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TLC #54: 10/10 Democratic Primary, 1st Berkshire District candidate John Barrett

Election 2017: A conversation with John Barrett, III.

Find him online here.

Hello, Greylock Nation—

Today is Saturday, October 07, 2017, and this is a special election series episode of the Top Left Corner, presented by the Greylock Glass. We don’t have the resources yet to cover all races, but due to the enormous popularity of our coverage of the 2016 State Senate election, we decided to provide you, our audience, with a similar opportunity to hear unhurried, unscripted conversations with the candidates for the position of State Representative, 1st Berkshire District, a seat left empty by the untimely death of Gail Cariddi in June.

John Barrett, III; photo by Jason Velázquez.
John Barrett, III; photo by Jason Velázquez.

 

The four candidates in this series of interviews are facing off in the Democratic primary election on October 10 to determine who will face off against Republican challenger Christine M. Canning in the November 7 general election. The four interviewees are John Barrett, Lisa Blackmer, Stephanie Bosley and Kevin Towle.

Each candidate was given an opportunity to describe their backgrounds and experience, to discuss the the political legacy left by Cariddi, and to offer a vision of how they would address the priorities of the district at the statehouse level. They also responded to similar questions about the issues of poverty, and employment, healthcare, transportation, education, climate change, and race relations. While every effort was made to ensure fairness to all candidates, conversations between different individuals will, of course, vary in content in unpredictable ways. These organic differences are, we hope, the reason that you appreciate extended discussions between people rather than soundbites or pre-recorded position statements.

I enjoyed my talks with each of these contenders, and have decided to extend the Greylock Glass’ policy against the endorsement of one candidate over another for this election season. I hope that by providing this election series of episodes, the Greylock Glass will assist its voting audience in deciding for whom to cast their ballot on Tuesday.

This episode, number 54, features my conversation with John Barrett.

We hope you enjoyed the chance to hear the views of this candidate for State Representative of the 1st Berkshire District. We put a lot of time and effort into it. If you found this service helpful, please consider making a contribution by going to greylockglass.com/support.

Remember this is the Democratic primary, so if you want a say in who will face off against Christine Canning in November, don’t forget to get out and vote on Tuesday, October 10th. That’s our show for today, I’ve been your host, writer, editor, engineer, and web administrator, Jason Velazquez, and I hope you join me again on the Top Left Corner.

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TLC #55: 10/10 Democratic Primary, 1st Berkshire District candidate Lisa Blackmer

Election 2017: A conversation with Lisa Blackmer.

Find him online here.

Hello, Greylock Nation—

Today is Saturday, October 07, 2017, and this is a special election series episode of the Top Left Corner, presented by the Greylock Glass. We don’t have the resources yet to cover all races, but due to the enormous popularity of our coverage of the 2016 State Senate election, we decided to provide you, our audience, with a similar opportunity to hear unhurried, unscripted conversations with the candidates for the position of State Representative, 1st Berkshire District, a seat left empty by the untimely death of Gail Cariddi in June.

Lisa Blackmer; photo by Jason Velázquez.
Lisa Blackmer; photo by Jason Velázquez.

 

The four candidates in this series of interviews are facing off in the Democratic primary election on October 10 to determine who will face off against Republican challenger Christine M. Canning in the November 7 general election. The four interviewees are John Barrett, Lisa Blackmer, Stephanie Bosley and Kevin Towle.

Each candidate was given an opportunity to describe their backgrounds and experience, to discuss the the political legacy left by Cariddi, and to offer a vision of how they would address the priorities of the district at the statehouse level. They also responded to similar questions about the issues of poverty, and employment, healthcare, transportation, education, climate change, and race relations. While every effort was made to ensure fairness to all candidates, conversations between different individuals will, of course, vary in content in unpredictable ways. These organic differences are, we hope, the reason that you appreciate extended discussions between people rather than soundbites or pre-recorded position statements.

I enjoyed my talks with each of these contenders, and have decided to extend the Greylock Glass’ policy against the endorsement of one candidate over another for this election season. I hope that by providing this election series of episodes, the Greylock Glass will assist its voting audience in deciding for whom to cast their ballot on Tuesday.

This episode, number 55, features my conversation with Lisa Blackmer.

