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6-02-2019

Hey there, readers. Amanda here.

Should the city’s West Side have a youth center of its own? That question will come up again during a meeting of the West Side Neighborhood Initiative 5:30 p.m. Monday at Conte Community School.

Many in the community have said for years that young people in the West Side need a place to call their own, but various visions held by different groups have so far failed to unite the community. Perhaps a new one might.

The City Council continues its series of budget hearings on Tuesday, when they’ll review budgets for the Department of Public Services and the Pittsfield Police Department.

Mayor Linda Tyer’s proposed budget includes $10,899,632 in spending for the Pittsfield Police Department over the coming fiscal year, reflecting an increase of $866,389 over the current year’s budget. For public services, her budget for fiscal year 2020 includes $8,076,245, reflecting an increase of $109,508 over the current year.

City races continue to simmer this week as candidates trickle in. John Daniels Jr., of Robbins Avenue, joined the race for the council’s Ward 7 seat against Jeffrey Ferrin, of Danforth Avenue.

The School Committee field is also looking healthier, with five incumbents — Katherine Yon, William Cameron, Joshua Cutler, Daniel Elias and Dennis Powell — running against Mark Brazeau, Anthony Maffuccio, Thomas Perrea and Ocean Sutton for six available seats.

Melissa Mazzeo's mayoral bid cleared the way for new blood in the council's at large race, but there haven’t been many fresh bites. So far, incumbent councilors Peter Marchetti, Earl Persip and Pete White are running against Craig Gaetani, Jay Hamling and Alex Blumin for four at-large seats.

Speaking of bites, the Board of Health will hear a new proposal this week that could bring about preventive mosquito control spray in certain flood-prone areas of the city. The topic of mosquito control spray was a controversial one last year as many questioned the safety and effectiveness of the spray.

Chris Horton, superintendent of the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project, told the board in April that when flooding occurs in certain areas it predictably brings about concerning mosquito breeding that is more difficult to address retroactively.

He promised to return with a data-driven proposal around weather-based spray procedures for board members to consider, which they’re scheduled to do 6 p.m. Wednesday in City Hall room 203.

Business sparks

The city recently banned large-scale solar developments in residential districts in light of recent pushback, but not before Cypress Creek Renewables set their sights on a property along Gamwell Avenue.

The project — the prospect of which has been ruffling feathers in the neighborhood for months — makes its public meeting debut during the Community Development Board meeting on Tuesday, which meets at 6 p.m. in City Hall room 203.

The board could also take up next steps for Proprietor’s Lodge during its Tuesday meeting. The restaurant and wedding venue must respond to parking management issues, and in the meantime the city placed a hold on further permitting and licensing at the Waubeek Road establishment.

North Street will be looking brighter this week with two different lighting projects in the works — lights are up at the newly restored Capitol Theatre marquee at the Ralph J. Froio Senior Center, and Berkshire Lightscapes continues its work installing ornamental light displays around some of downtown’s most precious architecture.

Festivities

It’s warm and lush in the Berkshires again and so naturally there’s a bounty of fun things to do this week.

Assuming the rain holds off, the Pittsfield Municipal Airport will host its first “Cruise Night” on Wednesday in an effort to bring more excitement to the bucolic city hub. There will be cool antique cars, beautiful views, food, music and free admission. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and will recur every dry first Wednesday through October.

The Berkshire Craft Beer Festival and Charity Chug Run are happening Saturday at The Common. The race kicks off at 12:15 p.m. and general admission at the beer festival starts at 1 p.m.

The city’s pride celebrations continue this weekend with the fourth annual LBTQ Pride Dance Party and Cabaret, which runs Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Colonial Theatre. Guests will walk the pink carpet, hit up the piano bar and then, of course, dance.

Municipal heads up

Both Pittsfield High School and Taconic High School will hold their graduation ceremonies on Sunday.

There will be road work throughout the week on Churchill Street. Road work will also halt on-street parking this week along the following streets: Lincoln, Northrup Turner and Union.

A new City Hall recruitment effort kicks off this week with a billboard by Merrill Road highlighting city employees.

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

 
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SCOTT STAFFORD — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE Beer fans use little mugs to taste beers offered by more than 60 brewers at the Berkshire Craft Beer Festival in the Common on First Street in Pittsfield. Saturday, June 10, 2017.
BEN GARVER — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE. Performer Boxxa Vine (Aaron Johnson) sews his dress before singing at the Berkshire Pride Festival last year in the Pittsfield Common.

 

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