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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

The Retired Investor: Food Faces Escalating Prices
By Bill Schmick,
04:18PM / Thursday, October 29, 2020

It has been a long time coming. Commodities have been in the doghouse for years, but a combination of events are conspiring to lift the prices of soft commodities much higher.

A definition of soft commodities refers to future contracts of substances that are grown, rather than extracted or mined. We know them best as food and fiber commodities, such as wheat or lumber.    Shortages are occurring in everything from soybeans to wheat and it is not just in the United States. Readers might immediately think to blame the pandemic for this trend. You would be only partially correct. At the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, the hoarding of food in certain areas of the world did occur, but


'My Man Godfrey': High-Class Struggle
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:00PM / Thursday, October 29, 2020
I wish that I were reviewing one of the several movies about this pox upon our house that are certain to be made when the horror is deep into our rearview mirror. 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


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

SVMC Offers New Parent Classes Online
02:23PM / Thursday, October 29, 2020
BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is now hosting classes for new parents online.   New parents are invited to register for the classes at The new format allows families to get the information they need from the comfort and safety of their own homes.   "While we would all prefer to deliver these classes in person, as we did before the pandemic, we are grateful to be able to offer them online," said Pamela Duchene, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer said. "Thanks to our dedicated nurses for teaching these important classes in this new way."   Classes


Elfenbein Named to Mount Greylock Regional School Committee
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:06AM / Thursday, October 29, 2020

Curtis Elfenbein responds to a question during Wednesday's combined meeting of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee and the select boards from Lanesborough and Williamstown. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Lanesborough resident Curtis Elfenbein on Wednesday was appointed to fill two years of an unexpired term on the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee.    By a vote of 12-1, the six remaining School Committee members and the select boards from Lanesborough and Williamstown chose Elfenbein over Christine Canning-Wilson in a virtual meeting moderated by Lanesborough Town Moderator Chris Dodig.   School Committee member Steven Miller of Williamstown cast the


Williamstown Prepares to Protect Potential Post-Election Protests
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:12AM / Thursday, October 29, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Town officials are preparing to protect demonstrators who may take to the streets in the wake of next week's presidential election.   "In Williamstown, there is a long history of visible, responsible and safe civic visibility and protest," Town Manager Jason Hoch told the Select Board at its Monday meeting. "That may well be again something that is exercised next week.   "From a police and community response point of view, we are most well equipped to protect physical safety at the edges of events. If you think about events at Field Park, we can keep vehicles out of the way as appropriate. We provide people an appropriate and


Letter: Vote YES on 2 for Ranked Choice Voting
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Wednesday, October 28, 2020

To the Editor:

Over the past eight years, I have written numerous columns in support of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV): "A case for instant runoff voting," (11/3/12)(Eagle); "Put Instant Runoff Voting on the Ballot," (11/4/14,Taunton Daily Gazette); "A Better Method for Pittsfield Elections," (9/25/15, Berkshire Eagle); "Let's work democratically to create a true democracy," (1/15/17, Eagle); "Become informed on ranked choice voting," (5/19/18, Brattleboro Reformer); "Ranked Choice Voting's time has come," (8/27/18, Eagle); "Fall River's election lesson," (3/22/19, Eagle and Bennington Banner); "Primary


Northern Berkshire Union Schools Report Fairly Smooth Reopenings
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:25PM / Wednesday, October 28, 2020
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Principals in the Northern Berkshire School Union reported last week that their reopenings have been going well.    Gabriel Abbott Memorial in Florida, Emma L. Miller and Rowe elementary schools reopened for in-person learning in September; Clarksburg has been operating with a hybrid model, largely because some classes are too large to properly distance within the building.    "Clarksburg can can be described as that wading into the beautiful lake, instead of jumping right in like my counterparts in the union, we took our time to reopen this school year with a very staggered, slow start," Clarksburg Principal Tara Barnes told the union


SVMC Name DAISY Award Recipient
01:36PM / Wednesday, October 28, 2020
BENNINGTON, Vt. — Registered Nurse Amanda Shakar has been named Southwestern Vermont Health Care's (SVHC) first recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.   "Our nurses truly pour their whole hearts and minds into the work they do every day," Pamela Duchene, PhD, APRN, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer said. "The DAISY Award is a way for SVHC to ensure that our nurses receive recognition and praise for their compassionate and highly skilled work."   Duchene made the announcement earlier this month during a surprise presentation in the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center intensive care unit. Shakar was


Snow Possible for Berkshires on Friday
11:21AM / Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The forecast for this week is "soggy and dreary," according to Accuweather, but don't worry, there's a snowstorm on the way as well.

A combination of a winter storm heading eastward and Tropical Storm Zeta moving up the coast will bring drenching rain and potential snow for the Berkshires and Southern Vermont.   "With a full changeover to snow now anticipated over the mountains, a moderate to heavy accumulation is appearing more likely over the higher terrain into Friday. Such a scenario could weigh down trees that still have a canopy of leaves and lead to power outages," according to Accuweather.   However, a high pressure system could push the wet


Political Sign Removal Sparks Question in Williamstown
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:38AM / Wednesday, October 28, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The one local race on the Nov. 3 ballot has led to accusations of candidate sign stealing.   But the candidate in question says she does not have enough information to be sure what is going on or even whether the sign's disappearance is politically motivated.   That is in part because the scene of the alleged crime was not a resident's lawn but the Town Green, a municipally owned stretch that runs along both sides of Main Street (Route 2), including in front of private residences located east of the Williams College campus to Cole Avenue.   Earlier this fall, a supporter of Elisabeth Beck, a candidate in the only contested election for the


Markey Speaks at Last-Minute Rally in Park Square
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
07:37PM / Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Markey is running for a second full term and has visited the Berkshires several times during the campaign. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Edward Markey drove straight from Washington, D.C., to Pittsfield on Tuesday at the tail end of his campaign for re-election to the U.S. Senate to condemn the Republican administration and promise better days if Democrats win next week.

"This is the birthplace of freedom, right out here in the Berkshires," he said. "In 1776, they declared independence. ... well, our declaration of independence is on Nov. 3, 2020, from Donald Trump."

He was greeted by more than a dozen supporters as he spoke about the importance of the


Williamstown Board Talks Reasons For, Against Replacing Police Chief
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:01PM / Tuesday, October 27, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Select Board on Monday gave residents a window into one piece of the numerous conversations the body has been having in executive session since mid-August.   During the public comment portion of the twice-monthly public meeting, Janice Loux pressed the five elected officials to explain whether they individually recommended to the town manager that he remove the chief of police in the wake of allegations raised in a federal lawsuit against the town, town manager and chief.   Loux, one of many community members who have been pushing for the removal of both Chief Kyle Johnson and Town Manager Jason Hoch, was given an opening when Select Board members


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