Blog - Williamstown, MA
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Updates, Friday July 17th, 2020

If you know someone in financial stress, or maybe you are concerned about being able to pay your rent or mortgage arrears when the eviction and foreclosure moratorium ends, there are services available to help you sort this all out.

The first thing to do is to complete an assessment form. Always a form right? Go to the website for Berkshire Housing, here’s the link to the website;

www.berkshirehousing.com

This will bring you to their homepage where you’ll see a box with the logo of a tree inside. Directly below that you’ll see “Housing Consumer Education Center” with a description of services below it. Click on it. You’ll see a description of the services available for this program and a bullet for “financial assistance programs” and a line in purple to access the application. Click on this and follow assessment  directions.

The assessment is available in English and Spanish.  You can download the form, complete it and  fax to 413-496-9831. You can also mail it back to: 

Berkshire Housing Development Corp./Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority; ATTN: HCEC Assessment, P.O. Box 1180, Pittsfield, MA 01202. 

If you do not have computer access or need assistance with the process, please call (413) 499-1630, ext. 157 and leave a message. The phone line is checked multiple times during the week Monday through Friday. Hint; do it online if you can. It’s much faster!

OK, so everybody wants to know about Farmer’s Market Coupons. Obviously we can’t provide them in the usual manner, Covidization has shelved that process so here’s the new way we’ll do it.

Beginning Wednesday July 22nd we’ll dispense the coupons daily between 9:00 and 1:00 until they are gone.We’re doing it by appointment, you have to call us here at Harper, 413.458.8250 and arrange a slot to stop by and fill out the paperwork and receive your coupons. We’re doing it in 20 minute intervals, we want to avoid people milling about and waiting so you should be in and out quickly.

Eligibility is pretty much unchanged; Recipients must be: 60 years or older,have a household income at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Line ($23,606 for a one person household, $31, 894 for 2 people) and must reside in Williamstown. Coupons are  first come, first serve basis. 

Each booklet contains 10 coupons, each valued at $2.50 = $25.00 worth of coupons. Each applicant will  receive a complete booklet. No split booklets. No applicant is eligible to receive more than one booklet. Distribution is  by individual not household. Coupons expire October 31st, 2020.No change can be given for coupon purchases.Coupons can only be redeemed at certified locations with certified farmers and  may be redeemed for local fresh fruits, vegetables, cut herbs and unprocessed honey.

The Williamstown Farmers Market will accept the coupons and will match them. The system will likely use a coupon code at checkout and  you’ll  have to bring your coupons with you to pick up time to be collected. As for pick up, we won’t be accepting  calls or appointments will be made before Wednesday July 22nd.

In the meanwhile, here’s the legal stuff we have to add:

  • In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race,  color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  
  • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
  • To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 
  • (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture 

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW 

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 

  • (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
  • Or finally you can email: program.intake@usda.gov.
  • This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Have a great weekend!

Brian O’Grady

Updates, Wednesday July 15th, 2020

The Governor recently signed a proclamation declaring this to be Hurricane Awareness Week. Until a few years ago I would have dismissed this as a coastal phenomenon but after the Spruces we need to be a bit wary of the season. Not obsessive, but wary. In that vein, MEMA, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)  is updating their plan on how to respond to disasters while considering the public health challenges of COVID-19.  

 We don’t really  live in a hurricane evacuation zone, but  making an emergency plan, putting an emergency kit together, we’ve had sessions on this topic here, “go bags” is what they’re called I think, and stay informed. Considering the potential impact of an unforeseen disaster and recognizing that  COVID-19 is out there, you  should also add face coverings, disinfectants and hand sanitizer to your go bags. Just a thought in case the unthinkable happens again. These days, you never know.

