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Senate Candidate Gomez to Visit Pittsfield
Letters to the Editor On: 01:51PM / Monday May 20, 2013

What are you doing next Tuesday? Do you have time to do something for your country? Gabriel Gomez, a former Navy SEAL, needs your support in his bid to become our next U.S. senator. Please join me in welcoming Gomez back to the Berkshires on Tuesday, May 21, from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. at Lenco Armored Vehicles, 10 Betnr Industrial Drive in Pittsfield.

The stakes are high and the choice is clear in the special U.S. Senate election scheduled for June 25. Gabriel Gomez is a political newcomer, a family man, and a first-generation American who believes in the American Dream. His opponent, Congressmen Ed Markey, is a career politician who has sided with flag burners and job killers over a 40-year career marked by bounced checks and broken promises.

Now is the time to take a stand. Please join me in welcoming Gabriel Gomez back to the Berkshires on Tuesday, May 21 from 2:30 to 3:45 PM at Lenco Armored Vehicles, 10 Betnr Industrial Drive in Pittsfield. It’s time to take our country back from the career politicians. Come meet Gabriel for yourself and see the difference that a true leader can make.

Steven Melito
Adams, Mass.
May 14, 2013

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Two Vying for Clarksburg School Committee
By Tammy Daniels On: 01:14PM / Tuesday May 14, 2013

CLARKSBURG, Mass. — There are two candidates vying for School Committee in the only race on this year's election ballot. The incumbents of two vacant seats on the ballot are accepting write-ins.

The election is Tuesday, May 21, from noon to 7 p.m. at the Senior Center. Absentee ballots can be requested in writing until available until noon on Monday, May 20.

Patricia A. Prenguber of Cross Road and Kimberly Goodell of Southernview Drive are each seeking the 3-year seat on the committee.

Prenguber, 61, was appointed to the committee last fall after the resignation of David Woods. This is her first run for office. She has worked in the North Adams Public Schools for 35 years, retiring as dean of students, but has continued working in a part-time capacity as a math coach. A resident for 26 years, she has seen her two children graduate from the school and now has grandchildren attending.

She is supportive of rebuilding or renovating the school, and working toward a prekindergarten program.

"I'd like to think my experience as a parent and a taxpayer and a teacher, gives me a well-rounded look at any issue," she said, noting she also has experience as an administrator. She believes she can work with teachers and townspeople in the "interest of the kids, that's what it comes down to."

"It's a great school," she said. "As long as people would like to have me I'd like to be part of that."

Goodell, 36, is a Clarksburg native who built her house next door to the one she grew up in. She has a daughter in kindergarten and is accounts manager at Excelsior Printing Co. in North Adams.

This is her first run for office. "I didn't really have an agenda per se," she said on Monday. "My goal is to make a difference any way I can."

Having attended Clarksburg School, she said she can see its time for some changes and supports the idea building a new school or renovating. Preparing children for today's economy is also important, she said.

"A couple of things that come to mind are after-school programs so it's a little easier on parents who work," said Goodell, who added that the preschool program has been "a big plus." "I'd like to bring some new life and new ideas from a different generation."

There are two offices with no candidates — moderator and a five-year seat on the Planning Board. Incumbent Town Moderator Bryan Tanner is accepting write-ins for his office; Planner David Sherman, who currently holds the five-year seat, will also accept write-ins for re-election. Neither Sherman nor Tanner took out papers to be placed on the ballot.

Running unopposed for re-election are Ernest F. Dix, 150 Carson Ave., for one-year tree warden; Carl W. McKinney, 500 River Road, for three-year selectman; Carol A. Jammalo, 40 Ice Pond Road, for three-year town clerk; Gregory J. Vigna, 304 Wells Ave., for three-year Board of Health seat; Ricard J. Bernardi, 215 Horrigan Road, for three-year seat on the McCann School Committee; and Rose M. Peters, 52 Hayden Hill, for three-year library trustee. Newcomer Edward J. Denault, 760 Middle Road, is running for three-year War Memorial trustee.

