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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Letter: BArT Example of Charter School Success
Letters to the Editor,
07:00AM / Friday, November 20, 2015

To the Editor:

A recent Pittsfield School Committee discussion included some misinformation about public charter schools that I would like to respectfully correct. (Pittsfield School Committee Endorses Moratorium on Charter Schools, Nov. 13)

Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School (BArT) is a tuition-free, public school, open to all students in Grades 6-12 from Pittsfield and Northern Berkshire County. We prepare students for college by promoting mastery of academic skills and content with a strong foundation in arts and technology. The school provides an educational community that regards everyone, including teachers and parents, as lifelong learners.

BArT serves a


BRPC: $815 Million Invested In Berkshire County Since 2012
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:08AM / Friday, November 20, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There has been at least $235 million in public monies and $580 million in private investment in the county over the past three years in ongoing or completed projects.   But those figures haven't translated to employment or wage increases.   The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission approved Thursday the annual Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy performance report. The report outlines the status of an array of economic development projects — including improvements to the Pittsfield Municipal Airport, renovations at Williams College, and the Hoosac Wind Farm.    "I expect that to be underestimated because that is just the


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

Mount Greylock Committee Advances Pared-Down School Building Budget
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:44AM / Friday, November 20, 2015
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Thursday approved a building project budget that lowers the projected cost to local taxpayers by about 16 percent from the figure estimated just four months ago.   The committee, on the recommendation of its School Building Committee, authorized owners project manager Dore & Whittier to submit a schematic design to the Massachusetts School Building Authority that includes a total project budget of $64.8 million.   That was the number that came out of this week's reconciliation of the estimates from the district's construction manager, Turner Construction, and Essential Estimating of

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Holiday Hours: Thanksgiving
02:30PM / Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thanksgiving will be observed on Thursday, Nov. 26. The day is a national holiday inspired by the first Thanksgiving dinner shared between the Pilgrims and Wampanoags in 1621 at Plymouth. The living history museum Plimoth Plantation continues the tradition each year with a recreation of the event in which visitors can participate.

Thanksgiving was first federally recognized by proclamation in 1863 by President Lincoln at the height of the Civil War. It did not become codified as a national holiday until 1941, when President Roosevelt signed a law setting it as the fourth Thursday of November. Canada holds a similar celebration on the second Monday in October.

More locally, the day marks


Adams Looks At Eliminating Dispatch Service
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:39AM / Thursday, November 19, 2015

ADAMS, Mass. — The Selectmen are again looking to switch to a regionalized dispatch service that would save more than $160,000 annually.

Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco told the board on Wednesday that the town's consultant has recommended discontinuing its in-house dispatch service and move it to the Berkshire County sheriff's office.

"It would be a very positive move for the town," Mazzucco said. "We would have access to better technology and to better systems that would enhance officer safety. There is no concern over local safety when switching."

Mazzucco added that he has been in ongoing discussions with local emergency services and they have

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Williamstown Economic Development Committee Looks at Regional Efforts
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:33AM / Thursday, November 19, 2015
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — After nearly a year of discussing what the town can do to spur economic growth, the Economic Development Committee on Monday focused its attention beyond the Village Beautiful.   It is not the first time the ad hoc committee has looked at how the town's economy fits into a broader context, but two of Monday's guest speakers emphasized the importance of a regional or statewide perspective.   Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, and Jonathan Butler of 1Berkshire addressed the committee as it wraps up its business and prepares to present a final report to the Board of Selectmen next month.   Cariddi talked about a bill she is sponsoring to

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Talk Explores 'Art of Coaching,' Trouble With Specialization
By Shannon Boyer, Sports
10:33PM / Wednesday, November 18, 2015
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- USA Hockey has created a philosophy not only for the better of the youth in its own sport, but for the youth in sports across the map --- from soccer to basketball and lacrosse to football.   The core of the philosophy: Understanding age appropriate training and development and maintaining patience through those years as a parent and a coach.   Wednesday evening, the "Developing Young Athletes-Myth and Reality" discussion was held at the Williams College by Roger Grillo, a longtime hockey coach.  He coached at Brown University for 12 years before joining USA Hockey in 2009 to serve as its regional manager for the American Development Model,

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Berkshire Tidbits: Thanksgiving Specials
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
01:16PM / Wednesday, November 18, 2015

As the holiday approaches, everything is coming up Thanksgiving. Most of the Tidbits in this week's column will be about Thanksgiving as well. With just a smattering of the many, many food producers who go out of their way to create ultra-satisfying fare here in the Berkshires.
Free Thanksgiving Dinner
at Breaking Bread Kitchen

Chef Julie Gale and the team from Hevreh of the Berkshires will be making and serving a Thanksgiving dinner at the weekly Breaking Bread Kitchen at American Legion Post 340 on Route 7 in Sheffield this Thursday, Nov. 19.

Gale said the menu will be turkey with stuffing and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, rolls, cranberry sauce and

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Residents Share Visions of Rural Health to Mark National Rural Health Day
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:05AM / Wednesday, November 18, 2015

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — What is your vision for rural health in Massachusetts?

The Massachusetts Office of Rural Health is looking to find out from residents from all across the state, from the tip of Cape Cod to North Adams, where Kirby Lecy, the office's outreach and communications coordinator, visited last week in advance of National Rural Health Day this Thursday, Nov. 19.

Lecy visited the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition monthly forum on Friday to share that the National Organization of State Offices of Rural sets aside the third Thursday of every November  to celebrate National Rural Health Day. According to its website, "National Rural Health Day is an

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Start Your Own Investment 'Traditions'
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:16AM / Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. And like all holidays, this one has plenty of traditions, such as Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (started in 1924) and football (the first broadcast Thanksgiving Day game was played between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears in 1934).

Traditions are important, and you may want to establish some in one of the key activities of your own life: investing.

So, what sort of investment traditions could you start? Here are a few ideas:

* Invest regularly. By definition, engaging in a tradition means performing the same acts over and over. This type of behavior can impose discipline and consistency to your investing. For example, consider

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Berkshire Medical Center Demonstrates Surgical Robotic Arm
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:51AM / Wednesday, November 18, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dr. Kevin Mitts of Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates pushed against the bur, attempting to move the robotic drill into a different area of the leg bone.

But since the Mako Robotic Arm Interactive System was programmed to cut into a specific area, it resisted his efforts.

"It locks you in," he told the curious onlookers at Tuesday night's demonstration at Berkshire Medical Center. "It won't let you go elsewhere."

The new technology is designed to aid the accuracy of orthopedic surgeons in the operating room. The robotic arm, a product of Stryker Corp., a leader in orthopedic medical technology, has been in use at BMC for a few


Williamstown Approves Amended Mount Greylock Agreement
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
09:39PM / Tuesday, November 17, 2015

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Without a question from the floor or a single negative vote, a special town meeting on Tuesday approved the amended Mount Greylock Regional School District agreement.

The agreement now needs approval of the junior-senior high school district's other member town. Lanesborough voters are scheduled to hear the question on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. at Lanesborough Elementary School.

The amendment was drafted by the Mount Greylock School Committee, which wanted to make the district's apportionment of capital expenses more "fair, equitable and dynamic," School Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Greene told Williamstown voters on Tuesday.

After she gave

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