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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Mount Greylock School Committee Focuses on Elementary Funding Requests
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:49AM / Monday, February 15, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District's two elementary schools want to overhaul their English language arts curriculum starting in the 2021-22 school year.   That was one of the budget priorities that the schools' principals shared with the School Committee on Thursday.   "The writing component is not strong at all, and the spelling part, the language acquisition is all over the place," Laneseborough Elementary Principal Nolan Pratt told the committee in its monthly virtual meeting.   Pratt and Williamstown Elementary School Principal Kristen Thompson laid out the priorities they developed along with their School Councils

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Snow, Freezing Rain Forecast for the Berkshires
07:26PM / Sunday, February 14, 2021
The region could get anywhere from 3 to 7 inches of precipitation over the next day or two that could come down as snow or sleet.    A winter storm watch has been called for Monday through Tuesday afternoon throughout the Berkshires, eastern New York and Southern Vermont.    There is the expectation of slippery road conditions overnight Monday and into Tuesday. Monday is Presidents Day and local schools are winter break for the week.    The potential for freezing rain could cause downed lines and trees.    Snowfall is not predicted to be heavy at this point with Pittsfield and points south forecast for 2 to 3 inches and North Berkshire about 4 to 6.

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Music Academy Opens Online Courses With Expanded Programming
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
07:28AM / Sunday, February 14, 2021
ADAMS, Mass. — COVID-19 won't mute the Berkshires Academy for Advanced Musical Studies as the music school recently announced expanded virtual offerings.   Executive Director Richard Boulger has not missed a beat throughout the novel coronavirus lockdown and was happy to say "eBAAMs" enrollment is open.   "We are committed to offering free access to eBAAMS ... we can work with children from anywhere," Boulger said. "I am thrilled to be back in the Berkshires after living in New York for 20-plus years and am very proud to bring with me a world-class music faculty to help Berkshire County kids."   The music academy was announced in 2019

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Williamstown Planners Aim to Finish Cannabis Bylaw Proposal Next Month
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:17AM / Saturday, February 13, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The calendar read Feb. 9 when the Planning Board met on Tuesday.   But the conversation brought to mind a date seven days earlier as the board and the public relived many of the same arguments that have dominated the body's discussion for months as it hashes out a new zoning bylaw to regulate the production of cannabis.   "I've said this a half dozen times, I'm amazed I have to say it again," Andrew Skinner said as he pushed the board to draft a bylaw that allows less canopy square footage for outdoor production.   Planning Board members could be forgiven for feeling kinship to Bill Murray's character in the movie

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@theMarket: Financial Froth Infects Markets
By Bill Schmick,
06:24PM / Friday, February 12, 2021
One sure sign that stocks are getting overdone, is the actions of overconfident investors that bid up stocks in a euphoric frenzy, only to dump them at the first sign of trouble. These behavior patterns normally usher in a corrective stage in the stock market, but exactly when that will occur is anyone's guess.   Investopia's definition of froth "refers to a market condition where an asset's price begins to increase beyond its intrinsic value." Wall Street's "Reefer Madness" event this week is just such an example. Certain stocks in the Cannabis sector saw their share prices double and then triple in a matter of days. Penny pot stocks with little to

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SVHC Named One of Vermont’s Best Places to Work
03:17PM / Friday, February 12, 2021
BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) has been named one of the 2021's Best Places to Work for the seventh year in a row.    SVHC received the honor for the first time in 2015. It remains the only hospital in the state of Vermont to be recognized by the awards program.    "Our employees know that great challenges combined with responsiveness and sustained effort result in tremendous satisfaction," said Thomas A. Dee, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of SVHC. "Serving our community on the frontline of the pandemic throughout the last year has been difficult but also deeply meaningful to us all. I am so proud of our

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Clark Opens Exhibition Highlighting Innovative Early Photographic Technique
01:57PM / Friday, February 12, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute opens a new exhibition on Feb. 13 that highlights an innovative photographic technique: "A Change in the Light: The Cliché-verre in Nineteenth-Century France."   The exhibit  presents forty-four cliché-verre prints from a historic portfolio recently acquired by the Clark. The exhibition presents cliché-verre prints made by five French artists: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Charles-François Daubigny, Eugène Delacroix, Jean-François Millet, and Théodore Rousseau. The exhibition is on view in the Eugene V. Thaw Gallery in the Clark's Manton Research Center through May 16,

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Williamstown Takes Big Step Toward Replacing Streetlights
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:40AM / Friday, February 12, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A years-long effort to replace the town's streetlights with more efficient LED fixtures may be resolved as soon as June's annual town meeting.   The Select Board on Monday approved an intermunicipal agreement to transfer authority over the street lights from the Williamstown Fire District to Town Hall.   Once the Prudential Committee, as expected, gives the agreement its blessing, the way will be clear for the town to purchase the existing lights from National Grid, which has offered to sell the used lights for $1.   At that point, the town will have responsibility for maintenance of the lights, Town Manager Jason Hoch explained to the

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Mount Greylock Shares Detail on Zoom Bombing, Vows Work on Anti-Racism
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
09:57PM / Thursday, February 11, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional Superintendent Jason McCandless told the School Committee on Thursday that the district had concluded its investigation into a January "Zoom bombing" incident and promised that the district will "move forward better and wiser as a school community and a community in general."   McCandless revealed that the person who intruded in a high school virtual classroom and played racially offensive music was "a young person of color," but quickly noted that the perpetrator's intent was less relevant than the impact it had on the victims.   "Whether this particular incident was based in racism or

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The Retired Investor: Gambling, the Vice We Love
By Bill Schmick,
04:04PM / Thursday, February 11, 2021
The pandemic has altered the behavior patterns of many Americans. It has also forced states to re-examine their thinking in several areas, especially in taxation and spending. One of the biggest winners in this process appears to be gambling.   Clearly, with most of the nation's leisure activities shut down, more and more Americans are looking for something to occupy their time. At the same time, thanks to massive losses in tax revenues, states are scrambling for ways to make ends meet. Sports and other forms of online gambling are an easy answer to shoring up state budgets, while satisfying the consumer's demand for more action in this burgeoning leisure market.   The

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BMC Presents Inaugural 'DAISY' Award to Cardiac Nurse
12:33PM / Thursday, February 11, 2021
PIITTSFIELD, Mass. —  Cardiac care nurse Susan Alibozek was honored with Berkshire Medical Center's first DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a national nursing recognition program that has been adopted by thousands of hospitals to honor individual nurses who have had a tremendous impact on patient care.   Based on a nomination received from the granddaughter of a BMC patient, Alibozek had a huge impact on the patient and family.   "My grandmother fell and broke her femur around her hip joint implant. It was a bad break that required a lengthy surgery. When we got to BMC, the doctors were also concerned about her heart so she was admitted to the 4th floor.

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Clark Art To Host Virtual Programming For Kids
08:13AM / Thursday, February 11, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. —The Clark Art Institute resumes its Start with Art program for families with young children with free online events on Feb. 13 and March 13.   The Start with Art program introduces young children between four and seven years old to art. These online programs allow preschoolers and their parents and caregivers to look, make, sing, and play with new friends as they look closely at art in the Clark's collection, including some art that can't be seen in the galleries.    February's theme is Love of All Kinds, and participants are encouraged to bring something they care about to the online sessions to share with others on the Zoom

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