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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Mount Greylock's First Graduating Class Returning for 60th Reunion
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:00AM / Saturday, August 27, 2022

A newspaper clipping provided by Caroline Martel promotes the Mount Greylock Class of 1962's class play, 'Our Town.'   WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The last time the first class to graduate from Mount Greylock Regional School got together at the high school, members did not know it was the last time it could gather in that space.   "We had brunch there on Sunday in the cafeteria," Caroline George Martel recalled recently. "Some people hadn't even seen the new addition. We didn't have seventh and eighth grade there when I went there."   When Martel and members of the class of 1962 talk about the "new" addition, they

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State House Candidates Field Questions at Williamstown Forum
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:33PM / Friday, August 26, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The most obvious difference between the two candidates for the 1st Berkshire seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives was the first issue the pair addressed in a Thursday evening forum.   Incumbent John Barrett III immediately focused on his long career in public service, recalling his days as a county commissioner, his decades as the mayor of North Adams and his nearly five years on the job in Boston.   Newcomer Paula Kingsbury-Evans emphasized her youthful enthusiasm, the ties to the Northern Berkshire community she formed as a student at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and her ties to a Boston-based progressive political

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Williamstown Fire District to Get First Cost Estimate for New Building Next Week
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:22AM / Friday, August 26, 2022

Three sketches showing different views of current plans for Williamstown's proposed fire station. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The fire district next week will get its first look at initial cost estimates for a new station on Main Street.   The district's architect is scheduled to present the preliminary numbers to the district's Building Committee at its Aug. 31 meeting.   "The public needs to understand this is the first step," Prudential Committee Chair David Moresi said at Wednesday's monthly Prudential Committee meeting. "We have a long way to go, but we have to start getting some tangible numbers together so we can figure out which way

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Images Cinema Names Next Executive Director
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:41AM / Thursday, August 25, 2022

Dan Hudson joins Images Cinema as its new director. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Dan Hudson is bringing his passion for arthouse cinemas to Spring Street.   "One thing I've been very vocal about in the exhibition community is these films need to be in theaters," Hudson said this week. "If you're a filmmaker, you're not making something so people can only watch it on a screen at home or on their mobile device. You want it on a big screen and watched in community. That's something only arthouse theaters can provide for those films.   "If Hulu or Netflix or whoever decides it isn't worth it for the bottom line to market to theaters,

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Williamstown Officials Discuss Pros, Cons of Municipal Fiber Optics
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:13PM / Wednesday, August 24, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Finance Committee last week discussed whether the town should consider investing in townwide broadband that could deliver residents up to 1 gigabyte of connectivity for a little more than residents currently pay a private vendor.   Although no decisions were made and no votes were taken, the general gist of the conversation was that there are a lot of unknowns and risks that the town has to consider before taking that step.   Andrew Cohill of Virginia-based Design Nine Inc. presented the results of a feasibility study his firm conducted on behalf of the town.   For an estimated cost of $7 million, the town could construct a fiber optic network

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AGO Finds Williamstown Select Board Violated Open Meeting Law
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:11AM / Wednesday, August 24, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Attorney General's Office has determined the Select Board violated the Open Meeting Law by holding a "serial communication" regarding the employment status of the then-interim town manager.   The violation was found by the AGO during its review of emails submitted by the town in response to a different but related OML complaint.   Resident Janice Loux filed an April 20 complaint against the board, alleging that it violated the law when a quorum of board members discussed with interim Town Manager Charlie Blanchard the employment status of interim Police Chief Mike Ziemba.   In a letter to the town counsel dated Aug. 19, Assistant

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State Rep, DA Candidates Meet in Final Forums
02:51PM / Tuesday, August 23, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — There are two more forum/debates planned before the Democratic primary on Sept. 6.   Nominees for state representative for the 1st Berkshire District will meet on Thursday, Aug. 25, at 6:30 p.m. in the training room at the Williamstown Police Station.    The candidates are incumbent John Barrett III and Paula Kingsbury-Evans. They will take questions from the audience in a forum hosted by the Williamstown League of Women Voters. Questions can be submitted in advance to Jennifer Howlett at howlettjjj@gmail.com.   The event is open to the public and will be recorded for later viewing on Willinet.      The Berkshire Democratic

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Williamstown ZBA Continues Vote on Chemical Dependency Center Again
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:01AM / Monday, August 22, 2022

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals continued an application to operate a chemical dependency rehabilitation facility in the former Sweet Brook Nursing Home on Cold Spring Road for the third — and likely final — time on Thursday.

Last month, the ZBA continued the petition to a third meeting hoping that the applicant, Williamstown Recovery Realty LLC, and abutter Sweetwood retirement community, could reach an understanding about the fencing and landscaping plans.

Williamstown Recovery partner Sean Stewart reported that he and Sweetwood attorney Karla Chaffee had discussed site plan alterations in the interim.  The two agreed on a split rail fence on the

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Williams Swimmer Earns Seven Medals at Maccabiah Games
Williams Sports Information,
05:49PM / Sunday, August 21, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Ev Nichol's first participation in the Maccabiah Games came in Netanya, Israel, at the age of 16 while a high school student in Memphis, Tenn.   This year, he returned and collected a boatload of medals.   Nichol, now a senior Williams College, competed in the Junior Maccabiah Games in 2017 in Israel.   The Maccabiah Games are normally held every four years, but due to Covid, the 2021 games were postponed to 2022.   This summer, Nichol competed in the Maccabiah Games Open Division in Jerusalem.   "I'm not a spiritual, person," Nichol said. "For me the Games are more about  the shared history of the athletes,

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Q&A: Templeton Makes Run for Senate to 'Step Up and Make a Change'
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:21PM / Friday, August 19, 2022
  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — As the former owner of a business on Williamstown's Spring Street, the co-author of landmark resolutions passed at its town meeting and a frequent participant from the floor of committee meetings, Huff Templeton is well known in his hometown.   He is spending his summer raising his profile throughout the rest of Western Massachusetts.   In the spring, Templeton launched a campaign to represent the first Senate district in the state Legislature, a sprawling expanse of municipalities that includes all of Berkshire County plus parts of Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden Counties.   It runs from Williamstown in the northwest corner down to

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State Land Court Lets Homeowners Repudiate Racist Covenants in Deeds
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:22AM / Friday, August 19, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — State Rep. John Barrett III could not get state law changed to allow homeowners to strike racist language from their deeds.   But he came pretty close, and the effort shed light on a problem that those homeowners can address, free of charge, in the documents that define their real property.   "As the Land Court put it, it's a win-win for everyone," Barrett said recently.   Back in 2020, he authored House 1465, a bill that would have allowed property owners to "request the Land Court to expunge a provision made void by this section."   The provisions in question were the sort that were created in the 1930s to prohibit

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Historic Store at Five Corners Reopens in Williamstown
By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires Staff
12:50PM / Tuesday, August 16, 2022

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Under new ownership and management, the Store at Five Corners reopened Tuesday morning for the first time in more than two years. 

The store and cafe, built in 1770 and located in the town's Five Corners Historic District, had been closed since July 2020. The 252-year-old building, originally a tavern, went through several recent owners before being purchased by the nonprofit Store at Five Corners Stewardship Association in January of this year. 

"It took us a few months to get it to where it is right now but I feel like our hard work paid off," said store operator Corey Wentworth. "I feel like it's really nice in

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