The biggest question of the week has been in relation to Farmer’s Market coupons and what the status is. The fact is that we have them here at Harper, they delivered them to us and we did all the required paperwork to offer the program again this year.  We’ll begin to provide them to eligible community members as soon as we can establish  the simple nuances of distribution and  use in a pandemic. We can’t do our usual “y’all come”, this will have to be scheduled to pick up over a brief period of time so recipients will have to call and make an appointment…what a pain for everyone. Sorry but we  don’t want people hanging about at this particular moment in time. So…the plan is that Marion and I will discuss the operational aspect of distribution today. Tomorrow, I’ll bring  Carmel in on the plan, we’ll establish a schedule of available pick up slots and we’ll tell you what the plan is on Friday. In the meanwhile, I’ll ask the farmer’s market people how they’re to be used this year..a lot of steps for what should be a very simple operation. Stay tuned.

The Milne Public Library is now officially in the takeout business. You can order your summer reading online via their website, www.milnelibrary.org and then cruise on over  to the tent and grab your stuff via curbside pickup. Their hours are 11:00 to 4:00 Monday through Thursday, no weekends or evenings at this time. They have a tutorial on their website explaining how to order electronically  so check it out. 

By the way, there’s an online forum tonight with Williams President Maud Mandel via zoom for Townies to hear about and discuss the college’s plans for the limited reopening this fall. It happens tonight from 7:00 to 8:00.

To join, please use the following link:

https://williams.zoom.us/j/93806782626?pwd=REk3ek9ENUYrY3czR09yaTlBbEhxZz09

Password: 991093

You can  also join by telephone using any of the following numbers (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):  US: +1 301 715 8592  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 646 558 8656  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 669 900 9128

Webinar ID: 938 0678 2626

 Participants will be able to submit questions through Zoom’s chat function.

Thanks to the Williamstown chamber of Commerce and Director Sue for posting the link!

Finally a shout out to Karen Pedercini at Goodman’s Jewelers who just donated the inscription for our eldest, Berniece Roberts, on the Boston Post Cane plaque.Thanks Karen! 

So many great volunteer efforts happening in this community eh?

Brian O’Grady

Updates, Monday July 13, 2020

Last Friday Massachusetts DPH lifted a statewide ban on the use of reusable bags at grocery stores.  On March 25, the ban on reusable bags as part of efforts to slow the coronavirus advance was effected.. The measure was imposed out of concern that reusable bags would carry Covid-19 from place to place spreading the virus..This is actually good news. Now we can stop collecting plastic single use bags! Hmmm…I wonder if this means that they will charge  for paper again…

Dr. Monica Bharel, our public health commissioner,  rescinded that ban on July 10.  She also rescinded a separate order from April that included occupancy limitations for grocery stores. You will all note that the requirements to wear a mask and maintain social distancing are still intact. So, continue to wear your mask, distance and wash your hands too!

Since we’re on the subject of trash, we talked last week about the new stickers and    now we’ll  talk about exchanging trash bags for trash tags…Starting August 1st, no more Town trash bags, you can use your own bags but you’ll have to buy a tag to affix to the bag you’re using to toss your trash.

You’ll be able to purchase online,www.williamstownma.gov, (click on transfer station)  at Stop and Shop, Wild Oats, Aubuchon and at the transfer station itself. Stickers are $10 for a sheet of 5, you’ll be using 1 sticker for small bags, 2 for the larger bags. For a size comparison, think of the sizes of the former Town trash bags, regulars vs. bigger. You can use your stash of Williamstown bags if you have any without a tag, you’ve already paid for  them right? 

Oh, right, speaking of remind-have you bought your new 2021 stickers yet…? 

Here’s your food news for the week.

Tomorrow is the second Tuesday of July which means that the FoodBank of Western Mass Mobile Food Pantry will be at the Visitors Center lot in Adams from 10-11 tomorrow morning. Stay in your car, turn on your hazard lights, they’ll come to you.

The three Williamstown churches who had been participating in the Take and Eat program until it was Covidized last March are back on line with the Sunday meals program. They’ll contact all the former participants, a letter has gone out to everybody with the delivery details including delivery protocols under the new abnormal, masks, distancing, etc. They have access to masks so anyone involved with the program is welcome to ask for one if needed. The biggest change is that they will no longer leave a meal if there’s no answer to the knock. They’ll leave a note…”sorry we missed you…”

If you haven’t heard from them and were expecting to, let us know here at 413.458.8250 and we’ll talk with someone for you…

Williamstown Farmers Market – Essentials!, the virtual market is accepting orders at www.WFMEssentials.org  -THIS is a Change folks, weekly from 10:00  TUESDAY  until 5PM on Wednesday . No more Monday orders. Pick up is from 11am until 1pm  on Saturday. Orders are pre-bagged, pre-sorted, you’ll find them in the parking lot behind the Williamstown Elementary School.

