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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Boy Scouts Scheduling Christmas Tree Pickup Fundraiser
10:17PM / Tuesday, December 22, 2015

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Boy Scout Troop 88 of North Adams will hold its annual Christmas tree pickup fundraiser on Sunday, Dec. 27, and Sunday, Jan. 3, starting at 12:30 p.m. 

For $5, the scouts will pick up any tree in North Adams, Clarksburg or Williamstown. To schedule a tree for pickup, either email troop88.xmas.trees@gmail.com or call 413-662-2383 and leave your name, address, telephone number, and the date of pickup.

  Trees should be free of ornaments, lights, and garland and at the curb by 11:30 a.m. on the day of pickup. The cost is $5 per tree, cash only. Proceeds will benefit Boy Scout Troop 88.

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Baker, Polito Sign Compacts With 17 South County Towns
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:44PM / Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Lenox Board of Selectman Ed Lane signs the compact with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — It started with the six Southern Berkshire school districts.    School officials were looking at the cost of operating each district while noticing student population dropping. They realized they couldn't do it alone.   It started with the six school districts spanning three towns. Now a collaborative has grown to include all 17 South County towns and has funding from the state and private sector to increase the sharing of services.   "The community has really rallied around this thing and it is unprecedented," said state Rep. William

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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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Baker Cheers, Challenges BArT Charter Students
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:52PM / Tuesday, December 22, 2015
ADAMS, Mass. — Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday congratulated the students of Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School on their accomplishments and challenged them to keep building for their futures.   "If we work it right, if we work hard and work smart and make good decisions, you wake up when you're 59 years old and think you're the luckiest man alive," Baker told an all-school assembly. "But those habits, those skills, those foundations are what you're building now.   "You guys are building a great foundation, the kind of foundation where students get to go to the great places like that list I just saw."   Baker was in

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Berkshire Tidbits: Christmas Goodies, Year's End Events
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
12:48PM / Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Charles H. Baldwin & Sons
Has Extracts Galore & Plenty More

When you are on tiny Center Street in tiny West Stockbridge, you cannot miss noticing that Charles H. Baldwin & Sons, aka Baldwin's Extracts, isdressed for Christmas. Even from outside.

Giant handmade pink and blue wreaths of oversize shiny-wrapped candies, ornaments, ribbons and flowers surround the two front windows, making spirits bright as soon as you see them. If you fade the nicely paved street and overhead wires, you could be back in the 19th century when Charles Baldwin opened.

After three previous generations had made extracts before them, Charles H. Baldwin and his father, H. M. Baldwin, started the

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Affordable Housing Developers Plan to Reuse Williamstown Mill
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:30AM / Tuesday, December 22, 2015
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The cube is a keeper.   That is the assessment of the architects on the team looking to build an affordable housing project at the town-owned property at 330 Cole Ave.   In spring 2014, the Board of Selectmen voted to choose a group led by Pittsfield's Berkshire Housing Development Corp. to build up to 46 units of subsidized housing on the site.   At the time, developers' early projections called for the removal of what is left of the former mill, referred to as "the cube."   But last week, in a presentation in the Selectmen's Meeting Room, BHDC President Elton Ogden and architects from Springfield's Dietz & Co.

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Lanesborough Officials OK Residential Survey on School Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:37AM / Tuesday, December 22, 2015
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen are looking to survey voters regarding the priorities of taxes and education.   The Selectmen voted 2-1 in favor of having Town Manager Paul Sieloff complete work on a short, three-statement survey regarding the upcoming building project at Mount Greylock Regional School.   The survey is expected to be reviewed by a consultant at Siena College, in Albany, N.Y., to eliminate bias in the wording before being sent to registered voters. The goal of the survey is to help direct the Board of Selectmen regarding both the building project and the future educational outlook.   "We're trying to come up with a survey that

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Berkshire Fitness Company Set to Open in Williamstown
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:05AM / Monday, December 21, 2015
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The newest fitness spot in town will be ready for full operation on Jan. 4, just in time for the traditional start of New Year's resolution season.   But that might be its only similarity with traditional gyms.   Berkshire Fitness Co. on Water Street will feature equipment not seen anywhere else in the region, an emphasis on individualized training regimens and a knowledgeable staff with years of experience in physical therapy.   "We take the physical, behavioral and biological sciences and apply  them to the individual," said Robin Dufour, a physical therapist for 20 years and a co-founder of Berkshire Fitness Co. — or Be

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Williamstown's Harrison Gallery Closing Wednesday
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:35AM / Saturday, December 19, 2015
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Owner Jo Ellen Harrison says now is the time to celebrate 15 years of success at the Harrison Gallery — even as it counts down the days until its Wednesday closing.   "I've had my dream job for 15 years," Harrison said last week while surveying the dwindling inventory of paintings and sculptures. "Anyone who can do that in their lifetime, that's pretty cool.   "I have had a number of emotions the last two months. Regret has not been one of them. We've made fabulous connections and friends. Watching a visitor fall in love with a piece of art is like magic. It's so much fun."   Harrison began informing

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Clark Art's Loughman Leaving for Connecticut Museum Post
09:48AM / Friday, December 18, 2015

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Thomas J. Loughman, the associate director of Program and Planning at the Clark Art Institute, has been named the 11th director and CEO of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford.

The announcement was made Thursday and came following an international search of 80 candidates and an unanimous decision by the Board of Trustees.

Loughman will begin work at the Wadsworth Atheneum on Feb. 1, 2016.

"The opportunity to lead America's oldest continuously-operating art museum during this pivotal moment is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I embrace wholeheartedly. I am excited to be part of the distinguished tradition of leadership at the

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Mount Greylock School Committee Gets Update on Changing Curriculum
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:39AM / Friday, December 18, 2015
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Tuesday discussed how the school is adjusting its curriculum to meet the needs of 21st century learning.   Members of the committee in recent months have expressed a desire to be more involved in the discussion of how students are educated at the junior-senior high school. And at its monthly meeting, Principal Mary MacDonald and history teacher Jeffrey Welch outlined some of the changes that recently have been made to the program and what more is in the works.   MacDonald briefly discussed learning models in departments ranging from English to math to science, but the bulk of the conversation focused on

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The Independent Investor: How Rising Interest Rates Will Change Your Life
By Bill Schmick,
07:11PM / Thursday, December 17, 2015

It's official: Wednesday afternoon the Federal Reserve bank hiked the short-term interest rate, called the Fed Funds rate, for the first time in 9 1/2 years. It is the beginning of a new financial era for all of us and it behooves you to understand its implications.

Let me first assuage any concerns you may have that this single 0.25 percentage point increase will impact your life anytime soon. Instead, simply view this event as the beginning of a progression to gradually higher interest rates that will ultimately impact everything from car loans to retirement savings accounts.

The mechanism by which the Fed raises rates is complicated. Just know that overtime there is a domino

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'Trumbo': Write and Wrong
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:34PM / Thursday, December 17, 2015

Both fortunately and unfortunately, movies about bigotry and fearmongering in America always seem to be timely and appropriate. Hence, while director Jay Roach's engaging, wittily realized biopic about blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo isn't especially artistic or cutting edge, it's dutiful, ultimately patriotic meditations in the cause of the First Amendment please our sense of justice.

Watching "Trumbo," we can't help but mull the current crop of political bloodsuckers looking to make hay of our worries. Is it just us smart people who know history repeats itself?

A reputedly accurate screenplay by John McNamara, based on Bruce Cook's biography,

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