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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Lanesborough Officials Consider Mount Greylock Stabilization Fund
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
01:05AM / Friday, February 14, 2020

Town Accountant Amy Lane, left, and Town Manager Kelli Robbins at Monday's meeting of the Selectmen, which approved Lane's contract. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Town officials are mulling limiting language that could be inserted into a town meeting article on the creation of a stabilization fund for the Mount Greylock Regional School District.    The district wants to set up the fund as a "rainy day" account for unforeseen expenses. Municipal governments commonly use stabilization money for capital construction projects, equipment purchases, winter road safety overruns or even to stem rising property taxes.    In the case of the school district,

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The Independent Investor: Economic Inequality Becomes Campaign Issue
By Bill Schmick,
06:32PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020
As Bernie Sanders takes the lead in the Democratic primary campaign, investors are beginning to take his socialist leanings to heart. But dire warnings from the opposition and Wall Street seem to have little impact. A look at the present income inequality in America goes a long way in explaining why.   Over the years, I have written a number of articles on the growing threat of income inequality and its damage to "the Great Center" — the American middle class. According to a new study by the respected Pew Research organization, over the past 50 years, the highest earning 20 percent of U.S. households have garnered a steadily increasing share of America's total


Louison House Project Nearing Completion; Open House Set Friday
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:42PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020

Final touch-ups in the first-floor handicapped accessible apartment. ADAMS, Mass. — The living room is still filled with tools and workers complete a laundry list of final items. Outside, there's still siding to finish and railings to install.    But the former Louison House on Old Columbia Street is nearing the point at which it once again can offer shelter to those in emergency need of a roof over their heads.    "I think we're really pretty far along," said Executive Director Kathy Keeser during a tour of the building on Tuesday. "Now they're just doing little things for inspection ... Most of their work is outside


'Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn': With a Title Like That, Who Needs a Subhead?
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:30PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020
Director Cathy Yan's "Birds of Prey," an exuberant exercise in over-the-top, slickly anarchic filmmaking starring Margot Robbie as the girl you bring home to Mom only during an LSD trip, jogged my memory of a sociologically provocative scene in "Diner" (1982).    Mickey Rourke's Boogie, a city dweller who has procured a steed in Maryland horse country specifically to chase after a stately, blueblood equestrian, catches up and asks her name. To which she dryly responds, "Jane Chisholm … as in Chisholm Trail." Later, driving home and contemplating the episode, Boogie turns to his pal and asks, "Do you ever get the feeling that


'The Big Chill' at Hancock Shaker Village Offers Day of Winter Family Fun
03:47PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020

HANCOCK, Mass. — Hancock Shaker Village will host "The Big Chill" on Sunday, Feb. 16, an action-packed day of old-fashioned outdoor (and indoor) fun. The event will be held 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the historic village closes at 4 p.m.

Activities include maple tree tapping, ice harvesting talks, a tour of the Ice House, horse-drawn wagon rides, visits with farm animals in the Round Stone Barn, crafts, blacksmithing and baking demos, snowman making, cider tastings, and cozy board games.

Wild Bill and the Flying Sparks, a self-described "honky tonk, roots rockin' country music band," takes the stage in the Believers' Room at 4 p.m., led by Wild Bill on the


Berkshire Health Systems Taps New Chief Medical Officer/Chief Quality Officer
03:08PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dr. James Weil Lederer Jr. has been appointed to the position of chief medical officer/chief quality officer at Berkshire Health Systems.

"Dr. Lederer has over 20 years of experience in leading innovative, patient-focused, high-quality care initiatives in settings spanning acute-care hospitals, health systems and physician practices," said David Phelps, BHS president and chief executive officer. "He has shown to be a proven leader and will help our team to further advance the patient safety and quality initiatives that have placed us among the national leaders in patient care."

Lederer most recently served as the vice president for Clinical


Jack Miller Contractors Fills Project Manager, Bookkeeper Positions
12:50PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Jack Miller Contractors has hired Shawn Thibodeau as project manager and Kris Maloney as bookkeeper to continue building a highly skilled management team and provide additional services to an expanding client base. Jack Miller Contractors employees 18 professionals in the community.

Thibodeau is a lifelong resident of Southern Vermont with a career focused on carpentry, construction and project management since the mid 1990s, when he started as a carpenter apprentice. He has been a professional carpenter for 20 years, working for David Tierney Construction in Pittsfield and Blue Heron Construction in Bennington, Vt. Thibodeau owned his own construction


Williams Promotes Assistant to Lead Women's Soccer Program
Williams Sports Information,
11:34AM / Thursday, February 13, 2020
WILLIAMTOWN, Mass. — Veteran coach Sarah Raymond, an assistant at Williams the past four years, has been named Michelyne Pinard's successor as the head coach of the Williams College women's soccer program.   The Ephs have won three of the last five Division III national championships and made two Elite 8 appearances in the years they did not wear the crown.    Raymond has 14 years of head coaching experience at the Div. III collegiate level. She spent six years as the head coach of Clarkson University prior to her arrival at Williams, and eight years before that as head coach of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Her career mark is


Can You Improve Your Relationship with Money?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:07AM / Thursday, February 13, 2020

In your life, you will have all sorts of relationships – with your family, your friends, your co-workers, and even with civic groups and charitable organizations you support. But have you ever considered another key relationship – the one you have with money?

Of course, this type of relationship has several aspects, such as saving, spending and investing. And your fellow Americans clearly face some challenges in these areas. For example, in a recent survey by financial services firm Edward Jones, only 21 percent of respondents reported that they feel happy when thinking about saving money, while 92 percent said they see room for improvement in their financial health. Yet only


Snow, Sleet Incoming for Berkshire Region; Prepare for Messy Commute
04:04PM / Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Wednesday will be precipitation free then snow moves in after midnight. Delays and a few snow days expected on Thursday.

— Greylock Snow Day (@GreylockSnowDa1) February 12, 2020 More snow and sleet is on the way for the Berkshires and it could cause morning delays.    The National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., has posted a winter weather advisory beginning at 10 p.m. on Wednesday through 1 p.m. Thursday with a forecast of 2 to 5 inches of snow and ice accumulations of a 10th of an inch. Plan on slippery and possibly hazardous road conditions Thursday morning. Snowfall rates could reach half an inch to an inch per hour are between 3 and 8


BTG PLAYS presents 'Magic Tree House' Musical
03:09PM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Theatre Group will present the BTG PLAYS 2019-2020 Touring Show, "Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon," based on the book "Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon" by Mary Pope Osborne, at The Colonial Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 2 p.m., as part of the 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival.

There will be a book signing with Mary Pope Osborne from 1 to 1:45 p.m. in The Colonial Theatre lobby prior to the performance. Books will be available for purchase, provided by The Bookstore in Lenox.

This musical features a book by Jenny Laird and Will Osborne, lyrics by Randy Courts and Will Osborne and music by Randy Courts, with direction by Travis


Free Tax Preparation Available to Eligible North County Residents
02:51PM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Volunteers are organizing at five locations this tax season for low- and moderate-income households, three of which are AARP tax sites.    AARP has been hosting tax preparation sites for more than 15 years and, because of the volume of eligible community members, it is by appointment only.   You often hear people say they no longer need to file, but if one member of the family unit is older than 65 years, you may be eligible for a Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit of up $1,000. In order to file, you must bring your property tax bills and water bills or rental amount.   In order to have your taxes done you must bring last year's return and


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