On the Trail: Berkshire County news and notes from the campaign trail
Del Gallo updates campaign website
"Not only will you find an extensive bio, but you will find in-depth discussions of a number of issues on wealth disparity, education, employment, health care, and shared parenting," said Rinaldo Del Gallo, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for state Senate.
"I wanted to have an extensive breakdown of the issues for voters who want to be informed," he said.
"Sometimes platforms are too broad on goals and lack too many specifics," he said. "If I erred, it was on the side of providing too many specifics. Bernie Sanders himself has a much more detailed issues section, and I wanted to be more in that direction than the one-page with bullets."
One major difference on issues concerns drug and opioid addiction treatment, he said, in that he urges caution on the idea of setting up drug courts. "There have been tremendous mistakes in setting up drug courts in the past, and they often do not deliver on what they promised — an emphasis on treatment," he said.
He said he supports the Seattle LEAD model and the similar program implemented in Gloucester, which he explains on the website. Del Gallo also favors legalizing marijuana, while he said his opponents stated they were opposed.
Local designers of the website were Westgate webs, Del Gallo said.
Harrington releases environmental plans
RICHMOND >> Andrea Harrington, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for state Senate, has released an environmental plan aimed at promoting sustainability and addressing climate change.
Harrington said she would as a senator request an appointment to the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change and the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy — a committee currently chaired by Sen. Ben Downing, D-Pittsfield, who is not seeking re-election.
Harrington's proposals include opposing natural gas pipelines, fracked gas and any surcharge for gas line infrastructure;
• Lifing the cap on solar net metering to create green jobs and support the use of more renewable energy;
• Strongly opposing GE's proposed creation of waste dumps for PCB-contaminated soils in the Berkshires.
• Supporting grants that fund energy audits and retrofit schools and municipal buildings, reducing both property taxes and carbon emissions.
• Working with the Congressional delegation and the state Department of Environmental Protection to push to clean up brownfields and Superfund sites.
• Creating tax credits to encourage and further enable small businesses to increase energy efficiency and promote commercial recycling and composting.
• Continuing to advocate for GE to perform a fully comprehensive clean up of the Housatonic River basin and related sites as outlined by the EPA.
• Holding regular meetings with local conservation commissioners, selectmen, and non-profit organizations across the district to develop important regional relationships.
• Embracing comprehensive energy legislation that will make Massachusetts a national and international leader in sustainability, carbon emission reduction, and green job creation.
• Creating partnerships between businesses and local job training programs and vocational schools to give our work force access to the green economy.
• Fully funding state agencies and programs that maintain and provide access to green and open spaces.
DA Sullivan announces support for Hinds
PITTSFIELD >> "I proudly support Adam Hinds' candidacy for the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin, Hampden state Senate district," said Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan.
"Adam has the knowledge and experience to confront the opiate epidemic in Western Massachusetts. He supports smart strategies to effectively treat addiction and also confront crime. He will build safer and healthier communities by bringing people together," Sullivan said.
"Adam Hinds has the ability and vision to continue [incumbent Sen. Ben Downing's] fight for economic justice, job creation, and quality public education," Sullivan said.
"District Attorney Sullivan's support is a great honor" said Hinds. "DA Sullivan has not only spoken out on issues of opioid addiction, treatment, and recovery, but has pushed for real action to fight this scourge impacting all our communities. While prosecuting crime, he has also maintained a strong focus on progressive prevention efforts addressing substance abuse, domestic violence and child abuse."
Hinds added, "DA Sullivan's innovative approaches to fighting crime in Hampshire and Franklin counties are models for the commonwealth. As state senator, I will fully support crime prevention programs, community policing, and collaborative efforts to fight violence. I will partner with DA Sullivan and other district attorneys to ensure the Legislature delivers the necessary resources to their offices, local municipalities, and law enforcement the to not just fight crime but to build strong communities. We can have safe communities while still protecting civil rights and promoting social justice."
Hinds is one of three Democrats seeking the party's nomination for the 52-town Senate District including all of Berkshire County.