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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Lanesborough Combining Third Grade, Splitting Kindergarten
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:31AM / Thursday, July 23, 2015
Principal Martin McEvoy, far right, outlines the reason for the grade changes for the School Committee on Wednesday night. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Principal Martin McEvoy is combining two third-grade classes into one and splitting the kindergarten class into two.   The third grade has 26 students and the kindergarten has 25. McEvoy said kindergarten students are experiencing school for their first time and pose more difficult challenges than third-graders.    "Twenty-five students in a kindergarten class is very challenging for the kids for many different reasons," McEvoy said.   This particular third-grade class is also outperforming all other grades

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The Classical Beat: Festivals Showcase Musical Innovation
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
11:24AM / Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mass MoCA in North Adams is in the midst of its carnival of musical merriment: Bang On A Can.

During late-July, the classical music festival “high season,” anchored by concerts at Tanglewood and at other regional venues, approaches its zenith, with sure-fire programming. Offerings this week include a celebration of Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” by the phenomenal "The Knights" chamber orchestra, great symphonies by Mozart and Mahler and, for daring listeners, the Festival of Contemporary Music.

Not to be outdone, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA) in North Adams is continuing its ongoing three-week Summer

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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

Coaching Legend Russo to Coach Hoosac Boys
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:04PM / Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Retired Williams soccer coach Mike Russo, seen in this 2011 file photo, is moving to high school boys soccer at Hoosac Valley this fall. CHESHIRE, Mass. -- Mike Russo says he is looking forward this fall to coaching soccer ... and just coaching soccer.   "The recruiting is gone, and I don't miss that at all," Russo said Wednesday about taking over the boys team at Hoosac Valley Middle and High School. "It gives me an opportunity to teach and coach."   Russo did a great job at both -- and recruiting, too -- for 36 years at Williams College, where he retired after the 2014 season.   Through colleague Blair Dils, the head boys coach at Mount Greylock,


Williamstown Elementary to Add Assistant Principal
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:01PM / Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Williamstown Elementary School's population has increased, one factor in the decision to hire an assistant principal. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown School Committee on Monday approved the creation of an assistant principal's position at the K-through-6 school.   The change was prompted by a suggestion from the school's new superintendent, said School Committee Chairman Dan Caplinger on Tuesday morning.   "When Doug Dias came in, one of his first questions was, for a school the size of WES, who the assistant principal was," Caplinger said. "When he found out we didn't have one, he was surprised by that."   The school has

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Lanesborough Bulldogs Win State Tournament
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshire Sports
11:26PM / Monday, July 20, 2015
PEPPERELL, Mass. — After falling behind to a team that attacked with small ball, the Lanesborough Bulldogs used a big base-running play to regain the lead on the way to a 7-3 win in Monday's Cal Ripken 11-and-under State Championship Game.   Roberto Barron went 2-for-3 with a home run and a double and pitched five innings to earn the win as Lanesborough defeated host Pepperell to claim Massachusetts' berth in the regional championship later this month in Rhode Island.   The Bulldogs used a five-run rally in the bottom of the third to erase a 3-1 deficit.   The key play came with the game tied and runners at the corners.   Derek Paris and Josh Polumbo, who

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Meetings Set to Discuss Sustainable Mt. Greylock School Project
04:47PM / Monday, July 20, 2015

Two community meetings will be held this week to brainstorm how to incorporate sustainable elements into a new Mt. Greylock high school.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock School Building Committee invites the public to share its ideas on how to incorporate sustainable elements into the design of the school building project.

The committee, which currently is choosing between two renovation/addition plans and one new construction design to advance to the Massachusetts School Building Authority, will host a "green building charrette" on Wednesday and Thursday, July 22 and 23, at the school.