We hope you enjoyed the chance to hear the views of this candidate for State Representative of the 1st Berkshire District. We put a lot of time and effort into it. If you found this service helpful, please consider making a contribution by going to greylockglass.com/support.

Remember this is the Democratic primary, so if you want a say in who will face off against Christine Canning in November, don’t forget to get out and vote on Tuesday, October 10th. That’s our show for today, I’ve been your host, writer, editor, engineer, and web administrator, Jason Velazquez, and I hope you join me again on the Top Left Corner.

Save

Save

TLC #56: 10/10 Democratic Primary, 1st Berkshire District candidate Stephanie Bosley

Election 2017: A conversation with Stephanie Bosley.

Find her online here.

Hello, Greylock Nation—

Today is Saturday, October 07, 2017, and this is a special election series episode of the Top Left Corner, presented by the Greylock Glass. We don’t have the resources yet to cover all races, but due to the enormous popularity of our coverage of the 2016 State Senate election, we decided to provide you, our audience, with a similar opportunity to hear unhurried, unscripted conversations with the candidates for the position of State Representative, 1st Berkshire District, a seat left empty by the untimely death of Gail Cariddi in June.

Stephanie Bosley; photo by Jason Velázquez.
Stephanie Bosley; photo by Jason Velázquez.

 

The four candidates in this series of interviews are facing off in the Democratic primary election on October 10 to determine who will face off against Republican challenger Christine M. Canning in the November 7 general election. The four interviewees are John Barrett, Lisa Blackmer, Stephanie Bosley and Kevin Towle.

Each candidate was given an opportunity to describe their backgrounds and experience, to discuss the the political legacy left by Cariddi, and to offer a vision of how they would address the priorities of the district at the statehouse level. They also responded to similar questions about the issues of poverty, and employment, healthcare, transportation, education, climate change, and race relations. While every effort was made to ensure fairness to all candidates, conversations between different individuals will, of course, vary in content in unpredictable ways. These organic differences are, we hope, the reason that you appreciate extended discussions between people rather than soundbites or pre-recorded position statements.

I enjoyed my talks with each of these contenders, and have decided to extend the Greylock Glass’ policy against the endorsement of one candidate over another for this election season. I hope that by providing this election series of episodes, the Greylock Glass will assist its voting audience in deciding for whom to cast their ballot on Tuesday.

This episode, number 56, features my conversation with Stephanie Bosley.

We hope you enjoyed the chance to hear the views of this candidate for State Representative of the 1st Berkshire District. We put a lot of time and effort into it. If you found this service helpful, please consider making a contribution by going to greylockglass.com/support.

Remember this is the Democratic primary, so if you want a say in who will face off against Christine Canning in November, don’t forget to get out and vote on Tuesday, October 10th. That’s our show for today, I’ve been your host, writer, editor, engineer, and web administrator, Jason Velazquez, and I hope you join me again on the Top Left Corner.

Save

Save

Save

TLC #57: 10/10 Democratic Primary, 1st Berkshire District candidate Kevin Towle

Election 2017: A conversation with Kevin Towle.

Find him online here.

Hello, Greylock Nation—

Today is Saturday, October 07, 2017, and this is a special election series episode of the Top Left Corner, presented by the Greylock Glass. We don’t have the resources yet to cover all races, but due to the enormous popularity of our coverage of the 2016 State Senate election, we decided to provide you, our audience, with a similar opportunity to hear unhurried, unscripted conversations with the candidates for the position of State Representative, 1st Berkshire District, a seat left empty by the untimely death of Gail Cariddi in June.

Kevin Towle; photo by Jason Velázquez.
Kevin Towle; photo by Jason Velázquez.

 

The four candidates in this series of interviews are facing off in the Democratic primary election on October 10 to determine who will face off against Republican challenger Christine M. Canning in the November 7 general election. The four interviewees are John Barrett, Lisa Blackmer, Stephanie Bosley and Kevin Towle.

Each candidate was given an opportunity to describe their backgrounds and experience, to discuss the the political legacy left by Cariddi, and to offer a vision of how they would address the priorities of the district at the statehouse level. They also responded to similar questions about the issues of poverty, and employment, healthcare, transportation, education, climate change, and race relations. While every effort was made to ensure fairness to all candidates, conversations between different individuals will, of course, vary in content in unpredictable ways. These organic differences are, we hope, the reason that you appreciate extended discussions between people rather than soundbites or pre-recorded position statements.

