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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Williamstown Fire Chief: Decorate With an Eye Toward Safety
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:08AM / Friday, October 23, 2015
A 60-watt bulb was hot enough to set a holiday decoration on fire at Williams College. Fire Chief Craig Pedercini is asking residents to take care with flammable decorations. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — With October comes the advent of the holiday season.   And when there are holidays, there are decorations and the potential for fire hazards.   At Wednesday's meeting of the Prudential Committee, Fire Chief Craig Pedercini related an incident that came in Tuesday night from a building on the Williams College campus.   A 60-watt light bulb in an electric window "candle" was too close to a Halloween-themed plastic window covering. The heat from the light bulb


'Bridge of Spies': Spans Troubled Waters
By Michael S. Goldberger,
08:47PM / Thursday, October 22, 2015

I suspect Steven Spielberg, realizing that few folks were as lucky as I to have Mr. Green as their high school social studies teacher, felt the necessity to impart the grand civics lesson contained in his highly exciting "Bridge of Spies." Chastising the baloney and opportunism that too often attend the application of patriotism, he cannily mines its most honest essence in this important chronicle of the May, 1960 U-2 incident and the Cold War drama that followed. Our spy, Captain Francis Gary Powers, is caught, and the Russians plan to make the most of it.

This calls for good old American ingenuity ... the more homespun the better. Granted, it's a cliché, but a great


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

Classical Beat: Ready to Present New Works at The Clark
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:17PM / Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Borealis Quartet (Photo by Steven Lemay) will present new work by Williamstown composer Stephen Dankner on Sunday at the Clark Art Institute.

During the 15 months from February 2012-April 2013, my attention was drawn, as it was twice before in years past, to the string quartet medium, and I composed my latest six quartets in a burst of uninterrupted creative activity. Each led to the next, though there is no relationship between them, i.e. sharing of themes, forms, or modes of expression.

This was not, though, a novel experience for me. My previous 12 quartets were also written in cycles: quartets 1-6 in 1991-1993 (another period of white-heat activity), and quartets


Lenox National Bank, Adams Community Bank Complete Merger
01:01PM / Wednesday, October 21, 2015

ADAMS, Mass. — The Lenox National Bank and Adams Community Bank completed their merger at the close of business on Friday, Oct. 16.

The former Lenox National Bank located at 7 Main St. in Lenox has reopened as a branch of Adams Community Bank.

“We plan to continue the Lenox tradition of strong community banking with local decision making. This merger is beneficial to everyone who lives or works in the Lenox community,” said Charles P. O’Brien, Adams Community Bank president and CEO.
Lenox National Bank CEO Paul Merlino will continue in an advisory role with Adams Community Bank in connection with the transition.

“Paul has been a mainstay of community


When Investing, Put Time On Your Side
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:12AM / Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Now that we’re well into autumn, the days are getting noticeably shorter. The change in seasons reminds us that time is passing – and it’s important to use that time wisely.

When used well, in fact, time can be your greatest gift in many walks of life – and that’s certainly true when you invest.

To illustrate the importance of time, let’s look at a scenario. Suppose you start saving for retirement when you are 25. If you invest $3,000 per year in a tax-deferred vehicle, such as a traditional IRA, and you hypothetically earn a 7 percent annual return, you will have accumulated more than $640,000 after 40 years, when you reach 65 and are ready to retire.


Berkshire Tidbits: Wine Dinners & Return of MadJack's
By Judith Lerner, iBerkshires Columnist
11:56PM / Monday, October 19, 2015
Homemade mac & cheese will be served up at the annual Sheffield Senior Center cookoff.

'Cooking at The Chef's Shop' Series
Upcoming Cooking Classes

Thursdays, 5 to 7 p.m.
Sundays, 3 to 5 p.m.

Two or three times a month, from now through the middle of June, Julie Gale, chef and owner of At the Table Cooking School in Hillsdale, N.Y., will be teaching a series of timely holiday and seasonal cooking classes at The Chef's Shop, 31 Railroad St., in Great Barrington, on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

Gale's classes are fun, free-flowing and very much hands on. She will co-teach some of the classes with well-known local guest chefs.

