The Week in Pittsfield/2013, Part 1

January 1-6: City Manager nixed; still superintendent seeking, Mayor looks back;  the Great Parrot Caper of ’13, and more…

DSC_0649The 3 month old Charter Review committee made its first firm indications of direction in the process of reviewing Pittsfield’s outdated charter document this week, dispensing with the suggestion of a city manager (supported by some councilors but panned by past mayors) and endorsing the idea of changing the mayor’s term to 4 years, among other inclinations…

…while a new panel of interviewers convened in the hopes that 3rd time will be the charm in the search process for a new superintendent of schools;

Mayor Bianchi looked back at his first year in office; while the BRPC voiced concerns about flow diversion in the maintenance to Pittsfield’s reservoir out in Hinsdale; and YNN’s Madeleine Rivera explored potential loss of program resources at the Elizabeth Freeman Center from funding gaps following Congress not reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act for the new year.

Photo c/o Jo Duran, Berkshire Trails

Photo c/o Jo Duran, Berkshire Trails

In arts and recreation, First Fridays Artswalk kicked off 2013 with its 9th month of exhibitions with a decent turnout despite icy temps and piled snow; Barrington Stage is seeking young actors for the upcoming 10×10 Upstreet Arts Fest, for which Larry Murray has compiled some resources on iPhone film making for its mini 10-themed smartphone film fest… meanwhile, over on First Street, several fire fighters have taken it upon themselves to return ice skating to The Common for the first time in 5 years.

…and while Pittsfield crime frequently leans toward the bizarre and over the top, the Williamson family of Perrine Avenue really outdid themselves this week.  On Wednesday night, 25 year old Marquis Williamson lead state police on a brief chase through a city neighborhood, then threatened to bomb their headquarters and shoot people during his arrest.  On Friday 52 year old Charles L. Williamson, of the same address, abducted an expensive parrot from the Pittsfield Petco.  Williamson was seen going about Friday night attempting to sell the bird at bars in the Tyler Street area after first trying Fin & Feather pet shop.  While this Williamson [who made headlines in Boston this summer when his sex offender registration case came before the Mass. supreme court] was arrested Saturday, the bird’s whereabouts remain mysterious.  Petco employees concerned about “Clementine” have used social media aggressively since the theft in an effort to locate the bird, and a Facebook  group devoted to the search now has over 400 members…

UPDATE Pittsfield Police announced late Sunday evening that the bird had been located safely due to an anonymous tip, and returned to the store.

“We are just THRILLED to have her back. Pittsfield Police Department did an INCREDIBLE job throughout the ordeal. I have no doubt that without their quick reaction to every phone call, report and tip, we wouldn’t have Clementine back. Her safety was our number one priority. THANK YOU!” said Petco employee Amy Cavanaugh.

Have you seen this parrot? Contact Officer Osborn, Pittsfield Police 448-9700 ext 400

Have you seen this parrot? Contact Officer Osborn, Pittsfield Police 448-9700 ext 400

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