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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Year-End Tax-smart Investing Ideas
11:27AM / Wednesday, December 21, 2016

As 2016 draws to a close and we move into the holiday season, you probably have a lot going on in your life. But it may be worth your while to take some time to explore a few year-end investment and financial moves that can potentially pay off for you when you file your taxes in April.

Here are a few such moves to consider:

* Boost your 401(k) contributions. Unless you have a Roth 401(k), your contributions are made with pretax dollars – so the more you put in, the lower your taxable income. Ask your employer if you can increase your 401(k) contributions for the remainder of the year. (For 2016, you can contribute up to $18,000 to your 401(k), or $24,000 if you're 50 or older.)

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Pot Moratorium Could Slow Greening of the Purple Valley
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:00AM / Wednesday, December 21, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Planning Board last week began to discuss whether it wants to bring to town meeting a proposal for a moratorium on marijuana businesses.

Community Development Director Andrew Groff asked the question in light of advice from town counsel and the Massachusetts Municipal Association about uncertainty in the wake of the passage of a November ballot initiative allowing the production, sale and use of recreational pot.

The recreational use and "home grown" aspect went into effect last Wednesday, but there is no regulatory framework in place for the commercial production or sale of non-medical marijuana in Massachusetts, and the commonwealth has until

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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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Greylock Boys Youth Basketball Goes 1-3 in Pittsfield
iBerkshires.com Sports,
11:42AM / Tuesday, December 20, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Greylock seventh- and eighth-grade boys basketball travel team went 1-3 with two close losses in a busy day of basketball at the Boys & Girls Club on Sunday.   Greylock started the day with a 56-25 loss to the B&G Club Black team, which got 10 points from Shaun Harrigan in the win. Derek Paris led Greylock with 13.   Dalton topped Greylock, 41-40, in the next game. Donovan Keegan led Dalton with 12 points. Paris scored 17, and Oscar Low added nine for Greylock.   Greylock beat Adams, 51-45, in its third game behind 17 points from Paris and 11 from Pablo Santos. Colin Doyle and Malcolm Waynick added six apiece. Adams got 19 points from Carson

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Williams College Looks to Raze, Replace Dorm
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:18AM / Tuesday, December 20, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College will ask the town's Historical Commission for permission on Thursday to raze an 1850 South Street structure that has served as a residence hall since the 1970s.

Garfield House, named for its first occupant, an 1885 alumnus and ninth president of the college and the son of the 20th president of the United States, also a Williams alumnus, is outdated, inefficient and far too costly to renovate, according to a nine-person committee that studied the building.

The college's executive director of planning design and construction, who co-chaired that committee, said she and other members went into the six-week study hoping and expecting to be

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Berkshire Health Systems Expands Primary-Care Access Across County
07:53PM / Monday, December 19, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has appointed five primary-care physicians, all accepting new patients throughout the Berkshires, from south to north. 

Drs. Judith Aldrich and Brynn Hancock have joined Berkshire Osteopathic Health of Berkshire Medical Center, which has offices in Adams and Pittsfield. Dr. Maxim Bitunov is now providing care at Hillcrest Family Health Center of BMC in Pittsfield, and Dr. Terra Lampiasi is at Lenox Family Health Center of BMC. Dr. John Paul Hickey is with Barrington Family Medicine in Great Barrington. 

The addition of these five physicians is a significant expansion of primary-care services in the Berkshires and Southern

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Educational Task Force 2/3 Way Through Presentations To Local Governments
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:45AM / Monday, December 19, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire County Educational Task Force has had a busy month presenting at 30 or so public meetings with still more than a dozen to go.

The task force is rolling out its plans for Phase 2 of a study looking at the future of Berkshire County's school systems. The next phase will dive deep into various options — from leaving things as they are to creating super-regional school districts — and is funded with $150,000 from the state.

The efforts are to explore ways to counter declining enrollment mixed with the rising costs of education and offer school districts recommendations on how they might address those vexing issues.