Absentee ballot applications are available on the wall in the rear entrance to Town Hall.

Contact Town Clerk Carol Jammalo with any questions or if you would like to vote in the clerk's office. She can be reached by phone at 413-663-8255 (leave a message) or at

Update, 10:10 a.m., May 15, 2013; Write-thru removing reference to moderator candidate. Former Finance Committee Chairwoman Mary Beverly had indicated her intention to run a write-in campaign but has withdrawn after learning Town Moderator Bryan Tanner was accepting write-ins as well for re-election.

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Bio-Tech Industry Leader Running For Governor
By Andy McKeever On: 03:15AM / Thursday May 09, 2013

Joe Avellone of Wellesly is running for governor.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Gubernatorial candidate Joe Avellone says he has exactly the right skills needed to lead the state into a "new economy."

"I am really running on the basis of my private sector background, which I think is really timely for the problems going forward — namely the new economy and health-care cost control," Avallone said on Wednesday when he spoke in Pittsfield as a guest of the Berkshire Brigades.
"Now, the time is right. My skills are what the state needs."

Avellone is the senior vice president of Parexel, an international biotech company that develops drugs in 52 countries.

He is building his campaign for the state's highest office on education and health-care cost containment, two tasks he feels will help the state compete for jobs.
"In running Parexel, we have a global work force and I see how this work force is educated all around the world. They are very well trained, speak English, ambitious and great employees. I see that Massachusetts needs to compete at that level moving forward for companies to come here," Avellone said. "I now see what the global economy is like because I am in it every day and this is what Massachusetts has to prepare for in order to be competitive."
Avellone came to Massachusetts in 1972 and attended Harvard Medical School. He stayed for his surgical residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital and later earned a master's degree in public administration from Harvard. After working as a surgeon, he started working with health maintenance organizations (HMO) and was hired to head Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
"When I was with Blue Cross in the '90s, that was an effort to form the Blue Cross HMO, which is Blue Cross Blue, to try to move toward some more organized care," Avellone said. "It is almost back to the future because some of these ideas were around back then."
He spent six years there and then started his company, Veritas Medicine, which used the Internet to identify patients for clinical trials. He was recruited seven years ago to head Parexel.

Avellone said he would be the first candidate in decades to run on higher education but says it is imperative because the state needs more of the "middle skills" workers. There are high-tech manufacturers and life science companies out there but those industries require skilled labor, he said.

"I'd like to be the education governor if you will, because that is what we need to build a new economy," Avellone said.
Avellone said the state can't "chase" after the old type of manufacturing. Instead, it needs to focus on workforce development so companies that need a higher skill set will come here.
He wants to focus resources on increasing science, technology, engineering and math [STEM] education in the community and state college environment. The colleges should align themselves closer with emerging industries and produce the right skills, he said.
"There is a lot of new manufacturing and I think manufacturing needs to be part of our future," Avallone said.
As for health care, Avellone has worked with all of the major players and boasts that he understands the complexities of that system. In the last decade, health-care costs have had double-digit increases and Avellone wants to curb that trend.
He supports moving away from "fee for service" and instead focus on preventive and early detection. Listing a multitude of models in other states, Avellone says it "is doable."
"We know how to do it. We have models. But this requires big change and that is going to require a lot of political leadership," he said.
While those two are his key issues, Avellone said he is also very concerned about the environment and the state's infrastructure, which he said has been unattended for 15 years because of the Big Dig. He hopes to create dedicated revenue streams such as a percentage of the gas tax to infrastructure work.
However, Avellone knows his plans would require additional revenue but says a tax increase isn't currently feasible. The economy is still lagging from the recession and Avallone said further recovery will build some space into these investments and curbing the health care costs would allow for more spending. 
"This was not the time to have a large tax increase," he said of Gov. Deval Patrick's proposed revenue plan. 
But he didn't completely rule out a tax hike. If the economy continues to improve, Avallone said he would call for a tax increase to help generate the additional revenue.
"We're not recovered. We're recovering but we still need help," Avellone said, pointing to the unemployment rate in Pittsfield and North Adams.
As for social issues, he said his "tends to be very progressive." He was a selectman in Wellesley and has particpated in multiple local, state and national campaigns but not as a candidate.
Avellone is one of three Democratic candidates so far contemplating a run in 2014. Donald Berwick and Steve Grossman have both expressed interest in running. Berkwick was a guest of the Brigades in April and Grossman earlier this year. 