Berkshire Grown  has a link to  all sorts of different farms and food sources. Here’s that link: Shop Local Now

The North Adams Farmers market is open, here’s the link  with order information:-www.Facebook.com/NorthAdamsFarmersMarket/ 

The Salvation Army Food Pantry on  River Street in North Adams is in operation Tuesday-12:00-3:00. Please use the front door

The Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry at the St. Elizabeth Parish Center on Holden Street is open  Wednesday, 10:00-2:00 and 3:30-5:30. Their phone message says that they’ll deliver if you don’t have access to transportation, call them between 9:30 and 1:30 on Wednesdays for delivery. Here’s the contact information; 413.664.0123 or via email at;northernberkshireinterfaith@gmail.com 

 The Community Bible Church Food Pantry, 160 Bridges Road, Williamstown, has food and are happy to share. Call Phyllis Babcock (413) 663-6094 and she will meet you at church at your convenience.

Berkshire Food Project-take-out only on M-W-and F. Enter through the breezeway and exit from the dining room out to Summer Street. Wear a mask to participate and this includes while waiting in line and practice Social Distancing. BFP will provide a mask if you don’t have one. The number of folks allowed inside is currently limited, there will be a count. BFP staff will open the doors for you, you’ll only be touching your food. There are also no restroom facilities available for use at this time.. Berkshire Food Project: Home

The Williamstown Food Pantry at St Patrick/St Raphael Church, 9:00-12:00 Wednesday. Southworth St. Same procedure, circle the church,, stay in your car, someone will help. Walkers to the front of the line, you go first.

Brian O’Grady

Updates, Thursday July 9th, 2020

This week, Massachusetts became the latest state to allow all residents to vote by mail in any 2020 election, with no excuse needed. According to Secretary Galvin’s  office, a vote by mail  application will be mailed to every person who was registered to vote by July 1 and who had not already requested an absentee ballot for the State Primary or for all elections this year.A second mailing will be sent out in September to all voters who have not already applied for a Vote by Mail ballot for the November election. The applications are pre-addressed to your local election official and no postage is necessary.Vote by Mail applications must be delivered to your local election office no later than 4 business days before the election.

For a State Primary ballot, your application must reach your local election office no later than August 26.

For a State Election ballot, your application must reach your local election office no later than October 28.

Those interested in voting by mail are strongly encouraged to return an application as early as possible, to make sure that you will receive your ballot in time to return it and have it be counted.Vote by Mail applications are available for download and may also be requested by contacting the Elections Division.You can find more information on voting by mail on the Secretary of State’s Voting by Mail FAQs page

Now, we talked yesterday about opening spring street for pedestrian access to the shops and restaurants but there is more happening than just this Saturday on Spring.. Many other area opportunities and restaurants are coming back on line this week including the Barn at the Williams Inn, the Clark and MOCA. Sue has summed this all up nicely in an informational blurb on the Chamber website so i think I’ll just refer you to that spot and you can see the news yourselves. Here’s the link: https://mailchi.mp/c70a8264ac72/this-week-in-williamstown 

By the way, in case you were looking for them at Field Park, Youlin’s Tai Chi class has moved back here to the grounds behind the Harper Center, it’s shady, much quieter and flat. I didn’t count heads but it looked like a full complement of people. You know that we have Covid restrictions on participants so if you’re already part of the class, contact youlin to be added to one of the sessions. If you’re a newly interested possible participant, call us at Harper, 413.458.8250 and we’ll make intros…

Tomorrow is Friday and I’ll be in zoom meeting heaven (or maybe the other place) most of the day so I’ll wish you all a great weekend in advance!

Brian O’Grady.

