Berkshire Brigades to host debates at BCC

PITTSFIELD >> The local Democratic organization, the Berkshire Brigades, will host a debate for House and Senate party candidates on Aug. 11 at Berkshire Community College.

The debates will be held at the Koussevitzky Arts Center on campus, beginning at 6 p.m. Facing off at 6 p.m. will be incumbent state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, and challenger Michael Bloomberg. They are running for the 3rd Berkshire House seat.

At 7 p.m., Democratic Senate candidates Andrea Harrington of Richmond, Rinaldo Del Gallo of Lenox and Adam Hinds of Pittsfield will debate.

Anyone with questions they would like the candidates to address should send those to Sheila Murray at Sheila@berkshirebrigades.com.

Connell talks Walmart on Tyler Street

PITTSFIELD — Christopher Connell, independent candidate for state representative from the 3rd Berkshire House district, will visit local businesses in the Tyler Street area on Friday to hear their comments on a proposed Walmart Supercenter on a parcel in the William Stanley Business Park.

"I hope to hear and get feedback from local business owners and local residents in the immediate area where the Walmart project would be located," Connell said.


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The candidate will begin his tour at 2 p.m. at the corner of Woodlawn Avenue and Tyler Street.

Pignatelli endorsed by environmental group

BOSTON >> The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund has endorsed state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, for re-election in the 4th Berkshire House district — crediting his work in the Legislature on behalf of the environment.

With critical issues of energy policy and environmental protection currently being debated in the Legislature, the leadership of the ELM Action Fund said it believes it is important to return proven environmental champions like Pignatelli to the House, according to the group's statement.

"Rep. Pignatelli understands the importance of our state investing in clean energy, sustainable transportation and parks to help address climate change, create jobs and build healthier communities," said ELM Action Fund Political Director Joe O'Brien. "Rep. Pignatelli has been a champion in the fight to prevent gas pipeline projects that would damage our precious natural resources and continue our over-reliance on fossil fuels. He is also a tireless advocate for having a robust solar industry in Massachusetts.

"Pignatelli has been a champion in the fight to prevent gas pipeline projects that would damage our precious natural resources and continue our over-reliance on fossil fuels," O'Brien said. "He is also a tireless advocate for having a robust solar industry in Massachusetts."

First elected to the House in 2002, Pignatelli is running unopposed. For more information about his campaign, visit www.facebook.com/RepWilliamSmittyPignatelli.

The ELM Action Fund helps pass laws that protect our environmental legacy, holds our elected officials accountable and works to help build the political power of the environmental community.

Del Gallo's website features his columns

PITTSFIELD >> "I have an unusual background for candidate for state Senate in that I have been writing columns for newspapers for 15 years," Del Gallo said in a campaign release. "I have been published frequently in newspapers located in the district, as well as other newspapers across the country.

He said the website displaying his past columns is located at https://delgallocolumns.wordpress.com/

"Here, voters can view numerous columns I have written over the years — the columns on the website are by no means exhaustive of my entire works," the candidate stated.

He said his columns have appeared in The Boston Globe, the Baltimore Sun, the Buffalo News, the Albany Times Union, the Springfield Republican, the Charlestown Gazette, the Washington Times, the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, the Lowell Sun, the North Adams Transcript, The Berkshire Eagle, the Brooklyn Eagle, the Gloucester Daily Times, the Greenfield Recorder, the Saratogian, the Keene Sentinel (Keene, N.H.), the Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.), the Concord Monitor (Concord, N.H.), the Taunton Daily Gazette, the Pittsfield Gazette, Intellectual Property Today, the Thoroughbred Daily News and numerous other publications.

Del Gallo is a candidate in the Democratic primary for 1st Senate, facing Andrea Harrington of Richmond and Adam Hinds of Pittsfield in the race to succeed Sen. Ben Downing, D-Pittsfield, who is leaving the 52-community district, which includes all or part of four western counties.

Harrington wants to override Baker vetoes

PITTSFIELD >> Democrat Andrea Harrington, a candidate for state Senate, is urging the Legislature to restore funding that Gov. Charlie Baker recently cut from the state budget that had been approved by the House and Senate.

Harrington said, "I am deeply troubled as several of the governor's vetoes will be harmful to the people and businesses in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden Senate District. The governor's vetoes cut funding for drug treatment programs, early education, local healthcare infrastructure and the further expansion of the area's creative economy. The Governor's reduction of $7.7 million from the Massachusetts Cultural Commission will have a negative impact on the arts and cultural economy in our region."

She said Baker "reneged on his promise to adequately fund salary increases for nursing home workers and home health aides. These are the people who are on the front line every day, yet are among the lowest paid employees. At the same time the governor vetoed their pay raises, he gave massive pay increases to some members of his leadership team. Priorities have to change, and as State Senator, I will fight to make sure that we are investing in programs and services that create jobs for our region. It is no wonder that people have lost faith in government when they see double standards such as this."

Harrington continued, "As State senator, I will be a bold, progressive voice for the Berkshires and Western Mass., ensuring that we are investing in programs and services that create jobs for our region and make it a safer and healthier place to live and raise a family. I will be a tireless advocate for our communities as we work to combat the opioid epidemic, invest in public education, and develop comprehensive strategies to promote environmental sustainability and create jobs for our region. Most importantly, as state senator I will never forget who I work for."

Harrington grew up in Richmond where she currently lives with her husband, Tim, and their two sons.