Beaver Mill Artists Talk Features Council CandidatesNORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Beaver Mill's First Thursdays Artist Discussion this month again features candidates for City Council.
Four candidates, Gail Sellers, Lisa Blackmer, Greg Roach and David Bond, have accepted an invitation to talk to artists and interested residents about how the council will work with the art community and now the city can capitalize on the arts.
The discussion will be held at Frog Lotus Yoga in the mill on Thursday, Oct. 6, from 6:30 to 8. Use the front door entrance on the first floor; parking is available across the street. While established as a forum for the local artists community to discuss issues, the monthly talks are open to the public.
This is the second session in which candidates who have indicated a specific interest in exploring the best ways the city, via the council, can utilize the art community for mutual benefit, will discuss their ideas with artists and interested residents. The arts have been an important economic engine for the city; how to continue this relationship could determine how successful the city is in the future.
The previous First Thursday Discussion also had four candidates. Since this is not meant to be a full debate it has been limited to those who have indicated an interest in the arts, so that there will be time for a discussion with all participants. If there is a willingness to do more, an additional discussion on Nov. 3 (First Thursday) could be scheduled before the election.
Discussions about various topics of interest to artists are hosted by different studios within the Beaver Mill each month.
The mill is located next to Natural Bridge State Park, 189 Beaver St. Light refreshments will be served.
Roach Announces Candidacy for City CouncilNORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Gregory Roach has announced his candidacy for City Council.
To the voters of North Adams,
Two years ago over 1,200 of you gave me your vote when I ran for City Council. To say that I am honored that so many of my neighbors thought that I had something to offer the city is an understatement. Thank you.
This year, I am humbly asking for your vote again. I still believe that the core issues that make up North Adams' challenges relate directly to our ability to provide the best education we can for our children; strengthen neighborhoods for families and seniors with policies that address housing and poverty; and ultimately create jobs by expanding and attracting people to our city’s middle class and the businesses that go hand in hand.
Schools, Neighborhoods and Commerce: A simple but not so easy recipe that will take time and patience to foster.
I am a father, husband, writer and a chef. My journeys have taken me from Detroit, through the University of Michigan and the Culinary Institute of America, to Minnesota and Nebraska, then to the Pacific Northwest, and finally to the place I've proudly called home for the past eight years and most certainly will for decades to come, North Adams.
You have my word that I will work hard and honestly and I will give every side of an issue a fair hearing. My business, finance and policy experience will serve the city well in finding creative ways to balance budgets, solve problems and create opportunities. I believe in good governance with a balanced fiscal approach that is accountable to the people it serves. Sometimes we may not agree, but I will always take the time to explain my positions respectfully and with consideration. I will not shout but I will stand strong for the people of this town. My vote will always be guided by principle and conscience.
Please take the time to learn about the 18 candidates running for the nine positions on City Council. Ask tough questions of us and see who actually answers your questions with thought and deliberation. But most importantly, remember to vote on Nov. 8. The future of our community rests in your hands.
Breen Kirsch Campaign Gets Coakley Endorsement
Berkshire County Sheriff Thomas N. Bowler, Jennifer Breen Kirsch, Attorney General Martha Coakley and state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi at Breen Kirsch's campaign kickoff Friday night.
Surrounded by Berkshire County Sheriff Thomas N. Bowler, state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi and Mayor Richard J. Alcombright, Coakley lent her former prosecutor support in her candidacy.
"She worked hard for me when I was district attorney and now she's back here and you can't do better," said Coakley. "There's nothing more important than good government in the cities and towns we live in, so I'm here to support her and we'll get her elected."
Breen Kirsch said: "I take Martha's support tonight very seriously. Having been a Middlesex prosecutor, I know what a great attorney Martha is, her protection of children and victims of crime. Two things I carried back to the Berkshires with me. I also gained unparalleled trial and legal experience working for her in Cambridge. I also know how much Martha loves North Adams, and treasure that connection we have. I decided to come back home, while she decided to stay in Boston, and she has made such an impact state-wide and nationally. I love this city, I love North Adams. I want to make an impact right here."
"My platform is based on protecting the integrity and charm of the neighborhood schools in North Adams, supporting our teachers. I represent children in the court system who rely on their schoolteachers as pseudo-parents, and I revere what our teachers do for the disenfranchised in this city. I see it firsthand. As a former prosecutor, I know the impact that a good public safety system has on a community. I intend on keeping our officers safe while they are on the street. I intend on using my legal experience to protect these interests, while NOT raising taxes, because I've had so many conversations with constituents who simply cannot afford to pay one more penny in taxes. Lastly, I support the arts community, but having been raised here, I understand the need for other jobs — technology and manufacturing."