I enjoyed my talks with each of these contenders, and have decided to extend the Greylock Glass’ policy against the endorsement of one candidate over another for this election season. I hope that by providing this election series of episodes, the Greylock Glass will assist its voting audience in deciding for whom to cast their ballot on Tuesday.

This episode, number 57, features my conversation with Kevin Towle.

We hope you enjoyed the chance to hear the views of this candidate for State Representative of the 1st Berkshire District. We put a lot of time and effort into it. If you found this service helpful, please consider making a contribution by going to greylockglass.com/support.

Remember this is the Democratic primary, so if you want a say in who will face off against Christine Canning in November, don’t forget to get out and vote on Tuesday, October 10th. That’s our show for today, I’ve been your host, writer, editor, engineer, and web administrator, Jason Velazquez, and I hope you join me again on the Top Left Corner.

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TLC #48: BMC Nurses host safe patient care town hall to answer questions

Management at Berkshire Health Systems says the latest offer represents their “best and final,” but BMC Nurses are standing their ground over issues of staffing levels, wages, and benefits/

BMC Nurses stand out at Park Square in Pittsfield, May 6, 2017 to communicate concerns over staffing levels; submitted photo.
BMC Nurses stand out at Park Square in Pittsfield, May 6, 2017 to communicate concerns over staffing levels; submitted photo.

The following information is from a release by the Massachusetts Nurses Association. Berkshire Health Systems declined to be interviewed for this story.

Four community groups are sponsoring a public forum for BMC nurses and residents to discuss safe patient care 

PITTSFIELD, Mass.—A Community Town Hall on Tuesday night will feature registered nurses from Berkshire Medical Center sharing their concerns about patient safety at the hospital and community members discussing their experiences at BMC.

BMC Safe Patient Care Town Hall
sponsored by the Berkshire Brigades, Berkshire Central Labor Council, Indivisible Pittsfield and Massachusetts Jobs with Justice.
Where: First Methodist Church, 55 Fenn Street. in Pittsfield.
When: Tuesday, Sept. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

“Community members have a right to hear directly from nurses about what is happening inside their hospital,” said RN Alex Neary, Co-Chair of the BMC MNA Bargaining Committee. “This event will give everyone in our community a chance to share their own experience and discuss how we can improve the quality of patient care at BMC.”

“We believe an open and honest public discussion about patient safety at BMC is necessary to move forward in a positive way,” said Brian P. Morrison, President of the Berkshire Central Labor Council. “Berkshire Medical Center was built and paid for by the community and with our tax dollars. The public supports BMC nurses and we urge the hospital to listen to their concerns.”

Nurses have brought their patient safety concerns forward to hospital management in various ways for years, including directly to supervisors, at labor-management meetings and during ongoing negotiations.

BMC RNs have also been documenting this problem using unsafe staffing forms. Between October 1, 2015 and August 21, 2017, nurses completed more than 430 unsafe staffing reports. The reports tell the story time and again: Hospital units short multiple nurses and/or other staff members, patients waiting for hours in the emergency department, patient falls, and critically ill infants with too few nurses to care for them. Hundreds of other incidents have gone undocumented as nurses are typically too busy caring for too many patients to write a report.

Background on Bargaining

BMC nurses are seeking a fair contract that first and foremost protects the quality of patient care. Another key issue is quality and affordable health insurance. BMC has proposed raising by 100 percent how much nurses contribute to individual health insurance premiums. Nurses in BMC’s family health insurance plans already pay 40 to 70 percent more than managers.

Negotiations began in September 2016 and include a federal mediator. More than 25 bargaining sessions have been held. On May 31, nurses rejected the hospital’s “best and final” contract offer by 82 percent. In July, nurses voted 83 percent to authorize a potential one-day strike. The 16-member RN Bargaining Committee has the authority to call for a one-day strike and issue the 10-day strike notice required under federal law.

BMC nurses have also filed three unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Berkshire Health, including  threatening to retaliate against nurses if they engage in protected activity and refusing to provide health insurance data necessary for bargaining.

The next negotiation date has been scheduled for September 27.

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