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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Berkshire Chamber, Visitors Bureau Merge Into 1Berkshire
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:40AM / Thursday, May 26, 2016

John Toole led a toast after the meeting to honor the occasion.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After living together for three years, the Berkshire Visitors Bureau and the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce announced their engagement on Wednesday.   The two organizations will become one as of July 1 as part of the 1Berkshire Strategic Alliance, joining Berkshire Creative and the Berkshire Economic Development Corp. and cementing a relationship the organizations have been growing for a decade.   "The whole is greater than the sum of our individual parts. Our capacity is larger, our voice is louder, and our influence is stronger," Berkshire Chamber of Commerce President


Mount Greylock School Committee Member Charges Open Meeting Violation
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:49PM / Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A member of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Tuesday lodged an Open Meeting Law complaint against the committee's chairwoman and the chairs of the two elementary school committees that comprise the Williamstown-Lanesborough Tri-District.

Richard Cohen alleges that Carolyn Greene, along with Williamstown School Committee Chairman Dan Caplinger and Lanesborough School Committee Chairwoman Regina DiLego have been deliberating and taking action in secret meetings in violation of state law.

Among other things, Cohen's complaint alleges that the trio usurped the authority of an established Tri-District subcommittee, but a careful reading 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

Berkshire Tidbits: Rhubarb Festival Returns
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
05:40PM / Wednesday, May 25, 2016

This week is the hoped-for time for the reopening of 20 Railroad Public House in Great Barrington under its new owners, partners Laura Shack of Firefly Gastropub in Lenox and Ben Downing — not the state senator but a 32-year-old Great Barrington native.

Downing, with longtime good relationships in town, will manage the pub.

"We see ourselves as bringing back an icon," he said of the work he and Laura are doing on the restaurant previously known as 20 Railroad Street. "But we don't want to undo what's worked."

He said they will emphasize craft cocktails, craft beers and a wine list and, in January, when it will be quieter, they plan to add a wood fired


Patience Pays Off as Ribbon is Cut at Williamstown's Cable Mills
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:00PM / Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — It took 14 years to turn a decrepit hulk of a mill into 61 luxury housing units.

The project was halted by, among other things, the economic crisis of 2008 and sometimes seemed like a victim of bad luck.

But it was a stroke of good luck that sparked the Cable Mills project.

"We invited Bob Keuhn here in 2002 in hopes we could accomplish at [the Photech mill] what's been accomplished here," former Town Manager Peter Fohlin recalled at Wednesday's Cable Mills ribbon cutting ceremony.

"It did not take him very long to realize that no housing could be built at that property."

But after passing on the town-owned former mill on Cole

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Berkshire Innovation Center Hitting Number of Funding Hurdles
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:14PM / Wednesday, May 25, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The plans for the Berkshire Innovation Center have hit a number of financing snags.   On Tuesday, the City Council was informed that the city did not receive a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Agency that was eyed to improve the gateway to the William Stanley Business Park and the Berkshire Innovation Center. The news is on top of a still dormant funding gap for construction, penned at $3 million, which has delayed construction.   BIC officials say they still have a number of companies and educational organizations signed on to be members of the building, which is hoped to provide research and development for small and medium-sized advanced


The Independent Investor: Let's Have a Jewelry Party
By Bill Schmick,
12:43PM / Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Contrary to all the present and future trends in retailing, multilevel marketing (MLM) is still alive and well in this country. Exactly what is MLM and why are so many Americans enamored with hitting up their friends and relatives in an effort to succeed at personal retailing?

MLM is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for what they sell but for the sales of other people they recruit. These new recruits in the chain are referred to as the participant's "downline" and, if done right, can provide multiple streams of compensation.

Most readers are familiar with these companies. Amway, Avon and Mary Kay come to mind, as does Herbalife, a


Williams Women's Tennis Reaches NCAA Semifinals
10:54PM / Monday, May 23, 2016
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Williams College women's tennis team (21-3) advanced to its ninth consecutive NCAA Division III semifinal under ninth-year head coach Alison Swain by registering a 5-0 win over the Chicago Maroons (13-6) in a match played on the campus of Kalamazoo College.   The Ephs opened the match by sweeping the doubles points to establish a 3-0 lead heading into singles.   The Ephs' top tandem of Juli Raventos and Linda Shin were the first pair off the court, notching and 8-0 win over the Chicago duo of Rachel Kim and Lucy Tang. After the team portion of the NCAA Tournament concludes Raventos and Shin will go to work and try and defend the NCAA Doubles


Stop Ignoring Recall Letters From Auto Manufacturers
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09:56PM / Monday, May 23, 2016

Over the past two years, 113 million vehicles have been recalled by manufacturers. According to, that’s approximately one of every four cars on the road being recalled. This does not mean cars are any less safe than in the past; in fact, industry experts feel that cars are safer than ever before. It’s just that detection systems are now extremely advanced and defects are picked up much more quickly and easily. 

This should all be great news for the consumer, except … not all drivers are taking the recalls seriously. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as many as 25 percent of car owners do not respond to a


Berkshires Beat: Honoring Downing On His Way Out
02:31PM / Monday, May 23, 2016

More praise: State Sen. Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) received awards from advocates for the Massachusetts tourism industry and advocates for clean energy in two ceremonies at the State House earlier this month.

Downing, a former chair and current vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, was presented with a Champion of Tourism award at Massachusetts Tourism Day. The annual event is sponsored by the Regional Tourism Councils and the Mass Office of Travel and Tourism. Tourism is the third-largest industry in Massachusetts, supporting over 132,000 jobs and generating $19.5 billion annually in visitor spending.

Downing also was honored by the


Biz Briefs: Lee Outlets Give Veterans Reserved Parking
01:34PM / Monday, May 23, 2016

Park place: In honor of National Military Appreciation Month in May, Lee Premium Outlets unveiled two reserved Veteran/Military parking spaces with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 20.

U.S. Army Recruitment Officers Staff Sgt. Aaron Pierce and Sgt. First Class Kenneth Rosado were in attendance along with representatives from various local veterans’ organizations, including American Legion Post 68 and the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 65, both of Pittsfield.

Other business and civic leaders in attendance included State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, Lee Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Colleen Henry and Lee Chamber of Commerce Board President Franck Tessier.

Find a


Jamula Homers in Adams Community Bank's Win
12:17PM / Monday, May 23, 2016
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. -- Landen Jamula homered to center field in the bottom of the fifth to cap an 11-1 win for Adams Community Bank over the Lenox Police in Cal Ripken Baseball play over the weekend.   Jamula finished with a double, a home run, a walk and three RBIs for ACB, which also got four innings of one-hit ball from Jackson Shelsey. Derek Paris pitched an inning of scoreless relief and helped turn a double play with an outfield assist.   Thomas Sommer had the lone hit for Lenox.   Williamstown Police Wins WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Thomas Martin and Oscar Low each homered and had four RBIs to lead Williamstown Police to victory over Countryside Landscaping.    It


Berkshire Scenic Begins Summer Season Memorial Weekend
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:15AM / Monday, May 23, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — With several blasts of the train whistle, the Hoosac Valley Service's Budd Car 6126 moved along the backways of the city at a dignified 10 mph.

The ride from North Adams to Adams on Friday night was a precursor of the scenic rail line's first full summer season in North County — and a sneak peak for North Adams Chamber of Commerce members.

Jay Green, the nonprofit organization's rail director, acknowledged that some were dubious about the "scenic" part of the railroad in this very industrial area. But he promised the ride would be eye-opening.

"I challenge you to tell me after the ride that you didn't learn something or see


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