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Governor

Knight Endorses Caccaviello

Judith Knight announces her endorsement for former Democratic candidate for District Attorney Paul Caccaviello.
Judith Knight announced her endorsement for former Democratic, turned independent, candidate for District Attorney Paul Caccaviello on the steps of the Berkshire County Court House October 16; photo courtesy Josh Landes via Twitter—@JoshLandesWAMC. courtesy Twitter:

Judith Knight endorsed Paul Caccaviello’s write in campaign for Berkshire County District Attorney on Tuesday. WAMC’s Josh Landes broke the story on Twitter.

Judith Knight announces her endorsement for former Democratic candidate for District Attorney Paul Caccaviello.
Judith Knight announced her endorsement for former Democratic, turned independent, candidate for District Attorney Paul Caccaviello on the steps of the Berkshire County Court House October 16; photo courtesy Josh Landes, Berkshire Bureau Chief for WAMC Radio, via Twitter — @JoshLandesWAMC.

Knight, who ran against incumbent DA Caccaviello and Andrea Harrington in the Democratic primary — Harrington won — said she would be taking a position as the overseer, and thus far sole member, of a newly formed citizen’s advisory board to the DA. 

Tuesday’s announcement — the full video is below via 95.9 — came with sharp criticism of Harrington by Knight, who referred to the Democratic nominee as vindictive and corrupt.

Video courtesy Live 95.9 WBEC FM, via YouTube.com

It’s the latest in a string of dramatic political moments in the campaign, which began when former DA David Capeless orchestrated a handover of the office to Caccaviello, Capeless’s preferred successor. Capeless worked with Governor Charlie Baker to ensure the power transfer went over smoothly, but in a stunning turn of events Harrington edged out Caccaviello on September 4 in the primary (Knight was a distant third). Caccaviello’s subsequent decision to run a write in campaign has earned him both criticism and support in the community.

Three weeks to go… 

Eoin Higgins
Eoin Higgins

Eoin Higgins is a writer and historian from western Massachusetts.

TLC #45: Baker wants to “empower” the heat to play nice with ICE

Immigration Detainers

The bland phrase conjures up little emotion for people with no reason to believe that they, or loved ones, risk deportation due to immigration status. To countless families in the United States, however, the two words, “immigration detainers,” (also known as “ICE Holds”), plug in to a nightmare of vulnerability that tears at families and communities. We speak with Brooke Mead of the Berkshire Immigrant Center and Laura Rótolo of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts about Governor Baker’s proposed legislation that would ratchet the mechanisms of deportation up a gear or two.

Nationwide, local law enforcement is pushing back against pressure to perform the work of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, often disregarding immigration detainers; photo by Department of Homeland Security; public domain; via Wikimedia Commons</span></a>
Nationwide, local law enforcement is pushing back against pressure to perform the work of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, often disregarding immigration detainers; photo by Department of Homeland Security; public domain; via Wikimedia Commons

Berkshire Immigrant Center

Brooke Meade, director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center; photo courtesy Avi Dresner/WellTalk Radio.
Brooke Meade, director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center; photo courtesy Avi Dresner/WellTalk Radio.

(from BIC website)

Director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center, Brooke Mead, was formerly a high school Spanish teacher and holds her Masters degree in Spanish from Middlebury College. She has lived in Venezuela and Mexico and, having been an immigrant herself, brings with her the cultural understanding and sensitivity necessary to work with the immigrant and refugee population.

The mission of the Berkshire Immigrant Center is to assist individuals and families in making the economic, psychological and cultural adjustment to a new land, not only by meeting basic needs, but also by helping them to become active participants in our community. The Center also aims to build bridges of understanding and cooperation across cultures, to fight racism and discrimination in all forms, and to advocate for the rights of immigrants from all backgrounds.

The Center offers comprehensive services for individuals from more than 80 countries to promote civic engagement, facilitate cultural integration, and assist in navigating the complex U.S. immigration system.

 

Additional resources:

Slate’s very good article on the subject.
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
UNIDOS

ACLU of Massachusetts

Laura Rotolo, Staff Council ACLU; photo courtesy ACLUM
Laura Rótolo, Staff Council ACLU; photo courtesy ACLUM

(from ACLUM website)

Laura Rótolo is staff counsel and community advocate at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts where she focuses on issues relating to immigrants.

