Community Contra Dance in Williamstown

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — North Berkshire Community Dance will hold its monthly contra dance on Saturday, Feb. 10.  
Popular young caller Liz Nelson will teach every dance to live traditional fiddle music from the local band, Cider Mountain.
According to a press release, Contra dancing is a living tradition in New England; for hundreds of years, neighbors and friends have made their own social entertainment in this easy and highly collaborative dance form. All are welcome.  Come alone, or with friends -- most people change partners for each dance throughout the evening. New dancers and families with children are encouraged to arrive by 7:30 for instruction in the basics.
Liz Nelson, the caller, will teach all the dances in an inclusive and welcoming style, using gender-neutral phrasing. Liz believes that anyone and everyone can dance. Her goal is to help create evenings where music becomes movement and moving together becomes joy, just as natural as breathing.
The band, Cider Mountain, will be led by Tony Pisano on the accordion. Tony, Butch DeGiorgis (whistles and mandolin), Doone MacKay (fiddle), and Seamus Connor (guitar and mandolin) will be joined by Bill Matthiesen on piano.  Music will be the classic jigs, reels, and waltzes of New England and surrounding areas, played with joy and the camaraderie of decades.
The dance will run 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. in the Community Hall of the First Congregational Church, 906 Main St., Williamstown. Admission is pay-as-you-can:  $12 - $20 suggested, and barter is also welcome. 
Covid Policy: NBCD encourages masks, but no longer requires them. Be aware that, whoever your partner, you'll wind up dancing with everyone in the room. You may wish to bring a spare mask to change into for comfort throughout the evening.

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Gaza Resolution Proponents Again Make Their Case to Williamstown Select Board

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
The following story contains a reference to suicide. 
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — About a dozen people Monday pleaded with the Select Board to take a stand on behalf of the town in favor of an immediate cease fire in Gaza.
Several of the same activists who first brought a resolution to the board two weeks ago were back, filling the meeting room to capacity and sharing impassioned appeals to break with the board's practice of not voting on matters not directly under the board's purview.
"We, as members of Berkshire County, are committing this genocide," said a Lee resident who made the trip north to address the board. "We are funding it, and we have the power to stop funding it."
Most of those who spoke during the public comment portion of the Select Board's biweekly meeting were Williamstown residents, and all 13 who spoke either from the lectern in the meeting room or via Zoom spoke in favor of adopting the cease fire resolution.
At the start of the meeting and again, immediately before public comment began, Chair Jeffrey Johnson explained that since the resolution was not on the meeting's agenda, the three board members in attendance (Johnson, Randal Fippinger and Andrew Hogeland) would not hold a discussion on the question, let alone take a vote. 
Johnson also indicated that there could be a change coming to the resolution's language that might broaden its appeal to residents.
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