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October 2019
The View from Main and Marshall

This weekend the 64th annual Fall Foliage Parade steps off! This year’s theme, “There’s No Place Like Home in the Berkshires,” speaks to the sense of welcome and community that makes this fall celebration and tradition such a welcome part of life in North Adams and the Northern Berkshires.

I’m so grateful to the parade organizers, community volunteers, and city staff, and to this year’s great and powerful Grand Marshal, Dr. Len Radin. As always, everyone has brought their A game to the planning effort. I know the results will be evident as people line up along the route to clap for their favorite band, cheer on our first responders, and marvel at the wonderful floats and decorations on display in the parade lineup.

In fact, earlier this week I snuck a peek at the floats under construction, and I can promise that all parade goers will be amazed and astonished by what the groups building the floats have in store. Hope to see you there!

 
Start With Hello week

In partnership with the North Adams Public Schools, I declared September 23-27 to be Start With Hello Week in North Adams. Start With Hello is a program of the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation that is designed to help young people to build more connected and inclusive classrooms, schools, and communities by reaching out to and including those who may be dealing with chronic social isolation.

The week's activities included Walk to School Day, an assembly at Drury on inclusion and community building, and a Welcome Day at each North Adams school with visiting community members on hand to greet students. One of the highlights of the week was a student round table discussion about school safety and inclusion led by Attorney General Maura Healey and Mark Barden, one of the founders of Sandy Hook Promise. 
Bike to School Day

The School Committee recently approved a bike to school policy for the North Adams Public Schools, with Greylock Elementary School serving as the pilot site for the Bike to School program. It was wonderful to welcome students and families on the first official Bike to School Day on Friday, September 20.

Remembering Commissioner John Morocco

Yesterday we celebrated the life of former police commissioner John Morocco. Commissioner Morocco served the City of North Adams and the North Adams Police Department from the time he joined the department in 1966, becoming a permanent reserve officer in 1977, to his retirement as Commissioner of Public Safety and head of the Fire and Police Departments in 2012 after 37 years of dedication and distinction.

Commissioner Morocco leaves an enduring legacy in the police officers and firefighters he trained and mentored, and in the leaders who have followed him in the Fire and Police Departments. And, like so many people in the city who answer the call to service, Commissioner Morocco loved the city of North Adams and took incredible pride in our community and gave back as a volunteer with many community groups. His love of North Adams was matched and rivaled only by his love for his family, including his wife, Sue, his children Tammy and Bill, and his grandchildren. Chiefs Meranti and Wood and I offer our sincere condolences to The Morocco family, and to Commissioner Morocco’s brothers and sisters in uniform in the North Adams Police and Fire Departments.

City receives federal and state safety equipment grants

In the city of North Adams, we are fortunate to have well-trained, professional first-responders protecting and serving our residents, homes, and businesses. Thanks to two recent grant awards, we have the opportunity to ensure that our firefighters and emergency response personnel have equipment and gear that will keep them safe while they are keeping us safe.

Through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s regional Assistance to Firefighters Grant, the North Adams Fire Department and other departments in our area will receive a share of a $588,655 grant awarded to eleven fire departments. The city share of this grant will go to purchase 13 new sets of turnout gear for North Adams firefighters.

In addition, the city partnered with the towns of Adams and Williamstown on a $25,000 Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) grant to purchase emergency supplies and equipment. 

I'm grateful to our congressional delegation in Washington and to the state for their support in securing these funds for our first responders.

City and 18 Degrees partner on West Main Connection

I was honored to join the team from 18 Degrees Family Services for Western MA, city staff, representatives from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and community partners and friends on September 24 for an open house at the new West Main Connection program. This Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI) program will offer outreach, case management, and connection to community resources in order to support positive youth development. I’m so grateful to 18 Degrees for partnering with the city, as well as to Chief Wood and other members of the city staff who made this collaborative opportunity a reality.

