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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Take a Closer Look at Myths Surrounding 529 Plans
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:58AM / Wednesday, May 22, 2019

If you want to help pay for your children's college educations, you might want to consider contributing to a 529 plan. With this plan, your earnings grow federally tax-free, as long as the withdrawals are used for qualified higher education expenses such as tuition and room and board.

Yet, you may have heard some things about 529 plans that are keeping you from investing in one. However, these concerns may be more myth than reality, so let's take a look at a few of them.

* "I need a lot of money to contribute to the plan." This myth has essentially no truth to it. Typically, only a modest amount is required to open your 529 plan, and you can generally transfer small


Williamstown OKs Accessory Dwelling Unit Bylaw
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:21AM / Wednesday, May 22, 2019
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Eighty-six percent of voters at town meeting Tuesday approved an unamended version of the zoning bylaw amendment crafted by the Planning Board to allow construction of new accessory dwelling units in town.   By a margin of 205-32, members of the meeting approved the bylaw amendment, which will allow construction of up to one ADU on any building lot that conforms to zoning bylaws for setback, frontage, acreage and building coverage in the town's General Residence, Southern Gateway, Rural Residence 2 and Rural Residence 3 zoning districts.   But before voting on Article 33 itself, which needed a two-thirds "supermajority" for passage, the

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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

Holiday Hours: Memorial Day
09:00AM / Tuesday, May 21, 2019

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 27. 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.

Federal, state and local offices; no mail


Mount Greylock Building Issues to Be Addressed this Summer
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:40PM / Monday, May 20, 2019
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Work at the new Mount Greylock Regional School will continue through the summer months, the School Committee learned last week.   During a brief early evening open session on Wednesday, Superintendent Kimberley Grady told the committee that the middle-high school will again be an "active work site" after the planned last day of classes on June 24.   The work will include taking care of some items still on the punch list since the school opened for classes in September, but it also includes the replacement of carpet tiles in several areas, including the band room, orchestra room, media center (library), main office, guidance suite and pupil


Letter: 2019 Zoning Articles Are a Step Forward for Williamstown's Future
Letter to the Editor,
04:02PM / Monday, May 20, 2019

To the Editor:

It is the role of the Planning Board to envision and plan for our town's future. That means they inevitably must grapple with questions of change: proposing adjustments to zoning bylaws to facilitate goals we want, while avoiding those harmful to us. It almost goes without saying that when the Planning Board is doing its job, residents will view it with a fearful eye — if for no other reason than it could bring change. But Williamstown needs change. In particular, we need to diversify our housing options. Not doing so effectively keeps out younger and older people of all kinds who struggle to find housing in our town.

This year, the Planning Board made every


Letter: Another look at Williamstown Warrant Article 33
Letter to the Editor,
04:00PM / Monday, May 20, 2019

To the Editor:

The Planning Board has been working hard to expand housing options in Williamstown. This is an important issue and one I fully support, but perhaps it has been working a little too hard.

Last year's housing proposal didn't even make it to town meeting before it was stopped by citizens who raised a number of valid concerns. That proposal targeted a specific area of town for increased density and would have allowed six housing units per lot by right and up to eight units per lot with Zoning Board of Appeals approval. In short it was viewed as an ill-considered and aggressive effort being foisted upon a small area of town, and with too little time left to rework the


Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Museum Extends 'Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion'
12:02PM / Monday, May 20, 2019
da Vinci continues

"Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion" at the Berkshire Museum has been extended through September 8 due to popular demand. Since opening on Feb. 9, the exhibit as driven increased visitor volume, drawing nearly 50 percent more visits this winter and spring than during the same period in 2018. The exhibition, which was scheduled to end May 19, will now continue through the busy summer tourism season, ending after Labor Day.

"Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion" combines the drawings and mechanical inventions of one of the world's greatest thinkers with the history of his life in a hands-on experience for all ages. Museum visitors are invited to


Filmmaking Workshops Offered for Youths
11:37AM / Monday, May 20, 2019

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. - Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative and Berkshire Community College are offering summer filmmaking workshops for youths and teens.

A filmmaking intensive for 15- to 19-year-olds will be held June 24-June 28 and one of 11- to 14-year-olds will be held July 8-12. These week long workshops will meet daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at BCC’s South County Campus, 343 Main Street, Great Barrington.

The purpose of the workshops are twofold: for kids to experience what it’s like to work on a real movie crew from creation of an idea to the final edit of the project and for the group to produce a high quality short film championed in every aspect by everyone in


Zoning Bylaw Likely to Engender Debate at Williamstown Town Meeting
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:11AM / Monday, May 20, 2019
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Tuesday's annual town meeting could finally put the rest a debate that has been simmering in town politics for two years.   Articles 32 and 33 on the meeting warrant are amendments to the town's zoning bylaws that would free up more residents to add dwelling units to their residential properties.   They are the product of months of discussion by the Planning Board, and they were the focus of last week's town election that saw the chair of that board voted out of office by one of the chief critics of Article 33.   The articles also have their roots in a contentious discussion that preceded last year's town meeting; in 2018, the


Rabasco Wins Steel Rail Half Marathon
07:28PM / Sunday, May 19, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Pittsfield's Mark Rabasco Sunday won the Steel Rail Half Marathon with a time of 1 hour, 12 minutes, 39 seconds.   Rabasco covered the course with a mile pace of 5:32 and finished nearly 12 seconds ahead of runner-up Mac Bissaillon of Merrimac.   Mount Greylock graduate Emily Kaegi was the first woman across the line, finishing in 1:29:02. She was followed by April Varellas of Adams in 1:31.46.   Six hundred, twenty-one competitors finished the half marathon, which is held in conjunction with an 8-kilometer race.   Adams' Justin Levesque won the 8K in 30:28, more than two minutes ahead of runner-up and first woman across the line Heather


Amherst Men's Lacrosse Tops Williams in NCAA Semi-Final
06:51PM / Sunday, May 19, 2019
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Trailing 8-7 after three quarters the Amherst College (18-3) offense and defense went to another level as the Mammoths’ offense scored the only five goals of the final quarter to notch a 12-8 win to send Amherst to next Sunday’s NCAA DIII championship game in Philadelphia.   Williams (18-4) took its only lead of the game with 13 seconds remaining in the third quarter when Kevin Stump converted off a feed from Jake Haase. The Stump tally was answered 55 seconds into the final quarter when Jon Coffey scored off a feed from Matt Solberg at 14:05 to tie the game at eight all.   Solberg was back 53 seconds later to net what would prove to be the


North Adams Recovery Center Leads With Peer Mentoring
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:26AM / Sunday, May 19, 2019

Amber Besaw, director of NBCC, welcomes the gathering to the recovery center's open house on Tuesday. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Beacon Recovery Center opened only eight short weeks ago but already has a cadre of nearly a dozen people who show up every Wednesday.    That strong start was celebrated on Tuesday evening with an open house to get the word out that a safe space for sharing was available to those affected by addiction.    "We don't subscribe to one form of therapy or recovery," said peer counselor David Risch. "We do it by ourselves. We share our experiences, strength and hope in recovery. And if we want to break the stigma of


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