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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Why Free Trade Has a Bad Rep
By Bill Schmick,
03:40PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

The Establishment — Economists, politicians of both parties, Wall Street and Corporate America — are horrified. One of the linchpins of capitalism has suddenly come under attack. The growing anger over free trade is threatening more than 30 years of trade deals with the rest of the world. It was a disaster waiting to happen and we have only ourselves to blame.

Theoretically, free trade benefits everyone. These benefits include comparative advantage, which allows companies that can produce certain goods and services cheaply and efficiently. This will provide consumers with lower priced goods, increase exports globally, allow economies of scale among industries and nations and


Williamstown Swim Club Excels at Regional
02:38PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Purple Valley Aquatics had numerous swimmers qualify and compete at New England Swimming's Regional and Silver Meets, where they swam against athletes from all over New England.


Cole Kuster and Isaac Boyd qualified for the New England Age Group Championships in Boston.


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

Maple Grove Civic Club Holding State Senator Candidate Forum
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:18PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

ADAMS, Mass. — The Maple Grove Civic Club will host a "meet the candidates" forum this weekend at the PNA on Victory Street.

State Senate candidates Andrea Harrington of Richmond and Adams Hinds of Pittsfield are expected to attend the civic club on Sunday, March 20, at 3 p.m.

Both candidates are campaigning for the Democratic nomination to replace current state Sen. Benjamin Downing, who will be leaving his seat at the end of his term. They are the only candidate for the seat so far and will face off in a primary in September.

The Senate seat represents the First District of 52 communities in Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin counties.

Harrington, a Pittsfield native,


Family Support Highlighted at 16th Berkshire Legislative Breakfast
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:41PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In front of a room filled with people who understood only too well, Jean Simmons shared the very personal story of raising her son, now 27, who was born with a condition that causes excess fluid to build up in the brain.

"He requires 24-7 care and supervision, and he lives at home with myself and his dad," Simmons said. "When Matthew was born, we were told he would never walk or talk or have any quality of life.

"Boy, were they wrong."

Today, Matthew talks morning, noon and night — and sometimes beyond, Simmons said to a chuckling audience at the 16th annual Berkshire Legislative Breakfast, a presentation of Berkshire County Arc


BRPC Supports Efforts to Designate 'Bicycle Route 7' Through Berkshires
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:46AM / Friday, March 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Long-distance cyclists may soon be directed to bike through the Berkshires.

The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials are developing a massive highway system designation throughout the country for long-distance bicyclists to map out routes. What is eyed as US Bicycle Route 7 would connect Connecticut with Vermont through the Berkshires.

"It's connecting regions and states much like the highway system," said Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Senior Planner Emily Lindsey.

BRPC is supportive of the agreement but the effort to get the designation will need the backing of the eight Berkshire communities whose local roads


Porchlight VNA Opening Pittsfield Office
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:03AM / Friday, March 18, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Porchlight VNA/Home Care is expanding its footprint with a new South Street office.   The company will open the office in leased space on April 1. The move is part of the company's strategic effort to better serve all of Berkshire County.    "People always associate Lee VNA (the company's former name) with South County," said Chief Executive Officer Holly Chaffee.   But, that's not true. The company has many clients, spanning the entire county and beyond, she said. Just two years ago, Porchlight grew its footprint even further when it merged with Chicopee Visiting Nurses Association, bringing the company into three Western


Williamstown Town, School Races Shaping Up
04:14PM / Thursday, March 17, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- There will be at least two contested races in May’s town election, but two offices currently have no candidates, and time is running out to get your name on the ballot.

The deadline to return papers is Tuesday, March 22, at 5 p.m.

Nomination papers can be acquired at Town Hall during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and just 28 signatures are required to make a candidate eligible.

For two open seats, currently no one has taken out papers: a three-year term on the Library Board of Trustees and a three-year term on the Northern Berkshire Vocational Regional School Committee, from which James Gazzaniga is stepping down after


Williamstown School Committee Adds to FY17 Budget
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:28PM / Thursday, March 17, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown School Committee Wednesday advanced a fiscal 2017 budget that restores most of the cuts discussed at last week's public hearing and seeks a 6.26 percent increase in the town's contribution to the school.

The $6.62 million budget includes $6.13 million in appropriated funds — revenue from town taxes — an increase of $361,000 from last year's town appropriation.

The 6.26 percentage increase is well above the 2.5 percent "placeholder" figure included in the town budget presented to the Finance Committee earlier this winter and 2.5 percent higher than the 3.9 percent increase in the initial budget presented in the

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Mount Greylock School Committee Approves $11M Budget for 2017
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:22AM / Thursday, March 17, 2016

MacDonald explains the foundations of the budget.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee approved a fiscal 2017 budget of $11 million on Tuesday night, up $413,000 over this year.

The approval followed public hearings held on Monday in Lanesborough and prior to the regular School Committee meeting on Tuesday.

Williamstown will see its assessment to the regional district rise to $237,328, or by 4.79 percent, over this year; Lanesborough will see a reductions of $13,549, or minus a half percent.

The split in appropriated assessments this year of 31.8 for Lanesborough and 68.2 for Williamstown is based on calculations of minimum required spending, the


Williamstown Planners Advise Against Waubeeka Zoning Change
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:30PM / Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A rendering of a possible site plan for a hotel along Route 7 in South Williamstown.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — After nearly two hours of discussion on Tuesday, the Planning Board ended up in the same place it was six weeks ago: a 3-2 vote against proceeding with a proposed overlay district to allow a hotel at Waubeeka Golf Links.

In January, three members of the board voted to table the issue and stop working on a bylaw to send to town meeting until the owner of the property provided the panel with more information. On Tuesday, that bylaw was back for consideration after a citizen's petition put the issue on May's annual town meeting warrant.

This time, the Planning


Mount Greylock Presents 'Nice Work If You Can Get It'
12:22PM / Wednesday, March 16, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School District will present its annual musical theater production on Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19, at 7 p.m. at the ’62 Centre for Theatre and Dance at Williams College.

The school will present "Nice Work If You Can Get It," a fresh (2012) presentation of the music of George and Ira Gershwin, with a book by Tony Award-winning author Joe Di Pietro, based on works by Guy Bolton and PG Wodehouse.  
Set in New York in the 1920s, the show tells the story of a band of bootleggers run by the illusive Brownbeard (senior Molly Wilson), looking for a place to stash a shipment of illegal gin. Billie (senior Nicole


Is Your 'Financial Umbrella' in Place?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:41AM / Wednesday, March 16, 2016

April showers may bring May flowers, but March is National Umbrella Month.

While ranking high on the list of truly obscure celebrations, this “Month” can still teach us a few things – especially if we think about “umbrellas” that can help us protect our financial goals.

Consider these key areas:

* Your vulnerability to emergencies: It’s a good idea to maintain an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses. Without such a fund, you may need to dip into your long-term investments to pay for unexpected, and unexpectedly large, expenses such as a new furnace or a big bill from the doctor. You’ll want to keep your


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