This Thursday's


Downing Launches Second Holiday Card Contest
09:31PM / Monday, October 19, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Each December, state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing mails approximately 3,500 holiday greeting cards to friends, family, supporters and colleagues across Massachusetts. As he prepares for this annual tradition, he is bringing back his Holiday Greeting Card Contest, which he began in 2014, and asking local students to design his card for him.

“Last year 250 students from across western Massachusetts participated in my contest,” Downing said. “It was a fun way to connect with my youngest constituents, and it helped spread holiday cheer.  I can’t wait to see the creativity that I know our students will submit for this year’s


Williams Women's, Men's Soccer Teams Win in OT
07:48PM / Saturday, October 17, 2015
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Kristi Kirshe scored in the 103rd minute to give the Williams College women's soccer team a double-overtime win over Wesleyan on Saturday.   Tressa Palcheck stopped five shots for Williams (12-0, 8-0 NESCAC), which hosts Tufts on Saturday.   MEN'S SOCCER MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Mark Sisco-Tolomeo knocked in a rebound off a shot by Mohammed Rashid just :39 seconds into the second overtime to give the visiting Williams College men’s soccer team a 1-0 win over Wesleyan Saturday afternoon.   The win moved the Ephs to 5-4-2  overall and 3-3-1 in NESCAC, while the Cardinals dropped to 7-4-1 overall and 3-3-1 in the conference.   Williams


North Adams to Host 14th Annual Berkshire Food Festival
Staff Reports,
06:34PM / Saturday, October 17, 2015

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams will play host to the 14th annual Berkshire Food Festival on Sunday, Oct. 18, from noon to 4 p.m. on Main Street. 

This year’s Berkshire Food Festival is presented by 1230AM WNAW and WUPE-FM and features the cuisine from numerous area restaurants and food vendors along with a selection of beer. Restaurants slated to attend are: Slick Willies, Christo's Famous Pizza, Coffee Monkey, Grazie, Boston Seafood, Papa Johns, Lucia's Latin Kitchen, Oh Crepe, Gloria's Columbian Food, MadJacks BBQ, How We Roll, Desperado's, Fat Boys Dogs, Gramercy Bistro, NoCo Pastaria and Lakota BBQ. 

Attendees will also be treated to the live


McCann Students Share Success Stories
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
12:30PM / Saturday, October 17, 2015
Representatives from both groups presented their work to the School Committee on Thursday.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The McCann School Committee heard success stories from both Business Professionals of America and SkillsUSA students.

The committee on Thursday heard a presentation from Tessa Christman of BPA and her classmates about various competitions in whicy they participate.

BPA is a career and technical student organization for students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology and related careers.

BPA member Emily Shanley said she competed with the administrative support team, which times students' abilities to create documents in


@theMarket: The Worst Is Over
By Bill Schmick,
06:36AM / Saturday, October 17, 2015

It appears that we have reached our bottom in the stock market. If I'm correct, investors can now look forward to not only recouping any losses incurred over the last three months, but possibly seeing minor gains in their portfolios by year-end. Wouldn't that be nice?

Although I was worried that we might have to re-test the August lows one last time before the middle of October, it does not appear to be the case. Instead, it looks like we are on our way to the old highs. It won't be fast and it won't happen in a straight line. You can expect more pullbacks as we struggle to climb what will be most likely be a wall of worry.

The prospect of slowing global growth, including


The Independent Investor: The Pumpkin Patch Thrives in America
By Bill Schmick,
06:32PM / Friday, October 16, 2015

The pumpkin harvest is in and America's farmers assure us that there will be enough supply available for October and maybe even through Thanksgiving. The Christmas holiday season may be a bit more problematic.

Heavy summer rains in parts of the Midwest and elsewhere, as a result of El Niño, have crimped production of this year's pumpkin crop. Illinois, by far the largest producer of pumpkins in the country, has been especially hard hit. Over 80 percent of all commercially grown pumpkins in the U.S. are grown within a 90-mile radius of Peoria. Morton, a small town outside of Peoria, for example, processes 100,000 tons of pumpkin every year. That amounts to enough canned


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