Rotary Club Announces Service Above Self Awardees

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Rotary Club of Pittsfield President John Hudnall announced the 2024 Service Above Self Award winners.  
 
The presentations were made on May 9 at Mazzeo's Restaurant.  Eric Ungewitter, Service Above Self Committee Chair spoke about the extensive accomplishments of each student and their commitment to volunteerism in the community.
 
According to a press release, this award exemplifies their volunteer efforts and their selfless contributions to the service of others.  The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise which is something we live our lives by.  These young students are a great example.
 
From Pittsfield High School, awardees, Abigail Rose Malumphy and Grace Ungewitter.  From Taconic High School, awardees, Damaris Escalon-Brizuela, Bhumi Patel and Nevah Williams
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Letter: Berkshire State Delegation Needed to Pass Ban on Puppy Mills

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

The public may be aware that I spear-headed local legislation in Pittsfield and Lenox banning the sale of puppies from puppy mills at pet stores. Berkshire Voters for Animals and the Massachusetts Humane Society were strong advocates and helped immensely.

I have received an email from Berkshire Voters for Animals stating, "There is still one of our bills in its original committee that needs to be released by June 14th or it will not have a chance to be passed this session. Time is running out for Massachusetts lawmakers to advance legislation that will prevent commercial dog breeders (puppy mills) from trucking cruelly bred puppies into pet shops. New York, Maryland and California have successfully passed similar laws. Massachusetts should be next!"

The appeal was that "We need you to contact your rep to ask them to contact the House Chair of the Environment Committee to release the bill."

It is my hope that the bill makes it out of committee and not die there, as too many good pieces of proposed legislation often does. I cannot stress how popular these initiatives were. In Pittsfield, I have had ordinances pass that took literally as much as one-half a decade to get passed. No so with this. Dozens upon dozens showed up in support for the ordinance. The Pittsfield City Council passed it immediately, with no debate.

Lenox has an open town meeting where any town resident can show up and vote, and of the dozens upon dozens of people that attended (it may have been over 100, but I am not a good judge of audience size), not a single one voted against the legislation when put to a final vote. In fact, that vote was almost instantaneous.

According to the letter, Sen. Paul Mark and he has spoken with the Senate chair. I respectfully request Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Rep. John Barrett, and Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, excellent legislators of the Berkshire Delegation of whom I am fond of, to help pass S.550/H. 826/S. 549, "An Act banning the retail sale of cats and dogs in pet shops" before the 2024 legislative session ends. This salutary law is enjoys widespread and practically unanimous support from the public.
 

Rinaldo Del Gallo
Pittsfield, Mass.

 

 

 

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