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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Williamstown Planning Board to Look at Impact of Land Regulations on Equity
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:03AM / Wednesday, July 08, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Planning Board wants to make a concerted effort to assess potential bylaw changes with an eye toward increasing equity.   Picking up on a conversation that has dominated discussions in the town's Select Board in recent weeks, the Planning Board last Thursday began talking about how it can advance social justice through its work.   "I think this is really essential work for us to be doing," said Peter Beck, who participated in his first meeting since his election to the board in June. "Issues of racial equity are not tangential to planning and land use but deeply wrapped up in it."   Chair Stephanie Boyd raised the issue

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Early EEE Detection in State Points to Need for Vigilance this Summer
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:53PM / Tuesday, July 07, 2020
PLYMOUTH, Mass. — For nearly four months, Gov. Charlie Baker has addressed the media almost daily about a disease first discovered last year.   On Tuesday, he switched gears to remind residents of a more familiar deadly threat: eastern equine encephalitis.   "I know I speak for the lieutenant governor and myself when I say how much we appreciate the opportunity to speak about something other than COVID," Baker joked during an appearance at the headquarters of the Plymouth County Mosquito Control Project.   But things turned serious as Baker and other other officials talked about EEE, a mosquito-borne illness that infected 12 Bay State residents and killed six

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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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Berkshire Theatre Group to Present 'Godspell' Outdoors
10:23AM / Tuesday, July 07, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Theatre Group will produce "Godspell" this summer – the first musical in the United States to be approved by Actors' Equity Association in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The show will be presented outdoors in an open-air tent adjacent to The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, and is scheduled to run Aug. 6 through Sept. 4. Tickets will be available for purchase Tuesday, July 7, at noon. 

"We could not bear the thought of a Berkshire summer without live theater to support our community, so we jumped through every hoop to create a safe way to make this happen," said BTG Board of Trustees Co-President Lee Perlman.

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Managing Withdrawals Carefully Can Protect Retirement Income
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:00AM / Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Throughout much of your working life, you contribute to your 401(k), IRA and other investment accounts to help ensure a comfortable retirement. However, once you do retire, you will need to shift your focus somewhat from building these investments to using them – in other words, you will have to start withdrawing from your portfolio to meet the costs of living. How can you be sure you are not taking out so much that you risk outliving your resources?

First of all, you need to establish a proper withdrawal rate – the percentage of your portfolio's value needed for one year's worth of retirement expenses. Ideally, if you were to stick with this rate, your portfolio would

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Q&A Williamstown Elementary Principal Ready for Next Phase of Her Career
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Joelle Brookner at a Williamstown School Committee meeting in 2013. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — After nine years as principal at Williamstown Elementary School, Joelle Brookner is looking forward to a new role in the Mount Greylock Regional School District.   But she was denied a chance to look into the eyes of the final class she shepherded through the preK-through-6 school.   Instead of a grand celebration with hugs all around, she and members of her staff drove to students' homes to offer arm's length, socially-distanced congratulations.   "I think what I'm feeling now is extremely bittersweet," Brookner said after completing a third day of the

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Mount Greylock Names Putnam Interim Superintendent
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:22PM / Monday, July 06, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Monday voted to offer an interim superintendent position to the former superintendent in the Central Berkshire and Adams-Cheshire Regional school districts.   Chair Christina Conry announced after the committee met in executive session for 38 minutes that Superintendent Kimberley Grady is on an indefinite medical leave.   Pending the successful negotiation of a contract, the district is hiring longtime Berkshire County educator Robert Putnam.   Putnam taught for 13 years in the Berkshire Hills Regional School District before moving into administration. He was the director of teaching and learning in

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Williamstown Planning Board Stands by Pot Bylaw Proposal
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:03AM / Monday, July 06, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Voters will choose between two diametrically opposed zoning bylaws on outdoor commercial pot production at next month's annual town meeting.   The Planning Board on Thursday decided not to try to alter the language of a bylaw proposal it approved back in March for the planned May town meeting.   That means the board's draft, which would make outdoor marijuana cultivation impossible throughout the town, will be opposed by a bylaw placed on the town meeting warrant by citizens petition that would allow commercial outdoor growth by special permit in the town's three rural residence districts.   The Planning Board held a virtual meeting

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Williamstown Sets Mid-August Outdoor Town Meeting Date
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:35PM / Sunday, July 05, 2020

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — There will not be any football at Williams College's Weston Field this fall.

But there will be some action there this August if the town stays with the current plan for its annual town meeting.   On Wednesday, the Select Board approved Town Manager Jason Hoch's proposal for an outdoor town meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m. The planned location will be the college's football field, which has a seating capacity of 1,400 in its permanent bleachers, not counting temporary seating that can be added on the east side of the field.   This will allow the town to take advantage of the facility's lights and sound system while maximizing the

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PCTV Documentary Finds Pittsfield Parade Dates Back to 1801
11:42AM / Saturday, July 04, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Community Television's recently released documentary "Fighting For Independence:  The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" has traced the first Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade back to at least 1801.  

An article in the Pittsfield Sun from July 7, 1801, says that "at 12:00 o’ clock at noon a Procession was formed consisting of the Militia of the town."

Previously the Pittsfield Parade Committee acknowledged that the parade dated back to 1824.

"This was a fascinating discovery, as we researched to put this documentary together," said Bob Heck, PCTV’s coordinator of advancement and

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Fourth of July: The Declaration of Independence
11:06AM / Saturday, July 04, 2020

A reminder what today is really all about: The adoption of a (literally) revolutionary document that stated the grievances of the colonists against England and their resolve to pursue a course of self-determination — without the bindings of hereditary rule.


The Unanimous Declaration
of the Thirteen United States of America
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent

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Rep. Mark, Panel Push County Residents to Be Counted in Federal Census
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:34AM / Saturday, July 04, 2020
Adams Council on Aging Director Erica Girgenti participates in Wednesday's virtual town hall. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Economic development agency 1Berkshire billed Wednesday's virtual town hall as one in a series of discussions dealing with non-pandemic issues.   But, as with most areas of life these days, the novel coronavirus was never far from the conversation.   The topic of the agency's weekly webinar was the decennial U.S. Census: its history, its importance and the efforts of local officials to ensure that Berkshire County will be accurately counted.   One of the big reasons the Census is important is that it determines how federal tax dollars are

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Bennington Museum Opens its Doors
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:23PM / Friday, July 03, 2020
BENNINGTON, Vt. — With less than three hours to go before opening his institution to the public, Bennington Museum Executive Director Joshua Torrance was on Cloud 9.   Or, at least, close.   "I'm actually sitting on top of a tall ladder adjusting lights as I talk to you," Torrance said on Friday morning.   The Main Street museum, which shut down in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was making final preparations for its 1 p.m. opening.   Torrance said he and his staff are excited to be able to offer patrons a little happiness and a bit of normalcy during a trying time.   Not everything will be back to normal on Day 1, of

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