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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Planning Commission Debuts New Regional Sustainability Plan
By Joe Durwin, Pittsfield Correspondent
06:12AM / Sunday, March 09, 2014
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BRPC Executive Director Nathaniel Karns said the Sustainable Berkshires regional plan is nearing completion. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A three-year, half-million dollar countywide effort to develop an updated plan for promoting a stable and sustainable regional economy in the Berkshires has been completed. Now, public input is being sought as the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission prepares to make its final decisions on the plan.   At a public hearing at the Berkshire Athenaeum on Thursday, BRPC representatives took comments and questions on the "Sustainable Berkshires" plan, which outlines goals and strategies to inform the region's developmental planning in

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Williamstown Receives 2 Bids for Affordable Housing projects
By Stephen Dravis, Williamstown Correspondent
03:11PM / Saturday, March 08, 2014
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Williamstown Town Manager Peter Fohlin opens the packages containing proposals to develop affordable housing on a pair of town-owned sites.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town has received two responses to its request for proposals to develop a pair of brown field sites for the purposes of affordable housing.

Berkshire Housing Development Corp. in Pittsfield and Boston-based Arch Street Development submitted proposals that were opened on Friday afternoon at Town Hall.

The RFPs were developed over several months by the town's Affordable Housing Committee and issued under the auspices of the Board of Selectmen, which has the authority to dispose of the two sites in question: 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,

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$15 Million Eyed For Berkshires In State Senate Bond Bill
Staff Reports,
10:39AM / Saturday, March 08, 2014
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The crumbling Brown Street Bridge in North Adams is set to get $1.5 million should the transportation bond make it through the House and governor intact.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state Senate passed a transportation bill Thursday which sends $15 million to the Berkshires to improve roads, bridges and a parking garage.

The bill includes $6 million for the replacement of the parking garage between Columbus Avenue and Summer Street; $5 million for reconstruction of the Hubbard Avenue railroad overpass; $1.75 million for Thiel Road in Adams; $1.5 million for the Brown Street Bridge in North Adams and $750,000 for repairs to the bridge over the Housatonic River on Route 7 in Great

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Sandra Thomas Stepping Down As Head of Images
06:26PM / Friday, March 07, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Images Cinema's longtime executive director, Sandra Thomas, will be resigning from her position at the nonprofit cinema as soon as a replacement director can be found.

After 12 years on the job, a time that has seen Images grow in budget, membership and programming, Thomas said she is ready to turn her attention to other interests.

She plans to stay in the area and continue her involvement with the Williamstown Film Festival, as well as pursue her passion for local food initiatives in Berkshire County.

"I also look forward to going to the movies and supporting Images," she said.
Thomas said she felt it was a good time to pull herself away from a

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Arts Experts Weigh Impact of Local Creative Economy
By Joe Durwin, Pittsfield Correspondent
02:35PM / Friday, March 07, 2014
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Helena Fruscio, left, Dee Schneidman and Stephen Sheppard discussed the the economic impact of creative industry in the state, including in the Berkshires, at the Lichtenstein Center on Wednesday.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Cultural economics specialists from around the region examined both the benefits and challenges of cultivating creative industry in Berkshire County at a panel discussion on Wednesday at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts.

The forum was one of three being held in the region this week.

Creatively moderated by Berkshire Museum Director Van Shields, panelists Williams College economist Stephen Sheppard, state Creative Economy Director Helena Fruscio and Dee

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Mill City to Present 'The Good Doctor'
12:50PM / Friday, March 07, 2014
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - Mill City Productions will present "The Good Doctor" by Neil Simon and Anton Chekhov this month.
The production is directed by Tara Johnson and features 11 Berkshire County actors.
This Broadway hit is a composite of Anton Chekhov's short stories, dramatized by Neil Simon. An unnamed writer (obviously meant to represent Chekhov himself) suffers from writer's block and his own artistic temperament, so he revisits some of his favorite characters and the stories they inhabit.
Performances will take place on Fridays, March 14 and 21, at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, March 15 and 22, at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, March 16 and 23, at 2 p.m.
Performances will take place at

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Williamstown Music Festival Moves to Former Church
By Stephen Dravis,
11:00AM / Friday, March 07, 2014
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This year's Billstock will be held at the Williamstown Community Preschool, in the former church's sanctuary. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — It is a good bet that the Devil never felt more welcome in a former church building.   The Devil in the Delta will be one of the headliners when Billstock IV, Williamstown's music festival, takes over the sanctuary of the former Methodist Church on Main Street on Friday and Saturday, March 7 and 8.   Don't worry about any satanic overtones from the 20-year-old, self-described "indi-punk-noise-pop band."   In fact, don't even look for the regional overtones implied by the other half of the group's

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North Adams Sends Youth Hockey Team To State Tournament With Pep Rally
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:23PM / Thursday, March 06, 2014
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The Squirt team is off to the state tournament after winning the league championship.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — For the first time in more than 10 years, the Northern Berkshire Youth Hockey League is sending a team to the state championship tournament.

On Thursday, supporters held a pep rally to kick off the Squirt level team as it heads to Quincy this weekend for the tournament. According to coach Guy Cariddi, in the league's 46 years of existence, only a few Northern Berkshire teams have won the state tournament.

"The kids worked really hard to get there," Cariddi said.

The U10 team went undefeated in league play, finishing at 15-0. They then went

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Lanesborough School Exploring Superintendency Options
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:00PM / Thursday, March 06, 2014
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The School Committee voted 2-1 in favor of exploring alternatives for sharing administrative costs.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The school district may not be withdrawing from Superintendency Union 71 right now, but it will investigate other options.

The School Committee voted 2-1 on Wednesday in favor of exploring alternative affiliations and stated that it will start by working with Union 71 to see if it can work better.

"We're not voting to leave SU71. I am not voting to leave SU71," said Committee member James Moriarity. "I would have to be very compelled to leave SU71."

He pointed out the the union showed a willingness to work through issues that he

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Massachusetts Gains 55,200 Jobs in 2013, Most Since 2000
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:31PM / Thursday, March 06, 2014
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Gov. Deval Patrick says the state has created the most jobs in a single year since 2000.

Patrick released the final 2013 employment numbers Thursday morning, saying the state added 55,200 jobs.

Previously, Massachusetts grew 49,000 jobs in 2012 and in 2011, 43,000.

"It demonstrates that our strategy of investing in innovation, education and infrastructure is working," Patrick said in a conference call.

He added that the sales of single-family homes is rising and the state "leads the nation in capital investment and competitiveness."

"Companies continue to relocate to Massachusetts and we continue to do so," he said.

Secretary of

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