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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Mount Greylock Committee Accepts ARPA Offer, Sets Vote on Latin
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:18AM / Sunday, June 16, 2024
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Thursday moved forward with a proposal to fund a consultant with about $66,000 of Williamstown's American Rescue Plan Act funds.   Meanwhile, it held off on a decision about whether to resuscitate the middle-high school's Latin program, scheduling a special meeting for Tuesday, June 18, to make that call.   The 4-0-1 vote on the DEI consultant work came after the Select Board earlier in the week affirmed its support for the idea, which was brought to both the town and school district by parents concerned about the school district's policies about and response to "bias-based, hate, bullying

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Clark Highlights Work, Revolutionary Spirit of Underappreciated Master
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:33AM / Saturday, June 15, 2024

Clark Art Institute Deputy Director Esther Bell discusses the exhibition 'Guillaume Lethiere,' a partnership of the Clark and the Louvre in Paris.   WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Favorite artist of Napoleon's brother, director of the Academy of France in Rome, friend to the novelist Alexandre Dumas and revolutionary Marquis de Lafayette, Guillaume Lethiere was a prolific and influential painter who cast a long shadow over the art world in Paris in the first decades of the 19th century.   Since then, Lethiere's own legacy largely has been overshadowed.   This summer, the Clark Art Institute is doing its part to bring Lethiere to

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Mount Greylock Super Taking Principal Job in Great Barrington
09:45AM / Friday, June 14, 2024
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — After years of leading school districts, Jason "Jake" McCandless is taking a step back to focus on a single school.   Mount Greylock Regional's superintendent will take over as principal at W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School in Great Barrington on July 1, according to a report in the Berkshire Edge.   McCandless tendered his resignation last month from Mount Greylock after four years at the helm and just one year into his current contract. He had previously been superintendent of the Pittsfield Public Schools and in Lee.    The Berkshire Edge reports the Berkshire Hills Regional School District announced the hiring via press

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Clark Art Celebrates Juneteenth
08:02AM / Friday, June 14, 2024
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — On Wednesday, June 19, the Clark Art Institute celebrates Juneteenth with art-making and music.   From 1 to 3 pm, drop in for a free art-making event inspired by contemporary artist David-Jeremiah's exhibition "I Drive Thee."   According to a press release:   In these works, the artist reflects on his experience of Black masculinity in America through large-format, semi-abstract sculptural reliefs and explores the symbolism of the Lamborghini sports car and the Spanish bullfight in contemplating questions of race—the first as a symbol of prestige and performance, the second as a spectacle of power and persecution. Make an

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Williamstown Commons Resident Marks 106th Birthday
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:17AM / Friday, June 14, 2024

Eva Maruco with her sons Francis Maruco of North Adams police and Philip Maruco who flew from Kansas City to celebrate her 106th birthday.  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Surrounded by family on Thursday and with balloons adorning her wheelchair, Williamstown Commons resident Eva Maruco celebrated her 106th birthday.   "You're a popular lady today," her niece leaned in to tell her.   "I wonder why," Maruco answered.   There was little wonder why the North Adams native's life was worth celebrating as her family members shared reminiscences at the midday gathering.   Maruco, born Eva Decoteau, was the mother of three boys along with her

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Williamstown to Take Up Regulations for Sidewalk Dining
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:27PM / Thursday, June 13, 2024
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Select Board on Monday got a preview of one of the first decisions it will face in the coming weeks: whether and how to regulate outdoor dining in public spaces in the town.   Town Manager Robert Menicocci told the board that the Legislature recently permanently enshrined some of the pandemic-era loosening of regulations around outdoor alcohol and food service for businesses holding indoor licenses.   Nothing changes for businesses that serve customers in outdoor spaces on private property — like the Taconic Golf Club, for example. But the new legislation does open up, on a permanent basis, the possibility for more table service on sidewalks

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Williams College Activists 'Disappointed' in Decision not to Divest
iBerkshires.com Staff,
05:02AM / Thursday, June 13, 2024
WILLIAMSTOWN. Mass. – Williams College students pressuring the school to divest from companies that sell weapons to the Israeli Defense Forces say they will continue those calls in the wake of a June vote by the school’s trustees.   “We want to express that we are deeply disappointed in President [Maud] Mandel and the Board of Trustees over this decision, but we are not surprised by the college’s continued tendency towards inaction,” a member of the college’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine wrote in an email this week.   The student group was responding to a 1,200-word open letter from Mandel and the chair of Williams’ Board

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Williamstown Select Board Discusses Justice Department Program for Schools
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:25PM / Wednesday, June 12, 2024
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Select Board on Monday discussed inviting a U.S. Department of Justice program into the local public schools to help address bias incidents.   Randal Fippinger told his colleagues about the DOJ's "School-SPIRIT" initiative, which is similar to but not a part of the federal agency's Strengthening Police and Community Partnerships program, which came to Williamstown two years ago.   SPIRIT, which stands for Student Problem Identification and Resolution of Issues Together, involves bringing trained facilitators from the DOJ to the schools to lead conversations addressing "tension and conflict related to issues of race, color,

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Clark Art Celebrates Father's Day
11:46AM / Wednesday, June 12, 2024
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — On Sunday, June 16, from 1 to 3 pm, the Clark Art Institute celebrates Father's Day with free activities.   Decorate a special token of appreciation for the fathers and father figures at a card-making station in the Clark Center's lower level.   After card-making, head outside and enjoy a walk around our 140-acre campus.   The day is Free, and family programs are supported by Allen & Company.

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Students Through Saturday Register Free for Pittsfield July 4 5K
08:21AM / Wednesday, June 12, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Students in grades kindergarten through 12 can register free for the BHS July 4th 5K through Saturday, June 15.   The 5-kilometer road race takes place on the parade route of Pittsfield's Independence Day parade at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 4.   Berkshire Health Systems is offering prize money to the top 3 overall category winners in nine age groups.   There will be a Corporate Challenge Division in which businesses can compete in this special category while supporting the race. Sponsorships are needed and welcomed by contacting Lisa Lewis at llewis3@bhs1.org   Proceeds will go to support community wellness programming through Berkshire Health

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Pittsfield Council Passes $216M Budget, Cuts Schools
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
11:55PM / Tuesday, June 11, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council closed budget season just before 10 p.m. on Tuesday, approving a $216 million spending plan for fiscal year 2025. This includes a cut to the School Department.

Councilors approved a $215,955,210 spending plan that is a 5 percent increase from this year and includes a $200,000 reduction to the $82 million Pittsfield Public School budget. The budget passed 10-1 with Ward 2 Councilor Brittany Noto in opposition.

All conversation was related to the schools, as droves of staff members came to council chambers believing this was a direct slash to positions. It was agreed that misinformation sparked the uprising and was attributed to a

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Clark Art Reception, Lecture For Guillaume Lethiere Exhibition
08:09AM / Tuesday, June 11, 2024
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — On Friday, June 14, from 7:30 to 9:00 pm, the Clark Art Institute celebrates the opening of Guillaume Lethière with a free community-wide celebration, offering guests an opportunity to preview its newest exhibition.   On Saturday, June 15, at 11 am, exhibition co-curators Esther Bell, deputy director and Robert and Martha Berman Lipp Chief Curator, and Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director, introduce Guillaume Lethière and provide an inside look at the development of this ambitious exhibition.   Through more than 100 paintings, drawings, and sculpture, the Clark tells the story of Guillaume Lethière's rise to the heights of the art

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