Updates, Wednesday July 8th, 2020

We all know that our friends from the Theatre Festival COMMUNITY WORKS have been presenting workshops on Facebook Live for the past few months. They are planning to do this again  on Friday, July 17. This workshop will focus on movement on stage, and will  have COMMUNITY WORKS alum, Becky and Jamal Ahamad as guest artists! Perhaps you know them?

If you’re interested in being considered to participate on Zoom, fill out this form by 5pm on Thursday, July 9. Space is very limited so filling out this form does not guarantee you a spot in the Zoom call. WTF will review submissions and confirm IF we are able to offer you a spot by the end of day on Friday, July 10.That’s this week folks!

Participants will attend a rehearsal on Zoom on Wednesday, July 15 from 12:30-1p to troubleshoot any technical issues. Availability for this date and time is required in order to participate! The workshop, of course, will still be broadcast on Facebook, so anyone will be able to participate that way, no matter what! Contact Haley at community@wtfestival.org or call her, 413-458-3200 x9676

Just a reminder about ticks, mosquitos and other bugs…It was three years ago today that I moved a large compost heap in my yard from one spot to another. I was creating a patio space. In that process, I was bitten by a tick but really didn’t notice it until three weeks later when I became ill. I had Anaplasmosis and it was a misery. I had a fever of 105, spent the evening before my daughters wedding in the ER and the next three weeks recovering. They told me that my red blood count had been reduced by over 50%. Dangerous territory. So my message here is that tick bites are not good at all and you should take all sorts of precautions. Bug spray is my favorite and then a shower if I have been playing in the yard.Yes, I know, you’re supposed to tuck your pants into your socks and wear long sleeves, also a precaution but one which doesn’t work for me.  Weeding the garden is an activity which brings us close to the ground where they lurk…I live at the edge of the woods and they are everywhere. So are mosquitoes and bug spray works on them as well. Just be vigilant , do tick checks  at the minimum and don’t join me in the tick bite horror story club.

We’re still in a bit of a drought so remember to heed the restrictions that went into effect at the end of June-non essential watering is verboten between 9:00 and 5:00 daily so don’t be out watering until evening, or early morning, whichever you prefer. There’s a ton of rain in the forecast for later this week so perhaps relief is in sight. If you want to know how low the water is, take a look off the Cole Ave bridges at the Hoosac. You can see it for yourself.

Now another good news report,  the Town says that Spring Street will be open to Pedestrians only, this means no cars and  no on street parking for three consecutive Saturdays (July 11, 18, and 25) 4:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. I was away the last Saturday this happened but I’m told that it rained after everything was set up.. Bummer! Anyway, to avoid this scenario again, they’ll decide each Saturday at noon whether to proceed with this plan.You can find out whether it’s happening by checking the Chamber Facebook page,  Williamstown Chamber of Commerce – Home or Town’s Facebook page Town of Williamstown Government – Home for updates.

So- street will close at 4:00 p.m to vehicles. to allow businesses to set up. Masks when applicable and  social distancing rules are in place. The evening outside ends between 9 and 10 as the street needs to be cleared -Spring Street reopened to traffic at 10:00 

 You’ll be able to experience Spring Street differently from  5-10 Saturday evening, support business and maybe eat outside under the stars. Check it out! 

Brian O’Grady

Updates, Monday July 6th, 2020

So, the reopening continues and Phase 3 begins today! We’ve done a fabulous job keeping the Coronavirus out of here so far and now we can go to museums, movies and-well check it out for yourselves, here’s the official link!

http://mass.gov/reopening

The one thing that we all really have to do is stay vigilant, wear your mask and wash your hands! And it’s OK to remind other people to follow the mask rules if they’re not. It’s not rude to advise someone that they need to mask up, it’s rude NOT to do it…

Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity (NBHfH) is now accepting applications for a 3-bedroom, 1.5 bath home, located in Williamstown at the corner of Cole Avenue and Maple Street. Construction is expected to be completed this fall. No idea why the original family isn’t available and it doesn’t really matter now does it? You can find additional information about this home and the process for consideration on their website https://www.northberkshirehabitat.org/