She joined the ACLU of Massachusetts in 2007, first as a human rights fellow studying immigration detention conditions. Currently, Laura works to create policies that safeguard fundamental rights, as well as challenge policies that do not. As a Latina and an immigrant from Argentina, she advocates within Latino immigrant communities in Massachusetts.

Laura is a graduate of Tufts University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and American University’s Washington College of Law.

The ACLU of Massachusetts, this week, released the following statement concerning Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed legislation to “empower” local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration authorities via immigration detainers:

Governor Baker’s proposed legislation in response to last week’s groundbreaking ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court on ICE detainers is constitutionally suspect because it attempts to authorize state and local law enforcement to detain people without due process. Last week’s Lunn decision by the Court was a major victory for the residents of Massachusetts against the Trump deportation machine. Why Governor Baker would attempt to aid President Trump is unsettling – as both a legal and political matter.

For nearly 100 years, the American Civil Liberties Union has worked daily in the courts, in the legislature, and in communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, Bill Rights and laws of the United States.

The ACLU of Massachusetts—a private, nonpartisan organization with more than 72,000 supporters across the Commonwealth and over 100,000 online activists—is a state affiliate of the national ACLU. We defend the principles enshrined in the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights as well as the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Laura tweets at @LauraRotolo.

 

Inside the Lyme Epidemic

The Top Left Corner welcomes Kenneth Mercure back on the program, this time to discuss Lyme disease and his upcoming public education event:

Inside the Lyme Epidemic: Past, Present and Future with Pamela Weintraub
Saturday, August 12th, 2017; 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Berkshire Athenaeum, Auditorium, 1 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, Mass.
Free

Adult deer tick,; photo by Photo by Scott Bauer. (Public domain), via Wikimedia CommonsAdult deer tick,; photo by Scott Bauer. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
(from Lyme Alliance of the Berkshires website)Lyme disease is at epidemic levels in Berkshire County! What should be an easily treated and manageable infection is being left to become a serious and evening life-threatening public health crisis. Lyme disease is under-reported, often misdiagnosed as something else and frequently suggested to be “all in your head”. There is a great disparity between the reality and seriousness of tick-borne infections and what is being touted as the ultimate truth about Lyme and its related diseases.However, there is work being done to help bridge this gap. The Lyme Alliance of the Berkshires, a Pittsfield based organization started in 2011, tirelessly works to help educate the public and to help provide support for individuals who are currently suffering with tick-borne disease. As part of this work we routinely invite speakers and host educational events to help make the public more aware of this issue.

Map of the range of the Deer Tick (Ixodes scapularis); image public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Map of the range of the Deer Tick (Ixodes scapularis); image public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Nearly a decade after her beloved book was originally published, author Pamela Weintraub will tell her story and discuss what has changed in the world of Lyme since 2008 and what still needs to be done to help end the Lyme epidemic. Pamela will speak and then will interact with attendees and answer questions. We will have a door prize raffle as part of this event and refreshments will be available. As always our event will be taking placing in the ground floor auditorium of the Berkshire Athenaeum on 1 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield, Mass.

The Top Left Corner #26: Greylock Cultural Corridor, Pine Cobble Craft Fair

Artists Aerial Rendering of the proposed museum of Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture; submitted photo.
Artists Aerial Rendering of the proposed museum of Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture; submitted photo.

Tammy Daniels, managing editor of iBerkshires.com joins TLC to talk about the proposed developments to the Greylock Cultural Corridor. First though, we hear from Katherine Cortes, who describes the first ever “Craft Fair on the Hill” taking place at Pine Cobble School December 12.

Twenty vendors will turn out to offer their wares at the very first "Craft Fair on the Hill" at Pine Cobble School in Williamstown, December 12; collage assembled from images courtesy Craft Fair on the Hill via Facebook.
Twenty vendors will turn out to offer their wares at the very first “Craft Fair on the Hill” at Pine Cobble School in Williamstown, December 12;
collage assembled from images courtesy Craft Fair on the Hillvia Facebook.

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