Letter: Barrett Best Person to Represent 1st Berkshire

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To the Editor:

Three months ago, we in the First Berkshire district were shocked and saddened by the untimely death of Gailanne Cariddi, our representative in the Massachusetts legislature.

For the two of us, Gail's death was a deeper and more personal loss than it may have been for most others. You see, we lost a good friend and long time colleague as well as a public official.

We had worked with and for Gail for several years. Each of us served on the North Adams City Council with Gail for several terms. When she decided to run for the state representative office, we worked hard on her campaign. And when she was elected, we celebrated with her here and in Boston. Beyond that, we each volunteered a few days a week, for about four years, in her city hall office, taking constituent calls and relaying messages to her, while she was at the state house.

It's not embarrassing to admit that we loved and admired Gailanne Cariddi. We enjoyed her company, spending time with her as often as we could, and we did many projects together.

Representing the 1st Berkshire District was a job Gail loved. It really suited her, and she did it effectively. We all felt well represented during her time in office, felt sad to lose her, and certainly will miss her.

Nearly everyone knew and said what a hard worker and what a good listener Gail was; it was we, however, who saw and accompanied her as she did on-site research before voting on bills. She was able to process her thoughts and share information with us. It was an alliance we truly valued, and we miss that, even as we miss our friend, Gail.

Now we are choosing the person we trust to succeed Gail in the state Legislature. We believe that John Barrett III is the person to best represent our district in the near term. As it was with us, much of their public life was aligned. Another tireless worker for North Berkshire, John held Gail in utmost respect and in high regard. It was mutual. In city government, they worked well together on behalf of the city and region.

We believe that John Barrett has the knowledge, experience, and contacts that will make him effective in carrying out the will of the people of the First Berkshire District. We know that our distance from Boston and our declining population require savvy moves and strong representation in that large House. John Barrett is recognized as a powerful voice and a force to be reckoned with. As we used to say, you may not like him, but you can't ignore him. He won't let you; John won't be silenced or ignored.

Gail was a deliberative and tactical thinker, like John. She was also a natural listener. John Barrett admits that this is one quality he has learned from her and most recently acquired. We can vouch for that.

We ask all Democrat and independent voters to go to the polls on Oct. 10, and to vote for John Barrett III, a powerful and effective voice for our region.

Diane Gallese-Parsons
Marie Mimi Harpin

North Adams, Mass.

Harpin and Parsons are both former North Adams city councilors and active in local Democratic politics





Tags: 1st Berkshire,   election 2017,   endorsement,   

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North Adams Eyeing Street Closures to Aid Local Businesses

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

One possible option for Eagle Street would close it to motor vehicle traffic.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city is looking for ways to expand opportunities for outdoor dining, starting on Monday with Center Street. 
A section of Center Street near Marshall Street will be shut down on Monday along with part of a private parking lot between the Mulcare Building and Juvenile Court. Traffic will be able to enter the St. Anthony Municipal Parking Lot from Center and exit the parking lot off Holden.
Officials are also working the North Adams Chamber of Commerce and downtown businesses in submitting a grant application to the state Department of Transportation's Shared Streets and Spaces. MassDOT has set aside some $5 million in grant funding designed to aid communities in supporting outdoor and pedestrian activities during the pandemic. There are also MassWorks grants available, according to Stantec's Liza Cohen.
The grant application was the subject of a meeting on Thursday seeking input from downtown restaurateurs on several possible dining areas on Eagle, Holden and Center streets. 
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