For your long term planning, there is a NBSWMD Hazardous waste collection in August, actually on August 22nd, which you New Englanders will recognize as Carl Yastremzski’s 81st birthday, from 9:00AM to 1:00 PM at the Adams DPW garage on North Summer Street. They are requiring pre-registration later in the summer and I’m putting this in really early as I know first hand what happens as we work our way through the shed, garage, cellar during the summer. Might be time to start a pre-collection box. Anyway, you can register starting August 3rd by calling 413.743. 8208 or email  our friend Linda at lcernik@nbswmd.com 

Green River Cleanup Walk

Saturday July 11 at 1 PM

If you’re looking for a nice river walk this weekend and aren’t afraid to pick up some trash while you’re doing it, the South Williamstown Community Association is doing  a cleanup walk along the Green River. This is a regularly occurring annual project done in collaboration with the Hoosic River Watershed Association, HOORWA, to collect junk washing out of a closed former Town landfill located behind the Hart farm on New Ashford Road (Rte 7).If you’re interested you can park at the Hart Garage right on 7, it’s about a mile beyond Waubeeka Golf Course on the right heading toward New Ashford. Cross the road and walk down the 340 New Ashford Road. You’ll need rubber boots, gloves, insect repellent and sunscreen. Oh, you’ll also need to wear a mask and social distancing is in order too.If you are planning on participating but are lacking a mask, call us here at Harper and we’ll help you out; 413.458.8250. The Town is  providing trash  bags and arranging for disposal.

For information, contact:  Bette Craig (413) 652-9098

Jane’s class #15 is “live” on Willinet, www.willinet.org

Seems like a good thing to do early in the morning to start your day!

OK, here’s the food news for the week.

The biggest news is that the three Williamstown churches who had been participating in the Take and Eat program until it was Covidized last March are back on line to restart the Sunday meals program this coming weekend, July 11th. They’ll contact all the former participants, a letter has gone out to everybody with the delivery details including delivery protocols under the new abnormal, masks, distancing, etc. They have access to masks so anyone involved with the program is welcome to ask for one if needed. The biggest change is that they will no longer leave a meal if there’s no answer to the knock. They’ll leave a note…”sorry we missed you…”

Williamstown Farmers Market – Essentials!, the virtual market is accepting orders at www.WFMEssentials.org  weekly from 10:00  Monday  until 7PM on Wednesday . Pick up is from 11am until 1pm  on Saturday. Orders are pre-bagged, pre-sorted, you’ll find them in the parking lot behind the Williamstown Elementary School.

Berkshire Grown  has a link to  all sorts of different farms and food sources. Here’s that link: https://berkshiregrown.org/shop-local-now/

The North Adams Farmers market is open, here’s the link  with order information:-www.Facebook.com/NorthAdamsFarmersMarket/ 

The Salvation Army Food Pantry on  River Street in North Adams is in operation Tuesday-12:00-3:00. Please use the front door

The Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry at the St. Elizabeth Parish Center on Holden Street is open  Wednesday, 10:00-2:00 and 3:30-5:30. Their phone message says that they’ll deliver if you don’t have access to transportation, call them between 9:30 and 1:30 on Wednesdays for delivery. Here’s the contact information; 413.664.0123 or via email at;

northernberkshireinterfaith@gmail.com  

 The Community Bible Church Food Pantry, 160 Bridges Road, Williamstown, has food and are happy to share. Call Phyllis Babcock (413) 663-6094 and she will meet you at church at your convenience.

The Williamstown Food Pantry at St Patrick/St Raphael Church, 9:00-12:00 Wednesday. Southworth St. Same procedure, circle the church,, stay in your car, someone will help. Walkers to the front of the line, you go first. 

Berkshire Food Project-take-out only on M-W-and F. Enter through the breezeway and exit from the dining room out to Summer Street. Wear a mask to participate and this includes while waiting in line and practice Social Distancing. BFP will provide a mask if you don’t have one. The number of folks allowed inside is currently limited, there will be a count. BFP staff will open the doors for you, you’ll only be touching your food. There are also no restroom facilities available for use at this time.. https://www.berkshirefoodproject.org/

Beautiful day out there!

