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Adams Selectman Nichols Opts Out Of Re-election Bid

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff

Nichols served two nonconsectutive terms on the Board of Selectmen, in 2003 and 2010.

ADAMS, Mass. — Selectman Scott Nichols will not be seeking re-election.

The sports director at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts announced Friday that he would not run in the upcoming election.

 "After a great deal of thought I have determined due to my personal and professional commitments, I cannot devote the time to the office that the people of Adams deserve," Nichols said in a statement on Friday.

His departure means there will be no incumbents in the election. His seat and the seat of Paula Melville, who resigned from the board, will be on the ballot.

Both Nichols and Melville were elected in 2010, the second part of a massive turnaround on the board. In 2009, two incumbents were ousted by newcomers and Nichols and Melville continued that trend a year later — beating then Chairman Donald Sommer.

This is also the second time Nichols has left after one term. He also decided not to seek re-election in 2006, only to return in 2010.

"I believe there are other potential candidates that may want to run for office and I wanted to give enough notice so they have time to submit their paperwork," Nichols said in a statement Friday. "I want to thank everyone who supported me and wish the board the best of luck in the future."

Nomination papers are due in the town clerk's office by Monday, March 18, and so far Richard Blanchard and Joe Nowak have returned papers and are qualified to be on the ballot. Blanchard has run unsuccessfully twice before; Nowak is on the chairman of the Agricultural Committee and a member of the Conservation Commission.

Michael Young and Glendon Diehl also took out papers but have yet to turn them in. Last year also saw heavy interest for the position with five candidates vying for two seats.


Pro-Choice Group Endorses Markey in Senate Primary

Submitted Statement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, announced on Thursday that the organization's political action committee endorsed U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Malden, in the special primary election for Massachusetts' open seat in the U.S. Senate.

"I am proud to have NARAL Pro-Choice America endorse my candidacy," said Markey. "I strongly support a woman's right to choose and believe women should have access to the full range of reproductive health care choices. With reproductive rights under constant attack, women across the country and in Massachusetts need a champion on these issues in the Senate. I've spent three decades fighting for women's freedom of choice, and I will continue this track record if elected to the Senate."

"Rep. Markey is the only candidate in this race with a steadfast commitment to protecting reproductive freedom and privacy," Hogue said. "Markey shares the widely held belief that women are capable of making their own health-care decisions without interference from politicians. Despite considerable losses in the 2012 election cycle, anti-choice politicians continue their relentless attacks on women's reproductive rights. We must ensure the Senate continues to serve as the firewall against an agenda that's out of touch with our nation's values and priorities."

Hogue said NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC has given the maximum contribution of $5,000 to a special primary election and will work with Megan Amundson, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, to organize activists and provide on-the-ground support for Markey's campaign.

Amundson praised the endorsement and said Markey would build on his record as an effective leader for reproductive rights.

"Ed Markey is a champion for women's reproductive choice," Amundson said. "As a member of the House, Ed has shown an unwavering commitment through some of the most intense attacks against reproductive freedom. NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts holds Ed Markey in the highest esteem and we are proud that NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC has endorsed his candidacy."

The primary is April 30.


MNA Endorses Lynch for U.S. Senate Seat

Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses UnitedCommunity Submission

CANTON, Mass. — The Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United, the largest union of registered nurses and health professionals in the commonwealth, on Tuesday announced that it has endorsed U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch for U.S. Senate in the Massachusetts special election.

"Our endorsement of Congressman Lynch was based on his outstanding record of supporting a number of issues important to frontline nurses in Massachusetts, including his longstanding support for Federal and state legislation to require safe RN-to-patient staffing limits for nurses in acute care hospitals, safer working conditions for nurses, and access to quality health care for all in America," said MNA/NNU President Donna Kelly-Williams, a registered nurse.

"Nurses have also seen firsthand how the economy has affected our patients, friends and family through the loss of jobs, their homes and their retirement savings," Kelly-Williams added. "As a former iron worker and president of the Iron Workers Union, Lynch's record on issues important to labor and working families is beyond dispute, and includes his commitment to supporting a progressive agenda to create jobs with living wages, provide quality housing, education and a secure retirement for all."  

MNA board member Kathy Metzger said she remembered Lynch's tireless efforts to support nurses at Brockton Hospital when they were on strike in 2001 for 104 days to win improvements in registered nurse staffing levels and an end to what the union said was the dangerous practice of mandatory overtime for nurses.  

"Steve Lynch was with us every day of that strike, supporting us on the picket line and as an elected leader using his power and influence to stand up for nurses and patients. He has continued that support for the last decade, and in the Senate, he would continue that work, not only for nurse, but also for all workers who are struggling in this economy."