Police Chief Wood recognized as one of "The Berkshire 25"

Congratulations to Chief Jason Wood who was honored as one of the 25 "Most Dedicated, Most Creative, Most Influential Individuals" in Berkshire County for 2019 by Berkshire Magazine. Senator Adam Hinds presented the chief with this award at a ceremony at the Berkshire Botanical Garden on Thursday, September 5.


Image courtesy of Berkshire Photo Booth
 

North Adams: Putting the Berkshires on the Map

It was a great night for the City of North Adams at the 1Berkshire Celebrate the Berkshires event on Thursday, September 26. TOURISTS received the Putting the Berkshires on the Map award as part of an evening that also saw Trendsetter award recognition going to MASS MoCA as well as to Under 40 Change Maker honoree Jessica Sweeney. They were part of an incredible group of North Adams nominees that included entrepreneurs Orion Howard and David Moresi, economic development powerhouse Crane & Co., newcomers A-OK Berkshire Barbecue, the nonprofit superstars of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, Matt Tatro of Grazie and Tres Ninos Taqueria, and the team from the O+ Festival North Adams. As you can see from the photo above there truly was so much North Adams talent in the room we couldn't fit everyone into the photo frame!

Awards, nominations, and recognition affirm what we know and believe about North Adams, but it's important to remember such accolades don't happen accidentally. They are the result of commitment, hard work, and intention. Of people getting up every day motivated by the drive to succeed and animated by a tremendous community spirit. Of facing challenges with resolve and leveraging success to give back to the community. I'm inspired and humbled to work alongside these honorees and nominees -- and the dozens and hundreds of people just like them in our schools, businesses, and community organizations -- in our shared mission to build a city for everyone in North Adams. 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is recognized nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In September I issued a proclamation calling on our community to "support efforts to promote hope, health, and healing for everyone who is affected by domestic and sexual violence, and to end the cycle of violence through community mobilization, advocacy, and education." I also joined members of the North Adams community, and partners from across the county, for the Elizabeth Freeman Center's Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event. Prior to the event I wrote an op-ed for The Berkshire Eagle about Walk a Mile, and the importance of engaging "a network of partners working together to respond to domestic violence as the public health emergency that it is."

As part of that network I'm honored to serve as a member of the Berkshire County Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force led by District Attorney Andrea Harrington. The task force is part of a county wide One Book, One Community program focused on the book No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Snyder. There will be book discussion groups throughout the county, including one in North Adams being organized by Men Initiating Change in North County (MICinc) on Wednesday, October 23 at 6:00 p.m. at The Green located at 85 Main Street.

As a follow up to the reading, Rachel Louise Snyder will present a free public lecture on No Visible Bruises on February 6, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. at the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield. More information is available online or at the Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force Facebook page.
Coffee and Conversation at the Green, Saturday, October 12

I'll be at The Green at 85 Main Street on Saturday, October 12, for Coffee and Conversation beginning at 9:00 a.m. While the format for Coffee and Conversation events usually focuses on open discussion, I'll be doing something different this month.
In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month I'm partnering with Men Initiating Change in North County (MICinc) for a focused conversation on domestic violence awareness. We've also invited representatives from the Elizabeth Freeman Center and the county DSV Task Force to join the discussion and to provide perspective and support.
Upcoming events
  • Saturdays (through October 19): North Adams Farmers' Market, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., St. Anthony Parking Lot. (The monthly indoor farmers' market begins Saturday, November 8, at The Green, 85 Main Street).
  • Friday, October 4: Fall Foliage Children's Parade, 4:30 p.m., Main Street.
  • Saturday, October 5: Fall Foliage Brew and Chew, 12:00 - 5:00 p.m., Main Street.
  • Sunday, October 6: 64th Annual Fall Foliage Parade (steps off at 1:00 p.m. from Ocean State parking lot on Curran Highway).
  • Saturday, October 12: Coffee and Conversation on Domestic Violence Awareness, 9:00 -10:00 a.m., at The Green, 85 Main Street.
For more information about upcoming city events please visit the North Adams event calendar or subscribe to the North Adams Happenings email list.
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