Brian O’Grady

Updates, Wednesday July 1st, 2020

Rabbit Rabbit!

There are all sorts of bear sightings all over Town these days. Bears are not cuddly overgrown dogs. They’re potentially dangerous wild animals. Ain’t no Yogi Bear here, but they will swipe your picnic basket if you leave it out. Don’t feed the bears! Don’t leave food around! They’ll sniff it out and mark the site for future reference. Lock your garages, there are stories of bears visiting to eat garbage. They’re really not interested in you, only what they can eat off your largess.Stay away from them.Take pictures from a distance. Any questions?

Another light comes on as the Milne Library are indicating that they’ll begin sidewalk service on Monday July 6th. Apparently you’ll order, they’ll have your materials ready for pickup, you go and get them. Sort of grab and go for books…Pat will surely let us know the mechanism soon.

 In the meanwhile, you can return all the library materials you borrowed last winter…think about that for a moment.. by dropping all your returns into the bin marked  “Library Returns”.  There will be a 3 day quarantine on everything returned so now worries about  contagion by association here. And there are no fines! 

After 3 days, everything will be matched to your accounts and then you’re off the hook for borrowed materials..

You can follow everything happening at the library through this link www.milnelibrary.org 

Today marks the three month mark after Census Day 2020. Soon, you’ll be getting a card in the mail reminding you to respond if you already haven’t. This will give you an opportunity to reply before a field agent knocks on your door, and they will be out there starting in the beginning of August, that’s next month folks. Before the knock, you’ll have a final mailing to remind you to get to it.  

 All the funds received from the federal or state government for all sorts of  programming, the number of representatives we have in Congress, schools, roads, human services, all of it and more comes from the census count. The numbers from this count will govern our fair share for the next decade. How old are you now? Add ten to your age and that’s how old you will be when the next opportunity to count will happen. Think about it, it’s important! Look at what’s happening nationally with the pandemic, the economy in shambles, high unemployment and the bill yet to be paid. Want to be on the short end of it because you didn’t reply?

Need help with this? Let us know, 413.458.8250 and we’ll see what we can do.

By the way, as of the end of June, Williamstown has responded at a 65.3% rate, a drop from 2012 and leaving us 7th overall in the county. Really? We have nearby neighboring communities who are beating us here so c’mon Williamstown, get it done and lets be #1! 

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, you may know them as MEMA, have issued new guidelines for travellers heading out of state for vacations this summer. Here is the exact wording; “Effective Wednesday, July 1, all travelers arriving in Massachusetts, including residents returning home, are instructed to self-quarantine for 14-days. This guidance does not apply to travelers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York or New Jersey. Additionally, workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are also exempt from this directive.

Travelers who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 are instructed to not travel to Massachusetts. 

All visitors and residents of Massachusetts are also reminded that the use of masks or face coverings in public places where individuals cannot socially distance from others remains required.

These new guidelines replace previously announced Massachusetts travel guidance. 

You all knew that this would happen right?

Last Monday we talked a bit about Goodwill efforts in the community coming back from Covidization and here’s another good piece of news from them. The Goodwill Truck is back in action and will be in the parking lot at the Milne Library on the first 3 Sundays each month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. I have some clothing accumulated to give them…how about you?

 Call Maryam Kamangar at 431.442.0061, ext. 22 with questions or for information.

Now, if you were wondering, it’s dump sticker time and yes, you need one. You can order one online at, get this address, trashtags@williamstownma.gov, or click the Online Payments button at the town website www.williamstownma.gov, or mail a request to the collectors office at 31 North Street or drop a note with payment in the slot at Town Hall. It’s $120 for a primary tag and $20 for an  additional tag. The dump is open on Friday when the rest of the Town offices, including us, are closed, but they’ll be closed on Saturday July 4th. Also-no meals delivery from the school Friday this week either.

Happy 4th of July in advance y’all! Talk next week!

Brian O’Grady

Updates, Monday June 29th, 2020

It simply cannot be the end of June already can it…?

