PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier is the Legislator of the Year in the eyes of the Children's League of Massachusetts.
The Pittsfield Democrat was given the honor alongside state Sen. Bruce Tarr last Tuesday. The Children's League is a non-profit consisting of more than 80 organizations advocating for policies for the state's children, youth and families.
"Both Sen. Tarr and Rep. Farley-Bouvier's commitment to protecting the well-being of our children is unmatched," Erin G. Bradley, executive director of the Children's League said in a prepared statement.
"The most vulnerable children of our commonwealth do not have access to the corridors of power to advocate for themselves, so having eloquent and dedicated legislators who give voice to the issues of importance to children is very much appreciated. We look forward to continuing to work with both of them to further improve the safety and success of the children of Massachusetts."
Farley-Bouvier is credited for the creation of the legislative child welfare subcommittee, which has been delving into issues regarding children in the state's care. She also been an advocate for an increased level of social workers, especially in the western part of the state, to lower caseloads in the Department of Families and Children.
"I do thank the Children's League for this great honor but it is them and the providers who do the ever important work of advocating for children every day that deserve the accolades," Farley-Bouvier said in a statement.
"There is no issue in front of us as legislators that is more important than child welfare. We are talking about the most vulnerable among us. During times like these when the heroin epidemic is running rampant in the Commonwealth and income inequality continues to leave more and more families behind, it is the children that get hurt the worst."
Tarr was highlighted for his work on a bill banning adoptive parents from unregulated "re-homing," or finding others to take responsibility for the child, often through online contacts. He also worked in passing "Jessica's Law" that created stronger protections for children from sexual predators.
"I am honored to be receiving this award from the Children’s League of Massachusetts because protecting children should always be a priority," said Tarr. "I look forward to continuing to work with CLM, and my colleagues, as we advocate for the needs and interests of children and their families."
The two were honored during the Children League of Massachusetts advocacy day at the Nurses Hall in the state house.
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PCTV Documentary Finds Pittsfield Parade Dates Back to 1801
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Community Television's recently released documentary "Fighting For Independence: The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" has traced the first Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade back to at least 1801.
An article in the Pittsfield Sun from July 7, 1801, says that "at 12:00 o’ clock at noon a Procession was formed consisting of the Militia of the town."
Previously the Pittsfield Parade Committee acknowledged that the parade dated back to 1824.
"This was a fascinating discovery, as we researched to put this documentary together," said Bob Heck, PCTV’s coordinator of advancement and community production and executive producer of the program. "Not only were we able to trace the parade back further than ever before, but to see how the parade has impacted Pittsfield, and how the community always seems to come together to make sure the parade happens is remarkable."
The Pittsfield Fourth of July parade experienced bumps in the road even back in the early 1800s - most notably, when Captain Joseph Merrick, a Federalist, excluded Democrats from the yearly post-parade gathering at his tavern in 1808.
The parade ran concurrently from at least 1801 until 1820. In 1821, Pittsfield’s spiritual leader Dr. Rev. Heman Humphrey, canceled the festivities so the day could be dedicated to God before resuming in 1822 after residents decided they wanted their parade.
"Fighting for Independence: The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" premiered July 4 at 9:30 am on PCTV Access Pittsfield Channel 1301 and PCTV Select. The program is available on-demand on PCTV Select, available on Roku and Apple TV, or online.
The board voted 3-2 on Monday to allow the bar on Lake Pontoosuc to open up seating and serve beer and wine on its patio under the governor's orders for Phase 2 that allows for outside dining.
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