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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Williamstown to Try Outdoor Dining on Spring Street Again Saturday
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:39AM / Friday, July 10, 2020
  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Despite the vagaries of Mother Nature and the voices of those who raised concerns about the plan, the town plans to temporarily close Spring Street to vehicles the next two Saturday evenings to allow outdoor dining.   The initiative to help downtown restaurants that do not otherwise have outdoor space to set up tables was first tried on June 27.   Although the weather did not entirely cooperate that night, people who did have a chance to take advantage of the opportunity reacted positively on social media.   Organizers also got positive reactions, according to Jane Patton, the chair of the town's Select Board and vice president of the

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Senate Candidate Kennedy Makes Stops in the Berkshires
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:47PM / Thursday, July 09, 2020

Congressman Joe Kennedy III asks a question of pastry chef Cynthia Walton as Salvatore Perry looks on.   NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — U.S. Senate candidate Joseph Kennedy used a campaign stop in North Berkshire on Thursday to say that the nation's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic cannot ignore the creative economy that is a major economic driver in the region.   "We want to have arts and cultural institutions," the 4th Mass congressman said during a tour of the Greylock Works mill revival on State Road (Route 2). "Not only are they critically important to our economy, they're literally integral to our quality of life.   "And the

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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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The Retired Investor: Next Bailout Should Address Job Creation
By Bill Schmick,
04:06PM / Thursday, July 09, 2020
As the COVID-19 virus rages across the nation, Americans are hoping for more assistance from the government on a variety of fronts. So far this month, their hopes have been met with a resounding silence from the White House, although members of Congress are trying to come up with answers that both parties can agree upon. I have a couple of suggestions.    The first round of fiscal and monetary stimulus did a good job in addressing the huge spike in unemployment the country has suffered. While the CARES Act at $2.2 trillion provided $500 billion to distressed industries, almost $350 billion in loans to small businesses and $4100 billion to hospitals, it was the $200 billion in

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Five Williams Graduates Awarded Hubbard Hutchinson Fellowships
11:00AM / Thursday, July 09, 2020

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williams College Office of Fellowships has awarded Hubbard Hutchinson Memorial Fellowships to five class of 2020 graduates pursuing careers in the arts.

The recipients are Caroline Fairweather (theater), Panalee Maskati (dance), Theodore McNally (writing), Alexandra Medeiros (music) and Sydney Rainer (art).

The Hubbard Hutchinson Memorial Fellowship is a cash award established in 1940 that is granted to a member or members of the graduating class to support their continued work in the creative and performing arts. Prizes of $25,000 are awarded in the categories of writing, art, dance, theater and music.

Caroline Fairweather, a theater major from Pittsfield,

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Targeted COVID-19 Testing Set for 8 At-Risk Communities
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:22AM / Thursday, July 09, 2020
BOSTON — People in Western Massachusetts, and the Berkshires in particular, frequently complain the region is being ignored by a state government headquartered at the other end of the commonwealth.   On Wednesday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced a new program that will impact eight municipalities — none west of I-495.   But this is not the kind of list any town or city wants to make.   Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito used their daily press briefing to announce that the commonwealth will offer targeted free COVID-19 testing sites in Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Marlborough, and New Bedford.   All residents of those communities will be

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Baker Pushes Back on Federal Pressure to Open Schools
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com
02:30PM / Wednesday, July 08, 2020
BOSTON -- Gov. Charlie Baker Wednesday said he does not think it “makes sense” for a one-size-fits-all approach to reopening the nation’s public schools but stopped short of directly criticizing a presidential tweet pressuring states to open the schoolhouse doors in the middle of a global pandemic.   Baker was asked in his daily press availability about President Trump’s Tuesday Twitter statement that indicated his administration “May cut off funding if [schools] not open!”   The Republican governor, not for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic, found himself having to argue against his party’s leader while trying to not get into a

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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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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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