Don’t forget, there’s a Blood Drive at the Williamstown Historical Museum, tomorrow, Tuesday, June 30 from 9am – 2:30pm. They’re looking for healthy donors without Covid symptoms. They’d like participant donors to schedule in advance to avoid lines and congestion.  To schedule an appointment today call (413) 447-2597 x 2 or email camuso@bhs1.org

Speaking of the Museum, they’re in week 9 of 9 in the spring scavenger hunt and this time they’re talking about block houses, specifically the one which stood once upon a time in Williamstown. Do you know where this might be? Go find it!

Goodwill Industries tell us that despite the pandemic and all the associated mess they’re still dedicated to helping just a little differently. They’re hosting “Virtual Employability Workshops”  offered July 28-30, August 25-28 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. If you’re interested, email them here ; missionservices@goodwill-berkshires.org You could also make a phone call to  Kathy Anker at 413-442-0061 x19

The Goodwill Suit Your Self Program is now offering curbside service. If you, or someone you know has a job interview coming up, you can dress for success! Interested folks should contact their supporting agencies to be connected with the program or you can fill out an online application, here’s a link to the website; www.missionservices@goodwill-berkshires.org  

Speaking of job hunting, the North Adams Career Center is available for assistance with resumes, job search, and interview preparation. Email them at the mission services address above for information or call them at  413-442-0061 x14 to make an appointment to meet with someone.

Much to everyone’s dismay, or maybe I should say continued dismay,  the Covidization of the world has cancelled lots of opportunities all over including our hometown 4th of July fireworks. OK, as my mother would have said;”whatever”. Fear not, the holiday will not pass without some events and recognition. Check out the Chamber of Commerce website, Sue has posted all sorts of information on virtual and outside events happening this weekend in Williamstown. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t rain…

OK, here’s your food news for the week;

The  mobile food pantry from the FoodBank of Western Massachusetts, usually held in North Adams on the first and third Fridays each month is cancelled for this week. There is no plan to reschedule. Holiday you know?

Williamstown Farmers Market – Essentials!, the virtual market is accepting orders at www.WFMEssentials.org  weekly from 10:00  Monday  until 7PM on Wednesday . Pick up is from 11am until 1pm  on Saturday. Orders are pre-bagged, pre-sorted, you’ll find them in the parking lot behind the Williamstown Elementary School.

Berkshire Grown  has a link to  all sorts of different farms and food sources. Here’s that link: https://berkshiregrown.org/shop-local-now/

The North Adams Farmers market is open, here’s the link  with order information:-www.Facebook.com/NorthAdamsFarmersMarket/ 

The Salvation Army Food Pantry on  River Street in North Adams is in operation Tuesday-12:00-3:00. Please use the front door

The Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry at the St. Elizabeth Parish Center on Holden Street is open  Wednesday, 10:00-2:00 and 3:30-5:30. Plenty of parking. Their phone message says that they’ll deliver if you don’t have access to transportation, call them between 9:30 and 1:30 on Wednesdays for delivery. Here’s the contact information; 413.664.0123 or via email at;

northernberkshireinterfaith@gmail.com  

 The Community Bible Church Food Pantry, 160 Bridges Road, Williamstown, has food and are happy to share. Call Phyllis Babcock (413) 663-6094 and she will meet you at church at your convenience.

The Williamstown Food Pantry at St Patrick/St Raphael Church, 9:00-12:00 Wednesday. Southworth St. Same procedure, circle the church,, stay in your car, someone will help. Walkers to the front of the line, you go first. 

Berkshire Food Project-take-out only on M-W-and F. Enter through the breezeway and exit from the dining room out to Summer Street. Wear a mask to participate and this includes while waiting in line and practice Social Distancing. BFP will provide a mask if you don’t have one. The number of folks allowed inside is currently limited, there will be a count. BFP staff will open the doors for you, you’ll only be touching your food. There are also no restroom facilities available for use at this time.. https://www.berkshirefoodproject.org/

Check out Jane’s Exercise Class # 12 now on Willinet. www.willinet.org 

Just a note to thank everyone for being courteous to their neighbors, wearing your masks and social distancing. The Covid numbers are on the rise in other places but fortunately not here. Keep up the good work!

Brian O’Grady