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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Letter: Question 2 Contrary to the Commonwealth
Letters to the Editor,
05:00PM / Tuesday, November 01, 2016

To the Editor:

Charter schools are an expensive proposition in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with no oversight from our locally elected officials.  This year over $400 million will be diverted from local school districts to fund these privately managed schools.

The broad coalition that has organized against this misguided ballot initiative speaks to its significance.  Why would over 135 organizations including the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association, the NAACP, and both major teachers unions (MTA and AFT) be against the proposal?  Why have over 200 schools committees, 23 town boards and city councils, and 31 mayors said No On 2?  It’s the simple


MCLA to Host 2nd Annual Berkshire Natural History Conference
03:21PM / Tuesday, November 01, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The second annual Berkshire Natural History Conference will feature presentations by local and regional naturalists as well as acclaimed authors on Saturday, Nov. 5, at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Church Street Center.

"This annual event will bring natural history home to the Berkshires," said Tom Tyning, a professor of environmental science at Berkshire Community College and a lead organizer of the event. "We are really excited to gather programs and like-minded people together to help understand and appreciate the deep natural heritage that surrounds us all in the Berkshires."

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is


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

Kennedy Rallies Berkshire Dems For Final Election Push
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:14PM / Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Those in attendance gathered for a quick group photo before heading back to work on the campaign efforts for Democratic candidates. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There is a lot of frustration with politics, especially on the national level, shown throughout this campaign season. While local Democrats say they understand it, they want to take seats in government to fix the causes of that frustration.   "For those who are so frustrated, and we have to acknowledge that frustration comes from a very real place for far too many people — an economy that despite our best efforts is leaving a lot of folks behind or in danger thereof, we've got a criminal justice system where


New Ashford Celebrates Restoration of Historic Schoolhouse
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:19AM / Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Funds to build the structure were approved by town meeting in 1791. It did duty as a school, town hall and library for many years.

NEW ASHFORD, Mass. — It took a village to save the town's 1792 Schoolhouse.

Along with some elbow grease and thousands in donations.

The village came together on Saturday morning to celebrate the restoration of one of its oldest and most historic buildings, complete with a cadre of graduates who brought with them memories of a time before school buses and indoor plumbing, when discipline was a given.

"If not, we got a ruler on our hands," said Cecile Love, 101, who chuckled, "I got into lots of things I shouldn't


Biz Briefs: Canyon Ranch Unveils Luxury Residences in Lenox
01:38PM / Monday, October 31, 2016

Luxury living: Canyon Ranch has launched Canyon Ranch Residences at Bellefontaine, a collection of exquisitely-designed condominiums at its 120-acre Lenox. location. William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty Great Barrington, Mass., agents Gladys Montgomery and Marc Bachman will serve as the exclusive sales and marketing agents for the property.

Located on the grounds of the historic Bellefontaine Mansion in the heart of the Berkshires – approximately two hours from Boston and three hours from New York – the Residences at Bellefontaine will be comprised of 19 beautifully-appointed luxury condos ranging in price from $1.35 million to $3.5 million, all of which will have


Clark Art Receives Gift of Allan Sekula's Private Library
12:33PM / Monday, October 31, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute's library recently received an important gift of the 15,000-volume personal collection of artist Allan Sekula. Art historian and professor Sally Stein made the gift of the Allan Sekula Library to the Clark in memory of her husband Allan Sekula (1951–2013).

The collection is housed in the Manton Research Center, which will reopen on Nov. 12 after an extensive renovation.

An international artist, photographer, filmmaker, and writer, Sekula was recognized as a public intellectual, art critic, and theorist, as well as for the social commentary, criticism, and activism that informed his life and work. He was a member of the


Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Awards $769,000 in Fall Grants Cycle
12:26PM / Monday, October 31, 2016

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — The board of directors of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation have announced the recipients of the third round of grantmaking for 2016.

The foundation distributed a total of $50,134 in grants to individuals and nonprofits in the four-county region it serves and grants totaling nearly $720,000 from donors with charitable funds at the foundation.

In Berkshire County, the foundation awarded grants from the Gateway Fund and Pauline Young Music Fund, both of which support projects for students in the North Adams School District.

Arts and Culture: Grants to arts organizations and arts programs in North Adams totaled $17,324. Select grant recipients include: Drury


Berkshires Beat: Cheshire Celebrates Halloween
11:35AM / Monday, October 31, 2016

Spooktacular: The Cheshire Elementary School PTG hosted its annual Halloween Dance Party on Friday, Oct. 21, in the school auditorium. DJ Bob Heck of Bob Heck Entertainment played music and games with the kids. The kids danced and played the night away.

The Hoosac Valley Cheerleaders came and volunteered their time to help run the game and craft tables. Many parent volunteers helped out to make this such a successful event. Each child came in their favorite costume and some parents dressed up as well. There was a large assortment of donated baked goods and treats. Each child received a pumpkin as they left and the pumpkins were donated by Whitney's Farm.

Know about voting: State


Quinto Wins Junior Golf Event at Waubeeka Sports,
03:30PM / Sunday, October 30, 2016
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Under cloudy skies and cool fall temperatures, Kevin Quinto of Pittsfield High School Saturday won the American Junior Golf Association qualifier at Waubeeka Golf Links.   Quinto carded an even par 71 with three birdies and three bogeys.   South Windsor, Conn.’s, Jared Walter was second with a 4-over 75, but the highlight of the day was when he aced the 140-yard No. 7 using a Taylor Made 9 iron and a Titleist Prov1x.   First alternate position went to Connor Piecuch of East Longmeadow High School. Second alternate was Monica Mo of Guangzhou, China, by way of Pittsfield’s Miss Hall’s School.   The AJGA Preview Event now has a full


Williamstown Water Street Project on Track for 2018
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:40AM / Sunday, October 30, 2016

Filbert Yee of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, center, conducts the public hearing held on Oct. 19.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The long-anticipated reconstruction of Water Street is expected to get under way in spring 2018.

Officials from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and engineering firm Greenman-Pedersen came to Town Hall this month for a public hearing on the project, which is 100 percent designed and ready to go to bid in August 2017.

"We've been working on it on and off with [Williamstown's Guntlow & Associates] for the last seven years," Greenman-Pedersen Project Manager James Noyes said. "Part of the delay was trying


No on 2 Campaign Rallies in Pittsfield as Election Day Nears
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:11PM / Saturday, October 29, 2016

MTA President Barbara Madeloni said so far 'the 413 is no on 2.' PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Corporations and big business cannot buy public education.   That is the message that those opposing Question 2, a ballot initiative calling for raising the cap on charter schools by a dozen, is sending.
  The opposition says the expansion of the charter school system will devastate the traditional public school system by allocating more public funding to the privately-run schools.   "The message you are sending across the nation is powerful. What you are saying is that big business, corporations, you cannot buy public education. That's the message that needs to

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Milne Library Hosts Author of 'Sniffer Dogs' and Real-life Sniffer
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:11PM / Saturday, October 29, 2016

Bloodhounds like Daisy can smell different aromas in the same way we can differentiate noises and voices. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Nancy Castaldo's latest science book for children, "Sniffer Dogs," had a real life example on hand at the Milne Public Library with a special guest appearance by Daisy, the Police Department's K-9 unit   The award-winning Hudson Valley, N.Y., author presented some her research about the amazing capabilities of a dog's nose Tuesday afternoon at the library to a group of dog enthusiasts and explained how their sense of smell helps people.   She said because of her background in conservation, she was first attracted to


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