Berkshire County Under Normal Drought Conditions

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BOSTON — During the past several months, the Commonwealth has experienced irregular rainfall events, contributing to less than average spring precipitation numbers; however, the southeastern of the state has been most impacted.
 
This has not substantially impacted the rest of the state and all other regions of the state (Connecticut River Valley, Central, Northeast, Western, Cape Cod regions) remain in Level 0-Normal conditions.
 
"With forecasts showing below normal rainfalls with elevated temperatures, it's important that we all administer water conservation practices early in the year to minimize stress on our water supply systems and natural habitats," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. "As state officials continue to monitor and analyze ongoing conditions, we ask everyone, particularly those in the Southeast and Islands Regions, to be mindful of water usage as we advance further into the growing and outdoor recreational seasons."
 
Following sporadic rainfall totals during the last several months, which has resulted in below average precipitation numbers in eastern Massachusetts, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Bethany Card today declared a Level 1-Mild Drought in the Southeast and Islands Regions of the Commonwealth. A Level 1-Mild Drought, as outlined in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan, warrants detailed monitoring of drought conditions, close coordination among state and federal agencies, and technical outreach and assistance to the affected municipalities.
 
The Drought Management Task Force will meet again on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, at 1:00PM. State agencies will continue to closely monitor and assess conditions across the state, coordinate any needed dissemination of information to the public, and help state, federal and local agencies prepare additional responses that may be needed in the future. 

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Pittsfield Police Advisory Board Wants Voice in Use of Body Cameras

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Following the City Council's endorsement of dashboard and body cameras on Pittsfield Police, the Police Advisory Review Board would like to review the equipment's policy before anything is implemented.

Chair Ellen Maxon this week asked the board members if they would like to take a vote to support body cameras but some were unsure of their stance. Instead, the panel motioned Tuesday to request that in the event that the Police Department adopts such a program, PARB reviews the governing policies before implementation.

The conversation is in response to the death of Miguel Estrella at the hands of a police officer in late March, which has sparked a significant community response along with conversations about police accountability and the lack of mental health support.

"I still have a pretty mixed opinion because I feel like something like body cameras, people think that's going to be the end all, be all and we don't have to do any more work," board member Erin Sullivan said, adding that there is a bigger problem beyond video surveillance.

Board member Dennis Powell, who is also president of the Berkshire NAACP, wished not to share his thoughts on body cameras at the moment.  

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