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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Berkshire Grown Expands Holiday Farmers Markets Schedule
01:01PM / Friday, October 17, 2014

Berkshire Grown will host Holiday Farmers Markets from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on several weekends this winter.

Markets will be held on Saturdays, Nov. 22, Dec. 13, Jan. 17 and Feb. 14 at Monument Valley Middle School (313 Monument Valley Road in Great Barrington) and on Sundays, Nov. 23 and Dec. 14 at Williams College Towne Field House (82 Latham St. in Williamstown).

These popular events feature locally grown and produced foods and gifts, plus live music, lunch fare, and activities for children, during months when farmers’ markets are not open in the region. Admission is free.

“Berkshire farmers tell us that the Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers Markets have become a essential


Are You and Your Spouse on the Same Page?
Wells Fargo Advisors, Submitted Content
11:33AM / Friday, October 17, 2014

After 24 years of marriage, Joe and Jane often finish each other’s sentences. So imagine how surprised they were when some differing goals emerged during a recent retirement income planning discussion with their financial adviser.

As the adviser led the couple through an exercise designed to help them set retirement priorities, they discovered that Joe was eying a particular pocket of savings to enable his early retirement. Jane, on the other hand, viewed that same account as a fund for their children’s college education.

Such discrepancies are common, even for couples who communicate well.

“When you’ve lived with someone a long time, you may assume you know what


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

Events to Raise Funds, Awareness of Kids Place
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:40PM / Thursday, October 16, 2014

Above, a homemade sign tells the story of what an important role Berkshire County Kids Place plays in the community. Left, the organization is set in a pretty building in Pittsfield that aims to be warm and welcoming to the children and families who need its services.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On one of Laura Baran's first days working at Berkshire County Kids Place last year, she encountered a little girl carrying a spray bottle filled with glitter. 

The girl told her the bottle was a a special spray to "keep the monsters away."

Baran said she went home and cried, second-guessing her decision to leave the American Cancer Society to go to work at Kids

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State Health Connector Launching Open Enrollment, New Website
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:55PM / Thursday, October 16, 2014

Health Connector Executive Director Jean Yang is confident that this year's enrollment period will be different from last year.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State officials are confident that enrolling residents in health care programs will be a lot smoother this year.   On Nov. 15, the state will again start an open enrollment with a newly built health connector website in hopes to sign some 400,000 residents to health insurance programs.   Last year the website was fraught with errors, leaving many unable to purchase insurance.   On Thursday, Heath Connector Executive Director Jean Yang said she is confident with the state's effort to not

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'The Judge': In Defense of Sentiment
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:09PM / Thursday, October 16, 2014
Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
  Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall play father and son legal eagles playing defense in the courtroom and offense at home.

I like a little schmaltz in my movies every so often. So regardless of whether director David Dobkin's "The Judge" is a courtroom drama posing as a family melodrama or vice versa, I forgive its sentimentality in the name of emotionally satisfying entertainment. Even those hard-noses in disagreement with my dispensation must concur that the fine synergy between lead actors Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. nearly compensates for the liberal doses of

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Ecu-Health Care Moving Back to Former North Adams Hospital Site
01:24PM / Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Ecu-Health Care, a nonprofit community organization that provides Northern Berkshire residents with information and application assistance to access state health insurance programs, has announced that it will relocate to the Northern Berkshire Campus of Berkshire Medical Center, effective Oct. 24.

Ecu-Health Care will occupy the second floor office it had used for many years prior to the closing of the former North Adams Regional Hospital at 71 Hospital Ave. The office is in the former Doctor’s Building, located between the Ambulatory Care Center and the Clark House.

Ecu-Health Care is currently located at 26 Union St. in North Adams. The office will be

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Williamstown Selectmen Asked to Adopt Hospital Resolution
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:01PM / Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jean Vankin asks the Board of Selectmen to adopt a resolution on hospital service in North Adams.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Two residents on Tuesday asked the Board of Selectmen to adopt a resolution urging Berkshire Health Systems and state officials to return full hospital services to the site of the former North Adams Regional Hospital.   Jean Vankin and Martin Greenstein urged the town to join a number of other North County communities in adopting the resolution, which was adopted by the North Adams City Council on Tuesday.   "Since the last time I appeared before you, all the towns surrounding North Adams except Williamstown have signed the

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Electric Customers In 10 Berkshire Towns Seeing Group Benefits
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:38PM / Friday, October 10, 2014
Residents in 10 towns now have the option of purchasing their power at a lower rate through an electrical aggregation agreement, but they will still be customers of National Grid or WMECo. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Residents in 10 Berkshire towns now have the benefit of obtaining a lower electric rate through a group-purchasing agreement.   Customers of National Grid and Western Massachusetts Electric Co. in Clarksburg, Florida, Dalton, Lenox, New Marlborough, North Adams, Sheffield, Tyringham, Williamstown and West Stockbridge will automatically be given a 12.191 per kilowatt hour rate on their electric bills.   The towns joined together this year for the group purchasing


@theMarket: Are We There Yet?
By Bill Schmick,
05:21PM / Friday, October 10, 2014

No, is the short answer to that headline. The S&P 500 Index needs to test 1,905 or thereabouts before all is said and done. You might ask why.

The talking heads will tell you weak data in Europe is at fault. Others will blame the recent strength in the dollar. Then there is the uncertainty of the mid-term elections now less than a month away. The problem with all of the above is that investors have known all about these issues for months and months. So why react now?

Readers will recall that since the springtime I have been waiting for the markets to test what is called the 200 Day Moving Average (DMA), which is a popular technical indicator that investors use to analyze price


Are We There Yet?: Help Find a Cure for Type One Diabetes
By Rebecca Dravis,
11:12AM / Friday, October 10, 2014

This column is brought to you by the department of shameless promotions.

But keep reading. It's for a good reason!

I have a little girl who has been living with type one diabetes for four years now. She wears two "gadgets" attached to her body, deals with blood sugar highs and lows, and never really feels "normal." It's a lot for anyone to deal with, much less a sweet 8-year-old. We are so very close to amazing technology (bionic pancreas) that would make living with this difficult disease much easier ... and maybe even a cure, as Thursday's news out of Harvard was amazing.

All year round, I do everything I can to promote awareness of this disease that


'Milestone' for Mount Greylock School Project: Manager Selected
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:27AM / Friday, October 10, 2014
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Building Committee on Wednesday made its choice for an owner's project manager to help guide the district through the Massachusetts School Building Authority process.   The OPM is required by state law on all building projects estimated to cost $1.5 million or more. It provides advice to the district and oversight of the designer and general contractor if any ultimately is hired to repair, renovate or rebuild the junior-senior high school.   "This is very good news," Mount Greylock Superintendent Rose Ellis said about Wednesday's' vote. "We've been working on [the MSBA feasibility study]


'Gone Girl': Gives You a Run for Your Money
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:18PM / Thursday, October 09, 2014
Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
  Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike's married couple are at the center of a twisty mystery in 'Gone Girl.'

Even the twists have turns in David Fincher's "Gone Girl," an extremely well-written sleuther about a woman who goes missing. Starring Rosamund Pike as the lady who mysteriously vanishes and Ben Affleck as her flummoxed husband, this film will have you guessing right up until the closing credits and beyond. It's the thinking person's whodunit.

Not simply content to have you figure out the puzzle, the highly sophisticated thriller also sprinkles the


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