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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Two Years After Irene: A Desire to Stay in Williamstown
By Stephen Dravis,
05:54PM / Wednesday, August 28, 2013
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Two years after Tropical Storm Irene ravaged the Spruces Mobile Home Park, the debate still rages in town about where to build replacement homes.   One thing is not debatable: Both current and former Spruces residents say their home is Williamstown.   This week, the non-profit formed in the wake of the storm to address the crisis at the park revealed the results of its recent survey of former and current residents.   The clear picture that emerges from the poll is that the Sprucians are, as a group, older than the general population, living on modest means and anxious to have safe, permanent housing in the town they choose to call home.   A

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Markey Talks Economics, Tours Pittsfield Police Station
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
09:43PM / Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local officials on Tuesday found a welcome ear for the region's troubles in U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey, who is touring the Bay State as he settles into his new position as the state's junior senator.

"I think that Pittsfield is really the center of this area and it's important for Pittsfield to thrive so it actually creates a heartbeat for the Berkshires, so it creates a sense of long-term prosperity," said Markey, after hearing about some of the Berkshires' economic and transportation needs. "It's all about the economy, it's all about job growth, it's all about putting together a business plan for the 21st

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my Resume
by domo2012 03:29PM / Thursday, March 20, 2014
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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,

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State Official: Higher Ground Housing Project Could Be Real by 2015
By Stephen Dravis, Williamstown Correspondent
12:12AM / Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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Susan Puddester, left, and Sue Metzner of Higher Ground report to Williamstown's Spruces Roof Group on Monday evening. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A leading state housing official has told the town a project proposed for the end of Southworth Street could be fast-tracked for completion as soon as November 2015.   But it is going to take a lot of work and a lot of coordination among town committees to make that happen.   Selectmen Chairwoman Jane Allen said Monday evening that Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development Aaron Gornstein last Thursday visited the town and was impressed by the donation of nearly four acres by Williams College to a non-profit group

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Ocean State Job Lot Opens for Business
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:48PM / Saturday, August 24, 2013
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Ocean State executive Paul Conforti, left, Store Manager Scott Collett, Mayor Richard Alcombright, state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi and Councilors Marie Harpin and Lisa Blackmer cut the ribbon.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city's newest chain store, Ocean State Job Lot, held its grand opening on Saturday in the former Walmart building on Curran Highway.

"We're here today to thank our new community business partners Ocean State Job Lot for your investment, your confidence," said Mayor Richard Alcombright, before clipping the ribbon with an oversized set of scissors. "For the new products and services you bring here, and your commitment to our greater city and our

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The Independent Investor: Japan's new frontier
By Bill Schmick,
04:36PM / Friday, August 23, 2013
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After almost 30 years of stagnation, Japan is seeking to re-gain its competitive edge. Critics argue that this island nation needs to re-invent itself if it ever hopes to find its place amid a multitude of fiercely competitive global players. The question is, how can that be done?

For any other nation, re-inventing one's self might be an impossible task but Japan has a proven track record in doing just that. As far back as the Meiji Restoration in the 19th century, for example, Japan was able to leap- frog into the industrial world by skipping the age of sail altogether. Despite the opposition of powerful industrialized nations, backed up by gunboat diplomacy, the Japanese developed a

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'Lee Daniels' The Butler': Sets the Table for Contemplation
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:05PM / Friday, August 23, 2013
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Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
  The life of Cecil Gaines (played here by Forest Whitaker, with Oprah Winfrey) plays out against the turmoil of the civil rights movement and his post in the White House.

It is astutely illustrated in "Lee Daniels' The Butler" that you cannot separate American history from the annals of African-American slavery, subjugation and the ongoing exodus that plays out in our daily domestic life. The sins of the past, born of an ignorance predating ancient times, shamefully wraps around the spine of our humanity like a cancer.

The search for a cure to our social ills, a work in

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Are We There Yet?: Web Slingers & Airstreams
By Rebecca Dravis,
12:47PM / Friday, August 23, 2013
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For the last two summers, my daughter has participated in the Berkshire Children's Theatre summer production. This year, because of schedules, she missed out on participating, but that doesn't mean you should miss out on these adorable shows.

Director Kara Demler somehow always pulls together a group of Berkshire County children of all ages and levels of experience; as a "backstage mom" at these shows, I know how hard they all work to do their very best.

This summer's offering is the classic "Charlotte's Web." Shows are Friday, Aug. 23, at 11 a.m. and Saturday, Aug. 24, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Berkshire Museum. Tickets are available in advance by

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New Williamstown Quilt Shop Fills a Need
By Stephen Dravis,
11:26AM / Friday, August 23, 2013
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Owner Karen Jolin, right, and manager Marlene Bottesi pose in front of one of the displays at Karen's Quilting Corner. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Karen Jolin is out to patch a hole in the quilting community.   Like many area quilters, the Williamstown native was saddened by the 2012 closing of a popular quilt shop in North Adams. The loss of the small business not only hurt its owner, a well-loved quilter in her own right, but it had ripple effects as quilting devotees found it more and more difficult to find supplies and support.   "The closest quilt shops to us are at least 45 minutes away or more," Jolin said this week. "To the east is A Notion to

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Williamstown Fire District Expects Land Survey Soon
By Stephen Dravis, Williamstown Correspondent
04:50AM / Thursday, August 22, 2013
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The Prudential Committee is moving closer to purchasing property for a new fire station; left, Corydon Thurston is the new moderator, clerk and treasurer. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Fire District hopes to get some more information in the next few days about whether it can build a new station on a Main Street parcel the district has under contract.   Prudential Committee member Edward Briggs on Wednesday told his colleagues at their monthly meeting that Williamstown engineering firm Guntlow & Associates is expediting the topographical survey the committee ordered on the acreage it hopes to purchase from the estate of Kurt Lehovic.   "I contacted the Guntlow

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Panel Still Discussing Williamstown Public Safety Building
By Stephen Dravis, Williamstown Correspondent
02:46PM / Wednesday, August 21, 2013
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The Williamstown Financial Center, formerly a Howard Johnson's, has been discussed as a possible public safety building. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The committee looking at finding a new home, or homes, for the town's first responders continued Monday to assess various sites in town.   Chairman John Notsley reported Tuesday morning that the Public Safety Building Study Committee had "kind of a quiet meeting."   From his description of the proceedings, it appeared the committee was having little success finding a site that could accommodate a combined police and fire station. The potential for one building to serve both emergency services spurred the

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