Look Ahead, Pittsfield: Mayoral forum, overdose awareness and school countdown

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Candidates for the city's top job will spar this week during the first mayoral forum of the season.

The four contenders — Rusty Anchor owner Scott Graves, retired police officer Karen Kalinowsky, longtime Councilor at Large Melissa Mazzeo and incumbent Mayor Linda Tyer — are scheduled to participate in a forum at 7 p.m. Monday in Berkshire Community College's Koussevitzky Arts Center.

The four-candidate field heads to a preliminary election Sept. 17, as do races for the wards 5 and 6 seats on City Council. Voters must register by 8 p.m. Wednesday in order to cast a preliminary ballot. After that, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election Nov. 4.

On Tuesday, the community marks International Overdose Awareness Day with an annual ceremony at The Common. There, friends and family will publicly remember loved ones lost locally to the global epidemic. The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m.

In Berkshire County, 40 people died last year from an opioid-related overdose, and there were 210 overdose deaths in the Berkshires from 2010 to 2018.

Leaders at Berkshire Community College and Pittsfield Public Schools will be busily preparing this week for the start of fall classes on Sept. 3. District leaders are pushing, especially, to ready an expansion of its alternative offerings on Eagle Street.

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And on Thursday, a controversial solar project proposed for a residential neighborhood along Barker Road is up for review by the Conservation Commission. The developer, Cypress Creek Renewables, set aside the property earlier this year before city officials approved a ban on solar fields in residential neighborhoods.

The board is also scheduled to consider clearance for a restoration project at Springside Pond. The commission previously tabled its review to allow time for the city to apply for a water-quality certification from the state.

Heads up

Those interested in taking a new cannabis career training program at Berkshire Community College can attend an informational session starting at 6 p.m. Monday in Melville Room 317. There, prospective students will be able to enroll and learn more about financial aid opportunities.

Pittsfield Prospers will host a youth meetup starting 6 p.m. Monday at the Whitney Center for the Arts. Young people between the ages of 12 and 18 will be asked about their feelings on Pittsfield and what they are willing to do to create change.

And roadwork continues this week, with likely on-street parking interruptions on Doreen, Essex, Plymouth, Franklin, Onota and Boylston streets, on Juliana, Filomena, and Maple Grove drives, Parkside Avenue, Bay State Road and McKinley Terrace.

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


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