"The

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Cross, Carpenter Honored by Conferences
iBerkshires.com Sports,
12:29AM / Monday, December 19, 2016
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts junior Keiland Cross was named the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week and Player of the Week on Monday, Dec. 12.   Cross averaged 24.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and six assists in a 2-1 week for the Trailblazers. He was named MVP of the Tri-State Shootout after collecting 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in the 82-79 win over Fisher College, notched 27 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the 71-67 win over RPI and added 19 points, six assists and five rebounds in setback to WPI.   For the year, Cross is averaging a team-high 16.9 ppg in 32 minutes per night for the 2-8 Trailblazers.   The rookie

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Williamstown Selectmen Mull Donation of Photech Land to Housing Developer
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:39AM / Sunday, December 18, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen last week heard a request to essentially waive the anticipated purchase price of the property at 330 Cole Ave., in order to facilitate the creation of affordable housing there.

In 2014, the board selected a partnership of Pittsfield's Berkshire Housing and Boston's Women's Institute for Housing and Economic Development to build 46 units on the 5-acre site.

Part of the Berkshire Housing proposal was a purchase price of $139,800, the assessed value of the land and the buildings.

On Monday, Town Manager Jason Hoch and BHDC President Elton Ogden told the board that by waiving the purchase price and requiring only that developers

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Williamstown ZBA OKs Photech Development, Hears Hotel Pitch
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:33AM / Saturday, December 17, 2016

Cole Avenue resident Kevin Kennefick addresses the Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The 46-unit affordable housing project on Cole Avenue cleared its final regulatory hurdle Thursday, but not until after a longtime advocate of the adjacent Mill Street neighborhood made a last-ditch effort to get the town to reconsider the development.

The Zoning Board of Appeals, in a 5-0 vote, OK'd a number of waivers to the town's zoning by-laws that clear the way for the 330 Cole Ave. development on the site of the defunct Photech mill.

Berkshire Housing Development Corp. of Pittsfield and Boston's Women's Institute for Housing and Economic Development

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Berkshire Medical Group Joins Berkshire Health Systems
11:07AM / Friday, December 16, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In a move that will help to ensure continued and expanded access to primary care and infectious disease services in the Berkshires, the Berkshire Medical Group has joined the Berkshire Health Systems Physician Practice organization.

Berkshire Medical Group, an internal medicine and infectious disease practice, includes doctors Paula Aucoin, Rebecca Caine, Prakash Darji, Jason Kittler, Michael McInerney and Sharon Rawlings and Amy Cassotta, ANP-BC, Helen Majchrowski, FNP/C, and Wanda Torres, ANP-BC.

Effective Nov. 1, the practice will be renamed Berkshire Internists of BMC, and will remain at its existing location in the BMC Medical Arts Complex in Pittsfield,

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Mount Greylock School Committee Considers Health Program
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Friday, December 16, 2016

Mount Greylock director of academic technology Eileen Belastock gives a presentation to the School Committee.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — This winter, the Mount Greylock School Committee likely will be asked to support a budget that adds a full-time position to the school's wellness department.

On Tuesday, the committee heard why it would be well to do so.

School nurse Nicole Russell and teacher Larry Bell told the committee about the current state of the wellness curriculum and explained there is a significant gap in the program that prevents it from serving the students properly.

Bell explained that Mount Greylock students currently get one quarter of a year of health classes in

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'Nocturnal Animals': Subspecies: Human
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:38PM / Thursday, December 15, 2016

Imagine you are driving late at night on a desolate country road, hardly a speck of civilization in sight save for an occasional utility pole. It's spooky to begin with, but nowhere near as scary as when a car suddenly appears in your rearview mirror. You make a turn, just to see. The car follows. You make a couple more, random turns. There it is, right behind you. What's the odds? Your paranoia concedes to one of your worst fears realized. Surely you are being followed by the most deplorable, inbred ne'er-do-wells in creation.

Good thing this is merely the fiction within a novel that Susan, the female lead in director Tom Ford's "Nocturnal Animals," is reading.

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