"The committee wants to tap the talent and creativity

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Environmentalists, Solar Industry Push For Net Metering Increase
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:14PM / Monday, July 20, 2015
Ben Hellerstein, Bruce Winn, and Chris Kilfoyle spoke on the importance net metering has on the green economy at an event on Monday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Utility companies have nearly hit the statewide net-metering cap and now environmentalists and the solar industry are pushing to raise it again.   Net metering is a program that requires utility companies to buy unused energy produced by alternative or sustainable energy. The cap limits the amount the utility is required to buy from the sources and is currently around 5 percent of the total generation.   Photovoltaic energy has been the most popular use of net metering and, in 2008, the state has several times over the

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Lanesborough 11U Bulldogs Reach State Final
By Stephen Dravis, Sports
09:06PM / Sunday, July 19, 2015
PEPPERELL, Mass. -- On the surface, the Lanesborough Bulldogs 11-year-old Cal Ripken All-Stars have been all about offense this weekend.   Yes, they have scored 53 runs in four games of the state tournament at the Kyle A. Bartelson Youth Baseball Complex.   And yes, they hit four home runs on Sunday, including a two-run shot by Landen Jamjula in Sunday afternoon's 13-3 state semi-final win over Townsend-Ashby.   But all those big numbers on the offensive side of the ledger can obscure how well this team plays defense.   Going into Monday evening's state title game, the Bulldogs have committed just five errors in the tourney. They had none on Sunday afternoon, and

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'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl': Growing Up, the Hard Way
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:36PM / Sunday, July 19, 2015
Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
Fox Searchlight Pictures Greg, Rachel and Earl face life and death in this Sundance-winning slice of modern teen angst.

I hope that, per J.D. Salinger's lifelong dictum, there is never a movie adaptation of "The Catcher in The Rye." However, should such sacrilege come to pass, Thomas Mann, the contemporary epitome of teenaged angst and alienation in Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," would be a perfect Holden Caulfield.

Likeable, aggravating, touching and emotionally informing, his Greg, who during senior year of high school forms a tender bond

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Lanesborough Bulldogs Roll on First Day of 11-Year-Old State Tourney
05:48PM / Saturday, July 18, 2015
PEPPERELL, Mass. -- The Lanesborough Bulldogs 11-and-under Cal Ripken Baseball All-Stars got off to a strong start in the state tournament on Saturday, winning their first two games by scores of 14-3 and 12-0.   Both games were decided by the mercy rule, but the 'Dogs figure to face a tougher test on Sunday morning when they face host Pepperell, which also sports a 2-0 record heading to the last game of pool play.   Lanesborough (8-4) and Pepperell each already have qualified for Sunday afternoon's semi-finals. The state championship game is scheduled for Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Kyle Bartelson Youth Baseball Complex.   In Saturday's tournament opener,

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@theMarket: O Ye of Little Faith
By Bill Schmick,
09:28AM / Saturday, July 18, 2015

What a difference two weeks make. Back then, if one took the warnings/advice of the media and much of Wall Street, we were facing financial Armageddon. Today, the markets are flirting with new highs. What lessons can we learn from that?

Number one: the media's first and foremost objective is to sell advertising, if that means scaring its target markets into staying tuned (or reading the next page) then so be it. And I'm not just talking about the fringe elements. Greece, China and Puerto Rico led the list of doomsday stories that littered the headlines of some of the top news organizations both here and abroad.

That's where Wall Street comes in. Reporters need sources and


Kinder Morgan Shrinks Pipeline Size; Public Hearings Scheduled
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:12AM / Saturday, July 18, 2015
The state will be holding public hearings to determine the scope of environmental impact reports for the proposed natural gas pipeline. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Kinder Morgan is prepared to move forward with the proposed natural gas pipeline through the Berkshires, albeit the plan is for a somewhat smaller size.   On Thursday, Kinder Morgan announced it will continue with the permitting process for the Northeast Energy Direct Project, a 30-inch (down from 36 inches) pipeline from New York state through the Berkshires to Dracut. The project is a $3.3 billion investment in which the company says would cure a shortage of energy in New England.   "We are excited that


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