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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Long-Term Care Insurance Should Be on Your Agenda
By Bill Schmick,
04:01PM / Thursday, March 31, 2016

As Baby Boomers grow into their 60s, the possibility that at some point soon you may need long-term care becomes a real possibility. Since that kind of care can cost $250 a day or more, depending on where you live, it makes sense to at least consider buying insurance.

For those of us who are 65 or older, the odds are that at least 70 percent of us are going to need some kind of long-term care. We would all like to hope that we will be one of those lucky 30 percent who don't end up in a nursing-home; assisted-living center or needing home care but hope isn't much of a strategy.

If you crunch the numbers, most of us will realize that it won't take long to completely deplete


'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice': The World is Too Much with Them
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:49PM / Thursday, March 31, 2016

Remember when you were little and the kids on the block would argue who was greater, Batman or Superman? The ragamuffins on Dewey Street were evenly divided, pretty much the way they were between the Yankees and the Dodgers. Frankly, it was a no-brainer to me. The Yanks had The Mick, and, while Batman had all sorts of gadgetry, Superman had super powers. I know, I know, there's that Achilles heel thing, the accursed Kryptonite.

Still, Superman was my man. Besides, he and Batman would never fight. They were both good. So I didn't lose any sleep over it, and instead focused my contemplations on why in heaven someone would be a Dodger fan. I mean, they were "The Bums,"


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

Williamstown Finance Committee Advises Mount Greylock on Debt Repayment
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:45AM / Thursday, March 31, 2016

Town Manager Jason Hoch addresses the Finance Committee.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Finance Committee on Wednesday voted to recommend that the Mount Greylock School Committee aggressively pay down debt on the addition/renovation project at the junior-senior high school.

At its annual meeting to review all town meeting warrant articles related to finance, the committee heard from Town Manager Jason Hoch that the town’s assessment from the regional school will be increased by an unknown amount due to the building project, which this month was approved by both Mount Greylock’s member towns.

Hoch said that the School Committee needs to determine, among other things, whether


Williams Softball Sweeps Tufts
10:29PM / Wednesday, March 30, 2016

MEDFORD, Mass. -- Senior Tayler Donze went 5-for-7 with a pair of doubles, three runs scored and two RBIs as the Williams College softball team swept a double-header at Tufts on Wednesday, 6-4 and 6-5.

The Ephs, 4-0 since returning home from their Florida spring trip, improved to 12-3 overall. Tufts, playing their home and New England openers, dropped to 7-6.

Williams sophomore Brenna Martinez hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning which ulimately made the difference in game one. Seniors Erica Li and Donze both had a pair of hits and scored twice for the Ephs (12-3) in game two.

Tufts starts NESCAC East Division action at home against Bowdoin on Friday at 4 p.m. Williams


Mount Greylock to Amend School Budget to Add Building Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:56PM / Wednesday, March 30, 2016
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee will be asking for a budget amendment at town meeting to include the capital costs of the new high school.   The School Committee presented and approved a budget, which is increased by about $413,000, earlier this month. But that did not include the debt service for the building project, which received the affirmative vote from Lanesborough on March 15, a day after the public hearing.   "We're going to vote on an amended budget. When the first budget passed, there wasn't a project," School Committee Chairwoman Carrie Greene said.    The costs of the project are excluded from being

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Berkshire Taconic Grant Deadlines Approaching
12:27PM / Wednesday, March 30, 2016

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Deadlines are approaching for Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's second round of  competitive grants in 2016.

Covering the period from April through June, the spring cycle of deadlines is open to regional nonprofits, students, schools and community members.

For nonprofits, the Wassermann-Streit Y’diyah Memorial Fund supports projects and programs that encourage people to learn about Judaism with an aim to dispel religious prejudice, bias and intolerance. Grants of $500 will be awarded. Applications are due April 1.

