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Editorial: Pleased to see plans for Greenfield mural facelift


Sunday, May 07, 2017

Brief thoughts on some of the events making news around Franklin County and the North Quabbin this week:

Twenty-seven years after it was painted on the side of the Borofsky Block overlooking Veterans Memorial Mall, Greenfield’s first downtown mural is getting a facelift.

The mural, which features images of Franklin County landmarks, including Poet’s Seat Tower and the Eunice Williams Covered Bridge, was painted in 1990. Rebecca Tippens of Colrain, who produced the original mural, has been awarded a $1,000 Arts Lottery Grant to refurbish the painting, which has faded over time. She plans to organize a group of volunteers to repaint the mural over two weeks, beginning May 12.

The original mural caused a political uproar in the summer of 1990 when some of the town’s selectmen felt it was inappropriate for Main Street. Times have changed, and we will be happy to see the mural refurbished and continue to add some visual and artistic energy to the streetscape.

Peace, please

Our Lady of Peace Church in Turners Falls has added a peace pole to its prayer garden, at the instigation of one of its young parishioners, Zach Lastowski, a junior at Turners Falls High School. He said the project came from a confirmation class community service project.

The pole features the phrase “May peace prevail on earth” in English, French, Spanish, Polish, Arabic and Hebrew.

“So as we bless this pole, let us be mindful of those places where there’s tremendous suffering,” the Rev. Stanley Aksamit said during the ceremony. Indeed. Let’s pray for peace.

Peachy pink

We love our peaches and were sorely deprived last year when unseasonably warm February temperatures as high as almost 60 degrees plummeted to -20 overnight, killing off the peach buds in Franklin County.

“Last year, there was not even one blossom out there,” noted Ben Clark at Clarkdale Fruit Farm of the nine acres planted with roughly 3,000 peach trees, many of which are now in full bloom.

While we consumers may have missed the juicy local fruit, the loss was a major financial blow to several local orchardists. Things look promising this year, and we are hoping for the best.

Thomas Aquinas

With ownership of the former Northfield Mount Hermon School campus in Northfield officially transferred to Thomas Aquinas College and The Moody Center during a Tuesday ceremony, there is renewed hope the long-vacant buildings will serve as a home for education once again.

We’re sure the people of Northfield, who have missed the invigorating presence of hundreds of students, faculty and staff of the Northfield Mount Hermon School since it closed about 12 years ago, are thrilled to see a new school coming to the old campus, which had its roots in the religious convictions of evangelist Dwight L. Moody.

The Roman Catholic liberal arts college out of Santa Paula, Calif., hopes to duplicate its West Coast success in Northfield. The school plans to open its new East Coast campus in the fall of 2018.

The college hopes to enroll between 350 and 400 students, close to the 500 students enrolled during the campus’ peak as a prep school. Once that happens, Northfield will lose tax dollars its current owners have been paying, but we hope that having a tax-exempt presence in the heart of Northfield again will make up the difference in a number of ways.