Columnists

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Letter: Williamstown's Racist Legacy

I asked my great-aunt and -uncle what they heard and saw Colonial Village as residents and they all say: "Whites-only. We were told as children to avoid going in there because it was unsafe and unwelcoming for Black people."

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'The Sunshine Boys': 'All the Men & Women Merely Players'

A nostalgic and loving peek into the whys, wherefores and wiles of a lifelong relationship, "The Sunshine Boys" imparts a golden glow that will have you rolling and sighing in the aisles. And if you don't have aisles, the couch will do.

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'The Remains of the Day': What the Butler Didn't See

The question that must follow then, with Mr. Stevens the embodiment of detachment from what may or may not affect the commonweal, is does he really believe that such matters are better left to swells like his employer, or is his personal acquiescence a form of cowardice?

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'The Petrified Forest': Diners, Disillusionment & Diva

Each twitch of a facial muscle, a glint in an eye, half-hopeful smile, momentary sadness and deep, abiding concern are evoked in a phenomenal amalgam of technical and method acting that cannot be attributed to anything but natural talent.

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Letter: Voting Makes Voices Heard

The only way to solve the issues in our government, our political process, and our country is to make our voices heard. Whether it's a local, state, or national election, each of us has a civic duty to vote to make our government work for us the way it's supposed to.

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Letter: Democracy In quarantine: Vote, and Vote Safely

Never has it been so dangerous to cast our vote; yet, more so than ever, we need to. This upcoming national election will determine the course of our country, our town, our family, and our life.

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Letter: Support for Peter Beck for Planning Board

I write to enthusiastically support Peter Beck for a five-year term on the Williamstown Planning Board. Peter was a star student at Yale Law School.

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'Eight Men Out': Say It Ain't So, Joe

Inspired art direction that turned minor league stadiums into yesteryear's baseball emporiums, terrific period costumes and jauntily choreographed hitting, running and fielding romanticize the era while providing rollicking counterpoint to the sad sense of betrayal.

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Lenox Memorial Names Top Two Students for 2020

Nora Mathews and Alexandra "Ali" Hochfelder have been named valedictorian and salutatorian of the Lenox Memorial High School class of 2020, according to Principal Michael Knybel.

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'The Great Gatsby': Class Distinction by the Book

Everyone in "The Great Gatsby" is of their time, proof positive and point of reference for anyone who cares to peer into the ebullience of the post WWI, Prohibition era of glitzy presumptiveness, and what Fitzgerald declaimed, through narrator Nick Carraway, as careless.

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Letter: Five Stars to The Spoke

I have been a customer of The Spoke for years and now I want to send accolades to Paul, Heidi and Damien.

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Letter: Federal Aid Needed to Stabilize Public School Funding

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered the landscape for public education in just about every way. It has further exacerbated the inequities in our society, from access to technology and broadband in rural areas to the assurance of essential nutrition for underserved populations.

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Letter: Change in Tobacco Sales June 1, 2020

I want to remind people that starting June 1, 2020, flavored tobacco, including menthol cigarettes like Kools and Newports will no longer be sold in Massachusetts.

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'Rain Man': If We Only Used Our Brain

Opportunists might speculate what riches could be gleaned from harnessing the paradox, whereas altruists might venture that unlocking the secrets might lead to a cure for cancer, and perhaps along the way a vaccine against the current plague.

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In Cautious Song, Early Birds Proclaim Vernal Awakening

It is time with a steel bristle brush to clear out last year's thistles and scrape away any rust clogging the tiny holes suited so well for their small bills.

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'I Remember Mama': Motherhood: All Love Begins and Ends There

Irene Dunne's wonderfully etched title character esteems truth, morality and respect not just because it is proper, but because her DNA knows that such are the indispensable building blocks of a civilized society.

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Letter: Envisioning Pedestrian-Friendly Streets

Historically, we start by giving the right-of-way to the cars, pushing the pedestrians and cyclists to the sidelines. What would happen if thought that pedestrians and cyclists should get priority?

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'The Fountainhead': Magnificent Confusion

You see, while there is a class of movie that is so bad that it is great fun to watch, "The Fountainhead," starring Gary Cooper as iconoclastic architect Howard Roark, targeted for martyrdom by evil architecture critic Ellsworth M. Toohey, is so paradoxical it's magnetizing.

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'Bang the Drum Slowly': Of Pitchers & Catchers

But the main reason to see this absorbing, character-driven morality tale that Mark Harris adapted for the screen from his novel is for the touching bond into which Moriarty and De Niro breathe life: the pitcher-catcher relationship as a tear-laced, buddy-buddy metaphor for devoted friendship.

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Letter: Susan B. Anthony Should Have More Prominent Spot

Susan B. Anthony deserves more then to be in a place where 95 percent of the passing drivers and passengers will not see her

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'The Grapes of Wrath': Bleed the Bitter Truth

This epochal contribution to cinema, history and the socioeconomic analysis of the American character, starring Henry Fonda's Tom Joad as a pilgrim amidst the tragedy of a capitalist system blind to society's urgencies, is that rare case where the film is almost as good as the book.

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'Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House': Blueprint for a Comedy

Cary Grant's wonderfully etched Jim Blandings has his own version of the chimera I speak of a haven in the Connecticut sticks where the bigtime Madison Avenue adman can don slippers and smoking jacket, enjoy a snifter of brandy with a good pipe, and play country squire.

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