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Williamstown Selectmen Offer Advice to New Pub Manager

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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The Purple Pub is set to open on Spring Street in a few weeks.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Selectmen on Monday welcomed the soon-to-be opened Purple Pub but cautioned the owner and new manager that alcohol control was of prime importance.

The Purple Pub, a mainstay on Spring Street for decades before going up in flames in a devastating fire three years ago, is reopening under new ownership in Mark Paresky's $4 million retail and office development.

The board approved a license for the dual operation of the pub and Spring Street Pizzeria in March. However, the Berkshire Restaurant Group had applied for a change of manager from Molly B. Ferioli to Bryan Segal.

Ferioli is pregnant and not expected to have the time to spend at the restaurant. The board approved the change but not until after sending Segal a warning.

Selectwoman Jane Allen wanted to be assured that Segal was aware of the town's low-tolerance for underage drinking or alcohol-related problems.

"We gave ... a manager, fairly recently, a license for an establishment and he had experience similar to yours," she said, referring to Segal's waitstaff background. "In the first week, there was already an incident at the business and we don't want you to have that."

Segal said he just completed TIPS training; co-owner Thierry Breard, a well-known area chef, said he also had TIPS training and expected his staff of about 25 to also undergo training.

The pub, expected to open at the end of the month, and the pizzeria opening later this fall will share a kitchen and storage area but the dining areas will be completely separate so to maintain control of alcohol on the premises. A patio for the pub will be accessed only through the restaurant and will be a seated dining area; those leaving the pizza place won't be able to sit down at the tables. 

Allen read out some advice provided by another manager who ran into trouble, including working closely with police and making sure everyone is properly trained. "You need to establish a reputation of being tough."

Breard agreed: "I think it's very important to set a reputation and when you get that done, it's easier."

In other business, the board:

► Approved three all-alcoholic licenses for the Clark Art Institute for its "Sunset at Stone Hill" events on Thursdays, Aug. 19 and 26 and Sept. 2, from 5 to 8.

► Approved the 6th annual Hoosic River Ride, which starts in Vermont but has routes that go through Williamstown. The bicycle ride is Saturday, Aug. 21.

Valerie Hall explains why Sts. Patrick and Raphael Parish are asking for a partial road closure in September.
► Approved the closure of Southworth Street from Main to Mission Park to through traffic on Sunday, Sept. 26, from 11:30 to 3 p.m. for a picnic for the Parish of Sts. Patrick and Raphael. Parish member Valerie Hall said the now combined parishes were looking to revive the picnic tradition at the parish hall on Southworth and the rectory across the street. There was a safety concern about people walking back and forth. There will be access to the church property and to neighborhood homes.

► Approved the 2011 tax rate classification for a single rate and confirmed Fohlin's appointment of Barbara McLucas to the Historical Commission.

► Spoke of a tour they'd taken of the former St. Raphael's Church, which is being transformed into affordable housing units as Church Corner LLC. The two apartments in the former rectory are nearly complete and the apartments in the former church building are framed. Allen said developer David Carver is planning an open house in the future "so people will be able to see what we've invested some of our community perservation money in." Town Manager Peter Fohlin said the lottery selection process for the apartments was approved by the state two weeks ago and, when the time comes, will be advertised widely.

► Heard from Fohlin that Morgan Management, which operates The Spruces Mobile Home Park, is asking for a rent increase. The Mobile Home Rent Control Board will meet Wednesday, Aug. 11, at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall to hear the application and from park residents.
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'I Want You to Panic': Youths Lead Williamstown Climate Strike Event

By Rebecca DravisiBerkshires Staff

Williamstown Elementary School fifth-grader Adele Low speaks about needing adults to 'step up and act now to save our planet.'

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The petite fourth-grader made her way up to the microphone. In a voice that belied her small frame, she explained why she took the opportunity to speak in front of the several hundred people who came out to the front steps of the Paresky Student Center at Williams College for the Williamstown Climate Strike on Friday.

"When I learned about climate change, I wanted to cry," said June, a fourth-grader at Williamstown Elementary School. "All the animals are going extinct. And it's just terrible."

Then her voice broke, and tears started running down her tiny face.

It was a heartbreaking moment that clearly moved the crowd of people of all ages who came to Paresky to join more than 3,000 other climate strikes around the world on Friday and Saturday - including a joint rally just across the Paresky lawn at the First Congregational Church, where organizers hung an upside-down American flag to signal the country is in distress. June's tears came in the middle of an hour-long program that focused on the leadership of youths who are leading the charge to force the adults in power to take meaningful action on climate change.

"What we need is to demand from our leaders an aggressive response," said Kofi Lee-Berman, a sophomore at Williams College who emceed the event. "It's either extinction or action."

Ruby Leman, 14, of Long Island, N.Y., part of the Fridays for Future group of young people fighting climate change, targeted those leaders - and all adults, really - whose inaction has led to the crisis facing the world.

"I don't want you to be proud. I want you to panic," she said, urging those adults to vote - but not just for any Democrat, but for a candidate who has a serious "climate conscious," as she put it. "I want you to vote. Because we can't. 

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