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Marijuana Legalization: Green-Rainbow Party Candidate Is For It
By: Laugenour Campaign On: 07:37PM / Tuesday August 03, 2010

LENOX, Mass. — Lee Scott Laugenour, candidate for state representative in the 4th Berkshire District, endorsed the legalization of marijuana.

Laugenour commented Tuesday within a discussion thread on the subject of marijuana legalization. Last week, he responded to a candidate questionnaire from the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, answering YES to the following two questions:

Are you in favor of legislation that would regulate commerce in cannabis, i.e., impose reasonable regulations on the cultivation and sale of this agricultural commodity by and between adults, such regulations to include a reasonable excise tax? 

Are you in favor of legislation that would allow patients with their doctor's written recommendation, or such patient's registered caregiver, to possess and grow marijuana for the patient's medical use?

 

Laugenour's posting follows and can also be read with commentary here:

It's time for marijuana to be legalized, removed from the black market so that production and trade can be regulated and taxed similarly to the manner in which alcohol is made available to consumers.  Let's allow our communities' entrepreneurs to apply for licenses so that they may expand their business and profit from the sale of marijuana and related paraphernalia, and let's collect fair and reasonable excise taxes on it.

I invite readers who arrived this page directly from my Web site to follow the postings and conversation that precede my comment on this thread, particularly the discussion about whether a position like mine, being in favor of marijuana legalization, is inconsistent with opposition to casino development.  I have stated previously that I am opposed to the casino development proposals in Massachusetts and remain so. This opposition is grounded in the belief that casinos result in net job loss and that as tax revenue sources they are regressive.  I have no problem with anyone who wants to gamble, but large big-business casino development is community busting and is a lousy basis for a jobs and tax policy.

I hope the discussion continues; I'm happy to be on record in support of marijuana legalization.  When elected to represent the 4th Berkshire District I will advocate for it. Those interested in learning more about the issue can visit the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition at  www.masscann.org.



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Bowler Lays Out Campaign Platform
By: Bowler Campaign On: 07:21PM / Tuesday August 03, 2010

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Candidate for sheriff Thomas N. Bowler has announced a campaign platform focused on increasing public safety, advancing accountability during serious economic times, and bringing a new kind of leadership to the office of sheriff that is based on education, experience and training.

"In today's world, the sheriff must reach out to law-enforcement professionals in Berkshire County and collaborate with them to increase public confidence and develop a true community-based approach to criminal justice," Bowler said. "As a Pittsfield Police detective, I experienced the devastating and costly impact that crime has on families and community. As sheriff, I'll work with passion and dedication to make Berkshire County a safer place to live. By working together, we can produce far more positive outcomes."

Bowler, who has received endorsements from the district attorney, the Berkshire County Police Chiefs, court officers and corrections officers, among others, said that the sheriff's office is in a unique position to help the law enforcement community.

"Step One includes developing a comprehensive means of gathering intelligence from the inmate population and sharing it with local and state police to help their efforts in fighting crime," he said. "Berkshire County has changed dramatically over the last several years, requiring a careful and professional approach to law enforcement that joins every level of criminal justice into a highly-efficient and effective team. I believe the sheriff's office can play a valuable role in a collaborative new approach to reducing crime, and I pledge to help in every way possible."

A police detective and 24-year member of the Pittsfield Police Department, Bowler also served as a deputy superintendent in charge of security at the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction. He has an undergraduate and master's degree in criminal justice.

"I've been preparing for this role for most of my adult life," the candidate continued. "I believe I have the background and experience that the job of sheriff requires. The real issue in this campaign is one of leadership - who is best prepared to lead the men and women currently employed at the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction, maintain the safety and security of this facility, collaborate with the county's law enforcement agencies and forge effective alliances with the county's social service agencies who are major players in the lives of those incarcerated at the jail. This has been my world for the last 24 years, and I'm ready to take it to the next level as sheriff."

As a former high-level jail administrator, Bowler said he already understands the process and the enormous responsibility involved in turning around the lives of people who have broken the law. The candidate noted that
there are a multitude of rehabilitation programs already in place at the jail and will not propose any additional initiatives until he has had the chance to assess the value of existing programs. "The state's fiscal crisis means there are far fewer resources to address all serious issues, including adequately funding our schools, programs for the disabled, people out of work and senior citizens. In this economic environment, we need to use what we have to its highest potential and that will take the right leadership."

Bowler said his campaign platform does not include additional spending. "In the last two years, the state has cut the jail's budget by 13 percent. Adequately staffing this facility is now an issue. Building a new lockup and other initiatives proposed by my opponent are currently beyond the means of taxpayers, who ultimately pay the bills," Bowler said. "We need to insist on the most efficient and cost-effective application of resources, which can take far more initiative and creativity than spending money."

Bowler said he will aggressively pursue grants and private funding for worthy initiatives. In addition, he will draw on the expertise of the Berkshire delegation to the State House to ensure that the jail receives adequate state funding.

"No one has a monopoly on politics," Bowler said. "It is the sheriff's role to work with staff to put together the best budget possible and then work with our state legislators to secure funding. This job requires a collaborative effort at every level."

