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Above: Mice overrun New South Wales, Australia; CSIRO, CC BY 3.0; via Wikimedia Commons

The Top Left Corner — 2021/03/24

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It’s local election season here, and along with the crocuses, candidate lawn signs are starting to pop up in yards all over town.

Today, we’ll be talking with one of the candidates who’ll be vying for an open Select Board seat in the upcoming town elections, and one of your friendly hosts even has a surprise announcement of his own. (Hint: His name may also be on the ballot on May 25.)

If you’re here for the first time, the Top Left Corner is a locally focused weekly live internet radio show and podcast based in Williamstown, Mass. We do our best to wade through the spin and biases and cowardice and bring back the important stuff that most of us really care about. Every Wednesday, we’re going to tell you what we think about local current events and the national stories that directly affect the people of Williamston and Berkshire County. We also interview amazing guests.

–Jay and Steve

P.S. We want to hear from you! Participate live during the show by using the chat box on our show page or email us at [email protected]

LIGHT (OR NOT)

It’s easy to complain about mud season, but so far this year we’ve at least managed to avoid a mouse plague.

The Australian state of New South Wales is contending with an invasion of rodents that have been tearing through packages of toilet paper on supermarket shelves and even harassing hospital patients.

A bit further north, Bjork isn’t the only smokin’ hot thing coming out of Iceland these days…
Check out this live feed of the Geldingadalir volcano, which began erupting earlier this month.

OUR GUEST THIS WEEK

Tony Boskovich is a Williams alum, a retired civil rights attorney who specialized in police misconduct cases, and a candidate for one of the two open seats on the Select Board. We’ll talk with Tony today about why he’s running and what he hopes to accomplish if he is elected in May.

BIO: Tony Boskovich (submitted)

Tony Boskovich (right) and his wife, Daphne Bolden, somewhere that is likely not Williamstown; submitted photo.


Tony Boskovich is a California native who grew up in a blue collar family; his father was a mechanic and his mother was a clerk. He went to Williams College and was the first in family to attend college in over 150 years. During the summer, he worked at Green Mountain Race Track in track maintenance during the day and as a “betting clerk” on night’s and weekends He was a double major in geology and chemistry, and attended Yale University for year’s graduate study in economic geology.

Although he returned to California, his dream was always to return to the Berkshires and Williamstown, not just because of the college, but also because he loved the town and its people.

He worked in retail and the commercial insurance business for several years, and then opened a solo law office, where for 27 years he specialized as a civil rights trial lawyer bringing suit against law enforcement officers, jailers, and municipalities. He brought well over 100 Federal cases, interviewed nearly 7,000 people who felt that they had been abused by police, and reviewed between 15,000 to 20,000 police reports.

He always felt that Williamstown was out of his reach, but in 2017 he realized that he could afford a home on the north side of town, and he realized his dream and moved here in October of that year.

He and his wife, Daphne Bolden, a teacher for the Pittsfield public schools, are thankful to be able to fulfill that 50 year dream and live in this wonderful community.
You can contact Tony Boskovich at (408) 832-3754
Tweet

LOCAL

If you’re eligible to be vaccinated in Massachusetts (we’re currently in Phase 2), the easiest way to get an appointment is by following @vaccinetime on Twitter and turning on notifications. When you get a notification that there are appointments available in your area, just click on the link provided to begin the sing-up process.

Meanwhile, the scandal at the Williamstown Police Department continues to chug along:
iBerkshires is reporting that the employees of the Williamstown PD who improperly ran the names of some local critics of the department through the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) have been suspended without pay.

Last Thursday, the Berkshire Eagle published an editorial calling for Williamstown to address what it called an “accountability crisis” at the police department.

Meanwhile, the Williamstown Select Board has already identified a group of candidates for the interim Town Manager who will keep the lights on while the search continues for a permanent replacement for Jason Hoch. Hoch, who has announced he will resign at the end of April, says he plans to be available during the transition period in early May.

THE COMMONWEALTH

According to the Boston Globe, some 58 Massachusetts school districts have appealed to state Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley to delay the reopening of their middle schools.
Earlier this month, the Department of Education announced that middle schools would be required to reopen for in-person learning by April 28.

As we discussed last week, what seems to get consistently lost in these public proclamations about how we’re “getting back to normal” is that COVID-19 is primarily spread via aerosols. Ventilation, not social distancing, is the key to avoiding transmission of the virus within closed, crowded spaces like schools.

The University of Colorado Boulder and Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health published this tool earlier during the pandemic that describes how schools and other institutions with high-density indoor populations could best approach the ventilation problem.

WHO WE’RE READING, WATCHING, AND LISTENING TO THIS WEEK

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal agency spearheaded by Massachusetts’ senior senator, Elizabeth Warren, has published a devastating report on housing insecurity in our country.

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