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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Williams College Computer Science Professor Awarded NSF Grant
12:10PM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Shikha Singh, assistant professor in computer science at Williams College, has been awarded a two-year, $155,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund her research on verifying that computation outsourced to third-party service providers has been performed correctly.

Her work in this area aims to increase understanding of the role of incentives in algorithms, which has wide applications to areas such as crowdsourcing, cloud computing, and social computing.

With the growing popularity of cloud computing, most computation today is not done locally but rather outsourced to third-party service providers, or SPs. Outsourcing computation poses the

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Berkshire United Way Names Director of Volunteer Engagement
12:03PM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire United Way has welcomed Brenda Petell back to Berkshire County to join the staff as the new director of volunteer engagement.

Petell has demonstrated leadership and recruitment success in various roles with GE Plastics and SABIC, in Pittsfield, and most recently with General Dynamics Electric Boat and The Compass Group. Petell looks forward to being back in the Berkshires and serving the community in this new role.

"I am excited to join a team that is dedicated to improving the lives of Berkshire County residents. Having grown up in Hinsdale and spent most of my professional career in Pittsfield, I am excited to utilize my experience and

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WAM Theatre Appoints Two New Board Members
11:27AM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020

LENOX, Mass. — WAM Theatre has appointed two new board members.

Erica Barreto and Toni Buckley join board President Wendy Healey, Vice President Arwen Lowbridge, Carolyn Butler, Margaret Fluhr, Ellen Ring, Diane Scott, and WAM Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven as the Berkshire-based company starts its second decade.

"We are excited to welcome these two passionate new advocates to our board," van Ginhoven said. "We look forward to continuing to strategically expand our board as we build deeper relationships with people across a range of perspectives who are interested in helping WAM’s work of creating brave spaces of civic dialogue

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Ten Days of Play Encourages Learning Through Play at Berkshire Museum
11:17AM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Ten Days of Play will return to Berkshire Museum with nearly 40 hours of indoor playtime plus special performances and activities Friday, Feb. 14, through Sunday, Feb. 23.

First launched in 2012, this annual festival features hands-on activities throughout the museum for children of all ages that are designed to encourage learning through play. This year's event features new programs including The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons Animation Station and Bubble Trouble with Jeff Boyer, and free regular admission for children under 18. Ten Days of Play is part of Pittsfield's 10x10 Upstreet Winter Arts Festival.

Activities will kick off during the after-school

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Williamstown Select Board Discusses Municipal Broadband Survey Results
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:33AM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A majority of town residents say they want the town to pursue municipal fiber optic service.   But there are miles to go before the "last mile" broadband access can be completed, officials cautioned on Monday night.   Select Board member Andrew Hogeland, who has been part of a study group looking at the feasibility of broadband, reported to his colleagues the results of a townwide survey that was distributed along with the annual town census this winter.   Hogeland said the study group was encouraged by the data showing 55 percent of the town's residents said their feelings about the initiative are reflected by the statement:

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EforAll Pitch Competition Brings Out Innovative Ideas
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:57PM / Monday, February 10, 2020

Deborah Gallant of EforAll welcomes the attendees at Wednesday's pitch competition. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A local business pitch competition was proof positive that great ideas know no boundaries — or age.    More than 150 people turned out on Wednesday at The Green on Main Street for the event hosted by EforAll to see products from 14 businesses and 2 1/2 minute pitches from eight of them.    The winner of the $1,000 first prize as well as $500 fan favorite bonus was a group of Williams College students who are developing Lifestack Supplements, a health-oriented coffee creamer supplement. Coming in second was Aaron Johnson of Monterey for his

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Pine Brook Pub Wants to Make New Memories in Adams
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
07:15AM / Sunday, February 09, 2020

The updated bar side of the establishment.  ADAMS, Mass. — Transforming one of Adams' most iconic watering holes is a daunting task but natives Tammie and Trent Shafer are off to a good start.   The new Pine Brook Pub in the former Chick's Bar & Grill is a hospitable, spotless, welcoming, family-friendly reboot of its predecessor. The space underwent extensive renovations before a soft opening in late November. The Shafers want it to be a destination spot again, just with a different goal for the customers.   "We want to be more family oriented, that's why we chose the word pub instead of bar or restaurant. Half the place is the bar area and

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Reisman Leads Williams Women's Hockey to Home Win
09:55PM / Saturday, February 08, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Amanda Reisman scored a pair of goals Saturday to lead the Williams College women's hockey team to a 4-1 win over Wesleyan.   Kelly McCarthy and Michaela O'Connor each scored for the Ephs, who were up, 4-0, before the Cardinals scored a power play goal early in the third period.   Chloe Heiting stopped 17 shots to earn the win in goal.   Williams (12-6-4, 9-4-2 NESCAC) goes to Middlebury on Friday.   Men's Hockey HARTFORD, Conn. -- Barclay Gammill recordeda hat trick to lead Trinity to a 5-3 win over Williams.   Nick Altmann and Niko Karamanis each had a goal and an assist for the Ephs (13-6-1, 10-4), who got 37 saves from Evan

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@theMarket: Central Banks Stem Coronavirus Fallout
By Bill Schmick,
11:48AM / Saturday, February 08, 2020
Financial markets rebounded this week, despite the escalation of the number of coronavirus cases worldwide. The upturn may have surprised some, but their mistake was underestimating the power of central banks to support the markets.   The bear case last Sunday evening was that the Chinese stock market would crater upon opening after being closed for Golden Week, the traditional Chinese New Year. While Shanghai did open down 9 percent, it quickly reversed and spent the rest of the week climbing out of that hole.   The main reason for this rebound was the announcement by Chinese authorities that they were prepared to support their financial markets. Publicly, they announced a $22

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Hill Leads Williams Women's Hockey to Home Win
11:16PM / Friday, February 07, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Brianna Hill scored a pair of goals and had an assist for Williams College's women's hockey team in a 7-1 win over Wesleyan on Friday night.   Chloe Heiting stopped 30 shots for the Ephs (10-6-4, 7-4-2 NESCAC).   Williams Saturday hosts the Cardinals again at 3 p.m.   Men's Hockey MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Wesleyan's Walker Harris had a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over Williams.   Wyatt Glover scored and Evan Ruschil made 35 saves for the Ephs.   Williams (13-5-1, 10-3) goes to Trinity on Saturday.   Women's Basketball WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Marina Petruzzi scored 18 points to lead Wesleyan to a 61-52 win over

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The Independent Investor: The Great Tax Migration
By Bill Schmick,
01:00PM / Friday, February 07, 2020
Americans have been moving from high tax states to lower tax states for decades.   Climate, cheaper housing prices, less congestion, and jobs are some of the reasons behind such moves. That trend, however, has added taxes to that list, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.   Many of those reasons for moving have been with us ever since Horace Greeley, the American author and newspaper man, reportedly first advised America's youth to "Go west." Back in 19th-century America, the country had embraced the concept of "Manifest Destiny." The Horace Greeleys of the world had argued that it was inevitable, justified, and our God-given right to expand

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'Gretel & Hansel': Grimm Doings
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:18PM / Friday, February 07, 2020
The only novel thing about director Oz Perkins' indulgent reimagining of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale is the reverse order of the title characters, which at best could be a token nod to the women's movement. More interesting as a study in how Perkins fails to breathe a new slant into the fable than it is entertaining, the few crumbs of variation are barely worth following.   Only film critics and moviegoers in whom hope springs eternal won't consider cutting their losses by exiting the theater as soon as it becomes obvious that "Gretel & Hansel" is a lost cause. However, it occurred while sticking it out to the closing credits that, despite possessing

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