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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Impending Snowstorm Prompts Emergency Declarations, Closures
12:34PM / Thursday, February 24, 2022
  Gov. Charlie Baker said executive branch employees who could would be allowed to work from home and encouraged private employers to give their workers flexibility in this.   "By the end of the day Friday, some pockets in northern Massachusetts may see close to a foot of snow. The timing of this storm will make travel conditions especially difficult throughout the day on Friday," he said.    State road crews were being positioned and road pretreated; the MBTA was planning to run snow trains through the night and into Friday.    Secretary of Transportation Jamey L. Tesler urged motorists and truck drivers to plan ahead for difficult conditions on

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Williamstown Town, Fire Election Nomination Papers Available
Staff Reports,
12:16PM / Thursday, February 24, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Nomination papers are now available for all the elected town offices that will be on the ballot in the May 10 town election and May 24 Fire District election.   Included on the ballot in the town election will be two three-year seats on the Select Board currently held by Jane Patton and Wade Hasty; one three-year term as town moderator, currently held by Adam Filson; four three-year seats on the Milne Library Board of Trustees; one five-year seat on the Planning Board, held by Chris Winters; and one three-year seat on the Northern Berkshire Vocational Regional School District (McCann Tech) Committee, held by David Westall.   The Fire District, a

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Williamstown Housing Panel Contributes Funds to Comprehensive Plan Effort
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:30AM / Thursday, February 24, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The board of the town's Affordable Housing Trust agreed last week to contribute up to $30,000 toward the Planning Board's efforts to create a new comprehensive plan.   The trustees convened their Feb. 16 meeting as a joint session of the trust and the Affordable Housing Committee. Last year, the seven-member trust board was appointed as the Affordable Housing Committee, which has been defunct for several years.   It needed to act as the committee because the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee was seeking the funds from an account dedicated to the inactive committee but on the books for about 10 years as the result of a vote at town

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SVMC Welcomes Pathologist
08:58AM / Thursday, February 24, 2022
BENNINGTON, Vt. Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC)—a part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC)—announced that Angela Theiss, MD, has joined SVMC Pathology and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians.   Dr. Theiss earned her medical degree at the Marshall University School of Medicine in West Virginia and her bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Montana, Missoula. She completed both her residency and a cytology fellowship at the University of Vermont, where she was the assistant medical director of Microbiology for 2018 – 2019. She is board certified in in Anatomical and Clinical Pathology and in Cytology by the American Board of

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SVHC Among Vermont's Best Places to Work for Eighth Year Straight
01:33PM / Wednesday, February 23, 2022
BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) has been named one of the 2022's Best Places to Work for the eighth 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 are truly what make SVHC a great place to work," said Thomas A. Dee, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of SVHC. "They look at challenges as opportunities, and their comradery and teamwork during the pandemic have been exemplary. I am deeply grateful for each and every one of them."   Earning a spot on the list requires that a

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Clark Art to Air 'Follies'
08:21AM / Wednesday, February 23, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute airs an encore presentation of "Follies," a production of London's National Theatre, on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 1 pm.    "Follies" is being shown to honor the memory of its composer, Stephen Sondheim, a graduate of Williams College, who maintained ties to Williamstown throughout his life.    Widely recognized as one of Sondheim's most acclaimed musicals, 'Follies' is set in New York in 1971. There's a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre, an iconic building due to be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance on its stage, the former Follies dancers gather at the

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Letter: Why Rush Williamstown's Proposed Zoning Changes?
Letter to the Editor,
01:00PM / Tuesday, February 22, 2022

To the Editor:


I am writing to express my concern about the rushed way that the Williamstown Planning Board is proposing to rewrite the town's zoning code.

There are two possible outcomes to the proposed changes, which are so numerous I doubt even the members of the Board can enumerate them all.

The first is that they won't accomplish much. In that case, there is obviously no need to rush them through.

The second is that they lead to the creation of many more housing units. These units are likely — indeed, practically guaranteed — to be expensive. Developers like to maximize their profits and, remarkably enough, there are no provisions in the proposed changes to

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SVHC Weekly Health Update: Feb 18
09:53AM / Tuesday, February 22, 2022
  February 18, 2022   Improving the Healthcare

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Williamstown Looking for Input on Uses for Spruces Property
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:00AM / Monday, February 21, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town again is seeking input on how to reuse the Main Street parcel that formerly was the site of the Spruces Mobile Home Park.   To date, the feedback has been mixed and contradictory.   "Maybe not surprisingly, based on our user surveys, there's a general division around the off-leash versus on-leash [issue] and leash laws conversations," consultant Genevieve Lawlor of Greenfield's Regenerative Design Group told the Select Board last week. "To me, more than anything, that has indicated to us that there certainly seems to be a need for more outreach and assessment around the 'dog issue.' There seems to be very

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MassRMV Preparing for High Customer Volume During February Vacation Week
08:00AM / Monday, February 21, 2022
BOSTON — The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is preparing for a high volume of in-person customer service transactions during school vacation week which is scheduled to take place the week of Feb. 21, 2022.     The RMV traditionally sees a high volume of customers at its statewide Service Center locations during this annual vacation week, and encourages customers to schedule appointments for required in-person transactions and avoid unnecessary visits by using Mass.Gov/RMV to conduct more than 40 RMV online transactions.     “The RMV historically experiences a higher volume of in-person transactions during February school vacation week, and we

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Williamstown Select Board Members Rally to Defense of Chair
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:34PM / Sunday, February 20, 2022
  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Most members of the Select Board last Monday pushed back against some harsh criticism of the panel's chair.   Janice Loux, a frequent critic of the Select Board and town officials, used the public comment portion of the Feb. 14 meeting to accuse Andrew Hogeland of being dictatorial toward his board colleagues and of placing blame on the town's diversity committee for failures to create mechanisms for reporting diversity, equity and inclusion work that were required in an article passed by town meeting in August 2020.   Loux charged Hogeland with minimizing racism and sexism.   "The whole concept and idea when you spoke at the

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MassDOT Encourages Presidents' Day Travelers to Plan Ahead
03:35PM / Sunday, February 20, 2022
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) advises Presidents' Day holiday travelers to plan ahead, utilize MassDOT's many travel "real time" tools and use public transportation if possible, to travel between destinations.    On Monday, Feb. 21, state offices are closed, Registry of Motor Vehicle service locations are closed, the MBTA will be running on various different schedules and there will be no deployment of the I-93 High Occupancy Vehicle Lane (HOV) between Quincy and Boston.   "With safety being always our highest priority, we would like to remind travelers to go slow on roadways and potentially expect high volumes

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