The candidate has spent the last few months on the campaign trail, meeting groups and individuals and talking about his platform, which can be viewed in total at www.tombowlerforsheriff.com. He will participate in three televised debates in August and a countywide radio debate in early September.



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Mark Endorsed by Mass NOW
By: Mark Campaign On: 09:26AM / Tuesday August 03, 2010

DALTON, Mass. — Paul Mark, Democratic candidate for state representative in the Second Berkshire district, has received the endorsement of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Organization for Women.

Mass. NOW, founded in 1966, is the only multi-issue feminist organization in the state, which advocates for the rights of women and girls in Massachusetts. Their legislative priorities include ending violence against women, moving women out of poverty, reproductive freedom, civil rights for all people, and support for an adequate supply of affordable housing.

“The Mass NOW PAC is thrilled to endorse Paul Mark for State Representative,” said Christina Knowles, State Director for the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women. “As an advocate for labor and civil rights, Paul has shown his commitment to the issues that Mass NOW cares about and works on.  Paul has the leadership and experience needed to be an effective legislator, and we look forward to electing him to the State House.”

“A NOW endorsement signals that I’m the most ardent defender of issues of concern for women,” said Mark upon receiving the NOW endorsement. “Ensuring parity in pay, supporting reproductive health and freedom, and combating human trafficking— these are all real concerns in women’s
lives which I will immediately tackle in the legislature.”

Mass. NOW is a member group in the progressive coalition MassAlliance, which has also endorsed Mark and trained his campaign staff. Other supporting MassAlliance groups include the Mass Teachers Association, the UAW and the Service Employees International Union locals 509 and 1199, which represent human service providers, health care workers, and college staff.

In all, Mark has received endorsements from 23 diverse political and trade groups including nurses, police officers, ambulance workers, truck drivers and a variety of building trades. He has earned more political endorsements than all his opponents combined. A full list of Mark’s endorsements is at www.votepaulmark.com.
 



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Bosley Lauds Passage of Silver Alert Legislation
By: Bosley Campaign On: 09:12AM / Tuesday August 03, 2010

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Daniel E. Bosley, candidate for Berkshire County Sheriff, praised the passage of the Silver Alert Legislation and pledged to make implementation of the law a priority as sheriff. The bill, passed near the end of the formal session this year, establishes a program to assist in locating seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia who have gone missing.

The Silver Alert program would provide for a coordinated approach to locating an individual with dementia. Studies indicate that more than 60 percent of those with dementia wander away from their homes. The bill directs law enforcement and other key response resources to focus on a geographic area consistent with the missing person’s last known location. It requires training for law enforcement and all key responders. This training would be incorporated into present training for emergency personnel.

“This is a vital piece of legislation for seniors,” said Bosley. “It provides peace of mind for families of seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. It gives us a powerful tool to find people in a timely manner, and it saves lives.”

Bosley added,” The Sheriff’s office is integral to the implementation of this new law. The Sheriff is an integral member of the Triad Senior Safety Program. The Triad will be a vital information tool in spreading word of this law. “

Bosley pointed out that there are special considerations with people who suffer from dementia. They may not answer searchers who are looking for them and do not stray far from home. They may look for cover in order to feel safe, making the search for them difficult.  “We need to provide information quickly to a smaller geographic area in order to start to search as soon as possible. The Sheriff administers the County Communication Center for 26 communities. Timely information pinpointed to the area where someone is missing is key to our response to a missing person. Our communications center will ensure a swift and accurate response. ”

Bosley also suggested that training should be done through the Sheriff’s department. “Since the office is involved in all of these areas, it makes sense for the Sheriff to take the lead on training emergency personnel and ensuring the safety of our seniors. I was pleased to be able to vote for this law as a legislator and look forward to its implementation as Sheriff.”

Lastly, Bosley pointed to the potential for saving money in cities and towns by putting standard response training and protocols in place. Search efforts without such training and coordination have been known to cost as much as $100,000 according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Approximately 120,000 people in Massachusetts have Alzheimer’s disease with the number expected to increase by 17 percent by the year 2025.



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Candidates Forum Scheduled for Aug 17
By: Staff Reports On: 09:01AM / Friday July 30, 2010

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The nonpartisan League of Women of Williamstown is sponsoring a public forum for the candidates running in the Democratic primary elections for the offices of the Sheriff of Berkshire County and State Representative from the Berkshire 1st District. 

The forum will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. on the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts campus, in the auditorium on the second floor of the Church Street Center. League President Anne Skinner will moderate. Each candidate will make opening and closing statements, and members of the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions.

According to the League, all of the campaigns have indicated that their candidates will be attending. The Democratic candidates for the office of sheriff are Daniel E. Bosley and Tom Bowler. The Democratic candidates for the office of Berkshire 1st District representative are David Bissaillon, Gailanne Cariddi and Edward MacDonald. (There are no Republican candidates for these offices).

WUPE/WNAW radio is also planning an on-air debate for the sheriff' candidates in early September that iBerkshires has agreed to participate in. More information will be released when the date and time as been confirmed.
 
The primary election will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Because of the dearth of Republican and independent candidates for sheriff and the 1st district, the primary will essentially decide the winners for the two positions.

 



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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

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

Auditor
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.

2010 Special Senate Election Results

Election 2009 Stories

Election Day 2008

 

 

 



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