Letter: Judith Knight Best Fit for District Attorney

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To the Editor:

Andrea Harrington has spunk. But spunk is not enough for the job of district attorney. Ms. Harrington is entering the fray for the Democratic DA nomination with limited knowledge and experience of the workings of the office. This was evident in some of her debate responses, especially those dealing with our county court system. Sliding into the DA position is not the time for on-the-job training.

In her quest for the state Senate seat in 2016, she failed to fully comply with campaign finance law. While the violations were relatively minor for the first-time candidate, and remedial action was taken, she referred to the episode as a learning experience.
In commenting on the report citing her financing missteps, issued in November 2017, she said she had no immediate plans to run for office again and was interested in helping other women run for political office. If only ...
Paul Caccaviello, the anointed candidate of the outgoing (really? — see below) DA [David] Capeless and Republican Gov. Baker, has perhaps too much experience, of the wrong kind.
His reluctant acceptance of the Justice Reform Act of 2018 may be another landmark on his march back to the future.
DA Capeless in his resignation announcement stated he "... will stick around and be appointed as a special assistant DA ... ." To complete still open cases? Or will he hold on to the reins of power as the éminence grise behind Caccaviello?
Judith Knight with her challenge to DA Capeless in 2006, earlier successful defense of marijuana sting victim and then Otis resident Kyle Sawin in 2005, other pro-bono work for those in need, and her performance in this year's debates has convinced me that she, and her curriculum vitae (and spunk), would be the best fit for a new and improved office of the district attorney.
Ms. Knight, during her 30-plus years as an attorney, has served as an assistant DA and a public defender/defense attorney demonstrating her knowledge of the Massachusetts court and legal system. Her proven enterprise management and certified mediation skills will also prove invaluable.
Judith's enthusiastic support for a diversion (second chance) program and the positive use of some drug forfeiture funds (for community centers, eg) is something I, my family and my neighbors support.
In the apocryphal words of Cary Grant it's got to be "Judy, Judy, Judy."


Frank Tolopko
Otis, Mass.



Tags: election 2018,   letters to the editor,   

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Education Task Force Continues Study on Countywide School District

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent

Project manager Jake Eberwein, center, presents his management plan to the task force.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force is trying to anticipate potential problems on the pathway to a unified county school district. 
The task force meeting at Berkshire Regional Planning's office Saturday morning certainly didn't solve any problems but did try to outline where those challenges may arise. 
As with all other education initiatives the first hurdle they have is money. More specifically the lack of it.
"The full proposal we pitched (to the state Department of Education) was $420,000 for each of the first three years and then another $250,000 for each of the next two," said outgoing Lee Superintendent Howard "Jake" Eberwein. 
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