"I am incredibly grateful to have the backing of the Massachusetts Nurses Association," said Lynch, who respresents the 8th District. "I have walked with nurses on the picket line, and supported them in the halls of the State House and the Capitol Building. Their efforts not only improve working conditions at hospitals and other health care settings, but also improve patient safety and quality of care. I am honored to have their support in this campaign, and I will continue to fight on their behalf in the U.S. Senate."

Lynch has also expressed support for the MNA/NNU's call for a "Robin Hood Tax," a small tax on the risky Wall Street financial transactions that would raise billions of dollars each year to support initiatives to rebuild the middle class, while curtailing reckless trading practices.


Lynch, Markey Agree to 6 Debates in Senate Primary

Staff ReportsiBerkshires

BOSTON – The Senate campaigns of U.S. Reps. Stephen Lynch and Edward Markey announced on Monday that they have reached agreement on a framework for six debates across the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The congressmen are running for the Democratic nomination in the special election to fill the Senate seat of Secretary of State John Kerry. The primary is April 30.

The agreement calls for three public, general issue debates in Boston, Worcester and Springfield, as well as debates on jobs and the economy, domestic policy and foreign policy. Debates will also be held in Lowell and New Bedford, with the sixth location to be determined. Debate hosts have not been finalized, but are expected to include local media consortiums.

The Berkshire News Network in Pittsfield has offered to host one of the debates to be broadcast across Berkshire County.

"I am glad that we have reached agreement on debates and look forward to getting started as soon as possible," said Lynch in a statement. "While I would be happy to debate more frequently, the reality is that we have nine weeks left in this election, and both Ed and I have to spend time in Washington trying to fix the budget mess. So I think this debate schedule makes sense given the tight timeframe of the election."

"This agreement ensures we will debate the issues that are most important to Massachusetts in regions throughout the commonwealth," said Markey, also in a statement. "Voters deserve to hear in-depth debates on the issues facing the state and the nation, and I look forward to scheduling these as soon as possible."

Both campaigns will be working out specific dates and details with various media outlets.


Pittsfield, North Adams, Adams Announce Democratic Caucus Dates

Feb. 8: Due to the impending storm, the Pittsfield caucuses (excluding Ward 5) has been rescheduled for March 2.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Democrats will hold caucuses in their respective wards to elect delegates to the Massachusetts Democratic Party's 2013 Platform Convention to be held June 1 July 13 at the Tsongas Center at University of Massachusetts in Lowell. All registered Democrats in Pittsfield wards 1 through 6 are eligible. 

The caucuses are scheduled on: 

► Ward 1 – 2 p.m., Sat. March 2, Back Nine Bar and Grille, 303 Crane Ave.

► Ward 2 – 2 p.m., Sat. March 2, Kennedy IUE/CWE Union Hall, 789 Tyler St.

► Ward 3 – 2 p.m., Sat. March 2, DelGallo’s Restaurant, 390 Newell St.

► Ward 4 – 2 p.m., Sat. March 2, Miss Hall’s School, 492 Holmes Rd.

► Ward 5 – Noon, Sat. March 2, American Legion, 41 Wendell Ave.

► Ward 6 – 2 p.m., Sat. March 2, Polish Community Club, 55 Linden St.

Delegates to the 2013 Massachusetts Party Platform Convention will hear from future party leaders, debate and adopt a new party platform. The number of delegates for each ward will be divided equally between men and women. Those not elected as delegate and/or alternate, who meet the qualifications, may apply to be add-on delegates in the following categories: youth, minority and disabled. 

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Wards 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the North Adams Democratic City Committee
will caucus on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 11 a.m. to elect delegates to the Massachusetts Democratic Party's 2013 Platform Convention.

All registered Democrats residing in those wards are invited and eligible to participate in the caucus, to be held at North Adams Housing Authority Community Room, 150 Ashland St.

State Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, will convene the caucus.

Ward 1 will caucus on March 2.

At the statewide convention, to be held at the Tsongas Center in Lowell on Saturday, July 13, delegates will debate and adopt a platform for the next four years.

State Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh announced the postponement of the convention from June to July to follow election of the U.S. senator to replace John Kerry, now confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.  

Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin has scheduled a primary for April 30, and special election of U.S. senator to be held on June 25.

Cariddi is also scheduled to address local Democrats on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 6 p.m. at a gathering at the Freight Yard Pub. Cariddi is interested to hear from North County constituents as to their legislative priorities; she will also update them as to current statewide initiatives in Boston.

ADAMS, Mass — The Adams Democratic Committee will hold its caucus on Saturday, March 2. The caucus will elect delegates to attend the Platform Convention on July 13.

The caucus will be at 9:30 a.m. at the Miller Annex of the Adams Free Library. It is open to all registered Democrats in Adams.
For more Information, call Ed Driscoll at 413-743-0639.


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