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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Baker: Mask Mandates Essential Even as Vaccines Distributed
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:28PM / Wednesday, March 03, 2021
GLOUCESTER, Mass. — Hours before President Biden ridiculed "Neanderthal thinking" about removing mask mandates, Gov. Charlie Baker talked about the reasons why he has no intention of lifting Massachusetts' mandate any time soon.   On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order lifting that state's face covering mandate in the face of a pandemic that has claimed more than 44,000 lives in the Lone Star State.   Baker was asked at his Wednesday COVID-19 update whether he would follow Abbott's lead.   "One of the things the vaccine does is it prevents you from getting sick, which is great," Baker said. "One of the things no

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State Adding Teachers, School Staff to List Eligible to Receive Vaccine
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:42AM / Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Today, I am directing every state to prioritize educators for vaccination. We want every educator, school staff member, and child-care worker to receive at least one shot by the end of this month.

It’s time to treat in-person learning like the essential service that it is.

— President Biden (@POTUS) March 2, 2021 GLOUCESTER, Mass. — Educators, early educators and school staff will be eligible to make appointments through the commonwealth's system to receive COVID-19 vaccines starting next week, Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Wednesday morning.   Making a stop at West Parish Elementary School, Baker said educators, who were next on the state's priority

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Feeding the hungry
by buddy 04:12PM / Friday, February 21, 2014

Williamstown Community Preschool Installs New Signage
by Billsville 02:46PM / Tuesday, February 26, 2013


WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Community Preschool began sprucing up its new home by hiring local sign maker Lindsay Neathawk,

Williamstown Youth Center Thanks Bedard Bros.
by Billsville 02:13PM / Friday, June 22, 2012
Bedard Brothers Chevrolet, through the Chevrolet Youth Soccer Program, has helped sponsor the Williamstown Youth Center's Soccer Program for the 2012 season. In addition to soccer equipment, this
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White Declares for Spot on Williamstown Select Board
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:25AM / Wednesday, March 03, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A local business owner has declared his intent to seek a spot on the Select Board in May's town election.   Nicholls White on Tuesday said he plans to run to serve the last year of the term being vacated by Jeffrey Thomas.   White is the owner of Purple Dragon Games on Spring Street and a longtime resident of the town.   "I'm someone who enjoys jury duty," White said in a news release. "I love civic society and I love Williamstown, and I care a lot about how leadership can create spaces that work for everyone.   "In gaming, I've spent years building inclusive spaces. My experience there could be of service to

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AG's Office Finds Mount Greylock School Committee Violated Open Meeting Law
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:58PM / Tuesday, March 02, 2021
BOSTON — The Attorney General's Office has determined that the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee violated the Open Meeting Law in a July, 1, 2020, meeting about its plans to replace the district's superintendent.   An assistant attorney general in the AGO's Division of Open Government notified the district and iBerkshires.com of the complaint's resolution via email on Monday afternoon.   iBerkshires.com filed a complaint against the committee in July after it became apparent in an open session that the panel had discussed things in executive session that were beyond the stated purpose.   Through its attorney, Westfield's Dupere Law Offices,

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Clark Art Virtual Conversation With Artist
01:16PM / Monday, March 01, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Artist Erin Shirreff discusses her work and her current exhibition at the Clark, "Remainders," in a live conversation with Robert Wiesenberger, associate curator of contemporary projects, on Wednesday, March 10.    This free program takes place over Zoom at 12:30 pm.   Trained as a sculptor, Shirreff works between photography, sculpture, and video to explore the relationship between objects and their representations, and the mythmaking behind art history. Remainders, her year-long installation in public spaces at the Clark, encourages slow looking, forensic attention to detail, and an appreciation that things may not be quite as they

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Baker: State Told Johnson & Johnson Ramping Up Vaccine Production
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:46PM / Monday, March 01, 2021
MATTAPAN, Mass. — Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday said the commonwealth has been told to expect a "lot more" of the single dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the month.   In the meantime, he stressed that all vaccines are safe and effective and encouraged residents to get whichever vaccine they can as soon as they are eligible and can make an appointment.   "The information on the J&J vaccine in terms of volume is a little up in the air," Baker said Monday morning. "What I'd say is it is likely we will get, for next week, a shipment. That shipment will probably be distributed pretty evenly across what we think of as the