Also for nonprofits, The Fund for Williamstown’s DeMayo Bright Futures Innovation Award recognizes organizations,


Which IRA Is Better for Younger Workers?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:43AM / Wednesday, March 30, 2016

If you’re at the beginning of your career, you might not be thinking too much about the end of it. But even younger workers should be aware of – and saving for – their eventual retirement.

And since you’ve got many years until you do retire, you’ve got a lot of options to consider – one of which is whether an IRA may be appropriate for you and, if so, what type.

Essentially, you can choose between a “traditional” IRA and a Roth IRA. (Other types of IRAs are available if you’re self-employed.)

With a traditional IRA, you contribute “pretax” dollars, so your contributions are generally tax-deductible, depending on your


Williamstown School Committee Sends Budget Back to Fin Comm
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:51AM / Wednesday, March 30, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Elementary School Committee on Tuesday night signed off on a $6.6 million fiscal 2017 budget.

The spending plan is the culmination of weeks of hearings and meetings both at the School Committee and town Finance Committee level.

It is the second budget approved by the School Committee this year. Last week, at the request of the Fin Comm, Superintendent Douglas Dias presented a budget revised from the plan voted by the School Committee on March 17.

The latest revision trimmed an addition $53,256 from the appropriated, or town-funded, side of the budget.

Tuesday's vote sends the latest revision back to the Finance Committee for approval at its

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Williamstown Housing Committee Shifting Focus
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:40AM / Tuesday, March 29, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — With nearly 100 units of income-sensitive housing in various stages of development in town, the Affordable Housing Committee wants to focus on the broader issue of addressing the town's complete housing needs.

Chairman Van Ellet appeared before the Board of Selectmen on Monday to tell them the committee is working on a new housing needs assessment.

"We had a needs assessment done a few years ago … but that assessment really focused on subsidized housing," Ellet said.

The Affordable Housing Committee wants to broaden its scope, Ellet said, even suggesting the town rename the panel to simply the Housing Committee, partly for differentiation


Berkshire Tidbits: Butcher's Workshop & Wellness Eating
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
03:04PM / Monday, March 28, 2016

Christian and Donna Hanson, winemakers and owners of Balderdash Cellars, a Pittsfield winery.
  Every Saturday afternoon between noon and 4, Spirited Wines, 444 Pittsfield Road/Route 7at the beginning of Holmes Road in Lenox, 413-448-2274, hosts a free wine and sometimes cheeses and other wine-friendly food tasting.   This week, Saturday, April 2, all the tastings are of local wines, beers, spirits and cheese. The producers will be Balderdash Cellars, a Pittsfield husband and wife winery; Graham Farmhouse Wines, another husband and wife winery, this one in West Stockbridge; Berkshire Mountain Distillers (spirits) and Big Elm Brewing (beer) both of Sheffield;


United Way Installing 50 Bookhouses Across County to Improve Literacy
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:52PM / Monday, March 28, 2016

Kristine Hazzard said this year the United Way is "going bigger and we're going better." PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Half the county's third-graders are not proficient at reading.   The Berkshire United Way is continuing its efforts to change that percentage.   For the last five or so years, the organization has run a number of programs and projects aimed to bring that percentage close to 90 percent proficient by 2020 and this year the efforts are ramping up even more.    "This year, because that is how we are, we are going bigger and we're going better," CEO Kristine Hazzard said on Monday when the organization announced details on


Williams Women's Tennis Improves to 8-1
05:55PM / Sunday, March 27, 2016

ATLANTA — Less than 12 hours after its second match of the day on Saturday, the Williams College women's tennis team was back in action on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. to play DePauw in the Fab Five Tournament at Emory University.

Tired though they may have been from yesterday's two matches that lasted into the night the Ephs (8-1) got down to business and swept the doubles to go up 3-0 and then won all six singles in straight sets to post the 9-0 win.

Next up for the Ephs is a Wednesday afternoon encounter at 3 p.m. versus No. 4 ranked Emory University, the team the Ephs edged 5-4 in last year's NCAA championship match.


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