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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

BRPC Advocates for Investment in High-Speed Broadband
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:20AM / Friday, November 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Reliable high-speed broadband is critical to the county's economic competitiveness in the coming years.

That's the point the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is stressing in an eight-page letter to Gov. Charlie Baker and more than 15 state and local officials detailing the challenges and goals facing communities in this rural area.

"As a region that has struggled economically for forty-five years, and is increasingly reliant on entrepreneurs and sole-proprietors, who are often home-based and can be located anywhere, having full, future proof broadband available across the region is critical to our economic rebuilding and sustainability,"

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New Nonprofit Gives Expectant Moms Early Bundle of Joy
By Rebecca Dravis, Iberkshires.com Staff
01:06AM / Friday, November 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In a way, expectant mothers in Berkshire County owe some thanks to Donald Trump.

During the long presidential campaign, South Egremont resident Hinda Bodinger was feeling sad about the tone of the campaign, particularly in regards to inflammatory remarks about minorities and women. Not one just to sit back, Bodinger decided she had to do something.

"I really felt very strongly that I wanted to counteract that, at least in my community," she said. "If there was something I could do to counterbalance that, I wanted to do it."

What she ended up doing was conceiving an new nonprofit organization called Berkshire Baby Box. During an afternoon

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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,

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
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'Arrival': Quite a Trip
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:08PM / Thursday, November 17, 2016

You know how sometimes between sleep and consciousness you can tell the future? Well, good for you if you can; it doesn't happen to me, not anymore. I've been stuck in this reality mode since the 1960s ended. But, just in case you tune in, Dr. Leary, there's a fascinating variant of that "Twilight Zone"-like mind trip in director Denis Villeneuve's "Arrival," a tale of alien visitation with a tricky twist. It's the surprise answer to the brainteaser it never asks.

Otherwise, this rather solemn adventure, astutely crafted with the scientific method if not the élan that was evinced in "The Andromeda Strain" (1971), is your typical

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Guest Column: Massachusetts Stands For Civil Rights, Civil Liberties
By Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Guest Columnist
12:41PM / Thursday, November 17, 2016



Over the last week, I have heard many heart-wrenching stories about children and adults expressing their sadness and fear based on the results of the national election. It is natural to feel sad and disappointed when your candidate doesn't win. It is not typical, though, in our country, to feel fearful at the end of an election. But because of the repeated expression of bigoted views about women, racial minorities, people of both the Jewish and Muslim faiths, immigrants, members of the LGBT community, and people with disabilities, many people are fearful about the future.

While bigoted words and incivility in public discourse are out of line in and of themselves, the greater threat

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Mount Greylock Develops Plan to Spend Williams' Building Endowment
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Thursday, November 17, 2016

Principal Mary MacDonald presents senior Jesse Cohen with the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents Certificate of Academic Excellence.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Tuesday decided to seek an architect to guide the district on how best to spend a $5 million capital endowment from Williams College.

The college announced the gift in February. The money was intended to be used for items outside the scope of the district's $64.8 million addition/renovation project because any private funds spent on the building project would have come out of the district's reimbursement from the Massachusetts School Building

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Williamstown Reviewing Portions of Master Plan
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:47PM / Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen on Monday discussed the town's 14-year-old Master Plan and efforts to revise it on a piecemeal basis.

Community Development Director Andrew Groff was before the board with a brief presentation about the draft of a revised Open Space and Recreation Plan, one of a half-dozen components of the Master Plan.

The commission is accepting comments on the plan, visible on the town's website, through the first week of December, Groff said.

The Open Space and Recreation piece of the Master Plan was last revised in 2005, but the commission started its review three years ago with help from the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation and students

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Holiday Festivals and Craft Fairs 2016
12:04PM / Wednesday, November 16, 2016

This is the season of harvest bazaars, holiday craft fairs and art shows. This list will be regularly updated throughout the fall. Send submissions to info@iberkshires.com.

 

Friday, Dec. 2

• The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Berkshire County is holding a Vendor Event at Crawford Square at 137 North St. during The First Fridays Artswalk. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet the artists, purchase raffle tickets for great prizes and enjoy holiday shopping with local businesses. 5-8 p.m.

 

Saturday, Dec. 3

• The Walter B. Howard Elementary School in New Lebanon, N.Y., will host its Holiday Craft Fair at the high school. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

• Holiday Fair

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Festival of Trees Opens at Berkshire Museum
11:53AM / Wednesday, November 16, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Walk the red carpet like a movie star when "Now Playing: Festival of Trees 2016" opens at the Berkshire Museum on Friday, Nov. 18, with a festive premiere party.

Widely regarded as the unofficial kickoff of the holiday season in the Berkshires, the annual event will feature more than 100 dazzling decorated trees, bedecked in film world finery, reflecting this year's movie theme. The creative holiday trees are sponsored by businesses, schools, and community organizations in a true celebration of cinema, from film noir and sci-fi to action-adventure, Westerns, and animation.

The family-friendly premiere party runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov.

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Put Thanksgiving Lessons to Work in Your Financial Plans
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:22AM / Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving is almost here. Over the years, this holiday has taken on a variety of meanings, most of them centered on family, caring and sharing.

You can carry these same values past Thanksgiving into your daily life – and you can certainly incorporate them into your financial strategies for taking care of your loved ones.

So, here are a few suggestions:

* Protect your family. If something were to happen to you, could your family pay the mortgage? Could your children still afford to go to college someday? To protect your family's current lifestyle and long-term goals, you may well need to maintain adequate life and disability insurance. Your employer may offer these types of

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Mount Greylock School Committee Asked to Cut Football as a Health Issue
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:12AM / Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A retired epidemiologist Tuesday night challenged the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee to take the lead on addressing "an epidemic in slow motion" by suspending the district's high school football program.

Dr. Nicholas Wright gave a presentation to the committee outlining some of the evidence that full contact football presents a severe concussion risk to its participants — so severe that the extracurricular activity is incompatible with the school's mission.

Wright went further, suggesting that the school district challenge the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association to take the same step and replace its current

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Solid Waste District Having Trouble Finding New Coordinator
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:49AM / Tuesday, November 15, 2016
ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District is having trouble finding a new coordinator because of a limited applicant pool and inexperienced candidates.   Chairman Joseph Szczepaniak told board members on Thursday that the one applicant the search committee chose as a finalist backed out.    "We picked someone who we thought fit the bill ... but she called after and said her employers didn't want to lose her," Szczepaniak said. "She thanked us up and down for choosing her … but I think we just worked as a bargaining chip so she could get a raise."   Current Coordinator Sandy Totter plans to retire Dec. 9

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Downing's Next Step Is Solar Energy Firm
04:43PM / Monday, November 14, 2016

Ben Downing will join a solar energy firm after leaving office.

BOSTON — Benjamin B. Downing, who has championed renewable energies during his 10 years in the state Senate, will join a solar energy company at the end of his term.

Nexamp Inc. announced on Monday that the Pittsfield Democrat, who did not stand for a sixth term, would be the solar contractor's new vice president of new market development.

"Ben's long history of public service will complement Nexamp's expert team of local development professionals," said Zaid Ashai, chief executive officer of Nexamp, in a statement. "He joins us at the most exciting juncture in our company's young

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