Step It Up Rally

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Williamstown - A rally for action on climate change will be held on Sat., April 14 from noon to 2 p.m., on the front steps of First Congregational Church in Williamstown. This event is part of a Step It Up national day of action, organized by climate change scholar and activist Bill McKibben. Local events will be held in iconic places such as levees in New Orleans, melting glaciers on Mt. Rainier, underwater on Key West's endangered coral reefs, and in town on the steps of a New England church. Over 1,100 events like these will send the message “Step it up Congress, cut carbon 80% by 2050". At least six of these events are scheduled to be held in Berkshire County. According to event orgainizers, climate change is a moral issue as the world is faced with human-initiated changes that will harm millions, especially the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. Rev. Carrie Bail, Rabbi Jeff Goldwasser, and Chaplain Rick Spalding will speak during the Williamstown event. Additional speakers include state Sen. Ben Downing D-Pittsfield, Jiminy Peak CEO Brian Fairbank, town Selectwoman Jane Allen, Mount Greylock Regional High School senior Rachel Payne, Tufts University Professor Bill Moomaw, and Chuck MacNeil from the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority. The church façade will be used to host a graph illustration of the dramatic spike in carbon emissions in the last hundred years— with the final point extending 60 feet to the church’s steeple. The event will feature music by student performers from Williams College and Mount Greylock Regional High School, and opportunities for people to take action to reduce climate change. Actions include the purchase of compact fluorescent light bulbs, signing up for green energy, an opportunity to pledge to reduce carbon emissions, and signing up to participate with climate change study groups sponsored by the Northwest Earth Institute. The meetings will begin during the final week of this month and will cover a four-week span. The Water Street Books retail store will host a book table to sell books about climate change and other relevent topics. Food will be sold by a Spring Street business, Ephorium. People are encouraged to bike, carpool, or take the bus to the event. The BRTA has agreed to provide round-trip free bus service will be available from North Adams to and from the rally. You may contact First Congregational Church in North Adams at 663-9940 to arrange for passes for yourself or your organization. Rally parking will be permitted at the lower Stetson lot at Williams College or at the Williamstown Elementary School lot. Those who park in those locations are encouraged to walk the remaining distnce to the rally. In case of rain, the event will take place inside the church.
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Berkshire DA: Up to Towns to Handle Officers on 'Brady List'

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — If Select Board members hoped the Berkshire County district attorney would offer direction on how the town should deal with the impact of having a police officer on her office's "Brady list," they were very disappointed.
 
Twice during an hourlong presentation at Monday's Select Board meeting, District Attorney Andrea Harrington said it was not her office's place to tell towns how to respond when the county's prosecutor decides one of the municipality's law enforcement officers has a history that needs to be revealed to defense attorneys or, worse, that an officer's history is so concerning that he or she cannot be used as a prosecution witness without approval of a supervisor.
 
The town currently has 11 full-time officers — including one on administrative leave since March and another pulling double duty as lieutenant and interim chief. A third has been placed on Harrington's "do not call" list, meaning the DA has determined the officer has "made misrepresentations about material facts in a criminal investigation," she said Monday in Williamstown Elementary School's gymnasium.
 
Some in the community have wondered whether having an officer on the do-not-call list, particularly when the department already is short-handed, creates an issue for the department's efficiency. Many residents have suggested that the town should remove the officer on the list and replace him with an officer who can be fully functional.
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