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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

'Keanu': Puss & Galoots
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
07:36PM / Thursday, May 05, 2016

More misses than hits in director Peter Atencio's "Keanu," a rambunctious action-comedy starring Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, suggest that the effort might best be enjoyed by fans of the duo's Comedy Central sketch series, "Key & Peele." Oddly, though, while unaware of the pair's cable TV fame and thus essentially a representative of the Great Unwashed, this admittedly easy chortler laughed much more than the supposed target audience with whom I viewed the movie.

While it behooves to academically note that the essence of comedy hasn't changed since Oog tripped Grouk as he exited his cave, the art of making folks chuckle, titter and hopefully


Berkshire Tidbits: Mother's Day
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
06:15PM / Thursday, May 05, 2016

Chez Nous Bistro, 150 Main St. in Lee, 413 243-6397, has reopened and they are still having fun for the next few weeks with their Thursday night Manger! Boire!/Eat! Drink! cooking demo and wine pairing tasting dinners at 6:30.

They start them about November until end-of-year holidays, pick them up again when the new year begins through the middle of February when they take their much needed vacation, then add another month and half of demos after they return in April.

If you remember from previous Tidbit columns, the two chef-owners, Franck Tessier and his wife Rachel Portnoy who is the pastry chef, present a small themed cooking lesson, share the evening's recipes, serve a full meal


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

Letter: Support Puddester for Planning Board
Letters to the Editor,
02:31PM / Thursday, May 05, 2016

To the Editor:

I write to urge support for Susan Puddester for the 5-year term on the Williamstown Planning Board. I worked side by side with Susan on the Higher Ground board of directors after Tropical Storm Irene devastated the Spruces Mobile Home Park. Through her work with park residents, town committees, public and private organizations, and the Higher Ground board, I know Susan to be discerning, thoughtful, honest and fair.

Susan would bring no agenda with her to the Planning Board other than a desire to make the best decisions on behalf of all Williamstown residents. I wholeheartedly endorse her candidacy and recommend that you vote for her on May 10.



Letter: Gardner Saddened by Failure to Reach Waubeeka Compromise
Letters to the Editor,
02:00PM / Thursday, May 05, 2016

To the Editor:

I was saddened that the Williamstown Planning Board, of which I am a member, could not reach consensus on the language for a commercial overlay district at Waubeeka Golf Links at the May 4 meeting.

I am further saddened that Mr. Deep's attorney has indicated that he will not accept the amendment I drafted because it places a square-footage limit on the development. The amendment borrowed from multiple iterations from the last several weeks but it was met with hostility from two fellow board members and it was labeled as a crushing blow to economic development.

This is unfortunate because the Planning Board has worked for nine months to accommodate the development of a


Preschool Program Dominates Williamstown School Committee Forum
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:43AM / Thursday, May 05, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The candidate who said the least at a recent Williamstown Elementary School Committee candidates forum may have done the most to sum up the issues in the five-person race.

"I don't have much to say about the Tri-District because every town has its own thing," Sanjay Sharma said in reply to a question about potential regionalization into a K-12 school district.

"Here, we have a problem with the Side-By-Side, and now we're talking about the Tri-District system. I don't have much to say on that point."

Sharma did go on to say he was generally for expanded regionalization if all sides felt it was a good idea, and he did comment on

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Canning Announces State Senate Candidacy on Republican Ticket
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:38AM / Thursday, May 05, 2016

The announcement was made before the Veterans of Foreign Wars held its meeting. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Christine Canning describes herself as a "pit bull with lipstick" who will go to Boston and fight for Berkshire County.   The Lanesborough resident and educational consultant announced her candidacy for state Senate at the American Legion in Pittsfield Wednesday evening.   Canning is running as a Republican and will take on the winner of the Democratic primary, which features Adam Hinds, Andrea Harrington and Rinaldo Del Gallo. The Berkshire's seat is open because Sen. Benjamin Downing has opted not to run for


Williamstown Planners Flip on Waubeeka Land 'Bonus' Issue
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:40PM / Wednesday, May 04, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The "bonus" is back.

