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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Festival of Trees Opens at Berkshire Museum
11:53AM / Wednesday, November 16, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Walk the red carpet like a movie star when "Now Playing: Festival of Trees 2016" opens at the Berkshire Museum on Friday, Nov. 18, with a festive premiere party.

Widely regarded as the unofficial kickoff of the holiday season in the Berkshires, the annual event will feature more than 100 dazzling decorated trees, bedecked in film world finery, reflecting this year's movie theme. The creative holiday trees are sponsored by businesses, schools, and community organizations in a true celebration of cinema, from film noir and sci-fi to action-adventure, Westerns, and animation.

The family-friendly premiere party runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov.


Put Thanksgiving Lessons to Work in Your Financial Plans
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:22AM / Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving is almost here. Over the years, this holiday has taken on a variety of meanings, most of them centered on family, caring and sharing.

You can carry these same values past Thanksgiving into your daily life – and you can certainly incorporate them into your financial strategies for taking care of your loved ones.

So, here are a few suggestions:

* Protect your family. If something were to happen to you, could your family pay the mortgage? Could your children still afford to go to college someday? To protect your family's current lifestyle and long-term goals, you may well need to maintain adequate life and disability insurance. Your employer may offer these types of


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

Mount Greylock School Committee Asked to Cut Football as a Health Issue
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:12AM / Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A retired epidemiologist Tuesday night challenged the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee to take the lead on addressing "an epidemic in slow motion" by suspending the district's high school football program.

Dr. Nicholas Wright gave a presentation to the committee outlining some of the evidence that full contact football presents a severe concussion risk to its participants — so severe that the extracurricular activity is incompatible with the school's mission.

Wright went further, suggesting that the school district challenge the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association to take the same step and replace its current


Solid Waste District Having Trouble Finding New Coordinator
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:49AM / Tuesday, November 15, 2016
ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District is having trouble finding a new coordinator because of a limited applicant pool and inexperienced candidates.   Chairman Joseph Szczepaniak told board members on Thursday that the one applicant the search committee chose as a finalist backed out.    "We picked someone who we thought fit the bill ... but she called after and said her employers didn't want to lose her," Szczepaniak said. "She thanked us up and down for choosing her … but I think we just worked as a bargaining chip so she could get a raise."   Current Coordinator Sandy Totter plans to retire Dec. 9


Downing's Next Step Is Solar Energy Firm
04:43PM / Monday, November 14, 2016

Ben Downing will join a solar energy firm after leaving office.

BOSTON — Benjamin B. Downing, who has championed renewable energies during his 10 years in the state Senate, will join a solar energy company at the end of his term.

Nexamp Inc. announced on Monday that the Pittsfield Democrat, who did not stand for a sixth term, would be the solar contractor's new vice president of new market development.

"Ben's long history of public service will complement Nexamp's expert team of local development professionals," said Zaid Ashai, chief executive officer of Nexamp, in a statement. "He joins us at the most exciting juncture in our company's young


Biz Briefs: Railway Museum Seeks Volunteers for Christmas Train Rides
02:29PM / Monday, November 14, 2016

Back on track: The 2016 season was Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum's first year "back on track" operating traditional train rides since December of 2011. A new train ride experience in the Hoosac Valley between North Adams and Adams enjoyed a very successful inaugural season. Winding down the 2016 operating season, BSRM has one final special event to present to the community: Christmas Train Rides featuring a visit from Santa Claus himself.

Volunteer help is needed in a few different places from routine summer operations. Experienced volunteers are placed in positions requiring skills, qualifications or certain levels of knowledge; however our Christmas trains are a great


Berkshires Beat: 'White Privilege' Author Speaking in Lenox
02:05PM / Monday, November 14, 2016

Privileged: Anti-racism activist Peggy McIntosh will present a workshop on white privilege as part of the Multicultural BRIDGE annual Awards Celebration at Kripalu in Lenox on Thursday, Nov. 17. She will also give the evening's keynote address, "Coming to See Privilege Systems: The Surprising Journey." The celebration will include the presentation of BRIDGE’s inaugural Peggy McIntosh Equity and Justice Award.

McIntosh, founder of the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum and a former associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women, is best known for her classic 1989 essay, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack," in which she gives


Williamstown Joins Nationwide Protests Against Trump
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:21AM / Monday, November 14, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Nearly one week ago, Donald J. Trump was elected president of the United States.

On Saturday morning in Williamstown, a group of several hundred students and community members joined protesters all over the country in denouncing the results of the election.

Demonstrators of all ages filled Field Park with signs reading "Not Our President," "Love Trumps Hate" and "Black Lives Matter." Cars driving by honked, eliciting cheers from those at the demonstration, which was organized by North Berkshires for Racial Justice in conjunction with students and staff from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Williams College, Buxton School,


SVMC Pownal Campus Marks Successful First Year
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:21AM / Monday, November 14, 2016

SVHC President Thomas Dee sees the Pownal campus as a prototype for future centers and as something that can be expanded.

POWNAL, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Medical Center's Pownal campus opened up just a year ago to fill a need for medical care in the area and a model for the future of primary care.

Since then, some 4,600 patients have come through doors, a third of them from Massachusetts to the south.

"We knew that Pownal was an underserved area and having primary-care health center was critical," said Thomas Dee, president and CEO of Southwestern Vermont Health Care. "We're looking to have a number of these centers throughout out our coverage area.


Education Task Force Plans Presentations of Phase 1 Report
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Monday, November 14, 2016

Eliot Levine, senior researcher manager for the Donahue Institute, presented the Phase 1 report on Saturday morning.

DALTON, Mass. — Enrollment is declining in Berkshire County schools and costs are rising.

It's one of those things everyone knows — now there's concrete data confirming those notions and pinning down some of the effects on Berkshire County education.

The Berkshire County Task Force on Saturday morning reviewed a 77-page report commissioned from the University of Massachusetts' Donahue Institute on the state of county education.

It's not pretty.

Enrollment is down 22.3 percent over the last 15 years in 17 of the school districts being


United Way Urging State to Help Up Preschool Teaching Salaries
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:02AM / Friday, November 11, 2016

Dalton Preschool Director Paul Harris met with Douglas McNally, state Rep. Paul Mark, and United Way Program Director Karen Vogel on Thursday. DALTON, Mass. — On Thursday, Paula Harris wore a button to work in support of a movement to raise the wages for preschool teachers like herself.   The button was from 26 years ago.   Harris is approaching her 30th year as a preschool teacher and is now the director of the Dalton Preschool, housed in the same building with the CRA. When she took over as the director, she took a pay cut and she hasn't had much of a raise since then, now earning around $35,000 a year.    But she's ahead of the curve. Many


Clark Art Institute to Reopen Manton Center
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:45PM / Thursday, November 10, 2016
Clark Director Olivier Meslay admires the view from the soon-to-be-dedicated Francis Oakley Bridge. Behind Meslay, a temporary divider will come down on Saturday, again allowing access between the Clark's 1955 marble building and Manton Center via the bridge.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Annabelle Selldorf, who will lecture at the Clark Art Institute on Saturday, is an accomplished architect, businesswoman and, perhaps unbeknownst to her, heart surgeon.

"The reopening of the Manton Center is maybe not more important than the opening of the Ando building, but it is as important," Clark Director Olivier Meslay said Thursday during a press preview of the renovated


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