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Boucher Shares Economic Views
Boucher Campaign On: 06:22PM / Monday October 31, 2011
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — This is the third installment of mayoral candidate Ron Boucher sharing his views and ideas on important issues facing the city of North Adams. The below discussion focuses on the economic development for the city.

"North Adams has been faced with reduced population, increased taxes and fees, and reduced services and educational cutbacks. This leads to a vicious circle leading to a downward spiral into economic disaster. Long-term, this economic model cannot be sustained. Real economic development is the only model which offers the promise of sustained economic growth. The MoCA-based artist community is a nice addition, and can help, but offers little for most residents in terms of good-paying, non-service-related careers. My plans for economic development should be consistent with the blue-collar work ethic of the city, as well as accepting input from the community. 

I propose the following:

Offer tax incentives for industrial development keyed to real job creation. Create an economic development zone. Consider medium-term tax abatements.

Make subsidized commercial space available to existing and new businesses on a quid-pro-quo basis.  No giveaways, subsidies should be based on countable new jobs created over a medium-term time period. The program needs to be carefully monitored to avoid abuse.

Partner with Northern Berkshire HealthCare to create medical related jobs.

Use the natural resources of the area:
  • Water
  • Railroad: A valuable asset, currently falling into disuse and neglected
  • Forest Products
  • Eco-tourism, which can bring publicity to the area
  • Air Quality
  • Quality of Life
  • Partner with schools. MCLA, obviously, and possibly Williams College. There are public spirited academics with real expertise who are willing to help on a volunteer basis.
Critical housing problem. Much existing housing is derelict and beyond useful economic life, and should be razed. Housing which is still viable should be turned to productive uses and returned to tax rolls.

Marketing. Create a regional and national marketing program to attract viable, economically sensible industry. Foreign investment is also a possibility which should be researched.

Approach investment bankers and private equity firms in Boson and New York for potential interest and/or assistance

"Please remember, Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.  I would like to take this time to ask for your vote, to assist in bringing real economic development back to this city.”

The campaign to elect Ron Boucher Mayor of North Adams would like to extend an invitation to the public for Ron's 2nd Spaghetti Supper Fundraiser at the American Legion on Nov. 2, and also to stop by his new campaign headquarters at 107 Main St. 

You can also learn more about Ron Boucher, his campaign and views by visiting his website at or emailing him at

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Alcombright Pledges City Will 'Move Forward'
Alcombright Campaign On: 10:14AM / Monday October 31, 2011
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Richard Alcombright, who is running for a second term as mayor, said in a statement that this election "might just boil down to campaign slogans":

"In my previous communications, I outlined many of the positive things that have happened since I took office in January 2010.

"My slogan is 'Together We Move Forward.' Now this is a pretty basic statement but it says quite a bit. Simply stated, they are words that take us from where we are and continue to allow us to focus on where we want to go. My candidacy, my re-election, another term in office can only be successful through an inclusionary process that allows public input most specifically as it relates to the future of our fine city. We can only do this together. 

"To hold on to our momentum, we must continue to involve many people in processes that push us to new limits as we focus on growth and economic recovery. This is what we need to do to move.

"Finally, I have worked tirelessly over the past 22 months to begin to move our city in the right direction. I have done this with the support of many at times and with very little support in other cases. My first two years have not been easy but they have displayed courage and progress at many levels. I will not compromise my mission nor the intent of my slogan if elected to this next term, and will continue to look forward.

"I and many others have worked too hard to look back. The city of North Adams deserves the opportunity to recognize its potential and we will, over time. With few monetary resources, it will take every ounce of human capital to help us reach our full potential. I have said that there are many things that make us look much bigger than we truly are: MCLA, Mass MoCA, North Adams Regional Hospital, our airport and our natural beauty and amenities. Couple those with a growing diversity within our populace, the will of our residents, the willingness of people to be involved and an open and accessible government and I think we have a great recipe for success.

"I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to be your mayor for the past 22 months. I fully intend to continue to do what I think is right and will make decisions based on well thought out and fully vetted processes. While I have provided sound fiscal management, proven that I can make difficult decisions, upheld my promise to be transparent and accessible, I need to do more.

