Look Ahead, Pittsfield: Spotlight on school safety and Housatonic River cleanup

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This week comes in hot with a jam-packed Monday, bringing big news about Housatonic River cleanup activities and a polarized conversation about school safety.

The Environmental Protection Agency will make its riverside announcement Monday afternoon.

On the school safety front, parents behind a push to permanently fill the school resource officer position at Reid Middle School got more than they bargained for — a debate with parents and community leaders who oppose the idea of having police officers serve in schools.

The issue will get the floor during the City Council's Public Health and Safety Committee meeting, 7 p.m. Monday in council chambers. Mayor Linda Tyer, Police Chief Michael Wynn, Superintendent Jason McCandless and School Committee Chairwoman Kathy Yon are slated to participate in the evening's conversation.

A $10 million hotel project is up for a tax increment financing agreement during the Tuesday City Council meeting. Somnath LLC proposes building a new 77-room Holiday Inn Express at 1055 South St., the location of a former hotel demolished several years ago. The estimated capital investment is $10 million.

Also during the meeting: City Engineer Ricardo Morales will assume the role of public services commissioner after doing the job on an interim basis since David Turocy retired in October. And councilors will take a final vote on an anti-puppy mill petition that would prohibit stores from selling pets that do not come from animal shelters.

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On Wednesday, the School Committee is scheduled to hear from Taconic High School Principal Matt Bishop about the state of the school's vocational programs. Bishop's presentation will touch on enrollment, partnerships and other benchmarks.

Heads up

Wednesday is the last day to register to vote ahead of the presidential primary on March 3; the office will stay open until 8 p.m. that day to handle registrations. Absentee ballots will also be available, and early voting ballots will become available Feb. 24.

The weeklong 10x10 Festival kicks off Thursday with a new emphasis on outdoor recreation.

And stay tuned for an update about a major makeover planned for the Berkshire Family YMCA on North Street.

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


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