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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Special Ed Preschool Issue Continues to Vex Williamstown School Committee
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:11AM / Friday, September 30, 2016

Superintendent Douglas Dias, left, and Chairman Dan Caplinger at Wednesday's meeting. Caplinger several times had to stop comments on school personnel. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — School Committee Chairman Dan Caplinger said he left the school's Side-by-Side program off the agenda for Wednesday's meeting because he felt the issue was settled, at least for the 2016-17 academic year.   Now, he said, he has to rethink that decision going forward.   The special education prekindergarten was the only thing on the minds of the three residents who participated in the public comment portion of Wednesday’s meeting. And, not for the first time, those comments strayed

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Eclipse Mill Quilt Exhibit Translates LeWitt Into Textiles
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:10PM / Thursday, September 29, 2016

Carson Converse, left, and Michelle Jensen at Friday's reception.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A new exhibit at the Eclipse Mill Gallery proves artist Sol LeWitt could have been a quilter. Or more to the point, a pattern maker.

The late artist was a leader in the conceptual movement and believed art was as much about the idea as the execution, and therefore could be reproduced. That concept is behind the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts' retrospective of 105 wall works, all produced on site from LeWitt's explicit instructions.

Those ideas also are on full display in "Sew'l eWitt: Quilts Inspired by Sol LeWitt," presented by the Northampton Modern Quilt


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

The Independent Investor: Dementia & Your portfolio
By Bill Schmick,
03:33PM / Thursday, September 29, 2016

As more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, few elderly investors are willing to discuss a growing risk to their portfolio. The onset of diminished mental capacity can cause huge losses in your life savings. Many only realize the problem in hindsight. Don't let that happen to you.

The facts are concerning. For example, one in nine people, age 65 or older, suffer from some form of dementia. That skyrockets to one in two people over the age of 85. What's worse, there are at least 18 different diseases that bring on dementia. Alzheimer's disease is only the most prevalent of causes. No one can predict who will get this disease, but we do know that the older we get the higher the


'The Magnificent Seven': They Ride Again
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:48PM / Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hombres and women folk hankerin' for a good old-fashioned horse opera with just a touch of newfangled sensibilities might want to mosey on over to a movie theater showing director Antoine Fuqua's remake of "The Magnificent Seven."

It's a rip-roaring homage to John Sturges' 1960 version, the one starring Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen, which, you'll recall, was actually a cowboy variation on Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" (1954). The gist of the morality play about emancipation from tyranny remains entertainingly intact.

Point of disclosure: In my case, seeing the movie with Hesh, my friend since childhood, arguably added about half a popcorn


Mount Greylock to Host McCann Football at Lanesborough Park
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:45PM / Thursday, September 29, 2016

The park was named after 1997 Mount Greylock graduate William E.  Laston. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A scheduling quirk has led to a fitting tribute for a departed community member.   On Friday night, Mount Greylock Regional will host McCann Tech in a varsity football game at Bill Laston Memorial Park.   It is the first time the park, named for the 1997 Mount Greylock graduate, will be used to host a regular season football game and another opportunity to honor Laston's memory.   "When Mount Greylock comes down for scrimmages and things like that, they know who Bill is," said Mark Froio, who married Bill's mother, Joanne Taylor Laston Froio.


Williamstown Elementary Earns Level 1 Status, State Commendation
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:10AM / Thursday, September 29, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williamstown Elementary School passed its first year under a new standardized testing regime with flying colors, the School Committee learned on Wednesday.

Last spring marked the first time the school's pupils were evaluated by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, test in place of the commonwealth's traditional Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System.

This week, the school administration told parents that the school had received a commendation from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for "high achievement and high progress."

"One of the things I found most striking and I

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Renal Dialysis Center Opening at BMC's North Adams Campus
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:33PM / Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Dr. Henner, clinical manager Kathleen Bianchi and patient Ed Lewis.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Ed Lewis of Williamstown has been driving 35 minutes each way, three times a week to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield for four years.

There's no days off, no sick time, no staying home because of treacherous weather. He had a 3 1/2-hour evening appointment he had to make, missing time with his wife, children and grandchildren.

That's because Lewis is taking life-saving dialysis treatment as he waits for a kidney transplant.

"It took me 35 minutes. I timed this, it took me 9 minutes," he smiled on Wednesday at the new North County Dialysis Center.  It also means


Clark Art Institute Offers Gentle Yoga Classes
01:31PM / Wednesday, September 28, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Certified yoga instructor Mary Edgerton leads a series of gentle yoga classes at the Clark Art Institute on Thursdays from Oct. 6-27 at 11 a.m.

The classes will be held in the Michael Conforti Pavilion adjacent to the Clark Center. Registration is required; sign up for all four classes for $40 ($30 Clark members) or for individual classes for $12 per class ($8 Clark members). Register online or call 413 458 0524.

Each yoga class focuses on a work in the Clark’s collection to explore visualization techniques and meditation, reducing stress and encouraging a greater sense of peaceful well-being. Gentle yoga helps stretch and tone muscles, safely explore


Williamstown Elementary to Hold 10th Annual Children's Clothing Sale
12:52PM / Wednesday, September 28, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Elementary School PTO is hosting its annual clothing sale on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., which represents expanded hours to accommodate more shoppers.

The WES cafeteria will be packed with gently-used, nearly new and brand new quality children's clothing and accessories. Shoppers will find all types of weather bargains from shorts, pants and sweaters to jackets, boots, snowpants, bathing suits and mittens. For the mothers-to-be, there will be a selection of maternity clothes.  All items will be 50 percent off from noon to 3 p.m.

The large selection of apparel includes some of the most popular and durable brands in


Williamstown Selectmen Give Town Manager Glowing Review
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Wednesday, September 28, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — First-year Town Manager Jason Hoch was given high marks by the Board of Selectmen on Monday.

The board held its final vote on a weeks-long process that began with the development of a comprehensive technique for performing the evaluation and ended in a 5-0 decision to approve a report that found Hoch, "has shown himself to be a thoughtful, intelligent and articulate manager who comes with significant expertise in his field and the ability to learn quickly as new issues arise."

When it began the evaluation process over the summer, the board grappled with the fact that none of them had engaged in a thorough evaluation in the past. Longtime, now retired


Commission Listens to Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:01AM / Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Margo Chevers, the Western Mass representative on the commission, said custodial grandparents had to get vocal to make change happen.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Margo Chevers remembers the night she was called to take in her two granddaughters, once almost 10 months, the other 23 months.

She wasn't prepared for the physical and emotional toll or the financial needs. It was, she said, a wake-up call.

"I dropped $50 just to get through the night," Chevers said of the supplies she had to get - diapers, food, pajamas. And there was the "mental calisthenics of how I'm going to get through the day."

Within two years she was facing a major health crisis, and saw


Two Accidents, No Injuries in Southern Vermont
02:44PM / Monday, September 26, 2016

STAMFORD, Vt. — A local woman avoided injury when her Chrysler Town and Country crashed into a tree on Saturday morning shortly before 11.

 Karen Wheeler, 57, of Readsboro was southbound on Route 100 in her 2005 van when she experienced a mechanical malfunction with her steering wheel, according to State Trooper Lauren Ronan. The van left the highway near Lincoln Road, collided with a guardrail and then a tree.  

There was extensive damage to the guardrail and vehicle, which is considered totaled. Wheeler was wearing a seat belt and no one was injured in the crash. The conditions were dry and sunny.

A second accident later that day in Pownal involved two motor vehicles


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