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Jane Winn is one of this year's Unsung Heroines for her environmental work. She appears in this screenshot from Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Pittsfield City Council Recognizes Environmentalist

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council honored local environmentalist Jane Winn as one of the commonwealth's Unsung Heroines
 
Before breaking into the evening's business Tuesday, the council took a moment to recognize the executive director of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team.
 
"In regular times, before the world has turned upside down ... I would be with you probably with a full audience to celebrate as we do every year," said state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, who nominated Winn. "I am really pleased to present to you Pittsfield's 2020 Unsung Heroine Jane Winn."
 
The Massachusetts Commission of the Status of Women annually celebrates women throughout the state who may not receive the most attention but who leave their mark and improve their individual communities.
 
Winn was selected to serve as BEAT's first executive director in 2006 and helped form BEAT in 2002.
 
Farley-Bouvier said Winn champions the environment and fights for the environmental justice community. She said she has been impressed by how "nimble" Winn is in her ability to adapt to changing environmental concerns.
 
"Jane is somebody known to all of you for her longstanding work that she has done in this community," she said. "She is someone whose integrity is beyond reproach in line with advocating for wildlife who otherwise lack a voice. Jane has also been particularly sensitive to the environmental justice community. A human population without economic means or political muscle."
 
Farley-Bouvier said she is impressed by Winn's ability to reach out to the broader community to a younger generation and "inform, educate, and involve."
 
Before reading a proclamation, Mayor Linda Tyer thanked Winn for bettering Pittsfield.
 
"I wish we could be together in person so I could stand by you and be by your side as we offer this proclamation," she said. "We are thrilled to be honoring you this evening."
 
Winn was on the Zoom meeting call and thanked her team for helping her along the way.
 
"Wow thank you very much ... I am astounded," Winn said. "I hope I can live up to everything wonderful that you have said and I have the most wonderful team of people behind me and they do so much to make me look good."
 
Before closing, Farley-Bouvier said people like Winn are becoming more and more important as environmental concerns move into the forefront. 
 
"I am just honored to share the same community with Jane," she said. "I can tell you that in 2020 it is important to have somebody that we can count on to take care of our environment and always keep us honest."
 
The City Council then went into regular business and accepted a few grants:
 
$1,150.40 FY20 Child Passenger Safety Equipment Grant from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security/Office of Grants and Research for the Police Department.
 
• $50,000 Diverting Juveniles and Emerging Adults from Criminal Justice Involvement Grant from the Office of the Commissioner of Probation for the Police Department.
 
• $12,000 grant from the Department of Conservation and Recreation. These funds will be used to cover expenses related to the hiring of boat ramp monitors at city lakes during the summer of 2020.
 

Tags: environment,   recognition event,   

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Pittsfield School Committee Votes to Change Taconic Mascot

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

The School Committee debates a change in team mascots for the two Pittsfield high schools. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Taconic High School will no longer be the Braves' House.
 
The School Committee on Wednesday voted to change 50-year-old team mascot and begin the process of determining a new, more culturally acceptable identity for the vocational school.
 
"I think this is going to be very divisive and very upsetting for this school," Chairwoman Katherine Yon said. "It is just a very difficult decision to come to and it feels like all of the decisions during this time are difficult."
 
The issue has come up during public comment over the past few months with callers asking the School Committee to change the name of the Taconic Braves and the Pittsfield High School Generals.
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