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Adams Lights Christmas Tree

Andy McKeever

ADAMS, Mass. — With Thanksgiving tables now cleared, the Christmas season is here.

Hundreds of people gathered at the town common on Sunday to usher the season in with caroling, carriage rides and a visit from Santa Claus, who lit the town's tree.

Girl Scouts caroling and lines for the horse-drawn carriage (only one carriage this year) began to form at 2 p.m. At 3:30, the Fire Fepartment escorted Santa Claus, who had a long line of children waiting. Led by Santa, the crowd counted down and the town's was lit with thousands of multicolored bulbs. Santa also lit a second tree on Summer Street.

Photos clockwise from top: People pose in front of the tree; Santa arrives; the wagon ride was popular; the tree.

 

Tags: Tree, Christmas, Adams      

Pittsfield Wins Arts Video Challenge

Staff Reports

Congratulations to the city of Pittsfield for winning the Massachusetts Cultural Council Mayor's Art Challenge. The three-minute video of "The Art of Revitalizing a City" will be showcased at the State House this coming February at the Commonwealth Awards, the state's highest honors in arts and culture.

The awards are presented every two years and, in 2009, the city was recognized as the state's most Creative Community for its efforts in using arts and culture to advance its goals as a vital community.

Pittsfield was one of 16 videos entered in the contest and features Mayor James M. Ruberto talking about the city's revitalization from a booth in Dottie's Coffee Lounge. The video's racked up more than 2,700 views to date and garnered 219 "likes" on YouTube. That seems a small amount, but voters had to have a YouTube account to vote. It still outpaced the larger cities of Lowell and Melrose (both with 186) and Haverhill (132). See all 16 videos here.

These four top vote-getters were reviewed by a panel at MCC and Pittsfield declared the winner.

Berkshire County's other city, North Adams, also vied in the challenge but couldn't come up with enough votes for the final. Featuring North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright, the Steeple City's video picked up 72 likes and more than a 1,000 views. See that one below.

The Pittsfield video will be also be shown next year to the U.S. Conference of Mayors as part of the Americans for the Arts annual presentation. The video was created by Jennibeth Gomez, and AmeriCorps-VISTA intern in the city's Office of Cultural Development.

 

Tags: YouTube, contest      

Wanted: Poster For Pittsfield Parade 2011

Staff Reports
The Pittsfield 4th of July Parade Committee is looking for a local artist to create the annual parade poster.

The theme for 2011 is "Pittsfield — 250 Years, Past, Present, Future"

Please send Pittsfield Parade a sketch of your idea for the 2011 poster by Nov. 1, 2010 at pittsfieldparade@aol.com. The artist will be notified by Dec. 1.

Finished poster must be in acrylics on 18-inch by 24-inch jessoed masonite, and must be submitted by March 1, 2011.
There is a $500 award, and the poster becomes the property of the Pittsfield Parade Committee to use as a fundraiser.

Questions, call 413-447-7763.
Tags: Pittsfield, parade      

Williams Tops With Forbes, Unigo

Staff Reports

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — You know fall's around the corner when the inevitable lists of the best schools start appearing. And, inevitably, the Williams College is on them.

This month, Williams' selection as one of the "New Ivies" by college-rater Unigo.com comes on the heel's of its top ranking as America's best college by Forbes Magazine.

The private liberal arts institution, and the second-oldest college in the state after Harvard, has been a perennial top-lister in various "best of" lists, including U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings. Forbes ranked Williams as No. 4 last year; this year, it popped to the top, beating out archrival Amherst at No. 3.

Forbes ranks colleges on academics and students' experiences and achievements. Unigo.com's rankings are similar and it gleans all of its information directly from students. The site offers information to help collegebound students choose the right school. The list of "The New Ivies" is among the site's "10 for 10" that includes ranking for the 10 safest, best party, most intellectual and sports.

The information culled from some 30,000 respondents placed Williams among the New Ivies with Duke and Johns Hopkins for its low student-instructor ratio, communal atmosphere and emphasis on academic experience over grades.

Williamstown is isolated. But the athletic, outdoorsy and social students don’t seem to mind spending time on campus together. 'We come here for the academics, and for one another.' That, in a nutshell, is Williams' largest selling point.

 

Tags: Williams, rankings      

Williamstown Steeple on eBay

Staff Reports

As you've probably already heard, the St. Raphael's steeple has been posted on eBay. The church's pride has structural issues and a decision was made to remove while the building and nearby rectory are transformed into affordable housing units.

There was the idea of simply setting it aside, like giant lawn ornament, but the commitee working with developer David Carver didn't warm to the idea. Thus, like so many tchotkes and oddities, the steeple found itself on eBay. Here's the link.

It's a great opportunity for a buying a "once in a lifetime" deal, says the description.

Get ready ... because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We are please to offer a real life part of Western New England history ... What a wonderful piece of architectural history to own ... pour a concrete slab and enjoy it for a lifetime.

The minimum bid is $1,000 but with 39 hours to go, no one's bid on it. The auction ends on Aug 22 at 5:55:13 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, or 2:55:13 a.m. our time. The local pickup requirement would certainly lessen the number of (any?) interested buyers - it would be pretty pricey to ship since it weighs in at five to six tons. We found one freight calculator that came up with $3,500 to ship it to 90210 (since we figured someone in that ZIP could easily afford it).

The removal and loading on a flatbed are included, so that's a nice incentive. And where else can you get a church steeple like it? On the other hand, it's just the slate-covered spire and not the more architecturally interesting belfry beneath it.

If a steeple won't fit at your house but you're still looking for some Williamstown history, there's elements of the Kalker House still available at the ReStore in Springfield. The beautiful doorway taken from the home (demolished to make way for the Clark Art Institute's new entrance) can be picked up for $2,000. It's twice the price as the steeple but we're thinking a lot easier to get home.

Update: The auction ended Saturday night with no bids; we haven't seen it relisted.

Tags: St. Raphael's, Kalker      
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