Green Party's Miller Joins State House Race

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Miller announced his candidacy at the local Green-Rainbow Party June meeting. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After reeling in 45 percent of the vote last year, Mark Miller intends to make another run for the state House.
 
Miller announced his candidacy for the 3rd Berkshire District seat in the state House of Representatives on Thursday to a crowd of about 30 at the Berkshire Greens June meeting. 
 
"We’re going to win this time," Miller said at Baba Louie’s restaurant. "Last year, I thought this incumbent needed a challenge. Starting late and with insufficient funding and organization, I got 45 percent of the vote. That is a good foundation for this time around. This year we are starting early. We are organized."
 
The announcement came the day after current Rep. Christopher N. Speranzo was nominated by Governor Deval Patrick for the lifetime position of clerk-magistrate of the Central Berkshire District Court. Miller had planned the announcement before Speranzo’s nomination but said he was aware that it could come at any time.
 
Miller lost to Speranzo by less than 1,000 votes in November.
 
If Speranzo is approved for the lifetime appointed position, a special election will be held. Ward 2 Councilor Peter White also announced his candidacy for the seat — hours after Speranzo‘s nomination was announced.
 
While Miller will be running as a representative for the Green-Rainbow Party, he said he wants to be the "independent voice" in the House.
 
"I’m proud to be Green and I’m proud to be independent," the former Berkshire Eagle editor said. "We need to work together across party lines, Greens, Democrats, Republicans and independents."
 
Miller boasts of decades of work with various newspaper — as a reporter, editor and columnist — before turning his interest to studying economic development, energy and the environment.
 
"My main focus this year, as it was last year, is on resilient, secure, green local economies; Medicare for all, fair taxes; transparency in government; commitment to public education," Miller said.

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Pittsfield Restaurant Owners Want Dining Suspension Lifted

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Paul Capitanio of East Side Cafe, left, Craig Benoit and Michael Wendling of O'Laughlin's Pub hope to speak with the mayor tomorrow. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local restaurateurs feel that Pittsfield's recent indoor-dining ban is unfair to their businesses and a large financial burden.
 
On Monday, Hot Dog Ranch owner Craig Benoit stood outside City Hall with the support of other restaurant owners to ask that Mayor Linda Tyer comes out and have a conversation about the ban enacted on Nov. 12 after a dramatic spike in novel coronavirus cases. 
 
"I want her to know that this is urgent for us," Benoit said. "You shut down one industry in the city, that's all you did."
 
Benoit has spoken about his petition on "It's Pittsfield Tonight" and Channel 10 News in the past couple of days and is trying to start a coalition of Pittsfield restaurants who are on the same page.
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