Letter: Response to Indigenous People's Day Lawsuit Article

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To the Editor:

My name is Alexander Blumin, a U.S. citizen, born in Soviet Union in 1959.

Indeed, I filed a lawsuit in Berkshire Superior Court (Civil Action 1876CV00187), however, my lawsuit was not over Indigenous Peoples Day, but over Columbus Day.

3.4 Massachusetts General Laws states on Columbus Day: MGL Part I, Title II, Chapter 6, Section 12V. Columbus Day.

"The Governor shall annually issue a proclamation setting apart the second Monday in October as Columbus Day and recommending that it be observed by the people, with appropriate exercises in the schools and otherwise, to the end that the memory of the courage, perseverance and spiritual fervor of Christopher Columbus, discoverer of America, may be perpetuated." (Including Pittsfield Public Schools — comment by Plaintiff.)

3.4 paragraph, from my lawsuit.

Indigenous Peoples Day belongs to different date in State of Massachusetts:

3.5 Massachusetts General Laws, Part I, Title II, Chapter6, Section 12VV states:

Section 12VV: Native American Day
Section 12VV. The governor shall annually issue a proclamation setting apart the third Friday of September as Native American Day and recommending that said day be observed in an appropriate manner by the people.

Indigenous Peoples Day is already honored in the U.S. and all over the Globe:

3.6 The United Nations General Assembly by resolution 49/214 of Dec. 23, 1994, decided that the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples shall be observed on Aug. 9 every year. Moreover, on Aug. 3, 1990,  President of the United States George H. W. Bush declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month, thereafter commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month.

(3.5 and 3.6 are also paragraphs from my lawsuit.)

iBerkshire statement in article was incorrect: “He claims the School Committee engaged in deceptive practices when it allowed School Committee member William Cameron to speak during the meeting in opposition to Columbus Day.”

I did not oppose free speech of Mr. Cameron. I opposed deceptive practice that he and Committee can seize legislative power from Boston. Read below from lawsuit:

3.7 School Committee engaged in Deceptive Practice — violation of Mass General Laws — by pretending on July 11, 2018, School Committee Meeting that they can seize Legislative and Executive power from Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives and Mass Governor by simply arguing as was done by 20 min lecture of member, William Cameron ... (3.7 paragraph from the lawsuit)

Don't like Christopher Columbus? OK! Follow the state law how to remove//rename/establish new law, new holiday in Massachusetts. School Committee cannot create new holiday since that legislative power belongs to Mass Senate and House of Representatives. Changing school calendar is not equal to changing/creating new holiday for Pittsfield schools only, sorry.

You think you can violate state law because people are afraid to fight city or School Committee or media in court? USA is still free capitalist country. We are not socialist country yet. The U.S. Judicial System exists exactly for the purpose to solve legal conflicts. There is nothing wrong to use it!

Alex Blumin
Pittsfield, Mass.



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Soldier On Permanent Women Veterans Housing to Open This Winter

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Katie Doherty said she did not think she deserved the dedication but was happy to accept it on behalf of the women who work for Soldier On and the women they serve.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Soldier On supporters and stakeholders toured the Katie Doherty Veterans Village on Friday afternoon that is slated to be move-in ready in early February. 
Soldier On knows the importance of having a home and with the near completion of the village for women veterans this sentiment will be accessible to all who have served in the military, not just the men.
"I was so compelled by the women I met and so compelled by their stories and what had happened to them," Soldier On consultant Katie Doherty said during a small gathering before the tour. "I thought we could do something to help them and restore them to the positions that they deserve." 
Construction began on the 14-unit structure in March 2019 near the existing men's permanent housing community. The units average 457 square feet and have a fully equipped kitchen, an open living space, a bedroom and a full shower.
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