Dear Reader:

Welcome to Amanda Drane’s “Look Ahead, Pittsfield” e-newsletter. Amanda is The Berkshire Eagle’s Pittsfield reporter, and for several months she’s been writing this column about what’s going to happen in Pittsfield for the coming week.

Amanda’s column has become an instant favorite among readers who like to be in the know and who enjoy being an insider to what’s going on in Pittsfield. For that reason, we’ve decided to share “Look Ahead, Pittsfield” in e-newsletter format so that even more readers can get on that inside track, too. What’s more, by subscribing to this e-newsletter, you’ll get Amanda’s column on Sunday, a day ahead of its print publication.

We encourage you to share Amanda’s newsletter with friends, family and co-workers. We appreciate your support of local journalism, and the best way to do that is through a subscription to this local paper.

Thank you — and enjoy your “Look Ahead, Pittsfield”!

Kevin Moran
Executive Editor
The Berkshire Eagle

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Hey there, readers. Amanda, here.

This week in Pittsfield kicks off with a Monday holiday and winds down with a bang.

In other words, Presidents Day on Monday means a day off from work (for many) and also free downtown parking. And on Saturday, there’s going to be 10 minutes of fireworks starting 6 p.m. at The Common.

On the City Hall side of things, here are some things to look out for.

The City Council’s Committee on Public Health and Safety is scheduled to review air and groundwater samplings from the area surrounding Building 71 and Hill 78, two landfills near Allendale Elementary School that contain PCB-contaminated soils from the General Electric Co. Elevated groundwater samples stirred council fears in September, but officials with the Environmental Protection Agency have said the contamination is not close enough to occupied buildings to pose a threat.

That meeting starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers.

A new restaurant on Pontoosuc Lake, Proprietor’s Lodge, will ask the Community Development Board this week to approve a parking waiver allowing for continued development of the site. The ownership plans to add a lakeside wedding platform.

Neighbors are already unhappy about new traffic in the area, and so the city considers the parking waiver against that backdrop. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Ralph J. Froio Senior Center.

The board also will consider new regulations that would prevent large-scale solar developments from moving into residential neighborhoods. City Hall proposed the drafted ordinance to ward off the kind of controversy that surrounded a now-defunct solar development proposed for Pontoosuc Lake Country Club.

The Conservation Commission will be asked this week to approve a drawdown along the West Branch of the Housatonic River to buoy progress on the Mill Street Dam. The aging piece of infrastructure, also known as the Tel-Electric Dam, is slated for removal this summer.

On the marijuana front

A marijuana retailer will seek a special permit this week from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The retailer, operating under the corporate name Pittsfield Investment Group, is looking to open for recreational marijuana sales at 531 Dalton Avenue.

If approved, the shop would be the ninth cannabis store to get a green light from the city. The city’s first shop opened last month, and another is scheduled to open doors to the adult public within the next few weeks.

Heads up

We can expect the mayor to make an announcement this week about a new program she’s launching to help homeowners rehab their homes. 

Speaking of sprucing — do you have ideas for how to make Tyler Street Lab more inviting and functional as a community space? The lab is accepting creative submissions this week.

The 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival continues this week, as well, bringing art and performances to venues around the city, including the Saturday fireworks display. For a full schedule of events, visit discoverpittsfield.com.

A new group called Pittsfield Prospers is launching this week, 4 p.m. Wednesday at Proprietor’s Lodge. The aim of the organization is to promote positive messaging about our fine city in the woods.

What’s up in Pittsfield? Ping me via email at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, or by phone at 413-496-6296. Catch me on Twitter @amandadrane.

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