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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Guest Column: Bans on Plastic Bags Gaining Ground
By Rinaldo Del Gallo, Guest Columnist
09:24PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I am pleased to announce that at last night's town meeting (Monday, June 20), Adams banned single-use plastic bags. (Article 25). It was a remarkable unanimous vote by the members of the town meeting.
Recently, there have been a series of single-use plastic bag bans. There has been a ban in Lee, a ban in Lenox, and last night a ban in Adams. Lenox was done by the Board of Health. In Lee, the ban on single-use plastic bags was done by town meeting — where it won by a considerable margin. In a similar manner, Lee and Lenox banned the use of Styrofoam.
What is less commonly known is my role in these bans. The ban on Styrofoam and single-use plastic bags in Lee and


Alcombright Endorses Hinds for Berkshire Senate Seat
09:00PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — North Adams Mayor Richard J. Alcombright has endorsed Adam Hinds for state Senate in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District. Hinds is running for the Democratic nomination for the office.

"I am very pleased to support my colleague and community leader Adam Hinds," said Alcombright.  

Pointing to Hinds' vast experience working shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the most under-served members of the region, Alcombright said, "Adam's work in Pittsfield with at-risk youth was inspirational and his transition to working with the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition — in some of the most challenged neighborhoods of


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

Northern Berkshire United Way Names Interim Director
12:54PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Gerald Desmarais has been named interim director of the Northern Berkshire United Way.

Desmarais will fill the vacancy created by Joseph McGovern, who accepted a new position as executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County in Aberdeen, Md.  

Desmarais recently retired from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) after a 40-year career. He served in several capacities, including director of Admissions, director of Financial Aid and most recently as treasurer.

In addition, Desmarais served NBUW for more than 15 years as a board member, VP for Allocations, and VP for Finance.

“How fortunate we are to welcome Jerry back to

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Center Offering Free Obstetric Ultrasounds
12:46PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — New Direction Pregnancy Center is offering free obstetric ultrasounds the weeks of June 23-25 and June 27-30.

Women who are 6 to 22 weeks pregnant are welcome to view a window into the womb and get your free ultrasound pictures. Gender determinations are not provided.

Call New Direction at 413-346-4291 to set up an appointment.

New Direction offers is located at 98 Church St. and offers free laboratory quality pregnancy tests (immediate results), information on pregnancy, abortion and alternatives, confidential peer counseling, prenatal and parenting classes, adoption support and referrals, and more.


Outstanding Regional Classical Music Being Offered
By Stephen Dankner, iBerkshires Columnist
12:08PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

In the three preceding weeks, I previewed the musical offerings at six leading music venues: in Massachusetts: Tanglewood (Lenox,) Mohawk Trail Concerts (Charlemont,) and the Bang On a Can Music Festival at Mass MoCA (North Adams); in New York: Tannery Pond (New Lebanon); in Vermont, there’s the eponymously located Manchester Music Festival and Marlboro Music.

This week, I’ll turn the spotlight on three more: South Mountain Concerts in Pittsfield, Music Mountain in Falls Village, Conn., and the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, N.Y.

If, like me, you’re a devotee of the string quartet, you’ll want to attend programs at the two preeminent venues in the region that


Leave the Fireworks to the Pros, Officials Urge
12:06PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Last Fourth of July weekend, two members of the National Football League demonstrated just how dangerous fireworks can be.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback C. J. Wilson was forced to retire from a promising football career after losing two fingers from fireworks on the Fourth of July weekend. That same weekend, Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul mangled his hand with fireworks. Both of these national athletes set a negative example for impressionable youth.

Closer to home, on July 4, 2015, the Saugus Fire Department was called to 7 Oak Point Road for a hand injury to a 23-year old man. The man was lighting off commercial and consumer grade fireworks in his backyard. An explosion


Gen Xers Must Juggle Both Money and Time
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:56AM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016

If you’re an older member of Generation X – that is, if you were born in the early- to-mid-1960s – you may have a lot of “balls in the air.” You are saving for your own retirement – which might not be that far away – while at the same time possibly wanting to help pay for your children’s college education. And you may also be assisting your aging parents in some ways.

How can you manage this juggling act?

To begin with, you need to emphasize your retirement. Now that you are likely in, or near, your peak earning years, you should contribute as much as you can afford to your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan. Your plan


Ericson, Flood Victors In Lanesborough Election
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:26PM / Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Typically the hillside next to Town Hall is filled with candidates and campaign signs during an election. But, this year, only Robert Ericson could be found there Tuesday afternoon and few voters made it to the polls. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Selectmen Robert Ericson narrowly won re-election Tuesday and a newcomer to town politics ousted the chairman of the Finance Committee.   Ericson received 119 votes in Tuesday's election which saw a dismal turnout of less than 10 percent making it to the polls. But, he had just enough to defeat Michelle Johnson for the seat as she reeled in 94 votes.   Ericson was first elected in 2013 after defeating former Selectman Joseph

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Mount Greylock School Committee Splits on Superintendent Evaluation
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:59PM / Tuesday, June 21, 2016
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A divided Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Monday gave a passing grade to the district's superintendent after his first year on the job.   On a vote of 4-2 (with one member absent), the committee rated Douglas Dias "proficient," the second highest of four possible grades in the rubric established by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.   The potential grades include unsatisfactory, needs improvement, proficient and exemplary.   Two members of the seven-person committee rated Dias "unsatisfactory" on their individual rating forms, though one of the two hinted at Monday's meeting that he could


Final Bay State Games Girls Basketball Tryout Wednesday
08:48PM / Monday, June 20, 2016
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - The final tryout for the Bay State Games Western Massachusetts girls basketball team will be Wednesday, June 22, at McCann Tech from 6 to 8 p.m.   Interested players must participate in at least one tryout to be considered for the team, which will compete at the Bay State Games July 15-17 at the Reggie Lewis Center in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury Crossing.   The team is open to all girls in ninth through 12th grades (2016 graduates welcome) who either live in Massachusetts or attend a Massachusetts school.   The cost to try out is $37. The finalist fee is $50.   For information, contact one of the Western Mass coaches: Amy Cyr at


Biz Briefs: Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce Honors Its Members
05:34PM / Monday, June 20, 2016

With great thanks: The Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce honored its members during the annual member appreciation event held at the Unicorn Theatre on June 15.

Michael Duffy, Chamber president, gave thanks to their hard-working volunteer members. Special recognition during the evening was given to Margaret Kerwsill, who has been a Chamber member since 2013 when she opened with her partner Laureen Vizza Mutability in Motion, found in the Mews off Main Street, Stockbridge. The gift shop features the works of regional artisans and craftsmen. She is also an independent business owner, Margaret D. Kerswill Design & Marketing, overseeing all creative aspects of design and advertising, from


Williams Economics Professor to Join White House Sciences Fellow
05:15PM / Monday, June 20, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Jessica Leight, assistant professor of economics at Williams College, has been named a fellow on the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team (SBST).

The team is charged with translating findings and methods from the social and behavioral sciences into improvements in federal policies and programs.

The SBST is a small interdisciplinary team made up of fellows and associate fellows from colleges and universities, government agencies, and other research organizations from fields including psychology, policy, law, medicine, statistics, political science, and economics. The team will draw on their research experience to review current federal programs and


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