East-West Passenger Rail Study Public Meeting

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BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will host the third public information meeting for the East-West Passenger Rail Study on Thursday, Oct. 22, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
The meeting is being conducted via Zoom, and is being held to solicit public input and feedback on the analysis of the three final alternatives for improving connectivity and mobility in the East-West Corridor. A final draft report has been released for a thirty-day public comment period and can be found at  www.mass.gov/east-west-passenger-rail-study.
The conceptual planning study has been conducted over the past two years to examine the benefits, costs, and investments necessary to implement a range of passenger rail service alternatives between Pittsfield, Springfield and Boston. 
The study goals were developed with input and collaboration from the 42-member Advisory Committee and include improving transportation options to and from Western Massachusetts, supporting economic development, reducing trips taken using motor vehicles, and reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions and improving air quality. 
Currently, only Amtrak runs passenger rail service between the western border of Massachusetts with New York and Boston. Amtrak's service, the Lake Shore Limited, makes three roundtrips per week between Chicago and Boston and stops in Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester, Framingham, and in Boston at Back Bay and South Station.
To access the meeting, please visit the meeting event page. The meeting will be recorded and posted online for those who cannot attend. The presentation will also be posted on the website in advance of the meeting.
Feedback on the final draft study will also be accepted via email. Please email MassDOT Project Manager Makaela Niles, at Makaela.Niles@dot.state.ma.us, to submit any questions or comments regarding the study.

Tags: MassDOT,   train,   

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District Attorney Launches 'High-Risk' Team to Address Domestic Violence

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Cathy Felix talks about her daughter, Julie Shade, a victim of domestic violence who was murdered by her husband. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire District Attorney's Office has launched a new effort to address domestic and sexual abuse in the region.
District Attorney Andrea Harrington, joined by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, on Thursday introduced a Domestic Violence High Risk Team designed to bring multiple disciplines together to strengthen social service and law enforcement responses to domestic violence. The DA's office has also created a new position of a domestic violence coordinator who will work with the team and develop intervention plans.
The initiative continues a campaign promise Harrington made to prioritize domestic violence and develop a team of made up of representatives across several disciplines to create a coordinated response. 
"We are using our power to dismantle a culture of violence against women and girls," she said. "Being the first female district attorney [in Berkshire County], being the first anything, being a woman in power in particular, and we have a lot of powerful women standing here behind me today, that in and of its self is meaningless unless we use that power to bring equity and human rights and justice to our community."
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