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Nowak, Blanchard Win Seats On Adams Board of Selectmen
By Andy McKeever On: 08:45PM / Monday May 06, 2013

Joseph Nowak campaigning outside of the Department of Public Works building on Tuesday afternoon.

ADAMS, Mass. — Joseph Nowak and Richard Blanchard were elected to seats on the Board of Election on Monday.
Nowak reeled in the most votes with 888 for the two available three-year seats.
The 61-year-old most recently sat on the town's Conservation Commission but also is co-founder of the Adams Agricultural Fair and an active member of the Democratic Party. 
He works for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation and has a master's degree in land management. He entered the campaign with an emphasis on giving the town an "identity."
Nowak was unavailable for comment after the election Monday.
For Blanchard, the election was a long time coming. He ran and lost in the last two years but each year the 48-year-old guard at the Silvio O. Conte Federal Building in Pittsfield inched closer and closer. This year, he was the second highest vote-getter with 664.
Blanchard says he wants to bring an independent voice to the board instead of catering "to any special group." He had been interested in politics and after he retired from the military, he has attended nearly every Board of Selectmen meeting.
He said he was still anxious about this year's campaign when he set up his campaign signs at 6:30 a.m. and stayed all day.
"I was still worried coming into the day. You hear a lot of talk on the street but it comes down to the people voting," Blanchard said in between shaking hands with supporters at the Department of Public Works, where the voting was held, Monday night.
He added that the real work has just begun and he has "100 things" he'd like to address.
"I'm extremely happy and now I'm just anxious to get to work," Blanchard said.
Blanchard and Nowak replace Scott Nichols, who opted not to run for re-election, and Paula Melville, who resigned short after last year's election.
Former Selectman Donald Sommer finished third with 337 votes and Michael Young received 239 votes.
In other races, former Selectman Edward Driscoll defeated Nichols for town moderator 622-525. Driscoll takes the position previously held by Joseph Dean Jr., who died in December.
Allen Mendel won election to the Board of Health, defeating Glen DeMarsico. That seat is for only one year and replaces Richard Frost, who resigned earlier this year. Roy Thompson ran unopposed for re-election to the three-year seat on the Board of Health.
In the only other contested race, Lorraine Kalisz defeated Susan Rowe and Dennis Gajda for one three-year assessor seat.
There were a number of unopposed candidates as well; Holly Denault for treasurer; Karen Kettles for library trustee, Martha Stohlmann for Planning Board; Lawrence Clairmont for cemetery commissioner; Elizabeth Buskey for Redevelopment Authority; and Joseph Allard for the Northern Berkshire Vocational School District. Paul Butler and Joshua Ryan DeMarsico-Birkland were running unopposed for two seats on the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Committee.
A three-year library trustee, a five-year Housing Authority seat and a one-year Redevelopment Authority seat had no candidates.
A total of 1182 voters made it to the polls, which is about 20 percent of the 5,851 registered voters.
Complete results:

