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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Consider Some New Year's Financial Resolutions
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:29AM / Wednesday, December 19, 2018

As the year winds down, you may want to look ahead to see which areas of your life you can improve in 2019. Perhaps you will decide to exercise more, eat healthier foods, reconnect with old friends or volunteer at a school or charitable organization.

All these goals are certainly worthwhile – but you also may want to add some New Year's financial resolutions to your list.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

* Boost contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan. Good news! Contribution limits will be increasing for many employer-sponsored retirement plans. For 2019, you can contribute up to $19,000 (up from $18,500 in 2018), or $25,000 (up from $24,500 in 2018) if


Holiday Events and Tree Lightings 2018
11:15AM / Wednesday, December 19, 2018

'Tis the season to be merry and bright. Planning a holiday event? Let us know at (Visit our Holiday Bazaars and Craft Fairs list for holiday craft fairs.( And see below for a guide to Christmas tree lightings in towns across the Berkshires.

The city of Pittsfield is offering free downtown parking for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve and Christmas on Fridays Dec. 7, 14, 21, and 28. There will also be a week of free parking starting Dec. 17 through Dec. 21. Parking is always free in the evenings and weekends.


Holiday Events Wednesday, December 19

Pittsfield: The sixth annual Beer & Carols will be held in the Common Room at Zion Lutheran Church, 74


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

North Berkshire Coalition Forum Listens to Community's Kids
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Wednesday, December 19, 2018

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Out of the mouths of babes.

At the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition's December monthly forum — held for the first time outside of North Adams, at First Congregational Church in Williamstown — Executive Director Amber Besaw unveiled a six-minute video she made in conjunction with Paul Marino from Northern Berkshire Community Television in which several local children were filmed answering questions about their own families.

The airing of the video to the nearly 100 people in the church's Fellowship Hall kicked off the forum subject: "Re-Imagining How We Support Children in Our Community." The topics brought together people from


BRTA Strike Ends; Regular Bus Service Resumes Wednesday
Staff Reports,
02:15PM / Tuesday, December 18, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BRTA buses should be back on schedule Wednesday, Dec. 19, bringing an end to the strike that has paralyzed much of the county's public transportation system for the past two weeks.    The latest offer presented to the federal mediator on Tuesday was voted on by the paratransit union membership at a meeting and was approved.     The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority sent out an alert early Tuesday afternoon reporting it had received notification that the union representing the paratransit drivers had accepted the latest offer. Regular paratransit services will resume Thursday, Dec. 20.   Fixed route service had been severely


Mount Greylock School Committee Considers New Purpose for Elementary School Trips
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:09AM / Tuesday, December 18, 2018
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Members of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee want to see the district's elementary schools explore using a year-end sixth-grade field trip as a way to help integrate the graduating classes in Lanesborough and Williamstown.   Lanesborough Elementary Principal Martha Wiley and Williamstown Elementary Principal Joelle Brookner were before the School Committee on Thursday to get its formal sign-off on their school's respective trips to Cape Cod and approval for the fund-raising efforts that support the sojourn.   The trips are both educational and community-building exercises, Brookner explained, noting that the town's elementary


Berkshires Beat: Lenox Sixth-Grader Wins Hinds' Holiday Card Contest
03:51PM / Monday, December 17, 2018

Hinds poses with the winner (front right), two of the runners-up and local Marines collecting toys for their Toys for Tots program. She's a winner

State Sen. Adam G. Hinds introduced Savannah Reber, the student artist whose drawing was chosen for his greeting card this year, during a holiday open house in his downtown Pittsfield office on Dec. 13. His office was decorated with hundreds of drawings submitted by local third- through sixth-grade students to his Holiday Greeting Card Design Contest. In total, 348 students from a dozen schools located across western Massachusetts submitted entries to the contest.

Savannah, 12, is a resident of Lenox and is in sixth grade at Lenox


Williamstown Planning Board Outlines Incremental Proposed Zoning Changes
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:34AM / Monday, December 17, 2018

A map shows the extent of nonconformity for residential lots in town. All properties in various shades of red do not meet the zoning bylaw's requirement for minimum road frontage. Most were grandfathered.   WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — For six months, the Planning Board has been talking about making incremental changes to the zoning bylaw to increase housing options in the town.   And even after all this time, some of the board members themselves are struck by just how minor those changes are.   Last week, Stephanie Boyd showed her colleagues a PowerPoint presentation she is preparing in advance of a planned January public information session on the bylaw


Wintry Mix Into Monday, Then Warmer Temps on Tap
01:50PM / Sunday, December 16, 2018

Wintry mix will begin today, transition to mainly snow this evening before ending overnight. Total amounts will be fairly light, but still enough to make surfaces slippery. Allow extra time for travel today! #518wx

— NWS Albany (@NWSAlbany) December 16, 2018 Mother Nature couldn't quite decide what to gift us with this weekend, so she decided to give us a little bit of everything: freezing rain, sleet, snow.    The National Weather Service has posted a winter weather advisory for Sunday and into Monday morning.    This mixed precipitation will be coming down over the Berkshires on Sunday afternoon and then switching over to snow,


Harrington Prepares to Take Over District Attorney's Office
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:47AM / Sunday, December 16, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — If Andrea Harrington wants to make the reforms to the criminal justice system that voters elected her to make, it is going to require the right team of staff members.   And that's what Harrington has been spending her last month or so looking to build. The district attorney-elect defeated incumbent Paul Caccaviello in the November election and since then has been focusing on finding people she believes in to take leadership roles in the next incarnation of the district attorney's office.   "The people who voted for me voted for me because they believed in the vision that I articulated. In order to enact that vision, we need to have the right

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Christmas Comes Early at North Adams Veterans Office
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:39PM / Friday, December 14, 2018

Mary LaPierre, whose late husband was a Korean War veteran, says the Veterans Office has been helpful in getting her widow's benefits.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Santa came early this year for nearly 200 local veterans and family members.   Lined up in ranks across tables and the floor were shopping bags, wrapped gifts, cards and sports bags filled with necessities were ready for pickup on Friday morning at the North Adams Veterans Office.    "This is a precision operation," said Mayor Thomas Bernard, who donned his favorite "ugly" Christmas sweater and a Santa hat to spend an hour welcoming veterans and shaking their

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@theMarket: The Market's Winter Storm
By Bill Schmick,
03:28PM / Friday, December 14, 2018
Stocks worldwide have experienced a downdraft since October. All the gains so painstakingly made thus far in 2018 have been erased. Volatility has battered markets with all the severity of a Nor'easter. Next year may prove to be a continuation of the same.   It is interesting that the culprits responsible for this change of heart in the markets have been around for just about all of the past year. Leading the list is Donald Trump. It was our president that decided to wage a trade war against the world. There has been little success in his battle thus far. The prospect of more of the same faces us well into the new year.   The Federal Reserve Bank can also take some blame.


Mount Greylock School Building Committee Presses Contractor on Auditorium
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Friday, December 14, 2018
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — School officials and the School Building Committee on Tuesday continued to express their frustration with the pace of completion of the Mount Greylock Regional school building project.   At the latest meeting of the School Building Committee, the panel pressed Turner Construction Vice President Carl Stewart III for a date when the general contractor finally will finish work on the school's auditorium.   "What's your best guess?" co-Chairman Mark Schiek asked Stewart point blank.   "I'm not going to give one," Stewart said. "Believe me, Williamstown is a nice town, but we want to be done as much as you


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