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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

MCLA Welcomes Students Back, Implements COVID-19 Precautions
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:27AM / Monday, August 31, 2020

MCLA has signs around the campus reminding everyone to mask up and social distance. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Move-in weekend at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has generally been a celebratory affair as hundreds of students show up with parents and family in tow to prepare for the fall semester.    This year was a low-key affair as the annual event played out over several days with staggered arrivals and mandated COVID-19 testing — another sign of the changes wrought by the novel coronavirus pandemic.    "It looks very different, we've spread out moving over a few more days," said Gina Puc, dean of enrollment management and community


Chilling Snow Storm Draws Apprehensive Avian Migrants
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
08:00PM / Sunday, August 30, 2020

Cylindrical mesh thistle feeder will serve six finches here served at one time. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — If ever there was a snow storm to remember it was that of early May in our Berkshires.   Forewarned by the aggressive weather watchers to inform us of the approaching tempest, one may wonder how our birds reacted to atmospheric signs that animals first perceive. Flocking birds of assorted genera appeared stunned by the daunting freeze that enveloped both the world of people and the spring migrating birds eager to resume nesting and procreation of their progeny.   All night the swirling snow fell in the valleys and foothills, and I felt concern for our cheerful charmers


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: Vote For Alex Morse
01:00PM / Sunday, August 30, 2020

To the Editor:

Here is a letter to support voting for Alex Morse in the Sept. 1 Massachusetts primary for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives' First Congressional District.

As a sometimes songwriter, my recent song, "Ripped," expresses why we should vote Morse on Sept. 1:

Name is Rip Van Winkle.
Just had a little dream.
How long have I been sleeping?
Seems like the same ol’ scene.

Does anyone care
That the world is still at war?
Or have we learned to share?
Do the rich ever grift and hoard?

Name is Rip Van Winkle ...

Which criminals are in office?
Are they the usual losers?
Or have they been locked up
Like the drug pushers?

Name is Rip Van Winkle


Letter: Morse Will Bring Progressive Values to Washington
Letter to the Editor,
01:00PM / Sunday, August 30, 2020

To the Editor:

Too young. Too queer. Wait my turn.

Those are statements I heard too often during my 2019 campaign to represent Ward 5 on the Pittsfield City Council.

The barriers to running for office as a young, openly gay man are considerable, but thanks to decades of community advocacy and trailblazing politicians, they are no longer insurmountable. Prominent among that group, and prominent in Western Mass, is Alex Morse, the 31-year-old progressive mayor of Holyoke and current candidate for U.S. Congress in our district.

The insults I heard last year are the same ones Mayor Morse has fought to overcome every day since his election nine years ago. Most recently, the College


BCC to Offer New Certificate Programs This Fall
11:11AM / Saturday, August 29, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College will be offering two new certificate programs in the 2020-2021 academic year, including Law Enforcement and Mental Health Worker certificates – in addition to the Cannabis Industry certificate, which is now offering a second year cohort model this fall.

The Law Enforcement certificate falls under the Criminal Justice program. The certificate was developed and ratified by the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association Training and Education Committee as an important step in their goal to have a better educated and more professional workforce in the commonwealth. The certificate combines specialized criminal justice and general


Clark Art Institute Presents New Podcast Series
11:04AM / Saturday, August 29, 2020

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute's Research and Academic Program has premiered a new podcast series this summer.

"In the Foreground: Conversations on Art & Writing" considers art's role in society, how knowledge is shared, the way histories are made, and the personal stakes of scholarship. Each episode offers a lively, in-depth look into the life and mind of a scholar or artist working with art historical or visual material. Discussions touch on guests’ current research projects, career paths, and significant texts, mentors, and experiences that have shaped their thinking. 

The first episode was Aug. 25. Ten more are planned for the first


Freeman Center Continues Fundraiser During Time of Heightened Need
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:23AM / Saturday, August 29, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After a drop at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, calls to the Elizabeth Freeman Center's domestic abuse and sexual assault hotline have returned to the kind of numbers the non-profit saw in the summer of 2019.   If anything, it's getting more calls. And the callers are in greater peril.   "Beginning in May, we started to see a sharp increase in hotline calls, particularly those coming in on the weekends and evening hours," Freeman Center Executive Director Janis Broderick said this week. "We could get between 12 and 15 calls on a weekend alone.   "And the calls were different, too. They're more severe. The violence

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@theMarket: Markets Reach for the Sky
By Bill Schmick,
03:40PM / Friday, August 28, 2020
Credit the Fed for this week's bump up in the averages. Technology shares led the charge as usual, shrugging off a sinking economy, higher unemployment and no progress on another bail out. What else is new?   At the annual Jackson Hole Symposium of world central bank leaders, conducted virtually this year, Jerome Powell, the chairman of our central bank, took center stage. In his prepared remarks, Powell announced a shift in the U.S. inflation policy. Rather than using the oft-stated, long-held inflation target of 2 percent, the Fed will now "seek to achieve inflation that averages 2 percent over time."   What's the big deal, you might ask? In laymen's terms,


'Friendly Persuasion': Love, Quaker Style
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:51PM / Friday, August 28, 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


Mount Greylock Still Negotiating with Union on Return to Classes
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:39AM / Friday, August 28, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Thursday agreed on a plan for the sports program at the middle/high school but failed to agree on an agreement with the district's teachers about a plan to resume school in September.   After meeting in executive session for more than 2 1/2 hours, the seven-member panel returned to open session to inform the audience viewing its virtual meeting that it would not, as planned, be taking a vote on a memorandum of agreement with the Mount Greylock Educators Association.   "We want to acknowledge first how much everyone … really needs more clarity on our fall plans," committee member Jamie


Williams Removes Two Students for Breaking COVID-19 Protocol; First Round of Student Tests Yield No Positives
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:09PM / Thursday, August 27, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College has removed two students from campus for violating the school's quarantine order for returning students.   President Maud Mandel made the announcement in an email to the college community on Thursday.   "Over the last few weeks, we've regretfully had to convert two on-campus students to remote study status after they violated the college's quarantine," Mandel wrote in a letter co-signed by Dean Marlene Sandstrom. "Judging from the campus reaction, some people may not understand the reasons for our policies, or may feel we're enforcing them too strictly."   Mandel did not specify the nature of the


Pittsfield Price Rite Closing Next Month
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:40PM / Thursday, August 27, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Price Rite Marketplace plans to close its Pittsfield location on Dalton Avenue by Sept. 30.   In a statement Thursday, Daniel Emmer with the supermarket's corporate communications confirmed rumors that the company will be closing the Pittsfield store.   "After 14 years, Price Rite Marketplace of Pittsfield has made the very difficult decision to close the store by September 30, 2020," he wrote. "Price Rite appreciates the loyalty of its customers who have supported the store through the years and its dedicated team members who have worked hard to serve our community."   He added that the company is sharing information


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