Less than a week after the Planning Board decided to pursue an amended Waubeeka Overlay District bylaw that did not require the owner to trade conserved land for additional building square footage, three members of the board did a 180 on Wednesday night.

After a heated 90-minute discussion, the board voted 3-2 to send town meeting an amendment to the citizen's petition overlay bylaw that would force Wabeeka Golf Links' owner to set aside more than 100 acres for 60,000 square feet of development.

Under the amendment co-authored by Planners Sarah Gardner and Ann McCallum, a property owner would be able to build up to


Senate Candidate Hinds Opens Pittsfield Headquarters
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:48PM / Wednesday, May 04, 2016

More than two dozen supporters stopped by to check out the new office space. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Senate Candidate Adam Hinds opened a downtown office on Tuesday.   Hinds is running against Andrea Harrington for the Democratic nomination for the Berkshire state Senate seat being left vacant by Benjamin Downing, who opted not to run for re-election.   Rindaldo Del Gallo has said he plans to run but has not yet jumped into the race.    The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition Executive Director Hinds held an open house at his new office on South Street — in the plaza at the Crowne Plaza — which had previously been used as the headquarters for the


Letter: Gardner Well-Qualified for Planning Board
Letters to the Editor,
05:00PM / Wednesday, May 04, 2016

To the Editor:

The Williamstown Planning Board has the broadest role of any town committee, and we are fortunate this year to have a candidate running for a five-year seat who is superbly qualified to fill that role — Sarah Gardner. The town website describes the Planning Board's task as twofold: to prepare for the future of the town with studies and plans on land use, housing, recreation and conservation, and business development; to review all proposals for zoning bylaw amendments and to propose bylaw amendments of its own. All these decisions are to be made with community support and within a broad vision for the future.

During the 17 years Sarah has lived in Williamstown


SVMC Health Blog: Good News, Gone Bad
Sponsored Content,
03:15PM / Wednesday, May 04, 2016

One day several years ago, a national news broadcast reporter covered a scientific study that revealed the beneficial components of chocolate. "It's good for your heart," she proclaimed. "Eat more chocolate."

The 90-second news broadcast oversimplified the findings, and so did every other news source reporting the story in the wildfire of coverage that ensued. The "good news" of dark chocolate is still making headlines now, years later. Meanwhile millions are over-consuming chocolate and other foods that — while they may have some beneficial properties — have a lot of calories. Those calories are actually doing more harm than good.

So let's


Baseball Exhibit to Go Up at Country Club of Pittsfield Sports,
01:53PM / Wednesday, May 04, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- “Baseball in the Berkshires: A County’s Common Bond” will continue its 2016 season later this month at the Country Club of Pittsfield.

The historic exhibition that traces the game from its earliest beginnings through the career of contemporary local collegians was created last year and had its initial residence at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead.

It returned to the Holmes Road site this spring for a brief stay with plans to take it on the road to various sites around the county.

The first stop will be at the CC of Pittsfield from May 16 to 20.

No admission will be charged at the exhibit, which will be displayed Monday, May 16, from noon to 4 p.m.


Hancock Town Meeting OKs School Budget, Rejects Land Deal
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:37AM / Wednesday, May 04, 2016

HANCOCK, Mass. — Town meeting Monday sided with the School Committee on the education budget and against the Board of Selectmen on that and two other issues.

In a meeting that lasted nearly three hours and featured three secret ballot votes, the town voted to raise and appropriate $488,494 to cover town expenses and $1.4 million to cover school expenses.

The $1,399,814 school appropriation was the subject of considerable debate, much of which centered around the decision of the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee to break the School Committee's request into two separate warrant articles.

The Town Report included an insert purporting to offer voters "corrections" on


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