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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Hotels, Meals Tax in Williamstown Shows Impact of Pandemic
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:22PM / Friday, November 27, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Numbers from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue indicate the town's lodging industry lost 57 percent of its business from April through September compared with 2019.   Town Manager Jason Hoch reported those statistics to the Select Board on Monday night to demonstrate how much the local economy has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.   The numbers come from the DOR's report of local lodging establishments' liability under the rooms and meals tax. Although the commonwealth has given businesses the "small relief" of being able to defer those tax payments, the amount they owe still shows up on the books, Hoch said.   In

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@theMarket: Market Cyclicals Take the Lead
By Bill Schmick,
04:37PM / Friday, November 27, 2020
It was a good week for investors, which is not surprising since Thanksgiving week has been kind to investors in the past. The question is, will December fulfill its role as one of the year's best months for stocks?   The short answer is yes, I don't see why not. My recent target for the S&P 500 Index is 3,800, but it is possible that I may be too conservative. An additional spike up to the 4,000 level might be in the cards sometime early next year, but one week at a time. What is the bull case for those lofty predictions?   I have long argued that a coronavirus vaccine was key to the economy and the market's future performance. We now have at least three vaccines

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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
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State Declares 'Green Friday' in Support of Local Xmas Tree Farms
03:29PM / Friday, November 27, 2020
UXBRIDGE, Mass. — The Baker-Polito administration has declared Friday, Nov. 27, as "Green Friday" to encourage people across the commonwealth to visit their local farms and nurseries for Christmas trees, holiday plants, and holiday decorating needs.   To celebrate, state Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux participated in a Christmas tree-cutting ceremony at Arrowhead Acres in Uxbridge. In an effort to support the commonwealth's Christmas tree industry, the declaration of Green Friday encourages people throughout the state to visit their local Christmas tree farms to purchase their trees, holiday plants, ornamental swags, and wreaths to

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Wells Presented Superintendent's Award at Mount Greylock
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Friday, November 27, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Jake McCandless is new to the Mount Greylock Regional School District, but he is no stranger to the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents' Academic Excellence Award.   He has been around them since he was an administrator in the Lee Public Schools in 2002 and has been giving them out in Pittsfield since 2013.   And he has figured out what all those winners have in common.   "All of the times I've seen this award given or actually had the pleasure of giving this award, there's a really thick thread that runs through the story of every student who I have ever seen receive this award," McCandless said. "That

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Pittsfield Looks to Adopt Alternate Side Parking
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
01:12AM / Friday, November 27, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city of Pittsfield is working to refine snow emergency parking in two steps. The first step is the adoption of a new snow emergency regulations for alternate side parking, and the second is to repeal overnight parking regulations so that residents can park on the street all year long.   On Tuesday, the City Council ordained an alternate side parking petition, which is a traffic law that dictates which side of the street vehicles can be parked on a given day based on even and odd street numbers.   Alternate side parking aims to allow for more efficient seasonal cleanup and for high-density areas that may not have sufficient parking, such as the

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The Retired Investor: Pandemic Has Been Good to Pet Industry
By Bill Schmick,
04:30PM / Thursday, November 26, 2020
Sales are increasing wherever you look in the pet sector. Toys, beds, grooming products, leashes, day care, you name it; the pet industry is experiencing double-digit increases in revenue. Better yet, there are few signs that consumer spending in this area will slow down anytime soon.   As readers are aware, the retail sector has been one of the hardest hit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The pet care industry is an exception to that rule. In the past, I have written extensively about how recession-proof the pet industry can be.  In both the 2001 and 2008 recessions, pet care sales grew between 5-7 percent. Consumer spending on pets has grown 36 percent in the past 10

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How Do You Cook a Turkey?: From the Mouths of 5-year-olds
By Mrs. Poirot's Kindergarten Class, Guest Column
12:15PM / Thursday, November 26, 2020

Kindergarteners at Hoosac Valley Elementary working diligently at home to share their Thanksgiving recipes. 

ADAMS, Mass. — Each year, the kindergartners in Robin Poirot's class at Hoosac Valley Elementary School offer their estimations on how long it takes to cook a turkey — in sizes ranging from three to 100 pounds.

  Their Thanksgiving recipes are always amusing and sometimes enlightening, particularly the choices of stuffing, but we must strongly caution against following any of their directions as a matter of public health.   Addison Columbus Well, first you would have to go to the store and grab a 10-pound turkey. After I bring it home in a bag, I

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Greenagers Offers Youth Nature-Based Work Amidst Pandemic
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
07:11AM / Thursday, November 26, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A local youth environment community group has not let COVID-19 halt its stride.

Greenagers has continued its commitment to outdoor programming amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic to offer teenagers and young adults nature-based work and socially distant connections.

Executive Director Will Conklin and Conservation Director Elia Del Molino felt it was appropriate to extend this programming into the fall and winter this year so that members will continue to have meaningful and safe work and connections.

"We are so grateful for companies and organizations that utilize our services and give us work to teach and learn about the importance of our natural

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Mount Greylock Making Winter Plans for High School Sports
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:11AM / Wednesday, November 25, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School District is making winter plans for its athletic programs.   On Monday, Athletic Director Lindsey von Holtz proposed a plan to the School Committee for four competitive varsity teams in the upcoming season: boys and girls basketball and boys and girls cross country skiing.   Von Holtz said Mount Greylock in years past has offered opportunities for its students to compete on cooperative teams in ice hockey, wrestling and swimming, but for various reasons those are not in the cards this winter. The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association has moved competitive wrestling to the spring due to restrictions that

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Mount Greylock 'Snow Days' Will Be Remote Days
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:39PM / Tuesday, November 24, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Snow days will be school days in the Mount Greylock Regional School District, at least through the middle of February.   On Monday, newly installed Superintendent Jason "Jake" McCandless told the School Committee that he has decided to use snow days for remote learning in the PreK-12 district until after the February vacation.   After the planned one-week break, the first two snow days will be treated as actual days off before going back to the remote "snow day" model. North Adams made the decision to treat snow days as remote days earlier this month.   "In addition to that, any day that would traditionally be a

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Mount Greylock School Committee Again Postpones Decision on Turf Field
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:11AM / Tuesday, November 24, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — It will be at least two more weeks before the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee decides whether to put an athletic field project out to bid.   On Monday, the committee was expected to decide whether to authorize architect Perkins Eastman to draw up bid documents for a project that would include an artificial turf field as the centerpiece of a larger initiative to address deficiencies in the playing fields at the middle-high school.   But Business Manager Joe Bergeron informed the committee that despite his best efforts to prod the Boston firm, it sent its proposal to the district just after 2 p.m. on Monday, and the committee agreed it did not

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Williamstown ZBA Approves Cannabis Operation's Demolition Request
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:37AM / Tuesday, November 24, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday permitted the developer of a cannabis retail operation on Simonds Road to tear down the site's existing structure and build anew.   Sparkboro Wellness in August sought and received a special permit to open a location at 1017 Simonds Road (Route 7) just south of the Vermont state line.   At the time, it was planning to reuse the former garage at the site.   But Sparkboro's development team was back before the ZBA on Thursday to ask for approval of a change in its development plan because it has found that a remodel is unworkable.   "The logic for demolition of this building and construction

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