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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Letter: Reefer Madness in Williamstown
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Monday, August 17, 2020

To the Wditor:

Allowing Berkshire farmers the right to grow marijuana could help ensure that our local agricultural tradition remains a defining part of our lives. The local food that we are so grateful for us the product of a struggling industry. Farms in the commonwealth are lucky if they break even and most net only a few thousand dollars a year after expenses; many farmers work multiple jobs to keep their farms afloat. Farming is hard work with little economic return for the effort, especially in areas like the Berkshires with high property values and development pressures. Most of us appreciate local food without realizing how difficult it is to make a living growing it. That's

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Mount Greylock Teachers Union Nixes Notion of 'Public' Negotiations
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:06AM / Monday, August 17, 2020
  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The acting president of the Mount Greylock Regional School District's teachers union Friday rejected a School Committee member's suggestion that the union should hold its collective bargaining sessions in public and accused the committee of violating Massachusetts labor law in its Thursday evening meeting.   "Bargaining will not be done publicly," Lanesborough Elementary School teacher Jennifer Szymanski wrote in an email on behalf of the Mount Greylock Educators Association.   Szymanski was replying to a request for comment on Thursday night after School Committee member Steven Miller twice suggested that the panel hold public

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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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Letter: Postpone Pot Vote in Williamstown
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Sunday, August 16, 2020

To the Editor:

Hello friends and neighbors,

Your elected Planning Board and the Agricultural Commission have displayed a remarkable amount of unity and thoughtfulness in the past few weeks as we emerge from the densest fog of the pandemic and the date of the town meeting grows near.

Two conflicting, confusing, and deficient articles are posted to the town warrant this year. The two articles were drafted without proper community input in one case and technical finesse in another.

Up until a few weeks ago, the Planning Board intended to ban outdoor cultivation of marijuana in Williamstown all together, pressured by NIMBYs and outside lobbying groups, during the most intense months of the

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Voters Should Arrive Early for Williamstown's Outdoor Annual Meeting
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:28PM / Sunday, August 16, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — This year's annual town meeting comes with a little extra paperwork.   In addition to the meeting warrant, voters at next Tuesday's gathering will be issued separate cards for voting yea and nay — just one of the modifications in place to accommodate the first outdoor meeting on record.   Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting not only is delayed from its traditional May date, it also will be held outside on Farley-Lamb Field, the home of Williams College's football and lacrosse teams, at the Weston Field complex.   In order to make things a little easier on Town Moderator Adam Filson and his vote tabulators, the town is

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Williamstown Ag Commission Argues for Farmer in Dispute with DCR
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:14AM / Sunday, August 16, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Agricultural Commission this past week went to bat for a local farm involved in a dispute with the Department of Conservation and Recreation over a leased parcel in the Mount Greylock State Reservation.   Richard Haley of Cold Spring Road and Carl Sweet of Hopper Road in May received a "cease and desist" letter from DCR alleging unauthorized activities on the land which the farmers say they have leased continually since their uncle sold the 31-acre property to the commonwealth in 1990.   On Monday, the Ag Commission met with Haley for the second time in two weeks and agreed unanimously to send a letter to the director of the DCR's

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Greylock Federal Promotes Two
11:06AM / Saturday, August 15, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has promoted two familiar faces at their branch on West Street in Pittsfield. 

Branch Manager Gloria Beraldi and Assistant Branch Manager Johnothan Hinkell have expanded their roles with Greylock.

Beraldi has accepted a new position as assistant vice president, market manager, overseeing four branches in Pittsfield, the West Street and Elm Street locations and the employee branches at General Dynamics and Berkshire Medical Center.

Hinkell has been promoted to fill Beraldi’s former position as branch manager at West Street.

"Gloria and Johno make a great team," said Senior Vice President, Branch Administration,

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'Dave': Would Totally Wear a Mask
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:12PM / Friday, August 14, 2020

I wish that I were reviewing one of the half-dozen movies certain to be made when this pox upon our house is no more. But until that glorious return to normality has us resuming all the simple joys of life we take for granted, like going to the movies, I'll be retro-reviewing and thereby sharing with you the films that I've come to treasure over the years, most of which can probably be retrieved from one of the movie streaming services. It is my fondest hope that I've barely put a dent into this trove when they let the likes of me back into the

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Williamstown Planners Advise Town Meeting Postpone Action on Pot Bylaws
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:00AM / Friday, August 14, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — In a split decision on Tuesday, the Planning Board voted to recommend town meeting take no action on either of the proposed zoning bylaw amendments related to the production of marijuana.   After hearing new testimony about proposed changes to the commonwealth's regulations about setbacks and how they might factor into a draft bylaw regulating outdoor cannabis cultivation in town, the majority of the board decided it was best not to move forward either on its own draft bylaw or one submitted by citizens petition that would continue the town's current practice of allowing outdoor commercial pot growth by special permit.   The move came one day

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Mount Greylock School Committee Votes Down Remote Learning Start to School Year
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
11:05PM / Thursday, August 13, 2020

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Two months of input and advice from Mount Greylock’s working groups looking at the reopening of school were undone in four hours of discussion by the School Committee on Thursday night.

On a 6-1 vote, the committee directed interim superintendent Robert Putnam to submit to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education a radically different plan for the start of the year that moves more children into the school building more quickly than the administration was recommending.   Subject to approval by DESE and, not insignificantly, collective bargaining with the district’s unions, there will be no two-week period of fully remote learning as

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Berkshires Beat: Girl Scouts Present StoryWalk as Part of Silver Award Project
11:59AM / Thursday, August 13, 2020
Project W.I.L.D.

Two local Girl Scouts have launched a literacy and diversity project as they work to earn their Silver Award. Noelle Dravis of Williamstown and Emily Johnson of Lanesborough, both of whom will be ninth-graders at Mount Greylock Regional School this fall, created Project W.I.L.D. (Williamstown Inclusivity, Literacy and Diversity) to earn their Silver Award. The Girl Scout Silver Award is a project that Girl Scout Cadettes undertake to benefit their communities.

The project consists of three parts. The main part of the project is a StoryWalk® along Spring Street featuring the book "Just Ask: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You" by Supreme Court Justice Sonia

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Doctor Returns to CHP Barrington OB/GYN
10:58AM / Thursday, August 13, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs welcomes Dr. Jill Samale in her return to the staff of CHP Barrington OB/GYN. 

Dr. Samale provides comprehensive obstetrical and gynecology care to women of all ages. She is affiliated with Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital's Family Birthplace. She practiced previously with the CHP team and then joined Berkshire OB-GYN, a Berkshire Medical Center practice.

From 2006-2014, Samale practiced at South County Hospital Center for Women's Health in Wakefield, R.I. Earlier, she practiced at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, N.H. From 2000-2005, she worked in private practice at Baystate OB/GYN Group.

A

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Williamstown Police Sergeant's Lawsuit Alleges Racism, Sexual Harassment
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:25AM / Thursday, August 13, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday by a Williamstown Police sergeant paints a picture of a department plagued by racism and gender discrimination.   Sgt. Scott McGowan, a full-time police officer in the town since 2002, has named Chief Kyle Johnson, Town Manager Jason Hoch and the town as defendants in a suit alleging discrimination and retaliation against a whistle-blower.   McGowan, who is represented by Boston law firm Zalkind, Duncan and Bernstein, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in amounts not specified in the 22-page complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court.   Hoch on Wednesday afternoon said the town does not

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