Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Saturday, October 31, 2009
  The Transcript Endorsement

I am pleased to announce that The North Adams Transcript has endorsed me for City Council.

Just remember, endorsements and lawns signs don't vote - people do! Get to the polls on Tuesday!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
  Issues I never thought would come up in a city council race
I just had my first conversation with a concerned voter about my positions on everything from G-d given rights, separation of church and state to Gay Marriage and abortion. She was considerably more conservative than me. I tried to find common ground on issues surrounding individual liberties and inalienable rights, but I don't think I won her over.

Oh well. I could have talked for an hour about city budgets and housing, but that was obviously not her cup of tea.

I will say that I am highly impressed that she is taking the time to call candidates and ask their views. I wish more people would do that.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
  Do the Right Thing
My candidate's column appears in today's Transcript. I will link to it when it gets on the site.

[UPDATE - The column is up now]

I suspect things are running behind at the Transcript because Glenn Drohan's elderly father is reportedly near death. Keep Glenn and his family in your thoughts.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
  Odd Arrangement
Last Thursday my phone rang and I noticed the Caller ID said "Freedman DeRosa." I answered thinking it was a business call, but was surprised to hear a volunteer calling on behalf of the Barrett Campaign asking if they "could count on [my] vote on November 3rd?"

It struck me as not-quite-kosher that the city solicitor's firm's office was being used by the sitting mayor's re-election campaign. But then again, if the mayor was paying for the use of the office space to host a "calling party" it probably would pass the strictly legal smell test. (I've been reading waaaaay too many regulations on campaign finance since I decided to run for city council.)

But I see that the Topix cranks have gotten their teeth into this and, for what it's worth, they make some valid points about the appearance of impropriety.

So, what do you think?

Is it proper for the City Solicitor's private law firm to host a calling party for the incumbent mayor's re-election bid?

I don't think that I would have done it had I been in either the mayor's or the firm's position. The simple appearance of a conflict of interest alone would have led me to search for another set of phones.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I have arrived. I had a few of my campaign lawn signs stolen last (Friday) night along State Rd.

Granted it was probably some kids who thought having a sign that says "ROACH" would look good on their dorm room wall, but still, it's more fun to pretend that nefarious forces think that I am threat.
Friday, October 23, 2009
  Exactly Right
Senator Downing gets it:
BOSTON – Today the Massachusetts Senate passed legislation streamlining the organizational structure of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Technology Center (CETC). Included in An Act Relative to Clean Energy is an initiative sponsored by State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) to make permanent the Pathways out of Poverty (Pathways) grant program within the Center.

Last year Downing championed the effort to establish Pathways within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) as a part of the Green Jobs Act of 2008. Pathways grants are intended to support economic self-sufficiency in the clean energy industry for low and moderate-income individuals.

Under Downing’s lead, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to establish a grant program focused on training disadvantaged workers for green collar jobs. Today’s Senate action ensures Pathways will continue to operate by transferring administrative responsibility of the program to CETC and further mandating that it be a permanent program within the Center.
The idea of the next big thing is great, but I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is to build up our existing resources (i.e. people) at the same time.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
  Does He Know He Lives in Adams?
Bill Donovan's ironic nonsense:
The important question, however, is why would these Williamstown money people with such deep pockets have so much interest in the mayor's race in North Adams.
Maybe for the same reason as you, Bill.
  Walk In Brain has left the building
Wes has retired from the blogosphere. Bon Voyage.
Friday, October 16, 2009
  Season's First Snowflakes...
.... falling outside my window this morning.
  More Like This, Please... Lot's More
From Jen at the Transcript:
NORTH ADAMS -- The newly established state Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council, headed by Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, called on local education leaders Thursday, as it culls a list of the "best practices" and programs from around the state.

"It is amazing how quickly our economy has changed," Murray told a group of educators at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. "It will change even more in the next few years. We need to be prepared as a state. Anything we can do at this point to advance our STEM objective is critical."

The council, which was officially formed by Gov. Deval L. Patrick on Wednesday, has been charged with finding programs that successfully increase student test scores and participation in the science and math fields. The selected programs will become part of a five-year, statewide STEM plan
I don't think that it is a coincidence that Massachusetts already has the highest math test scores and that we constantly strive to improve our public education system. We always have to keep pushing.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Tammy gets the scoop on the Movie Theaters closing:
The parent corporation of Movieplex 8 abruptly closed the city cinemas and eight others on Tuesday and plans to declare bankruptcy.
Although I find the second-hand quotes from Neil Ellis puzzling. I can't say I've ever heard of a real estate developer operating theaters themselves. Maybe... but it sounds like happy talk.

There are lots of other rumors out there, but I'll wait to see. This economy is a bear.
Monday, October 12, 2009
  That's New
Google Maps now has "street view" for most of the main drags in North Adams and the surrounding areas. The photos look to be almost exactly a year old (no campaign signs, but pumpkins and leaves abound).

It's a little creepy having photos of everything and everywhere being searchable on the web, but it is also kinda' cool. In many larger cities, you can find a photo of just about any house. (Here's my old house in Tacoma. I see the new owners have satellite TV. I told you it was a little creepy.)

However, it would be nice if Google used a map of North Adams that was not completely and totally out of date - That and the fact that they think that the town of Florida is in Downtown North Adams.
  Not an Example of Good Government
Umm guys, the people who need the bus to get to work are not the people who get Columbus Day off. Just sayin'.....
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
  Tracking Polls
It seems that some organization, most likely the Barrett Campaign, is running a tracking poll, which explains why these recent spate of polling calls has been asking for people by name (a bad idea in a small town for obvious reasons).

The purpose of a tracking poll is to see how opinion is changing. It is rarely used by those who expect things to remain static.

In my opinion, this pattern makes it clear who is behind in his own internal polls. Look for the "Hail Mary" campaign tactics to start soon.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
  Quote of the Week
Rep Dan Bosley to myself and two other Gen-Xers:
Do you guys know Pink Floyd?
It was good for chuckle. Welcome to the Machine.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
  That's Gonna' Leave a Mark
Berkshire Fine Arts, which has had two very even interviews with Mayor Barrett and Dick Alcombright puts out an Op-Ed about last night's debate that leaves no question about their publisher's candidate preference:
As a living monument of the city's history, over the past three decades, Barrett is capable of shooting from the hip. He is a walking encyclopedia of facts, figures, programs and initiatives all punctuated and linked to "I." At one point he chided Alcombright for reading from an indexed briefing book. The stunning and silencing response was "I came prepared."

In holding his own against a renowned pit bull like Barrett it appears that Alcombright took the edge and won the debate. Unlike Barrett he kept his cool, promised to rule with consensus, and to bring a corporate, business style to city management. In brilliantly on point closing remarks he talked about restoring "integrity" to the Mayoral office.

That caused Barrett to blow his top stating that after all his years in office he does not appreciate having his integrity challenged. It ignored the fact that he had used ad hominem cheap shots throughout the debate. It was old style politics which didn't work for John McCain and Sarah Palin and didn't prove to be effective against Alcombright. Much like Barack Obama the candidate, Dick Alcombright, kept cool and held his ground with tact and dignity.
I can't say I was as offended as Charles but I can't say that I disagree either.
A blog of random thoughts and reactions emanating from the bank of a mountain stream in the farthest reaches of the bluest of blue states.

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greg at gregoryroach dot com

"Livability, not just affordability." - Dick Alcombright

My ongoing campaign for North Adams City Council

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Because a Chart is Worth 1000 Words

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