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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

@theMarket: Memorial Day Markets
By Bill Schmick,
03:48PM / Friday, May 22, 2020
As we begin the Memorial Day weekend that usually launches the nation's summer season, investors are anxious to discover if Americans will ignore CDC warnings, and go back to their old ways of celebrating the holiday. And if they do, will new cases of COVID-19 spike?   The re-opening of much of America this week had been met with some celebratory gains in the stock market, but as I predicted, it has been an up and down week, despite the gain. The S&P 500 benchmark Index actually "kissed" 3,000 before falling back the following day. It was a first tentative probe of that level since the March declines.   However, if the S&P 500 Index can get through that

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BRPC Eliminates Community Assessment Increases
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:35AM / Friday, May 22, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission accepted an amended budget Thursday with no increases to community assessments.   The Committee voted to rescind the assessment increases to member communities in response to the financial impacts COVID-19 will surely have throughout Berkshire County.   "The situation has changed dramatically since January and understanding the fiscal challenges that our communities are going to be facing over the next year and possibly longer," BRPC Executive Director Thomas Matuszko said. "It is a recommendation to roll back that increase."   Originally in January, the commission voted to implement a

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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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Williamstown Planning Board Candidates Meet in League of Women Voters Forum
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:09AM / Friday, May 22, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The two candidates for one seat on the Planning Board found a lot of common ground in a forum held last week.   The main point of agreement: The board needs to do a better job of getting buy-in from the town before taking bylaw amendments to town meeting.   "I think it has been said a number of times that town government needs more public input," said Alex Carslisle, who is running as an incumbent after being elected to fill two years of an unexpired term in 2018. "I encourage people to come to the Select Board meetings, to come to the Planning Board meetings and speak their mind because town input is key to figuring out where we're

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The Independent Investor: Chinese Checkers
By Bill Schmick,
05:15PM / Thursday, May 21, 2020
If you are wondering why China is suddenly back in the news on various political and economic fronts, look no further than the November elections. America needs a scapegoat for all the pain and suffering we have endured during this pandemic. The world's second-largest economy is an easy target.   There is no dispute; if we want to cast blame on the country that originated the coronavirus, we know it originated in Wuhan, China. At the time, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the federal government, the White House, and the world at large, all applauded China's efforts to contain the virus. Back then (a few short months ago), President

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No Public Display, But Williamstown Legion to Honor the Fallen
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:42AM / Thursday, May 21, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Field Park will be silent on Monday morning.   It just won't be the usual, solemn moment of silence that accompanies American Legion Post 152's annual Memorial Day observance.   The silence will be total, because the usual Memorial Day ceremony and the parade that precedes it were canceled nearly a month ago by the post in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.   But although there will not be a public gathering or a closure of Main Street, there will be remembrance of Williamstown veterans who have died — either in service of their country or during peacetime.   "We're basically going to do the same thing we do on Veterans

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Berkshire Music School Hires New Executive Director
11:35AM / Thursday, May 21, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. - Berkshire Music School has hired Natalie Johnsonius Neubert as its new executive director, to replace Tracy Wilson, who is retiring in June after a nearly 17-year run in that position. 

The search committee, headed up by BMS trustee Christine Condaris, received applications from individuals across the country, and the selection was made in mid-April. Neubert will begin in early June, to work with Wilson during that month, ensuring a seamless transition in leadership.  

"The board is thrilled to welcome Natalie to the BMS family and looks forward to working with her," Board President Paul Houston said.

"The Berkshire Music School is an invaluable

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Independence Day Road Race Canceled for 2020
10:09AM / Thursday, May 21, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Following the announcement that the 2020 Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade has been cancelled, the organizers of the BMC Independence Day Run, a very popular 5K run held just before the parade kicks off, have decided to cancel the event.

This would have been the 35th anniversary of the Independence Day Run, which raises funds to benefit Berkshire Medical Center.

Organizers of the Independence Day Run cite the ongoing caution surrounding COVID-19 and the continuing need for social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus in the Berkshires.

The event is being planned for 2021 and it is hoped conditions at that time will allow for the continuation of this

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Holiday Hours: Memorial Day
09:00AM / Thursday, May 21, 2020

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army Arlington National Cemetery is the nation's first federal military cemetery. A ceremony is held each Memorial Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Memorial Day is being celebrated Monday, May 25. It is a federal holiday observing the sacrifices of the nation's servicemen and -women. It started as a day to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers, particularly in the South, and many states adopted the day as Decoration Day to commemorate all U.S. soldiers after World War I.

Memorial Day was established as a federal holiday in 1971 by Congress. It falls on the last Monday in May.

Closed:
Federal, state and local offices; no mail

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Mount Greylock School District Narrows School Choice Spots for 2020-21
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:03AM / Thursday, May 21, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee last week decided to cut down the number of new school choice slots open in the district in response to uncertainty about the coming academic year.   In fact, the district will offer just two slots at one of its two elementary schools in order to allow the younger siblings of two existing pupils to enroll in kindergarten.   Generally, the administration asked that the committee cut back from the 13 choice slots that the committee discussed earlier this year.   "We submitted what our proposals would have been back in March had we had a discussion on what school choice would look like for us with

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Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade Canceled
10:53PM / Wednesday, May 20, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Fourth of July Parade has been canceled for the first time since 1977, a victim of the novel coronavirus pandemic.   Parade officials say it is not possible to put on the parade within the social distancing guidelines of staying 6 feet apart.   The parade brings thousands of people to the city's downtown as participants or as viewers who line the streets from the Colonial Theatre to historic Wahconah Park to watch the marching bands, floats, balloons and units.    "We have been following the current situation and believe it would not be prudent to have a gathering the size of the parade under the current conditions," said

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Baker: Socialization Sacrificed for COVID-19 Safety
Staff Reports,
03:49PM / Wednesday, May 20, 2020
BRAINTREE, Mass. — Gov. Charlie Baker says he spends less time with the lieutenant governor these days yet they talk far more often.    It's an example of how the state will have to navigate this new normal — giving up the physical and social elements of teamwork but keeping remote contact.   "It's the loss of the socialization issues, and the sense of team, and the sense of community that comes with those opportunities to sit together and talk about what's going on with your family or what's going on with your work and what's going on generally that we're going to have to deal with," he said at Wednesday's briefing. "And

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'Remote Learning' More of a Challenge in Remote Corners of Commonwealth
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:18AM / Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Colrain Central School parent Kim Stevens talks about her family's struggles to continue her daughters' education without adequate internet access.  BOSTON — When school buildings across the commonwealth were closed two months ago, students and families were told to continue education at home.   But for kids in rural districts, going back to school could mean getting in the backseat of the family car.   "To help provide additional connectivity for our families, hotspots were recently installed in the school parking lot and town library," Colrain Central School Principal Amy Looman said last week. "Every day, cars line our parking lot with

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