"I need to do more in the way of economic development, I need to do more with our decaying infrastructure, I need to do more to clean up neighborhoods and I need to do more to control costs and promote efficiencies. I will work hard to accomplish these goals in my continued efforts to move us forward ... together."

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Downing Endorses Roach for City Council
Roach Campaign On: 10:03AM / Monday October 31, 2011
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — State Sen. Benjamin B. Downing of Pittsfield has given his support to North Adams City Council candidate Greg Roach of Marion Avenue.

According to Downing:

"Greg is exactly the type of person we need in public service. He is engaged, committed, and cares deeply about North Adams and the Berkshires. I know, if given the opportunity, he will serve the citizens of North Adams with distinction and will be a great asset to the community, as we work to address our common challenges."

Roach's reaction to Downing's statement:

"I have had the pleasure of discussing many issues, both broad an narrow, with Ben over the last few years and I hold his opinions and devotion to public service in extremely high esteem. The fact that he is supporting my efforts is quite humbling."

Contact Roach at

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Warren Seeking Berkshire Volunteers for Senate Run
Berkshires For Elizabeth Warren On: 09:46AM / Monday October 31, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Elizabeth Warren, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2012, will be in Pittsfield, Thursday, Nov.  3, at Itam Lodge.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the event will run until about 8 p.m. The Itam is located at 93 Waubeek Road at the southern end of Pontoosuc Lake. Parking is available.

Her goal is to sign up as many people as possible to volunteer to work on her campaign, attend the Democratic caucuses on her behalf in February, and reach out to friends on her behalf.

Warren said she wants this to be a "workers" meeting because she knows that it will take a real grass-roots campaign to win. In her own words:

"With the support and help of people like you, we'll be able to stand up to the big banks and the armies of lobbyists lining up against us. Together, we can really make a difference for working families across Massachusetts.

"I am committed to building a strong, statewide grassroots organization, but I need your help to do it. That's why I hope you can join me for an upcoming strategy session about our campaign.

"Over the next few weeks, I'm going to travel all over the state to meet with local volunteers. I'm really looking forward to talking to you and your neighbors about the campaign, how important our fight is, and what you can do to make a difference."

RSVP as soon as possible to

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North Adams Candidate Forums Scheduled
Staff Reports On: 08:14PM / Sunday October 30, 2011
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There are three forums scheduled this week for candidates running for mayor, City Council and School Committee in the city. All the debates will be hosted by Northern Berkshire Community Television and broadcast on Channel 17.

Mayoral candidates Richard Alcombright and Ronald Boucher will face off in their third and last debate aired live on Tuesday, Nov. 1, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by iBerkshires, the hourlong debate will take place at the studio without an audience. iBerkshires' Editor in Chief Tammy Daniels will be the moderator.

The focus of the debate will be economic growth, management and government/public services.

Voters are encouraged to email questions or issues they would like addressed to with "election questions" in the subject line or tweet us @iberkshires during the debate using hashtag #election2011.

The debate will also air on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 3, at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 4, at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 5, at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 6, at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 7, at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The 16 City Council candidates will be taped in two 50-minute forums at the studio on Wednesday, Nov. 2, to be aired later. Sponsored by the North Adams Transcript, the candidates will be split into two groups of eight and asked the same three questions in alphabetical order, according to the newspaper.

The first group will be John Barrett III, Lisa Blackmer, Michael Bloom, Keith Bona, David Bond, Eric Buddington, Nancy Bullett and Robert Cardimino.

The second group will be Catherine Chaput, Diane Gallesse-Parsons, Marie Harpin, Michael Hernandez, Jennifer Breen Kirsch, Alan Marden, Greg Roach and Gail Sellers.

The forums will be shown back to back beginning on Thursday, Nov. 3, at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 5, at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 6, at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., and Monday, Nov. 7, at 10 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

A School Committee debate to be taped on Thursday has been canceled because not enough candidates were able to attend. Invited to participate are Mary Lou Acetta, Lawrence K. Taft, Leonard Giroux Jr., Tara Jacobs and David Lamarre. The five are running for three seats. They have been invited to submit candidate statements to iBerkshires.

The municipal election is Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 9 to 7. The deadline for absentee ballots is Monday, Nov. 7, at noon in the city clerk's office.

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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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