Update, Tuesday May 5th, 2020
Happy Cinco de Mayo! And it’s not the Mexican version of Independence Day, like our Fourth of July…On May 5, 1862, the Mexican army defeated the French army at the Battle of Puebla. This single military battle signified defeat of a major European colonial power, and a victory for the Mexican people. This huge victory is the root of Cinco de Mayo. The celebration of Mexican Independence is celebrated on September 16th. Cinco de Mayo has come to signify Hispanic and Mexican pride and a time to celebrate the rich culture.
Today, this holiday is celebrated by Mexicans, and especially the Hispanic community in the U.S. It is a time of song, dance, partying, and in general a time to be proud to be of Hispanic descent.
And the sun is shining!
The Williamstown Historical Museum, always a source of interesting local information, is offering an opportunity to learn about a different war and how it impacted folks locally. Fifty years ago, the largest Vietnam War protest in Williamstown took place – a student strike at Williams. Local historian, Dusty Griffin, has written an essay titled “Williamstown and Vietnam: The War at Home,” which detailing opposition to the War in Williamstown. Dusty’s essay provides context to the local antiwar movement and presents an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the events that took place on the Williams College Campus and in Williamstown in the 1960s as opposition to the war grew. I actually went to a war protest by accident with my cousins. There was a newspaper article about the 101st Airborne paratroopers doing an exercise and parachuting down to earth so we went to see them. The protesters showed up in force, the full panoply of 1960’s anti war protesters, hair, flowers, hippies on the march! At one point I looked up and saw boots dropping at me, it seemed so anyway, and being much smaller and more nimble than now, I scampered away unscathed, not that I was in any real danger. I think that’s as close as I got to a protest or the war…
The WTF Community Works workshop a couple weeks ago was so successful that they’ll be doing another, but different style, workshop next week. The next workshop will be broadcast to Facebook Live, in addition to having a few participants on camera via zoom. HERE is the link to info for Facebook Live This workshop will take place on Monday, May 11 from 5-5:45pm. If you’re interested in being considered to participate on Zoom, fill out this form by 12 noon tomorrow (Wednesday, May 6). 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 they are able to offer you a spot by the end of day on Wednesday, May 6.
The workshop, of course, will still be broadcast on Facebook, so anyone will be able to participate that way, no matter what!
Participants will attend a trial session on Zoom this Friday, May 8th, to troubleshoot any technical issues ! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. They’re also doing a phone workshop on May 13 at 5pm via phone. For the phone workshop, anyone interested should email Hayley at email@example.com or call Laura at 212.395.9090×101.
While many of the people reading these updates are retired, semi-retired or volunteering some folks are looking for work and may have been knocked out of the workforce by COVID-19. If you’re over 50 and are looking, Massachusetts COA is pleased to announce that the 50+ Job Seekers Program is going statewide! That means Berkshire residents who are, afterall, living in Massachusetts and not a neighboring state…Now that the program has been completely moved to a virtual platform, any Massachusetts resident 50+ years old can register and participate. We’re directing those who are unemployed and want to participate in programs such as this to this website. Each session is guided by a professional employment coach.
While we’re at it, the same group, 50 + Job Seekers announces the first of four Town Hall style workshops. May is Older American’s month and supporting older workers is key. These are turbulent economic times due to COVID-19 and Dr. William Sharp-he’s on the faculty at Northeastern- has volunteered his time to speak about stress management. This program is open to MA residents 50 and older and FREE of charge, here’s a flyer advertising a pretty cool workshop about dealing with stress at this time of season…here’s the flyer link..
LIHEAP (Fuel Assistance): This deadline has been extended to May 31, 2020 for new applications. As of the date of this brief, there has been no announcement of increased benefit for current participants. Contact Berkshire Community Action Council at 413.663.3014 is the North Adams number, or you can call the main line at 413.445.4503, the website address is
Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District will be at Whitney’s Farm , 1775 South State St, Cheshire, MA.Saturday, May 30th , 2020 10:00am to Noon. Remember when Linda came to the Harper Center and talked about these bins, 80 gallon Earth Machines, and raffled one off? Now they’re for sale, just in time for garden season. The District is providing home composting bins that cost $25.00 to member Town’s residents while supplies last. That means Williamstown residents.
Questions firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413-743-8208 Linda Cernik, to place your order.
Finally, one of our neighbors received a call from the 857 area code but the message said “Boston MA” and not COVID-19. I called it for her, just in case, you know…and the person answering said “Thank you for calling the fundraising center” I guess the message is, if it doesn’t say COVID-19, it ain’t them.
Oh…I did report them to Mass DPH…
Enjoy the sun!