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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Baker Administration Pushes Testing, Rescinds COVID 'Standards of Care'
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:15PM / Friday, June 19, 2020
BOSTON — State officials Friday continued to praise Massachusetts for taking the steps that have lowered the rate of positive tests for COVID-19 and introduced new vehicles to advance the commonwealth's testing program.   "As you know, we continue to ramp up our testing capacity in the commonwealth and access to testing," Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said. "At this point, testing for COVID-19 is widely available. Today we have launched a revamped testing website called [www.mass.gov/covid-19-testing] as a more convenient resource to the public.   "The website has details on who should get the test and connects with our COVID-19

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'The Petrified Forest': Diners, Disillusionment & Diva
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:56PM / Friday, June 19, 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

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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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Limited Indoor Dining, Nail Salons Can Resume on Monday
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:41PM / Friday, June 19, 2020

Secretary Michael Kennealy explains some of the restrictions for the next step in reopening.  BOSTON — The state is moving forward to the next step in reopening the economy based on the continued decline in COVID-19 cases.   Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday morning said the next step in Phase 2 of Reopening Massachusetts would commence on June 22, allowing for some inside dining, close contact person services, fitting rooms by appointment and increasing the occupancy percentage of offices.    "In order to monitor the impact of reopening more businesses, the administration divided this phase into two steps. Today thanks to the progress that we're making

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MCLA Announces Plan to Begin In-Person Classes on Sept. 2
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:19AM / Friday, June 19, 2020
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — With students assigned one to each dorm room and attending each class one day per week, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts plans to begin in-person education again on Sept. 2.   On Thursday, MCLA President James Birge announced to the school community the plan devised by its Return to Campus Advisory Committee.   In addition to giving each student in the residence hall system a single room at the same rate they would have paid, students will be expected to leave the campus at the start of the Thanksgiving break in November and not return until spring semester.   "While we cannot expect our plan to be perfect or completely free of risk, I

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The Retired Investor: Inflation, a Factor to Forget?
By Bill Schmick,
12:12AM / Friday, June 19, 2020
It has been a long time since we have seen a rise in the inflation rate of any magnitude. As a result, most investors have largely dismissed inflation as a near-term concern. But that doesn't mean we have vanquished this troublesome variable from the financial equation forever.     There is a reason that inflation fears have subsided. Ever since the Financial Crisis, when central banks and governments dumped trillions of dollars into the world's economies, investors feared that all this money would re-ignite the inflation fire. It didn't happen. Instead, the inflation rate moderated, and in some countries began to drop. Rather than worry about inflation, investors

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Third Thursday Season Canceled
11:50AM / Thursday, June 18, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City of Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development has canceled the Third Thursday street festival for what was to be its 14th season because of concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.  

"While there is a possibility that ‘street festivals’ may begin in Phase 4 of the Reopening Massachusetts Plan, the magnitude of planning, organizing, implementing, and hosting a Third Thursday is more than we ought to undertake at this time, especially if we begin to see increasing infection rates because we are spending more time together and more business and activities are reopening," Mayor Linda Tyer said.

The city-run street festival hopes to move

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Williamstown Police Chief Talks About Challenges of Community Engagement
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:43AM / Thursday, June 18, 2020

Police say their efforts for community policing — walking Spring Street and managing traffic at the school — has not always been welcomed. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Even in a small town with a low crime rate, the Williamstown Police Department faces obstacles when it comes to community policing.   "We have tried a handful of times to have a foot patrol on Spring Street," Police Chief Kyle Johnson said on Wednesday morning. "Just to have an officer actively engaged in the community, to strike up conversations, to 'humanize the badge,' if you will. And it sparked fear. People see an officer walking down Spring Street, and

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Roots Rising Presents Bike Ride Challenge
11:40AM / Thursday, June 18, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When their Pittsfield Farmers Market closed due to the pandemic, Roots Rising launched a virtual farmers market to ensure the community's continued access to fresh food. 

To help support the market, Roots Rising is now calling on the community for a (socially distant) bike ride challenge: "Ride for Roots Rising." Between June 20-28, road cyclists and mountain bikers can complete either a beginner, intermediate or advanced route. 

The general registration fee is $25. There is also a low-income registration for $10, and all youth under 12 are free. The public is encouraged to form teams to rally their supporters and raise money for Roots

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Jacob's Pillow Names Dance Award Recipient
10:28AM / Thursday, June 18, 2020

BECKET, Mass. — Ronald K. Brown has been named the recipient of the 2020 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award. 

An advocate for the growth of the African American dance community for more than 30 years, Brown creates works that show audiences “the evidence of themselves and the evidence of our human condition,” and tells stories of human struggles, tragedies, and triumphs. 

Brown will be honored at "Dance We Must: A Virtual Event Supporting Jacob’s Pillow," streamed free online on Saturday, June 20, at 7 p.m. Audiences are invited to celebrate Brown virtually at a post-show dance party immediately following Dance We Must. RSVP required, event details

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Letter: Voting Makes Voices Heard
Letter to the Editor,
07:05PM / Wednesday, June 17, 2020

To the Editor:

In 2016, only 55.7 percent of eligible voters in the United States made it to the polls to cast their vote. For young people, the numbers are even lower: only 46.1 percent of people aged 18-29 cast a vote. How can we pride ourselves on being the greatest democracy in the world when half our nation has no say in the political process?

It's true that there are massive systemic barriers to voting — voting locations often have strict voter ID regulations, there's a lack of language access for immigrants, many voting locations have reduced of limited voting hours, and many working class and middle class people simply don't have time to vote — but another

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Letter: Democracy In quarantine: Vote, and Vote Safely
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Wednesday, June 17, 2020

To the Editor:

Never has it been so dangerous to cast our vote; yet, more so than ever, we need to. This upcoming national election will determine the course of our country, our town, our family, and our life. Together, we can navigate this unprecedented crisis and sail across troubled seas, but only if every voice is heard — and that includes yours.

That in-person elections in Adams and Cheshire proceeded without problems should give us hope, but it should not be a reason for complacency. In fact, there are many reasons to be concerned: New voter registration has dropped since the COVID-related lockdown. In-person elections saw a decrease and absentee ballots were not made

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Williamstown's Emergency Rental Assistance Program Draws Applicants
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:22PM / Wednesday, June 17, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town's Emergency Rental Assistance Program continues to generate interest, but funds still remain for interested applicants, officials with the Affordable Housing Trust said recently.   In April, the trustees decided to partner with Pittsfield-based Berkshire Housing Development Corp. to administer a program designed to help residents who have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.   "After a slow start the pace of applications has accelerated," trust Chair Tom Sheldon said last week. "Ten residents have applied since May 1 and more are coming in almost every day. Three residents have been redirected to another

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