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Williamstown Board to Receive Training on Communicating with Constituents
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:53PM / Sunday, February 28, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Select Board last week accepted the offer of a local social worker to help the panel better engage with members of the public.   Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts professor of social work Kerri Nicoll suggested that the board could benefit from training in light of the twin strains of a controversy that has engulfed the town over the last year and a pandemic that has forced a new mode of conducting meetings in a virtual environment.   "I would be willing to work to plan and facilitate a training/retreat of some kind that would give you all an opportunity to collectively think about your roles as Select Board members, particularly in light

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Burning Crosses Across the Berkshires: KKK Thrived Locally 100 Years Ago
By Joe Durwin, Special to iBerkshires
07:20AM / Sunday, February 28, 2021
PITTSFIELD , Mass. — Over a thousand men, most of them hooded, gathered around a burning cross.  Some 200 were new recruits, there to be inducted into the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan. The year was 1927.   The place was a farm 15 miles from Pittsfield.     The first arc of the Ku Klux Klan following the Civil War seems to have permeated very little into New England, in terms of formal organization. The requisite attitudes were certainly present in the Berkshires by then; the same month that Berkshire volunteers were mustering with the 27th Infantry to fight in that conflict, at least eight innocent men of color were arrested following the September 1861 slaying

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Williams College Investigating 'Unsafe Party'
Staff Reports, iBerkshires.com
07:30PM / Saturday, February 27, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The president of Williams College is calling on the people responsible for a maskless party to come forward and take responsibility for the incident.   In a letter to the college community on Saturday, President Maud Mandel reported that between 80 and 100 people participated in the party at Wood House, a residence hall at the corner of South Street and Main Street.   "When Campus Safety arrived on scene, the attendees fled," Mandel wrote. "CSS noted that many people at the party were either completely without masks or were wearing them around their necks, on their wrists, etc. As you can imagine, the crowd was tightly packed in such a small

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@theMarket: Higher Interest Rates Clobber Stocks
By Bill Schmick,
11:42AM / Saturday, February 27, 2021
In the grand scheme of things, a small, upward blip in the yield of the U.S. 10-year Treasury bond should be of little concern to equity investors. But sometimes, when the conditions are ripe, even the tiniest spark can cause a conflagration within a speculative stock market.   As readers are aware, interest rates have been trading at historically low levels for some time. The onset of the coronavirus forced our Federal Reserve Bank to pin them even lower. Essentially, it is why the stock market has been having such a great run. Investors have been conditioned to just assume that, if anything, interest rates might trend even lower but not higher. However, during the last few weeks, the

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Williamstown DIRE Committee Member Running for Select Board
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:42PM / Friday, February 26, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A member of the town's Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee has announced his intention to run for an open three-year seat on the Select Board this May.   Jeffrey Johnson on Friday issued a news release saying that he hopes to "make a difference in the quality of town governance and in the fabric of the lives of his neighbors."   Johnson, 47, grew up in Williamstown, attending both the local elementary school and Mount Greylock Regional School, and currently works for the commonwealth's Department of Developmental Services in its Pittsfield/North Adams office.   "I love and appreciate this town and, to me, that

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The Retired Investor: SPAC Attack
By Bill Schmick,
12:37PM / Friday, February 26, 2021
One of the hottest trends on Wall Street today is "special purpose acquisition companies" or SPACS. There is hardly a day that goes by without an announcement of a new SPAC, or the acquisition and merger of a private company by one.   It works like this. Even though they are called "companies," SPACs have no commercial operations, no sales, profits, or losses. All they have is a pile of cash. They received that money from investors in an initial public offering (IPO) with the promise that they would invest that money down the road into a private company with good prospects.   You are basically giving a blank check to a group of financial pros with a track

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