Edward J. Driscoll – 622

Scott F. Nichols – 525



Richard Blanchard – 664

Joseph Nowak – 888

Donald Sommer – 337

Michael Young – 239



Holly Denault – 925



Dennis Gajda – 256

Lorraine Kalisz – 613

Susan Rowe – 223


Board of Health – 3 year

Roy Thompson – 963


Board of Health – 1 year

Glen Demarsico – 295

Allen Mendel – 780


Library Trustee

Karen Kettles – 943


Planning Board

Martha Stohlmann – 936


Cemetery Commission

Lawrence Clairmont – 910


Redevelopment Authority

Elizabeth Bushey – 823


NBRVSD Committee Member

Joseph Allard – 894


ACRSD Committee Member – Adams

Paul Butler – 841

Joshua Ryan Demarsico-Birkland – 701


ACRSD Committee Member – Cheshire

Brian Astorino – 888

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Pittsfield's Council President Opts Out Of Re-election Bid
Staff Reports On: 03:27PM / Wednesday May 01, 2013


Council President Kevin Sherman being sworn in as council president.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. - Council President Kevin Sherman will not be running for reelection.
Sherman released a statement on Wednesday saying he will serve out the remainder of his term but will not return to the council after the next election. Sherman has been a councilor at large for the last six years and was elected president last year.
Read Sherman's statement below.
Dear Friends,
“…. it’s okay to dream.”  
I saw this phrase in a recent trip to the JFK Museum in Hyannis with a picture of President Kennedy with his arm around young Caroline.  It made me realize how lucky I have been over the past six years to have been able to live my dream of being involved in Pittsfield politics.
The thing about dreams is that they evolve over time as we grow and I have decided to let go of this dream at this time.  Therefore, I will not seek re-election in 2013.  
This has not been an easy decision as my love for Pittsfield is stronger than ever and I know I have much to offer.  But I also have responsibilities and priorities that have matured along with me over the past decade.  My number one priority is, and always will be, my family.  They have sacrificed quite a bit for me to follow my dreams and now it’s time for me to return the favor and enjoy every second that I can in the great years ahead.  I want to publicly thank my wife Tammi for all that she has done to provide me with support, confidence, and strength over these past several years.  I literally could not have done it without her.  
Nor could I have been successful without my mom, Maryann, brother Bryon, father Tom, and Uncle Remo as well as those who have been by our side from the get-go.  There are so many others I’d like to thank personally but I don’t want to risk missing anyone so I’ll just say “Thank You” to you all for your years of support, guidance, and encouragement during this extraordinary period in my life.  
It has been a pleasure and honor to serve as Councilor at Large for six years and as the City Council President during this term, and I will continue to serve full speed ahead until January 2014.
I love you all dearly and will continue to be a part of the community through coaching, the Democratic City Committee, and charitable foundations like UNICO.  I’m looking forward to living more dreams and spending my time being a better citizen, a better employee, a better father, a better son, a better husband, a better friend, a better golfer, a better neighbor, a better UNICAN, a better brother, a better Uncle, and a better Godfather.  
As a parting note to those who will continue to lead Pittsfield into the future, I repeat the phrase above:  “….it’s okay to dream.”  Our greatest natural resource is our people and we will follow you to new eras of greatness if you just have the courage and vision to show the way.
Thank you for everything, Pittsfield!

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Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Election
Tuesday, Nov. 4

Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation was Oct.15.

Candidates on the ballot in races for state office; all others on the ballot are unopposed. Links will take you to their campaign websites.

U.S. Senator
Edward J. Markey, Democrat
Brian J. Herr, Republican

Governor/Lieutenant Governor
Charlie Baker & Karyn Polito, Republican
Martha Coakley & Stephen Kerrigan, Democrat
Evan Falchuk & Angus Jennings, United Independent Party
Scott Lively & Shelly Saunders, Independent
Jeff McCormick & Tracy Post, Independent 

Attorney General
Maura Healey, Democratic
John B. Miller, Republican

Secretary of State
William Francis Galvin, Democratic
David D'Arcangelo, Republican
Daniel L. Factor, Green-Rainbow

Deborah B. Goldberg, Democratic
Michael James Heffernan, Republican
Ian T. Jackson, Green-Rainbow

Suzanne M. Bump, Democratic
Patricia S. Saint Aubin, Republican
MK Merelice, Green-Rainbow

Municipal Elections

The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015

You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.

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