In addition to Coakley and the delegation listed above, about 70 friends and family came to lend support for Breen Kirsch's candidacy, including Central Berkshire Register of Deeds Andrea Nuciforo, and City Councilors Keith Bona and Alan Marden.
Bianchi, Marchetti Earn November Ballot Spot
Bianchi, who narrowly lost the 2009 election by some 200 votes to incumbent Mayor James Ruberto, came out on top with 3,430 votes, or 49 percent of those cast in the city's seven wards.
Next in line was Marchetti, a four-term city councilor, with 2,759, or 39.4 percent.
Mood at the Bianchi celebration at Mazzeo's Ristorante was pleased and unsurprised by his nearly 700-vote lead.
The candidate joked that "I'm still not sure if my daughter voted for Steve Fillio" and said third-place candidate Joseph Nichols had pledged to support him.
Nichols and Melissa Mazzeo, both whom are often in the voting minority together, were both in attendance.
Bianchi and Marchetti were the front-runners going into the five-way race, although some thought that Nichols, a local businessman finishing up his first term on the council, might cut into their leads. Nichols ended with 691 votes, barely 10 percent.
Marchetti, with supporters at the Itam Club where he launched his campaign a few months back, said he's ready to start the real race. Supporters seemed surprised at his second-place showing but committed to the campaign, including Ruberto, City Councilor Peter White and state representative candidate Tricia Farley-Bouvier.
"I'm happy to be a winner tonight, and we'll continue to fight until November 8," said Marchetti.
Trailing far behind were past mayoral candidates Stephen Fillio with 77 votes (1 percent) and Donna Walto with 44 (.6).
Unlike in North Adams, voters selected only one candidate.
Ward 4 voters had their own preliminary election to select two candidates who will try to replace outgoing Councilor Michael Ward.
They picked last election's challenger to Ward, Christopher Connell, with 610 votes and former ward representative Ozias "Chuck" Vincelette with 523. Left out was newcomer James Brosnan with 346 votes.
Pittsfield Selecting Mayoral, Ward 4 CandidatesPITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield goes to the polls Tuesday to determine the two mayoral candidates who will face off in the November general election.
There are five candidates, including two former mayoral hopefuls, vying to fill the office being left vacant by three-term Mayor James M. Ruberto.
On the ballot are Stephen Fillio, who said he is representing the blue-collar vote; Donna Walto, an entrepreneur who made an unsuccessful bid for the office in 2007; Joseph Nichol, a businessman elected to represent Ward 7 two years; Daniel Bianchi, a five-term city councilor and former administrator for the city who narrowly lost his bid for the office in 2009; and Peter Marchetti, a banker and four-term at-large councilor who is currently vice president.
Voters in Ward 4 will cast ballots in two preliminaries. In addition to mayor, they will determine which of three candidates to represent their ward will vie in November. The seat is being left vacant by popular Ward 4 Councilor Michael Ward who has declined to run for a fourth term.
Candidates are Ozias "Chuck" Vincelette, who served as Ward 4 councilor until being ousted by Ward in 2005, Christopher J. Connell, who lost a bid for the seat against Ward in 2009, and newcomer James Bronson. Voters will select two of these candidates.
Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Ward 1, Precinct A: Reid Middle School, 950 North St.
- Ward 1, Precinct B: Reid Middle School, 950 North St.
- Ward 2, Precinct A: Morningside Community School, 100 Burbank St.
- Ward 2, Precinct B: Somerset Fire Station, Somerset Ave.
- Ward 3, Precinct A: Providence Court, 379 East St.
- Ward 3, Precinct B: Egremont Elementary School, 84 Egremont Ave.
- Ward 4, Precinct A: Herberg Middle School, 501 Pomeroy Ave.
- Ward 4, Precinct B: Williams School, 50 Bushey Road
- Ward 5, Precinct A: Masonic Temple, 116 South St.
- Ward 5, Precinct B: Fire Station, 331 West Housatonic St.
- Ward 6, Precinct A: Columbus Arms Housing, 65 Columbus Ave.
- Ward 6, Precinct B: Conte Community School, 200 W. Union St.
- Ward 7, Precinct A: Fire Station, 54 Peck's Road
- Ward 7, Precinct B: Capeless Elementary School, 86 Brooks Ave.