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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

In Cautious Song, Early Birds Proclaim Vernal Awakening
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
05:56PM / Sunday, May 24, 2020

Oh what a joy to see goldfinches in small feeding flocks dining on sunflower seeds provided in the porch feeders. It is time with a steel bristle brush to clear out last year's thistles and scrape away any rust clogging the tiny holes suited so well for their small bills.

What a treat to watch showy yellow and black males, their mottled feathers shifting to peak molt. Female goldfinches are overall more drab in softer hues of field grey-green but on the nest will be less obvious in camouflage. For several weeks ahead they wait until late spring to commence nest-building.

Their fleecy basket is woven securely in poplar trees with tight fibers to adjust for wind. Whether foraging on


Williams College Lays Out Construction Safety Plan
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:24PM / Saturday, May 23, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College is ramping up its pending construction projects with a phased approach that follows state and federal guidelines for reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus.   Working with the town's Board of Health, the college has implemented a new health and safety plan that will allow work by the college's contracted vendors to start in a multi-phase process that begins on Monday, according to a news release from the school on Friday afternoon.   "Above all, our primary objective is to keep the Williamstown community, Williams College campus community, and our job sites safe while assisting in stopping the spread of the COVID-19


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

Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Museum Starting Series of Renovations
09:46AM / Saturday, May 23, 2020
Museum renovations

Construction fencing and heavy machinery will appear on South Street next week as the Berkshire Museum begins essential renovations. Together, three capital projects will preserve the 117-year-old museum structure and protect its unique collection of fine art, historical objects and scientific specimens for many years to come. Improvements include a modern sewer line, freight lift, and extensive waterproofing around the building’s basement level.

The lengthiest and most visible phase of construction will be the installation of a new sewer line to replace the original pipe installed when the historic institution was first built in 1903. The new plumbing will connect


County's Colleges Train Workers for Post-Pandemic Economy
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:52AM / Saturday, May 23, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The county's institutions of higher education are ready to do their part to help their students navigate their way through a post-COVID-19 economy.   On Friday, the presidents of Berkshire Community College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Williams College and the provost of Bard College at Simon's Rock participated in a virtual town hall hosted by 1Berkshire.   Johnathan Butler led the hourlong conversation, which focused largely on how colleges are adapting to the current closure of their physical campuses and making plans for the fall 2020 semester.   But at one point Butler asked how the schools are situated to help address


'I Remember Mama': Motherhood: All Love Begins and Ends There
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
07:44PM / Friday, May 22, 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


@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


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


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


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


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


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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