first. WAMC spoke with Department Commissioner Ricardo Morales.

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

Residents of a Pittsfield, Massachusetts neighborhood brought their frustration with a construction project to this week’s city council meeting.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The Berkshire District Attorney’s office has confirmed the identity of an Pittsfielder who took his own life in a homeless encampment Tuesday evening. 

A screenshot of a Zoom meeting
PCTV

Amid a pandemic, a rising population of unhoused city residents, the economic downturn, and a volatile national election, a hyper-local issue took much of the Pittsfield City Council’s attention Tuesday night.

A map of Massachusetts separated into sections, all colored yellow
Massachusetts / www.mass.gov

In August, the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs declared that the state was experiencing significant drought conditions. This morning, city leaders in Pittsfield announced new water conservation measures for the community. WAMC spoke with Commissioner Ricardo Morales of the city’s Department of Public Services and Utilities about the new voluntary restrictions — just the first level of a multi-tiered plan if the drought continues to intensify.

Three people holding signs - two for Alex Morse and one for Ed Markey - stand at a street corner
Josh Landes / WAMC

Voters across Massachusetts are going to the polls for primary day today.

Four ballots - one pink, one blue, one green, and one purple - are attached to a wall.
Josh Landes / WAMC

As Massachusetts prepares for in-person voting in Tuesday’s primary, town and city clerks around Berkshire County have already seen unprecedented turnout through mail-in and early balloting.

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

From confronting the mounting challenge of housing city residents to broken water mains, it’s been an unusually busy August in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. WAMC got an update today from Mayor Linda Tyer.

An envelope leans against a wall on a table with a blue tablecloth.
Josh Landes / WAMC

With the Massachusetts primary coming up on September 1st, many residents are taking advantage of early and mail-in voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of this week, Pittsfield City Clerk Michele Benjamin says over 7,000 requests for early voting ballots have been registered in the city of around 43,000. She spoke with WAMC about voting security and turnout so far.

http://taconic.pittsfield.net/

The school committee in Pittsfield, Massachusetts has voted to retire Taconic High School’s use of the name “Braves” for its sports teams and mascot.

A white man in a red tie and suit jacket stands by an American flag
The Doyle Family

Civic leaders and family of former Pittsfield, Massachusetts Mayor Gerry Doyle are sharing remembrances after his death on Sunday.

A series of small boxes with virtual meeting participants on a grid
Josh Landes / WAMC

In a dramatic meeting that lasted over six hours, the Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council Tuesday explored and ultimately rejected a petition asking if one of its members had left the city.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Former Pittsfield, Massachusetts mayor Gerald Doyle has died, according to city hall.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse stands in front of microphones
WAMC

As Holyoke, Massachusetts Mayor and congressional candidate Alex Morse responds to allegations of sexual misconduct, his supporters in Berkshire County are responding as well.

A white man in a suit smiles in front of a grey backdrop
City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

A citizen’s petition on Tuesday’s Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council meeting agenda calls into question the residency of a sitting councilor. 

A bearded white man speaks at a podium
Pittsfield Public Schools

The superintendent of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts public schools is leaving for another job in Berkshire County. 

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

At a time of uncertainty in education, the Pittsfield, Massachusetts public schools will receive level funding from the state for at least the beginning of the coming school year – with a bump to accommodate for inflation.

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

School districts around Massachusetts are racing to assemble plans for the fall semester to meet the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s August 10th deadline. They’ve been asked to establish three plans – one for a full return, one for full remote learning, and one hybrid of the two. Already, the largest community in Berkshire County, Pittsfield, has taken a full return off the table. WAMC spoke with school committee chair Katherine Yon about how union demands, safety concerns and simple logistics informed the decision. Yon says the state’s move to allow school to start in mid-September has taken a little of the pressure off. She also discusses the newest wrinkle to fall preparations: word that superintendent Jake McCandless intends to leave Pittsfield to take over the neighboring Mount Greylock Regional School District.

A white man in a mask and a button-down shirt speaks with a black man in a white t-shirt in an emcampment of tents and tarps.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Congressman Joe Kennedy campaigned in Pittsfield, Massachusetts this morning in his Democratic primary battle against incumbent Senator Ed Markey.

A white man in a white shirt and khakis stands behind a podium in a park in front of a large campaign bus and a woman in a dress
Josh Landes / WAMC

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey campaigned in Berkshire County Friday as he looks to defend his seat against Congressman Joe Kennedy in the September 1st Democratic primary.

A headshot of a woman with black hair in front of a grey backdrop
City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Pittsfield, Massachusetts City Councilor Helen Moon is no longer an employee in the Berkshire County District Attorney’s office.

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

Public school superintendents around Berkshire County are working around the clock to prepare contingency plans for the fall semester.

An envelope leans against a wall on a table with a blue tablecloth.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Residents in Berkshire County’s largest community have begun to receive documents on how to vote by mail in the state and federal elections in September and November. WAMC spoke with Pittsfield, Massachusetts City Clerk Michele Benjamin about the mail-in voting process amid the 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

There has been outcry in Pittsfield, Massachusetts following the closure of an emergency housing shelter set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. ServiceNet, the mental health and human services group running the shelter at the former St. Joseph Central High School, shuttered the operation on July 13th. Subsequently, there have been reports of new encampments for unhoused residents forming in city parks, prompting dismay from the community. WAMC spoke with Mayor Linda Tyer about the shelter’s closure and the city’s Police Advisory and Review Board’s first annual report.

A historic brick building sits at the end of a path through a grassy lawn.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Pittsfield, Massachusetts police are investigating vandalism that caused extensive damage to a city art center that they say occurred between July 10th and July 13th. The Whitney Center for the Arts, which has been in operation since 2012, sits in a historic building just outside of downtown Pittsfield on Wendell Avenue. While the investigation continues, WAMC spoke with Executive Director Ghazi Kazmi to find out more about the damage and why he thinks it was a targeted move.

A screenshot of an email.
The City Of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts Police Advisory and Review Board presented its first annual report this week.

A screenshot of Pittsfield, MA City Councilor Earl Persip's response to fellow councilor Christopher Connell's post of an article about the false narrative of Irish slavery.
Josh Landes / WAMC

At-Large Pittsfield, Massachusetts City Councilor Earl Persip is chiding long-serving Ward 4 City Councilor Christopher Connell for posting a link to  an article about the oft-debunked narrative of Irish slavery on Facebook. Persip says the post is an attack on the Black Lives Matter movement often deployed by racists online. Connell has openly voiced skepticism of the Black Lives Matter movement at city council meetings. He declined to comment about the now-deleted post when reached by WAMC News. WAMC spoke with Persip, the council’s only African American member, about why he chose to speak out against Connell.

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

Pittsfield, Massachusetts Mayor Linda Tyer says the city has had just seven new COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks. Now, the city is undertaking a new effort to monitor its sewage for evidence of the virus spreading. Tyer spoke today with WAMC.

The Pittsfield Fire Department Logo
City of Pittsfield

A fire in Pittsfield, Massachusetts left a woman dead Monday night.

The Pittsfield Community Television logo
Pittsfield Community Television

A new documentary by Pittsfield Community Television traces the Massachusetts city’s 4th of July parade back to the turn of the 19th century.

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